Thursday’s List of 13: A night of basketball in Las Vegas…….

13) I was at the AAU game in Las Vegas last night, pitting the SC Supreme against the Big Ballers in a pool play game. The place was ridiculously crowded, so crowded that the game was almost cancelled due to concerns about crowding from the fire marshal.

First of all, this is a very organized, well-run event; seven games going on at all times under one roof in the Cashman Center, with bleachers and a good concession stand, but a lot more people than usual showed up to watch last night.

They put out boxscores for these games, which is great. Lot of work goes into doing a good job of running a tournament like this.

12) Most people I listened to before the game thought SC Supreme, featuring top recruit Zion Williamson, would dispose of LaVar Ball’s team easily, but the Ballers played their hearts out and didn’t get blown out, losing 104-92 in a raggedy game.

11) “Unreal. Never seen anything like it,” Kansas coach Bill Self, who was at the game, told ESPN.

10) Supposedly, Lebron James came to the Cashman Center for the game, but didn’t come in when he was told about the crowd concerns. Four or five other NBA players were at the game.

9) OK, so you know I love boxscores; here are some stats from this game:

— SC Supreme was 0-2 on the arc in this game; Ballers were 15-46. Wow
— LaMelo Ball scored 36 points; was 7-15 inside the arc, 3-12 outside the arc, 13-16 on the line. He is a good passer, but is more of a shoot-first guy than his older brother Lonzo, who was also at this game.
— Zion Williamson, one of the best high school players in the country, scored 31 points in 31:00, but was only 7-20 on the foul line- his teammates were 25-34.
— SC Supreme shot 57.1% from the floor, were 32-54 on the foul line.
— Ballers’ five subs who played took a total of two shots in 34:00 played.

8) LaVar Ball has become semi-famous for his promotional skills; he seems to crave attention, but during the game, he was quiet, sitting with this ankles crossed watching the game. He did get a technical foul in the second half.

As for the Ballers’ defense, I’ll say this: they rebounded and went after loose balls with great abandon— they trapped the ball a lot but other than that, SC Supreme got a lot of layups.

7) Underrated weird event of the evening: Guy who was coaching the SC Supreme team was roaming the sidelines while holding his young son (looked about 2 years old) with his left arm the entire first half. Kid looked like he was asleep with his head on his dad’s left shoulder.

6) I saw four games Wednesday; best of the four was Compton Magic beating Iowa Barnstormers 73-62; Compton shot 69% from the floor in the second half, pulling away late after blowing a double-digit lead earlier in the game.

5) So these end-of-summer national AAU events are fun to watch; talented kids from all over the country playing each other and trying to earn college scholarships. Good stuff.

Elsewhere in the world……..
4) Michael Vick wants to become a football coach, is an intern for the KC Chiefs this summer. Plaxico Burress is a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals.

3) If you’ve seen the TV show Billions on Showtime, the guy who plays pizzeria owner Bruno was a decorated police officer in real life, a “gold-star” officer, so that is pretty cool.

2) The A’s have to demote closer Santiago Casilla; he is awful. Oakland led 2-0 in 9th inning last night, Casilla faced three batters, all of whom scored. I’m grateful I wasn’t around a TV to see it.

1) Trailblazers saved $60M in salary/luxury tax by trading Allen Crabbe to the Nets.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a summer weekend…….

13) I get annoyed when people tell me that they cannot write. ANYONE CAN WRITE!!! If you can talk, you can write. Take a recorder, turn it on and tell stories into it. Then replay what you said, transcribe it into a Word document and voila!!! You have written!!!

Good Lord, if you read this every day, you must know that any damn fool can write his own website. If I can do it, sure as shootin’ you can do it, too.

12) Does Kyrie Irving know that Gregg Popovich will be 69 years old in January, and probably won’t coach much longer? As soon as Pop leaves the Alamo, the Spurs are going to take a big dip. Mr Irving might want to keep that in mind before he jumps overboard from Team Lebron.

11) Do you think Saturday Night Live should offer Sean Spicer a guest hosting spot? Imagine if he went on the show and was really funny? He’d become a hero to the working class.

10) When games at AT&T Park in San Francisco run long and seagulls threaten to overrun the outfield, looking for food, they play “Everybody clap your hands!!!” over the PA system to chase the seagulls away. Odd thing to see. It works. For a few minutes.

9) My friend John e-mailed to remind me that the Cincinnati Airport is actually in Kentucky, which is weird. Kentucky is just over the bridge from Ohio. Cincinnati Bearcats will be playing home games in Northern Kentucky U’s gym this winter; their gym is being refurbished.

8) Weird Al Yankovic went to college at Cal-Poly; in 1979, he recorded “My Bologna” in a campus restroom. The school has put up a plaque commemorating the song on a wall outside the restroom.

7) LaVar Ball got mad at a ref at an AAU game Saturday and pulled his team off the floor, forfeiting the game. Problem is, HIS TEAM LED 69-60 when he forfeited the game.

Not sure where to start with this, but:
a) He probably cost his team a win, and valuable playing time where recruiters can watch them play. Why?
b) What exactly is he teaching the kids who play for him?
c) Does he do outrageous things just to stay in the news?
d) Do the parents of the kids on his team call him out on this behavior?

6) Red flag for the Astros: in Lance McCullers’ last three starts, he’s failed to finish the 5th inning in any of them, allowing 24 hits, 17 runs in 13.2 innings. Houston needs to add at least one starting pitcher by the trade deadline.

5) When Astros’ rookie Colin Moran fouled a ball off his face Saturday night, he broke a bone under his left eye and is now on the DL. Freak accident, and a painful one.

4) Wink Martindale posted this fact on Twitter Saturday: “A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up & down continuously from the bottom of glass to the top”

Who discovered that this is true? I mean, you have a glass of champagne sitting there, and then some wiseguy with a raisin throws it in there and everyone watches?

3) Clayton Kershaw tweaked his lower back, was taken out after the second inning Sunday. Dodgers were -$400 in Las Vegas.

Important lesson here: “There is no such thing as a sure thing, thats why they call it….gambling.” Do you want to be laying -$400 with Ross Stripling on the hill? You do not.

Dodgers won in 10 innings anyway, but laying -$400 on a baseball game is a very bad idea.

2) I’m discouraged by how the A’s are playing (44-54), but how about 44-54 Toronto, with a payroll of $163,381,937? Oakland’s payroll is $81,738,333, which is no excuse for how dismal a team they have, but the Blue Jays are just plain awful.

1) Random fact: If John McCain were uninsured, his blood clot surgery could have cost $76,000. Good thing for him politicians have way better medical coverage than most Americans.