With the notoriety* garnered by LeBron James and his LRMR Marketing Group the past week, you can’t help but wonder what’s next for James and LRMR.
(Hey you … ESPN sales guy … in the cubicle … yes YOU … GET ON IT!)
I’m now pleased to report that earlier today I did not obtain exactly what that will indeed entail:
1) Pre-book LeBron for June 2011 appearance in Cleveland on Rick Reilly’s highly-rated, critically-acclaimed ESPN Homecoming series. Secure assistance from Blackwater Security in staging event in exchange for presenting sponsorship rights. (Disclaimer: It was Craig Sager’s idea.)
2) Broker eight-figure lifetime endorsement contract with BP for new LRMR Marketing Group Client and New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul. (Includes personal use of BP CEO’s yacht.)
3) Sign Reggie Bush as LRMR Marketing Group Client. Book Bush appearance with former FEMA Chief Michael Brown at annual Superdome Boat Show in exchange for stipend to be donated to charity.
4) Acquire Jim Gray’s exclusive, worldwide marketing rights and immediately begin canvassing Horizon League member schools for broadcasting opportunities and Sacramento-area Bail Bondsmen for endorsement deals.
5) Secure venture capital - from new Miami Heat contract - for company attempting to bring fire-retardant NBA jersey technology to market. Induce Delonte West to test prototype by promising guest appearance on History Channel’s Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey.
6) Schedule press conference inside Clark County Detention Center to introduce latest LRMR hire: Financial Controller Antoine Walker. Continue searching classmates.com for additional LRMR executive hires.
When things are going wrong with a basketball program, no matter the level, the fan’s first instinct is to examine the coach’s priorities. Indeed, one of the worst indictments of a coach’s commitment to the program/franchise/rec league is that “he’d rather be working on his golf game than his team’s game.” You can probably already see where this is going.
(”Okay, we’re down 3, 16 seconds left, their big man’s in foul trouble… just do whatever. Where’re we playing tomorrow?”)
So then, taking the Mystery Machine down to New Orleans to help figure out the quick demise of the Byron Scott era, we’re only going to need one clue: a bag full of Calloways and Pings. YAHOO!’s Adrian Wojnarowski ably breaks down the breakdown after the break.
When DALLAS MORNING NEWS sports blogger Tim McMahon — the very Tim McMahon who found himself banned from the Mavericks locker room a little over a year ago — postulated a scenario that would land budding all-time great point guard Chris Paul in Dallas a week ago, few people took notice. Well, they should have. According to a source very close to the blogger, he didn’t pull the scenario out of thin air, he pulled it directly from the mouth of Mark Cuban himself, who gave the specs of a potential deal during one of his infamous stair-stepping impromptu press conferences.
(Next year, they could just switch jerseys!)
The scenario goes something like this: The Hornets desperately need to clear payroll because A) they’re hurting for money like crazy and B) they’re facing an enormous luxury tax hit for the contracts of Peja Stojakavic, Tyson Chandler and, most notably, Paul. Making matters worse, Paul’s four-year, max-dollar contract extension is about to kick in, which will make him far too expensive for the Hornets to afford.
We last left the never-ending stand-up comedy routine that is Shaquille O’Neal’s life as he was engaging in a prank battle with Suns rookie Louis Admunson. But then came word that he might soon be taking his show on the road, as the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported that the big man expected to be heading to New Orleans in the off-season in a trade for Tyson Chandler.
While the prospect of O’Neal - who had something resembling a career resurgance this past season - joining Chris Paul and David West might make Hornets fans (hello, anyone?) scream like a teenage girl bumping into Joe Jonas at an am/pm, the TIMES-PICAYUNE says that they can save their voices. They looked at the trade and said that the numbers just don’t work - basically, the Hornets would have to trade $8 million more in player salaries in addition to Chandler’s, which doesn’t help their goal of trimming salary to stay under the cap.
So while the Suns’ trade of Shaq might have stalled, the same isn’t true of Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Anquan Boldin. First, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS said that Boldin appeared as a guest on Michael Irvin’s radio show and pretty much pleaded to be traded:
As for getting traded Boldin said, “I just want to get it resolved, it’s been going on way too long.” Later he said, “it would hurt but at the same time, change is necessary. My only problem has been management, always has been.”
While this was happening, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC was reporting that the Cardinals have changed their course and are now “open” to listening to trade offers for Boldin, who has two years left on his contract, but still prefer to resign him. Boldin mentioned in his interview that he’d love to play in the NFC East. With basically every team in the division needing a go-to wide receiver, it certainly is an attractive option.
And while this all was happening, on the other side of the country former Delaware football player Julian James was hungry - really hungry. The DELAWARE NEWS-JOURNAL says that a video surveillance camera at an off-campus apartment complex allegedly shows James entering an unlocked apartment and leaving with loot, while unsuccessfully trying to get into six other apartment. His haul?
“100 frozen chicken wings, a pound of frozen salmon, 18 frozen Hot Pockets and 20 hamburger patties worth a total value of $82.”
Or as John Kruk would call that, “lunch.” I hope they recovered the stolen food before James had a chance to eat it; Otherwise, I’d think the state’s Exhibit A in the trial is going to be pretty smelly and disgusting.
What’s hotter than Miss America in a basketball jersey? How about Miss America in a basketball jersey draining an NBA 3-pointer. INDY CORN ROWS says current Miss America Katie Stam did just that before a Pacers game last night.
What happens when a stick from an opposing team’s player gets stuck halfway through the glass in Boston? As PUCK DADDY says, it turned into a tug-of-war between Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev and a Bruins fan during the Canadiens’ 4-2 loss, with the stick breaking in half. If this were the 1970s and the Bruins were playing the Rangers, Mike Milbury would have made sure someone ate some leather.
As if the Flyers needed an obstacle in trying to take down the Penguins in their NHL first-round playoff series: the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS says that Philadelphia enforcer Daniel Carcillohas been suspended for Game 2 after giving a “message” hit to the back of the head of Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot at the end of the Flyers’ Game 1 loss.
The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH says that Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter left the team’s game against the Cubs in the fourth inning with a strained oblique. How did he get the injury? Taking a swing during an earlier at-bat. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE DH, PEOPLE!
Kenyon Martin on Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof to SI.COM after Maloof demanded an apology after Martin gave a hard foul to the Kings’ Spencer Hawes: “Apologize to him? I’m not apologizing to him. I apologized to Spencer after the game, but before he opens his mouth he needs to know what’s going on.” Guess someone just got uninvited to the Palms VIP suites this off-season.
Congratulations to former Arizona basketball star Eugene Edgerson, who the ARIZONA DAILY STAR says was arrested for his second domestic abuse charge within the past two months. Edgerson currently plays for the Harlem Globetrotters, leading me to wonder if his wife is the Washington Generals of marriage.
A 6-foot, 38-year-old former New York lawyer with no playing or coaching experience is the most sought-after personal trainer among NBA circles? Such is the aura & mystique of a man known as the Hoops Whisperer.
Hannah Karp of the WALL STREET JOURNAL bounces along the story of Idan Ravin, the attorney-turned-trainer who was raised an orthodox Jew, but has many NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Gilbert Arenas proclaiming “Mazeltov!” at his unorthodox training techniques.
The 58th All-Star game is in the books, and the West absolutely destroyed the East, 146-117. At one point, it was 20-8 in favor of the East All-Stars before Kobe Bryant led the West on a 19-0 run, and the Westies never looked back. It’s hard to imagine what was the better Shaquille O’Neal highlight: going between Dwight Howard’s legs for the give-and-go with Chris Paul, or the entrance with that “Jabbawockeez” dance group that’s inexplicably* all over the TV these days. Here’s that intro (thanks, BALL DON’T LIE).
Shaq and Kobe shared the MVP award, which seemed fitting. Kobe tossed in the most points on the night (27), which is usually an automatic win, but Shaq was both far more efficient (17 points on 8-9 shooting in only 11 minutes) and entertaining; this might be the Big Aristotle’s last All-Star game, so he made it count last night.
At some point, with all the ACC losses piling up, you’d think it would no longer be fun or newsworthy to point out another Duke loss. You’d think that, but you’d be very wrong. After having their asses handed to them by UNC last week, the Blue Devils went to the Silvio O. Conte Forum to face a Boston College team that hadn’t beaten Duke in 24 years. Bounce back for the Blue Devils against an unrated BC team?
Err, not exactly. Duke led 37-32 at the break, but the Golden Eagles came alive in the second half, ringing up 48 points in those 20 minutes against the vaunted Blue Devil defense. Senior leader Tyrese Rice drops 21, 6, and 6, Joe Trapani chips in 20 more, 80-74 is your final, and Duke is now 7-4 in the ACC. Dick Vitale must be inconsolable.
Let’s say you find yourself in the middle of Scotland with a dildo in my mouth. I mean your mouth. Anyway, let’s move on. Stuart Slann, a married 39-year-old Manchester United fan from Sheffield (this is all in England, in case you couldn’t tell), met “Emma,” a sexy babe who was also a ManU fan on Facebook, and the two hit it off. One problem: Emma, as you’ve already guessed, did not and does not actually exist, but Stuart didn’t find that out until driving 400 miles north and receiving a rather unfortunate phone call. Oh, and as we mentioned before, Emma really wanted to see a dildo in Slann’s mouth, so now… whoops.
(This image is in no way modified to remove the sex toy. He was just eating corn. That’s all.)
UNPROFESSIONAL FOUL has the uncensored video, which is just basically some text, 2 minutes of the uncensored version of the picture above, and - as far as we can tell - rampant profanity (they’re Scottish, so who can tell). As you can guess, Slann’s wife wasn’t very pleased, and the two have now split. Oof. This never happens to Pompey fans. Just sayin’.
Marshawn Lynch faces felony gun charges after police found a loaded handgun in his car. Honestly, as long as he’s not shooting a bouncer at a strip club or shooting himself in the leg, I think the NFL’s making progress here. They might even be gun-free by 204never.
According to the CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE, former Iowa State head coach and current national champion Florida assistant coach Dan McCarney’s daughter was arrested for assaulting a police officer in Iowa City. The details, which include the ever-popular “MY LAST NAME IS MCCARNEY,” are golden.
You know why the dunk contest sucked this year? No Guy Dupuy, who’s probably the most vicious dunking Frenchman in history (can we get him to posterize Frederic Weis? Wouldn’t that be fitting?). Make that happen in 2010, NBA. Even T.O. knows it’s over.
We know what you’re saying: “Wait, who scored how many on which team now?” The answer to that is not as significant as the subset in which the points came: A college basketball game in the SEC.
That’s right, Jodie Meeks, a junior guard for Kentucky, had the night of a lifetime, dropping a whopping 54 points on the No. 24 Tennessee Volunteers in a shockingly one-sided 90-72 win. Meeks hit 10 of his 15 three-point attempts, helping the Wildcats take control of a game that was still up in the air in the second half. In the process, he set the Kentucky record for most points in a single game. Really. It’s also the most points scored by one player in regulation in a decade, and six teams scored fewer total points on Tuesday night than Meeks did himself.
Not surprisingly, his coach and teammates had some choice quotes about the junior sharp-shooter.
“It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen,” said his coach, Billy Gillispie.
“I wouldn’t be talking at all,” Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson said about Tennessee players who he said continued to talk trash. “My mouth would be shut. Especially when a guy’s got 54 in your own gym. They can talk all they want. Jodie’s shots speak for themselves.”
If you’re like us, you saw the name of the NCAA nightly stud and thought, “Who is this Meeks guy?” Well, here’s some things we should all get to know about the most legitimate single-game college output since Kevin Durant was still wearing orange.
Meeks is averaging more than 24 points-per-game this season, which means we probably should have known about him already.
He was on the 2007 All-SEC Freshman Team and All-America Freshman Team (so we really should have known about him)
He’s from Norcross Georgia (how did he possibly not end up at Georgia Tech?)
Meek’s 24 ppg (before Tuesday’s avalanche) were a stunning improvement from his prior seasons, when he averaged 8 ppg … despite playing fewer than 10 minutes less per game.
While the 54 points were beyond what anyone could have expected, these big busts aren’t unanticipated; he dropped 46 on Louisville at Freedom Hall back on December 20. Guess he really likes playing on the road.
Here are the highlights from Meeks’ absurd performance. Grab your popcorn, you don’t want to miss any of it.
The best part about Meeks? His demeanor actually matches his name. There was no jersey-popping after his big night, just honest answers. When asked why his performance was so special, he just dropped this gem: “We just never won here before.” Priceless.
If Kevin Garnett thinks Paul Pierce is Superman, what does that make LeBron James? We ask because LeBron’s triple-doubles have become almost matter-of-fact, with last night’s triple-double — it was just another workmanlike 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — in Cleveland’s 102-87 win in Memphis almost seemed like an afterthought. With the Grizzlies on the schedule, you actually expected LeBron to drop a triple-double with at least 30 points.
The most amazing thing is that the points and rebounds weren’t even the most impressive part about LeBron’s night. No, that would be his defense, which included an early block that clearly set the tone for Cleveland’s defensive pressure.
Then there are plays like this, which really just aren’t fair.
It’s almost impossible to think about just how significant a cultural factor LeBron will be if the Cavaliers somehow win the title. He’s on the cover of this month’s edition of GQ. He makes his own commercials for Nike. Heck, he’s making the city of Cleveland relevant. That’s astounding in itself.
In fact, LeBron is already such a household name, and his cultural morays thereby tacitly acceptable, that he may subtly do for tattoos what Michael Jordan did for baggy shorts. Think about it. BronBron sports nearly full-sleeve tattoos on both arms, with images swirling into one another. He’s added to his tat collection each season, and it almost seems like a matter of time before the shirts with all of his tattoos start flying off the shelves (remember the Iverson edition back in the day?). By 2020, don’t be surprised if 75 percent of the people you know are sporting tats of some kind, and a lot of that may be due to LeBron, whether we want to admit it or not.
That seems like a good idea. After all, a sports book is definitely the place to catch all the first and second round action. And all of this would be well and good except, as FANHOUSE delicately points out, for the fact that the NCAA absolutely, positively does not condone gambling on its games.
That’s right folks, FOX SPORTS is openly thumbing its nose at the NCAA, taking a preeminent coach and a recently deposed preeminent broadcaster and having them talk about the tournament from the very site that the NCAA wants to believe won’t touch the games themselves. It’s a little like holding a dieting workshop at the entryway to a Twinkies factory. Sure, Packer and Knight may not talk about the gambling lines, but they’ll be surrounded by them. You might even be able to see them scrawl across the backdrop behind their set.
Just one more incident that proves the NCAA has much less power than it thinks it does. That and that alone should at least give the rest of us hope that eventually we’ll get that football playoff, by hook or crook (smart money’s on crook, sad as it may be).
Will the last person not named Bill Belichick on the New England coach staff or front office please turn off the lights? We know that Billy-B sleeps on a cot already.
If there was any question that Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo is headed to Real Madrid this summer, doubters should consider this: His agent is already copyrighting “CR9“, meaning his next number is probably “9″.
(get ready to see this a lot next year, Yanks fans)
It makes perfect sense. Manny is from New York City and grew up literally within a mile or so of Yankee Stadium. Manny also cares about placating Red Sox fans possibly less than anyone who has ever played in Boston (and you thought Sawx fans were mad about Johnny Damon going to the Bronx). Manny’s also the kind of guy who would probably go play in Kazakhstan if they offered him the most money, so if the Yankees offer the most cash he almost certainly will go there. The DAILY NEWS claims that Hank Steinbrenner is pushing for Manny, while Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman aren’t entirely sold on the idea. Stay tuned.
Joe Johnson bricked a free throw with three seconds left last night, and the Celtics did something they couldn’t do in last year’s playoffs – win in Atlanta. Boston won its 16th consecutive game with an 88-85 victory over the Hawks. At this point, I think it’s legitimate to start considering the C’s a potential 70-win team. They’re 24-2 now, and are not entirely reliant on the “big three.” Guys like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are turning into legitimate players, and they just don’t seem to have any major weaknesses (well, there is Ray Allen’s defense).
In another big game, the Hornets went on a late 13-0 run and beat the Spurs 90-83 in New Orleans. Chris Paul set an NBA record by recording a steal in his 106th-straight game. And LeBron James got a standing ovation last night for his 32-point performance…in Minnesota. That’s how desperate T-Wolves fans are to cheer for something. It must warm Kevin McHale’s heart. The Cavs won the game 93-70 to improve to 21-4.
Now it’s time for you to guess how many links I’ll be providing you now — without going over (don’t be that guy who bids $1):
• I know this is a sports blog, but we need to talk about The Price Is Right for a second. On Tuesday, a guy got the price of his showcase exactly right. This has only happened one other time in this history of the show, back in the early ’70s (the exact date isn’t known). But the big shock in all of this is that Drew Carey reacted to this unbelievable achievement as if the dog he just had neutered was hit by a car:
So what’s the real story here? Well, it seems that there was a ringer in the audience. Apparently, there are people so obsessed with TPIR that they memorize the prices of anything and everything that could be on the show (and I guess some prizes are repeated), and one of those people just happened to be in the audience and shouted out the exact price of the showcase, which Terry used as his bid (Terry also got his one-bid item right on the nose earlier in the show, presumably with the help of the mystery man). And the guy has been found. His name is Ted. After Terry’s bid (but before Drew revealed the actual answers), suspicious producers stopped the taping and met for what is rumored to be as long as 30 minutes to decide what to do, but then realized that no rule had really been broken (people are allowed to shout suggestions from the audience). But Drew knew exactly what was going on, and thus didn’t even pretend to be excited when he announced the winning bid. I feel bad for the other lady, who was only $400 off. Tough break.
• CBS2 in L.A. brings us sad news. MMA fighter Justin Levens and his wife were found shot to death in a Southern California condo yesterday. Levens had a 9-8 professional record, and had fought for various brands, including UFC. One of his losses was to Evan Tanner, who died earlier this year when he ventured out into the desert alone and ran out of water.
• Scott Shafer resigned as defensive coordinator at Michigan after one season, and blamed the “demise” of the program on himself. No, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the horrible offense. The DETROIT NEWS has the full story.
• More unfortunate news, as former Astros and Cubs closer Dave Smith died yesterday at the age of 53. Smith is Houston’s career save leader with 199. FAN HOUSE points out that Smith will most be remembered for giving up a walk-off homer to Lenny Dykstra in the 1986 NLCS, but Smith was an excellent pitcher. His career 2.67 ERA was well below the league average for relievers during his career.
The USA men’s basketball team had been averaging 118 points in its first three exhibition games, in Sunday’s victory however the Americans only put up 103 points in their exhibition with Russia. Seventeen of those American points were actually scored on the Russian side thanks to traitor point guard J.R. Holden.
Just like Becky Hammon, Holden is going for Olympic Gold as an American playing for the Russian National team. The native of Wilkinsburgh, PA has been playing in Europe since graduating from Bucknell in 1998, and in Russia as a member of CSKA Moscow for the last eight years. Holden, who is the first American to play for the Russian national team and can’t speak or read the language, reached superstar status in Russia when he drained the winning shot in the finals of Eurobasket 2007 against Spain to give his team (notice we didn’t say homeland) the championship.
In honor of the X Games, MAXIM brings us the 8 Hottest Girls of Action Sports. Sadly, most of them are not participating in the actual X Games, but feel free to include them in on your X Games fantasy teams.
Josh Howard is arrested for driving 40 miles per hour over the speed limit and THE BIG LEAD is all over it.
Team USA’s beating of Lithuania was capped off by Dwayne Wade’s windmill dunk off an alley-oop from Chris Paul. Video courtesy of INTENTIONAL FOUL after the jump.