Thursday, June 30, 2005

STAY OUT OF THE RING TOMMY

Growing up in inner city Detroit, we all loved Tommy Hearns.
He was the skinny kid with the jheri curls who trained a few blocks from our neighborhood. We cheered every first round knock out. We cheered every title and cried when he lost to Sugar Ray Leonard.
He owns seven titles, but Hearn's legacy is complete. We even forgave the failed comebacks of a few years ago.
But please, please don't come back and fight again.
Hearns is talking about returning for an eighth title. He needs to think more about his health than trying to make more history.
Hearns is already damaged from his previous fights. He appears less sharp than he did a few years ago. The last time we saw him was five years ago when he blew his knee out against Uriah Grant. The knee may have been an excuse because he sure did not look good up to that point.
He is 46 years old now. His skills have diminished. We even saw people heckle him during fights 10 years ago. What does he think he can accomplish today?
My fear is death or a serious injury. Hearns will face stronger, faster and younger fighters. And when you go into the ring you rarely think of holding back. Fighters hit the ring to destroy and get opponents out as quickly as they can.
I'm on board with Hearns' former manager Emanuel Steward who said he does not want Hearns to fight. Hearns said he won't listen.
I wish he would.

EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS

Here is the good news. The Rosie O'Grady's raffle to have dinner with me raised $1,021. That means a kid involved with Make a Wish can go to Disneyland or wherever he or she wants to go. That makes me feel good because I often feel that I am a nobody who is lucky enough to say what I feel in front of you.
And for some reason some of you listen.
The bad news is someone actually has to go to dinner with me.
But seriously folks things like this make me feel good. I love being able to help people out even if it is as small as speaking to their school or giving career advice to a high school or college students. I simply believe we should help whenever or however we can.
I've been approached by Bloomfield Ford on Telegraph about helping them with a golf tournament to raise money for several local charities. They seem sincere and this might be a long standing relationship unless of course they wake up and realize I am a nobody.
During the holidays I take Celine and Little B shopping to buy things for kids who need a Christmas. Little B is just starting to understand why we do this. Celine now reminds me that it is time to buy for the "poor kids" when the holidays roll around. When they are old enough I would love to take them to a soup kitchen so they can see the help others need.
When the people at Rosie's approached me a few weeks ago about raising money for this worthy cause I thought they were nuts. I was just hoping to raise enough for the main course.
This far exceeds my expectations and I am glad it worked out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I AM ON THE BLOCK TONIGHT

Tonight I am being auctioned off for charity.
No you cannot make me do house chores or drive your car.
The high bidder tonight at Rosie O'Grady's in Clinton Township gets their choice of lunch or dinner with me at the popular Irish Pub and restaurant on Hayes Road. I will pop in around 8 p.m. for the auction and proceeds go to Make a Wish.
Then we can make dinner or lunch reservations. My fear is the bid won't be high enough to cover the cost of dinner.
There could be other items or people up for bids. I am not sure. But if you are in the area show up and make a donation for a good cause.
The phone number there is 586-286-0008.

PISTONS SELECT THE BIG MAXI

Even though Pistons first-round draft pick Jason Maxiell is more like Danny Fortson, the Pistons told the world Tuesday night that they miss Corliss Williamson, another undersized power forward who made a nitch in this league.
The Pistons want more scoring from the low block. That is why they've tried to convert Darko Milicic from a perimeter player to post player and that is why they took a gamble on Maxiell who right now cannot crack the Pistons rotation, but with a little coaching perhaps could.
On the surface this it not a good pick. However, the Pistons are gambling that they can teach this guy what it takes to get a couple buckets in the paint. They cannot rely on Ben Wallace to be consistent inside and Rasheed Wallace refuses.
Chauncey Billups can post up smaller guards, but come on. He is hardly the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain.
So now you get Mad Max, the Pistons newest Big Nasty. Or shall we call him the Big Maxi?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

DO YOU GIVE BROWN TIME?

You are Pistons President Joe Dumars.
And you must make a decision.
Let's say your coach Larry Brown has his medical tests and comes to you on Friday. It is the day you've waited all year to make a final decision on whether Brown will coach your team or move on for health reasons.
Brown tells you he cannot make a decision that day. He needs two weeks.
What do you do?
If that is the case I say good bye to Brown. The longer this goes on the less chance that you will get a yes answer from Brown.
My guess is Brown wants out and Pistons owner Bill Davidson wants him out.
So why this game of cat and mouse?
Brown wants to leave without looking like the carpet bagger he is. The Pistons are upset with all the turmoil and baggage he brings. Besides the Pistons have heard the same rumors around the league that I have.
Brown told his buddies around the league in November he was leaving because of burn out.
If you give Brown his two weeks and he says he cannot coach there is a good chance you miss out on Flip Saunders and Natt McMillian. They won't be able to wait that long.
And if you miss out on them and Brown leaves, where does that leave you?
If Brown tells you he wants to stay Friday you have no choice but to keep him for one more year. He is a Hall of Fame coach who put you in the NBA Finals two years in a row, even though I believe he will suffer from burn out next season and you risk his team tuning him out at some point again.
But do you trust Brown if he needs more time?
I don't.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

DETROIT MAKES PEACE WITH BARRY SANDERS

Something interesting happened during the NBA Finals.
Do you remember the night Barry Sanders sat next to Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo chatting?
First they showed Izzo on the big screen and he got the usual cheers.
But something interesting happened when they showed Sanders on the big screen. He not only was cheered but a good chunk of the Palace crowd began the old "Barry" chants we used to hear routinely at the Pontiac Silverdome during Sanders' hey day.
Those chants continued right up to his sudden retirement. The day Sanders faxed his hometown newspaper and bolted for England was the day the cheers dried up.
Cheers to jeers.
It was embarrassing to see Sanders at games because you just hope they never showed him on the big screen. Sanders always had that sheepish look on his face when folks belted him with boos.
There was even a luke warm response for Sanders when the Lions showed his acceptance speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the big screen during an open Lions practice at Ford Field.
Since then he made peace with the Lions and the community and it seems as if Detroit sports fans forgave Sanders.
I know of a number of people who said they would never forgive Barry. My guess is those numbers have dwindled over the years. Most have made peace with Sanders.
That doesn't surprise me because Sanders was one of those athletes you could not criticize. He had more rabid supporters than Steve Yzerman.
They left him when Sanders left them. Now they have returned.
Jeers back to cheers.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

ODDS TO WIN THE 2006 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds To Win 2006 NBA Championship

San Antonio Spurs 5/2
Miami Heat 11/2
Detroit Pistons 7/1
Phoenix Suns 8/1
Indiana Pacers 11/1
Denver Nuggets 13/1
Houston Rockets 17/1
Dallas Mavericks 19/1
Memphis Grizzlies 25/1
New Jersey Nets 25/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 26/1
Chicago Bulls 29/1
Los Angeles Lakers 35/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 35/1
Sacramento Kings 40/1
Seattle Supersonics 40/1
Los Angeles Clippers 45/1
Boston Celtics 50/1
Golden State Warriors 50/1
Washington Wizards 60/1
Milwaukee Bucks 75/1
Orlando Magic 100/1
Philadelphia 76ers 100/1
New York Knicks 125/1
Utah Jazz 125/1
Toronto Raptors 150/1
New Orleans Hornets 200/1
Portland Trailblazers 200/1
Atlanta Hawks 300/1
Charlotte Bobcats 300/1

Friday, June 24, 2005

CHEERS, JEERS AND SADNESS FOR PISTON FANS

I stood near a television set at Rosie O'Grady's in Clinton Township when a woman next to me broke out in tears.
We watched the final moments of the Pistons 81-74 loss to San Antonio and she could no longer hold back her emotions. She'd watched every Pistons game and said her favorite team won every time she watched games at O'Grady's.
There was no where else in the world she wanted to be. And when the end came near she began to sob.
One of her buddies turned away from the screen because she could not stand to witness Tim Duncan and the Spurs put the finishing touches on the Pistons.
There were a lot of emotions after the Pistons lost. Some folks were upset. Others wanted to praise the Pistons even in defeat. But I was surprised by the tears.
People really get into their sports teams.
During my sports show on AM 1270 The Sports Station two people broke down and cried on the air while talking to the Pistons and two others nearly lost it with emotion for their team.
The outbursts were surprising to me but it shows how this town has been captivated by this town. They loved the Pistons because they lived their dreams through these blue collar warriors. And when the Pistons fell short many in this community felt as if they were walking off the court at SBS Center with them.
(Check me out tonight after the Tigers game on the Fox Detroit Sports Report on my final take on the Pistons).

DUNCAN TKO'S PISTONS AND SHEED

Rasheed Wallace did not speak to the media which is appropriate since he was silent during most of the NBA Finals.
He blew Game 5, blew up in Game 6 and then completely disappeared in Game 7.
Rasheed giveth and he taketh away.
Perhaps it was too much to ask the Pistons to win two straight games in San Antonio. Perhaps we should not be surprised that super star Tim Duncan stepped up and lead the Spurs to a 81-74 victory to snatch the championship rings and belts from the Pistons.
I can't help but think Sheed's decision to leave Robert Horry, the NBA Finals all-time three artist, alone at the three-point line was the difference in this series.
One mental blunder by the least stable of the Pistons starters.
Sometimes that is all it takes to separate two very good teams. That is why focus should be the main priority for the Pistons next season. Of course a scorer off the bench would not hurt either.
But we will get to that on another day.
Strangely I felt proud of the Pistons even in defeat. Both teams went at each other like mad dogs going after raw meat. Unfortunately there must be a winner and a loser.
The difference is the Spurs leaned on their super star. Duncan pounded the Pistons for 25 points and 11 rebounds. And he also set his teammates up. He was so terrific that the Pistons felt the need to double team him more than usual.
If he wasn't slicing through the double team he passed to open teammates who sank seven of 11 three-point shots. It seemed as if every point went to Duncan or through Duncan.
Duncan validated himself as a great player. You would think a two-time Finals MVP would not have to do that. But he had to because the big fella' gagged down the stretch for the three games at The Palace. He seemed to tire and you could see doubt and fear cross his brow.
But on this night he out muscled the Pistons strong men. He once again showed why teams feel most comfortable with a super star in their line up.
The Pistons simply could not match him. And when they stopped moving the ball and hit their usual scoring lull, this game was over. This is where Bruce Bowen comes in. He made things difficult for Rip Hamilton during much of the series and he slowed Chauncey Billups down too with excellent defense.
This guy is not as good as Dennis Rodman on defense. But he sure studied the book on Rodman.
This is not a time to be angry or upset, although I watched the game next to a woman who broke out in tears. It is no shame to be second best. The Spurs were the better team on this one night and claimed the title that could have gone either way.
Duncan was the man this night and he deserved his third MVP award. But a part of me wonders why was he even out there Thursday night? Why were the Pistons even in San Antonio?
The Rasheed blunder haunted them to the bitter end.
Sheed giveth and he taketh away.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

YOUR VIEWS ON GAME 7

Hey guys. You know the routine now. Tell me what you thought of Game 7. You can post before, during and after the game. I love reading your views after the fact. I will hit you guys later tonight.

Terry Foster

PISTONS TO FINISH ANOTHER MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

They simply cannot lose.
I don't care if the Pistons fall behind by 20 points tonight with eight minutes remaining, they cannot lose.
I don't care if Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups break their legs on the way to SBC Center tonight in San Antonio, they cannot lose.
This is Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It is a one-game shoot out and conventional wisdom says the home team Spurs enjoy an edge simply because they are at home. They are healthy and know they have the ability to crush the Pistons.
Tim Duncan is a super star. Manu Ginobili is one in the making and they play defense almost as well as the Pistons.
But none of that matters.
The Pistons cannot lose.
Oh yes, they can lose games and lose quarters. They can get trounced by opponents for long stretches. They can go scoreless for 6 minutes, be clueless for 10 minutes and scream at officials for 2 hours, but they simply cannot lose a best out of seven series.
Do you know what the Pistons are? They are like Jason in Friday the 13th. You blow torch the man, you stick a knife in his heart and you drop him in the bottom of the ocean. But he raises one more time for one last moment or one more sequel.
This is the Pistons. They've had more funerals than Morris the Cat. Yet they stand again against the Spurs.
Did you know that over the last two playoff runs the Pistons have trailed in five series after three games or beyond? They've lost precious home-court edge in seven of the eight series and been one game from elimination three times.
And every time they face death Ben Wallace goes wild or Billups gets hot. Every time you are about to flick them off Rasheed Wallace turns heavyweight contender or Lindsey Hunter finds the fountain of youth and begins harassing men half his age across the court.
This team is mind boggling. One moment you want to strangle them. In the next moment you scream how unprofessional and unfocused they are. And then this magical switch flicks on and they become the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s.
They won't die. They cannot die.
They rise one more time to claim their rightful crown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

LISTEN TO THE INFERNO VIA COMPUTER

You can listen to our show on your computer.
Click on 1270Sports.com
Look for Listen now. click on that.
And you can hear our show.
The Sports Inferno starring me is on from 10 in the morning until 1 p.m.

PISTONS BY THE NUMBERS

Check this out. Here are some accomplishments the Pistons have done over the years.

No team had won three road games in the 2-3-2 Finals format until the 1990 Pistons did it against Portland. And by the way the Pistons had lost 17 straight times in the Rose City.

Last year the Pistons became the first team to win all three home games in the 2-3-2 format against the Lakers.

This year they became the first road team trailing 3-2 in the 2-3-2 to win game 6. The Pistons had lost 10 in a row in San Antonio before breaking through.

In the last two years the Pistons have played in 8 playoff series.
They either began or lost home court edge in 7 of them. They've won all the series with a chance to win the seventh.

They have trailed after game 3 or beyond in five of the eight series, yet they could repeat as champions.

They are like the end of a horror movie where the bad guy gets it, yet leaps up again to do more damage before going down again.

SHEED HAPPENS

Hey Sheed.
Yo dog. Almost all is forgiven.
Yeah we were ticked off after that defensive blunder in Game 5. You let your teammates down when you let Robert Horry loose at the three-point line when the only play that could have beaten you was Horry loose at the three-point line.
You let the city down because it loves this team more than anything else. And you let your coach down by not listening to him during the final time out. And even though Larry Brown made things more difficult for your team by his flirtation with Cleveland, he deserved more than you gave him.
But you redeemed yourself for now in Game 6 in San Antonio. Your numbers were not great (16 points, 3 rebounds). But your timing was perfect.
You took over in crunch time in the Pistons 95-86 victory over the Spurs. It may not have been your night. But you picked your moments.
And here is why you are such an enigma. The Pistons face the Spurs in Game 7 Thursday because of you. But at the same time they are not celebrating a second straight championship because of you. It shows your importance and it is another example why every time I see your face I see wild card.
Now we see why people say Sheed Happens.
No team can beat the Pistons when you are right.
You returned to the game with 5:18 remaining, your team up by four and five fouls hanging over your head. It was a difficult position but these final minutes became Sheed time.
After the Spurs sliced the lead to one you hit a jumper, then you banged in another jumper and after Chauncey Billups missed a twisting lay up you were there to mop up his miss to extend the Pistons lead to five with 1:25 remaining. And even though you were one whistle from your evening ending you made two strong defensive plays in crunch.
You were not perfect, but you fought hard to the bitter end. And I know you are probably upset with some of us but you have to understand this is what we expect from our heroes. We expect a hard nights work. You failed two nights ago. And we erupted.
Some folks went so overboard they demanded that President Joe Dumars trade you at the end of the season. They are eating their words today.
Now the city erupts again. It erupts singing your praises. You gave this town hope again.
Now it all boils down to one moment and one game.
You were not the only hero. Ben Wallace played with great energy. Rip Hamilton kept his cool long enough to score 23 points against ball hawking Bruce Bowen. And though Billups did not shoot well, missing 10 of 16 shots, he came through with big buckets to keep the Pistons inches ahead of the Spurs.
Now the Pistons are 10-0 in elimination games which is a true indication of your character. You guys are not perfect. You complain to the officials too often, you go through long stretches without a basket and you lose your composure when things look ugly.
But you find a way to give yourself a chance at the belt again.
Sometimes it is very difficult to explain the Pistons. You cannot put a finger on why they win, why they soar at just the right time.
But when you've got an enigma like Rasheed Wallace leading the way why should we be able to explain this?
Sheed Happens. That is why the Pistons live another day.
If Sheed Happens one more time then all will be forgiven.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

GAME 6 THOUGHTS

WHAT DID YOU THINK? TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES ABOUT THE PISTONS AND SPURS GAME TONIGHT

FREEP IS OUT OF TOUCH

The Press Press is trying to make a big deal out of a photo that shows Robert Horry with one arm raised and his other hand holding his crotch.
The Freep asks is Horry dissing fans?
The fact the paper asks this question is further proof it is out of touch with athletes and especially its younger demographic.
Let me help the paper. This is Horry's way of celebrating his game-winning three-point shot. He is telling the world "I am the man."
It is a macho hip hop way of celebrating his accomplishments. Now is it classy? No. But this is done so many times on the playgrounds of America it is not funny. This is really no big deal except for editors who rarely make it out of the building. They think it is a big deal because they don't even know what their kids do when they are out in the playgrounds or even the malls.
Young boys walk around the mall grabbing their stuff. This I admit I do not understand. It is like they want to keep control of things or they want to show people what they've got.
Grabbing your crotch is like the new age peace sign.
All the Free has to do is send one of its photographers to a mall and with in a half hour they could have a dozen picks of some dude walking with his hand on his crotch.
It makes no sense, but what does today?

BILLUPS IS THE RIGHT LEADER FOR THIS TEAM

We seem to have moved on to a debate about whether Chauncey Billups is the right point guard for the Pistons.
My answer is yes.
My fear is will he continue to be when his mentor Larry Brown leaves at the end of the season as Pistons coach.
Brown has done a masterful job of turning Billups into a talented but unproductive point guard into someone who feels games and makes good decisions. Now is he the classic point guard like John Stockton or Eric Snow? Of course not.
There are few of those guys left in the league. My definition of a point guard is someone who makes his teammates better and sets them up. Billups does that.
He feeds the scoring machine of Rip Hamilton and he knows who is hot and who is cold and makes decisions appropriately.
However, Billups realizes the Pistons lack a lot of scoring options. Ben Wallace is not a scorer so that leaves him with three options to go to on the floor. This team turns unproductive offensively and when that happens Billups allows his first instincts to take over.
The dude can score and he has made some of the most classic drives down the lane I've seen in a while.
You are right. He is a scoring guard playing point.
He does not do the right thing all the time. But he does the right thing enough times.
Remember he was the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 NBA Finals. And as it stands now he is the Pistons MVP of this series.
The dude is not perfect. But in today's game, he is good enough for me.

Monday, June 20, 2005

WORSE MOMENTS IN DETROIT HISTORY

Rasheed Wallace's decision to double team Manu Ginobili was one of the dumbest decisions in Detroit sports history.
It ranked with Isiah Thomas throwing the ball to Larry Bird in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals that turned certain victory into doom and gloom defeat.
It ranks with Marty Mornhenweg taking the wind instead of the ball against the Chicago Bears.
It ranks with the Chris Webber time out against North Carolina.
Actually Wallace tried to duplicate that by calling a time out the Pistons did not have.
I won't go any further. I want to know what were your moments of anguish. What event ticked you off the most?
What event wanted to make you kick your dog or bash your television?
I bet you a bunch of sets were bashed when Wallace left Horry to trap Ginobili.
And how out of it was Wallace? He said he wanted to trap Tim Duncan down low.
Huh?
Any way. Your thoughts.

WHAT WAS RASHEED THINKING??

It was a brain freeze. There is no other way to put it.
Rasheed Wallace will have to live with his bone headed actions during the final seconds of the Pistons 96-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs for the rest of his life.
He left Robert Horry alone at the three-point line to double Manu Ginobili in the corner.
What was he thinking? Did someone forget to tell him all the game-winning three-point shots Horry has made for the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and the Spurs? This guy came out of the crib burying game-winning three-point baskets.
And you leave him alone at the top of the key?
That is like leaving your home knowing a cat burglar is standing by the China cabinet. The Pistons won't lose any plates or dishes. Wallace simply threw away an NBA championship.
It is not smart.
This was a wonderful game. It was the most compelling game of the playoffs and you knew one or two plays would decide it. But what Wallace did was inexcusable. He let his teammates down and there is no way to defend his actions.
Yeah a lot of things happened in the game. Chauncey Billups missed shots. Rip Hamilton missed what could have been the game-winning shots later. But I don't fault them. Those are effort plays. Some you win. Some you lose.
But there is no excuse for mental errors.
None at all.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

GAME 5 THOUGHTS

You know the routine. Debate amongst yourselves what happened in Game 5 between the Pistons and Spurs.
I will hit you later.

ALL EYES ON TINY TIM

Forgive us in the media for being fixated with Tim Duncan these past few days.
You see, he is the NBA Finals only super star and we often look for those type players to turn super human. He's been Tiny Tim the past two games and now we wait to see if he turns into Super Duncan.
It is quite possible. However, Duncan faces a very tough foe in the three headed monster of Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess. They've defended him better than anyone ever has in the playoffs and it is playing in Duncan's mind.
They aren't even double teaming him and Duncan faces two challenges. They are all three quicker than him and Ben and Rasheed have been able to push him further out than he likes. By the time Duncan drives to the paint help is there to alter just about every shot he takes.
Duncan enters Game 5 dazed and confused. If the Spurs are to regain control Duncan must be the man who rights their ship. The scary thing is he has done it before. Duncan enjoyed big Game 5s in winning Finals MVP trophies in 1999 against New York and in 2003 versus New Jersey.
He punished the Knicks with 31 points and nine rebounds and four years later in the same game he tallied 29 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.
Now we get to see if the Super Star takes over or if the team ball of the Pistons continues to dominate.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

THE 2005-2006 NHL SEASON IS ON

It's not official yet, but the NHL will return on time next season.
That's the news I received Friday night when I ran into some hockey players who were out and about. They claim that the NHL and the NHL Players Association have reached agreement on most of the major issues. There are some small details that need to be ironed out and both sides are willing to take their time because they know an agreement is near.

There will be a $32 million salary cap, which seems small. But in a compromise the owners will lower the luxury tax for teams that go over the cap. That's good news for the Red Wings because owner Mike Ilitch can continue to spend slightly more than most teams.
The players also won arbitration.
They agreed on rule changes which includes smaller goalie equipment. Goalies will have 11 inch pads. The other rule changes are to promote scoring.
An announcement should be coming in the next three to four weeks.

Friday, June 17, 2005

READY FOR ANOTHER BLOW OUT?

AUBURN HILLS -- There are certain things in life you simply cannot explain.
How can a series be both close and lopsided at the same time?
The Pistons and San Antonio Spurs found a way to make the impossible happen. The series is tied 2-2 after the Pistons dismembered the Spurs 102-71 Thursday night at The Palace in the most uncompetitive deadlocked series in NBA history.
The two teams have smacked each other around in games that have been decided by an average of 21 points. The Pistons and Spurs remind me of Big Time wrestling where combatants took turns pounding each other into submission.
There have been more blowouts in this series than on the Lodge Freeway.
How do you explain the Pistons making the Spurs look like the Bad News Bears at The Palace after the Spurs made the Pistons cry Uncle twice on the Alamo?
And how do you explain old man Lindsey Hunter (17 points and five assists) being the best player on the floor for long stretches? You should see Hunter before games. He limps in like Fred Sanford, hunts for aspirin and finds a dark place to go to sleep.
He looks more like the night security guard than an NBA player.
But no one could lock down Hunter on this night. Here he was looking like Isiah Thomas, the man he was supposed to replace as a rookie back in 1993. He symbolized the Pistons because this was an effort victory. The Pistons from their youngest players to old man Hunter had more jump than the Spurs.
There are two thoughts as we move to Game 5 on Sunday. The Pistons were tired in the first two games. Now they appear fresher and ready to move mountains. They were also very professional in their actions.
They've embarrassed the city with their ridiculous attacks on the officials. But Thursday their conduct and playing were equal things of beauty.
Now we must wonder if the Spurs are those washed up beauty queens that wear too much make up. The Spurs look good at home, but they sure do look like a bunch of hags on the road.
Even though this series is uncompetitive there is a rainbow in all of this. You just never know what is going to happen from night to night. Every game is a mystery. Of course we know who murdered the butler by the first chapter but the book is still worth reading. At least they are keeping us on our toes.
Now it is a three game series. Let's hope this is an intriguing series right up to the last blow out.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

TELL ME ABOUT GAME 4

Let it rip. What do you think about Game 4 at The Palace. As I write this it looks like an easy Pistons victory.
Tell me what you think. I will hit you later

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

HAMILTON SAYS CRAFTY BOWEN GETS AWAY WITH MURDER

AUBURN HILLS -- His jaws grew tight. He paused and tried to measure his words.
You could tell San Antonio Spurs guard Bruce Bowen was upset. He'd just been ripped by Pistons guard Rip Hamilton who complained that Bowen gets away with dirty tricks that officials don't see.
A night after having to defend Hamilton on the court Bowen stood at a podium at The Palace defending his defense.
"He gets away with so much stuff that it is crazy," Hamilton said.
Welcome to our first full blown controversy in an otherwise love fest NBA Finals. A new subplot was introduced to Game 4 Thursday night at The Palace. Will officials read Hamilton's word and take a closer look at Bowen? Or will it be business as usual for the crew this evening?
Hamilton called Bowen a crafty defender. But he said part of his craft includes hand holding, jersey grabbing, rib rubs, hip checks, hand slapping and bumps of the rump. If this is true is Bowen really an NBA super defender or a member of the WWE?
When reporters relayed Hamilton's complaints Bowen shook his head in amazement.
"It seems to be a top song now," Bowen said.
In other words he has heard this before. Bowen is a crafty defender. He is physical and does slap Hamilton and whomever else he is defending. But Hamilton is crafty too. Remember he studied Reggie Miller, the master of deception, and Hamilton pushes and tugs also.
It is a very interesting little battle as these two teams battle for the heavyweight championship of hoops.
Bowen, of course, simply wishes the talk was about basketball. It no longer is. Hamilton opened a Pandora's box that will only get bigger as more media members learn of Hamilton's accusations.
Hamilton has been the Pistons' most frustrated player. He constantly gripes at officials and believes Bowen is being allowed to manhandle him. It appears as if Hamilton is begging for whistles 24/7 now.
Bowen was so upset he looked like he wanted to implode.
"I'm crafty? It is amazing to hear things like that about you, " Bowen said. "I think everybody gets away with something at a particular point of the game. When you start singling people out for what they do it is like a player and officials. You always want to complain that officials are not doing a good job, but when you look at the whole tape you see the officials miss some calls they could have called on you. "
Bowen was credited with holding Hamilton to 33 percent shooting in the first two games of the NBA Finals. But Hamilton broke loose for 24 points in Tuesday’s 96-79 Pistons victory which sliced the Spurs lead to 2-1.
Hamilton abandoned pump fakes because Bowen is too disciplined to fall for the fake. He went straight at Bowen or shot as soon as he got the ball in his sweet spot.
"I just have to do a better job of getting a hand up on each shot, " Bowen said. "I did a poor job of chasing him on some screens and because of who he is he made me pay for that. "
Bowen knows Hamilton wanted to get his message to tonight's officials. It is part of the gamesmanship during a series. Just because the final whistle blows on a game does not mean the games have ended.
But Bowen is crafty.
"It takes two to tangle, " Bowen said. "It is usually not one guy. The officials are watching us closely. It is a shame we can't just say basketball is being played and see who the best team. But we have to bring in other things that really have nothing to do with it."

PISTONS GET BEN IN MUST WIN

AUBURN HILLS -- We can call back the search planes. You can throw the milk cartons in the trash.We found Ben Wallace Tuesday night and he was wearing a big fro and a grimace on his face. The seven game strike by Big Ben is over. He took control of a game the Pistons desperately needed. He blocked shots and grabbed rebounds. He intimidated Spurs shooters and caused havoc for our visitors from the Alamo.More importantly when Big Ben ticks his teammates click. With their base grounded the Pistons pounded San Antonio 96-79 to slice the Spurs lead to 2-1 in this best of seven NBA Finals. It was a must Ben I mean must win game.OK. Maybe it was a must Ben game. The Pistons must have Ben to win.When he is rolling on all cylinders so do the Pistons. He punished the Spurs for 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. The five blocks all came in the first quarter, tying a club record for most blocks in a quarter, and they all set the tone of the game.Wallace started the game with a steal and a dunk. And though things got dicey later he kept the Spurs on edge with his masculine play. "He was unbelievable, " said Pistons guard Rip Hamilton. "He showed a lot of energy and blocked shots and definitely players inside for us."The Pistons fed off him and aggressively attacked the passing lanes. They caught a break when Spurs MVP candidate Manu Ginobili got cracked in his left knee 21 seconds into the game and was turned into a jump shooter and bad passer the rest of the game.With their heart throbbing the Spurs could not match the Pistons for 48 minutes. The turning point of the game came in the final seconds of the third quarter when Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich attempted to give point guard Tony Parker a brief rest.Three turnovers later the Pistons victory parade was on."It snow balled, " Ginobili said. And now the Pistons find themselves peaking from underneath an avalanche. They can see day break if they can win one more game to even the series.This team wins with heart and defense and commitment, something that was missing in the first two games.The Pistons finally paid attention to their Coach Larry Brown, a guy they appeared to be tuning out. But he gave them two passionate speeches leading up to the game. They responded with energy and emotion.They remembered how difficult it is to play a quality team like San Antonio. The Pistons paid attention to detail, sort of left the officials alone and focused on the Spurs.It was about time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GAME 3?

My take on Game 3 is coming soon. Until I tell you what really happened (wink) just debate amongst yourselves.

T Foster

LARRY'S LAST STAND?

Pistons Coach Larry Brown talked to his team Monday.
Wait that is not quite accurate. Brown pleaded with his team. He demanded of his team and he singled guys out. He spoke with passion and pain.
By now Brown must know his team has tuned him out as if he is a bad radio station. There is pain and hurt in the Pistons dressing room following his flirtation with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now after weeks of denial Cleveland Brown admits the Cavs president job is probably his if he wants it.
All his players wanted of him was the same thing he demanded of them. They wanted him to be focused on the task at hand. They wanted him to remove outside distractions and think team first. Brown failed at that and he's spent the last couple of days trying to get his team back.
If they don't want to play for him, then at least play for themselves.
The Pistons need a lot of things before they face the Spurs in Game 3 tonight at The Palace, starring down a 0-2 deficit in this best of seven NBA Finals. They need fans to cheer them. They need to figure out the Spurs quick moving, back screen setting, slam dunking, three-point shooting funk in your face offense.
They need to find holes in the Spurs' smothering defense and begin playing as one heart beat rather than five strangers.
But more importantly they need Larry Brown. And Larry Brown needs them. If the Pistons are to crawl from this cave it will be with players and coach walking lock step. Brown knows it. That is why he's pleaded for their minds, spirits and emotion.
The players hate to admit to it. That is why we are not sure if Brown reached them.
We will find out pretty quickly. The first quarter tonight will tell us all we need to know about the Pistons. If they come out flat and get down by double digits again it will be painfully obvious that Brown did not reach them.
If they play with passion and move the ball as they have before then perhaps this is not quite Larry's Last Stand.
And let me say this right now. This great divide did not begin during the Spurs series. It was front and center as the Pistons battled the Miami Heat during that seven-game Eastern Conference Finals. I warned people on my radio show that a serious problem bubbled underneath. The problem is the Heat were not well enough or talented enough to take full advantage of it.
The Spurs are like chocolate to a teenager. They are so good that they expose every blemish.
The Pistons must show a pulse for us to take them seriously. They need to show that one bad whistle won't cause them to attack officials and check out of games.
The Pistons quite frankly have embarrassed this city. This has nothing to do with getting blown out twice in San Antonio. Their sportsmanship has been atrocious. If you are a young kid watching the Pistons throw temper tantrums like a three-year-old you must know this is not playing the right way.
We've seen Rasheed Wallace lying on the floor; Ben Wallace flip his lid and head band; Rip Hamilton contort his face a hundred times and Chauncey Billups and Brown get technical fouls for screaming at officials.
It is one thing to complain to officials. But the Pistons crossed the line by showing them up. Veteran officials don't play games. If you show them up they are more than happy to blow whistles on you.
The Pistons should know this by now.
The Pistons should also know this. This town loves them. They love their work ethic and spirit. And many people have forgiven them of their sins of the first two games of this series and tried to place blame elsewhere.
They walk in lock step with the Pistons when players complain about officials. They champion the player's who say they want more respect from the national media. The fans believe in the Pistons because the Pistons' way represents what this town is about.
The problem is the Spurs have zapped the spirit out of the Pistons. Brown is trying to breath life into a dying patient.
The question is does the patient want to be saved by this doctor?
We find out tonight.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A SHOPPING LIST OF PISTONS PROBLEMS

Recently, ago I wrote about what is right about the Spurs following Sunday's 97-76 embarrassment at SBC Center.
Here is what's wrong with the Pistons.

** The Spurs are so deep and playing the game at such a high level that the Pistons become frustrated and confused. The Spurs are playing as a team, moving their feet and moving the ball. The Pistons cannot counter and are trying to win as individuals.

** They remain obsessed by the officials. This team does more barking than any team I know. They are frustrated and are playing as if they are waiting for the next whistle to blow. I believe most of their griping has been unfounded. Sunday, the officials were unfair to them, but it is not the reason they lost.

** This team has partially tuned out Coach Larry Brown. It became obvious in the Miami series when Brown told players to do one thing during time outs and they'd come out and do the opposite. This series is an indictment on the Heat who were not good enough or healthy enough to take advantage of the great Pistons divide.
The Brown courtship by the Cleveland Cavaliers has taken a toll. The players are angry with him and are no longer playing for him.

** The Pistons are missing easy shots. This could partially be mental. They know the Spurs are the best team they've faced since beginning their championship run last season. The Pistons are not relaxed. They are rushing and not thinking the game through.

** The Pistons are not as good as we thought. This is the first healthy team they have faced in the playoffs. The Pistons playoff run has been riddled with broken down bodies. Now this is a team that is healthy, fresh and superior. The Pistons are being outclassed, out hustled, out thought and will soon be out of the championship hunt.

SPURS PUT ON ANOTHER BASKETBALL CLINIC

Here is how great the San Antonio Spurs were Sunday night.
Their bull dog attack made the Pistons look foolish and caused them to throw up their hands in resignation.
Their ball movement and sleight of hand was so fantastic that it caused officials to call phantom fouls. And they manhandled the Pistons in such a dominant fashion that their 97-76 clinic probably caused a bunch of Pistons fans to leaped off the bandwagon in disgust. This is no fluke now. The Spurs have totally outclassed the Pistons twice with the series shifting to The Palace Tuesday night for Game 3.
The Pistons got caught in a tidal wave and now they are treading water in a series that has gotten out of hand. I do believe teams can rally from a 2-0 deficit in best of seven game series. But they cannot when one team is performing a clinic and the other is hanging on to the cliff for dear life.
My reference point in the NBA is the 1980's. That is when we saw some of the best basketball ever with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls. There are few teams since 1990 that I believe can play with those teams.
The Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan championship run is one of them because of Jordan's greatness. This Spurs team is the other.
They play the game so right they are exposing everything that is wrong with the Pistons.
Their ball movement, back door cuts, defensive anticipation and intensity and coaching has been so superior that I watch games with my mouth open in amazement. This is some of the best basketball I've seen in the last 15 years.
And a word about the officials. I feel I must mention them because so many of you are obsessed with the issue.
They blew calls against the Pistons and called too many bogus calls. I say this for only the second time in the playoffs. I do not think it is a conscious thing. The Spurs are not only fooling the Pistons but they are fooling the officials as well.
Before this series began I wrote that it would be worth watch. Well so far I have been right and wrong.
The Spurs are worth watching. The Pistons are not.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

ENOUGH ALREADY WITH MIKE TYSON

One of my buddies called Saturday afternoon and invited me over to watch the Mike Tyson fight.
"You are kidding me, " I replied.
Someone actually was inviting people over to watch Mike Tyson fight some dude named Kevin McGride?
I quickly declined and made fun of him.
Well. Laila Ali is on the card also he blurted out.
Are we finished with Mike Tyson? The guy has been a shell for nearly 10 years. He lost his third fight in the last four in embarrassing fashion again when he tried to break McGride's arm, and then head butted him and finally sat in the corner prior to the seventh round "feeling like a 120 year-old man.
I used to watch every Tyson fight because he brought excitement and passion to the ring. Even in his later years people watched because they love to watch the train wreck. You never knew what ear he was going to bite off.
But even train wrecks get old. I am glad I did not watch the final Tyson chapter.
And I need to call my pal to see how many people actually showed up for the Tyson viewing.
Or were they there to see Laila Ali?

DUMARS: SHOOT THE BALL RASHEED

Two men stood silently in an elevator as it rumbled sky ward in the Pistons team hotel in San Antonio.
Pistons President Joe Dumars stood on one side, his risky trade acquisition Rasheed Wallace on the other side.
Wallace looked down toward the floor and Dumars straight ahead.
The doors opened and Wallace stepped out.
"Shoot the ball, " Dumars called out.
"OK. I will, " Wallace said hopefully.
Once again the man of few words made the biggest statement. Dumars is right. Wallace must shoot the ball more tonight when the Pistons and Spurs battle in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at SBC Center.
Wallace took six shots in Game 1, a 84-69 Pistons loss. Six shooters are fine in western movies. They are not acceptable when you are as talented as Wallace.
Hopefully Rasheed Wallace will be on the same elevator with point guard Chauncey Billups. And we can only hope the following conversation happens.
Rasheed: "Get me the ball."
Billups: "You got it man. "
Of course the Pistons must rebound better, defend the ball better and get inside the jocks of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. But they also need Rasheed Wallace to be more aggressive on the offensive end.
There are two problems.
1. Rasheed Wallace loves to read games. He concentrates on rebounding when the team needs that. He is also an excellent passer, rebounder and defender. He can hurt you in many ways. He is unselfish.
Sometimes Wallace does not shoot enough because he was taught not to bring attention to himself on the floor, unless of course he is barking at a referee and padding his record number of technical fouls.
Ball hog is not his MO.
But when a team struggles as much on offense as the Pistons they could use one more ball hog. Lets hope Rasheed Wallace becomes that. Sometimes it is baffling to see Ben Wallace take more shots than Rasheed Wallace.
One Wallace is smooth on offense. The other shoots like Robo Cop. I will let you guess which is which.

2. Chauncey Billups needs to recognize when one of his big guns has too many unused bullets in the chamber. It is up to him to feed Rasheed the ball and tell him during time outs his number will be called. Billups is in a tough situation because he knows he can score off gambling defensive player Tony Parker at will.
But the main job of a point guard is to make teammates look good.
Rasheed Wallace is the wild card in the Pistons run. They rarely lose when he is active, interested and dominating.
Shoot the ball.
They might become the most important words of this series

Saturday, June 11, 2005

DID SHEED PULL A RODMAN?

Of course I can never prove it. And if I asked Rasheed Wallace the qustion I am sure he would deny it.
But I think Wallace pulled a Dennis Rodman over on the media Friday, but did not mention the word race when he talked about San Antonio Spurs sensation Manu Ginobili.
Back during the heat of the Pistons-Boston Celtics rivalry in the 1980s, after another bitter playoff loss to the hated C's Rodman said Larry Bird would just be another player if he were black.
In other words the media, who is mostly white, is showering praise on a player who they view as the great white hope. Isiah Thomas foolishly got into the national glare by agreeing with his teammate and the next thing you know Zeke is at the NBA Finals holding a bogus joint press conference with Bird to apologize.
Wallace did not say it. But I sure bet he was thinking it when reporters asked him about Ginobili.
"He's all right,” Wallace said with a shrug. “He's a good ballplayer. In my mind, there ain't nothing too special about the kid.”
The sports media now has Manu fever. Folks want to be like Manu. We no longer play one-on-one basketball. Rather we play Manu ah Manu basketball. He is all flash and dash and emotion and is now a budding super star.
And oh by the way he popped the Pistons across the nose in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a splendid 26-point performance.
He is a South American player with hair that flashes across the screen. He is a white man dominating in a black man's world.
I've talked to a number of black athletes over the years and they sometimes quetion why certain athletes are praised more in the media than others. It does not always boil down to race because some question why New Jersey's Vince Carter gets so much play.
But they sometimes roll their eyes and believe whites still get more praise than blacks if they are good.
That might be true in some cases. It is not true in this one.
Ginobili can play. Game 1 was not a fluke. It is what he's been doing most of the playoffs.
The Spurs might remain Tim Duncan's team, but Ginobili bought a piece of the rock and we should start seeing him make NBA All-Star games.
If Rasheed Wallace does not think he is that special then the Pistons need to shut him down and shut the media up.
When the guy dunked on the entire Pistons team the other night it sure looked special to me.
So was Rasheed's comments Dennis Rodman-Larry Bird II? I have no way of proving it. I just suspect that is the case.

Friday, June 10, 2005

SPURS WON'T BE LIKE 2004 LAKERS

If you couldn't already tell, this NBA Finals will be a lot tougher than the Pistons walk in the park against the Los Angeles Lakers last year.
The San Antonio Spurs won't let petty jealousy get in the way of their goals. The Spurs played team ball better than the Pistons and roared to a 84-69 victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night. This game proves what I suspected. The Spurs are the best team the Pistons will face in this two-year NBA Finals run.
They spotted the Pistons a 17-4 lead and then cut the heart out of the defending NBA champions.
Bruce Bowen got after Rip Hamilton like a pit bull. Tim Duncan looked like the Hall of Fame player he is destined to be. And then Dwyane Wade finished it off by scoring 15 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter.
OK. It was not Wade. But guard Manu Ginobili sure did look like him in dashing through the Pistons defense like a steam locomotive. The same guy who brought gold to Argentina is about to do the same to the Alamo.
And what happened to the Pistons?
After roaring to a 13-point lead to open the game I expected their usual offense black out. I just didn't think it would last the entire game.
And folks I don't think you will blame the refs, although some of you will any way. The Spurs were the better team this night.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

SPURS-PISTONS WORTH WATCHING

My people are already bored.
The Pistons and San Antonio Spurs have yet to play one second of the NBA Finals and my buddies act as if they are about to watch two mules plow the back 40.
These teams are not sexy enough for them because they play defense and run pick and rolls and win with big shots in half court sets.
I argue back that why must everything be a high wire act for us to be entertained? If teams are not running up and down the court as if their shorts are on fire, some of us are bored. This is one reason the NBA Finals will probably not draw high ratings. The Pistons and Spurs won't light up the score board like Dallas or Phoenix.
Too bad.
This will still be an exciting series any way.
Both teams have won titles the last two years. They have smart coaches, experienced rosters and they know how to break opponents down both mentally and physically.
Yeah, sometimes it might seem like a chess match out there. But you've got energy guys like Rip Hamilton and Tony Parker who can do run like their pants are on fire at times.
The difference is they do it smartly.
Maybe I am getting older but I don't need a car chase at every turn. Sometimes a slower unfolding drama is just as exciting for me. I know the conclusion will be spine tingling even if it takes a little longer to get there.
Let the games begin.
I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

DON'T THREATEN OUR DOWNTOWN FIREWORKS

It isn't every day you rolled a wagon on the DSR bus. But this was a special occasion.
We were kids going to our first fireworks downtown and we thought about the red, blue and purple explosions all day. Well we assumed the fireworks formerly known as the J.L Hudson fire works were in technicolor.
I'd never actually see fire works before. I was five years old and the only fireworks I saw were in the newspaper and on television. But our set was black and white and so were the newspapers.
Me and my cousins Billy, David, Reggie and buddy Big Mac climbed aboard the Grand River bus along with our Aunt Gerry. The bus was packed and we could not wait to see the explosions. We talked the whole ride downtown about fireworks as if we were experts. But truth be known none of us had actually seen any live.
We found a spot on Woodward and the show was one of biggest thrills of my life. The color and noise and people made it an exciting evening.
We thought the fire works would be with us forever. But then you grow into adulthood and start reading the newspapers and all of a sudden reality hits. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a battle with City Council threatened to cancel the 2005 fire works on the Detroit River because he said there would not be enough police protection for the thousands who show up every year.
It is doubtful the Mayor can cancel the fireworks. There is too much at stake and too much money to be lost.
It is ridiculous that cancellation of the fire works was even discussed. They are part of Detroit tradition that must never go away.
Millions have enjoyed this evening of festivities, music and fire works.
I've seen them from the Riverfront printing plant, in Hart Plaza, near Comerica Park and on Belle Isle.
I don't go every year. But it is comforting to know they are a part of our community.
We've lost too much over the years. Does anyone remember the Vernors bottling plant? Or the train station? Or Kerns, Crowley's and Kern's department stores?
They are all institutions we've lost over the years. And every time a part of our past disappears we are a little less of a city. These institutions are our identity.
Each evening my daughter Celine asks me to tell her a little about my childhood. I bring up buildings that no longer exists and she looks at me in amazement. I hope she does not have to tell her children about fire works that no longer exist.
I am certain the fire works will continue. But just the mention of them possibly not being with us sent another shiver down my spine.

STARS KEEP GOING DOWN TO PISTONS. IS TIM DUCAN NEXT?

If I am Tim Duncan I am worried. Something bad is about to happen.
The Pistons are coming to town and that can only mean bad news for San Antonio's super star power forward.
When the Pistons travel they pack black magic, voodoo dolls and evil spells. Big names fall when the Pistons roll in during the playoffs.
In the last two playoff seasons we've seen Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd and Dwyane Wade either miss games or be limited because of physical injuries. And in the 2004 NBA Finals we saw an entire Los Angeles Lakers team implode.
Wade was the latest victim. He played well below 100 percent in Game 7 after injuring a rib cage doing a cross over dribble in Game 5.
A cross over dribble?
Are you kidding me?
What's next Robert Horry going down doing a set shot?
Wade tried but was a shell of himself. He could not attack the basket with his usual zest and his mediocre defense became a liability. Still, he gave a gritty performance and in time will play for an NBA championship. He is that good and that determined.
Beware Tim Duncan. Some bad injury is right around the corner. I don't know what it is but something will happen to the Big fella at some point of the NBA Finals which begin Thursday in San Antonio.
The naysayers will say the Pistons are lucky to be in their second consecutive NBA Finals. And they are right. But weren't the Boston Celtics lucky when Adrian Dantley and Vinnie Johnson cracked domes in the 1987 playoffs? Weren't they lucky again when Isiah Thomas threw that ill advised pass in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals?
That is sports. We always talk about match ups, but we seldom factor in good old fashioned luck as a factor.
That's because you cannot predict luck. You cannot predict when a hamstring will snap or a team will bicker with one another on a national stage.
The Pistons are like a steam locomotive. They simply go where the track carries them. And if something is in the way they roll through it to their destination.
It is not their fault that others have blown motors and aching joints.
You play who they throw in front of you.
It is refreshing to see the Pistons in the Finals again because a number of national media were ready to call last year's title a fluke.
It was not. It was legitimate because last time I checked 16 teams began the playoffs and only one survived.
The Pistons do not need to talk about validating or anything like that. They are in the Finals again because they belong.

Monday, June 06, 2005

FEEL FREE TO POST

My thoughts on the Pistons victory over San Antonio are coming later. You can also check out my web log on DetNews.com
But use this space to post your thoughts for now.
What did you think of the 88-82 victory over Miami?

WHO WILL WIN GAME 7? YOU TELL ME

You've heard enough from me. This is Game 7 tonight in Miami.
You know I feel the Pistons mental state is the most important factor in winning or losing tonight. It is even more important than Dwyane Wade's health.
But I want to hear from you. Write me and tell me who will win tonight and what the most important factor will be.
This is your chance to post and look like a genius.
What will happen and why?
Hit me.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT

I want to thank everybody who showed up for the Loyola High School charity event Friday outside the Detroit Athletic Club. A record 625 people attended and some of the people in attendance were loyal listeners to the Sports Inferno, readers of the Detroit News and this web log.
I sort of hosted the event and mingled with the crowd on a wonderful evening for baseball and hanging out chomping on hamburgers, hotdogs and chips. And to cap things off the rain stayed away and the Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles again.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I AM HOSTING A CHARITY EVENT DOWNTOWN FRIDAY

I am taking a mini break from the web log. There is a lot going on and I need to take a few days to focus on them.
However, I wanted to take time to invite you to the 9th Annual Loyola High School Benefit this Friday at the Detroit Athletic Club's outdoor parking lot. I am hosting the event prior to the Tigers taking on the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park.
Loyola does not take on the best and brightest. It is an all boys Catholic high school on Detroit's west side that turns at risk boys into the best and brightest. It is a cause I hope to champion more in the future because helping our youth become productive citizens is very important.
The school survived the ax that fell a number of high schools in part because the staff there works feverishly to raise money to survive. After touring the school a few weeks ago it is something I felt it was important to get involved.
The pregame party begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until just before the opening pitch. There will be good and drink and don't worry about dressing up. It is casual. But if you want to wear something to impress the ladies that is cool also.
There will be raffles, sports memorabilia silent auctions and the main prize will be a Super Bowl raffle. The winner gets two tickets to Super Bowl XL in Ford Field.
Tickets for the event or Super Bowl raffle can be purchased by calling the school at 313-861-2407.
So come by and say hello. Hopefully we can share a few laughs and help a good cause.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

ITS ALL BETWEEN THE EARS FOR THE PISTONS

A number of you have probably penciled the Pistons in for the NBA Finals to play San Antonio. They are fresh off a 91-66 pounding of the Miami Heat in Game 6. And although the seventh and deciding game is at American Airlines in Miami, there are a number of factors in the Pistons favor.
The Heats' leading scorer Dwyane Wade is in pain. His right rib cage feels as if someone stuck a knife. It is an injury that would cause players to miss a week of games.
So we don't know if he will play Monday and if he does how affective will he be?
Eddie Jones and Damon Jones have cooled off and Shaquille O'Neal has not had that monster game that strikes fear in you.
But this looks like a trap -- a trap the Pistons might be laying for themselves.
Even when they were dragging the Heat around Saturday like lifeless dolls there remains a disturbing theme for the Pistons.
They cannot get their minds off the officials.
And guess what? Officials are going to make a number of calls Monday night that the Pistons won't like. They will claim they got jobbed or ripped off. They must speak their peace and move on.
Why was Rasheed Wallace getting a technical foul on a play he committed a foul on? And why did Rip Hamilton go out of his way in a blow up to slap the ball out of an officials hand because he felt he did not get a call while driving toward the basket in the second half?
This is disturbing. The Pistons are not as mentally tough as we gave them credit for. They cry like babies and often times for no reason.
There is supposed to be adversity on the road. It is supposed to be a little tougher. That is why most teams have losing records on the road and that is why no NBA champion since the 1970s has had a losing record on the road during the regular season.
The sad thing is Pistons fans have bought into this. If the Pistons lose you will scream bloody murder and conspiracy theory. Here is what happens most time in the NBA playoffs.
The best team wins. The most composed and mentally tough team will win.
That trend will continue Monday.
Will it be the Pistons?
It is all up to them.

WHO HURTS MORE? THE PISTONS? OR OFFICIALS?

I really need you guys to comment on this.
While doing the Sports Inferno Show with my partner Mike we've encountered a number of Pistons fans who say the officials have influenced this series and been a detriment to the Pistons.
They see conspiracy theories floating in the air. And they say the NBA is so eager to have a Miami-San Antonio series (or is it more like a Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade against Tim Duncan series) that it will do anything with in its power to do it.
Some of you already know I believe shady things happen in the NBA. There are things called "league games" during the regular season when players know they have little chance of winning. I do believe officials are given mandates to watch certain teams more closely than others and we see weird calls from time to time.
In this series I've just seen bad officiating and it has affected both teams. O'Neal has been in early foul trouble early as has Wade. People complain about the Shaq hook and all the other bullish things he does when going to the basket.
Well folks this is not a get the Pistons the heck out of the playoffs moves by officials. They have allowed this all of his career. Why do you think they would stop now?
The reason the Pistons do not lead this series is because they've been too complacent too often. And have you noticed in each game one team comes out with more energy than the other? And that is usually the team that wins.
There is a flaw in the Heat and the Pistons. Both teams play hard when they want. And they coast when they can. And I hate to go back to the good old days of basketball. But the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Pistons of the 1980s would never do this.
Shame on both teams.
So folks it is not the officials. It is more of the Pistons taking short cuts.
Your thoughts?
(I can be heard on AM 1270 The Sports Station from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Monday through Friday on the Sports Inferno. I have twice a week commentaries on The Fox Sports Report (10 p.m.) Monday and Friday and can be read in the Detroit News.
My voice mail is 313-222-1494 and my email address is Fosternews@aol.com