Sportsattitudes Mailbox – Dwight Howard Finally “Gets” His Stan…R-E-S-P-E-C-T…and R.I.P. Fab Five

Another chance to respond to imaginary questions from imaginary readers…

Q. Stan Van Gundy is out as Head Coach of the Orlando Magic.  Where did it all go wrong?

A. When the Magic didn’t deal Dwight Howard long ago and get him some multiple ammo pieces in return to reload with.  Their 86-year-old Owner wants a title.  I hope he’s not picky about getting it while he’s alive.  Van Gundy’s stat line…five playoffs in five seasons…twice to the Conference Finals and once to the NBA Finals…a .641 winning percentage.  Of course you’d get rid of him…not.

Truthfully, Stan didn’t help matters for his retention when he told the media in early April top-ranking team officials informed him Dwight asked for Van Gundy to be axed before he could even consider signing a long-term contract…which we all know he isn’t planning on doing anyway.  At least we all know it aside from the Magic themselves.  Orlando has obviously decided they’d rather be completely humiliated by Dwight Howard than partially.  Dwight finally “got” his Stan.  Soon, Dwight will “get” the entire franchise when he leaves.  Who’ll be wearing those Mickey Mouse ears then?

Q. David Ortiz and Chris Perez both made comments recently that seemed to indicate they felt disrespect?  What really are these beefs about?

A. David Ortiz has obviously been having disrespected issues since he had to settle on a one-year, $14.75 million deal instead of a two-year contract.  Myself, I would be devoid of any disrespect feelings whatsoever if I made $14.75 million this year.  But David seemed quite upset Monday night that the media found out he apparently called a team meeting back in the midst of the latest Red Sox drama, Josh Beckett’s publicly stubborn stance to play golf while “off.”  Ortiz went into a rant about who gets called a leader in their organization…while also simultaneously saying he didn’t give a (expletive) who gets called a leader.  This was AFTER a game he hit a home run in…and Boston won.  Very confusing timing.

Meanwhile…Chris Perez struck out the side Saturday and earned a big save for his Indians.  This result THEN moved him to publicly crush Cleveland fans for not better-attending the team’s games up until now.  Again…weird timing.  But that’s not the weirdest part…here’s part of his rant:

“Baseball is supposed to be fun.  It is like that in Philadelphia every day.  It helps you.  You draw energy from the fans.”

Chris…have you heard what is going on here in Philly this season?  Fun?  FUN?  No. Truth be told, most Phils would probably first mention the word “pressure” before “fun” in describing any of their prior, more-successful seasons playing in front of their fans.  If you need consistent large attendance to have fun playing baseball you’ll have a very small list of teams to choose from when you depart Cleveland someday (soon?).  I understand someone once nicknamed you “Pure Rage.”  I get that now.  I also get that you don’t get fans.  Ripping Cleveland in a better economy might get some more Clevelanders out…to boo you.  In this economy, they’ll either now do it from the privacy of their own home…or not even follow your team anymore.  By the way, if you equate having fans in the stands as how you derive fun from baseball what in God’s name are you doing in Cleveland in the first place?

Q. Next year, the NCAA’s 10-year ban on recognition of the Michigan “Fab Five” basketball scandal will conclude.  Do you think the university will then “re-raise the banners” and celebrate their on-court achievements once again?

A. This is the thing with “vacated” achievements.  You can strip the trophy case clean but those memories last forever.  I saw where one of the infamous stars, Jalen Rose, has said he might pull his academic scholarships offered to Michigan if they refuse to re-embrace the people associated with the teams that played during the tainted years in question.

Jalen, all you’ll be remembered for now is taking such a childish, immature, pathetic stance.    Oh wait…you’ll also be remembered for that drive-by you dropped in the documentary you produced on your “Fab Five” experience:

“Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me.  I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms. … I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL as a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.”

Q. Always like to hear your current thoughts on the four Philly teams?  Whatcha got this time around?

A: See below…

Flyers – They were quite satisfied after beating down the Penguins and before they realized they were in another series, they were out of it.  And now, the two stars they traded away last season will play for the Stanley Cup.  Oops.

Sixers -  Doug Collins keeps screaming at his players like he’s addressing a college team.  In many ways, he is.  Doug really should be coaching one level down if he still wants to lead a basketball squad.  These Sixers should be packaging some of these guys together and trying to get a flat-out star.  If you build it…they will come.  You can’t get two stars here until you get one.  This team has none.  That’s a problem.  Even the “ultimate team” San Antonio has stars.

Eagles – LeSean McCoy has himself a five-year, $45 million extension.  This may be the single greatest pro-active event in the Andy Reid era.  Unfortunately, Reid has made comments on more than one occasion this off-season he’s going to be looking to lighten Shady’s load.  Andy, the guy is 23.  You’re always one play away from the end of your career.  Here’s an idea.  Feed him the rock all year-long until he waves for a replacement.  Don’t over think this, Andy.  Try to win it all for a change.  I’d say Reid was only one play away from the end of his career…but we already know he’s a lifer here, don’t we?

Phillies – I have seen more than one article about how the team should now be sellers for the trade deadline.  Are you kidding me?  This whole season was obviously calculated out by management for the squad to limp along until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard limped back into the clubhouse…and then take its chances for the balance of 2012.  Until those two have their short and long-term status resolved this is no time to start moving more pieces around.  I know the team wants to sign its potential free agents Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino – or hang them out as bait - but first things first.  Everyone in the front office has been so bleeping stoic about Utley and Howard.  They made this bed.  They have to stay in it now…until Utley and Howard can finally get out of theirs.

Q. I understand Cincinnati and Xavier are going to play their annual, highly spirited basketball rivalry next year at a neutral court.  Details?

A. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of Ohio is located at the corner of Fifth Street between Walnut and Main.  100 East Fifth.

Q. Just saw the NFL is making the wearing of thigh and knee pads mandatory starting next year.  Why?

A. Because the “Pandora’s Box” the Commish opened when he started his Tuesday morning film study and decided to read minds as to intent and danger has now served to make all the concussion lawsuits more viable.  He now has to do everything – and I mean everything – he can think of to give the appearance the NFL has always been about player safety first and foremost.  I’ve worked him over to Death in this space so I’ll try to spare readers another rant of my own.  The point I’d just like to make is unless there is a manila folder of papers somewhere which outline in great detail how the NFL secretly tested and subsequently determined permanent brain damage was occurring in their players years ago and they did nothing…these lawsuits were a long shot.  Were is the operative word here…because the Commish reacted to these legal challenges by putting a “Bat Signal” in the air football has been “discovered” to be dangerous to one’s health.  He blew it…and the game will never be the same from the pros to the pee-wees.  That is, if pee-wee football is even in existence a couple years from now.  Football players knew – and know - playing football is dangerous.  Proving the NFL knew specifically just how much and then kept it from players is quite the legal matter altogether…at least until you start acting like your sport might be illegal in the first place.

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38 Responses to Sportsattitudes Mailbox – Dwight Howard Finally “Gets” His Stan…R-E-S-P-E-C-T…and R.I.P. Fab Five

  1. sports’

    Up until last night I had the utmost respect for former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan ! Then I read he’s now interested in the vacant coaching positions with the Bobcats and Magic . There’s no accounting for stupidity is there ? Can’t Sloan’s family have him committed under the Brady Act ? 72 hour of intense psychological evaluation just to make sure he’s OK .

    Anyone now playing for the Red Sox at present shouldn’t feel disrespected ….I mean look at what happened in the month of September 2011 ? Going 7-21 must’ve meant something , given the fact they imploded on the final day of the season and missed the wildcard berth within the AL . Your thoughts ?

    • Jerry must be totally lost without coaching for him to consider either of these situations Al. I know he probably is more comfortable in an NBA “teaching” position than one that comes with stars…so in that regard perhaps it is why he would go to either. We know the Bobcats don’t have any…and we know the Magic is about to lose their only one.

      • sports’

        Unless his (Sloan’s [ upwards of $ 5 million a yr]) salary will be commensurate with the problems he faces , I think it’s best that he stays retired ! Were talkin’ the Bobcats first of all and then the Magic . Not even Phil Jackson would be tempted to come out of retirement to coach either team . That’s unless Jeanie Buss is no longer puttin’ out and satisfying Phil ” sexually “ . Then he might be tempted to return to the NBA . Your thoughts ?

    • I presume Ortiz is still feeling some of the frustration from last Fall’s fall from grace but he certainly picked an odd time to go off now. The team looks to be getting their act together a bit. Winning cures a lot of bad memories.

    • I can only assume Amaro is just trying to inspire his current squad and coaches to play better baseball and nothing more. He has never been one to telegraph his moves or lack thereof. The one thing you could always predict about Amaro and the current Phils management is that they wouldn’t tip their hand they were leaning towards being buyers or sellers in any particular situation. Just a bluff in my opinion.

  2. I’ll have my thoughts up on the Stan Van Dwight situation soon enough. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t written about it (many times, already) in the past. Hopefully, this will be the last word.

    The firing of Stan Van surprises no one. Poor guy probably already had his stuff cleared out of his office.

    So now the question remains who do they land, as both their coach and GM and do they do so with Dwight in mind or do they do what’s best for the long-term success of the franchise and furthermore, are those two mutually exclusive?

    • Definitely waiting to hear your autopsy of the Van Gundy era. When I heard the name of Shaq being floated as the next GM of the Magic, I couldn’t stop laughing. Then again, if it gets him off the TNT studio set I’m all for it. I truly believe Howard will be courted and recruited by Orlando as long as they let him run this scam on them.

  3. Avid Michigan fans (like myself) will always remember those two magical years that Coach Fisher and the Fab Five burst onto the scene. Although the University has chosen to distance itself from the players over the years (which is totally understandable), their imprint on college basketball will not soon be forgotten. Remembering C-Web, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson bring back great memories. In the end, that’s all I really care about.

  4. sports’

    With it being reported that Magic COO Alex Martins approach Shaquille O’Neal to gauge his interest in becoming the franchise’s next general manager I am not so sure that this will make things any better to begin with . You still have a disgruntled player in Howard and a team that simply isn’t competitive or good enough to be considered a legitimate contender for the NBA title . Patrick Ewing may well be waiting in the wings to become the next coach but they may well chase after a more high profiled and accomplished individual to succeed Van Gundy .

    Another day , however a win loss for the Phillies ……… but things are still a long way off from what the fans desire to see with things still spiraling out of control for the the team and coaching staff . What now for Amaro and the front office ?

    • The Magic are scrambling to wine and dine Howard in every way imaginable. I can see a scenario where he approves Shaq to come to their front office and then still walks on them. I can see a scenario where he approves a coach and then still walks on them. Successful businesses stay out ahead of problems. They don’t let them grow and grow.

      • If Martins means business he should hire Patrick Ewing to succeed Van Gundy and then seek out Shaq not as the GM but as a consultant . It’s the same thing that the Warriors have done with the Jerry West and that would add legitimacy to the organization rather than others looking from afar with a great deal of skepticism .

        So rumors are now flying in NYC that the Yankees could be up for sale ? Didn’t dear ol’ George sort out the estate taxes before bequeathing the team to the kids ?

  5. should read win for the Phillies ….

    • Hmmm…didn’t see this one coming. Can you imagine the chaos among the tabloids in New York right now?!

      • NY journalist Mike Lupica stated he felt it would be good if the Steinbrenners sold the team . Get the feeling there’s a lynch mob of Yankees’ supporters now waiting for him ?

        I don’t know about you but the more I read the reports about Roger Clemens’ trial ….. the more farcical it all appears to be ! . There were more needles thrown away by Brian McNamee than could be found in a pediatrician’s office during flu season . How much god-damn money of the US taxpayer has to be wasted on this farce courtesy of the US Justice Department ?

  6. J-Dub says:

    “Stan Van Gundy is out as Head Coach of the Orlando Magic. Where did it all go wrong?”

    It didn’t help when anybody believed Jameer Nelson was anything more than a bench player.

  7. chappy81 says:

    Seems like Clevelander’s took Perez’s comments to heart. They’ve been showing up and supporting them a lot since he made his statement!

    Pretty happy for my fantasy football keeper McCoy, I hope he doesn’t lighten his load on my way to a repeat championship run!

    I hear some players aren’t going to wear the new thigh pads even if it costs them some fines. Honestly who cares though. I can’t see Nike not making them so advanced that they don’t even feel like they’re wearing them…

    • We here in Philly don’t quite get giving Shady McCoy a massive payday and then not playing him as much. Andy, monitor his minutes after Chappy – and Philly – win championships! We promise to make him wear his thigh and knee pads to reduce the potential for concussions…

  8. Stan, Stan, Stan…(shaking head)
    Football is dangerous? Gee, the “sport” and “sportsmanship” seems to have left long ago and left only business. The players are just pieces to be used, bartered, and tossed. But hey – it’s football.

  9. Lowdogg says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of Goodell’s efforts to protect players. I think this, in concert with the overly punitive sanctions on the Saints, will make football less dynamic and exciting.

    • Joe, it has been so painful to watch Goodell’s “movements” since he became the “face” of the NFL. And that in itself is the biggest problem…your Commish should never be the “face” of your league.

  10. Blog Surface says:

    The fact that D. Howard keep saying that he didn’t have anything to do with SVG being fired tells us everything… that he had EVERYTHING to do with the firing of SVG. Plain and simple.

  11. Steven Jeffries says:

    What a mess in the Phillies camp this year! All the injuries, the “Hamels-Harper” thing, then R.H. on the DL. They can’t get past anything this year!

    As for Ortiz, if he feels “disrespected” with nearly $15M in his pocket, we all should be so lucky…I mean “disrespected!”

    The magic is gone in the Magic’s world. The only other teams with as much drama are the Knicks and the Lakers! I may have missed one or two…

    Good post, great comments!

  12. sports’

    So it’s Goodell’s intent to bring in replacement refs this upcoming season if there’s no agreement between the league hierarchy and referees’ union concerning a renewal and contract extension of the CBA between the NFL and NFLRA (National Football League Referees’ Association -[union]). Now what ? The “hand of God” aka Goodell surely doesn’t work in mysterious ways .

    Link to story provided by the Chicago Tribune .

    NFL-NFL to hire replacement referees

  13. It’s always a good thing to jump back into the blogging world and see the mailbox in my reader. Good stuff as always Bruce and why hasn’t the entire town ponied up for a professional hit on Reid yet? :-)

    • Hey, Jed. Love the re-do on your site and it is good to see you back in the mailbox as well. Andy Reid is thriving here in Philly with the recent departure of Joe Banner as President. The collection boxes should be in local stores any day now…

  14. Hey, this comment has nothing to do with this particular post, but…are you no longer writing lifeattitudes?? I went to my list of “Blogs I Follow” and when I clicked the link it didn’t do anything… :(

    • PCC, I admittedly have not posted in quite some time now on either site but currently have no intention of discontinuing sports and life…attitudes. Just taking some time away from the keyboard. I know not why that “click” didn’t take for you. Thanks for checking on me nonetheless.

  15. FireDannyAinge says:

    I am a Red Sox fan who loved David Ortiz until he threatened to become a Yankee because he was “sick of the drama” in Boston.Because NY never has any drama. ROLLING MY EYES

    Spare me Ortiz. I thank you for the world series but I think its time you move on. Of course we signed this phony to two more years but I literally lost all respect I had for him when he did that interview with ESPN.

    Boston has always supported Ortiz, he has never been booed and I really think he takes for granted how well he is treated here.

    He doesn’t get what this city was like before 2004 and he only spent one year having to deal with that.

    Kevin Youkilis is the same. He has never had to deal with reality but boy will he get that in NY:)

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