Archive for the 'basketball' Category

Kansas Over Memphis in NCAA Final: It Wasn’t a Classic

Some misguided sports commentators are calling Kansas’ 75-68 overtime victory over Memphis last night in the NCAA final a classic.

It was no classic … except to Jayhawks fans. For them it is rightly so. And, yes, that was an amazing comeback and an incredible 3-pointer to send it to OT.

But any game at this level that is decided by free throws, where one team throws up wildly errant attempts—from the charity stripe—and the bricks hopelessly clang off metal repeatedly … where one team chokes, over and over and over again from the free-throw line no less, can’t be called a classic.

I am not a fan of Memphis or Kansas. It didn’t really matter to me who won. And there was a certain amount of excitement. But how can Memphis even lift their heads after producing such woeful attempts when all they needed was one more miserable free throw to win the nation’s championship?

No, Memphis deserved to lose. They shot free throws like little boys chunking deflated orbs at a hoop with no net in a playground pick-up game.

Fans deserve better.

The one thing this game made famous is the strategy that won it— Hack-a-Tiger.

Warriors Beat Lakers to Stop Streak

Golden State made a frantic late 14-2 comeback to stop the L.A. Lakers, 108-106, and halt their nine-game losing streak to L.A. Baron Davis’ 3-pointer with 16.8 seconds to play was the decisive bucket.

Kill the Sidelines Timeout

Put the game back in the hands of the players. Kill the timeout from the sidelines. Coaches messing with kickers has caused a number of double kicks, which sometimes backfires, and is definitely not fair to kickers. Now, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has added a new twist, calling a sidelines timeout moments before Tom Brady was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 sneak, negating the play and robbing the Ravens of a deserved upset against the less-than-perfect Patriots. After two other fourth down reprieves, Brady threw a winning TD.

It was like the 1972 Summer Olympics Gold Medal basketball game, when the three Eastern Bloc judges kept giving the Soviets chance after final chance until they won. Here it was not corrupt judges; it seemed more to be Fate.

And a hare-brained coach. Who called timeout as his valiant players exerted their final majestic effort … successfully, but fruitlessly.

This game will be remembered for a long time. Maybe not as long as the ’72 Olympics (the silver medals still sit unclaimed in a vault in Lusanne, Switzerland), but still a long time … for Ravens fans … and Patriots haters.

So, please. NFL, put the game back in the hands of the players. Kill the timeout from the sidelines.

Sports Soaps Top 5 of the Week

The U.S. sports scene has been providing a bumper crop of soap operas.

1. Barry Bonds: Finally indicted.
2. A-Rod: Mr. Not-October slinks back to New York.
3. O.J.: Is America ready for another trial?
4. Stephon Marbury: AWOL egoist pays.
5. Ricky Williams: Desperate Dolphins tap sober former-superstar.

Dishonorable Mention:

Joe Glenn/Kyle Whittingham: Coaches prove they can be less mature than the students they coach. [story]
Michael Vick: Continuing saga.
Belichick/Patriots: The coach fans love to hate.

Marbury Soaps

The New York Knicks fined Stephon Marbury more than $180,000 for missing Tuesday night’s game at Phoenix.

Marbury says he has something on Isiah Thomas and threatens blackmail.

What will happen in the continuing saga of Stephon Marbury?

Get rid of him. This guy is a loser. It’s the same Marbury who defended Michael Vick’s dogfighting as a “sport.” Now he’s playing loose with his team commitment.

Which will be the next team to be afflicted with him?

No Game Tonight … What Are We Going to Do?

There is no real game on tonight. No NFL, no baseball playoffs … I’m not sure, there may be a college game. ESPNU, which is not exactly in every home in America, is advertising teams “tba.” Replays?

Looks like your choices tonight are … preseason basketball, golf, or a replay of Boise State-Nevada on ESPN Classic. I told you here two days ago they would be calling that game on the smurf turf a classic already. It’s a phony classic. Read what I said about that game and the NCAA’s insane OT system here.

Now, here’s a thought. Take a night off from sports. … Nah.

Kobe … Go

Did he or didn’t he clean his locker out? Is he or isn’t he going?

I’m not sure, although plenty of sports prognosticators feel he’s ready to hit the road. But I do know this … it would be great for basketball if Kobe went elsewhere. End the soap opera. Go to a new team. Maybe … the Miami Heat? (No, not really; we know that couldn’t happen.)