Two Cents: Now 18-year-old NBA Draft Hopefuls Can Spend More Time with their ‘Sports Kids Moms & Dads’ (6/24/05)

(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)

Before we dive into the latest installment of our favorite summer reality show (at least until ‘Big Brother’ returns), I wanted to share some thoughts about the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the player’s union.

There were a number of changes the two factions compromised on, which mostly sounded like millionaires haggling over max contracts and salaries and cap taxes and other things that further widen the gap between the players and fans.

What excited me however was the 19-year-old age limit imposed upon rookies entering the draft. More than anything else that came out of the agreement, the age limit will improve the product on the floor – not only in the NBA, but college as well. Aside from the fundamental basketball skills they will learn, they will also be better prepared for life on their own.

As good as LeBron is now, imagine if he would have had a year or two under Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, or John Calipari? Think about how much more adjusted Kobe would have been had he went to Duke. Methinks a certain incident in Colorado might not have happened.

The college game will benefit also. If this limit would have passed a few years ago, players like Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, and a host of others could have been vying for a national championship and leading your (or my) team to new heights.

The opposite of new heights would be new lows, and a number of those were reached in Wednesday night’s installment of ‘Sports Kids Moms & Dads’. Let’s watch!

9:02 – Tonight’s show begins with Bryce trying on his figure skating outfits. There are so many jokes to choose from I’m going out of my mind. Bryce makes his own when he admits that people watching will “think he’s gay”. The next 45 seconds are filled with disclaimers from mom Kim and Bryce about how straight he is, but he’s not dating right now. Bryce then explains the intricacies of the stitching on his costume.

9:05 – Karli shows some work ethic in the hopes of keeping her horse. She works three jobs. Gary, her boss, complains that she’s frequently late and Karli blames it on her mom Karen.

9:07 – Sharon admits she was an ugly duckling in junior high and didn’t make the cheerleader squad. Why would anyone think she’s living vicariously through her daughter Sarah? I don’t understand. She then admonishes Sarah to get mad while practicing and says she’s not about letting Sarah go out to play. I think someone needs to buy her husband a stiff drink or a good lawyer.

9:14 – Trenton says he likes playing the recorder. If Trenton hasn’t given up football, started a rock band and stopped speaking to his dad Craig by the age of 14, I’ll watch monkeys fly out of my rear.

9:17 – Lindsay says sorry for missing a layup during practice. I don’t think she’s feeling pressure at all. Someone needs to tell her mother T.J. that coaching senior high girls isn’t going to immediately lead to a gig in the WNBA.

9:20 – Disco still hasn’t been sold and the tension is thick. Karli says losing her horse is like losing her child. During a car ride to Dysfunction, Karli starts cussing at Karen and brings out skeletons in the family closet like granddad’s alcoholism and Karen’s bad parenting skills. Karli drops the F bomb and storms out of the car into the comfort zone of the A&P.

9:26 – Sarah isn’t feeling well and stays home from school. Sharon says its probably stomachaches related to stress and always being on the go. Sharon gives her a hypothetical of “what would you do if I said you could stay home from cheerleading practice”. Sarah says, “I don’t know”, but clearly does. Sharon finally guilts and mind jobs Sarah into practicing. There are some POW’s that didn’t have it this bad.

9:30 – Lindsay goes to T.J.’s middle school practice, and instead of letting Lindsay decompress, she orders her to start shooting. Instead of shooting, Lindsay confides in a friend that she was “chillin’” with a boy outside and got in trouble for talking to a boy until 11 last night. I would make a teenage pregnancy joke here, but I would have to slap myself.

9:33 – It’s the day before Bryce’s big meet and it’s Kim who has the butterflies. Bryce gets annoyed because Kim and Herr Vicki, his coach, aren’t watching him. Didn’t he say just last episode that he does better when Kim’s not there? I think Bryce is confused about more than one thing.

9:40 – Craig starts a typical sports dad rant about how Trenton’s coach isn’t utilizing his talent. He then says colleges start recruiting before kids get into high school. Craig and mom both admit they don’t do this for fun, but to enhance Trenton’s chances of getting to the next level. By the way, he’s 8.

9:42 – T.J.’s motivation for being a basketball dictator is to make up for mistakes she made as a youth. The more she talks the more I think she’s psychotic.

9:43 – Sharon says she likes to keep going and going and Sarah is just like her. This despite the fact that she’s developing bleeding ulcers in her ripped abs. It’s Sarah’s 9th birthday, “but she doesn’t get the day off”. Sharon said she asked Sarah where she wanted to go for her birthday, and without missing a beat, my wife Maggie says, “to a foster home”.

9:49 – Trenton does running drills on a 50-foot-high sand hill so he can improve his 100-meter time. Trenton says he doesn’t like it, and after a grueling workout Craig says, “You’re shaking buddy”. He then takes Trenton to a track to run sprints. Craig races Trenton and after the race Trenton starts crying. Craig says that’s “a red flag” and then reveals that 2+2=4.

9:52 – Herr Vicki tells Kim that she thought she was going to kill Bryce today. Now Bryce wants to practice with no one watching. Wasn’t it just 5 paragraphs ago he was whining because no one was watching? This is turning into the four faces of Bryce, and frankly I’m scared.

9:55 – Karen calls to check on the status of Disco being sold. This leads into another mother and daughter catfight highlighted by Karen talking about astronauts and Karli accusing her of acting in front of the cameras. I’m sure Karli is acting ‘au natural’. Karen wants Karli to show passion about her equestrian events, and instead of doing the easy thing, Karli plays the wounded, yet intellectual daughter role to perfection while storming out of the room. And..scene.

9:59 – Highlights from next week include Sarah hiding in the corner with a teddy bear before a big competition and Maggie saying someone needs to call child protection services on Craig.



Categories: sports, television

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