Brazilian icons Kaká and Oscar Schmidt share Orlando City moment

SANFORD, Fla. – When it comes to sports in Brazil there’s no bigger name in soccer than Ricardo Kaká and no bigger basketball icon than Oscar Schmidt.

On Tuesday at the Orlando City Soccer Club’s training facility the two friends took a moment to chat while Schmidt was in town with family just as Kaká was preparing to head out for a U.S. Open Cup match in Chicago.

Kaká presented the Naismith Memorial Basketball and FIBA hall of famer with a personalized No. 14 OCSC jersey before the two shared stories of how they met many years ago.

( – Click here for J.C.’s story on Orlando City SC for Orlando Sentinel – )

Kaká, a former FIFA World Player of the Year, is in his first season in Major League Soccer. He’ll captain the MLS All-Stars against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur next Wednesday.


Will NBA free agents flee Western Conference for easy road in East?

With the NBA Draft in our rearview mirrors the focus for basketball fans throughout the remainder of the summer turns to the dealings of free agency.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders joined Carnahan Chronicles on AM 740 The Game to discuss a handful of topics from around the National Basketball Association.

Among those is a story he wrote about marque players choosing to leave the Wester Conference in favor of teams in the East in hopes of an easier path to the NBA Finals.

“I think it’s very possible that we’ll see players that are out West coming to the Eastern Conference, or free agents that are in the Eastern Conference staying out East, because players understand that the Western Conference is brutal right now. It’s hard to make a Finals run. You can be on a loaded team in the West and still miss the playoffs,” Kennedy said.

( – Click here for J.C.’s interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders – )

Kennedy touches on a handful of NBA topics throughout the segment with a focus on players and teams from both central Florida and northeast Ohio.


Golden State Warriors stirring up old memories of 40 years ago

The NBA didn’t matter the last time the Golden State Warriors played for a championship.

The National Basketball Association was still a decade away from garnering national interest amid the sports landscape when Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, George Johnson, Butch Beard, Clifford Ray and Jeff Mullins last brought a title to the Bay Area.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were reaching all corners of the country through a complex rivalry, that both media and fans started to truly pay attention. But before those theatrical days were plenty of other benchmarks being laid throughout the history of the league.

The Warriors claimed the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference during the 1974-75 season with a modest 48-34 record. They did so by leading the 18-team league in scoring, rebounds and steals before pulling an upset (assuming they were indeed the underdogs, of course) of the Washington Bullets (60-22) by way of a sweep in the NBA Finals.

That series has some historical significance aside from the result as Golden State’s Al Attles and Washington’s K.C. Jones became the first black head coaches to face off in a professional sports championship. Never mind that Attles was thrown out of Game 4 for attacking an opposing player during the game.


Cleveland Cavaliers return to top of NBA’s Eastern Conference

So much changes over the course of eight years. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, who last played for an NBA title back when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs following the 2006-07 season.

Three years later the Cavs decided it was time to move on from head coach Mike Brown, while all-star LeBron James decided to move on from Cleveland following semifinal setbacks to the Boston Celtics (2008, 2010) and an Eastern Conference final loss to the Orlando Magic in 2009.

And now, mercifully, Cleveland gets another shot at breaking a pro sports title drought that dates back to 1964 when the Browns last finished on top.

This time the Cavs’ hopes won’t hinge on the likes of overachievers such as Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, Daniel Gibson and, unfortunately, Anderson Varejao, who is one of two remaining players still on roster from 2007 but has been sidelined due to injury.


Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders talks Alonzo Mourning and health of Chris Bosh & Larry Nance Jr.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders joined me Saturday to talk about recent stories he’s written about Alonzo Mourning’s thoughts on the game today, Chris Bosh recovering from blood clots, and Larry Nance Jr. hoping to play in NBA despite battling Crohn’s disease.

Kennedy got Mourning’s take on the state of the big man in the National Basketball Association and talked about how his own issues with blood clots and Crohn’s disease played a part in stories he wrote on both Bosh and Nance Jr.

( – Click here to listen to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders on Carnahan Chronicles – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Sam Gardner of FOX Sports talks 1985 Villanova championship team

Three of the four NCAA Tournament games played in Jacksonville in the Round of 64 were decided by three points or less, highlighted by a memorable upset of No. 3 Baylor by No. 14 Georgia State.

Arkansas, North Carolina and Xavier also advanced and Sam Gardner of FOX Sports was there to see it all play out.

Gardner joined the show Saturday to talk about the start of the tourney. He also shared details about recent interviews he conducted with players and coaches from the 1985 Villanova men’s basketball championship team for an anniversary story that was published earlier this week.

Read about the improbable journey for that Villanova squad at and keep up with Gardner on Twitter for more out of Jacksonville.

Carnahan Coverage: Tim Mitchell has rebounded in major way since high school basketball days

Tim Mitchell didn’t survive roster cuts his junior year at Orlando’s University High School. The following year he played a major role though in a successful season for the Cougars, setting the stage for where he is today. I had a chance to cover Mitchell during my time at the East Orlando Sun newspaper during the 2007-08 season. Below is an edited version of a story I wrote about him for the January 3, 2008 edition.

Tim Mitchell_EOSunBut first an update: Mitchell is currently finishing out his senior season at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida after helping lead the program to its first trip to the NAIA Division II tournament a year ago. Southeastern entered the postseason unseeded but finished third in the country after earning wins over No. 16 Huntington (Ind.), No. 1 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 9 Davenport (Mich.), before falling to the eventual champions, No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan, in the semis.

Mitchell led all tournament players with nine blocked shots and averaged 10 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games for a team that finished 27-7 overall. During the 2013-14 season Mitchell blocked 67 shots and shot 58 percent from the floor while averaging 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Southeastern is currently 15-11 overall and 9-8 in The Sun Conference.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Tim Mitchell was unable to secure a roster spot at University High School before the start of his junior year, he had all but given up on his prep playing career.

It seemed as though the closest he’d get to a varsity basketball game would be while watching from the stands. That’s about the time reality set in for the 6-foot-7 post player as he began accounting for his own actions, or lack thereof.


Carnahan Coverage: Temple routs UCF in men’s basketball

ORLANDO, Fla. – Will Cummings has been hampered by a leg injury over the past few weeks, but in his return to the Sunshine State on Wednesday he helped Temple terrorize UCF to the tune of 86-62.

Family and friends made the trip from Jacksonville to see Cummings in action and he did not disappoint, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Read more about the game in a story I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: publisher Brandon Helwig talks about state of UCF men’s hoops program

UCF Sports publisher Brandon Helwig joined the show Saturday to talk about the UCF men’s basketball team overcoming NCAA sanctions, the program’s upcoming recruiting class, the dwindling crowds at games the past couple seasons, the impact A.J. Rompza had on the fanbase, and upcoming home games against Cincinnati and Temple.

( – Click here to listen to Brandon Helwig talk state of UCF men’s basketball – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Ernie Banks passes, changes in MLB, Klay Thompson sets record, Orlando Magic struggle, legacy of Mike Krzyzewski, potential strike in MLS

Cliff Bell of CRB Entertainment and Open Mike producer Mike Venditti joined the show Saturday morning to talk about a number of different topics in the world of baseball, basketball and soccer.

Check the links below to listen in on the conversations.

– We got things started by paying our respects to “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks before talking about the proposed pitching changes Major League Baseball plans to experiment with at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this coming year.

– We then talked about the NBA record-setting night put together by Klay Thompson during a 37-point third quarter outburst and how the Orlando Magic continue to struggle against the worst teams in the league. Shout out to Brian for calling into the show to share his thoughts on the Magic.

– The show finished up with a rundown of the top pro and college basketball games scheduled over the next few days, talk about legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski chasing his 1,000th win and about how a potential strike in Major League Soccer could impact the start of Orlando City Soccer Club’s professional debut.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin Rivers, Jameer Nelson, Orlando City Soccer Club, Cardale Jones, Pacquiao-Mayweather

The Orlando Magic beat a team with a winning record for just the fifth time this season when they knocked off Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. On Saturday’s show we talked about where the Magic currently stand while also touching on the recent L.A. reunion of Doc and Austin Rivers, who won two state basketball titles at Winter Park High School. Speaking of reunions, former Magic player Jameer Nelson has been making the rounds as of late in a bit of an unusual way as he’s now with his third team this season.

( – Click here to listen to more on Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin and Jameer Nelson – )

The Orlando City Soccer Club made it’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft selection Thursday when the Lions selected Connecticut forward Cyle Larin while UCF forward Romario Williams was taken third overall by the Montreal Impact. We opened the final segment of the show Saturday talking about Major League Soccer before touching on the decision of quarterback Cardale Jones to return to Ohio State. We also shared some thoughts on boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally meeting in the ring.

( – Click here for more about MLS SuperDraft, Cardale Jones & Mayweather-Pacquiao – )

Hannah Plybon emerges from small town to captain of University of Akron women’s hoops team

(The following story is an alternate version of what will appear in the Jan. 9, 2014 edition of OrrViews in Orrville, Ohio)

ORLANDO, Fla. – It didn’t take long for Hannah Plybon to showcase the kind of impact she could have at the highest level of college basketball.

Hannah Plybon (left) earned as spot on the All-MAC Freshman Team a year ago.

Hannah Plybon (left) earned as spot on the All-MAC Freshman Team a year ago.

On the heels of successful runs in three different sports during her senior year at Orrville High School in Ohio, Plybon made an immediate impression on coaches and teammates upon her arrival at the University of Akron.

Plybon worked her way into the starting lineup as a freshman before her rookie season ever got underway, on a team featuring six seniors that had returned from a 23-win campaign.

Plybon has since blossomed into a leader at Akron, on a squad that opened the 2014-15 season by winning its first 10 games.

She’s now less than a year removed from being named to the All-MAC Freshman Team after starting 32 of 33 games for the Lady Zips, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament and won the Mid-American Conference for the first time in school history.

Not bad for someone hailing from small-town America, where the pride of being hometown to former college coach Bobby Knight and a jelly manufacturer is offset by two decades worth of factories closing shop and families relocating elsewhere.


Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders talks top teams and players in NBA

Basketball Insiders senior NBA editor Alex Kennedy returned to the show Saturday to share his thoughts on recent struggles in the 4th quarter for the Orlando Magic and to talk about the top teams and MVP candidates so far this season as we enter the new year.

( – Click here to listen to J.C.’s interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

Basketball Insiders senior NBA editor Alex Kennedy joined the show Saturday to discuss a number of topics from around the NBA.

Kennedy gave his thoughts on the Orlando Magic rebuilding process and offered his opinion on the standout teams so far through the first few weeks of the season. He also talked about the current state of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the tanking currently taking place by the winless Philadelphia 76ers.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. interview Alex Kennedy of – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: My son puked on me while watching playoff baseball & other Orlando sports happenings

As if being a first-time parent wasn’t tough enough, my 22-month old son greeted me with a new surprise in the world of parenting last week while we sat on the recliner together to watch afternoon postseason baseball. I’m still not sure if it was the actual act of puking, or the clean-up that followed, that nearly made me sick to my own stomach.

( – Click here for the story of J.C. being puked on and hear him talk about Orlando sports – )

The segment continues with talk about the pedestrian expectations of the Orlando Magic and the overwhelmingly huge payout for one Orlando City Soccer Club player.