Jinx alert - O's armless

Clippers clueless

June 24, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Thoughts from a guy who single-handedly derailed and destroyed the Lakers (this jinx stuff really works!) ...

  • Remember this past winter, at all the oohing and aahing Orioles fans were doing at the signings of one big-name slugger after another?

    Tejada? Oooooh! Javy? Aaaaah! Raffy? Oooooh! Aaaaah!

    Somewhere along the line, a lot of people - including the Orioles' front office - forgot that, in baseball, ultimately good pitching beats good hitting. Right now, the Orioles don't have good pitching. Or mediocre pitching, for that matter.

    Fortunately, the O's have plenty of talent developing in their farm system, ready to help the team a few years down ... what? Oh, that's right. They don't.


It's not so good to be an O's fan.

(Jinx alert! The Orioles will win 70 of their final 98 games to finish atop the American League East, while three farmhands will become dominant pitchers in the near future.)

  • Surprise! The Clippers have no clue.

    I know, I know, nobody cares about the NBA, and certainly not about Los Angeles' other team. But hey, indulge me here.

    The Clippers traded the second pick in today's draft to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats - who will use it on one of two big men, either Emeka Okafor or high schooler Dwight Howard - for the fourth pick and a second-round choice, which seems fine.

    But the Clippers plan on selecting a high school point guard - Shaun Livingston - with the fourth pick.

  • Huh?

    Can you name a single point guard who came straight from high school and made any kind of an impact in the NBA?

    The guys who have made the jump successfully - Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, Amare Stoudamire and LeBron James, to name the main ones - have all been either big shooting guards (Kobe, T-Mac, James) or bigger forwards, because at that size, with that athletic ability, they can be effective even while still green.

    Athletic ability alone doesn't cut it for an NBA point guard (excluding Allen Iverson, who's one of a kind, in more ways than one), who also has to understand the team's system, the other players' strengths and weaknesses and game management.

    That's asking an awful lot of a teenager, especially when a lot of talented college point guards couldn't make the transition.

    But these are the Clippers, after all.

    Good luck, Shaun.

    (Jinx alert! Livingston will average double figures in points and assists on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award in a walk. ... Yeah, yeah, you still don't care.)

    Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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