Sports Shorts

Rest: The Case- The latest to-do regarding the NBA has to do with the idiosyncratic motives of a few of the head coaches of some of the very best teams in the league. To wit, these head-masters opted to sit star players as the regular season wound down in order to rest those players up for the upcoming post season marathon.

Much to the chagrin of the paying customers these teams thumbed their noses at their fan’s disaffection and decided that the risk was worth the reward. The poor guy forking out hundreds of dollars for his family to see the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, etc. was basically left at the altar come tip time.

Let’s say dad purchased tickets at the start of the season for himself and his family, specifically to see one of the superstars come to his city, and the only time to see one of the game’s elite was towards the end of the season. If the player isn’t playing that night and is not injured, then dad and his family are going to understandably feel that somebody has let them down.

The San Antonio Spurs are the forefathers of this ritual, which has gained steam over the past several seasons. Years ago coach Gregg Popovich, with playoff appearance in hand, began sitting his star players numerous games before season’s end. Hey, there must have been some proof in his pudding because the Spurs have hoisted the hardware more times than others in the recent era.

Coach Tyronn Lue of the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers thought he’d get away with instituting “the sit” with some of his stars just days before this season ended and it backfired on him. With two games left in the regular season he chose to sit players and they eventually coughed up the prized #1 seed in the Eastern Conference to the Boston Celtics. One cannot minimize the importance of that precious home-court advantage, especially in a game seven.

Methinks that the onus to undo this onerous, odorous deed that has befallen most of the league falls on the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver. The need to legislate this ploy out of the league is vital for the sake of attendance and for the sake of those kids that perhaps wait months on end to finally get the opportunity to witness their heroes in person. The ball’s now in your court Mr. Silver. I rest my case.

Serging- Spain’s Sergio Garcia just extricated that 400 lb. gorilla off his back by winning the 81st addition of The Masters golf tournament. After 73 tries Garcia finally captured one of the hallowed four majors in quite a harrowing fashion.

During Sunday’s sun-splashed final round Sergio, at times, held a three-shot lead, lost that lead, fell behind, made a miraculous par at 13 to stay alive, missed a five-footer on eighteen for the win and birdied the first playoff hole for the victory. From pee-euw to whew!

Garcia was always the one guy you knew had the talent, but you also knew that he did not possess the mental acuity to close out big tournaments. He always questioned himself. In public. In interviews. In print.

Sergio’s chief rival, as he emerged on tour, was one Tiger Woods. Leastwise Garcia thought it was a rivalry! Tiger brushed the swashbuckling Spaniard off as just another punk on the scene. Sergio, literally and figuratively, was like a little chihuahua, constantly nipping at Tiger’s Footjoys and being rebuffed each and every time by Woods’ dominance.

But it was a much calmer, more mature Sergio Garcia that won the patrons over at this past Masters and showed that he can indeed now tee it up with the big boys, especially now that the animal kingdom has been rearranged, what with that primate permanently removed from his spine and Tiger safely ensconced at home in his lair.

Epilogue- A few issues back this column suggested a sure-fire way for readers to garner Los Angeles Laker tickets for next season. It was believed that one only needed to plunk down some coin against the Lakers each time they played during their last 21 games in order to nab the ducats. This was based on the premise that the team would tank quite often getting to the wire in order to secure one of the top-three picks in the next draft.

The “Fakers” held up their end of the bargain by winning seven and losing fourteen games and shall now have a plum pick in the draft. Mission accomplished, El Lay-down!

Michael absentmindedly thought that he was supposed to take the Lakers, not their foes, and consequently dug himself a hole. With Easter upon us, the rabbit down in that hole is chiding him regarding the egg on his face. Please send soothing words to   


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