Friday, May 05, 2006

Fite on Friday

You know what makes The WAD such a great place? Of course, it's the readers, and I have no doubt I have the greatest readers around. Where else would somebody like Fish step up and take care of the caption contest, and where else can you find a talent like Fite stepping up at the last minute and bringing the noise on a Friday? Nowhere but the WAD baby! So, without further adieu, with many thanks and a big "Boomer" sent his way, here's what's on Fite's mind this morning:


OBLIGATORY LAKER COMMENTS

I suppose that the top story is that there's going to be a game 7 between the Lakers and Suns. I'm not quite sure why this is such big news, as neither team has a chance in hell of winning the title. Having said that, watching the first quarter I was sure the Lakers would win. They were down big, but their run at the end of the quarter, coupled with the Mamba's killer 3 pointer at the buzzer, pointed to a Lakers win. In fact, after Kobe's shot I was sure they would win.

Of course we all know that they lost, despite a 50 point performance. Seems like they lose in the playoffs when he scores a bunch, and they win when he doesn't. Why is that? Team basketball maybe? I made this point yesterday, but I think without Kobe the Lakers would have grown as a team this year. Having a superstar that you can rely on makes the other players less motivated, not only because they know that they have someone that will bail them out, but also because they know they will never have the chance to lead.

People like comparing Kobe with Jordan, so here's my shot. Kobe with the Lakers and Jordan with the Wizards both set their teams back in the long run. When he was with the Wizards, surrounded by young players, Jordan couldn't get them to realize their potential because his aura dominated the team. Same with Kobe. You might argue that either team won a few more games than they would have without them, but as far as developing players for the long run it did more harm than good. Kobe and Jordan get frustrated with developing players, and decide it is easier to try to do it themselves than teach others to succeed.

CHUCK DALY'S GAMBLING HABITS

Over the course of the week we learned that Daly claims $50 million in losses, and Chuck says he's dropped $10 million. The first thing that I think of when I see these numbers is that they represent about $90 million and $18 million in gross income. In his comments on SportsCenter Chuck doubted Daly's claim because he didn't think Daly had earned enough to lose that much. Yahoo! Sports gives Daly's career earnings at just over $10 million, which means that he would have had to have earned another $80 million off the course just to come up with the after tax cash to lose $50 million. Of course this number doesn't account for the roughly 10% that goes to the caddy, or the cigarettes, or beer. The only possible explanation for Daly's claim is that he won big, and then gave it all back. Of course this would be gross losses, not net. As any gambler knows, if you only look at what you lose and don't account for what you win you could "lose" $10K at a blackjack table in a few hours. The claim is crap, I'm sure he's lost a lot but the $50 million claim is just to sell books.

Barkley's claim, on the other hand, may have more to it. ESPN said that he earned about $44 million over his career. This would be about $25 million after tax, so it is at least possible that he has given $10 million to the casinos. On top of that, I'm sure Barkley is pulling down decent money as an analyst.

The real question that this brings up is how much has Jordan given away? His gambling is well known and has even spawned conspiracy theories that the commissioner made him leave the NBA for a few years (and, thus, his baseball career). I'd love to hear the dirt on Jordan. Unlike Kobe, Jordan was able to conceal his infidelity until the end of his career. I think we all know that public Jordan was a carefully constructed image, and that the real guy is infinitely more interesting.