by John Walters

Tweet Me Right



Starting Five

Among other feats, Dirk patented this fall-away jumper

Dirk & Dwyane

Dirk Nowitzki, 40, played his final home game with the Dallas Mavericks last night. Few NBA players, if any, have ever meant more to their franchise: 21 uninterrupted seasons with the same franchise, the most in NBA history; an NBA championship, the Mavericks’ first and only; an NBA MVP award (in 2007). And he’ll retire as the league’s sixth all-time leading scorer, one of seven to surpass 30,000 points.

The seven-footer from Germany will also retire as the most prolific scorer in NBA history born outside the USA.

Dwyane Wade, 37, also played his final home game for the Miami Heat. An HOF career, if not quite to the magnitude of Dirk’s. Three NBA championships, 13 All-Star Games in 16 seasons (mostly but not exclusively with Miami), 30th in career scoring.

Both legends put up 30 points last night (both have been Finals MVPs).

Jamal Of America

Then there’s Jamal Crawford, 39, presently of the Phoenix Suns, his 8th NBA franchise. Last night Crawford, playing the role of Devin Booker, scored 51 points in the Suns’ loss to Dirk’s Dallas Mavs.

Crawford is the oldest player in NBA history to put up a 50-spot. He’s the only one to do so with four different franchises. He’s the NBA’s all-time leader in 4-point plays (55) and also in Sixth Man of the Year awards (3). He’s started less than one-third of the games he’s played in, yet he is 51st on the NBA’s career scoring list (and if he plays one more season, he’ll move up at least another five spots).

We’ve posted before about how Crawford is criminally under-appreciated. He’s also deserving of a spot in the Hall, we feel.

If you watched ESPN last night, they never altered the narrative. They went in thinking “Dirk and Dwyane” and they weren’t going to be inconvenienced by Crawford’s historic night. Part of being the WWL in the past 10-20 years is almost always siding with frontrunners (which is why we get 24-hour non-stop LeBron and why GameDay will make more trip to Columbus and Tuscaloosa come autumn). That’s just how it is.

“I’ll Take ‘Over This Game’ for $110,000, Alex”

The only singular accomplishment more impressive than Crawford’s yesterday belonged to James Holzhauer, a 34 year-old contestant on Jeopardy! In an episode that was taped on February 11, Holzhauer crushed the game show’s single-day record for cash awarded, taking home $110,914.

What’s weird about that total? Holzhauer’s daughter was born on November 9, 2014 (think about it).

The previous mark, set in 2010, was $77,000. Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas and, we assume, something of a polymath, has a four-day total of $244,000-plus. He’ll take on two new challengers tonight.

Holzhauer graduated from Naperville (Ill.) High School, his wife was once a contestant on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, and not surprisingly, he is an avid bridge player, a trait common to many highly intelligent people. Us, we still can’t beat our chess computer app that came with the Mac.


Yesterday on CNBC host Wilfred Frost, the son of acclaimed Seventies journalist David Frost, had on as his guest Jes Staley, the CEO of Barclays Bank. Staley, 62, earns a relatively paltry salary of $5 million-plus, but he’s the former CEO of JP Morgan and also worked at Blue Mountain Capital, and he’s probably doing alright.

Which is, you know, bully for him.

Anyway, at the very end of the chat Frost asked Staley about the obscene ratios of CEO pay to the median salary of employees at those CEOs institutions. This was NOT an on-the-fly question, as a graphic was posted as Frost posed the question.

Staley’s mood turned sour on that question, and he simply said he was not about to opine on what other CEOs earn. We get it. But here is where Frost got lost. Why didn’t he push him and ask why not? If there were only some figure in Frost’s life, a role-model perhaps, maybe even a family member, who could serve as an inspiration for holding powerful men to be accountable when conducting an interview with them. To make him a more intrepid interviewer.

For what it’s worth, there are CEOs, not all, but entirely too many (in our opinion), who earn 100x, 200x and even 300x what the median salary of their employees is. If you want to delve into the data, you can start here.

Or here.

Where this issue gets sticky—and it’s a lively debate among six of us high school friends on the same text chain—is that if someone like me asks, “Well, just how much is enough for a CEO?” we are accused of being a socialist. Hardly. We’re capitalist, we’re just not into the whole feudal lord-serf model.

One of my friends, a successful dentist who runs his own small shop with five or so employees, wondered if I was just against the idea of people being successful or working hard. I asked him if he pays himself 100x more than his employees. Of course not, he said.

For the record, two of these buddies who own their own small businesses tell me they’ve never paid themselves more than 5 to 10x median salary of their employees.

And that’s healthy.

Another friend is a big-time consultant and when we ask him why he feels free to advise CEOs to lay off workers earning below $75,000 a year but never advises them to trim their salary. His stock reply: “Is the CEO’s salary the reason the business is underperforming?”

My (and others’) reply is, “No more than the guy doing the $75,000 a year gig. Moreover, as the LEADER of a team (be it CEO, king, or whatever), maybe the symbolic gesture of your being willing to sacrifice something, when that sacrifice is so relatively minuscule compared to your employees/loyal subjects, would make for a happier, productive workplace.”

Anyway, we believe in capitalism. We also believe that a ceiling of 100x as the maximum ratio (after perks, mind you) from CEO: median salary would make for a more economically viable country and a happier society.

And if Wilfred Frost is serious about this issue, he and CNBC should devote a half-hour to an hour program on it and invite every CEO they can find (and list every one who turns down their invitation).

Granny Theft

Maybe you have a family member or loved one who is advancing in years. Maybe you’re grappling with the eventuality of them moving to assisted living, and the financial burden.

I’ve had some time to ruminate on this lately, and I believe I’ve come up with a solution to the problem: Rob a bank. Better yet, attempt to rob a bank.

Do you know how much a nice assisted living facility costs these days? We have an extended family member whose costs are in the five figures per month. And even here in sunny and relatively cheap Arizona it’s not unusual to spend $4,000 per month.

Which is why we suggest robbing a bank: to the elderly. Now, imagine this. A car of four octogenarian or older ladies pulls up to a bank (they park in a handicapped spot, which they’re entitled to, for easier egress). They enter and pull a Bonnie and Clyde. Here are the resulting scenarios I’ve envisioned:

A) They get away! Woo-hoo! Now you have funds to pay for that assisted living facility. Probability? Low.

B) They DON’T get away. Nearly as good a result and a much higher probability of occurrence. If you make this an armed robbery, you’re looking at jail time. But who cares, especially if you’re female? Now the state has to pay to house and feed you. You have all the time you need to write birthday and graduation cards to your grandkids. You don’t have to worry about what to wear. Or when to clean the house. Instead of being out $5 to $15K per month, the state is footing the bill. And you have an always available pool of peeps with whom to play bridge or gin rummy.

And seriously, what’s life imprisonment when you’re 87? Especially if you don’t even know who or where you are?

(This may be the best idea we’ve ever had)

For the record, Mama Dubs is on board as long as I can promise her the detention center has Turner Classic Movies. Still looking into it…


Quick Hitters: The Baltimore Orioles are handling the Chris Davis Futility Infielder situation all wrong. Take a lesson from Bill Veeck. Celebrate it: bat Davis first and offer fans some type of giveaway if he gets his next hit at the game they attend…Fellow Brophy Prep alum Matt Zemek (read his stuff; he’s terrific) and I have come to the conclusion that the Final Four telecast would be much improved by putting Ian Eagle-Jim Spanarkel on one game and Jim Nantz-Bill Raftery-Grant Hill on the other. Granted, we’d prefer to see the former crew on Monday night. Our guess is that Nantz guards his territory very, very assiduously…Magic Johnson? I really don’t care, but my suspicion is he thought, “Life’s too short to deal with LeBron’s bullsh*t every day. And after all, I was more of a winner (which he was).”

Music 101

Come Sail Away

This one, by Styx, was always an angst-ridden choice at the junior high dance. Is it a slow song? Do we still dance close after the “A gathering of angels appeared above my head…” line, after it makes the transition from ballad to rocker ? This was released in 1977, just a month after Star Wars, and at a time when being intergalactic was really cool. It shot to No. 8 on the charts and was the breakthrough hit the band had been searching for.

True fact: When we first moved to Phoenix in 1978, the local NBC affiliate (Channel 12) would play the closing keyboard part as its signing off music. I wonder if anyone from Styx was even aware they were doing that? The world was such a different place before social media.

Remote Patrol

Manhattan Murder Mystery

8 p.m. TCM

Because “Manhattan Perv Mystery” would’ve been a documentary and not much of a mystery. Anyway, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton team up once again, this time in 1993, as a married couple who believe a neighbor has been off’ed and seek to discover the truth. It’s a comic turn on Rear Window.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Interesting idea for “Granny/future selves long term care” but, um, if they are older than 85, shouldn’t they just voluntarily “step into the light”? 😉 Actually, your solution reminds me of the recent guy on the internet who said he was going to live in “Holiday Inns” for his old age (FAR cheaper than assisted living), but YOUR idea is better as you get FREE HEALTH CARE & someone eventually will pick you up off the floor when you’ve “fallen & can’t get up”.

    My mom’s assisted living place costs $6000/month (!) & this does NOT include transport to & from your Dr appointments, nope, that’s “extra”. This facility is not located in the insanely expensive county in which I currently live, but the rural county in which I grew up. I have no idea how the majority of the residents can afford place, as my home county is far from wealthy. I’m thinking at least some are from my current ‘bucks-a-plenty’ county & their relatives figure 75-90 miles away isn’t that far away to stash mom/granny/dad, etc.

    Alrighty, hold on while I pull on my “sassy pants”, uhn, one more pull, ok – are you SERIOUSLY BLAMING LeBron James for Magic Johnson’s UTTER FAILURE at his “Lakers President of Basketball Operations” job? Do you say this just to wind me up (always fun, & sure I like to ‘dance’ with you too, jdubs) or do you really think this? The man did NOT know what the job truly entailed & apparently thought he could just flash the “Magic” smile, slap some backs, crow about his 9 trips to the Finals & be done. And just to be clear – HE did NOT “get” LBJ to come to the Lakers – LeBron & his family WANTED to live in LA & ALL Magic had to do was not say the wrong thing such as “I’m gonna suck at my job so bad that I will forever TARNISH YOUR LEGACY if you come here”. Too bad Sweet Pea didn’t LISTEN TO ME! Apparently, Magic rarely actually, you know, WORKED at the job or was even there. But yeah, let’s blame LBJ, a guy who has handcuffed himself to the freakin Titanic for 3 MORE YEARS (or possibly just 2, the last year MAY be an ‘option’). I realize the Cleveland org & owner could be the inspiration for the next “ESCAPE FROM..” movie , but heck, LBJ took his foot out of a small pile of dog poop & jumped full-body into a BARNYARD OF MANURE! Worst decision he’s ever made, worse than “The Decision” TV “show”, even worse than that godawful beard! Have some empathy for the man!

    One more thing – I bet if YOU offer to pay the cable bill for the Detention Center, they’ll make sure TCM is always available on some TV (whether Mamadubs can fight her way to an open seat is not guaranteed however, how is she with a ‘blade’? ). Let’s see – $130/month vs $6000; it’s appropriately a “steal”! 🙂

  2. Or sell the homestead, put it all into AMZN, and per last week’s posting, speculation of $5k / share in few years, Bezos is footing the bill.

  3. I remember listening to Come, Sail Away with my dad when I was a kid. He would play the same solo part at the beginning over and over, neglecting the hard rock ending. A tale of two songs, if there ever was one.

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