Starting Five

Where would you like to go, Goran? That way?

1. Exit The Dragon

Phoenix Sun point guard Goran Dragic is voted “Most Likely to be Traded” today, as he has “lost trust” in the organization. Why? Because they brought in Isaiah Thomas, a third starting-quality guard (along with Erick Bledsoe) who is even less shy about shooting than Dragic or Bledsoe.

The guard trio are the Suns’ three leading scorers. That’s not a good sign.

Still, Dragic is the Suns’ best guard, if not their very best player. This nucleus –Dragic, Bledsoe, Markieff Morris and Alex Len–could be very good in a season or two with the addition of a quality 3. But no.

No Dragic? It’s tragic.

Word is some teams are willing to overpay him (as much as $20 million per). Phoenix won’t be when he becomes a free agent this summer.

The next question: Whither Zoran Dragic, the Suns’ go-to 12th man who is one of the team’s Suns-are-Brothers program (Marcus Morris, too)? He’s signed for two years and averages one point per game.

2. A Classic in Durham

The six-foot-six Winslow is going to be an electric NBA presence. A fantastic glue guy.

Duke 92, UNC 90, in overtime at Cameron. I heard it was a classic (I missed it entirely due to dinner with high school buddies).

Duke’s five starters, three of whom are freshmen, scored 85 of the Blue Devils 92 points. You have to love Jahlil Okafor’s game and there’s something about Justise Winslow’s game and charisma that tells me he’s going to be a huge NBA star, but here’s the thing about Duke: get either of those two in foul trouble come March Madness and you can beat ’em. What’s 2015 for “Mercer?”

Interesting story about Winslow and his wealthy godfather here.

3. Buffalo Stance

Gadd became the first non-salmon to ascend a waterfall that we know of

Like something out of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (“Ice-nine”), all the water back east is freezing. Including, wondrously enough, Niagara Falls just outside Buffalo, N.Y. And so, with 115 million Americans freezing their arses off back East, adventurer Will Gadd, followed shortly thereafter by partner Sarah Huineken, scaled a 180-foot cliff adjacent to the Falls.

Taylor’s swift descent over the Falls remains legendary 114 years later.

Very impressive. We’re still voting, though, for Annie Edson Taylor as the No. 1 Niagara Falls daredevil. On October 24, 1901,  her 63rd birthday, Taylor became the first person to survive going over the falls in a barrel. She lived another 20 years.

4. Stay Classy, San Diego

Kraska and his Mercedes

KCBS channel 8 sports director Kyle Kraska, 48, is lucky to be alive. Last week he was shot six times  (“Not in the face!”) as he pulled out of his Scripps Ranch (fancy schmancy) driveway by Mike Montana, a 54 year-old house painter with whom he apparently had a financial dispute over a bill due. Kraska is expected to recover.

The lesson here: When you’re trying to take out a San Diego on-air personality, always use a trident.

5. SCTV Gets a Shout-Out

The funniest fat guy in a sketch comedy cast always dies way too young. It’s a comedy rule.

Canadian comedian Norm Macdonald, one of the SNL old-timers who stole the 40th Anniversary Show Sunday night with his seamless reprise of Burt Reynolds, put out some fun tweets about the experience yesterday. Among the facts and observations, MacDonald noted that SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch was stolen from Canada’s SCTV, which starred Rick Moranis, John Candy, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara and Joe Flaherty.

If you are old enough to recall watching the Friday night sketch comedy show, whose entire conceit was built around the idea that they were a TV station (run by Flaherty’s blow-harded owner, Guy Caballero), you know that their sketches were (Lake) superior to SNL‘s at the time. And the talent was at least equal.

Here’s the sketch, “Half-Wits”, upon which SNL built its “Celebrity Jeopardy” concept.

Keep in mind: Alex Trebek is also Canadian.

Remote Patrol

Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

TCM 8 p.m.

Where do you think Dr. Evil got his idea?

It’s 1964. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After a decade of bomb shelters and classroom nuclear attack drills. Just after the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cold War is in full swing. And into this angst steps director Stanley Kubrick and George C. Scott in the starring role in a black comedy about a “Doomsday Machine.”

Yet another classic and, yes, I realize I send you to TCM most every night. As soon as the networks stop producing garbage, I won’t.



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