I am on the road for the next 2-3 weeks. It will be a down time here at kss. Keep well until that time, one and all.
I am on the road for the next 2-3 weeks. It will be a down time here at kss. Keep well until that time, one and all.
There is only one story of interest in the world of sport today and it is being played out gloriously, thus far, in the birthplace of Golf, in Scotland, on the Ailsa Course at Turnberry.
Day Two Leaderboard
Old Tom Watson [59 years young], 5-time British Open Champion, 26 years after his last victory in a major, is tied for the 36-hole!
32 years ago, Tom played the finest match of golf these eyes have ever witness, head-to-head on this same course, against the greatest golfer of All-Time, The Duel in the Sun, with four rounds of 68-70-65-65, to win by 1 stroke over the Golden Bear.
Beginning at 10:00 AM ET … when the final pairing of the day is set to tee off … there’s no other place in the world yours truly would rather be than: A. In Scotland, at Turnberry, in Mr. Watson’s gallery, or B. ”Watching on the telie” along with the thousands-to-millions around the world, neary a dry eye to be found, if he can … someone … just hang on, one last time.
There is no greater test of a man’s heart and soul and skill and will … tested against the elements and his fellow man … than the competition of the Open Championship with 36 holes left to be played, on a links course, in Scotland.
Aye, so say, I.
Bring it home, Mr. Watson …
“Would you give your heart to a friend,
Think of me as your friend,
And, I think we can make it, make it,
One more time, if we try.
One more time for all of the old, old times.”
Oh, what a weekend it just might be, afterall.
Here are the video clip answers to yesterday’s motion picture trivia …
1. Juror #4
2. Who are those guys?
3. First comes the Football Quiz, then comes the marriage?
Can you correctly identify the “character” with the name of “Baltimore” in each of these film classics?
PS. Enjoy your weekend, one and all.
Thus far, this summer, every personnel move made by the Magic has been Right on the Money!
Magic close to signing C.J. Watson
The Orlando Magic are close to signing free agent point guard C.J. Watson, giving them an alternative to veteran Anthony Johnson as a backup to often-injured Jameer Nelson.
Watson, 6-2, 180 pounds, played the last two years at Golden State after spending one year in Greece and another year in the NBA Development League.
According to NBA sources, Watson could be signed as early as this weekend. Watson last season averaged 9.5 points and 2.7 assists, mostly as a backup for the Warriors. Golden State would have seven days to match any offer, since Watson is a restricted free agent.
Yes, C.J. Watson is a restricted free agent and Golden State still has the right to match this offer from Orlando in order to retain his services … but, if the the Warriors decide to decline this opportunity, given the other PG’s they have on their roster, the Magic will have struck gold once again during the free agency period.
Whatever criticism may have been levied towards Otis Smith & Dave Twardzik prior to last season needs to be discarded as complete nonsense. No one makes a series of inter-connected moves over an extended period of time … like these manoeuvres … without having a well-formulated plan in place that is being gradually unfurled like clockwork.
When you look at their roster from three seasons ago [40-42/.488, 3rd place Southeast] … and, then, compare it to what’s there now, surrounding a stud like D12 [C]:
1 Jameer Nelson, PG, 6th yr
2 Vince Carter, OG, 12th yr
3 Rashard Lewis, SF-PF, 12th yr
4 Brandon Bass, PF, 5th yr
5 Dwight Howard, C, 6th yr
6 Anthony Johnson, PG, 13 yr
7 JJ Redick, OG, 4th yr
8 Mickael Pietrus, SF, 7th yr
9 Ryan Anderson, PF, 2nd yr
10 Marcin Gortat, C, 3rd yr
11 C.J. Watson, PG, 3rd yr - ? [restricted free agent/Golden State]
12 Jeremy Richardson, SF, 4th yr - ? [restricted free agent/Orlando]
13 Player X, PF/C - ?
Italics – Added 2 seasons ago; Bold Italics – Added 1 season ago; Bold – Added this season.
it’s a treat to see High End pro’s like this in action.
To fulfil a simple request made by Dave [nbaroundtable] … over at RaptorsRepublic.com … here’s a specific Poll Question which should be most interesting to see the results for between now and the start of the 2009-2010 regular season.
Use the Comments section to elaborate further on your answers [e.g. giving your analysis of the EC, on the whole, if you'd like] and, in particular, to identify yourself, as: [A] a Raptors fan, or [B] a fan of a different NBA team, or [C] an unbiased ‘NBA observer’.
Day One Belongs To Watson [and us getting older folks who remember when]
History, including history no older than Greg Norman a year ago, suggests Old Tom Watson won’t last with the lead pack at the 138th Open Championship.Watson isn’t sure himself, but this is not about some angst-driven crusade to win majors; leave all that to Tiger Woods, who began poorly, throwing clubs and small fits in his latest attempt to track down Jack Nicklaus.
No, Watson is here to smell the flowers, or at least the sea breezes, and enjoy a game at which he was best in the world 30 years ago. He’s here to fit right in to Scotland, in other words, and loving every minute of an opening-round 65 that put him a shot behind Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“There was some spirituality out there today. Just the serenity of it was pretty neat,” said Watson, a five-time Open champion who clearly gets it about links golf and what it means here.
“Golf is part of the fabric of life over here, in Scotland in particular. Wherever you go, Tiger’s recognized. In the States, they don’t know who the heck I am. But over here – and I don’t get a big head about it – people come up to me.” Here he lapsed into a brogue, saying, “`Tom, Tom, nice to meet you, Tom.’ And it’s much appreciated.
“I did not like links golf. I did not like the way I was playing,” he said of the early days of his career. “I didn’t like the way you had to play it on the ground, the luck of the bounces or the bad luck of the bounces. But I took it in stride finally and made a pretty good success of it.”
khandor giveth … and, sometimes, khandor taketh away.
No one’s perfect. That’s a fact of life; Kelly Dwyer, included.
Anthony Morrow hits for 47 summer league points
And the name I kept hearing was “Marco Belinelli,” who played exceedingly well in Golden State’s 2007 summer league outfit.
Here’s the problem with that. Marco’s international stats translated horribly to the NBA. He was not, nor should have ever been, on any team’s radar. The Warriors, smitten with the idea of an international big guard named “Marco,” went ahead anyway. And a month after drafting the guy, seemed pretty happy when he went off in the NBA-sponsored offseason tournaments.
But Marco went right back to being Marco once the NBA season started. And it’s not a case of the guy not getting the minutes he deserved. I’m sure Belinelli is a lovely chap, but he’s not NBA material.
Morrow is. Morrow proved that in 2008-09, not in the summer leagues, and Thursday’s 47 should be a reminder of such.
The Warriors, who I must remind you are “a joke of an organization,” probably don’t want to know. Not while Nelson is running things, especially. He gets bored, and he plays to the ignorance of fair weather fans.
The ignorance, and this isn’t their fault (they’d rather pay attention to the 49ers) that tells you that Morrow’s hot 2008-09 start was a bit of a fluke, and it’s OK to slowly decrease his minutes until you get to 7.6 minutes per game in February.
(Well, Kelly, he shot 36 percent in February. Which came first, the low minutes, or the bad shooting? Nellie’s been at this since the 1960s, and he’s reacting to Morrow’s cold touch.)
No, he’s being Nellie. You try coming off the bench for seven minutes toward the end of a 20-point loss and firing up a 24-footer two and a half hours after warming up. It’s bound to go in, no matter how good a shooter you are, about 36 percent of the time.
Of course, Morrow averaged nearly 41 minutes per game in April, but that’s how this joke of an organization works. Poorly.
The point I’m getting at is that, overall, Morrow is a stud. The guy shot 47 percent on three-pointers last year. Couple that with a 6-6 frame, and you have a player that should be starting, or at least playing more than 22 minutes a night (his average). Or, and I know I haven’t been doing this since the 1960s, playing consistent minutes, as opposed to 41 minutes in April, and 7.6 minutes in February.
The problem here is that, as unorthodox as Nellie is, the man completely falls in line with NBA orthodoxy when it comes to sitting or starting guys he likes. He’ll twist things to his advantage, every time, just as long as it leaves him looking like a plucky upstart who was thisclose to taking down the well-heeled favorite.
Morrow’s an unheralded shooter? Then you can move him around a bit. He’s always replaceable. He’ll always be on the bench, ready to shoot.
Anthony Randolph doesn’t have much of a jump shot? He hasn’t put on weight? Well, then there’s no way he can score, consistently. Even though he’s scoring, you know, pretty damn consistently. Even though he’s giving you eight and six with a block and a steal in only 18 minutes AT AGE 19, without you running any plays for him.
So just remember this, in January. Morrow’s no fluke. Randolph is still a stud. They can both play, even if they aren’t, and while Stephen Jackson is still averaging 41 minutes a night.
Here’s a version of the comment which was left by yours truly a few minutes ago on Ball Don’t Lie:
You are right about Anthony Morrow.
You are [really!!!] right about Anthony Randolph.
You are right about G-State, in general.
You are wrong, however, about both Don Nelson and Marco B.
Don is a terrific unorthodox coach that does things in a way that others … who are not good head coaches, in their own right … simply DO NOT understand. That said … it’s THOSE other people who are WRONG if/when they try to put down what Mr. Nelson has accomplished in this League, as a terrific head coach. He may not be YOUR kind of head coach but he is still terrific, nonetheless.
[Please Note: In the NBA, you simply DO NOT amass the number of Wins and Losses that Don Nelson has to his credit WITHOUT being an outstanding head coach.]
Likewise with Marco Belinelli … you are WRONG to think that he is NOT a NBA player. This could not possibly further from the truth actually. Marco is a perfect example of a very good basketball player who has specific strengths and weaknesses and is doomed to failure IF HE DOESN’T GET THE CHANCE TO PLAY FOR A COACH WITH WHOM HE FITS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL AND WHO APPRECIATES HIS INDIVIDUAL GAME FOR EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.
Marco’s game simply doesn’t fit with who Don Nelson is, as a very good NBA head coach … but it is not correct to classify Marco as being something other than a legit NBA player.
e.g. If Marco B is traded to New York and gets the chance to function under a coach like Mike D’Antoni .. the offensive gifts that he has would have a chance to flourish.
Marco needs a change of scenery.
IMO, however, he is a totally different player than, say, JC Navarro … who is not a NBA player … and just needs a chance to strut his “stuff” on a consistent basis with a coach who isn’t looking for an “athletic stud” and will be in his corner as a STARTING POINT GUARD in the NBA.
For D’Antoni’s Knicks, Marco would be a “star” player … in the mold of a poor man’s Steve Nash.
That said …
Kelly remains a gifted new-age sports writer who each of you should be reading on a daily basis.
He connects, with power, on a much more frequent basis than he strikes out.
Despite the fact that there are those in Raptorville who think that their favourite team has perhaps improved the most of all, so far, this summer, there is now a growing number of NBA observers who do not see this off season’s respective pluses and minuses adding up in that exact way.
The most recent of these is a solid article yesterday, by Kelly Dwyer, that examines THE team which he believes has, in fact, improved the most this summer during the initial stage of the Free Agency period.
The Orlando Magic are stacked
Even if Carter steps back a bit, at his age. Even if Gortat sulks, Nelson doesn’t bounce back, Howard doesn’t turn into Kevin McHale, and Bass starts slowly. This team is still better. Way better. And we’ve barely mentioned Ryan Anderson’s pretty, pretty eyes.
Have they paid through the teeth? Are they trying to win now? Hell yes. That contract was signed as soon as the sign-and-trade with Rashard Lewis went through two summers ago. When they committed that much to a player in his prime, the Magic signed off on the win now scheme, even if Howard was years away from his peak.
That’s bad, if you screw it up. The Magic, Otis Smith and Dave Twardzik, haven’t screwed it up. And credit the team’s ownership for paying for a winner. Even before the new stadium goes up. Even in this economy. Good on them. Appreciate these moves, because this team is running rings around everyone else this summer. I wouldn’t be as excited for Richard Jefferson, cats and kittens.
There’s a good-to-great chance it could mean a second round exit. That’s how tough the East is at the top of the order, and that’s OK. Hedo will be just fine in his first couple of years in Toronto, VC is past his prime, and these moves aren’t exactly fiscally responsible.
Doesn’t matter. They’re moves. They’re great moves. This team went to the Finals last month, and in the four weeks since, it’s gotten much, much better. Appreciate that.
The direct tie-in to the Raptors’ current situation shouldn’t be that hard for most of the team’s die-hard fans to see for themselves
[Note: Just in case they can't quite make it out properly, however, it's related to the names of one Vincent Lamar Carter, who made his NBA bones in Toronto, and the Turkish Michael Jordan [i.e. Hedo Turkoglu], who hopes to sustain his solid play of the last few seasons in his new digs north of the 49th Parallel.]
If the general consensus in the on-line hoops community of NBA observers is that:
1 The Magic have indeed improved the most this off season, thus far;
2 The Magic, Cavaliers and Celtics … in any order of finish in the regular season standings you might choose to prefer … should prove to be the top 3 teams in the EC this year, with perhaps the Hawks [i.e. #4 last year, who have re-signed their own FA plus added J-Crawford] and the Heat [i.e. #5 last year, who are now in the running to add Iverson or Boozer and/or Odom] hot on their heels;
This would then seem to leave the Bulls, Bobcats, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, Pacers, Pistons, Raptors, 76ers and Wizards in a dogfight terrific race for the #6, #7 and #8 positions in the Eastern Conference Playoffs next season.
Please, see Peter Holt.
Please, see the San Antonio Spurs.
Please, see the Spurs’ 4 World Championship Larry O’Brien Trophies.
Please, read about THE WAY a Winner Thinks When The Going Gets Tough.
When Spurs majority owner Peter Holt walked into the room for the NBA Board of Governors meeting here earlier this week, he was greeted with a cacophony of catcalls and good-natured ribbing.
His fellow owners couldn’t believe the supposedly thrifty Holt had signed off on one of the most expensive offseason makeovers in recent Spurs memory.
“They all think I’m cheap as hell,” Holt said.
Not anymore. In the span of less than a month, Holt and his ownership group have done some serious damage to their miserly reputation.
In the eye of an uncertain economy that prompted many NBA teams to put a lock on their wallets this offseason, the Spurs went barreling past the luxury tax threshold to acquire Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess.
The Spurs already are about $8 million over the dollar-for-dollar tax line, with still more roster pieces to add. The final tariff bill is likely to breach $10 million, on top of a payroll pushing $80 million.
In his first interview since the offseason began, Holt this week explained the reasoning behind the Spurs’ out-of-character summertime spending spree. In Vegas terms, it was time to go all in.
Whether or not the San Antonio Spurs actually win the 2009-2010 NBA title really isn’t the point.
What matters most of all is Mr. Holt’s versatility, intelligence, commitment to excellence and … perhaps, No. 1 on the list … actual Level of R.E.S.P.E.CT. for  the Spurs loyal fans,  RC Buford & Gregg Popovich,  Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili & Tony Parker, et al.
As that great, down-home, southern gentleman-philospher, Bum Phillips [Houston Oilers], once said, about the defining characteristic of a fabulous former NFL head coach by the name of Don Shula [Miami Dolphins]:
“He’s so good, he can take his’n and beat yours’n; then take yours’n and beat his’n.”
That, dear friends, right there, is a Prime Example of A Man who actually knows what he’s doing in the Great Arena of Life.
This is the first link on this blog to an article which appears on a web site by the name of Raptorblog.com. There’s a very good reason for this.
Read what is says in this article … by clicking right here.
THEN … please read what was first written on “ksb”, back on Dec 16, 2007,
It is simply hilarious to see and read an article like this new one, on this specific web site, without so much as a mention about what’s been discussed here, on several occasions, for the last 19 months!
Absolutely … fundamentally … profoundly-speaking, straight-up, ROTFLOLWKAS hilarious.
Credit to RaptorsRepublic.com for posting the link to it earlier today. If not, it would never have caught this eye.