So now it’s UM’s turn to seek out a new court general. And the Conference USA champs have there eyes set on someone already in state: Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl. And when it comes to pursuing Pearl, Memphis isn’t talking peanuts - they’ve presented the Vols coach a deal worth up to $21 million.
“(Bob) Knight is an old acquaintance of Spurrier’s, and is responsible for showing a tape of a relatively unheralded Indiana recruit named Rex Grossman to (Steve) Spurrier. This makes Knight a friend of Gator Nation, and a human burned in effigy in Chicago.”
The comments came in response to Knight making an appearance for Spurrier at South Carolina, where the ESPN broadcaster gave an opening speech to the Gamecocks before spring practice. Read more…
OK, it was a record for the modern MSG. But regardless of what era of monosodiumglutenate you’re referencing, 61 points is a doozie of a game. The amazing thing is that Bynum’s absence is almost certainly what pushed Bryant over the top. Even Dwayne Wade, watching the mamba’s highlights from Miami’s own Monday night victory (where D-Wade dropped 32 points himself) said you could tell that Bryant was on a very specific mission: He was going to dominate, come hell or high water.
“I’ve never had a night like that,” said Heat guard Dwayne Wade who scored 32 in Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. “You could tell, just watching the highlights, he had a pep in his step and he was on a mission. With Bynum out, he’s going to have to do a little more, and I think he understands that. I mean, 61 points, that’s Kobe — that’s all you can say.”
Oh, and nearby Michael Beasley’s response? “Kobe scored 61?” he asked. “You serious?”
Yes, we’re serious, and the rest of the NBA better be, too, if Bryant keeps this crusade alive for the remainder of Bynum’s absence.
Of course, all the basketball news wasn’t limited to the NBA. Not when Bob Knight’s name is back being bantered about. In the latest installment of the rumor that will not die, Knight is still very interested in becoming the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. No one knows if Georgia is interested in him, and at least one Georgia player has already come out with an absolutely tremendous comment about being coached up by Knight, as we pointed out earlier today.
“I’d like to play for Coach Knight — as long as he doesn’t hit me,” freshman forward Trey Thompkins said.
Trey Thompkins, may we be the first to say that you should start working the higher-ups at Comedy Central. You may have a future in stand-up, dude. Let’s hope you do, because if Knight gets the job, you ain’t playing much after that quote.
Still, all this Bobby Knight hype may just be obscuring the truth behind why Knight may be “interested” in alleging interest in UGA: Maybe he’s just trying to distract the mainstream media from the histrionics his son pulled over the weekend.
THE BIG LEAD was the first source we saw shopping the theory, so we’re inclined to give them the credit for it. And you know what? It’s a good one. The last thing the Knight family needs is another member going awol on a ref, and Pat Knight came dangerously close to doing just that on Saturday, running right at one twice and having to be restrained by two separate assistant coaches.
In fact, the incident was downright scary in just how much it looked like his old man’s work. Now, instead of a week full of talking points about how the new Knight is just as bad as the old one, we’re talking about the old one being interested in a job, whether he really is or not. It’s a brilliant game of paternal brinksmanship, and Knight is just the kind of Dad who’s smart enough to pull it off … if he cares that much about his son.
(Admit it: You’d want to get as far away from Dickie V as possible, too.)
Now, there’s no proof that he does care that much about his son, but for the sake of the argument we’re going to buy it. This is too good a conspiracy theory not to indulge.
There was college news from the football arena, too. Apparently Ohio State’s linemen are not taking three-straight BCS losses well after the fact, with former Buckeye Alex Boone going positively nuts while drunk out of his mind Sunday night in California, where he’s allegedly preparing for the NFL Draft.
According to police reports out of Alisa Viejo, Calif., Boone was so uncooperative that he had to be stunned with tasers multiple times while he was already in jail. That’s right, he was in such a drunken belligerent that he was picking fights with cops while already booked.
(The Alex Boone entry to the sad mug shot pantheon.)
It’s a sad story, because Boone was allegedly off the drink after a 2006 DUI incident. He’d talked openly about binge drinking and how he needed to stop it to save his future. Evidently he lost sight of that while out in idyllic Orange County.
For her part, Boone’s mom is out seeking sympathy for her son, and she may need to get some if NFL teams are going to take him seriously.
“(I talked to him) and he’s hurting. He feels terrible that he let so many people down,”Amy Boone said. “What do you do? You tell him you love him and support him and that we’ll go after this (problem) like we need to.”
Right now, Boone feels way too much like the next Andy Katzenmoyer. Unless he’s got a heck of an alibi or great conspiracy theory for his personal Super Bowl party, he may not even get Katzenmoyer’s chance.
Roger Clemens, there’s a man who needs a great conspiracy theory. He better get working on a new one soon, because there’s no evidence that the man has done some needle pushing into his backside.
According to a report in THE WASHINGTON POST, DNA from blood contained in syringes that were supplied to a federal grand jury by Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, matches Clemens’ own DNA. It’s not quite a murder scene conviction, but it’s going to be awful hard for Clemens to claim that all this blood was McNamee’s way of testing him for suitability to B-12 shots.
Naturally, Clemens’s defense team is already claiming that the new evidence proves nothing, and only undermines how circumspect anything provided by the prosecution really is.
Rusty Hardin, Clemens’s Houston-based defense attorney, said the DNA tests “won’t matter at all.”
“It will still be evidence fabricated by McNamee,” Hardin said. “I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.”
Sure, Rusty. And if you believe that a jury will hear the phrase “DNA evidence” and not be somewhat swayed by it, man, do I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Clemens’s defense may not be sunk yet, but the ship be sinking, and it’s been sinking for a long time. Sooner or later it has to hit the sea floor, and it sure feels like we’re getting close.
Speaking of baseball, why, exactly, did the Mets spend $36 million on a pitcher who has a combined record of 26-20 in the National League when they could have spent $3 million more per season to land a guy whose a proven playoff horse? We’re just asking.
If you thought porn was the only sex peddled during the Super Bowl, evidently you weren’t watching in Houston. That telecast aired an ad for a service that helps married folks “discreetly” have sex with other married folks. Really. Go check out ASHLEYMADISON.com for yourself, or watch the ad below.
In case you missed it, Bob Hayes’ sister read an emotional letter after the deceased receiver and world’s fastest man was picked for the NFL Hall of Fame. There’s just one problem: She may be a big fraud.
The latest soccer take on our favorite running video segment: “Man that was unnecessarily painful!” Our take? Owwwwwwwww.
If you watch one mid-major face off before the NCAA Tournament, it should probably be this one, announced Monday: Butler at Davidson. Stephen Curry vs. four unathletic looking guys who all average 13 points-per-game. And they’re white. Amazingly, this game still has sex appeal.
I don’t have spectacular Spanish skills, and the Google translator always leaves me with more questions than answers, but it appears as if some wild stuff is going on in the Dominican Baseball League’s championship series. Wild enough that Gigantes del Cibao were forced to forfeit their game with Licey of Santo Domingo, putting them behind 3 games to none in the best-of-9 title series (nine games?). The league features many current and former major leaguers, and the winner of this series moves on to the Caribbean Series.
During Wednesday’s Game 2, Gigantes second baseman Felix Martinez hit into a routine groundout, then inexplicably lost his mind and nearly attacked the home plate umpire. Again, since I couldn’t understand the commentary over the video footage I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but it looked like the Gigantes were a little miffed about the guy’s strike zone. Martinez actually charged the ump and appeared as if he was going to tackle him, but seems to have thought better of it and changed his course at the last second. He was ejected from the game, and suspended for the rest of the series. I have manged to put together a Zapruder-esque still from the horrible streaming video feed of the game:
(Martinez is on the right, being restrained by a teammate. This is after he nearly lit up the umpire on the dead run from first base)
This brings us to last night. Gigantes thought that the umpiring crew might forget that they had tossed Martinez from the series, so they decided to pencil Martinez into the lineup as if nothing happened. The umps were not amused, and said he couldn’t play. Gigantes decided that if Martinez couldn’t play, that the rest of them wouldn’t play either. So they left. The umpires forfeited the game to Licey, who stuck around to entertain the crowd by playing a game of something called “flip.” Can you imagine if this happened here? If, like, Evan Longoria got suspended for some reason during the World Series and Joe Maddon tried to play him anyway? And then they forfeit the game and the Phillies stick around and play Guitar Hero on the jumbotron with the Phanatic?
Back to America, where the NBA All-Star starters were announced yesterday. And the league narrowly averted an awkward situation. Injured age fraudYi Jianlian, who’s averaging 10 points a game with the Nets, finished third in the Eastern Conference fan voting for forwards. Had he somehow overtaken Kevin Garnett, David Stern might’ve informed Yi that he would be injured until at least the end of February whether he liked it or not. Either that, or Stern would’ve had to name the chair that guarded Yi during his pre-draft workouts to the West team to even things out.
It should also be noted that Bruce Bowen came rather close (only about 68,000 votes) to overtaking Amare Stoudemire for a starting spot on the West squad. That actually would’ve been great to see. He may have become the first All-Star to ever get flagrantly fouled by a teammate.
The only fan choice who could be considered objectionable is Allen Iverson, who seems to be hurting the Pistons more than he’s helping. The rest of the selections are completely justified. Dwight Howard was the only player to get more than 3 million votes.
• You may have noticed that last night’s Purdue-Minnesota game was called by the now completely unintelligible Brent Musburger and one Mr. Robert Montgomery Knight. RUMORS AND RANTS sure noticed, and reminds us that even though the Boilers won the game, their fans probably had the TV on mute for most of it, given Knight’s long-standing disdain for West Lafayette.
• For no reason whatsoever, here’s footage of American Gladiators host Mike Adamle belly-flopping off a 10-meter diving board after Ahmad Rashad wussed out and wouldn’t jump. Thanks to NESW SPORTS for this one.
• ONLINE SPORTS GUYS says a high school football coach in Kentucky has been charged with reckless homicide over the death of a 15-year-old player who collapsed during a practice. The lesson in all of this? Don’t ever coach youth sports, because if one of the kids collapses you’ll probably end up being held responsible for it (though I admit I don’t know the facts here, so maybe the guy was horribly negligent).
The NBA. Where Matt Barnes flattening Rafer Alston with a forearm happens. We soon entered some sort of bizarro world in which Steve Nash is the third man in in a brawl while Ron Artest just observes from the bench. Then, for some reason, Yao decides to fight Tracy McGrady. It was just about the only entertainment in Houston’s suprisingly easy 94-82 win over the Suns.
Here’s video of the incident. It’s the Rockets’ TV broadcast, so of course everyone wearing a white jersey deserves to be shot, according to these guys:
The Celtics got a buzzer-beater from Paul Pierce to hand the Hawks their first loss of the season, 103-102. A tough loss, but it’s clear that Atlanta is going to be a major factor in the Eastern Conference this year. For the second straight night, the champs had to come back from a double-digit deficit at home to eke out a win. One wonders how long the hangover will last for the C’s.
The Lakers remained the league’s only unbeaten team, but had to hold off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Hornets. L.A. led by 21 at the half and still led by the same margin early in the fourth, but New Orleans went on a run that saw them get within 83-80 with 90 seconds left, but Kobe Bryant hit a dagger of a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Lakers a six-point lead and ice the game.
Greg Oden finally got back on the court last night, and managed to make it through an entire game without suffering an injury. He was far from spectacular in 16 minutes of play, but he did score the first points of his career and showed off some of his strength and defensive prowess. The Blazers beat the Heat 104-96 thanks to 25 points from their less-hyped, but more-talented rookie Rudy Fernandez.
(he made the shot, and didn’t break any bones in the process)
I didn’t really get to see any of last night’s MAC battle between Central Michigan and Northern Illinois. Oh, I had it on, it’s just that the fog was so thick I couldn’t actually see what was going on. The fog was actually a blessing for NIU, as we couldn’t see that there were only 43 people in the stands. The Chippewas (that’s CMU) blew a 30-6 lead in the third quarter and ended up needing overtime to beat the Huskies 33-30. CMU moved to 6-0 in the MAC and hosts unbeaten #14 Ball State next Wednesday for the chance to put a fork in the BCS chances of the Cardinals.
• Are you unemployed? If so, I’ve got a deal for you. All you gotta do is send in your resume and you’ll get some free NBA tickets! They’re Nets tickets, though. Oh, you aren’t interested? Rather stay jobless than figure out how to take the bus to the Meadowlands? I hear you.
(Oh, you want to sit here? Get a freaking job, loser!)
In all seriousness, this is actually a pretty good idea. Just send your resume to the Nets, and the team will forward it to 120 sponsors as well a bunch of other companies that have season tickets. And for that, you get four tickets to a crappy basketball game in a crappy half-empty arena that you couldn’t otherwise even afford to attend. How’s that for wake-up call?
• Brian Burke stepped down as the GM of the Anaheim Ducks yesterday, and was replaced by Bob Murray, who becomes like the 38th Murray running a hockey team in some capacity. DUCKS BLOG has the report.
• “He’s our head coach and I look forward to him being the head coach for a long time,” is the quote from Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick when asked about Charlie Weis‘ job security on Wednesday (courtesy of the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM). That’s code for “his ass is toast if we lose to Navy.”
• The Orioles wish they had a second word in their team nickname they could get rid of, like Tampa Bay, but they’ll have to settle for new jerseys. Not a radical change, but they’ve gone back to wearing “Baltimore” across their chests on the road, something they got rid of in the ’70s when they weren’t trying to alienate the D.C. market. Now, the O’s say the District can suck it. The BALTIMORE SUN was on hand for the unveiling.
• It’s so cute when Americans try to act like real soccer fans. Apparently the MLS Eastern Conference Final between Columbus and Chicago is so contentious that all Chicago fans are getting a police escort to their seats in Columbus and the two teams’ posses aren’t allowed anywhere near each other. MLS RUMORS lists all of the security policies that will be enacted. They have attack dogs on hand in case of a “pitch invasion.” Good Lord, it’s MLS.
• FANTASY BASEBALL DUGOUT says that Carlos Gonzalez is now a fantasy sleeper for next season as he stands to be an everyday starter in Coors Field. Matt Holliday? Not so much, now that he’s stuck playing in the Mausoleum. Although, there’s about a 105% chance that Billy Beane is flipping Holliday to the Mets in July for their entire farm system.
• Bernard Hopkins is all over Donovan McNabb yet again. From PHILLY.COM: “Some people are athletes, still good, but don’t have that extra ‘I’m willing to sacrifice my life. I’m willing to sacrifice what I have to sacrifice to win.’”
• Antonio McDyess has been waived by the Nuggets after they acquired him from Detroit in the Allen Iverson deal. And now any team (wink, wink) can sign McDyess. All 30 teams will certainly have an equal chance (cough, cough) of getting him. No way he’d have any sort of pre-arranged deal to return to the Pistons. At least that’s what the Cavs suddenly seem to believe, according to the CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER.
How often does the first batter tell you everything you need to know about how a baseball game is going to go? But after seeing Jimmy Rollins take Chad Billingsley deep in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLCS, did anyone have any doubt that the Phillies would be going to the World Series? The result wound up 5-1 for Philadelphia, but it might have been 1,000-1 after that first at-bat.
With how Cole Hamels was pitching, it’s not as though the Phillies needed much help, but Rafael Furcal channeling some combination of the Chicago Cubs’ infield, Steve Sax and Rick Ankiel (pitcher version) didn’t help. Furcal made three errors in the fifth inning, tying an MLB post-season record. I can sympathize with Furcal: I also once made three errors in one inning. Of course, I was 12, and a terrible Little League player.
I hate to burst the bubble of die-hard Philly fans like THE 700 LEVEL who are reveling on their team’s victory, and the fact that they are four games away from bringing the city its first major professional sports title in 25 years. So I won’t mention that the Phillies’ Big Three (Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley) are hitting a meager .250 combined in the 2008 playoffs.
Or that Jamie Moyer might wind up starting a World Series game, and that your starters not named Cole Hamels have an ERA just over 6.00 this postseason.
Or that the Rays have somehow turned into the 1929 Yankees, if that’s who you wind up playing.
Or that other than Manny Ramirez, this wasn’t a very good Dodgers team, and beating them in five games wasn’t really that huge of an accomplishment.
Just sleep tight, Phillie fans, after a night of serious celebrating. Probably in a pool of your own vomit, but sleep tight none the less, and don’t worry about tomorrow.
Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season ended with a thud, the slow-motion train wreck that the Dallas Cowboys’ season is becoming is continuing. A day after they were fleeced by the Lions (the Lions!) to complete their Roy Williams collection, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that head coach Wade Phillips doesn’t expect Adam “Pac-Man” Jones to return to the team regardless of the length of his suspension.
Also not expected to come back after this season: Wade Phillps.
Here’s what else happened last night while you were rolling your eyes at John McCain rolling his eyes:
THE LEGEND OF CECILIO GUANTE prays for the return of the bullpen car. I don’t know: as cool as they are, it’s a little less intimidating when NAME OF YOUR TEAM’S CLOSER HERE comes in from the bullpen to the sounds of AC/DC OR GUNS ‘N’ ROSES OR METALLICA OR BLACK SABBATH when he’s riding in a giant, cartoon helmet.
MICHIGAN DAILY notes that Michigan running back Mike Milano has been indefinitely suspended from the team after allegedly assaulting Wolverines hockey player and Anaheim Ducks prospect Steve Kampfer on campus, slamming him to the ground and knocking him unconscious.
The BOSTON GLOBE spent the last 18 months collecting FBI documents requested by the paper in Freedom of Information Act requests about deceased local sports stars, seemingly as a matter of course. (The deceased can’t legally or practically protest the release of records about them.) The results have been published in today’s GLOBE with interesting nuggets throughout.
(Oh, J. Edgar Hoover, you rapscallion! Was there anyone you wouldn’t try to control?)
For example, there are no shortages of racist diatribes and death threats against local athletes and coaches. The most titillating involves a threat to kill Red Auerbach for his progressive views on black athletes (like allowing them) sent to Bobby Knight in 1982 with the hope that Knight would help by inviting Red to a local game so the killer could reach Auerbach more easily. The writer was never found. Read more…
THE SPORTS HERNIA bring us this screengrab of Bob Knight looking like he’s about to keel over and go all Charlton Heston on us following the Tar Heels’ defeat at the hands of the Jayhawks last night.
I can imagine Dick Vitale, recently at death’s door himself with a cancer diagnosis, trying to revive Knight. “Hey, Bobby, baby! It’s not check-out time yet! I know! I know! Psycho T and North Carolina aren’t going to the title game! I need an ACC team to overhype! Stay away from the light! It’s not really that awesome!“