BASN Presents The Talented Ten For 2016!

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Updated: December 30, 2015

 

 

 

BASN’S TALENTED TEN FOR 2016

By Anthony McClean, Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus

BASN

 

NEW HAVEN, CT (BASN) — As the sports world of 2015 fills out its final days and 2016 rearranges the chairs upon its arrival, we here at BASN look to celebrate both.

Today, we’ll celebrate what we saw in 2015 while trying to focus on some of the things we should look out for and or keep ourselves aware of heading into the next 12 months.

Can the Warriors not only repeat, but also equal and or surpass the Bulls’ regular season mark? How does Serena follow up one of the greatest campaigns in sports history?

Those are just a few things we’ll touch upon as we review and preview the last and next 12 sports months of the year. Here’s our humble list of the “Talented 10” of 2016.

 

 

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1. Stephen Curry

 

With all due respect to Mark Jackson, the only thing Mr. Curry is ruining are the feelings of his opponents. If there were still some skeptics that questioned just how good Curry and the Warriors are, their record-setting 29-1 start should be more than enough proof as to their claim as the NBA’s best team right now. Golden State’s continued quest at the Bulls’ 72-10 mark will be an on-going story throughout this NBA campaign. In fact, Curry not only has a chance to be a two-time MVP, but you can make a claim for him being the league’s most improved player as well.

 

 

 

2. Cam Newton

 

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From the day he was tabbed as the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Cameron Jerrell Newton has been the most overly scrutinized players in professional football. In his rookie year, Newton broke numerous rookie and all-time NFL records for passing and rushing yards. Unfortunately like many black quarterbacks that came before, during, and after him, it never seemed to be enough in the eyes of these “critics.” Even during Carolina’s “dab” at an unbeaten record, the prejudiced potshots and petty criticism has been taken to a new level. Now with a possible Super Bowl in his grasp, Newton’s story on and off the field will be interesting to see during the early part of 2016.

 

3. Serena Williams

 

She was voted Sports Illustrated’s Person of the Year, the AP’s Femaie Athlete of the Year for a fourth time, and the ITF’s Champion of the year for a sixth time. If not for an upset of major historic proportions, Serena would have won the sport’s holy grail — The Grand Slam — as well. All that and that 53-3 mark for the year as well. She even returned to the scene of one of the most controversial incidents of her career. Will she be able to top one of the greatest seasons in the history of the game? I’ve learned you never count out Serena in anything.

 

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4. Barry Bonds

 

In many ways, the return of the home run king to the field may be the most intriguing story not only in baseball, but sports in general. Their are some that think this is some sort of publicity stunt being pulled by the Marlins. In the words of that noted baseball comedian Dave Chappelle, “Haters are gonna hate.” From a pure baseball standpoint, Bonds’ influence has already been felt. While serving as the Giants’ special hitting instructor this past spring, several players — most notably All-Star SS Brandon Crawford — credited the brief work with Bonds as helping them with their approach to the plate. With slugger Giancarlo Stanton and NL batting champ Dee Gordon now serving as Bonds’ new pupils, things coulds get very interesting in South Beach.

 

 

 

 

5. Simone Biles & Gabby Douglas

 

 

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We may be cheating a bit here by putting both U.S. gymnasts in this entry. However, there’s a method to the madness. In October, Biles became the first women to win three straight World all-around championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Douglas finished second and in doing so became the first reigning Olympic champ to medal in the Worlds since 1981. With the Olympic trials set for July in California, the possibility of two black gymnasts going 1-2 in the Rio games is there. Hopefully, the jealous females out there in Twitter land can find something other than the ladies’ hair styles to talk about if they bring home the gold.

 

 

6. P.K. Subban

 

 

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After leading his Montreal Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals two years ago, the highly energized Subban is once again trying to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. They currently sit at second place in the Atlantic Division, just one point behind the Florida Panthers (fourth overall in the conference). Despite a somewhat slow start (one goal in 39 games), you get the feeling that if the Habs have another playoff run in them, Ol’ No. 76 will be right in the middle of it.

 

 

 

7. Dusty Baker

 

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Following two years of doing TV work, one of baseball’s most underrated skippers is back in the dugout. While Baker might not have been D.C.’s first choice, eventually he may windup being its best choice. Given the fact that the Nats may have been the greatest underachievers in MLB last year, Dusty could be the best thing that happens to this franchise. Despite winning the division two years ago, Matt Williams never seemed to light a real fire under this club. One man’s opinion: Dusty won’t let this team rest.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Tarik Cohen

 

 

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For those of you who got introduced to North Carolina A&T’s dynamo during the Celebration Bowl, let me be the first to say you’re late to the party. The 5-foot-6 junior tailback has been one of the game’s best players over the last three seasons. The MEAC’s Offensive Player of the Year the last two seasons, Cohen is already the Aggies’ all-time leading rusher (4,030 yards) with a year of eligibility remaining. He needs less than 1,000 yards to break the MEAC’s all-time rushing mark. Stay tuned.

 

 

9. Dave Stewart

 

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Just over a year after being named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Diamondbacks, the former World Series MVP made his biggest splash during baseball’s winter meetings. With the signing of heavily coveted free agent pitcher Zack Greinke away from division foe L.A., as well as the acquisition of All-Star hurler Shelby Miller from Atlanta, Stewart has now thrust Arizona into contender status in the NL West.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Anthony Joshua

 

 

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The 6-foot-6, 234-pounder from Nigeria by way of the UK may be boxing’s next “big thing” in the heavyweight ranks. The current Commonwealth, British, and WBC International heavyweight champ, Joshua is currently ranked ninth by Ring Magazine. A gold medalist (super heavyweight division) in the 2012 London Olympics, Joshua is 15-0 in his career, all by knockouts. While the obnoxious Tyson Fury may be making all the headlines, Joshua could possibly be wearing his crown in due time.

 

 

Tony McClean can be reached via email at anthonymcclean1962@gmail.com and teemack@blackathlete.com

 

 

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