published Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

5-at-10: Sterling decision, NBA playoffs, Kershaw is coming

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    Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside at the NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the NBA said it is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to his girlfriend.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Gang, let's get to this. Remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, hi ho Silver, away.

Sterling decision

Ball is in your court Adam Silver. Whatcha' you going to do?

Silver, the NBA commissioner for like the last 45 minutes, will make a statement and likely announce punishments and penalties for L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who has found himself in the harsh spotlight of being a bigoted jack wagon.

So we'll see how young Mr. Silver — any one else notice the irony of a Sterling-Silver link defining the next five years of the NBA — handles this mess and which side is more outraged.

We'd have no problem with the league forcing Donald the Doof to sell, but we do not see that happening. Too slippery a slope, as Dallas owner Mark Cuban says.

But the spin of having an elderly white owner not wanting his girlfriend to be seen with black people — including Magic Johnson — at games where black people are making Sterling millions will be interesting for sure.

So it goes, and so it shall be. Here's our view from this morning's TFP, and from there we shall sit back and observe.

Meanwhile....

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    Charlotte Bobcats' Kemba Walker (15) and Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) eye a loose ball during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Miami.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NBA playoffs

The Heat completed the sweep. The Spurs got back to even. And the Hawks have the Pacers on the brink

Let's spend a minute on each:

Miami followed the lead of LeBron James, who was outstanding in a 109-98 Game 4 win that completed the whitewash of Charlotte. James went for 31 points, nine assists and seven boards, and hit a series of tough, late-in-the-shot-clock shots in the second half. James scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, using an array of post moves and perimeter shots to end the series against the young-and-improving Bobcats. Side note: Kemba Walker can play. Miami has now won nine consecutive playoff series and is 12-1 in playoff series since James took his talents to South Beach.

The Spurs, the owners of the best record in the NBA, could easily have been swept in their first round series against Dallas, but last night Boris Diaw delivered a late 3 and Manu Ginolbi scored 23 points and San Antonio swiped a crucial Game 4 to even the series 2-2. Crazy stat No. 1: The Spurs have won their last 25 games on the road when leading after three quarters. Crazy stat No. 2: The Spurs bench scored 50 points Monday — 20 more than the Dallas bench and seven more than the San Antonio starters in the Spurs 93-89 victory.

And now for the Hawks. The HAWKS for crying out loud, are a game away from bouncing the East No. 1 seeds from Indiana. Atlanta pounced on the Pacers early — a 41-19 second quarter gave the Hawks a 61-40 lead at halftime — and it held on for a 107-97 win. Atlanta heads home with a 3-2 lead. Reserve power forward Mike Scott hit five 3s in the first half barrage and moved into consideration of the Mike Scott Rushmore that includes the boss on the Office, the former Astros ace, and the first CEO of Apple.

Tonight's schedule: Washington is up 3-1 and plays at Chicago tonight (TNT) at 8 p.m. Thunder-Grizzlies are even at 2-2 and play tonight (NBA TV) at 9 p.m. (Side question: How is that game on NBA TV? That's the best series going.) The Clippers return home for a Game 5 that will be marred and overshadowed by the Sterling soap opera. Clippers-Warriors are tied at 2 and will tip at 10:30 (TNT).

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    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw watches from the dugout before a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Kershaw is coming

As was first reported as a possibility by TFP ace David Paschall, the Kershaw is coming, the Kershaw is coming. Here is the full story .

Maybe we should have a Rushmore of Claytons today on Press Row. Or maybe not.

That said, Kershaw pitching at AT&T is likely the biggest name to ever play there — at least at the time of his appearance. Sure, Miguel Cabrera played there and everyone who watched him believed him to be a star of the future. (He did win a triple crown after all.) But the same definitely could have been said of Mark Pryor during his appearance and even a Jeff Francoeur.

And there were some Hall of Fame stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Cal Ripken Jr. who played exhibition games here, but when they made their swings in the 423, they were easing toward Cooperstown. Kershaw is one of the three best pitchers in the game. Period.

So here we go. Get your tickets now.

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This and that

— Butch Jones joined us on Press Row on Monday — here's the Q&A with the second-year Vols coach http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/apr/29/jones-alabama-tennessee-rivalry-best-in-sec/— and said he believes UT-Alabama is the best rivalry in the SEC. What do you believe is the best rivalry in the SEC? We'll have to start with the Iron Bowl and go from there, right?

— Braves get back in action tonight as Alex Wood faces Jose Fernandez in a rematch of a spectacular pitcher's duel from last week. Each went eight innings. Each had double digit strikeouts. Neither allowed a walk. The Marlins won 1-0, which hardly shocks anyone considering Wood is 2-3 on the season with an ERA of 1.35.

— Man, that Carlos Gomez is a polarizing figure. He's either inciting bench-clearing brawls or making fans cry in appreciation. Here's the latter http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/carlos-gomez-gives-2-hugs-to-adoring-fan-181744777.html?vp=1.

— Missouri hired Kim Anderson to be the Tigers hoops coach. Yeah, we'd never heard of him either.

———

Today's question(s)

What should happen with Donald Sterling? What will happen with Donald Sterling?

Or better yet, how about a Rushmore of Silver?

And finally, who's up for a Derby contest — first-in, last-in type of thing — and the winner could get some left over Masters swag? Thoughts?

Go time.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Stewwie said...

I lose some sleep this time of year from staying up to see the end of these great games. I can't finish the 10:30 ones on work nights anymore, but I'm still able to stay awake for the end of the 9:30 starts. The past two nights have had great finishes.

Agreed with Cuban's take on the Sterling issue. Here are some of his quotes:

[I think you've got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It's a very, very slippery slope.]

[But regardless of your background, regardless of the history they have, if we're taking something somebody said in their home and we're trying to turn it into something that leads to you being forced to divest property in any way, shape or form, that's not the United States of America. I don't want to be part of that.]

And why is the national media not calling out Larry Johnson for his racist comments:

[Black people your Focusing on the wrong thing. We should be focusing on having our own, Own team own League! To For Self!!]

An all-black league? Who has the racist and antiquated views now? Yet more evidence that the mainstream media is one-sided in their coverage.

April 29, 2014 at 10:50 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"Miguel Cabrera played there and everyone who watched him believed him to be a star of the future. (He did win a triple crown after all.) But the same definitely could have been said of Mark Pryor during his appearance and even a Jeff Francoeur."

Having a massive brain lapse but who was the guy who played for the Lookouts before being called up to the Reds who became a star player for the Reds franchise? I'm thinking Alan something. Using Google is not helping.

Also, one for the mailbag: How do the politics of money games actually work? The reason I am asking is because while most people see them as more of a necessity then a typical game, there are those sparks of enjoyment that comes with the ultrarare David vs. Golith upset that no Hollywood script can memic. That being said, I would much rather see Alabama play North Dakota State then obviously Western Carolina for the money game this year. And with three FCS titles, I would say WHY HOT? You don't think Fargo wouldn't travel down to Tuscaloosa for that? I guarantee you it would be THREE to FIVE times the number of people coming down from Culhullowee/Sparta.

April 29, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
jomo11 said...

JMK, what you have to understand, Alabama does not care how many people come from Fargo or Culhullowee. Bama can sell their tickets, what they want in an FCS game is a guaranteed win and pay the least amount they can get away with. With an SEC schedule, Bama has zero risk of strenegth of schedule when it comes to Final Four playoff, win the SEC and your in.. . . good coaches in the SEC, with the power that they have will continue to play whatever FCS schools they want to. with 8 conference games and a mandated extra game on their schedule to play a power 5 conference team, these coaches are not going to kill themselves with a tough extra game. They will continue, as evidence by several SoCon schools already have games scheduled with SEC schools over the next 5 years

April 29, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

Adam Dunn.

You are in for the mailbag.

Stewwie —

Agree that Cuban made a lot of sense. It is a slippery slope. But so too is indifference that looks like tolerance.

And let's say that Mr. Sterling is fined $1 million, that's like someone with$1,900 in their checking account being forced to give up $1 in fees.

As for the mainstream media, well, we can't speak for that because we're not sure what main stream media is. Is that CNN and Fox and those that have taken on an ideology of a particular side and cater to that side?

Hard to know and impossible to answer, but comparing the news value of a washed up former NBA player wanting an all-black league is miniscule compared to a current NBA owner professing hatred for the race of 75 percent of the league's players and who knows, more than half the fan base.

April 29, 2014 at 11:43 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

I still think Gomez is a tool.

I watched some of Hawks-Pacers last night while eating all you can eat boneless wings at unnamed restaurant. I thought I was watching JV basketball with really big kids. Because it was bad. I mean, painful. For every good play, there were three or four that made you wonder if these guys had ever been coached. I was hoping it wouldn't go to OT so I wouldn't have to suffer watching any more of that. Meanwhile, the Mavs and Spurs were on an adjacent TV and that looked like two teams that had some semblance of basketball skill and knowledge.

But remember folks, this is the Hawks. And when it comes to the Hawks and the playoffs, I leave you with these words - Cliff Levingston taking the last shot against the Celtics. Not Nique. Not Kevin Willis. Not Doc Rivers. Not even Antoine "Big Dog" Carr, nor John Battle nor even the ghosts of Dan Roundfield, John Drew, Larry Drew, Bryce Drew, Nancy Drew and da Vinci drew a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Cliff Levingston.

JMC,as you well know, North Dakota State fears no one and those Bison fans are some mighty rabid folks (I hear there are shots to cure that). They've built themselves a tree-mendous program in Fargo.

April 29, 2014 at 11:53 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay - Thanks. I was like "How could you leave out Adam Dunn?" I saw this guy in at least four Lookouts games before getting called up and literally making a name for himself.

April 29, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jay,

Mainstream media as in NBC, ABC, CBS, MSN, ESPN, etc. It doesn't matter that LJ is a retired player...besides, he's still in the NBA working for the Knicks. Both current and former athletes alike are usually fair game for criticism from the liberal media (but only if you hold an opinion that is contrary to theirs). Racist comments are wrong regardless of who says them, right? You can bet that if LJ were white and stated support for an all-white league, his comments would be a top headline today. The double standard is clearly evident.

In Sterling's case, he broke no laws and this was a private conversation that was bugged by someone. So forcing him to give up any ownership of his business would be excessive and inappropriate punishment. I agree that fining a filthy stinking rich guy makes little sense. If Silver wants to do anything, maybe a 1-year suspension from all team activities would be the best punishment (especially for Sterling's sake). Let Sterling deal with the rest of the fallout on his own. If he chooses to sell in the near future, everyone wins. But it should be his choice.

April 29, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring,

I hope the 5@10 crew came through the storm in good order. I'm far south of it off being the definition of a boater, if it's a new installation it's missing piece or has two pieces that won't join. Going out for a trail run in the AM. If you don't hear from me, please contact the proper authorities.

SEC Rivals

Georgia/Florida, the Iron Bowl, Auburn/Georgia, Tennessee/Alabama, the Egg Bowl.

Good news brewing for #1 from Big Ten and SEC.

April 29, 2014 at 3:54 p.m.
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