Earlier this week, Stan Van Gundy said he couldn't have an opinion on matters of the NBA because dictatorial commissioner David Stern does not tolerate dissenting opinions within his league. Well, Stern went on a national radio host Colin Cowherd's show two days later and proved Van Gundy's point. Stern pointedly told Cowherd that he was going to talk to Magic management and "I would venture a guess that we're not going to be hearing from him (Van Gundy) for the rest of the season." Translation: Only Commissioner Hoop Chi Minh is allowed to express an opinion in the NBA -- National Bolshevik Association. … By the way, what did Stern mean when he said, "We're not going to be hearing from Van Gundy for the rest of the season?" Gulp. Sounds like the Magic coach has just gone from Stan Van Gundy to Fredo Van Gundy. … Stern also said Van Gundy's comments made him "sad." Um, Commissioner, I think the feeling is mutual because your officiating crews make Van Gundy and Dwight Howard sad. In fact, it sort of reminds me of that sad song by Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand: "You don't bring me flagrant foul calls anymore." …
The people up in Columbus, Ohio like to haughtily refer to their institution of higher earning as THE Ohio State University. After football coach Jim Tressel was caught trying to cover up NCAA violations earlier this week, the school needs to start calling itself The Ohio State Uni-perversity. … Old Ohio State tradition -- dotting the i. New Ohio State tradition – perpetuating the lie. … By the way, did you see the reason Tressel claimed he did not report the NCAA violations? He said he didn't know who to report them to. That is the worst excuse for cheating since Barry Bonds said about his purported accidental use of performance-enhancing drugs supplied by his trainer, "I didn't ask." Seriously, Tressel really said he didn't know who to report the violations to? How about your NCAA Compliance Director? How about your Athletic Director? How about ANYBODY? …
Meanwhile, SEC coaches have to be snickering at Tressel and saying, "That chump could never work in our league. He doesn't even know how to cover up a couple of piddly violations?" … And speaking of the SEC, did you see where four Auburn players were arrested for robbery, burglary and theft? See what happens when you pay Cam Newton so much there's not anything left to pay everybody else? … Tim Tebow will take part in "Faith and Family Night" at the Orlando Predators' Arena Football League home opener on March 26. Faith and Family Night and Arena Football? Isn't that like having Hip-Hop Night at the Villages?. … Can you believe the Miami Heat were actually crying in the locker room after a regular-season loss last week? Maybe they really are the Heatles and were just doing a remake of the song, "While my superstar gently weeps." … Gotta love Phil Jackson when he was asked about the Miami players bawling after a loss to the Bulls: "This is the NBA: No Boys Allowed. Big boys don't cry." …
Video of Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer playing flag football with kids
In an unprecedented move, three Big East officials whose mistakes marred the end of the St. John's-Rutgers Big East Tournament game voluntarily withdrew from the rest of the tournament and left. In related news, David Stern just hired them to ref Magic games. … Now that 37-year-old Tiki Barber is divorced, broke, and been fired from NBC, he wants to make a comeback in the NFL. Can't say that I blame him. … True story: The two spokesmen for the NFL owners and NFL players had a verbal spat on Twitter earlier this week. Coming soon: Stern and Van Gundy remove each other from their Facebook friends list. … Last word: Tiger Woods says he may be leaving Orlando soon and moving into his luxurious beachside manor in Jupiter Island. I've asked this philosophical question once and I'll ask it again: If Tiger Woods lives in a place for 15 years and never contributes anything tangible to the community, did he really live here at all?" …
Most every weekday, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports.
Here's an excerpt from a blog earlier in the week in which I wrote about the league-endorsed maulings Magic center Dwight Howard is subjected to:
"Commissioner David Stern and his NBA referees should be ashamed of themselves for the way they allow Dwight Howard to get absolutely hammered and harassed without any repercussions or ramifications to the hacks who maul and massacre him.
We all agree that Howard needs to find a way to stop getting technical fouls, but Magic coach Stan Van Gundy revealed an incredible statistic earlier this week. He pointed out that Howard has been fouled 593 times this season and not one of those infractions was called a flagrant foul.
"Getting no protection from the referees, he's only retaliated from that a handful of times," Van Gundy said. "You could say he's losing control. I would say just the opposite. I would say his control is amazing."
The more you listen to Van Gundy's reasoning about Howard's technicals, the more he makes sense. As blatantly and physically as Howard is fouled on a regular basis, it's astounding that none of those fouls has been deemed flagrant.
Can you imagine if LeBron James or Dwyane Wade got fouled as hard as Howard regularly gets punched, prodded, grabbed and groped? Perimeter defenders would be ejected from the game and suspended for such underhanded tactics. But with Howard, defenders are allowed to tee off on him and hang all over him after the whistle without fear of being called for a flagrant foul. Then, when Howard throws an elbow to get the goons off of him, he's the one who gets called for a technical foul.
I will be the first to say that Howard whines way too much whenever he is whistled for a foul and that has a lot to do with how many times he's been T'd up this year. But you cannot deny that Stern and his pampered officials should be embarrassed that the hacks who regularly try to decapitate Howard have been given a free pass this year.
What's it going to be, Commissioner Stern?
Are you going to allow this league-sanctioned assault and battery to continue against Dwight Howard or are you going to do something about it?"
(Most interesting reader retorts, tangy tweets and Bianchi barbs of the week):
In response to Stan Van Gundy ranting earlier this week that Dwight Howard has been fouled 593 times but none of those fouls has been deemed flagrant: "If Dwight played in L.A. or New York, there would be some flagrant fouls called."
In response to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel actually saying he didn't report NCAA violations because he didn't know who to report them to: "Why didn't he just say, 'The dog ate my integrity.' "
In response to Stern dressing down Van Gundy on a national radio show: "Hey, commissioner, don't you have more important things to worry about – like your officials fixing games?"
In honor of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel being nabbed for covering up NCAA violations, three of my favorite quotes about cheating in sports.