by Zagrieb Zano
Out west, there are the Oregon Bears, and everybody else. GM Kevin Harper has skillfully guided this franchise as a perennial championship contender. Utilizing the talents of Lou Gonzales and Bishop Stein. There is not a better big/little man combo in the entire league. While Lou is perhaps just past his peak, he is still one of the top 3 centers in the league. Stein is simply an offensive beast. He will go for 40 on any given night. And considering that he is unselfish enough to pass the ball to others, that is what makes this young player a force to be reckoned with. Marquez Houston is the third man on this tripod of perfection. He is one of the more versatile Small Forwards who can score and rebound and pass. Opposing GM’s wish they knew the secret sauce to putting together a team like Oregon. Perhaps the unsung gem of this team is Kurpeikis. He backs up at Center and Power Forward. He really is the glue that keeps this team together. My sources have told me that he is the secret MVP of this team. As long as Kurpeikis is with the team, there is nothing that should stop them from getting another championship this year.
Sacramento Fighting Cocks
Sacramento seems to be focused on building a team of veterans. Samier Sheth and Bobby Egan make a formidable backcourt. Both are capable of putting up 30 points in a game. John Van horne and Mark Miller control the post with commendable scoring and strong rebounding. It will be interesting to see as the season goes on, if injuries will take their toll on this older group. They are smart veterans, but will they get rest during the season as they compete for the playoffs. While they will not challenge Oregon for the division title, they would compete for a title in nearly every other division. Gm Lawrence has done a nice job getting most of his core players signed for a few seasons, including key backups. Although it is likely he will lose either Sheth or Egan at end of this season. They will make the playoffs this year, but they will have to win during FA to remain competitive has they lack many draft picks for the next several years.
Las Vegas Gamblers
Formerly ran by Steven Goodstadt, but after his firing there was hope to be found. Las Vegas is the polar opposite of Sacramento. They have focused building a team with youth and potential. And quite frankly, if they can maintain the stars of the team, they will be a force to be feared in the next few years. Unfortunately, we are not living in the future. They will struggle due to their youth. It is a necessary growing pain. Wes Taylor will be looked to provide the scoring punch while setting up his teammates. Chad Archer just signed a large contract betting that his future will be great. He is a solid guard, and will only get better. Especially with his size, he is a great rebounder. The team defense is not strong. And it will be the cause for many heart breaking losses. This team is not good enough to run people out of the gym night in and night out. They have their backcourt locked up for many years, although their signing of Al Levy was a mistake. Don’t be surprised if this guy is waived at some point. Ironically, they have Archer and Marella signed to max contracts. Both of them are Shooting Guards. This doesn’t really make much sense, but only time will tell if this was pure genius or otherwise.
This team is bad. Let me rephrase that. This team is terrible. This team would lose to teams in the GCBA. The best players on the Dragons, are only good because of how bad the team is. Jesse Szcygiel was chasing the money, but don’t be surprised if he asks for a trade at some point. Big contracts don’t bring happiness. Jesse will soon learn this important lesson. At least they have quite a few first round picks over the next few years. That is their only hope.
Alaska Snow Bears
This team is bad. Let me rephrase that. Oh wait I already used that line. There is such a fantastic lack of talent in Alaska, which at least they could look forward to the draft. Oh wait, no they can’t because they down own their own first round picks. They have had to go the route of free agency looking for a piece of coal in the rough. They have 19 people on their preseason roster. It is too difficult to say which of these players even belong in the league. Fortunately, they will have a decent amount of cap space in the future. How hard of sell will it be to convince players to come to Alaska? “Come to Alaska, we not play in a domed arena.” The Snow Bears at least have a cool logo. It will be a cold day in Albacete before this team is worth talking about.
Oregon Bears: 66-16
Sacramento Fighting Cocks 51-31
Las Vegas Gamblers 41-41
Seoul Dragons 20-62
Alaska Snow Bears 14-68
Editor’s note: It was just announced that Kurpeikis was pronounced dead this morning. While the exact cause has not been confirmed. One source has indicated he was in a fatal wrestling accident with a goat. His father Jacob is taking it especially hard. As details emerge we will report the news.