Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday 06/15 A.M. Quickie:
Lakers, Penguins, Lee, Jrue, Bryce, More

Absolutely loaded SN column this morning, starting with this:

It's not just that Phil Jackson is the greatest coach of NBA history -- I'd argue he was that before last night, but Title No. 10 helps to provide a little oomph.

It is that his 10th title in the past 19 years means that it is Phil Jackson -- not Michael Jordan, not Hakeem, not Shaq, not Kobe, not Duncan -- whose "dynasty" reigns supreme in NBA history.

When we look back at the post-Bird/Magic Era of the NBA, which I would argue started in 1989 with the Pistons first title, if one person defines it, it is Phil Jackson.

Jackson transcended the Jordan Era through the Shaq Era through the Kobe Era (sorry, LeBron: Obviously not yet) -- the one consistent thing: Phil Jackson winning championships.

We can argue about what classifies as a dynasty, either historically or in this era of instant-history. But what seems inarguable is Phil Jackson's place in history.

Shaq's tweet to Kobe was amazing.
Joey Buss came off as a buffoon.
NBA Finals 2010: Lakers over Magic.

It might not be too high on the radar, but Bryce Harper skipping his final two years of high school to go to juco and, subsequently, be eligible for the MLB Draft next season is a HUGE deal. (So much so that I'll have a stand-alone post about it later today.)

I believe I was pretty early on the "Stephen Curry will go really really high in the draft" bandwagon. I think I cautiously started the bidding at "no less than 10th." Last week, I lowered that forecast to "no less than 5th." Now he's in the mix for No. 3?

Tons of MLB in today's column, too: Red Sox come out of interleague weekend as the favorites to win the World Series, taking 2 of 3 from the defending champs in Philly... Billingsley has emerged as one of the Top 3 pitchers in the NL this season... Hey, welcome back, Cliff Lee!... June '09 Rockies = September '07 Rockies... and More. (Ronny Paulino!)

Pleasepleaseplease don't let Brett Favre announce his return to the NFL on the Joe Buck Show premiere tonight...

I am not looking forward to the anti-BCS hysteria this week. Look: I'm with everyone else -- a playoff would be nice. I continue to insist that any playoff formats that are being discussed (say, anything less than one involving a minimum of 16 teams) will not stop the griping. (God, when will the SEC and Big 12 finally take my advice to secede and create a self-contained playoff to play each other for "best team in the country," if not "national champion.")

Tons more here, plus a ton of bonus posts today, including -- hopefully -- my wrap-up of the big sports-blog conference this past weekend in NYC. Drop by throughout the day.

-- D.S.

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