Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Life of an NBA Coach: Don't Step on a Landmine!

In general, professional sports are ruthless when it comes to hiring and firing coaches. But nothing holds a candle to the NBA. Don't get me wrong the NFL and MLB are tough, but the NBA is downright cut throat.

And it needs to stop. This is not right. This is not just.

Two prime examples stick out to me the most: Sam Vincent and Avery Johnson. Both coaches were recently fired, and frankly, I believe they were mistakes.

Exhibit A: former Charlotte Bobcats coach Sam Vincent

One year ago Vincent was the talk of North Carolina as UNC grad Michael Jordan recently hired him to be the new coach. Vincent was going to the next best thing to coach in the NBA, but MJ seemed to think it was time to part ways with Vincent after one year.

That's right, after one season Jordan felt a new guy was needed. Correct me if I am wrong, but Jordan has not had was you could call the most "stellar" NBA front office career so far. Wouldn't you think that giving your team's coach needed, I don't know, more than one year to show his potential? I mean one year? That's absurd.

Sure Charlotte went 30-52, but I do believe it was the franchise's best record ever and believe it or not the 'Cats finished a mere 7 games out of the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

I don't get it. I would think that MJ would realize getting a solid basketball team is not a quick fix solution. So why Jordan, why fire your coach after one season?

Exhibit B: former Dallas Maverick coach Avery Johnson

It is the 2006 NBA Finals and it is Game 3 between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Dallas currently leads the series 2-0 and is up by 13 with about 6:40 remaining in the game in Miami. Before long it should be 3-0 Dallas! The trophy will be heading to the Texas city in no time!

Then Dwyane Wade came alive and just like that Miami stormed back to win the game...and the next three games.

The Mavs would never be the same.

Ever since the losing the 2006 NBA Finals Dallas seems to be taking more and more steps back. Last year the team was a league best 67-15. As great as their record was the Mavs were manhandled in six games by the 8th seeded Golden State Warriors. Flashforward to this year where Dallas is struggling midseason. The team makes a blockbuster trade for Jason Kidd, yet in the the end same result: first round series loss in 5 games to New Orleans.

Avery Johnson the coach of the Mavericks during the city's up and down times was brought in for Don Nelson as the coach who would lead Dallas to promised land (well, he got halfway). The coach was a star in the making, yet in such a short amount of time that all changed. Johnson is unemployed for the wrong reasons.

Cuban, like Jordan, got frustrated and in my opinion will not get a better coach than he had in Johnson. Dallas lost something inside themselves when Miami defeated them. Something that no matter how hard Johnson pressed on would not change in his players. For one, it seems Dirk is universially now known as a flake come playoff time.

Did Cuban get it right firing Johnson for back-to-back playoff exits? I, honestly don't think so. Sure you can say, "Dallas wasn't going anywhere!" But, to be frank I think that has to do with the players on the team. Cuban will find out in a hurry that he had a good coach in Johnson who just needed some time to get over the hurdle...and when he does Cuban will be kicking himself for letting him go in the first place.

Two first round exits are bad, but keep in mind this year Dallas was going against the 2nd seeded team in the New Orleans Hornets. When you look at Avery Johnson's three years it really can be seen that in fact his "failures" were nothing more than blown out of proportion situations.

Note: Avery Johnson is going to get snagged by someone. Here's my shot in the dark: LA Clippers. Also, reports are saying that Larry Brown is headed to Golden State to coach the Warriors....

in two years...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

5 Signs You Are a Sports Maniac

I have come to realize I am not a normal sports fan. I do not just watch sporting events, I live them. I am a sports maniac and it has been 153 days since my last explosion at the television.(Gulp. LSU's triple overtime loss to Arkansas on November 23, 2007 to be exact.)

Anyway it has been through thorough research that I have come up with 5, that's right 5 basic rules/signs that correctly classify someone, such as myself, as a sports maniac.

If you answer "Yes" to anyone of these you are a sports maniac. The more times you say "Yes" the more of a maniac you are.

Enjoy and by the way I said "Yes" to all 5.

5. When Your Team Loses You Are in Depression for a Week

This is a big one, especially when it comes to LSU football. When my team loses everything else just stinks. What's that we are having steak for Sunday's family dinner? Doesn't matter they lost! Sweet I no school this Friday! Doesn't matter they lost. When your team loses, the world stops revolving. I am sure that is a scientific fact

4. You Imagine Yourself as a Superstar Athlete During Your Sporting Endeavors

It's a nice, friendly came of touch football in the backyard, but not for you. Oh, heck no! Why you are Peyton Manning directing the offense ready to win the game! Call the signals and watch for that pass rush from your younger brother who seems to be switching up the defense! And remember stay composed! Do not let the three people on the sidelines talking distract you!

3. When You Lose In a Meaningless Sports Game You Blow It Out of Proportion

The pickup basketball game is going great. It's two of your buddies and you versus three other guys. Next basket wins. Your buddy gambles on defense and you lose the game. You are devastated as victory was so close; now it is gone forever. How will you ever recover from having lost the single biggest game (of that evening)?

2. You Get Upset When Team's Lose You Really Don't Care About

The Trailblazers epic loss to the Lakers in 2000 and the recent defeat by the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Tournament championship game upset me, but honestly why the heck do I care? I mean nothing against Portland and Memphis, but 99% of the year I really am not a fan of them. I like LSU and the Saints, yet when I watch a game I get into it so much that when the team I am rooting for loses I get upset. Yes, I am indeed troubled.

1. You are American

I understand Europeans are probably the most intense fans (look at the soccer games), but no nation is more involved in more sports than America. I mean there's football, soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, and that's not even including the college aspect of them. Americans are by far the kings of sports obsession.

Now if I could only find a cure to my disease...

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Louisiana Doomsday Clock

Humans are always trying to change other humans. Whether it is a mother trying to change her husband to be a better father, an older brother trying to change what his sibling wears to school, or an entire state trying to change a boneheaded football player's silly antics. People are always trying to change other people.

Ryan Perrilloux is yet again in the spotlight of LSU football for the wrong reasons. Perrilloser as I now like to call him, seems to be a prime example of another human being on this planet who in the end despite every one's nagging and pleading will not change his ways.

I have had enough. I am tired of believing that Perrilloser will grow a brain and stop acting like a childish punk in the near future. I am tired of it because I now realize it is not happening.

Ryan is who he is. His Doomsday Clock is running out, and when it hits zero #11 is gone. And frankly there is very little doubt in my mind on whether or not that will happen.

Ryan Perrilloux will not finish the 2008 LSU football season on the roster. I firmly believe he will yet again do something childish and in turn force Les Miles to deal him his last straw.

What a shame, what a waste of God-given talent. Ryan Perrilloux could be signing a $40 million contract in a couple of years, heck maybe even one year! If he just used his common sense, if he just abide by the rules of society.

But as we all know abiding by the rules of society has never been something Perrilloser has been good at.

Do not be surprised if in the end Ryan Perrilloser is forever known as Cecil Collins II, who by the way will be exiting the jail cell life in 2014.