Basketball

Boycott the NCAA

Featured image The NCAA has pulled seven championship events from North Carolina because it objects to the state’s law on use by transgender persons of public restrooms. Most of the championship events are not very important except to the participants and their families and friends. But the events include two rounds of the men’s basketball tournament (the round of 64 and the round of 32). That’s a big deal. I’m disgusted by »

The NBA enters the bathroom wars [UPDATED][With Comment by John]

Featured image The 2017 NBA all-star game, which was scheduled to be played in Charlotte, will be played elsewhere. The league is moving the game to protest a North Carolina law. That law, among other things, nullified a Charlotte ordinance that required businesses to allow transgender individuals who have not taken surgical and legal steps to change the gender noted on their birth certificate to use restrooms based on their own gender »

What’s up with the NBA

Featured image Kevin Durant, one of the NBA’s five best basketball players, announced today that he is leaving Oklahoma City to play for the Golden State Warriors. This past season, the Warriors won more games than any team in the history of the NBA. They came within a whisker of winning a second straight NBA championship. Similarly, Oklahoma City came within a whisker of defeating Golden State in the playoffs. Durant’s move »

Has Lebron finally silenced his critics?

Featured image I’ve been a big Lebron James fan ever since December of his junior year in high school when I saw him play in Akron, where I had litigation. Without hitting any shots from the outside (my local counsel explained that Lebron had just finished the football season and was rusty) James racked up 27 points (if I recall correctly). He added at least 10 rebounds and led his team to »

Yup, Steph Curry looks like an NBA player [UPDATED]

Featured image In 1961, the New York Mets hired the great Rogers Hornsby to prepare a scouting report on every player in major league baseball. The idea was to use Hornsby’s reports to help select the players who would make up the Mets when they joined MLB in 1962. According to Jimmy Breslin, in his classic Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game, Hornsby found very little to like in the ballplayers of »

A basketball game for the ages

Featured image This year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament delivered the usual thrills and spills in the Round of 64 and one of the most exciting Rounds of 32 ever. After that, it delivered mainly boredom until the final game between Villanova and the University of North Carolina (two teams featured at the top of my February report on college basketball). Villanova and North Carolina then delivered what is arguably the best »

Tyler, MJ, and the Kangaroo Kid — all-time Tar Heel basketball stars

Featured image North Carolina reached this year’s NCAA Final Four by defeating Notre Dame. The Tar Heels thus deprived me of the opportunity to write about D.C. legends Austin Carr and Adrian Dantley. They also left me with the difficult but enjoyable task of identifying the best players in Carolina’s storied basketball history, which includes 19 Final Four appearances and five national championships. This will require naming four teams and a slew »

Pearl, D.C. and the DC connection — all time Syracuse basketball greats

Featured image On Saturday, Syracuse University will face the University of North Carolina in a semi-final game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. This season, North Carolina finished first in the ACC with a record of 14-4. Syracuse finished tenth with a record of 9-9. In addition, North Carolina defeated Syracuse when the teams met about a month ago. It seems odd, therefore, that North Carolina is asked to beat Syracuse again »

Arizin and his heirs — all-time Villanova basketball greats

Featured image Villanova upset Kansas, the number one seed in the NCCA tournament this year, to reach the Final Four. Coach Jay Wright used a zone defense to shut down Kansas star Perry Ellis who had torched Maryland’s good man-to-man defense in the Round of 16. Against Kansas, Villanova also displayed the toughness that has characterized its teams down through the years. Here are the players that stand out for me in »

Mookie, Buddy, and Blake — all-time University of Oklahoma basketball greats

Featured image The NCCA men’s basketball tournament is down to a final four. The teams are Oklahoma, Villanova, Syracuse, and North Carolina. Which of these teams is not like the other ones? Syracuse. The Orange finished tenth in their conference with a 9-9 record, thereby proving that they have no business playing for the national championship. Yet here they are. That’s what I call March Madness. On to the annual business of »

A wide open college basketball season

Featured image As we enter this weekend’s action, college basketball looks as wide open as I can recall it being. The top ten-10, and even the top-five, is populated mainly by teams with at least four losses. No team looks ready to dominate. Earlier this week, number 3 Oklahoma lost at Texas Tech; number 4 Iowa lost at Penn State; and number 5 North Carolina lost at home to Duke. That was »

Sports post of the day: Maryland honors 1966 Texas Western team

Featured image This year is the 50th anniversary of Texas Western’s upset victory over the University of Kentucky in the NCAA basketball finals. The victory, achieved at Cole Field on the University of Maryland campus, was a landmark sports event because Texas Western’s starting lineup was all-black, while the entire Kentucky squad was white, coach Adolph Rupp being an avowed racist. To commemorate the anniversary, the University of Maryland invited members of »

Sports post of the day: Isaianity revisited

Featured image Two years ago, I wrote about Isaiah Thomas. Not the Detroit Pistons superstar of yesteryear, but the 5-9 point guard who was beginning to light up the NBA. Referring to “Linsanity” (the brief wave of enthusiasm for Jeremy Lin), I suggested that if Thomas played in New York (as Lin did), he would be a candidate for Isaianity, given his production, his height, and the fact that he was the »

Today’s sports post: The top 50 NBA players of all time [With Comment by John]

Featured image Actually, the sports post of the day is Scott’s item “The Tao of Gregg Popovich.” But readers might also be interested in Jack McCallum’s list for Sports Illustrated of the best 50 NBA players of all time. McCallum has been covering the NBA for 35 years and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame (for his writing). Twenty years ago, he was on the committee that named the »

Iowa loses

Featured image Tonight, the University of Maryland defeated Iowa’s third ranked men’s college basketball team 74-68. Maryland forwards Jake Layman and Robert Carter held Iowa all-American Jarrod Uthoff to 9 points on 2-13 shooting. Carter had 17 points on 7-11 shooting. In other Iowa news, there was a Republican presidential debate. As expected, Donald Trump boycotted it. I still don’t know whether this was a good decision, but it’s not looking too »

Poor officiating mars otherwise excellent NCAA tourney

Featured image Last night, the NCAA crowned its 2015 men’s basketball champion. As is often the case, the crown went to the high-quality team that played the best defense. Unexpectedly, from a pre-tournament perspective, that team was Duke, a squad that know-it-all John Feinstein had said “thinks defense is what you put around your backyard.” This tournament, though it sagged a bit in the middle, was excellent. Opening Thursday featured lots of »

Magic, Mateen, Jumpin’ Johnny, and Sweet Mo Pete — Michigan State’s all-time basketball greats

Featured image Michigan State was a so-so basketball school until Earvin “Magic” Johnson arrived on campus in 1977. Less than two years later, the Spartans were national champions. The 1980s saw MSU revert to relative mediocrity. However, since 1990, they have been a fixture in the NCAA tournament. In fact, since 1997, Tom Izzo’s third year as coach, the Spartans haven’t missed out on the NCAA tournament. Izzo’s run has featured a »