From the department of the Hard To Believe:  It was shocking enough that Helen Thomas, a living journalistic institution, would make such blatant anti-semitic remarks (which precipitated her recent retirement).  But even more astounding the fact that some media folks refuse to admit her comments really were anti-semitic.  Check out Rosie O’Donnell’s rationalizations on The View.

Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, has won ten NBA championships. (And I expect he will win his eleventh in the next week.)  Yet he is rarely touted among sports journalists as the best NBA coach of all-time.  Routinely commentators diminish his accomplishments by reminding us that he has had the good fortune of coaching superstars like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.  Well, what coach who has led teams to multiple championships has nothad the benefit of coaching superstars?  I’m neither a Lakers fan nor a Bulls fan.  But what Jackson has accomplished in winning ten titles, to my mind, clinches his status as the greatest NBA coach in history and as one of the top two or three coaches in the history of all professional sports.

Finally, I’ve recently discovered the music of Josh Ritter, a genuinely literary songwriter in the folk tradition but whose musical forays have led him in a variety of directions. Lyrically, it just doesn’t get any better than this.  Check out his website and sample some of his stuff.

4 Responses to “Hodgepodge #3”

  1. Louis


    Couldn’t agree with you more about Phil Jackson, although I must admit as a Chicagoan and former schoolmate of his three kids, I’m slightly biased. The lack of “props” he gets, as it were, might be related to his even-keeled manner. He just doesn’t give the media enough fodder whether through his coaching style or life off the court.

  2. Jim Spiegel


    Good point, Louis. Jackson is very media savvy, even to the point that he sometimes uses the media to get in the heads of opposing teams’ players. I suspect this fact rubs some sports journalists the wrong way. And perhaps the lack of “props” is a consequence of this. By the way, though down 3 games to 2 at this point, I fully expect that Jackson will figure out a way to get his team to take games 6 and 7. If that happens, it would be perhaps the biggest feather yet in the Zen-master’s cap.

  3. Koert


    I love the name drop of Josh Ritter. I’ve been listening to him for a few years. Gotta love the voice and intelligent lyrics.

  4. Lloyd Eisenhardt


    The Los Angeles Lakers had an impressive 2008-09 season that culminated with their 15th NBA Title. I acknowledged they would repeat themselves during their 2009-10 season. Their offseason went passably quiet, with the most worthwhile movements being the departure of Trevor Ariza, and the signing of Ron Artest. Though Artest can be outlandish, he’s still a peak defending participant and a better shooter than Ariza, and he unquestionably made the Lakers a stronger team, at least in the short term. Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar overcome previous season’s upsets, and plainly, the Lakers won the Championship. I truly wish I could have made it to Game 7. What a game to miss! Go Lakers!


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