Speed Read: Rumor Mill Heats Up Valley Of Sun

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.

Shaquille O'Neal

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.

Anquan Boldin

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?

Julian James

“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.
  • Miss America with the Pacers

  • 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.
  • Congratulations to Ichiro, who the SEATTLE TIMES reports set the record for most hits by a Japanese baseball player with a fourth inning single, giving him 3,086 for his career in Japan and the U.S. So that’s what was causing his bleeding ulcer.
  • 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 Carcillo has 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.
  • In the wake of Nick Adenhart’s tragic death and with the Angels’ nearly tragic bus crash from 1992 still on longtime team fans’ minds, HALOS HEAVEN looks at MLB’s contingency plans in case of a catastrophic accident that wipes out a team. George Costanza can rest easy tonight.
  • 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!
  • Remember when the Cavs fans got on LeBron James’ case when he dribbled out the ball with the team needing one more point to ensure fans a free Taco Bell item? The CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says King James was still ticked about Chalupagate as he addressed the fans before the team’s home finale.
  • If I am Kurt Busch and my NASCAR career has stalled, the one person I wouldn’t be yelling at during a race is his car owner, racing legend Roger Penske. FROM THE MARBLES agrees, and has the audio and video proof (about 55 seconds in):

  • 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.

With Stephen A. Smith out the door, which ESPN talking head should be the next to get the ax?

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Speed Read: Clippers Beat Celtics, Panic Ensues

I’m not going to suggest that the Boston Celtics weren’t completely focused last night, but…for God’s sake, they lost to the freakin’ Los Angeles Clippers! I know that they were without Kevin Garnett, and then Paul Pierce dislocated his thumb in the third quarter. And I know that the axiom that there are no easy road games in the NBA.

Zach Randolph

Except when you are playing the Los Angeles Clippers - I don’t care where you play them or what the circumstances are, that should be an “easy game” for any team. If they can’t beat the Clippers, then I guess we can eliminate the Celtics as legitimate NBA Finals contenders. We might as well go ahead and crown the Lakers…

Clippers vs Celtics

…who lost to Sacramento earlier this year, who actually somehow have managed to be worse this season than the Clippers. OK then, how about the Cavaliers?  What, they lost to Washington earlier this season? We’re going to wind up with the Spurs as champions again, aren’t we. The point is: it was a really, really bad loss, but no worse than any other team has during the course of a season. Let’s not freak out to much about it yet.

Nothing against Nolan Smith, but doesn’t anyone who isn’t a Duke fan feel good about seeing a Blue Devil get laid out by a vicious screen? Maryland’s Dave Neal was the one delivering the shot, flooring Smith and causing Mike Krzyzewski to fume. Smith had to be helped off the court but didn’t appear to be seriously injured, allowing us to enjoy our little moment of schadenfreude:

Of course, as the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER points out, that screen might have been the worst thing that could have happened to the Terrapins, as Duke’s Gerald Henderson came out of the ensuing time out as a man on a mission, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the game’s final 15 minutes and change afterward. Or, it could just be that Duke is a much better team than possibly NIT-bound Maryland; either way, Duke won 78-67.

Indiana Hoosiers

Meanwhile, this is how bad it’s gotten for Indiana: they were swept by Northwestern. The Wildcats did what would have seemed improbable going into this season, breaking a 35-game losing streak at Indiana on Wednesday with a 75-53 victory. Then again, even with a young, inexperienced team, thinking that Indiana would be 6-21 overall or 1-14 in the Big Ten would have been pretty loopy before the season started.

More sports news as you fire up your NES and decide whether to play “Wrestle Jam” as Randy “The Ram” Robinson or The Ayatollah:

  • Remember those Powerade commercials that had LeBron James sinking one full-court shot after another to the amazement of a local reporter. After watching this pre-game video found by BALL DON’T LIE of King James swishing a more than half-court shot - underhanded- I’m starting to wonder how much editing trickery was used:

  • Congratulations to Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun for notching his 800th career victory, a 93-82 victory over Marquette. Go buy yourself something nice and extravagent, and make sure you send the receipt to that idiot writer.
  • Further proof that Alex Rodriguez just doesn’t get it: FOX SPORTS says that after hitting a home run in his first Spring Training game, he left the stadium in an SUV … with his cousin Yuri Sucart, the same cousin who was allegedly his steroid supplier.
  • Updating a story about 82-year-old former professional wrestling star Verne Gagne allegedly killing his assisted-living center roommate, the AP says a coroner in Minnesota has ruled the death a homicide.
  • REUTERS says Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy - pulled from the Olympic team after allegedly caving in another athlete’s face during a barroom brawl while celebrating making the team - will have to wait another month to learn his fate.
  • I know it’s from the Celebrity Game during All-Star Weekend, so it’s a little bit old, but seeing ESPN’s Jon Barry bite this hard on the old Harlem Globetrotters “Confetti in the Bucket” trick is worth it. Didn’t he ever watch the Globetrotters on “Wide World of Sports” as a kid?:

  • Another day, another investment scam impacting sports. This time NEWSDAY reports that two former New York Islanders executives have been arrested and charged with “with misappropriating more than $500 million in client investments, including tens of millions allegedly taken for things like expensive stallions and pricey Teddy bears.”
  • More news in the slow, inevitable slog towards Manny Ramirez finally signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers:  the LA TIMES reports that the team has made him a two-year, $45 million offer that he could respond to as early as today.
  • CANES COUNTRY has another sign that either newspapers are dying or economy is falling through a well (or both): the News & Observer has decided to not send reporters to Carolina Hurricanes away games, likely for the rest of the season and possibly beyond.
  • The PALM BEACH POST reports that Michael Jordan and his 30-year-old paramour, Cuban model Yvette Prieto, are moving in together in a house in suburban Miami. Michael: if you find Charlie Sheen coming out of your house at odd hours of the night, you have bigger things to worry about than your underwear.
  • Yvette Prieto and Michael Jordan

Other than Indiana, which former big-time college basketball program has fallen the farthest this season?

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Keep Bonds' Balls Out Of Court; A-Rod Cuz Found

• Lawyers ask not to bring up Barry Bonds’ testicles during testimony.

Barry Bonds smile thumbs up

A-Rod’s needle-happy unnamed cousin has finally been found.

Verne Gagne may have beaten his nursing home roommate to death.

• Penn State & Illinois were very offensive with their offense last night.

Read more…

Harlem Globetrotters About To Play Roof-ketball

Remember that idiot cousin of yours, the one who flunked out of trade school? Remember when you were growing up and you first realized what an idiot he was? It was when he tried to jump off the garage and dunk a basketball, then ended up breaking his ankle, wasn’t it? Plus he totally whiffed on the dunk.

Spectrum
(Photoshop, like story leak, courtesy of THE 700 LEVEL. I know, I thought it was a real picture too.)

But it turns out that your idiot cousin merely expressing something simple: basketball + roof = exciting! And to that end, according to THE 700 LEVEL, the Harlem Globetrotters will be playing a basketball game from the roof of the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia on March 3. Yes, the very same Spectrum that’s going to be torn down later this spring. Hey, just be thankful Oliver Miller’s not with them anymore, or that demolition would be starting midway through the first quarter.

Read more…

B-Ball Genius Shows Off Million-Dollar Bank Shots

CARPE CRUSTULUM bounces over video of a juggling juggernaut by the name of Tim Nolan. While he’s got great expertise in handling little rubber balls (go ahead, get your little juvenile jokes out of the way), it’s the numerous ways he can score nothing but net that’s really impressive:


We expect the Mavericks, Raptors, Rockets, Suns & Wizards to all offer Tim immediate contracts.

Or at least he could get a chance with the Washington Generals. It’s about time to fight fire with fire against those zany Harlem Globetrotters!

Somebody Forgot The Confetti Bucket At MSG

By now you’ve probably heard about the Knicks doing their Harlem Globetrotters imitiation last night:

During a timeout on the bench, Zach Randolph threw a cup of water on Nate Robinson. And Robinson replied with a flying towel.

How confetti escaped the altercation, we have no idea.

NBA Getting Little Carried Away With The PR Thing

Maybe it’s because we’ve seen too many Globetrotters games over the years, but the NBA touting Chris Paul’s four half court makes during All-Star weekend as setting a “World Record!” is a little much.

We’re not saying we could net a quartet from that distance in five-dozen tics, but surely there are many more (Reggie Miller, Jason Kapono, Meadowlark Lemon) who could crash Paul’s party with a quintet?

Happy Birthday To Jackie Robinson: Mad Baller

Jackie Robinson celebrates a birthday today, and BLACK FIVES has an enlightening piece on Robinson’s little-known, but extremely successful, basketball career.

Jackie Robinson Basketball

(Photo credit: BLACK FIVE)

Excerpt: “(Robinson was) A lightning dribbler and glue-fingered ball handler, his terrific speed makes it impossible for one man to hold him in check. Robinson was a tremendous leaper, who had set the collegiate broadjump record.

The baseball pioneer with the Brooklyn Dodgers was also described as one of the first players to use the dunk as a part of his typical repertoire. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Daniel Synder Is Al Davis Version 2.0

• SIGNAL TO NOISE believes Redskins owner Dan Snyder is the second coming of Al Davis.

Dan Snyder Al Davis

• Darren Rovell of CNBC bets how many times Peyton Manning’s name will be invoked at the Super Bowl.

• Meanwhile, BRAHSOME gambles on what tunes will be in Tom Petty’s halftime repetoire.

• BULLZ-EYE dribbles up a nice chat with Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters.

• WITH LEATHER gets an eyeful of Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner posing nude.

Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner poses nude

• AOL FANHOUSE learns Gilbert Arenas is a big fan of Will Leitch’s new book.

• Michael Smith of ESPN rings up some stories behind certain Super Bowl jewelry.

Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Pats’ “Super Bowl Shuffle” Rebuttal

• CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING digs up the Pats’ putrid rebuttal to the ‘85 Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle:

• ODENIZED discovers Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz can’t get any help moving.

• Meanwhile, POST GAME HEROES shows how the Pittsburgh Penguins purchase their BMWs - while acting rather badly.

• FAN IQ spots Dominique Wilkins as a slam dunk judge - for the NHL All-Star Game:

Dominique Wilkins NHL All-Star judge

• Racist comments aren’t just for LSU fans anymore, as SCOTT VAN PELT STYLE hears a female Tar Heels fan telling the Maryland Terps to “Go back to the ghetto!

Read more…