In case you didn’t think it was possible for an NBA player to tie his shoe will possessing the ball during live game action, you haven’t been watching the Chicago Bulls lately.
That’s Raptors guard Jarrett Jack last night against the Bulls at the United Center tying his shoe while an apparently enraptured Luol Deng has the courtesy to leave the point guard undisturbed in his endeavor.
Not coincidentally, the Raps destroyed Chicago in the game, 110-78 - after jumping out to a 37-16 first quarter lead. Video after the jump. Read more…
When your country hosts the Olympics, it’s good to provide competitors for each event. But this can also provide problems for the host country when it comes to team sports that the hosts aren’t particularly adept at. When Athens hosted the Summer Games in 2004, Greece had to put together an Olympic baseball team - which they did with mostly Greek-Americans. And when Nagano hosted the Winter Games in 1998, Japan had to assemble an Olympic ice hockey team - which they did with mostly Japanese-Canadians.
(Luol Deng certainly is)
Now that London will be hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics, the United Kingdom faces the same dilemma. Oh, they’ll do just fine in soccer, and they won’t have to worry about fielding baseball or softball teams, since neither is an Olympic sport anymore. But there is the still the matter of an Olympic basketball team.
And like Greece & Japan, Great Britain is turning their eyes toward North America in hopes of filling their national roster.
Finally realizing that we might be headed for a day when future hoops stars are recruited out of the womb, the NCAA has passed legislation banning contact by coaches with players who have not yet reached high school. That means no more offering 13-year-olds a full ride, there, Billy Gillispie.
(”Noooooooo! I already had the class of 2019 signed!”)
It also means that this Mr. Show skit, which was starting to look less far-fetched over time, won’t eventually reflect reality:
Over the past few years, some college coaches have looked to gain recruiting advantages by working at basketball camps comprising elite seventh- and eighth-graders because there was no NCAA rule prohibiting it. But the NCAA will now designate boys’ basketball players as “prospects” beginning in the seventh grade, which will prevent college coaches from working at such camps.
This is bad news for seventh and eighth graders, who now have to do things like, you know, go to school and learn rather than worry about their college hoops prospects all the time.
Speaking of hoops, Luol Deng woke from his season-long slumber and led the Bulls to a 102-93 upset victory over the Cavs in Chicago, where it was approximately -293° last night. LeBron James made only eight of 28 shots and turned it over eight times for what he termed his worst performance of the season — but he also said he was sick.
It’s official. The Dodgers paid Andruw Jones $12 million for each home run he hit, and he’s not going to be hitting any more in their uniform. After attempting to trade him, L.A. finally released Andruw after one insanely horrible season, and Jones agreed to accept the $22 million he’s owed over a period of six years. Which means your team will still be paying for him in 2014, Dodger fans. Two years ago, Jones looked like he had a chance to hit 700 home runs. Now, it looks like he might not get 700 more at-bats in his career.
So, as you read here yesterday, Mark Cuban confronted J.R. Smith on the court for allegedly throwing an elbow at a Dallas player during the Mavs-Nuggets game on Tuesday night. Cubes reported the incident to the league office and even sent back a pair of signed shoes Smith sent him as a peace offering, saying Smith needed to sell them to help pay for the fine that was coming.
Well, it appears the joke is on Cuban. The NBA has cleared Smith of any wrongdoing, and — and this is great — are now pursuing possible punishment against Cuban for going on the court. George Karl wasn’t amused with the owner’s antics on Tuesday:
“If you want to interact, interact with the league office and interact with your own players, but don’t mess with my players. There’s no room for it.
“If this was a normal fan, he would have been banned from the building and maybe not ever let back in the game,” Karl said. “When the game starts, he is a fan. After the game, he’s an owner, but during the game, he’s a fan.”
• THE JOY OF SOX is giddy that the Red Sox have extended Kevin Youkilis‘ contract for a very reasonable price of $40 million for four years. It’s four more years of this, anyway:
• The Rangers have asked their Gold Glove-winning shortstop Michael Young to move to third base to make way for a rookie named Elvis. Young was not happy with this request, but now tells MLB.COM it’s all been worked out.
• Baseball finally fixed the rules to definitively say that a postseason game must be played to its completion regardless of weather, and also eliminated the coin flip as the way to determine who would host a one-game playoff. They’re doing this crazy thing now where the team that won the season series would host the game, rather than something completely freaking random (the Twins would’ve hosted the playoff against the White Sox last year, had this whole “merit” approach been in effect).
• 90-year-old Atlanta sportswriter Furman Bisher somehow has managed to put together a blog. Bisher is so old that he once interviewed Shoeless Joe Jackson about the Black Sox scandal. At the bottom of this entry he pushes the bounds of taste about the new stampede of Japanese media coming to cover pitcher Kenshin Kawakami (ah, so? Really, Furman?)
When Rip Hamilton ascended to the NBA, he brought his friend and student-manager Josh Nochimson with him. With Hamilton’s support, Nochimson gained his agent certification, picked up Luol Deng as a client, and managed Hamilton’s finances.