by John Walters
1. Making His “O” Face*
*The judges will also accept a Felix-ian “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar”
The Big O hisself, Oscar Robertson, journeyed to Oklahoma City on the last night of the regular season to participate in a short pregame tribute to Russell Westbrook. Then he suited up and played one-on-one versus Tony Romo.
Robertson in 1962: 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 11.4 assists per game for the Cincinnati Royals in his second season at the age of 23.
Westbrook in 2017: 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists per game for the Thunder in his ninth season at the age of 28.
2. Stevens’ Point*
*The judges will not accept “The Good, The Brad and The Ugly”
Ten years ago last week, Brad Stevens was a 30 year-old whose wife may have still been wondering whether it was smart of him to ditch a sure-thing job at Eli Lily to have become a volunteer assistant at Butler. But now he had just been named head coach at Butler.
Since then, he has twice taken Butler to the Final Four (they came a fraction of an inch from taking down Duke in the 201 national championship game) and national championship game with just one NBA player on the roster (Gordon Hayward) and now he has led the Boston Celtics, who have one All-Star on its roster (and none over 5’10”), to first place in the Eastern Conference. Stevens may look like the quintessential suburban Indianapolis soccer dad who could soon be promoted to assistant to the regional manager, but in fact he is as good a basketball coach as there is. Period. He’s still only 40.
3. RIP, Dorothy Mengering
I don’t know what producer on David Letterman‘s old show saw or met his mom and suggested, “We HAVE to have that lady on this show!” Maybe it was Dave. I dunno. All I know is that Dave’s mom was the sweetest, most demure thing you’ve ever seen and a natural charmer. She softened every one of Dave’s rough edges on air and to see them interact, albeit via satellite (“Hi, David”), is to understand why that brittle, sarcastic exterior had a chewy, sentimental center. Dorothy died a day or two ago at the age of 95. She was the best.
4. And RIP, Charlie Murphy
He was not just some Fredo to brother Eddie’s Michael Corleone; in later years Charlie Murphy became a staple of Chappelle’s Show, simply by the way he related anecdotes of his “Brush With Greatness” moments. Charlie passed away due to leukemia at the age of 57 yesterday.
5. Corvallis In Wonderland
The best college baseball team in America plays in the Pac-12/Conference of Champions. USC? Stanford? Arizona State? Arizona? UCLA?
No, no, no, no, no.
Oregon State. The Beavers are an astounding 28-1 (their lone defeat came to another OSU, Ohio State) on February 24 in Surprise, Arizona. They’ve reeled off 23 straight wins since them. Starting pitcher Luke Heimlich “Maneuver” is 5-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 63 strikeouts against just 12 walks. The Beavers are winning with pitching: they have the stingiest ERA, 1.81, in Division I.
The team’s most productive hitter, with a .392 batting average, is 5’7″ infielder Nick Madrigal.
You Make Loving Fun
In Fleetwood Mac, singer/keyboardist Christine McVie was the Bailey Quarters to Stevie Nicks’ Jennifer Marlowe. Or the Maryann to Stevie’s Ginger. Last week Rumours, arguably the definitive album of the 1970s, turned 40 years old. It’s a classic. Stevie got most of the lead vocals, but this tune was all Christine’s. This was the fourth and final single released from the 1977 album and it peaked at No. 9, making it the fourth top-10 hit.
Rolling Stone compiled a “10 Things You Didn’t Know” list about Rumours….
Calgary Flames at Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
10:30 p.m. NBC Sports Net
Slim pickings tonight.