Other shoe certain to drop in hoop harassment cases

New York
 
As of today, the moment I’m sending this baby to bed, not a single NBA owner, executive, coach, player, or anyone affiliated with the league’s TV partners, past and present, has been accused of sexual transgression, assault, or harassment.
 
Is it humanely possible basketball people exercise more social skills than politicians, comedians, journalists, stock brokers, musical conductors, actors, producers, doctors, more politicians, religious officials, more producers, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?
 
Don’t be ridiculous!
 
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Lack of probing into Fizdale firing very telling

New York
There is just one explanation why nobody whose duty it is to cover the NBA has bothered to confirm or deny my account concerning the sudden extraction of David Fizdale as Grizzlies head coach:
The buddy-buddy system that permeates my profession … though I suppose, a good case could be made that sheer laziness is also a fundamental factor.
On the day Fizdale and the Grizzlies ended their alliance after one season and 19 games (7-12), I revealed he’d forced management to fire him by refusing to reconcile differences with Marc Gasol.
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Fizdale paved way for early exit from Grizzlies

New York
Contrary to what is being written everywhere, ESPN being the first to get it wrong, the Grizzlies did not sack coach David Fizdale; in essence, he demanded to be fired.
No, I was not in the Grizzlies’ situation room yesterday when his dismissal was determined. Nor have I spoken to anyone who was. Nonetheless, this is specifically what happened:
Asked by GM Chris Wallace if he could resolve his relationship with Marc Gasol, which Memphis’ media suddenly revealed, or, at least, was now unconstrained to report, had been shaky since last season.
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Suns set right pace against Lakers in win

New York

I felt compelled to restart my computer late last night after watching the Suns liquidate the Lakers, 122-113, and listening to LA’s post-game show.

James Worthy, the regular studio analyst who offers very deliberate commentary, had a few decent opinions. Usually his partner is Robert Horry, low key and consistently candid. This time it was Derek Fisher, whose insights were, in a word, wonderful.

As best I can remember (I wasn’t taking notes), he said, “You could tell right from the start that the Suns wanted this game more than the Lakers. I’m not saying the Lakers didn’t want it. The Suns just wanted it more. They were coming off a beat down by Houston and already had lost twice to the Lakers.”

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Hayward’s injury opened new door for Celtics

New York

Gordon Hayward’s misshapen foot injury, a fractured left tibia, turned into a lucky break for everyone except him. His unavailability for this season after its opening 5 ½ minutes, created guaranteed ample opportunity and unavoidable responsibility for several seemingly celestial Celtics who seized the chance to gain inescapable recognition, advancing and accelerating the normal permissible process.

Nobody’s slightly surprised by the stack of skills exhibited by Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier (well, he may have caught the demi-clueless by surprise), or the leadership of musher Kyrie Irving.

But it’s positively stunning, by all accounts, to see a hastily reorganized team of toddlers — having four-fifths of last season’s lineup disassembled at Danny Ainge’s plant over the summer — harpooned by Hayward’s injury in Game 1, and still shell shocked in Game 2, dramatically recoup from such trauma to conquer the next 14 opponents, concluding with the defending champion Warriors as Hayward offered support behind the bench for the first time.

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This Knicks team one worth cheering for

New York
As you’re well aware, geezers like myself never stop clucking, oh-so fondly, about the good old days. The reason why they were so good, of course, is obvious; we were younger then, before terminal shit started to happen to family and friends and ourselves, when life was fun and games.
Well, not all fun.
As a devout Dodgers fan, and caring about little else, there was far more sadness in my youth than satisfaction. Year after year — 1947, ’49, ’52, ’53 — my beloved Bums lost to the Yankees in the World Series, or were abolished by the Phillies (1950) or Giants (1951) on the precipice of participating in the Fall Classic.
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Porzingis the man and in command

New York
In just two seasons and seven games on NBA soil, Kristaps Porzingis has perfected what I failed to figure out my whole career as a non-foreign correspondent; when engulfed in a commotion that would’ve been wise to distance myself from, I could’ve/should’ve covered my ass by simply stating, “Something was lost in translation.”
Who wouldn’t have believed that?
Probably only the same few certified cynics who didn’t believe Charles Barkley when he claimed to have been misquoted in (‘Outrageous’) his autobiography authored by Roy S. Johnson.
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Jordan rules don’t apply for Portis; Simmons truly something special

New York
My highlight of this young season occurred moments after the Cavaliers beat the Celtics in the opener. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving embraced and exchanged insincerities. While doing so, Kyrie, demonstrating he considering himself LeBron’s equal, rubbed the head of James, well-known for rubbing the heads of students and young players he’d just schooled. LeBron got the message five-by-five, and, in turn, rubbed Kyrie’s head. Before they disengaged, Kyrie rubbed LeBron’s head one last time.
I find it fascinating the Bulls suspended Bobby Portis eight games for punching Nikola Mirotic during their practice conflict. Funny, I don’t recall Michael Jordan getting so much as being sentenced to Phil Jackson’s Time Out chair for blackening Steve Kerr’s right eye during a practice skirmish.
Column castigator Frank Drucker decided Sunday and Monday were the Knick franchise’s two best back-to-back days since the two before Charles Dolan said to Gulf & Western, “Hey, my kid needs something to do.”
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