Sports Section Syndicated – February 29, 2008
Greg Oden’s decision that sways more towards being powerful versus popular leads off this edition of Sports Section Syndicated…
Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post: For every Charles Barkley, who engaged publicly in political and social debates, there seemed to be dozens who followed Jordan, and more recently Tiger Woods, keeping their feelings on the most controversial subjects of the day private. And of course, unlike Jordan and Tiger, there have been exponentially more who simply ignored politics and culture and removed themselves from the discussion entirely. (Jordan, by the way, contributed to Gantt’s second unsuccessful run at Helms and has given even more money to Bill Bradley and Obama.)… Often in this space I’ve defended Jordan’s right and Tiger’s right to keep their thoughts private instead of giving in to group pressure and taking a stand simply to satisfy others’ agendas. And I will continue to defend their right to act privately…. Even so, I’m thrilled with Oden’s decision to talk openly and write in his blog about his conversation with Obama. Had he endorsed Sens. John McCain or Hillary Rodham Clinton, I’d have felt the same way. (In fact, Oden just yesterday introduced first lady Laura Bush at a function in Portland, Ore.) What’s important about Oden’s involvement is he understands and articulates the importance of people 18 to 25 actually voting, and he apparently pays little to no attention to playing it safe.
John Hollinger of ESPN.com: This season, it’s the Manu Ginobili show. The sneaky southpaw leads the team in scoring at 20.6 points per game, but even that understates things. Ginobili’s usage rate this season has climbed all the way to 28.0, the sixth-highest figure in the league… This has escaped people’s attention because Ginobili only plays 31.5 minutes per game. But to see how much he’s getting the rock, and how productive he’s been when he’s had it, let’s compare Ginobili’s per-40-minute stats to those of another prominent player: Kobe Bryant… You think he can’t hang? Guess again. Kobe averages 29.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists per 40 minutes; Manu gets 26.2, 6.4 and 5.9… Wait, it gets better. Kobe plays on one of the league’s faster-paced teams; Manu is on the second-slowest. Plug Bryant’s numbers into the Spurs’ sluggish pace and you get 26.9 points, 5.9 boards and 5.2 assists, making the comparison a dead heat.
Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer: NFL free agency is a lot like the chamber where Indiana Jones finally has to choose which of the many cups is the true Holy Grail. The penalty for guessing wrong is instant death…. The skulls and bones scattered around the chamber attest to the risk of making a mistake. They also serve as grim proof that the temptation to grab for quick riches is more powerful than fear of even the most dire consequences… The day after the Eagles cast Jevon Kearse’s bones on the pile with those of Dhani Jones and Steve Everitt and Torrance Small, they step once more into that chamber filled with shiny possibilities. Many fans and media observers will be disappointed if they don’t take another expensive risk… It must be human nature, because it certainly isn’t logical.
Jack Curry of the NYTimes: When word leaked out Tuesday that Clemens was on his way to camp, McLane lamented how reporters who were covering the team hustled across the complex to wait for Clemens. His arrival was more of a story than anything the Astros did that day… McLane also wondered whether Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, was the best person to be pitching to the players. Clemens threw batting practice for more than an hour Thursday, cajoling the players as they swung. Often, the swings were futile… “Or what about having someone of Roger’s ability pitching to them?” McLane added. “Would it be better for them to face pitching of people that are of their age level and their skill level and their development level?”… Clemens told players he would increase his velocity next week “when I bring my spikes.” Clemens has been wearing sneakers to pitch… But when McLane was asked if Clemens would be back next week, the owner was noncommittal… “I haven’t had the chance to visit with him at all,” McLane said. “We just need to sit down and see what his program is and we got to see how it fits into the minor league development, too.”
No related posts.