New Castle News

Sports

June 2, 2014

Greg Huston: So, do you love LeBron — or hate him?

NEW CASTLE — Now that the NBA Finals matchup is set between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, it’s time for the annual event of picking a side on whether you love or hate polarizing superstar LeBron James.

 Obviously, even the biggest haters can admit that he is the best basketball player on the planet, but there is something about him that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. As I’ve wrote before, his personality does nothing to help him because he seems to struggle to find the public persona that works for him. He almost seems to be alternating between Superman and Lex Luthor, never really sure if he’s the good guy or bad.

Beating the Spurs in this year’s Finals would leave him with nothing left to prove in Miami, and with his contract expiring, he could do a lot for his own image by returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers after the season to help rebuild a franchise that has been spiraling since he bolted four years ago.

I personally am not a fan of the guy, but I know I’d like him a lot more if he proved the adage wrong by going home again.

•That being said, no one will be rooting for the Spurs more than I will be over the next couple of weeks. No franchise in basketball has been as boringly good over the past 15 years, winning four titles and losing another, but they do it in such odd ways that it’s hard not to like them.

The roster is filled with foreign guys, from fan-favorite wild man Manu Ginobli, to awkward big man Tiago Splitter, and all contribute in their own unique way. Along with coach Gregg Popovich, point guard Tony Parker and power forward Tim Duncan are the rocks of the franchise, but they are all so diverse and dynamic that no two seasons ever seem remotely the same.

Even though it has seemed like the last chance for the Spurs to win a title each of the last three seasons, this year seems to have a sense of finality unlike previous years, at least when it comes to the aging Duncan. Here’s hoping that they don’t let it slip away like last year’s devastating loss, after a 3-2 series lead don’t forget, to LeBron and the Heat.

•The Pirates made their second appearance of the season on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball yesterday, beating the Dodgers 5-3 and taking a series in Los Angeles for the first time since 2006.

That’s all great, but for those who watched the game, what in the heck was ESPN thinking? Along side the normal commentators Karl Ravech and Barry Larkin, ESPN had three other former players and a former coach calling the game, for a total of six guys. The former players were Doug Glanville out in the right field stands, Mark Mulder on the third base line, Aaron Boone on the first base line and former manager Eric Wedge behind the plate. With six people all vying for air time, it was difficult to tell who was talking and what they were talking about.

It was actually a little overwhelming as each tried to make their own points over top one another for the whole game.

It reminded me of the classic scene in the first “Naked Gun” movie when they announce a wide-ranging array of commentators for the fictional playoff game between the Angels and Mariners, coincidentally filmed at Dodgers Stadium. The list is introduced by the venerable Mel Allen, who is alongside Curt Gowdy, Jim Palmer, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Dick Enberg, Tim McCarver and Dick Vitale. The joke is that many of those “analysts” announced other sports or were in other fields altogether, but the game was so important it required all those commentators.

Unfortunately for ESPN, the only joke was that their six-headed broadcasting monster created nothing but chaos, which actually parodied the parody movie quite well.

•I think Jason Worilds will have a solid season this year at outside linebacker for the Steelers, but with his injury history and Jarvis Jones’ lack of production last season, it’d be nice if the Steelers would bite the bullet and just bring James Harrison back for another season, especially since there are no other proven back-ups behind those two guys. He’s going to be needed sooner or later, so they might as well make sure he is here and ready to go when that happens.

(Questions, comments or ideas? Email Greg at: hustongregor@hotmail.com)

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • pennstate.jpg Big 10 commission noncommittal on Penn State sanction cuts

    Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SteelersSpence.jpg Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Polanco.jpg Harrison’s four hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday. Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day