Last week L.A. Clippers General Manager Neil Olshey conspicuously blared to Ramona Shelburne of the ESPNLA.com that Blake Griffin would be a Clipper for life:
(Bold claim, eh? Too bad font isn’t. Or legible for that matter.)
“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper. If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me.
“Blake will continue to do what he’s doing. So will Eric Gordon and so will the rest of the All-Rookie players we’ve drafted over the years.
“When it comes time for him to be a free agent, we won’t be losing. We’re not losing now. We’re 10 out of 14 now with our All-Star center [Chris Kaman] sitting around in a suit. The future looks pretty good. The only question will be, in two or three years with Blake, is how much more we’ll be winning.”
Tempting fate? Apparently you didn’t see hall of fame Clippers Owner Donald Sterling’s recent copy change to his daily cut-and-paste Clippers ad in the print-only edition (of course!) of the Sunday LOS ANGELES TIMES.
The ad, which ran at the bottom of page 2 of the LA Times sports section, was its normal, bloodied-up hack job, except for one newly-inserted sentence shoehorned into the copy that read: Read more…
In less messy and horrific news, you may think the Home Run Derby is at best a pointless exhibition that tarnishes baseball by reducing it to its basest level (MASH BALL HARD) while ignoring the subtleties the make the game so enjoyable. You many even possibly consider it a major factor in the rise of the Steroid Era. Or, you might just enjoy seeing some of the game’s biggest names blast the living bejeezus out of the ball while drinking enough to ignore the infernal booth combo that is Chris Berman and Steve Phillips.
While last night’s edition at Busch Stadium didn’t have the transcendent moments of, say, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hitting rubber baseballs with Flubber cores out of Fenway Park, or Josh Hamilton hitting 500 home runs in one round, it was entertaining enough. And while the hometown crowd might have been disappointed with their hero Albert Pujols bowing out in the semifinals, they seemed to enjoy the show that Prince Fielder put on in winning the event.
Maybe the newly vegetarian Fielder was following Pujols’ lead from when the Cardinals slugger blew out the “i” in the “Big Mac Land” sign in the Busch Stadium outfield deck earlier this season - with his goal to bring the whole sign down to punish McDonald’s for their carnivore ways. No matter what the reason, Fielder had enough in the tank to hold off Nelson Cruz (again, I said “some” of the game’s biggest names) in the finals after bombing an event-best 503-foot blast in the semis.
And then there was poor Brandon Inge, who had been so excited to be a part of the Home Run Derby that he said it was bigger than actually making his first All-Star team. I’m guessing he didn’t feel the same way after becoming the first batter since Jason Bay in 2005 to take a donut in the first round - or as my friends used to call it, “Posting a Piazza” (named after Mike Piazza, who went 0-for-his career with blanks in 1993 and 1994).
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers might be ready to make a move that could either turn them into playoff contenders or…OK, let’s be honest, it’s not possible to ruin the Clippers, so what harm could come from Allen Iverson joining the team? Marcus Camby played with A.I. in Denver, and he’s on board with the idea, with PRO BASKETBALL NEWS saying that he’s willing to help recruit Iverson to the team. Even Eric Gordon is OK with it, even if that means losing playing time in a backcourt with Iverson and Baron Davis.
The one person not too hip on Allen Iverson right now in Los Angeles seems to be Ron Artest, whose opinion doesn’t matter too much since he’s now playing for the Lakers. Plus, he’s totally nuts. But his Tweet that Iverson is “missing more shots than Muhammad Ali with a sniper rifle” is pretty damned good.
Still, Iverson could provide the veteran leadership and role model that Blake Griffin could use as he establishes himself in the NBA - and he might be a force, based on his NBA Summer League debut of 27 points and 12 rebounds versus the Lakers yesterday. Except for that whole “practice” thing.
Hey kids, want to spend money to get football lessons from Andre Rison? After all, he told the ALTOONA MIRROR that he’ll spend the second day showing you his highlights so he can “really let them know, in my eyes, I was the best to ever play the game.” And parents, if you think Andre Rison is a good role model, I’m coming to your house with Child Protective Services.
I didn’t mention the Celebrity Softball game that was part of the MLB All-Star festivities. I’ll just show you the final out, where Ashanti managed to make the type of play to end the game that makes coed softball a nightmare for most guys. She should consider herself lucky that Bob Knight didn’t piledrive her at first:
David Beckham swears that his spat with Landon Donovanis a thing of the past as Golden Balls returns to practice with the Los Angeles Galaxy. In related news, Landon Donovan was found dead in his Home Depot Center dressing room, with a six-inch stilleto heel in his eyeball as Victoria Beckham was seen leaving.
The Chicago Blackhawks want to thank GM Dale Tallon for putting together a team that got to the Western Conference finals this season - by giving him a severance check and making sure the door doesn’t hit his butt on the way out the door. Reports says that assistant GM Stan Bowman will replace him.
Eric Gordon doesn’t play for Indiana anymore. In fact, he hardly played there at all (funny thing about the whole one-and-done college basketball trend). Still, now that he’s out of the picture, and now that the coach who brought him there, Kelvin Sampson, has been quite unceremoniously deposed, Gordon is opening up about exactly what ruined Indiana’s hopeful 2007-08 campaign: Drugs.
(No, Eric Gordon wasn’t high, he just looked like it after losing a tooth.)
That’s right, Indiana was rolling toward a Big Ten title, and then, well, it found marijuana. And acid. And, well, probably cocaine, too. Gordon doesn’t spill the specifics about which drugs players were using, or about who was using them. All he says in an interview with the INDIANAPOLIS STAR is that the drug usage was so widespread it left him so uncomfortable that he spent much of his time off the court at a family friend in Bloomington, just to get away from the rest of the team. The interview confirms what L. Jon Wertheim had previously written in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED back in early November, accusations that had since been shirked aside.
“There was a great college basketball game played Thursday night between the University of Illinois and Indiana University, but the game has been somewhat diminished by inappropriate behavior by a number of fans in attendance. We value the enthusiastic support of the sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall, but above all we take very seriously the reputation of our basketball program and the University of Illinois. The profanity and behavior by a small segment of fans Thursday night is disappointing and intolerable, and for that we apologize to fans of both teams.”
Missing: an actual apology to Gordon, who’s taken nothing but heat in Champaign-Urbana since he decided to go to Indiana. This is the second notable case of rowdy heckling getting what officials consider out of hand — note UCLA center Kevin Love’s encounter when he went back to his home state of Oregon and got verbally savaged by the crowd in the Pit.
DID INDIANA PHENOM PLAY JORDAN’S KID IN ‘SPACE JAM’?: Freshman phenom Eric Gordon should be used to looney situations while he plays at Indiana University. After all, he was in “Space Jam“:
CONSTRUDA lays up news that the Hoosier hoopster could possibly the same shooter that portrayed Michael Jordan’s son in the animated & live-action celluloid combo.Although there have been differing online opinions about the truth of the matter, the blog offers visual evidence of Eric Gordon from the film and from his high school yearbook:
If you try getting the truth from MJ himself, the new divorcee will probably give the cold shoulder. He wouldn’t be in the mood to talk about a kid who dropped 43 points on his real-life sons during a high school game.So, is the Gordon who bounced with Bugs Bunny now kicking it with Kelvin Sampson?
WIKIPEDIA says it’s a myth. So, there’s your final answer. It’s not like anyone can go to that site and write whatever they want.