Former NBA head coach George Karl has gotten a lot of negative advance press for knocking a lot of his former players in his new and cleverly titled autobiography, “Furious George” (Harper). Baby boomers will cheerfully recall the “Curious George” series of books from their childhood.
I spent last Wednesday at the Queens Civil Court central jury waiting room. As anyone who has ever been called for jury duty knows, the best way to pass the time is to bring a book with you and I figured that this was as good a time as any to find out what the brouhaha over Karl’s tome was all about.
The only place where I thought that he might have crossed a line without having any empirical proof was when he stated that both Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin had issues because they grew up without fathers while he was fortunate enough to grow up in a nuclear family just outside of Pittsburgh.
Yes, he calls out a lot of players for being immature; wanting the spotlight to themselves; and not playing defense because they feel that it doesn’t help them get fatter contracts.
In fairness to Karl, he writes only about his time coaching Carmelo Anthony in Denver and has gone on record saying that he has matured since he was traded to New York.
Knicks fans know that Carmelo Anthony will never win any awards for defensive prowess but he has put more effort into playing both ends of the court since coming to New York from Denver.
Aside from basketball, Carmelo Anthony has proven to be entrepreneur. He created and eventually sold a beverage company, Power Coco. He has now shifted his sights to funding electronic and digital startup ventures with Melo 7 Tech Partners.
On a personal note, I have always found him to be extremely gracious and he always says hello to me by name which is very unusual for any professional athlete based on my experience let alone an NBA superstar.
For the most part though, “Furious George” is a fun read as Karl talks about his various battles with management and the reasons behind his many dismissals. On a more serious note he spends a lot of time warning readers not to make the gastronomical mistakes that he made which he feels made him more susceptible to not just heart disease but a key reason that he contracted cancer.
ESPN ended speculation about the future of one of its signature personalities, Chris Berman, by announcing that he would remain there in a reduced emeritus role. Frankly I am surprised that Fox Sports did not make a serious play for Berman. Perhaps they did and he simply did not want to relocate to Los Angeles.
Last month marked the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Longtime sports journalist Brian Curtis has just written a book, “Fields Of Battle” (Flatiron Books), which looks back to the 1942 Rose Bowl which was not played in Pasadena but rather in Durham, NC, the home of Duke University who played Oregon State in the game.
The reason that the game was relocated away from Southern California was that there was an understandable fear that Japan would launch an invasion of the California coast in light of our Pacific Fleet being crippled from the attack three weeks earlier. Steven Spielberg examined the concerns of many in the Los Angeles area back then in his 1979 so-so comedy, “1941.” In addition to reviewing what happened in the game Curtis gives a follow-up to how each player served in WWII and what the survivors did after they returned home.
The Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place the first week of every new year in Las Vegas, has grown beyond just being the showcase for the latest gizmos. Turner Sports held a Sports Business Innovation seminar in which executives discussed the success of their electronic sports/video game competition, ELEAGUE, which has attracted the attention of advertisers who think that it’s a great platform to reach millennials.
Former NBA star and current Turner NBA air personality Grant Hill and longtime WNBA star and Christ the King alum Sue Bird were also panelists at the seminar. Hill decried how players now check their smartphones at halftime instead of talking to each other about the game while Bird said that he has learned how any casual remark made in social media can be quickly blown out of proportion.
The Mets player who will get the most attention at their spring training minor league camp in Port St. Lucie won’t be Tim Tebow but rather shortstop Amed Rosario who graced the cover of the first “Baseball America” issue of 2017. Hopefully he will be more like Derek Jeter and less like Gregg Jefferies.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been yanked from games a few times this year but anyone who thinks that his best days are in the rear view mirror should have been in Philadelphia last week when he stopped a barrage of Flyers shots sprawled on his back in a 5-2 win.
The Rangers are celebrating their 90th anniversary while the Flyers are commemorating their 50th anniversary. Former NY Post sports columnist Jay Greenberg has written an excellent book on the onetime Broad Street Bullies titled “The Flyers at 50″ (Triumph Books). By the way, the Flyers home arena, the Wells Fargo Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary and it’s still one of the nicest places to view an NHL game.
A lot has been made over American futility in professional tennis in recent years. The United States Tennis Association has long been aware of the issue and has just opened a huge training campus in Orlando, Florida as a way of better developing our stars of tomorrow. This should particularly help young tennis players who are from colder winter climes such as Long Island get outdoor training during snow season.
We normally think of California as synonymous with fun in the warm sun so it might surprise some to learn that the Golden State has one of the longest ski seasons in the USA. Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes has some of the best ski resorts in the country. JetBlue has air service between JFK and Sacramento which is the closest major city to the Cali slopes.
Legendary NBC newsman Chet Huntley helped found the Big Sky Resort in his native Montana in the early 1970s. Located roughly an hour’s drive from Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky has become Montana’s leading ski destination thanks to such innovative ideas as its January Saturday night dances where patrons gyrate to music in the snow while imbibing at an outdoor bar that like an igloo is constructed from ice.
Losing weight and improving one’s eating habits are traditional New Year’s resolutions but they are difficult goals to achieve when you are cooped up inside because of the cold and snowy weather. A new company, Daily Harvest, delivers filling low sodium organic soups in a frozen state to your doorstep. Log onto daily-harvest.com for more information.
The former host of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” tweeted with glee that the reboot of the show starring Arnold Schhwarzenegger did not draw great ratings in its debut last Tuesday. The problem may not be with Ah-nuld as host but rather with the show’s tired concept and locale.
A key reason why “The Appprentice” worked in the past was that it was shot in New York City which added both grit and a no-nonsense atmosphere to the show. The one season that “The Apprentice” switched locales to LA when Donald Trump was still in charge was a ratings disaster. As former governor of California, there was no way of course that Arnold Schwarzenegger was leaving Santa Monica for NYC.
Now if President-elect Trump is really worried about his old show’s ratings I know plenty of people who wish that he would be allowed to switch jobs with Arnold Schwarzenegger after January 20.
LeBron James is one of the greatest players in NBA history and he is now proving to be a serious player in the entertainment industry as well. He had a supporting role in last summer’s Amy Schumer movie, “Trainwreck,” and he is active behind the scenes with his production company, Spring Hill Entertainment, which has a distribution deal with Warner Brothers. James’ latest venture is serving as executive producer on the Tuesday night NBC high stakes game show, “The Wall,” which is a cross between “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and “Deal Or No Deal.” Comedian Chris Hardwick, who a lot of us remember co-hosting the tongue-in-cheek mid 1990s’ MTV dating show, “Singled Out,” with Jenny McCarthy, handles the same duties for “The Wall.”
If you miss “The Nanny,” which starred that fancy girl from Flushing, Fran Drescher, then you will enjoy “The Mick” starring Kaitlin Olson which airs Tuesday nights at 8:30 on Fox. While the show’s title would seem to be an homage to Mickey Mantle, it refers to Olson’ character named Mackenzie who is asked by her wealthy sister to take care of her three kids in Greenwich, CT after she and her husband have to flee the country after they are arrested by the FBI on Bernie Madoff-like fraud charges.
Olson was one of the stars of FX’s long-running comedy “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Like that show, the lead characters here are frequently detestable and that leads to plenty of laughs.
The Sundance Film Festival, which gets underway next week, has long been the leading confab where indie filmmakers score distribution deals with the major Hollywood studios. It’s also the place where big stars like to show their love for the craft of acting by making low budget films. They rarely pass up the opportunity to walk the red carpet in Park City where the Sundance Film Festival now takes place each January and which Robert Redford started in 1978 as a way of growing the film industry in Utah.
Documentaries also get a lot of attention at Sundance. “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” salutes the unsung heroes of this country who provide food for us and while working on improving conservation at the same time and it will make its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. NBC news anchor emeritus Tom Brokaw narrates the film while Discovery Networks financed it.