13) Quality TV programming is hard to come by these days; so many depressing images on the news networks; I mean, last time I looked, over 109,000 people have died from COVID-19 but almost no one talks about it anymore. Whatever happened to Dr Fauci?
NBA TV had an excellent one-hour show Wednesday, called Open Court, a Zoom conversation with five current/retired NBA coaches- they told stories, they shared opinions about basketball, and it was fun to listen to. Quality entertainment.
12) Stan Van Gundy told a story about his dad, who was a junior college coach in California, taking him to the 1968 Final Four in Los Angeles, when UCLA played Houston. Van Gundy was nine years old at the time. Must’ve been a fun weekend.
12 years later, November 1980, I was the student manager at Albany, and we won the Brockport State tip-off tournament, which was pretty cool, since we beat Upsala in the final, a team Sports Illustrated picked to win the D-III national title in its preseason basketball edition.
Bill Van Gundy was the coach at Brockport State, which is outside of Rochester; he was wearing a neck brace that weekend, after being in a car accident. His team wasn’t very good; lot easier to recruit in California than western New York.
11) Alvin Gentry told the story about the night Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a quarter, what Gentry called the greatest exhibition of shooting he’d ever seen.
10) One quirk of the NBA resuming their season in Orlando; how do you reward home court advantage, with all the games being played in the same place?
Our fantasy baseball league lets the higher-ranked team pick its opponent in the playoffs, something we borrowed from the G League. NBA should try that, too.
9) NCAA restored the eligibility of Arizona State punter Michael Turk, who declared for the 2020 NFL draft, hired an agent and participated at the NFL Combine before going undrafted and unsigned in free agency— this has never happened before, a player hiring an agent and being allowed to play again in college. Turk has two years of eligibility left.
8) Of the 83 pitchers in baseball’s Hall of Fame, only 17 are lefthanded.
7) Wednesday night at midnight, Downtown Grand in Las Vegas opened up with $1 blackjack tables, which would’ve been great fun to play. With casinos opening Thursday, hopefully lot of people will have fun and Las Vegas can come back to life again.
6) Baseball’s TV/radio announcers will be working remotely this season, if there are games; MLB wants as few people as possible in the stadiums during games, so broadcasters will call games from studios or their homes.
5) Random fact: More people live in Washington DC than Wyoming.
4) Rusty Staub is the only major leaguer who had 500+ hits with four different teams; Astros, Expos, Mets, Tigers.
3) South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin is having a rough year; he had COVID-19 in March, recovered from that, then this week he had a knee replaced.
2) Players with the most walk-off homers in extra innings:
Albert Pujols, Frank Robinson, Jim Thome all hit eight of them.
1) RIP to former Pitt/Tennessee football coach Johnny Majors, 85, who passed away this week; Majors won a national title with Tony Dorsett running the ball at Pitt; he had a career record of 185-137-10; after winning the title at Pitt, he went on to coach Tennessee for 16 years. RIP, sir.