Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 6.11.21 …
*Before you think Texas Rangers’ majority owner Ray Davis considers the team as nothing but an asset to sell for a profit down the road, a source close to him says the billionaire “gets an upset stomach over every loss” and is in his office at Globe Life Field “at least three days a week” trying to find a way to improve his product.
Kinda comforting. I guess.
*Best news out of Cowboys’ OTAs and minicamp: Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are all-but fully healthy and coach Mike McCarthy realizes that Randy Gregory needs more playing time.
We can analyze a million things about the Dallas Cowboys. But getting their best players healthy and on the field? That's an easy call as "most important'' issue going to Oxnard.
*Speaking of marijuana, why is any sports league testing players for it anymore?
*Upon further review, Kristaps Porzingis was a decent throw-in on the Tim Hardaway Jr. trade.
And I realize he’s been a 7-foot-3 underwhelming unicorn in Dallas, but the Mavericks still “won” the deal that brought him to Dallas.
How’s that? On Feb. 1, 2019, the Mavs acquired Porzingis, Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee from the New York Knicks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future draft picks. While Porzingis, Hardaway and Burke played in Game 7 of the Mavs’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, none of the players they shipped to New York are still with the Knicks. Smith Jr. is now with the Detroit Pistons, Jordan with the Brooklyn Nets and Matthews is in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
For what Porzingis lacked, Hardaway more than made up by being the Mavs’ second-best player throughout the playoffs.
Now all the Mavs have to do is solve their KP riddle, re-sign Hardaway and, in addition to all of that, makes this roster substantially better for 2021-22.
*To have head coaches in DFW that have won a Super Bowl (Mike McCarthy) and an NBA championship (Rick Carlisle) sounds comforting. But when you consider that for a combined 28 seasons they were blessed with Hall-of-Famers Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki and Doncic, those two titles smell like one big underachievement.
*A product of COVID and crappy play, the Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo hit his 9th homer in Globe Life Park on Wednesday. He finally passed the Dodgers’ Corey Seager, who hasn’t played in the stadium in 2021.
*Before we throw bouquets toward Donnie Nelson for the “Hardaway trade,'' let’s not forget that the Mavs’ GM drafted Smith Jr. ahead of Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell. Ouch. I know. Every team can play the hindsight game. (The Sacramento Kings might want a do-over on Marvin Bagley over Luka Doncic.) But in the 2017 draft, Nelson took Smith jr. over Luke Kennard, Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, John Collins and Kyle Kuzma.
*In May, newly acquired Ranger Khris Davis promised “I’m here. We’re going to the playoffs.” A month later, the self-anointed savior was designated for assignment. The highest-paid player on the roster had only two homers in 51 at-bats.
Maybe he was guaranteeing he’d take Triple-A Round Rock to the postseason?
He’ll likely be released, leaving the Rangers only catcher Jonah Heim for the trading away of popular veteran Elvis Andrus.
*Underreported sports story of the year: Dallas Baptist making college baseball’s Sweet Sixteen. DBU upset the likes of baseball big boys TCU and Oregon State last weekend en route to this week’s Super Regional against Virginia. Dallas Baptist’s 2021 enrollment is 2,800; Virginia’s 23,000. Cinderella hails from southwestern Dallas County.
*Went to this quaint bed & breakfast for a bourbon tasting this week. If you want a slice of historic Dallas, I recommend a night or two. Worth it.
*Loud, anti-vaxxer at the gym this week boasted that he isn’t taking the COVID vaccine because “My faith in God will protect me better than any government shot.” But why then – considering its strength – wouldn’t his “faith in God” also protect him from any potential harmful side effects from the vaccine?
*Balance. It’s what the Mavs didn’t have against the Clippers. In Game 1 of their West semifinal series, the Suns had four players score 20+ plus points. In their final five first-round games, only Luka and Hardaway Jr. topped that total.
By the way, does the Clippers going down 0-2 to the Jazz make us feel better or worse about the first-round loss?
*Oh how I wish this ridiculous Justin Bieber song wasn’t stuck in my head. But, alas, it is.
*You can have your fabricated Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul whatever-that-was. Give me the best rivalry in sports today: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic. Nadal has 20 Grand Slam titles; Djokovic 18. They’re playing in the French Open semifinals today in Paris. Imagine being treated to in-their-prime Tiger Woods vs. Ben Hogan in an 18-hole match playfor a championship. Over and over and over again. I mean, Roger Federer remains Jack Nicklaus. For now.
*Ready to have your tiny human brain blown? There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on every beach on Earth. But each grain of sand contains more atoms than all the stars in the sky combined. Feel free to call a 20-second timeout to sort that one out.
*Imagine being promoted to boss. Right now, today. Then, with zero experience heading the company, leading it to record growth and sales and success. Unrealistic, right? Except in the NBA, where coaching continues to be ridiculously overrated. Rookie coach Steve Nash – who had never held a head coaching job at any level – has his Brooklyn Nets as favorites to win this year’s title. But it wouldn’t even be that rare of a feat, following the footsteps of recent first-year coaches to lift the trophy including Tyronn Lue, Steve Kerr and Nick Nurse. Frank Vogel led the Lakers to last year’s championship in his first year with the team.
It is, and always will be, a players’ league. You think it’s just a coincidence that Gregg Popovich suddenly lost his touch as a coach when Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli retired?
*I cannot watch this clip from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall'' without laughing. Every. Single. Time. Can’t do it. “The weather outside is weather … ” just slays me.
*In 1981, Dallas nut job John Hinckley Jr. bought a .22-caliber gun at a Deep Ellum pawn shop and attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. And he did it to – of all things – attract the attention of his crush, actress Jodi Foster. Hinckley Jr.’s bullets missed Reagan, but seriously injured several members of his entourage. Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity and released from prison in 2016. He’s now – I kid you not – a singer/songwriter on YouTube.
*You know the NBA’s MVP voting system is flawed when the Knicks’ Derrick Rose earns the “consensus fan” vote. That means he officially received more first-place MVP votes than Luka, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Damian Lillard. Combined.
*With the Stars, Mavs, Rangers (essentially) done and the Cowboys still six weeks from putting on the pads in Oxnard, might be a good weekend for a sports diversion out at Texas Motor Speedway. The Hall of Fame race is Sunday and driver Tony Stewart will be inducted.
*You can take the beard off his face, but you can’t remove the suck from Rougned Odor’s bat. I admit to some amount of glee at seeing him failing in Yankees’ pinstripes to the tune of hitting a crisp .185 with more strikeouts (33) than hits (22.)
*Guns don’t kill people. Kids with access to guns kill people. In this case, an 8-year-old shot a 5-year-old. Other than being speechless, I’m speechless.
*Don’t look now, but Carlisle is the second longest-tenured head coach in DFW sports history. Only one man has coached a team longer than Carlisle’s 13 seasons for the Mavs. His name? Tom Landry.
Given his longevity and championship, Carlisle belongs on DFW’s Mount Coachmore with Landry, the Dallas Stars’ Ken Hitchcock and Jimmy Johnson (over the Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington).
*Shouldn’t kids be called onspring?
*With the Lakers eliminated, the NBA will crown a new champion. No, I mean a new champion. Of the remaining eight teams, the Sixers last won the title in 1983, the Bucks in 1971 and the Hawks in 1958. The others (Suns, Nets, Jazz, Nuggets and Clippers) have never won it. I toldja … NEW.
*I’m so old that when I first started flying to cover sporting events in 1987 no one checked your ID at the airport and there was a smoking section at the back of the plane.
*RANGERS RISK: We all think the Texas Rangers are going to be putrid this season. Our lil’ roundtable revealed predicted win totals of anywhere between 61 and 78, but no one thinks .500 is plausible. Let’s put our money where our mouth is. I’m going to bet a virtual $100 against the Rangers every game this season and, after six months and 162 games, see where I wind up. I’ll keep a running tab right there each Friday and come September I’ll (wink) disperse my profits to my most loyal readers. RECORD: 24-39 TOTAL: +$298.
*This Weekend? Friday is for watching, then playing tennis. Saturday is for doing some volunteer work, picking up trash from the shoreline of White Rock Lake. Sunday let’s lounge by the pool and – finally – soak in some good ol’ Vitamin D. As always, don’t be a stranger.