A new way to lose and an awards debate
There’s about three minutes left, maybe less, and Matt Moore of CBS Sports.com leans over from his seat next to me and says:
“Have they lost a tough one like this before?”
And I’m thinking: Triple overtime, double-overtime, at the buzzer, sometimes by one, two or three points but, no, not ever by gamely fighting back only to their hearts ripped out when a rally falls just short.
So, you can put that one on the list, too.
Good Kyle, finally
No, the first half was not kind to Kyle Lowry at all, he looked slow and a bit out of sorts, kind of like we’ve seen him in the past week or so.
The second half, I’d think almost anyone would agree he was exponentially better. Not super quick attacking but more determined and he ended up the night with 24 points and, most important, a season-high 11 free throws.
Yes, he may have looked a bit selfish but, to some degree, that was by design, as he told My Man Gumby, who bailed me out with some locker room quotes after I listened to Dwane.
“The past few games I have been trying to find my teammates and myself and I realized I had to be more aggressive for me to play a little better individually.”
And that may be the way he has to play to be successful.
Make or miss, it’s the way of the world sometimes
Nuggets are clinging to a one-point lead with about two minutes to go and Ty Lawson hits a big three from the wing.
Raps come right back down, Terrence Ross misses an open corner three that would have made it a one-point game again.
Both good shots; one goes in and one goes out and sometimes it is just a matter of a make and a miss.
Ross, though, was good, again. He had 12 and 6, didn’t get lost too often on defence and was on the floor during the big comeback because he had earned the right to be out there.
He’s eventually going to push DeMar for minutes and if they can get away with using DeRozan at the other swing spot for a few minutes each night, I like the look of both of them on the court at the same time.
No, there was no way they drew up that three-pointer for Amir like it unfolded. There were too many guys too close to each other for anything to make sense and it was an entire panic job.
And it was far more a “heave” than a “shot” but it went in; just don’t think that means he’s got any kind of green light to shoot them more often.
And now, as the man used to say, here’s the rest of the story.
I guess I have no real quibble with LeBron James being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year yesterday. His basketball accomplishments were second to none, his transcendent skills are shocking. He had a year for the ages, of that there can be no doubt, silencing most of the critics who had railed at him for years.
(And you had to know a “but” was coming)
It strikes me as a rather North American selection, and one that cast a long, loving glance at the professional sports that dominate our pages and our television sets. And that’s fine, Sports Illustrated knows its audience, knows what it needs to do to entertain, educate and, yes, placate them sometimes.
I don’t have a vote in any of those end-of-year awards things and that’s fine.
If I did, however, and was after a Sportsman of the Year who transcended pure athletics, achieved a rare status from unique circumstances, I’d have made a strong case for Great Britain’s Mo Farah.
His athletic accomplishments cannot be ignored, winning the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres is stunning.
His story, Mogadishu-born, barely conversant in English when he moved to Britain, his rise to sporting excellence is a great story of perseverance and skill.
He is an inspiration in a way that LeBron cannot be and Fara’s year was incredible.
But so was Usain Bolt’s and so was Lionel Messi’s and I would imagine some non-North American-centric publication will honour some of those people, too.
But, as I said, I cannot quibble with the selection of James, he is a singular talent who had a year for the ages.
But I can present at least one alternative and isn’t that what these awards are for: To stir debate and discussion and good natured arguing that gives people an outlet from the stuff they usually argue about.
However, one more question:
Who in the world gives out Sportsmen of the Year awards on Dec. 3? I can see Dec. 25 or Dec. 31; this is way too early, a rush to sell magazines and memorabilia and whatever. It is more of the too much, too soon life we’re subjected to.
So I see they’re selling the old Vancouver Grizzlies practice court for a nifty $13,000 or so. Imagine they’ll get it – I know the people who run the Molson Centre in Montreal should buy if they have any hopes of attracting another pre-season game because the one they used this season simply wasn’t good enough.
But the story caught me by surprise because I hadn’t realized there was any old Vancouver Grizzlies stuff lying around.
Now, $13,000 is a bit out of my snack bracket but if there’s other stuff around, I might be interested. Stuff like
A copy of Big Country’s $65 million contract.
Seriously, how good would that looked framed and hung in some position of prominence so that every time someone says, ‘so-and-so just got the worst contract ever, I can’t believe they paid him that much’ you can point and say, “son, back in the day …’
A picture of Brian Winters smiling.
Seriously. Just one. Okay, not even a smile, I’ll go for a grin. Or even a rueful look. Please.
Michael Heisley’s purchase agreement
Just to see how bogus it was; and to see if the word “relocation” was in there at all.
And, of course, this would be special, too.