13) How would you like to be a fly on the wall at Nick Saban’s house Saturday night, when he is in quarantine while Alabama plays Georgia in the week’s biggest college football game?
Saban and the Alabama AD both tested positive for COVID, so he is stuck at home for a while, and the rules say coaches in the booth cannot communicate with outside places while the game is going on. Hopefully, Mrs Saban takes the dog for a long walk and gives Nick some space.
Part of me says there is no way Saban isn’t texting some student manager and having the kid deliver messages to Steve Sarkisian.
Semi-related side note: Alabama’s basketball coach Nate Oats said Thursday that he had COVID back in July.
12) News Item of the Day: Utah Jazz hired Sergi Olivia away from the 76ers’ front office, to join their coaching staff. Olivia had been the Vice President of Strategy for the Sixers.
This isn’t really big news, but that is a tremendous job title; Vice President of Strategy
I’ve been retired from my job for almost six years now, but I’ve worked in basketball analytics in both college/high school basketball— I’d love to be someone’s Vice President of Strategy. It just sounds so freakin’ important.
11) A new casino that is rumored to have an excellent sportsbook will open in downtown Las Vegas October 28; the Circa will be a 2-story casino with a 3-story sportsbook. It appears as if the top level of the sports ook is a very large swimming pool in front of huge TV screens. They’re billing it as the biggest sportsbook in Las Vegas history.
10) Jets dump RB Le’Veon Bell and the Chiefs jump in and sign him; problem is, Bell hasn’t been a productive player for quite a while. He’s out of excuses now; he better produce in that offense, or his career is history.
9) In September, $748.5M, that’s million with an M, was wagered on sports in New Jersey.
8) Houston Rockets let GM Daryl Morey resign Thursday, rather than fire him- guys don’t quit jobs like that unless they’re jumping to another lucrative gig.
Morey is an MIT graduate, an analytics guy who sparked a rift between the NBA and Chinese government when he tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong about this time last year. That cost the NBA a boatload of money in China, and money talks, so Morey walks.
7) Indiana Pacers have never won an NBA title, but four of their head coaches have, three of them after they left Indiana, one before he got there:
— Jack Ramsay, Portland
— Larry Brown, Detroit
— Rick Carlisle, Dallas
— Frank Vogel, Lakers
6) White Sox are interviewing 76-year old Tony Larussa for their open managing job; he last managed in the majors with St Louis, in 2011. He started as a manager with the White Sox way back in 1979.
5) Just when I thought ESPN couldn’t be more annoying, they’re starting to show football games from Newman HS in Louisiana, because Peyton Manning’s nephew is the QB there- the kid is in 10th grade, let him be a kid. He doesn’t need his games shown on national TV.
4) Arkansas State 59, Georgia State 52:
— Said this yesterday; ESPN needs to show more Sun Belt football.
— Arkansas State plays two QB’s; in their last two games, they’re a combined 61-97 for 968 yards and 14 TD’s throwing the ball.
— Total yardage in this game: 609-583, ASU
3) Astros 4, Rays 3 (Tampa Bay leads 3-2)
— Carlos Correa hit a walk-off homer, series is 3-2 Tampa Bay.
— First five pitchers Houston used in this game are rookies.
2) Braves 10, Dodgers 2 (Atlanta leads 3-1):
— Atlanta broke open a 1-1 tie with six runs in 6th inning.
— Bryse Wilson allowed one hit, one run in six outstanding innings.
— Marcell Ozuna homered twice for the Braves.
1) Before I go, let me settle an argument; Michael Jordan isn’t the best basketball player ever, and neither is Lebron James, though they’re both in the top five.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best basketball player ever; after his freshman season at UCLA, when the Bruins’ freshman team beat the UCLA varsity by 20, the NCAA outlawed the dunk, a ban that lasted for ten years. (Freshman weren’t allowed on the varsity back then)
When Kareem was a rookie in the NBA with Milwaukee, the Bucks went 56-26 and lost in the Eastern Conference final- it was their 2nd year of existence- they won the NBA title the next year. Kareem may not have a big personality or be the face of a shoe company, but he was the most dominant basketball player ever.