O'Donnell: Kerr's latest title with Golden State just another elbow to the gut for Chicago sports
AS STEVE KERR WATCHED his Golden State Warriors snag scissors to cut down NBA championship nets Thursday night, puncture wounds should have been felt all around Chicago.
It was another bleak residual from Jerry Reinsdorf and his flaccid "Curse of the Breakup," the harebrained desecration of the Michael Jordan Bulls that sickened in 1998 and continues to this day.
It's been 24 years since Reinsdorf -- the Great Negotiator -- couldn't coax an eager Airness and key title associates back for a golden flight through the strike-shortened 1998-99 NBA season.
That clipped sequence was made-to-order for an aging band of celestial mercenaries.
Since then, no fewer than nine championship pedigrees trace back to the brilliance that Herr Jer' could not properly manage.
THOSE NINE INCLUDE Phil Jackson's five with the Lakers and now Kerr's updated four with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Golden State.
That's fully 37 percent -- more than one in three -- since Jordan pointedly told Reinsdorf and his merchant of pathos Jerry Krause "forget you."
As has been documented over and over, Mystical Mike's flyaway was forced by the facts that: 1) Reinsdorf didn't like Todd Musburger -- Jackson's crisply protective agent; and, 2) Krause was going to soil himself because stars of the show like Jackson, Jordan and Scottie Pippen got so much attention.
Boo hoo ... forget you twice.
A MULTI-ENLIGHTENED owner or managing partner -- oh, say the late Jerry Buss of the Lakers or GS's Joe Lacob -- would have recognized the championship dynasty not only for what it was, but also for what it could generate deep into the future.
Sports dynasties are sustained by a championship DNA.
Jackson's Lakers had it.
Kerr's Warriors have it.
Jordan's Bulls had it but were forced to whiz all into the Muscatel fog of that street of broken dreams known in Chicago as West Madison.
WHEN PAT RILEY picked an appropriate window to hand the coaching reins of the Heat to Erik Spoelstra two titles ago, he made a statement that should be required reading by all of Chicago's stagnant major sports ownerships:
"This game is now about young coaches who are technologically skilled, innovative and bring fresh new ideas."
Imagine if Jackson had coached his aching back out with the Bulls before gracefully giving way to Kerr.
Imagine if John Paxson had been seamlessly positioned to head the team's basketball ops as Krause was properly relegated to the most silent echoes.
Imagine if Jerry Reinsdorf had long ago realized that his multiple intelligences include mastery as a businessman, miserableness as a sports ops decision-maker.
Oh well ... today's another day and "Grump Pa" Tony La Russa's unintentionally wavering White Sox get to play the new World Series perennial Astros.
Chicago, feel the bleed.
STREET-BEATIN': The PGA is getting the U.S. Open it wanted at Brookline. Only four of 15 LIV golfers made the cut; Len Ziehm beat the posse to Northbrook's Nick Hardy; The Insouciant is lighting wee tees for a Top 10 finish by Matt Fitzpatrick. (Final round on NBC Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.) ...
Speculation about the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks forming their own regional sports network in 2024 is once again bubbling. The Reinsdorf-Wirtz axis could be giving uninterested cable subscribers a break by targeting higher charges for assorted deliveries toward the most die-hard fans. ...
The microphone shuffling at fading WSCR-AM (670) is bringing nothing but loud guffaws from the diminished cubbyhole of interested observers. Until parent Audacy pumps more money into the station and installs fresh leadership, the signal is as relevant as David Haugh hosting an Eddie Schwartz retrospective. ...
Dire memo to a regional casino/sportsbook: Unless more visible, uniformed security is assigned to roam your floors -- especially in the midnight hours -- there could be trouble. It is astounding that a multistate ownership group could be so lax. ...
The brief cameo of southpaw grinder Eric Stout (St. Francis-Wheaton, '11) with the Cubs earlier this week was one of the few feel-good blips of the North Side season. No one was pitch counting more intently than Aunt Cheryl Raye-Stout of WBEZ-FM (91.5). ...
The unsinkable Wayne Messmer takes center stage at Hey Nonny in downtown Arlington Heights next Saturday night. As Jack Brickhouse used to say any time Lee Pelty was opening in "Fiddler on the Roof," "He's OK if you don't mind talent." (Full info at HeyNonny.com). ...
And Dan Montgomery, on news that Jason Garrett will replace Drew Brees on NBC's Sunday "Football Night in America": "Who's going to notice?"
• Jim O'Donnell's Sports and Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.