The Washington Times carries a story today that simply is too weird to pass without notice. A part owner and “aspiring pop star” in a minor-league (ABA) basketball team from Nashville ran onto the court in the middle of a game last Saturday and ordered the head coach to bench their star player. When the coach refused, she fired her before being carried off the floor in hysterical rage:
The victim was 23-year-old Ashley McElhiney, coach of the minor league American Basketball Association club and the first woman to coach a professional men’s basketball team.
The owner was Sally Anthony, an aspiring pop star who once gave fans at a Rhythm game free copies of her new album. On Saturday, she gave them something else, storming onto the court in the middle of the game to order the coach to bench a new player, Matt Freije.
McElhiney refused. Mrs. Anthony shouted profanities at the coach, then fired her in front of her shocked players. Security guards restrained Mrs. Anthony and escorted her from the building after the game.
The team has since apologized to McElhiney, the team, and its fans, but have not yet addressed McElhiney’s status with the team. She has coached the team to a 17-7 record and has been selected as one of the coaches at the All-Star game, a status that the league announced yesterday would be unaffected by any action taken by the Nashville Rhythm. As if proving what an idiot Anthony was, McElhiney’s team roared back from an 18-point deficit at the time of her outburst to beat the visiting team.
That wasn’t the end of Anthony’s wild ride, however. After hanging around long enough to fire McElhiney again in the locker room, she went home and wound up in the hospital under murky circumstances:
A woman describing herself as Mrs. Anthony’s sister-in-law called paramedics to Mrs. Anthony’s home early Sunday morning, saying she feared Mrs. Anthony had overdosed on Xanax, a drug used to treat anxiety.
Mrs. Anthony was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center and released Monday.
Mrs. Anthony told the Tennessean newspaper on Sunday that she tripped on some stairs, hit her head and woke up in “the psych ward.” The same day she told the City Paper in Nashville that she had been bitten by a dog. Her mother later told the Tennessean on Monday that Mrs. Anthony was hospitalized because of a bad back.
Wow — how often does one overdose on Xanax, fall down the stairs, get bitten by a dog, and throw their back out on one night? That’s some karmic reaction going on there! My guess from Anthony’s earlier outburst is that the first explanation is probably the best.
The ABA has noted one positive development from the idiocy of Sally Anthony, wannabe pop star and wannabe George Steinbrenner. After seeing the threshold of intelligence and class for ABA franchise ownership, the league has received over a thousand applications for prospective owners for their planned expansion. No word has come from the ABA if that includes Leona Helmsley.