Stan Van Gundy is really going to say no to the Golden State Warriors because he can run his own shop in Detroit, AND make more money per year? Hell, what’s he waiting on?
But the notable thing here isn’t the money, but the control, because if the front office (see Lacob, Joe) is going to insist on that, then it means it (see Lacob, Joe) really thinks it does know better than the professionals, and that is really the diamond lane to Hell.
And how do we know this? Because the smart owners know how to hire smart people and let them prove how smart they are; even if Van Gundy isn’t the right fit for the Pistons, or the Pistons aren’t good enough for him to help, it does mean that owner Tom Gores gets it and Lacob kind of doesn’t. With almost no exceptions, the hands-off owner is demonstrably superior to the non-hands-off owner – even Mark Cuban knows that (and Jerry Jones does not), and in a league where few are called and even fewer are chosen, every organizational disadvantage is a killer.
In other words, a team with Stephen Curry could have to go to Plan C or even Plan D for a coach, in part because some folks don’t truly understand their place in the knowledge order.
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So Michael Sam is going to wear 96 as a St. Louis Ram, advancing a proud team legacy that runs the gamut from Doug Barnett to Kellen Heard. Yeah, I know -- these are not household names, even in Stan Kroenke’s house.
But there are role models for him nonetheless -- Cortez Kennedy is in the Hall of Fame, and so is Pavel Bure (he wore 96 after becoming famous wearing 10 in Vancouver). The best baseball player on the list is Bill Voiselle, who won a World Series ring with the ’48 Braves.
Well, yeah, there’s the other thing Sam is famous for, but lots of his jerseys are being bought, so you should know whose numerical glory he is stealing.
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The 32 World Cup slogans have been released, and only one – the United States – ends up reading like a truck commercial written by a railyard hobo (“United by team, driven by passion”). But there are others that, well, you be the judge:
• Australia: “Socceroos: hopping our way into history!” (Straight from a children’s book and into your hearts)
• Cameroon: “A lion remains a lion.” (Except when it’s a kangaroo, presumably)
• France: “Impossible is not a French word.” (Yes it is, and it’s even spelled the same)
• Belgium: “Expect the impossible!” (Which, need we remind you, is not a French word, even though it is).
• Holland: “Real men wear orange.” (Some of them are in jump suits by the side of the highway).
• Ivory Coast: “Elephants charging towards Brazil!” (No no! Go back! They’ll drown before they get there).
• Russia: “No one can catch us.” (Well, certainly not the Ukrainians).
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Jack (Hang ‘Em High) McCoy would probably throw an aneurysm, but the prosecutors in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in South Africa now want the judge to order Pistorius to undergo an independent psychiatric evaluation. Since Pistorius is not pleading insanity, this seems an odd way for the prosecution to go, but in my time before the South African bar (which is never), I’ve found . . .
Oh, hell, let’s face it. The prosecution hates its chances at a conviction, and Nancy Grace’s head is about to explode.
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Today in “Mark Emmert Is Peeking In Your Window”, former Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard, signed as an undrafted free agent with Tennessee, told the WWLS morning show that he had to get clearance from the university and, indirectly, the NCAA to be with his girlfriend in a public setting.
Evidently, OU made both him and his girlfriend sign affidavits declaring that their relationship, unlike his taking an extra helping of pasta at a local Olive Garden, is not an impermissible benefit. Apparently his girlfriend also owns courtside seats at Oklahoma City Thunder games, so the document also covers the tickets she gives him to be with her at the games.
“We had to sign a signed affidavit that she was not dating me just because I was a football player,” Ikard told SoonerScoop.com after the WWLS interview. Fortunately for the dignity of all mankind, he and his girlfriend signed the affidavits, and Ikard says he told the compliance officer, “She just likes big guys, just accept it.”
God, that’s romantic.
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Speaking of Oklahoma City, Greg Oden knows his place, which is in Miami. “I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history,” he told Grantland’s Mark Titus, “and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things.”
Sometimes I hate self-awareness. Oden deserves a better legacy, so here’s hoping he hits the game-winner in Game 5 against Brooklyn.
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Also in the East, Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who is about to become a civilian once the Indiana Pacers finish their duty, shared with DCSportsBog’s Dan Steinberg this intimate detail:
He shaves his armpits.
“I shave yeah, sometimes,” Gortat said. “Not, like, shave with razor. Just shave, yeah . . . You’re a 30-year-old guy, you want to look like a freaking caveman? Is a normal thing . . .
It’s more clean. Keep it clean more. It’s just more hygienic. It’s just clean.”
But he has a beekeeper’s beard, so I ask why does he love his armpits and hate his chin?
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And finally, to Manchester City and French star Samir Nasri, who was just left off the French World Cup team, to the great consternation of his girlfriend, Anara Atanes, who tweeted to several teams what France and national team coach Didier Deschamps could do to themselves. That’s not the good part, though. Her final tweet was this:
And she punctuated it with a tiny Spanish flag emoticon. Now that’s love even Gabe Ikard cannot truly know.