I knew that Manu Ginobili’s injury would lead to a few more scoring opportunities for Tony Parker this year. But I don’t think anyone thought he’d be putting up 55, even if it was on the T-Wolves. The Spurs needed all of those points too, as they struggled to get by Minnesota 129-125 in double OT.
Parker’s big night overshadowed Amare Stoudemire’s 49-point performance in Phoenix’ 113-103 win over Indiana. He became the first player in 34 years to have at least 49 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals in a single game. He was 17-of-21 from the field. LeBron James was the third member of the 40-point club on Wednesday, putting up 41 in a 107-93 win over Chicago after showing up to the arena in a Barack Obama t-shirt. This guy who was at the game also likes Obama, and links him to another national symbol of change (remember when Derek Anderson was popular?):
Ball State got to showcase its football program on national TV for the first time this season last night, pounding Northern Illinois 45-14 to go to 9-0 on the season. The Cardinals are 17th in the BCS standings right now, with three fellow BCS-busters standing in their way (Boise State, Utah, and TCU). But should the others falter and the Cards find their way into the top 12, they could still potentially get into a BCS game. They got a big lift from injured receiver Dante Love (pictured below), who was with the team for the first time since his career-ending spinal inury and took part in the coin toss. Even if the Cards miss out on the BCS party, this has been a season of unprecedented success for the school in Muncie, Indiana.
Now, moving on to football teams that are having the exact opposite of unprecedented success, the Raiders have decided the key to turning things around is to cut a guy they just signed to a seven-year, $70 million contract after eight games. DeAngelo Hall won’t be getting anywhere near that much money from the team due to the nature of NFL contracts, but Al Davis did have to give up second and fifth-round draft picks to acquire him from the Falcons. The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS’ Tim Kawakami has had a hate-hate relationship going on all year with the Raiders, and he runs with yet another opportunity to unload on Davis.
• So, that Patriots cheerleader who was booted from the team for allegedly anti-Semitically marking a friend with a sharpie? She told TMZ last night that she’s not the one who drew on him, and that being a “passed-out drunk guy with a bunch of stuff written on him” was actually his Halloween costume. She also says she didn’t see any of the offensive things drawn on him. She’s still apparently out of a job, but I’m sure she’ll have a real tough time finding new employment if she walks around wearing this:
• A 13-year-old Chelsea soccer fan was tragically killed in Rome on Monday when a tree fell on him during a thunderstorm on his way to a Champions League match, according to the DAILY MAIL. He was supposed to die in a violent clash with Milan fans when he was 34, not like this.
• The Sex Cannon may be returning to the bench as soon as this weekend. PRO FOOTBALL TALK reports that Kyle Orton thinks he might be able to play this weekend against the undefeated Titans.
• ESPN 1360 in Cincinnati quotes Carson Palmer as saying that he’s “slowly getting closer” to making a decision about whether or not he’ll play again this year. He thinks it should take him about eight more weeks. He’ll definitely know by then.
• Jason Varitek had a horrible year at the plate and will be 37 in April. So, naturally, Scott Boras is asking for somewhere in the neighborhood of four years and $50 million for his services. FANHOUSE says the Sox are unlikely to offer anything close to that (wisely), and may have to part ways with their team captain.
• Florida sophomore point guard Jai Lucas has decided to transfer, just as the season is about to get underway. Lucas, the son of ex-NBAer John Lucas, was the starter last season for the Gators and was expected to have the same role this year.
• Buried in this Ken Rosenthal piece about the baseball offseason is how the ludicrous four-year, $48 million deal Carlos Silva signed with the Mariners last year will haunt teams in negotiations this winter. Basically, any starting pitcher who can throw the ball over the plate without dying will want at least that much, since Silva’s basically the worst possible guy you can have on the mound to start a baseball game. Oliver Freaking Perez is going to end up getting $15 million a year because of this.
• This may be stretching it a bit, but baseball and softball officials believe that the election of Barack Obama might help get the two sports back into the Olympics in the future. Reps for both sports say that “anti-Americanism” was a factor in being voted out of the 2012 London games, according to ESPN.
• RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER is ecstatic that Nate McLouth won a Gold Glove. I mean, the words “Pirates” and “award” don’t usually appear in the same paragraph. But then comes the realization that by most fielding metrics, McLouth was one of the worst outfielders in all of baseball this year.
• And finally, it’s not that impressive that a jogger in Prescott, Arizona jogger ran a mile. It is impressive, however, that she ran a mile with the jaws of a rabid fox attached to her arm.