Saved from coaching exile by friend Mike Holmgren, who brought Rhodes in to help Seahawks' nowhere-to-go-but-up D.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
LeBron's been freed to play -- at least until
the next court date on Feb. 19. Here are a few
postgame questions, like Doug Llewellyn from the
Wapner-era "People's Court":
To Team LeBron: Are you sure "temporary" will
become "permanent?" Don't celebrate too soon; the
judge can still rule on 2/19 to end LeBron's career --
before the state playoffs.
To the OHSAA: What do you know that we don't about
what the key witnesses -- the store clerks --
will say at that Feb. 19 hearing? They are rumored
to have conflicting stories.
To the organizers of next stop on the LeBron World
Tour: How psyched are you? Because you know
that the universe isn't converging on Trenton, New
Jersey, to obsess over LeBron's sub.
To the coach of an upcoming opponent: How bummed is
Scott H.S. in Toledo? Since SVSM had the option to
choose which of its remaining games LeBron would sit
out (and they sure weren't choosing the money-printer
in Jersey), they picked middling Scott (currently just
To the rest of us: How will the LeBron Bandwagon be
affected if his team actually loses to nationally
ranked Westchester (Calif.) on Saturday?
All Riled Up
Pat Riley called the officiating "an absolute
joke" in the Heat's loss to the Blazers last night. However, the league has to examine
the reported exchange between Riley and ref Derrick
Stafford. "It's not about you," Stafford reportedly
shouted. "Go on TV crying," he added, apparently a reference
to the previous time Riley whined about the refs.
Great; now we actually have to start wondering if
there is a real ref bias against him.
The whole LeBron Saga has a lot of people in a
hoo-hah about the adulteration of high-school kids.
But the most exciting moments of college football's
Signing Day were the announcements two prominent
players made on SportsCenter -- and not because of
their college choices. Who knows how good Andre
Caldwell (Florida) and Antonio Cromartie (Florida State) will
be on the field,
||"GREAT RIVALRIES" EDITION
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE IN PLAY:|
1. Mickelson vs. Woods (or is it Titleist vs. Nike?)|
2. LeBron vs. OHSAA (it's not over yet)
3. Terry Tate vs. the Soccer Streaker (new ad amusing)
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE SO OVER:|
1. UNC-Duke ('Heels erode it by the game)|
2. SEC football recruiting (Until next year ...)
3. Idol: Julia vs. Kimberly (Julia?! Come on, America!)
but their sincere, polite statements
-- under pressure of live TV, no less -- said a lot
about them as young adults. It was the best kind of
Big recruiting winners: As expected, USC and
Florida topped most lists, with LSU also a consensus
winner. But listening to the spinning going on
campuses across the country, you'd think every school
matched their wish list. Wouldn't it be great if just
one coach said, "You all see it: Our class sucks."
A day after Phil Mickelson's critique of
Tiger's equipment, he was backpedaling: "I hope that
line wasn't taken out of context." Let's review what
he said, and you can decide for yourself: "[Tiger] has
inferior equipment," Phil said. Hmm. "Tiger is the only
player who is good enough to overcome the equipment
he's stuck with." (Equal time: Let's count up all the
majors Phil has won with his. Riiiight.)
More All-Star Picks
Continuing the buildup to NBA All-Star
Weekend, here are picks for the three big
Slam-Dunk: Will it be ruined again this season
with the "Wheel of Disaster?" Contestants: Richard
Jefferson (poor man's Vince Carter); Desmond Mason ('01 winner better finishing alley-oops);
Jason Richardson ('02 winner needs to add style to power);
Amare Stoudemire (big men make it look too easy).
Pick: Jefferson over Mason
3-Point: What happened to the glory days when
this contest was loaded with one-dimensional players?
Contestants: Brent Barry (does he get to dunk?); Pat
Garrity (no chance); Wes Person (historically chokes);
Peja Stojakovic ('02 winner too cool); Antoine Walker
(too bad it's not "how many" vs. "how accurate");
David Wesley (filler). Pick: Peja repeats, over
Skills: New comp testing all-around ability --
dribbling, passing, shooting. Contestants: Jason Kidd
(can't shoot); Stephon Marbury (can't shoot, either);
Tony Parker (too young); Gary Payton (total package).
Pick: Payton, the wily vet, over Kidd
As first reported by ESPN.com's Robin Miller,
R.J. Reynolds is likely going to stop as the title
sponsor for the Winston Cup. Here are the three
related replacement-contenders we'd like to see: 1)
The Skoal Spitoon; 2) The Swisher Sweets Humidor; 3)
The "Smoking Kills" Coffin.
Nine straight losses and counting. The Bruins have eroded their status as a "premier" college hoops program. (UNC, too.)
|Is justice blind, or are the refs?|
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|P2: Retro day!|
|CFB: Inside UF|
Duke retired Jason Williams' No. 22, a ceremony that
has come to represent "great college players who
underperform in the NBA" ...|
Bob Knight hit 800 career wins last night. He
doesn't care, so we will downplay, too ...
Fifty of those wins came vs. Northwestern, so it's
nice timing that NU beat Indiana last night for the
first time in 15 years ...
Not sure if he speaks for the players' union or
himself, but Gene Upshaw wants the NFL to fine the
Lions for their coach-hiring process ...
Next Tiger? The LPGA invited Michelle Wie, 13, to play
in its first major of the season ...
Bachelorette Trista "decommitted" from Russ; a nation
Don't forget to start your Friday with The Quickie ...