Lazzari’s Sports Roundup – 3/29/09

The “Unwatchable NBA” Update: During a 26-point loss to New Jersey last week, the Knicks shot 2-for-17 from three-point range (12%) and 58% from the free-throw line on 11-for-19 shooting. Someone with a sense of humor in the Madison Square Garden crowd that evening should have held up a sign at one point with the following message on it: “New York BRICKS”……….TRIVIA QUESTION: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hold the NBA’s all-time career record for minutes played in the playoffs with 8,851. Can you name the player who is #2 on the all-time list? Answer to follow……….How ’bout LPGA golfer Dorothy Delasin–who carded a “nightmarish” round of 92 (20 over par) in the first round of last week’s MasterCard Classic in Mexico City? She had four bogeys, one triple bogey, two quadruple bogeys, and shot a robust 9 on the par-4 15th hole (ouch!). I swear–this gal may very well have panic attacks, nightmares, and MAJOR indigestion every time she uses a certain credit card from this day forward……….This week in sports history, March 31, 1975: Dave Meyers and Richard Washington combine for 52 points–leading UCLA to a 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA basketball championship game played in San Diego. The victory would be coach John Wooden’s record 10th NCAA title–all while coaching the Bruins; the “Wizard of Westwood” had announced his retirement after UCLA’s earlier semifinal win over Louisville. UCLA led the game by ten points with 12 minutes remaining in the game before the Wildcats pulled to within one, 76-75. However, Kentucky star Kevin Grevey (34 points) missed a few crucial free throws down the stretch–allowing the Bruins to ultimately pull away and claim another title………Mark Teixeira of the N.Y. Yankees recently told the New York Post that his favorite movie is “The Godfather.” I’m now wondering if GM Brian Cashman–while negotiating Teixeira’s $180 million contract this past off-season–sealed the deal by saying, “Mark–this is truly an offer you no canna refuse!”……….Answer to trivia question: SCOTTIE PIPPEN–who logged in 8,105 playoff minutes during his 17 years in the NBA……….Love him or hate him, you can’t help but respect Dick Vitale’s enthusiasm when he does color commentating on ESPN telecasts. During Duke’s recent victory over Florida St. in the ACC championship game, I could envision Vitale nearly jumping out of his seat as the Blue Devils were draining one three-pointer after another. At one point, he yelled out in typical ‘Vitale-esque’ fashion, “Somebody call the fire chief–they’re burning the nets down!!” Yes, there’s no one quite like Dicky V……….Former NFL linebacker-turned-actor Brian Bosworth was arrested recently in Los Angeles for driving his motorcycle while drunk on Hollywood Boulevard. Geez, I always knew that “The Boz” wanted to make his mark in Hollywood, but he was supposed to do it INSIDE a film studio……….Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA player Steve Smith–who blows out 40 candles on March 31st. A Michigan native who played college ball at Michigan State, Smith spent 14 seasons in the NBA playing for six different teams between 1991 and 2005–averaging 14.3 ppg over his career. Smith averaged more than 20 points per game in both the ’96-’97 and ’97-’98 seasons while playing for the Atlanta Hawks; he also led the NBA in three-point FG% (.471) during the 2001-2002 season while playing with the Spurs. A former All-Star, Smith is also well-known for his charitable nature—having once donated more than $2 million to his alma mater. Best wishes, Steve……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league player/manager Whitey Lockman–who died recently in Arizona at the age of 82; he had been fighting pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia. Lockman was best-known for helping set the stage for Bobby Thomson’s famous “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” during the 1951 playoff between the Giants and Dodgers; Lockman came to bat in the bottom of the ninth facing Brooklyn’s starting pitcher Don Newcombe and hit a one-out, run-scoring double that kept the rally going while cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 4-2. Playing most of his career as an outfielder, Lockman hit .279 lifetime in 15 seasons spent with the Giants, Cardinals, Orioles, and Reds. He also managed the Chicago Cubs from 1972-1974 and spent more than 25 years as a front-office executive and scout for the Cubs, Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins. He is survived by four daughters and a son; may Whitey Lockman rest in peace.

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog where many of his past columns have been archived.

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