Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jalen Rose wants the banners back up in 2013

The Ed martin scandal kept a black cloud over the Michigan basketball program for over a decade. That cloud is now finally being lifted and Michigan basketball is relevant once again.

The violations from the Fab Five era and a handful of others resulted in probation and shame. The administration took down the Final Four banners, a Big Ten tournament banner and vacated wins from those years. The university also disassociated itself from players involved in the scandal, mainly Chris Webber, the late Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor, and Louis Bullock among others until 2013.

Jalen Rose played on the Fab Five teams and is now an analyst for ESPN. Rose was a commentator for the Illinois-Michigan game tonight and had some things to say about the immediate future regarding the Michigan program. He wants to see those banners back up.

“Of course, I’m a Michigan fan. I’m an alumnus, I have an endowment at the University,” he said tonight before broadcasting the Michigan-Illinois game at Assembly Hall. “I bleed maize and blue. I want our banners back up in January 2013. Of course I do.”

Looking up at the large ring of honor at Assembly Hall and seeing dozens of banners for a program with less history than U-M got him going.

“Look around this arena, see how they appreciate their players, what they brought to the table,” he said. “Ninety percent of those guys, you don’t even know who they are. That’s an appreciation they show their players. Michigan has retired (five) jerseys in their lifetime, been to six Final Fours and I was playing in two of them.”

“I hope so, I think so, I have a lot of faith,” he said. “I really like Mary Sue Coleman, the president and obviously Dave Brandon, the AD.”

Rose can keep hoping because I think the current administration won't want to bring up the past. I would like to see the banners restored, but I just don't think that'll happen. They'll probably stay locked up in the basement of the library.

Hot Wheels

The Tampa Bay Rays gave manager Joe Maddon a three year extension last week which was well deserved. Maddon has built the Rays into an AL East contender and kept the team competitive despite financial constraints.

So after the extension was finalized Maddon did a little shopping for a reward for himself. He ended up getting himself a 1956 Chevy BelAir. Maddon called it a "new contract present".

Maddon bought the car in Arizona, had it restored and updated, and delivered to the Charlotte Sports Park. It has air-conditioning, so he said you'll see him driving it around Tampa and St. Petersburg once the season starts.

Maddon said he was looking for a Charger, Roadrunner or Barracuda, but couldn't find one he liked so instead picked this one over a '57 Nomad. "When I drive this it's pretty quick when it starts up, and I love the color and I love the interior,'' he said. Maddon already has two restored convertibles - a '67 Galaxy and a '72 Chevelle.

Maddon said his wife, Jaye, endorsed the purchase, which she named Bella.  "She was all for it,'' he said. "My wife is kind of like a guy sometimes - she likes big flat-screen TVs, she likes watching football on Sundays, she likes fast cars, she used to drink martinis, though she kind of toned that down a bit. She's got a lot of great man-cave qualities about her.''

Looks like Maddon went car shopping and ended up on 'Pimp My Ride'. It's a cool car and if I had the time and money I'd do the same. If the Rays keep winning, Maddon will have his own showroom.

Odom with Mavericks D-League affiliate

This has been a lost season for Dallas Mavericks forward, Lamar Odom. After unexpectedly being dealt to the New Orleans Hornets, then to the Dallas Mavericks, Odom clearly hasn't been the same player he was with the Los Angeles Lakers. The former Sixth Man of the Year has been in a year long funk.

There was a brief flirtation with retirement to get over some personal issues, issues that still seem to dog Odom. He recently took some personal leave time to be with his ill father in Los Angeles before the All-Star break. Now he'll be suiting up for the Mavs' D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, to "get his legs back" before he rejoins the team.

Odom is likely to play at least one game with the Mavericks' D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco to, as one source said, "get his legs back under him." The Texas Legends play the Austin Toros at home Thursday night, but sources said it's more likely Odom practices with the Legends on Friday while the Mavericks are in New Orleans and then plays Saturday's home game with the Legends, also against Austin, while the Mavericks are playing host to Utah.

There are some Mavericks that feel Odom won't be rejoining the team, but I don't think Mark Cuban will be having any of it. All I know is that Odom has hurt the defending champions more than he has helped them. He could still be a valuable piece to the Mavericks puzzle, if he has his head on straight and is ready to play.

"It's going to work itself out one way or another," Mavericks guard Jason Kidd said Tuesday of the Odom situation. "We just hope it works itself out soon."

Said Mavs guard Jason Terry: "We've got to go with the players we got. If you're here, you can help us. But our sympathies go out to his family." 

This is more to get Odom in gear than to "get his legs back". If you ask me, this is more of a heart and head check than anything.