Take 5: Kiper, Cavs and Kardashians



The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson, left, scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter Jan. 20 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. (Leah Klafczynski/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

By The Pitt News Staff

With finals week quickly approaching, you may have been too busy studying to keep up with the world of sports. No worries — The Pitt News staff has you covered with the most savvy, significant and scandalous sports stories from this week.

Keeping up with Khloe and Tristan

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round playoff victory against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday left center Tristan Thompson without a minute of playing time.

Thompson has been the subject of intense scrutiny since videos surfaced early April of him cheating on his reality-TV-star girlfriend Khloe Kardashian. The couple introduced their newborn daughter April 12, just days after the videos surfaced.

The accusations were timely enough to make fans wonder whether Kardashian should have let him into the delivery room. When Thompson and Kardashian began dating, Thompson’s ex was three months pregnant with his first child. And although Kardashian moved to Cleveland to live with Thompson, there doesn’t seem to be much commitment between the two. Is it true when they say, “you lose them how you got them?”

— Joanna Li, Staff Writer

Is Allen “all-in”?

One of the biggest questions of next week’s NFL draft is what the Cleveland Browns will do with their No. 1 overall pick. The universal belief is that they will select a quarterback, either Wyoming’s Josh Allen or USC’s Sam Darnold.

Most experts think Cleveland will pick Allen — but Allen finished his college career with an abysmal 56.3 completion percentage. He also threw for just 1,812 yards his senior season, all while facing mediocre opponents in the Mountain West conference. When Allen faced formidable competition, like in three games against Power Five opponents, he threw for just one touchdown and eight interceptions.

His supporters cite his raw arm strength, impressive physical stature and untapped potential as his biggest assets. But the Browns are in no position to gamble, with just one win in their past two seasons.

Allen has “bust” written all over him, and Cleveland management would be naive at best to draft him in the first round.

— Trent Leonard, Staff Writer

LaForcing the Issue

After the Cavs’ victory Wednesday night, LeBron James and TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce began what seemed like a routine postgame interview — until it wasn’t. At the end of the interview, LaForce asked about Erin Popovich, wife of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who died Wednesday.

The question appeared to catch James off guard, and many fans thought the question was tactless. It was cringe-worthy enough that James put out a video of himself explaining the situation a few hours later.

It was an awkward moment in an otherwise sad day for the basketball world, and the whole incident serves as a reminder that going around accusing people of not being as mournful as they should be doesn’t help anyone.

— Brandon Glass, Staff Writer

All Sports and No Talk

I love athletes who speak their minds — people like Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and LeBron James. Earlier this year, James made a controversial comment about President Donald Trump, which was met with heated backlash from Fox news commentator Laura Ingraham, who said James should “shut up and dribble.”

Mayfield and Rosen — two of this year’s top quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL draft — have both been criticized for speaking their minds. Coaches see both as risky selections due to their tendencies to express their opinions — from Mayfield’s brash remarks about the chip on his shoulder to Rosen’s questioning of play selection.

Personally, I live for all three of these athletes and the comments they make. Athletes are viewed as robots serving to entertain, but it is important for them to express their views, too.

—Stephen Cuddy, Staff Writer

Persevering Pirates

The baseball season is almost a month in now as we enter the end of April. The Pirates currently sit at the top of their division at 12-7 — and they’ve gotten there without the All-Star talents of starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Cole was traded to the Houston Astros in January and McCutchen was traded to the San Francisco Giants days later, much to Pirates fans’ disappointment.

Now almost a month into the season, were Pirates fans justified in their anger? At least for Cole’s change in scenery, the answer is yes. In four starts, Cole has gone 2-0 and is fourth in the majors with a 0.96 ERA. He currently leads the MLB in strikeouts with 41.

But Pirates fans can settle down over McCutchen’s departure. In 17 games this year, McCutchen has only 14 hits in 67 at bats for a .209 batting average.

Regardless of how these players perform, the ownership can only win fans back if it actually invests in a winning group of ballplayers.

— Dominic Campbell, Staff Writer