"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 3-13-10
In the mood for some good basketball reading? Check out Open Court: A Year With The New York Knicks --by author John J. Buro. A "must-read" for diehard Knicks fans, the book chronicles the team's nightmarish play under former coach Isiah Thomas; part of it is in diary form--with dated entries. For a limited time, “Open Court” will be offered for the special price of just $7.99; this is the entire 311-page book in PDF form. After it is downloaded to your computer, you will receive a key to unlock the PDF file. For more info--including excerpts from this fine publication--go to www.opencourtbook.com ..........TRIVIA QUESTION: What basketball player holds the Portland Trail Blazers team record for most career assists? Answer to follow..........O.K.--this tidbit goes into "The Unwatchable NBA Update" Hall of of Fame (or should it be SHAME?): The lowly New Jersey Nets beat the Knicks last weekend 113-93; the Knicks--playing at home--shot (ready for this?) 0-for-18 from three-point range during this pathetic embarrassment. For once, I'll refrain from commenting further as this speaks for itself; sorry, I have nothing more to add, folks..........For the ladies out there: I was talking to former world champion figure skater Tai Babilonia recently who alerted me to her fine web site: www.taibabilonia.com. Featured there is her Tai Collection--beautiful clothing that can be worn on the ice, in exercise class, in the dance studio, or even for casual day wear. The site also offers info about purchasing the book Forever Two As One --chronicling Tai's long-time relationship with skating partner Randy Gardner..........This week in sports history, March 16, 1938: In the inaugural National Invitation Tournament final, Temple defeats Colorado 60-36 before a crowd of more than 14,000 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Owls were led by Don Shields' 16 points; Howie Black and Ed Boyle added 14 points apiece for Temple--the Eastern Conference champions. Having led 33-18 at halftime, Temple coach Jimmy Usilton had the luxury of removing his starters from the game just six minutes into the second half..........How 'bout newly-acquired Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie--who has fathered seven children with six different women in five different states? Two thoughts on this: 1) Since this guy's life seems to involve numbers in descending order, will he ask for a four-year deal when his contract expires next season? 2) WHERE would a future family reunion be held in order to make it fair for everyone involved in terms of travel expenses?..........Congrats go out to coach Bill Geitner and the Eastern CT State University basketball squad, who just completed a 20-10 season--the first 20-win season since the '92-'93 campaign and only the third in school history. And there's MORE to be optimistic about in Willimantic: the team loses only one senior (albeit a good one, Edwin Ortiz) to graduation while many underclassmen saw playing time in '09-'10. Excellent job, Warriors..........Answer to trivia question: TERRY PORTER--who dished out 5,319 assists as a member of the Blazers between 1985 and 1995..........The only person on the universe who has come even close to aging as well as Christie Brinkley is Yankees closer Mariano Rivera--but it's still not THAT close..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA player Matt Othick--who blows out 41 candles on March 16th. On paper, some of Othick's career numbers look FANTASTIC--i.e. a field goal percentage of 60%--including 50% from three-point range. The catch? Othick took just FIVE shots in his entire one-year career (spent with the '92-'93 Spurs)--playing in four games while connecting on 2-of-4 from "downtown." A native of New Mexico who played at Arizona, Othick later spent some time in the CBA and subsequently became a broker/investor. Hey--as far as basketball is concerned--they all can't be George Gervin, right? Best wishes, Matt............Finally, condolences go out to the family of former college basketball player/coach Phil Vukicevich--who died recently of cancer in Petaluma, CA at the age of 79. Vukicevich played at the University of San Francisco in the early 1950's; he led the Dons in scoring during the '52-'53 season with an average of 12.9 points per game. He later coached at USF--compiling a career record of 51-55; his best season came in 1967-'68 when the Dons went 16-10 and finished third in the West Coast Athletic Conference. Phil Vukicevich is survived by his wife, Edie, a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Lisa. Rest in peace, "Coach."