Pistons Rookie Places Twitter Bet With Porn Star

• Detroit Pistons rookie DaJuan Summers places a Twitter bet with porn star Valerie Luxe: Whoever gets 4,000 followers first wins either dinner & a massage, or a trip to the water park.

Valerie Luxe DaJuan Summers

• Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mark Schlereth gets into a Twitter war with Chad Ochocinco.

• But neither guy would want to mess with J.R. Smith, especially if the Nuggets player is Tweeting like he’s a member of the Bloods.

Roger Mayweather - Floyd Jr.’s uncle & trainer - is accused of attacking & trying to strangle a female boxer.

• Browns WR Braylon Edwards poses with a bunch of alcohol. So all those drops were due to the D.T.’s?

Read more…

Why Tattoos Usually Aren’t Worth It, Vol. 598,214

Do you have a tattoo? Odds are that it’s stupid. No really, it’s stupid. You’re going to grow up and have kids and they’re going to ask why you drew a skull with fire coming out its eyeholes on your leg, and you’re not going to have an answer that doesn’t make you look even dumber than before.

Marcin Gortat Leg Thing
(Is it really “sticking it to the man” if you ink yourself with a corporate logo and the company doesn’t even pay you?)

And then there’s the financial aspect of it all. Yes, the worst tattoos from a “get a job” standpoint are still the face tattoo (what the hell, seriously people) and the cursive name on the side of your neck (you might as well have written “I have gone to jail on assault charges” there). But for an NBA player, corporate logos can be just as damaging to the prospect of making more money. Marcin Gortat, ye of the Jumpman leg tattoo, we’re looking right at you.

Read more…

Orlando Magic Now Just Throwing Money Away

The NBA is in financial trouble right now. We all know that, right? It’s not even a question, what with the salary cap already going down and threatening to plummet in 2010. The new figures, based on projections by David Stern and the league, are a salary cap around $50-54 million and $61-65 million for the luxury tax floor - anything above that line, and teams are paying a dollar-for-dollar tax to the league. In other words, it’s not financially advantageous to go very far over that figure; eventually you’re paying $8 million for a $4 million player.

Marcin Gortat the Destroyer
(”Hello! I’m here to wreck your financial future!”)

Why’s all this important? Because the Orlando Magic, already making head-scratching personnel decisions that involve questionably high-level salaries, have, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL, just matched the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet to restricted free agent Marcin Gortat. Gortat was poised for quite a payday coming out of the shadow of Dwight Howard, and the Mavericks made what looked like a prohibitively large bid of 5 years and $34 million.

In case you’re keeping score at home, that runs Orlando’s salary guarantees to… hang on, let’s crunch the numbers… Eleventy jerzillion dollars.

Read more…

Speed Read: O’s Rally From 9 Down To Top Sox

It’s been a rough decade for the Baltimore Orioles. The once proud franchise has long been third fiddle to the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East, but with the sudden rise of the Rays and the continuing competence of the Blue Jays, it’s hard to imagine a team that’s further away from being a contender in any division in baseball than the O’s.

Orioles celebrate

So it’s fitting that when the O’s finally did achieve something great, nobody was around to see it. Trailing 9-1 to Boston in the fifth inning last night at Camden Yards, the rain came and most of the crowd took off during a 79-minute delay. After resuming, the Sox added a 10th run in the top of the seventh inning before all heck broke loose. Baltimore scored five times in the bottom of the inning off of Justin Masterson. Then they added five more in the eighth that included a three-run pinch homer by Oscar Salazar, and capped off by a Nick Markakis double off of Jonathan Papelbon.

Hideki Okajima and Terry Francona

And just like that, history was made. George Sherrill shut the door on the Sox in the 9th and an epic meltdown was complete, sending the nine Baltimore fans in attendance into hysterics (while a few thousand Sox fans sat in stunned silence). Final score: Baltimore 11, Boston 10. It was the biggest comeback in the history of the Orioles franchise (which dates to when they moved there from St. Louis in 1954), and the biggest comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team in the history of the game. For Boston, it was the second-largest blown lead in their history (they choked away a 10-0 lead to Toronto in 1989).

The rally seemingly came out of nowhere, but perhaps we should’ve seen that the Sox didn’t exactly have their heads in it after the rain delay when the entire infield left the field in the bottom of the sixth inning…after recording the second out.

Red Sox leave field with 2 outs

(Fail)

July 1st is upon us, and that means NBA free-agent season is about to kick into gear. Today was the deadline for players with options to decide whether or not to honor their deals or look elsewhere. And with most NBA teams looking to slash payrolls, it’s no surprise that there aren’t a lot of people choosing to opt out. Kobe Bryant heads the list, but nobody really expected him to opt out.

Carlos Boozer, on the other hand, declared months ago that he would be on the open market come July. But a lot has changed since then. Detroit was the only team in position to offer Boozer a substantial deal, but they balked at offering a deal that would pay him more than the $12.7 million he’ll earn next season for sticking around Utah. Plus, Boozer’s really into going to Sundance and he wouldn’t be able to do that in Detroit.

Carlos Boozer

Boozer’s choice to exercise his option, and Mehmet Okur’s decision to do the same, has put the Jazz in a tough spot. They expect to lose Boozer after next season, and probably would’ve preferred if he bolted now. They’d like to sign youngster Paul Millsap to a long-term deal, and will now have to pay the luxury tax if they do so.

Meanwhile, Hedo Turkoglu is officially a free-agent, and while he’s garnering the most buzz, a lot of good players, such as Ron Artest, Jason Kidd, Ben Gordon, Andre Miller, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, and some guy named Allen Iverson could be had for the right price. Another guy on the market is Charlie Villanueva, who the Bucks declined to even make an offer to. TRUEHOOP says that’s a major indication that the economy is really taking its toll on the league. The Rockets are somewhat creepily taking a bit run at Marcin Gortat to replace Yao Ming for the time being, going as far as knocking on his door at 12:01 a.m. and setting up a Gmail account just for Gortat-based fanmail.

Marcin Gortat

(A future star, or a really well paid cheerleader?)

Speaking of Yao, people in China aren’t buying that he’s really all that hurt, suggesting that the Rockets are overstating his injury so that he’ll be cheaper to re-sign when his contract is up next year. But will Houston want him back? Regardless of whether or not he’s healed, China expects him to play in next summer’s World Championships, which could lead to further injury and basically stick the fork in him (if it hasn’t been already).

Yao's foot

(If Yao can’t run by next summer, he’s going to reinvent himself as Earl Boykins on wheels)

And now, without further adieu, let’s kick off July’s links with some bad goalkeeping, cheerleader car washes, and disembodied hair:

Chris Cooley is taking some time from showing everyone his wang to set fire to dead farm animals instead.

• On the plus side, this goalie showed some nice hops in saving this ball from going out of bounds. On the minus side, well, you’ll see (thanks to SPORTS RUBBISH):

• The ONLINE SPORTS GUYS has the story of Florida International’s cheerleaders — whose program was cut from the school’s athletic budget — trying to save their team the only way they know how: a giant car wash. Video goodness within.

FIU cheerleader carwash

• JOCK AND BALLS has 10 mullets we all know and love.

• Pacifiers featuring logos of NHL teams are being recalled because they cause a risk for choking. Surprisingly, neither the Bruins nor the Sharks are among the featured logos.

• Who has the NBA’s biggest payroll? Gotta be the Lakers or Celtics, right? No, actually, it’s New Orleans. And I’m sure that Wizards fans out there will be excited to learn that their team is #3 on the list.

• You’ve got just about three days left if you want to buy Magglio Ordonez’s hair in an Ebay auction.

Magglio Ordonez's hair

On second thought, that miiiiight be a dead puli.

• You want to edit some home video footage of Ty Cobb? Better respond to this Craigslist ad fast. He assures you that this is not a fake, because as we all know, people are always trying to pass around fraudulent Ty Cobb videos.

• The BIRMINGHAM NEWS has posted odds on which college football program will be the next to commit a major violation, courtesy of USBET.COM. #1 on the list? USC. Last on the list? The Australian Institute of Ethics.

• Penguins star Evgeni Malkin has a Conn Smythe Trophy, and now he’s cavorting somewhere warm with Oksana Kondakova, a model with creative tastes in bikini tops:

Oksana Kondakova

Looks like Malkin’s enjoying the off-season:

Oksana Kondakova and Evgeni Malkin

 

What does Yao Ming’s future hold?

View Results

Speed Read: Sox Spank Yanks Again At Fenway

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only June, but the folks in New York can’t be pleased that the Yankees dropped to 0-7 against the Red Sox this year with a 6-5 loss at Fenway last night. To put it in perspective, the last time this happened the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees. It was 1912, and the New York Highlanders (and here I thought there could only be one Highlander) were the ones who couldn’t buy a win against the Sox.

Red Sox spank Yankees

(This is about the only Red Sox spanking Yankee fans wouldn’t mind)

Even more worrisome for New York is the continued debacle that is Chien-Ming Wang. After giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, Wang now has a 21.61 ERA in five starts this year — the highest ERA through five starts for a pitcher in the freaking history of baseball. Joe Girardi seems exasperated as to what to do with Wang. They’ve already done the DL thing, and NEW YORK TIMES notes that he was hitting 95 on the gun last night, so it would be hard to argue that he’s hurt again.

Chien-Ming Wang

Mark Teixeira clearly isn’t the problem for the Yankees, as he went 4-for-5 with his league-leading 19th home run. But that doesn’t matter, since A-Rod is signaling to Tex where the catcher is setting up when he’s in the on-deck circle. What, you think that’s crazy talk that only some loose-cannon “analyst” who also thinks that George Clooney is “over there solving that thing” could come up with? Well, OK, you’d be right. AWFUL ANNOUNCING says Rick Sutcliffe has gotten into some hot water with the Yankee duo after accusing them of the pitch tipping on an ESPN broadcast with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

In any case, Boston has reclaimed a one-game lead in the AL East, which is remarkable considering they’ve gotten nothing out of David Ortiz, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been mostly a mess in his few starts, Josh Beckett just recently got his act together, they still don’t really have a shortstop, and this guy is milling around Fenway:

Red Sox Fans

Tim Floyd was pushed off a cliff by USC resigned from his position as head coach of USC yesterday in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal, and ESPN’s Andy Katz put together a column that lists all of the questions that are now left to be answered in the wake of this move. Katz theorizes, among other things, that Floyd might be USC’s sacrificial lamb in the NCAA’s investigation against the school’s football and basketball programs.

Tim Floyd and OJ Mayo

Floyd’s resignation comes in the wake of most of his team declaring that they wouldn’t be coming back anyway, for various reasons. Marcus Johnson jumped through all of the hoops to earn a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility, then suddenly decided to stay in the NBA draft, where he’s not expected to be picked. Daniel Hackett is even blowing off his senior season to also not get picked by an NBA team. Think they know something we don’t (yet) about where this program is heading, even with Floyd’s departure?

So now what for the Trojans? Would Jamie Dixon, who grew up in So Cal, be up for rebuilding the program? What about Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s? Rick Pitino? OK, now we’re just getting silly. Which means that Bobby Knight makes all sorts of sense.

Now, here are some things to read while Tom Brady waits to get rescued after flipping his kayak over:

HALOS HEAVEN has a huge break in the Nick Adenhart case, as toxicology reports show that Courtney Stewart, the 20-year-old driver of the car Adenhart was riding in, had a BAC of .016 at the time of her death. That’s twice the legal limit for an adult, and infinity times the limit for a 20-year-old (actually, California generously allows an underager to blow up to a .01 without consequence). ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY’s Nick Schou is the one who obtained the toxicology reports, against the wishes of the DA’s office.

Courtney Stewart tox report

While it still doesn’t come close to excusing Andrew Gallo’s choice to drive drunk, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gallo is the one who ran a red light to cause the crash, it certainly is now reasonable for Gallo’s lawyer to argue that Stewart’s impairment could’ve played just as large a role in the accident as his client did. TMZ also reports that Stewart tested positive for an “illegal substance.” Still a horrible tragedy all around, but this definitely calls Adenhart’s judgment into question, as it looks like he chose to get into a car with an underage drunk (and possibly high) driver. What if Stewart had been sober? Would she have been able to see Gallo running the light and stop in time? We’ll never know.

• D.C. SPORTS BOG exposes what is either an unholy union between the Redskins and that LOL cats site, or somebody hacked the ‘Skins website and put a kitty’s picture in place of Jason Campbell (and really, you have the ability to hack into an NFL team’s site and that’s what you do?):

Redskins website cat

• Elsewhere in D.C., we found out last night exactly how many Nats fans would wait through a rain delay to see if their team could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning — less than 100. That’s how many folks were on hand after a two hour delay to see their team rally to tie the game, only to lose it in the 12th. This despite converting the popular 4-3-6-4-6 double play in that inning.

• Everyone’s been talking about Zack Greinke all year, but Justin Verlander might be the best pitcher in the AL Central. He cruised to a complete-game victory over the White Sox last night to move to 7-0 in his last nine starts.

• Boy, who could’ve ever predicted that Jameer Nelson might not play that well in the Finals after not having played a game since before the All-Star break?

• If things keep going the way they are, according the WASHINGTON POST, the entire LPGA Tour will soon be available for you to hire for your bachelor party.

Play Golf Designs

We know that Joe Montana’s kid has committed to play football at Washington, but current Huskies QB Jake Locker had some big news of his own today — he was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft. If Locker signs a baseball contract, he’ll still be eligible to play football for UW but will lose his scholarship.

Marcin Gortat has a sweet ride to go with that Jordan tattoo.

Marcin Gortat car

Brett Favre is apparently in trouble for not showing up to organized team activities for a team he doesn’t even play for. Favre’s non-coach, Brad Childress, says he set no deadline for Favre to accept the team’s non-offer to play for them. For now, the Vikings are now going to feign disinterest in having Favre around but will eventually pass him a note asking him if he’d want to go to training camp with them.

• Funny how everyone is so bent out of shape about Stephen Strasburg asking for $25 million or more to pitch for the Nationals, but nobody bats an eye when fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez gets $28 million in guaranteed money from the Jets. But think of all the nice stuff Mark can buy for girlfriend Hilary Rhoda:

Hilary Rhoda

Knowing now that the underage driver of Nick Adenhart’s car had been drinking, does that change your view of the accident?

View Results