Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA suspends training camps indefinitely

File this under not surprising news-

NEW YORK — The lockout has started doing real damage to the NBA’s calendar.

Players won’t report at the usual time. The preseason won’t start as scheduled.

And more cancellations could be necessary without a new labor deal soon.

Out of time to keep everything intact, the NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached an agreement with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The players’ association did not comment.

I don’t expect their to be another NBA game this year. This kind of labor conflict is usually protracted and nothing will get done till the season is on the verge of being lost. As NHL fans know from 2004-2005, even then the dispute can go over the cliff taking a whole season with it.

I have no sympathy for either owners or players. The players are rich and overindulged, the owners of small market NBA teams had to know when going in that they had little chance of making the franchise they were purchasing into NBA Championship contenders/moneymakers.


Former College and NBA Head Coach Fred Schaus dead at 84

He led the Mountaineers to six straight NCAA tournament berths and one finals appearance. Before that he played in the NBA for two teams, including the New York Knicks.RIP.

Fred Schaus, a former Los Angeles Lakers coach and general manager who mentored Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley at West Virginia, has died. He was 84.Fred Schaus

The former West Virginia University coach and athletic director died Wednesday night in Morgantown, said Dan Hastings, a funeral director at Hastings Funeral Home in Morgantown. Schaus had been living in a nursing home. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released.

“Fred’s passing brings finality to a relationship that began in 1955, when he first came to our house to introduce himself as the coach of West Virginia University,” West said in a statement released by the school.

A Cabin Creek native, West recalled Schaus telling him WVU would be the place for him to attend school and have an opportunity to play basketball.

“At that point in my life, he was the first coach to show interest in me,” West said. “I was thrilled beyond words and to this day, I remember much about our meeting. Little did I know what a long-lasting relationship we would have.”

Born in Newark, Ohio, Schaus became the first Mountaineers player to score 1,000 career points. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft and played five seasons with the Fort Wayne Pistons and New York Knicks.

He compiled a 127-26 record as head coach at West Virginia from 1954 to 1960, including six straight NCAA tournament berths. The Mountaineers, led by West, advanced to the NCAA championship game in 1959, losing to California 71-70.

Schaus followed West to the Lakers, going 315-245 in seven seasons as head coach and guiding the team to four NBA finals before becoming general manager in 1967. The 1972 Lakers, behind West and Wilt Chamberlain, won a then-record 69 games in the regular season and beat the Knicks for the NBA title.

“We shared many incredible experiences, both joyous and painful, during our years together at WVU and then as my coach with the Los Angeles Lakers,” West said. “As a young man with little experience with the outside world, he became my mentor and sounding board as I progressed as an athlete and as a person.”

Schaus returned to the college ranks in 1972, going 105-59 in six seasons as head coach at Purdue. He also served as athletic director at West Virginia from 1981-89 before he retired. Schaus was inducted into his alma mater’s athletics hall of fame in 1992.


LA Clippers fire Coach Mike Dunleavy

He had a record of 215-326 leading the team. From ESPN-

The Los Angeles Clippers have decided to make a coaching change with just 32 games left in the season, relieving Mike Dunleavy of his duties, the team announced on Thursday.

The Clippers have named assistant Kim Hughes as interim coach.

Dunleavy, who has been serving as the Clippers’ coach/general manager since Elgin Baylor left the club early last season, will retain his front-office title.


The Clippers began play Thursday with the 12th-best record in the Western Conference, seven games out of a playoff spot at 21-28.

Dunleavy has been a head NBA almost continuously for the last 20 years, the last seven of which were with the Clippers. The Clippers were doing better this season than last year’s horrible 19-63 but still Dunleavy hasn’t been able to turn around this moribund franchise. It looks about time to me to try giving someone else a chance.


On top- LA Lakers beat Charlotte 99-97

With last night’s victory, Phil Jackson becomes the winningest coach in franchise history. From AP-

With his superstar hobbling and the Charlotte Bobcats refusing to go away, Phil Jackson never got terribly comfortable while becoming the winningest coach in Los Angeles Lakers history.Phil Jackson

Andrew Bynum had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Lamar Odom scored 19 points while making several big plays down the stretch, making sure Jackson added another superlative to his matchless coaching career in Los Angeles’ 99-97 victory over the Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Jackson, also the winningest coach in Chicago Bulls history, passed Pat Riley with his 534th win with the Lakers. The Hall of Famer won 545 games and six titles in nine seasons with Michael Jordan and Co. before winning four more rings in his first nine seasons with the Lakers, rising to fifth on the NBA’s career coaching victories list when he passed Charlotte’s Larry Brown earlier this season.

“It’s been a really good run,” Jackson said. “Having this opportunity to coach this team is always special. The fact that we’ve had some great teams, great players, is always a credit to them. It’s not really an individual record in my mind.”

Jackson is the winningest playoff coach in NBA history, and the only coach to win more than 70 percent of his regular-season games. Against the pesky Bobcats, he managed to coax a late-game win out of his Lakers even with just a season-low five points from Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who is playing on a sore foot, had his worst ever NBA game in which he played at least 30 minutes.

Jackson has had great success as his coach, but its been his good fortune to coach some of the best talent the NBA has ever seen. He is at this moment, 64-years of age. I predict Jackson to quit coaching within the next 3 years.


LA Lakers Andrew Bynum misses team flight to Toronto

Didn’t anyone ever hear of a head count? From the Fabulous Forum-

Andrew Bynum is 22 years old now and a 5-year NBA veteran, so one would think he knows better, that he would be more of a professional.

But obviously that’s still not the case.

When the Lakers left New York on Saturday morning to travel to Toronto, Bynum missed the team flight and was forced to pay for his own travel to Canada.

Lakers Coach Phil Jacksonsaid that Bynum would be fined — he wouldn’t disclose the amount — and that paying his own way was another way of punishment for the young center.

Jackson said Bynum placed his bags outside his hotel room in New York for the designated time for pickups, but perhaps fell back to sleep.

“His bags made it to Toronto, but he didn’t,” Jackson said, smiling. “So obviously he got up and put his bags outside the door and something happened between there and the bus, like going back to sleep again, or whatever. … He’s all right. A rookie mistake you would call it, even though he’s not a rookie.

Did anyone notice Bynum was missing? A basketball team isn’t that large, nothing like a football team. You would think someone would noticed a player missing. It sounds like the Lakers players don’t have much upstairs. Maybe they should consider a job in government after their playing days are over. How about the FBI?

There’s a standard fine for it. He paid his own plane fare.”

Jackson said that Bynum still was going to start against the Raptors tonight and that his playing time would not be lessened.

Bynum said he put his bags outside his room at 9:15, fell back asleep and woke up at 11:15 Saturday morning.

He said his ticket to Toronto cost him about $300 and that he arrived here Saturday night.

You mean Bynum, who measures 7′ feet tall, bought a coach class seat? I’m betting he wished he paid for first class as his knees came up to his chin the whole way to Toronto.


Never a calm moment- Portland defeats Los Angeles 107-98

The Lakers last win in Oregon was back in 2005. From the Oregonian-

A season that has never provided a dull moment just became a little more memorable Friday, when the short-handed and recently short-fused Trail Blazers did what they seemingly always do against the Lakers at the Rose Garden: win.LAK-Por

In one of their more well-rounded and entertaining games of the season, the Blazers controlled the Lakers 107-98, giving Lakers coach Phil Jackson until Feb. 6 to come up with new material on why his team has lost nine in a row in Portland.

“We played great basketball tonight,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.

The Blazers led wire-to-wire, and by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter, as Brandon Roy had the look of a candidate for league most valuable player, Martell Webster played inspired defense on Kobe Bryant, and Jerryd Bayless was a burst of energy off the bench.

Roy was as efficient as he was brilliant, finishing with 32 points, six assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers in 38 minutes. He matched Bryant in points, but Bryant went 14 for 37 from the field and had five turnovers, while Roy went 9 for 11 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free throw line.

Portland is now 23-15 for the season. This is truly remarkable in light of the injuries and illness that have befallen Trail Blazer players.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


Philadelphia 76ers hire Eddie Jordan to be head coach

He will replace Tony Dileo who was interim coach after Maurice Cheeks was fired. From AP-

Eddie Jordan is the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, leaving Sacramento’s vacancy as the only remaining coaching opening in the league.

Jordan and the Sixers have reached an agreement on a multi-year deal to reunite the former Washington Wizards coach with Sixers president Ed Stefanski after Jordan and Stefanski worked together in New Jersey.

Jordan was the first to interview for the Philly job — which came open May 11 when Tony DiLeo returned to his front-office post after taking over for Maurice Cheeks in December and guiding the Sixers to the No. 6 seed in the East — and the only other candidate interviewed twice by Stefanski besides Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey.

Sources said Jordan was also the top candidate in Sacramento, but it was believed from the start he preferred to land with the Sixers, largely because Philly is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances. The Kings are essentially starting over after going 17-65 last season and coming out of last week’s lottery with the No. 4 overall pick despite finishing with the league’s worst record.

The status of the NBA franchise Philadelphia is obviously much rosier than that of the one in Sacramento. However the 76ers are nothing more than a run of the mill team. Jordan will have to work hard to improve on that and quickly or he could be fired just as fast as Cheeks was. I will grant this- Jordan did achieve a 20 game improvement in his second year in Washington from what the Wizards did in his first year as their coach. Maybe he can do it again.


Lakers snap Celtics 19 game winning streak

Boston hadn’t lost a game since November 14th. From AP-

Kobe Bryant had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Pau Gasol scored seven of his 20 points in the final three minutes, and the Lakers beat Boston 92-83 Thursday to snap the Celtics’ franchise-record 19-game winning streak.

The game was the first between the teams since the Celtics romped to a 131-92 victory in Game 6 of the Finals last June to win their first championship in 22 years and league-high 17th title.

LA coach Phil Jackson also notched his 1,000th victory.


Washington Wizards fire Coach Eddie Jordan

The second head coach firing of the 2008-09 NBA season has taken place.

Eddie Jordan was fired as coach of the Washington Wizards on Monday after opening the season 1-10 without injured starters Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood.

Ed Tapscott, the Wizards’ director of player development, will replace Jordan on an interim basis, running his first practice as the team’s new head coach Monday morning, a team spokesman told The Associated Press.

The firing was first reported by The Washington Post on its Web site.

Assistant coach Mike O’Koren was also let go, and the Wizards named Randy Ayers as top assistant coach, a source told ESPN’s Ric Bucher.

Jordan was in his sixth season with the Wizards and led the team to the playoffs each of the past four. In September, shortly before the start of training camp, the Wizards picked up a one-year option to keep him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

Frankly I would have been more inclined to giving Jordan more time to work out the problems in Washington. These two recently fired coaches were producing dismal results too but didn’t have Jordan’s success in previous season.


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