Tag Archives: Issac Rangel

NBA All-Stars Reluctantly Put on a Show

By Issac Rangel

At the beginning of the NBA season, many people and also players were really convinced that this year’s NBA season was not going to have an All-Star Game due to Covid-19 and the restrictions. The NBA had even mentioned at the beginning of the season that there was no interest in having an All-Star Game. A lot of players felt that the whole point of the All-Star Weekend is for it to be a very entertaining weekend with a sold out arena and fans seeing the best players in the world go at it. However, with Covid-19 there would be only a very limited number of fans that would be able to attend the event, which kind of defeats the purpose of All-Star Weekend.

Furthermore, teams like the Lakers and Heat–who were the last two teams standing in the bubble–felt that they deserved that little break and should not have to play in an extra game. Even after all that, the NBA decided to have an All-Star Game anyways. Players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and De’Aaron Fox shared their thoughts on the NBA deciding after all to have one, and they did not like the idea of it.

LeBron James claimed that the All-Star Game being confirmed was, “A slap in the face.” Giannis also had something to say, which was, “I don’t care about the All-Star Game.” And De’Aaron Fox also shared his thoughts saying, “To be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid.”

Still, all that passed by, and NBA All-Star Weekend was finally happening. This year’s All-Star Weekend was very entertaining as it mostly always is, however it wasn’t the usual weekend that fans were used to. There were some big changes into how the schedule would be. This time it wasn’t an actual whole weekend where each day had different events, like the celebrity game, the rising stars game, the dunk contest, the 3-point contest, the skills competition, and then the actual All-Star Game. This year they did not do the celebrity game or the rising stars game, but they did do the 3-point contest, dunk contest, and skills competition.

They decided to do it all in one day though this time, with the skills competition and the 3-point contest being before the game, and the dunk contest being held during halftime. The winners for each event were, Domantas Sabonis for the skills competition, Steph Curry for the 3-point contest, and Anfernee Simons for the dunk contest.

Rosters for the 2021 All-Star Game

Lastly was the All-Star Game itself. It was Team LeBron vs Team Durant. Team LeBron’s players were Giannis, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic for the starting five. Team Lebron’s reserves were Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, and Ben Simmons. Team Durant’s starting lineup did not include himself due to injury, but his starting lineup was Bradley Beal, Joel Embid, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. His reserves were Devin Booker, James Harden, Zach Lavine, Donovan Mitchell, Julias Randle, Nikola Vucevic, and Zion Williamson.

The game went pretty well, and it was very entertaining watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard drain threes from all over the place. Team LeBron ended up dominating and winning by a score of 170-150. Giannis Antetokounmpo won All-Star game MVP, finishing with 35 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, and shooting a perfect 16 for 16.

Giannis Antetokounmpo holds his All-Star MVP trophy | Dale Zanine USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2

By Issac Rangel

Dustin Poirier finally got his revenge, beating Connor McGregor in the big re-match during UFC 257, held on Jan 24, 2021.

The PPV event was shown on ESPN+ which is a separate subscription, and the PPV itself was $69.99. It had many exciting matches throughout the night, especially the main card. In the undercard fight, Dan Hooker squared up against Michael Chandler, who made his much-hyped UFC debut. Chandler’s debut couldn’t have gone any better, as he TKO’d his opponent in the first round in 2:31.

In the main event, Conor McGregor made his return once again after last fighting exactly a year before this event. This matchup had a lot of intensity because it was a rematch and Poirier wanted his revenge. The first time they fought, Connor knocked out Dustin in the first round and made it look easy.

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

This time it ended differently though–Poirier got his revenge, and knocked out McGregor in the second round. Poirier injured his opponent’s leg badly with leg kicks and forced McGregor’s defense to be exposed, catching him with a combination that left McGregor laying on the canvas. Now Connor’s dream at a shot with a Khabib rematch to get his redemption is most likely not going to happen anymore.

NFL 2020 Season Recap:

Brady is Still the GOAT After Exciting Playoffs

By Issac Rangel

The 2020 NFL season is over, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl over last year’s champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Here is an overall recap of how the season went.

Before it even started, there was some doubt on whether or not the new season should even happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was confusion on how things would be scheduled around outbreaks, if it did happen, but they decided to just begin the new season anyways. In doing so, they had very strict health rules and protocols for the teams to follow. Every player had to keep getting tested over and over again every week. Only some teams allowed for there to be a limited number of fans in the stadium.

However, even with all the new rules and protocols players had to follow, there were still some players that would test positive. There were difficulties with teams schedules, and some of their games were postponed because of players testing positive. Even after all these problems the NFL was having, they still decided just to keep going. And even with all the protocols the teams had to follow, and with their not being able to be as much or any fans at all for some teams, it was still such an exciting and thrilling season, especially when the playoffs started.

Wild Card Round

The 3 NFC Wild Card games featured the Colts vs Bills, Rams vs Seahawks, and Buccaneers vs Washington. The Bills beat the Colts in a thrilling ball game, hanging on until the end and beating the Colts 27-24 for their first playoff victory since 1995. Shortly after the game, Colts quarterback Philip Rivers announced his retirement after just one season with Indianapolis. The Rams beat the Seahawks 30-20 even with their quarterback injury issues, while the Buccaneers beat Washington by a score of 31-23.

The Buffalo Bills celebrate their first playoff victory in 25 years, defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 27-24 in a Wild Card thriller. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The following day were the 3 AFC Wild Card games which featured the Ravens vs Titans, Bears vs Saints, and Browns vs Steelers. The Ravens got their revenge in a heated matchup against the Titans and beat them by a score of 20-13. The Saints easily beat the Bears by a score of 21-9, and finally, the Browns pulled off a major upset, dominating the Steelers by beating them 48-37.

Divisional Round

When the Divisional Round started, the 4 teams left from the NFC were now the Rams, Packers, Bucs, and #1 seed New Orleans Saints. The 4 teams left in the AFC were the Browns, Bills, Ravens, and top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. The first game was between the Packers and the Rams. The Rams had a tough time because of the injuries suffered in their previous game against the Seahawks, and it didn’t help with one of their injured players being their best player–Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. He struggled all game trying to get through the O-line and to Rodgers, so his impact on the game was minimal. The Packers beat L.A. easily by a score of 32-18. Within a couple of weeks after the Rams elimination, they traded quarterback Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.

The next game was the Bills vs Ravens, and the Bills held the Ravens to only 3 points the whole game, winning by a score of 17-3; although, part of it had to do with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson getting injured and taken out of the game. The next day held the 2 top-seeded games of Browns vs Chiefs and Bucs vs Saints. The Chiefs beat the Browns in a close game by a score of 22-17. The Browns had a chance to win after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was knocked out with a concussion, but they couldn’t convert late.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) lies on the ground after being injured during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Jackson left the game after his injury. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The Bucs vs Saints game was after that, and it was a very exciting and nerve-wracking game for Bucs fans. Both times that the Bucs and the Saints met in the regular season, Drew Brees and the Saints dominated Brady’s Bucs both times. However, this time, when it counted, Tampa Bay ended up winning a close game, 30-20.

Conference Championships

Next up were the Conference Championships, the last two teams standing from the AFC were the Chiefs and the Bills, and the last two teams from the NFC were the Packers and the Bucs. The Chiefs and Bills game started off close and competitive, but eventually the Chiefs pulled away and dominated the rest of the game and beat the Bills 38-24.

2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in action against the Bucs

Now it was time for the very hyped-up matchup between the Bucs and the Packers, mostly between Tom Brady and 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers. Brady won the rivalry against Rodgers in a close game, which ended up being a 31-26 victory for the Bucs.

Super Bowl LV

Finally, this brought us to the last game of the season–Super Bowl 55. This year’s Super Bowl had a lot of quarterback hype to live up to: Brady vs Mahomes, which some people referred to it as GOAT vs Baby GOAT. There were high expectations from fans for this game, and most people expected it to go down to the wire and have a lot of intensity. Yet, that is totally the opposite of how it ended up going, as the Buccaneers dominated the whole game, and it was never even close. They held the Chiefs to only 3 field goals, which is crazy because this Chiefs team had never been shut down like that.

The final score was 31-9, and Tom Brady got his 7th ring–which is now more rings than any of the 32 NFL teams have. For Tampa Bay, this was their second Super Bowl victory, and their first since Super Bowl 37 when they defeated the Oakland Raiders in 2003.


Tracking the NBA Offseason Moves: Draft, Trades, and Free Agency

By Issac Rangel

During this NBA offseason many things have happened so far, starting off with the NBA draft and a flurry of trades.

Although a lot of sports analysts and fans around the NBA had said that in this year’s draft there weren’t many players that can be considered “franchise changing players” or “generational talents,” there were some pretty big names in the draft. One of them being LaMelo Ball, whom a lot of people consider to be the player with the highest potential in this draft. The other two big names were James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards. All three of them were drafted in the top 3, with Anthony Edwards going number 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, James Wiseman going 2nd to the Golden State Warriors, and Lamelo Ball going 3rd to the Charlotte Hornets.

This offseason there have also been a lot of trades–some big ones–and also some free agent signings. Arguably the biggest trade this off-season was the Houston Rockets trading Russell Westbrook to the Wizards for John Wall and a protected 2023 first-round pick.

Another big trade was Chris Paul being traded to the Phoenix Suns from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Suns picked up Chris Paul and Abdel Nader, with OKC getting Kelly Oubre Jr, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jeromre, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick in return.

The Thunder stayed busy, as another major trade involved the Lakers, who acquired guard Dennis Schroder, with OKC picking up Danny Green and a 2020 first-round draft pick in return. Green didn’t last long in OKC, as he found himself flipped to Philadelphia when the Sixers sent Al Horford and some first-round picks to OKC for Green and Terrance Ferguson.

Speaking of the Lakers, arguably the biggest signing this offseason was the Lakers signing free agent Montrezl Harrell (pictured) from their crosstown rivals, the Clippers.

The Sixers also traded for Seth Curry, which sent Josh Richardson and a 2020 second-round pick to the Dallas Mavericks. Kelly Oubre’s time as an OKC player didn’t last long either, as he was then traded to the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to fill in for Klay Thompson’s roster spot (following his devastating season-ending injury).

With all of the movement, especially in the Western Conference, the Lakers still remain in good shape to compete for a title for years to come. In addition to picking up Schroder and Harrell, the Lakers secured long-term deals for superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Issac Rangel

My name is Issac Rangel, I am a senior at John Glenn High School, and I am planning on attending Fullerton Community college after graduation. I live in Norwalk with my mother and father and also my two older sisters. My favorite hobbies are playing sports, as well as watching them, and also listening to music. My favorite sports are soccer, basketball, and also football. Soccer is my main favorite of all because I grew up playing it and watching it, and all of my family watches it. My favorite teams are Real Madrid, the LA Lakers, and the New England Patriots. My favorite news source is ESPN.com because it covers all types of sports, including the UFC which is also one of my favorite things to watch.

The Lakers Are 2020 World Champions!

By Issac Rangel

The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA Champions once again, after a 10 year wait. The long and rough 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, and for the Lakers, it ended in the best way possible–earning their 17th NBA title to tie it up with their rivals from the east, the Boston Celtics, with the most championships in NBA history.

After finishing with the second best record in the NBA, and the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers had looked forward to the playoffs in a bubble in Orlando, which they knew were going to be very competitive and different, especially with no home crowd advantage.

The “NBA Bubble” court in Orlando, FL (source: LA Times)

Their first playoff series after 7 years of not reaching them, was against a very motivated and strong Portland Trail Blazers team. A lot of analysts and people were saying that the Blazers might be the best ever 8th seed in NBA history after winning most of their seeding games to climb up to clinch a playoff spot, and having Damian Lillard (pictured at left, courtesy Yahoo Sports) playing some of his best basketball ever. However, the Lakers managed to take them out in five games.

Next up was James Harden’s Houston Rockets. And once again, the Lakers won the series in five games and LeBron and AD proved to be too dominant for the short Rockets team.

Next, the Lakers were in the Western Conference finals, waiting for the long awaited and hyped up match up with their city rivals, the Clippers. Things didn’t turn out as expected at all, however, as the Clippers ended up blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round, and had the NBA world shocked. So, it was the Nuggets and the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, and the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis were yet again too powerful, eliminating the Nuggets in five games also.

The Clippers react to one of the worst collapses in NBA history (source: CBS Sports)

Finally, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals, after 10 years of not making it that far. Their opponent was a bit of a shocker once again–a young, talented, and gritty Miami Heat squad, led by Jimmy Butler. This was the Lakers toughest series yet. Even though the Lakers won the first two games by double digit margins, making game 1 look too easy in a blowout for the Lakers, The Miami Heat never backed down. They ended up winning game 3 with a historic performance by Jimmy Butler (a 40-point triple-double). In game 4, however, the Lakers and LeBron James knew it was a must win to go up 3-1 and feel more comfortable, and they did just that.

However, like I said, the Heat did not back down–they won game 5 and gave the Lakers their first ever loss in the Mamba Jerseys, which had everyone shocked and Lakers fans feeling a bit nervous.

Game 6 had arrived, and the Lakers came out very strong, taking a big lead in the 2nd quarter and never looking back. They ended up blowing out the Heat by a score of 106-93, and winning their long-awaited 17th NBA championship (celebration at right; source: Getty Images).

LeBron James won his 4th finals MVP after putting up a 28-10-14 triple-double in game 6. The Lakers, of course were emotional, and very happy, to dedicate this championship to the late, great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant who passed away earlier this year. The team ended up doing it for the city of Los Angeles, Lakers fans, but most importantly for Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who helped motivate them to get past each and every challenge that was in their way. As Kobe would have said, “THE JOB IS FINISHED!”