SPORTS & MORE: DESHAUN WATSON & THE LATE, GREAT BILL RUSSELL

As I write this, Judge Sue L. Robinson has suspended new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games after he was accused of sexual misconduct against 25 women he had hired to massage him. Watson has settled financially with all but one of the women. The National Football League, which could appeal the judge’s decision and may have done so already, wanted an entire season suspension. But, they also want this wrapped up and concluded. So they may let it go.

As quarterback for the Houston Texans, which Watson was before being traded to the Browns, he sat out an entire season. My Cleveland friend says he will have missed 24 total games. When you look at it that way, the six games look fair. Or maybe not. The Browns have signed him to a guaranteed $230 million contract. What do you think?

SO, NOW WE LEARN… All along, President Joe Biden, or at least the Secretary of State or his

people, have been dealing with Russia to exchange a prisoner that we’re holding for pro-basketball player Brittany Griner and another American, who are being held captive by Russia.

Griner is a star in the WNBA and has spent the past several off-seasons playing in Russia, where she makes a lot of money. She was arrested nearly six months ago at a Russian airport, where customs agents discovered a tube of illegal drugs (cannabis oil) in her luggage. She is being tried and faces 10 years in a Russian prison. As you read this, she could already be free or could be in the next few days.

THE LIV GOLF SERIES IS GROWING – so they say. It’s being reported that the LIV golf tournament is growing from eight to 14 events next year. But it’s the money that’s really growing. Purses for those 14 tournaments are going to be $405 million. As it’s difficult to get daily newspapers in Key West, it’s difficult to keep up. Most newspaper space, rightfully so, goes to the PGA Tour, not the LIV Series.

The LIV has lost at least one player as Sergio Garcia announced that he’s going back to the European PGA tour, hoping to get on the European Ryder Cup team.

TIME HAS COME, and maybe gone, for the Miami Marlins to give up on the season and start dumping veteran players in trades for young players. Who goes? If so many weren’t injured, it

would be a lot easier. How about some outfielders?

I COVERED BILL RUSSELL, who died Sunday at 88, and Wilt Chamberlain, who died in 1999

at 63, when the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia Warriors played each other in Syracuse

many years ago. Russell was much too intimidating for a young twerp from Rochester to talk to

him. 

Wilt was much easier and we became acquaintances. I am saddened, though, by Russell’s death. Back in the day, the NBA was hurting, so they played doubleheaders, which is why their

teams played in Syracuse while the hometown Nats (Nationals) played the New York Knicks in the lead game.

Watching Russell, who became a leader in civil rights, it was impossible not to notice his defense, grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and then feeding his teammates on offense. Can you imagine that in some seasons, he would average 20 rebounds a game? In fact, he averaged 22.3 per game for his career. He once grabbed 50 rebounds in one game at Syracuse. On offense, he knew his place and did not get in the way of his teammates’ shots, only to rebound the misses. He still averaged 15 points a game.

After leading San Francisco to two NCAA championships and the United States to an Olympic

title, he moved on to the Celtics, where they won 11 NBA titles, the last two under his leadership

as the first black head coach in the NBA. He then became the coach in Seattle, spent a few years in the 1970s as a TV announcer and then another stint as coach at Sacramento. 

Yes, Russell was one of the great ones.

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Veteran sports columnist Ralph Morrow says the only sport he doesn’t follow is cricket. That leaves plenty of others to fill his time.