A Surprise Trade …

I must admit that I did not see this coming.  Breaking news overnight says the Spurs and Raptors have reached and agreement on a trade that would send Kawhi Leonard to Toronto and DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.  Based on initial reactions contained in the report at CBSSports.com, the players involved did not see this coming either.

  • DeRozan posted on Instagram something that shows he is not happy with leaving the Raptors.  He has spent his entire NBA career (9 seasons) in Toronto.
  • Someone identified as being “in Leonard’s camp” [Aside: Is that different from “a source close to Leonard”?] said that Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto.

Like it or not, this trade has all the ingredients to become a storyline for the next 12 months when Kawhi Leonard will become an unrestricted free agent.  Meanwhile, DeRozan’s contract runs through the end of the 2020 – 21 season and he will make $27.3M in each of the next three years under that contract.  There are other components to this trade – including the Spurs’ first round pick next year – but the center of gravity for the deal is the swap of Leonard for DeRozan.

In another basketball note, several players from Louisville’s 2013 national champion team have sued the NCAA over the forfeiture of that national championship.  If you recall, that penalty came because of allegations made by a woman who claimed that she and others were hired by the team as strippers and sex partners with recruits who might attend Louisville.  While I have difficulty seeing how any harm came to those players of such a magnitude that a lawsuit makes sense, I do have to root for them in this matter for two reasons:

  1. This is another example of the NCAA’s flawed-to-the-core enforcement procedures.
  2. One of the lawyers for the players in his pleading to the court referred to the NCAA as “a morally bankrupt organization” and said, “They answer to nobody but are bad for everybody”.  When I read that, I yelled “Bullseye!

In another area of US jurisprudence, I read that Harvey Weinstein – through his attorneys and spin-meisters – will assert that he was “born poor” and that he lived through his adolescence as an “ugly” kid and that these elements will be in his defense against new sexual abuse charges/accusations.  If that seems a bit thin to you as a defense, just imagine that the venue for the trial is LA and the jury is picked from among the LA jury pool.  Anyone recall the OJ trial?  It could work.

For the record, given Mr. Weinstein’s appearance today, it is not hard for me to imagine that he was “ugly” as a teenager…

Since I am off on a tangent here, let me offer up a Quick Quiz:

  • In the pantheon of poor taste, which of these two things ranks higher:
  • Papa John’s CEO John Schattner’s comments regarding race – – OR – –
  • A Papa John’s pizza.

Answer below…

Terrell Owens is in the news again for something other than being a no-show at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  He has hired a Canadian agent and has said he wants to play in the CFL.  The Edmonton Eskimos have his Canadian rights and according to the report I read, the team has until 24 July to offer Owens a contract or they will relinquish those rights making him a free agent in Canada.  Owens professes a love of football and a desire to play in Canada – and/or the NFL if they would have him back.

Personally, I do not care even a little bit if he shows up or stays away from the hall of Fame induction ceremony.  Moreover, I do not care even a little bit about where he plays football or does not play football from here on out.  He has been signed and released/traded by 5 NFL teams so far; if he adds a Canadian team or two to that tally, so what?

Owens will turn 45 in December of this year.  His last appearance in a pro football game was in 2010 (age 37) with the Bengals.  He appeared in 14 games that year, caught 72 passes for 983 yards and 9 TDs.  The fact that no NFL team took him aboard after a season with those stats tells you something about Owens’ “intangibles”.  [Note:  Technically, he played “pro football” in 2012 for the Allen Wranglers in the Indoor Football League.]

Speaking of things I do not care about at all, let me get this straight.  At the end of the meaningless Home Run Derby, there was a controversy.  As soon as I read that headline, I figured it would be about as important as a controversy at a quilting bee – – and I was right.  It seems that Bryce Harper’s father – who was pitching to Harper in the Home Run Derby – did not wait for the ball to land on a hit before launching the next pitch.  Holy Moly!  If ever there were an issue that called for Congressional hearings…

Here is my desired resolution to this scandalous behavior:

  • Cancel the Home Run Derby – – which is at least 99% as lame as the Slam Dunk contest during NBA All-Star Week.

Answer to the Quick Quiz:  Both of them are in hugely poor taste.

Finally, Dwight Perry had this comment recently in the Seattle Times:

“Canada will legalize marijuana nationwide on Oct. 17, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

“Coming soon to an NHL trophy case near you: the Lady Bong Trophy.”

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