Destroyed a monument recently? Spray-paint statues?
How can you learn history when it is no longer taught? How can one learn from history when it has been erased?
Last week, Adam Silver continued his path of providing evidence that he is more populist than solid commissioner, more public relations man than real custodian, someone who defends the NBA on the basis of choosing right from wrong; as did Maurice Podoloff.
The NBA announced last week that it had “rebranded” its MVP award from the Maurice Podoloff Award to the Michael Jordan Award.
While it doesn’t rise (or sink) to the level of beheading a statue of Christopher Columbus or vandalizing Abraham Lincoln, the demotion and eventual removal of Podolof as a significant figure and founder of the NBA still stinks.
In addition to that stench, there’s also this. the dude who designed the new NBA MVP award in Jordan’s honor also works for Nike’s Jordan Brand, so it also smells like an inside job.
Podoloff, according to the Basketball Hall of Fame, was “a man of impeccable character who was instrumental in the development and success of the NBA. On June 6, 1946, Podoloff was named commissioner of the newly formed American Basketball Association.
As if that wasn’t enough to preserve Podoloff’s legacy and memory on the Silver Watch, he was, to forgive Pollyanna’s almost-overlooked phrase, living proof of the American dream.
Fleeing murderous pogroms in Russia, Podoloff’s Jewish family immigrated to New Haven, Conn., where Podoloff studied English in his early teens and earned his law degree from Yale in 1915. Along the way to the creation of the NBA, he served as commissioner of the American Hockey League, thus being elected leader of two sports at the same time as serving as a distinguished attorney.
It was Podoloff who negotiated the 1949 merger with his league and the National Basketball League to create the NBA.
During his 17 years as BAA and NBA president, he expanded the league, negotiated its first television contracts, helped introduce the 24-second clock to liven up the pace and action of games, and banned those convicted in college point-saving scandals from ever playing there. The NBA.
Podoloff was the commissioner of the NBA until 1963 and died in 1985.
Podoloff, we read in the NBA history of the Basketball Hall of Fame, “was fair to all teams and owners, regardless of their power. Through his foresight, wisdom and leadership, he developed fan interest and improved the overall well-being of the NBA.”
And this week, he was fired, let go by the NBA and had his only annual public association with the NBA removed. There was no better way to remember him. But he was deleted.
Deebo showed no sympathy before the injury
It takes all of us,” he continued. Debo Samuel, star 49ers receiver, is just another ostensibly self-interested act that makes NFL games harder to watch, let alone enjoy.
Last Sunday at Fox, he struck out after pitching in and running inside the right post. As he was caught too late, he clipped a photographer in the knee, sending the man sprawling. When the game was stopped, Samuel could (should) have checked that photo to show he at least cared that he was okay.
Instead, Samuel returned to the field, haughtily and callously walking over the fallen man, never even looking down at him because he didn’t want to delay his self-righteous TD celebration. Not to be missed.
Hosts Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen pretended not to see it, so we had to miss it too. They were just throwing flowers at Samuel.
Soon Samuel will leave the field, as fate would have it, with knee and ankle injuries.
Staying with Buccaneers-49ers, Tom Brady’s 68-yard TD pass to Mike Evans was called back by left tackle Donovan Smith. On Fox, Burkhardt said:
And it’s a commonly misused causality step. As replays made clear, Smith’s holding violation was committed as Brady was about to throw after being inches away, so the holding call didn’t cost the Bucs a TD, it allowed a TD that was called back.
There are saved calls and then there are saved calls.
Another Roger Goodell “It’s All About Our Fans” special on Rams at Packers on Monday night. The maximum temperature during the day is 22 degrees, at night – 12 degrees.
As one reader once wrote about Goodell before a televised night game in bitterly cold Green Bay: “If he had let his dog out on a night like this, he would have been arrested.”
Football press friendly transfers
Alex Yannis, one of the quieter members of the late 1970s New York Cosmos press corps and the crazy Pele/China era of the international traveling circus of rogues, died Wednesday at age 85.
Yannis, like all of us, was a character, only he often didn’t know it. When he was with the NY Times, we shared all-year beats on the Cosmos and the NBA Piscataway Nets.
Born and raised in Greece, as evidenced by his accent, Yannis knew football much better than basketball. He once confused Nets forward Wilson Washington when he asked him:
And once he brought me a piece of baklava, which remains my favorite dessert. Rest in peace, philosopher.
Still curious to know how much due diligence Rob Manfred and crew did to promote the FTX scam with patches prominently displayed on MLB umpires’ uniforms before accepting the big bucks. What did MLB see in Smoke-in-a-Crypto-bucket FTX that made it a credible investment for fans?
Or did Manfred just sell the MLB license to operate FTX at the financial risk of the fans, no good questions asked.
It would have to be the latter, right?
In her expressions of gratitude for arriving “home,” Brittney Griner continues to skirt or intentionally miss the mark.
He has yet to thank his country for freeing him from a nine-year sentence in a Russian labor gulag, for not letting him rot despite his expressions and demonstrations of his displeasure with the United States.
He has not yet admitted that his ‘home’, to which he has been gratefully returned, is also the home of the free.
Curt Simmons, a 20-year major league pitcher mostly with the Phillies and Cardinals, died last week at age 93. As kids, we knew baseball card photos of Simmons as the man with the 6 o’clock shadow. In season one, if we looked closely enough, we could see he was growing a beard.
NHL Network’s studio shows, notably with Stu Grimson and former Rangers goaltender Kevin Wicks on the show, remain, as the toy commercials once boasted, “fun and educational.”
Golfers to golfers. “What did you shoot?” Golf media to golfers. “What did you open?”
Anyway, while you’re watching on Sunday, don’t forget to stay ahead of the chains. (Whatever that means).