27 June 2004

You've got to believe in what your scouts present to you

Phoenix Coyotes stun the crowd and floor the scouts of other NHL squads with their first round selection of Blake Wheeler.
The Hockey News, for instance, didn't even include him among its top 71 prospects, and the NHL's Central Scouting Service ranked 16 North American skaters ahead of him.

In addition, scouts at the draft reportedly used the words "amazed" and "floored" to describe their reactions to the pick.

I reckon the Coyote brass figures there isn't going to be a season this season, so why not nab a younger prospect. And what a thrill for a 17 year old entering his senior year in high school but he's still planning on attending the University of Minnesota.

9 June 2004

It's disrespect to my game

Larry Bird's comments that the NBA needs more white stars drew some attention
Well, I think so," Bird replies, according to an ESPN transcript. "You know when I played, you had me and Kevin (McHale) and some others throughout the league. I think it's good for a fan base because as we all know the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited. But it is a black man's game, and it will be forever. I mean, the greatest athletes in the world are African-American."

…but his comments about the "black man's game" are more noteworthy – the part where he felt disrespected if the opposing coach assigned a "white guy" to guard him.

"The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me," Bird said. "I still don't understand why. A white guy would come out (and) I would always ask him: 'What, do you have a problem with your coach? Did you coach do this to you?' And he'd go, 'No,' and I'd say, 'Come on, you got a white guy coming out here to guard me; you got no chance.' ... For some reason, that always bothered me when I was playing against a white guy.

"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me -- red, yellow, black," Bird added. "I just didn't want a white guy guarding me. Because it's disrespect to my game."

Anyone remember the old FOX television show Roc? With the grandfather character that emphatically argued that "Larry Bird was black and they just painted him all up as white"?