Today’s blog will talk about the Good, The Bad and The Ugly about sports.
We lost Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian in a span of 4 days. Both are hall of fame coaches who coached iconic teams and players. But they were treated much differently by the NCAA. Smith, who was affetionately called Michel Angelo by Dick Vitale, was glorified as being one of the 10 best NCAA coaches of all time maybe even top 5. Tarkanian was different and brought a new style to the table but was constantly in the cross hairs of the NCAA. As for the violations sanctioned against him and his teams he really didn’t do anything that everyone else wasn’t doing. Yes maybe even Smith did it too. I am not saying Smith did but you an question and wonder about any school. Smith however would hold onto the ball before the shot clock was brought into the game. While he didn’t break any rules is the spirit of the game compromised by holding the ball and not trying to score? I am not questioning the greatness of Smith just the treatment of Tarkanian who sued the NCAA and won.
Next we will talk about Anthony Mason and Carmelo Anthony. I am not a Knick fan nor have I ever been. I think under Pat Riley they were a bunch of thugs and that led to their success more than anything. I wasn’t even a fan of any of their players. The news that Mason is in serious physical condition I have to admit it makes me feel sad. Now I wouldn’t wish death on anyone obviously and it is not uncommon to hear tales of how good a person is off the field/court no matter how he acted when he played. What I remember about Mason the player? He was built like a mat truck. He got the absolute most out of his physical abilities which were limited. He played his way to stay in the NBA. Most importantly he gave you his blood and guts every time he stepped on the court and that is something that needs to and should be respected. On the other side of the coin is Carmelo Anthony. Does any Knick fan think he is giving it his all this year or the previous years? He has been sitting out with a bun knee that is going to need surgery. Yet he finds it in him to play in London and sit out games afterwards. He says he may play in the All Star Game but shut it down after that. Really? It’s nice to know where his priorities lie. He is making a ton of money. He turned down less money to play for a team that could legitimately win a NBA Championship with him. Now I do understand there was more than a 30 million difference in what he makes now and what the Bulls offered him. But still Anthony’s NBA teams have done nothing in the playoffs and if he was really certain he wanted to be a Knick all along then when before he was traded he would have made it known that he only wants to play for the Knicks and allowed them to keep their players instead of trading them for him. That trade took out the guts of the Knicks because Carmelo wanted a max contract. It has always been about him. Mason was a true team player who cared for and fighted for all his team mates.
Kudos to Mike Matheny. His book titled “The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old School Views On Succes In Sports And Life” touches on how parents are negatively impacting their child’s potential sports careers bring to light a very serious issue. I have not read the book yet but heard an interview he gave on WFAN NY with Mike Francesca and Matheny makes alot of good points. I think one of the most difficult things to do in this world is coach your son to play sports. Whether on your own or as part of a team. I speak from first hand experience. When my father coached me he always expected more from me. I remember one year when I was 9 or 10 years old I dogged a football practice and my father made me hit the sleds for 2 hours after practice by myself. So my father wasn’t the guy who would show favoritism to his child. The best players always played if the team was a tournament team. In house teams means everyone plays and gets into every game. But he was part of the old school parents. Just 10 years later I went with my father to watch a neighbor’s kid play baseball and we were both shocked to see the parents giving their son a hot dog to eat during the game. That is a no no for old school coaches like my father and I would agree with that. I mean I used to play in a league that had double headers on Saturday and Sunday every weekend. We would have a 15 to 20 minute break between games to have a quick sandwhich but that’s it. But what Matheny is saying is that parents these days are so far out of control. Every parent thinks their kid is this potential superstar who is going to the pros to make millions of dollars. I guess it is easier than winning lotto. But it’s hard work for the kid to get to that level. To make kids have to deal with that pressure at such a young age is criminal. Not to mention the private coaches the parents spend tons of money on. Parents these days are just out of their minds. Let your kid enjoy their childhoods and let them enjoy playing ball without any more un just pressures.
Then there is Josh Gordon. I really don’t have the words for him but I will try. He has now failed 3 drug tests and has been suspended again for the 3rd time for at least one year maybe more. His explanation this time is that he didn’t know the marajuana ban for the off season too and not just the regular season. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. No one should feel sorry for him anymore. He had received the golden opportunity to be a NFL player and play a position that top players make more than 10 million dollars a year and he literally has pissed it away. He needs serious help and the Browns should release him and no one else should sign him either. You would think he had already learned his lesson but I guess not. This is another case of a gifted star player who thinks because he has talent he will keep getting chances.