NBA Writer Slights Coach By Noting ‘blowhard’ Limbaugh

This morning venerable NBA writer Ailene Voisin of the SACRAMENTO BEE speculated that Kings Coach Paul Westphal’s recent punishment of Spencer Hawes was related to illness of Westphal’s wife. That is, that the stress of that situation was affecting Westphal’s judgement.

Rush Limbaugh Ailene Voisin Paul Westphal

Voisin called Westphal’s punishment of Hawes “excessive” while noting:

And this from an unconventional thinker who considers right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh one of his friends?

The piece was published just after midnight this morning, but as you might expect, the comments are rolling in about Voisin’s characterization of Limbaugh in her basketball article.


  • and “and this from an unconventional thinker who considers right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh one of his friends”
    so now PW is at fault for having certain people as his friends and that is the reason for a basketball coaching mistake?
    Okay so PW would win more games if he wasn’t friends with Limbaugh?
    How utterly inane.
  •  Why is it this writer loves to bring up politics or at least a Republican’s politics? Who cares about Limbaugh? If he is tight with the coach it is pretty lame of you to take shots at the coach’s friend while he is in the middle of these trying times. Why don’t you kick his dog while you are at it?
  • I couldn’t agree more, why is she bringing up Rush Limbaugh ? It has nothing, zip,nada, to do with this story. It’s as if she is using this to sway the fans perspective on PW.  Shame on you A.V.
  • I will agree that the Rush Limbaugh comment was out of line, but she is spot on when she talks about the ‘death by dribbling’ and other comments about lack of ball or offensive movement on the Kings.
  • To the Bee: The political beliefs/prejudices of a sports writer are not appropriate when writing columns about sports. It is unprofessional. Either add Ailene Voison to your editorial staff or remind her that any further political commentary in her sports columns will result in disciplinary action. She needs to join Spencer in the doghouse.
  • Next thing you know Ailene will say the Kings are as incompetent as Obama!
  • I heard Ailene considers John Edwards one of her close friends. I’m not sure of the price of tea in China right now.
  •  Oh by the way she is no Ann Coulter….
  • I too don’t understand the Rush Limbaugh reference in the article. Is the point that this is unexpected due to his personal political perspectives? Is it relevant because Hawes has expressed some conservative political points of view too? Seems a bit silly to add that type of stuff in the article.
  • it was kind of the bee to give ailene a job, now that air america is no longer around to employ her.

And these:

  • I don’t have any criticism for Aileen about calling Limbaugh a “Right-wing Blowhard” (he is), but she blew it on the usage of the phrase “begs the question.” It doesn’t mean “begs the question to be asked” or “raises the question.” Far from it!
  • Quote: “And this from an unconventional thinker who considers right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh one of his friends?” That’s it. Final straw. Don’t care about the Kings anymore this season. Find some new friends, Paul.

25 comments between midnight at 7am PT, with over half referencing Voisin’s Limbaugh line. 12 negative reactions, two positive.

Those number are sure to rise significantly throughout the day.

I don’t have any problem with Voisin’s opinion about Limbaugh, but what does it have to do with the subject matter? Referencing Westphal as an “unconventional thinker” seemed like a patronizing device to shoehorn in a dig at Limbaugh. In other words, it came off as a needless cheap shot.

You don’t have to agree with Westphal’s political leanings or approve of the friends he keeps to realize how he’s suffering with his wife’s illness. To pile on with the Limbaugh line was uncalled for.

Voisin is a highly-respected, longtime NBA writer. But she did her professional credibility a disservice with many readers thanks to her non-sequitur political opinion.