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Ramblings... 07/02/2014

by Dan Gunderson

Local - Taylor Braun To Play In NBA Summer League

I was happy to hear that former North Dakota State University men's basketball player Taylor Braun will be getting a shot with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA's Summer League. If anything else, it gives Braun a chance to show people he is a better player than what we saw at the NCAA Tournament.

I've said it before , Braun is a unique case for NBA teams. He is not great at one thing and athletically he is not better than a lot of players in the NBA. However, he can do so much for a team and that is important to note.

He can defend, rebound, pass, shoot and handle the ball. He will need to become above average in several of those categories, especially shooting, if he plans to even sniff the NBA. However, in the Summer League, he will at least give an NBA General Manager or Scout an idea of what his potential could be. Maybe they take a shot on Braun. Maybe.

Regional - What Will Happen First?

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Vikings are two teams in flux right now. The Wolves are looking to deal with their star player Kevin Love while the Vikings are wondering how long before their newest quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, will start.

Both questions remained to be answered, although one can happen well before the other. However, with the reluctance by the Wolves to deal Love before the NBA Draft, it leads me to believe they may actually start the 2014-15 season with Love on the roster.

By the time that happens, the Vikings will have already played half of their season. Depending on how things go for the Vikings, and don't expect a 7-1 start, we may see Bridgewater as the starter sometime before the Vikings Week 9 game against the football team from Washington, D.C.

I still think Love will be dealt before the start of the season, or at least hope he will, but because the Wolves have balked at trading love for picks or have been rebuked by other teams, Bridgewater starting at QB for the Vikings has legitimate shot at happening first.

National - World Cup Fever Has Spiked

Now that the Unite States' 2014 World Cup run has concluded, we as America can go back to acting like the sport doesn't exist. There won't be any renaissance for soccer or more people going to Major League Soccer games.

You may see more youths playing soccer, but many will decide to move on to other sports like basketball, baseball or football. The United States will not become the next great soccer country and we will not put on soccer stars on a pedestal like we do with football or basketball stars.

What will happen, though, is a segment of the country will become a hotbed for soccer talent. In my opinion, look for a slew of players from the Northwest, Oregon, Washington state or Northern California, to start turning out top tier soccer talent.

The Northwest already has some passionate fan bases for the MLS soccer teams. That cultivates the want to play soccer from young athletes. Given the fact that part of the country lacks a ton of major sports teams, Seattle has the Mariners and Seahawks, Portland has the Trail Blazers, I can see younger fans attaching themselves to the sport.

They already have the poster child for what you can accomplish in DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin made the American Men's National Team and played significant time for the World Cup team down in Brazil. Yedlin, who is only 20 years old, is also a member of the Seattle Sounders of the MLS.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.