NBA stars could learn thing or two from Butler
Asked recently at a press conference about the impact of Heat “role players” on the team’s playoff success, Miami spearhead Jimmy Butler said, “I don’t call them role players, I call them teammates.” There’s a message in that for NBA stars of the more diva-ish variety. Butler should headline a symposium on leadership.
Steep climb: It’s an oft-told tale, but head coach Erik Spoelstra began his 28-year stint with the Heat as the video coordinator.
TV timeout: Maybe the Heat-Nuggets NBA Finals isn’t the problematic audience draw some suspect, but just in case, Disney/ABC executives should stay away from open windows.
Quick hit: American pro sports would be more interesting if we had a relegation system like the English Premier League.
Birthday boy: How are some of us of a certain age supposed to feel about Joe Namath turning 80 on Wednesday?
In passing: Regarding the Washington Commanders, I mentioned last week that there aren’t any good new nicknames. In baseball, the Cleveland Guardians also strongly make the point.
Numbers game: After 46 games last season, Aaron Judge had 18 home runs. After his first 46 games this season, he has 18 home runs.
Missed: Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins could have been described as the team’s catalyst before he suffered a groin strain that will keep him out for several weeks.
Bottom up: Despite recently taking two out of three from the first-place Atlanta Braves – that’s baseball for ya – the Oakland A’s are on pace to win as few as 30 games. Rather than the A’s falling off the radar, though, the historic nature of their abject futility makes them almost as noteworthy as the top clubs for the same reason rubberneckers can’t look away from a car wreck.
Local ties: Paul Krepelka, an Admirals defenseman from their 1990s ECHL glory days, is assistant general manager of the Stanley Cup finalist Florida Panthers.
Guesswork: In 2023, disputed line calls at the French Open still are being decided by chair umpires searching for a mark in the dirt. How so very 19th-century of them.
Not what it was: Amid the clutter of sports, the Indianapolis 500 came and went while America was busy with other things. Another tradition that’s lost its luster.
Painful misstep: A candidate for the weirdest sports injury is a University of Oregon golfer stepping on a wooden tee at the 11th hole in last Saturday’s NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. The tee went through his shoe and pierced his foot, resulting in his withdrawal.
Interchangeable parts: About five minutes after losing his Raptors head coaching job, Nick Nurse took over the 76ers, while Monty Williams transformed in a flash from Suns scapegoat to the Pistons’ home run hire.
It’s the NBA’s version of musical chairs.