Basketball

A century of excellence: All-time great Kansas University basketball stars

Featured image The University of Kansas basketball program has a glorious history. It’s one of the top five college basketball programs of all time. Kansas has won three national championships, played in the championship game nine times, and will be appearing in its 15th Final Four tomorrow. The Jayhawks have been coached by James Naismith (inventor of the sport), Phog Allen, Larry Brown, and Roy Williams — legends all. But its most »

Arizin and his heirs (2) — All-time Villanova basketball greats

Featured image Villanova has been an elite basketball power for as long as I can remember; indeed, for as long as I have lived. The Wildcats have made it to six final fours, winning two national championships: 1985 and 2016. As good as Villanova has been in the past, it’s fair to say that the program is now enjoying its golden era. Coach Jay Wright has led the team to three of »

Remembering Bennie Oosterbaan and Ron Kramer

Featured image A reader and friend informs me of an omission from my list of all-time great University of Michigan basketball players. The omitted Wolverine is Bennie Oosterbaan. I don’t know whether Oosterbaan rates among Michigan’s twenty best basketball players, but he’s arguably the school’s best athlete ever. Oosterbaan earned All-American recognition five times; twice in basketball (1927 and 1928) and three times in football (1925, 1926, and 1927). He earned nine »

Glory days again, at last — Loyola of Chicago’s all-time basketball greats

Featured image This year, the early rounds of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament served up even more upsets than usual, or so it seemed. Consequently, the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 featured too many uninspiring matchups and, frankly, mediocre games. The main exception was the Kansas-Duke clash — a game for the ages. Fortunately, a good Final Four field has emerged. It features Villanova (second place in the Big East regular »

Strange doings on tobacco road

Featured image On Friday night, I watched the ACC tournament semifinal game between North Carolina and Duke. It was my first viewing this season of these college basketball powerhouses. Two things surprised me. First, Duke, famous for its hard-nosed man-to-man defense, played a zone. Second, North Carolina’s oft-maligned Theo Pinson was dominating the game as kind of point-forward. The day before, Pinson had scored 25 points against a nationally-ranked Miami team. Against »

Anthem protests fail to catch on [UPDATED]

Featured image The recently completed NFL season was marred, in the opinion of many, by players taking a knee during the National Anthem. To what extent has this gesture, or similar shows of protest, spilled over to other sporting events at which the Anthem is played? The answer, as far as I can tell, is that it hasn’t spilled over at all. The playing of the Anthem was observed immaculately at the »

Watching #1

Featured image Last night, I saw the Villanova basketball team take on Georgetown in Washington, D.C. I attended not because I expected an interesting contest, nor did I see one. Villanova was at least 40 points ahead when, with about three minutes to go, coach Jay Wright pulled his starters. Rather, I went because I wanted to see the Number One ranked college basketball team in the country. I hadn’t seen a »

Trump gets UCLA shoplifters out of China

Featured image Three UCLA men’s basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China are on their way back to the United States after President Trump personally intervened in the case with China’s head of state, Xi Jinping. The three players — LiAngelo Ball (brother of Lonzo and son of LeVar), Jalen Hill and Cody Riley — were caught by video cameras stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to where the team »

Steve Kerr wants to have it both ways

Featured image Steve Kerr is the coach of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA championship team that doesn’t want to visit the White House because it objects to President Trump, and thus had its invitation rescinded. Kerr has produced a disingenuous article called “Mr. President: You Represent All of Us. Don’t Divide Us. Bring Us Together.” Like his star guard Stephen Curry, Kerr wants to have it both ways. When the Warriors »

Do female college athletes lack mental toughness?

Featured image I don’t know. I don’t watch women’s college sports, and thus have no opinion. But Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has one. She sees a problem: The data shows that since. . .2012, female athletes have become more anxious, more prone to depression, less adult and more insecure than ever before. What is up with that? According to a 2016 NCAA survey, 76 percent of all Division I female »

The DeMatha-NBA pipeline

Featured image On Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers made Markelle Fultz the first pick in the NBA draft. Fultz played his high school ball at DeMatha, the long-time power house that came to national prominence under legendary coach Morgan Wooten more than 50 years ago with its victory over Lew Alcindor’s Power Memorial team . Despite playing for DeMatha, Fultz flew a bit under the radar in local circles. That’s mainly because he »

Is Adam Silver a racist?

Featured image Adam Silver is a big believer in the “right” of men (biologically speaking) to use the women’s restroom and visa versa. The pompous Silver has declared that the NBA, by which he means himself, has a role to play in teaching the rest of us “what equality looks like in a community.” But when it comes to the right of young men to earn a living in the NBA, Silver »

Georgetown fires John Thompson III

Featured image After 13 seasons as the coach of Georgetown’s basketball team, John Thompson III is out. Firing JT3 was a big call, considering his father’s stature at the school. John Thompson, Jr. took a middling, at best, basketball program — one that in a good year might get an NIT invite — to the pinnacle of the sport. His Georgetown teams appeared in three Final Fours and won a national championship. »

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 »