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Newz Forum: OTHER: Larry Brown, the NBA season, Zach Randolph, Duke Lacrosse plus more...

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posted on May, 29 2006 @ 11:51 AM
Larry Brown had to be taken from an arena to a hospital last week with a bout of acid reflux that must have been awfully severe. Not only did it cause a hospital stay; it caused him to miss coaching the Knicks for a game. I think that shows a high degree of tolerance on Brown's part; just about everyone else got sick of watching the Knicks pretend to be an NBA team about two months ago.

By the way, the NBA season began about five and a half months ago. Once we get past the first round of the NBA playoffs and identify this year's Cinderella team who will likely get smoked in the second round of the NBA playoffs, it will finally be time to start paying some attention to the NBA. The NFL has a four game exhibition season and many folks - me included - would prefer to see them cut that in half. The NBA has what amounts to a six-month exhibition season leading up to a set of playoffs where more than half the teams qualify. The NBA has a season that is far too long and it has about 10 too many teams. Sometime around 1 May, the games will begin to be worthy of your attention.

Out in Portland - where the team record is worse than the Knicks at the moment - Zach Randolph got himself suspended for a game. Randolph is on the inactive list with a knee injury but he left the arena during a game against the Golden State Warriors and acted in an 'insubordinate manner'. His walkout came just a few hours after he missed the team photo. Even some of the players think that regular season NBA contests are unwatchable.

At last, there has been some kind of official action taken in the 'Duke Lacrosse Situation'. I have purposely refrained from making any comment on this matter until now because until now there was nothing to comment on except for 'statements' and 'rumors' and things of that ilk. Now we have the arrest of two members of the team on charges of rape and kidnapping; and now, something may happen that will determine what actually occurred that evening. As this story broke - and then as it grew and grew in its magnitude -, I could not get rid of the thought that the DA in Durham is up for election in a few weeks. He was appointed to the post a while ago and has spent most if not all of his career as a prosecutor there. I just can't get over the fact that there might - I said might - be some other pressures on him at the moment as this case evolves.

I will make one comment about this case even before the trial. Some commentators have used innuendo to say that Duke University has handled this situation poorly because they canceled the lacrosse season but would never have done so if this had been alleged to have been done by the basketball team. And of course, they would not have fired Mike Krzyzewski. Those kinds of statements don't even rise to the level where they deserve to be called a 'line of reasoning'. The lacrosse team at Duke - under the guidance of its coach who chose to resign in the midst of this matter - had been source of rule-breaking behavior with regard to Duke's rules for several years now and the coach had previously been warned to rein in such behaviors. Forget the financial benefits that the basketball program brings to Duke; there have been no stories of such behaviors by neither the Duke basketball team nor such an admonition to coach Krzyzewski in the past several years. Money is an important thing for universities; there's no doubt about that. In this case, the treatment of the lacrosse team and its coach rests on things other than money.

Minor league baseball has some great promotions. Every once in a while, the creativity involved in those promotions does not fully take into account some unintended consequences. Such was the case with the West Michigan Whitecaps last weekend when they dropped about $1000 in dollar bills from a helicopter onto the field after a game. Then they had kids go and scramble for the bills. One kid was trampled and according to his grandmother, 'Doctors said he got trampled pretty good.' (These are doctors being quoted by a grandmother not a statement from a convocation of English teachers, so I don't want to hear from the grammarians out there.) In terms of ideas gone wrong, this has to rank up there with Disco Demolition Night and Nickel Beer Night in terms of 'not thought through to the end'. And even after the fact, a spokesperson for the Whitecaps seems not to get it. Said the spokesperson:

'It's for fun and games. That's why we have everybody sign a waver.'

Memo to Spokesperson: You had them sign a waver because you wanted some protection if something went wrong - as it did. Don’t compound your organization's lapse of judgment by trying to weasel-word your way out of the situation. The organization screwed up.

Over on the NCAA political correctness front, the organization has convinced Louisiana-Monroe to change its nickname from 'Indians' to 'Warhawks'. I'm sure that someone in the NCAA hierarchy is glad for that. But let's suppose for a moment that a school's nickname really does have some kind of impact and meaning beyond a logo and a mascot and things like that. Aren't 'Warhawks' things that might be offensive to some people? There is an organization here in the DC area called the US Institute for Peace. Its goal is 'to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts ... and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools and intellectual capital worldwide.' Might not a purported educational institution that calls itself the 'Warhawks' offend some of the folks there? Might these folks see that name as an obstacle to their peacebuilding mission worldwide? Or are the people in the US Institute for Peace intelligent enough to realize that a schools nickname doesn't matter at all and that the NCAA's crusade here would have to a lot more important to qualify as piffle.

Golfer, Tom Lehman, was en route to the Augusta airport after the Masters. Someone pulled alongside his Cadillac Escalade and pumped a bullet into the vehicle; Lehman was uninjured and police are investigating. Meanwhile, Brad Rock in the Deseret Morning News observed:

'Hollywood is already working on a movie about the jagged-edge world of professional golf called Boyz N the Clubhouse.'

Finally, Tim Kawakami had this observation about Tiger Woods’ new Florida home in the San Jose Mercury-News:

'Tiger Woods buys a $38M property in Florida. Pretty big? Is garage is a nearly unreachable park-five.'

But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...


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