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Sports Watching and Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - Sports - Basketball, BaseballOVERWHELMING!

There are just so many things going on that I do not know where to begin. There is March Madness, Steve Alford coming to UCLA, Andy Enfield coming to USC, the Lakers trying to make the Playoffs, the Clippers struggling, Opening Days for the Angels and the Dodgers, and Shaq's Jersey being retired. Anyway you look at it that is a lot of stuff. So, I wish I knew which of these subjects that a majority of you feel are most compelling.

I am guessing that most of you are concerned about the Lakers. At this moment, the odds are against them. The combination of age, injuries, and lack of coaching leadership appears to have done them in. Their local fans will be devastated if they do not get into the playoffs, and then at least get past the First Round. They can be certain that Kobe Bryant will do everything in his power, but this year, that may not be enough.

The Clippers have already clinched a spot in the Playoffs, but the team appears to be unraveling. They have lost their focus, and they are not playing well. It seems to me that it is unlikely that they will get pass the rirst round. In my opinion, their head coach Vinny Del Negro, has not yet developed the leadership qualities that a winning head coach must have.

I think that Rick Pitino is the best collegiate basketball coach in the world. His players go after their opponents, the way that hungry wolves go after steaks. They play the game at a ferocious pace, and they are unrelenting. When his team played Duke, the Blue Devils felt they were ready to win. However, they were not prepared for the Cardinals all-out assault against them. First, they lost their poise, and then they lost the game. Coach K probably could not believe this was happening to his team. I am taking the Cardinals to win it all.

For as long as I can remember, USC has been mostly a basketball doormat, when I was a student there; John Wooden was at UCLA winning all those championships. So, we rarely had anything to cheer about, and we had to suffer from the arrogance of everyone connected with UCLA. So, the basketball expectations were always low, and the teams usually lived down to them. However, it did not matter much, since no one seemed to care.

The Trojans did have a built-in excuse, since they played their home games in the dilapidated sports arena, before thousands of empty seats. Three years ago, after 40 years of delay, they built the beautiful Galen Center. This signaled the beginning of a new day, or so we hoped. The Trojans have not been successful, and UCLA has lost some of its luster.

USC is now making a move that they hope will help them win the hearts and minds of local collegiate basketball fans. They have hired Andy Enfield to be the head coach of the men's basketball team. This is likely to lead to a sellout of all of the Trojan's home games. There is a tremendous buzz of excitement throughout the entire Trojan Nation. Galen Center will no longer be quiet enough for students to study during the games. Fight On!

UCLA may have found a great coach in Steve Alford. He played for Bobby Knight at Indiana, so he has the right pedigree. However, his won-loss record is not much different from that of their previous coach. It should be noted that his team scored more points, in their losses. Also, his team lost to Harvard. Harvard? Yes, Harvard! It also appears that he may be ethically challenged, since he signed with UCLA, just a few days after signing a contract to stay at New Mexico for 10 years.

The Dodgers took a page out of the NFL Playbook for their Opening Day Festivities. They made it into a Real Event by having Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Magic Johnson, and other celebrities on hand. The Stadium had a great Vibe, which continued after the Dodgers stunning 4-0 victory.

Both the Angels and the Dodgers have been big spenders, and each team has acquired a number of star athletes. Although the odds are against it, there is certainly the possibility of a Freeway World Series.

How long do you think it will be before Lane Kiffin gets into trouble again?



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