Scott Fowler’s quick takes on the week in sports:
▪ My two least favorite players in these NBA finals, which resume Sunday night with Game 2?
They have to be Golden State’s Andrew Bogut and Cleveland’s J.R. Smith.
They are hard to watch for different reasons. Average them together and they shoot about the right percentage of the time.
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But individually, they are so frustrating. Bogut passed up an open dunk off an alley-oop – yes, a dunk – to throw the ball out for a three-pointer from the corner in Game 1 (which was missed). It’s not just unselfishness with the 7-foot Bogut on offense. It’s passivity. TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy claimed Bogut passing up the dunk was one of the worst plays he had ever seen. Bogut does play relatively well on defense, but I think the Warriors’ best lineup is the small one when he’s not on the floor.
Smith, on the other hand, lives to shoot contested 25-footers. He’s forgiven for that a lot because sometimes they go in, but my theory is that Smith shoots people out of games more often than he shoots them into one.
▪ WHERE’S MY $103 MILLION? Cam Newton’s contract extension press conference Tuesday was mostly a good one. Newton was humble, he was well-dressed, he thanked everybody in sight and he promised the money wouldn’t change him.
The one misstep he did make, however, was this. Newton made it sound like anyone with a football and a dream could get a $103 million contract of their own.
Here was Newton’s exact quote after a question was asked as to whether Newton thought he would ever sign a $100-million contract: “For a person to come from Atlanta, Ga. – and for people who know that (area), College Park – that don’t happen. It doesn’t. I’m not saying that to brag. I’m more saying that to say if I can do it, I promise you, any person that puts their mind to it can pretty much do it.”
What he should have said more explicitly – and what he does say often in his many community appearances – is that you can achieve your own dream if you try hard enough. Teacher. Policeman. A college scholarship. Whatever. That’s a fine message.
But unless you win the genetic lottery, you have no shot at a $100 million NFL contract no matter how hard you work. To say otherwise creates unrealistic expectations.
▪ GINN AGAIN: Although he had a bad year in Arizona, Ted Ginn Jr. still looks plenty fast enough in practice to help the Panthers in 2015.
▪ SCARING THE RECRUITS: New Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh took his shirt off and played a made-up game with some high school players at a recruiting camp in Alabama a couple of days ago. Do you remember Harbaugh was once on the Panthers’ roster? He was a backup during the horrible 2001 season, when Carolina went 1-15 and Chris Weinke started over Harbaugh.
▪ TRULY TAKING A LOAD OFF: Tennis analyst Brad Gilbert advised Serena Williams a couple of days ago during a live interview to “take your feet off” after she won a match in the French Open.