The NBA draft lottery happened last night. The Mavs had something like a less than one percent chance of moving up from No. 13. They did not. So. Back to the question: who should the Mavs take? Chad Ford, ESPN’s draft guru, thinks the team may take Dario Saric, a 19-year-old Croatian small forward. Plus: He’s 6-10 and apparently has a high basketball IQ and star potential. Minus: That is pretty much exactly the scouting report (especially Ford’s scouting report) on Darko Milicic, and the only good thing he ever did was providing the name for one of the best basketball blogs ever, FreeDarko. Other minus: everything I just said but in capital letters, in a nice bold font and underlined. If they do this, I will be extremely disappointed.
Fortunately, pretty much only Ford has the Mavs taking Dar
kio. Here is a round-up of other mock drafts. Some interesting names, and I’m not just talking about the guy with the super interesting name, Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who makes me think of this Key & Peele sketch. There’s Shabazz Muhammad (who lied about his age up until last year — sketchy) and Michael Carter-Williams (who went to Syracuse — sketchy). My favorite, though, is Dennis Schroeder. A few reasons: 1) all the things in this profile; 2) this highlight video from his breakout performance at Nike Hoop Summit; and 3) he’s from Germany. It worked out kind of well before annnnnd this will allow me to smoothly transition from “I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN” to “I SEE YOU, LITTLE GERMAN.”
Make it happen.
First pitch today against the A’s is at 1:05. I have three pairs of tickets. They are $70 seats, row 20 on the third-base side. Each pair comes with a parking pass. Very simple: first three people to make it to our front desk get a pair.
Today the NFL award the honor of hosting Super Bowl L, in 2016, to the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, California. But of more importance to us is the fact that the owners also voted to give Super Bowl LI to Houston. As the Morning News notes, that likely spoils North Texas’ hopes for 2018.
The Dallas area is competing for the 2018 game, or Super Bowl LII but will now be considered a long shot with the 2017 edition also in the state of Texas. With Denver, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Miami also in the running for the 52nd Super Bowl, the NFL has options to choose from outside of the Lone Star State.
Reason No. 27 that I love this guy: Dirk Nowitzki says he’ll take a “significant pay cut” next summer so that the team will have a better shot at signing another superstar (like Chris Paul, hopefully). ESPNDallas’ Tim MacMahon reports that Dirk says, “At this point of my career, it’s all about competing and winning. It’s not about money.” Swoon.
On the front page of today’s Dallas Morning News, sources say the Dallas Cowboys may abandon their practice facility in Valley Ranch for greener pastures in Frisco or Arlington. Irving, the Cowboys’ home for more than 25 years, is also in the mix. But the story says nothing about Dallas. Come on, Mayor Rawlings. You want to Grow South? Get America’s Team back in Big D. Personally, I find the concept of the Cowboys neither practicing nor playing in Dallas County offensive — and that’s coming from a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan.
What a difference in attitude a couple of months have made for Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. As Krista mentioned earlier, AT&T and Dallas have (nearly) finalized snatching the very lucrative Byron Nelson PGA tournament away from Irving—a deal the mayor was understandably upset about earlier in the year.
In an April story in D CEO magazine she told writer Art Stricklin: “From Day One we have been partners with the city of Dallas. The mayors of Dallas and Arlington, Fort Worth, and Irving agreed that we were not competing with each other. … [But] this seems to be the aim of taking a golden nugget from one city to another city.”
Now, though, Van Duyne apparently has got her mind right about things. The Nelson “is and has always been a regional event,” she told today’s DMN. “The tournament is bigger than any one city and benefits every community in North Texas.” As she spoke harps may or may not have been playing in the background.
Taylor Thornton is a Hockaday kid who plays lacrosse at Northwestern. She’s one of the finalists in this year’s voting for Female College Athlete of the Year. You can cast your vote for her here. There’s just one problem: Thornton is up against a lady by the name of Brittney Griner. And they are both up against an apparently popular Oregon volleyball and basketball player named Liz Brenner, who leads with 29 percent of the votes.
Today at lunch, while working out, between monster sets of biceps-blasting curls, I watched Sarah-Jane Perry, with her charming British accent, bitch out a squash umpire for not calling a let. Perry is a 6-foot-tall right-handed pro squash player who is ranked No. 20 in the world and who turns 23 next Wednesday. You probably already knew that. Me, I had to look it up. And while I’m on the subject, why don’t they list the heights and weights of lady squash players? They do it for the men. This is relevant information!
Today, Perry was playing a Dutchwoman by the name of Natalie Grinham, who is ranked No. 10 in the world. Grinham is 12 years older and a lot shorter than Perry. How much shorter? I don’t know. A foot? Maybe even 14 inches? Couldn’t find that information anywhere. Perry’s height was hidden in a corner of the internet so remote that finding it left me without sufficient energy to find out whether a squash umpire is actually called an umpire. Maybe it’s a judge. You’ll have to look that up for yourself. But bottom line is this: when I’m watching ladies play squash, I want to know their dimensions. I think that’s a reasonable expectation.
Anyway, the 2013 Texas Open continues through the weekend at the T. Boone Pickens Y. I can’t tell you how tall or short the ladies are, but I can tell you that they are good at the game. If you’re around, check it out.
Your favorites from the worlds of Dallas arts, sports, and media still need your help if they’re going to be crowned our Best of Big D Readers’ Choice champions and be honored in the August issue of D Magazine.
Voting comes to an end Sunday night, so you’ve got three more daily chances to cast your ballot on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
Last December, as you’ll likely recall, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was arrested after a DUI-related accident killed his teammate, Jerry Brown (who was also Brent’s college teammate and roommate). There was some uproar when, out on bond, Brent was allowed to attend a home game and momentarily walk the sidelines with his teammates.
Now my friend Thomas Lake, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, has an interesting feature looking at why, given so many other viable options, NFL players continue to drink and drive. The story, which centers on the Brent case, hasn’t been posted online yet, but there is a short teaser here.
Pro athletes, Lake writes, are arrested for drunk driving less frequently than the general population, but “what distinguishes the sports figures is their financial ability to hire drivers. And now, with Safe Ride solutions, they have fewer excuses to drive drunk than they ever had before.”
Here’s how the story recounts December 8, 2012, the night of the accident, when Brent and Brown were at a bar just five miles from the apartment they shared:
“Brent had a choice to make…He can call a confidential safe-ride service administered by the NFL Players Association. He can call one of two limousine services affiliated with the Cowboys. He can call a member of the Cowboys’ staff whose job it is to be available all day and all night to help the players however he can. Josh Brent does none of those things.”
Earlier this week, we noted how the first-place Texas Rangers were slighted by the ESPN Power Rankings after sweeping the Boston Red Sox. The team then immediately proceeded to drop two games to the not-so-good Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.
Since I am not a fan of the world’s most popular sport, I’ve failed to notice another local pro sports team that’s flying high in the estimation of power rankers from coast to coast. FC Dallas is the best team in Major League Soccer right now, according to ESPN and SB Nation and Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports and AOL Sporting News and MLS itself.
That’s enough love to have me seriously considering a trek up to Frisco to watch a game (or is it a match?) And I’m not alone in this newfound temptation. Attendance is up, closing in on a record average. They next play Saturday night against DC United.
Both the team and player Kenny Cooper are nominated in our Best of Big D Readers’ Choice: Culture voting, going on now through Sunday. Show them your support.
ESPN’s headquarters is in Connecticut, which I believe is located a mite bit closer to Boston than it is to Arlington, Texas. So, no, we’re not really surprised when the Worldwide Leader in Sports treats the Red Sox (and the Yankees for that matter) as a sacred institution while paying far less attention to the teams out here in flyover country.
You would think that the Rangers weekend sweep of the Red Sox, during which they outscored them 16-4 over the three games, would be difficult to ignore, bias or no bias. But a co-working FrontBurnervian passes along this morning’s ESPN Power Rankings of all 30 Major League Baseball teams.
Last week Boston was ranked No. 3, and Texas was ranked No. 1. How did the just-concluded series change the list? Now the Red Sox are No. 1 and the Rangers are No. 2. Despite identical records, nearly identical run differentials, and, you know, that whole 3-0 head-to-head record in favor of the Rangers.
Ashley Fox on ESPN.com thinks so. She calls the Cowboys owner/general manager’s decision to spend the hours leading up to the NFL draft at the celebration of the former president’s new museum his “Cabo moment.” She’s referring to when quarterback Tony Romo was criticized for taking a trip to Mexico with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson in the week before a playoff game in 2008.
Romo needed a Mexican beach and a blonde to prepare for his next big moment. Jones apparently needed five United States presidents and an adoring audience to prepare for his. While every other general manager in the NFL was disseminating false information and trying to orchestrate trades to better his draft position, Jones was attending the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University. Jones should have been re-evaluating his draft board instead of rubbing elbows with political power brokers and dignitaries.
Later Thursday night, Jones threw his own pick in the end zone. He allowed himself to get fleeced by the best team in the Cowboys’ conference, one that is already loaded with talent and stands in the way of Dallas’ quest to win its first Super Bowl in 17 years.
Jones has been criticized by many for his decision to trade down for a later first-round pick to gain just an addition third-round pick, as well as for the player he chose to take 31st overall:
Jones dropped back to select a player he could have gotten on Friday night and most likely could have gotten some time on Saturday. Wisconsin center Travis Frederick isn’t a first-round talent. Even Frederick was shocked to be a first-round pick.
ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder queried five teams after the first round and none had Frederick as a first-, second- or third-round talent. One had Frederick as a solid sixth-rounder. Another said he was a sixth- or maybe even a seventh-round pick.
But would he have made any better decision had he skipped out on the party at W.’s new monument? I doubt it.
Just like I’m pretty sure that Mexican vacation didn’t cost Romo that playoff game.
It’s time to let us know what you think of all the best arts, sports, and media in Dallas. Voting is now open for Best of Big D Readers’ Choice: Culture. You can cast a ballot once a day on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
The winners will appear in the August issue of D Magazine. Don’t let down your favorites.