‘Nova-UNC: Not one, but 2 shining moments

The shot that Villanova’s Kris Jenkins made to win this year’s men’s national championship will forever be part of basketball history. Yes, that’s a hackneyed phrase. But for once it’s not TV-driven hype. No time on the clock with the championship on the line and he buried the 3-pointer to win it all. That came 4.7 seconds after Marcus Paige made a crazy double-clutch 3-pointer to tie the … Continue reading»

I’m smarter than Roy Williams…in one area

Everyone knows North Carolina coach Roy Williams is a smart guy. How smart? “Well, take this the way it’s intended, not to be critical,” Williams said this weekend, when asked about media second-guessing. “But I’m a hell of a lot smarter about basketball than you guys are. I mean, I’m serious. What do you do after basketball season’s over with? You cover baseball. What do you do after … Continue reading»

A.K., Sloan bonding; Masha tweaks an ankle

The things you stumble onto beneath the stadium…   I was walking down the hall at Vivint Arena on Wednesday night, just as Jerry Sloan walked in. He stopped to shake hands and we exchanged a few words. Just then, Andrei Kirilenko came down the hall. Since the Jazz honored him on Monday, I thought he might have left town. But he stopped to shake hands with Sloan. … Continue reading»

Locker room chemistry is dying

  It was apparently a prank. But it turned out to be a lot more than that. Fresh off the largest loss in team history, the Los Angeles Lakers are making news for a video rookie D’Angelo Russell made of teammate Nick Young. The video shows Young discussing a woman who is not his fiancee. You can read details by clicking here. Apparently teammates are now “isolating” Russell … Continue reading»

Enes Kanter, Barry Bonds and boos

  I was watching highlights of the Jazz-Oklahoma City game the other night and saw Enes Kanter make a shot. He looked good. I later checked the box score: 17 points, seven rebounds, zero assists. Then it hit me. This is going to make a lot of people mad.             Mad about his 17 points and seven rebounds. Especially mad about his zero assists.             Kanter, is one … Continue reading»

How Kirilenko found peace with Sloan

Remember the time Andrei Kirilenko cried because he couldn’t figure out his role with the Jazz and Jerry Sloan said, “I’m not a psychologist”? The Jazz were in the playoffs and things had been building up with A.K. Finally the emotions overflowed. It produced a lot of drama. His wife Masha even called me, trying to help. She said it was largely a communication problem because Andrei still … Continue reading»

Ex-Ute coach’s lesson on class

It was only a few minutes before tip-off in Denver, last week, when Gonzaga assistant basketball coach Donny Daniels came walking across the court. “I just wanted to thank you for the nice article,” he said. I had written about him in that morning’s newspaper, because he was a longtime assistant at Utah for Rick Majerus. When Daniels approached me, the teams were warming up. He had a … Continue reading»

Utah’s Loveridge in love with Utah

Every game could be the last on the college level for Utah native Jordan Loveridge. He is well aware of that. But wherever he goes, he’ll be taking Utah with him. Not just the University of Utah, either. Utah, the place. Loveridge has a tattoo on his upper arm that says “Utah” and features the Salt Lake skyline. “It’s not just a University of Utah tattoo. I’m from … Continue reading»

Missing Cleveland…in a sense

  When the NBA schedule comes out next August, I am going to track down the Jazz’s game at Vivint Arena against Cleveland and mark it in red. Then I’ll put a monthly reminder on my calendar. I missed the Jazz’s win this week over the Cavs. I was busy doing NCAA Tournament things. As it turned out, the Jazz won – without Gordon Hayward. I am kicking … Continue reading»

What was Lillard like in college?

  Reading ESPN personality Chris Broussard’s NBA Player Power Rankings, I see where Portland’s Damian Lillard is hanging tough at No. 7. Broussard points out that the rating is who is currently playing the best basketball. Amazing but true: Lillard is playing so well, some sportscasters are saying he’s putting in “Curry-like” performances. The focus on Lillard brought to mind a conversation I had this week with his … Continue reading»