It’s becoming fashionable for NBA players to hand their sweaty jerseys to fans after games.
An increasing number of NBAers are emulating the Washington Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas, who for years has given away his top en route to the dressing room.
“It’s nice to give something back to fans,” explained the Denver Nuggets’ J.R. Smith. “It’s a good feeling to give them the shirts off our backs.”
Maybe, but it’s a hassle for the clubs. In fact, they’ve begun to charge players $200 US a jersey. That’s $16,400 a season.
•Many NBA clubs supply books to players for road trips, but the Los Angeles Lakers chose not to because, coach Phil Jackson explained, “Our guys wouldn’t read the things, anyway. All they can do is play video games and watch porn.” ... It’s popular in Toronto to criticize Isiah Thomas, largely because he’s an ex-Raptors exec, but his players in New York back him so strongly that one, centre Eddy Curry, told the Knicks he’d want out if his coach were let go ... It’s the Pistons, by the way, who are the East’s hottest team, not the Raptors — despite what the shamelessly homer broadcasters in Toronto want you to believe. Detroit is 11-2, including last night’s win over the L.A. Clippers, since obtaining Chris Webber... Objective folks who follow the NBA are still laughing at silly suggestions in Toronto last week that the Raptors’ Chris Bosh may be the league’s MVP. Puh-lease ... Ex-Raptor Doug Christie signed a second 10-day contract with the Clippers, but only after Los Angeles officials agreed to let his wife Jackie accompany the team on flights. The Christies recently made a movie in which Doug wears a dog collar and is pulled on a leash by Jackie, who whips him while he asks for more. No joke ... There’s a 7-foot-9, 400-pounder in the ABA named Sun Ming Ming. Scouts don’t think he’s physically fit enough to play in the NBA.
•The Argonauts’ Michael “Pinball” Clemons is a long-shot to defeat Winnipeg’s Doug Berry or B.C.’s Wally Buono as the CFL’s premier coach, but, should he prevail when the results are announced tonight, I hope he’ll have enough guts to publicly thank J.I. Albrecht.
It was Albrecht, after all, who had the courage to hire Clemons as Toronto’s coach years ago. Clemons was a coaching candidate in no one’s mind back then except for Albrecht’s, and the choice created widespread laughter and criticism.
Albrecht isn’t well these days and undoubtedly could use a morale boost.