Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Debbie Black: "New York Would Be Fun."

By Mel Greenberg

Greetings everyone.

Now that some of you have been baited by the headline, the Guru will get to it in a minute since I am in talk-write-speak with you instead of the more predominately news-report-speak.

Although the Ron Rothstein item in the previous blog concerning the New York Liberty general manager/coaching vacancies seemed like a good guess and while no one called for hours after the post telling the Guru he was on the wrong street, the prime Guru source left a note at mid-day Friday saying that Rothstein was not in play.

Neither is former Liberty coach Richie Adubato.

The Guru posted a quick note at his twitter account @womhoopsguru immediately after the note was received. Perhaps you should become a follower because when the news breaks or changes in any aspect of the sport, the Guru will post there with a quick flash but, as was the situation Friday, it may take a while to write further and post of the blog.

While Rothstein may not be in play for the New York dual jobs, clearly, though, somebody is. The Guru has heard from someone well connected that supposedly James Dolan, the major domo over everything Knicks-Liberty-Rangers, approached Isiah Thomas about the dual positions and was quickly turned down.

If Dolan wants to go that route, to be fair, he should make the offer to Anucha Brown, the former Northwestern star and winner of the in-house harrassment suite in New York against Thomas considering she has both business and playing experience.

Before you start quoting the Guru, that last concept about Thomas and Brown was just a tongue-in-cheek remark to react to the idea of Thomas for the job.

The Guru has heard from several WNBA sources that another in-house survivor of the Blazejowski era -- few remain -- may soon be departing, though that person is not someone familiar to most of you.

The Guru did not have a chance to chase much on Friday due to a lot of incoming calls on some other items.

But just before the note received that said Rothstein was not in play, the Guru had a conversation with Debbie Black, the former WNBA All-Star who is now an assistant at Ohio State and played for Rothstein at the former Miami franchise in the early part of the last decade.

"I don't think he'd take it, in part because of his age and whether he would want to leave Miami," said Black, who played her college ball under her present boss Jim Foster at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia.

"But if he did, he would be great there. He would be just what they could use. I loved playing for Ron in Miami. And while I love everything here at Ohio State, the thought of coaching in New York would be a lot of fun, even if New York will actually be in Newark (N.J.) the next three years," Black said.

An associate of Black's told the Guru he had actually mentioned Black as a coaching candidate to Carol Blazejowski, the former longtime general manager before her recent ouster, but got a lukewarm response to the suggestion.

The Guru will try to stay on the case Saturday, although he is now in a little overlap because the collegiate season is nearing.

In fact he is in current discussions with someone on a potential collaboration that if it occurs will surely be to your liking in terms of enhanced coverage and presentation.

As for it being a busy day, the Guru is amused at the stack of emails he received from those of you who have interest in purchasing a Guru bobblehead doll that was presented Thursday night from Philadelphia area collegiate sports media representives.

Temple's Larry Doughtery, a longtime friend who is now the national president of CoSIDA (Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America), made the presentation.

Told of the emails, he commented that the Guru owned a one-of-a-kind collector's item. But if you really want one, then if enough of you contact Larry offering to pay middle dollar, perhaps he might find a way.

In other news, the sale of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com, the Guru's former place of employment which had been under bankruptcy, became official Thursday and immediate changes in management were initiated.

It's all there at the Philly.com site in terms of the changes to date but Bill Marimow, who had been through the wars over the years with the Guru, was demoted as head of the newsroom, though his replacement as interim is also a friend and has a young daughter playing basketball so that speaks for itself.

Also the sports editor was dismissed and his interim replacement is also a Guru fan who upon his first day of employment at the paper told the Guru how much he liked watching former Stanford star Jennifer Azzi, the new San Francisco coach, play.

Right now, the sports department is deep into the coverage of the Phillies in the baseball playoffs and the ongoing soap opera that is the NFL Eagles.

But the college season is around the corner, the Guru was not replaced, so what all this means in terms of freelancing for the former mother ship remains to be seen.

To date, though, everything has run smoothly here in terms of being able to keep you all up to date with all the WBB events.

Coming up in the next post sometime Saturday, if certain subjects can be chased down -- Hi Tonya --, are some items on the collegiate scene involving Temple and St. Joseph's here in the Philly area but will interest many of you beyond the perimeter.

So for now, time to get some rest, perhaps even an early morning haircut, and then back to the hunt.

For you folks in the Penn State area, the Guru is heading up your way Sunday for Monday's media day, so if any of you want to gather and socialize somewhere, you know who you are, send some suggestions and the Guru will cross the mountains earlier in the day, but after the hotel prices plunge back to normal following PSU's football home game on Saturday.

-- Mel


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