Odds & Ends-Volume 55

OddsEnds

SmartWe have to mention the incident on Saturday night in the game between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

With just seconds to play in a closely contested game, Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State tried to block a dunk attempt by Texas Tech’s Jaye Crockett,who drew the foul. Smart fell into the crowd and while being helped up pushed a fan who exchanged words with him. A technical foul was issued to Smart as he was escorted to the bench by his Cowboys teammates. Smart has been suspended for the next three games, the first being this Tuesday against Texas.

The fan,Jeff Orr, is described as Texas Tech’s number one super fan who in the past has had incidents and has been known to be hostile towards opposing players. In 2010 he was seen giving Texas A&M’s Bryan Davis the finger after a dunk. Presumably, Orr called Smart the N-word and that’s where Smart took offense. It’s been reported that Orr called him a “piece of crap”.

Texas Tech won the game 65-61, handing Oklahoma State its fourth straight loss.

What Smart did shouldn’t be condoned, what he did was inexcusable. As a young man who is maturing as the years come he should know to ignore rabid,hostile fans. However, Orr, who is considerably older than Smart should know not to stoop to that level. This is one instance where both men should have used better judgment. I do feel,however, that Smart’s shove wasn’t that major. I think one game was more than enough but am surprised he was not suspended more than three games.

The first NBA coach firing came Sunday as the Detroit Pistons relieved Maurice Cheeks of his duties. Cheeks went 21-29 with the Pistons,who are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

But is firing Cheeks the move that the Pistons needed to make,or should Joe Dumars be shown the door?Pistons

Cheeks was the eighth coach the Pistons have had since Dumars became president of basketball operations in 2000. With the signings of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith (which was a stunning move considering the Pistons already had a power forward), some expected the Pistons to contend for a playoff spot. They’re almost there and for some reason the team decided to switch coaches when they probably didn’t need to.
I’m not saying Cheeks is the best coaching option out there,but he’s certainly been the best coach the Pistons have had in a while. But when you go through four coaches in the last six seasons (Cheeks,Lawrence Frank,John Kuester, Michael Curry,and Flip Saunders), chances are it might not be the coach that’s the problem.

Dumars has had success in the past, there’s no question about that. He’s won two championships as a player, one as a front office executive,and his team was in the conference finals six straight seasons, but those days are over. With a team that has new ownership, dwindling attendance figures,and a playoff drought of over five years, it might be time to clean house at the executive level because the Pistons are looking like the Edmonton Oilers of the NBA.

MichaelSamMissouri defensive end Michael Sam has come out of the closet much to the support of his college teammates,but not so much NFL assistant coaches.

“I don’t think football is ready for it just yet. In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room,” said one unnamed NFL assistant coach.

What’s that supposed to mean?

I doubt that this is the attitude of every NFL locker room,but the fact that the coach said this anonymously is quite cowardly if you ask me. Sam,who is an all-American, came out to his teammates before this past season where the Tigers went 12-2 and had no locker room issues.

Now I’m not saying that Sam won’t have any issues when he gets drafted because if we’ve learned anything from the Jonathan Martin story it’s that locker rooms aren’t always a welcoming environment. I hope that whatever team drafts him they welcome him with open arms, I know I would. It doesn’t matter your sexuality as long as you’re productive and do your job well.

Next week we will not do Odds & Ends on account that I will be coming home from Disneyland that day, so we’ll have to wait until next time.

 

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