When David Stern Talks, Even Mark Cuban Listens

The contentious playoff series between the Mavericks and Nuggets may have ended on Wednesday, but the off-court drama surrounding it continues. Yesterday, Nuggets coach George Karl stoked the flames surrounding Carmelo Anthony’s fiancee’s fight club video, keeping that brouhaha brewing long past its expiration date. Today, the original Nugs-Mavs offcourt drama, the feud between Mark Cuban and Kenyon Martin’s mom got another jolt, keeping it out ahead of the pack.

David Stern & Mark Cuban

Cuban may have thought that a crummy blogpology (buzzword!) would be enough to end the tiff between himself and Kenyon Martin’s mom, but almighty NBA commish David Stern has decreed otherwise.

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Speed Read: Not All Game 7’s Are Created Equally

It was billed as the hockey playoff series everyone wanted to see, and for six games it was. With three overtimes in that spell — and two other games that easily could have been pushed into extra frames, too — the Capitals-Penguins second rounder felt like an instant classic heading into Game 7. All it needed was a respectable finale.

penguins capitals ovechkin

It didn’t get one.

Instead, Pittsburgh’s experienced markmen carved up Washington’s rookie goalie, Simeon Varlamov, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before finishing with a 6-2 victory in D.C., which spent much of the third period reminiscing about a strong season and wondering what might havce been.

That made for a deflating end to Alex Ovechkin’s second playoff campaign, with Washington’s transcendent star thoroughly outshone by Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby, whose two goals and an assist paced Pittsburgh’s stunning Game 7 rout.

penguins capitals crosby

In fact, while conventional wisdom holds there’s nothing like a Game 7 in hockey, this graph from the WASHINGTON POST’s writeup of the game tells you all you need to know about what got the Caps into trouble:

Varlamov wasn’t totally to blame; he didn’t get much help from his teammates, who were outplayed in almost every sense of the word. They took bad penalties. They were beaten to loose pucks. They made mental miscues when the team could least afford one.

The game began with Ovechkin being stopped by Marc-André Fleury on a breakaway after 3 minutes 1 second with a brilliant glove save. It was all downhill from there for the Capitals.

There you go, and there go the Caps in a game which could have cemented Washington’s status as a burgeoning hockey town. Instead, it’ll just be a quiet one until training camp starts this summer.

If it helps cushion the blow, the Caps didn’t go quietly into the night alone. The Mavericks are headed to the golf course, too, thanks to a dominant performance by, who else, Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, in a 124-110 victory.

kenyon martin's mom

Only Dirk Nowitzki really showed up for Dallas, which is nice considering the fact that his pregnant fiancee most definitely couldn’t be there. And while the final scoreline shows a 14-point victory for Denver, it felt bigger than that, since the Nuggets opened up an equal 14-point lead by halftime and never really looked back.

mavericks mark cuban

Not to be overshadowed by the exploits of his own team on the court, Dallas owner Mark Cuban had his apology to the mother of Kenyon Martin labeled as insincere by none other than K-Mart himself. And he had company, with Carmelo also questioning whether Cuban could possibly be sincere with an apology posted in the middle of the night on his personal blog. In fact, while we’re at it, I’d like to apologize to my second grade art teacher. I really didn’t mean to spill all the macaroni for those zebra designs on the floor, and I really shouldn’t have laughed so loud when they flew all over the floor and you had to throw them out. If I knew how little money you made, I never would have laughed.

Meanwhile, Urban Meyer now seems to be taking the whole insular identity of college campuses a little too seriously. In the aftermath of his second national title as Gators coach, Meyer is out for vengeance against all his critics, particularly those who may have set foot on the Gainesville campus before he got there.

urban meyer florida gators

Case in point: Last fall, former Gators quarterback Shane Matthews, a proud, former greasy-haired Florida alum, offered up one of the stronger rebukes of Meyer’s game strategy after UF’s lone loss, to Ole Miss.

At the time, Matthews called the Rebels’ man-to-man defense on Florida’s wide receivers an outright affront to the team’s passing game, questioning why Meyer wouldn’t take advantage of what seemed like mismatches.

florida gators shane matthews

That led to a stern speech at a Gator Club (read: really rich alumni) rally where Meyer said former players who criticized any part of the program could buy a ticket to a game, not hob nob in the team’s athletic offices.

Needless to say, that’s made plenty of headlines because it was uttered by Urban Meyer, since anything he says at this point ends up on a front page in any state with an SEC school.

For his part, Matthews is just amazed that the entire episode has become such a media flashpoint.

“I’m as Gator as there is and very supportive of the program,” he said on ESPN Wednesday. “You can be critical of a coaching decision here and there, but that’s just being a Monday morning quarterback, everyone does that.” 

He’s that, and a well-known radio host, so it is kind of his job to critique coaches’ decisions. It’s not like he’s some Florida high school football coach. Maybe Meyer can consider that the next time he launches a diatribe, or maybe not. After all, Urban Meyer does what Urban Meyer thinks he should, when he thinks he should.

• The spiraling investigation into O.J. Mayo’s recruitment has led to, fittingly enough, O.J. Mayo. He met with federal investigators about his brother yesterday, who also may have received kickbacks from Mayo’s former handlers.

• Anyone surprised that LeBron James was a unanimous pick to the All-NBA team? Anyone? OK then.

Rampage Jackson beats up some fat mock fighter in a video game. See, it’s funny because Rampage Jackson is a crazy person. He might go steal a car and run over a smart car to celebrate!

• You know, thinking about Cuban and K-Mart makes us wonder, who would win in a fight between the two?

• This has got to be the stupidest promotional item we’ve ever seen. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t go anywhere near that thing.

Is the world ready for Kimbo Slice the boxer? We’re still not sure the world was ready for Kimbo Slice the MMAer, and we know he wasn’t ready for it.

Kimbo Slice

• Well, now we know just how young Keith Olbermann likes ‘em.

katy tur keith olbermann

Does Cristiano Ronaldo look a little too tranfixed in this video to anyone else? And if you spend 10 or more seconds looking at a boner, does that make you at least ambiguous.

• It finally happened: Videos of the 2009 U.S. Pole Dancing Championships have officially hit YouTube. And there was much rejoicing.

• Just when you thought things might finally be looking promising for the Eagles, one of Andy Reid’s sons goes and gets himself sent back to the slammer. Nice work Garrett Reid. Donovan McNabb doesn’t send his condolences.

garrett reid

Mike Holmgren may want to come back and coach, but at least we know that Dick Vermeil isn’t walking back through that door.

• Wait, so just because Al Davis hated Tim Brown, that means he hates all black players from Notre Dame? Is there a significant difference between those two classifications? How many other black Notre Dame alums have played in Oakland?

If I were Keith Olbermann, I would …

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Miami Caliente Holds Hot Lingerie Football Tryouts

• Tryouts were held for the Lingerie Football League’s Miami Caliente, and some of the resulting scenes were, dare I say, en fuego:

Miami Caliente lingerie football

Mark Cuban uses his blog to apologize to Kenyon Martin’s mom. But if you think the Mavs-Nuggets rivalry has cooled off, just ask LaLa Vasquez.

• The Dodgers know what women want - their own online radio broadcast!

• The Blackhawks scalp the Canucks, while the Caps force a Game 7.

• A slimmer Jessica Simpson sings at Sea World, much to PETA’s chargin.

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Cuban Apologizes To Kenyon’s Mom On His Blog

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is used to having his mouth get him in trouble since he entered the NBA. He’s repeatedly been fined by David Stern for complaints about the officials, other teams, and life in the NBA in general. On Saturday night he may have taken things just a bit too far when he apparently told Lydia Moore, the mother of Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, that her son was a thug and a punk.

(”They’ll never recognize me in this brilliant disguise!”)

Not surprisingly, Martin was a bit upset about this. You don’t treat somebody’s mother that way, let alone the night before Mother’s Day. Mark responded by telling the media he was going to take care of it, and that he was more of a “face-to-face dude.” Well it seems that Cuban wasn’t really all that excited about a face-to-face conversation with Kenyon because he posted an apology on his blog yesterday.

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Maria Verchenova On Par As One Gorgeous Golfer

• Meet Maria Verchenova, on course to be the Maria Sharapova of golf.

Maria Verchenova

Glen “Big Baby” Davis had Orlando Magic fans in tears last night after sinking the game-winning shot - and running over a kid on the sidelines. But now the youngster’s peeved papa demands satisfaction.

• Not taking too kindly to the taunting of her son, a Little League mother attacks one of the name-calling kids and calls him “white trash” in return.

• Speaking of matriarchs in sports, Mark Cuban gets into it with Kenyon Martin’s mom, telling her her son is a “thug“.

Dennis Rodman reportedly dines & dashes from a Miami restaurant, but not before one of his men mauls the manager.

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Cuban Slams Kenyon to Mom on Mother’s Day Eve

Tales of Mark Cuban’s temper tantrum after the brutal beat the officiating gods gave his Mavericks in Dallas Saturday night continue to grow. It’s not enough that he stomped around the court and shouted at the referees or that he reached out to shove a cameraman that irritated him with all his conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide.

Mark Cuban Kenyon Martin

Cuban also felt it necessary to approach Lydia Moore, Kenyon Martin’s mama, and inform her that her son is a “thug” and (if Martin’s nearby agent is correct) also a “punk”. Let’s just hope Kenyon’s sister Tamara Martin-Harris hasn’t heard about this yet; she’s protective enough of her baby brother to put Cuban in a deep hole.

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Did Cuban Toss Shaq Flare in Cuban-Owned Blog?

As a new media owner of the first order, Mark Cuban can blend old media manipulation tricks with new ones better than anyone. Remember his ill-fated bid for the Chicago Cubs? That’s old-school media manipulation. Letting slip that he has a Think System that proves Jason Kidd is the second-best player in the NBA? That’s a blended approach; math is apparently new.

mark cuban laughing

Earning fines via Twitter?  New media manipulation with a dash of old school “did he mention the hot topic of Twitter? OMG NEWS STORY”. And so on. Therefore, Mark Cuban will have to excuse the humble new media when a hot rumor/trade temperature check appears in a blog owned by Cuban’s limited partnership, and BRIGHT SIDE OF THE SUN is a little skeptical.

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Read Between The Lines: Chris Paul Will Be A Mav

When DALLAS MORNING NEWS sports blogger Tim McMahon — the very Tim McMahon who found himself banned from the Mavericks locker room a little over a year ago — postulated a scenario that would land budding all-time great point guard Chris Paul in Dallas a week ago, few people took notice. Well, they should have. According to a source very close to the blogger, he didn’t pull the scenario out of thin air, he pulled it directly from the mouth of Mark Cuban himself, who gave the specs of a potential deal during one of his infamous stair-stepping impromptu press conferences.

chris paul jason kidd

(Next year, they could just switch jerseys!)

The scenario goes something like this: The Hornets desperately need to clear payroll because A) they’re hurting for money like crazy and B) they’re facing an enormous luxury tax hit for the contracts of Peja Stojakavic, Tyson Chandler and, most notably, Paul. Making matters worse, Paul’s four-year, max-dollar contract extension is about to kick in, which will make him far too expensive for the Hornets to afford.

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David Stern Doesn’t Mind Twitter, LeBron Dancing

David Stern appeared on Dan Patrick’s radio show this morning, and shared his thoughts on a wide range of crises and challenges the National Basketball Association faces for the future.

David Stern OK sign

First of, what’s with all these NBAers messing around on Twitter? Stern says he doesn’t mind if players want to share instant updates with their fans, just don’t do it in the middle of a game. (Did you hear that, Charlie Villanueva? But don’t worry, Shaq - you’re still cool.)

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What $1 Million/Billion/Trillion *Really* Looks Like

We hear sports blurbs all the time about pro athletes signing million-dollar contracts & pro owners building billion-dollar stadiums. But have you ever stopped to think what a million dollars actually looks like? Or a billion? Or a trillion?

Dr Evil

(”Did somebody say … ONE MILLION DOLLARS?!?!?!”)

Wonder no more, as the website DELIVERIES GALORE (via a tip from TRUE HOOP) delivers a fun visual comparison of how such monstrous monetary amounts appear when presented in smaller denominations.

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