As long as Pat Riley is the president and part-owner of the MIami Heat, and as long as the Heat are doing anything besides dominating the NBA, there will be questions about if-when-should the coaching legend return to the bench; the premise being that only somone with Riley's cache could could convince LeBron James to defer to Dwayne Wade -- or even Mike MIller -- at crunch time: So who will notify [James]when the time comes (if not now) to try someone or something else with the game on the line? Who will tell him to go be the league's richest decoy and crash the offensive boards? In his eight seasons, James has not had a coach with more clout than him. ... It is one thing to talk about holstering one's ego for the sake of the collective. Maybe James thought this would be easy because he assumed - correctly thus far - that the major sacrifices would be made by Wade. But if that must change, who has enough courtside juice on a nightly basis to help him grasp the axiomatic logic that everyone will eventually be better off when less of him becomes more?
That would be Riley, the creator, who in most cases outranks the King.
4. How, exactly, is the Goldwater Institute saving taxpayers in Glendale?
First off, congratulations to the good people at Five MInutes for Howling; a blog devoted to the Phoenix Coyotes. If there was ever a line sure to wow the ladies in Arizona, it would be along the lines of: "I blog about hockey." Am I right? More importantly, they make an interesting point here when they question the motives of the Goldwater Institute, the agency contemplating suing the City of Glendale if they do indeed go through with the plan to issue a municipal bond to help Matthew Hulzsize buy the Coyotes from the NHL. It's expected the legal entanglements that would ensue would be the last straw and see the club returned to Winnipeg: Does that mean that the taxpayers themselves want to see a deal fall apart that would leave a big hole in the City of Glendale, no hockey team, and a multi-million dollar retail complex turn into a ghost-town? What kind of tax payer would actually want that?
... In reality the taxpayers GWI is "protecting" don't exist. That's because taxpayer money isn't going into this deal despite what keeps getting repeated. Parking fees will pay off the bonds. All GWI can say is "We don't think the money equals out" despite several studies saying that it will. GWI likes to cite one of the studies being biased, but hey that's why there are other ones. All GWI cares about is looking powerful and posturing. If they had a case, they'd have sued already because that's pretty much all they do.
5. In case you ever wondered, when Ali fought Frazier, it was personal:
From Stephen Brunt's fine piece on the eve of the 40th anniverary of the first meeting between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Frazier on his feelings for his opponent in the buildup to the match: I used to sit back and watch him on television. I said 'Lord, I'm going next week or next month against this man. I'm not asking for something unworthy. I just want you to help me kill that scamboogah.' That's what I said to the Lord. I said, 'This guy ain't right. … What has the greatest ever done that's so great? What has he done so great for this world?' … Everything that he done was against this country. When are we going to open our eyes up and see? When are we going to start seeing? You all ask the Lord. Don't ask me."
6. Brett Lawrie walking the talk for the Blue Jays: