Larry Brown was like your grandfather. Or at least, that’s how everyone around college basketball described him. He was an unchallenged legend, revered as one of the game’s great teachers, a man who could parachute in to an irrelevant program in a borderline-irrelevant conference and turn it into a budding basketball hotbed. He was old (75), small, gentle and soft-spoken. He wore little circle glasses, paced around nervously and looked and acted like an English Lit professor. He talked constantly about teaching kids, teaching
CLEVELAND — Stephen Curry trotted down the court, his arms raised high in the air, just the way we all remember him from the first time we saw him at Davidson. He had just knocked down his second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, giving his Warriors an 11-point lead they would not relinquish en route to a 105-97 win and the franchise’s first title in 40 years. When we first met him, he was Dell
It’s that time of year again. After all of the laughs, other-worldly performances, and misguided declarations that someone was dead, we’ve arrived at the end of the season. It’s time to pick a winner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. As always, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. As always, I lied to myself. (Sniffle) We saw a lot of improvement in the NBA this season. The Atlanta Hawks went from Eastern Conference Playoff Team With a Losing Record™ to The Spurs
Jimmy Butler shaved his head and wore No. 45 in his return with the Bulls last week. (We think). Last time we were all together in this space, I announced that Jimmy Butler was dead. That was evidently erroneous and inaccurate reporting. I apologize for that. I was just trying to honor a veteran. I know now that Jimmy is not dead. In fact, he only missed 11 games for the Chicago Bulls, then returned triumphantly last week against the
James H. Butler III 1989-2015 Hello everyone. Please take your seats. I’d like to start this column off with a moment of silence for our friend, Jimmy Butler. (Silence). Thank you. Ahem…god, this is tough…ahem. Ahem. Sorry. What can you say about a guy like Jimmy Butler? Jimmy was more than just a basketball player to most of us. He was maybe the most improved basketball player of the 2014-15 NBA season. His life was short, indeed, but in such a short time, he touched so many others. Colossians 1:17
Devastating. That’s how most basketball fans would describe this past week, particularly ones in the Lake Michigan area. First came the news that former MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls was hurt again, the victim of a torn meniscus in his right knee. And now, All-Stra teammate and Most Improved Player candidate Jimmy Butler is out 3-6 weeks after hyperextending his left elbow. Bulls fans, and the NBA in general, have taken one giant, James Harden-sized kick to the man region.
The Oscars are over, and since I once again didn’t watch them or see any of the nominated movies, let’s get this Oscar-themed edition of the Most Improved Player Rankings under way! Because nothing says “entertaining column” like a bunch of misinformed pop culture references! As always, these awards are for the players in the “Rankings Academy” only, meaning they have to be in consideration for our table. The envelopes, please … Best Supporting Actor: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors. I mean, come on.
My Great Grandma used to have a small plaque that she hung on the wall in her kitchen that, like many things about her, I’ve never forgotten. “Ve get too soon oldt, undt too late schmart,” it read, though I’m not sure why it was in half-English, half-German. She’s not even German. I think she hung it there to explain things like this NBA season. Gram always did love basketball. OK, maybe not. But she did say her spirit animal was a bluebird, and