Questions and Answers about Isiah Thomas as dad, Tom Izzo cheating, Roy Hibbert’s slump, and Cubs sucking

by Kent Sterling

1070Filling in for Dan Dakich leaves a guy open to being questioned on his opinions.  The reason many listen to news or sportstalk radio is to yell back at the dashboard as they drive, and social media and email serves as a very nice dashboard for people who can multitask by typing while they yell and drive.

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Guests included Isiah Thomas, Joy Harris (the mother of soon-to-be NBA player Gary Harris), 1070 the’s Conrad Brunner, Sun-Times sportswriter Mark Potash on the current state of the Cubs, Will Carroll on the Cubs, and Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

It was inevitable that listeners would disagree.  Hell, Conrad and I disagreed about the diagnosis of Roy Hibbert’s woes, and Cubs fans are getting just as tired of hearing people talk about the hopelessness of the franchise as the 90+ loss seasons that are stacking end-to-end under Ricketts Family ownership.

Throughout the afternoon, I have been questioned, praised, and taken to task for my thoughts.  Thought I would provide clarification and/or get the last word here.  Of course, If you disagree, you can feel free to comment, thereby getting the last word yourself.  I may choose to comment again, and win the argument, but you could then, well, this could go on all night.

Q – Conrad Brunner is obviously right that Hibbert is lacking confidence.  Why do you insist that he is either hurt or tired to explain his poor shooting?

A – I’ve known a lot of basketball players at the college and pro level – mostly college – and one trait I have yet to encounter is a lack of confidence.  People don’t accede to the highest levels of professional athletics by doubting their ability to convert a two-foot baby hook.

What makes accurate shooting impossible are the legs being dinged up or tired.  The legs are the power plant for shooting and the arm and hand serve as guidance.  When the legs go, the arm tries to breach the power gap, and the guidance goes to hell.

Regardless of conditioning, people can experience fatigue.  Too much conditioning or work, and the muscles fail.

Q – Do you really believe that Isiah Thomas is a great dad?  He’s failed at everything else.

A – He won a National Championship at Indiana and two NBA Championships with the Pistons.  He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and the final year he coached the Pacers they finished 48-34, and he coached the East in the All-Star Game.  Isiah’s legacy is not without flaws, but whether anyone could have won with James Dolan as a boss is debatable.

None of that answers the question, just the charge you slapped Isiah with.  I saw him as a dad for a limited time in an isolated incident, but he was kind, loving, and supportive, as a great sports parent would be.  As he said in the interview, his son did not play a lot for a team with Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Daequan Cook, and he needed the kind of advice Isiah gave him.

I felt I was trespassing on their moment, but glad that I was there to see it because it made me a better sports dad.

Q – Your interview with Joy Harris sounded more like a paid informercial for Michigan State University.  Do you really believe Tom Izzo is that squeaky clean?

A – I don’t pretend to know who is clean and who is dirty, but if I had to come with a single name for a coach who I believed was completely clean, it would be Tom Izzo, who strikes me as the type of man that would rather lose than win the wrong way.  if that makes me naive, okay, but I have to believe someone in the wild west world of college sports is a good guy.  Watching his players throw their arms around him shows the kind of love and respect reserved only for the very best leaders.

Q – Are you telling me that after 12 games, you know that the Cubs can’t win this season?

A – Yes.  The Cubs are 4-8.  Does that mean they will finish 54-108?  Yes it does.  The Cubs are still going to be sellers at the trade deadline, and that means Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel pitchers are going to be sent out in exchange for prospects.  Who pitches every fifth day then is anyone’s guess.  The Cubs are built to lose, and will likely continue to through 2016.  It brings me no more joy to give you that news than for a dermatologist to tell a patient that his acne will only get worse.

Where the Cubs are concerned, the truth always hurts.


There, I feel much better.  Funny how hosting a show doesn’t end when the show does.  The discussions keep echoing, and the arguments continue to rage.  My head requires a post show flush, and this did the trick.

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