New book reveals Iverson as drunk and abusive
Former NBA star Allen Iverson is unfavorably portrayed in the recently published biography, Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, written by Ken Babb. The book quotes his Philadelphia 76ers coach Larry Brown saying the player went to a bar and became inebriated before appearing at the unforgettable news conference in which he talked about missing practice. He ranted at length, main message being, “I know I was supposed to be there, but we’re talking about practice. Not a game, but practice. . . .” Much more troubling than that anecdote are charges of domestic violence and child abuse. Iverson is said to have threatened his wife, Tawanna, that he would pay a man $5,000 to have her killed. Another episode has him pushing her out of the house naked and locking the doors. And there’s this: “Iverson was an absentee father who sometimes left his young kids alone in his hotel room for a whole night to go get hammered.”
Geno Smith is Jets starter, unless he blows it
Geno Smith is the New York Jets’ starting QB, but head coach Todd Bowles said “it’s his job to lose,” stirring more speculation in the Media City that he would be losing it. Jets guard Willie Colon offered this analysis: “Geno’s career right now is extremely turbulent. He was never ready to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets. . . . We bought the Porsche. We’ve given him the keys. He can’t crash it.” Bowles, when asked about Colon’s commentary: “If you don’t have nothing good to say about a teammate, you don’t say it. . . . I don’t know what kind of car we have out there. We’re still building it.” The question is if this car can pass. Smith is 11-18 as a starter, with 34 interceptions. You really don’t need to know his QBR. There are two theories on Geno. One is that he’s a terrible quarterback. The other is that he gets little support from his teammates, least of all from Colon, the human turnstile. The alternative: helium-ball tosser Ryan Fitzpatrick, who for whatever his range limitations threw 17 TDs to 8 interceptions last season and almost led the Houston Texans to the playoffs.
Fleeing Hard Knocks, Saints cancel scrimmage with Texans
Since the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints are geographic neighbors, it’s only natural that they scrimmage each other in training camp. Not this year. When the Saints learned that the Texans were going to be the subject of the HBO series Hard Knocks, coach Sean Payton chose to replace them on the scrimmage schedule with the New England Patriots. The Texans are unhappy because they’re not sure, with this cancellation, that they can find another team to share a practice session with them. They use these joint sessions to evaluate players facing athletes they haven’t faced before. But with cameras and microphones sometimes catching coaches when not at their best, Payton wants to be elsewhere.
Shady will shed no light on comments about Kelly racism
LeSean McCoy knew that when he showed up for the Buffalo Bills’ Organized Team Activities, reporters would question him about his recently accusing his former coach, Philly’s Chip Kelly, of racism. He said Kelly traded his best players, especially the best black ones, such as, it goes without saying, DeSean Jackson and Shady McCoy. That sparked a media firestorm, and reporters were miffed when McCoy refused to try to put out the fire. Or add fuel to it. Channeling his inner Marshawn Lynch, he kept saying “no comment.”
Between the Lines: That is, what few lines there were, he was standing by his insinuations. He did not want to mention Kelly’s racist game plans featuring Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez over McCoy.
Spikes cut by Pats after police investigate car crash
Linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to New England after playing last season with Buffalo, but his second stint with the Patriots lasted just three weeks. He was released when his Mercedes Benz sedan was found crushed and abandoned on a Massachusetts highway, and police were investigating a possible hit-and-run.
Woods shoots 85, Nicklaus cites too many teachers
A few days after saying he was ready to start winning again, Tiger Woods shot an 85 (with a quadruple bogey) at The Memorial Tournament, which he’s won five times. He shot 14-over-par 302 for the tournament, the highest four-round total in any event in his professional career. He was the last player off the course. Jack Nicklaus, whose 18 majors looks increasingly unreachable by Woods, who has 14, said: “Tiger’s running from teacher to teacher. He needs to go back and review some of his own things rather than listen to someone else.” Bob Harig of ESPN.com observed that the ongoing struggles make Woods no less fascinating to the public. “The fact that at age 39 he continues to pursue those goals, amid myriad injuries, swing changes, personal challenges, a new breed of talented young golfers, and all kinds of doubt makes him just as compelling as when he dominated.”
Solo, U.S. soccer star, keeps playing despite scandals
Hope Solo, who’s arguably the greatest goaltender ever to play for the U.S. women’s soccer team, has kept her starting job despite accusations of violence, drunkenness and other boorish behavior. With the World Cup about to open in Winnipeg, a report on ESPN’s Outside the Lines caused more embarrassment. Solo, 33, was depicted as drunk and abusive with police arresting her following a dispute with her half-sister and nephew, who are minors. OTL said she told one officer her necklace was worth more than he made in a year. U.S. Soccer apparently accepted her version of the story and took no action to investigate or punish.