The likable, candid Danny Ainge

Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge always entertained me as a player. He entertained me even more as a coach and executive. Ainge is a funny guy, but he’s also more enlightening than 90 percent of the league, just because he’ll say what he’s thinking. In 1999, while coaching the Suns, he looked on as Karl Malone threw an elbow at Joe Kleine, causing the Phoenix center to require … Continue reading»

Is Utah’s Krystkowiak worth it?

For the second time in a year, Larry Krystkowiak got a contract extension. The second one was Wednesday when it was announced he will be paid $2.4 million a year through the 2022-23 season. That’s a major commitment from the U. but a deserved one. If there’s one thing athletics director Chris Hill has shown, it’s that he’s willing to pay to keep top coaches. But they have … Continue reading»

Utes to round of 16 was sweet enough

  It’s a temptation for Utah fans to wonder what might have been, had the Utes played slightly better in their Sweet 16 match-up with Duke. That’s a natural reaction, considering the Blue Devils went on to win the national championship. But not a rational one. For instance, what if the Utes had got past the Blue Devils? Would they have defeated Gonzaga? Not necessarily. The Zags were … Continue reading»

A Kentucky that’s hard to love

Someone was telling me on Saturday he couldn’t describe his joy at seeing Kentucky lose in the NCAA Tournament. He’s a Utah fan, so it made sense. Kentucky has been a tournament nemesis for the Utes for a long time. But I answered back that I couldn’t help wanting to see the best team in college basketball in the championship game. In addition, I said, I’ve been to … Continue reading»

USU’s Garretson made right choice

Darell Garretson, the Utah State quarterback, announced on Tuesday that he is transferring. Good for him. Normally I figure a guy who transfers after starting in parts of two seasons is a malcontent. I don’t believe that with Garretson. With Chuckie Keeton back for next season, coach Matt Wells has his No. 1 quarterback picked. Meanwhile, I don’t blame Garretson. He did everything he could. He went 6-1 … Continue reading»

Changing rules in Big 3 American sports

  Change is hard. Change is good…sometimes. Each of the Big Three sports is considering major changes in order to make their games more appealing. Apparently “that’s the way it has always been done” isn’t good enough. Minor League Baseball, in partnership with Major League Baseball, is going to put a timer on pitchers and hitters, in order to speed up the game. Penalties can include adding a … Continue reading»

Hot Rod Hundley: A family matter

      Even at the end of his career, when Hot Rod Hundley’s eyes and memory weren’t what they once were, he was still a big part of the show. He never showed up at EnergySolutions Arena, a.k.a. the Delta Center, without signing autographs; never walked in the pressroom without someone stopping him to talk.      Stockton. Malone. Sloan. And Hot Rod – the Big Four of the Jazz’s … Continue reading»

Krystkowiak making it look easy

Talking with an Oregon sportswriter in Portland, last week, he told me he has enjoyed his interactions with Larry Krystkowiak. Like me, he also covered the Ute coach when he was an NBA player. So it came as no surprise to either journalist that the Ute coach would look so matter of fact when he sank this trick shot after practice this week:   This is the same … Continue reading»

Krystkowiak and me, naming names

In the department of strange NCAA occurrences, I present last Wednesday’s press conference, preceding the Utah-Stephen F. Austin game. All reporters are required to state a name and affiliation before proceeding with questions, but when Larry Krystkowiak took the podium, I forgot and forged ahead. The moderator interrupted and told me to state my name and affiliation. That’s when Krystkowiak interrupted and said “That’s Brad Rock.” I jokingly … Continue reading»

Salt Lake, Portland need to stay in touch

  Last time I was in the Moda Center, it was still the Rose Garden. Jeff Hornacek was standing outside the locker room talking about retirement. The Jazz had been easily dispatched by the Trail Blazers in spring of 2000. Little did I know how much things would change. Hornacek went on to retire, with Karl Malone and John Stockton soon to follow. Portland soon earned one of … Continue reading»