Monday, September 30, 2013

Earl Campbell thinks it's time for Mack Brown to go

Texas football coach Mack Brown has had plenty of detractors the past few seasons. With the talent the Longhorns have on the team there are some that say the team is underachieving and that maybe a change is needed on the sidelines.

Former Longhorns legend and 1977 Heisman trophy winner Earl Campbell is amongst the critics and thinks it's time for Brown to be replaced.

Campbell told Fox 26 in Houston that it's about time for Brown and Texas to part ways.

"Nobody likes to get fired or leave a job, but things happen," Campbell said. "I'd go on record and say 'yes I think it's time.'

"I'd just say this, I take my hat off for USC for what they've done. They didn't mess around with it. They just said 'let's do it now.'  I think at some point our university's people are going to have make a decision."

"Some people get too old," Campbell said. "If players get too old to play a game, why can't a coach get too old to coach it."

"If we're going to make a change I would like to say that we got one in the house, Jerry Gray, who's getting in the College Football Hall of Fame," Cambell said. "I think that would be a good place to start."

"Very hard because Coach Brown is a very good man," Campbell said. "I just hope he doesn't stay...he's done some great things. The program, he brought it back, and we don't need it to get run down where somebody has to start all over again, maybe Jerry Gray."

"I was part of a class in 1974 and I played for Coach Darrell Royal," Campbell said. "We had the same players, but our junior year, I don't know, we just couldn't do anything right. Then he left our football team and retired.

"Coach Fred Akers came in, who coached me as a freshman at running back. We had the same players, I'm telling you. Coach Royal leaves. Coach Akers comes in. We win the Heisman and we lost to Notre Dame for the National Championship.

"So sometimes a change is good. I think this is what we're up against at the university. Nobody wants to say that, but somebody has to break the ice and say 'yes it's time.' "

Campbell wasn't saying it to be malicious. But coming from someone like Campbell and the ties he still has to the school, it has to sting a little.  

I don't think Texas would pull a USC and fire Brown before the midway point of the season but if he suffers another blowout loss to Oklahoma the wheels might start turning. Especially seeing what their longtime rival Texas A&M has done since moving to the SEC.

I think the Texas brass will see how things play out before making a move. If Texas somehow wins the Big 12, it'll be hard to get rid of Brown unless he decides to walk away on his own. The only way an in-season fring happens is if the Longhorns suffer a debilitating loss to the Sooners.  

Utah basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak foils bike thief

The college basketball season hasn't tipped off but Utah Utes basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak scored a victory off the court. Krystokwiak channeled his inner Encyclopedia Brown and caught a bike thief.

Krystkowiak was on the way to his office at the Huntsman Center and ended up detaining a suspicious middle-age man who caught his attention by riding a bicycle and pulling another one near the arena around 7:30 a.m.

"He started telling me all kinds of stories," Krystkowiak said. "I guess it was a good way to start the day."

“He could have just probably dropped one of the bikes and outrun me on his bike, but he was dumb enough to stop,” Krystkowiak said. “Then I began my questioning and I kind of smelled a rat.”

The 6-9 Krystowiak was a former NBA player so I suppose that the thief had no idea what he was up against.

Krystokwiak approached the man and told him to sit down while he called campus police. The police discovered five stolen phones in the thief's possession.

"The guy asked me if I was going to chase him if he attempted to run," Krystkowiak said Saturday night. "I told him that if he tried to run, I was going to chase him and tackle him. Honestly, I was hoping that he’d run. I guess a good thief would’ve run before I caught up to him."

“I don’t know how smart it was,” Krystkowiak said. “You never know what a guy has got in his pocket or up his sleeve.”

“I’ve always been a little eager to catch somebody so it was good,” he said.

Krystkowiak is in his third season at Utah and it looks like the Utes are improving. Hopefully for the fans he'll be able to score some wins on the court.

"It Girl" of the week: Bea Taylor

This week's "It Girl" is Bea Taylor

Bears think Israel Idonije gave their line calls to Lions

Some Chicago Bears players told a Chicago ESPN reporter on Sunday that they thought former Bears defensive end Israel Idonije, who now plays for the Lions, had tipped the Lions off to their stunts because every time they ran a power stunt, Reggie Bush saw it and made the most of it.

“I really think that’s ridiculous, I think it takes away from the players on the field.’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “We rushed for a lot of yards because we blocked them and Reggie Bush broke tackles. To say Reggie Bush is 8 yards behind the quarterback and he can hear what a line call is I think that’s ridiculous.’’

Bush ran for 139 yards including a 37-yard touchdown scamper.

“I’d also like to point out they signed Landon Cohen last week,’’ Schwartz said. “Landon had been here a long time and we haven’t changed our scheme since Landon was here I didn’t see that being a big difference in the game. Stuff like that comes up, it’s just the nature of the NFL.’’

"I like to concentrate on the players on the field and what happens on the field and stuff like that."

"I like to say that our guys did a good job of being in position and blocking and ran the ball well," Schwartz said. "We ran the ball for a lot of yards and it wasn't for any reason other than we blocked well and had a good scheme. Our running backs did a good job when we gave it to 'em."

Even if Idonije did tip the Lions off about the Bears' schemes it's up to the coaching staff to mix things up so whatever knowledge a former player might have is nullified. If they didn’t change the calls, knowing Idonije was on that line for 10 years, it’s just bad coaching.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Steelers' Ryan Clark says he'd retire before playing for a team in London

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will be playing this week in the NFL's annual London showcase game.

Commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to broaden the league's international appeal by having games played across the pond. It's a good idea, but he also has designs on having a Super Bowl played there and a team based out of London. Not so good if you ask me.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark told ESPN that he would rather retire than play for a team in London.

“I’d retire. I’d definitely retire,” Clark said.

“That team would be asked to travel eight weeks of the season extremely far away,” he said. “It would be extremely tough to ask. I don’t know if guys want to relocate their families, have their families educated in London, have their families relocate to London. It just seems like a hard deal for players to do. I can’t see unrestricted top notch top caliber free agents wanting to go to London to play football.”

Clark's thoughts echo that of former Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw who blasted the league for having games in London and Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth who also said he'd contemplate retirement if he were forced to play in London.

Families may not want to relocate to London, but heck, some don’t relocate to the cities where dad plays right now. There are tons of guys who live in Green Bay during the year and out in California in the offseason. London would be the same deal.

I really think the reason not to do this is because the NFL is a uniquely American game that has not been shown (no matter how hard we’ve tried) to have wide international appeal. Similar to soccer in the U.S. You may have pockets of fans, but you would never see a Premier League soccer team relocate to the U.S.

I say give London the Pro-Bowl or some exhibition games. There are plenty of U.S. markets that would support an NFL team. I think Roger should be pursuing other cities besides L.A. and London. I know he’s looking for the big markets and the big cash, but the NFL is gonna make money no matter where it is. Why the need to farm out an American game to a country that is lukewarm toward the NFL? And why keep pushing the NFL on L.A. when they have proven time and again they won’t support a team? Why not give a smaller market a shot? Just don’t put it in a state with two other teams (see: Jacksonville) and you should have a rabid fan base. Look at the success of the OKC Thunder in the NBA. That was a great example of relocating to a small market done right. Why can’t the NFL at least explore that option? There are some great football regions lacking a pro team like San Antonio, Memphis, Portland or Las Vegas .

"It Girl" of the week: Allira Cohrs

This week's "It Girl" is Allira Cohrs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rich Gannon questions Matt Schaub's credentials

The Houston Texans are having some early season struggles. The team had two come from behind wins in their first two games and were thrashed by the Baltimore Ravens, 30-9 last Sunday. Hardly a convincing start for a team that's supposed to contend for the AFC's berth in the Super Bowl.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has come under fire from fans and local sportswriters. CBS Sports analyst Rich Gannon is the latest to pile on Schaub.

 On CBS Sports Network’s “Monday Morning QB,” Gannon was critical of Schaub and questioned his credentials and if he was the guy to lead this team.

“I don’t know that he can carry this football team,” Gannon said. “He’s a system guy. He’s a guy that (succeeds) when they’re running the football well. But it’s these kinds of mistakes that really bother me: not seeing a flat defender or a linebacker run in front of an angle route. … These are the things that you expect from an inexperienced rookie quarterback.

“If they’re running the football well and they’re dominating on defense, I think he can be that guy. But if they fall behind, Matt Schaub and the Texans struggle.”

Basically Gannon just said that Schaub doesn't have what it takes to get this team to the next level, while stopping short of calling him a game manager.

There's nothing wrong with being a game manager. The Ravens won a Super Bowl with one (Trent Dilfer). But when your turning the ball over that doesn't help the team. Gary Kubiak's dubious playcalling hasn't helped the offense too much either.

Schaub may not win a Super Bowl but before Texans fan jump off a ledge remember  Doug Williams, Joe Theismann, Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler, Brad Johnson and Dilfer all won Super Bowls. Not exactly a group of Hall of  Famers.

Be happy, you could have a quarterback situation like the Cleveland Browns.

Monday, September 23, 2013

NBA might let the Heat and Nets wear jerseys with nicknames

The NBA is kicking around an idea that might get fans to buy more jerseys.

For one game the league may let players wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys. Members of the  Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets have been told that the league may have them wear "nickname" jerseys in one of their four matchups this season.

Miami's Ray Allen, who would have "Jesus Shuttlesworth", his character from the movie "He Got Game", on the back of his jersey seems to be a fan of the idea.

 "It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what's going on around us," said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the "He Got Game" film. "And we're still kids, playing a kids' game. Even though we're now men playing a kids' game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it's a way to let the fans in a little bit more."  

"Fans will like it and so will a lot of the players," Allen said. "Guys will get a good kick out of it."

Miami and Brooklyn is expected to be a marquee matchup this season so the league would put the idea into play with two of the more marketable teams in the league. I think it's an idea that would go over well with the fans and players alike.There's also the possibility of getting the league more publicity and exposure, also more sales of jerseys, but I don't know if the league would put the nickname jerseys on the market.

NHL suspends Maple Leafs Dave Clarkson for 10 games

The NHL tonight suspended Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson for 10 games after Clarkson left the bench to join an on-ice altercation Sunday night in the Leafs' preseason game in Toronto against the rival Buffalo Sabres.

Clarkson left the bench with 10 minutes remaining in the third period after Buffalo tough guy John Scott, who is 6-8, started a fight with Toronto's Phil Kessel, who is 6-feet and not a fighter. Scott apparently had been incensed after Toronto's 6-5 Jamie Devane had beaten up the much smaller Corey Tropp.

Kessel swung his stick at Scott -- and he will likely get suspended, as well -- and that set off a brawl between the teams that included a goalie fight between Toronto's Jonathan Bernier and Buffalo's Ryan Miller. Clarkson left the bench to get involved, triggering an automatic 10-game suspension under NHL rules.

The suspension is mandated by Rule 70.10, which states: "The first player to leave the players' or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended without pay for the next 10 regular League and/or playoff games of his team."

The suspension is without pay, and based on his average annual salary, Clarkson will forfeit $269,230.80. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Clarkson will be eligible to return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup on Oct. 25 at Columbus.

VCU upgrades their basketball uniforms

The VCU Rams introduced a new, sleeker looking uniform for the 2013-2014 college basketball season.

The Rams unveiled the uniforms at a team photo shoot. The home whites VCU and the numbers in black with yellow outlines. The design of the letters looks slick and fast, like how the team plays.

It's an upgrade from the generic looking uniforms from years past and fits the team's style of play.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"It Girl" of the week: Tammy Torres

This week's "It Girl" is Tammy Torres

Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington, sentenced to six months in jail

Some said that former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington should have been thrown in jail for trading Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings once upon a time. Those people are getting their wish, even if it is 25 years later and for a completely different reason.

Pocklington will begin a jail sentence on December 9 for violating his probation on a previous perjury conviction related to a bankruptcy fraud case. He has been sentenced to six months in jail, followed by six months of house arrest and two more years of probation

The assistant U.S district attorney who prosecuted the case had asked for nine months in prison, while Pocklington sought to avoid jail altogether so he could continue to care for his wife of 40 years, who has serious heart problems.

According to court documents obtained by CTV News, in 2011 and 2012, Pocklington was ordered to disclose his monthly income to a probation officer -- but he didn't share details about all the money he was making.

Investigators found Pocklington had millions of dollars worth in unreported income over both of those years -- money that was kept in the bank accounts of resource companies he was involved with.

Pocklington bought part ownership of the Oilers in 1976 and the team won five Stanley Cups in the 1980s. He sold the team in 1998.

That means that the dealmakers in the famous Gretzky trade, Pocklington and former Kings owner Bruce McNall will both have spent some time behind bars.

Is Chris Webber a Hall of Famer?

The Basketball Hall of Fame debate seemed to start earlier this summer, when a couple of former superstars who had brief stints with the Detroit Pistons ended their careers: Allen Iverson (reportedly) and Tracy McGrady.

An ESPN writer has added one more name to the debate, and not only is he someone who’s eligible for voting next year, but he’s someone we watched grow up, literally.

The person under scribe Zach Lowe’s microscope is Chris Webber. The former Mr. Basketball/Fab Five star/No. 1 overall pick/ex-Piston (again, briefly) was, and still is, a divisive character. In fact, Lowe alludes to this, but mostly crunches the numbers to say C-Webb is a Hall of Famer.

“Here is the total list of players who piled up at least 17,000 points and 8,000 rebounds, while averaging at least four assists per game with a career PER (player efficiency rating) above 20: Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Bird and Webber. There's some unfair cherry-picking there, since Webber barely exceeds all those thresholds. But cutting the criteria still produces a ridiculously elite list of just 11 guys, all current or future Hall of Famers — plus Webber.”

Lowe goes on to concede that Webber’s shortcomings include his lack of a world championship — though he was the best player on those early-2000s Sacramento Kings that nearly knocked off the Lakers. And he mentioned, more in passing, his short, yet dazzling, culturally impactful and tainted college career as a Wolverine.

Also presented in Webber’s case file was the fact that his numbers tended to decline a bit in the playoffs. But much of Lowe’s argument hinges on Webber’s talent level, especially as a passer.

If you haven’t yet, read Lowe’s analysis and his 17 stray thoughts, mostly on his NBA career. And no, none of his half of season in 2007 with the Pistons, where he averaged 11.3 points and 6.7 assists on a bad knee factor into this Hall of Fame equation.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pac-12 reprimands officials that blew the Wisconsin-Arizona St. game

The Pac-12 Conference has reprimanded the officials in Saturday night’s game between Wisconsin and Arizona State for their actions in the bizarre closing seconds.

The Pac-12 said the officials did not act with enough urgency or properly administer the end of game situation when Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave awkwardly took a knee and the clock ran out on the Badgers in the ensuing confusion.

“This was an unusual situation to end the game,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. “After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. We will continue to work with all our officials to ensure this type of situation never occurs again.”

The strange finish came after Wisconsin drove to Arizona State’s 13-yard line with 18 seconds left. Trying to set the Badgers up for a game-winning field goal, Stave ran left and tried to take a knee in the middle of the field.

He clipped one of his offensive linemen while trying to go down and plopped the ball onto the yard marker before hopping up quickly.

Players from both teams were confused by the play and the Sun Devils dove on the ball, thinking it was a fumble. Wisconsin lost precious seconds while the Arizona State players were pulled off and a few more when one of the officials held the Badgers at the line of scrimmage before allowing them to snap the ball.

Wisconsin tried to get a play off so it could spike the ball, but ran out of time. Arizona State won 32-30.
The Pac-12 said neither the referee nor anyone on his crew moved with appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Iowa players and coaches have items stolen out of locker room during rivalry game

Iowa won the game and the Cy-Hawk trophy but lost some personal possessions as the Hawkeyes left Ames with a 27-21 win.

Iowa’s football locker room was broken into and items were stolen during the Hawkeyes’ game with in-state rival Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, The Des Moines Register reported on Sunday.

Iowa State University Police Chief Jerry Stewart, through a department spokesperson, said: "It involved personal property from the locker room and remains under investigation."

Iowa State police said the police report would not be available until at least Monday. No other details were provided.

ISU’s athletic department controls the facilities and utilizes a security firm to keep it secure. Neither athletic director from either school could be reached for comment.

Iowa assistant coach Levar Woods was one of the victims and tweeted the following:

“Sorry to anyone that tried to call/text me last night w/o a response, but my phone came up missing from the ISU locker room after the game.”

Thoughts on week 3 in college football

I'll admit this is the first week I've really had a chance to watch a full slate of college football. It was a week in which we had near upsets, shootouts, and comeback wins.

Michigan over Akron- The Wolverines clearly had a hangover from the Notre Dame game and it showed. Michigan nearly suffered an upset of Appalachian State proportions to a team that has lost 28 straight road games and has suffered through three straight one win seasons in the Akron Zips. Pump the brakes on the Wolverine bandwagon for now. Quarterback Devin Gardner needs to learn the meaning of ball security and the defense has to play better if they expect to compete with Ohio State for the Big Ten championship. Give Akron credit for coming close and playing hard.

UCLA over Nebraska- The Bruins came into Lincoln with heavy hearts after the death of Nick Pasquale and played with a lot of early emotion. Unfortunately that emotion led to an early 21-3 deficit. The Bruins rallied in the second half and put up a combined 38 unanswered points in a 41-21 win. For the Huskers it was disappointing loss after looking like they were poised to run away with this game. UCLA made the adjustments and Nebraska failed to get the momentum back.

 "The second half was a lot like last year," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "We made the tackles in the first half. I don't know how many tackles we missed in that second half but it is a lot. We missed tackle after tackle after tackle." 

Sounds almost like every big game the Huskers have played in since they've joined the Big Ten. If Pelini can't get it together and start winning some of those games he might find himself listening to the wolves howling for his job.

Alabama over Texas A&M- Billed as the SEC game of the century for this season, it lived up to the hype. Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel didn't disappoint as the Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead. After that it was all Alabama, as the Tide rolled to 35 straight points to seize control of the game. Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron went 20-29 for 334 yards and 4 touchdowns. The 42 points and 628 total yards were the most allowed by an Alabama team, but it wasn't enough as Alabama has taken control of the SEC West division.
Maybe it's time to trumpet AJ Champion aka McCarron as a legit Heisman candidate.

Arizona State over Wisconsin- This game ended in controversy. The Badgers appeared to be robbed of a possible win by the officials. The Badgers were driving for a game winning field goal. Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave appeared to take a knee to stop the clock and put the ball on the ground. A Sun Devil defender jumped on the ball and looked like it was a defensive delay of game. The officials spotted the ball and time ran out on the Badgers in this back and forth affair.

Oregon over Tennessee- It was a good week for the Pac-12 as the league racked up a number of 'name' wins this weekend. the Ducks once again steamrolled another opponent and they made their SEC foe look like a Sun Belt team. Fans chanted S-E-C and we want Bama. The Ducks have been impressive early but first take care of business in your own conference before calling out the champion like Clubber Lang.

Minnesota over Western Illinois- This game was significant because Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill was carted off on a stretcher after he suffered another seizure in their 29-12 win over  Western Illinois. Reports say he's resting comfortably in the hospital but you have to wonder if the administration at Minnesota might be thinking of moving on instead of keeping Kill around.

Ole Miss over Texas- The Rebels scored an impressive 44-23 win over the Longhorns. I guess it doesn't matter who the defensive coordinator is in Austin if the talent is going to underachieve. Coach Mack Brown might see the vultures circling if the Horns can't win the Oklahoma game. In all fairness starting quarterback David Ash didn't play but with the talent on hand in Austin this team has no excuses to be losing by three touchdowns at home.

Honorable mention- Ohio State looked impressive against California with backup quarterback Kenny Guiton at the controls....Notre Dame and South Carolina bounced back after week 2 losses, although it took the Irish awhile to get going...On a positive note Rutgers honored the paralyzed former player Eric LeGrand by retiring his number 52. It marked the first time in the 144-year history of the birthplace of college football that the university retired the number of a football player and this one was clearly loved by all in attendance.

Winners- Pac-12, Alabama, Rutgers, UCLA, Ole Miss, Marcus Mariota, AJ McCarron, Eric LeGrand    

Losers- Big Ten, Pac-12 officials, Texas    

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Report says 1981-82 Knicks fixed games for a drug dealer

In the 1970's and early 1980's the NBA was in a bad spot. Games were on tape delay and there was rampant drug use among players back then.

 A report by Gary Buiso of the New York Post says that the New York Knicks fixed games back in the 1981-82 season.

Coked-up Knicks players fixed games as a favor to their drug dealer — who bet big bucks against the anemic New York squad, FBI informants claimed during the 1981-82 season.

The feds probed whether three Knicks, reportedly “heavy users of cocaine,” and their supplier, “one of the largest dealers on the East Coast,” shaved points, according to FBI documents cited in Brian Tuohy’s book, “Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI.”

The dealer was a degenerate gambler who usually bet $300 a game, informants told investigators, but in January 1982 he began laying $10,000 wagers on Knicks’ opponents — and winning them.
By March 25, the coke dealer had won six of his seven five-figure bets against the Knicks — while continuing to make his normal $300 wagers on other NBA games.

“Over . . . the last two months, all three [players] have given . . . tips on when to bet the Knicks to lose. This has occurred seven times and six of the tips were good,” according to FBI files citing two unnamed “sources.”

Point guard Michael Ray Richardson who was banned for life from the NBA for violating the league's drug policy for a third time in 1986 emphatically denied the story.

“Hell no!” Richardson, 58 and living in Texas, told The Post when asked about the point-shaving allegations. “We never did anything like that.”

Rookie Alex Bradley cosigned Richardson's statement.

“At times the coach was a little lax, and he didn’t put enough pressure on those guys [to play harder],” said Bradley, now a security guard in Wilmington, Del. “At certain times, when we needed to turn it up, it just wasn’t there.”

The FBI ramped up the efforts to prove there was point shaving going on beyond the Knicks. Since there wasn't any known evidence of wrongdoing the investigation eventually went away. The case was closed in 1986.

It wouldn't shock me if it was true considering the time period in which the alleged point shaving took place.

Tracy McGrady wishes he stayed in Toronto

Everyone says hindsight is 20/20. You always think about what choices, whether good or bad, that you made in the past and how it might have went if you made the opposite choice.

Former NBA star Tracy McGrady thinks about it now that he's retired.

McGrady teamed with his cousin Vince Carter with the Toronto Raptors as a high flying, athletic duo that could have wreaked havoc on the NBA. The team had made it's first playoff run and were poised to become an Eastern Conference contender. Instead, McGrady wanted to get out of Carter's shadow and signed with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2000. The Raptors eventually fell a Carter jump shot short of knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals the next season in which McGrady would've made the difference in the seven game series.

Now reflecting on what could have been a legendary NBA career if injuries didn't rob him of his athletic gifts, McGrady says he wishes he stayed in Toronto as told to the Toronto Sun's Dave Feschuk.  

“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. “There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?”

“There’s no doubt we would have won that series if I would have been there,” McGrady said. “We had incredible camaraderie. You can’t duplicate that, man. Big brothers, little brothers — we had a mix. And me and Vince were in the perfect situation. You’ve got the two young superstars and you’ve got these old vets. They were our force field. They protected us from anything that happened on that basketball court. They did all the dirty work. And all we had to do was just concentrate on putting the ball in the hoop and guarding who we were guarding. It was just such a great time in my career.

“Had I been a little older and wiser and knew what was ahead of me, I would have stayed, no doubt, with those guys. But that was some of the best times of my life, man. Being with (Charles) Oakley and Kevin Willis and Antonio Davis, Muggsy (Bogues), Dell Curry, Dee Brown. Man. I still talk to a lot of those guys to this day. Because I appreciated how they looked out for me. They were all professionals.”

“At the time I’m trying to make a decision whether to stay in freezing Toronto or go home to Orlando. ... I just thought it was a no-brainer. As I said, if I’d been a little older and a little wiser maybe things would have been different. ... It’s definitely something I always sit back and reminisce about, thinking about Toronto and what we could have been.”

Sounds more factual than sour grapes if you ask me. The Raptors might have been very good, maybe the best in a watered down Eastern Conference back then. The team had a good veteran core and the young superstars to make a run at the finals. But it never happened.

McGrady toiled on some bad Orlando teams and eventually was traded to the Houston Rockets but was never able to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

McGrady doesn't come off as angry. Just reflecting on what might have been had he stayed with the team that drafted him.


George Karl being sued by his agent in a payment dispute

George Karl was fired by the Denver Nuggets this summer despite winning NBA coach of the year and getting the Nuggets to a three seed in a loaded Western Conference.

Karl is currently in a dispute with his long time agent Bret Adams. Adams is suing for breaching a contract and not being paid since January, Jeff Bell of reported.

Former National Basketball Association coach George Karl is being sued by his long-time agent, Columbus attorney Bret Adams, in a payment dispute.

Adams filed suit in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Wednesday, claiming Karl has refused to pay him since January, allegedly breaching a contract between the two. The suit says the contract calls for Adams to receive $10,000 a month from Karl. He is asking for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, attorney fees and other costs. …

Adams told me in an email he is hoping for an immediate resolution of the dispute, calling a Karl a 20-year friend and client.

If this is over money, Karl should pay what he owes. I suspect there's more to the story than Adams not being paid.  

Ex-Tiger outfielder Bubba Trammell charged with aggravated assault

Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Bubba Trammell is facing charges of aggravated assault after he allegedly ran down two police officers after they responded to a domestic violence call at his Knoxville, Tennessee home.

Trammell has struggled with depression in the past and that might have something to do with the charges he's facing.

This past Saturday, Trammell, 42, who has struggled with depression in the past, allegedly pushed a family member and began breaking items inside his home, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. He also allegedly exposed himself to a female family member.

Trammell allegedly “drove his vehicle eastbound on Glenrothes Boulevard toward officers,” according to the arrest warrant obtained by the Sentinel. “Officers were standing in the street, in front of the defendant, signaling him to stop. Officers had to move out of the path of the vehicle to avoid being struck by the vehicle.

“When officers entered their vehicles to go after the defendant, he came back to the scene and was taken into custody.”

Trammell will be arraigned on September 23 on the two aggravated assault charges, plus charges of domestic assault and indecent exposure.

Charles Rogers has a warrant issued for his arrest

More bad news about former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers.

 For the fourth time in 18 months a judge has issued an arrest for Rogers after he failed to show up for a pretrial hearing.

Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on Tuesday, Sept. 10, issued a bench warrant for Rogers' arrest after Rogers, who faces five misdemeanors from two unrelated incidents, failed to appear for a pretrial hearing.

Frank on Tuesday said both Saginaw County officials as well as NFLPA officials are attempting to locate Rogers, but those attempts have proven unsuccessful. Rogers had numerous trial dates rescheduled throughout the year when he was in North Carolina, but after the judge learned of Rogers' apparent current whereabouts, he issued the warrant for Rogers' arrest.

When you think about it this isn't too much of a shocker to anyone. Anytime something is reported on Rogers it's usually negative and there is a warrant issued for his arrest.

This guy should still be a contributor for an NFL team at the very least. Maybe he needs to spend time in a cell instead of receiving probation or going into rehab to get his act together. Maybe he'll wake up then and realize he ruined a gift and skill that most of us don't have.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bobby Hurley lands a four star point guard at Buffalo

When Bobby Hurley took over the Buffalo coaching job many knew that the job was a project. Hurley would need time on the recruiting trail and to get some of his own players in the program.

Hurley has a building block for the future as Buffalo landed four star point guard Lamonte Bearden from Germantown (Wisconsin) High School. This could be a very important recruit for Hurley as he looks to establish the Bulls as contenders in the MAC in the future.

How did Bearden slip through the cracks? Yahoo's Jeff Eisenberg says academic concerns played a role in him landing at Buffalo instead of a high major school. San Francisco, Oregon State, and Saint Louis also were in the mix for Bearden's services. In the end Bearden said that Buffalo was the place for him and that Hurley can help him become a better point guard.

 ‘Even though I didn’t visit some of these other schools, I just knew that Buffalo was the best school for me. They use a lot of ball screens and I like a lot of ball screens,’ he added. ‘I think I fit their program real well.  ‘That was one of the reason I committed,’ Bearden said. ‘He was a good point guard. I think he can help me develop into a better point guard.’

Hurley has his point guard of the future now let's see him build around him.

"It Girl" of the week: Dana Hamm

The "It Girl" of the week is Dana Hamm.

Doug Williams fired as coach of Grambling State

After an 0-2 start and  following a 1-10 season in 2012, Grambling State has fired head football coach, the legendary Doug Williams.

The Tigers have went in a different direction and retained running backs coach George Ragsdale as the interim coach.

Williams received a call around 8 a.m. and was called into GSU President Frank Pogue’s office. Pogue handed a letter to Williams and told him the school was going in another direction. According to a news release, Grambling has bought out the remainder of his contract.

“There wasn’t a lot of conversation. I told him ‘OK’ and I was gone,” Williams said.

Sounds kind of anticlimactic doesn't it. Williams didn't put up a fight or badmouth his superiors on the way out of the door.

  “At this point it don’t really matter,” he said. “A decision has been made and it is what it is. Leash or no leash, we all gotta deal with what happened.”

“He’s the president and he has the power,” Williams added. “Whatever decision he makes, we have to live with it because that’s his decision.”

Pogue was grateful for Williams' time served and dedication to the school.

“We recognize Doug Williams’ many contributions to our football legacy and we express our deep appreciation for his service to Grambling State University and we wish him well in the future,” Pogue said.

Personally I think Williams probably deserved better but in the world of what have you done for me lately athletics someone had to go. Maybe there is more to the story and maybe it'll come out but don't expect to hear anything anytime soon.

Williams' son, D.J. is the starting quarterback and will remain at the school.