Sports Reincarnations

So I’m sittin’ in my easy chair the other night watching the Mavs and Warriors go at it … and then it hits me. The whole game I’m watching Baron Davis and thinking “I’ve seen this guy before … but where?” It’s like I’ve seen him in another life, or more specifically, in HIS other life. So that’s the punch line … in Baron Davis’s previous life, he was … are you ready for this … Walt Frazier!!! YES … THAT’S IT!!! A cool-as-a-cucumber, hard to rattle, clutch-as-can-be point guard with a beard. Walt “Clyde” Frazier, formerly of the famous early 70’s world champion NY Knicks with Willis Reed, Dave Debusschere, etc retired and came back to “sports life” as Baron Davis of the Golden State Warriors. All you 40-60 somethings out there know what I’m talking about, don’t you???

Surely we’ve all had these transformational moments where we’ve witnessed a “sports resurrection”. So tell us about yours. Who is playing today that you’d swear on a stack of bibles used to be so-and-so from the 1975 so-and-so’s???

I just don’t understand why Clyde … er, uh Baron … isn’t wearing Pumas 🙂


Remembering Jackie Robinson (AGAIN)

We remember #42 again and again and again and …
Okay … okay … I GET IT ALREADY!!! Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier and was a damned good ballplayer. So was Larry Doby. And what about the other great black players who came before Jackie? I don’t know about you, but I’m all “Jackied out”. This year marks the 60th anniversary of JR’s debut and next year we’ll celebrate the 61st and then the 62nd and … Didn’t we just celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 100th homerun last year or something like that???? ENOUGH!!!

He accomplished some great things in his time … no doubt … but he wasn’t MLK or Rosa Parks when it came to the civil rights movement. He played baseball for pete’s sake. And in that regard, he wasn’t Hammerin’ Hank or the Say Hey Kid … he was a scrappy .311 career hitter and disruptive on the basepaths for some great Dodger teams. So was Davey Lopes!

So there’s two things here. 1) I’m tired of the constant honoring and remembrance of Jackie Robinson … I know he was a man of great courage and character and a damned good ballplayer. So was Ted Williams … try to look at a bio of his life and not be impressed … but we don’t hear or read anything much about Teddy Ballgame. Ditto Roberto Clemente. 2) And why does Jackie get all the credit for breaking the color line??? Why don’t we remember Larry Doby in the same fanatical way??? He paralleled Robinson’s feats at the same time in the American League. And he was pretty damned good, too.

So let’s spread the love around a little more. Let’s try to be a bit more DIVERSE in our praise of accomplishments and feats. Let’s not exclude the other great people/athletes to focus solely on one guy so often. Let’s “re-balance the playing field” so to speak. Isn’t that what Jackie would’ve wanted???

Extra credit question: Do you even think Manny knows who Jackie Robinson was???


Kobe or MJ ??

Interesting topic that’s been on a lot of sports talk shows lately … given that Kobe Bryant has been on a scoring binge … averaging over 40 points per game for the month of March!!! The question is: Who’s better … Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?? There are also several derivatives: Who’s the better offensive player?, who’s the better defensive player?, who would you rather have with the game on the line and 15 seconds left?, etc. I prefer to focus on the very simple question of “Who’s the better player?”

Although I’ll be the first to admit that Kobe is very similar to MJ … it’s almost scary what he can do offensively and in some ways might be a bit better than Jordan … I give the nod to Michael as the better all-around player. I won’t go too in-depth, except to point out the following: MJ is a better defensive player, a better leader, and had a greater impact on making his teammates better. As a pure scorer, I give a slight edge to Kobe, but Jordan is/was a better passer, a true defensive force, and one of those rare players who elevated the entire team. 6 chan’ships says it all … and he woulda had 8 if not for the stupid 2 year baseball excursion during his prime … and mighta had 1 or 2 more near the end of his career if the Bulls coaching staff/front office didn’t despise eachother. Blame it on Jerry “Crumbs” Krause!!!

Anyway, that’s my answer … MJ all the way!!! I am a Chicago homer who’s trying to be objective … so I’m very interested in what everyone else thinks. Please offer your opinion.