Ebs’ Hot Takes: NBA Dunk Contest, New York Yankees, DeMarcus Cousins

CLIFTON PARK, NY – Ideally I would have liked to have written an entire column on the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, but, to be honest, I didn’t see much of it.

And it’s not that I didn’t want to watch it, I was just doing other things.

At the very least, I will add a few thoughts into this week’s Ebs’ Hot Takes.


LeBron James needs to enter the dunk contest. I don’t know what he thinks he has to lose. Because the answer is nothing.

Saturday’s dunk contest was absolutely pitiful. No disrespect to Glen Robinson III, but he basically did the same dunk three times en route to the title.

It was boring and just plain embarrassing at times. (What was that Aaron Gordon?) This is what happens when stars don’t join the show. Remember the days of Michael Jordan and Vince Carter participating in the dunk contest? Those were some good times.

All you had to do was watch Sunday’s All-Star Game and you got a reminder that LeBron James would win if he ever decided to enter.


Pay Dellin Betances the extra $2 million. I have never been more embarrassed as a New York Yankees fan than I was this week as the arbitration case with Dellin Betances played out.

Betances might have the best stuff in the league, yet the Yankees couldn’t give him the $5 millions he wanted and then went out and trashed his name in the media.

Randy Levine, what the heck do you think you’re doing?

“It’s like me saying, ‘I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut,’’’ Levine told reporters. “I’m not an astronaut and Dellin Betances is not a closer, at least based on the statistics, not whether he could or couldn’t be.

“Maybe one day he’ll be an elite closer. We hope so.”

Are you kidding me? Hey Randy, who closed for the Yankees after Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were traded at the deadline? Who’s been an all-star every season he’s been a big leaguer?

Dellin Betances.

Because of Levine’s stupidity, I can almost guarantee the fireballer will leave in free agency when his arbitration runs out after the 2019 season.

Thank goodness for Chris Carter. You always hate to see guys get hurt. Especially a guy like Tyler Austin.

Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

From battling testicular cancer at the age of 17, to being dropped from the Yankees’ 40-man roster toward the end of the 2015 campaign to his resurgence this past season, I was looking forward to Austin’s future. But after fouling a ball off of his left foot during batting practice last week, that future is on hold.

Austin is out at least six weeks with a fractured foot, essentially ending his shot at making New York’s opening day roster and forcing the first baseman to start the year in Triple-A.

At the same time, Brian Cashman looks more and more like a genius. Only $3 million for the 2016 NL home run king is a steal. Chris Carter could play a big role for the Bronx Bombers this season.

Anthony Davis finally gets some help. As I’m writing this at 11:44 p.m. Sunday, the Sacramento Kings have just traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.

While I would have loved to see the Atlanta Hawks work out a deal for Boogie, I’m happy for Anthony Davis. The Brow has been wasting his talent in New Orleans so far, and has finally received some help.

Big things coming for NOLA.

Come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle & @MeetTheMatts, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

Looking for some more insight on the New York Yankees and their farm system? Give the new Times Leader Sports Report podcast a listen. There’s some good stuff for Pittsburgh Penguins and Penn State football fans, too.

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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.