Women in NBA? Stern won’t say no

There is being politically correct, and then there is, well, being just plain silly. NBA commissioner David Stern should know the difference.

Asked this past week by SI.com writer Ian Thomsen whether women could be playing in the league — yes, the NBA — within the next decade, Stern said, supposedly straight-faced:

“I don’t want to get into all kinds of arguments with players and coaches about the likelihood. But I really think it’s a good possibility.”

Come again?

Leftovers is not trying to come off as sexist, but who in his sister league, the WNBA, does Stern think would come close to having NBA-worthy talent? Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury? Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever? Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm? Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics?

All great players in their own regard, in their own league.

But the NBA is played at such a faster pace, at such a much more physical level, that there is no way their exceptional WNBA-level skills would come through.

Now, a woman as NBA commissioner? Yes, we could see one replacing Stern.

IT TAKES BIG STONES — Brush aside all those stodgy notions about curling. The curlers are selling condoms!

USA Curling and longtime sponsor Kodiak Technology Group have teamed to sell Hurry Hard condoms, hoping the increased interest in Olympic sports before the Vancouver Games will help raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. Proceeds will be split between USA Curling and Central Coast HIV/AIDS Services.

“Hurry hard” is a curling term, and the logo features a cartoon of a smiling curling stone on a house.

“The platform that USA Curling can leverage is the Olympic exposure and excitement around the Olympics,” said Rick Patzke, USA Curling’s chief operating officer. “It will bring attention to the central message, which is safety and education and awareness for safer sex and HIV prevention.”

The message should get through once the bawdy jokes and laughter die down.

IT’S EASIER THIS WAY — Former UNLV athletic director Mike Hamrick would’ve had a tough call to make had he stuck around to deal with the community’s frustration over yet another losing season under Rebels football coach Mike Sanford.

Fire the guy he hired five years ago? Or keep him after a second straight 5-7 season, which brought his UNLV record to 16-43?

Hamrick was spared from having to make a similar decision as Marshall’s new AD. Mark Snyder resigned Sunday, a day after the Thundering Herd lost 52-21 to Texas-El Paso to finish the regular season 6-6.

Snyder, a 1988 Marshall graduate who went 21-37 in five seasons, said he and Hamrick met earlier in the day and they agreed his resignation was in the best interests of the program.

Sure they did — wink, wink.

Of course, it’s easier to get rid of the guy you didn’t hire. Sanford was fired by Hamrick’s interim replacement, Jerry Koloskie, in November.


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