Well, for all seven of you that have waited for it, the day is here. I have finished sitting for the Bar Examination in the great State of
This much is certain: The Grizzlies knew they were getting a project when they drafted him. And although his attitude seemed positive and his demeanor on the court was professional, his effort level never came close to what it will take for him to have success in the NBA. His lack of strength, balance or scoring skills is not the issue. Give him that same set of weaknesses, but replace his passion for the games with Blake Griffin's, and Memphis would have a center who would be the envy of the entire league.
So not only does he not have the proper strength, balance, or scoring skills for the NBA, but he doesn’t even care either. Amazing. #2 overall seems a bit high now doesn’t it? Way to put in that NBA level effort Thabeet! Thorpe even bashes him in his write up of #7 Rookie Stephen Curry saying that Curry might be the second most disappointing rookie, but second “by a long shot” to Thabeet. Of course I have been saying this kind of stuff for months as you know if you read any of my Big East articles or Syracuse/Connecticut postgame reactions. Either way, it is nice to see that finally the national media has taken off the blinders and realizes that he seems to not even care if he is good at basketball because it was all about the pay day or status for him. No pride in his work. What a shame and some legacy for UConn to hold on to.
The article, of you care about that whole NBA thing, is here, but I warn you that you need an ESPN Insider account to view it. Enjoy the national media now slamming Thabeet instead of treating him like he walks on water and is God’s gift to shot blocking.
With less than a week before the New York State bar exam, Brian is busy cramming as much information into his head as possible. I know, because I was doing the exact same thing three years ago. Right now, Brian has more legal knowledge than I do. A week or two from now, he will have forgotten most of it and be down to my level. This is how the world works. But at any rate, I figured now would be as good a time as any to earn points toward my “correspondent” tag, so please enjoy this article.
One of the bigger sports world stories of the past several days has been the Erin Andrews nude video that has surfaced on many nefarious internet sites. While not truly a sports story (which is why ESPN is not covering the developments) let’s face it: none of us would know who Erin Andrews is without sports. I’m actually close, personal friends with Erin, so this story obviously got my attention.
OK, so that’s not true, but let me share with you my experience with Erin Andrews. It was February 18, 2006 and College Gameday was visiting the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Louisville. As this was my third year of law school and I had exhausted my travel eligibility with the Sour Sitrus Society, I had season tickets in the student section. EA was providing sideline coverage for the game, and after the Orangemen beat the Cardinals 79-66, several SU students poured down to the courtside to snag a picture with her. I, too, wanted my picture with EA before heading down to celebrate at Faegan’s. When I saw my opportunity, I approached EA and said “Hi Erin, it’s my birthday today and I was wondering if I could get a picture with you.” She politely replied “You don’t have to lie, you can have a picture.” But I wasn’t lying, I tried explaining; it really was my birthday and I would have proved it. But by that time we were already posing for the picture. I thanked her and proceeded down the Hill to Faegan’s where I had quite a few and posed for a picture in the keg room. But that’s another story.
Needless to say, I’ve had nothing but respect and admiration for EA. Of course there’s the obvious attraction, but she’s seemingly at every major sporting event, and overall, she really knows her stuff. She’s not just a pretty face smiling for the camera and shoving a microphone in an athlete’s face asking how many overtimes the baseball game will have. She genuinely knows the sports, the rules, the athletes, and looks good bringing us the updates. Which of course makes her such a wanted commodity on ESPN, and what keeps guys like me tuning in every chance we get.
Now before you think I’m a stalker, let’s back up the train a bit. Fan, yes; stalker, no. And the last thing I want to see is someone get exploited when they don’t deserve it. Let’s be honest, there are celebrities who seem to make it their job to accidentally flash the cameras days after having pepperonis sewn onto her recently inflated breasts (Tara Reid), to forget to wear underwear but broadcast that to the world while stepping out of the car (Britney, Lindsay, etc.), to make a sex tape with their boyfriend/husband that gets “leaked” to the internet (Paris Hilton, etc.). When that happens, I don’t feel too bad for the celebrity. They’ve made it their business to “put themselves out there,” as it were, and often times it resurrects careers. Part of the Hollywood glamour. But this EA thing is different. From what I understand, this is a video of EA in her hotel room. She’s not in public, she’s not around paparazzi, she’s not the victim of a wardrobe malfunction. But she is the victim of an invasion of her privacy.
Trickery should not be the method used for the public to be able to see EA in her own skin. I mean, how difficult would it be for EA’s people to call Hef’s people, set up a shoot, and have her appear in the Septober double issue of Playboy? OK, the time for that one’s probably come and gone, but combining November-December or January-February just won’t work. Point is, she’s in demand, and if she wants to do a nude shoot, she can certainly do it on her own terms and be paid handsomely for it.
But she has chosen not to do so. Is it a moral thing? A professional thing? An “I don’t need to yet” thing? Who cares! If anyone out there really needs their fix, they can watch the Naked News and just pretend it’s her. But the fact is that she has chosen to not put herself out there in the same way other celebrities have, and we as the viewing public need to respect that.
Not to mention that surreptitiously videotaping someone in the privacy of their hotel room is very illegal and very tort-worthy. But I guess people don’t think about that when it comes to sex.
I don’t mean to get all high-horse on this blog, but I think that in this situation, respecting EA’s privacy is just the right thing to do. And when (if) she decides to take it off and show the public, it should be on her own terms. I’ll make sure to renew my subscription.
You may have read, directly below this article, of former UConn star Diana Taurasi, now of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, and her brush with the police after having a bit too much to drink on July 2nd of this year (and the subsequent debate over standards of decency at women’s basketball events). Subsequently, Phoenix Police have charged Taurasi with three charges including “Extreme DUI”. New York State refers to this crime as “Aggravated DUI” which is a DUI that is some statutory limit above and beyond the standard legal limit of a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08. In Taurasi’s case, she was found to have had a BAC of .17, over twice the legal limit. She was original pulled over for speeding and was pulled over after drifting across the center line on the road. She has since been suspended by the Phoenix Mercury two games without pay. All $125 of it (Editor’s Note: Actual sum may vary). The official reason for the suspension is “conduct detrimental to the team." She will return after this Wednesday’s game. She should have a suspension and I suppose this punishment is about right as her next scheduled court date is Wednesday and she is innocent until proven guilty. If she is found guilty either by admission or finding I would hope she would catch a couple more games, but I doubt that will happen. If you really want some strong feelings on the matter, check out ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel commentary here. Also, our friends at TheUConnBlog.com had an article about the DUI that easily has the worst video of any female athletes ever in the history of the medium. Check that out here.
As a secondary UConn story I’ll cut them a break and point out the legal troubles of a student, rather than another athlete. In a fitting bit of irony, a UConn Law student is in trouble with the law. This is right up my alley. John Belanger of Hartford, a third year law student, was arrested as part of a $1 billion marijuana ring, originating in, of course, Canada. According to the DEA press release, Belanger, along with the others, is being charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to import more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. “In addition to acting as a courier himself, Belanger was responsible for recruiting, employing, and coordinating couriers, who typically used rental vehicles and traveled in tandem with ‘blocking’ vehicles which scouted ahead for law enforcement, communicated potential problems to couriers, and intentionally violated traffic laws to protect couriers. The organization transported the marijuana in heat-sealed bags inside large duffle bags labeled with a number and customer identification or destination.” Most law school students are too busy reading and studying, or at least drinking, to get into this kind of trouble. Then again, law school is expensive. Either way a big tip o’ the cap to UConn Law’s admissions staff. Good work. Makes me feel reassured that I never wanted to apply there. The full blog article on him, including some inside tips on him that are entertaining if you are into that sort of thing, can ge found here.
Finally, we round out our legal coverage with news on an incoming Cincinnati Football player, Lance Stephenson. This upstanding citizen, along with a friend, were accused in October 2008 of groping a 17-year-old girl near their high school according to ESPN.com and was charged with sexual assault. According to reports to the New York Daily News, the 12th ranked recruit in the ESPN Top 100 will plead guilty to disorderly conduct and seek a sentence of counseling and disorderly conduct. A sweet deal to go from sexual assault and possible sex offender registry to a good old DisCon. Cincinnati gets a good freshman and a concern for public safety and the ladies of the campus. H/T to Orange::44 correspondent John Brennan for the news.
Now you don’t have to watch an hour of TruTV. You are sufficiently caught up on all the legal areas that touch you as a Syracuse/Big East fan. Also, if you dislike UConn, which I know you do. Sorry for all the flowery language, but if you couldn’t tell I miss writing. Back at the blog full time starting soon. Finally, some good news. Congratulations to Erin and Alex on their engagement this past weekend. They are fine Syracuse alumni, loyal blog readers, and most importantly good friends. Congratulations and best wishes to you both!
Then #1 Connecticut traveled to Manley Field House to take on the then Syracuse Orangewomen basketball team. Well of course Syracuse was drubbed. Back then the team was atrocious save for Julie McBride. Meanwhile Connecticut had Sue Bird, who was as talented as she was lovely, and then Diana Taurasi. Seeing as Sue Bird was the senior leader on the team and the focus of most defensive efforts, she was also the focus of much heckling from my Sour Sitrus Society colleagues. If you are a loyal reader of the blog, you know what I mean by heckling. Now you have to understand, back then the team was horrible, we were playing #1 UConn, and we were getting trounced. We ended up losing this game by 30 points. There was not much to do at the women’s basketball games of this era other than heckle. With everyone else messing with Sue Bird, I focused my attention to the far lesser known Taurasi. I’m jawing at her the entire game, possibly calling her fat in some way, or maybe saying she looks like a dude. This was seven years ago after all. I definitely remember yelling at her, when it was quite as she shot a free throw, saying that I’d love to make up for the heckling by buying her Pita Pit. So we all have a grand old time, and we lose by 30. The buzzer goes and UConn is running back to the locker rooms, and just as I’m about to start playing the fight song, Diana looks right at me and gives me the middle finger across the court. I just stood there with my jaw dropped. And thus my real hatred of Connecticut women’s basketball was born. UConn went on to win the National Championship that year, by the by.
Thus the real news from this past weekend. So as I see Diana Taurasi on the bottom line I see it followed by “cited for D.U.I.”, and I immediately get excited. ESPN.com has the full low down. Basically she was speeding on July 3rd, got pulled over, the police smelled alcohol, transported her to a mobile D.U.I. center, then she gave blood and was issued a citation. Now, as a future lawyer, and at this point almost certain defense attorney, I don’t relish in people getting jacked up by police after having a few cocktails. But D.U.I. is a serious crime and if she had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, she will surely face a fine but probably not jail. Either way, as probably the biggest WNBA star right now, as well as the leading vote getter for the WNBA All Star Game, she should have known better. Looks like the curse of UConn and the Connvicts caught up to her finally. I, of course, will keep you posted to any further legal developments in this case.
Finally, I wonder where SU Athletics got this idea?