Thursday, April 8, 2010

Maybe I should "see where I stand" with Sports Illustrated

When the story came across my Twitter feed about Alex Tyus declaring for the NBA Draft, I thought it was a joke. April Fool's Day was six days ago, but maybe it was an accidental repost of a satire piece? No, it's legit. Alex Tyus thinks he needs to "see where I stand" with the NBA. The answer is you stand next to me if we have tickets together at a game, Alex, because otherwise there's not a chance on this Earth you are going to be at an NBA arena anytime soon. What part of Tyus's game is supposed to prompt interest from the league? Is it the bad hands? The inconsistent effort levels? The last two years Tyus is basically a 12 point, 7 board a game guy. That's respectable for a college player, but the fact Tyus thinks it gives him anything to talk about with the pros makes me wonder if part of his failure to improve stems from not being focused on how to become a better Gator player. How about setting a goal of first team All-SEC? To do that next season, Tyus will need more than two double figure rebound games once the calendar hits January. Single digit scoring in 8 of your final 12 games won't help the cause much either. Tyus will be back because he's not going to sign with an agent and no team will remotely suggest that they want him in the draft. That doesn't mean this kind of episode is meaningless. This is a guy whose priority at the end of the last two seasons has been to announce he would like to be somewhere else. That sets a really bad tone in the locker room.

Kentucky has in fact lost all five of the players perceived as pro prospects to the NBA Draft. There had been some thought that an Eric Bledsoe or Daniel Orton might want to stay with the chance of being featured players, but none of these guys are going to pull their name out like Tyus. John Calipari claims he has no interest in joining them in the NBA, which is exactly what he'll say right up unil the minute he takes a job. Maybe there isn't a fit for Cal this season, especially if LeBron stays in Cleveland and no coaching change is made. Anyone in Kentucky who doesn't believe he has any interest in leaving is kidding themselves. Wonder how many "1 and dones" he'll sign this year?

Wake Forest surprised a lot of people by shoving coach Dino Gaudio out the door yesterday. I didn't think he was a terrific coach, but it's still odd to see a guy who got his team to the NCAA tournament twice in three years and even won a game there this year get fired for it. I assume Wake's AD already has someone in mind, because if he made the move and is just starting to look at possibilities they're in big trouble. Clemson now has competition for the candidates that might be interested in an ACC job, which is bad news for them.

I made my first visit to Augusta National Tuesday. It's unquestionably an impressive place, and if you're fortunate enough to attend their event they will treat you very well. The concessions prices and offerings are the best in sports and it isn't close. The worst aspects of Augusta National were on display yesterday, as Billy Payne delivered a pompous, pious takedown of Tiger Woods during his chairman's address. I'm no Woods worshipper by a long stretch, but who the hell is Payne to deliver public judgement on him? Will he be delivering future condemnations of other golfers who have affairs, or is it okay as long as it's just one or two at a time? If he found Tiger's behavior so troubling, Payne should have told him he's not welcome at this year's tournament. Unloading on Woods two days after his apology press conference and just as the focus was finally shifting to golf was a classless and unnecessary move. If Tiger wins the Masters, which he won't, watching the jacket presentation will be fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Screw Tiger - one of these older guys is going to win.