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Sports Watching & Wondering


At this point, it seems that the best we can do for ourselves is to run for our lives. He is coming. There is no doubt about that, and he will be at Staples Center on Thursday evening. It may be a good idea for us to hide in our closets or under our beds. If you are one of the few with a basement, then that is the best place for you. If you were watching television and saw what he did to the Cavaliers, then you will appreciate the imminent danger that we face. He is coming. His name is Dwight Howard and he is the 23-year-old center for the Orlando Magic. He is about 6'9" tall, and he weighs about 260 pounds. At first glance, he does not appear to be particularly dangerous, although even his muscles have their own muscles. He is handsome enough to be a movie star and pleasant enough to be a greeter at Wal-Mart. If you watched him play against the Cavaliers, then you will understand the danger that we face.

It was a foregone conclusion, at least to me, that LeBron James would control the Beast and send him home. My sentiments were shared by many, as we waited for the ultimate matchup between Bryant and James. Could it ever get any better than that? We did not think so. And then, funny things began to happen in Cleveland and Orlando. King James, my favorite player, could not control the Beast. So, it was a disappointed James who left the stadium without a word and then drove off into the night after the Beast had broken his heart.

Encouraged by his success, he has now cast his eyes upon us. In addition, he wants to be known as Superman. He wants us to believe that he is not here to hurt us but that he is here to fight evil. No one is buying that, since we know what we saw, and now we know what we know. Superman or no, he has evil intentions. He is here to take our trophy and to cancel our parade. He is both ruthless and heartless, and we may not have enough kryptonite to stop him.

Our hope for salvation lies in the hands of the Terrific Trio of Bryant, Gasol, and Ariza. They may or may not get some help from their friends, but the job of stopping him is mainly up to them. Bryant possesses a spine of steel, and the unwavering will to win. He is the ultimate warrior. Gasol and Ariza are his most trusted allies, and the other members of the entourage are not always reliable. You are never sure what you will get from Bynum or Odom, so Bryant has to hope for the best and fear the worst. Battling against Superman will not be easy, and the length and intensity of the battles will challenge their souls. I may have overstated the case; this is a contest between good and good, to determine who is best. It will be a hard-fought struggle, and it will be fascinating to watch. This is the kind of excitement that most of us enjoy, when we have the rare opportunity to do so, and we will be rooting for the Lakers.

Belated condolences to the Mike Tyson family on the death of their four-year-old daughter. She was accidentally strangled by the electric cord to an exercise machine.
They must be shocked and devastated by this unexpected tragedy. Tyson was a great boxing champion and one of the greatest boxers in the history of that sport. His achievements in the ring were undermined by his lack of education and family. His financial success in the ring allowed him to fuel his insecurities and his bad behavior, to his own detriment. Not much of this matters at this time when his heart is full of grief.

It is difficult for me to see how USC basketball coach Tim Floyd can survive the scandals that surround him, and to continue as the head of the basketball program. He has been publicly accused of giving $1,000.00 to an associate of former USC player O. J. Mayo. These accusations have not been substantiated or dismissed, but many of the players who had previously enrolled to attend USC have asked for their releases so that they may attend other schools. I hope that Floyd survives, but in the event that he does not, I hope that USC will offer the job to Reggie Theus.

He was a local high school basketball star, prior to having great success playing for Jerry Tarkanian's UNLV Runnin' Rebels. He has worked locally as a television sportscaster, and then he had two successful years as a college head coach in New Mexico. That led to his being hired as head coach of the NBA Sacramento Kings. The team improved during his first year there, and then he was fired at the beginning of his second year. After he was replaced, the performance of the team went from bad to ridiculous.

If USC has to replace Floyd on short notice, it will be difficult for them to find a replacement with a proven record of success. Theus would be something of a long shot, but there could be a big upside to giving him the job for at least a year. He is local, personable, and popular. He should be a very successful recruiter in this area, since this is where he has lived for most of his life. He could be the second coming of Pete Carroll. [Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]


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