Kevin Love The Best Big Man In The NBA? WAT?

As I was tooling around Los Angeles this, former longtime NBA post player and current Laker announcer Mychal Thompson said something on KSPN-AM that blew my mind.

Kevin Love Statistics Don't Lie

(If you’re going by stats, sure looks like it)

During his weekday L.A. Sports Live show with co-Host Andrew Siciliano, Thompson wondered aloud, “is Kevin Love the best American big man in the game?

Thompson cited Spain’s Pau Gasol as the best overall post player in the NBA, but after that, he gave every indication that he thought Love was number-two amongst paint purveyors.

Kevin Love Statistics Don't Lie

(Pts/Reb/Asst) / Rebounds per 48 min)

Ahead of Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire and anyone else you can name.

Kevin Love Best Big Man In The NBA Stats

(Efficiency / Double-Doubles)

As amazing as it may seem, if you were to make the call solely on statistics, Thompson is, somehow, right.
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Jeanie Buss Thinks PhilJax Will Linger With Lakers

I don’t particularly buy into the Phil Jackson-as-Coaching-God theory — when you’re blessed with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and a young Shaquille O’Neal, probably the top three players of this generation, you had better win 10 NBA titles. So whether or not he stays with the Lakers holds no special interest for me. Others, as I understand it, care a whole lot.

Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss

That would include Lakers vice president Jeanie Buss, who happens to be Jackson’s longtime girlfriend. With former Lakers assistant and Jackson protege Kurt Rambis headed to the Timberwolves, Buss made a somewhat surprising observation recently on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles: Rambis’ departure could mean that Jackson could stick around in LA longer than anticipated. Read more…

Week In Review: Laker Fans’ Celebration is a Riot

• The Lakers win the NBA title, and many Angelenos celebrate accordingly - if “Angeleno” is Spanish for “a$$hole“.

Lakers fan riot

• Baseball phenom Bryce Harper don’t need no education, plans to skip final two years of high school to become eligible for next year’s MLB draft.

• Posing for a new photoshoot, Anna Kournikova shows she’s still A-OK.

• “Joe Buck Live” makes its long-awaited(?) debut, and Artie Lange insures that it’s a memorable one.

• The mom of porn star Catalina Cruz used to work as a secretary for former Cleveland Browns coach Sam Rutigliano.

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McHale’s Move From Minny Tweeted With By Love

Kevin Love is the first one to tell, er, Tweet the world that Kevin McHale would be leaving the Timberwolves.

Kevin McHale Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves

• Now that’s what you call a road test fiesta! Thanks, Top Gear!

• Could Coach K depart Duke to land as head honcho for the Lakers?

Eddie Van Halen is very hot at Nike for ripping off his guitar to design their new shoes.

• The Stanley Cup takes a dip in Mario Lemieux’s pool.

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Speed Read: Love Tweets About McHale Leaving

You know that we’ve really gone through the looking glass when Kevin Love is breaking big NBA news via Twitter. That’s what happened just a few hours ago, as Love Tweeted us all that Kevin McHale will not be returning to the Timberwolves next season.

Kevin McHale Kevin Love

From Love’s Twitter feed, your finest source for breaking NBA news: “Today is a sad day … Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach this season.” As of this writing, however, the report has not been confirmed by the Timberwolves.

More from Love on Twitter:

P.S. I am not a breaking news guy…I had no idea no one knew..I’ll tell them I stayed at a holiday inn express last night. Always works…. about 6 hours ago

And from The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE:

Upon seeing the posting, a person in the league was told McHale sent a text message to Love indicating he was not coming back. The person requested anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

New team president David Kahn and a Timberwolves spokesman did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

McHale and Love grew very close during the rookie’s first season in Minnesota, especially after McHale left his front office position to take over as coach in December.

During a breakfast with media members on Monday, Kahn said no decision had been made and he hoped to meet with McHale again this week.

Now on to the wacky world of baseball. To prove what kind of a game we’re dealing with, both Willy Taveras (0-for-his-past-32) and Chipper Jones (0-for-21) got hits for the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday against Cincinnati. But it was the Reds’ Killer Rain Delay Tarpaulin of Doom which stole the show. When it was all over, there were two lengthy rain delays, one very embarrassed groundskeeper and a 7-2 Cincinnati victory.

Reds killer tarp

The unfortunate lass above being swallowed by the tarp is Robin Habisch, whose colleagues have evidently never heard of the Army motto “No man left behind.” Attempting to roll out the tarp during heavy rain and wind during the top of the third, the grounds crew finally got the upper hand, only to have Habisch disappear underneath the fabric.

She groped around underneath, burrowing Bugs Bunny-like, until at last finding freedom. This all delighted Brandon Phillips, who mocked her relentlessly in the dugout afterward. And she even got interviewed by FSN.

Heavy rain resulted in the 1-hour, 54-minute delay in the top of the third inning. A member of the grounds crew lost her footing as she helped drag the tarp over the infield, leaving her trapped briefly. She got to her feet and found her way out unharmed, receiving an ovation from the 19,127 wet fans.

Crew chief Joe West herded the teams back onto the field with a steady rain falling and sections of the warning track submerged. Only two outs later, the rain turned back into a downpour, resulting in another delay of 21 minutes.

Laynce Nix drove in three runs with a groundout and a pair of doubles and Phillips had three hits, as the Reds ended a four-game losing streak.

And now from the land of personalized jerseys we get this Cardinals head-scratcher, which may be a reference to a St. Louis icon with whom I’m unaware (”Come on, catcher Pickles Dillhoefer, the Ghost Man! Jeez!”). But more likely, as pointed out by JOE SPORTS FAN, “Ghost Man” represents that imaginary runner used in pickup games when you’ve only got three or four players per team (also popular in Wiffle Ball).

Ghost Man

But why would anyone want to be Ghost Man? That guy sucked … he usually got on base with a single, which is lame when there’s only three fielders. Then, if you played by the same rules that I did, he advanced only one base per hit; two for a double, three for a triple — the Steve Balboni of pinch runners. So if he’s on second and you single cleanly to right, he’s too slow to score. Nice use of $300.

Other stories to ponder after figuring out exactly how many helium balloons it would actually take to lift your house

• New Zealand golf officials are experimenting with shortening official rounds to nine holes. This is met by cheers from everyone except caddies.

• It wasn’t a good day for Arkansas TV reporter Mike Irwin, who was trying to do a live remote from the CWS in Omaha when fan pandemonium broke out (below). Instead of rolling with it, though, Mike got pissed, and called for security. Why would I imagine that this is exactly how Joe Buck would have handled it?

• It goes to 11, and stops: Gabe Kapler’s four RBIs help the Rays end the Rockies’ 11-game winning streak.

• Speake High of Danville won the Alabama 1A softball title on Tuesday, days before the school is scheduled to close forever. Take that, downsizing.

• Delicious Pudge, anyone? Houston’s Ivan Rodriguez ties the MLB record for games played at catcher, at 2,226. Carlton Fisk immediately announces unretirement.

Speed Read: Donte’ Stallworth Reaches DUI Deal

Sometimes, all you can ask for is closure. Not revenge or punishment or the eye for the proverbial eye; just enough to begin the healing process.

Donte Stallworth

And so, according to the MIAMI HERALD, the family of Mario Reyes, the man Donte’ Stallworth stands accused of killing in a March DUI accident, have been described by prosecutors as “the primary force” in a plea deal that is expected to be accepted today. And rather than spending years and years in prison, Stallworth may only have a short jail stay:

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian on the MacArthur Causeway in March, The Miami Herald has learned.

Stallworth’s attorney, Christopher Lyons, confirmed that the case was expected to be resolved Tuesday in court. Lyons declined to detail terms of the plea, which are not yet public.

While this is good news for Stallworth and his family, it doesn’t mean his NFL career is back in play; even after the jail stay imposed by the judge, Stallworth will still have to be reinstated by the notoriously unsympathetic Roger Goodell.  This will be a remarkably tough decision for the commissioner; no matter what length of suspension he decides on, it’s still going to be met by (not entirely unreasonable) protests of “Oh, so that’s how many games a human life is worth?”

But all the same, the person who’s really going to be haunted by the specter of death here is Stallworth, not Goodell. That he, even accidentally, killed a fellow man is a fact that will saddle him long after he’s gone from the league.

*UPDATE*: Stallworth gets sentenced to 30 days in jail & two years of house arrest.

Okay, we need a fun story after all that. So, as we warned you earlier, Joe Buck’s talk show career just started last night. And, judging by what AWFUL ANNOUNCING found, it may have ended last night too.

Joe Buck

The milquetoast play-by-play announcer for FOX had put together a decent, meh-but-not-terrible first episode, with appearances by Brett Favre (more on him later), Michael Irvin, Chad Ochocinco, and other famous members of the sports world. And then to close it out, he had on longtime friend Paul Rudd, a practically non-existent Jason Sudeikis, and, inexplicably, Artie Lange.

The audio is ludicrously NSFW, but if you’ve got earphones and/or a door to your office, you’ll want to check out Lange single-handedly derailing the show:

And then yes, Favre. Favre Favre Favre. He was the first guest on the show, and allowed make unironic claims like he’s not looking for attention. While he’s on, y’know, a nationally televised talk show. And to his credit, the fact that this is his first public appearance while ESPN has hammered coverage of his dalliance with Vikings management into viewers’ brains (we think Ed Werder’s been tasked with rifling through the trash down at Favre’s ranch in Mississippi) should be noted. That said, this happens every damn year, and it’s so tiresome. Here we are in June, with training camps underway. Teams want to have their summer rosters in place. So is Favre going to play this year? “Maybe.”

Brett Favre Vikings
(Here we go again.)

Also, the fact that Favre’s first public comments aren’t to ESPN should be noted as well. So rather than think of Favre as a caricature of an attention whore or drama queen or whatever, perhaps it’s best to - yes, we know this is neither fun nor easy - recognize the shades of gray and think that while he knows how easy it is to attract attention after spending two decades in the spotlight,  part of him actually is a country-bred bumpkin from Mississippi who would play football forever if he could.

But then again, we don’t know where the annual retirement charade fits into either side. And how many years in a row is this? Eight? C’mon, man.

Here are more stories to consider as you mourn Shawn Johnson’s euthanization

  • Look, this is clearly not the appropriate forum to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Iran. We’re not nearly qualified enough to comment on it, and that’s not what you’re here to read anyway. That said, if you’re wanting to find out more about watching the seeds of revolution occur in real-time, Andrew Sullivan’s blog is a good place to start. So why even bring it up? Only for the most epic picture in tOSU history, via 11W (click here for higher res, pops):

Tehran Buckeye
(Your move, Michigan.)

What else is Joe Morgan lying about?

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Utah Paper Searches For the Mythical White NBAer

The white, non-European NBA player: Perhaps the rarest of all sports figures, this creature is considered by some to be mythical, by others to be extinct. But the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE did some research and found that they are neither fictional beings nor have they been wiped off the face of the Earth. They just tend to reside in Middle Earth Indianapolis.

JJ Reddick drives on Kevin Love

After crunching the numbers, the paper found that there are 46 white Americans out of 432 players on current NBA rosters, about 1.5 per team. Which makes sense - anyone who watches the Lakers would could Chris Mihm as half a player.

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NBA Rookies Auctioning Off Jerseys For Charity

In a story that won’t garner one tenth the attention that the Suns’ and Rockets’ awkward Greco-Roman gropefest “brawl” did, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love is spearheading a charity effort to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital, the largest hospital system for catastrophic childhood illness in America. Their weapon of choice: autographed jerseys.

Joe Alexander jersey
(The perfect gift, especially if the recipient is named Alexander.)

The Rookie Relief For St. Jude’s program has auctions open until November 20 on jerseys for almost all of the 1st rounders from this year’s draft (Russell Westbrook and D.J. White are still unaccounted for, probably because they hate sick children), plus several former 1st-overall picks and a handful of other veterans.

Even better, Love will match all donations up to a total of $12,500. So those of you with a kind enough heart to be regular donors to St. Jude’s will see your money go farther - in addition to owning a nice jersey that a very tall man has scribbled on.

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Review: Sklars’ Topps Web Series Far From Mint

The reviews are in for Topps’ new Web series Back on Topps, starring Randy and Jason Sklar. OK, “review,” but it’s a Web series - what did you expect, Roger Ebert? Unfortunately, AD AGE isn’t being too kind, calling the Sklar Brothers “dopey” and saying the whole thing seems like a “sad imitator” of shows like Arrested Development. Is this the Waterworld of promotional Web series?

Back on Topps

The premise? The Sklars play Leyland and Leif Topps, who find out that their uncle has sold the company business to a corporate conglomerate owned by Michael Eisner. They struggle to keep the mission of Topps cards afloat as the mean penny-pinching executive plots their downfall. Also, there’s a stalker. And sports cameos by Andre Ethier, Russell Martin and Kevin Love. So basically, whatever B-list athletes happened to be hanging around in LA that day and were down for getting a free lunch.

Is it any good? Check out an episode for yourself after the jump:

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Blog Jam: Sexy Surf Babes Riding Waves In Rio

• The ASP women’s pro surfing tournament is in Rio this week, and STEADY BURN washes up some sexy shots of the boarding babes, such as the marvelous Megan Abubo:

Megan Abubo

• BREWERS BLOG boo-hoos news that Corey Hart is not happy hearing all the malcontents at Miller Park.

• The L.A. TIMES shoot up word that former UCLA star Kevin Love would like nothing better than to dunk on Tyler Hansbrough.

• WITH LEATHER tries to figure out which GQ get-up best suits Brett Favre.

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