Brushes with Sports Greatness, Vol. 5: Jerry Buss

“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable.”

-David Stern

Some parting thoughts on Jerry Buss…

First of all, my condolences to anyone, his employees, friends and family who were affected by his passing.  In a way, as sports fans, we all were.

I actually had a conversation with Jerry Buss once, no matter how brief.  My brother from another mother, the Gun, was working security at the Playboy Mansion one evening.  Tough job if you can get it.  As you might imagine, Dr. Buss was there.  He was known to log many a frequent flyer mile at Hef’s place.  Upon seeing the Lakers owner, the Gun immediately called me from his cell phone insisting that I talk to him.  Among all the celebrities that must have been there that night, I’m not quite sure why the Gun chose Buss, but he did.  What ensued was perhaps the most random conversation any two people have ever had.

When approached, Dr. Buss did not tell my friend to piss off, nor did he me.  Instead, he spoke to me for a few brief minutes… about poker.  Buss was an avid poker player and not to brag but I can hold my own as well, just for considerably lower stakes.  Buss rushed me not off the phone, which is amazing considering he probably had a playboy model on each arm.  In fact, I was the one who ended the conversation.  There Buss stood, 3000 miles away, probably minutes from diving headfirst into the grotto, taking the time to talk to a complete stranger about winning hands and bad beats.

I was grateful for the experience, yet obviously not as grateful had I been there in person.

After his passing on Monday, I heard plenty of sportscasters rank the greatest owners in sports history, past or present.  It’s hard to not put Buss’ name near, if not atop that list.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who Buss bought in 1979, are the most successful professional sports franchise over that period.  If you don’t believe me, look it up.  The Lakers have a higher, regular-season winning percentage than any team in any sport, not to mention ten championships.  Much of that was Buss’ doing.  He wasn’t just lucky.

As an owner, he had a keen eye for talent and chemistry, having compiled a team that won a title as soon as he took ownership.  He won four more in the 1980s then five more with a guy named Kobe Bryant.  As a sports fan, he was the kind of owner you wanted running your team.  Not only did he want to win, he would spend money to do so, but wisely not frivolously.  He would not demand the spotlight nor take the credit.  He was not crass nor did he flaunt his wealth.

He genuinely cared.  That was never more evident than in the way all those whom he touched talked about him after he was gone.  Respect.

Questions now remain as to whether the Lakers will be able to duplicate the success they had under his watch.  His absence leaves mighty big shoes to fill.  His son, Jim Buss, seems about as capable as Hank Steinbrenner when it comes to creating the championship culture their fathers established, the apple falling far from the tree.

One thing, however, that they will never be able to take away from Dr. Buss are his numerous championships, his contributions to the game of basketball and the tremendous legacy he left behind.

For more brushes with sports greatness see…

Vol. 1: Doc Rivers

Vol. 2: Steve Lowery

Vol. 3: David Stern

Vol. 4: Jim Bouton




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50 Replies to “Brushes with Sports Greatness, Vol. 5: Jerry Buss”

  1. Pingback: Brushes with Sports Greatness, Vol. 5: Jerry Buss - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. What Buss was able to achieve with the Lakers in his almost four decades as an owner speaks volumes as to his acumen . And then when you thought he had the business acumen to bring in billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz as a minority stakeholder simply added to the franchise’s economic power and overall visibility . With only the New York Knicks being a more valuable href=””> franchise in the NBA , simply because of their locale , rather than for their success .

    Unfortunately , for the Lakers they have now hit upon hard times and their long term future is not that healthy . With the imminent retirement of Kobe , who is there on the horizon or within the current roster that will assume the mantel of leader and best player upon his departure ?

    And the latest sound byte from GM Mitch Kupchak speaks volumes as to his continued stupidity and naivete’ ! If he believes that D How’ will somehow resurrect his game and become the best player on this team and be deserving of a statue erected outside the Staples Center is not only a slight against Kobe Bryant but an insult to far better Lakers’ players of the past who have not received that unique distinction . Kupchak is an a$shole !

    Dwight Howard says he’s going to trust Mitch Kupchak about his future

    By Eric Pincus , LA Times

    With the trade deadline at noon Pacific time Thursday, General Manager Mitch Kupchak made it clear over recent days he has no intention of trading center Dwight Howard.

    “It’s hard to get a talent in this league and to have a talent like Dwight Howard,” said Kupchak on Wednesday on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “He belongs to have his name on the wall and a statue in front of Staples [Center] at some point and time.”

    Howard responded well to that with a 24-point, 12-rebound game against the Boston Celtics. In just 30 minutes, Howard hit 10 of 13 shots to help the Lakers win, 113-99.

    “He was very aggressive. He was very active. He was big for us on the offensive glass — on the defensive glass,” said Kobe Bryant. “He controlled the paint defensively for us and we got our pick-and-roll game going, which got him a lot of easy opportunities, which kept the defense off balance. It was a great game by him.”

    Bryant and Howard haven’t exactly meshed this season. The Lakers haven’t as a team, struggling to stay healthy and consistent.

    “Everything that’s been going on, Mitch knows what we’ve been going through this year,” said Howard. “He sees it, the stuff that’s been going on with me. He understands, especially with my back. He’s just been in full support.”

    Howard is still recovering from back surgery while playing through a shoulder injury.

    Kupchak “understands that right now I’m not where I need to be physically but he continues to push me, continues to motivate me to getting in better shape and playing better,” said Howard. “All this stuff takes time, coming off an injury.”

    Teammate Steve Nash has made a concerted effort to connect with Howard down the stretch of the regular season.

    Click on link to read in full.

    The remainder of the Lakers’ schedule isn’t that helpful and I believe that this team will suffer because of that ! And should they garner an eighth seed or higher , a proposed match-up against one of the top tiered seeds won’t be that favorable to a team that simply has an aversion to playing defense because of the idiocy and coaching philosophy of Mike DAntoni !

    Nash should shut the hell up , about the team needing to play more pick and roll , it’s not even one of their (Lakers) best strengths !

    The Showtime Lakers of old would kick the @ss of this current team , off the court before half time !

    Tophatal …………………….

  3. Kobe’s not out the door yet, Al, as he still has a few good years left in him but this Lakers team as currently comprised still features some pretty serious dysfunction. We’ll see if they can’t figure it out by season’s end.

    Those latest Kupchack comments to me are more a reflection on Howard than they are the GM.

    These guys have tried everything to motivate Howard into being the player he can be and in the end, they just decided that the big fellow needs a little coddling.

    Poor guy needs a hug.

  4. Although Dr. Buss and I had very little in common we did dress a lot alike.
    God bless his soul.

  5. Mitch Kupchak is a pussy and I hope it bites him in the ass on July 1st. If he had any balls, he would have gotten Dwight Howard to sign a new contract now or trade him now. After the season, Howard is a free agent and can go to whichever team will have him. If the Dwightmare continues, I will laugh at the Lakers forever.

  6. Chris, do you still have your Magic ticket connection? We’re going to the Celtics-Magic game on April 13th. By the last week of the season, the Amway Center should be a ghost town.

  7. I feel like a family member passed.
    Similar to when Chick Hearn left us or when Magic’s announcement crushed me.

    Jerry spoiled me. That’s all any sports fan can ask of an owner. To always, always do everything he can to field a winner. No question Buss did that. He will be missed.

    Jim Buss is still a work in progress. We’ll know more in 5 to 10 years about his abilities. The same folks that are prematurely calling him a failure did the same thing to Mitch Kupchak a few years back…How’d that work out for them?

    Patience is a virtue.

    Jim has shown some moxie in my eyes.
    He traded for CP3 only to be thwarted by Sternholio (who I think contributed to his death much more than Dwight. That veto is why we’re at this crossroads right now, not Dwight…Dwight, like Jim Buss, is a work in progress due to his health issues…well, and his questionable mental toughness…but that’s another rant)

    Jim Buss pulled off dumping Luke Walton and Jason Kapono for Ramon Sessions. Rabbit, meet hat. He then signed Jamison and Meeks against the odds and let his personal pet project, Andrew Bynum, go because he knew Dwight was the right move for the franchise. Now, Mitch gets a lot of credit for those moves too but Jim’s been at the helm for 2 years as Dr. Buss has faded into the background.

    His coaching decisions are questionable with Mike Brown and then choosing Antoni over Phil, which I still question. However, that alone was a bold move. He shows the willingness to make those type of risks for the chance to win, like his father did. It hasn’t worked out as hoped thus far, but in my eyes, Antoni’s yet another work in progress that can’t be properly assessed due to the injuries. There’s an outside chance we could still squeak in the playoffs and make some noise this year. I would have chosen Phil, but the jurys still out on Antoni for me.

    Duplicating the success of Jerry is damn near impossible but time will tell if Jim can even come close. It’s too soon to tell just yet.

  8. J. J. Redick to the Bucks. It looks like the Magic aren’t rebuilding but it does look like they’re imploding.

  9. Snake…

    You already do laugh at the Lakers although I’m pretty sure you weren’t last night.

    I don’t know who Dwight’s agent is but the guy certainly has some stones. I mean, there’s been no talk of this guy committing to anything… other than underachieving.

    And no more ticket connection in Orlando although as you suggest, I can’t imagine tickets are all that hard to get this days.

  10. Bleed….

    Very well said, sir, and in my mind, therein lies the difference between a Jerry Buss and a George Steinbrenner.

    Sure, these two have to be considered among the greatest sports owners of all time but you could count on one hand the amount of Lakers fans that hated Buss.

    I’m pretty sure the same couldn’t be said for the Boss.

  11. Snake…

    I heard the trade news about both Barbosa and Reddick.

    It’s too bad Barbosa didn’t pan for you guys.

    And it’s amazing how many moves the Magic can pull off without getting anything in return.

    I mean, if they’re trying to be really bad, they’re doing a great fucking job.

  12. Chris

    At best , Kobe has two more years left in him . Beyond that , who knows ? Do you think it or believe it wrong for Bryant <b< to ” call out his teammates” after their recent lackluster performances before last night’s victory over the Celtics ?

    So the Knicks get blown out by the Pacers and their lame a#s fans are trying to write this off as nothing .

    Harden drops 46 points on the Thunder in a 122-119 victory over his old team ? Did the earth suddenly fall off its axis ?

    Defense , defense , defense , where is it in the NBA nowadays ?

    No real major trades in the NBA from what I’ve seen as of today . Does that mean Rondo remains with the Celtics ?

    How is that a-hole, Bill Simmons of ESPN , is allowed to give his insight on the NBA ? You know it’s at times like this , that outlet lacks real friggin’ credibility !

    The Bucs have money under the cap to spend , but rumor is , that GM, Dominik wants to place gold plated faucets in the players’ locker room , rather than spend that money on the team .

    Tophatal …………

  13. Al…

    Whatever Kobe’s doin’ ain’t workin’ this year. They had that nice stretch of wins (I think it was actually two) when he was pulling off 14 assists a game but how often is that gonna happen? Kid likes to score, not pass.

    I’m not sure whether that Knicks-Pacers win says more about the Knicks or the Pacers but I’m still not convinced either can take Miami.

    I’m not surprised Rondo didn’t get moved either. I mean who in their right mind would trade a top dollar star for a guy who’s undergoing ACL surgery, even if he is one of the best point guards in the game?

    I don’t have a problem with Simmons other than his word count. Remember, the guy started out in the blogosphere. He’s just a fan, nothing more.

    And no matter what Dominik wants, the Bucs are going to have to meet that salary floor. I just wanna see how they spend that money.

  14. Chris

    Would you say Dwight Howard is a mature individual ?

    So what is it that Kupchak hopes to achieve with those asinine comments , given Howard’s behavior prior to his departure from the Magic ?

    Mitch Kupchak is and will remain the ” sorcerer’s apprentice ” , because he is not even remotely in the same area code intellectually as Jerry West , much less when it comes to having a great basketball IQ !

    Tophatal ………………

  15. Al…

    Look, I’m not gonna blame Kupchack as much as I’m going to blame the players on the floor who can’t seem to make this thing happen.

    Heck, we all praised Kupchack when he pulled off the move to bring Dwight to L.A. Now we’re going to bitch about him because Dwight’s underachieving? When is Dwight going to take responsibility for all of this?

    Before you get too down on the Buccaneers, Al, remember, they’re a work in progress.

    And you’re right about the Eastern Conference. Look, I don’t want to make it sound like I feel the Heat are the greatest team ever assembled. I just think they’re better than any of the other teams out there this year.

  16. Great post. BTW, we are in the process of putting together an SBM Podcast, and I would love to get you as a guest to tell that story…and later I want to hear the Jim Bouton story as well!

  17. Nice write on Dr.Buss. Now to an issue that need addressing without the fear of being politcally correct.

    Prior to doubting a GM’s or NBA player’s manhood, let’s delve into NCAAW basketball. Something doesn’t seem kosher in Waco. Tell me Baylor’s Brittney Griner will test negative for testosterone. She wears men’s size 18 Nikes. I might lose, but gotta call this hand. Maybe I should consult Renee Richards.

  18. Chris

    I was never behind the Howard to LA trade , because I felt it was an ill fit ! Besides the Lakers got rid of one malcontent in Bynum , to bring in another , in Dwight Howard . Overall they’ve simply swapped an ongoing crisis for another , that could turn out to be even worse than his predecessor , if things don’t apparently go his (Howard’s)own way .

    If the rumors are to believed , then there’s little respect between Kobe and Dwight Howard to begin with . Not that , it should really matter , as they say …….. “winning cures everything ”

    In the case the fallout ‘tween Kobe and Shaq , took a turn for the worst after Bryant’s petulant and bi#ch like rant after his arrest in Eagle , Colorado , when he aired Shaq’s and Rick Fox’s little secret of loving to ” lay the pipe “ to female groupies while on the road . What ever happened to the credo …….. ” bro’s before ho’s ” ?

    That should’ve been the night wherein Fox and O’Neal beat the livin’ #hit out of Kobe Bryant ! Alas , it never happened and I don’t believe that to this day , the two Lakers’ superstars are really that close !

    Is it too much us ask for us all to remember the 2004 Lakers’ roster of ill fitting superstars that got their @ss handed to them on a silver platter by a highly unfavored Pistons’ squad in the NBA Finals from that year ? How little we tend to learn from that particular experience ! History has a way of repeating itself .

    I see the Pistorious pretrial arraignment has taken on a new comical twist ? The lead law enforcement investigator Detective Hilton Botha , and two subordinates will be going on trial , for a case dating back to 2010-11 for eleven counts of attempted murder . They deliberately fired their automatic weapons into a public transportation vehicle that at the time was carrying children and members of the public . Kind of brings back memories of the OJ case and the incompetence shown by the prosecuting attorneys of the LA County DA’s office . Where they overlooked a racist detective named Mark Fuhrmann .

    Botha has been taken off the case by the law enforcement agency investigating the crime at the request of the prosecution in order to not any improprieties turn up .

    Strangely enough , guess who HLN/CNN asked for their perspective , on the Oscar Pistorious pre-trial ? None other than Marcia Clarke , who along with prosecuting attorney , Chris Darden fu#ked up the original homicide trial of Simpson , some seventeen years ago .

    As to the Eastern Conference , that landscape is filled with potholes and landmines . Don’t be surprised , if between now and the end of the regular season we see the Heat get embarrassed during their schedule . Will it happen for them during one or two games during the postseason (projected match-ups) ? Who can say ? But I can tell you this , at this juncture, nothing at all would surprise me , as I feel the brand of basketball currently being played is bordering on being pedantic and almost sub standard !

    Dominik had better spend the money wisely , as it relates to the Bucs , because one more season of ineptitude on the franchise’s part and the Glazer’s will have to look for a competent front office executive .

    I see Schiano has backed off his original stance , and now he’s saying that Freeman will remain his quarterback of the future ? Why commit himself (Greg Schiano) such a promise , as he now places himself in almost impossible situation , given Freeman’s proclivity for poor play in recent years .

    Buccanneers’ news …… (official NFL site)

    I’ll have my own piece up , on the NFL , and this off-season of alleged intrigue , as it relates to the NFL Draft .

    Tophatal …………………..

  19. Alan,

    That trifecta of Jim, Jeannie and Phil Jax is a mixture of oil and vinegar. IOW they don’t mix. Why do you think D’Antoni is the HC instead of Jax?

    Magic was bitching about the hire with good reason. However, he better worry about the goings on with that stiff manager Donnie “Baseball” he has inherited. Wtf the LAD might as well hire Juan Marichal as pitching coach. Another “perfect” fit.

  20. Yeah, but Al, at least the Kobe and Shaq Lakers got along well enough to win three straight championships. You shouldn’t diminish how good that Pistons team was just because the Lakers started to not get along.

    This current Lakers team is not getting along at all.

    The Heat may face a few more regular season roadblocks but this team has just gone to Chicago and OKC, not played their best and still beat their opponents handily.

  21. Al…

    I think I’m gonna side with Bets on this one. The Buss/Buss/Jackson relationship is obviously not healthy enough for them to just go to Phil and say let’s get the band back together.

    And Bets, do you think Magic’s gonna fire Donnie Baseball if they don’t make the playoffs again? They looked like sure contenders for a while last year… til the Giants woke up.

  22. Chris,

    Signature NYYankee Mattingly is on the last year of his contract. If the same ole, same ole continues this spring, he’s gone by All-Star break. IMO, he will be replaced next year unless the team goes deep into October. Look for an ex-Dodger for replacement……..especially with Pasta LaSorda still visible for the urging.

  23. A sad lost of the league and the LA area…not to mention all the young ladies who enjoyed the Dr.’s company.

    I actually met one when I was living back in Santa Barbara. Swore she never did anything with Buss, but rather just kept him company.

  24. No matter what the drug test shows, one thing is certain. Brittney Griner has bigger balls than any guy posting on this blog. Hell, she may get drafted into the NBA. Now that would be something.

  25. Ronbets / Chris

    Here’s my thinking within the dichotomy of that family , with Jim Buss , being the eldest , he now feel it’s his time to shine . Unfortunately , he doesn’t possess a basketball or business mind . That accolade belongs to his sister , Jeanie Buss and her MBA in terms of the business side of things . As to D’Antoni , look at his coaching career overall , where is there any evidence of real success ? The Suns’ teams he coached were entertaining and that was it .

    The guy simply doesn’t coach defense and and has never been known to coach it , at any point of his carer and that is especially true of today with this Lakers’ team in its present guise .

    Look at where this team sits from a defensive standpoint within the conference and NBA overall . No wonder you can see there is reason to rally behind this team wholeheartedly .

    The Lakers were simply complacent the Finals of 2004 against the Pistons . The results and stats are simply evidence of that . As to the makeup of the Lakers’ team at the time , when you have that many prima-donnas , and not enough balls to be shared equally , what else would you expect ?

    Chris , Do you believe that the Bucs will make any major roster moves in terms of the cap ?

    Tophatal …………

  26. Bets…

    Are you actually telling me that Tommy Lasorda is being considered as a potential replacement for Donnie Baseball?

    Might be time for Mattingly to hit the Slim Fast.

  27. Al…

    I’m not sure how to properly assess blame to this Lakers team but I’m going to stick with the players and coaching staff.

    Look, when we first saw this team assembled, we thought they’d contend.

    Management and ownership did their jobs. It’s time for someone else to step up and be held accountable.

  28. Teams that contend usually have great coaches behind them . Mike Brown and DAntoni could never be called that . Name a player that either , has brought into the game and honed their skills and made them into perennial All Stars ? Think about it .

    Yes , the blame ultimately lies with the players but if a coach can’t get his point across by communicating with the players in his charge , then what does that suggest to you overall about their abilities ? Mike Brown and DAntoni couldn’t motivate a bear to take a $hit in in the woods if it had been fed a bowl full of laxatives !

    And people were buying into the make up of the Lakers’ team ? It’s also about the coach and his abilities and that’s something both you and ‘bets have obviously overlooked .

    Tophatal …………………………

  29. Al…

    While I would normally agree with that statement, and do in the case of D’Antoni, remember. It wasn’t all that long ago that Rick Carlisle and Erik Spoelstra were not considered great coaches, yet they won titles.

    I’m not saying they’re great coaches now but they still have the hardware to show for it.

    When it’s all said and done, I wonder how we’re going to view Spoelstra. A pawn in Pat Riley’s basketball game of life or a guy who could actually coach some basketball?
    My guess is the former when the truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in between.

  30. Chris

    Look at who Spoelstra had as his mentor ? Pat Riley isn’t chicken #hit , but he is definitely liver ! Pass the Grey Poupon , please ! Have you simply forgotten that ?

    Rick Carlisle has a great resume’ as an assistant coach , and before Donnie Nelson assumed control as GM of the Mavs from his dad , Don Nelson (held a dual role with the Mavs ’til he and Cuban had a falling out with his son then assuming the GM mantel ) . You can’t tell me , he didn’t learn something from his father and then passed that on, to Carlisle ?

    That championship winning team of the Mavs was actually engineered primarily from some of the initial moves made by Don Nelson .

    To contradict that however , what and how are the Mavericks doing this season ?

    Dropped these , so and when you’re ready , as I know you’ve get to catch up on your reading .

    Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it

    It takes a Village to raise a child , but what does it take to make an NBA franchise better?

    It’s not just practice , athleticism , it is also about character , character, character and integrity

    Still believe that things have changed for the better as it relates to minorities ? Check out the possible ruling about to take place in the Supreme Court concerning the voters’ right act , and then tell me , how you still believe that minority rights are not being trampled upon ? It will effect the environment within at least 15 counties within the state Florida and several states in the South and across the mid-west .

    Tophatal …………

  31. Chris

    Spoelstra can coach or why else would Riles’ have entrusted him with the position ? He was after all , on Van Gundy’s staff , beyond working his way up the ranks and then becoming responsible for coaching the team defense under SVG , before assuming the head coaching position with the Heat .

    I’ll be heading up to to Cameron Indoor Arena in NC , for the anticipated rematch between Duke and the Canes in this ACC match-up .

    Tophatal ………………

  32. Yea, Al, this Mavs team is a far cry from that championship team of a few years back. Of course, Dirk’s health didn’t help matters.

    And before we proclaim Spoelstra the greatest thing since sliced bread, let’s remember all the criticism he received early in his career.

    Did you just say you’re going to Miami-Duke? How’d you manage that?

  33. Chris

    Spoelstra worked his way up through the ranks of the Heat organization, never played ball at the college level, but he was a keen observer and communicator . He’s been a coach all of four years now ? So of course , in his first year or so, he’s bound to have problems . With Riley keeping a watchful eye from his executive suite , tell me which player on that current Heat roster would be prepared to get into Riley’s grill , even with their ego ? We saw , how quickly , Shaq’s #ss got ran out of town didn’t we ? So do you think that LBJ would try the same thing , much less D Wade ?

    In the case of Carlisle, he was an assistant (under Larry Brown) for several years before getting his first professional coaching gig which I believe was with the Pacers. And if memory serves me correctly , he and Larry Bird had something of a contentious relationship , when Bird was the general manager there .

    That Mavs’ team for years spent on players who were going take them to their desired destination . Having got there however , what killed them was having to fork over each of the past five years in excess of $35 million annually as part of the NBA’s luxury tax scheme for teams exceeding the league’s soft salary cap . And that figure currently stands at $58.044 million . So you can see the dilemma that the Mavs have faced in the four years prior to them winning the championship and the subsequent years after.

    Even Cuban with his fortune and the profits of the Mavs knew it wasn’t prudent carrying on with that type of idiocy . Now the chickens have come to lay their eggs and the foxes are now in the hen-house and he chicken coop .

    Mavs payroll now . Look closely at those figures because even now the Mavs are exceeding the soft cap with an almost $70 million payroll . Consider the fact that the surcharge is a dollar for dollar penalty for each $ 1 over $58 million . Simply look at the years when the Mavs’ payroll was in excess of $70 million , $80 million , and $105 million . Tell me how a franchise can truly operate successfully under those conditions trying to turn a profit and still be expected pay the league hierarchy what’s due ?

    The year the Mavs won the title their payroll far exceeded $80 million and the cap then, was $54 million .

    Fans are talking out their a_shole , when trying to suggest that the NBA’s business template is a successful one and that creates an even playing field !

    NBA team values and profits . Remember figures shown do not account for the variable of the luxury tax .

    Got friends in high places who’ve got a ” lot of brass “ and ” cheddar “ in their pockets . Duke and Canes’ alums working in Orlando and Miami , working for the firm . Hence the reason for the upcoming attendance for the game between Duke and the Canes at Cameron Indoor Arena .

    Tophatal ………

  34. When Stern was calling for his own bailout and in 2009 and 2010 , twenty two NBA franchises got in excess of $ 500 million in each of the years in question . The commissioner said that the aid should not be viewed as a bailout but more to do with aiding those teams because of hard economic times . What a crock of $hit ! He was earning in excess of $20 million a year , players were still earning on average in excess of $ 3 million and the highest paid player earned in excess of $25 million. So who the $$ck is kidding whom , when it comes to the NBA’s business structure and which of the morons out there still believes that the league can still survive under its current premise ?

    There is no difference between the idiocy being shown by the NBA and the current Congress and this administration , other than the fact that the majority seem to hate Bazza , though amongst the NBA fan-base I am not so sure how many despise an @ss wipe such as David Stern ! Your thoughts on this ?

    Tophatal ………………

  35. The NFL Combine seems to be turning into a comedy of errors . I hear Mel Kiper has been kissing so many agents’ asses , he’s being asked if he’d just ate a bar of Hersheys chocolate .

    Niners are said to be showing an interest in “Revis Island” aka Darrell Revis of the Jets ? Tim Tebow is asking ………”what about me ” ? What about you, Tim ? LOL,LOL !!

    You might have missed these two pieces ?

    Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it

    It’s not just practice , athleticism , it is also about character , character, character and integrity .

    Tophatal ………..

  36. Al…

    I think you’re suffering from a little revisionist history.

    Don’t make me go through the TopHatAl archives to find a piece or two at the beginning of his tenure where you blasted Spoelstra for his immediate inability to win.

    We all did.

    I’m not saying he hasn’t done a fantastic job. Riles obviously knew what he was doing and had enough faith in the kid to see the big picture. But the first few months on the job for him were difficult as he was getting lambasted on all fronts.

    The Mavs were outscored 24-5 in the third quarter of last night’s game against Memphis. Can we stop talking about them now?

    And what of your Spurs, Al? They lost at home to Phoenix. I’m still waiting for you to propose any team that can topple the Heat. In fact, I’ll take the Heat and give you the field.

    And I read that news today about the Niners’ interest in Revis. But at this point, who WOULDN’T be interested in Revis?

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