Tag: basketball

As March Madness begins, “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee caught up with former NCAA and NBA champion Shane Battier to reflect on his time in professional basketball and what he thinks the prospects are for the 2022 championship.

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As I write this, I am watching “Petty Blue”, a documentary narrated by Kevin Costner. I’m currently on the part where he was in his last race, and after a wreck, the team, and Richard himself, willed that car to race the final lap for the farewell to the fans. It was the perfect goodbye. […]

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Did you know Dr. J was an Atlanta Hawk for two preseason games? It’s true. Long story short, the Milwaukee Bucks picked him in the 1972 draft after one year in the ABA, which would have put him with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar(So much for there not being super-teams back then). He ended up […]

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Bad Guy Loses: NBA edition

 

king james scotland crownI have never been a big NBA fan. I remember the cocaine era. I cheered the wildly inconsistent Seattle Supersonics in that era. I appreciated the magic of the Chicago Bulls with star-whisperer Phil Jackson, Michael Jordon, Scotty Pippen, and “The Worm” Dennis Rodman. I admired “the admiral” David Robinson‘s career as a leader with the San Antonio Spurs, along with Tim Duncan, back when they were a distinctly locker-room-disciplined team. And yet, I remember the cocaine era, the referee point-shaving era, the radical leftist ChiCom kowtowing, America-trashing ongoing era, most notoriously embodied in LeBron James.

So, the enemy of my enemy gets my provisional, limited, and temporary rooting interest. The Phoenix [“The Valley?”] Suns apparently managed the second-best record in a self-created asterisk-laden 2020-2021 season. They proceeded to eject the megalomaniacally self-titled “King” LeBron James, and his current star vehicle, the Los Angeles Lakers (a formerly great team), from the playoffs for the first time in Pawn James’ career.

After embarrassing the Lakers in Phoenix with a lopsided 115-85 win on 1 June 2021, the Suns went to L.A. and defended MJ’s legacy. Stuffing LeBron’s playoff run in the first round for the first time ever, the Suns denied a poorly aging LeBron the chance to even get a sniff at Air Jordon’s stratospheric record of six NBA championship rings. LeBron James’s pursuit of MJ’s record led him to Los Angeles because it was supposed to be a team with deep-pocketed owners who would buy a couple of championships in the hottest, coolest global media spotlight. He has only four championship rings, leaving him stuck on the third tier.

Observations on the Masters Tournament Sunday 2021

 

crossed golf clubsFirst, it is still proudly the Masters in 2021. It is still the Masters in Georgia in 2021, and the course and clubhouse are not festooned with self-abasing slogans. I am only a very casual fan of sports, prefer high-level mixed martial arts to most other professional sports, and yet enjoy watching a good final round of golf played by the best in the world. This Sunday afternoon, after three preceding days of play, a Japanese man stood at the top of the leader board, with four men tied four strokes back. As they all turned onto the back nine, Hideki Matsuyama was holding or extending his lead one hole at a time. This was compelling viewing, versus the not-so-earnest politicized nonsense being put on by basketball and baseball organizations.

I say not-so-earnest because the NBA courts are now missing the big bold signs signaling supposed virtue. They seem to be back to trying to pay their massive salary overhead with commercial sponsors’ branding. The college basketball courts still had the false premises “UNITY” “EQUALITY” painted in bold all caps on their sidelines for the NCAA basketball tournament. My read of the signs on the two levels of men’s basketball is that the NBA players, who entirely control their league, have declared mission accomplished. Their parlor pink comrades are in full control of the national government, which was the whole point of the past year’s posturing. Never mind that President Trump was objectively better for black Americans of every economic level and showed more real respect for black citizens than the party of Xiden and the KKK ever has. The vanguard of the proletariat gets paid in every “people’s revolution.”

But let’s not spoil a perfectly good Sunday afternoon with the antics of the super-rich. Let’s enjoy a really great walk unspoiled by athletes striking political poses instead of balls.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three crazy martinis. First, they look at Michigan’s terrible COVID numbers and discuss why Gov. Whitmer is asking but not mandating that high schools suspend sports and in-person classes. They also groan as President Biden sets up his special commission to consider changes to the Supreme Court, including the number of justices and how long they should be able to serve. And they’re glad to see all the real problems in the world must be solved since CNN is busy declaring Asian font to be racist.

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My son likes to take long walks. The last four days we’ve made the trek to the downtown area of the next suburb. Two of those days, we met the suburban protest contingent.* They are angry about George Floyd, apparently, and want justice. I haven’t had an opportunity to ask who they think is against […]

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One of my favorite sporting events of the year–the men’s NCAA basketball tournament–will be played only with essential personnel and some family members in attendance. This decision also effects the women’s tournament, although that has yet to achieve the iconic status of the men’s tournament. I suppose the games will still be the games, but […]

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When I was a boy, my dad put a basketball hoop up in our driveway – one of those wooden, roof-mounted jobs that I don’t see as often now. For several years my adolescent summer days were filled with games of some number vs. some number (rarely even odds) and games or HORSE – the […]

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The Magic Goes Away

 

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed, but 1998 seems like it was just yesterday. That year, I had moved to San Antonio after having lived in Montana for a while, and I was not happy. I was 23 years old and I felt my life was over, for it had no discernible direction. Thoughts of an academic career had not yet entered my mind.

Amidst all the uncertainty, I found a source of joyful escapism: the local hometown professional basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs. After a months-long delay due to a disagreement between league management and players, the 1998-99 NBA season got underway in January 1999, and questions abounded regarding who would succeed the Chicago Bulls as league champions, Michael Jordan and company having either retired or signed on with other teams.

Sports, Media, and a 1,000 Other Things

 
This is my 1,000th post on Ricochet. I was going to hold out for something profound. As none of the other 999 posts were of anything of lasting importance I said to myself. “What the hell, why start now?” And so it goes…

Margaret Court in action (Wikipedia)

Margaret Court, OA, MBE, is without doubt Australia’s greatest female athlete. Her 24 titles in Grand Slam tennis events still stands as a record even though she last walked off the tennis court in 1977. As a testament to her greatness the Australian Open is played at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.

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In 1974 as a freshman at N.C. State, I watched my Wolfpack beat the mighty UCLA Bruins to win their semifinal game (and exact revenge for an earlier December drubbing), the National Championship being won against Marquette two days later. If you had told me in 1983, my Wolfpack would win their second National Championship […]

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Did Donald Sterling Tape Himself?

 

Reported in the LA Times yesterday, but not really noted in our earlier discussion on the taping of Donald Sterling.

The site is also reporting that sources who have heard the entire hourlong recording say Sterling absolutely knew he was being recorded. TMZ Sports has reported Stiviano has said she has more than 100 hours of recorded conversations with the 80-year-old Sterling, who is said to have used the tapes to refresh his memory because he frequently forgot what he said.

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Donald Sterling’s comments, opinions and past behavior are dreadful – no doubt about it.  I just wonder how the NBA is going to cope with the next thought crime that comes along. What happens to the next guy who drops an anti-gay slur? (Frozen Chosen asked this in another thread.) What about if a black […]

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How to Get Rid of an NBA Owner

 

“I want to make it clear that I’m not going to punish [Rodman] for what he does off the court.  I’m going to let the media crucify him for that… This is still America, and my jurisdiction is still the basketball court.”  — David Stern, 1997

In case you missed the meat of what the NBA decided to do to Donald Sterling yesterday, this is Commissioner Adam Silver from the transcript:

Tarnished Sterling — EJHill

 

The NBA acted faster than any league in history in banishing one of their own.

It took the better part of six years from the time that Major League Baseball began investigating the controversial utterings of Marge Schott until they finally succeeded in ousting her from the game. It took six months to ban her manager, Pete Rose, for gambling. The Black Sox Scandal, the case that created the modern sports commissioner, dragged on for two years.