“The Maple Leafs’ efforts to honour their ex-captain Saturday night were admirable, but he just couldn’t bring himself to smile much or embrace the fans’ affection, and that was reprehensible.”

 




I cannot remember a more disappointing weekend in sports than the most recent one, when the NBA, a singing legend and an NHL legend all embarrassed themselves with annoying behaviour.

 

What letdowns.

 

The entertainment and electricity at previous all-star events was supplanted by excess and eccentricity at the NBA’s all-star site in Las Vegas the past weekend.

 


Wayne Newton’s pre-game effort was downright painful to witness. Heck, he even butchered his own hit, Danke Schane (or however you spell it). It was torture.


Unfortunately, it was a harbinger of what was to come in the game, where the defence rested, the offence wasn’t all that dazzling and the West predictably slaughtered the inferior East. Imagine what would have happened if Steve Nash, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson weren’t stricken from the West’s lineup because of injuries.


The once-enjoyable slam-dunk competition has lost its lustre, too.


Players have run out of ideas. I mean, how many ways are there to dunk your donut in your coffee?


The NBA needs to smarten up.


So does Dave Keon. The Maple Leafs’ efforts to honour their ex-captain Saturday night were admirable, but he just couldn’t bring himself to smile much or embrace the fans’ affection, and that was reprehensible. As he enters the twilight years of his life, Keon battles demons in his mind.


His stubborness is senseless. His bitterness is bizarre.


His behaviour is sad and stupid.





• Canadian Rick Fox, a former NBA star who toils these days as an actor, is dating Kristin Davis of Sex And The City. Fox’s ex-wife is Vanessa Williams, who stars on Ugly Betty ... Another former NBAer, 41-year-old Scottie Pippen, is trying to come back and Cleveland is interested. The Cavaliers also are eying former Raptors point guard Damon Stoudamire, who has a bad knee and has been deemed expendable by the Memphis Grizzlies ... Ex-Raptor Charles Oakley is producing a movie called MVP, a crime story set in Detroit.





•While Raptors coach Sam Mitchell can’t win over his bosses enough to get a contract extension ... the Blue Jays are about to extend the contract of manager John Gibbons, who’ll be paid about $650,000 US a season but will still be one of the lowest-paid skippers in the major leagues ... The Boston Red Sox need a closer and are trying desperately to work out a deal with the Washington Nationals for Chad Cordero... And a closing thought about the NHL’s commercial featuring Swedish twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks: It’s considerably more entertaining than most NHL games.



marty.york@metronews.ca