Random musings as we’ll be up to our necks in football coverage before you know it:
The first enterprise story our staff was tasked to comprise after I arrived at the Killeen Daily Herald last September was to gauge early-season reaction from local coaches on playing at Hood Stadium.
Being new to Killeen, I had no idea what reaction there was to gauge.
I didn’t have to dig very far to find out.
The negative public sentiment I encountered finally won out this past week when Killeen ISD agreed to move games scheduled to be played at Hood Stadium to Thursday night games at Leo Buckley Stadium.
I only covered one game, Ellison against Belton, at Hood Stadium last year, and I’ll leave out my opinion as they pertain to my experience as a writer.
But it isn’t hard to see why local fans weren’t fond of having home games at Hood Stadium given the process of getting onto the base and the inevitable traffic when everyone poured out of the stadium at the same time only to be funneled into essentially the same exit.
The crowd at that game also seemed substantially smaller than normal, especially considering Belton was coming off a scintillating win against Harker Heights in its district opener while Ellison had played district champion Waco Midway close for a half in its opener, leaving plenty of hope that the Eagles’ first win might be in store.
In fairness, the Thursday night games at Leo Buckley Stadium may present similar attendance issues given the fact that they will occur on weeknights.
But that hasn’t hurt sports like basketball in the past and it sounds like fans will happily take that trade anyway. I certainly won’t be complaining as Thursday nights in the fall just got more interesting in District 12-6A.
NBA free agency has been quite the spectacle this summer — with LeBron James bringing the entire process to a stop then announcing his decision via a personal essay submitted to Sports Illustrated — and yet, nationally, the Texas teams haven’t been getting quite the same attention despite interesting developments and subplots as well.
For one, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs have essentially resigned every free agent they have, from key contributors like Boris Diaw and Patty Mills to Matt Bonner even further down the bench.
When was the last time a defending champion was able to retain every semi-contributor on its team?
While the Spurs appear ready and able to defend their title, the team that played them closest last postseason, the Dallas Mavericks, appear to be vastly improved.
Dallas brought back Tyson Chandler to protect the paint in a deal with the New York Knicks — one that also netted them point guard Raymond Felton — and stole small forward Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets with a well-timed offer sheet while Houston awaited a Chris Bosh signing that never happened.
Parsons is an upgrade over any player Dallas had on the wing last season though swapping him for the combo of Vince Carter and Shawn Marion may hurt the team defensively.
But Dallas is certainly better at the top of its roster, which the Rockets can’t say after replacing Parsons with Trevor Ariza and missing out on Bosh, which cost them starting point guard Jeremy Lin in the process.
That gives the Great State a champion returning with essentially the same team, a team that morphed from an eight-seed to a dark horse contender and a team that was one transaction away from one of the best starting fives in the league but instead may have taken a step back.
Besides that, nothing else to see here in the NBA in Texas.