What in the name of Stockton and Malone is going on in Utah?
The team that was known for years for beating opponents down – and beating them up -- with a methodical, precise offence based on incessant picks and rolls leads the NBA in scoring, averaging 111.9 points per game.
Of course, that’s making coach Jerry Sloan a tad grouchy, which isn’t out of the norm for the stern taskmaster.
Check out this story from earlier this week in the Deseret News. Sloan is right up there among my favourite coach in the NBA. Not sure what it’d be like to cover him every day but he’s honest, forthright, doesn’t really care what people think and he’s been around so long every comment he makes is tinged with the proper context.
Sorta like Sam’ll be in 15 years or so.
Best Sloan story I know first hand?
We’re out there three seasons ago, when local product Rafael Araujo was a rookie. World had leaked out that the Jazz had been interested in Haffa with a pick just a couple after Toronto’s.
Some intrepid Salt Lake City radio reporter gets Sloan after shootaround and, I’m paraphrasing here, asks him: “So, coach, it’ll be interesting to see Haffa tonight, won’t it? See how he’s coming along?”
Sloan doesn’t blink and says: ”Who?”
Me and ex-Sun beat grunt Quag stifle our guffaws.
Think Jose and Garbo won’t have a bit of an edge to them tonight when they see Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko.
It was back in September in Madrid when Calderon and Garbo were poised to be the darlings of their nation, ready to win the European basketball championships before an adoring home crowd.
Then Kirilenko and Russia pull a huge upset in the final and Spain finishes second.
You know, some of you are so on ball, it’s incredible.
Yes, I now know that bon-bons come in boxes, not bags. Guess I got potato chips confused with bon-bons. Which isn’t out of the realm of possibility for most sports writers.
But, you gotta admit, the whole Sam Mitchell-bag (box)-of-bon-bons thing was pretty cool.
Oh, while we’re here: Alabama 90, Mercer 83. BearNation mourns.
Okay, Jose Calderon is a pretty funny guy.
It’s post-practice Tuesday and he’s in signing a bunch of stuff to eventually be given away, autograph days happen two or three times a season, and included is a little survey.
One of the question was, “Who’s your favourite Canadian?”
Without hesitation, Jose says “Jim LaBumbard,” Toronto’s all-world media relations dude.
Outside of Doug Smith, that was the funniest answer.
Dang. I had American Thanksgiving in the When-Do-The-Knicks-Meltdown pool. Missed it by a week or so.
Stephon Marbury flies to Phoenix with the team, blows off shootaround and a game to fly back home, apparently ‘cause he’s ticked that his coach got mad at him and the craziness continues for the Knicks.
Not sure what they can do with Marbury, he’s owed about $42 million on his contract and there’s no way he can be traded – again.
I remember the day he was traded from Phoenix to New York. I was enjoying an adult beverage or two with then-coach Kevin O’Neill (that happened every now and then) and we’re watching junior pucks, USA vs. Canada. All day, KO’s stunned by the trade and the thing he kept harping back to, and I paraphrase again ‘cause the memory ain’t what it used to be, was “they’re going to owe him $10 million in 2009, there’s no way that ends good.”
He was bang on.
Gotta check out Frank Isola in the Daily News for a tale of, well, blackmail, it seems.
Scary Spice lives! Yay!
Wimpy Pretty Boy Cameron is gone. I still have Mel B as the overwhelming favourite but the lady from 90210 might give her a run. Marie Osmond? Not sure the days of teen idols (yeah, I’m a little bit country) survive the intensity of Dancing With The Stars.