So our long national nightmare (the Seventy-Sixers’ latest vomit-stained losing streak) is over, and our long national nightmare (the nightly analysis of Kobe Bryant’s descent into retirement) begins.
The two dovetailed Tuesday in Philadelphia, where the Sixers sold out the Wells Fargo Center for the fifth time in four seasons to watch Bryant become the first Sixers’ opponent to end up with a minus-20-or-greater, missing 19 of his final 23 shots in Philadelphia’s 103-91 victory.
Bryant season has become a triumphant disaster, and has led to arguments about how much of the present an observer can ignore to pay homage to the good old days. It is the perfect way for him to go out really, a viciously hilarious metaphor for his entire career.
And frankly, nobody appreciates vicious hilarity like we do. It is what sports in the Internet age is all about.
X X X
Missouri is spreading to Venezuela, which under normal circumstances would sound only like very ambitious Midwestern expansionism. In this case, though, it is the Venezuelan national soccer team, of whom 15 players have resigned both over the tactical choices of manager Noel Sanvicente and the football federation for being monumental screwups.
It helps that Venezuela’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia were effectively nil before this, but any time you can have players turning on suits, you will do far better betting on the virtue of the players, because among other things, who wants to go to work wearing a suit? The persistently evil, that’s who.
X X X
Let me be the first. Free Pete Morelli.
X X X
Cam Newton finally admitted what we have long suspected – he is 47 years old.
The Carolina quarterback/entertainer said he would not be sucked into discussions about the Panthers going undefeated, calling it “ink for the media.”
What is this “ink” of which you speak, Gramps?
X X X
Much is being made in the new Sports Illustrated piece on LeBron James by Lee Jenkins about James’ son’s desire to make it on his own.
“James still hits up St. Vincent’s games and watches his 11-year-old son, LeBron Jr., dissect AAU defenses. Junior is already receiving attention from college recruiters and scouting services, a source of pride and dismay for his dad. ‘He doesn’t want people to know who he is,’ James says. ‘He hates when they ask him for pictures and autographs. He won’t even wear my number.’ Junior chose 0, same as Love.
The obvious thing: Maybe giving the lad a different first name would have helped his quest to make his own way.
The non-obvious thing: What’s wrong with Timofey Mozgov, Junior?
X X X
David Price is worth every dime the Boston Red Sox were insane enough to pay him, and here’s the proof: The Red Sox have accountants.
X X X
Zack Greinke is expected to decide between the Dodgers and Giants in the next 48 hours according to ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden. He is asking for $32M/yr for six years, a payout of $192M.
That’s what he’s expecting. What he will get is the endless enmity of one city for the rest of people’s memories – which are, as we know, about two years.
In fairness, though, Greinke should know that Giants fans, who are odd ducks in an odd flock, have already broken Mat Latos with the power of their sneering, and if Pablo Sandoval were in the National League, they’d beat him into a runway model in no time. I don’t know how they do this. They just do.
X X X
David Shaw to his wife Kori: “Can you hold this speech for me until I need it. It’s a list of all the I-told-you-so's I owe people. Put it next to the sticks with which I shall mercilessly and gratuitously beat them.”
Then he wakes up and wishes life played out that way.
X X X
And finally, the latest news out of Sacramento, courtesy Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, is that Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins met with George Karl, and nobody was killed. In fact, they actually hate each other far less than we would have bet, and are finding some common ground in the resurrection of this corpse.
Of course, Cousins saying, “Honestly, it’s not about us liking each other. Our main goal, our only goal, is to win games” can be taken many ways. I will leave it to you maniacs to choose your own interpretation.