Facebook Twitter

Amaechi’s book and all that Jazz

SHARE Amaechi’s book and all that Jazz

Chuck: Besides recently sharing with us that he's among the planet's tallest gay men, former Jazzman John Amaechi also had some unflattering things to say about both Utah coach Jerry Sloan and team owner Larry H. Miller.

But Big John might as well have taken his axe to some titanium as criticizing the duo did nothing to dent their iconic standing locally.

Amy: I read only excerpts of the book in different magazines, and it appears to me his criticisms were based on his OWN fear of what people like Sloan and Miller were thinking and feeling.

Sloan and Miller never said anything about his private life to him, and I find it more than a little convenient to blame his lackluster career here and unexpected exit on how he thought others felt about a life he never really revealed to anyone within the Jazz organization.

The bottom line: Your private life is a nonissue, if you actually earn your millions. Amaechi didn't, and still, no one cared about his private life.

Chuck: Apparently Amaechi's sexual orientation was just too much to handle for self-proclaimed homophobic Tim Hardaway.

Hardaway, who's black, sounded as ignorant and bigoted as white racists of half a century earlier when commenting about Amaechi's revelation on a Miami radio show.

" ... I hate gay people, so I let it be known," the former NBA knucklehead said. "I don't like gay people, and I don't like to be around gay people ..."

Hanging Commissioner David Stern dispensed justice quickly — cancelling Hardaway's Vegas vacation representing the league at several NBA All-Star Game functions.

Amy: While I think Amaechi is exploiting his sexual orientation, I think Stern did the right thing regarding Hardaway. In a world filled with too much pain and anger, the last thing the NBA needed was an ambassador spewing a little more hate.

Now if only Stern had the authority to fire some of our elected officials who spread hatred and misunderstand through speeches and legislation. These people, unfortunately, have access to publicity that ordinary people don't, and I am ashamed at some of the things they do and say in the name of democracy.

Chuck: Is anyone else fed up with all the trouble and ill will that high school sports transfers keep generating?

Most recently, two girls received a temporary restraining order to play for American Leadership Academy, and then lost it just before the 2A state basketball tournament. Thankfully, the judge ruled in favor of the Utah High School Activities Association's original decision to deny eligibility to the girls. But I'm still nonplussed over the idea of high school eligibility being adjudicated in our courts.

High school should be about academics, acne and angst. Not how good your mommy and daddy's attorney is.

Amy: Actually, transfers for athletic reasons are SUPPOSED to be nonexistent. The reality is that parents, coaches and even administrators know how to skirt the rules in transferring for sports.

The UHSAA and the state's school leaders better come up with a solution to the problem, or the Legislature and courts will gladly take over the role of governing high school sports transfers. And based on some of the recent legislative proposals, as well as the efficiency of litigation, nothing could be worse for this complicated and emotional issue than lawmakers and lawyers.

Chuck: What should we make of the Jazz's six-game winning streak going into the NBA All-Star break with newly minted all-star power forward Carlos Boozer out of the lineup due to another injury?

Perhaps it's telling us that the straw stirring the diet Coke at the ESA these days is point guard Deron Williams — much as it was John Stockton and not Karl Malone back in the day.

Amy: I don't think one player can shine in basketball without a couple of teammates who help by either capitalizing on great passes or making those passes. D-Williams doesn't look like such a fantastic leader without the late-game heroics of Mehmet Okur.

Another explanation may be that a number of teams actually do well without their superstar because the rest of the guys don't have him to rely on, so they work harder themselves.

Chuck: Finally, while I'm not a Marty Schottenheimer fan, I believe San Diego owner Dean Spanos will regret firing him.

Spanos rationalized the move by saying Schottenheimer had lost too many key coaches this offseason — offensive coordinator Cam Cameron took the top job in Miami and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is running the show in Dallas now. It's also true that Schottenheimer and general manager A.J. Smith cooperated like Sunnis and Shiites.

But instead of challenging for the Super Bowl again next season, the Chargers will certainly take a step backward with lovable loser, Norv Turner, at the helm. It'll be another wasted year for incredible LaDanian Tomlinson, who according to the laws of running backs must eventually start showing signs of a half-life.

New England didn't bail on Bill Belichick two seasons ago when he lost both offensive coordinator Charlie Weis (Notre Dame) and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (Cleveland). Nor did the Patriots flinch when Belichick lost Crennel's replacement, Eric Mangini to coach the Jets last season.

Amy: Yes, but Bill didn't pass on the chance to extend his contract before the season began. What assistant coach wants to come to work for a guy who only has a guaranteed job for one year?

And as we've discussed on other occassions, fired coaches never really go away. Don't feel too sorry for them; they just go somewhere else, with their wallet full of severance pay. I guess it's their version of recycling.

E-mail: chuck@desnews.com. adonaldson@desnews.com