St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Rant, rave

By PETE YOUNG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2003


RANT...

Memo to the Lightning: Tap into the vault and acquire a veteran defenseman to bolster the quest for a playoff berth. What are you waiting for?

The tight-fisted ownership has said it will allow GM Jay Feaster some monetary leeway to make moves if the team is in the playoff chase. Well, to borrow from New York Jets coach Herman Edwards, "Hello!" Halfway through the season the Lightning is immersed in a playoff fight.

Despite a spate of injuries, Tampa Bay's 45 points are sixth in the Eastern Conference. It is a few points from falling to 10th. Eight make the playoffs.

Hello!

The past three seasons, the Lightning has improved in the standings (54 to 59 to 69 points) and stands (557,618 to 611,172 to 644,610 in attendance). Meanwhile, payroll has flat-lined, ranking No. 26, 26 and 25 out of 30 NHL teams. Do the math, ownership, and give Feaster the mandate to turn the inspiring first half into a playoff berth.

Feaster has said he is working on a deal. Make it a bold one.

It will reap much more than the $4-million to $8-million it will cost.

-- PETE YOUNG

RAVE...

Of the two front-runners for NBA rookie of the year, one arrived straight from China -- China -- the other from the hallways of six high schools throughout the southeast.

Welcome back to the NBA, Hubie Brown. Things have changed a bit.

Yao Ming (13.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Amare Stoudemire (12.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg) are emblematic of the NBA's startlingly rapid evolution. Remember when foreign players were novelties? When the league's youngest guys were "hardship" collegians who had -- gasp -- only three years of college experience? That's ancient history, which in the NBA is anything before 1995.

That's when Kevin Garnett went straight from high school to the NBA. Garnett, Tracy McGrady, et al, have proven superstardom does not require a college apprenticeship. But like every high school-to-NBAer, they absorbed their lumps as rookies.

Stoudemire is a little older -- he turned 20 in November -- and has an Adonis physique, accelerating his transition. The Lake Wales native also is accustomed to the travel after his rootless prep experience. Yao's instant cultural assimilation has been remarkable.

A new generation has altered the landscape of the NBA, and Yao and Stoudemire are its vanguards.

At least until LeBron James arrives.

-- PETE YOUNG

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk
  • Hubert Mizell: Time to hand Madden's crown to Collinsworth
  • John Romano: Gimme five
  • Gary Shelton: Bucs should seize the day while they can

  • NFL
  • Titans advance on second try
  • Listen up, Bucs
  • Reid selected Coach of Year
  • Jets and Raiders talk a good game
  • Familiarity strips game down to fundamentals
  • McNair shows his toughness again

  • College basketball
  • Gators win 3-point duel with Dawgs
  • SIU 69, Indiana State 61
  • St. John's keeps UCLA struggling
  • Freshman spurs Miami over Irish
  • Florida A&M rallies, wins in 2OT
  • Oregon is upset in second straight
  • Terps end drama early, crush Seminoles by 27
  • Bad start dooms outmanned USF

  • Briefly
  • Rant, rave
  • Instant replay
  • Sports salute
  • NCAA president wants change

  • Baseball
  • Ex-umpire D. Merrill dies at 64

  • College football
  • Dorsey enjoys homecoming

  • NHL
  • Capitals cruise to 12-2 win
  • Slapshots

  • NBA
  • Allen's last-second steal helps Bucks ice Pistons

  • Motorsports
  • Nadeau sees U.S. troops up close in Middle East

  • Golf
  • Els, Choi race past the field

  • Preps
  • Green Devils outdistance city rivals for crown
  • Cougars can't end win streak
  • Bucs on their way up
  • Rams keep 'Canes under wraps in 63-48 win
  • Durant saves face for Hillsborough teams
  • Cougars, Frayer like tourney

  • Letters
  • Your turn

  • Outdoors
  • Alinghi takes an early lead in challenger final
  • Daily fishing report

  • Rays
  • Piniella confident in Rays' top brass

  • Bucs
  • 'We're just getting started here'
  • Chucky Chalk Talk
  • John Romano: Gimme five
  • Gary Shelton: Bucs should seize the day while they can
  • 1999 vs. 2002
  • New players inspire new confidence
  • Buccaneers get a Krazy hip-hop anthem
  • Bucs' top plays of the 2002 season
  • Bucs' defense, player by player
  • What they're saying
  • Bucs in the playoffs through the years
  • On the Internet: 49erhaters.com: Want to join the club
  • Bucs vs. 49ers at a glance
  • Times staff predictions
  • Guest analyst: Bucs built to avoid Giant failures
  • Bucs' offense, player by player
  • On the sideline
  • On the air: Fox 13 boasts a Bucs bonanza
  • Kickin' Back: Heart big enough without bionics
  • Letters: Bucs chat: Critics exhibit short memories

  • 49ers
  • Garcia still chasing ghosts
  • 49ers: Peterson aims to set a new standard

  • Lightning
  • Fighting chance nets tie
  • Players also follow Bucs
  • Khabibulin returns to All-Star Game


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts