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Sunday, June 20, 2004

SportsProf Will Be Away for a Brief Hiatus

SportsProf won't be able to post through Friday, June 25. In the meantime, here are a few topics to think about:

1. You can check out the June archives of SportsProf for my recommendations (actually, you'll need to scroll down a little bit) for some good (sports-related) summer reading. If you have any recommendations of your own, please post them in the comments section. If any of you are reading or going to read "Ben Hogan: An American Life", please let me know what you think. I heard the author, James Dodson, interviewed on ESPN Radio yesterday, and the book sounds like it could be an interesting read. Also, I reiterate for baseball fans the greatness of "The Glory of Their Times." If you've never read it, you're really missing something wonderful.

2. Phil Wallace has posted some good stuff on the demise of the Laker dynasty and who might be the next Lakers' coach. Click here (and scroll down a post or two) to read about it. Check out the part that suggests that Shaq may be headed to the Mavericks.

3. Mark Cuban has posted his thoughts on the Pistons' championship and what it means for the NBA. Click here to read about it. It makes for interesting reading, but I can't be sure from reading this whether Cuban is confident about his Mavericks' future. Mark, here's one thing to think about -- the willingness of your players to play great team defense. You don't have to be a great manager to realize that some people have talent to do certain things and some don't (and some of your folks may be defensively challenged, and, perhaps your coach is too). To Mark Cuban's credit, he'll probably do the necessary tinkering to improve his Mavericks. The old adage still holds true -- offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. Exhibit A: Detroit Pistons. Shaq in Dallas? It's not out of the question, given Mark Cuban's hunger for a title.

4. For those of you eager for news about both college basketball and the NBA draft, check out the College Basketball blog. There's lots of good stuff here, and, yes, the College Basketball blogmaster did just pay me a compliment. There's a nice piece in a recent post about Maurice Lucas's son, David, who is a fine college player in his own right. Taking you down memory lane, Maurice Lucas was one of the first "bad-boy" power forwards in the NBA (for those of us who don't date back to the days of Tommy Heinsohn and Clyde Lovellette on the Boston Celtics).

5. The US Open has a wonderful finish in store for all of you today, with Retief Goosen looking to repeat. Even if you're not the biggest golf fan, check it out, as there's always good drama in this tournament. Besides, for the dads out there, you should get a pass of some sort, it's Father's Day.

6. The NBA Expansion Draft is Tuesday, the NBA Draft is Thursday, and there are a lot of big names whose careers are in flux at the moment. Kobe has opted out of his contract, Shaq has demanded to be traded, Tracy McGrady has said he won't sign with the Magic when his contract expires after this year, the 76ers can't really be happy with Allen Iverson, and lots of teams have said they might want to trade up into the Top 10 of the draft. The result: could be a very active week in the NBA.

7. Please post if you care about Wimbledon or, frankly, if you can name the top five seeds in either the men's or women's draw. What is happening to professional tennis? Does anyone follow this sport that closely anymore? It used to be fun to watch the major tennis tournaments, but the sport has lost, well, its oomph.

It should be a fun week. I'll see you at the end of it.


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