Will Rat Leave The Stinking Ship

January17/ 2000

 The last time I was in LaGuardia Airport (a year ago) the Great Northeast Blackout took place … this time it was Coach K & The Lakers.  The Swaggerphone was going nuts as Buddies were calling w/ disjointed bits of info.  Ever the calm head when all about me are in chaos … I led my traveling companions in a chorus of “Laker With The Purple Dress On” and contemplated my remarks to the SwaggerNation.

   As of Friday night we know little more than we knew 24 hours ago … certainly this dramatic turn of events completes a Trifecta week that changes all of our lives FOREVER! Not necessarily in order of Global importance …

  • Britany Spears found her true love and life soulmate.
  • Stanley Kowalski aka Don Vito Corleone buys the farm at 80 … STELLA!!!!
  • Coach K considers leaving West Durham for La-LaLand?

   No … I do NOT believe Mike will leave Duke for The Lakers.  It is an offer out of the blue and to make such a dramatic career and legacy altering decision under a “now or never” mandate is inconsistent with Mike’s nature.  Mickie will brain him with a frying pan if necessary.

   Sure … college basketball is a sorry shell of what we wanted to believe it once was.  It is not simply the 8-10 potential “superstars” that bypass college for the NBA.  The game of amateur basketball is bigger than Spencer Haywood, Moses Malone, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnet, Sean Livingston and all the others who will follow their path. 

   Each of us would likely chase that much money given the opportunity.  For the NBA to institute any sort of age limit or other form of restraint of trade rules will mean the lawyers will tie it up for years.  The high school to the NBA pipeline will stay as is.  But you don’t miss what you never had. Forget the Bling Bling Boys.

   Carolina fans are glad that Deng and Livingston will not be at Duke next year … Duke fans are glad J.R. Smith will not be a Tar Heel … we only get upset when it effects OUR team.


Swagger Stumper

What were Butch Cassidy and Etta Place doing 

while BJ Thomas was singing?


   The ancillary elements involved in this Coach K – Will He or Won’t He are fascinating.  Let’s begin with Jerry Buss’ bag man – Mitch Kupchak … irony of ironies.  A famous Tar Heel is right in the middle.  Sure, Mitch simply IS “the bag man” here.  No way Coach K answers to Mitch any more than Phil Jackson did.  This is Mike and Jerry … and Mike and The World of The NBA.

   How critical is the timing … Mike is still hot over Deng and Livingston.  Eventually he will relax, and, like Ol’ Roy, decide to stop screwing around kissing the butts of 18 y/o prima donnas.  Forget the Bling Bling Boys and recruit kids with a different perspective on life. They are out there. Ol Roy just got one in Bobby Fraser.  Mike will get his share too.

   The coaches of the top programs can change their recruiting strategy.  Leave the Bling Bling Boys to the rogue programs … Cincy, Memphis, Okla State, et al.  Sure they will get a few.  For goodness sakes IGNORE THE LOONIES!  Each school’s Loonie Fringe will carry on like howler monkies if they can’t bray about some top blue chipper in the recruiting circus.

   Never forget the #1 rule of The Lunatic Fringer … they do not care about “the kid” … they do not care about “the coach” … they do not care about “the school” … ALL the Lunatic Fringers care about is the vicarious thrill they derive if their chosen team beats its hated rival.  If Ol Roy and Mike put intramural kids in the uniforms and go at it … the Loonies will quickly adjust.

   The question will become … Do Superstars make the premier programs with their presence for a year or so … OR … will the top players for the premier programs automatically be accorded star status … I say the latter. In three years J.R. Smith will be hanging out on a street corner with Joe Forte and William Avery … to hell with’em.

   So … if there are ways for Mike to change his recruiting strategy to beat the Bling Bling Boys and still field a Top Five program annually, then “why leave Duke???”

   Is he “chasing the money”? … How stupid!  Oh, the K-haters will ratchet up their usual bile and venom to defame every aspect of the man’s character. They assume he is as shallow and unfocused as they are.  One does not attain the achievements that Mike has over 25 years at the highest level of his profession … with the limited mindset of an Internet howler monkey. They lack his self-discipline and goal direction. They also lack the sense of loyalty that tied Ol Roy to Lawrence four years ago.  If such high achievers as Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski EVER start behaving to the satisfaction of the Internet howler monkey crowd … we shall have no more high achievers.

   Never forget … 99% of the vile disreputable garbage you hear about Coach K is generated in a storm sewer beneath Franklin Street.  The 1% – his excessive use of profanity – is true. 

   If “the sorry state of college basketball” is not a legitimate reason to bolt … and The Ks do not crave the material differences between a $2,000,000 lifestyle in Durham versus an $8,000,000 life style in LA … then why go? What about Mike & Mickie makes you think they need a Maybach or a Montana ranch hideaway?

   OK … the cheerleaders are much hotter in Staples than in Cameron.  But Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon are not going to paint their faces purple and take their shirts off … it won’t happen.  

   There IS a solution to the ills of college basketball as described above … there is NO solution to the malevolent ills of the NBA.  It has come to represent everything weak and sinister about human nature.  College basketball is simply a piano that badly needs retuning. The NBA is Motley Crue and Madonna … if that is what you enjoy – go for it … but don’t go to a Motley Crue concert expecting to hear Harry Connick. You can’t change the NBA Mike … it will change you.

   Stay on at Duke for 8-10 more years Mike … you and Ol Roy and Herb and a few others keep tinkering with “the system”. Basketball is a good game and there are still “good kids” who want to play it … and still good fans who want to see them do it.

   But Coach … PLEASE cut down on those sideline F-bombs … OK.?     

Two craziest “rumors” in the past 48 hours:

  1.  “Ratface” is just doing this to intimidate the new Duke prez and show him who’s boss.
  2. A group of UNC Fat Cats are paying Jerry Buss to get Mike out of the ACC.

If Coach K leaves … will the Tar Heel Hate’em Crowd be content with just Chuck and Dickie to feed on?

The Gogolaks (not the Podolaks!) Pete & Charlie were the Hungarian placekickers.  The Bahrs were the Penn State kickers.

I made it across the Throgs Neck Bridge … by singing the theme from Rawhide at the top of my lungs  … “… keep them doggies rollin’ … RAWHIDE!”

BobLee did good buddy Jerry Agar’s radio show on Friday … TV and radio in same week … what’s next?

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