Wednesday, March 05, 2008

THROWBACK : Dominick Young

About ten years ago, Dominick Young was a really tough point guard playing for the Fresno State University Bulldogs. The Chicago native was a sub-six-foot spitfire and in the Top-10 Assist leaders in the nation as a senior on Jerry Tarkanian's squad of shady ballers. Like many of his Fresno teammates, Young play through a ton of controversy, including several point shaving scandals. The FBI and several local newspaper reporters were hot on the trail of Young and his teammates, however, the mob allegedly wouldn't allow any info to come forward and the story was squashed.

Young left Fresno in 1997. He hoped to join his teammates Rafer "Skip to My Lou" Alston and Chris Herren in the NBA, but he never made the big jump. Directly after college, he went overseas and played in the NIKE Treviso Summer League. He made a stop in Argentina before he began making the rounds in American professional leagues like the ABA and the now defunct (or suspended) IBA and USBL. According to the database site,, Young hasn't played professional ball since he went out for the short-lived Hollywood Fame of the ABA at the start of the 2006-2007 season.

Today on the ABA homepage, Joe Newman announced that Young will be bringing the ABA back to Fresno. A Google search of the name "Dominick Young" produces a slightly more disturbing result.

The site includes links to stories about the point-shaving scandal at Fresno State. Links about Jerry Tarkanian's role in the scandal, as reported by a number of newspapers, as well as a video of him allegedly speaking the truth about the point-shaving allegations that does not appear to exists and if it did would come with a charge of $1.99 per viewing via PayPal. If that's not enough, Young uses his website to peddle everything from a "$1300" Plasma TV to a bunch of Porn for sale at $5 a pop. Probably from Dominick's private collection.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What's in a Trade?

For years, I've studied the daily sports transactions in newspaper. This tem acquires one guy or his rights, or a bunch of guys and the rights of others. It's a consistent type thing even in the era of players with "no-trade" clauses in their contract. Some trades, like the ones that have recently given new life to the Celtics, stacked the Cavs, improved the Spurs, and kind of confused the Suns are, for obvious reasons, the most visibly successful deals or, the ones the have the most impact.

Other trades are more subtle. Maybe only affecting the guys who have to pack their shit and move to another city. Sitting in front of the TV watching the Knicks for the past few weeks, I feel like the cold night air has got me sentimental. In September, NBA journeyman Dan Dickau was traded by the Blazers to the Knicks in the Zach Randolph trade. Soon after, the Knicks traded Dickau to the Clippers because he'd have a good shot of making the team. The Knicks accepted Jared Jordan in exchange because he'd have a good shot of not making the team and roster space was what they needed.

In the preseason, Jordan struggled and averaged about 1 point and 1 assist in 6 games. He graduated from Marist College a legend but was a long shot to make any NBA roster. He lasted most of the preseason, if I remember, and then signed to play in Lithuania.

Despite the fact that I think Jared Jordan might have been a decent component for the Knicks success. If the Knicks had won ten more games at this point and had Jordan was playing one of Jerome James or Randolph Morris' roles as the Knicks official practice players, I bet seeing the semi-local Jordan, a Hartford native, who lacks the erratic behavior and bad tattoos of Stephon Marbury, might give some folks another reason to cheer for a team that the city didn't really want to begin with.

Then there's Dickau to consider, keeping Dickau meant losing the only other guy that was technically on the Knicks roster over the summer who had any experience at the point guard slot. He's now been traded eight times and played on seven teams, avoiding picking up paychecks in EUROPE and the D-League at that. He'd of been tough for Robinson, Collins and maybe even Marbury in practice. He's been rumored to be working on becoming a Polish citizen so that he can represent them in the Olympic games.

Instead, the Knicks lost games early, Steph got all fucked up in the head and Jared Jordan never played for the Knicks, just a few preaseaon games, ten minutes total. Dan Dickau just went through the motion as the Clippers, who will probably never see a 100% Shaun Livingston, without mentoring anyone considering the Clippers sent Guillermo Diaz back and fourth in to the D-League and now picked up journeyman Andre Barrett finish out the year for Diaz, who's rumored to be signing in Italy.

My point is, the Knicks, who should have known better than to look to Stephon Marbury for leadership, signed a veteran (like Carlos Arroyo, who they narrowly missed at the trade deadline) or decent young point guard somewhere along the way this season and they might have been able to clean up their act enough to at least play hockey and spoil some Eastern Conference playoff hopes. Therefore, trading Dickau left the Knicks without a point guard in their back pocket and waiving Jordan left the Knicks without a feel-good story off the bench, something a team with a 18-41 record could probably use more of.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Biggest Little City Joins Big League's Little League

This link to a story in the Reno Gazette-Journal made it past me. It says here that Reno will be next stop on the NBA D-League minor league basketball gentrification tour.

Another destination the D-League is dealing with is Portland, Maine. With the resent resurgence of the Boston Celtics, the D-League hope to capitalize on some of the other somewhat-success stories in minor league hoops in New England, the Vermont Frost Heaves and the Manchester (NH) Millrats of the ABA.

My next guess is that the D-League will target the Albany Patroons of the CBA, and rumors circle that the 76ers will look to place a team in Trenton, NJ. Trenton was the home of the short lived Trenton Stars of the original IBL, but now their home court, the Sovereign Bank Arena, however perfect for minor league hoops, remains pretty vacant. However, I can imagine, Reading PA, current home of the Reading Railers of the PBL might make for and obvious choice.