What’s up, guys. Happy Sunday! Next week I will be attending GenCon 51 both because I’m a board game nerd, and because my rock musical web series The Hunted: Encore is an official selection of the Gen Con Film Festival. Because of that, I won’t be handling next week’s Musings. This week, let’s close out July looking at some of the exciting and odd sports stories over the last week. My favorite story this week comes from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Team USA mini camp.
Damn, Popovich, let the boys play!
For those of you who don’t know, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich is one of my favorite figures in the NBA. At 69 years old, he gives little f**ks, stands up for the underrepresented and underprivileged, and is generally hilarious. He also is the coach for Team USA. While the team that represents the country is an important matter, Coach Pop is out here reminding us that the world should not be taken quite so seriously. It started when he promised the winner of a shooting contest “a new car”. Pop is a man of his word, and James Harden went home with just that.
Team USA guard James Harden earned a brand new car for winning a shooting contest. As motivation Pop told the players he'd buy them cars and he delivered with Hot Wheels. That's a sweet ride. #KSATsports pic.twitter.com/xuqx8PIj4h
— Larry Ramirez (@LRam2) July 27, 2018
Next up, Pop wanted to show his players just how tight his defense is, even at almost 70 years old. The resulting video might be my favorite sports video in the last few weeks. Check out Popovich’s lockdown defense.
— John Elizondo (@johndelizondo) July 27, 2018
You want to ball, you’ve gotta get through Pop throwing ‘bows. It’s just that simple.
Terrell Owens should be a cautionary tale for Dez Bryant
Dez and the Cowboys are beefing. The 8-year Dallas veteran was released without even being offered a pay cut. Now, after an interview on Sirius XM with Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones which suggested that without Dez, Dak Prescott can now progress, Dez has fired back with a litany of tweets. There are too many to post here, but click through to that link and read a few select quotes.
The Cowboys comments should not come as a surprise. The embattled wide receiver has received plenty of criticism over the years. As a team moves on from a divisive player, using them as a scapegoat is an easy way to immediately build team unity. Dez has the right to defend himself and his name, but I couldn’t help but think about another former Dallas WR with a history of outbursts.
After years of being snubbed for the Hall of Fame, T.O. is finally heading to Canton. Or at least, his bust is. He will not be in attendance.
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) July 3, 2018
This news has taken up a lot of media space in the last few weeks, with players and organizations upset at T.O.’s reaction. One of the top bylines has been, is T.O. hurting himself and his legacy by his reaction? After the 44 year old’s comeback attempt was delayed after waiver by the Canadian Football League team that owned his rights, it’s hard to see the path to redemption for Owens.
Dez Bryant still has many years in front of him in the NFL. Wherever he lands (and land he will) he will immediately improve whatever team he’s on. But if he doesn’t want to end up like T.O., with a name that draws head shakes, frustrated smiles, and statements of equivocation from friends and fans alike, he should look forward to the next chapter, instead of fighting the past.
Editor-in-Chief Justin Colombo had this to say:
“In regards to Dez and T.O. Do the cowboys attract or create diva WRs? It just seems so coincidental that both of them were huge names with the cowboys and have similar flairs for the dramatic.”
Kyle Lowery needs to run for President
I’m not saying my views on the president are very public. I am saying, however, that politicians sometimes need to know how to evade questions. Kawhi Leonard didn’t show up to Team USA camp at the last minute. His absence caused much speculation on his relationship with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Before we try to pick which side I’m on here, another notable recently traded star who didn’t show was Lebron James. I don’t seen anyone going after Lebron for his lack of attendance.
After camp, Toronto star Kyle Lowry was asked about the blockbuster trade that sent DeMar DeRozen to the Spurs, and brought Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors. His response was, as Turf Writer Andrew Mark Wilhelm puts it, “a masterclass in question dodging and should be celebrated.”
Just look at this exchange:
Reporter: Do you have a relationship with Kawhi?
Lowry: “Um, no. I know him. We have mutual respect.”
Reporter: Have you spoken to him since the deal?
Lowry: “Um, probably, yeah. I think so. I don’t know.”
Reporter: To Kawhi?
Lowry: “I don’t know.”
Reporter: You don’t know if you’ve spoken to Kawhi?
Reporter: What do you mean?
Lowry: “I don’t know if I’ve spoken to him.”
Reporter: Are you not sure? Do you not remember?
Lowry: “I’m not sure. He’s not here, so I haven’t spoken to him.”
Reporter: On the phone, I mean.
Lowry: “I haven’t spoken to him. No.”
Reporter: You haven’t spoken to him.
Kyle Lowery for president, y’all. He’ll be able to handle tough questions far better than the current administration. The news out of the first meeting with Leonard and the Raptors was extremely positive, so I expect this story to be put to bed very soon.
Rest in Peace Tony Sparano
I always loved Tony Sparano as a coach. He seemed like a great role model, his relationships were solid, and he was constantly standing up in support of his players. I only heard about his passing yesterday, after articles recounting his funeral started appearing. All of us at The Turf send our condolences first and foremost to his family, that they may find peace in this trying time. Secondly, to all his former players, colleagues, staff, and friends, may his memory keep bringing you joy for years to come. Rest in Peace.