Kids these days. The newer generations of NBA fans probably only know Kevin McHale, if they know him at all, as either the general manager/coach who spent the past few years running the Minnesota Timberwolves into the ground before being shown the door in June. Older fans, however, probably remember McHale best as the Celtics forward who clotheslined the bespectacled, bemulleted Lakers forward Kurt Rambis in the 1984 NBA Finals.
Now, 25 years later, REVENGE! Rambis has been hired away from the Lakers to replace the deposed McHale as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sadly, it appears that the 80s mullet and black specs were casualties of his quest for revenge and were left somewhere on the Boston Garden floor.
You know that we’ve really gone through the looking glass when Kevin Love is breaking big NBA news via Twitter. That’s what happened just a few hours ago, as Love Tweeted us all that Kevin McHale will not be returning to the Timberwolves next season.
From Love’s Twitter feed, your finest source for breaking NBA news: “Today is a sad day … Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach this season.” As of this writing, however, the report has not been confirmed by the Timberwolves.
Upon seeing the posting, a person in the league was told McHale sent a text message to Love indicating he was not coming back. The person requested anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
New team president David Kahn and a Timberwolves spokesman did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.
McHale and Love grew very close during the rookie’s first season in Minnesota, especially after McHale left his front office position to take over as coach in December.
During a breakfast with media members on Monday, Kahn said no decision had been made and he hoped to meet with McHale again this week.
Now on to the wacky world of baseball. To prove what kind of a game we’re dealing with, both Willy Taveras (0-for-his-past-32) and Chipper Jones (0-for-21) got hits for the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday against Cincinnati. But it was the Reds’ Killer Rain Delay Tarpaulin of Doom which stole the show. When it was all over, there were two lengthy rain delays, one very embarrassed groundskeeper and a 7-2 Cincinnati victory.
The unfortunate lass above being swallowed by the tarp is Robin Habisch, whose colleagues have evidently never heard of the Army motto “No man left behind.” Attempting to roll out the tarp during heavy rain and wind during the top of the third, the grounds crew finally got the upper hand, only to have Habisch disappear underneath the fabric.
She groped around underneath, burrowing Bugs Bunny-like, until at last finding freedom. This all delighted Brandon Phillips, who mocked her relentlessly in the dugout afterward. And she even got interviewed by FSN.
Heavy rain resulted in the 1-hour, 54-minute delay in the top of the third inning. A member of the grounds crew lost her footing as she helped drag the tarp over the infield, leaving her trapped briefly. She got to her feet and found her way out unharmed, receiving an ovation from the 19,127 wet fans.
Crew chief Joe West herded the teams back onto the field with a steady rain falling and sections of the warning track submerged. Only two outs later, the rain turned back into a downpour, resulting in another delay of 21 minutes.
Laynce Nix drove in three runs with a groundout and a pair of doubles and Phillips had three hits, as the Reds ended a four-game losing streak.
And now from the land of personalized jerseys we get this Cardinals head-scratcher, which may be a reference to a St. Louis icon with whom I’m unaware (”Come on, catcher Pickles Dillhoefer, the Ghost Man! Jeez!”). But more likely, as pointed out by JOE SPORTS FAN, “Ghost Man” represents that imaginary runner used in pickup games when you’ve only got three or four players per team (also popular in Wiffle Ball).
But why would anyone want to be Ghost Man? That guy sucked … he usually got on base with a single, which is lame when there’s only three fielders. Then, if you played by the same rules that I did, he advanced only one base per hit; two for a double, three for a triple — the Steve Balboni of pinch runners. So if he’s on second and you single cleanly to right, he’s too slow to score. Nice use of $300.
• It wasn’t a good day for Arkansas TV reporter Mike Irwin, who was trying to do a live remote from the CWS in Omaha when fan pandemonium broke out (below). Instead of rolling with it, though, Mike got pissed, and called for security. Why would I imagine that this is exactly how Joe Buck would have handled it?
Think about that for a second: If the reports about Simmons getting 15,000 emailers supporting him are correct, there would be more email supporters than fans at your average Minnesota game in 2008-09. Not hiring someone based on that fan backing would seem almost ludicrous from a financial planning and marketing standpoint.
The walls certainly appear ready to collapse on Kevin McHale’s bunker as he coaches out the string with the Wolves and prepares for the inevitable postseason firing squad (if Tom Cruise doesn’t get there first to save the people of Minnesota!)
(Forget the standings, bloggers should judge McHale on how he demands the rapt attention of his players during timeouts)