In honor of the NBA All-Star game, coming up Sunday before an estimated 90,000 in Jerry Jones' Dallas palace (wouldn't you love to have a top-row seat for that one?), I'm picking the 10 best players from Kansas colleges to have played in the NBA.
They have something in common, having played in at least one All-Star game. So, without further ado:
1. Wilt Chamberlain. This is the no-brainiest of the no-brainers. The former Kansas center averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds during his 14-year career. All-Star games: 13.
2. Paul Pierce. Another former Jayhawk, he led Boston to an NBA championship two years ago and is right there among the league's current superstars. All-Star games: This will be his eighth.
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3. Mitch Richmond. A K-Stater appears. Richmond doesn't get the love he deserves for averaging 21 points during his 14-year career. It's mostly because he played on bad teams. All-Star games: 6.
4. Jo Jo White. Whatever happened to White, anyway? The former KU guard played for some really good Celtics teams and was a main cog, averaging 17.2 points and 4.9 assists during a 12-year career. All-Star games: 7.
5. Clyde Lovellette. The "other" KU 7-footer from the 1950s doesn't take much of a back seat to Wilt. Lovellette averaged 17 points and 9.5 rebounds while playing in 69 playoff games. All-Star games: 3.
6. Rolando Blackman. What a shooter for the Dallas Mavericks. Blackman, a silky swing man at Kansas State, averaged 18 points during a 13-year career. All-Star games: 4.
7. Xavier McDaniel. A Shocker makes an appearance. The X-Man was a mainstay for Seattle during his first six seasons before starting to fade. Still, he averaged 15.6 points and 6.1 rebounds during a long career. It's hard to fathom that X will be 47 this year. All-Star games: 1.
8. Bob Boozer. Probably K-State's answer to McDaniel. Boozer was tough and physical and averaged 14.8 points and 8.1 rebounds during 11 NBA seasons. All-Star games: 1.
9. Bill Bridges. The ex-KU forward played much like McDaniel and Boozer, which is to say he was rugged. Bridges averaged 11.9 points and 11.9 rebounds during 13 NBA seasons. All-Star games: 3.
10. Danny Manning. The sixth KU player on this list (anybody got an argument that's too many?) was hampered by injuries during much of his career. Still, he played in 15 seasons and averaged 14 points and 5.2 rebounds. All-Star games: 2.
There's only one problem with the Winter Olympics. Winter.
By now, we're all sick of it. The snow, the ice, the wind, the cold, the clouds. Go away. Spring can't get here soon enough.
It sounds as if winter hasn't really been a problem in Vancouver, site of the Olympics. There is a concern about there being enough snow, which is, as I understand, a key component of a successful Winter Olympics.
One of the highlights of my career was covering the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. They were held just a few months after 9/11, so security was tight and lines were slow to move.
It usually meant getting up a couple hours earlier than normal in the morning, just to make sure I reached my venue in time.
I tried to go somewhere different every day, and found that I was most attracted to speed skating and curling, two polar opposites. There's nothing speedy about curling, and there's nothing strategic about speed skating.
I'll watch a good chunk of the Winter Olympics, thinking to myself that by the time they're over, it will be close to March. Closer to spring. Closer to a time when we can put winter in its place.
It's terrible that the Olympics had such a black cloud even before the opening ceremony following the death of a Georgian luger during a practice run Friday.
Competitors have already expressed concern about the safety of the Olympic luge track, which is sure to be one of the big early stories of the Games.
I can't remember a loss that hit a community harder than Wichita State's loss at Evansville on Tuesday night.
Here we are, three days later, and people are still trying to figure out how a really good Shocker team could lose to a Purple Aces squad that hadn't won a Missouri Valley Conference game in 13 attempts.
If you figure it out, can you please tell me?
Time must be moving slow for the Wichita State coaches and players, who finally get to play another game Sunday night at Koch Arena against Missouri State.
What to expect?
Usually, I would say WSU is a lock on its home court, where it hasn't lost this season.
However, the Shockers were fortunate to get out of Koch with a win over Indiana State in their last home game and are just 4-4 in their past eight games.
I don't know how Sunday will go. The key is what kind of hangover this team has from a devastating loss that probably ruined its NCAA Tournament at-large chances.
My Tuesday live chats at Kansas.com have turned in to one of the highlights of my week. Be sure and join us when you can from 1:30 until 2:30. And usually I'm a few minutes early. I usually — usually — enjoy hearing from readers, especially when they keep it light and fun. This is sports, after all. No need to get all intense.
I love it that some NASCAR drivers are complaining about the droves of media at Daytona this weekend, an even bigger showing than normal for the biggest race of the year.
Of course, they're complaining because so many reporters are in Daytona to cover Danica Patrick's debut in Saturday's Nationwide race.
Do these drivers not understand that their sports needs this kind of a jolt? Patrick is arguably the most famous driver in the world, even though she has never competed in NASCAR.
She has the kind of crossover appeal that is lacking in the sport, now that Jeff Gordon doesn't win very often and Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn't win at all.
Patrick might be a bust. Who knows? But it will be fun and interesting to see how she does in Saturday's race. I'm not expecting her to contend; but I think she can show us something.
She's good for the sport. Ultimately, she'll need to compete well to continue to be good for the sport. Here's hoping she does.