Viewer indiscretion is advised.
It was early in Wednesday’s Game 5 of Clippers-Warriors on TNT when Golden State’s 29-year-old recalcitrant, Draymond Green, was already acting up, beefing at the refs.
That’s when analyst Chris Webber provided this sagacious overview of Green:
“It does not matter if you make or miss. It only matters if you show up for your team and let it fly. You cannot be aggressive or try to be a team player, now.
“A team player now is a guy that can go get his buckets. Go get your buckets for the team.”
As reader Bob Alter wrote, he was embarrassed for Webber. After all, couldn’t Green — a technical-fouls, ejections and fines specialist — best help his team — and I know this might strike Webber as crazy — by behaving? By seeing the big playoffs picture rather than only himself?
There are now plenty of such “team players.” They’re killing the NBA as an attractive team game.
A “team player” — the kind Webber advocated — played seven years for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony “got his buckets” by “letting it fly.” But in doing so his team was left badly diminished.
On John Havlicek’s passing, Thursday, I wondered if today he’d have been allowed to be a perpetual-motion, everyone-in, clutch-shooting, brilliant-passing, two-way gift to winning basketball and the good sports senses.
Or would he have been relegated to loiter on the periphery, waiting for a teammate to chuck another 3 try?
Doubtless, it would be the latter.
Havlicek was one reason I was jealous of Celtics fans. If you couldn’t appreciate those teams, you couldn’t appreciate basketball. But for no good reason, the NBA game they played is extinct.
Thursday night, with the fifth pick, the Buccaneers selected LSU linebacker Devin White. ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.: “He brings that Ray Lewis inspirational ability, high character.”
Really? Ray Lewis, inspiration, high character? In the same sentence?
Lewis was fined $250,000 by the NFL after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in a still-unsolved double-homicide. He then reached a financial settlement with the families of the victims.
As a player, he was fined multiple times as a remorseless, unapologetic headhunter who celebrated his brutality with a ritualistic blood dance — now appearing in statue form near the entrance to Baltimore’s stadium, not far from Philadelphia, where Kate Smith’s statue has been removed.
Then there’s WFAN’s simulcast-delivered Boomer Esiason, “Weekday Boomer” as opposed to “Weekend Boomer,” the proper gentleman seen and heard on CBS’ NFL studio show.
Thursday, discussing the Mets’ dodge-ball hassle with the Phillies, he followed his now common classless, unfunny crude talk — words Weekend Boomer would never utter — by calling Philly’s Rhys Hoskins a vulgar phrase for masturbation.
Again, which is the phony, Weekday or Weekend Boomer? Both? Even his WFAN partner, Gregg Giannotti was shocked by Esiason’s vulgarity. So Esiason proudly, smugly, defiantly, childishly repeated it. What a champ.
And so the broadcast battle cry persists: Advance to the rear!
MLB gives out boots, fines, bans! What fun!
Why the early season rash of on-field, dugouts-deployed hassles that have led to ejections, fines and suspensions?
Almost all can be traced to residual unhappy reactions to players’ excessive immodesty — bat-flips, long home plate poses followed by extra-long home run jogs and other all-about-me demonstrations — encouraged by Rob Manfred’s mandate to make baseball “fun” for kids.
Reader Pat Proietii, sickened by a discussion about bat-flipping among ESPN’s Sunday night trio — it was explained and excused as an expression of one’s personality — asks if “they would consider mooning the pitcher an expression of one’s personality?
“What happened to having a bit of class?”
Good question, Pat. Ask Commissioner Manfred.
By the way, with the NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA informing the public when and how much players, teams, coaches and even GMs have been fined — many tens of thousands of dollars — why not an end-of-the-season public accounting, disbursement details on where and to whom that dough was distributed?
Nothing to hide, is there?
Given that it was a West Coast night game that went 14 innings, how the Yankees beat the Angels, 4-3, Monday, was missed by too many.
In the top of the 14th, Gleyber Torres struck out swinging but ran to first when catcher Jonathan Lucroy dropped the pitch. Lucroy then threw wildly to first.
Soon, Torres scored the winning run. As reader Mike McIntee advises, keep that one in mind come late September.
Still, there are GMs, managers and media who support a Robinson Cano, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for not running on such “automatic outs.”
Then there was this Brooklyn Dodgers’ catcher, Mickey Owen, in the 1941 World Series against the Yankees …
Beisser is a Cohen Good Guy
John Beisser, assistant athletic director/director of media for Wagner College — and a “can-do” sweetheart — will receive the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association’s annual “Mike Cohen Good Guy Award” at the NIT/MBWA/ Haggerty Awards dinner Tuesday at the Westchester Marriott.
Cohen — a legend as an indefatigable publicist for Yonkers Raceway, Manhattan College, Fordham and NBC Sports, and an advocate of MLB scouts receiving Hall of Fame recognition — died of a heart attack in 1988 at 44.
Beisser would have loved Cohen, and vice versa.
From reader and lawyer David Greenfield: Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart had the perfect definition for what the standard for a video replay reversal should be when he tried to define obscenity: “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”
Incidentally, when was “instant” removed from “instant replay rules”?
Last Sunday, Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc, in two-thirds of an inning, allowed a home run, four walks and two earned runs — for his first “hold” of the season!
As part of the NBA’s campaign for semi-literacy, the Toronto Raptors, during the playoffs, are wearing and selling T-shirts that read, “We The North.”
When I first had the devices to record games, I’d set MLB games for 2:30. Then 3:00. Then 3:30. Now 4:00. And still miss a few endings. Frankly, and just between us, I sometimes see the ends of games only because I wake up to, you know, go.
Q: How is it that, unlike now, MLB players for 100 years didn’t injure their oblique or quad muscles? A: Because they didn’t know they had them.
Don’t miss the latest hilarious episode of the Mike Francesa show spoof, “Mike Zaun,” via YouTube, this one “The Avenjizz!”
Did you hear the one about the NFL expert who didn’t have a mock draft? Neither did I.
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