Shapiro couldn’t recruit Trestman

The Sports Corner has learned Marc Trestman, head coach of the Montreal Allouettes, pulled himself out of the University of Miami’s interviewing process, contrary to reports after The U hired Al Golden.
“There just wasn’t any point in getting paid by a school that doesn’t have a booster providing players and coaches, for lack of a better term, boats and hoes,” said Trestman.
“I mean, they offered $2 million per year, and maybe that’s good enough for Golden, but that ain’t me.”
But why, then, would Trestman choose to continue his head coaching career in Montreal?
The answer is clear: strippers in Canada are allowed to get naked.
“That’s a big deal for me,” said Trestman, the former Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback.
Nevin Shapiro, the booster that admitted to providing illegal benefits to University of Miami players and is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for his role in a Ponzi scheme, tried to cut a deal with Trestman to lure him to the coaching job.
Shapiro, whilst in prison, friended Trestman on Facebook, followed him on Twitter, and even tried to add him on Nexopia.
Shapiro admitted it was a similar tactic to recruiting 17-year-old underprivileged high school football players.
“I figure if a kid, or even a grown man who I want to coach football at my alma mater, gets a Facebook message offering free hookers on a yacht, they’re not going to turn it down,” said Shapiro.
However, Trestman said he just couldn’t trust a guy that was still in prison.
“I needed those boats, I needed those hoes, but I just wanted them as soon as possible, not in however many years it takes for this guy to get paroled,” he said.
“There’s no way I can recruit the best players in the state of Florida without those types of recruiting tools.”
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US Basketball Team Set

Blah Blah Blah we all know who’s on the team and we can sit here and talk about what bubble player should of made it, especially since there wasn’t even a try-out.

It really doesn’t matter when you have Kobe, BronBron, Melo and the Fundamental Bore that are gonna rack up at least 35 minutes if any game gets close.

But I’ve been fighting with myself about how this team will do.

Part of me thinks, hey it’s the dream team, how can they lose. But we obviously saw the embarassment in Athens where a bunch of millionaires thought they could roll over the world as one man shows.

That’s the other part of me. It’s a team of 12 superstars that is just waiting to collapse in a tight game when they go into Kobe-mode and need to get it done themselves.

But what I like about this team is that it actually has a couple of play-making point guards, unlike the Iversons and Stefan Marbury’s of the past.

No, it looks like it could be different this time around, as the starting point guard is looking like it’s going to be MVP candidate Chris Paul.

And Paul better be up to spreading the ball around, just like Rajon Rondo was able to do in Bean Town this year, or we could see one more clash of egos.

And as we all know, that clash of ego’s is just going to result in USA losing, and Kobe pulling a D3 Varsity Warriors move and throwing Tayshaun Prince’s clothes in the shower because he didn’t do a good enough job shining Kobe’s MVP trophy.

The last issue I have with this team is the coach. What? Just listen.

Yes I know Coach K is the legend. But what I always worry about with coaches jumping to the show is the difference of managing their players.

Coming from college to an NBA team means managing a bunch of hot shot kids, over to trying to tell full grown men that they need to work harder in practice when they would rather spend time with their families, or substitute wives, as they call them.

And that’s just to an NBA squad. This is the 12 biggest stars that the heartland has to offer.

Who knows, maybe I shouldn’t worry about it. After all it is the dream team.

I’ll just have stop being jealous and cheer for Samuel Dalembert. Go Canada Go.

Ball Hockey

This will be the first post on the Sports Corner that has to do with grass-roots sports, and with developing young children.

Before You read anything, read this quote by Wayne Gretzky.

“If sport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week of spring.” “…When I was growing up, I used to love this time of year. It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season. One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey.”All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out of sports they should be doing in warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball around. It didn’t matter how cold or rainy it would be, we’d be out firing the ball against walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey.” “All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and every one of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other – things athletes can only learn by mixing up games they play when they are young.”

Yes, while hockey will almost always come first in my life, every day I go to the rink for my lacrosse floor-times, and every day I see a new breed, albeit a lesser breed, of athletes. Ball hockey players.

A non-contact game where hockey players wear soccer shin-pads and socks.

This annoys me to no avail. Hockey is just not a summer sport, and trying to use the lacrosse box to try and integrate hockey into the summer is the worst excuse and failed attempt at any form of hockey.

If parents want their children to develop as hockey players, they need to keep them on the ice. Keep them playing spring hockey. Not some lolly-gagging sport that doesn’t have the same dynamics as the real thing.

And the absolute worst of these parents are the ones that put their goaltending children in ball hockey.

Goalies for the last decade have been tought to slide in the butterfly style from side to side. One problem, you can’t do that on concrete.

Now, in my hometown, I play Junior B Lacrosse, and get one practice time and one home game time a week. At the senior level where players such as myself are trying to get to the next level and develop skills and conditioning, one practice a week is just not enough. The only solution to getting more floortime, is no ball hockey.

Every city in B.C will have spring hockey. That’s all there is to it.

Keep the summer sports in summer, and the winter sports in winter.

 

Gillis was right

Before Nonis got canned, it did feel nice to hear him say how close the Canucks were to being an elite contender in the league, as long as everyone was healthy. And I believed him, too.

Last season they did look like a contender, winning the division, winning a tight series against Dallas and amounting the most points in team history. But then, they faced a real contender, and got killed.

So when the new boss Mike Gillis said they weren’t even close to being an elite team, it sounded shocking. But why?

Well, watch a playoff game. Watch the intensity. Watch the grit, the speed, the talent. None of which the Canucks have right now.

It would actually be humorous watching the twins coast in through the blue line playing they’re usual game oh hot potato with the puck, and getting punished by the D-man.

Sure, there were the hopes of Luongo catching fire if the Canucks could maybe squeak in to eighth place and maybe stealing a couple games. But seriously, there ain’t no off and on switch that Bobby was gonna turn on for a playoff game.

If anything, the playoffs would of messed with his head even more.

So hopefully Gillis can keep his word and pick up some hard-nosed, skilled players that are clearly needed on this team. Especially since he’s got the money to do so.

 

Heat Comes From the Sun – Shaq to Suns, Marion to Miami

Shaq

We thought we saw the biggest trade of the season when the Lakers picked up Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown, a prospect and a draft pick. But folks, they ain’t gonna get much bigger than this.

We don’t need to get into the stats, we all know what Shaq’s done and we all know what Marion can do.

But it’s been obvious since the offseason that Marion just wasn’t feelin’ Phoenix, and it’s been obvious since the opening tip-off that Miami just wasn’t going to work anymore for the Big Aristotle.

At first glance, this trade can look like a blowout in favour of Miami. Marion, a very offensively gifted player, is in his prime and Shaq, the former most dominant player in the Association is heading downhill. The Heat also get Marcus Banks in the deal for god’s sake.

But let’s look closer into Suns’ GM Steve Kerr’s mind, since no one really cares about the Heat this season anyways. We all know the offensive firepower they have, but we also all know that they haven’t been able to get it done in the playoffs. This is why we have to take a look at their weaknesses.

Taking a peek at Phoenix’s team stats, they are atrocious on the boards and give up close to the most points on defense in the league.

Nash Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire is big, but not big enough to play the centre roll. Sure the highlight alley-oops from Steve Nash every game look nice, but those just aren’t going to be enough when the Suns have to face the Lakers with Pau Gasol, the Spurs with Tim Duncan, or even the Celtics with Kevin Garnett.

No significant player on their roster has a single NBA Championship ring.

These are all the things that bringing Shaq in can address. O’Neal has been to championships, and also knows how to share the spotlight when he won titles with Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade respectively, which is something he will need to do playing with two-time MVP Steve Nash and Stoudemire.

Shaq is also, as we know, freakin’ huge. He is going to be the inside presence on both sides of the floor that Phoenix has lacked in all these years of missing the Finals.

Phoenix does still have some very good three-point shooters on their roster, and any team that thinks they’re going to beat them by doubling or tripling Shaq is going to be smacked right in the mouth when Steve Nash or Leandro Barboso pop a tres-bomb right down their throats.

Having Shaq in the lineup is going to completely change how teams have to defend against Phoenix, and although he may not be as fast as he used to be, he is still one big dude in the paint.

TSC NBA Midseason Awards

As the NBA season reaches its midway point, it’s time to hand out some midseason awards

Kevin Garnett

Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)

As some witty sportswriter predicted on this very website, the Boston Celtics are a very, very good team. They are so good that when they slipped to 34-6, there were some talks about firing head coach Doc Rivers. And while the Doc may not be up for coach of the year, the leader of this team is KG. He may not be leading in points, shot-blocking, or steals, he is the real deal on defence and the undisputed leader of this star-studded Boston squad. He is big enough to guard the seven-footers inside, and is quick enough to guard a point guard if his teammate can’t get around a pick. Garnett is also my runner-up for league MVP.

Runner-up: Marcus Camby  

Kevin Durant

Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant (Seattle Supersonics)

In a rookie class thats mostly filled of 27-year olds, the 19-year-old is the one sticking out. A feat, which is tough to do in the rarely-publicized northwest corner of the country, especially when his team is 3 wins away from being the worst in the west. Durant is putting up 20.5 points a game – 6 more than any of his teammates, all of which are more experienced than the youngster. And with Greg Oden not around to join the 27-year-olds that he looks older than, this honour is a no-brainer to hand to Durant.

Runner-up: Juan Carlos Navarro (Memphis Grizzlies)  

Byron Scott

Coach of the Year: Byron Scott (New Orleans Hornets) 

Show me the surprise team of the league, and I’ll show you the coach of the year. But this goes beyond that. While Scott does have a solid starting five in Tyson Chandler, Morris Peterson, Peja Stojakovic, David West, and Chris Paul, who is quickly molding into one of the league’s best point guards, the first three mentioned players are those that just didn’t work out with their previous teams. Chandler was a good player in Chicago, the problem was the team wasn’t any good. Same with Peja, same with Mo-Pete. For  the ex-Grizzly Byron Scott to bring this team together and lead them to a division leading 28-12 record, it has to give him some serious consideration for this award.

Runner-up: Stan Van Gundy (Orlando Magic)   

Kobe Bryant

League MVP: Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

Every year Kobe is nominated for this award, but he never wins it. First off, he was playing with Shaq, the most dominating player in the league at the time, so he obviously isn’t the most valuable player to his team with the Big Aristotle by his side. After Shaq’s departure, everybody knew that Kobe was the most offensively-skilled player in the league, but that doesn’t mean much when you can hardly make the playoffs, as only three players in the least 20 seasons have took home this award when they’re respective teams finished with under 50 wins. Now, Kobe’s Lakers just might hit that mark, with 26 wins and just a game and a half back of the conference leading Phoenix Suns. And trust me, it ain’t Andrew Bynum that’s gotten them there.

Runner-up: Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)  

Half-Way There

Markus Naslund

Young Canucks fans need to realize that they are lucky, and shouldn’t take this Vancouver squad for granted.

I’m going to throw this out there. There have been three Canuck teams that have been legitimate cup contenders, and this is one of them.

Now at the half-way point of the season, this newly-clothed team is drawing honourable comparisons to the ’94 team who came within a goal post of winning the holy grail.

And for that ten-or-so game stretch when captain Markus Naslund was bulging the twine consistently, I would have said this is looking exactly like that ’94 team.

They have top-notch goaltending, even better now than it was with McLean. They have couple point-a-game players, and a big, tough defence, which is equipped with one of the best shutdown man in the league in Willie Mitchell.

The only thing missing is that all-out superstar fifty goal scorer that the ’94 team did with Russian phenom Pavel Bure.

Because they don’t have that full-blown superstar, they can only be labeled as a good team, that is, when Roberto Luongo isn’t mentioned. And this is a perfect example of the old saying that a bad goalie can make a good team horrible, and a great goalie can make a good team unstoppable.

Forty-one games in, Luongo is putting up ridiculous numbers. After a “slow” start, he’s thrown in 6 shutouts (three in a row and a Canuck record in that category), a 1.97 GAA, and has started every home game he’s been available for.

But me calling this team great isn’t going to win them a cup, which is the only thing that matters.

Mitchell Luongo

They need Naslund to start putting in at least a goal every two or three games to even come close to Detroit numbers. And if it’s not Naslund, it’s gotta be Ryan Kesler, who has seriously shown improvements in making highly confident moves at very high speeds, something we have waited a long time to see out of Kes.

Kesler is also being considered as an early contender for the Selke award, and has three more goals than he amassed in the 48 games he played all last season, all while being put up against every team’s top goal scoring tandems.

What the Canucks need to do to take the next step into Western Conference supremacy is match that stellar home record that they have going, and bring it on the road.

The whole league is wide open this season (albeit because of three point games) and it’s going to be a great finish.

When the playoffs hit, Canucks fans just need to think about Nikolai Khabibulin as a Winnipeg Jet, and John Vanbiesbrouck as a Florida Panther.

Great goaltending wins championships, and the Canucks have better than that