So where has everybody been? Creighton’s Doug “McBuckets” goes for 32 points and 27 points in the semifinal and finals of the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden and suddenly the bandwagon is standing room only. (My friend and colleague, Scoop Jackson of ESPN, was an exception – a McDermott backer from way back). Again, there is something to be said for players who spend four years in college polishing their skills and prepping for the NBA. McDermott, 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, will fit nicely at small forward. He is active, moves without the ball, absorbs contact and escapes for shots, has a one-legged step-back jumper probably stolen from Dirk Nowitzki, uses his left and right hands, and makes plays for teammates. Lots of NBA eyeballs are focusing on Creighton.
Is he crazy in love (with his first team) or just crazy? And what about Jeanie Buss, his fiancee and a Los Angeles Lakers executive? The Phil-Jeanie drama won’t be nearly as entertaining as the Phil-James Dolan union. The tabloids are in heaven.
SMU? Once again, the man is a short-term marvel. The fact that he contacted the Kings, practically begged for a job, and Geoff Petrie refused to bring him in for an interview? And when was last time the Kings sniffed the playoffs? Oh, right. Eight years ago.
So, ok, not a complete downer. But the move detracted from the 49ers’ most tantalizing offseason issue, coach Jim Harbaugh vs. general manager Trent Baalke. While there aren’t any tabloids in this part of the country – so disturbing for us native New Yorkers – we media types will do our best to update the masses on the state of their marriage.
If he indeed has become a kinder, gentler, Barry, why wouldn’t the organization keep him around? He is only the greatest hitter of his generation (and that was before PEDs) and in a league of his own when it came to distinguishing balls from strikes.