Sunday, January 30, 2011

Durant Has Some Harsh Words For Bosh

You don't hear too much about Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant trash talking anyone. He just goes out and plays. Until Miami's Chris Bosh decided he wanted to get in his business then it was on. He called Bosh one of the "fake tough guys" in the NBA. And he added more than that. Durant got a rare technical foul for jawing with Bosh.

“I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his 2 cents into it. I’m a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit,” Durant said. There’s a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

Bosh had interrupted a conversation between him and teammate James Harden.

“I think he was telling Harden to dunk on me, or dunk the next one,” Bosh said before giving a cleaned-up version of the exchange. “I expressed that, `No, he’s not going to dunk that.’ And he expressed, `Yes, he is.’ It just kind of went back and forth.”

Bosh has never been a tough guy and needs to just go out and continue being the third wheel. I like Bosh but he's trying to pull some of that Kevin Garnett stuff and that isn't him. Durant had more for Bosh.

“I’m no punk. I wasn’t even talking to him, first off. He decided to butt in and I’m not going to just let that slide, especially in our house,” Durant said. “Like I said, he’s not one of those guys that I look at and say, `Oh, he has a rep for talking back to guys or always getting into it.’

“No, he’s a nice guy. He’s not one of those guys, so I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”

Me and some friends at work had this conversation before and concluded that there are very few tough guys in the league. When you see an NBA fight they miss punches at point blank range. I don't advocate violence but damn, I think I'd be willing to take one of them on as long as it wasn't Kenyon Martin or Nate Robinson.

Bosh needs to quit the tough guy act because he's far from an enforcer.    

Penny Is Ready To Roll

After an injury plagued 2010, the newest Detroit Tiger, Brad Penny, wants a chance to prove that he's healthy and ready to go. The Tigers better hope he's healthy because that's when Penny is at his best. I know baseball is the ultimate team game, but it all starts with pitching. If the stars align right and everyone stays healthy the Tigers will have as good a staff as any. As spring training rolls around Penny is slated to be the number five starter. He might be the best number five starter in the league, if he's healthy.

Penny says he had offers from other teams, but the Tigers gave him the best chance to compete for a starting spot and he also felt the Tigers had a chance to win. Penny has been on a World Series winner and would like to get a shot at another one.

“I had some offers from teams that I didn’t think were able to compete,” Penny said. “I would have been more in a role of teaching young kids how to go about business, but I’m at a point where I want to win.”

“I was leaning towards Detroit most of the time, but I had a few offers that I had to consider."

Penny matches up well with other fifth starters in the American League and everyone knows that there aren't too many fifth starters with Penny's credentials. Sure he had a rough time in is first stint in the American League. But I think pitching in Comerica Park will help him out.

That's good for the Tigers since they had an obvious need for a number five starter. And Penny wants to prove he still has something left and isn't simply playing for a contract.  

Flacco Calls The Jim Zorn Firing A Personal Attack

When a coach is fired it's usually an indictment on how the coaches planning or teachings translate to the playing field, not the players themselves. If so there would be a whole lot of professional athletes out of work. Like any Detroit Lions or Los Angeles Clippers team. Apparently Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco doesn't think so. Flacco is pretty angry about the firing of his quarterbacks coach and feels it's a personal attack on his performance.

"I'm not happy about it, and they know I'm not happy about it," the third-year quarterback said.

"I also feel like a little bit like I'm being attacked," Flacco said. "You fire the quarterback coach. Usually when your fire a position coach, it's because you're not really happy with how that position did. And when I look back on my season and our season as a team, I mean, we won 13 games. I felt like I had a pretty good year and you're firing the quarterback coach? It's kind of an attack on me, I feel like."

"I'm not going to be happy about it, for a long time," he said. "This year will be what it is. We're going to be successful this year. I would have just liked him to be a part of it. He would have liked to be a part of it. And I think it would have been good for him to be a part of it.

"I think Jim was a great coach, I think he was great for our team. I think he was great for me. That's how I feel about it."

Joe, if it were a personal attack against you, you would be cut today. It's not though and you shouldn't take it as such. I know that sometimes players and coaches form a bond and they work well together, and that's probably what happened in this case. Flacco and Zorn had that kind of bond. Being a former quarterback in the NFL, Zorn's teaching probably went over well with Flacco and he probably taught him more than I'll ever know about the sport. I guess the Ravens didn't feel the same way about Zorn as Flacco did. He was there for only one season so I figure there was room to grow.

My guess is that there had to be some philosophical difference between Zorn, head coach John Harbaugh, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. There was a seven hour meeting of the minds and Zorn was questioned about his handling of Flacco. Alledgedly Harbaugh is going to give more playcalling control to Cameron. Behind those closed doors there had to be some disagreement. Harbaugh probably should've asked Flacco how he felt about it and came to a conclusion. But that's not how it works in professional sports.

Flacco had one of his best years statistically, and this is what happens to one of the coaches responisble for it.