Barkley: Phil Jackson Is “Definitely Gone.” Maybe

Charles Barkley is a very entertaining man, unquestionably one of the best in sports television. He’s not very good in print, though, as evidenced by his latest column for the LOS ANGELES TIMES: a meandering, muted, disjointed collection of thoughts about the NBA.

Kobe and Phil
(”Okay, Kobe, on the inbounds pass, you… you’re not listening, are you? Fine. You go to the arcade and punch a hobo. I’ll get some lobsters and attach them to my nipples. Escalator hedgehog banana. Good talk. I want to quit.”)

One note tucked into the article, though, was something that most NBA fans had probably begun to suspect as the “Kobe Bryant pretends to be the coach” scenes became more prevalent over the course of the playoffs (though ‘Zo broke it first): Phil Jackson’s just on cruise control. To that, Barkley says Phil’s very, very, very gone… maybe:

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Jared Allen Has Some Parting Words for Peterson

• Ex-K.C. NFLer Jared Allen hits the airwaves to share his thoughts on outgoing big Chief Carl Peterson - namely, “Good riddance!”

Jared Allen Carl Peterson

• As Cleveland State stuns Syracuse, Jim Boeheim stuns a microphone.

Tony La Russa believes Mark McGwire is full of integrity. We think he’s full of a different substance.

• It’s T.O.’s party, and he can cry if he wants to - since Romo & Witten didn’t show up.

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Russell To Be Paid $1 Million For Auerbach Book

Sure, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel just released a new book, but did Buckeye boosters give him $1 million to write it? Because that’s what Bill Russell will be receiving for sharing stories about Red Auerbach.

Bill Russell Red Auerbach Boston Celtics

The NEW YORK OBSERVER slams down news that the former Celtics center will be receiving a cool mil to pen a missive about the former cigar-chomping Celtics coach & GM. Read more…

Stripper Sexed Up A-Rod, Helped Sox Win Series

• A former stripper says she sexed up A-Rod & in her own way helped the Red Sox reverse their World Series curse.

A-Rod Candice Houlihan

• Could McDonald’s be rooting for China in the Olympics?

Michael Vick’s financial situation is really in the doghouse now.

Tiger Woods’ niece isn’t too shabby of a golfer, either.

• The Pittsburgh Steelers could be up for sale. Anyone have an extra $1.2 billion laying around?

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FBI: Auerbach Death Threat Sent to Bobby Knight

The BOSTON GLOBE spent the last 18 months collecting FBI documents requested by the paper in Freedom of Information Act requests about deceased local sports stars, seemingly as a matter of course. (The deceased can’t legally or practically protest the release of records about them.) The results have been published in today’s GLOBE with interesting nuggets throughout.

J. Edgar Hoover

(Oh, J. Edgar Hoover, you rapscallion! Was there anyone you wouldn’t try to control?)

For example, there are no shortages of racist diatribes and death threats against local athletes and coaches. The most titillating involves a threat to kill Red Auerbach for his progressive views on black athletes (like allowing them) sent to Bobby Knight in 1982 with the hope that Knight would help by inviting Red to a local game so the killer could reach Auerbach more easily. The writer was never found.
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Red: ‘They’re Teaching Them How To Fall! Unreal!’

Stunning video find by AOL’s Tom Ziller at the blog BULLETS FOREVER:

The circa-1970s instructional film features Red Auerbach going absolutely ballistic over the practice of flopping: “Now remember, coaches today, in high school, college and pro are teaching the players how to fall. This is unreal! This segment is not aimed at referees, believe me. It’s aimed at coaches, it’s aimed at players. What are we going to do about it? Let’s clean this thing up. Let’s not hurt the game.”Auerbach also brings in cigarette-voiced (and longtime NBA official) Mendy Rudolph to give his opinion on the practice of fake-forced-falls.
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