We Are All Revisionists: Magic Admits Teaming Up

Tuesday Magic Johnson told Bloomberg News he would’ve never teamed up with other star NBA players the way LeBron James elected to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat:

Magic and LeBron

Magic: “We didn’t think about it ’cause that’s not what we were about. From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.

Unfortunately for Johnson, newspaper archives exist. Specifically, the June 5, 1991, edition of the LOS ANGELES TIMES in which Johnson essentially admitted to doing exactly what James recently did. Read more…

The BBC’s Basketball Announcers Are ADORABLE

Okay, we realize we made this point recently, but it needs to be reiterated (especially since new s**t has come to light, man): We love England. Yesterday, it was the MMA fighters in drag taking out a couple drunk idiots on the street.

British NBA logo
(This took way too long to make.)

Today, though, it’s British people trying to call a basketball game. Emphasis on “trying.” Apparently, the BBC just trotted out Mark Pougatch and Colin Murray, two reporters without much of a clue about what happens in basketball games, and let them work their way through it. It’s delightful, and the sort of thing that only British people (see: the film careers of Hugh Grant and Jude Law) can get away with without looking completely stupid. Video is after the break.

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Week In Review: Cowboys Can’t Pick Any Winners

• The new Cowboys Stadium opens with a couple of embarrassing picks, courtesy of Tony Romo & Jerry Jones.

Tony Romo Jerry Jones nose pick

• Well, at least the fans had fun inside the new digs in Dallas - unless you had a “party pass” but weren’t allowed in.

• An angry Oregon fan wants his travel expenses back after watching the Ducks get plucked in Boise. So UO coach Chip Kelly sends him a check.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. delivers a verbal beatdown to Max Kellerman during Floyd’s post-fight interview.

• This week’s sports Twitter craziness comes courtesy Redskins LB Robert Henson, Larry Fitzgerald’s younger brother Marcus, and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema.

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Plaxico’s First Night In Jail Could Have Gone Better

• How did Plaxico Burress’ first night behind bars go? Fine - if you discount the other inmate taunts of “A**hole!” & “The Giants suck!

Plaxico Burress courtroom

• Washington State RB James Montgomery underwent surgery on his injured knee last Sunday. And doctors soon learned that it was a good thing James didn’t delay - or he might have died.

• Could the Nets’ new owner have LeBron Russian to New Jersey?

Perez Hilton posts his doubts about whether Lamar Odom & Khloe Kardashian will actually tie the knot.

Evander Holyfield has the bright idea to turn his Georgia mansion into a solar power plant.

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One Man’s Inspirational Quest To Meet Larry Bird

You might not think it worth your time to read a very long blog post about meeting an NBA executive, but before you judge the story linked below, there’s a couple of things you should know. First, the executive in question is Larry Bird, President of Basketball Operations for the Pacers. Second, it’s a pretty touching account of a son’s gift to his father.

When you look up ***hole in the dictionary, many times the entry will be accompanied by the picture of a pro athlete. And the bigger they are, often the more unsavory than can become. But one man had a dream: To get his father, who is suffering from a heart ailment, a meet-n-greet with Basketball Jesus. This is the story of that unlikely quest.

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5 Questions I Would Ask The Elias Sports Bureau

Yes, round-number-list-posts are generally stupid, but we chose 5 because if we didn’t stop there, this would go to about 6,000. We’re nerds, and we’re going to let the nerd flag fly high for a bit.

If you’ve been watching ESPN over the last couple decades or so, you’ve probably noticed that whenever they’ve got an obscure stat up like Angel Pagan is 4-22 against lefties with a 1-2 count and runners in scoring position,” it’s always courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau. Apparently, they’re like black belt superninjas at Microsoft Excel or something.

Nerd Surfs on SbB
(Looking good, Elias.)

Unfortunately - near as we can tell - they don’t provide the service free to fans, and there’s nowhere to submit questions on their website. So in lieu of getting these questions asked (and we’re pretty sure there’s nowhere to find the answers on Google), we’ll just pose them here, because, well, we’ve always wanted to know.

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NBA Exec Back With More Mildly Interesting Tales

Along with being the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams is also an author who has written a lot of books. And I mean a lot of books. We’re talking Stephen King territory here, where it’s less a hobby or even a career, and more of an addiction. Williams’ Wikipedia entry shows that he’s written 54 books, but I suspect that people have just given up on counting.

Pat Williams

(My favorite book:  “Rekindled/Keep the Fire Glowing,” written with his wife Jill back in 1985. I’d call it a bit dubious to take advice from them, since the two divorced in 1995.)

He has a new book out called “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball” which features 101 stories from players, coaches and fans that are supposed to be motivational or inspiring. The BOSTON GLOBE has one such “motivational” story from ex-Magic ballboy Bobby Williams about being challenged to a game of H-O-R-S-E (an old version of the popular game G-E-I-C-O) by Larry Bird:

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New Book: “People Thought Larry Bird Was Black”

CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis has a new book out about the 1979 NCAA basketball title game between Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans and Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores called “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball.” I noticed one detail in a story on it in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL that had me scratching my head. In the book, Davis claims that before Indiana State’s nationally televised home finale against Wichita State, “many people thought Bird was black.”

Larry Bird t-shirt

(I’m pretty sure he’s white.)

You can imagine that I was pretty skeptical of Davis’ claim. Then I read a quote:

“All the next week I got lots of calls from my friends back in Denver who saw the game,” said Bob Heaton, Bird’s roommate and teammate. “They couldn’t believe Larry Bird was a white guy.”

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Speed Read: McAllister’s Car Dealership A Lemon

You have to feel bad for Deuce McAllister. The two-time Pro Bowler who might be the greatest running back in New Orleans Saints history (sorry, Dalton Hilliard) was cut by the team a few weeks ago, a victim of the salary cap and the Saints’ continued belief that Reggie Bush is an every down back.

Deuce McAllister

And it appears that McAllister is a victim of harsh economic realities in more ways than one. It seems that Deuce has several business interests, including Deuce McAllister Nissan in Jackson, Mississippi. As you might have heard, the US auto market is in freefall mode, and McAllister’s dealership is no exception: The JACKSON CLARION-LEDGER is reporting the dealership is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as Nissan is looking to recover almost $7 million owed to them.

Deuce McAllister Nissan

How badly have sales slumped? Deuce McAllister Nissan sold 107 cars in February 2008. Last month they sold 28. And these are Nissans, cars that people actually want, not Fords or Chevys. McAllister was also a victim of bad timing, as he expanded the dealership just as the market tanked.

Not only does Nissan say McAllister’s dealership owes him $6.9 million, but they also claim that it exceeded its credit limit by more than $1.6 million. Which makes me wonder - shouldn’t someone at Nissan have done something when the dealership exceeded it’s credit line by, oh, say, $1 million? If I am one day late with a credit card payment, I’m getting hounded by phone calls.

Matt Vasgersian

Meanwhile, Matt Vasgersian’s potty mouth has gotten him into trouble again. Back in 2007 while working as the play-by-play voice for the Padres, he was caught making a (what he thought was off-air) expletive-laden tirade against St. Louis Cardinals fans and the city. Matt’s now the main studio host for the MLB Network, and as SHARAPOVA’S THIGH says, last night he had a slightly unprofessional (and NSFW) reaction to confusing Fernando Valenzuela and Fernando Vina:

If this is going to be what the MLB Network is all about, I might be more inclined to tune in. More swearing, less replays of Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, please.

Finally, the BBC says that a man has been arrested and charged with breaking into Manchester United player Darren Fletcher’s home and threatening his fiancee at knifepoint. Here’s the frightening part: this is believed to be the 14th soccer player from Manchester and the Merseyside area who has been attacked in the past three years. No wonder Cristiano Ronaldo was so eager to leave.

More sports stories to read while you wait for cops to arrive to handle the emergency of your missing McNuggets:

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Rick Pitino’s Wife Thinks Quick, Saves Man’s Life

No idea if Joanne Pitino acquired her CPR skills from a Matt Leinart- sponsored American Red Cross event, but the wife of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is a hero after saving the life of a passenger who suffered a heart attack during a recent flight.

Matt Leinart CPR

From the BOSTON HERALD’S INSIDE TRACK:

Our spies in the sky say Mrs. P helped administer CPR and assisted with the oxygen mask after the man sitting next to her collapsed. The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and the passenger made a full recovery!

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