SHANE SHACKLEFORD: Rambling Around in Wide World of Sports, Including NBA & Kentucky
By Shane Shackleford
Welcome to my initial "Notes From The Sidelines" column for KySportsStyle.com. The hopeful purpose of this series of articles is to discuss a few sports points and a closing thought that might get you to think, to smile, to sing a song, who knows? So from some deep thoughts from a shallow coach’s mind, here come the notes.
1. It seems like the end of an era in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs’ Game 7 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. But what an era it was. Consider this: Four NBA titles, the original Big 3 (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli), arguably the best power forward ever (Duncan), a yearly team made up of players no one else seemed to want that won consistently, shrewd draft picks (Kawhi Leonard and George Hill), and in my opinion one of the best basketball coaches anywhere in Gregg Popovich. The best pro sports model of team culture and its continuing success in any of the big four sports. Kudos.
2. That being said, the Golden State Warriors are awfully fun to watch. Led by league MVP guard Stephen Curry, the Warriors look to be a favorite to win their first NBA title since 1975. At that time, I was two years old and we had a rocking 1975 Chevy Monte Carlo that my mom traded my dad’s 1968 Chevy Camaro SS for. Dad says it was the closest I came to growing up in a split home.
3. Break up the Houston Astros! After some atrocious years, what in the name of Nolan Ryan is going on in AstroLand? With a record of 18-7 and a seven-game lead over the LA Angels, the Astros are getting it done with great starting pitching, an offense that leads the majors in home runs and stolen bases, and a budding star in Jose Altuve. It’s good to see the Astros relevant again, along with the Kansas City Royals and my man Jamie Vaught’s Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s good for baseball.
4. Two words: Skal Labissiere. If this future Kentucky Wildcat gets eligible, the combination of his skills with high flyer Marcus Lee, senior man-child Alex Poythress, and coach on the floor Tyler Ulis makes Kentucky a potential Top 5 team again next season. Plus you have freshman guards Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews, and Kentucky natives Dominique Hawkins (Kentucky Mr. Basketball) and Derek Willis to the mix, and it’s easy to see how the future is bright again in the LEX.
A parting thought: Nothing works until you do.
Shane Shackleford, a native of Harlan County, is currently a teacher and basketball coach at Middlesboro Elementary School in Middlesboro, Ky. The former high school basketball coach is a sports junkie, fisherman, rat rod enthusiast and still trying to be raised by his loving wife, Elizabeth, in their home in Harrogate, Tenn. Shane can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.