It was a busy week in sports, what with the NBA playoffs and NFL draft. I thought I'd while your time away this morning with a little arm-chair analysis on two key topics, beginning with:
The Miami Heat
There are only two players I really want to see back in a Heat jersey. Wade and Posey (yes, Posey). The rest can move on, especially "the big fella." I'm not down on Shaq -- he brought excitement and it's doubtful the Heat would have won a championship without him (though Wade already had the team on a winning trajectory by getting it into the second round of the playoffs three years ago). But it's enough. He only plays half a season, hasn't been in the best of shape, and costs $20 million a year. I don't know how the Heat unload him, but they should bite the bullet now and start
rebuilding rather than have another sluggish year with the team revolving around him. The truth is that Shaq isn't the player he used to be and never will be, at least not for any significant stretch. I liked Pat Riley's quotes in the Sun-Sentinel this morning about cutting his salary in half, but it's not enough. And I'm not buying Ethan Skolnick's argument that he can't be moved, at least not until they try it. I also don't think that Riley should come back. I've ribbed Riley a little on this thing, but he's had a superlative career, one that almost matches his ego back when he was directing Showtime in L.A. Going out on a downer isn't so bad, but the Miami Herald's Greg Cote fills us in on a telling quote from yesterday's press conference: ''I wish I would have [expletive] retired last year after the championship parade!'' (I've got odds that the expletive is "fucking"). That ego is still firing in there, people. But not enough. Riley hasn't had the fire for a long, long time and I'm just not seeing much good coming from another year under him.
Oh, and another thing: Bring back Stan Van Gundy.
The Ginn Pick
I started watching the draft right around the fourth pick and, since the Dolphins had the ninth spot, had to wait only, oh, about 16 hours before Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller revealed who they'd chosen (seriously, have you seen how long they drag out the first round of the draft now?). I didn't think much of Brady Quinn. In fact, and this is the truth, the only player I mentioned to my football fanatic son was Ted Ginn Jr. "I think he's totally underrated," I told the boy. When they were talking about big-time players in this draft, they always left out Ginn, mainly because he broke his foot and didn't have big numbers as a receiver. The Dolphins have needed a guy with game-breaking speed for years. But even I was swept up a little in the Quinn hysteria after hearing Mel Kiper Jr. and Steve Young and 18 other football people sitting around on ESPN in two or three different locations and babbling about the potential greatness of the Notre Dame prospect and how he might be like another quarterback named Brady. Then came the pick. Ginn. Of course, I liked it at an elemental level, but I was thinking: "What about quarterback?" Then came the second round pick. John Beck. I liked that, too, and even if I didn't, it's hard not to give quarterback man Cameron the benefit of the doubt. The only thing I'm not quite sure about is the two running back picks when the Fins still have Brown, Williams, and Minor (they do still have Minor, don't they?). Anyway, then came news of the press conference where Cameron and Mueller were booed mercilessly for picking Ginn. And then Dave Hyde wrote a column saying that Cameron's future depended solely on whether Beck turned out to be a better QB than Quinn. Silliness. It depends on the Dolphins winning lots of games, including in the playoffs, just like always. I think this draft is going to help the team do that (and, to be fair, Hyde had a very good post-draft story in Tuesday's paper).
Oh, and another thing: Go Warriors.