BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
The US Mens basketball team finalized its roster over the weekend. It is a decent bunch of choices. Anytime you have Lebron James and Kevin Durant, the top two players in the world, it's hard to say it is a bad team, but I don't think the US has put the best players the NBA has to offer on the floor for these Olympic games coming up within the month.
I don't know if it's just paranoia, but as a fan of the NBA and a decided nationalist who loves rooting for the good ol' USA, I gotta admit that I am worried.
There are things about this US team that I just don't like. Here is a brief list:
A. Too many players who want the ball in their hands, like to shoot it, and often take too many ill-advised shots.
B. Not enough interior size. Tyson Chandler is a 7 footer, but has limited offensive game. Kevin Love is 6'10" and Blake Griffin is 6'9".
C. Those interior players are NOT great defenders. Well, Chandler is an excellent post defender, but Griffin and Love are not exactly defensive fortresses.
D. Not enough pure point guards. Chris Paul can be an effective facilitator, but other than him, all the other guards are too often "shoot first, pass second" type guys.
As I said, there is one thing to really like about this team, and that is Lebron James, fresh off a dominating post season in which he won his first title, and Kevin Durant, who was equally as dominant, playing together. I am just afraid that the above weaknesses might take away from the dynamic duo's greatness.
Team USA has a 33 year old Kobe Bryant, who never met a shot he didn't like. Bryant shot only 43% from the field last year, including 30% from three point range.
They also have Russell Westbrook, whose shot selection was heavily criticized in the post season. Westbrook shot 45% on the year, but only 31% from downtown. Both numbers went down in the playoffs, and he takes way too many questionable shots, and often plays out of control.
They have Carmelo Anthony, who was a member of the disappointing 2004 bronze medal team. 'Melo shot only 43% from the field last year, 33% from the arc. Anthony too often settles for jump shots and plays smaller than his 6'9" frame.
They have Deron Williams, who shot a woeful 40% from the field, including only 33% from 3. Williams averaged 8.2 assists per game but also 4.1 turnovers per game, a 2-1 ration that is not acceptable for a top notch point guard.
Those four players all have the capability to shoot Team USA out of any game if a couple of them are off.
If the US is able to play run-and-gun, up tempo style much of the time, they should be ok. They have the best athletes collectively in the world. Hoever, if a team can slow them down, and force a half court game, I'm afraid all of these players who are used to isolation offenses built around them, could bog down Team USA.
I often look at the past failures of US teams. Why did they not win gold? Usually, the reasons have been because those teams had too many players with poor shooting percentages that took ill-advised shots, and the athleticism of the team could not make up for poor shooting.
The international game is a totally different animal. There is more teamwork. Less isolation, more passing and team defense. Look at what started it all--1988.
That 1988 US team had streak shooting guards like Mitch Richmond, Jeff Grayer, Dan Majerle, Vernell Coles, Willie Anderson and Hersey Hawkins. They also didn't have the height to make up for it. Danny Manning was more of a small forward. JR Reid and Charles Smith were weak power forwards. Only David Robinson was a true force down low, both offensively and defensively. That team lost to the Russians in the semi-final game, and left with only the bronze, which led to the first "Dream team" in 1992.
In 2004, the US again stumbled in the Olympics in Athens, Greece. Why? Well, same issues that I am talking about. Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury were leaders of that team. Both were high volume, shoot first, pass second players, who shoot a low percentage, especially from the international arc, and took too many bad shots. A younger Carmelo Anthony was also on that team and even then, was in that catagory.
The interior presence on that team of Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudamire, Emeka Okefor and Lamar Odom were all more power forwards than centers, and many of them were suspect defensively.
For those of you who say, "Pshaw...so what, we have Lebron!", well, that team had an albeit much younger Lebron James on it as well, and still lost to Puerto Rico, Lithuania and then Argentina in the semi-finals. That team avenged their loss to Lithuania to avoid the embarrassment of not medaling, taking home the bronze.
I hate to say it, but I see a LOT of similarities between those teams and this years group. You can draw a direct parallel between Westbrook and Iverson, between Deron Williams and Marbury, between Anthony and, well, Anthony. You can also draw a parallel between Chandler and Okefor, between Love and Boozer, between Stoudamire and Griffin and even between Iguodala and Richard Jefferson.
The one thing that I keep coming back to is that this 2012 team has Lebron and Durant in their primes. The top two players in the world. The US is going to need them both to be at their best, because I think there are weak spots and deficiencies.
Remember, every four years, the rest of the world gets closer and closer. Many of these international players play together more often that the US all-stars, and have more of a built-in camaraderie. They are also MUCH more familiar with the international game, which focuses much more on outside shooting. Many of these teams have numerous three point specialists, who, if they get hot, are capable of outshooting the US if we are putting up bricks.
Should the US be favored? Yes. Yes they should, but with reservations. No longer will this team be able to just lace up their Air Jordans and cruise to 40 point victories. Especially for the inevitable meeting with team Spain, who can compate with the likes of the Gasol brothers, Serge Ibake and Rudy Fernandez.
Argentina could be tough with the likes of Andres Nocioni, Juan Pedro Gutierrez, Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili.
Brazil won't be a pushover with Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, Nene, Marcus Vinicius and Tiago Splitter.
France could give the US fits with Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Mickale Gelabale, and Boris Diaw, Joaquim Noah and Kevin Serephim down low.
Lithuania is always tough in international play, as are the Russians, the Aussies and even China could surprise people with Yi Jianlang and three 7 footers including Wang Zhizhi.
My point is, the US could win...maybe even SHOULD win gold in London, but I wouldn't be totally shocked if there is another embarrassing disapointment either. We shall see, but it oughta be entertaining.
Please think about donating to clinical trials research to stop or cure my blinding eye disease. Just go to www.curechm.org and look for the donate link. Thank you and God bless.