I’ve serious doubts about this one: Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss, has turned to Magic Johnson to lead them back to championship contention. Great Player? Yes. Great leader? Not so much.
In truth, the Lakers have been in turmoil ever since the death of long-time owner Jerry Buss, Jeanie’s father. Jeanie and her brother, Jim Buss-whom she just fired-took over ownership of the Lakers and don’t agree on the direction of the team. Jeanie and long-time coach Phil Jackson were boyfriend-girlfriend for years and that kind of worked but when they split and Jackson became general manager of the New York Knicks, the Lakers went down the tubes.
This smacks of Jeanie Buss turning to the past-Magic Johnson and perhaps Kobe Bryant-to return the Lakers to former glory. Nostalgia is a nice thing but it doesn’t find basketball players and THAT, my friends, is what the Lakers need.
The recent national discussion about the Kansas Jayhawks’ run at 13 consecutive conference titles in basketball has, of course, brought up UCLA’s run and their coach, John Wooden . Long-time assistant coach Gary Cunningham had this to say about the legendary Wooden: “He never once talked about winning. He concentrated on doing the best you can and improving every day and giving your best and he felt that winning would take care of itself if you did that.”
Those words echo those that are said about another legend, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder. From the day Snyder took the K-State job, his mantra was “let’s get better every day. Let’s improve ourselves on the football field and in the preparation for life, every single day.”
A lot of similarities between John Wooden and Bill Snyder.
When you think about the remarkable run Kansas basketball has had in these 13 conference titles in a row, remember, this hasn’t happened against a bunch of cupcakes! The Big 12 has been ranked either first or second in RPI for four straight years. When you start listing some of the star players that other conference teams have run against the Jayhawks these past 13 years, you start to appreciate the enormity of this accomplishment.
It seems a strange way to conclude a high school basketball season. Many teams concluded their regular season following games on Tuesday evening yet, will wait until a week from Thursday or Friday to play their first-round Sub-State games. That’s a nine or ten day wait. For many, this is a frustrating way to conclude the basketball season. There’s gotta be a better way.
So Donald Trump declined to fill out a 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN. Well, Hubba, Hubba! Good for him. I always thought it was kind of a silly thing for a President to be wasting his time with, attempting to show the country that he’s “just one of us”.
Speaking of Donald Trump, how many remember that he once owned the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL)? His team signed All American running back Herschel Walker in one of the big coups against the National Football League. They also later signed Boston College’s Doug Flutie. The Generals were one of the more successful franchises in the USFL but the league folded following the 1986 season after winning a lawsuit against the NFL.
“A profound man thinks more easily than he talks; a shallow one talks more easily than he thinks.”—James Lendall Basford, Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone.
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.