VOL. 131 | NO. 52 | Monday, March 14, 2016
Last Word: Tiger Drumbeat, Eye on Drones and Shelby County Biggest Home Sale
By Bill Dries
Let the coaching drumbeat resume after the Tigers Sunday post-season collapse one game past Tulsa.
A confession here – I am so sports challenged that I thought UConn was a team from Alaska until I saw it spelled out.
In my defense, who associates Huskies with Connecticut?
My point is what happens next isn’t just about basketball. It’s about a change with a good track record of being emotional in the worst way.
It’s linked to how we want to be known for treating people and what they think of us as a result of that.
In those two areas, it’s never just business. It’s always personal.
Josh Pastner’s four predecessors were each very different case studies in this regard.
It could have been any stop in any city with a basketball court and a one-and-done star he could find and recruit to John Calipari. But he still had to hide under a blanket in the back seat of a car on the way to the airport and lie about it long after everyone knew.
Knew about the Kentucky job that is. The mess he left at the university would surface shortly thereafter.
Tic Price was two fast seasons and the proof that the Memphis job isn’t just about what happens on the court and the attendance at games.
Price was clearly excited about coming to Memphis. He clearly understood the importance and heritage of Tigers basketball and valued it. And he wasted no time at all getting lost in the Memphis that is not a part of that all encompassing world.
It was the only job Larry Finch wanted and ultimately the job he couldn’t continue to have. That after ignoring conventional wisdom as a player and coming from Melrose High to Memphis State, bringing a beloved team with him and then picking Memphis again in the ABA over the Lakers in the NBA.
None of that was considered in pushing him out the door and then naming a building after him.
Dana Kirk wanted to be the hustler John Calipari was. He was certainly impersonal enough about it and he took the team to an era where a post-season NCAA bid was expected and is still expected to this day.
But his impersonality exacted a high cost and he paid most of that cost. Although you could argue the experience for his team that produced some legendary players also made some of them legendary casualties of his emotional distance. It didn’t allow him to go elsewhere because he never figured out that he was being underestimated just as much as the team whose needs he ignored was in the national view of college basketball.
While Calipari dodged big trouble twice, Kirk wasn’t even in Calipari’s league when it came to ducking and timing.
We are past our inferiority complex. That’s what the last NFL drive of the 1990s did for us.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing that we see the people chosen to occupy these very public positions as a reflection to the world of who we are.
This will be a busy week for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his administration of two and a half months.
The deannexation bill could go to a vote on the House floor in Nashville Monday and later in the week in the Senate. There are differing versions of the bill in each chamber.
But Strickland says the basic proposal could put the city in a deeper financial hole as he is preparing his first budget proposal as mayor to present to the city council in about a month.
Here’s a look at the several layer cake of political complexity that is this issue.
Then there is the mystery of the plan by a private company to buy the old Memphis Police headquarters building at Adams and Second.
It goes to a council committee for discussion Tuesday.
The documents for this passed along to council members last week revealed this was a tentative purchase agreement that took shape during the closing weeks of AC Wharton’s term as mayor – after he lost his re-election bid to Strickland in the October elections but before Strickland took office.
And it happened after the mayor and council of pre-2016 had signed off on the purchase of the Donnelly J. Hill office building on the Main Street Mall that used to be the state office building.
The renovated building the state moved out of last year is to be the new home of the police department – thus ending 30 years of sentiment and efforts by police brass to move back into the circa 1910 building they left in the late 1970s for the Criminal Justice Center.
The cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, by Don Wade looks at the local drone scene. Lots of different uses for these depending on their size and sophistication. And with the technology comes questions about regulation and privacy and safety that are more visible because even the smallest of these devices is hard to miss hovering around.
And don’t think someone can put the genie back in the bottle so to speak. There are business applications that are beyond being explored and an audience for drone photography as well as delivery.
More tech news: Capital One partners with Amazon’s Echo as a bill paying option, Google ‘s van tour and General Motors has bought a software company as it gets serious about driverless cars – the earthbound cousin of drones, you might say.
Muddy’s is adding cake boss to its employee roster with an expansion of the business known best for its cupcakes and for expanding. The market was already pointing in this direction for quite some time. Here’s the back story on where Muddy’s has been and where it is going.
Add Ulta Beauty to the rapidly leasing up Poplar Commons shopping center that is to come where the Sears Laurelwood store and auto center now stands.
The largest home sale in Shelby County last year is a $2.8 million 11,000 square foot home in the Braystone Park subdivision in Collierville. Braystone Park is the Chandler Reports Neighborhood Report.
The Memphis News Almanac: Tanger breaks ground in Southaven, Kid Rock comes to town, the pinball loophole, carrying an ice pick and wrestling at the Lyric Theater in 1924.