No one should pay money to see NBA games before March and no one should watch them on TV until Super Bowl Week, but keeping an eye on the league in
the newspapers is not so bad. For example, last night Steve Nash had an interesting version of a triple-double. He had 17 points and 18 assists and 10
turnovers. You don't see that in the stat-sheets very often.
The Golden State Warriors changed coaches and GMs over the summer and revamped their roster. They have come out of the gate with a 1-7 record. Mike
Montgomery rarely lost seven games at Stanford prior to March 10 so he is probably wandering in terra incognita. I suspect that former coach Eric
Musselman will be laying low and enjoying those direct deposits into his bank account for a while. Don't jump on Mike Montgomery too soon for this
disappointing start. Please remember that the Warriors decided to sign Adonal Foyle to a 5-year $40M contract. That contract is absolutely
incomprehensible to me. But in going to look up the info on that deal, I ran across something far more incomprehensible.
The team with the highest payroll in the NBA this season is the NY Knicks with a payroll of $103.6M. That is for this year; that is not the total of
the team's contracts spread out over the lives of the contracts! Did someone ask how that could possibly be?
Check out just a couple of these component parts:
Allan Houston $17.5M
Penny Hardaway $14.6M
Tim Thomas $12.9M
Moochie Norris $3.8M
Vin Baker $3.5M
John Amaechi $2.8M
The Phoenix Suns have a player on the roster named Yuta Tabuse. He is the first Japanese player in the NBA; and in Japan, he was dubbed the "Japanese
Jordan". He is getting extensive coverage by the Japanese media - as does Ichiro in Seattle. About 30 Japanese journalists attended his opening game
against the Nets where he played 10 minutes and scored 7 points; they described it as a "stunning debut". I suspect that they have been a bit
disappointed since that game because he has only appeared in one other game for all of 3 minutes and scored precisely zero points. Maybe it was a
stunning debut after all. Maybe that was the pinnacle of his NBA career...
I read a note about Calloway Golf that I found stunning. It said that the CEO of Calloway Golf had resigned after the company had posted a net loss of
more than $30M in the last quarter. How can that be? This is a company that makes golf clubs and sells them for $400 - 700 apiece. How can they lose
money? The note I read said that the company blamed the loss on "price pressure". Does that mean that in their financial projections they actually
planned on selling the clubs for $1,000 each?
After talking about early season NBA happenings and golf, I seem to be on a path called "Irrelevance Lane". So of course, boxing is the next thing
that would naturally appear in the windscreen. Last weekend there was a pay-per-view event featuring a whole bunch of heavyweight matches. You could
have seen Evander Holyfield lose his seventh fight in his last nine to someone named Larry Donald. (He leads the heavyweights in first names but that
is probably his only distinction,) Holyfield was so bad and was such a catcher that he is now banned by the NY State boxing gurus until he can pass a
medical exam to show that he can actually move his arms in a punching motion and demonstrate reflexes that are faster than a totem pole. Holyfield
says he will fight this ban; that is more than he did last weekend. You could have seen John Ruiz defend his version of the heavyweight championship.
You could have seen Chris Byrd defend his portion of the heavyweight championship. You could have seen Hasim Rahman win a fight and vault himself back
into the heavyweight title picture - despite the fact that one of the fights that Holyfield has won in his last nine outings was a win over Rahman.
And all this would have only cost you $45. Or you could have done something more useful with that money by using it as kindling to start a fire...
The following note comes from the LA Times and is definitely a milestone in any journey down "Irrelevance Lane" because it has to do with women's
soccer in Guatemala. The only interesting line about Guatemala that I can recall is from Groucho Marx who said, "You Guatemala every day or else you
may never mala at all." (BaDaBing! BaDaBoom!!) Anyhow, down in Guatemala there was a women's soccer game between a team of prostitutes and a team of
policewomen. The prostitutes play under the team name "Stars of the Tracks" - which probably loses something in translation - and they are playing "to
achieve better working conditions". I'm unaware of what the policewomen are playing for, but it obviously is not related to any activity that involves
enforcement of any extant prostitution laws.
I'm feel the need for a pit stop on my journey down "Irrelevance Lane" this morning; and so, I'll pull in here and fill you in on the latest happening
in NASCAR. No, I'm not talking about the final race of the season coming up this weekend where the Nextel Cup Championship is up for grabs. I mean the
NASCAR decision to lift the self-imposed ban that they have had on hard liquor advertising on their cars. Obviously, they must think that the public
has become inured to seeing a car named Budweiser screaming around a track at 200 mph. I wonder if the fans have just become used to the sight such
that they no longer see the connection between that image and DWI or if they haven't figured that out yet or if they don't give a rat's patootie.
Whatever. So now, we may see the Jack Daniels car swapping paint with the Jim Beam special over in turn three... Oh, swell!
I did say that the NASCAR final race of the year was this weekend. It will be in Florida and here is a comment from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald
regarding that event:
"Some 100,000 racing fans are expected in Homestead for Sunday's big NASCAR finish. About half will be covered in tattoos and drinking Pabst at 9 a.m.
But enough about the women."
By the way, I fully expect to be chastised severely by Dame NASCAR for those comments...
Finally, an interesting commentary from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle about Latrell Spreewell and his need for a contract extension to
feed his family:
"I've checked with financial experts and they tell me that if a player has made at least $30M and hasn't saved any of it to feed his family, an
increase in pay wouldn't help the situation because the athlete would be too stupid to find the nearest Safeway."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon