The agonizing saga continues in Atlanta for the Thrashers in their search for a last-minute hunt for a local buyer for the team. While one name that has come up was investor J.B. Smith it was found out that Smith has some financial troubles of his own that would make him a less-than optimal candidate to try and keep hockey in Atlanta.
One name that has surfaced as a person of interest given his ties to the city and overwhelming support and fandom for all things based in Atlanta is none other than rapper Lil’ John. If you don’t know who Lil’ John is, chances are you’ve seen Dave Chappelle do a killer impersonation of him on his old Comedy Central show. Lil’ John is colorful, boisterous, and engaging and after a successful rap career and follow up beverage distribution side job he’s got a little bit of money.
But would he help invest in the Thrashers to help keep the team in town? Well… Not exactly as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution discovered.
“I love the Thrashers, but I’m not investing in them. The one good thing about that rumor is that it’s stirring up a lot of people talking and saying we gotta keep them here, it brings awareness to it. But I’m not investing. That’s a lot of money to buy a professional hockey team! I’ll help then out with some awareness, though.”
Yes, that is a lot of money to plunk down to keep a team in town and sadly for Thrashers fans there’s a lot of other Atlanta-based interests saying the same thing as Lil’ John. The team’s been a continual financial loser in the city and fan interest in the team isn’t exactly sky high. While the same can be said of all the other pro sports teams in Atlanta at one point or another during the season, the Thrashers aren’t exactly giving fans reasons to go to the games either.
Meanwhile, the main interest to buy the team remains Mark Chipman and David Thomson’s True North group out of Winnipeg. I don’t suppose there are any entertaining rappers in the River City that we could count on to spice things up in Manitoba are there? Just a thought. After all, the idea of getting crunk in Winnipeg sounds like it’d be ideal.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.