On Officiating and Relations…

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Here are a few little tidbits about officials, officiating, communication and common sense:

  • As an official, when a team is getting the breaks beat off of them, it’s good judgement to let the coach whine a bit.  There are even times when he/she should be able to get away with a little more than usual.  It ain’t personal.  We should get that!
  • I expect that a coach will lobby for his players.  There is a way to keep an open dialogue and lobby for an official to see things the coaches way in certain situations.  On the other hand, when a coach is constantly debating every play, (Foul!  Traveling!  Moving Screen) that coach will be tuned out.   At some point the coach may have a legitimate point, but by the time that happens their credibility is spent.
  • Good officials respect dialogue, but we don’t respect intellectual dishonesty.  This too will get a coach tuned out.  Don’t argue against what you know to be obviously true.
  • Officials who are too prideful to admit a mistake suck!  Other officials hate working with them as much as coaches hate seeing them on the floor of their games.
  • Officials who don’t listen to other officials who try to help them suck!  And their performance will will never improve.
  • Like players and coaches, no matter how hard we try,  there are nights when we just don’t have it. We are going to suck, and we know when we sucked!

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  • Not that we are there for the compliments, but a coach that can compliment a good call or acknowledge a diligent official working hard at his craft is wise.
  • The less a coach complains, the more credibility he/she has when they do express displeasure.
  • Officials who love the craft of officiating and doing a great job on behalf of the players rock!
  • Coaches and administrators whose motivation are educating their players through team building sports and competition rock!
  • Sometimes conflict is good, healthy and necessary.
  • Some officials hold grudges.
  • Some coaches hold grudges.
  • Respect should be a given.  Only earned respect is maintained.
  • There are coaches and officials who are doing what they do for all the wrong reasons.
  • Officials, coaches and players are human.
  • There is way more to being an excellent official than some officials and most fans would ever understand.
  • I learn something new and see things I’ve never seen before often while officiating.
  • Officiating and coaching are both fun and honorable jobs to have.

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Of Basketball and AAU Coaching Vampires

Since I’ve been posing items on everything from religion to politics, I have always kept it real.  Just because I happen to know both  Darius Cobb and Ben McLemore, I can’t keep silent.

Any coach who is not coaching for the right reasons does the kid, the coaching and the sport a disservice.

There is a distinct difference between whistle blowing and snitching.  Whistle blowing is done to expose corruption, where there are victims and a greater good can be accomplished.  Snitching as it relates to this story specifically reeks of jilted lovers and bitchassness.  For Cobb to participate in the game and then turn ‘state’s evidence’ because he obviously feels he was being set aside, shows a sign of immaturity not becoming a person of his age and experience.  I mean what’s next, keying Ben’s car or flattening his tires?  Perhaps spray paint ‘cheater’ on his hood?

Fact is if you are for the kid, then regardless of the uproar and the commotion that goes on before a draft, the kid whom you were there for is going to remember you.  *though he technically owes you nothing*

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Ben McLemore

Ben is going to be fine.  I pray the best for him going forward.   Unfortunately the other kids who played at Kansas are going to suffer.  Kids who are going to Kansas as freshman are going to suffer.  The NCAA is a horrifically exploitative institution as it is.  This only gives them red meat to go after more black kids and the programs they play for.  If you don’t believe me, Google Johnny Manziel and you will find it’s clear he violates every rule in the book!  But nothing is going to happen to Johnny Football you best believe that.  *By the way, I don’t think anything bad should happen to Manziel, the problems are the NCAA rules not the player enjoying the fruits of his success and the value he brings to a program.

I can’t even say how disappointed I am to read these stories.  I’ve always respected Cobb as a coach with a brilliant basketball mind. Yet If I had a son who was an up and coming potential player, or an average player, no way I would let him within 100 feet of him.  Most of the coaches I see in the game are not just competitive, but also caring, compassionate men and women who love the kids they serve.  I plan to be one of those coaches next year.  The others are bloodsucking mercenaries looking for fame and glory off the backs of the young people they are supposed to nurture and look after.  In this fashion, they are worse than the NCAA.

Congrads to UConn!

UConn's Tina Charles, right, grabs a rebound over Louisville's Deseree' Byrd during the first half of the championship game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Though I love the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, I can’t be mad at UConn for utterly dominating the entire field of women’s college basketball for a whole season. 

When I watched the open practices the other day I looked for Maya Moore and Renee Montgomery because they were all the hype on TV.  Both of them are outstanding.  But the player I was most impressed with was center Tina Charles.  Watching the Jamaica, NY native it was clear that her skill set was some of the best I’ve seen.  So it’s no surprise that she dominated the championship game with 25 points and 19 rebounds.  She was just poetry and power in motion.

Geno Auriemma is no joke as a coach either.  I listened to him talk to some television people including former Huskie Rebecca’s Lobo the other day and it’s easy to see how he masters the art of motivation.  I mean he can talk for days and days about whatever subject and you have to listen to him because he is so provocative.  Typically Italian he’s going on with the hands and the hair is perfect.  But the knowledge is simple and profound.  This guy is an old school throwback of values and simplicity for excellence.  I can’t hate him like I used to.

Calipari at UK? A With The Devil

I really like John Calipari.  I think he is a great coach and a tremendous motivator.  I hope he doesn’t chase the dollars and strike a deal with Satan in the Bluegrass state.  Remember the movie, “The Devil’s Advocate?”  That’s the University of Kentucky when it comes to the basketball program.  With all the success of the past decades, the administration is a disaster and they should have listened when Rick Pitino warned them not to fire Tubby Smith.  But that’s the SEC –  The good ole boy’s network.  Guys get fired even when they are successful.  Just ask Tommy Tubberville.  Teams in the SEC continue to hire the same tired cats that fit the good ole boy mode…  instead of the most qualified guys.  Remember when Alabama hired football coach Mike Shula?  Auburn recently hired a loser in passing over Turner Gill. 

UK basketball is the ultimate good ole boy’s network with the exception of when they got Pitino and Smith.  After failing miserably the last couple seasons, they want to get Pitino Jr. in hopes of reclaiming the glory days.  They want to give Coach Cal something like $35 million from what I hear.  And that is my point. 

As much as I love college basketball, that kind of jack for one coach is just over the top.  That cost will trickle down right to the tuition cost of the average student who wants to get in. 

And by the way, if he does take the job I bet you won’t hear anybody screaming about the economy and how Coach should have taken less like they did with Manny Ramirez.  But I digress.  The money would be good money and I am a capitalist.  But sometimes the money and the perks come with too great a cost.  They want Coach to see the money and desire the perks that come along with being a part of that system.  And that is why vanity is John Milton’s favorite sin.

Basketball Jones and Hoops Junkies Week; Day 4

Seattle,

You are looking at pictures from a Seattle highway in the middle of rush hour.  But there are hardly any cars on this normally packed section.  It seems that Brackethoopolus has taken over this region and many of the regions across the nation.  Thousands upon thousands have called in sick.  It’s an epidemic!  It is predicted that many who do show up will take extended lunches or leave work early. 

Corporate work production will be lost in the billions.  But bars and pizza parlors are expecting a large windfall.   

Welcome to the NCAA Basketball Tournament!

Basketball Jones and Hoops Junkies Week Day 3

Tuscon,

Reports are coming in that workers are moving very slowly today.  What seemed like slight cases of flu like symptoms have really gone to a new level.  Sneezes and coughs can be heard from office to office.  Alka-Seltzer and Robitussin are stocked in many cubicles.

In another strange twist.  Workers are scrambling with long pieces of paper that look as if they have some sort of cryptic maze on them.  Money is being passed around quietly and according to sources, sport handicapping sites are being dinged at as high a rate as any other time of year. 

Las Vegas gambling guru Lenny Grimes says the last time they have had this many calls and hits on the web site, it was the Superbowl. 

Something strange is happening.  I wonder if workers will make it in on Thursday.

Tomorrow we will wrap up this series in Seattle.