West column: Perkins owes Bosh over Ozen beating in 4A title game
An Oklahoma City victory over Miami in the NBA finals would be extra sweet for Beaumonter Kendrick Perkins. Not only would it give Perkins a second championship ring, it would provide him a measure of revenge, however small, against Chris Bosh of the Heat. Back in 2002, Bosh’s Dallas Lincoln team denied Perkins and the Ozen Panthers a second consecutive 4A crown by defeating them in one of Texas’ most hyped state title games. Bosh, with a much better supporting cast, scored 23 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked nine shots. Perkins scored 20 points, collected 14 rebounds and blocked five shots. Dallas Lincoln, finishing 40-0, wound up No. 1 in the nation in USA Today’s schoolboy poll and Bosh was named its National Player of the Year. Ozen, whose other two losses were to powers from New York and Tennessee, finished 32-3 and dropped from 10th to 15th in the poll. To this day, one thing about the game bothers PAISD athletic director Andre Boutte, who was Ozen’s coach. “A lot of people were saying Bosh really outplayed Perk. That wasn’t true,” said Boutte. “We had 26 turnovers and a lot of Bosh’s points came in transition. Perk got all his on the low block.” . . . Las Vegas oddsmakers, as they always do on big sporting events, put out some interesting proposition bets on the NBA Finals. On Pregame.com, the over/under on scoring average for LeBron James was 30, while it was 29 for Kevin Durant, 24 for Russell Westbrook and 23.3 for Dwayne Wade. The over/under for most points James would score in any game was 36.5, while it was 37.5 for Durant. Prior to Game 1, OKC was given a 62 percent chance of winning the series, meaning you would have to bet $170 to win a $100. Miami was 38 percent, meaning a $100 bet would win $150. After Thursday night’s loss, odds on the Thunder winning the championship dropped to 53 percent.
Here’s how bad the decision on last week WBO championship fight between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao was. A betting site in Ireland called Paddy Power took the extraordinary step of refunding money to those who bet on Pacquiao to win. In Vegas, meanwhile, some of the sportsbooks were so sure Pacquiao had won, they were offering 200 to 1 odds on Bradley after the 12th round and before the decision was announced. A $100 bet on Bradley returned $20,000. One online sportsbook was said to have lost more money on that fight than any other boxing event in its history . . . Since it’s tough to write a column without mentioning Jerry Jones, here’s an interesting story related by noted Sports Illustrated author Frank Deford in his book, Over Time: My Life As a Sportswriter. Deford tells of having a late-night chat in a bar with Jones and their waitress asking the Cowboys owner to autograph one of her breasts. Always happy to oblige, unless it’s putting Jimmy Johnson in the Cowboys Ring of Owner, Jones signed, then suggested Deford autograph the other breast. Deford did and wrote in his book: “Sportswriters, as a general rule, are not often given that opportunity.” Yeah, Frank, and those who are probably don’t write about it . . . On the subject of Johnson and the Cowboys Ring of Honor, most readers probably recall being encouraged in this space to write letters to Jethro about his petty snubbing of the coach who gave him what little football credibility he has. I’ve since heard from a handful of folks who did send letters. One of them, Juan Segeada, sent me a copy of his and it was really, really well done. If Jones had any sense of what’s right where Jimmy is concerned, the letter would have shamed him into action. However, let’s not hold our breath.
Most folks in these parts know what a prince of a guy Wade Phillips is. But I wish everyone could have seen how accommodating the Texans’ defensive coordinator was at last week’s Babe Zaharias Sports Auction. Not only did Wade provide two auction items — a round of golf for three with him at ultra exclusive Carlton Woods Country Club in The Woodlands and four tickets, four pre-game sideline passes and a parking pass to the Texans regular-season opener against Miami that netted $2,900 —, he stayed until the very end signing autographs and posing for photos with anyone who wanted to be in a shot with him . . . You can’t accuse former University of Houston football coach Bill Yeoman of not being a standup guy. One of several coaches burned badly in an alleged $39 million Ponzi scheme by big-time Cougar booster David Salinas, Yeoman opted to reject a $1.8 million payout as a beneficiary in Salinas’ life-insurance policy. Prior to his suicide, and out of apparent guilt, according to a Houston Chronicle report, Salinas made an 11th- hour change in the policy to take care of Yeoman. Instead of accepting an amount slightly more than he lost, Yeoman directed that the money be put into settlement funds being spread among all of Salinas’ victims . . . If San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain is as superstitious as most baseball players, he’ll be teeing up golf balls at home plate before his next start. Cain, as part of an exhibition staged by PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson at AT&T Park the day before the U.S. Open began, grabbed Johnson’s driver and blasted a couple of balls far into McCovey Cove. One of them carried 310 yards. A few hours later Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in MLB history against the Astros.
Don’t think I’ve ever seen a better TV sports documentary than The Dream Team, which had the first of several showings on the NBA channel Thursday night. Anyone who is into basketball, especially the era when Michael Jordan was emerging and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were winding down really needs to find a way to see this fascinating 90-minute production of how the greatest basketball team ever assembled came together to represent the United States in the 1992 Olympics. Especially intriguing was how then Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly dealt with all the egos, and how he won over Jordan, who at the time despised Daly’s Pistons and their star player, Isiah Thomas . . . Jim Nantz, my long-time friend at CBS sports, is known for his love of golf, so perhaps his choice of a wedding site last weekend shouldn’t be all that surprising. Nantz, 53, who was the master of ceremonies for the first Port Arthur News Homecoming Roast of Jimmy Johnson back in 1988, married Courtney Richards on the 7th green at Pebble Beach. Among the reported guests were golfer Phil Mickelson, New England quarterback Tom Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Next time I talk to Jim, I’m going to ask him what it takes to get Pebble Beach and those $500 greens fees shut down on a Saturday afternoon. The obvious answer, which he’ll be too modest to say, is monstrous clout . . . If you’re looking for an inspirational sports book to read, consider Imperfect: An Improbable Life. It’s about the constant and monumental obstacles Jim Abbott overcame to pitch 10 years in the major leagues, after being born without a right hand. For those not familiar with Abbott, he spent 10 seasons in the bigs with the Angels, Yankees, White Sox and Brewers, and got to the top without a stop in the minors. Abbott once won 18 games for the Angels but his career highlight was pitching a no-hitter for the Yankees against Cleveland in 1993.
Since this is Father’s Day, it seems fair to wonder how the likes of NY Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, former Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens and former MLB star Vlad Guerrero will spend it. Cromartie has 10 kids by eight women in six states and struggled to remember all their names on “Hard Knocks” a couple of years ago. Owens has four kids by four different mothers and got beat up by three of the moms a couple of weeks ago on Dr. Phil for being far, far behind on child support. Guerrero dishes out $25,621 in child support per month to his five different baby-mamas . . . It’s hard not to really like the Astros diminutive second base Jose Altuve and how he plays the game. One of his many shining moments came last Sunday when he became the first Astros player since Jeff Bagwell in 1993 to hit a home run and steal home in the same game. Too bad for Altuve that the Astros attendance is so pitiful he has no chance of being a factor in All-Star voting . . . If you’re looking for a couple of tried and true indicators of teams that prevail in the NBA Finals, check for most free throws made and most rebounds. In nine of the last 10 NBA Finals, the eventual winner led those two categories. Only other stat that was close was blocked shots. Seven of 10 champions led in that category.
Sports editor Bob West can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Saltwater Angler’s League of Texas (SALT) Memorial Day Classic Fishing Tournament takes place this weekend. This will... read more