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The Press Box: 'Shaking Off The Rust From Corona'

By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA

FINALLY, things are getting back to some form of normalcy, but that’s no excuse to go buck wild, throwing caution to the wind.

Continue to practice and adhere to all social distancing protocols, remember our borders are open once again.

Hopefully, if things continue to remain positive and we don’t have a spike in COVID-19 cases, we can get back to youth sports, and I can get back to coaching.

I’m eager to get to work with offseason workouts, I’m blessed to have six returning starters from last season’s squad.

They are touted to be one of the top two teams to beat in Freedom Farm’s highly competitive 10 and Under division.

The entire coaching staff returns, so this should be a very exciting season.

Once we put in the work and stay focused, I’m confident we will be playing for it all at the end of the season.

Until then though, thank God, all the major sports leagues are slowly getting back into action, and I’ve gotten to keep my eye on them, and the endless highlights, old and new, replayed over and over!

(What can I say, I confess I watch them all, I’m a sports ‘junkie’)

• Here’s what I saw -

LAKERS SIGN J.r. SMITH

According to the Lakers, they have signed guard JR Smith as a substitute player for the NBA season restart.

The signing was announced on Wednesday by Rob Pelinka, vice president of basketball operations and general manager.

I think it was the right move to replace Avery Bradley with Smith.

I’ve been lobbying for it from the minute I heard Avery Bradley say that he would not attend the NBA’s restart, as not to compromise his young son’s respiratory condition.

Smith, in 971 career games (395 starts) for New Orleans, Denver, New York and Cleveland, the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year has averaged 12.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steal in 27.0 minutes while shooting 37.3 per cent from three-point range.

He most recently appeared in 11 games (four starts) for the Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season, notching 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal in 20.2 minutes per game.

The 2016 NBA Champion has appeared in 130 career NBA Playoff games (64 starts) for the Nuggets, Knicks and Cavaliers, totalling 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 29.5 minutes per game. Smith ranks ninth all-time in postseason three-pointers made and fourth all-time in three- pointers made in the NBA Finals.

60 GAME MLB SEASON?

I’m no fan of the 60-game MLB season.

Let’s get that out of the way, at this stage, cancel the season.

Too much has been lost already, and a 60-game season does not provide a fair enough sample size to determine a deserving champion.

How many times in past MLB seasons have we seen teams come out of the gate like world beaters, only to wither and wilt away down the stretch.

Nonetheless if you are interested in the upcoming MLB season, here’s all the details. I won’t be watching (okay I will only watch Yankee games)

NFL SEASON IN JEOPARDY?

After trying its best to juggle the coronavirus and its accompanying social distancing requirements, and off season business as usual in the NFL, it seems the NFL season may implode.

Now after recently cancelling the Hall of Fame Game between my Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the league has now cancelled two more preseason games.

The NFL will cut the preseason down to two games, with Week 1 and Week 4 slated to be eliminated from the schedule, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

There were two motivating factors in trimming the schedule to two games, per Florio.

Travel will now be limited for teams, with some potentially staying in their home city throughout the preseason.

Teams will also now have extra practice time with their players following an abbreviated offseason programme.

NFL training camps are set to begin on July 28.

The new first week of the preseason will begin on August 20.

I’ve got my fingers, toes and a couple of other body parts crossed.

At this point I could care less if there are no NFL preseason games.

Just as long as there is a full NFL regular and post season.

Let there be football!

• Naughty presents ‘Mischief and Mayhem in da AM’ from 6am to 10am, Monday to Friday and ‘The Press Box’ sports talk show on Sunday from 10am to 1pm, on KISS FM 96.1.

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