Sunday, April 20, 2008


For those who recall when music was (at least it appeared to be) a comparable passion to sports, consider this a slight return to those days.

Having a fulltime job is kind of getting in the way of keeping the sports gig fresh – I’m kidding, folks. Yet, because there is a ton going on at the moment, it was better to share a few thoughts in the same manner that I did a while back. The titles come from one of the few rap albums I cared to acknowledge over the past three years; One Hunid the debut album from The Product. Please acquire for your musical collection.

Thirteen thoughts, thirteen tracks. Consume.

Get Out: that was the rally cry of several General Managers since the end of the NBA regular season. The most discussed, of course, has been the exit of Isiah Thomas. It would just be wasted space to add any commentary to this – wasted that is if others weren’t so eloquently brilliant about it – but anyone who considers him/herself a Knicks fan should prepare for the media circus that will envelop the head coaching search. Yet, if there is one more that proves to be more puzzling, it is dismissal of Larry Krystkowviak from the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the Knicks have been the national punch line (funny they didn’t get this much attention when they were perennial title contenders in the 1990s), it seems as if the Bucks have gone unscathed outside of the greater Milwaukee area. They have had three different head coaches since George Karl left after the 2003 postseason (Terry Porter for two years, Terry Stotts for 2 ½ and just one year for Krystkowviak). They have more power forwards than a NBA Live free agency pool. They have a little bit of a consistency problem and made a few “WTF” trades (Charlie Villanueva is a nice player, but T.J. Ford – injury aside – was such a great compliment for Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut). If the Knicks weren’t such an albatross, more heads would be swerving towards Wisconsin. Yet, whoever takes over as the next coach will have to deal with an impatient owner who has a slightly more important day job (Sen. Herb Kohl), an injury-riddled roster and an identity crisis. This new coach will have to figure out what kind of team the Bucks want to be.

2 Real: More so about the 2. What’s with the early baseball scheduling? Can anyone recall seeing this many two-game series in April, or at any point in the season before?

In the Hood: Over the years, much has been made about the so-called tanking ratings of the NBA. Despite the fact that anything on network television not called American Idol or the NFL has experienced a dip in that three-digit number, the NBA was the one sporting entity that faced greater scrutiny. Yet, it was always strange to hear that apparently no one was watching the games because I came up in the ‘hood. Every conversation on every corner on every block will start or end with something about how San Antonio and Phoenix played a double-OT thriller or how Boston won’t make it to the Finals, let alone win them. If you are an NBA fan in the ‘hood, this may be quite possibly your favorite time of year.
Of course, you don’t have to be from the Polo Grounds, northeast Philly or Watts to appreciate this time of year. We like you, too.

Read this and this.

Hustle: Shameless promotion – if you are in Midtown, Harlem or anywhere with a somewhat decent newsstand, grab the New York Beacon. PLEASE! That is a major part of my hustle, you know.

G Type: As in John Gibbons, Toronto Blue Jays manager. Not sure if he’s irascible or there’s a very contentious mix up north, but somehow, another player critical to the team’s success has been booted from the team. However, Dave Bush, Shea Hillenbrand and Ted Lilly don’t have resumes comparable to Frank Thomas. If “Gibby” just has bad luck with a few players over a long managerial career, that’s not a big deal. Yet, he has managed to have four confrontations (that the public knows of) in just over three years in the big leagues.
Whoever picks up the Big Hurt won’t be too worried about that .167 batting average to start the season, but will focus on those three homers and eleven RBI in just sixteen games If he was right about Gibbons and GM J.P. Ricciardi purposely limiting his plate appearances in order to avoid paying him a bonus later this year remains to be seen. Expect him to be picked up within the next three days, but also expect him to spout off about his former employer. Just ask Kenny Williams in Chicago (White Sox).

Not a Word about Hopkins/Calzaghe… except that the former middleweight champion has one decision to make: stop BSin’ in the ring (Scribe says he won the fight until the tenth round) or start promoting outside of the ring.

I’m A fan of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Watch them.

Pride: No matter how much media attention, dollars or photo spreads she got, everything could have been deemed irrelevant if Danica Patrick didn’t win a race. Maybe after all the glitter, only pride remains for someone with such hype with little to no success to validate a career. Patrick finally took a race over the weekend with the Indy Japan 300, just at the start of her fourth season in the circuit. It’s been said that it takes three years to get a win under the belt, but many of her critics have said that she spent those years focused more on looking good than being good. It could be an unfair statement, especially having to work so hard to be one of the few women to successfully gain a spot in an uber-male sport. There was definitely some hard work along the way. Yet, the work's far from done. While it may be unrealistic considering the difficulty of the sport, Patrick should heed the words of one of the all-time great baseball managers, the fictional Cleveland Indians skipper, Lou Brown:
“We won yesterday. If we win today, that’s two-in-a-row. If we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak; it has happened before “.

The Love of Money: If I had a few dollars, I’d pay top dollar to see Deron Williams. Look, Chris Paul should win the MVP award and I’d Superkick someone if that’s what it took to see Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett. However, Williams is the truth. Pay close attention to the Rockets/Jazz series and see how difficult of a time Houston will have stopping or slowing him down outside of putting Shane Battier (more of a big small forward or small power forward) on him.

Dead Broke: Yet, this Scribe is dead broke thanks to MLB Extra Innings. Order it. Trust me.

Don’t Matter: “It don’t matter, I got a ring!” – Keyshawn Johnson, after winning his lone Super Bowl title as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Random, I know.

Life’s Been Good: Or at least manageable. Hope yours is going well.

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