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Zags on a wild ride

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I'm not a rollercoaster guy. Mainly it has to do with heights – to say I hate them is an understatement; it's more like an irrational fear – but it also has to do with the constant up and downs. Speed is fine. Give me a ride that races around corners and stretches the boundaries of centrifugal force anytime. But rollercoasters? No thanks. What does this have to do with sports? I think you know. Read on.

A question on another good day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yesterday was a good day. After eating lunch with a bunch of folks and talking sports, got to go on the radio and talk sports for three hours. Then, en route to the Spokane Valley to cover a high school basketball game, got to listen to Bud Nameck and the first part of the Cougar game. After writing, headed home and got to listen to Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo and the end of the Zag game. Yep, this retired thingee is cool. Read on.

Another title in Gonzaga’s sights

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It happened again. A week ago Zags' nation had changed its name to consternation. The consensus was there was little, if any, chance Gonzaga would be able to catch St. Mary's and win its 12th-consecutive West Coast Conference title. Then the Bulldogs blew out the Gaels on Thursday. And last night, well, last night St. Mary's opened the door to GU and said, “come in.”  Read on.

High school hoops a form of time travel

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Spent last night in a high school gym covering a high school basketball game. Seems as if I've spent a lot of my life in high school gyms attending high school basketball games. And seems is reality in this case. Read on.

Don’t forget what day it is

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Unless you've been living under the Rock of Gibraltar, or possibly under Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's house, you know what today is. It comes fast on the heels of Groundhog's Day and, if you don't want to be stuck under a shadow for six weeks, most of you better get today right. Read on.

Knockout Sunday television

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We're going in a different direction today, one you'll see off and on as the weather warms – and the local sports news thins. We spent much of yesterday afternoon glued to the television, watching a heavyweight fight, though the guys on the screen weren't boxers. It was a knockout though. And it was the best action of the weekend, though I don't believe anyone involved broke a sweat. Read on.

Well, got that one wrong

A GRIP ON SPORTS

OK, I'll admit it. I picked St. Mary's to win last night. When asked my choice on the Patchin, Lukens and Osso radio show (featuring Vince Grippi), I went with the Gaels. What was I thinking? Well, read on and I'll tell you.

Times change but complaining doesn’t

A GRIP ON SPORTS

For the first time in quite a while, we're suffering through a tough Internet day. It's tough to connect with sites, it's tough to tweet, it's just tough to do anything. And we know it's our problem because it's intermittent. So we're working on it while we type – and by working on it, we mean we're ignoring it for now hoping it will fix itself. Read on.

Perfect record

I have attended a grand total of one National Basketball Association game.

I was still in college and working part-time for a small daily newspaper in Arizona. My boss wanted me to have the experience of covering a pro sports event. So he arranged for me to get a floor pass as a photographer and locker room-access reporter credentials.

It was interesting. But here's the thing.

The game was between the home team, the Phoenix Suns, and the Portland Trailblazers. And that season, 1976-77, the Blazers would go on to win the NBA playoffs.

So how many people can say they have seen just one pro game (whatever sport) but that it involved the eventual league champions?

www.skeptisys.wordpress.com      

Merry Christmas from the NBA

So the NBA is back in business on Sunday – not just any Sunday, but Christmas, baby! – with a Santa- busting slate of five TV games. There will be NBA games coming down your chimney, NBA games under your tree, even NBA games spinning on the coffee table like dreidel tops.

Nothing says Christmas Day like LeBron James’ crab dribble.

Nothing says Christmas Day like Craig Sager in purple-and-plaid.

Nothing says Christmas Day like Stan Van Gundy pleading for a call in your living room. Full story.

So, the NBA is back. Are you excited?

Spokane’s Jerad Finck scores, musically, in NBA finals

Jerad Finck of Spokane scored in the NBA finals.

His song “Runaway” was the song played as the musical theme in ESPN's video about Dirk Nowitzki's journey to the NBA title.

Here's a link to the video: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6653799.

It aired during the sixth game of the finals.

This is exceptionally good national exposure for Finck, a singer-songwriter who has had considerable success over the past few years.

My seasonal sports rants

Rant 1: When the unmatched Bobby Orr scored his famous goal — well, it's famous to hockey fans — to win the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins in 1970, the date was May 10.

That seems like a reasonable date for the season to end. This greed-inspired playing into mid-June is nuts.

 Rant 2: I sometimes hear people describe NBA players as the greatest athletes in the world. But I don't buy it.

No question, pro basketball players are tremendous athletes. But can you really be “the greatest” if, to excel at the highest level, you had to have the luck of genetics on your side so you could wind up being super-tall?

Surely the greatest athletes are average-sized people who succeed strictly as a result of their enormous talent and grit.

And what about an ability to suffer for your sport? I suspect cross-country bicycle racers routinely endure pain that would make many ball-sports competitors whimper. 

Klay Thompson Announces For Draft

Klay Thompson filed the paperwork today for the NBA draft, though he won't be signing with an agent. That gives him until May 8 to decide to return to Washington State if he wants. But after listening to him talk for about 15 minutes, it was pretty clear the junior will only be back at WSU next season if something extraordinary happens. We'll have a story up soon/Vince Grippi, SR. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News/AP file photo, Dean Hare: Washington State student Emily King holds a sign asking junior guard Klay Thompson to stay for his senior season March 23, before Washington State's game against Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the NIT in Pullman)

Question: Which NBA bound WSU Coug has a better chance of sticking — DeAngelo Casto or Klay Thompson?

Wow, don’t hold anything back…

Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert has more than few choice words for LeBron James after the superstar left Cleveland to join the Miami Heat. Read his open letter to his fans.


Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight.

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ’KING’ WINS ONE”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

Dan Gilbert

Majority Owner

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Turiaf reportedly dealt to Knicks

Former Gonzaga University basketball star Ronny Turiaf is reportedly one of three players Golden State has traded to the New York Knicks for David Lee.

Where will LeBron James go?