Better than Knicks basketball

Scott Cacciola covers the New York Knicks for the New York Times. But the Knicks really suck! So earlier this month, the Times ran this note:

The Knicks, in an effort to rebuild through the N.B.A. draft and free agency, appear to have officially given up on this season. They’re an unthinkable 5-32, and on Monday night they traded away J. R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, leaving a roster that might struggle against an N.B.A. Development League team.

So the Sports department’s editors feel it is only merciful to give our Knicks beat writer, Scott Cacciola, a break from such woeful basketball. He deserves to see the game played at a higher level. For the next month or so, we would like to point him to some good, quality basketball, wherever it may be. Any suggestions?

So he went to Springfield, Ill., to cover the Central Illinois Xpress basketball team:

The Xpress were already drawing attention, having emerged as an unlikely force in the fifth-grade boys’ league at the Gym, a bustling basketball center here. In running their record to 8-1 through the first half of the season, the Xpress executed a motion offense and often overwhelmed the competition. But they really stood out for another reason.

Yeah, he’s doing stories on fifth-grade girls because the Knicks are extraordinarily bad. But the girls are really good, and making the boys they play cry. Click on the link in the tweet. It’s a fun story.

The college basketball quote of the year

The Louisville Cardinals destroyed the Savannah State Tigers last night at the Yum Center. The score was 41-7 at the half. The final score was 87-26. Louisville coach Rick Pitino did everything he could to not run up the score.

“I don’t like to see any team struggle like that. I really don’t,” he said at the conclusion of his post-game press conference.

“I tried everything. We played four white guys and an Egyptian.”

Deadspin follows up with this observation:

He did! A lineup consisting of three walk-ons, a Norwegian 7-foot freshman, and an Egyptian 7-foot freshman couldn’t reverse the carnage. For a while—and this is not much of exaggeration—you wondered if Savannah State would ever score. The Tigers were shut out for the first 15:58 of the game, falling behind 29-0 before earning an iffy shooting foul and hitting a single, sad free throw.



It’s time for college basketball, and Louisville’s dunkmaster, “MegaTrezl”

College basketball season has begun and there’s going to be total immersion as ESPN goes overboard for the next few days. I understand the network’s going to show 29 consecutive hours of hoops.

My team is ranked No. 8. I expect it to move higher. Here’s why:

That’s Montrezl Harrell of Louisville. When he said last year that he would have 100 dunks, the reporters laughed. He ended up with 97. You just saw every one of them in that video. Everybody expects 100 this year. Nobody is laughing.

This is the guy to watch as national player of the year.

Becky Hammon: From the WNBA to the NBA

The San Antonio Spurs today hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach, the first woman to get a full-time contract as a coach in the NBA.

That’s right, NBA, not WNBA.

So, some frat boys will ask, what does a girl know about basketball?

When the NBA launched, I had season tickets to the New York Liberty for a few years and was in Madison Square Garden when Hammon was a rookie. She was a crowd favorite, and has been popular in all 16 years of her WNBA career.

It is shocking that she wasn’t selected for the U.S. basketball team that competed in the Olympics. Mainly because a couple of years ago, she was named at one of the top-15 all time WNBA greats.

But this is her last season as a player. Again, the aging process hits me, because I can only think of Becky as a 21-year-old kid sinking three-pointers all over Madison Square Garden.

Of course, the question is, can she coach? Can she teach guys who are a foot taller than she is?

That’s pretty good.

WNBA All-Star Game: What? They had it already?

I’m not sure what happened, but I completely missed the WNBA All-Star Game this year, and I was really looking forward to it because Shoni Schimmel, the former Louisville Cardinals superstar, was voted in as a starting guard representing the Atlanta Dream.

And now that I realize what happened, I’m really upset I missed seeing this:

I was at Shoni’s last game as a Louisville Cardinal, when she almost pulled out a win against Maryland in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. Had certain juniors on the team at least made their average (Sarah, Bria, Jude:  I’m looking at you), the Cards would have gone to the Final Four.

The worst part is, I can’t even find a rerun of the All-Star game, because Watch  ESPN doesn’t have it on its repeat rotation.

Racist Donald Sterling’s life is beautiful

Back when the Donald Sterling “I don’t want my mistress to be seen with black guys” scandal broke, I wrote that the guy may be a scumbag, but he’s never going to be punished. Here’s what I said:

So current estimates are that the Clippers will sell for more than $1 billion. And that money goes to …

Donald Sterling.

He owns the team. He gets the paycheck.

I’m sure he’s in agony right now because the NBA won’t let him be involved in a sport that features a race of people he doesn’t want to associate with.

Well, I’m here to admit I was wrong. Because, as you’ve all seen, this happened:

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, and Donald Sterling reportedly won’t stop the sale with a lawsuit against the NBA.

Bobby Samini, one of Sterling’s lawyers, told NBC4 that the soon-to-be former owner wouldn’t pursue legal action against the league as he had previously threatened, instead accepting the sale (and money that comes along with it).

Yesterday, Sterling said that he was ready to move on from the struggle:

“I feel fabulous, I feel very good. Everything is just the way it should be, really. It may have worked out differently, but it’s good. It’s all good,” Sterling said.

Breathe a sigh of relief, everyone. Sterling feels good.

See, my mistake was I underestimated how much he was going to pocket … by ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!

Yes, Donald Sterling can move on from the scorn the world has heaped upon him … with an added $2 billion in his pocket.

Tell me, what’s the point of having contempt for a person when even in his worst moment life is beautiful?