May 1, 2007
I am a big sports fan. Each week, I am going to give my thoughts on the world of sports. It will be a little bit of this, a little bit of that ...
What about a salute to the Chicago Bulls? They swept the defending NBA champion Miami Heat with Shaq, Dwyane Wade and company. Scott Skiles has some great young kids and Ben Gordon and Luol Dang are headed for superstardom.
Randy Moss was traded to the New England Patriots for only a fourth-round draft pick. Are you serious? I guess right now Tom Brady is jumping for joy. Fans in New England has got to be celebrating this latest addition in an outstanding off-season for Bill Belichick's club.
The Cleveland Browns got Brady Quinn with the 22nd pick in the NFL draft. I know it was costly to trade back into the first round to get him, but Quinn and Joe Thomas will make a big diffrerence in the Browns offense. The Miami Dolphins passed on Quinn at number nine in the first round and I have a feeling they will eventually eat their heart out. Brady Quinn will be another Tom Brady!
What about the Yankees losing eight of their last nine? People are screaming about a managerial change. Forget about it ... the pitching staff has been in disarray, struggling in part due to injuries. Alex Rodriquez, Jorge Posada and several others have hit and they still have struggled. That is scary but something tells me a guy named Roger Clemens will eventually join that rotation.
Steve Nash is already considered the consummate point guard, but he was amazing, dishing out 23 assists vs. the Lakers over the weekend. Where were all the experts when he came out of Santa Clara?
Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith slipped down to the end of the fifth round of the draft. Wow, pick number 174, so his confidence had to be shattered a little bit. Smith is a competitor who will scrap and fight to earn a spot with the Ravens.
BJ Upton came in with a big-time reputation as a high draft choice of the Devil Rays. He has finally found a position and seems comfortable. He is driving the ball well and hitting around .360. Upton is showing the potential that was talked about when he came out of high school. His brother Justin was the top pick of the Diamondbacks and he is already in AA ball. It won't be long before he makes noise.
Don Nelson has done an incredible job with the Warriors. Their success has rejuvenated the city. Credit should also go to Chris Mullin, who should have been a Hall of Famer. Nelson and Mullin have done a great job. The trade for Stephen Jackson has been golden for the Warriors.
Talk about taking care of yourself. Some thought Jamie Moyer was finished when he was 29. Instead, he has been special, winning big-time everywhere he has been. He takes care of himself and is as crafty as it comes. He is a pitcher and it is not about throwing fast. It is placement, location, and nobody does it better at age 44. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Sunday against the Florida Marlins, the team that leads the majors in runs scored. He got a big victory for the Phillies and Pat Gillick made a super choice bringing in Moyer, who has knowledge, experience and leadership he provides in that clubhouse. Moyer's work ethic is second to none. He is a great example to other players.
The Atlantic Ten had to be happy to add Rick Majerus to its coaching fraternity. The new coach of Saint Louis took over for Brad Soderberg, who I felt bad for as he got a raw deal after winning 20 games last season. Can you blame the good folks in Billiken country when a guy like Majerus is out there? Saint Louis is a great city where the blue collar people love their sports. From the Cardinals, Rams, Saint Louis college programs, their is a special feeling there. With a new arena being built, there is a renewed enthusiasm and things are looking up. Majerus has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Personally, I always felt Saint Louis would have been a great fit in the Missouri Valley Conference. Majerus will do a phenomenal job as he knows basketball inside and out. He worked in the world of television at ESPN and I know he enjoyed it, but he had that itch to return to the sidelines. He wanted to match Xs and Os with the best. It was a terrific hire by the Billikens. With all of those Italian restaurants on the Hill there, there is joy as Mr. Majerus will be a frequent visitor!
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.