Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Nene keeps it real
By Tim Keown
From Nene's blog
This is kind of embarrassing, but I took part in the second-biggest brawl in NBA history and all I got was a lousy one-game suspension. I tried to back my teammates and be tough and show them I care, but why do I feel so hollow right now?
I look at Carmelo and his 15 games and J.R. with his 10 and I wonder, Where did I go wrong? One game? One game is an embarrassment, hardly worth the effort it took to get off the bench.
I tried to get into the thug life and dispense some street-corner justice, and for all my trouble I got a one-game suspension. I might as well show up in the locker room with a dog in a purse.
Looking back, I don't think it was fair. I should have gotten at least five games, just so I could hold my head high. Isiah Thomas told Carmelo not to drive the lane, and a few seconds later it all goes down. Does David Stern think that was a coincidence? And for that, Isiah got nothing. No games. Nothing.
I can only imagine how emasculated Isiah feels right now.
Right now, as I wonder how I'm going to face my teammates after sitting out last night's game, I can't help but wonder about one thing: If Coach Karl and Isiah were to fight, would they slap and backpedal, too?
This Week's List
• Apparently it's the only thing that separates him from a tin-pot dictator: In defending his brain-addled decision not to penalize Thomas, NBA commissioner David Stern said, "Even in the NBA, there's a presumption of innocence."
• In other news, orange juice is good for you, exercise is beneficial and a college education is a good indicator of future financial success: The Red Sox's planned signing of J.D. Drew is being held up because of an injury.
• So now the question for Terrell Owens is: What hasn't he done?
• It's always good for a few contemplative moments and fitful nights when you dip into the Romanowski bag of tricks: If you're Owens' consulting choreographer, you've got to start worrying that your man might be becoming a bit derivative.
• With anyone else, it might be considered a yes-or-no question: Less than 24 hours after the alleged incident, Owens said, "I don't recall spitting in his face."
• You can moan all you want about the breakdown of civility and sportsmanship in the NBA after the Knicks-Nuggets brawl, but I guarantee you I saw the sorriest sight in the league Monday night: Brad Miller attempting to play defense, specifically his effort to cut off the baseline against Jerry Stackhouse.
• I'm sorry, but if you're going to those kinds of lengths, it's gold or nothing: An allegedly female Indian runner was stripped of a silver medal from the women's 800 in the Asian Games because he/she failed a gender test.
• I don't imagine Billy King cares right now, but in a month he might be open to offers of a 5-foot-2 post player and an embossed ball bag carbon-dated to 1955: I coach a seventh-grade CYO basketball team, and since we have some ballhandling problems, we could find a spot for Allen Iverson.
• I looked in the box score to see whether Alex English outscored World B. Free: In a trend reminiscent of the '80s, point totals in the NBA are way up, with the latest example the Wizards' 147-141 win over the Lakers.
• Feel free to get excited about all the playoff possibilities in the NFL, but know this going in: The level of play in the league -- in terms of team, not individual -- has never been worse.
• How bad is it?: The Chargers seem to be the best we've got, and they're thriving on the basis of one fantastic player, a better-than-average defense and not much else.
• After the second women's college outdoor basketball game had to be called because of the weather in Phoenix, Arizona State's Emily Westerberg said: "A basketball game has never been rained out before, so I think it's really cool to be part of that."
• Here's a career renaissance nobody saw coming: Jeff Garcia.
• And finally, I know it's bound to ignite a storm of controversy, but I believe Garbo's best year was '71, when she devised a four-guard motion offense that helped unheralded and undersized Stephen F. Austin to the Final Four: The following sentence in a story about Bob Knight appeared in a major metropolitan newspaper: "Like Greta Garbo, apparently, Knight just wants to be left alone to coach his team without interference."
Tim Keown is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Sound off to Page 2 here.