Chane Behanan: Let no return go unstoned

What a dope (from the Courier-Journal):

Former Louisville basketball player Chane Behanan was cited for marijuana possession early this morning, according to the Louisville Metro Police.

Behanan, who was kicked off the team this season for what he later admitted was repeated drug use, was cited around 1 a.m. near 17th and Broadway, according to police.

It was not clear how much marijuana Behanan had on his person nor would police say whether he was intoxicated.

He’s going to play in Colorado. Pot is legal there. Why go to Louisville, where you’ve been busted before, when you can obey the law in Colorado? I guess I’m one of the Louisville fans who believe if this guy had his head together, we’d still be in the NCAA tournament.

Remember this?

That fight for the ball under the board against Michigan is one of the best examples of toughness in basketball.

I should be cheering another march to the Final Four now. Instead, I’m doing this:

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A reunion in more ways than one

I was over at BlacktopXchange, the sports blog, and saw this video:


Very touching. There are lots of YouTube postings of soldiers making surprise returns home. But this had deeper meaning for me.

I’m now spending my time between Washington and Louisville. But see the football field in International School of Brussels this video: Our house was less than 1,000 yards from it when we lived in Belgium. That’s on the campus of the International School of Brussels in the Watermael-Boitsfort commune. We literally lived right next door to the campus for six years. And I mean literally in the literal sense.
See that guy on the left in the black outfit at the 1:10 mark? That’s the ISB athletic director Jason Baseden. That building behind him? That’s where our son went to middle school and high school.

Our son didn’t play football at the school, much to the disappointment of parents on the football team. (He was big enough to play tight end.) His sports were cross country, volleyball, basketball and track. He played baseball with the kids in the local league, not with the school. His heart was in basketball, and we told him the downside of playing football was if he got hurt, he wouldn’t recover in time for hoops season.

And he had a rewarding high school sports career. He played basketball through middle school and high school. His under-14 middle-school team came in second place in the European championship in Frankfurt. His high-school basketball team won the European championship for his division in his senior year at the Hague. His volleyball team placed third in the European championships in his junior year in Brussels, and then went to the Hague the following year and came in second, where he got an honorable mention for the all-star team.

ISB had an extensive sports program. Practically everything your kid would want to play. And the kids who participated in sports, boys and girls, traveled all through Europe. As parents, we got to see high school gyms in Germany, England, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Greece. And our son got to countries were weren’t able to get to because I had to work.

Just so you know, ISB is hosting Bitburg, high school at the military base in Germany, in this video. The only time I’d hear of Bitburg before we went to Europe was when Ronald Reagan went to the Nazi military cemetery and when the Ramones released the album “Bonzo goes to Bitburg.”

ISB football and basketball regularly competed against the high schools at the military bases. We held our own pretty well, all things considered, given that the military kids considered our athletes as the rich diplomats’ kids.

So seeing this video is a reunion for me as well. Of all the places I’ve lived, Brussels was my favorite. I flashed back on obsessing over high school sports, going to the football games on this field.

Anyway, I saw the video, and now I’m homesick.

On the rebound: 2013 Louisville Cardinals

Another look back at the 2013 NCAA basketball final. I still have confetti I collected at the end of the game in the Georgia Dome. Can’t wait for next season, but there are high hopes for the football team this year, already off to a 4-0 start. (Unfortunately, didn’t get any confetti at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans last January.)

Minnesota, nyet! Brooklyn, da!

The business side of sports is fascinating (from Deadspin):

After opting out of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which would have paid him $10 million during the 2013-2014 season, AK47 (Andrei Kirilenko) has decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets—for just $3.1 million over two years.

The 32-year-old forward is by no means the player he was back in 2004 when he earned himself an all-star selection, but he still put together a very good season in 2012—12 points, six rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 steals per game is nothing to shrug at—and now he’s making less money than Corey Brewer. I think we have to assume that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has Kirilenko’s family locked away in a remote Siberian prison.

So, a Russian basketball player has agreed to pass on $10 million for one year, to go to a team that will pay him $3.1 million for two years. Now the fact the team he’s going to for $3.1 million is owned by a Russian billionaire …

This is the deal for public consumption. The real deal has probably been cooked up in a dacha way outside of Moscow. I’m pretty sure Kirilenko’s going to see a lot more than $10 million. But we’ll never know because it’s all going to be in Russian rubles.

2013: The year of UofL sports

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All is right in the world. The college basketball season is over. The Louisville men are the national champs in Division I hoops. The Louisville women are runners-up for the national championship.

That makes 2013 the year of Louisville basketball.

Uh … wait a minute …

The Louisville football team won the Sugar Bowl.

That makes 2013 the year of Louisville sports.

The great brawl of China (basketball edition)

The Georgetown Hoyas basketball team got into a rumble with the Chinese army basketball team a couple of nights ago. A combination of hard fouls, bad refereeing and passive security led to this with about nine minutes left in the game.

According to the Washington Post reporter covering the game, the Bayi Rockets couldn’t keep up with the Hoyas even with the lopsided refereeing (the Chinese had 57 free throw attempts, while Georgetown had 15), so, in essence, the soldiers decided to take out the college students.

Now, we can speculate on whether each side was playing equally dirty and, in our flawed American way of waging a “debate,” throw our hands up and say both sides had interesting points, so we aren’t going to solve it here. Or we can say this symbolizes the new disrespectful attitude China has shown toward the U.S. in the wake of the current global financial crisis and the recent S&P downgrading of American debt.

Or …

We can look at this:

That’s the Chinese national team last October in a brawl with the Brazilian national team in China in another “friendly game.” The Chinese coach there was an American, and he and his players were suspended for several games, while the team was ordered to go through some “sensitivity training” (or maybe it was anger management).

Sports are huge in China. They’re also political and used as a propaganda tool to give the country recognition and respect in the world. If nothing else, the Beijing Olympics proved that. So if we want to cast blame based on the evidence that’s out there, you’ve got to lay most of it at the feet of China since it’s the host country and can’t seem to play nice with its foreign visitors.

March Madness (the women’s version)

Of course, every basketball fan is focused on the Men’s NCAA basketball tournament right now. It’s being broadcast over four networks and on the Internet, so fans of every team can see the games that mean the most to them.

But the women’s tournament is actually getting a lot of coverage as well. They don’t fill the arena’s like the men do, but every game is either on one of the ESPN channels or on the Internet. It gives the fans of the schools who are out of the men’s tournament something to cheer for.

For example, I was expecting the Louisville Cardinals to make a strong showing. But the men were knocked out in the first round. On the other hand, the No. 7 seed women had a spectacular game last night, routing the No. 2 seed Xavier in the last five minutes of the game on Xavier’s home court.

Now it’s on to Spokane for the Elite Eight matchup against 11 Seed Gonzaga. A Final Four appearance is within reach.

Guys, take notice.

UPDATE: Louisville was knocked out by Gonzaga 76-69. The game was not as close as the score indicates.