From Sidelines to punchlines

A different view from the world of sports …

Lesson learned?

Draymond Green was reminded Friday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t a team he should be dissing.

Entering the night down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, LeBron James and the defending champion Cavaliers were determined they weren’t going to lose their crown on their home court. At least not on Friday.

“We have championship DNA,” said James after Cleveland claimed a 137-116 victory. “We showed that tonight.”

James said he wasn’t paying attention when Green said that the Warriors intended to celebrate a history-making 16-0 postseason by rubbing it in the Cavs’ faces at Quicken Loans Arena.

“I didn’t hear it but some of the other guys heard it and told me that they wanted to celebrate on our floor once again and they wanted to spray champagne in our locker rooms,” said James. “… I didn’t stress anything besides just live in the moment.”

If anyone knows how to live in the moment, it’s King James. He broke Magic Johnson’s NBA Finals record with his ninth triple double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to help force a Game 5 on Monday. Kyrie Irving added 40 points, knocking in 7 of 12 3-pointers.

As a team, Cleveland knocked in a Finals record 24 treys, including a record 13 in the first half. They scored a Finals record 49 points in the first quarter and a Finals record 86 points in the first half.

The best-of-seven series now shifts back to Oakland with the Warriors having been reminded of  how much firepower the Cavs still have. But for James and Co. to repeat their remarkable 2016 comeback from an 0-3 deficit won’t be easy.

The difference this year is the Warriors have Kevin Durant in their arsenal. Plus, it’s  unlikely Steph Curry is going to  struggle to make shots once the Warriors are back on their  home court.

But, yes, Green would be wise to keep his mouth shut until after the Cavaliers have been eliminated. Whether its wise or not, he enjoys engaging in trash-talking on and off the court a little too much.

Here’s  what Green said Friday night after being told the Cavs were claiming they had shoved his previous comments down his throat:

“I don’t pay much attention to anybody in Cleveland, honestly,” said Green. “They don’t seem to be the sharpest people around.”

On Friday, the Cavs’ actions spoke louder than anyone’s words.

Olympic dreams

The International Olympic Committee has added 3-on-3 basketball for the 2020 Tokyo Games to give the Olympics a more urban appeal.

With separate eight-team brackets for men and women, 3-on-3 hoops will join other first-time IOC events like sports climbing, skateboarding, surfing and karate.

So yeah, I suppose that means there’s still hope that one of these years Olympic gold will be possible for participants in  disc golf, laser tag, dodge ball, kickball and corn hole.

Upon further review

As the late great Paul Harvey would say, “And now, the rest of the story ….”

Lanyard Burgett, director of a Springfield, Nebraska youth soccer tournament, has had to deal with death threats over the past week after booting an 8-year-ol girl, Mili Hernandez, and her under-11 girls’ team because it was believed that Hernandez was a boy — partly because she has short hair and she’s such a skilled young player on a team of older girls.

Once that story made the rounds on social media, Burgett found himself needing police protection. He says he no longer wants anything to do with running the tournament, and that comes from a man who has been accustomed to verbal abuse as a refereee.

What’s unfortunate is that it took nearly a week for all the facts to come out for his side of the story to be told.  It turns out that the Azzuri Cachorros Club had all of its teams disqualified from the tournament, not just Mili’s, because the club allowed players to compete for more than one team. While that may be an accepted practice at some tournaments, it’s not at the Springfield tournament.

While Hernandez didn’t play for more than one team, some of her teammates did, so the entire team was disqualified. But it’salso  true that the Azzuri Cachorros Chicas coaches didn’t do themselves any favors by failing to correct a 2017 roster error that has the gender of Hernandez listed as “M” rather than “F.”

They said it

Golden State forward Draymond Green on his team signing free-agent superstar Kevin Durant last year, just two weeks after blowing three chances to win the title: “I look at it as we lost the Finals, but we ended up with KD. That’s a helluva consolation prize.”

NBC comedian Seth Myers: “An 88-year-old woman has set a new record for oldest female to stand on the wing of a flying plane. It sounds dangerous, but it’s actually the safest place to be when you fly United.”

Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe, when it was looking like the Golden State Warriors were going to sweep The NBA Finals: “ESPN reports that a Golden State sweep in the NBA finals would cost the Warriors’ owners more than $22 million for games not played at Oracle.’I feel so sorry for them,’ said nobody.”

Former trailblazing auto racer Janet Guthrie, now 79, when she was once asked if women were strong enough physically to handle a car at high speeds: “You drive the car, you don’t carry it,” replied Guthrie.

Syndicated columnist Norman Chad, on the best thing about having kidney stones: “It takes your mind off Stephen A. Smith.”

‘Super’ marathon

In the longest Super Regional game ever played in the NCAA baseball tournament, Texas A&M pulled out a 7-6 victory over Davidson College in 15 innings on Friday.

But the Wildcats didn’t go down without at least attempting to pull out all the stops. Davidson coach Dick Cooke even resorted to a five-man infield for one batter when Texas A&M loaded the bases in the decisive frame. That led to the second out.

But in the end the Aggies broke through when George Janca drove in the winning run with his only hit of the game in six trips to the plate. His game-winning RBI ended Texas A&M’s struggles with runners in scoring position. They were 3 for 19 on the day.

 Target audience

Major League Baseball requested that the San Francisco Giants pull a Hunter Strickland jersey from the auction site because the jersey was from the Memorial Day game in which the pitcher was ejected for throwing at the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper.

Why? Because the baseball powers decided that “items auctioned cannot be in bad taste.”

Janice Hough of found that logic interesting, especially since the jersey had drawn a high bid of $1,500 before being pulled. “Bad taste,” quipped Hough. “Right, and that’s why ESPN & MLB TV spent more time airing footage of the brawl than anything else the SF Giants have done all season.”


From “FIFA orders investigation into Christian Pulisic’s background over doubts an American can be good at soccer.”

From The “Horse sprinting around track in rubber rain coat trying to make weight.”

From “94 percent of amazing hockey saves are just puck being shot into goalie’s body.”

From  “Scooter Gennett probably sets record for most HRs by a guy named Scooter.”

From “Report: Colin Kaepernick now so heavily involved in charity work that he’s close to signing with the Jets.”