1. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and his manager Maverick Carter debated the greatness of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady to determine whether credit goes to the player, or to the architect of the team.
LeBron James, Draymond Green, Maverick Carter and some other big names debate the greatness Tom Brady. pic.twitter.com/eVM3JdN6uB— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 9, 2017
The general discussion starts when trying to figure out if an NFL player can be considered the greatest athlete of all time and James believes that since football players shouldn’t be in the running because they only play one side of the ball (offense or defense). James also wonders whether head coach Bill Belichick is more responsible for the success of the Patriots over the past sixteen years.
Carter uses a Belichickism about players having to play the game and that the greatest strategist would still lose if they didn’t have the players to execute the game plan. He also noted that Brady could take anyone in the barber shop and turn them into Super Bowl-bound wide receivers.
Whether or not you agree with either side, it’s certainly interesting to see a player as great as LeBron James, who is in the midst of his seventh-straight NBA Finals, talk about Brady.
2. The New England Patriots have confirmed that there are 283 diamonds in their Super Bowl championship rings, per ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Patriots confirm that there are 283 diamonds in new champ ring. They were, of course, down 28-3. pic.twitter.com/XkVW5669an— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 10, 2017
The rings have the statement “GREATEST COMEBACK EVER” inscribed on the side, so having 283 diamonds to represent coming back from a 28-3 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons is incredible in every single way.
The number of diamonds on the Patriots Super Bowl rings have changed from 143 to 104, 124, 205, and now 283, while the carats have changed from 2.63 to 5.05, 5.05, 4.85, and 5.10. Just because there are a lot of diamonds doesn’t mean that the collective diamond weight is that much greater- in this case, it just means there are a ton of tiny diamonds.
3. Belichick’s rocking 10 rings in this picture:
The photo you've been waiting for, Part II. pic.twitter.com/uGi28Bslzk— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 10, 2017
Belichick is rocking championship rings from two Super Bowls with the Giants (XXI, XXV) and five with the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, and LI).
Belichick is also wearing three conference championship rings from the years his team reached the Super Bowl, but ultimately lost. Belichick has been on the losing side of the Super Bowl three times with the Patriots: once as an assistant head coach against the Packers (XXXI) and twice as the head coach against the Giants (XLII, XLVI).
Belichick’s next ring will bump one of the championship rings to his toes.
4. I think there are a few Super Bowl match-ups that I’d be very interested in watching in 2017, and we have odds for each of these match-ups too:
a) Patriots-Packers (8/1): I feel like a Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl showdown is predicted every year, but Rodgers and the Packers never hold up their end of the bargain. After watching the two teams square off in the 2014 regular season, I think this would be an incredibly fun Super Bowl to watch.
b) Patriots-Giants (12/1): Part III. Revenge. This would be an incredible way for Brady and Belichick to finish their legacy.
c) Patriots-Cowboys (7/1): The Cowboys and Patriots are the two largest franchises in the league. This would just be an incredible spectacle for both sides.
These represent three of the five most likely Super Bowl match-ups for 2017. The Falcons-Patriots (10/1) and Seahawks-Patriots (10/1) round out the top five. Cowboys-Raiders is tied with Patriots-Giants at 12/1 for fifth place, barely edging out Cowboys-Steelers at 15/1.
Super Bowl LII will be at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
5. The Patriots extension of WR Julian Edelman helps to clear up the team’s free agency picture in 2018.
2018: LT Nate Solder, CB Malcolm Butler, EDGE Rob Ninkovich, RB Rex Burkhead, ST Matthew Slater, OT Cameron Fleming, WR Danny Amendola, RB Dion Lewis, LB Kyle Van Noy, ST Nate Ebner, OT LaAdrian Waddle, WR Andrew Hawkins, EDGE Kony Ealy, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Brandon Bolden, C James Ferentz.
Of these players, Solder, Butler, Ninkovich, and Van Noy are starters, Slater and Ebner are core special teams players, while Burkhead, Lewis, and Ealy are important rotational players.
I expect Slater and Ebner to get one-year extensions in the week leading up to the upcoming season, while the team has replacements on the roster for Solder, Butler, Ninkovich, Burkhead, Lewis, and Ealy. I think Van Noy is a sneaky option to be a mid-season extension.
New England has done a pretty good job of being ready a year early for whatever players might leave in the ensuing free agency market.