NBA Exec Back With More Mildly Interesting Tales

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.

Pat Williams

(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.)

He has a new book out called “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball” which features 101 stories from players, coaches and fans that are supposed to be motivational or inspiring. The BOSTON GLOBE has one such “motivational” story from ex-Magic ballboy Bobby Williams about being challenged to a game of H-O-R-S-E (an old version of the popular game G-E-I-C-O) by Larry Bird:

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Speed Read: Jim Boeheim Assaults Mic After Upset

You might remember Cleveland State as a footnote in NCAA basketball history: back in 1986, the Vikings became the darlings of the hoops world when they beat Indiana and St. Joesph’s to become the first No. 14 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Both their wins came in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, one of the sites for the early rounds of the East Regionals (remember back when game sites actually had some geographical relevance to their bracket?)

Cleveland State upsets Syracuse

Flash-forward 22 years, as Cleveland State makes their return trip to Syracuse, this time to take on the previously-unbeaten and 11th-ranked Orange. The Vikings - thought to be a contender in the Horizon League before a rash of early losses - put up a good fight and lead late, only to see Syracuse’s Arinze Onuaku tie the score at 69-69 with two seconds left on a put-back basket, setting up the inevitable overtime where the better team uses their superior depth and athletic ability to pull away from the game underdogs.

And then this happened:

Cedric Jackson drains the 60-footer - just like they work on it in practice - and Cleveland State stuns Syracuse 72-69. All of which left Orange coach Jim Boeheim pretty irritable at the post-game press conference. Add in a faulty microphone and you’ve got a late contender for coaching meltdown of the year. (Thanks to NESW SPORTS for the heads up :)

Yowza. I know it looks bad, but Boeheim was obviously in a bad mood and I’m sure he feels really bad about it. (Although that mic totally had it coming.) After all, he doesn’t want to set a bad example for his students, so they can think they can act out in violent and destructive fashion and not be punished.

Oops, never mind. Still, it’s a great win for Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters. Let’s just hope he doesn’t suffer the same downward spiral that the last Vikings coach to win in Syracuse did, but I hope Waters is smart enough to not get caught high as a kite leaving a crack house.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles kept “Operation Don’t Let a Tie with the Bengals Ruin Our Season” going for at least one more week last night, pasting the Cleveland Browns 30-10. (And really, is there any other way to beat a Ken Dorsey-led team?) That’s three straight wins after the debacle against the Ravens that led to Donovan McNabb’s benching and a general consensus that the Andy Reid Era in Philadelphia was over.

Eagles versus Browns

Impressive, but will it be enough? Let’s just say that the odds are stacked against them. Not only will they need to beat Washington (who are imploding, but it’s on the road) and Dallas (the perpetual question mark), but they need either Atlanta (games against Minnesota and St. Louis) or Tampa Bay (San Diego and Oakland) to lose once.

With three almost guaranteed wins there, the Eagles have to pin their postseason hopes on the less-than-golden arm of Tarvaris Jackson. Good luck with that.

Other sports news that happened while you and everyone else in America were not out watching “Delgo” at your local movie theater:

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods hate each other

Which coach had the best press conference meltdown in 2008?

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Visanthe Shiancoe Invited To The Bubble Butt BBQ

Overall, things haven’t been going that great for the Minnesota Vikings in the last few weeks.  While they’re still in first place in the NFC North over the Chicago Bears, they have the possible suspensions of The Williams Wall looming over their heads, and now they have to put their playoff hopes in the incompetent hands of Tarvaris Jackson thanks to Gus Frerotte’s broken back.  Still, despite all the troubles facing the rest of his team, things are going pretty well for tight end/flasher Visanthe Shiancoe.

Ever since Visanthe unsheathed his sword on Fox’s postgame coverage last Sunday, he’s received quite a bit of attention.  Where as before Sunday he was just a tight end with a weird name nobody could pronounce, now he’s a tight end with a weird name nobody can pronounce who has showed his penis to the world.  The world noticed that penis too. Well, at least the porn world noticed.

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Speed Read: Pacers Make Kobe’s Milestone Moot

Congratulations to Kobe Bryant for scoring his 22,000th career point against the Indiana Pacers last night. Your reward? A total fourth-quarter collapse by your team’s defense and a head-scratching 118-117 loss. Personally, as I gift I’d rather receive a pair of socks, or even a gift certificate to Arby’s than that.

Lakers bench after loss to Pacers

(Sasha - wha’ happened?)

The reason the Lakers blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead was simple: they stopped playing defense. They gave up 32 points in the quarter and six offensive rebounds, the last being Troy Murphy’s tip-in that gave the Pacers the victory. It’s the first Lakers loss to a bad team this season, but knowing the team’s recent history of falling victim to seemingly overlooking bad teams. (Between them and the USC football team, there must be something in the LA water.)

Meanwhile, Dallas Stars winger Sean Avery’s mouth has gotten him in trouble yet again. He’s been suspended indefinitely for “inappropriate public comments” after running his mouth before a game against the Calgary, specifically targeting Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who happens to be dating Avery’s ex, hottie actress Elisha Cuthbert.

Elisha Cuthbert

Here’s Avery’s comments. If you look closely, you can see his teammates praying for an errant piece of Sputnik to come crashing down on him:

A class act, that Sean Avery. USA TODAY breaks down some of his recent “greatest hits“, including his swipe a few years ago at French-Canadians. This is Avery’s first season with the Stars, but he’s already managed to alienate his team. Dallas owner Tom Hicks said that the team would have suspended Avery if the league didn’t, and teammates like Marty Turco are already sick of his act. And we know how opponents feel about him.

Which loudmouth would you most like to see get a case of permanent laryngitis?

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