San Antonio Spurs fans received a primer on the similarities between South Florida and South Texas.
The San Antonio Express-News compared several staples of each region, such as a Cuban sandwich to a torta (also an oblong sandwich), Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz (both conservative Hispanic senators) and the Everglades to Houston (both “hot and swampy”).
Somehow they missed Sonny Crockett and Davy Crockett.
Then there were the obligatory shots at the University of Miami and the Marlins.
“The U” was compared to “The Q,” or Texas barbecue. “The University of Miami is known for felonious football players,” the story said. “Our barbecue is known for brisket smoked up to 18 hours. So, in a way, both involve heat.”
When comparing the Marlins to the Class AA San Antonio Missions, the newspaper wrote: “One’s a minor league baseball team, the other plays in Wolff Stadium in San Antonio.”
Ex-coach Fitch slaps down Rodman: Bill Fitch coached for 25 years in the NBA, winning the 1981 championship with the Boston Celtics. He took issue with Dennis Rodman saying that LeBron James would have been an “average” player in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
“I would say Dennis, maybe he ought to go back to North Korea and re-think that,” said Fitch, 79.
Fitch, who is eighth on the NBA’s all-time win list with 944, on Tuesday was named winner of the 2013 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Award commemorates Daly’s life in basketball and his “standard of integrity, competitive excellence and tireless promotion” of the game. Daly was living in Jupiter when he died in 2009 at age 78.
Fitch said it’s difficult to compare players from different eras — but not in James’ case.
“He would be outstanding in any situation you put him in when I was coaching,” Fitch said. “If we were playing Chicago I’d love to have had him to put against Michael Jordan. If I had him and Larry Bird and (Kevin) McHale and (Robert) Parish I’d still be coaching.”
Heat have Sioux Falls to themselves: The Heat will be the only team affiliated with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League, taking over full control of their basketball operations. Miami had shared that partnership with the Timberwolves, Magic and 76ers.
“Our cooperation with the D-League has probably been at an all-time high the last couple of years,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It took us a little bit of time to fully understand the benefit of it and now we’ve fully embraced it and use it as another tool for development.”
Miami is responsible for stocking the roster and will make the Skyforce’s selections in the D-League draft.
All-Star Game not Miami-bound: There hasn’t been an NBA All-Star Game in South Florida since 1990.
That, the league says, is not due to any disdain for the area.
“We would love to bring the All-Star Game back to Miami,” commissioner-in-waiting Adam Silver said. “It’s a function of hotel availability, convention center, arena and other things. If there’s an ongoing discussion, we would love to be there.”
The major conflict is the Miami International Boat Show, which was Feb. 14-18 this year; All-Star Weekend was Feb. 15-17 in Houston.
And, since the Heat have not pushed for the event, don’t expect Miami to host any time soon.
Next year’s game will be in New Orleans. The 2015 site is undecided, but the Nets and Knicks might co-host the weekend with events in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Long-running Big 3s: San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were seeking their 100th post-season victory together Tuesday night.
The only trio with more playoff wins: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers.