This and that
Each week I talk about the world of sports:
• I have to ask this question: Where do you rank Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant against the other great winners in the sports world? Thanks to the Lakers' defense, Jackson now has 11 rings, and Kobe five! Those guys have a winner's mentality that makes all the difference in the world.
• My final analysis of the NBA Finals -- the physical play has made the game ugly! We don't get to see much of the superstars' talents on display.
• Kentucky will make history on draft day. It will be first school to have five players taken in the first round! Daniel Orton will be selected based on potential, potential, potential -- and size, too.
• Congratulations to Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who gave his dad a great Father's Day gift by winning the U.S. Open. McDowell held off the big guns -- guys like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. There were so many tough putts and missed opportunities, but McDowell deserves credit. He did enough to get in the winner's circle.
• Another question: If Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero retired today, would they be Hall of Famers? I think Chipper would be a first-ballot lock. He's a great switch-hitter, and played on so many winning teams.
• Frankly, I am getting sick reading about the selfishness of Albert Haynesworth. Whether it's a 4-3 or 3-4, you play the scheme the coach decides. Haynesworth's deal was worth $100 million, and he took the bonus!
• I was recently down in Miami and I ran into the champ, Floyd Mayweather. He said he will beat Manny Pacquaio, and I believe him!
• I was happy for the Big 12 that Texas and Oklahoma decided to stay. So much for math in college athletics. I guess the Big 12 is really the Big Ten, and the Big Ten is the Big 12!
• Baseball purists loathe interleague play. But let's face it, the excitement is great in certain cities! If two winning teams are going at it -- or special rivalries like Yankees-Mets, Angels-Dodgers and Cubs-White Sox -- then it really works well. I think it is super!
• To show my versatility, I will play TV critic and give my buddies Bob Ley, Mike Tirico and Chris Fowler each an A-plus for their work during the World Cup! I love the passion and drama of the event, with national pride on display and a lot at stake.
• So sad to learn about the passing of Manute Bol. He was doing so many good things for less fortunate people throughout the world, especially in Sudan. He was a friendly guy and will be missed. The world needs more people like Manute.
• I had an interesting debate with some friends recently. I was asked who I would choose first overall if I was starting a new baseball team. My selection: Twins catcher Joe Mauer.
• Watching my girls become moms has been a thrill. On Father's Day, I could not have received a better present than the gift of love from them! Thanks Sherri and Terri!