If you asked any NFL fan who Brock Purdy was before Week 13 of the 2022 season, they’d answer you with furrowed brows, a confused laugh, and a shrug.

The rookie signal caller was the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, and few expected him even to take significant snaps for the San Francisco 49ers. As far as his draft position dictates, many saw the possibility of him becoming a career backup as a personal achievement.

However, fate got in the way and allowed him to play ball. When the Niners ran out of healthy field generals, the fanbase got ready for a disappointing season where they will have to restart from the next season onwards.

Purdy took the opportunity and ran away with it.

What followed was one of the biggest underdog quarterback stories since Tom Brady. He’s causing a great quarterback problem for a franchise that has longed for the right person to help bring the Lombardi trophy to Levi’s Stadium.

If you’re curious about who the potential QB1 of the Niners is, you’ve come to the right place. This OKBET Sports piece will discuss Brock Purdy’s youth and his high school and college stats. We’ll also talk about the events that helped him become one of the most beloved 23-year-olds in the Bay Area.

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Growing Up a Dolphins Fan in Arizona

Brock Purdy grew up in Arizona but grew up as a fan of the Miami Dolphins. According to his father, Shawn, the biggest reason for No. 13 being his number is his love for Dan Marino. Shawn made sure his son loved his team and showed him film of Marino playing to help Brock throw better.

The first thing people would notice about Purdy when he was younger was that he wasn’t the most athletic person on the field, but his drive to win football games was evident. It also helped that he has a sweet throwing arm that allowed him to find his receivers.

While he wasn’t the first quarterback in Perry High School’s football team in his freshman year, he eventually got the starting job in his sophomore year. In his first campaign as a varsity starter, he completed 1194 passing yards, made 8 touchdowns, and committed 11 interceptions.

He improved over the years, with his junior year numbers jumping to 3333 passing yards, 42 passing TDs, and 11 interceptions. His final year of high school football saw him put up incredible numbers. He made 4405 passing yards, converted 57 passing TDs, and only gave up nine picks.

His rushing numbers were also solid. In his senior year, he ran 1017 rushing yards on 137 carries and scored ten rushing TDs. He finished his high school career as Arizona’s Gatorade Player of the Year and The Arizona Republic’s High School Player of the Year.

If you asked Preston Jones, his coach at Perry High, whether any of Purdy’s feats in the NFL were unexpected, he would tell you that he did this all the time for him. He was the team’s backup plan, which says a lot about his quality as a player.

Brock Purdy in Iowa State

Brock Purdy wasn’t the hottest name in the football scouting calendar. Various scouting organizations rated him as a three-star prospect, but he got plenty of scholarship offers.

Alabama was the biggest name out of the schools that wanted to sign Purdy. Other schools that tried to get his signature included Boise State, Cal-Davis, and Illinois. However, he instantly connected with Iowa State coach Matt Campbell and accepted their scholarship offer.

Like his high school career, he didn’t start as the team’s QB1. Like his start with the 49ers, Purdy was the third-string quarterback. While he came off a successful high school career, he wasn’t above starting from the sidelines.

However, it didn’t take long for Purdy to get his chance. And once he got his opportunity, he didn’t let go of it.

He was thrust into the starting lineup after Kyle Kempt was injured and Zeb Noland wasn’t working out under center. He finished his freshman year as the undisputed starter, completing 2250 passing yards, making 16 passing TDs, and throwing seven INTs. He also ran 308 yards for five rushing TDs.

The Iowa State Cyclones enjoyed three more years of dominance from Purdy as he matured under Campbell’s tutelage. His best year came in his sophomore campaign, finishing with 3982 passing yards, 27 passing TDs, and nine picks. His final season saw him have a respectable stat line of 3188 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, and eight INTs.

Purdy credited his stay in Ames, Iowa, for building his character. He said in an interview that Campbell’s hard-nosed way of running a football team instilled in him a determination to stand up and stand out.

Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant

While Purdy was a solid quarterback for the Cyclones, he wasn’t highly touted as a prospect coming into the NFL. The Big 12, the conference Iowa State played in, isn’t getting as much attention as the ACC and SEC. Playing for a less prominent conference probably hurt his stock.

There were plenty of teams that were interested in his services. However, these same teams are unwilling to spend a draft pick on getting him.

For a while, it seemed like Purdy would become an undrafted pickup for a team until the Niners pulled the trigger with the last pick of the draft.

For quite some time, the final picks of the NFL Draft are crowned as Mr. Irrelevant. The title is justified if you consider how there’s very little difference between them and the rest of the undrafted football players. The last players of the draft rarely make any relevant professional careers for themselves.

Purdy was already up against tough odds coming into his rookie season, but he somehow managed. He impressed San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan enough to make him the team’s third-string signal-caller for the season. He would be playing behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Purdy’s Time to Shine

It’s likely that not even the man himself thought he would be getting significant snaps for the Niners. Lance is the first-round QB that the team spent a couple of first-round picks to get. Garoppolo may not be in Shanahan’s plans moving forward, but he did lead the team to Super Bowl LIV.

However, his chances increased as the QB room got hit by the injury bug. Trey Lance went down early due to a season-ending ankle injury against the Seattle Seahawks early in the season. Garoppolo took over as QB while Purdy kept on preparing from the sidelines.

His opportunity to play came in when Jimmy G also went down with a season-ending foot injury against Purdy’s childhood team, the Dolphins. Left with no other choice, Shanahan sent the rookie straight into the fire of regular-season football.

The fans didn’t expect much out of the then-22-year-old. He was Mr. Irrelevant. The final pick of the draft. There was no way he would step up and lead the team to a win.

But that’s what he did. He finished the game with 210 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He also led the Niners to a much-needed Week 13 victory.

However, the real test came when they hosted Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Eyes are on him as he makes his first NFL start. Again, people doubted whether Brock Purdy had what it takes to win.

Once more, Brock Purdy showed everyone why he’s the biggest steal of the NFL Draft. He finished with 185 passing yards, two TDs, no picks, and a 134.0 QB rating.

A Bitter End to His Rookie Season

He then finished the season in style. Teams couldn’t figure out how to stop Purdy as his pocket presence and willingness to scramble allowed the San Francisco to run like a well-oiled machine.

He finished the season with 1374 passing yards, 13 TDs, four picks, and a 107.3 QB rating average in nine games and five starts. It was a solid rookie effort for someone who was drafted last in the draft.

The Niners finished the season at the top of the NFC West with a 13-4 record under his play-calling. The incredible run of form continued into the playoffs, where he stomped the Seahawks with 332 passing yards, three passing TDs, 16 rushing yards, and a rushing TD.

He was quiet against the Dallas Cowboys, but his game management was solid enough to crush their NFC East opponents. He finished that game with 214 passing yards on 66% completion. Everyone began talking if he would become the first quarterback drafted as Mr. Irrelevant to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, Brock Purdy’s dream start was cut short by a torn UCL sustained during the team’s NFC Championship loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. The injury is serious enough that the team predicts he’ll be out for six months.

He finished the team’s final game with four pass completions, 23 yards, and a sack.

However, the sour note to the end of his rookie campaign doesn’t take away from his solid achievements this season. Jalen Hurts, the Eagle’s starting QB who also played against him in college, recognized that he will become a problem for the NFC West moving forward.

A Hint of Tom Brady?

Brock Purdy’s incredible rookie season inevitably drew comparisons to Brady’s start to his Hall Of Fame career. And if you look at what Brady did, it’s easy to see why people are quick to make the comp.

Brady was not a highly-rated QB coming out of Michigan. In the sixth round, he was drafted with the 199th pick by the New England Patriots. Six signal-callers were taken before him. He had the same drive and arm strength to thrive in the NFL.

The comparisons became even louder after Purdy took down Brady’s Bucs. Even former players were quick to say how the Niners are Purdy’s team now.

TB12 also recognized the parallels to the start of their careers. While he didn’t say much about Purdy’s performance, the GOAT gave the QB3 of his childhood team the kind of counsel only a person who has won it all can provide.

What’s Next for Brock Purdy?

The sky is the limit for Purdy, if we’re being honest.

Not even the biggest San Francisco hater can dismiss what Purdy did for the team this season. His work ethic, maturity, and skills won the respect of his teammates. He’s in the best situation to have a go for the starting lineup, regardless if it’s for the Niners or another team. He’ll provide great competition for Trey Lance despite his limited sample size.

It’s an exciting time for Brock Purdy, and things are looking up for the baby-faced Mr. Irrelevant.

Read more: Floyd Mayweather: Money’s Five Greatest Fights

Whether you love or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Floyd Mayweather is one of the most entertaining boxers in history. He’s a brilliant fighter whose fighting style is a brilliant mix of unbreakable defense and calculated aggression.

People always flocked to his fights, regardless of the place and opponent. People are latched to every word he says regarding the sweet science. His flamboyant nature on and off the ring may tick off some people, but it carries a certain charisma that fans naturally gravitate towards.

What makes Mayweather’s career all the more impressive is that he won every bout he fought. Not all of these bouts were beautiful knockouts, but they were all well-executed fights where his opponents struggled to put him down.

To celebrate Pretty Boy’s 46th birthday, we wrote this OKBET Sports piece that will highlight five of his fifty wins. While each win was important for Mayweather’s perfect record, some of these fights are more valuable to his legacy than others.

The fights we’ll feature in this listicle were against some of the most exciting names in boxing during his professional days. And yes, one of them is a name we’re all familiar with.

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Floyd Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya

Pretty Boy Mayweather wasn’t the boxing supernova when he squared up against Oscar De La Hoya. However, he showcased in his fight against the Golden Boy everything that made him such a success in the ring.

He happily took on the heel role and got the crowd riled up against him. It was obvious during the fight’s leadup that he relished the attention given to him, even though it was mostly Latino fans hurling abuse toward him.

Money even walked into the MGM Grand, donning the Mexican flag colors in his trunks and robe. He even wore a white sombrero to drive the point home. It was evident that he was engaging De La Hoya, who was four years his senior during the fight, in psychological warfare.

His taunts were effective as De La Hoya came out of the gates swinging. His opponent tried to take him down during the fight’s earlier rounds, but Money Mayweather’s impeccable defense kept the match close.

He kept himself within striking distance and pounced on the Golden Boy once he lifted his foot off the gas. He won the fight as he managed to land more throws than his opponent.

Floyd Mayweather vs Ricky Hatton

Mayweather’s next bout after De La Hoya was another of his most memorable fights.

Ricky Hatton is a recognized name for Filipino prizefighting fans, albeit because Manny Pacquiao knocked him out cold in the second round of their fight. However, fans who know a thing or two about boxing understand how great the Briton fighter was at his peak.

Hatton was a known infighter who loved getting into his opponent’s space, and he definitely showed that quality against Floyd Mayweather when they met in December 2007. Fans who watched the fight would say that it was one of the more entertaining fights of the year due to the contrasting styles.

Like the De La Hoya fight, the MGM Grand was full of Hatton fans who crossed the Atlantic to support their favorite boxer. Mayweather also drummed up interest in the fight by taking on the heel role again.

The fight shared a similar flow with the previous fight in this list. Hatton aggressively attacked Mayweather, and his opponent hit back to keep him out. However, a precise strike in the tenth round ended the bout in favor of Money Mayweather.

Years later, Hatton revealed that he thought referee Joe Cortez helped Mayweather win. However, the result is fixed and cannot be changed.

Floyd Mayweather vs Diego Corrales

Fight fans who casually follow boxing would probably know Floyd as a terrific counterpuncher who invites his opponent to commit to attacking before raining down thunderous counters. But did you know that he used to be the one who punched first?

Many considered Mayweather’s fight against Diego Corrales the first significant career match. While he developed a reputation as an unbeaten boxer, there were still plenty of questions over whether he could stand up against a fighter of Corrales’ caliber.

There was also the question of fighting style. His father, Floyd Sr., taught him a defensive style of boxing that allowed him control of the entire match. However, he switched trainers to his Uncle Roger. Roger was a two-time world champion who valued offense over everything. Mayweather’s previous fights showed how evident the conflicting styles were.

However, the self-proclaimed TBE found the perfect balance between attacking and defending in this fight. 

His taller opponent struggled to establish himself in the match as Floyd Mayweather attacked to keep him at bay. He was still great at weaving through Corrales’ attacks, and his dominance resulted in a tenth-round TKO.

Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Alvarez

By the time Mayweather fought Saul Alvarez, he’s already been established as one of the best boxers to step into the ring. Some even saw this fight as a bit of a passing of the torch.

Canelo Alvarez was 23 when he traded blows with Mayweather, 36 at the time. Alvarez was also undefeated in the leadup to the fight, making the light middleweight title fight the most anticipated boxing match of 2013.

Some may have expected the Mexican boxer to try breaking down Floyd’s defense. It was evident in the De La Hoya and Hatton fights that headlessly rushing into Mayweather’s inside space would only get you punched repeatedly.

However, Alvarez seemed timid from the outset. Mayweather took advantage of the situation by punching through his spotty defense. He kept weaving whenever his younger opponent tried to punch his way out of trouble to keep the game in his favor.

Money Mayweather won by a controversial majority decision. However,  it was clear to everyone in the room that the elder boxer was the more dominant fighter that night.

Alvarez recently said he would beat Floyd Mayweather if they were both in their primes. However, he has since accepted that his loss is one of the few blemishes on an otherwise legendary boxing career.

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

This is the Floyd Mayweather fight most Filipino boxing fans are familiar with. And depending on which person you may ask, the fight would either be a fair result or an outright robbery.

Everyone has been clamoring for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight since Pacman took down both De La Hoya and Hatton. The two were among the best pound-for-pound fighters during the time and naturally drew in crowds whenever they were up to fight.

When the fight was finally announced, many were excited to see the two legendary boxers exchange punches in the ring. However, there were questions as to whether the two waited a bit too long as both fighters were past their prime.

Unfortunately, they were proven right.

The fight was predictable as Floyd Mayweather won by unanimous decision. Pacquiao revealed that he couldn’t use his full power due to a shoulder injury. The former Senator has been clamoring for a rematch against Money, but he claims Floyd is “scared to death” at the idea of fighting him again.

Is Mayweather the Best Boxer of All Time?

These five fights show how great Floyd Mayweather was as a fighter. Opponents found it hard to hit him with his counterpunching style. His punching power and swagger also made him an entertaining fighter to watch.

However, it’s hard to say if he can be considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Other boxing fans will point to how boring some of his fights were. They will also point to the delay of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight as evidence of Floyd choosing his opponents to protect his record.

Regardless of what you may think about him, it’s wrong not to consider him one of the best boxers in history. His impressive body of work will tell you all you need to know about Mayweather, the boxer.

Read more: Why Are Football Transfers So Expensive Nowadays?

As a sport, football has been defined by its number of players and its particular rules. However, football transfers have also become a trademark characteristic of the sport.

If you’re more of a fan of American professional sports, the concept of football transfers is alien. Football teams are free to make transfer offers to players they wish to acquire. Since clubs are usually unwilling to let their best players leave, clubs usually have to pay millions to get their man.

This has become the norm for the world’s biggest clubs nowadays. If a player is good enough, it’s not strange to see football clubs breaking the bank to get their player. After all, a great player will strengthen the team, and a powerful team can help push a club toward the Champions League. Competing in Europe promises millions in club revenue, which offsets the initial player expense.

Over the past two decades, seeing players go for unbelievable amounts has become commonplace. Many of the world’s best footballers have gone for ridiculous amounts. Neymar currently holds the record for the most expensive football transfer, but plenty of players have cost clubs exorbitant price tags over the years.

There’s no better time to talk about football transfers than after the shutdown of the transfer window for the major European leagues. This OKBET piece will examine why these transfers get so expensive and whether they are worth it from a footballing perspective.


Clubs understandably want to keep their best players and will do everything to keep them on their payroll. However, most clubs are willing to let their most influential footballers go for offers beyond their valuation of the player.

This inflation of football transfers was controlled from the seventies until the turn of the century. However, teams became more willing to make outrageous offers as club owners opened their bank accounts.

The best example of the impact of these inflated offers can be seen in PSG’s purchase of Neymar. The Qatar-backed Ligue 1 club gave FC Barcelona an incredible £198 million, which increased the record transfer fee from £89 million.

Since that record-setting transfer, soccer teams have become more willing to spend more to get the best talents in their team. It’s become commonplace to see teams like Manchester City and Real Madrid spending a lot to build their league-conquering squads.

Player Demand

Another factor that drives transfer prices up is the sheer talent of the player. If clubs highly rate a player, the prices naturally spike up. Competition for the player turns the transfer into a bidding process where teams will try to offer as much money as possible to the club that has the rights over the player.

The price can easily escalate beyond €60 million if the competing clubs are willing to pay a premium for the player. The more participants there are for a specific player, the quicker the price tag balloons.

The best example of how player demand affects football transfers is Chelsea. The Premier League giant badly needs reinforcements for their wings, so they shelled out €70 million to steal Mykhaylo Mudryk from Arsenal.

Another Chelsea player whose value was driven up by demand was Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Spaniard shot-stopper was highly sought after by the Blues as they desperately needed a keeper. Kepa’s acquisition from Athletic Bilbao cost the club €80 million, but he’s not even the first-choice keeper at Stamford Bridge.

The Promise of ROI

Sometimes, clubs buy a player for more than just their footballing value. Football clubs will want to acquire a player for their marketability. Certain players work for a soccer team in the commercial sense.

Footballers have become more than just athletes. With the extended reach of social media, they are full-blown celebrities in their own right. They have legions of loyal fans who will follow them wherever they go.

The best example of players impacting a club’s commercial value is Cristiano Ronaldo’s blockbuster move to Juventus. CR7 joined Juventus for €117 million in the summer of 2018, and the Serie A juggernauts saw an increase of six million followers across all social media channels.

Ronaldo’s global popularity was key in helping the Bianconeri secure lucrative deals across multiple regions. While he eventually left the team for Manchester United, the commercial opportunities the Portuguese legend provided them put them in a better financial situation than before.

Do All High-Value Football Transfers Work?

We’ve identified three of the most common reasons why clubs are willing to inflate football transfers to ridiculous amounts. However, there’s more to the Beautiful Game than getting all the most talented players under one roof.

Building a strong football team is one thing. Winning the biggest competitions is another thing entirely.

Powerhouse clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are struggling to win the Champions League despite creating a ludicrous roster full of world-class players. It takes the right manager and the appropriate tactics to maximize the talents of an expensive transfer.

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There are plenty of factors why high-value football transfers flop. Here’s a quick list of the most expensive flops in club football in the last ten years:

  • Joao Felix: Arrived at Atletico Madrid from Benfica for €127 million. He was a poor tactical fit in Diego Simeone’s squad and was used rarely.
  • Paul Pogba: Manchester United brought their former academy product back for €105 million. His poor chemistry with coaches saw him rejoin Juventus for free.
  • Riyad Mahrez: The winger left 2016 Premier League champs Leicester City to join Manchester City for €68.8 million. He’s not a fixture in the team’s starting XI due to the club’s overflowing wealth of attacking talent.
  • Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal hoped the Cote d’Ivoire winger would be the much-needed winger they desperately needed for quite a while. However, he didn’t match the standards expected of Premier League attackers and was promptly loaned to OG Nice.

More high-cost flops, such as James Rodriguez, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Philippe Coutinho, didn’t make this list. They had different reasons for failing to perform for their new clubs, but all of them cost their new employers a net negative on the pitch.

Expect More High-Value Football Transfers in the Future

Clubs get richer over time, but the pool of world-class players remains the same. As these clubs continuously look to improve their rosters, expect transfer fees to rise significantly over time.

Clubs are already preparing for these transfers by setting ridiculously high buyout clauses. However, it’s not impossible to think that a club will want a player bad enough that they will bite the bullet and pay up to get their man.

Read more: Light the Beam: The Sacramento Kings Story

Whenever people talked about the Sacramento Kings before the 2022/23 season, they most likely brought up the franchise’s failures over the past decade. 

They are constantly scraping the bottom of the Western Conference as teams build up to compete. While they drafted talented players, they somehow found a way to mess things up. This made this more painful for Kings fans because the era preceding it was the most competitive in franchise history.

While Kings fans weren’t entirely optimistic about the team coming into the season, the team suddenly became fun to watch. Draft picks and pieces started working. Their new head coach brought energy and culture to a franchise and fanbase starving for relevance.

More importantly, they started winning basketball games in a tough Western Conference.

This piece will discuss the successes and tribulations of the Kings over the past two decades. We’ll discuss some of the failures that hounded the Kings organization and its fans for years. We’ll also highlight what made 2022/23 the most exciting season for Kings basketball.

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The Highs of the Chris Webber Era

If you ask any Sacramento Kings fan what the best era for the franchise is, they would immediately answer the time Chris Webber was the centerpiece of the Kings roster.

From the moment Webber was sent to the team via trade in 1998, he spearheaded an exciting era of Kings basketball. Despite lacking a running mate to run the show with him, the Kings played incredibly entertaining basketball that rivaled the Los Angeles Lakers further down the state.

With the help of Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic, and Vlade Divac, the ARCO Arena was one of the toughest arenas to play. From the cowbell-loving crowd to the entertaining style of basketball they were playing, even the most seasoned OKBET players will tell you how the Kings of the noughties were tough to bet against.

The biggest highlight of the Webber era was an incredible playoff run that saw them make the 2002 Western Conference Finals. They were pushing the Lakers’ Hall-Of-Fame duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to their absolute limits.

However, Game 6 of that series was marked as one of the most poorly officiated games in playoff history. There were dubious calls that favored the Lakers, which caused the Kings to lose the game and, eventually, the series.

The Kings never returned to those lofty peaks. Webber was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2004/05 season, kickstarting the most difficult rebuild in the history of the Sacramento Kings.

A Long California Drought

After trading Webber, the Kings still managed to make the playoffs in 2005/06. However, they failed to make the playoffs over the next couple of seasons. While they made the lottery, they weren’t terrible enough to get any top-five selections.

Their first top-five selection in the 21st century came in 2009 when they drafted Tyreke Evans out of Memphis. He was a serviceable player in his five seasons for the team, averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists on decent shooting splits.

However, the fact that players like Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Ricky Rubio, and Jrue Holiday were drafted after Evans showed how unlucky they were in this year’s draft.

The Sacramento Kings found their franchise cornerstone a year later when they drafted DeMarcus Cousins with the third overall pick. He was a strong centerpiece to build around, as he made 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks during his 6 ½-year  stint with the team.

However, the team failed to surround him with strong enough talent to even crack past the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They never made the postseason during his time there, eventually trading him to the New Orleans Pelicans in the middle of the 2017 All-Star Weekend.

There was plenty of discord during Boogie’s time with the team, and it was expected to see him get technical fouls due to his frustration. The big man revealed after the trade that it was foolish of him to try and stick it out in SacTown.

The De’Aaron Fox Era Dawns

Fortunately, the Kings only took a short time to find their next centerpiece to build around. 

De’Aaron Fox had a solid March Madness run in 2017, leading the Kentucky Wildcats to the Elite Eight before falling to North Carolina. His incredible speed, scoring, and playmaking made the Kings pick him with the fifth overall pick.

The next four years saw them struggle to build a strong team around Fox. The biggest draft miss for the Sacramento Kings came in 2018 when they chose Marvin Bagley over Luka Doncic. The Slovenian wonder himself thought he would be headed to the Golden 1 Center before thriving with the Dallas Mavericks.

However, the Kings eventually found the perfect running mate for Fox. Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton was the biggest steal of the 2020 Draft with his solid rookie campaign. The 12th overall selection finished his rookie season with 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 47% shooting and 41% from deep.

The Sacramento Kings’ Shocking Trade

For a while, fans thought the Sacramento Kings would be pushing through with the Fox-Haliburton combo. Both players are playing great basketball, and a few roster changes are needed to push the team into playoff contention.

The Kings’ front office also believed that something must be done to push the team to greater heights. With that in mind, they found the perfect trade that will help the team improve their playoff hopes.

Unfortunately, the trade they pulled off was unexpected.

The Kings shook hands with the Indiana Pacers to send Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson for Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 second-round pick.

The Kings fanbase was stunned to see a high-potential player leave for what seemed like nothing. While Sabonis is a solid center with two All-Star selections, they seemed to be rooting out their future for a player that may not even work out for the squad.

Even Haliburton admitted that the business side of the trade hurt him. He was ready to build his legacy with the team, and it took him a while to let go of his resentment toward the organization.

The Kings’ Beam Lights Up

There were plenty of question marks for the Kings coming into this season. However, the way they played quickly quelled any doubts surrounding the team.

They started the season in typical Kings fashion, losing four straight matches. Their fortunes eventually improved when they began a 10-2 run from October 29 until November 22.

A sense of community was also brought back to the Kings’ fanbase as they introduced the victory beam. The beam is a purple light introduced during the preseason that shines above the Golden 1 Center whenever the Kings win a game. It lights up even if the team wins on the road.

The Kings currently sit at the upper half of the playoff bracket with a 32-25 record. The fact that the team started winning more often makes the beam even more meaningful for the franchise and the entire NBA community.

Why Are the Sacramento Kings So Fun to Watch?

There are different reasons why the Kings are so much fun to watch. However, these factors became the perfect recipe for the team to compete for a first playoff appearance since 2006.

The first reason has to be their star players. Fox is playing elite basketball as the sole focus of the backcourt. He’s netting 24.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.0 steals a game. His lightning-quick reflexes made him one of the toughest assignments for any NBA guard.

Sabonis is also proving the doubters wrong with his play. He’s up for a third All-Star nod with how he’s orchestrating the offense from the five spot. His per-game averages of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists prove how invaluable he is to the defensive scheme.

The other secret to their success is Mike Brown.

Older fans may remember him for managing LeBron James during his first run with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Youngers hoops followers may know him as the defensive mastermind that orchestrated the Golden State Warriors’ incredible run to become 2022 NBA Champions.

Nowadays, everyone knows him as the nucleus that built the winning culture for the Kings.

He built a culture of accountability and positivity that wasn’t evident in previous Kings teams. The team’s offseason moves to acquire Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, and Keegan Murray created the perfect environment for a budding team to win more basketball games.

What’s Next for the Sacramento Kings?

The short-term goal for these Kings is to build on their strong start and finish in an automatic playoff berth. With the way they play in a competitive Western Conference, this goal is achievable.

Their long-term aspirations should be to keep building the team to make a Finals run. They have two great talents to build around, and they’re young enough to carry the team for the next six years. The top item on their priority list is finding the right role players to complement their stars and build a formidable fortress in the West.

The beam is here to stay. Expect the beam to become a fixture in the Sacramento skyline as the Sacramento Kings continue to play a brand of basketball the city hasn’t seen in two decades.

Read more: Casino History: How Your Favorite Casino Games Started

Casino history is usually the last thing you consider when playing your favorite games. Most avid gamblers usually won’t care about how their favorite game came to be as long as they have a shot at winning big.

However, understanding how these casino staples came to be will give us a better appreciation of these entertaining games. Since these games have unique mechanics, understanding how they came to be will make your next games more fun.

This OKBET piece will focus on some of the most popular games and how they came to be. Let me get ahead and tell you that the stories behind these games are just as interesting as winning them!

Slot Machines: Made in New York

When you hear casinos, you immediately think of slot machines. They have become a symbolic icon of gambling culture. And like some of the best things in life, slot machines began in the United States.

This popular casino game got its name from the slot where players insert nickels into the slot to play. Charles Augustus Fey is credited as the first person to invent slot machines with automated payouts. While it wasn’t clear when the game came to be, he was believed to have created his first machine from 1887-1895.

Slot machines began appearing en masse in New York City around 1891. A company named Sittman and Pitt first created the gambling machine, which had five drums and 50 playing cards. Players got payouts in these Sittman and Pitt machines whenever they completed poker hands with every pull. 

Moreover, they automatically pay winning hands without having an attendant be ready to accommodate winning players. Aside from monetary rewards, some slot machines gave away free drinks and cigars. These reasons helped slot machines become American bar fixtures at the start of the 20th century.

Slot machines didn’t change much until more than fifty years later when the first electromechanical slot machines were introduced in 1964. Innovations continued to transform how slot machines looked. Now, we have fully digital slot machines that you can play in trusted online casinos.

Keno: A Game As Old As Time

Your eyebrows will rise if you learn your favorite casino games aren’t as old as time. While some seem to be played for longer than you’ve ever existed, these famous games were only introduced more recently.

This isn’t the case for keno, however. This casino game is one of the oldest in human history. Evidence points to the game existing for more than 2000 years. 

According to Britannica, the Chinese came up with the game, naming it baige piao or pai-ko p’iao, which meant “white pigeon ticket.” The name suggests that the game was originally played with homing pigeons, allowing players to participate across distances.

Baige piao started around the third century BCE, and many gambling houses throughout China participated in the practice. Some of the earnings were given to the province governor, who permitted these establishments to operate in his territory.

The tickets used in baige piao contained the first eighty characters of the Qianziwen, known in English as the Book of a Thousand Characters. The game is believed to be not only the predecessor of keno but also of lotteries and bingo.

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Baccarat: Imported by Marco Polo?

If you look at Macau casinos and online gambling websites, baccarat is always one of the most popular tables. Its simple rules and low house edge allow players to win more often than other casino games.

It’s easy to think that the game is a European invention, but studies suggest it is another product of Chinese innovation to introduce new and fun games.

According to UNLV’s Theodore Whiting, baccarat was possibly derived from the Chinese game Pai Gow, a non-card game similar to Mahjong. It’s believed that Pai Gow tiles arrived in Italy sometime after Marco Polo returned from China. Baccarat took its first shape in the late 13th to early 14th century.

However, other historians believe that the game’s origins are more Euro-centric and serious. There is a Roman ritual where a vestal virgin rolled a nine-sided die to have one of three fates: become a high priestess, have her status revoked, or die by drowning herself at sea.

Poker: Various Ancestors Claim Credit

The casino games we’ve listed in this piece feature clear histories where you can identify where one game came from. Surprisingly, poker is not a part of this list as it has a more unclear status regarding its origins.

Online casino fans will have different answers to the origin of this popular game. The response depends on the person you ask.

If you ask a Middle Eastern gambler, they will likely point to As Nas. It’s a Persian game where up to four players get five cards of varying ranks. The objective is similar to the game we all know, where the best hand wins.

However, casino historians recently rejected the link between the two games and suggested that poque is the closest relative of the game. This early poker iteration first gained traction in France in the 17th century and was brought to New Orleans by French immigrants.

Other games claiming credit for poker include Ireland’s poca, Britain’s brag, Spain’s primero, and Brelan, another French game.

Enjoy Your Favorite Casino Games Better

We hope this article on the history of these fun casino games gave you better knowledge and appreciation of the games you love playing. While they may not be able to help you win more games, they will help make future games more interesting. Moreover, they’ll be great conversation starters with other gambling enthusiasts.

Read more: Westbrook Hops Fences to the Clippers

It was clear to everyone that Russell Westbrook won’t be ending the season with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, few would have expected him to end up with their cross-town rivals.

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Westbrook after being waived by the Utah Jazz after the All-Star break. He’s expected to take John Wall’s spot in the rotation as the former Washington Wizard was shipped back to the Houston Rockets.

OKBET fans who keep up with NBA news may think that adding a point guard who relies solely on his athleticism is a step backward for the team. However, the future Hall Of Famer is a net positive to a Clippers team that badly needs help on the perimeter.

The Brodie has played as the leader of the Lakers’ second unit, averaging 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists a night. His 30% shooting from deep is still a significant problem for the Clippers, but his availability makes him an upgrade over the often-injured Wall.

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Westbrook joins a stacked team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who he played with at Oklahoma City. Whether he helps LA’s less popular squad make it through an already-stacked Western Conference.

Why Did Westbrook Join the Clippers, Anyway?

Westbrook fans and NBA followers with a sharp memory will remember the man himself laughing off the possibility of playing with the Clippers. He told Washington Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard that the Clippers were the last team he wanted to join.

So what changed between 2021 and today?

One of the most apparent reasons for his change of heart is the abuse he and his family got throughout his one-and-a-half stint with his hometown team. The fact that his wife got death threats for his on-court performance likely soured his relationship with Lakers fans.

The other obvious reason behind this move is the possibility of winning another championship. The Clippers aren’t the loudest names in the Western Conference, but Leonard and George kept the team competitive. They constantly find themselves in the playoff picture in spite of injuries and load management for their stars.

Westbrook believes he can still contribute to a contender; his stats prove this to be true. The Clippers have a gap at point guard that he can fill up.

Finally, he doesn’t want to leave his hometown. While his Lakers stint was disappointing, he can still win at home with the Clippers.

For a person who likes basketball as much as Brodie, that’s all he could wish for at this point in his career.

Read more: Trevor Lawrence: From HS Phenom to JAX’s Hope

Many Jacksonville Jaguars fans celebrated when they got the first overall pick for the 2021 NFL Draft. Trevor Lawrence is the undisputed top quarterback in a draft full of franchise-quality signal callers, and they’re excited to start a new age of Jacksonville football.

However, the QB’s first season was mired with off-field issues and chaos, thanks to a problematic head coach unnecessarily stirring the pot. While he was understandably mediocre during that run, fans were still hopeful that he’d bounce back greatly.

And bounce back, he did.

Under the tutelage of a more reliable head coach, Lawrence led the Jaguars to a playoff appearance that was capped off with an unbelievable comeback against another outstanding QB. He’s living up to the lofty expectations the world set for him, and it’s unlikely he’ll stop now.

This OKBET piece will look into the Jaguars’ QB1 and how he grew as a high school phenom into one of the most exciting names in the NFL.

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Humble Yet Loud Beginnings in Georgia

Trevor Lawrence was born on October 6, 1999, in Knoxville, TN. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with football while playing with his father. When Trevor was six years old, his family moved to Cartersville, GA. 

It was in this town where the future NFL quarterback would first make waves in the minds of football fans everywhere. Lawrence first lined up in the offensive line, but he began to play really well when he started lining up behind the offensive line.

The future NFL star immediately made waves when he became the starting quarterback as a freshman for Cartersville High School. He showcased his elite passing skill, finishing his first taste of varsity football with 26 passing TDs and seven interceptions.

Trevor Lawrence continued to play first-class football the rest of his high school career, bagging multiple scholarship offers from top football programs as a can’t-miss, blue-chip QB prospect.

He finished his high school career on a high. He bagged 41 passing TDs, committed only 1 INT, had a 69% completion rate, ran for 222 rushing yards, and completed two rushing TDs.

Trevor Lawrence’s Time at Clemson

Lawrence arrived at Death Valley as a five-star recruit and shared playing time with starting QB Kelly Bryant. However, it didn’t take long for coach Dabo Sweeney to demote the senior for the freshman with long blonde locks and a cannon for an arm.

The future NFL field general didn’t take long to repay the faith Sweeney showed for him. Trevor Lawrence completed 259 passes for 3280 yards in his debut ACC campaign. He also made 30 passing TDs and committed four picks.

He capped off his freshman campaign with a convincing performance over Nick Saban, Tua Tagovailoa, and the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was an overwhelming victory that presented the best Lawrence had to offer. He also became the first true freshman QB to start for a national champion since 1985.

If NFL teams weren’t already salivating for the chance to draft Lawrence as the first overall pick, his next two seasons as a Clemson Tiger solidified his claim at the top spot of the 2021 Draft. He finished his final two years as a college player with 6,818 passing yards, 60 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 171 rushing yards, 17 rushing TDs, and an average 167.95 passer rating.

While he couldn’t add to his lone national college championship, there was little doubt at that point that he would be a great signal caller at the pro level.

A Chaotic Rookie Season

People’s biggest question regarding the 2021 quarterback class was which shot caller would get drafted after Lawrence. While the class had a wealth of talent at the position, it was clear that the team who would get the first overall pick would immediately spend it on the Clemson product.

After they drafted Lawrence and hired Urban Meyer, things were looking bright for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meyer was a neophyte in the pro game but had a fantastic college career up until that point.

While many thought the Jaguars would have growing pains by combining a rookie QB and head coach, nobody thought they would have the headaches they had in 2021.

The worst part is that it wasn’t even Lawrence’s fault.

Meyer was a horrible fit for the Jaguars, earning a terrible 2-11 record. He made many questionable football-related calls, including hiring a problematic strength coach and getting Tim Tebow to play some reps at tight end.

To make matters worse, his off-field controversies also distracted the team’s performance in the season. One of his biggest issues was the beleaguered coach getting caught dancing with a younger woman at his bar.

Negative rumors about Meyer’s management style also broke the news. Reports revealed how he cultivated a toxic culture in the locker room by calling his assistant coaches “losers.” He also kicked former kicker Josh Lambo during the Jags’ last preseason game.

It didn’t take long for the Jaguars to cut Meyer loose due to his antics. Team owner Shahid Khan fired him on December 2021.

Under such a chaotic head coach, it was a miracle Lawrence even completed more than 10 passing TDs. He finished his rookie season with a forgettable 3,641 passing yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs, 59.6% pass completion rate, and a 71.9 QB rating.

Redemption Under Pederson

The Jaguars’ front office knew it would take a lot of work to right the ship Meyer shored. At the top of their priority list was getting the right head coach for the job.

Fortunately, they found the right man in Doug Pederson. The Super Bowl-winning coach knew how to build a winning culture in a franchise, as shown by the Eagles’ incredible Super Bowl run. He was the veteran leadership that the locker room badly needed after Meyer’s mess.

While Trevor Lawrence didn’t become an instant star overnight, he was the coach the young QB1 badly needed to transform the team’s fortunes for the better. They spent the season’s first half working through the terrible habits Lawrence developed in his rookie campaign.

The Pederson effect started showing its impact in the second half of the season. Lawrence began completing more quick passes and stopped relying on making hero ball plays to save the team. He finished the season with 4,113 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, 8 INTs, 

They managed to make the AFC Wild Card against the Los Angeles Chargers. Lawrence’s first playoff appearance didn’t get off to a hot start after throwing multiple picks that led to the Jaguars going down by as much as 27-7 after the first half.

However, Trevor’s competitive mentality and elite passing skills helped chip the lead down. He led an inspiring comeback to help the Jaguars win their first AFC playoff game since 2017.

His sophomore campaign ended at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. While he started the game with a beautiful TD pass to Christian Kirk, the Chiefs’ poise and offensive firepower proved too much for Jacksonville.

What’s Next for Trevor Lawrence?

The future is bright for Lawrence after a convincing second season at the top of the AFC South. He assured everyone in JAX that he’s the real deal after getting outstanding guidance from a coach who knows what he’s doing.

The next step for Trevor Lawrence is to keep on improving his game. He must also work towards making the Jaguars the team to beat in the AFC South.

The team will do everything they can in the coming offseasons to provide Lawrence with the players he need to succeed. Should everything go smoothly, there’s no reason for his Jacksonville Jaguars to compete in a Super Bowl within the next couple of years.

Read more: Premier League Predictions: A Thrilling Battle Up North

We’re nearing the business end of the Premier League season. From this point on, every point won or lost can affect a team’s survival chance or their pursuit of the league title.

The coming weekend will feature the league’s 24th game week. The biggest draw out of all the upcoming matches is between Newcastle United and Liverpool. The Magpies are riding a high under Eddie Howe, while Jurgen Klopp and the Reds are struggling. OKBET bettors can expect a cracker of a game out of this one.

However, there are other fixtures this weekend that deserve equal attention (and bets) from fans. This piece will dissect some of the most interesting games. We’ll also predict what their possible results will look like. We’ll also recommend bets that can help you win big.

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Aston Villa vs Arsenal

Arsenal will always be the heavy favorite in most Premier League predictions. They are playing fantastic football under Mikel Arteta’s leadership, but their advantage over Manchester City is only marginal.

What makes this game even more difficult is that it will come only a few days after a rough loss against City. The team’s best players will be exhausted after this crucial six-pointer, and this fixture congestion is something that Aston Villa can capitalize on.

Villa is currently on a two-game losing skid after rough losses to Leicester and Man City. Unai Emery needs to stop the bleeding against a depleted Arsenal squad. Emiliano Martinez will do his best to stop Arsenal from scoring, but their forwards need to make their chances count to pull off this upset.

However, I think Arsenal is too good not to win this game. Even if they don’t play their best players against Aston Villa, they have enough quality about them to snag a 1-0 win.

Recommended bet: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.99

Brentford vs Crystal Palace

The hosts continue to defy expectations as they compete for relevance in the Premier League. They are competing for spots in European competitions, thanks partly to outstanding striker play from Ivan Toney.

However, the team drew their last two league games and will want to turn things around. Crystal Palace offers them the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways. After all, Wilfried Zaha (potentially leaving in the summer) is the only bright spot for the Eagles.

This game has the potential to become an interesting draw, though. Brentford only won one of their last five games against Palace, and the rest were tightly contested draws. With how things are going for the Bees, it’s easy to see this end as another draw.

Recommended bet: Draw @ 3.55

Newcastle United vs Liverpool

Liverpool is slowly climbing up the league tables, but any hopes of title contention should be thrown out the window. At this point, they should be happy if they even manage to finish fourth.

Klopp and his team must do everything possible to stop a red-hot Newcastle team. The Magpies are undefeated through the last six games, albeit against weaker competition. The Reds must carry their strong form against Everton to St. James’ Park.

Meanwhile, Newcastle has the least amount of pressure moving forward. They’ll look for Miguel Almiron to force goals past Alisson, but they have other ways of getting a favorable result in this match.

Fans should expect this game to end up as another draw. However, it won’t be strange for Liverpool to pull off a hard-fought 1-0 win.

Recommended bet: Liverpool +0/0.5 @ 1.82

Manchester United vs Leicester City

The Red Devils are currently enjoying life under Erik ten Hag. While they are far from becoming contenders for a Premier League title, they are playing a brand of soccer that hasn’t been seen at Old Trafford for years.

They will face a Leicester City squad that is raring to start a winning run after beating Aston Villa and Tottenham. They will be in for a tough contest as Manchester United is at a scoring tear. However, their strong showing against Tottenham should push them against their opponents.

Manchester United is an easy favorite coming into this match. The Red Devils are playing great football under Erik ten Hag. Their thrilling draw against Barcelona has the club’s former players singing praises towards the Dutch tactician.

Moreover, Marcus Rashford is playing his best football this season. His 25 goals across all competitions show how much he’s thriving under Ten Hag. With Bruno Fernandes ready to supply him goals from the number 10 spot, this is one of the easier Premier League predictions to make.

Recommended bet: Manchester United -1 @ 2.06

Tottenham vs West Ham United

If we look at the league table, it’s easy to call this game a win for Tottenham. However, there’s more going on in this game than the league standings suggest.

Tottenham sits fifth in the Premier League table, but their current league form may see them drop outside the top five. One of the biggest reasons for this problem may be Son Heing-min’s lack of firepower this season. The Korean only has four goals in 21 appearances, which is below the standards Tottenham fans have for him.

The fact that a billionaire is also trying to buy the club may cause unwanted distractions for Antonio Conte’s players. The last thing they want is external factors adding pressure to a team trying to make the Champions League.

West Ham is also a tough opponent for them. The Hammers won two of their last three league games against Spurs. It’s also unlikely for Tottenham to force their way past the Hammers, as they contained both Newcastle and Chelsea to 1-1 draws.

This game will likely end up as a draw. Tottenham will come off a tough Champions League loss against Inter Milan, and Leicester’s 4-1 beatdown will affect their confidence. At this point, this game is West Ham’s to lose.

Recommended bet: Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.04

Make Your Premier League Predictions Today!

These are only some of the Premier League predictions that you can make. Other EPL games we didn’t cover today also provide intriguing sports betting opportunities.

It’s only a matter of time before these games play out, so what are you waiting for? Visit OKBET and make your bet today!

Read more: 2023 NBA Trade Deadline: The Winners and Losers

It’s been a week since the 2023 NBA trade deadline closed, but people are still talking about how bombastic of a deadline it has been.

There were obvious star-studded moves that stunned the entire league. However, various smaller trades have completely transformed how the league looks. 

Some teams leveled up, while others took necessary steps back for their future. The trade deadline clarified the intentions of every NBA team as the playoff approaches.

There are also player storylines that must be considered. Superstars moved teams, and players who didn’t fulfill their potential were shipped off to improve a team’s championship chances.

This article will examine some of the teams and players that shook the league with their moves and determine whether they won or lost the trades they did.

2023 nba trade deadline

Winner: Los Angeles Lakers

When the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make sweeping changes to their 2021/22 roster, many wondered whether the Purple and Gold had what it takes to make the playoffs this year. Their doubts were proven right when they started the season with a 2-8 record.

It was clear that parts of the team needed a revamp. For frustrated Laker fans, the point guard position was the biggest hole that needed fixing. Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley are still decent point guards, but D’Angelo Russell’s return to Tinseltown is a clear upgrade.

While Russell is the top arrival for the Lakers, the team made other trades that will surely make Laker fans and OKBET players happy. Rui Hachimura is already playing starter minutes as a reliable scoring option whenever LeBron James or Anthony Davis is double-teamed.

Their other moves also added youth and shooting to a roster that badly needed it. Jarred Vanderbilt is a terrific spark plug at power forward. Malik Beasley provides some much-needed three-point shooting. Mo Bamba will fill up the Thomas Bryant-shaped gap in the rotation.

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is the toast of Laker Nation for his wizardry in the 2023 NBA trade deadline. Now, it’s up to the stars to step up and lead the Lakers into a deep playoff run.

Loser: Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be the team to beat in the East when they got Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2019. On paper, the thought of facing the two superstars in the playoffs was terrifying.

However, the partnership didn’t result in any championships, as the Nets blew up their talented albeit problematic core. The two stars only played 74 regular-season games together as either one or both are sidelined with injuries. Their stint as a Big Three with James Harden was even shorter at 16.

The team sacrificed their future for the possibility of a title, but injuries and off-court issues cost them a potential championship during this strange era of Nets basketball. While they got plenty of draft capital and talent in the aftermath, the step back they took is disappointing for the team and the borough.

Fans will likely look at this era as a big what-if. There will be plenty of questions surrounding this time at the Barclays Center that will never get answered.

Winner: Kyrie Irving

While Irving was dealt days before the 2023 NBA trade deadline, he is one of the biggest driving actors in how the league looks today.

The controversial guard was putting up great numbers for the Nets before he got shipped off to Dallas. He’s averaging 27.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 49% shooting. However, he revealed that there was plenty of uncertainty during their final months with the team.

He was tipped to join the Lakers, but many believe Joe Tsai blocked that from happening.

Fortunately, he got sent into another great situation with the Mavericks. Luka Doncic is one of the best teammates you can have in the NBA, and Kyrie has a shot in making a deep playoff run if the stars align.

Of course, the road ahead is tough. The West became a royal rumble with the number of superb teams formed after the deadline. However, we shouldn’t forget what Uncle Drew can do in clutch situations.

Loser: Zach LaVine

The Chicago Bulls are in limbo, and it’s bad news for a player of Zach LaVine’s caliber.

The Bulls are competing for a spot in the play-in, but a poor run of games can easily squash any playoff hopes. Moreover, it doesn’t help that his relationship with Bily Donovan is at an all-time low.

The Bulls’ locker room made their stance clear, which means LaVine will have to play with a team that doesn’t like him. This spells bad news for a team trying to make a playoff run, even if he’s averaging 23.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG this season.

The Knicks were reportedly trying to acquire his services, but that move is currently up in the air. You cannot discount the possibility of the Bulls miraculously turning the ship around, but everything’s uncertain about basketball in the Windy City.

Winners: Phoenix Suns

Any team that gets Kevin Durant in the 2023 trade deadline has to be counted as a winner.

There were plenty of question marks surrounding Phoenix before the trade dropped. They fell short in their first Finals appearance in almost twenty years. They were also the victims of one of the most embarrassing Game 7 collapses in league history.

However, those questions were quickly thrown out the window when they acquired KD from the Nets. He immediately makes the Suns what the Warriors were in 2017: an unstoppable force that would be hard to contain.

However, expectations are now through the roof for The Valley. They have to win this year’s finals with the kind of team they’ve created. If they fail to make the finals with Kevin Durant in tow, one can just imagine the amount of noise NBA Twitter will make.

Loser: The Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies were heavy favorites when the season began. They are still tipped to make a deep playoff run with their core of Ja Morant and company. Some may not like their griddying ways, but they’re good enough to back their trash talk up.

Unfortunately, things are about to get tough for the Grizzlies now that the Western Conference became stacked after the 2023 NBA trade deadline.

The Suns are heavy favorites with Durant’s arrival. The Lakers built a new team from scratch. The Mavericks got a terrific partner for Luka Doncic. The Golden State Warriors will be in a great spot should the Gary Payton trade push through. 

The Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings have stacked teams as well. The New Orleans Pelicans are dangerous whenever Zion Williamson is on the floor.

It will be a difficult challenge for the Grizzlies to come out of the Wild West. I think CJ McCollum speaks for all of us with his hilarious tweet.

How Will the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Affect the League?

It’s going to be exciting to watch basketball in the aftermath of the 2023 NBA trade deadline. The storylines we’ve presented here are only some of the best reasons why the league will become more fun to watch.

If you can’t get enough of these storylines, follow the odds at OKBET today. We have great odds for the biggest basketball games that you can bet on today.

Read more: How Will Wayne Selden Fare in the PBA?

The PBA is known as a professional basketball league for incorporating imported talent to bolster the local teams’ performance. Plenty of great ballers worldwide made their mark as beloved icons in the Philippines through the premier Filipino pro league.

Wayne Selden Jr. is the latest import who will try to make his mark in the Filipino game. He joins an NLEX Road Warriors team that wants to improve their performance in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

However, NLEX fans and OKBET players aware of the situation know that he’s not the PBA franchise’s first-choice option. They already had another player making great contributions for the team, but off-court issues forced them to get Selden as his replacement.

This piece will examine what happened during the NLEX fiasco that led to Selden’s arrival and his collegiate and professional experience before entering the PBA. We’ll also look into some of the best imports the league ever saw to see if he has the potential to make a lasting mark in Philippine basketball.

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A Miss That Led to Selden’s Arrival

The Road Warriors were looking for another import to bolster their team after falling short in the Commissioner’s Cup. Former Cleveland Cavalier Earl Clark was great with his 32.3 PPG, 15.9 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 2.4 BPG. However, they decided to take a different direction for the Governor’s Cup.

The player they were supposed to get was former San Antonio Spurs guard Jonathon Simmons. The former NBA player, who also suited up for the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers, would have been one of the marquee players for a PBA fanbase that is also closely watching the NBA.

The Road Warriors announced Simmons would be playing for them the entire conference. In fact, he already showcased how great of a player he is in his short stint with the team. Simmons was unstoppable as he sank 45 points over TNT on February 1.

However, it didn’t take long for Simmon’s NLEX chapter to end. It was reported that Simmons would return to the CBA after failing to get released from the Shanxi Loongs. However, NLEX head coach Frankie Lim revealed that the former Spurs guard got a more lucrative offer to return to China.

Regardless of the reason, they are now without a rookie in a competitive Commissioner’s Conference. They need to find another import who can help them secure a playoff berth.

In Comes Wayne Selden

NLEX fans who aren’t sure who Wayne Selden Jr. is will be assured they’ll get a quality player.

Selden is a 28-year-old swingman who played three years of college for Kansas in the Big 12. During his three-year stint with the Jayhawks, he averaged 14.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. His final year in Lawrence, KS saw him net 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.

Selden was undrafted in the 2016 Draft but immediately found opportunities to play in the NBA. During his rookie campaign, he played for the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 5.1 points in 17 minutes a night.

He bounced around in the league, playing for the Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls from 2017 until 2019. It took a while before his NBA return when the New York Knicks signed him on for their 2021/22 roster. However, he was cut from the team to make way for Denzel Valentine.

He netted 7.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game in his four NBA seasons. After his NBA journey, he traversed the professional basketball scene. He played for teams in Israel and Turkey before reaching Manila.

Wayne Selden vs the League’s Most Memorable Imports

While there’s no question about Selden’s talent, it remains to be seen if he can match or eclipse what Jonathon Simmons has done in the league.

Moreover, NLEX fans will stack him up against some of the most memorable imports the PBA has ever seen. Some of these imports have left lasting marks on the Filipino game and how we play basketball as a whole.

One of the biggest players Selden will be compared against is Bobby Parks, Sr. The father of former NU standout Bobby Ray Jr., Parks was the biggest star among the PBA imports that came into the league in the nineties. He was a consummate professional who eventually became the namesake of the Best Import Award.

Norman Black is known to every Filipino hoops fan as a terrific head coach who led the Ateneo Blue Eagles, TNT, and Meralco. He was a hard-working import who endeared himself to fans in the eighties. His combination of talent, skills, and attitude helped him win plenty of plaudits throughout his PBA career.

Finally, fans will compare Selden to Justin Brownlee. While Brownlee didn’t make the NBA, he became a beloved figure among Ginebra fans for his great play. He’s a consistent double-double machine who can impose his will whenever he wants.

These three all-time imports set a high standard of what Selden can become.

Will Wayne Selden Succeed in the PBA?

Everyone who watched Wayne Selden’s highlights and looked up his stats knows he can succeed in the PBA. However, individual success doesn’t necessarily translate to wins for NLEX.

They have a tough road ahead of the Governor’s Conference crown. Ginebra is still as strong as ever. San Miguel will be looking to redeem their semi-final exit. Rain or Shine, TNT, and Meralco are also looking to win this conference.

A lot will be expected of Selden when he comes in to replace him. Fans will be expecting him to perform at the same level as Simmons.

The player he’s replacing is confident that Wayne Selden will be able to perform well for the Road Warriors. In his interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he said he’ll be talking to Selden to help him acclimate to his new team immediately.

With everything set up for him to succeed, all Selden needs to do is wear his sneakers and put on a show.

Read more: The Best Love Stories for Sports Fans

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