The NBA's 2012-13 season has begun and only 16 products from the Chicago area are listed on the rosters of the 30 teams, the lowest number in recent memory. And only about six of them are starters.
The list was reduced on Oct. 27 when the Orlando Magic waived 6-foot-6 guard Quentin Richardson. The star of Whitney Young's 1998 state championship team, he had an outstanding career at DePaul before being picked as the No. 18 selection overall in the NBA's 2000 draft. He played with five teams in 12 years.
Local starters are Dwyane Wade (Heat) of Richards, Kevin Garnett (Celtics) of Farragut, Derrick Rose (Bulls) of Simeon, Evan Turner (76ers) of St. Joseph, Anthony Davis (Hornets) of Perspectives and JaVale McGee (Nuggets) of Hales Franciscan.
There are six other former Public League players who currently are on NBA rosters--Nazr Mohammed (Bulls) of Kenwood, Will Bynum (Pistons) of Crane, Tony Allen (Grizzlies) of Crane, DeAndre Liggins (Thunder) of Washington, Jeremy Pargo (Cavaliers) of Robeson and Jannero Pargo (Wizards) of Robeson.
Suburban products are Corey Maggette (Pistons) of Fenwick, Shannon Brown (Suns) of Proviso East, Eddy Curry (Mavericks) of Thornwood and Iman Shumpert (Knicks) of Oak Park.
Two Downstate Illinois products who will see plenty of playing time this season are Andre Iguodala (Nuggets) of Springfield Lanphier and Meyers Leondard (Trail Blazers) of Robinson.
Give the NFL credit for, at least this one time, genuinely putting the interests of its fans first. Or at least proposing to.
Among the matters expected to come before this week’s owners meetings in Arizona will be one from Washington that coaches have the ability to make unlimited replay challenges as long as the ones they make are correct. The idea is not likely to pass, in part because the NFL is endeavoring to improve the pace of its games, particularly for fans seated in stadiums, particularly outdoor ones. (If you’re watching at home, replay reviews are enough time to fill the chips bowl and grab a cold one.)
Along that line, the plan is for tablet computers to be run out to game officials for their review and consultation, while the final decision is reached at league officiating headquarters in New York, according to current proposals to be considered for votes this week. Additionally, a 40-second play clock is suggested after extra points when there is no commercial break scheduled, and halftime to be limited to 13 minutes 30 seconds.
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Actual in-game changes are also under consideration.
No one is likely to label it “The McClellin Rule” but a proposal is there to ban players leaping over offensive linemen (read: long snappers) to block field goals and extra points. Former Bears linebacker Shea, as a special-teams rusher with the New England Patriots, successfully vaulted Ravens blockers to knock down a Baltimore field goal try last season.
The proposal is likely to pass ostensibly as a player-safety measure, although cynics might suggest that the impetus behind the ban is general irritation that Bill Belichick’s group came up with with kick-block gambit.
More directly aimed at protecting players from gratuitous violence in a game that has enough violence just by its nature is a move to remind officials that players can be ejected for egregiously illegal hits. The situation is not considered dire because of frequency but the league clearly wants to send a message/reminder to not only officials, but players, something likely to be reinforced during officials’ tours of training camps in August.