Garry Shandling and Johan Cruyff means you’re not getting a solid A-game effort from me today . . . and to be fair, it’s only 70 percent of the reason. The other 30? I’m a sloth.
# # #
Steve Kerr, who is on Fortune’s new 50 Greatest Leaders list at No. 15, has a pet peeve, and a pet solution.
The peeve? Traveling no longer exists in basketball, and it makes him crazy by his own admission. The solution? Via his KNBR show with Tom Tolbert, “I just run a play for Steph (his fellow 15th best leader), have him dribble once and then rick up the ball and run . . . I’d probably get a massive fine and a suspension.”
So naïve, so cowardly. He’s almost as big a leader as Bono, and he’s only 11 sports behind Pope Francis The First. You think a non-leader and invertebrate like Adam Silver is going to screw with that kind of power?
Especially now that Joey Crawford isn’t available to rage against the machine.
# # #
In other arbitrary list based on speculative data news, the Giants have moved to fourth on Forbes’ list of baseball valuations, ahead of the Cubs and behind only the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. They are also worth $2 billion, which should serve as a reminder to that piker Larry Baer that he couldn’t have done it without me.
What I’m getting at here is, “where’s my taste, Giggles?”
# # #
And now, an apology to Silver, who as NBA commissioner acted swiftly and leaderly to condemn North Carolina’s new anti-anti-discrimination-law law and threaten to pull next year’s NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte.
“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events,” he was quoted in a league statement. “We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte."
The North Carolina legislature passed a law, signed Wednesday by governor Pat McCrory, preventing cities in the state from passing anti-LGBT discrimination laws of their own. A recently passed anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte that prevents business from discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgender customers inspired this bit of madness. The original ordinance, after all, included a provision that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
So just as the NCAA turned all purply and mad about an anti-gay law in Indiana and was mildly helpful in overturning it, and the NFL is on the record as saying that if a proposed anti-gay law is passed in Georgia that Atlanta won’t be allowed to host the Super Bowl, the NBA is standing up (with other companies) to bring its power to bear. Because of that, Silver is forgiven, and is allowed one Pliny The Elder and/or one Tractor Shed Red the next time he deigns to visit the Bay Area.
He doesn’t need anything fancy, just something good.
# # #
Two Canadian junior hockey teams, the beloved Flin Flon Bombers (hey, the town is called Flin Flon – what else do you need?) and the slightly less known Weyburn Red Wings, got into a postgame brawl Thursday night because one of the Weyburn players tried to take a moose leg thrown onto the ice to salute the victorious Bombers. It’s apparently a tradition, according to the Winnipeg Free Press’ Randy Turner (we’d link to it but with all due respect to Turner, we know you’re not going to read . . . oh, screw it, here it is.
Anyway, this place that fights over moose legs is the same country that gave us SCTV, lots of really good sportswriters who drink beer in spectacular amounts, the Brier and the Grey Cup. Frankly, good by me.
# # #
The Arizona Diamondbacks are asking out of the lease at Chase Field that binds them until 2028, allegedly because Maricopa County, which allegedly agreed to keep it “state of the art,” is $187 million behind on improvements.
Damn, and I thought the churro dog, cheeseburger dog and the bacon-and-cheese stuffed D-Bat dog would be enough to keep the ballpark “cutting edge.” Maybe if the county deep-fried Camelback Mountain, the team would shut the hell up.
# # #
And finally, HBO is bringing back the 89-episode Larry Sanders catalog. That is good for the Shandling legacy. For Cruyff, a genius of equal level, there is this priceless description of the Dutch team in the 2010 World Cup Final loss to Spain:
“Agricultural. Very dirty. Ugly. Vulgar. Hard. Hermetic. Hardly eye-catching. Hardly football.”
Agricultural! Now go away.