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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tired of Stephen A. Smith

Today’s ranting in the Philadelphia Inquirer by New Yorker wannabee Stephen A. Smith is a perfect example of why the newspaper is dying a long, slow death.

It seems also be his last.

The paper’s former owner tried a few years to sell editions based on the fact that they were locally owned, as if Philadelphians should support the hometown institution. Not a bad idea, actually. But when the paper brings back the ESPN-discarded Smith, who does nothing but spew venom at the local sports fans and franchises in order to curry favor with those he hopes will deem him worthy of a national position, the message falls short.

Maybe the dispatched owners just don’t care anymore now that investors took over the paper, but the fans should care. Enough is enough of tolerating the enemy within. Smith needs to have his brooding, obnoxious, Philly-hating ass booted out of town . . . again.

Smith was inexplicably allowed to write a column suggesting that Doug Collins is too good of a coach for Philadelphia.

The word is that Doug Collins is the leading candidate to become the next coach of the 76ers. Hey, Philadelphia, consider yourself lucky, but only for a moment.

Because when you're a brilliant basketball mind like Collins, someone capable of coaching rings around most of the head honchos in the NBA, you shut off your phone and screen your mail for fear of contamination. You stay out the public eye and avoid all contact - doing whatever you must to avoid being offered the Sixers job. Or worse, being compelled to take it. …

Collins, 58, must not be offered the Sixers job. If so, he must not take it. Not if he cares about himself, his family, his sanity.

Isn’t great to have Smith back in town? I don’t believe I’ve ever read a sports columnist essentially campaigning against the best interests of the sports franchises in the town he writes.

It won't be long before he's institutionalized after dealing with this bunch….Their temperament is always a consideration. And the combination of those two criteria makes Collins a bad fit for this particular Sixers situation.

For all of Collins' greatness, he is well-known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve whenever he's coaching….

What will Collins do if Iguodala tries to bring in his own shooting coach this season? If Brand doesn't want to work out? If Samuel Dalembert reiterates how he doesn't want to be in Philadelphia? If Lou Williams insists on being a point guard? Or if someone other than Jason Kapono tries to act like he can shoot?

These are legitimate questions.

No, actually they’re not. They’re the reasons the Sixers need a “name” coach like Collins. Any coach who even concerns themselves with what any of the stiffs on this team wants isn’t the right guy. There’s no way Collins is going to be bothered by concerns of Kapono or anybody else on this roster.

…That's why the job is better suited for someone younger. Preferably starving.

I’m not sure how this got passed an editor, but the point (as much as one can be discerned) is that the Sixers should hire a coach with something to prove. That’s just stupid. This team needs a guy with enough clout that the players know they are going to go long before the coach.

… No one would argue with this choice under normal circumstances. But the Sixers are strolling around as if they were 55-27 last season when they actually were 27-55. That's not normal.

Finally, Smith stumbled his way into a point. The only question left in the coaching search is why in the world, if he wants the job, Doug Collins isn’t already the 76ers coach.

The only question left regarding Smith is why in the world he’s still a writer for the Inquirer. He is nothing more than an agitator. He’s not a contrarian, the devil’s advocate, or the like. Those roles are filled by people looking to enlighten an unpopular side of an argument.

Smith is the outsider whose stuck where he is who just wants to annoy everyone around him.

It’s time to send him packing.

Other thoughts:
• I’m really not looking to make a habit of ripping The Vai and Gonzo Show. But today both Vai Sikahema and John Gonzalez were emphatic with the opinion that no one would care if the Sixers won tonight’s draft lottery and won the chance to take John Wall. I couldn’t disagree more. Sadly, we’ll probably never get to know since the Sixers only have a 5.3% chance of winning the number one pick.

• I have to say Flyers fans are already getting a little obnoxious. I hear guys calling sports radio saying how they don’t want people on the bandwagon, they’re not getting respect, etc. Relax. What the Flyers did was exciting as hell. Hockey is not that popular . . . they should be pulling people onto the bandwagon.

• Finally, a writer from Canada had his car vandalized after the last game. This is the third story of idiot Philly fans getting national attention. Defending these jackasses is getting old.

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