Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) Several years ago, I’m at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, watching ball all day in air conditioned comfort; first game of the day is in Cox Pavilion, where UNLV’s women’s team plays— gym seats around 2,000 people, and it is close to full.

Golden State’s team is playing; midway thru the first half, they put in a kid named Ian Clark, who I remembered from his days playing at Belmont— good shooter.

Two of his first three shots are airballs; I mention this to the guy sitting next to me, that this kid Clark is a good shooter, but is off to a rough start. The guy replies that Clark had played in the Orlando summer games earlier in the week, and was probably tired.

Out of 2,000 people in the gym, how was it that I was sitting next to Ian Clark’s brother?

He is a good guy; we talked some more the rest of the game, but I felt like kind of a jerk.

12) NBA has used Spalding basketballs since 1983, but starting in 2021-22, the league will switch to Wilson basketballs. Wonder what the league’s better shooters think of that.

11) Last week, we talked about records that will never be broken; here’s one.

July 3, 1966, Braves in San Francisco. Tony Cloninger is Atlanta’s pitcher; he hits two grand slams, knocks in nine runs in Atlanta’s 17-3 win.

Nine RBI for a pitcher? Good luck breaking that record, because the universal DH is coming, and it is possible that pitchers may never hit again.

10) KBO expert Dan Kurtz posted this the other day, about a 1987 KBO playoff game that ended in a 15-inning tie; both starting pitchers threw complete games. Korean playoff games end after 15 innings if the game is tied (12 innings in regular season).

One pitcher threw 232 pitches, the other guy 209 in the 2-2 tie.

9) NFL teams can no longer block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator jobs with other teams; this is expected to lead to more minority coaches getting coordinator jobs.

8) Underrated sports family; the Bibby family.
— Henry Bibby played basketball at UCLA, then played nine years in the NBA; he was on the Knicks’ last title team, in 1973. He scored 8.6 ppg for his NBA career.
— Henry’s brother Jim Bibby pitched in the major leagues for 12 years, going 111-101, with 239 starts, 101 relief stints. He won a World Series with the ’79 Pirates..
— Henry’s son Mike Bibby played ball at Arizona; he played 14 years in the NBA, scoring 14.7 ppg for his career. He played in the NBA Finals for Miami in 2011, when they lost to the Mavericks.

7) One thing I think we’ll see more of over the next year or so; more animated movies, because you can make them virtually. They’re probably cheaper to make, anyway.

6) Some college scheduling things:
— USC/Ole Miss will play home/home in football in 2025-26; these teams have never met, but Lane Kiffin used to coach the Trojans.
— Oklahoma/Florida will start a home/home basketball series.
— Kentucky-Michigan pushed back their basketball series a year:
a) December 2021, Kentucky @ Michigan
b) December 2022, Kentucky-Michigan, in London
c) December 2023, Michigan @ Kentucky

5) QB Jack Sears transfers from USC to Boise State; he has two years left to play. Sears played one game for the Trojans last year, completing 20-28 passes for 235 yards in a 38-35 loss to Arizona State.

4) Guard Mac McClung will transfer from Georgetown; looks like Patrick Ewing has almost a complete rebuild with the Hoyas. Georgetown is 49-46 in three years under Ewing, 19-35 in Big East games. Hoyas’ last winning season in Big East play? 2015.

3) Was watching a 1978 playoff game, Phillies-Dodgers on TV the other night. Nowadays, there are no day games in the playoffs, except for the round of 16, but this was a Saturday afternoon NLCS game, with Al Michaels, Don Drysdale, Johnny Bench on the mike.

It occurred to me that I had never seen this game; back then I was in college, and my work-study job in college was keeping stats for UAlbany football games, so I was there, not at home watching this game, and if I was home, I was probably watching a college football game anyway.

And there was no ESPN or CNN in 1978, so hard to find highlights. Lot of the names in the game brought back memories, but it seems like 1,000 years ago now.

2) A Virginia family discovered two bags containing nearly $1M in cash while on an afternoon drive. The family contacted the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, which sent deputies to the home, and they took the money back to HQ.

Here’s the question; What would you do if you found $1M lying in the street?

1) My dad passed away five years ago this week; it is important for me to acknowledge all that he did for me, and continues to do, since his example of how to live is something I try to follow.

He was from New York City, but wasn’t abrasive or rude; he was respectful, loved to laugh, and he loved golf, the Mets and the Knicks. He wanted his family to be happy, and were always happier when he was around. I miss him every day. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.