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Sports Watching & Wondering

African American news - sports commentaryThe NBA Playoffs are exciting, even when the Lakers are not playing as well as we would like. They did survive in the Series against the Thunder, although it was touch and go for a whole. Watching the 21-year old Kevin Dunlap was a scary pleasure. To paraphrase our Governor, "He'll be back!" He and his teammate, Russell Westbrook, kept the Lakers and their fans nervous until the Opera Lady began to sing.

Now the Jazz has come to Staples. They don't have a lot of talent, but they are as disciplined as the Marines, and as tough as twenty five cent steak. I am predicting that they will win at least two games, probably on their home court in Utah, where they are awfully tough. Their two most talented players are Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer.

And they will compete as long as they can.

The Jazz are a small market team, of even if they could afford to pay higher salaries, most of the Super stars would not choose to live in Utah. So their coach, Jerry Sloan, does a superb job with the limited talent that is available. I wonder what would have happened if he had been hired to coach the Clippers. It probably would not have made any difference, since Donald T. Sterling would probably have fired him anyway. He has been coaching the Jazz for more than 20 years.

As this is being written, The Boston Celtics have just defeated Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Series is now tied at 1-1. LeBron James had a sub-par game, and the Celtics won a hard fought victory. The Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has grown up right before our eyes. It seems like only yesterday that he was a confused, error prone rookie, who could not do anything right. Sort of like Sasha Vujacic, or Luke Walton. The Celtics stuck with because they liked his potential and his grit. On Monday night, he tied a team record with 19 assists. If the Celtics and the Lakers both survive, Rondo will be coming to town.

I read that 78% of former NFL Players have severe financial problems, or declare bankruptcy, within two years after the football playing years are over. Even though some of them had earned several millions of dollars per year, many of them were already deeply in debt, before their careers ended. Regrettably for them, many of them did not graduate from college, so getting jobs as coaches or teachers at the high school or collegiate level is not an option for them.

Also, some of those who went to college, did not actually tend any meaningful classes, so playing football is all they know. Many of their careers end before they reach the age of 30 years. There are some hard times ahead for them.

I watched the USC Football Team in their last spring training scrimmage. I am predicting that they will be unbeaten next year, and that they will play in the BCS Championship Bowl. Their new head coach Lane Kiffin has set very high standards for his Players, and this team right now could beat last year's team. In addition to their passing attack, the Trojans will run hard and often.

Dwayne Polee, father of local high school basketball super star, Dwayne Polee, Jr., has resigned as USC's Director of Basketball Operations. Do you think that there is any possibility that he and his son will wind up at the some college? Polee Jr. has the talent to become an NBA first round draft pick after just one year in college. So, there could be some tricky career issues for the father.

Wonder whom Donald T. Sterling will pick to coach his beloved Clippers? Or, does it matter? The team now has enough talent to get in the Playoffs. Their problem is that they have losing for some long, they cannot ever imagine what it feels like to be a winner.

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