What happens in Texas …

Mar. 22, 2014 @ 09:07 PM

So we landed here in Texas at San Antonio International Airport to cover N.C. Central and North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.

UNC beat writer Harold Gutmann, Herald-Sun photographer Christine Nguyen and I walked to the baggage-claim area to get our stuff.

That’s where I saw a man holding a sign to let TNT broadcaster Craig Sager know that he had a ride to wherever he needed to go.

Harold hailed a cab for us.

You’re familiar with Sager, right? He’s the guy known for his outlandishly colorful suits.

I mean, his gear is loud, man!

But Sager had on normal clothes at the airport.

It’s all in the bags
By the way, guess which bag over there on the right belongs to Christine.

The biggest one? Why, because girls pack way more junk than guys?

Uh, the big one’s actually mine.


What happens in Texas, stays in Texas

Hey, that's Harold — not me — pictured on that party bus. 

You'll have to ask him what that's all about. Tweet him: @haroldgut.


Kerr still has range

Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were calling the UNC and NCCU games for TNT. I was sitting behind them.

The fans sitting behind me were yucking it up with Kerr.

Now, was that because of how he helped put championship rings on Michael Jordan's fingers when they played for the Chicago Bulls, or did it have anything to do with Kerr possibly being the next coach of Phil Jackson's New York Knicks?


Good look

After NCCU won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament to earn its first trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Eagles cut down the nets at Norfolk (Va.) Scope Arena.

The next day, NCCU coach LeVelle Moton was wearing the nets the way rappers back in the day sported fat, gold chains around their necks.

The great Mr. T had a thing for gold chains.

Moton said he doesn’t know how in the world that guy walked around with all of that jewelry hanging off his neck.

Call me, maybe?

I’d bet Mr. T is in Moton’s list of contacts on his cellphone.

Moton knows everybody.

It’s a good thing we’re in the digital age, because entire forests would be wiped out if Moton had to put on paper all the folks he knows.

For crying out loud, the man exchanges text messages with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNC coach Roy Williams.

“I'm fortunate that my job doesn't depend on whether I've got to beat Duke or Carolina twice a year,” Moton said.

I'd have liked NCCU's chances against UNC this season.

“But they've been tremendous from Day 1," Moton said about Williams and Coach K.  "I go to practices. Anytime I get ready, they call me. They text me just to check up on me. And those guys have been tremendous because they've given us a paradigm on how a successful program should be run.

“When it's all said and done, they're arguably going to be on the Mount Rushmore of coaches.”

Moton also knows music producer 9th Wonder.

Now, 9th’s real name is Patrick Douthit, and he and Moton were undergraduates at NCCU in the early- to mid-1990s.

Moton remembers always seeing 9th walking around campus with some raggedy, taped-together headphones. This was before everybody walked around wearing headphones as if they’re earmuffs, and Moton used to wonder what the deal was with 9th.

Years later, there was 9th Wonder, working with people like hip-hop artist Jay-Z and singer Mary J. Blige.

“And now it makes all the sense in the world when he becomes who he is,” Moton said.

Moton earlier in the season invited 9th Wonder to speak to the Eagles about the importance of honing your craft so when, say, Jay-Z comes calling for a piece of music, it’s no biggie, it’s second nature.

Or when the game is on the line and an NCCU free throw decides the outcome, then it's in the bag for the Eagles. 

Just sayin’ 

How much do you want to bet that Craig Sager is in Moton's contacts?


Reach John McCann @johntmccann on Twitter or at jmccann@heraldsun.com