June 30th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

It has been a tough stretch in the world of sports. We lost Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe, and now Pat Summitt.

The former Tennessee coach, won recorded over 1000 wins and captured eight national titles, lost her battle with illness at age 64.

She was the greatest coach ever in the history of Tennessee athletics. Any Sport. She was Tennessee. Summitt was as good as it gets as a Hall of Fame coach & humanitarian.A true champion in the game of life.

She will be missed, though her legacy will live on forever. RIP, coach.

June 24th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

The NBA draft is in the books and as usual, it is all about potential, potential, potential. It takes time to evaluate winners and losers, and you also see guys taken in the second round making a difference like a Draymond Green.

No surprise to see Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram going 1-2, but the Celtics surprised some by taking California’s Jaylen Brown third. He is versatile and could be a plus at small forward for Boston. I liked Demetrius Jackson of Notre Dame and Ben Bentil of Providence too, so the Celtics had a decent night.

How many guys will make an immediate impact in the league? Not too many. The bottom line is many players picked will make rosters next season and will have bright futures down the line. It will take some time to have the opportunity to shine.

Some of my thoughts on the draft:

I loved New Orleans getting Buddy Hield. Teaming up with Anthony Davis will be exciting. Hield can shoot outside and having an inside-outside presence like Davis should be special for the Pelicans. New Orleans also added Cheick Diallo, who fell from the first round. He has potential, but he is a project for now.

The Bulls got a versatile PTP’ers in Denzel Valentine. This could be a case of another Spartan, a la Draymond Green, that is better than experts believe.

Minnesota made a super pick at number five, landing Kris Dunn of Providence. New coach Tom Thibodeau will love his defensive tenacity

I was surprised that Baylor’s Taurean Waller-Prince was picked as high as number 12. I had him rated a bit lower.

Several freshmen fell out of the first round. I felt for Deyonta Davis of Michigan State, though going to Memphis early in round two could work out. Skal Labissiere and Dejonte Murray slipped to late in the first round.

Time will tell how teams fared.

June 20th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

What a great game 7 in the NBA Finals. Congrats to the Cleveland Cavaliers, coming back from 3-1 down to win the title. Two of those three wins came at Oracle, the toughest place to win on the road during the regular season.

LeBron James will be in the argument as to who is the best player ever to play in the NBA when his career is over. He now has three rings, and he brought one home to Cleveland. He is in a different world on the court.

I am happy for the fans of Cleveland as they finally got to celebrate. Give Golden State a lot of credit for a great season. Draymond Green had a great game seven, but it was not enough.

June 12th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

I had a great weekend as part of my 77th birthday celebration.

I went to Cleveland for game 4 of the NBA finals. Thanks to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for the invitation. It was a super game as the Warriors dominated the final quarter to win. I had a great time with the ESPN on ABC broadcast crew, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke were great to me.

The I went to the Cubs-Braves game on Saturday as guest of manager Joe Maddon. It was great spending time with him.

Thanks to my friends Mike Valdes and the gang who made this so special too.

June 6th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, June 2016

Muhammad Ali, The CHAMP, was simply the BEST of all the REST! May he RIP.

I was in total AWE when I met him. I got to speak to him at the ESPYs one year and he appreciated it when I mentioned his lines prior to the Sonny Liston fights. I also saw him one year at the Kentucky Derby. I was with Ali and DeWayne Lukas, but sadly, the champ was a shell of his old self.

He meant so much to so many people. He fought against injustice. He was a lot more than a special athlete. He was a world-wide figure. Ali was revered, and that is why his passing was so sad.