Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wave Likely Won't Make Even a Ripple

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wave Likely Won't Make Even a Ripple

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

It's a mystery to me why the ABA is bringing a franchise to Jacksonville. Haven't enough minor-league basketball operations taken a financial bath in this city to convince investors to go somewhere else? Professional basketball can sell here as a one-time event, like a U.S. Olympic team exhibition, but not as a permanent fixture.

I don't mean to be a pessimist because it'd be nice if this city would truly embrace hoops on any level. However, the facts are that pro basketball teams -- Jets, Hooters, Shooters -- have come to Jacksonville and consistently attracted modest to horrible crowds.

They could bring in John Wooden or John Thompson as the coach, it won't matter. Minor-league basketball in Jacksonville has a history of miserable failure. At least the team known as the Wave is appropriately named. In no time at all, Jacksonville will be waving goodbye. . . .

The nation's No. 1 party school, the University of Colorado, has nothing to toast or celebrate. By not firing anyone in a major leadership position over the school's football scandal, their nickname should change from Buffaloes to Cowards. And as long as Betsy Hoffman remains president and Gary Barnett is the football coach, the stain of shame will never go away. Keeping their jobs was more a stay of execution than a real victory. . . .

John Servis, the trainer for Smarty Jones, has decided to skip training at the Belmont track and race in the Belmont Stakes without a timed workout there. Servis downplayed the strategy and released a statement through Allen Iverson's agent, saying: "We're talking about practice, man. It's just practice." . . . Memo to the Detroit Pistons: a suffocating, physical defense may win championships, but it also turns off television sets. . . . I forget, is it Phil Jackson or Flip Saunders' turn to whine about the officiating in the Western Conference finals? …

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