Kevin McHale – Out; Phil Jackson ???

Kevin McHale is out as the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Someone in the Minneapolis press corps found this out because Kevin Love “tweeted it”; and when the press contacted the team, the team had no comment at that moment. How low rent is that? The Wolves demoted McHale from the GM position and put him on the bench after the team fired Randy Wittman as coach in December. McHale went 20-43 with the team that he had assembled as the GM. Normally, I would say that an interim coach who had inherited such a flawed squad should not be accountable for a bad record like that; but in this case, it was coach McHale who lost with GM McHale’s players…

Kevin McHale was the person responsible for drafting Kevin Garnett in Minnesota. That should put a big “plus” on his ledger. However, he is also the exec in Minnesota who traded Ray Allen for Stephon Marbury (oops) and who traded Brandon Roy for Randy Foye (oops again). Then he traded Kevin Garnett to Boston…

I expect that we might hear from the conspiracy theorists out there rather quickly in the event that Kevin McHale immediately gets a job with the NBA office. Clearly and unequivocally, that would “prove” that David Stern was behind the deal to send KG to Boston to revive that franchise and put it at the top of the NBA again. Ergo, now that McHale is out of a job, the league is taking care of him. I do not believe that for a moment but I would not be surprised to hear it.

By the way, out in Las Vegas some sports books have future bets available on which team will win the NBA Championship in 2010. The Timberwolves are listed at 100-1. Excuse me, but is someone in Las Vegas allergic to four digit numbers? That is probably one of the worst sucker bets of the year.

The question of the week seems to be whether or not Phil Jackson will return to coach the Lakers next year.

    Memo to Phil Jackson:

    Please do not make yourself into a taller version of Brett Favre. Take your time; make your decision; announce it; do whatever you need to do in light of what your decision is.

    Thank you in advance.

Maurice Clarett has petitioned the Ohio Parole Board seeking an early release from prison. In case you forgot, Clarett is serving 42 months in jail for a holdup in Columbus, Ohio and a subsequent car chase resulting in police finding loaded guns in his vehicle. His attorney in this matter submitted to the Parole Board that Clarett has an opportunity to play football in the NFL, the Arena League or the Canadian Football League if he is released now such that he can be in shape to join a team.

Obviously, the attorney here is hoping that there are no football aficionados on the Ohio Parole Board because Maurice Clarett has no more chance of playing in the NFL this year than my father does – - and my father has been dead for ten years. In addition, the Arena League has suspended operations for this season hoping that it might reincarnate itself next year. In addition, the CFL might be problematic given the Canadian government tends not to like to admit known felons to their country merely for the purpose of playing sports. Other than that…

Brandon Jennings chose not to go to a year of college while waiting to become eligible for the NBA Draft; instead, he went to Italy and played for a professional team in Rome. As more players choose to skip that “one-and-done year” of college, some folks try to justify that the young man will learn more by living in a foreign country than he would by living in a dorm at a college where he is not going to attend many classes. That may be true, but the increment may be only marginally greater. Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post interviewed Jennings and here are two insights he gathered from that interview:

    Jennings said it was tough to live abroad and one reason was that they did not have a dryer and had to hang out their wet clothes to dry.

    Jennings said another obstacle he had to overcome was the lack of availability of fast food in Rome. Specifically, he said that he missed Panda Express the most.

I have no comment on the incredible hardship that hanging out clothes to dry might impose on a person; that thought is too much to bear. However, this kid spent a year in Italy and said that he missed the food at Panda Express? I do not care how great a basketball player he might ever be, this guy is not going to cross over and become the next Food Network celebrity chef!

Let me pose a rhetorical question here:

    How many folks who wrote columns averring that last year was Donovan McNabb’s final season with the Eagles will write another column now and fess up that they were merely wildly speculating back then in order to fill up space?

My guess is that very, very few of those folks will do that. My guess here is based on the low percentage of folks who reamed out everyone associated with the Houston Texans organization for taking Mario Williams with the overall #1 pick a couple of years ago and passing on that “sure-fire Hall of Fame running back”, Reggie Bush. Not a lot of “My Bad columns” have followed.

Let me pose another rhetorical question here in the form of a Quick Quiz. Which of these three things brings with it the greatest measure of tedium?

    A. The two-week ramp up to the Super Bowl

    B. NCAA “bracketology” nonsense that starts before Christmas.

    C. NFL Mock Drafts that start a year in advance of the real draft.

Finally, with the US Open happening this weekend, let me close with two quotes from the late John Updike who was enamored with golf:

“Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. Just how childlike golf players become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five.”

“All it takes for a golfer to attain his happiness is a fence rail to throw his coat on, and a target somewhere over the rise.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Ed  On June 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I think I’ll go with “A” on the quiz, as you have to read at least a little to be bored, and the other two I skip unread automatically.

    Re: Jennings. Anyone who bemoans the lack of Panda Express in the capital of what I consider the best cuisine in the world would be unlikely to pick up anything in a year of college other than a few co-eds.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On June 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm


    If you can’t find really good food in Rome just about anytime you want it, there is something wrong with you and not with the city. Ca-beeesh?

  • JJC  On June 20, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Being a sucker for the Quick Quiz that I am, I’d have to go with C. A isn’t so bad, being only a matter of weeks and being somewhat time sensitive. I could do without the pregame shows starting the day before, but what are you going to do. The NCAA is madness well before March, but they brought it on to themselves.

    The winner is clearly C. This is a press thing to satisfy the needs of the press. It’s like all of the fantasy football leagues that open up before training camp but much worse. Nobody really cares all that much about the NFL Draft. I can prove it – No NFL draft wagering, pools or draft board contests.

    I heard Brandon Jennings also was forced to use dial-up.

  • football man  On June 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I would have to say c the mock draft.

  • Rob  On June 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    My answer to the quick quiz is C– mainly because the draft isn’t even a sporting event (at least, in my opinion it isn’t). The lead-up to the Super Bowl is borderline unbearable, but you can avoid most of it by ignoring ESPN, NBC… television in general. Since I enjoy March Madness, I can tolerate the inane “bracketology.” Since I generally don’t follow college basketball until January, I’ll pay just enough attention to appear to know what I’m talking about come March.

    I’ve got a feeling that Zen-master Phil’s decision will involve a good deal less drama.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On June 20, 2009 at 11:36 pm


    “Bracketology” and mock drafts are both hugely annoying to me. But since mock drafts go on for a longer period of time, I can agree that they are more tedious.

    football man:

    Welcome. Thanks for commenting.

    Your vote seems to define a trend here…


    OK, we have a winner here!! Three votes and all of them are for mock drafts being the most tedious choice of all.

  • Ed  On June 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Boy, I vote and when I don’t go with the “right” choice, my vote doesn’t count… am I Iranian or something???

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On June 22, 2009 at 4:26 pm


    Mea culpa! You may indeed be Iranian; only your parents know for sure… But that has nothing to do with my ignoring your comment. That was merely an oversight on my part.

    OK, so the vote now is 3 – 1 favor of mock drafts with excess Super Bowl hype in second place and NCAA bracketology bringing up the rear.

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