Tag Archives: Chris Paul

Another Amazing Week In Sports, Politics & Nonsense!

24 Jan

What an utterly amazing week to be alive to blog!  Unfortunately, other obligations AKA my paying job, got in the way of being able to write too much.  I realize that given these uncertain times I should feel lucky to have a good job.  And I do.

I also feel lucky to have this blog and to be able to present my thoughts on the week we all just got through together. 

Here goes!

Another Giants’ receiver gets shot!  Seriously what are the odds of the guy who replaced Plaxico Burress on the Giants roster also getting shot so soon after Burress accidentally capped himself?  Better than back to back Big Blue championships, I guess.  Here’s hoping Taye Biddle gets better soon.

Jeff Kent – when you look at his numbers even after accounting for the slugging era he played in, they are very impressive for a second baseman.  As a Mets fan, I saw quite a bit of Kent in the 90s.  He never struck me as a Hall of Famer.  Maybe that early impression is what keeps me from seeing him as Cooperstown-worthy now…

Alonozo Mourning – Zo has once again decided to retire.  Somehow this one feels more real.  After battling through kidney problems and leg issues through the years, I think he’s done.  Does anyone remember how limitless the Charlotte Hornets future looked way back when they had the young versions of Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson playing for them?  Maybe the young & current version of Chris Paul will deliver on that long ago promise for the franchise that fled Charlotte for New Orleans…

Brian Schottenheimer – I don’t get it.  What’s the big deal whether he comes back to the Jets as their offensive coordinator?  In three years with the Jets, Marty’s son has produced the 25th, 26th and 16th ranked offenses in the NFL.  This gets him serious consideration for the head job?  And this merits the Jets’ brass losing sleep over whether he’ll be happy to return?  Maybe it’s just that they figure if they keep Shottenheimer and the current offense in place the odds are better Brett Favre will return?

Rex Ryan – Maybe it’s cause he’s a twin and I have twins.   Maybe it’s cause he’s Buddy Ryan’s son and for some reason I always found Buddy entertaining despite my being a Giants’ fan.  I don’t know.   But, for some reason, I like Rex Ryan and feel like he’ll do a nice job with the Jets.  If nothing else, his press conferences are already better than Eric Mangini’s.

Goodbye Guantanamo! – The new president carries through on his promise to close Gitmo.  Good riddance!  Call me crazy but simply “disappearing” people just doesn’t seem real American to me.  Feels like we all ought to have more faith in our system than to resort to that kind of third world dictatorship kind of move.

Goodbye Torture! – Barack Obama delivers again!  Nice first couple of days for him by the way.  So far so good, but we’ve got a long way to go.  Thanks to President Obama, now the US will not be allowed to torture suspects anymore.  Another good move. America should not tolerate torture.  Beside not being in keeping with our constitution, it’s not all that effective.  How about just making them sit through a full episode of the “Color Honeymooners”?  Yikes!

Pope’s On Youtube – He’s got his own channel there.  How long til he’s got his own development deal with some cable channel?

Mark Ivaroni Fired – Is every NBA franchise going to fire their head coach this season?  And will it make any difference in Memphis anyway??  Especially when you hire Lionel Hollins for the THIRD time to coach your franchise.  What’s he going to do different this time??  Third time!  I’m not making this up!

New York’s Got a New Senator – And it’s not a Kennedy.  Would have been poetic to see Caroline Kennedy take the seat her uncle once held.  But, after her disastrous couple of weeks in the spotlight think we all learned why she’s stayed private all these years. You know, uh, you know….

Manny Ramirez – Being a pain in the ass can cost you a lot of cash.  Now, not even the Mets are interested in one of the game’s very best hitters.  As a Mets’ fan, I’m very worried about the pitching rotation and just don’t think they have enough hitting.  Manny could go a long way toward solving half their problems.  Course, he’d add a whole other set in the process but that’s just Manny being Manny.

Mark McGwire  –  Not only does his brother Jay introduce him to roids, now he outs him.  Would I love to be a fly-on the wall at the McGwire family reunion!

Herm Edwards Fired – Had to see this coming when the Chiefs brought in a new GM.  And although Edwards isn’t saying it, I will.  Clark Hunt has a lot of nerve firing Edwards after signing off on the youth movement that put the Chiefs at 2-14 last year.  If Edwards had known he had just one year to work with, maybe he’d have rethought going young.

Who’ll Bail Out The Veteran NFL Coaches? – Maybe it will be the Chiefs who are rumored to be pursuing Mike Shanahan.  It’s amazing to me to see all these young guys getting hired for head coaching jobs this year while big names like Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher may be sitting out next season. 

Let’s take them and a few others case by case:

Mike Shanahan – Not surprised KC would want him.  After all, they had to play against him for so long and know how good he is.  Am surprised that he’d go somewhere so quickly after Denver, especially without being able to have Denver-type control.  Really thought that once again he’d replace Wade Phillips.  This time in Dallas.  If Jerry Jones were smart and Shanahan were interested, he’d make sure history repeat itself.

Jon Gruden – Tampa’s entire roster seems to be dogging him in the press, but you have to believe he’ll get another chance.  When he does, he’ll win again.

Marty Schottenheimer – All Brian’s dad ever has done is win.  Ok, not in the playoffs so much.   Still, I don’t buy he’s not one of the top 30 coaches in the pro football world.  Don’t see Norv Turner really lighting things up in San Diego either…

Bill Cowher – he strikes me as the least interested in coming back this year.  Still, think the Jets blew it by not overwhelming him.

Dan Reeves – He wants back in.  So much so that at age 65 he’s interviewing for the offensive coordinator spot for the 49ers.  Like Marty Schot, he’s another guy who has done nothing but win.  Unfortunately, both he and Marty may never get a crack at a top spot again.  Here’s hoping they both do.  The ultimate of course, would be to see Reeves get another team to the Super Bowl only to watch them get crushed by Marty’s first ever Super Bowl team. 

Denny Green – I’m just throwing him in here.  I haven’t even heard he wants to coach again.  But, with the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, it’s worth noting that Green brought in some of the guys who have gotten them there.  You may have heard of one of his guys.  Kurt Warner??

Deep breathe!  Think that was everything I wanted to get out.

Thanks for taking a look!

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Are The Pistons Crafting a Brave Legacy?

15 May

At first blush, you might think that the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and MLB’s Atlanta Braves have nothing in common.  You’d, of course, be wrong.

The Pistons and Braves have success in common.  Long term success.  We all know the Braves’ story.  Something like 14 straight division titles.  All they’ve done since the 90s is win, win and win some more.

It might have slipped past you, but that’s all Detroit’s done for this Millennium.  After eliminating Orlando recently, Motown’s Bad Boys earned their (are you sitting for this?) SIXTH straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance.  Sure the East has been down in quality for a while, but you’ve got to give it to Detroit for their consistency and success.  Six straight anything is not an easy thing.

Here’s the catch.  There’s a dark side to this tale of accomplishment.  During Atlanta’s winning run, they made won exactly one World Series.  Think about that.  Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, not to mention the Jones boys added up to exactly one world series title.  Unlike say the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, the Braves actually did break through to win one.  Still, the Braves lack of championships puts a damper on almost twenty straight years of phenomenal regular seasons.

Back to Detroit.  Six straight conference titles later and how many NBA titles do they own?  One.  And after that one, they still couldn’t keep Larry Brown from leaving town.  Detroit needs to step it up title wise or they’ll soon have their legacy tainted by thoughts of what could of been like the Braves.

What are their chances this year?  Who knows? 

They’ll either face LeBron and Co or a Boston team that ripped through the regular season only to struggle on the road during the playoffs.  The Pistons beating either wouldn’t be the greatest upset ever. 

Following that, they’d rep the East against one of this quartet:  New Orleans, Utah, LA or San Antonio.  There’s no easy road here.  Chris Paul is killing everyone he’s been up against.  Utah has the biggest home court advantage in the league.  LA’s got Kobe playing like an MVP, even if Chris Paul should have gotten the trophy.  And, well, San Antonio is the flip side of the Pistons.  They’ve made the most of their playoff runs.

If the Pistons can somehow break through, they’ll have earned the right to no longer be compared to the Braves as well as a proud legacy all of their own.

Me and Maddux are betting against them.

The Sun Is Setting On Not One, But Two NBA Franchises!

30 Apr

This just in.  The Dallas Mavericks have exited the NBA Playoffs in the first round despite mortgaging part of their future to get Jason Kidd out of New Jersey.  You know a certain Mr. Cuban isn’t happy right now.  Change is gonna come…

Soon enough, the Phoenix Suns will be bounced out of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.  Shaq and Dirk will make a very large twosome on America’s golf courses.  Not sure if either actually does play golf, but even if they don’t, after first round exits each will have plenty of time to learn. 

The rumors are flying that the Suns may let head coach Mike D’Antoni go if (or I should say when) his team loses to the Spurs.  The Knicks already have him on their short list of potential coaches.

No matter what happens with D’Antoni.  It’s clear the window is shutting on both franchises.  Sports is all about windows of opportunity. 

Growing up in the 70s, I hated the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I loved Bum Phillips and enjoyed seeing the rise of the Houston Oilers as a legitimate threat to the Steelers’ AFC dominance.

I remember after one year, in which the Oilers came close but couldn’t overcome the Steelers, Phillips had a great quote about what he expected going into the next season.  Bum said something like “last year we knocked on the door.  This year we’re going to break it down”.

To me, Bum’s quote is what it’s all about.  To win a championship, you’ve got to build a team of complementary players, give them time to jell and hope for a heck of a lot of luck.  In Houston’s case, the window closed without a championship for either Phillips or Earl Campbell, the most exciting runner I ever saw as a kid.  That doesn’t mean Bum wasn’t right.  It takes time to win championships.

Looking at Dallas and Phoenix, I’m struck by the same thing.  Churn.  Dallas is certainly more guilty.  But, each NBA franchise has continued to tweak their roster downward.  Both the Suns and Mavericks have been good for a while, yet neither has had a enough to break through.

Neither franchise has been able to resist the temptation to try to improve their roster.  Yet, it seems to me, each team keeps weakening their squad with each successive trade.  Dallas is now stuck with a very old looking Jason Kidd (especially in comparison to Chris Paul) at the point, while Dirk’s not getting any younger.

As for Phoenix, I absolutely never understood the Sean Marion trade.  He was such a big part of that team and still so young.  How do you give him up for an old Shaq?  Now, Phoenix is stuck with two aging superstars in Shaq and the still very effective Steve Nash. 

The sun is setting in Phoenix and the window is closing in Dallas.

Too bad.  I would have liked to see either franchise finally break through.  I’m pretty sure Bum Phillip agrees.