Long time reader, first time blogger. So a friend of mine pointed out today that I had not written a blog entry since March Madness. My feable attempt to convince her that the last entry was a true masterpiece of American journalism did not float so here I am. So, without wasting more time, let's get down to business...
Lot of stuff sitting around in the ole sports shorts (yes, their is a rather off-color pun in there):
* USA basketball announced the men's basketball team yesterday and I was very excited to see that the powers that be finally woke up and decided to put an actualy team together and not just 12 NBA all-stars. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo did an outstanding job or trying to correct the faux pas that led to our pathetic bronze medal finish in 2002. I am sad that Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are not playing by their choice, this team has everything you need to be elite. The squad includes one of the best shooters (Michael Redd) and defenders (Tashaun Prince). Two solid point guards (Jason Kidd & Chris Paul), dominate scorers (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant & Carmelo Anthony) and a shot blocker in Dwight Howard. Now, the big question will be, with the talent gap around the world narrowed, is the U.S. once again the dominate country?
* The NBA draft is Thursday night and it is by far the most entertaining. Not so much to watch 5'4" David Stern shake hands with 7 foot foreigners with names he can't pronounce but to see all of these young guys in their outlandish suits. The duds make Craig Sager and Don Cherry blush. In honesty, I am just really jealous that I can not pull off a purple suit with lime green pinstripes with 16 buttons and a jacket that goes to my knees (but, I will still give it the old college try).
* Allow me a moment to call USA women's basketball coach Anne Donovan a two-faced idiot. She recently called WNBA star and reigning leauge MVP Becky Hammon unpatriotic because Hammon, an American who has and will again play pro ball in Russia, decided to compete for the Russians in the Olympics because USA basketball turned her away. I guess Donovan didn't think the best player in our only professional league was good enough to represent our country but on the other hand doesn't want Hammond to have a shot at playing in the Olympics at all. Nancy Lieberman, maybe the most respected figure in women's basketball said, "Becky's image is impeccable. She's the consummate All-American girl." Many female basketball players play overseas and make more money and acquire passports from those countries, some even stay after their careers are over. Many athletes have competed for other countries, they aren't born or raised in and we celebrate them for geting a chance to compete on the world's largest stage. Are all of them unpatroitic? Last time I checked, Russia is now a U.S. ally, she is not playing for the Osama All-Stars or Iraq. A few have said that USA basketball's selections were political and that Hammon wasn't given a fair shot at making the U.S. team. I find it odd that Hammon can be considered one of the two or three best players currently in OUR country but is not one of the best 12 to represent our country. USA basketball turned their back on Hammon and that is disappointing. If Donovan wants to point a finger or shoot her mouth off, she should look in the mirror. She made Hammon's decision for her. I for one, will be rooting for Hammon in Beijing.
* As we get to the summer and baseball takes center stage, I hope that the Chicago Cubs can follow in the footsteps of the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox and finally break their World Series drought. The loveable losers as they have been called in the past have solid pitching, good veteran leadership, a great manager and the best fans in baseball. God, I don't ask for much and you know I'm a Blue Jays fan, but please be kind to the Cubbies this year!
* Ken Griffey, Junior recently hit home run #600. Griffey has been very unlucky with injuries since he joined the Reds in 2000. He probably has missed 2-3 full seasons with injuries and in the live ball era we live in that #600 could have been #700 and he not you know who would be replacing Hank Aaron as the all-time home run king. Let's just hope A-Rod keeps his HR pace and interest in the game to last long enough to remove the current tainted HR leader.