Tuesday, February 15, 2005

By Zach

I get paid to ask the tough questions here at Sportszilla, at least those not involving the third string goaltender for some obscure Luxemburgian football squad, and today I'm trying to figure out what happened to one of my favorite online columnists, Mike Kahn of CBS Sportsline. For years,
Mike was the voice of the NBA on Sportsline, the man entrusted with writing a couple of columns a week describing the latest goings-on in the NBA. Plus, he put together
Wherefor art thou, Mike?
the NBA Power Rankings, one of the more inane features any beat writer has to come up with. On the one hand, fans love the stuff, but on the other hand, writers hate them because it's almost impossible to accurately slot all 30 NBA teams at any given time. I mean, who can tell whether the Knicks are better or worse than the Golden State Warriors?

But Kahn did his job, and did it fairly well. Plus, since he was from Seattle, he occasionally wrote about the Sonics, something I appreciated (even if most of his readers didn't care).

Kahn's very last column ran way back on December 8, 2004. Then, without a word, he was gone, spirited away into the realm where columnists go once someone stops paying them. Did Kahn have health problems? Family issues? Did CBS get sick of him? We never knew. All of a sudden, they had some guy named Tony Mejia who's an expert? On Kahn's bio page, he's listed as a former beat writer for the Pacers and Sonics, as well as the former vice president and president of the Pro Basketball Writers Association. Mejia doesn't even have a bio. He literally could be anyone off the street, and he gets to write about the NBA for a living.

And he doesn't even write well. Look at his latest Power Rankings. Forget for a second that he has the Sonics in 4th, behind the Heat who they beat both times this year, behind the Suns who they beat last week, and the Spurs who they've beaten 2 out of 3 times this year (the one loss coming without Ray Allen and coach Nate McMillan). No, I want you to look at his comment for the Memphis Grizzlies. The team's won 7 out of its last 10 games, and would currently be the seventh seed in the West if the playoffs began today. They have a newish coach in Mike Fratello, a number of intriguing players like Stromile Swift, Pau Gasol, and Jason Williams, and they have recently gone away from Hubie Brown's platoon system...and the best Mejia can come up with as a note is: Mike Miller has decided to grow his hair out.

So, until CBS Sportsline explains what happened to Mike Kahn, who Tony Mejia is, and starts making him actually write about what's happening on the court, I suggest you boycott the Power Rankings. Check here every Wednesday for the Power Rankings the Sportszilla staff comes up with...along with special input from our favorite NBA expert, Lance Medow. I promise you he knows more about the NBA than Tony Mejia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing, and was planning on looking into it. I liked his writing too.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Mary Provost said...

He's at foxsports.com, sucking like he usually does.

He hasn't shaved either, apparently.

10:25 AM  

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