Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Around the Internets

Courtesy of The Big Lead, here's an awesome dunk from a high school b-ball game:

...Someone else unearthed a hilarious music video featuring a satin-clad group of 1986 Dodgers

...Finally, at long last, I found translations of the play-by-play from Pedro's big day at the cock fights

Speaking of the Mets, I found out over on Metsblog that Willie Randolph was arguing calls in today's Spring Training tilt against the University of Michigan. So, I guess he may be a little more vocal this year after all. Not only was he arguing, but he prevented a loss by doing so. A ninth-inning, game-tying two-run home run by Michel Abreu was originally ruled a double, but ol' Willie got that taken care. Done and done.

Pearls of Wisdom

Earl Monroe sounds off on Knicks

In today’s edition of the Post, Marc Berman treats us to some choice words from Earl “the Pearl” Monroe. For someone who was an artist on the basketball court it must be especially painful for him to watch these Knicks play on his court.

On the gap between the team’s talent and performance:
"I still think they got a tremendous amount of talent on this team. It's really baffling to me the team's not performing the way I thought they would perform."

On Eddy Curry:
"I think the way they played last year, I wouldn't have changed the whole scope of Eddy Curry as the No. 1 option."
…"He might be a little fragile as far his psyche is concerned, but I still think he's a kind of guy you need."
…"They had established Eddy Curry last year as a player, they come in this year and go away from it…”
…"It doesn't make much sense. He's lost a lot of his confidence and that's why they're going away from him now. But I'm not making those types of decisions. They had the makings of a real good team going into the season."

To sum up:
"There's bad karma," Monroe said. "They have to beat the bad karma down. It's the kind of season where everything's been strange.
…"I think it's surprising to a lot of people [Thomas hasn't been fired], but he was a great player and has an eye for talent."

And, I guess it had to be Pearl who was going to say something. Or, at least say something that wouldn’t come off as petulant or piling on. Something that could be considered genuine tough-love. The players from the teams that I grew up watching in the 1980s and 1990s are likely too close to Isiah (in terms of both age and relationship) to say anything too critical. Moreover, they’ll always see the great player that he was rather than the lousy coach and executive that he has become. Anyone who shared the court with Isiah will likely still be in awe of him just the same way Dolan was/is.

And, really, after Patrick, who is trying to climb up the NBA coaching ladder, who is there with the stature to actually say anything from those years anyway? Starks? Nope. He works for the Knicks and probably needs the job. Oakley? Not likely to be taken seriously even if he speaks up and easily ignored as a loose cannon. Mark Jackson? He’s on television and concentrating on making his move in that arena.

So, yeah, it really had to be someone from the previous generation to say something. It had to be one of the guys who is not beholden to Isiah and who never looked up to him. And, it had to be Pearl. After all, Clyde is employed by the club and clearly wants to avoid the fate of Marv Albert, who was sacked for being too critical. Meanwhile Willis Reed has worked for the Nets organization and the Hornets and may feel obliged not to criticize his peers. Likewise, Phil Jackson is coaching the Lakers and must be glad to have two easy games on the schedule. Dollar Bill has dropped from sight since his failed Presidential bid and only pops up for matters of politics, if it all. And, of course DeBusscherre passed away in 2003.

Well, thank you Pearl for not being afraid to speak your mind. Hopefully someone will listen.

Tuesday's Starting Five

1. D.J. Augustin. The sophomore guard for Texas made his team the first Big 12 club to record a road win at Kansas State. He had 24 points, 5 assists and 4 steals, which were all team highs. Apparently, the guys playing behind Durant last year were pretty darn good.

2. DeShawn Stevenson. Fear the (other) beard. Stevenson notched a career-high in points (33) last night and hit the game-winner as the Wizards bested the Hornets at the buzzer.

3. The Detroit Pistons. The pay-attention tour stopped in Denver last night. Motown had three players go for twenty (Billups, Hamilon and Prince) as they beat the Nuggets. They’ve started their West Coast swing 2 and 0.

4. Earl Monroe. The Knicks and Bullets legend actually had some sensible and critical things to say about the Knicks yesterday. It’s nice to see one of the players/coaches who lived and died for this team back in the day finally step forward show some emotion about the dire straights the club is in.

5. Michael Beasley. Yeah, his team lost. But with 30 points and 15 rebounds he was still the story last night. Those numbers gave him his school-record-setting 11th 30-point game. He’s played in 27 collegiate games and he’s got 30+ in 11 of them.

Benched: Yao Ming. Just as his team (and this season the Rockets were his team as opposed to McGrady’s) was catching fire this happens. Diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot, Yao appears lost for the season. The West just lost one of the team’s that looked poised to turn the whole thing on its head. The Rockets had won 12 games in a row and are currently only three games behind the Lakers for first in the conference.