The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Take Four | Pro opinions take center stage

Pittsburgh+Pirates+Oneil+Cruz%2C+right%2C+celebrates+with+manager+Derek+Shelton%2C+left%2C+after+hitting+a+walk-off+single+during+the+11th+inning+of+a+baseball+game+against+the+Baltimore+Orioles%2C+Saturday%2C+April+6%2C+2024%2C+in+Pittsburgh.
AP Photo/Matt Freed
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Oneil Cruz, right, celebrates with manager Derek Shelton, left, after hitting a walk-off single during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Pittsburgh.

In this week’s Take Four, The Pitt News Staff shares their fiery opinions regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB and even the Olympics. 

Top three NBA point guards of all-time // Aidan Kasner, Senior Staff Writer

Fans constantly debate the NBA’s best. Specifically, arguments frequently ensue over the leaders at each position group, especially when talking about players throughout the league’s history. 

The top spot for point guard should be unambiguous, and it goes to none other than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Magic is a champion, an MVP and has a skillset no one else has ever matched. 

Next is someone who truly revolutionized the game of basketball and its culture entirely. That would be the “baby-faced assassin,” or “chef,” Stephen Curry. First ever unanimous MVP and leader of the best team of all time. Need I say more?

In the third slot, however, there is much deliberation. Personally, after watching him average a triple-double for two straight years, claiming MVP along the way, and dragging subpar Thunder teams through the playoffs, I believe this title belongs to Russell Westbrook.

Many might disagree, but I think that with his regular-season dominance and unheard-of stat lines, Russ has a strong case as one of the best to ever do it. 

My top three guards have proven their legendary statuses and have cemented themselves in the NBA’s history. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates will win a World Series within the next 10 years // James Carter, Staff Writer

Yes — the Pittsburgh Pirates, the butt of jokes amongst Yinzers and baseball fans alike, will win a World Series. The Pirates have a solid young core of position players in Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Connor Joe, Jack Suwinski and Oneil Cruz. Hayes and Cruz in particular have superstar potential, with the former winning a Golden Glove in 2023. 

The pitching rotation looks strong as well. Last offseason, Mitch Keller was locked up for the long-term, and Jared Jones has had a great start to his Major League career that should look even better down the line. Former first-overall pick Paul Skenes looks poised for a call-up to the Majors later this summer, and if he is as good as advertised, he could serve as a great addition to the rotation. 

Skenes headlines one of the best farm systems in baseball, featuring fellow pitchers Anthony Solmeto and Bubba Chandler to go along with top 50 infielder Temarr Johnson. 

If the core stays healthy and the farm system delivers, the Pirates will stand as a force to be reckoned with in the National League — and deliver baseball glory to the city of Pittsburgh. 

The New York Giants need to trust their gut // Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor

Ahead of the 2024 NFL draft, the New York Giants are in an interesting position. At pick No. 6, they lie just outside of the range of selecting a top quarterback prospect, according to mock drafts. They could trade up and take one of said quarterback prospects, but the Giants would have to trade multiple first-round picks. 

My suggestion to the Giants — don’t overthink it. With a pick in the top 10, the Giants are definitely in range of getting a blue chip prospect. Scouts think that there are three wide receivers and four quarterbacks who are considered the best at their positions at the top of the draft, which are two positional needs for the Giants. At No. 6, they could wait and guarantee they pick their ideal wide receiver, or hope a quarterback falls to them.

The Giants could trade up to get their quarterback, but in my opinion, they should only do this if they are certain about which quarterback they want. I’ve seen the Giants reach for a quarterback before, and they are still dealing with the repercussions of that decision. 

However, exactly 20 years ago, the Giants also traded up for a quarterback at the top of the draft. This quarterback, Eli Manning went on to win two Super Bowl MVPs and cement himself as a first — emphasis on “first” — ballot Hall of Famer. 

Regardless of what the Giants decide to do, General Manager Joe Schoen and the rest of his staff need to trust their gut instincts. Don’t listen to the fans, don’t listen to the media and don’t listen to owner John Mara. Schoen and company need to do their homework on these prospects and make the right decision.

Track & Field is the Olympic’s Crown Jewel // Patrick Diana, Staff Writer

Track and field as a sport is often overlooked. But once every four years, it takes center stage. The Summer Olympics are the highest stage for any athlete. The games draw enormous crowds and audiences worldwide. 

Out of all the events at the Summer games, track and field is the best. Since swimming and gymnastics giants Michael Phelps and Simone Biles have either retired or have yet to confirm their return, track and field stars are poised to grab the American spotlight. The sport’s athletes balance both personality and athleticism, and from the shot put to the 100-meter dash, there is always action at the stadium. 

With the Paris Olympics coming up this July, it’s time to get familiar with the runners. The United States, as usual, is bringing a cast of talented sprinters like Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles — both of whom are posed to place, if not win. Jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall has taken the world by storm with her amazing skill in the long jump and her eclectic style and online personality. The US’ biggest competition, Jamaica, has similar star power with the runners. With this competition, Paris is set for a showdown of Olympic proportions.

This summer, pay attention to the track. You might just find some new favorite athletes to watch. It’s not just a sport the US dominates — it’s also one with some of the most interesting personalities and rivalries.

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