June 24, 2015 |
The 76ers never had a chance at Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns once the Minnesota Timberwolves were awarded the first overall pick in the draft lottery last month. Once that happened, everyone knew that Towns, the headliner of this summer's draft class, was bound for the Twin Cities. And leading into the NBA draft Thursday at the Barclays Center, Towns' meeting with commissioner Adam Silver will be nothing more than a made-for-television formality. The New York website SNY.tv reported Monday that the Timberwolves told Towns he would be the No. 1 pick.
November 4, 2013 |
There is something oddly compelling about the juxtaposition of death and sports. No matter the genre, whether it's real heroes on the sports pages or fictional ones in movies and books, the premature demise of athletes has long been an intriguing subject. Perhaps that's because few things are as sad, as fascinating, or as easily understood as wasted youth and promise. An awesome physical gift stilled too early and forever is the stuff of tragedy. For sportswriters, novelists, filmmakers, and even poets, these deaths have proved a remarkably rich and deep - albeit macabre - vein.
March 28, 1998 |
The past month has begun what will surely be a madcap several months of in-your-face, can-you-top-this, buzzer-beating basketball. If you're a hoop junkie, this is your time of year. "March Madness," a.k.a. the NCAA basketball tournament, hottest ticket in the sports theater, throbbing experience that releases in many of us a revival-tent fervor, will play out until Monday, to be followed by NBA Armageddon, the playoffs. B-ball players taking part in the NCAA tournament or the NBA playoffs - any dribbler worth his sweat, that is - will be seeking the ultimate prize that only a few will savor: The Championship.
November 9, 1986 |
My, how Lefty Driesell has changed. Last December, he was such an asset to the University of Maryland that it awarded him a lucrative 10-year contract. Last week, he was such a liability that the university threw him out of his coaching job. To read the newspaper accounts and listen to those in authority, Driesell's precipitous fall from grace was occasioned by the academic shortcomings of his players (five of the 12 flunked out), with drug abuse on the College Park campus providing the final shove.
July 28, 1986 |
It is scapegoat season. Top managers of the Soviet atomic energy program have just been fired for the Chernobyl disaster. This being the Soviet Union, some will be up for criminal prosecution. They are, in the Politburo's chilling turn of phrase, "guilty of the accident. " Over here, we don't use the phrase, but we accept the idea. NASA officials in charge at the time of the Challenger disaster have been reassigned or retired. On a somewhat different scale, the entire sports program, perhaps even the entire University of Maryland, is being ransacked for misdeeds, in the search for someone other than Len Bias to blame for Len Bias' death.
July 4, 1986 |
Police have been unable to pinpoint who supplied the cocaine that killed the Cleveland Browns' Don Rogers, and they say that it is possible that no one will face criminal charges in the case. Capt. Mike O'Kane said of the Sacramento, Calif., police said that police were investigating many tips from telephone informants. "We may be getting a lot of tips saying, 'So-and-so did it,' but we haven't anything solid," O'Kane said. "If it was a transaction between Rogers and the dealer, with no one else around, there'll never be any prosecution," he added.
July 2, 1986 |
The Democrats dragged poor dead Len Bias into the debate in the House of Representatives last Wednesday. They needed him as a prop in arguing whether to give $100 million to the Nicaraguan anti-communist guerrillas. What does Len Bias, the Maryland basketball star, have to do with the Nicaraguan Contras? Bias died last week of a cocaine overdose, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., believes that our freedom-loving contra allies raise money by trafficking in cocaine. "Don't weep for Lenny Bias, and then turn around and give money to cocaine pushers," Rep. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
July 1, 1986 |
In Porgy and Bess, the oily and evil Sportin' Life gives the lovely and innocent Bess her first taste of cocaine and lures her from Catfish Row in Charleston, S.C., to Harlem, N.Y. Porgy, the cripple, cannot bear that his Bess is gone. Determined to get her back, he gets into his goat cart and is slowly pulled along the stage. "Which way New York?," he asks, and with that he breaks the heart of anyone who has ever seen the show. The Faustian theme of the enticement of beauty or talent by evil is as old as theater itself.
June 26, 1986 |
The official word was spreading yesterday about basketball star Len Bias' death from cocaine. And locally, the word was this: It probably won't have any impact on young drug-users. Or at least not that much. At Philadelphia's notorious drive-in cocaine center at Eighth and Butler Streets, at a Catholic girls' school, at a Center City basketball court, in the offices of adult experts who fight the up-mountain battle against drug abuse, people were mostly saying the same kinds of discouraging things.
June 26, 1986
Anyone who dabbles with cocaine, as do millions of Americans from all walks of life, must consider what happened to Len Bias. He was as healthy as a human being can be until one night's toot of cocaine blew his heart out. Cocaine killed Len Bias, nothing but cocaine. If it happened to him, it can happen to anyone. Len Bias was superbly fit. He was 22 years old, an all-America basketball star at the University of Maryland, beloved by family, teammates and the campus community. Last week the NBA champion Boston Celtics chose him as their first choice among all the college players in the land.