Basketball

Charles Oakley Should Sue the Knicks

Apologies to anyone who doesn't care about New York sports, but this should be a bigger story:

The forced removal of retired New York Knicks star Charles Oakley from Wednesday’s Knicks-Los Angeles Clippers game at Madison Square Garden has sparked a legal controversy that keeps growing.
As previously detailed on The Crossover, Oakley was charged with three counts of assault and one count of trespass after he and several Madison Square Garden employees scuffled a few rows behind the court. In an incident that was recorded by multiple cameras, Oakley threw punches and shoved, though the resulting injuries were reportedly very minor and none of the injuries required any medical attention. Oakley’s outburst appears to have been directed mainly at Knicks owner James Dolan, who was sitting nearby and whom Oakley contends has treated him with disrespect and disdain
Dolan opens the door to be sued by Oakley for defamation
Dolan escalated the Oakley conflict in remarks made while on Friday’s The Michael Kay Show. During the interview, Dolan declared that Oakley suffers from a “problem with anger” and that Oakley is “both physically and verbally abusive,” which Dolan—who does not appear to have any formal training in medicine—classified as “personality problems.”

If the NBA didn't already have the precedent that was set with Donald Sterling and the Clippers, everything regarding James Dolan would scream of divestiture or the stripping of the franchise from his ownership.

This article really gets at the legal ramifications of Oakley suing the Knicks. What should happen is this--Oakley should sue them for the embarrassment of physically removing him in the manner in which they did and the NBA should separate the Knicks franchise from James Dolan. Those two things don't have to happen together, but if they did, that would be justice.

Does race come into play here? Absolutely. I think Oakley was treated the way he was because he is black. Plenty of very, very privileged and wealthy white people say horrible things at NBA games courtside and nothing happens to them.  Oakley was manhandled, defamed, and assaulted. Yes, he did strike at Madison Square Garden personnel. Was that reasonable, given what they were doing to him? I don't know how you could say he wasn't defending himself. 

Does the fact that Dolan has run the Knicks straight into the ground factor into this as well? Yes, and that's the NBA's problem because well-run franchises don't seem to have these problems. Much of the ire directed at Dolan stems from the fact that he's a terrible owner with a terrible executive in the personification of Phil Jackson. To say that the Knicks are mismanaged is an understatement. This should be a storied, honorable franchise. It's far from that.

Just as the Sterling story was whipped into a frenzy, so should this one be talked about and debated. You had a very ugly incident that overshadowed the game where it happened and no one has gone after the one man who could have handled things within the limits of decency. James Dolan is so far outside of those limits, there's really no recourse but a severe and permanent punishment.

Look What Bigotry Cost North Carolina

Check out Governor Pat McCrory's freakout below:

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will move from Charlotte, North Carolina, because of that state's controversial transgender bathroom law, the league announced Thursday.

The league said it would make an announcement about where the February game would be played in the coming weeks.

    The NBA also said it hopes to hold the 2019 game in Charlotte "provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter."

    Gov. Pat McCrory slammed the decision.

    "The sports and entertainment elite, (N.C.) Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present," the governor said. "Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children."

    The National Basketball Association is a billion-dollar money-making enterprise, not a "left wing special interest group." If you are going to tell these entities that your bigoted state is open for business, don't be shocked then they protect their own business interests and reject the offer to be associated with intolerance and hatred.

    In a decent America, this would lead the citizens of North Carolina to conclude that their legislature and their governor do not accurately reflect their values. This is no longer a decent America; this will allow everyone to double down and claim victimhood. But, hey--the market has spoken.

    How Much Influence Does Bobby Knight Have in Indiana Anymore?

    I can't believe having Bobby Knight endorse you in the state of Indiana would really amount to much:

    Donald Trump famously dislikes “chokers” — or “chockers,” as he’s been known to misspell the word in hurried tweets. But on Wednesday, he’ll be standing beside one of the most famous chokers in sports history as he tries to strengthen his support among Indiana Republican primary voters.

    Trump’s disdain, of course, is reserved for people who fold under pressure, which is probably why he feels no compunction about accepting the support of former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight, whose preferred method of choking involves placing his hand around the throat of one of his players.

    The announcement that Knight would appear with Trump in Indiana was a coup for the New York billionaire, who is facing strong competition for the 57 delegates the Hoosier state will send to the Republican nominating convention in July. It came just as Trump’s two main competitors, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, announced a limited alliance that would have Kasich stop campaigning in Indiana in order to allow Cruz a chance to challenge Trump one-on-one.

    Bobby Knight is a nostalgia figure for the state of Indiana, and, really, only those parts that were a fan of his Hoosier basketball team. He was fired over fifteen years ago and went to coach elsewhere before retiring. He left behind a long trail of outrageous statements and physically violent confrontations with human beings. When they write his obituary, they'll lead with the fact that he got fired because he couldn't control himself anymore. This is what he actually said about it all:

    On his time at Indiana and his departure from the school, Knight says: “My fucking heart was ripped out by this goddamn bullshit!”

    Notice how there is a definite lack of introspection there.

    Knight has a history of refusing any honors. He may have softened in recent years, but he has never really done anything to atone for his conduct in the state of Indiana. Why would anyone voting for a president listen to what he has to say now?

    Will They Accept the Warriors?

    When a team breaks a record like this, you can be well assured that there's going to be controversy:

    The Golden State Warriors tied the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record with the most wins in a season in their 72nd victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. The Warriors’ 92-86 win also ended the Spur’s 39-game winning streak at home, making Golden State the first team to win in San Antonio all season. Stephen Curry led the team with another all-star performance, ending the game with 35 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points for the Spurs while Kawhi Leonard added 20 and 13 boards.

    The most compelling reason for refusing to give the Golden State Warriors their due is that no one really plays defense anymore. Long gone are the days when players were physical enough to prevent players from taking shots from a distance. 

    Plenty of players from the team holding the record have been very gracious, something that should give pause to anyone who says that this doesn't count.

     

    Why Does Larry Brown Still Have a Coaching Job?

    Larry Brown has a problem.

    In order for him to succeed in the ranks of college basketball, he has to look the other way while the people working for him cheat. And that's just how it is for him and for way too many coaches. They have to cheat in order to keep marginally educated young men academically eligible to play. This has been going on since college basketball became competitive and it will continue well into the future because that's the nature of this phony arrangement between big time programs and athletically gifted young men who have no interest in school.

    Is Larry Brown any worse than any of the other coaches who have left programs in disarray? No, but he's had a great deal of success and he's a big name. If you were to purge college basketball of Brown, you'd have to throw out two or three dozen other coaches before you even started to get to the bottom of the cheating.

    So start there. Throw Brown out and then go after everyone else and clean house. No? Well, then we're done here, aren't we?

    Heads Are Buried In the Sand at the NCAA


    There are more than a few scandals brewing in the NCAA right now. John Oliver, who is English and makes jokey-jokes on the television box, has the NCAA's number. It's a clown-like conspiracy of epic proportions. It is raking in an un-Godly amount of money that, if it were to dry up, would cause untold numbers of universities in the United States to collapse and have to begin using their massive endowments to continue stealing money from students.

    I mean, tuition is up, everywhere, and the price of a college education is skyrocketing. And yet, students are continuing to flock to the games, unaware of the link between the money their school makes on athletics and the lack of any measurable decline in their own personal costs for going to the same school. It's a circle jerk extraordinaire.

    Duke Basketball ignored a possible rape scandal. Don't mention it!

    North Carolina spent years tricking people into thinking they were actually in classes. Shh!

    Kentucky is perfect this year. How much do you want to bet someone's ineligible and none of those wins are gonna count? Whoops!

    Money, money, money. Anybody getting educated? Nope.

    Bad Management and Jim Boeheim


    Nobody is calling Jim Boeheim a crook or anything like that. He's a terrible manager of people in terms of maintaining ethical standards in an academic environment. He has operated like an absentee landlord, according to the NCAA, and at the level of big time college basketball, that's almost like being a crook, but not really.

    Boeheim has plausible deniability--everyone who did things that were unethical in order to provide him the players that he needed to win did so under his relaxed management style. This means that he can threaten an appeal and stay where he's at and accountability will fall on others. That's a great scam if you can pull it off.

    That's No Way to Run a Franchise


    Now, this could turn out to be a hoax of some kind--something that wouldn't surprise me in the least. It could turn out to be something written as a draft and sent by accident or created entirely in someone's attempt to speak with Dolan's authority.

    But, if it is as authentic as advertised, the NBA has another owner to get rid of. The New York Knicks should be taken away from Mr. Dolan, just as the Los Angeles Clippers were taken away from Donald Sterling.

    Don't Forget About Ol' Roy


    Of course they're firing all the crooks and the dishonest people...
    UNC has dismissed an academic counselor and is attempting to fire a professor involved in the school's academic fraud scandal, in which athletes and other students were able to take fake classes with the knowledge of faculty members. The school has also accepted the resignation of another faculty member, according to the Associated Press.
    School Chancellor Carol Folt said that efforts to terminate philosophy professor Jeanette Boxill began Oct. 22, the same day that former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released his report into the scandal.
    "[Boxill was named] in light of the extraordinary circumstances underlying the longstanding and intolerable academic irregularities described in the Wainstein Report, as well as her role as the chair of the faculty council during a period of time covered by the report," said Folt.
    You have to hand it to the University of North Carolina. Instead of firing the athletic director or Roy Williams or anybody responsible for telling the athletes to go take fake classes and fake tests, they're going to fire the academic faculty and hope the NCAA doesn't dig any deeper.

    Because, well, you know:
    Wainstein's report found that the fake classes, offered from 1993 to 2011, enabled 3,100 athletes and other UNC students to earn artificially high grades. The classes were limited to the African studies department, but the report revealed that multiple individuals at UNC were aware of them and did nothing to stop the offerings.
    I sure hope some of those "multiple individuals" are held accountable for their actions, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Why LeBron Should Go to the Lakers

    Seeing as how this was a total bust...


    I'm not sure how to calculate the "league minimum salary" of the NBA. For LeBron James, I'm guessing it would be about a million dollars in salary for one year.

    What he should do, is this: sign with the Los Angeles Lakers for one season, and accept the league minimum.

    Why?

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson will return next season, putting off retirement for at least another year to chase his 12th NBA championship.
    Jackson made the announcement Thursday with a news release. The two-time defending champions’ coach said last week he was leaning toward retirement after another long season, but he changed his mind after getting a week to rest up at his offseason home inMontana.
    “Count me in,” Jackson said. “After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

    Yes. If you were to put LeBron James next to Kobe Bryant, and back them up with the team structure and system that the Lakers already have, you could almost guarantee another championship.

    But, hey. I just come up with these things. I have no idea if it would work or not.

    Posted via email from TalkingSmackAboutSports