13) There was a cool story on the Interweb this week about Miami Heat assistant coach Anthony Carter, from back in his playing days.
Summer of 2003, Carter OK’d a $4.1M option to keep playing with Miami, but his agent screwed up and never notified the Heat by the June 30 deadline, so he wound up signing with San Antonio for $750,000 instead. Not good.
The agent has integrity though, and worked a plan to make sure Carter got the $3M+ he lost out on. Apparently, that payment plan was just completed, and Carter finally has the money, It is an unusual story in that player/agent are still good friends, despite the blunder.
12) An offshoot of Carter leaving Miami was that it created cap space for the Heat to acquire Lamar Odom, who the next summer was part of the package Miami sent to the Lakers when they got Shaquille O’Neal. Without the agent’s screw-up, maybe Shaq is never in Miami.
11) This offseason was very short for NBA teams, but Oklahoma City Thunder made 11 trades since last season ended, with 24 players either passing through the Thunder roster, or winding up in Oklahoma this season. OKC also has a ton of draft picks over the next five years.
10) Toronto Raptors will be playing home games in Tampa this season, much like the Blue Jays played home games in Buffalo last summer. Not an ideal situation, but Tampa in the winter is a solid alternative to always being cold.
9) Alabama 83, Furman 80— Paladins led by 16 in first half, by 10 at halftime, but Alabama caught them down the stretch. Furman was 15-36 on the arc, shot 65% inside the arc, but they missed nine of their last ten shots.
Furman has a nice team; they’ll be a problem for someone in March Madness.
What is a paladin, you ask? A paladin is a knight renowned for heroism and chivalry.
8) Illinois 92, Minnesota 65— Gophers came to Champaign 6-0, but got spanked badly here by an Illini squad that has already played four top 100 teams. This was Minnesota’s first game against a top 100 opponent.
Two things after watching Furman/Minnesota tonight:
a) Veteran mid-majors with strong continuity will be very dangerous; they’re TEAMS
b) Teams need to go thru the wars of playing tough opponents, in order to get better. Beating up on stiffs doesn’t make you that much better.
7) Rutgers hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1991, but they probably will this year; they’re #20 in the KenPom rankings, the highest they’ve been in the 20 years KenPom has been on the Interweb.
6) Virginia Tech 66, Clemson 60— 5-1 Clemson has three wins on neutral floors, but they lose their first true road game of the season. Hokies outscored Clemson 25-12 on the foul line.
5) Underrated fact: Jim Plunkett, Roger Staubach are only two QB’s who won the Heisman Trophy and also won a Super Bowl.
4) Vanderbilt hired Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator Clark Lea as its new football coach; Lea is a Vandy alum, so that makes even more sense.
3) Major League came out in 1988, Bull Durham came out the next year, and here it is 2020 and I still can’t decide which movie I like better.
2) NFL officials are throwing too many intentional grounding flags; the better QB’s are also getting more leeway on those calls. No one pays to watch the officials.
1) Baseball doings:
— C James McCann gets $40.6M over four years from the Mets.
— OF Hunter Renfroe gets $3.1M from the Red Sox, for one year.