Tuesday Magic Johnson told Bloomberg News he would’ve never teamed up with other star NBA players the way LeBron James elected to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat:
Magic: “We didn’t think about it ’cause that’s not what we were about. From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.”
Unfortunately for Johnson, newspaper archives exist. Specifically, the June 5, 1991, edition of the LOS ANGELES TIMES in which Johnson essentially admitted to doing exactly what James recently did. Read more…
Today, though, it’s British people trying to call a basketball game. Emphasis on “trying.” Apparently, the BBC just trotted out Mark Pougatch and Colin Murray, two reporters without much of a clue about what happens in basketball games, and let them work their way through it. It’s delightful, and the sort of thing that only British people (see: the film careers of Hugh Grant and Jude Law) can get away with without looking completely stupid. Video is after the break.
You might not think it worth your time to read a very long blog post about meeting an NBA executive, but before you judge the story linked below, there’s a couple of things you should know. First, the executive in question is Larry Bird, President of Basketball Operations for the Pacers. Second, it’s a pretty touching account of a son’s gift to his father.
When you look up ***hole in the dictionary, many times the entry will be accompanied by the picture of a pro athlete. And the bigger they are, often the more unsavory than can become. But one man had a dream: To get his father, who is suffering from a heart ailment, a meet-n-greet with Basketball Jesus. This is the story of that unlikely quest.
Yes, round-number-list-posts are generally stupid, but we chose 5 because if we didn’t stop there, this would go to about 6,000. We’re nerds, and we’re going to let the nerd flag fly high for a bit.
If you’ve been watching ESPN over the last couple decades or so, you’ve probably noticed that whenever they’ve got an obscure stat up like “Angel Pagan is 4-22 against lefties with a 1-2 count and runners in scoring position,” it’s always courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau. Apparently, they’re like black belt superninjas at Microsoft Excel or something.
(Looking good, Elias.)
Unfortunately - near as we can tell - they don’t provide the service free to fans, and there’s nowhere to submit questions on their website. So in lieu of getting these questions asked (and we’re pretty sure there’s nowhere to find the answers on Google), we’ll just pose them here, because, well, we’ve always wanted to know.
Along with being the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams is also an author who has written a lot of books. And I mean a lot of books. We’re talking Stephen King territory here, where it’s less a hobby or even a career, and more of an addiction. Williams’ Wikipedia entry shows that he’s written 54 books, but I suspect that people have just given up on counting.
(My favorite book: “Rekindled/Keep the Fire Glowing,” written with his wife Jill back in 1985. I’d call it a bit dubious to take advice from them, since the two divorced in 1995.)
CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis has a new book out about the 1979 NCAA basketball title game between Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans and Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores called “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball.” I noticed one detail in a story on it in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL that had me scratching my head. In the book, Davis claims that before Indiana State’s nationally televised home finale against Wichita State, “many people thought Bird was black.”
(I’m pretty sure he’s white.)
You can imagine that I was pretty skeptical of Davis’ claim. Then I read a quote:
“All the next week I got lots of calls from my friends back in Denver who saw the game,” said Bob Heaton, Bird’s roommate and teammate. “They couldn’t believe Larry Bird was a white guy.”
You have to feel bad for Deuce McAllister. The two-time Pro Bowler who might be the greatest running back in New Orleans Saints history (sorry, Dalton Hilliard) was cut by the team a few weeks ago, a victim of the salary cap and the Saints’ continued belief that Reggie Bush is an every down back.
And it appears that McAllister is a victim of harsh economic realities in more ways than one. It seems that Deuce has several business interests, including Deuce McAllister Nissan in Jackson, Mississippi. As you might have heard, the US auto market is in freefall mode, and McAllister’s dealership is no exception: The JACKSON CLARION-LEDGER is reporting the dealership is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as Nissan is looking to recover almost $7 million owed to them.
How badly have sales slumped? Deuce McAllister Nissan sold 107 cars in February 2008. Last month they sold 28. And these are Nissans, cars that people actually want, not Fords or Chevys. McAllister was also a victim of bad timing, as he expanded the dealership just as the market tanked.
Not only does Nissan say McAllister’s dealership owes him $6.9 million, but they also claim that it exceeded its credit limit by more than $1.6 million. Which makes me wonder - shouldn’t someone at Nissan have done something when the dealership exceeded it’s credit line by, oh, say, $1 million? If I am one day late with a credit card payment, I’m getting hounded by phone calls.
If this is going to be what the MLB Network is all about, I might be more inclined to tune in. More swearing, less replays of Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, please.
Finally, the BBC says that a man has been arrested and charged with breaking into Manchester United player Darren Fletcher’s home and threatening his fiancee at knifepoint. Here’s the frightening part: this is believed to be the 14th soccer player from Manchester and the Merseyside area who has been attacked in the past three years. No wonder Cristiano Ronaldo was so eager to leave.
In a display of grotesque irony, the MISSISSIPPI PRESS says that CFL wide receiver Jason Armstead - who has the words “Speed” and “Kills” tattooed on his legs - was chased down on foot and arrested by a cop after Armstead allegedly flashed a gun at his former girlfriend. The cop is expected to sign a contract with the Roughriders later this week.
Miami has dropped its bid for an MLS expansion team because of the current economic market, according to the MIAMI HERALD. Miami had been considered a front-runner, with a bid backed by soccer powers Barcelona.
INSIDE WORLD SOCCER says the manager of struggling English soccer team Southhampton has told his players to give up sex and “live like monks“ until they are safe from relegation.
I agree with MLB TRADE RUMORS that Odalis Perez’s comments that “nine or 10 teams” are interested in his services for the upcoming season should be treated with skepticism. Unless those teams are in independent minor leagues, or maybe somewhere in Asia.
With Carmelo Anthony’s recent suspension in mind, COMPLEX breaks down five great moments of NBA insubordination. But it only covers in-game incidents. Sorry, Latrell Spreewell, this means you’re not on the list.
No idea if Joanne Pitino acquired her CPR skills from a Matt Leinart- sponsored American Red Cross event, but the wife of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is a hero after saving the life of a passenger who suffered a heart attack during a recent flight.
Our spies in the sky say Mrs. P helped administer CPR and assisted with the oxygen mask after the man sitting next to her collapsed. The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and the passenger made a full recovery!