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Off Day Odds and Ends

April 5, 2009

–First and so foremost, congratulations to Jerry and Stock for being voted into the HOF. Both are so outrageously deserving, and both would probably do with the honor and without the hoopla, but they’ve been a huge part of my life since I was 15 and I’m thrilled that they are getting the recognition that they deserve.

This seems like a good time to include a random quote on Jerry Sloan:

“If Jerry Sloan were a Christmas tree, he wouldn’t have a single ornament.” — USA Today columnist Mike Lopresi (as published in desnews)

–If people are going to write about awesome stuff like this, can’t they take videos for those of us not lucky enough to attend games?

Matt Harpring is insane. He was involved in a pregame push-up contests with Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin. Not a “first to 10 wins, haha” contest. More like a “first person whose arms fall off loses, oh wait, it’s been 15 minutes and we are still both going, this will go on forever, who cares, let’s smile at each other and keep doing push ups” contest. 4 hours later I’m still not sure what to make of that scene.

I always hate it when reporters (though this guy isn’t one) write about something like DWill being decked out head-to-toe in Steelers gear or KK2 being forced to sing “Happy Birthday” to one his teammates while doing a Greek dance routine and not posting a picture or video to go along with the story. Maybe one day when the Internet is more evolved…

–Remember the Mo Williams interview in which he talked about how Jerry [yelling at AK] inspired him to give it his all all the time? Well, it turns out that his memory may have been a little faulty:

“I’ll never forget Sloan’s reaction. He came storming onto the court screaming, ‘D—- you, Kirilenko, you think just because you’ve got an $84 million contract you can do whatever the bleep you want to do out here. Well, I’ve got bleepin’ news for you…’”

Williams added: “Man, if Sloan was gonna get on Kirilenko like that, I knew d—- well what I had to do. I was like Speedy Gonzalez. I did exactly as told and then some.”

Here’s the catch: Williams was a rookie in 2003-04, so his memory was from fall of ’03. The thing is, Kirilenko didn’t agree on his huge, six-year contract – worth a whopping $86 million actually – until October of ’04.

Oops.

–This appeared in Dime’s Smack about five days ago:

Did you know Paul Millsap leads the NBA in fouls? Is that a sign of over-anxious defense, old-school physical defense, or just bad defense?

I looked it up and as of April 5, he is second in the league in total fouls despite being 87th in total minutes. There’s no question that he and NBA refs were obviously enmitous enemies in a former life, but come on now. Sap’s got to get some of the blame too.

–And now for some real old (in Internet time) odds and ends: A while back I (and other probably every other Jazz site) posted about Jerry & Twitter. About a week later, the San Antonio Express ran a blurb about Coach Pop & Twitter (via Ball Don’t Lie):

“Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva recently drew the ire of Bucks coach Scott Skiles for posting a Twitter update from the locker room at halftime. Had Villanueva played for Popovich, a self-professed Luddite, he probably could have gotten away with it. ‘I’m still on the fax,’ Popovich said. ‘I do faxes. Faxes and letters. Sometimes my daughter will check my phone, and there will be an e-mail, and it will be from last Christmas or something. You could Twitter me to death, and I wouldn’t know it.’”

Also in Suicide Lines was this bit about Phil Jackson:

Oklahoma City’s home crowds have earned opponents’ praise because of their volume and energy, though [coach Phil] Jackson thought the noise tended to peter out as the game progressed. ‘They haven’t quite figured out the NBA game, the length of it,’ Jackson said. ‘They get all fired up in the beginning, and it’s a marathon. It’s 48 minutes of basketball. It’s not like college, where you can come out and get a 10-point lead or 15-point lead and you can win the game.’ Thunder fans stand until the home team scores its first basket and have been compared to college crowds for their intensity.”

Call me crazy, but I’d rather have Jerry + 0 rings than Phil + rings. Jerry’s simple, always says what he’s thinking, doesn’t play mind games, doesn’t present himself as a “Master” in Eastern religions or appear on “The Dog Whisperer,” and never disses opponents. As a fan, I want to be able to support and root for my team from top to bottom (which has obviously been difficult for me the past two years because I don’t feel that way about every player on the team), and people like Phil Jackson just make me appreciate and respect Jerry even more. (Meanwhile, Jackson and Shaq were clearly made for each other. How sad that they broke up.)

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