||New Knicks coach
Inflated by his all-time-best win total (and nearly as many losses), he isn't the retro-hiring trend's apex -- just the latest recyclable.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
This "retro coaches" craze is officially
out of control. It's like the NBA needs to change
it's slogan to "I Love This Same!"
First, Hubie Brown. Now, Wilkens. Could Pat Riley's
return be far off? (And that's just the NBA.) So much
for that youth movement. We're in the middle of the
Did someone dial the time machine to 1983? Retro unis, retro coaches ... how
about a full-on return to the early '80s -- too revealing short-shorts,
a good ol'-fashioned coke scandal, Doug Moe.
Like every recent coaching fad -- college
coaches, young ex-players, TV analysts, Larry Brown --
this one needs to be taken to a brutal extreme (Dick
Motta? Gene Shue?
Don Nelson?) before
the system corrects itself and the next fad begins.
NBA Statement Games
Combining for 79 of Minny's 100 points
in a huge win at San Antonio, the "Big Three"
have established the T-Wolves as the NBA's best
But it also establishes, once and for all, that
Kevin Garnett is overrated as an individual superstar.
He's finally winning big, but it has taken not one but
two supporting stars to finally get there.
Lakers: Just Fine
Speaking of "Big Three," apparently the
Lakers don't need Shaq-Kobe-Mailman, because they have
the mighty troika of Ho-Kareem-Slava. It's more fun
to enjoy these overachieving Lakers (d. Denver 97-71)
than the dominant version.
Bears Feel Lovie
Stop the presses: An assistant
-- not some old former head coach -- has been given a
chance to run his own team.
First, Lovie Smith will reignite fan passion in Chicago after the
uninspiring Jauron Era. And he'll quickly turn the
promising Bears' D into the NFC's best unit.
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|TODAY'S THREE HOTTEST STORIES|
1 Knicks hire old-timer Lenny Wilkens, to mixed reviews|
2 T-Wolves top Spurs on the road, now top Midwest Div.
3 Bears hire Rams' Lovie Smith; only Raiders coach-less
|THREE STORIES YOU SHOULD JUST LET GO|
1 Czar of Telestrator: Fratello to keep his night job|
2 Dissing the Lakers: Do fine w/o Kobe, Shaq back soon
3 MLB progress on moving Expos: List remains at 8 cities
The team will need it: Call the offense the
Anti-Rams -- "The Greatest Slow on Turf." (Actually,
How can Michelle Wie tell she's
arrived? There's a whole lot of Wie-whackin' going
on, and she doesn't even tee up her first PGA round
until today's Sony Open (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Get over it: Only 14, Wie is better than
any pro golfer at that age, including Tiger.
(Let me do that one better: She's better at her sport
than any mainstream-sport athlete at 14,
including LeBron, MJ, Bonds.)
She may not make the Sony Open cut (says
here she will), but by the time she's 18 -- a full
four years of seasoning away -- she'll be
full-time on the PGA Tour.
Wednesday's college hoops results
illustrated the double-edge of parity:
Men -- Upset City:
Six unranked teams (Maryland, Purdue, Okla St,
N. Iowa, Tenn., N'western) knocked off teams in the
Top 25 (UNC, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Creighton, Vandy, Illinois).
This season's volatility
has made any game a must-see
Women -- Upset Pity:
Still nascent, the sport needs its half-dozen
heavyweights; when UConn turns out to be merely mortal
or, like last night, when No. 1 Texas Tech gets
shocked by non-factor Iowa State, mainstream
interest takes a hit.
"Recruiting-news" Web sites: Doesn't
get more sketchy than that. Now, under pressure from
the NCAA, Kentucky has reportedly banned a fan who
runs one of these sites from athletic events -- for 27
Basically, the NCAA reminded UK that it was
responsible for any contact made between fans and
sports recruits -- and that "fans" includes Joe
No-Life and his DSL hook-up.
What a supernova rumor: Somebody either played the media for fools -- or hung the Czar out to dry. (Was that you, Isiah? If so, how crafty!)
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Caple writes final "Frasier" script|
|Kiper: Mel's Big Board|
|Get your own bobblehead|
|Most Overrated "Most Wins" NBA Coaches|
|Pat Riley (1,110)|
|Right place, right time|
|K.C. Jones (522)|
|Don Nelson (1,096)|
|Teams can't win big one|
|Bill Fitch (944)|
|Mighty .460 winning pct|
|Dick Motta (935)|
|Another "longevity" guy|
No Vlad, no problem: Orioles still finish offseason
strong, signing (re-signing?) front-line starting
pitcher Sidney Ponson ...|
Greece looking for Olympic torch-runners; doesn't that
seem like a Seinfeld topic that never was mocked, but
should have been? ...
Jeff Garcia didn't do so well leading drives on the
field, but he goes and gets arrested on suspicion of
Welcome to the new NHL economic order: Dallas reducing
ticket prices (carrot); up next: reducing player
salaries (stick) ...
Like the unholy love-child of O'Reilly and Oprah, John
McEnroe is reportedly getting his own prime-time cable
talk show ...