13) I was supposed to have cataract surgery today, but it was delayed until New York State re-opens elective surgeries; I could do a couple days in this space venting about how/why this is all happening, but in respect to the 80,000+ who have already died, I’ll save it for another day.
Reading is one of my joys, but for the last seven months, reading has been difficult; it is way better now than it was before my retina got fixed, but it is still not close to 100%. I look forward to the day when I can read easily, and then watch games on TV. Live games.
12) Four of the Raiders’ eight home games this season are in primetime; am guessing those Las Vegas tourism TV commercials will bring the league a bundle of cash.
11) MLB submitted a plan to the Players’ Association Monday, as to when/how the 2020 season should start; will be interesting to see what the proposal was, and how the players respond.
10) Sunday night will be the last two episodes of The Last Dance, the documentary about the ’98 Chicago Bulls. Saturday, ACC Network is airing 11 hours of Michael Jordan’s games from North Carolina, so if you want to see what college basketball was like before 3-pointers and the shot clock, that’ll be a good chance to see it.
I’ve enjoyed The Last Dance; very well done show. Winning six titles in eight years isn’t easy; it is an interesting part of NBA history, how Phil Jackson orchestrated all that, and how Michael Jordan interacted with his teammates
9) My favorite part of the eight episodes was when Will Perdue was explaining how he and a few other teammates were playing blackjack for $1 a hand in the front of the plane, while Jordan, Ron Harper and other teammates played cards for BIG money in the back.
Jordan comes to the front and wants to join the $1 blackjack game; John Paxson asks him why he would want to play in such a nickel/dime game. Jordan says, “So I can have YOUR money in MY picket.” Thats how competitive he was/is.
8) Curt Bloom was/is the radio announcer for the AA Birmingham Barons, the baseball team Jordan played for; Bloom pointed out on Twitter this weekend that the first batter Jordan faced in the pros was a guy named John Courtright, who is now a player agent (Patrick Corbin is one of his clients). Courtright, interestingly, is a Duke alum.
7) If you’re a basketball fan of a certain age, you also remember George Gervin, a great scorer for the San Antonio Spurs; he averaged 25.1 ppg over a 14-year career that began in the ABA, with the Virginia Squires, who had another pretty good player, Julius Erving.
Whoever the radio announcer for the Squires was, he had his hands full; you had Gervin, Erving and also George Irvine, so a fast break was a potential tongue twister.
6) Anyway, Gervin’s first game was January 26, 1973, a 127-121 home loss against the Utah Stars; Gervin scored 20 points in 19:00 off the bench.
Eight Stars scored in double figures, but none of them scored more than 17 points. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before.
Whoever the stat guy was, he was generous; Virginia scored 44 field goals, had 39 assists. When I was scoring game, gave out a lot of assists, but never that many.
5) This is how much basketball has changed; the ABA is responsible for the 3-pointer being brought into the NBA, but in this game, 127-121, there were only eight 3-pointers taken, one by Utah, seven by the Squires.
Few years ago, Klay Thompson scored 37 pointers in a quarter; he was 11-15 behind the arc that night, scoring 52 points.
4) Watching old baseball games for weeks, it turns out that James Shields was on the wrong side of a couple of unique baseball days; he gave up Bartolo Colon’s first major league home run, and he was the losing pitcher when Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2010.
Shields was a very good pitcher, a big part of the Rays’ run to the 2008 World Series.
3) For the last 15 seasons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played a total of 17 games in primetime, not a lot; with Tom Brady signing on this season, the Bucs are on in primetime five times.
2) If they do this right, the Korean baseball league (KBO) is going to make a killing selling apparel online, with their games on ESPN six days a week.
1) As far as the NFL schedule being adaptable to starting late, consider this:
— Every Week 2 opponent has the same bye week later on in the season.
— There are no divisional games in Weeks 3-4.
— All of which points to Week 1 potentially being tacked on to the end of season, if need be.