Friday, July 28, 2006

`Come here, my ho.'

Racial slurs, degrading women and a fight outside a strip club. Yep, another day in the NBA.

Three former members of the Milwaukee Bucks, including Gary Payton and Sam Cassell, are accused of fighting outside a strip club.

According to the Toronto Star, the confrontation began when Payton called out to a female stripper as if she were an opposing player on the court:

"He called her a `ho,'" Cassell testified. "He said, `Come here, my ho.' Both of them had been calling each other `ho' all night. They were both communicating with each other that way. It was friendly."
A white male accompanying the stripper didn't see it that way:

"The guy said, `Hey, n-----, I don't care who you are, you don't talk to my woman that way.' And then sparks just flew," Sam Cassell testified yesterday.

A brief race war then broke out between the man, Cassell and Payton. The former teammates are now charged with multiple counts of assault and one count of "keepin' it real."

Defence attorney Edward Greenspan asked Cassell how a black man would take a racial slur uttered by a white man.

"That's a no-no statement," he answered.
Greenspan then asked Cassell if there would have been a problem had a black man said the slur. Cassell replied, "N----- please" before leaping off the witness stand and juggling his giant testicles.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Barkley in 2014

Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Famer and maybe the worst golfer in the known universe, has declared his intention to run for governor in his home state of Alabama.

Published reports state that Charles plans to run in 2010, but today he appeared on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" and said the target date has changed to 2014, since Alabama law (there are laws in Alabama?) requires a person running for governor must have an in-state residence for 7 years (currently Barkley lives in Arizona).

Barkley went on to tell guest hosts Dan LeBatard and Jason Whitlock (where the fuck are you Tony and Mike) that he'll run as a Democrat. Charles, never shy with his opinions, rennounced his former political affliation with this nugget: ""I was a Republican until they lost their minds."

The Chuckster wants to make education a priority. No word as to whether he intends to improve the Alabama school system using the War Eagle method.

I don't know how politics work, but if Charles does win he should just bring along his friends from TNT and hire them as cabinet members.

There could be Lieutenant Governor Ernie Johnson:

And Kenny Smith as Minister of Recreation:

Of course, Craig Sager would be head of the Fashion Police:

While some doubt the chances of Chuckster's campaign succeeding, it's important not to forget that he's overcome long odds before:

If the Round Mound of Rebound could weigh in under 300 pounds, being elected the next governor of Alabama should be a piece of cake. Well, maybe a few pieces.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Harold Reynolds Out for (Allegedly) Not Corking His Bat

First David Aldridge, now Harold Reynolds.

In case you haven't heard, ESPN has reportedly fired the baseball analyst and celebrity softball manager extraordinaire.

The folks at Deadspin say it's because HR has a knack for hitting on the ladies. Sexual harassment is a touchy subject (pardon the pun), so it's too soon to condemn or commend Harold for his alleged offense at this point. More salacious details are required.

But regardless of innocence or guilt, isn't this a newsworthy story? After all, Harold Reynolds is the 2nd-most well-known and well-liked analyst on Baseball Tonight -- after PG of course (get well soon Pete). And BBTN is one of the flagship programs for ESPN. And ESPN is the undisputed dictator-for-life of the sports world (R.I.P. CNNSI). The HR story is being reported by Deadspin, FOX Sports and, yet ESPNEWS Headlines believes something like Fiorentina, Lazio in Serie A; Juventus penalty cut is more important.

Obviously ESPN wants to save face and push this under the rug, but doesn't a sports news network have an obligation to... I don't know, report the news? Doesn't trying to deny the fact and say lame-ass lines like "All I can say is he is no longer working here" (via an ESPN drone) only make the network seem smug? And it's not like ESPN's image is in tip-top shape. After all, everyone bought ESPN Mobile, watched the ESPYs and enjoy watching Stephen A. Smith and Woody Paige. Hell, those two have more schtick than I do! One of these days Bill Simmons has to become the consciousness of ESPN and rant on all the things wrong about ESPN, on ESPN. Flood his fuckin' mailbag people.

Man, Harold Reynolds is already a former personality of Baseball Tonight. That's some sad shit.

I'm going to miss Harold like I miss Aldridge (another casuality of the ESPN machine). DA's gone to a better place in TNT, where sports and entertainment make beautiful music. Unlike ESPN, where sports and entertainment tend to make trance. Maybe Harold will find work with FOX or TBS. An under-utilized Harold is better than no Harold at all.

The biggest loser in this is people who watch BBTN. Off the top of my head, this is the remaining Baseball Tonight crew:

Karl Ravech - The fucking anchor of Baseball Tonight. T.F.A.
Orestes Destrade - I have no idea how he got this job. I imagine he was promoted from Desportes. Don't care much for him, mostly because I don't know him. Ignorance is bliss.
John Kruk - He's improved a lot from his rookie year in '04. Doesn't bring much to the table (...resist... food joke...)
Tim Kurkjian - My new favorite BBTN guy. He's short, he's witty, he's a total baseball nerd.
Steve Philips - Kinda cool to see a former GM talk about trades and stuff. Kinda.
Orel Hershier - Ehhh. Maybe he should go back to being a pitching coach.
Buster Olney - I like him. He's a real journalist and his blog is fun to read, kinda like Rumors, except for baseball. Of course, I can't read Buster's blog now that it's a part of the ESPN Insider vortex. Assholes.

...and there's some other guys. The bottom line is, it's basically Karl and Tim on the A-team. And since BBTN is a three-person team (sometimes bloated to four), it's gonna suffer because there's no mathematical way (I'm Asian!) for BBTN to bring out an A-team. Back in the day, BBTN used to drop some serious baseball goodness with Ravy, HR, Gammons and Kurkjian. Freakin' Murderer's Row. Even Dave "Soup" Campbell was mmm-mmm good.

I'm not even sure I'll watch BBTN again. Oh who am I kidding? ESPN owns my life. I'd watch BBTN even if the analysts were Anna Nicole Smith, Paul Silas and Cerberus. So I'll tune into BBTN like every other night, but without Harold it won't be the same, and that's a shame.

EDIT: HOLY CRAP! Right as I'm typing this, SportsCenter reports that HR is gone. Now it's even on Hey, that's progress I suppose. All that needs to happen is for all 37 people with ESPN Mobile to get a Web Alert that reads, "Black athlete gropes females ... and it wasn't even Chris Henry."