5-at-10: Shakespearean questions about coaching firings, Hall of Fame choices and Trump’s momentum

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin watches against the Detroit Pistons in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin watches against the Detroit Pistons in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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To fire or not to fire

So the Milwaukee Bucks are in the headlines because they fired their head coach.

Sports firings happen often. Ask Falcons fans.

Sports firings happen for a slew of reasons. Ask Auburn supporters.

Sports firings are normally a scroll item on the ESPN ticker that makes me think, "Wait, did I know Adrian Griffin was the coach of the Bucks?" before looking for some version of "Law & Order" on the cable guide.

And that's OK.

But the Bucks have arguably the most unstoppable force in basketball in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks are 30-13, which is tied for the second-best record in all of basketball. The Bucks are primed to make a run.

But here's the thing, and for all the heat the Bucks are catching this morning from all the hand-wringing national shows, let's be very clear on this from a fan's perspective:

If you are not in this to win a chip — what the cool kids call a championship these days — then why am I giving my hard earned duckets — what the cool kids called dollars back in my day — to support your team?

The ring is the thing. It's the only thing. It's what makes the suffering of the Bills Mafia even more sympathetic.

(Side question: Know which U.S. city that has had multiple major professional sports teams go longer without a chip than Buffalo? Answer in the 'This and That.')

And for all the inside skinny from Woj and the rest of the NBA aces, if Bucks management does not believe they are in a position to win it all with Adrian Griffin, then absolutely send him packing.

The Bucks are loaded. Let's not try to go into the snoozefest that is NBA roster breakdowns, but know this: Giannis and Dame Lilliard are as good a 1-2 punch as there is in the league. And that matters come spring.

Yes, the Bucks were winning, but if management believes it was broken on the inside, fix it now, before Giannis and Dame send out Valentine's Day cards, so the team can reassemble before the all-important postseason.

Because if we know anything in pro sports, it is that everyone is measured by the playoffs.

We loved the Braves' dynastic run through the 90s, but winning only one chip — see, I'm cool — through that stretch made them feel like underachievers right?

Same with Giannis' window in Milwaukee, a place that has to be difficult to attract one-name superstars.

This is less about basketball business and more about the business of sports.

Maybe Adrian Griffin was the czar of the chalkboard. Heck, he could have been the magician of the man-to-man.

And that's fine.

But he clearly lost faith and trust in the halls of Bucks Central, and that matters. A lot.

Because it's important to note that the Cavaliers in 2016 fired some clown named David Blatt about this time of the season as LeBron James and Co. had a 30-11 record. Yeah, the Cavs won the title that season.


But the Bucks have a chance to win it all now, and if they are willing to pay Griffin to go away because they believe he is not the guy who can lead Giannis and Dame and the rest of the strapping Bucks to the chip (am I over doing it?), then I applaud that decision.

There is no loyalty in sports these days.

Not from coaches, who will leave at a better offer.

Not from players, who will explore free agency and the transfer portal given the chance.

Not from ownership, who will cut you, fire you and replace you quicker than you can say, "Man, Mike Vrabel is a really good coach in today's..."

Sadly, the last bastion of loyalty comes from us — the fans. And we are forever true.

And in that regard, as a fan, not some blowhard from a national network, I applaud the Bucks for making moves to position themselves to win it all.

I wish my teams made similar decisions.

Maybe they could be "chips" off the new block?

(That was out of bounds, right?)

To elect or not to elect

So, we have kind of a Shakespearean start to today's 5-at-10.

To be or not to be, is that the question? Because if that is the question, then just flippin' be people. Who wants to "not be," gang? C'mon, let's "Let it Be" or even more pop-worthy, "Why Can't We Be Friends?" in this time of strife?

But another Hall of Fame class has come and gone, and we are now forced to welcome Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton into the shrine that is Copperstown.

I know those dudes are giddy. I know they were great players.

I also know that only one of them truly is a Hall of Famer, and in truth, if someone wanted to argue that Beltre was a compiler more than an all-timer, I'd listen.

I am about done complaining about this because it is very Quixotic at its core.

The MLB Hall of Fame was the shrine, especially for those of us who grew up loving Saturdays at the ballpark and hating rainouts more than we hated pop quizzes and vaccinations.

Yes, Beltre is bona fide.

But the comps — especially as Tony LaRussa has added some of his favs like Ted Simmons and Hal Baines with the Veterans Committee — are downright tragic.

Mauer and Helton are really that much better than, say, Thurman Munson or Don Mattingly?

And that's not a campaign to get the former Yankees into Cooperstown, it's my final plea to return the Hall of Fame the last bastion of elitism.

And yes, Andruw Jones still waits for his name to be called.

So it goes.

To be danged or not danged

We are danged.

Donald Trump is steamrolling the primaries. He became the first non-incumbent Republican to win the first two nomination contests ever.

And he beat Nikki Haley by 11%, which means he won both Iowa and New Hampshire by double digits.

Trump is a fraud. If/when he wins the White House, I will do my best to support him because he would then be the leader of the country I love.

Same I do with Biden, even if I think he is 100% this century's Jimmy Carter — super nice dude, terrible executive officer — as we live and breathe.

I stand here dumbfounded.

My party has left me, regardless of what that crack-pot MGT says about me being a RINO. She's full of RINO (bleep), and how that piece of work has a voting place in the leadership of this nation — AOC, you too — is beyond me.

All of that aside, to vote or not to vote will be the final Shakespearen question of our morning conversion.

And the answer is always, vote. Always. Vote.

Even in a system that almost assuredly will give us a 12-year cycle of choices between a Clinton, a Biden or Trump.

Somewhere, Forrest Gump's momma is saying, "Stupid is as stupid does."

This and that

— Yes, that was a Chas sighting on Tuesday. Welcome back, kind sir. And then the Cats went and laid an egg — and cost me money — in Columbia. So it goes.

— San Diego's last title — and yes, kind of a trick question since after the Chargers moved away, San Diego has only one pro team — was in the early 1960s. The Chargers' AFL win was a season before the Bills went back to back. Maybe Ron Burgandy was right and the German translation of "San Diego" is "whale's vagina." Agree to disagree.

— So Elle King had a weekend huh? Yikes. She got "hammered" — her word not mine — and could not complete her Dolly Parton tribute at the Grand Ole Opry. The first thought here is to blast Ms. King, who is actually Rob Schiender's daughter, so there's that. And that is understandable, and if she has a problem, I hope she finds help. But if we are going to really lament about Elle King not paying tribute to the roots of country music, well, let's dial that back a bit. How many times did Hank Sr. or Hank Jr., or for that matter or any number of the Waylon and Willie crew, step on the stage at the Opry with a snoot full? ("Snoot full" is what the cool kids said in my momma's generation.)

— I get all the angst from social media haters who want to hate on any and everything, but by all accounts, Taylor Swift is truly a decent human being just doing her thing. Here's another line in that chapter in her book.

— So we lost by four in the county semifinals to the top-seed in the middle school girls' basketball tournament. I am all pictures of sadness right now. We should have won. They were extremely more physical — by design — but I know this: Our best basketball is in front of us. On to softball, and the Lil'est 5-at-10 has an indoor travel tournament in Shelbyville this weekend. Yeah, she's throwing in the mid-to-upper-50s. And she is a seventh grader. Giddy-up.

— The Academy Award nominations were released Tuesday. Find them here. And yes, I get the artistry of film and the yada-yada-yada, but someone tell me one of those best picture nominees that you enjoyed more the "Top Gun: Maverick," and yes, this will cue Ron to complain about Tom Cruise in 3, 2, 1...

— Rest easy UGA X, the Georgia mascot who was on the sideline for the Bulldogs' rise to national dominance.

Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way:

Which way will you vote if it's Biden vs. Trump?

Which of the best picture Oscar nominees have you seen?

Which player in his prime of this Hall class would the Braves have traded Andruw Jones for in his prime?

Which coach of a good team that should be great should be fired?

As for today, Jan. 24, let's review.

The Macintosh computer was unveiled on this day 40 years ago.

Rushmore of "mac" and be creative.

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