ALLAN IVERSON: I never was a fan. He never seemed to catch on to the notion that the people signing his cheques were his REAL team, not the personal posse of boyz from the 'hood he surrounded himself with. He's really just a punk and a convicted thug down deep, and that's all. Sure, you had to admire the way he threw his little body around during all those years in Philly. He was entertaining in a lot of ways. But Iverson never has been a winner, never will be a winner and any team signing him next year is an instant candidate for oblivion. I personally believe he could dunkirk the Lakers, Celtics or Cavaliers if they foolishly brought him on for an inexpensive run for the ring, he's that toxic. His sniffing dismissal of the Pistons' request to come off the bench ("I'd rather retire than come off the bench") wasn't followed by, "And I'll give up the rest of the money they owe me." The mere act of dumping Iverson on Detroit makes the Denver manager this year's version of Danny Ainge. And to think, if the NBA hadn't had that asinine rule preventing the Raptors and the Grizzlies from having the first pick in the draft for the first few years of their existence, Iverson would have been a Toronto Raptor, rather than second pick Marcus Camby. (Toronto actually WON the lottery that year, but slid down one spot due to the STUPIDEST RULE EVER INVENTED). Maybe I should be thanking David Stern for small favours about small-minded jerks.
MINNESOTA TWINS: Picked to win the Central Division by Sports Illustrated. Oh NOOOOOOOO! Curses. Specifically, the Sports Illustrated Curse. Well, at least they aren't on the cover. We can only hope the Twins' kiddie korps on the bump will all mature a bit and be better than last year, when they were pretty good. Some good health from Joe Maurer and my favourite AL team has a chance to beat SI ... and the rest of the central.
NHL, A FORTNIGHT FROM THE PLAYOFFS: They had me worried for a bit. But not now. Alexei Kovalev seems to have the eye of the tiger back and the kids in the net are all right. Again. That means Montreal won't be anybody's patsy in the Eastern Division playoffs. Sure, those early departures for Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider tonight in the romp over the Lousy Leafs is cause for concern. But the win just about punches the club's ticket for the post-season follies. I almost hope they finish eighth and get the big bad Bruins in the first round. Hee, Hee, Hee. You watch, the bottom half of the bracket is going to do QUITE WELL in the quarters.
SORRY: I believed in the Big East. And if you believed in me, then you thought Louisville and Pitt would be throwing down Monday night. But I DID mention that North Carolina with a healthy Ty Lawson might be the best team in the country. If you were smart and respectful of the UNC training staff, then you latched onto that one statement and are enjoying everything. And everything WILL include hoisting the trophy Monday night. Michigan State's had a good run, but ...