As we mentioned a couple months ago, Bob Knight will finally be enshrined into the Indiana University Hall of Fame in November. Though we’re sure hostilities linger on both sides of the fight after Knight’s acrimonious departure, this would be as good a time as any to bury the hatchet and act like adults for once.
(In many ways, this chair represents good will, which–aw jeez, he’s throwing it again.)
To that end, Indiana even went the extra step of sending Knight a check for $75,000 to cover his expenses of being the coach at Indiana, which resolved a legal battle that Knight and his lawyer had been fighting since his dismissal nine years ago. Problems solved and we’re all on the right track, right?
Um, no - Knight’s furiously sending the check back.
Leader in the clubhouse for Big 10 coach of the year is Indiana’s Bill Lynch. Lynch had this reax after an official made off with the Hoosiers’ potentially game-winning final drive at Michigan. (Not that there’s any shame in being one of UM’s five victims this season.)
It’s no secret that Bob Knight’s departure from Indiana was less than amicable. Myles Brand, the current NCAA president but then the president of Indiana University, canned Knight in 2000 over his repeated episodes of outbursts and other “unacceptable behavior.” Knight eventually ended up at Texas Tech and hasn’t been back to Indiana since.
(These were the good old days, when a man could call an underperforming player a “****ing ****-****ed ****sucker **************” without having to look over his shoulder the entire time.)
Shame, really, seeing as how he delivered three titles to the Hoosier State and ran a pretty damned good program overall. Never so much as a sniff of scandal, graduated nearly every player who came into the program, and littered the NBA with dozens of drafted players. It’s a hell of a legacy, even if it ended badly.
Apparently, even Indiana’s coming around to that fact, as Knight’s going to be inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Except when you are playing the Los Angeles Clippers - I don’t care where you play them or what the circumstances are, that should be an “easy game” for any team. If they can’t beat the Clippers, then I guess we can eliminate the Celtics as legitimate NBA Finals contenders. We might as well go ahead and crown the Lakers…
…who lost to Sacramento earlier this year, who actually somehow have managed to be worse this season than the Clippers. OK then, how about the Cavaliers? What, they lost to Washington earlier this season? We’re going to wind up with the Spurs as champions again, aren’t we. The point is: it was a really, really bad loss, but no worse than any other team has during the course of a season. Let’s not freak out to much about it yet.
Nothing against Nolan Smith, but doesn’t anyone who isn’t a Duke fan feel good about seeing a Blue Devil get laid out by a vicious screen? Maryland’s Dave Neal was the one delivering the shot, flooring Smith and causing Mike Krzyzewski to fume. Smith had to be helped off the court but didn’t appear to be seriously injured, allowing us to enjoy our little moment of schadenfreude:
Of course, as the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER points out, that screen might have been the worst thing that could have happened to the Terrapins, as Duke’s Gerald Henderson came out of the ensuing time out as a man on a mission, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the game’s final 15 minutes and change afterward. Or, it could just be that Duke is a much better team than possibly NIT-bound Maryland; either way, Duke won 78-67.
Meanwhile, this is how bad it’s gotten for Indiana: they were swept by Northwestern. The Wildcats did what would have seemed improbable going into this season, breaking a 35-game losing streak at Indiana on Wednesday with a 75-53 victory. Then again, even with a young, inexperienced team, thinking that Indiana would be 6-21 overall or 1-14 in the Big Ten would have been pretty loopy before the season started.
Remember those Powerade commercials that had LeBron Jamessinking one full-court shot after another to the amazement of a local reporter. After watching this pre-game video found by BALL DON’T LIE of King James swishing a more than half-court shot - underhanded- I’m starting to wonder how much editing trickery was used:
REUTERS says Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy - pulled from the Olympic team after allegedly caving in another athlete’s face during a barroom brawl while celebrating making the team - will have to wait another month to learn his fate.
I know it’s from the Celebrity Game during All-Star Weekend, so it’s a little bit old, but seeing ESPN’s Jon Barry bite this hard on the old Harlem Globetrotters “Confetti in the Bucket” trick is worth it. Didn’t he ever watch the Globetrotters on “Wide World of Sports” as a kid?:
Another day, another investment scam impacting sports. This time NEWSDAY reports that two former New York Islanders executives have been arrested and charged with “with misappropriating more than $500 million in client investments, including tens of millions allegedly taken for things like expensive stallions and pricey Teddy bears.”
More news in the slow, inevitable slog towards Manny Ramirez finally signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers: the LA TIMES reports that the team has made him a two-year, $45 million offer that he could respond to as early as today.
The PALM BEACH POST reports that Michael Jordan and his 30-year-old paramour, Cuban model Yvette Prieto, are moving in together in a house in suburban Miami. Michael: if you find Charlie Sheen coming out of your house at odd hours of the night, you have bigger things to worry about than your underwear.
Bill Garrett was a local legend, named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1947 and becoming the first African-American basketball player in the Big Ten. So Indiana University naturally wanted to honor him by renaming the arena where he once played. There were two problems with this. One, the arena already had a name, so it would have become the unwieldy William L. Garrett-Ora. L. Wildermuth Intramural Center. Two, Ora Wildermuth hated black people.
Wildermuth was IU’s board president in 1945 when he opposed the integration of the school. Hoosier trustees managed to ignore this fact when they approved the name change last week, but once Bill Garrett’s widow heard about it, she wasn’t having any of it.
It started so well for Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. On their first drive of their first-ever BCS bowl game, they marched down the field and scored a touchdown thanks to a pair of big receptions by TE Mardy Gilyard. It was an instant 7-0 lead and a sign to anyone switching over from the dog that was the Rose Bowl that this game could be good.
And then…pfft. Cincinnati spent the rest of the game playing like a team that was scared to death of being on the big stage. Meanwhile, the Hokies were being the Hokies - physical, methodical, boring - and just doing enough to salt the game away. The end result? A 20-7 Virginia Tech victory that was moderately more fun to watch than the Sun Bowl. (Hey, at least El Paso had The Village People!)
Meanwhile, in Japan…well, it’s your usual assortment of weirdness from the world of K-1. Specifically, their latest fight card was headlined by Bob Sapp, who combines the physique of Butterbean with the MMA fighting skills of Kimbo Slice into one freak show package that the Japanese can’t get enough of even if no one in the US cares. (Sort of like Cheap Trick.)
His latest opponent? Um, some guy in a wrestling mask that Sapp outweighed by 140 pounds. And oh yeah, the guy he fought was based on a cartoon character named Kinnikuman. Basically, it’s like if Brock Lesnar fought against the actual Captain Crunch. No, I don’t get it either, but I don’t get most Japanese things (Shonen Knife, sushi, Bobby Valentine). CAGE WRITER has analysis of the card and video of the Sapp/Fictional Character match:
Here’s what else was happening while you were breaking some to all of your New Year’s Resolutions:
The roof of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center at Indiana was damaged by careless welders (wasn’t that a Wham song?), according to the AP. It’s named after the former school president from the 1930s and 1940s who favored strict segregation. Chuck D. says to let the sucker burn.
In case you missed it (and frankly, I can’t imagine that you did), video has finally been posted of David Hasselhoff’s triumphant National Anthem performance at the Las Vegas Bowl. And you know what? He’s not quite Marvin Gaye, but it wasn’t a Carl Lewis-style meltdown, either.
Eastern Washington head basketball coach Kent Earlywine missed out on coaching his team against Boise State on Monday, according the SPOKANE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, because he had been popped for a DUI that weekend. But he was able to watch the game online. I guess he had his “wine” a little too “early,” huh? (Insert rimshot here.)
The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE says Minnesota Golden Gophers head hockey coach Don Lucia is suffering from an “undisclosed illness” and might miss his first-ever game in 22 years of coaching the team when they take on Brown tonight. I once went a whole three weeks at my old job between missing time with an “undisclosed illness,” otherwise known as being hungover.
The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE debunks the latest Manny Ramirez rumors, saying “it would be a mistake to put too much stock” into rumors that have the slugger coming to the Giants next season. Still, if you think Dodgers fans hated Barry Bonds…