TO, Warriors, Cal Hoops - and More
Jones is known for his willingness to take a bold move, as he did when he hired Bill Parcells as coach. That move made the Cowboys respectable. Now, Jones is trying to get them to the next level.
Don’t hold your breath. Parcells has a massive ego. His refusal to ever attend a news conference for the signing of a free agent is a none too subtle reminder that he considers the coach, not any player, to be the most significant element in a team’s success. Owens had well-publicized problems with two “players coaches”, Steve Mariucci and Andy Reid. To say that the Owens-Parcells situation is combustible is understatement.
Moreover, TO’s problems seem to be accelerating. It took several years before he started acting out in San Francisco, and the 49ers were happy to see him leave as a free agent, despite his production. In Philadelphia, he made a big difference on the field, but the problems he caused led the Eagles to suspend him for four games in his second season and make him inactive the rest.
Now, Owens says he has learned from his past mistakes and will be a different person. That’s a familiar refrain from problem players. Can you remember when it’s ever happened? Neither can I.
It’s only a question of when, not if, TO will go off again. I’d set the over/under at 10 games. And, I’d bet the under.
WATCHING THE Warriors against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday was like watching an exhibition game, in every sense of the word.
The Warriors are out of the playoff race, as they have been every season since the Don Nelson Era, and current coach/scapegoat Mike Montgomery was shuffling his lineup, as if he were evaluating players.
Every coach likes to have a set rotation of perhaps 8-9 players, but Montgomery has not had that all season. He’s tried a little of everything, starting different players, changing positions. Though I was critical of Montgomery in a March 1 column, this is not his fault. He’s been looking for guys to step up, but only Jason Richardson has on a consistent basis.
GIVE IT UP: Some Warriors fans booed Chris Webber every time he touched the ball. What’s the point?
It’s been 12 years since Webber was traded, after a personality conflict with Nelson that was as much Nelson’s fault as Webber’s. There are many people who share the blame for the Warriors’ long period out of the playoffs, but Webber is not one of them.
--Item: The Warriors raise season tickets prices for the 2006-2007 season, though they’re enduring another draft lottery season.
--Item: The Raiders raise season ticket prices, though their three-year record of 13-35 is tied for the worst in the NFL.
--Item: The 49ers raise prices for their best seats, though their three-year record of 13-35 is tied for the worst in the NFL. (See above).
Am I missing something here?
Or did the management of these teams somehow miss the first class of Marketing 1A?
MEA CULPA: On January 12 and 25, I criticized Cal basketball coach Ben Braun severely.
The Bears then won six in a row.
On February 17, I praised Braun for the moves that had brought about improved play in that stretch.
The Bears then lost to Arizona State at home.
On March 3, I was again critical of Braun.
The Bears then beat USC in their conference finale to finish third, and won two games in the conference tournament before losing in the finals to UCLA, a finish that earned them an NCAA conference berth.
On March 16, I wrote a historical column which noted that Braun had been the most successful Cal coach since Pete Newell’s retirement in 1960.
The Bears then collapsed in their first round game in the NCAA tournament.
What can I say? The pattern is clear. I apologize.
And I'll never make the mistake of being kind to Braun again.
EAST COAST BIAS? It appears the Pacific-10 wasn’t quite as weak as many collegiate observers thought this year. UCLA and Washington have both made it into the “Sweet Sixteen.”
I think the Bruins have a good chance of making the Final Four, though Gonzaga should test them in their next game in the Oakland Regional at the Coliseum. The Bruins fit the mold of teams which do well in the tournament, with their strong finish in conference play, including the conference tournament championship.
But I would caution against making too much of what has happened so far in the tournament or what happens next. The NCAA tournament is great entertainment, but it’s not always a good gauge of the best in college basketball. Or do you really believe that Bradley is better than Kansas?
SUPER PATRIOT: You can’t fault umpire Bob Davidson for his patriotism. Even though he couldn’t do quite enough to get the US of A into the finals of the World Baseball Classic, he surely should be included in the team picture.
E-MAILS: I try to answer most of my e-mails but sometimes it’s impossible because there’s no return e-mail address. If you’re reading this, Mitch Hawkes, this applies to you. On Saturday, I updated “Letters”, mostly with the lively input I got from my column on steroids.
TOMORROW: I have some errands to run in the morning, so I won’t file until the afternoon.
What do YOU think? Let me know!
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