Sports fodder for a Friday: NBA inching closer to disastrous Finals for TV ratings
Sun News Service
The NBA is inching closer to a disaster of a Finals with Orlando and Denver. It would be a great series but the problem is the casual fan won’t pay attention. This should be a lesson to the NBA. The days of promoting a series based on the stars — Kobe vs. LeBron! — is so 1980s. Let it go. It’s time to promote the series based on the teams. The NCAA would die for a Cinderella-type championship like Orlando and Denver. In the NBA, all it means is that “So You Think You Can Dance” will get better TV ratings.
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An Orlando-Los Angeles NBA Finals would be great fun. It would be a battle of the Disneys ” Land versus World. It will be all-Disney, all the time. ABC is televising the Finals. And ABC “- like ESPN ” is affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. Get ready for Mickey Mouse tossing up the jump ball to start the games.
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It sure is nice that the Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team gets to traipse around Europe like a bunch of 70-something widows spending their grandchildren’s inheritance, playing meaningless exhibitions where nobody plays defense, signing autographs for little French and Italian kids who think they are meeting LeBron James and Steve Nash and snapping photos with their cell phone cameras of the famous sights in Italy, France and Spain. You know what they say, join the Pack basketball team, see the world. Hey, it sure beats a weekend in Las Cruces or Boise. The best thing about the whole trip? The entire team got through airport security without any trouble.
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Hey, San Francisco Giants fans, are you going to make sure you are in the stands when Randy Johnson goes for his 300th victory? Yes, I know it still is strange to see Johnson in a Giants uniform. But history is history and the Big Unit might be the last 300-game winner we’ll see for a long time. Tom Seaver was in a White Sox uniform when he won No. 300, Don Sutton was an Angel, Phil Niekro was a Yankee, Gaylord Perry was a Mariner and Tom Glavine was a Met. So Johnson winning No. 300 as a Giant isn’t all that strange. Take pride in it, Giants fans. You deserve something to cheer about.
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There are a lot of annoying things about attending a Reno Aces game. The ballpark is downtown where parking is a huge headache, the music is much too loud, 90 percent of the seats are overpriced, they never tell you the starting lineups before the Aces run onto the field for the anthem, there’s no out-of-town minor league or major league scores on the scoreboard and fans don’t get to watch batting practice before the game. Oh, well, all of that doesn’t matter. It’s just refreshing to have affiliated minor league baseball in town once again.
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The Memphis basketball program is under NCAA investigation concerning possible violations surrounding former guard Derrick Rose and the 2007-08 team. The fact that the possible Memphis violations involve Rose “- a one-year player ” should not be overlooked. The experiment of requiring players to stay at a school just one season before they flee to the NBA has failed miserably. It should be at least two seasons, preferably three (like baseball). One year means that the player never makes any real connection to the school and hardly even has to go to class, let alone pass any courses. Most of those players rarely go to a class once the season ends. It’s just a one-season showcase for the NBA. And if you cheat, the NCAA won’t find out until you are safely tucked away in the NBA.
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The Wolf Pack baseball team put the finishing touches on the worst finish in the coach Gary Powers era (since 1983). The Pack lost 11 of its last 12 games to complete a 25-31 year. On May 2, the team was 24-20 and in first place in the Western Athletic Conference. What happened? Well, seven of the 11 losses were by three runs or less so it’s not like the team stopped competing. They just didn’t hit when the games became more meaningful, scoring 15 runs combined in the last six losses. There is hope for next year (despite the loss of team leader Matt Bowman) with Shaun Kort, Nick Melino, Brett Hart, Westley Moss, Michael Turay, Kevin Rodland, Brock Stassi and Chris Garcia among others coming back. But they have to find two solid starting pitchers and at least one middle-of-the-order bat.
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