We begin Odds & Ends with the news of the retirement of Tim Duncan after 19 seasons in the NBA, all with the San Antonio Spurs. In his career,Duncan won five NBA championships,the Rookie of the Year award in 1998,two MVP awards,three NBA Finals MVP awards,and was an NBA All-Star 15 times.
Duncan,40,went out on his terms and without a farewell tour. Instead,he retired via a short letter to the team and the city giving his thanks.
“He’s irreplaceable,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It can’t happen. We’re all unique but he’s been so important to so many people it’s just mind boggling.”
I can’t say that I’m stunned that Duncan retired because he’s been in the NBA since I was in high school, but it’s going to be really weird not seeing him in a black and silver Spurs uniform next season. He’s been a big part of that team and a big part of the league for so long. To me,he is not just one of the best power forwards of all time,but one of the greatest players of all time. He wasn’t a flashy player with a catchy nickname or an attention whore in any sense, he was just extremely good at what he did and he did it well for so long. Mr. Duncan, best wishes in the next chapter of your life. You’ll be missed!
Continuing with basketball and Knicks president Phil Jackson suggesting a couple rule changes for the league to consider, a four-point line from 35-feet out and six more seconds to the shot clock.
“Why not have a four-point line about 35 feet out? It wouldn’t be long before players will get reasonably comfortable shooting from out there. And having a four-point line would certainly serve to enable teams to catch up in what are now blowout games, ” said Jackson.
Regarding the shot clock,Jackson says, “This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement.”
While I appreciate his progressive spirit,I don’t see either one of these things happening anytime soon,or at all. First off, the four point shot would only benefit teams like the Golden State Warriors who do nothing but shoot from the perimeter and would blow games out even more,reducing the abilities of teams to be able to win games against better teams.
As far as the shot clock goes, it’s fine where it is at 24 seconds. If your team can’t get a play together and a shot off in that amount of time,then you’re in the wrong league. Nice try,Phil, let’s get back to the drawing board on some of this!
Joe Torre,a former manager and now MLB executive,sent a memo out on Friday to managers,general managers,and assistant general managers,urging the field managers to stop arguing balls and strikes.
“This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately,” Torre said in the memo obtained by the Associated Press on Saturday.
Torre is instead calling for managers to rely on replay instead. Every pitch and play is monitored by teams in case they want to challenge for a replay review,but balls and strikes cannot be reviewed.
“Although disagreements over ball and strike calls are natural, the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue,” Torre wrote. “This conduct not only delays the game, but it also has the propensity to undermine the integrity of the umpires on the field.”
“I’m still going to react to what I see in front of me,” Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday night.
Honestly,I disagree with Torre’s logic here in terms of managers arguing a call. First of all,seeing a manager get bent out of shape with an umpire leading to his ultimate exit to the showers is an entertaining thing to see sometimes. Some ejections have been downright legendary and hilarious to watch and it really is a part of the game. Second of all, if Torre really wants managers to knock off the arguing of balls and strikes, how about have some of his umpires and crews not have such terrible strike zones (cough,Dana Demuth) and lousy calls?
What Torre said,in my view,is that the managers are the problem with the delays of games and that the umpires are perfect angels. Here’s an idea,Joe,let’s get the definiton of the strike zone down so that managers like Bruce Bochy and Ausmus aren’t leaving the dugouts in disgust over yet another missed call by an umpire who knew better.
Finally we end on a positive note with former Lions tailback Jahvid Best becoming the first former NFL player to compete in the summer Olympics. Best will run for the island nation of St. Lucia where his father holds dual citizenship and will run in the 100 meter race in next month’s games in Rio de Janiero.
“This is a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time this is just the beginning,” Best said. “I have only been in this sport for two years professionally, and plan on being around for a long time.”
Best played two seasons in the NFL after coming out of Cal before a series of concussions cut his career short. Best returned to school and earned his degree and served as a graduate assistant for the Golden Bears.
I wish Best the very best in Rio, I hated that he wasn’t playing football anymore,but after reading what he said on Twitter, I’m pulling for him to win:
“Dreams may/will change…. Never stop pursuing them. Above all else never stop believing in yourself. #anythingispossible”
Go get ’em,Jahvid!
For those who were wondering where I was and where SportsTalk 916 was last night, the show and my appearance were moved to tonight instead of last night,so I do hope you’ll tune in to hear us at 8pm Pacific time.
Leave a Reply