Harold Reynolds is back

April 24, 2008

Newsday’s Neil Best is reporting everyone’s favorite huggable baseball analyst will be returning to television. Reynolds, who has been working for MLB.com, will appear as a studio analyst for SNY, the cable home of the New York Mets.

Most people remember and came to enjoy Reynolds for his work on Baseball Tonight.  But an unfortunate incident of sexual harassment occurred and Reynolds was shown the door. While many questioned the whole episode and rallied behind the popular Reynolds, he found himself from the Worldwide Leader to the little used MLBtv. An unfortunate “fall from grace” so to speak. Reynolds did sue ESPN and, after a long process, it was settled last week.

So congrats and good luck to Reynolds, although if you’re outside the tri-state area, you probably won’t see him on a regular basis.


Robbins steps down at Virginia Union

April 16, 2008

Some shocking news came out of Richmond yesterday as Dave Robbins, head coach at Division II Virginia Union, announced his retirement after 30 years at the helm of the Panther program.

Now, to those who didn’t grow up in the area, or are not familiar with CIAA basketball, this means nothing to you. But, for the rest of us, this was a monumental announcement. For starters, in today’s age, any coach who stays at a school more than 10 years has made a major accomplishment. Robbins did that, plus more. But being the first white coach hired in a conference of Historically Black Colleges and Universities was perhaps Robbins most difficult task to overcome.

For years, Robbins was “affectionately” known as the “Shadow” among his coaching colleagues and fans alike. It could have been easy for Robbins to let this get to him, and it probably did — sometimes. But, methinks that was part “test” by those in the CIAA to see how real he was and part jealousy.

Whatever it was initially, Robbins put his stamp on the CIAA and Division II basketball and leaves one the most successful coaches in history.  In his 30 years at Union, Robbins compiled a 713-194 record, won three Division II national championships and coached three future NBA players — Charles Oakley, Terry Davis and Ben Wallace.

Good luck, Coach Robbins.


Aldridge leaving the Philly Ink

April 11, 2008

Kudos to the boys over at The Starting Five for this news.  It appears columnist and NBA guru David Aldridge is taking a buyout from the Philadelphia Inquirer. From Jackie Mac to Sam Smith, it appears, lately at least, that this is sadly becoming a trend in the newspapaer business.

Back to Aldridge, for as long as I can remember, he’s been one of the go-to voices of the NBA in the print/TV media. And while I honestly haven’t kept up with his writing at the Inquirer, he was always solid on ESPN and now on TNT. It appears Aldridge is worn out from working tow job and is going to focus on his television work, which is fine by me. i wish him the best.

However with Aldridge taking the buyout, that means in the past year, the Inquirer’s sports section has lost two of most prominent columnists, both of whom happen to be black — Aldridge and Stephen A. Smith. Now I’m sure this isn’t on purpose and we know both of these guys have solid tv gigs to fall back on, but there are now two fewer black sports columnists in the print media. And that’s not a good thing. Sure, there’s the dot-com/online wave of the future, but for the most part young sports journalists get their start in newspapers and with black columnists dwindling, who are the role models?

Many young journalists see the “glory” of some of these prominent journalists who’ve “made it” but don’t know their story of how they got there. And if these faces aren’t in the newsroom, that’s a problem.


Dumbass

April 3, 2008

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The next time you’re involved in a conversation with someone or you read a blog (including TBQ) and the subject is how the black athlete is always wrongly stereotyped by fans and sometimes the media, stop and think about players like Chris Henry.

It is because of the stupidity that he and others (Pacman) have shown, that messes it up for the masses who are behaving like they’re supposed to. It’s because of players like Henry that some folk think that a lot of our black athletes are just a bunch of overpaid thugs. Is it right, no? But when you hear stories about Henry, what do you expect the reaction to be.

In the latest entry to the Henry off the field saga, the 24-year-old was arrested for the fifth time this week after being accused of punching an 18-year-old in the face and breaking his car window with a beer bottle.

Seriously? WTF is this guy thinking?

For reasons unbeknowst to me, the Bengals kept giving Henry chance after chance after chance. And time after time, he kept finding himself in trouble. Part of me wonders who is giving this young brother advice and part of me feels sorry for him. But, on the other hand, part of me is like — you’re a grown man who has an opportunity that hundreds would do anything for, and you can’t behave? That, to me, is a problem I can’t solve.

But the team finally released the troubled wide receiver  today, saying “His conduct can no longer be tolerated.”

Some team will probably give Henry a chance. Maybe not this year, but he’s young enough that he has some time left. I just hope, for his  sake, that he will grown and give himself a chance to play, and not be in jail somewhere.


Is Larry getting a pass?

April 1, 2008

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I grew up in one of the best eras of basketball — the 90s. Nothing was more exciting than coming home from church on Sunday afternoon and watching the NBA on NBC. And, come June, almost knowing MJ and the Jordanaires would contend for yet another title. Some of those great battles were between the Bulls and the Knicks. Jordan vs. Starks, Pippen vs. Oakley, Ewing vs. Cartwright.

Take away Mike and the Knicks probably would have one at least one championship in the 90s. But like the Jazz, Suns amd others, the Bulls were always there, standing in the way.

So even though I wasn’t a fan, the I respected the relevance on the Knicks and what they brought to the league. So, the last couple of years, it’s pained me to watch the team I grew up loving to hate, run in the ground by Isiah Thomas and the Knick management.  

Since the “Ewing era” the Knicks have been on a free fall and, since Isiah took over, the pace has been accelerated. Despite having one of the highest payroll in the league haven’t made the playoffs in seven years.

The blame has falling directly on Thomas, and rightfully so. From assembling a team full of 2-guards to his inept coaching skills, Thomas, unfortunately is the face of the Knicks’ downfall.

Because it’s one of th NBA’s signature franchises and because it’s New York, this situation has been magnified. But a similar situation is going on in Indiana and is slipping under the radar. Hall of Famer Larry Bird is the president of the Indiana Pacers and, like Thomas, has overseen his team fade into obscurity and become one of the laughing stocks of the league. But, unless you live in the Midwest, you probably don’t pay attention or don’t care.

Since the infamous brawl a few years back with the Pistons and coupled the with the retirement of the face of the franchise in Reggie Miller, the Pacers have struggled on the court. Off the court, former Pacer Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson and current players Jamal Tinsley have found themselves in off-the-court issues that have embarrassed themselves and the organization.  But another is going to pass with no playoff appearance for the Pacers. And really, nobody’s going to care. 

So while Isiah gets hammered in the media, where’s the uproar about Larry?


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