Refreshing sports notes: Brief, but biting! Always leave ’em wanting more!
• Kevin Durant choosing to play with Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets instead of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors is one of the worst decisions made in the history of sports.
• With four NBA championships in eight years, where do the Warriors rank among history’s dynasties? Behind Ming, definitely.
• Curry might be the best shooter ever. But he’s not in a class with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Kobe Bryant as an all-around player, and that’s before you start talking about the bigs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, etc. Bigs go underrated. The hoop is 10 feet off the ground. The closer you are to it, the better.
• The NHL should embrace the popularity gambling adds by mandating coaches to name starting goalies in advance and by making a player’s injury status specific and public, like the NFL. Is it more important to grow the league or practice juvenile deception that affects little?
• West Mifflin’s Logan Cooley is likely to be one of the first three taken in the NHL Draft on July 7. There’s lots of pressure if he goes first to Montreal. Hockey is a religion there, and Cooley isn’t the French-speaking hero Montreal prefers. If Cooley goes third to Arizona, he might as well enter witness protection. Who would have thought New Jersey at No. 2 would seem the best option? Newark … ugh. (The Devils don’t seem much inclined to take Cooley.)
• ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser called the PGA-LIV rivalry at the U.S. Open “a morality play.” Nah. It’s just business. What the NFL decides to do with Deshaun Watson is a morality play.
More from Mark Madden:
• With Minkah Fitzpatrick signed, Steelers defense must provide bang for big bucks
• Super-sized athletes can make extra large impact
• NHL is its own worst enemy, allowing stars and skill to be neutralized
• Colin Kaepernick lost his career for taking a stand that was unpopular in some circles, and certainly not universally so. Watson has 26 sexual misconduct lawsuits pending, and likely will play in the NFL this season. Our priorities are way out of whack.
• The Steelers defense ranked 24th overall last season, last against the run. It has allowed 42 points or more in each of the Steelers’ last three playoff games. The only metric favoring that unit is sacks. But Steelers fans and even much of the media illogically see that defense as “elite.” It is absolutely dumbfounding. Star power doesn’t make numbers lie.
• The Steelers should bring back Joe Haden on a one-year deal if he is amenable. The Steelers have a reported $22.8 million in cap space. At 33, Haden is a bit past his prime. But he’d be the Steelers’ best cornerback.
• Brittney Griner got busted for an illegal substance in Russia and now is going through their legal process. Why should the U.S. get involved? Why should Russia let the U.S get involved? It’s a shame, but the U.S. doesn’t get to run everything.
• Sue Bird is rightly being feted as she concludes a brilliant 19-year WNBA career. But take away recent bias and add the eye test, and Brookline product Suzie McConnell-Serio was better. There was no WNBA when McConnell-Serio was in her prime. She was 31 when she entered the league in 1998. McConnell-Serio made first-team All-WNBA and got Newcomer of the Year. She also made first-team All-American at Penn State 10 years earlier, in 1988, and won Olympic gold the same year. Women’s basketball is bigger now. McConnell-Serio was better then.
• There is nothing remotely offensive about “Colonials,” Robert Morris’ nickname. If they want to change it by way of selling lots of merchandise, that’s understandable.
• WWE owner Vince McMahon is accused of having sex with a subordinate, increasing her pay after the relationship started, and passing her on to another subordinate “like a toy.” But little of consequence will happen. Wrestling isn’t real, so situations like this aren’t perceived as real. It’s also a secret society. Stories like this just scratch the surface.