Coach “Ace” Pippens
by Bill Neal, For New Pittsburgh Courier
:10—Let’s revisit the top of the chart where the ABA National Champions stand alone. Coach “Ace” Pippens, I know you’re going to Disneyland… and deservingly so. And man what a year it’s been…your induction into the Pittsburgh City League Hall of Fame, your leading the Pittsburgh Steel City Yellow Jackets to the National ABA Championship, and most importantly reminding Western PA that you’ve been a champion on and off the court… gridiron… and ballfield for a long time as a triple threat athlete. Congratulations and job well done young man, to you, your family and crew. Job well done. “We are the City of Champions!!!”
:09—Speaking of standing at the top…By now you’ve heard the conversation going around about the Mt. Rushmore of all-time G.O.A.T. NBA guards. In that conversation, etched on the mountain was Magic, Michael, LeBron and Kobe. And somehow a clearly deranged too young to know better national broadcaster said he has no trouble taking Magic off and replacing him with Steph Curry. Love ya, Steph, great run, applaud your four rings and Lord knows you’re the second greatest shooter/scorer of all-time (shut-up… I told you before, it’s “Pistol” Pete Maravich… don’t take my word, use Google mannnn!). That aside, can Curry defend at any position on the court? Can Curry defend at any position period? Is he a liability on “D?” Did he win a world title as a rookie? Does he literally make every player on the roster better? Last but not least, is he Magic??? That would be all “No’s.”
:08—Y’all know me, LeBron is on his way down the mountain as we speak. Don’t act like you didn’t know that was coming.
:07—And while I’ve got your attention as the ink slowly dries, you better be reminded of Oscar Robertson, Jerry West—most 35+ points in NBA Finals games with 18. Steph has 5, Michael is second with 14, Isiah Thomas, Walt Frazier and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe just to name a few… Yup, you’re gonna need a bigger mountain!
:06—Our going nowhere fast Buccos, recently of the nine-game losing streak variety, had one of the most incredible, memorable games in PNC Park history on Sunday, June 19, when Rookie of the Year candidate Jack Suwinski jacked three home runs in a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants including the walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth, on Father’s Day, while his dad, Tim, watched from the stands. You can’t make up stories like this because nobody would believe it. Suwinski leads all rookies in MLB with 11 home runs and PNC Park’s short right porch seems tailor-made for his left-handed swing.
:05—Once we got past all the talk about the new Saudi Arabian sponsored golf league LIV, the U.S. Open provided its usual last day highlights and right down to the wire-winning moment as England’s Matt Fitzpatrick held off American Will Zalatoris and No. 1 ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler to win the Open with a -6 under par score, sealing the win with a magnificent shot from the bunker on 17 to the green that will be remembered for years. Hats off to all three men who thrilled us with their duel down the back 9, including Zalatoris’ 12-foot put on 18 that missed by a millimeter. That putt, if it would have gone in, would have sent him and Fitzpatrick into a playoff to decide the champion. These guys are really good.
:04—This just in—I know you haven’t thought about it ‘cause you’re somewhere with a rib in your mouth, but your Pittsburgh Steelers go back to camp in St. Vincent on July 26 and the first practice will be held the following day, July 27, at 1:55 p.m. You might want to get ready for this—Mitch Trubisky, he of jersey #10, will be your starting QB based on the word on the street. And probably rightly so with his pedigree.
:03—BTW, some of you old men… and women who just refuse to absorb the WNBA need to get a clue. First off the league is super legit. Secondly the numbers are there, no question. Thirdly 90 percent of the WNBA players can beat you one-on-one and that’s your real problem. C’mon man!
:02—Trust me on this, if “Top Gun: Maverick” was a sport it would be six, extra point, “3”, “Goalllll”, slam dunk, walk-off homer and an absolute world title. Do yourself a favor… Go see it… Twice!!
:01—To all those connected to the Juneteenth events, activities, celebrations and in recognition of history, you did a magnificent job!