Thursday thoughts: OK, so some of the harshest critics of LeBron James took the Miami Heat star to task for having to go to the sidelines with cramps in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It might be quite a stretch to think James could end up with an endorsement deal from Midol. Not those sort of cramps.
* If it takes winning six NBA titles for James to be held in a similar light to Michael Jordan (who accomplished the feat with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s), James is going to need to find some young teammates to help him. A victory Thursday (June 21) in Game 5 would give the James his first championship. Which would be one more than Charles Barkley, who has said King James has the chance to be considered in the same class with MJ.
* Speaking of the Bulls, star guard Derrick Rose is “ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation from surgery last month on his torn left anterior cruciate ligament. So says surgeon Brian Cole, who operated on Rose. It seems fairly unclear what that means — other than the Bulls likely will be battling for a playoff berth when (if?) Rose returns to the court next season.
* One thing Gavin Floyd (5-7) has shown pitching this season for the White Sox is consistent inconsistency. The team’s 7-0 victory Wednesday (June 20) vs. the visiting crosstown rivals to salvage the finale of their three-game series is the latest example. He had been 1-4 in his six previous stars with a 10.68 earned-run average. Which is the sort of consistency a pitcher does not strive for.
* If a crowd of 80 percent capacity (actually 79.6) — that’s 32,311 — for the Cubs-Sox game Wednesday doesn’t send a message to the schedule-makers to have the teams play one another on the weekend, nothing will.
* Northwestern University has recruited the tallest basketball player in school history. Chier Ajou is a 7-2, 235-pound center and cousin of Bulls forward Luol Deng. Even with Ajou, Bill Carmody’s Wildcats still face a tall task in reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
* OK, so college football apparently is going to go a four-team playoff to determine a national champion in 2014. Meaning teams — and their fans — that think they should have been included in the final four still will be able to whine. Here’s hoping the student-athletes involved are given sufficient time to study something other than game plans.
* Any juror in the sexual-abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky who finds the former Penn State defensive coordinator not guilty should have to have a young male family member spend time showering with him.
He painted colorful images of Muhammad Ali, Joe DiMaggio, Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Frank Sinatra, sports scenes, nightlife and more.
His style was the inspiration for other artists and an inspiration to those who admired his work.
LeRoy Neiman, whose mainstream artistic roots included drawing the Playboy Femlin in the early days of that magazine in the 1950s, died Wednesday (June 20) in New York. He was 91.
Any list of successful 20th century American artists has to include Neiman, who attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later taught figure drawing and fashion illustration there in the 1950s and who became friends with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner early on in the aspiring magazine magnate’s career.
Neiman recently published his memoir All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies and Provocateurs days before his 91st birthday on June 8.
“He had a happy birthday. He was so happy to see his memoir published,” said his publicist Gail Parenteau.
Neiman’s archivist Tara Zabor said his latest work – a multicolored, 4-foot-wide golf ball that was completed in April – went on display Wednesday in Chicago. In his memoir, Neiman wrote about warnings from others that his Playboy work would stifle a career as a legitimate artist:
“But Playboy was liberating. I was drawn to it and went for it full throttle. … I lived my life as I wanted to live it and screw what happens. I always stayed in tune with my own ambitions and attitudes and I’m still my intractable old self, for better or worse.”
He was the official artist of the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics (Lake Place and Sarajevo) and the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Art critics generally paid little attention to his art of dismissed it as superficial.
“Maybe the critics are right,” Neiman told American Artist magazine in 1995. “But what am I supposed to do about it — stop painting, change my work completely? I go back into the studio, and there I am at the easel again. I enjoy what I’m doing and feel good working. Other thoughts are just crowded out.”
If it’s Thursday, which I’m pretty sure it is, if you happen to be looking at this sometime on June 21, 2012 (or any subsequent Thursday, come to think of it), then it is time once again for “Sports & Torts” at noon Chicago time on talkzone.com. Co-hosted by attorney David Spada and Elliott Harris, the show will have former baseball standout Maury Wills and former basketball star/coach/owner Billy Cunningham as guests. The scheduled in-studio guest is Jill Davidek Karsten, a former performer with the Ice Capades. She is scheduled to be part of the Going Pro Entertainment event June 24 at HiFi Fitness in downtown Chicago. Jill has been director of the Rockford IceHogs Fire & Ice Girls and has assisted with the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew. For those who are unable to catch the show live, the program will be podcast later in the day and for eternity (OK, maybe close to it, who really knows?).
And, yes, the accompanying photo is of Jill.
For those out there in cyberspace who might be interested in advertising on the “Sports & Torts” show, feel free to contact email@example.com. There is the possibility (though no ironclad guarantee) that some advertisers might be able to sit in on a live studio session with one of the lovely ladies whose presence more than offsets being in the same room with the show’s co-hosts.
It’s uncelar when this video was shot, but let the record show Ingrid Romero gave birth to twins about two months ago:
Advertising opportunities are available on ElliottHarris.com. For information and rates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.