Author Archives: Harry

New Orleans Pelicans: Season Preview

The upcoming season promises to be decisive for New Orleans. Due to injuries and various degrees of setbacks, they never had the opportunity to fully assess the roster they’ve assembled. On the whole, the team possesses significant potential, and with their skill set as a collective, the Pelicans are a strong group. However, how everything will come together and whether they can stay healthy are the main questions heading into the season.

At the moment, it’s all a bit like roulette in an expensive casino – the chances of success and failure are roughly equal. It’s not solely up to the player (in this case, the management and leadership of the club), as much depends on external factors.

Key Facts

Previous season results: 9th place, 42-40.


Arrivals – Jordan Hawkins (14th pick), Cody Zeller.

Remaining – Jose Alvarado, CJ McCollum, Daison Daniels, Herbert Jones, Trey Murphy, Najee Marshall, Larry Nance, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Jonas Valančiūnas, Willy Hernangómez.

What to Expect from the Team

During the summer, the Pelicans made minimal additions to their roster. This is not surprising as the club wanted to test their existing roster, hoping for an injury-free season to identify surplus and indispensable players. Jordan Hawkins is a motor guard with a high shooting skill. He won the NCAA championship last year with the University of Connecticut and averaged 16 points while shooting nearly 39% from beyond the arc on almost 8 attempts per game in the regular season. In my opinion, Hawkins has an excellent opportunity to establish himself in the Pelicans’ rotation, alongside players like Zion, Ingram, and McCollum. In the free-agent market, the Pelicans added Cody Zeller with a 3.2/1 contract, strengthening their frontcourt rotation.

Prospects for the Pelicans, in my opinion, are virtually impossible and impractical to discuss without Zion. Therefore, making predictions for the Pelicans’ season without considering his availability makes them somewhat meaningless. If he is absent for an extended period again, the team’s ceiling may be limited to a playoff play-in tournament. However, if he plays, stays healthy, and performs at his best (which has never truly happened), the team’s ceiling could be much higher.

Over four seasons in the league, Williamson has missed 194 games out of 308 possible during the regular season due to various injuries. His instability has been a significant concern. Notably, the issues with Zion were often related to his inability to adhere to a strict regimen, which resulted in fluctuations in his weight. However, his entourage sometimes tried to blame the franchise for his problems.

Nevertheless, when it came to the maximum rookie contract worth $193 million over 5 years, Zion’s camp ultimately agreed to it. The Pelicans, however, included a standard clause in the contract regarding major awards or making the All-NBA team. If he achieves any of these accolades or lands in the top 15 players, the deal will increase to $231 million. Nonetheless, the Pelicans put some weight provisions in place. Zion’s weight should not exceed 295 pounds, and they also added restrictions related to the number of games played and the level of body fat.

Season Joker: Zion Williamson

In 114 games that Zion participated in the NBA, his average statistics are as follows: 25.8 points, 7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and a field goal percentage of 60.5%. When he plays, Zion is a player of All-NBA caliber, one of the best in the league. This is what makes him the Pelicans’ season MVP.

Of course, the Pelicans are not solely reliant on Zion. However, their results are not solely contingent on his health. Earlier, insiders informed us about the loss of one of the key Pelicans players, a forward with a bright future, Trey Murphy, who will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks. His return to the court should not be expected before November or December. There’s also Brandon Ingram, who, after his debut season, has consistently missed 20-25 games per season over the last 6 years.

Prediction: 11th place in the Western Conference.

San Antonio Spurs: Season Preview

Historically, San Antonio has been one of the most successful franchises in the NBA. However, after the era of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, Tony Parker, and some might even mention Kawhi Leonard, the team experienced a period of mediocrity with lackluster results. This past summer is expected to bring about significant changes, as one of the most anticipated players of the last decade is joining the team through the draft.

Spurs’ games in the upcoming season are sure to be highly popular among fans. For those who not only enjoy watching but also betting, it’s worth registering, giris and betting with the bookmaker company Pin-Up.

Key Facts

Previous season results: 15th place, 22-60.


Arrivals – Cedi Osman, Victor Wembanyama (1st pick).

Remaining – Tre Jones, Devonte’ Graham, Malachi Flynn, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Doug McDermott, Jeremy Sochan, Zach Collins, Sandro Mamukelashvili.

What to Expect from the Team

The event that determined the franchise’s fate for the coming years, if not the next decade, was this year’s NBA Draft Lottery, where the Spurs secured the first pick of the 2023 Draft. With this pick, the Texas-based club selected the French prospect, Victor Wembanyama.

Personally, I’m somewhat disappointed with San Antonio’s approach in free agency. Of course, the team’s management knows best how to develop the franchise. However, I don’t completely agree with their approach of waiting. This summer, the Spurs had the opportunity to at least compete for players like Fred VanVleet, Austin Reaves, Draymond Green, and Brook Lopez, all of whom, in my opinion, would have been great additions to the team.

Surprisingly, there was no apparent interest from the Spurs in any of these players. I was especially surprised that they didn’t make a strong effort to acquire Austin Reaves, whom the Lakers easily signed without overpaying for him. The Spurs could have offered him a substantial $100 million contract, or something close to that. Even if the Lakers would have overspent, the main financial burden of the contract would have fallen in the third and fourth years, just around the time when the Spurs should become competitive themselves. Meanwhile, the Lakers would have had a more heavily front-loaded contract.

Therefore, the San Antonio Spurs will spend the upcoming season in a waiting mode. They will closely observe Victor’s performance in the NBA and hope for his success. They will also experiment with lineups, such as one without a traditional point guard, featuring Vassell, Johnson, Sochan, Wembanyama, and Collins.

In my opinion, this is aimed at improving and expanding Wembanyama’s skill set, including playmaking and ball-handling, as well as the skills of other young and promising players in the Spurs’ roster. Through this waiting strategy, the Spurs are hoping to acquire a young talent in next year’s draft and possibly look at free agents in the summer of 2024.

Season Joker: Victor Wembanyama

The young Frenchman has already amazed us in the preseason, and he’s expected to perform even better in the regular season. His unique physical attributes, athleticism, and basketball skills, combined with a high basketball IQ, make him one of the most exciting players of the season. The team is also making efforts to create the best environment for his development, focusing on his growth without putting excessive pressure on immediate results or authoritarianism within the team.

Prediction: 14th place in the Western Conference.


It was a night to remember for Manchester City youngster Rico Lewis both for good and bad reasons on a night where he was handed his full debut in the UEFA Champions League. City were playing their last group stage game of the current campaign against Sevilla after already winning the group and confirming their spot in the round of 16 of the competition this campaign. 17-year-oldRico Lewis was the star of the show as he scored a tying goal for Pep Guardiola’s men after they went 1-0 down against the Spanish La Liga club. The fact that he scored the goal and became the second youngest English player to score a UEFA Champions League goal after Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham were part of the positives on the night.

However, during the match, he reportedly received some racist abuse from a section of the Sevilla fans and the club have reiterated that they would not tolerate the disgusting gesture from the traveling fans. In an official statement released by Manchester City Football Club, they revealed that two arrests have been made in the wake of the incident and that they are collaborating with the police to carry out proper investigation into the matter.

Spanish outfit Sevilla Football Club also released an official statement regarding the situation adding that should the two suspects be found guilty, they will also be taking their own disciplinary action. They also stated in the statement that they are strongly against the behavior of the two suspects in the away section on the might of the match after they were reportedly caught sending racist abuse to City youngster Lewis.

The Spanish outfit concluded by also adding that they are currently awaiting official confirmation of the facts and that if the reports are proven to be true, the two fans will be removed from their members’ list.


Major League Soccer (MLS) giants Seattle Sounders have qualified for the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals after seeing off Motagua FC of Honduras in their last 16 tie. Seattle Sounders did a good job in the first leg after forcing hosts Motagua to a goalless draw in Honduras last week Thursday. The job was then finished in the second leg at Lumen Field on Thursday thanks to the emphatic 5-0 win for an aggregate victory of 5-0. Five different players found the back of the net for the Seattle Sounders in the second leg and they are Nicholas Lodeiro, Leo Chu, Jordan Morris, Kelyn Rowe and Cristian Roldan.

Uruguayan midfielder Lodeiro started the scoring for Sounders on 33 minutes for what was the first goal of the year. Seattle Sounders led 1-0 at the half-time interval thanks to the goal from Lodeiro. Lodeiro then turned provider at the start of the second half after his free-kick was turned into the back of the net by Roldan from point-blank range. It took just one second half minute for Seattle Sounders to double their lead.

Ten minutes after their second goal, Sounders added a third goal through Morris off the assist from Roldan. It was afirst goal for Morris since the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. Roldan then claimed his second assist of the game when he crossed the ball for substitute Rowe to score the fourth goal just after the hour mark. Chu wrapped the big win on 74 minutes after he applied the finish from a tight angle.

The reward for seeing off Montagua in the last 16 for Sounders is a two-legged tie with Club Leon of Mexico in the quarterfinals. The two teams last met during the 2021 Leagues Cup final with Club Leon running out 3-2 winners in Las Vegas.

Don Dirren’s Top Hiking Destinations to Explore in 2023

Don Dirren's Top Hiking Destinations to Explore in 2023

For Donald Dirren, hiking combines his passion for travel and exploration. Outside his work as a licensed financial advisor, he loves nothing more than exploring new hiking trails. The same is true whether at home in Phoenix, Arizona, or overseas traveling.

With that in mind, he’s always looking for new destinations. To demonstrate, the Phoenix-based financial advisor has put together a list of must-see places to visit. It contains some of the world’s top hiking trails to explore this year and beyond, starting with the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

Don Dirren’s first hiking destination to consider in 2023 is the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. New Zealand’s Tongariro Alpine Crossing is widely regarded as the county’s best day hike. It’s also become famous worldwide since its appearance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The point-to-point hike takes place on New Zealand’s North Island. It covers a mix of rocky terrain and cauldron-like hollows, even taking in views of an active volcano. That’s against a backdrop of the sort of lush greenery for which Tongariro National Park and much of the rest of New Zealand are most recognizable.

Rated as moderately difficult, Tongariro Alpine Crossing covers 19.4 kilometers and takes six to eight hours to complete.

Inca Trail, Peru

Dirren’s next pick among hiking destinations to explore in 2023 is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu in Peru is immediately recognizable, accessible via the four-day, 43-kilometer Inca Trail trek. However, there’s also a shorter day hike covering just the final leg of the trail. It’s this route that’s the hike of choice for this list.

Like the four-day Inca Trail trek, the shorter hike concludes at the Sun Gate. From the Sun Gate, hikers receive their first incredible glimpse of Machu Picchu. The trail also cuts through some of Peru’s most spectacular and lush rainforest-covered landscapes, taking in numerous Inca ruins, ancient stone steps, and countless other remarkable sights.

The Inca Trail day hike covers 15 kilometers. This version of the trail is moderately complex and takes most people around six hours.

Trolltunga, Norway

And last but by no means least, Trolltunga in Norway. Donald Dirren’s list of the top hiking destinations to explore in 2023 ends with a famously demanding hike covering almost 30 kilometers of strenuous Norwegian terrain. Yet, despite its difficulty, it’s one of the Scandinavian nation’s best-loved and most popular trails, and with good reason.

The hike is also incredibly picturesque, concluding at the so-called troll’s tongue that gives Trolltunga its name. The troll’s tongue is a thin, rocky projection extending out over lake Ringedalsvatnet. Best visited in the summer months, Trolltunga becomes a more challenging hike in winter when conditions are often marshy and snow-covered.

The trail covers 28 kilometers and takes an average of ten hours to complete. Allow roughly eight hours in summer and 12 hours in winter to account for the more challenging conditions.

The First Board Games Invented, Chronicled by Casey Grove

Penn State: The first board games invented, chronicled by Casey Grove

Casey Grove shares that board games are an ancient form of recreation, but the modern era kicked off with a few still-loved classics.

The history of board games extends way beyond Monopoly cars and letter tiles to the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Casey Grove, an award-winning game creator, reports. Before entering eternity in their opulent tombs, these leaders loved to engage in various recreational activities, including the earliest board games known to man. 

Early board games

Even before the actual board game concept became more refined, mankind was engaging in gameplay with dice and other chance-based game pieces dated to prehistoric times.

In Ancient Egypt, games like Senet showed the development of a formal board and a pawn system, creating the opportunity to navigate a game board strategically with elements of chance still in play. Many games from the present-day Middle East also became popular in what is now considered Asia before local board games began to evolve there.

As history progressed, games started to evolve when Backgammon and a historical predecessor became the first big board game. Chess and checkers became additional options, and various die-based, card, and other games evolved through the early 1800s. 

Early evolutions

As Puritan influences waned in the new United States, board games started to grow in popularity in the 1800s along with leisure time, Casey Grove reports. A duo of Traveler’s Tour options became the first board games printed in the U.S., and religious-based journeys soon became a repetitive theme, eventually yielding to games based around daily life. These used a roll of the dice to progress gameplay across a board to an endpoint.

Modern board games

The story modern board game era often uses Monopoly as a starting point for a new type of game that would retain appeal for decades and generations. Board game mainstays Parker Brothers acquired the rights to a Monopoly predecessor, the Landlord’s Game, in the 1930s. The game continued the throw-and-move aspects of gameplay while incorporating additional elements of chance into the game.

Casey Grove explains that other life-based games and games of chance and skill, such as Scrabble and Yahtzee, also became household names and retained their popularity through the decades.

In the present day, these options remain popular alongside more complex games focused on intense strategy and world creation. Many popular board games also moved into the digital era with web-based versions that make it easier to play with remote friends. Smartphones pushed these efforts further forward with classic board games offered with touch-based play.

Tanner Iskra Discusses World Tavern Poker

Tanner Iskra Discusses World Tavern Poker

Tanner Iskra is a content creator and producer. When he’s not working, he enjoys playing poker through World Tavern Poker. He states that it’s a great way to have fun and meet new friends.  

What is World Tavern Poker? 

World Tavern Poker, also known as WTP, is a poker league. It’s considered America’s #1 poker league, and for good reason. 

As the name suggests, WTP is played in bars or taverns. The poker league was founded in 2004. There are currently 400 venues that host tournaments, and there are 20,000 registered participants. 

Tanner Iskra states, “World Tavern Poker is something I found at a local VFW when I was stationed in North Carolina. It was a good way to connect with my team and gave me a sense of camaraderie.”

Play for Prizes

When it comes to poker winnings, there’s an incredible range. Some tournaments have big payouts. In fact, the top 10 poker players in the world have amassed $30 million in winnings each. 

Playing for money is certainly exciting. On the other hand, you can also lose big money in cash games. Playing for fun, points, or prizes allows you to play without worrying about losing your life savings. 

Tanner Iskra notes that World Tavern Poker has a play-for-points and prizes system. Winning will earn you points and potentially prizes. You can also qualify for a regional or national tournament if you are a skilled player. These tournaments offer impressive prizes for winners. 

WTP is free to play. There’s no buy-in, so you have nothing to lose by playing a game, except for bragging rights. 

Play Online

In addition to playing at your local bar, you can also play World Tavern Poker online. It’s a great way to improve your game and make new friends. You’ll create an account and then choose your package. 

You can choose to play online for free. However, if you are aiming for a championship win, it’s best to choose the paid package, which requires a monthly subscription. 

Once your account is created, you are free to find online games. There are many online events each week, so there’s something for everyone. 

About Tanner

Tanner Iskra grew up in Humptulips, WA. He began his career in 2003 as a personal administrator for the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Operation Iraqui Freedom as an intelligence analyst in 2005. He went on to become a combat videographer for the Marine Corps. Today, he is a producer and content creator. 

In addition to video production, he enjoys traveling and hiking in his spare time. He’s also a professional wrestling fan and enjoys watching documentary films. 

Juliana Garofalo Discusses 5 Health Benefits of Stand-Up Boarding

New York: Juliana Garofalo Discusses 5 Health Benefits of Stand-Up Boarding

Juliana Garofalo recently discussed five impressive health benefits of stand-up paddleboarding.

NORWALK, CT / FEB, 2023 / Taking up the sport of paddleboarding can be life-changing. Juliana Garofalo is an avid paddleboarder who has experienced the physical and mental health benefits first-hand.

1. It Is a Low-Impact Exercise

Paddleboarding can be as intense or mellow as you want it to be. That’s why it’s an excellent sport for athletes of all ages. It is a low-impact exercise that offers strength training, cardio, and numerous other physical health benefits. It’s an ideal way to burn calories without putting too much stress on joints.

2. Paddleboarding Reduces Stress

Stress is a significant cause of health problems in modern society. Paddleboarding is a unique sport because it helps reduce stress in several ways.

Paddleboarding involves interaction with nature, physical exertion, and an adrenaline rush (typically when gaining speed or falling). All these elements can reduce stress and anxiety, so you return home relaxed and rejuvenated after a good paddle.

3. It’s a Whole-Body Exercise

Few physical activities exercise the entire body at once, but paddleboarding is one of them. It works the core, shoulders, arms, legs, back muscles, and torso. Paddleboarding also improves balance and cardiovascular health.

4. Paddleboarding Provides Opportunity for Mediation

Paddleboarding requires extreme awareness to remain balanced on the board. The athlete must focus on every move they make to continue moving forward while maintaining balance. Juliana Garofalo explained that psychological researchers describe this mental state as “flow,” which is necessary for optimal Zen Mediation. 

This state of meditation leads to numerous health benefits, including increased focus, improved mood, and superior cognitive function. For many paddleboarders, the time spent on the water on their board is the most meditative and stress-free time of the day.

5. It Improves Endurance

The more often you stand-up paddleboard, the longer you’ll be able to paddle before you become so sore you have to quit. Paddleboarding offers daily opportunities to improve paddling technique, strength, and endurance. You’ll quickly notice that you can paddle longer distances at a higher level of intensity. 

Benefits of Paddleboarding

Juliana Garofalo explained that paddleboarding is also a competitive sport. Paddleboard races and surfing competitions occur across the country and worldwide. Competitions can be an ideal way to boost self-esteem, beat personal best times, and join a community of like-minded individuals. 

Garofalo added that paddleboarding is a sport that athletes can enjoy whether they live near a lake, an inland waterway, or the ocean. It’s often easy to find a place to take up the sport. Once you own your own board and paddle, you don’t need a membership to get on the water and enjoy the sport. 

Brook Taube Discusses Best Spots for Surfing in North Carolina

Brook Taube Discusses Best Spots for Surfing in North Carolina

Surfing continues to be a popular sport and hobby for people all over the world. Those who do go surfing will enjoy the excitement and solidarity that can come with being out on the open water and catching a great wave. A great place for anyone in the country to go to enjoy surfing is North Carolina, which has a busy surfing season throughout the year. One individual that has continued to love surfing is Brook B. Taube. There are various great spots throughout North Carolina that all surfers should try. 

Hatteras on Outer Banks

When it comes to surfing in North Carolina, Brook Taube and other enthusiasts will immediately start thinking about the Outer Banks. This part of the state, and its beaches, get some great waves, and the city of Hatteras offers various convenient beaches for visitors and local residents. The strong surf makes it a great option for more experienced surfers and strong swimmers. When you are done, there are many great places to grab a meal or go shopping in the immediate area. 

Nags Head

One of the most popular spots to go surfing in North Carolina is Nags Head, which is located on the Outer Banks. Nags Head is located near Kitty Hawk, which continues to be among the most popular vacation destinations in the state. Brook Taube and other surfers continue to love coming here for the great waves and convenient location to all of the restaurants, fishing, and other activities in the area.

Ocracoke Island

One of the popular vacation destinations in North Carolina is Ocracoke Island. This is a standalone island located just off the Outer Banks. While there are some consistent tourists here, the beaches and surf waters tend to be quieter than the areas near Kitty Hawk. Further, it can have some of the strongest surf and waves along the Atlantic Coast. The open space and strong waves continue to make it a top destination for Brook Taube and other surfers.

Wrightsville Beach

Brook Taube lives in the Wilmington, NC, area, and a top surfing option for anyone in this area is Wrightsville Beach. This beach is located a short drive away from downtown Wilmington and is known for offering great waves throughout the year. When the surf is rough, it is best left to more experienced surfers and swimmers. When you are done, you can relax on the beach or head to one of the local restaurants near the oceanfront. 

The state of North Carolina has continued to be a great place to enjoy some surfing. One of the reasons for this is that there are plenty of great places to go and try and catch waves. Surfing enthusiasts have continued to find great surfing spots throughout the state. These include a great mix of acclaimed and popular surfing destinations as well as lesser-known options for all to enjoy. 

Donald Mihalik Offers Skiing Tips for New Beginners

Donald Mihalik of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, Offers Skiing Tips for New Beginners

Donald Mihalik has been an accomplished professional in the real estate industry for a long time. Over the course of his career, he has worked in real estate sales, real estate management, and the mortgage industry. While his real estate career has kept him busy, he does continue to have many interests. During the winter months of the year, he enjoys skiing due to the excitement and natural beauty that comes along with it. For those that are looking to start skiing, various tips should be followed.

 Get Some Lessons

For experienced skiers, such as Donald Mihalik, one of the most common tips that will be provided would be to ensure you get some lessons before hitting the ski runs for the first time. While skiing can be fun for everyone, it does take some skill and technique to maximize your experience. Even spending a few hours in a ski school can go a long way. Not only will you learn more about how to use your equipment and proper techniques, but you can also learn more about etiquette and mountain rules that help keep everyone safe.

 Start Slow

Another tip that Donald Mihalik and others will provide is to start slow. When you are going to a larger mountain range for the first time, you may be excited when you see the high slopes at the top. While you may want to try a blue or black run to start, it is often better to spend some time on the green runs. These will help you get warmed up and will help you build up your skills so you can tackle the more challenging ski runs later on.

 Get the Right Equipment

You must be adequately equipped when heading to the local ski resort. Some items that you will always need, no matter what, will include skis and ski boots, ski poles, goggles, and a helmet. In most cases, renting this equipment is a good idea. When you do rent this equipment, the sales professionals can help you select a set of skis that are right for your experience.

 Donald Mihalik and others also believe that it is essential that you wear the correct type of clothing. You will always want to have water-resistant outer layers that are designed to keep you warm and dry. You should also try and have a quality set of ski socks and gloves on at all times. This can help to keep you safe and avoid frostbite and windburn that otherwise can come with skiing at high altitudes in the winter.

 Be Alert and Aware

The most important thing that you need to be when skiing is alert and aware. As a lot of people can be moving at high speeds on the mountain, there is always a risk of collisions. Due to this, you should be alert and focused on the hill in front of you. Donald Mihalik and others would suggest you be cautious and avoid listening to music when going downhill.

 Skiing continues to be a very popular activity for many people and a passion for Mihalik. If you are new to skiing, following these tips can help you become better and have a more enjoyable time.