Red Klotz died about a week ago. Most folks know him as the player-coach of the Washington Generals or the New Jersey Reds or the Boston Shamrocks. Those were the teams that toured with the Harlem Globetrotters and lost virtually every game they played. Klotz was actually a good player; he played for the Philadelphia SPHAs – the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association team – and they beat the Globetrotters in a game or two back in the 40s. Klotz was also a guard on the Baltimore Bullets team that won the Basketball Association of America championship in 1948.
Klotz’ last win as a player or coach came in 1971 when he hit a shot with 10 seconds to play to give the Generals a one-point lead; Meadowlark Lemon’s shot at the other end missed and the Generals prevailed. Red Klotz died at 93.
Bob Molinaro had this to say about Klotz in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot over the weekend:
“Red Klotz, the two-handed set-shot artist who played for and owned the Washington Generals, died a few days ago at 93. Klotz’s teams lost more than 14,000 games to the Harlem Globetrotters. ‘Beating the Globetrotters,’ he once said, ‘is like shooting Santa Claus.’ “
Rest in peace, Red Klotz…
There are two reports floating out there regarding the NBA that deserve attention. The first one says that Commissioner Adam Silver is in favor of adding a “mid-season tournament” to the NBA calendar. The tournament would happen in February. I concede that this would make money for the league; and therefore, by definition, the league will consider it carefully. Having said that, this idea is worse than awful.
Let me mention only two reasons why this is a really bad idea:
1. A Tournament Champion can only dilute the recognition given to the NBA Champion crowned in June. If that were not the case, then the February tournament would have to grow in prestige to the point that it overshadowed the NBA Finals winner in June. If that happened, it would render all of the games in March, April, May and June as JV games.
Memo for Adam Silver: Look to college basketball for your model here. They have a way to determine a champion AND they have conference tournaments. The conference tournaments make money but are otherwise meaningless, useless and non-productive. Why do you want to add your own version of “conference tournaments” to your league?
2. The NBA already has too many games. Unless the proposed tournament replaces a bunch of meaningless regular season games – thereby reducing its revenue-raising profile a bit – any rational observer would drop that idea like a bad habit.
The other report out there says that the NBA Competition Committee has a proposal to consider which would reform the NBA Draft Lottery. As much as the NBA has to deny the existence of teams tanking significant portions of seasons, every single NBA fan and observer sees that it happens. The reason for the tanking is the draft lottery because basketball is a sport where a single franchise player can mean the difference between middling success and championship contention. And, there is always a “Great Savior” out there to lust after…
Good luck to the NBA and to the Competition Committee on this one. I can think of draft mechanisms that would render tanking meaningless; the problem is that they could also reward the team that just won the championship with the #1 overall pick. This is a thorny problem with no easy/obvious solution.
Last weekend the Charleston River Dogs of the Sally League held a great promotion. On the day when Bill Veeck would have turned 100, the River Dogs – partially owned by Veeck’s son – paid tribute to Disco Demolition Night. That was a promotion Bill Veeck put on that did not turn out the way it was supposed to. Here is the short version:
In an attempt to destroy disco music, fans were urged to bring disco records to the park where the White Sox would play the Tigers. These were put in a container on the field and between games of a doubleheader, (They actually used to have such things in MLB.) the container on the field was detonated.
Fans – obviously well lubricated – rushed the field after the explosion. The field was damaged by the fans and by the detonation so the White Sox had to forfeit the second game of the doubleheader.
Last weekend, Charleston fans had Disco Demolition 2, You Better Belieb It. Any fan who brought a piece of Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus memorabilia got into the game for $1; those memorabilia were destroyed on the field after the game. Moreover, fans got a “Bobble-Leg” to honor Bill Veeck who had a wooden leg as a result of a war injury in WW II. It is not just a Bobblehead; there have been tons of them; this one has a bobblehead and a bobbling wooden leg too.
Somewhere in the cosmos, Bill Veeck nodded approvingly…
Finally, here is Dwight Perry’s analysis of a recent happening in New Orleans from the Seattle Times:
“Kriste Lewis, 40, became only the second 40-something to make an NFL cheerleading squad when she landed a spot on the New Orleans Saintsations.
“Or as they now call her in cheer circles, Georgette Blanda.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………