Thursday’s Thrashings: Hoops, Pucks, Kicks (& Nary A Syllable On The Draft)

animated_sportsIt is with this opening salvo that my inner alter cocker wants to bray on (and on and on) about the late start times for the Western Conference matchups in the NBA playoffs.

Tonight’s fascinating Game 6 tilt in LA between the Clippers and Thunder doesn’t hit the air waves until 10:30, though the actual tip will surely be 15-20 minutes later.

Which is, of course, a half an hour after my bed time, more or less.

Then, the more rational me weighs in. The game starts at a reasonable 7:somethingoranother PDT. And it’s still a reasonable hour for the mid-westerners, rooting for OKC, who will have plenty time enough to color coordinate their apparel.

Besides, I say to myself, self, “Self, I’m an old fart, who already knows what insurance company I want to use, what fast food breakfast “treats” my doctor has told me to avoid, and I just bought a new car six months ago, so I’m not the target audience, even if an inveterate lifelong hoopaholic.”

Yes, loyal readers, I know how to work the DVR, thank you very much for bracing suggestion. It’s just that I have a thing about watching athletic events in real time. A quirk, I can’t seem to shake. Next morning simply won’t do.

Okay, I’ve gotten that off my chest . . . I suppose.

And I’ll try to take a nap, so I can watch Paul and Griffin and friends vs. Durant and Westbrook and friends.1

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Meanwhile, while you here in Hoopsylvania haven’t been paying a nanosecond of attention, there’s been some scintillating pucks.

Tuesday night, the New York Hockey Rangers upset Pittsburgh’s Penguins in a loser-leaves-town Game 7, Eastern Conference semi-final.2

Last night, the Montreal Canadiens upset the favored Boston Bruins, which had the league’s best regular season record, in the other Game 7, Eastern Conference semi-final.

That latter matchup, between two Original Six franchises, was their 34th Stanley Cup encounter. That, mes freres, is some serious sporting history.3

Another Game 7 coming up on Friday night in the I5 series between LA and Anaheim.

You’ve been put on notice.

* * * * *

Speaking of having been put on notice, the Big Blue Nation has been duly warned.

Apparently Coach Cal has confirmed to a Cleveland newspaper that he’d jump back to the pros to coach LeBron James.

His exact words, when asked if he’d like to coach the best player in the world today, “If I had a chance to, I would absolutely.”

One thing is for absolutely, positively sure about John Calipari. He can stay apart of the new cycle, whatever time of year it is. Which is, frankly, a remarkable trait.

I ate dinner last night, as I do periodically, with a bunch of old high school pals, U of L fans all. Especially hoops. We kept trying to start a conversation about our favorite team . . . but . . . there simply isn’t any news.

Even the “Fed Ex Employee Steals Russ Smith Jersey” story never came up.4

* * * * *

The U of L baseball team is having another splendid season.

Except that the nine is now 0-5 against big rivals, IU and UK.

* * * * *

Did UConn really steal another NCAA basketball championship?

Still hard to fathom what happened with that tournament.

* * * * *

My Detroit Tigers have the best record in baseball.

Yeah, it’s early, but . . . just sayin’.

* * * * *

The World Cup starts in less than a month.

Olympics notwithstanding, it’s the biggest sports event in the world.

And . . . never mind, you could care less.

— Seedy K