By Tim Keown
Page 2

From Nene's blog …

This is kind of embarrassing, but I took part in the second-biggest brawl in NBA history and all I got was a lousy one-game suspension. I tried to back my teammates and be tough and show them I care, but why do I feel so hollow right now?

I look at Carmelo and his 15 games and J.R. with his 10 and I wonder, Where did I go wrong? One game? One game is an embarrassment, hardly worth the effort it took to get off the bench.

I tried to get into the thug life and dispense some street-corner justice, and for all my trouble I got a one-game suspension. I might as well show up in the locker room with a dog in a purse.

Looking back, I don't think it was fair. I should have gotten at least five games, just so I could hold my head high. Isiah Thomas told Carmelo not to drive the lane, and a few seconds later it all goes down. Does David Stern think that was a coincidence? And for that, Isiah got nothing. No games. Nothing.

I can only imagine how emasculated Isiah feels right now.

Right now, as I wonder how I'm going to face my teammates after sitting out last night's game, I can't help but wonder about one thing: If Coach Karl and Isiah were to fight, would they slap and backpedal, too?

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Apparently it's the only thing that separates him from a tin-pot dictator: In defending his brain-addled decision not to penalize Thomas, NBA commissioner David Stern said, "Even in the NBA, there's a presumption of innocence."

In other news, orange juice is good for you, exercise is beneficial and a college education is a good indicator of future financial success: The Red Sox's planned signing of J.D. Drew is being held up because of an injury.

So now the question for Terrell Owens is: What hasn't he done?

It's always good for a few contemplative moments and fitful nights when you dip into the Romanowski bag of tricks: If you're Owens' consulting choreographer, you've got to start worrying that your man might be becoming a bit derivative.

With anyone else, it might be considered a yes-or-no question: Less than 24 hours after the alleged incident, Owens said, "I don't recall spitting in his face."

You can moan all you want about the breakdown of civility and sportsmanship in the NBA after the Knicks-Nuggets brawl, but I guarantee you I saw the sorriest sight in the league Monday night: Brad Miller attempting to play defense, specifically his effort to cut off the baseline against Jerry Stackhouse.

I'm sorry, but if you're going to those kinds of lengths, it's gold or nothing: An allegedly female Indian runner was stripped of a silver medal from the women's 800 in the Asian Games because he/she failed a gender test.

I don't imagine Billy King cares right now, but in a month he might be open to offers of a 5-foot-2 post player and an embossed ball bag carbon-dated to 1955: I coach a seventh-grade CYO basketball team, and since we have some ballhandling problems, we could find a spot for Allen Iverson.

I looked in the box score to see whether Alex English outscored World B. Free: In a trend reminiscent of the '80s, point totals in the NBA are way up, with the latest example the Wizards' 147-141 win over the Lakers.

Feel free to get excited about all the playoff possibilities in the NFL, but know this going in: The level of play in the league -- in terms of team, not individual -- has never been worse.

How bad is it?: The Chargers seem to be the best we've got, and they're thriving on the basis of one fantastic player, a better-than-average defense and not much else.

After the second women's college outdoor basketball game had to be called because of the weather in Phoenix, Arizona State's Emily Westerberg said: "A basketball game has never been rained out before, so I think it's really cool to be part of that."

Here's a career renaissance nobody saw coming: Jeff Garcia.

And finally, I know it's bound to ignite a storm of controversy, but I believe Garbo's best year was '71, when she devised a four-guard motion offense that helped unheralded and undersized Stephen F. Austin to the Final Four: The following sentence in a story about Bob Knight appeared in a major metropolitan newspaper: "Like Greta Garbo, apparently, Knight just wants to be left alone to coach his team without interference."

Tim Keown is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Sound off to Page 2 here.


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