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Bottom Five: Trash Talk

By Jeremy Blumberg

5. Blasting Refs:

  • Head coach Nate McMillan cannot waste time complaining to officials if he expects to win. (Photo from Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

    Head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Nate McMillan, was fined $35,000 for blasting the referees following their loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their playoff series.  Coach McMillan refused to go into details about his thoughts on the huge discrepancy of free throws shot by both teams in the fourth quarter.  The Mavs had a commanding 19-2 edge.  McMillan blames the refs for this lopsided case and uses it to explain his team coming up short in the end.  Danny Crawford, the head official of that game, has come up in officiating Dallas’s playoff games before.  Previously, the Mavs were 2-16 in games that he officiated so bias was certainly not in order of the game.  McMillan must move on and help his team regain their composure or they will be early exits in the playoffs.  For the record, Dallas has not won a playoff series since their championship run in 2005-2006.

4. Thankless Job:

  • NHL vice president Colin Campbell has recently declared his job thankless and unsatisfying.  Why you might ask?  Well, he takes criticism for making indecisions on punishments for “cheap hits” on players.  Suspensions differ for players despite the hits being very similar.  What hurts Campbell’s case is that he just does not like to explain himself to the media.  His job isn’t thankless; his job is to keep order among players and to make an example of some to those who play dirty.  Campbell is more media shy than Jay Cutler, but to call his job thankless?  Child please!

3. Speeding Ticket in NASCAR:

  • Jimmie Johnson came out and apologized for comments on NASCAR’s credibility for issuing speeding penalties.  Now this is not your typical (or atypical) speeding ticket of going 10 miles over the limit.  Johnson was busted for going 5 miles over the speed limit in the pit zone.  While some people do not consider NASCAR a sport, it should be noted that a driver should be allowed to go as fast as he wants, provided the pit crew is off the track.  NASCAR has stated that there is no need to post the speeds of the driver’s cars for all to see and Johnson called out NASCAR in giving him a bogus penalty for taking points away from him.  Tough break but considering he might win his 6th championship in a row, this is nothing.

2. Labor Strike Warning:

  • In wake of the NFL’s labor strike, NBA commissioner David Stern is calling the situation a mess and prays that the situation does not happen to his NBA.  The NBA has plans to send a revised proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement to prevent a lockout from happening in the NBA.  The last lockout that took place in basketball was in 1998-1999 and there was only a temporary work stoppage, but with the economy the way it is, no chances should be taken.  Should Stern be concerned about another league’s handling of its policy?  Absolutely not.  He should focus his attention on his own league first.

1. Dodging Nothing:

  • Bud Selig has made himself heard recently by buying out the LA Dodgers. (Photo from

    Probably the most laughable thing I have ever seen in baseball is a franchise being bought out by the MLB.  Los Angeles Dodgers executive Steve Soboroff has called MLB’s actions unprofessional because they are taking advantage of the owners getting a divorce.  To add insult to injury, Bud Selig, the commissioner of MLB, has explained that he foresaw this and made plans to handle the situation.  This does not sit well with a storied franchise that had poise to make a run at the division.  While these distractions do not hurt the team’s field play, it does shed a bad light on the franchise.  Trash talk has arisen from Soboroff and Selig, but Selig has the upper hand here since he has the cash assets to bail the team out.  So to all owners out there, do not go through a divorce while still possessing majority ownership of a team!

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