August 10th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in August 2016, Blog

Wednesday was a very tough day.

I was shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of my buddy, John Saunders. He was just 61 years old.

I loved my time working with John. He was such a special person, a family man who cared about others. He was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. John meant so much to the V Foundation and worked so hard because of his pal, Jimmy Valvano.

John was kind enough to introduce me when I was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He also was the emcee at my Dickie V gala on numerous occasions and did a terrific job.

He will truly be missed. RIP my friend.

August 8th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in August 2016, Blog

The Olympics are under way and there has been plenty of news already.

The US men’s and women’s basketball teams won opening games easily. There have been some surprises in men’s basketball as Croatia stunned Spain while Australia upset France. Australia’s women struggled to beat Turkey.

The US women’s soccer team got off to a 2-0 start, advancing to the next round.

Katie Ledecky was dominant in setting and world record in winning a gold Sunday night.

There have been other surprising results. Tennis has seen several shocks, including men’s number one Novak Djokovic losing to Juan Martin delPotro of Argentina. Venus Williams was eliminated in singles and doubles.

The games will be in the headlines for the next two weeks, enjoy!

August 3rd, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in August 2016, Blog

The baseball trade deadline has come and gone and there definitely were winners and losers.

Texas did very well by adding Matthew Lucroy from Milwaukee to help with the catching duties. They also got Carlos Beltran, a veteran bat who has enjoyed a super season.

Teams like the Indians, Cubs and Nationals improved their bullpens with good deals.

The Yankees gave an indication that they will not make the playoffs this season, even though they are within 5 1/2 games of the wild card. Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Beltran were all sent packing. The good news in the Bronx is the strengthening of the farm system with potential future stars coming in several deals.

The Giants also helped their cause by adding Matt Moore from the Rays. The Mets grabbed Jay Bruce from the Reds. We will have to see how this all pans out.

July 29th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, July 2016

I had a blast being a representative of UPS as they put on an incredible event for their employees to help raise dollars for the United Way Campaign. United Way does a great job of making sure they share dOllars with various groups in need.

It was great sharing time with, David Abney, CEO of UPS and Ed Martinez, who heads the UPS Foundation.

I cant thank all the people enough, behind the scenes with UPS, who made my journey to Atlanta very positive. It`s great to see people extending their hand to one another with love in their heart`s.

July 25th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, July 2016

USA basketball is getting ready for the Olympics.

The team has played two exhibitions and looked very impressive in wins over Argentina and China. My friends, this American team may not have LeBron James ad Stephen Curry, but this is a very talented team.

I believe this squad is much better than people realize. Kevin Durant may get headlines, but guys like Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson will be factors as well. Let’s not forget about the veteran leadership and scoring of Carmelo Anthony.

This team is loaded and Coach K should bring back the gold again!

July 18th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, July 2016

It was an interesting weekend in the world of sports.

Phil Mickelson had a great showing at the British Open, but fell just short of winning. His final round of 65 was outstanding, but Henrik Stenson tied a major record with a final round of 63.

The US Davis Cup team looked like it was in great shape after a 2-0 start vs. Croatia. The Bryan Brothers, John Isner and Jack Sock failed to get the clinching win and the Americans were stunned.

Major League Baseball started its second half. The San Francisco Giants were swept by the Padres. There were plenty of exciting finishes and solid performances.

Dave Dombrowski made another deal, getting all-star pitcher Drew Pomeranz from San Diego. Dombrowski got the job done with the Marlins and Tigers, and he has made bold moves in Boston already.

It was also sad to note the passing of NBA star Nate Thurmond from leukemia at age 74. He was an outstanding rebounder and he will be missed.

July 14th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, July 2016

Tim Duncan has decided to retire after 19 incredible years with the San Antonio Spurs.

When he went to Wake Forest, he was not a McDonald’s All-American. Coach Dave Odom saw potential in the player later known as The Big Fundamental. Duncan was a swimmer from the Virgin Islands at the time, and he took coaching to heart.

Duncan responded to teaching and worked so hard to improve his game. The staff at Wake Forest did a great job with him. It did not happen overnight.

He was a warrior on both ends of the court. In my estimation, he became the best power forward in the history of the game. He was super, scintillating and sensational.

I love stories of athletes that came out of nowhere. He wasn’t told at age 14 or 15 that he was the greatest player. He went into the gym and busted his gut, worked out, developed his body and his skills.

Think about his career in San Antonio. Besides all of the personal accolades, he won five NBA titles and did it within the team concept. Gregg Popovich got the most out of him in a positive way, both offensively and defensively.

It is great to see a guy with his class and stature go out with greatness.

June 30th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

It has been a tough stretch in the world of sports. We lost Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe, and now Pat Summitt.

The former Tennessee coach, won recorded over 1000 wins and captured eight national titles, lost her battle with illness at age 64.

She was the greatest coach ever in the history of Tennessee athletics. Any Sport. She was Tennessee. Summitt was as good as it gets as a Hall of Fame coach & humanitarian.A true champion in the game of life.

She will be missed, though her legacy will live on forever. RIP, coach.

June 24th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

The NBA draft is in the books and as usual, it is all about potential, potential, potential. It takes time to evaluate winners and losers, and you also see guys taken in the second round making a difference like a Draymond Green.

No surprise to see Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram going 1-2, but the Celtics surprised some by taking California’s Jaylen Brown third. He is versatile and could be a plus at small forward for Boston. I liked Demetrius Jackson of Notre Dame and Ben Bentil of Providence too, so the Celtics had a decent night.

How many guys will make an immediate impact in the league? Not too many. The bottom line is many players picked will make rosters next season and will have bright futures down the line. It will take some time to have the opportunity to shine.

Some of my thoughts on the draft:

I loved New Orleans getting Buddy Hield. Teaming up with Anthony Davis will be exciting. Hield can shoot outside and having an inside-outside presence like Davis should be special for the Pelicans. New Orleans also added Cheick Diallo, who fell from the first round. He has potential, but he is a project for now.

The Bulls got a versatile PTP’ers in Denzel Valentine. This could be a case of another Spartan, a la Draymond Green, that is better than experts believe.

Minnesota made a super pick at number five, landing Kris Dunn of Providence. New coach Tom Thibodeau will love his defensive tenacity

I was surprised that Baylor’s Taurean Waller-Prince was picked as high as number 12. I had him rated a bit lower.

Several freshmen fell out of the first round. I felt for Deyonta Davis of Michigan State, though going to Memphis early in round two could work out. Skal Labissiere and Dejonte Murray slipped to late in the first round.

Time will tell how teams fared.

June 20th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

What a great game 7 in the NBA Finals. Congrats to the Cleveland Cavaliers, coming back from 3-1 down to win the title. Two of those three wins came at Oracle, the toughest place to win on the road during the regular season.

LeBron James will be in the argument as to who is the best player ever to play in the NBA when his career is over. He now has three rings, and he brought one home to Cleveland. He is in a different world on the court.

I am happy for the fans of Cleveland as they finally got to celebrate. Give Golden State a lot of credit for a great season. Draymond Green had a great game seven, but it was not enough.