Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Andrew Wiggins winning the Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Tom Brady's new contract, Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea and the NHLPA's reaction to the NHL's realignment proposal.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan, Ontario who was named the James Naismith Prep Player of the Year as the best high school American basketball player. It's really an incredible achievement. It's something no Canadian has obviously ever done because most of us stay here to play. But all it does, it gives him a chance. When you look at this list, there are a lot of great players, a lot of NBA players, but there are very few guys who became 'All-Timers' and Andrew Wiggins has a chance to be that. For every Kobe Bryant on this list, for every LeBron James there's a Louis Williams or a Dajuan Wagner, guys who really haven't made their mark on the league. For every Dwight Howard there's a Greg Oden - lots can go wrong. But right now, Andrew Wiggins has a chance.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is down to the confusing nature of trying to assess the true value of NFL contracts. This week, Tom Brady signed a three-year extension for $27 million which was heralded as the ultimate team first gesture – people in the media said it, his teammates came out and praised Brady for thinking team first. Well, on Friday on TSN Drive we had NFL executive Andrew Brandt who called this contract, "the hoax that has been put on over America." He says Brady is actually going to make more money in this deal. I long for the days when the most complicated things about the NFL were the X's and O's on the white board.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to diplomat Dennis Rodman. Yes, Dennis Rodman was in North Korea. Frankly, I'd rather see him in a wedding dress than walking around North Korea and hanging out with Kim Jong-un the premier of that republic. Now Rodman and Kim Jong-un, they're both kind of out there but still it makes me very uncomfortable that he is your representative unofficially in that rogue country.
Dave Hodge, TSN: I hesitate to put my thumb into matters of disagreement between the NHL and its players association, because my thumb spent far too much time there during the lockout, but I am going to say "thumbs up" to Don Fehr and company for reportedly expressing their dislike for the NHL's realignment proposal. At least one bone of contention is the plan to put 16 teams on one side of the league and 14 on the other. Now I don't know that this should matter all that much to the players, but I need somebody to agree with me that it makes no sense. And this at a time when baseball is finally getting its house into balanced order by moving Houston to the American League to create a sensible 15-15 split. The NHL is about to discard its version sensible.