It pains me to write this, but I was never a big Kobe Bryant fan during his playing days, and I regret that fact, immensely. I never had him on my fantasy team. I never watched his games late at night on the east coast. I never applauded his championships and didn’t care much about his 60-point performance to end his career. With that said, his passing hit me much harder than I thought it would, and that was before I found out his daughter was alongside him, which made it all the more tragic. I have come to appreciate him more since his retirement. His business acumen, his desire to succeed in every facet of life, and his willingness to mentor young NBA players and aspiring professionals alike, is inspirational. Those are the types of things that I respect, as a professional and as a parent.

It occurred to me that Kobe Bryant had that Tom Brady effect on me. While my Knicks fandom was not directly affected by the Lakers’ success, I felt as if Kobe had the same suffocating hold on me as Tom Brady and the Patriots have on my Jets fandom. It turns out I was likely envious of the success my Lakers friends were witnessing, while I sat rooting for dysfunction.

Well, over the last few days I have taken the time to watch that final 60-point performance, along with tons of amazing highlights I have seen over the years, and I enjoyed every second of it. The culmination of the career of the immensely talented and competitive specimen that was Kobe Bryant came to a head on a historic night. I have taken the time to understand the competitiveness that drove Kobe, and I wish I had that Mamba Mentality on a daily basis. Seeing that Kobe’s passing has had such an impact nationally speaks volumes to who he was as a player, an icon, and a role model for so many, and he will be sorely missed.

Every year the trade deadline comes and goes. This year there are some intriguing names that could be hitting the market. The next man up mentality is true in all facets of the game, and trades open many opportunities for players to seize. Here are a few deep stashes for the upcoming trade deadline.

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It’s amazing how time can cause us to forget some of the greatest talents in our midst. The NBA, like any other sport, is a “what have you done for me lately” league. We sometimes forget that a potentially transcendent talent has yet to make his NBA debut. All the summer hype slowly disappears when the player, who’s talents surpass narrative, has been missing in action. The high school hype, the college hype, the draft hype, and injury hype, all wither away into the abyss, before sprouting it’s head once more, and injecting something special into our veins. The NBA needs a savior, in a dark time when stars are injured and ratings drop. The savior I am speaking of is not Zion Williamson, shocker, I know. I am talking about Michael Porter Jr.

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While the NFL dominates Thanksgiving Day, there is nothing better than taking the opportunity to reflect upon the early part of the fantasy basketball season. There have been a ton of surprises, some of which have been mentioned in these articles, and at a certain point, the hot starts become obvious sell highs. If nothing else, Thanksgiving is a time to make a trade. That’s right, for those who are devoted to fantasy basketball, there are two times a year when trading is universally craved, days when there is no basketball to watch. Those days are this coming Thursday and the All Star break. These are my favorite times to hit the trade market. Watch the full slate of games on Wednesday night, and take your early season surprise, say thank you and send them packing. You’ll be thanking on Thursday. It’s only fitting.

Here are some sell high, buy low, and waiver wire pickups to consider this week, because even in the time of giving thanks, we always live Beyond the Glory.

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Early on in the season, it is hard to decipher who is going to make a long-term impact, and who is going to be a flash in the pan. The best bang for your buck is usually guards at this stage of the season. A guard who sticks in the rotation early is likely going to make a long-term contribution. Here are a few players who are worth taking a shot on who may not be on the radar for the rest of your league-mates.

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The Clippers are going to be good this year. There’s no other way to sugar coat it. I spoke about them here a little bit, and I believe that the length of this team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. This is a team that has been successful in the past, with one of the keys being the shooting from JJ Reddick. Well, JJ is in New Orleans after two years in Philadelphia, but the point is, there is a new JJ in LA, and his name is Landry Shamet. Now, I went out of the way to single Shamet out in my team preview, but here I will take a deeper look into what he can do for your fantasy team.

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Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

If you are new to the site, welcome to the Razz-party. You’ll feel smarter for having found this glorious blog, and feel silly for not finding it earlier in life, because life is too short to miss something this good . 

A little refresher on my background, before getting into the meat of this post. I was a frequent flier to the blog for vital information on all every day sports. A couple of years back, our fearless leader, Son, was looking for a few good writers. That is when Beyond the Glory was born, and three years later, it lives on. As a major Will Ferrell fan, the title of my dime is a play on the movie Blades of Glory, a true underdog story… if I’ve ever seen one. A play on words, as most of the players I write about are under-owned, under-valued or, sometimes, straight up overlooked in almost all fantasy leagues and formats. In other words, you’ll need to search well beyond the first ten names on the waiver wire to find the guys I like to target. In the past, I have more often than not focused on a single player per article, but this year I may dabble in a little bit of a different approach. I’ll be talking about three players per week; suggested pickups for 10-team, 12-team and 15-team or deeper, leagues. If that’s not living Beyond the Glory, I don’t know what is. As for the preseason content, I will be focusing on one player per week who could be a steal later in drafts, so stay tuned for some league winning content from now until opening night. 

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We’ve been through this before. Injury leads to opportunity, and with opportunity comes great fantasy value. Tristan Thompson is dealing with a foot injury, but something tells me that’s merely a cover. If you google Thompson’s name, the only thing you’ll find is that he is reportedly going hard trying to win Khloe Kardashian back. I don’t like to waste my time with that crap, but the fact that I had to type in “Tristan Thompson injury” to get an update I care about is amazing to me. A player could become so entrenched in the Kardashian hoopla that the only thing that makes you relevant is your connection to that family. His athletic abilities are nothing compared to his desire to be the next Lamar Odom. Explain that to me. Now I am sure there are people who care deeply for the ongoing saga of the Kardashian family, but I for one simply don’t. It just proves my point even more that the next man up is a real thing. Thompson is hurt and chasing his celebrity pipe-dream and no one cares that he’s not on the floor because the Cavs suck and Ante Zizic is a man among boys. At least for now…

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When it comes to movies, the first thing that comes to mind are sequels. Well, maybe not the first thing, but it’s up there. A lot of movies are ruined when the sequels come out. Sometimes one excellent movie is exhausted into far too many parts. Then there is the nostalgic sequel, and sometimes even the nostalgic remake. We are witnessing that with Mary Poppins. A great movie is being remade with modern technology and modern twists. How about that for current events! The anticipation of those who saw the original is mounting and the hype surrounding the film has the attention of newcomers as well. That is how I feel about Willy Hernangomez.

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First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year. If you’re just getting into your fantasy basketball season because football is now over, I don’t blame you, and welcome.

I’m not going to sit here and lie to everyone. I am pissed at the Lakers organization. Should I give them another day or two before dumping on their parade? Maybe yes, maybe no. The recently highlighted Ivica Zubac has relegated to DNP duties when JaVale McGee returned from his respiratory infection. I was just trying to think up a good nickname for Zubac. Was thinking “The Tap” (for the “IV” in Ivica), “ZU-LA”, “ViZa” (not to be confused with the credit card), and “Big Z”, just so LeBron thinks Zydrunas Ilgauskas is back in town and lets the kid play. So this is all for naught because it looks like the franchise is opting for the old over the new. With that said, I am holding for a game or two before I cut him loose. I don’t think Tyson Chandler is the key, Zubac should be in the rotation going forward, and I think a night off after his nice run is well deserved. Stay tuned.

As for today’s suggestion, Tomas Satoransky has to be owned. John

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Hey there Razzball community. It’s been a short while since I’ve surfaced, and for no excuse other than life hitting from all directions. Busy work life and home life equals no life, if you know what I mean. I’m back this week and I hope to be back for the foreseeable future, but when life hands you lemons, you need to scale back from the hobbies you love. Is that the right saying? Probably not. The fact remains, I love writing for Razzball, I love writing sports, and I especially love the satisfaction of nailing a call. If I could do this for living, I would, but for now, I get to express myself on this platform as an outlet, the best hobby in the world. Yes, I am ranting, and writing allows you do just that, which is to speak your mind. I believe everyone should write. Write down thoughts, prayers, feelings, and passions, whatever it may be. Writing doesn’t need to be hard, and neither does fantasy basketball, which is what brings us here today. On Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, torched the powerhouse Warriors. Something that most people didn’t realize prior to that game was the man playing the center position. For most of the season, the story from the front court has been the resurgence of JaVale McGee, a supreme athlete known for his appearances on Shaqtin’ a Fool. Well, he’s been a great addition to the Lakers so far this season, averaging 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game in 23.6 minutes per contest. McGee has missed five straight games dealing with pneumonia, and will likely miss Thursday’s tilt with the Kings. Tyson Chandler stepped in with back-to-back uninspiring games with 2 blocks a piece and nothing else to write home about, but in the third game missing McGee, a former and future star emerged. Kostas hit on him this morning but it would be a shame if I didn’t dig a little deeper and explain why Ivica Zubac is here for the long haul (in my opinion).

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