Throughout baseball, teams, players and their agents are just beginning to stoke the Hot Stove League fires. As we await the heat, there is plenty of smoke if not fire elsewhere on the sports scene.
Andy Reid’s fall from grace might just be the fastest in
Perhaps his monosyllabic answers to every question posed don’t play well in the locker room either, where clearly much more in the way of explanation is required of him.
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Billy King begins the Sixers’ season by acknowledging he is on the hot seat. King is my candidate for the next “can’t fire the players” move in
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Speaking of coaches and GM’s, the passing of Red Auerbach has understandably received wide attention. No one in professional sports history had a greater impact on his game while enjoying so much success. Not George Halas. Not Casey Stengel. Not Bear Bryant. As numerous tributes point out, Auerbach’s impact would have been tremendous had he not won a single championship. He influenced the way the game was played, who played it, how they were drafted and, ultimately, who coached it.
None of this should come as a surprise for a Jewish kid from hardscrabble
He drafted Larry Bird when number 33 was a junior thus insuring he would play in a Celtics uniform. No one before him would have thought of “wasting” a draft pick like that. If the five best players on an Auerbach-coached team happened to be black, they were going to start even when the unwritten rule in the NBA was to limit the number of black players in order to maintain the game’s appeal to white fans.
And, then, of course, there was his record. All of those championships as a coach and then GM certainly helped to establish his legend. But what strikes me in reading the outpouring of reminiscences about him is how many former players and opponents, sportswriters and fans saw him as tough but fair, idiosyncratic but steady and, above all, human and accessible.