So many topics, so little space. It’s always a dilemma in the art of sports writing. It’s just one of those weeks where there’s tons going on. So with the limited options, comes the ABCs of the week.
A: As in Arvydas Sabonis. Did everybody see what Sabas told the newspapers last week? “Dunleavy should have been fired in mid-season. He needed to bring the stars of this team back down to Earth. The Blazers are just names making millions.” Harsh words for a guy with no contract. Somebody throw him a towel.
B: As in bye-bye Webber. After the Kings were swept by the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs this weekend, I have a hard time believing Chris Webber will return to Sacramento next season. The Kings have said they are willing to offer $121 million to keep him, but the night life seems to be more important to Webber.
C: As in Clyde Drexler. First he’s the next coach of the Blazers. Then he backs off from that possibility. Then he says he might be interested again. Now he’s heading to the front office?
D: As in Oregon Ducks football. In one poll, the Ducks are ranked as high as fourth in the country after spring practices. The Civil War will be nationally televised for the first time ever next year and the Ducks could win the Pac-10. Does PSU have a rival?
E: As in easy. Do the Lakers have any competition in the playoffs this year? I had San Antonio winning the West, but now that Derek Anderson is out, I don’t see how the Lakers can lose. Not even JR Rider can get these guys out of sync.
F: As in fire Whitsitt. Is this the Blazers new theme for next year? Let’s hope not. Whitsitt is the reason the Blazers have a chance at winning the title every year. Drexler for Whitsitt? I don’t think so.
G: As in George Karl. Will Karl and the Milwaukee Bucks pull a Seattle job in the playoffs? They’ve lost three straight to the Hornets, and game six is in Charlotte.
H: As in Hornets. Where did these guys come from? I knew they would be a sleeper when the season started, but Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn are for real. Can you see the Hornets and Lakers playing for the title? Derrick Coleman on Shaq: there’s a marquee matchup.
I: As in irreplaceable. That’s what everybody said when Ken Griffey Jr. left Seattle. That’s what they said when Randy Johnson left for Houston. That’s what everybody said when Alex Rodriguez left for Texas. That’s what they should say when Lou Pinella is offered another contract to manage elsewhere.
J: As in Jason Williams. Looks like Mr. Williams wants out of Sacramento. He doesn’t like his roll on the team and I’m guessing it’s a night life thing. Is Sacramento really that lame?
K: As in Ks. What’s with Randy Johnson lately? This guy is getting better with age. Twenty strikeouts on the Reds last week, 12 more this week. He still has the nastiest slider in baseball and let’s not forget about the fastball. John Kruk will never forget.
L: As in “Leave it be.” Folks, Magic Johnson is not coming to Portland to coach. This guy has purple blood, Laker colors, and is still a minority owner of the good team in “lala” land. He will not coach in Portland.
M: As in Minnesota Twins. Who would have thought the Twins and Mariners would be leading baseball after two months gone in the season? If you can name me four players on the Twins, you are the one.
N: As in nothing. Ken Griffey Jr. has yet to get a hit this season, making his batting average, nothing. The torn hamstring has kept him on the DL and the Reds are fading fast.
O: As in opening day. Did you all forget? Portland Fire open in a week. I thought you might have forgotten.
P: As in PGE Park. The seats fall through, the stadium is still old, the grass is like ice. Let’s hope the state will allocate the lottery money for a new stadium. Then we can finally get a major league team here. It can happen people.
Q: As in question authority. Rasheed Wallace. Enough said.
R: As in rehearsal. Spurs and Lakers will be a rehearsal for the finals. In fact, let’s just call the Lakers and Spurs the finals.
S: As in Spurs. San Antonio must find away a to stop Shaq, who keeps finding new nicknames after he scores 30 on Vlade Divac. How about, “I’ve got no jumper outside of six feet.”
T: As in taking over. Jamal Mashburn has taken over the Hornets/Bucks series. Milwaukee has no answer for him. Think Monster Mash is happy to be out of Miami? So much for the Clifford Robinson playoff jinx.
U: As in unbelievable. It’s unbelievable to me to hear people put down Allen Iverson for MVP. I have to admit, I thought Chris Webber might pull it out, but Iverson, more then anybody, has improved his team enough to put them in contention for the championship.
V: As in Victor the Viking. Get your applications in by May 29. Who will be the next PSU mascot? Do you have what it takes? Do you really care?
W: As in Wells. Bonzi is getting better for next season. David is making a mess with the White Sox. Bob is still pitching at age 40 or whatever.
X: As in XFL. Good-bye Jessie Ventura. Good-bye Vince McMahon. Good-bye bad football. Good-bye XFL. Sorry, ex-FL.
Y: As in yikes. Alex Rodriguez makes more then 15 teams in baseball, but the Rangers are in last place? Great business move.
Z: As in zebras. No new news from the referee world. Now that Rasheed and the Blazers are out of the playoffs, you don’t hear about any ejections anymore. Where’s the entertainment in that?