It’s Easter weekend, and the Jesuits still haven’t stopped partying. (Pope joke). A win today by Marquette might make ‘em party through the night and tell jokes in both Latin and Greek. It’s the second-most most important weekend in college sports, the weekend in which the Final Four is decided.
I’ve got Louisville, Michigan, Marquette, and Ohio State. Two of them were in my original Final Four. On the other hand, I picked three of the eight teams remaining to go out in the first round, so I guess that kind of mitigates the other thing.
We’ve got an interesting look at some past NCAA tournament stars, and Chris Sheridan’s take on Pat Riley blasting Danny Ainge. There’s a little more on that right below, so check that out and all the rest of the latest news from around the NBA. Also worth a read is this news item from guest columnist Rick Warner — there will not be a 20-10 player (points and rebounds) for the first time in NBA history.
- One interesting take on Pat Riley vs. Danny Ainge comes from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, and it’s totally worth reading: “Miami Heat emperor Pat Riley isn’t responsible for creating the NBA’s culture of hard fouls and cheap shots, but no one in its history has profited so handsomely in the pursuit of perfecting it. In honoring two historically indisputable professional habits – establishing himself as the patriarch and protector of his star player; and wrapping himself in downright disdain for the Boston Celtics – Riley sent a missive to one of his messengers on Good Friday. “Danny Ainge needs to shut the [expletive] up and manage his own team,” Riley proclaimed. “He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him.” This was a spectacularly jarring response to Ainge, who had chastised LeBron James and his declaration that the NBA and its officials don’t do enough to protect him. “I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron James would complain about officiating,” Ainge had told WEEI radio in Boston. For Ainge, he has been his vintage self: agitating, inciting, inspiring an irrational over-the-top response. If Riley’s response feels unprecedented, remember something: The re-recruitment of James to re-sign in 2014 is underway, and this was Riley’s way to back his franchise star. Even so, Riley’s never needed a noble reason to grandstand. When it serves his agenda, no one steps down off Olympus and delivers the arrows like him.”
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News talked to Steve Kerr about Amar’e Stoudemire, whose future in the NBA could be in jeopardy: “Steve Kerr had left the Phoenix Suns a few weeks before the club elected to let Amar’e Stoudemire walk to New York. But the former Suns general manager agreed with ownership and the club’s medical staff that Stoudemire was a medical risk not worth taking. “Yeah,” Kerr said. “I was on board with it.” As Stoudemire recovers from yet another knee surgery and questions swirl over whether he’ll ever return to his All Star form, Kerr said he feels “sad” for his former player because “Amar’e just loves to play basketball.” Neither Stoudemire nor the Knicks can say Stoudemire will return to the basketball court. He had right knee surgery two weeks ago, just five months after the same procedure on his left knee.”
- Here’s some draft talk about a couple of Indiana stars, via Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star: “To stay at Indiana or chase their dream of playing in the NBA? That’s the question IU junior guard Victor Oladipo and sophomore center Cody Zeller have to answer over the next couple of weeks. It’s an easy decision for Oladipo according to a handful of NBA scouts and front office personnel. One scout told The Star: “It’s a no-brainer for Victor to head to the league because his value won’t get any higher than what it is. Returning will likely hurt him.” Zeller and Oladipo both said they hadn’t thought about their future after the Hoosiers’ Sweet Sixteen loss to Syracuse on Thursday.” (We will have a Mock Draft up on the site Monday, and I’ll tip you to one thing: Having five of his shots blocked in the loss to Syracuse cost this kid untold millions, our draft guru, Joe Kotosh, believes. -CS)
- Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida has some news on Jerry Stackhouse: “Brooklyn Nets guard Jerry Stackhouse is likely to retire after this season. But he won’t be done with basketball. The 18-year veteran said it’s “highly unlikely’’ he will play next season. He then anticipates having a role with the NBA Players Association. “It’s not completely sold that I don’t get the bug (to play) again,” Stackhouse told FOX Sports Florida before Friday’s game at Denver. “But, really, I think this is an opportune time to kind of step to the forefront to do something with the union and try to make sure we select the right executive director.’’ Stackhouse is first vice president for a union that is in disarray. Former executive director Billy Hunter was ousted unanimously at the All-Star Game last month in Houston after he had been accused of financial irregularities and had been criticized for hiring family members. Although traditionally members of the executive committee have had to be active players, Stackhouse expects he will be allowed to fill out his term after having retired. Stackhouse, 38, was elected to a four-year term last month.”
- Rob Hennigan has done fairly well in his first year at the helm of the Magic, if you can overlook the team’s awful record. Here’s Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post on one of Hennigan’s latest acquisitions, forward Tobias Harris: “T suited up for the on Friday night for the 18th time since Orlando acquired him from the at the NBA trading deadline. And for the sixth time in that span, Harris tied or set a new career-high in scoring: the second-year combo forward put up 30 points, in addition to 11 boards, three steals, and three blocks, as Orlando fended off the , 97-92, to end its eight-game losing streak. Veteran point guard also joined the Magic in the Harris deal, and he said that Harris’ stellar performance didn’t surprise him. “When I was in Milwaukee with him, I always knew he had the potential and talent to be a great player. And in Milwaukee, I think they were just holding him back,” Udrih said. “They didn’t give him a real chance to show what he can do. Here, he got a chance and he’s definitely proving himself and taking advantage of the chance.” “
Pages: 1 2