1-2-3 Sports! Week of January 4, 2019

Marshawn lighting…something…on Al Davis’s eternal flame (which, what!? Al Davis has an eternal flame!?)

When You Should Not Show a Tribute Video to a Former Player

Look, I am not one to burn a bridge. You never know when you may encounter someone again, and even if they’ve pissed you off, it’s always better to be professional and/or classy and let any transgressions go. BUT! If I was the San Antonio Spurs, I’d make an exception. Kawhi Leonard absolutely dogged them. He sat almost all of last season with a mysterious injury that was only diagnosed by what seemed like the tenth specialist he visited. Then he essentially told them he would not play this year and they better trade him or he’d walk after this season, when he becomes a free agent.

So they traded him. And there’s no way to get back a fair return for an MVP-level player. Thursday night he returned, as a member of the Raptors. The fans booed him lustily during pregame, and kept it up during the game:

But, reportedly after weighing what they should do, the team did play a joint tribute video for Kawhi and Danny Green, who was also part of the trade to Toronto, before the game, .

And I gotta say – the Spurs were a little too classy here. The man does not deserve that. He made his bed, now he can lie in it. Hell, I’d have played a tribute for Green, who almost single handedly won them the Finals in 2014, then I’d have showed a gravestone with Kawhi’s name on it.

All’s well that ends well, though, and the Spurs fans got their revenge. Kawhi sucked and the Spurs rolled the Raptors, 125-107. -TOB

Source: The Spurs And Their Fans Are Out For Blood”, Chris Thompson, Deadspin (12/3/2019)

PAL: A video for Kawhi? I wouldn’t call it classy. Foolish is the word that comes to mind. Are you kidding me, Spurs? All the boos are completely negated – and not in a good way – by pandering to a person that pulled a major dick move, and so soon after he pulled said move. This would make me so mad if I was a Spurs fan.


LOLOLOL. Totally, guy.

Remember Mike Davis?

Mike Davis is a classic ‘That Guy’. In 2000, Davis became the Indiana University basketball coach, replacing Bob Knight. Knight reportedly offered to pay his coaching staff their salaries to not take the job and follow him to his next stop. Davis broke ranks (because he’s sane) and became the head coach at a blue blood basketball program. He took the team to the title game the next year (losing to Maryland). Since then, many would describe his career as a regression, one lower profile job after another.

The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn catches up with Davis at his current job: Detroit Mercy. I’d never heard of it either. There, he’s coaching his youngest son, Antoine Davis, who was just a toddler when Davis was at IU. Now Antoine is averaging 31 ppg playing for his dad.

Of course, Mike Davis is more than a ‘That Guy’ – he’s got a life story that is far more interesting than replacing Knight at IU, and he doesn’t seem all that upset about where he finds himself coaching these days.

“Once you get past always trying to prove yourself, you get to the point where you’re only trying to develop others,” Davis says.

Interesting read. – PAL

Source: The Backwards Lives of Mike and Antoine Davis”, Brendan Quinn, The Athletic (November, 2018)

TOB: A very interesting guy. We actually wrote about Davis last season, when his Texas Southern team got off to an 0-13 start. That sounds bad, but it was, fascinatingly, all part of Davis’ plan. Davis made the schedule, and all 13 games were on the road, most against good to very good teams. Why? Because it would make his team better and the losses don’t matter – all he needed to do was win the conference tournament at the end of the year. So did the 0-13 start payoff? Yup. The team finished 16-20, won its conference tournament, won the First Four play-in game, and then led #1 seed Xavier for the first ten minutes of their first round matchup, before losing.

Man, Don’t Be That Dad/Coach

The Dora High School (Missouri) boys basketball team, and specifically its coach, Rick Luna, drew criticism this week after getting caught pulling some real bush league stuff. Luna has three sons on the team – triplets. Luna was caught swapping one of his three triplet sons, Auston, for another triplet son, Bryson, when Auston should have been shooting free throws. Luna claims it wasn’t planned. He must be using ‘planned’ in a very narrow sense, because you can see on video in the link that it was very blatant and very intentional. Plus, fans have other teams have reportedly been complaining about it all year.

Surprisingly, the dad/coach doesn’t seem to take it too seriously. When asked by a reporter about the incident, Luna joked that the team went 1-for-4 from the line the times they cheated during that game. Uh, cool, guy. The school’s official twitter account even retweeted this tweet defending it as something that “happens all the time and has for years.” Uh, no.

Unfortunately, nothing is going to change the outcome of the game. Local officials stated they can’t do anything now, but will educate referees to look out for it going forward. Which is crazy to me. They may not be able/willing to change the outcome of the game, but the coach and/or his sons could and should be suspended. If I was in charge of that school, in fact, I’d fire the coach. That may seem over the top, but do you want your kids coached by someone who blatantly and intentionally cheats? I wouldn’t. -TOB

Source: High School Basketball Team Caught Swapping Out Triplets At The Free-Throw Line”, Patrick Redford, Deadspin (01/02/2019)

PAL (read in a NFL ref voice): After video review, it is clear that the triplet swap was intentional. Clearly, the trio has been coached on how to come together at or around the free throw line. This is where the swap takes place. The result is that this dad/coach is a d-bag.

The coach shouldn’t be fired, but everyone at school should just shake their heads and mutter “really, Rick?” for one full school year.

Two for the Road: Clemson’s Tradition

This is a fun little story about a Clemson tradition with a cool backstory. Clemson and Georgia Tech had a longstanding rivalry game until 1973. That year, Georgia Tech – a much better football team at the time – decided to end the rivalry.

Clemson Booster Club member George Bennett wanted to think of a way to let Atlanta and Georgia Tech know how much of a boost Clemson fans can have on the local economy, and the two dollar bill seemed like an idea the popped. This weekend, with Clemson in its third national title game in the last four years, we’ll be seeing some $2 here in the Bay Area (Santa Clara is hosting the game on Monday). The tradition stuck, and more and more cities are seeing the $2 with Clemson becoming a powerhouse making runs in the College Football Playoff. 

Bill Harley is the senior vice president of the Clemson branch of the First Citizens Bank. He’s also a 1982 Clemson grad, so he’s always careful to ensure the bank stocks $2 bills before a big road game or bowl trip. He guessed about 250 customers came in to exchange ordinary currency for $2 denominations before the Cotton Bowl.

Harley said the bank offers the bills to anyone in need but limits how many any one person gets so everyone can get a few. This hasn’t always gone over well.

That’s a fun, smart way to let people know the Tigers are in town. I dig this tradition. – PAL

Source: Clemson, $2 bills and a one-of-a-kind bowl tradition, David Hale, ESPN (01/03/19)

TOB: This is cool, but it works a lot better now that they’re good!

Old Timey Baseball Player Name of the Week

Lady Baldwin

Poll of the Week

Video of the Week: 
RIP Mean Gene

Tweet of the Week

PAL Song of the Week: The Kinks – “This Time Tomorrow”

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“There are three acceptable haircuts: high and tight, crew cut, buzz cut.”

-Ron Swanson

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