Speed Read: Nuggets Put Hornets In Their Place

So much for more than two decent NBA series. Just when it looked like a Chris Paul-led New Orleans team might be primed for a run, the Nuggets come out and put a near-record licking on the bugs … in New Orleans. How bad was it? Bad enough that the Nuggets led by nearly 60 points in the third quarter, and the Hornets fans who packed the arena for tip off were already busy down on Bourbon Street.

new orleans hornets fans

How could New Orleans possibly have had that bad a game, and played that poorly at home? It’s an incredible mystery. What isn’t a mystery is just how bad the Hornets were. New Orleans turned the ball over an astounding 27 times, and it shot only 30 percent from the field. The  58-point loss tied the all-time NBA playoff mark, matching a Minneapolis Lakers win over the St. Louis Hawks. That’s pretty much all you need to know: Neither one of those teams still exist in that context. After all, L.A.’s a heck of a lot warmer.

In fact, as FANHOUSE points out, the Nuggets’ margin of victory in Game 4 alone nearly matched the entire series worth of margin of victory in Cleveland’s dominant, four-game sweep of  the Pistons.

Empty seats, thy name is New Orleans. Now, about moving that team if they don’t get a new arena …

Meanwhile, there was one other loss that was equally ignominous as the one New Orleans put out there. With their season on the line — again — the top-seeded San Jose Sharks, winners of the President’s Trophy for best regular season record, bowed out to the Anaheim Ducks, the final seed in the West. What’s more, the game wasn’t even close.

joe thornton sharks

There was buzz that, after forcing a Game 6, San Jose finally might come into its own in the playoffs. Instead, the Sharks capitulated the only way they know how: By failing to play any defense after they got an early lead. The Sharks scored first, halfway into the first period, then they never scored again. In fact, they only kept that lead for two minutes.

From there out, it was all Ducks, which has been a pretty strong recurrent trend for the Sharks in recent years. Funny how that used to happen with the Bruins when Joe Thornton was stalking those sidelines, isn’t it?

There were two other games in the NBA last night — the Lakers finished off the Jazz while the Hawks tied up their series with the Heat — but the other big basketball story was all about a team that isn’t even in the city where the turmoil rages on.

clay bennett thunder

That’s right sports fans, the Sonics aren’t walking back through that door. In fact, any chance of a resurrection in the Pacific Northwest officially went out the window when the city of Seattle turned down an opportunity to re-make Key Arena by paying only 25 percent of the cost. The rest of the funds would have been brought in by hotel taxes, area businessmen and, most significantly, from the team’s personal anti-christ himself: Clay Bennett.

That’s right, Seattle had a chance to avenge losing the Sonics by making the man who stole them away pay for the upgrades that would land the city another team. Instead, they turned down the opportunity solely because it would have raised the tax cost of hotels and rental cars.

Sonics owner Clay Bennett Halloween mask

Is it short-sighted? You better believe it. Then again, it’s also probably a statement of just how rough the economy is. When a city turns down a Big Mac of revenge to save $0.99 of taxes that tourists, not they, will pay, you know that people are afraid to spend money on anything.

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  • Did Ozzie Smith cop a feel on Alyssa Milano? You decide with the pics below, courtesy BUGS & CRANKS:

ernie banks alyssa milano ozzie guillen

ozzie guillen alyssa milano


Which NBA team has been the biggest playoff disappointment?

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Former Knicks Star Found Dead In Hotel Bathtub

Marvin Webster, a former NBA player for the New York Knicks & Seattle Sonics, was found dead in a bathtub at a Oklahoma hotel.

Marvin Webster

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the body of the 56-year-old former center was discovered Monday morning at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Tulsa. Webster had been living at the hotel, and employees had grown concerned when they didn’t see him in the past several days.

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Thunder Owner Gives Himself A $75 Million Bonus

It turns out that it’s not only AIG board members who are going around and handing out giant bonuses to themselves after nearly killing their company. It seems the hottest new trend in America has worked its way into the ownership realm of the NBA.

Thunder owner Aubrey McClendon

Aubrey McClendon is one of four men who own the Oklahoma City Thunder — he’s the one who the NBA fined $250K after stating his desire to move the Seattle Sonics to OKC –  and he’s also the CEO, chairman, and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy. In October of 2008, McClendon sold his shares of Chesapeake just before the company’s stock completely collapsed, and lost $1.92 billion in the process. That’s a lot of money to lose, so it’s not exactly surprising that he gave himself a $75 million bonus to help offset it.

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Blog Jam: Redskins Cheerleaders at Hall of Fame

• UNCOACHED reveals the best sights seen at last weekend’s NFL Hall of Fame ceremonies - namely, those of the Redskins cheerleaders.

Redskins Cheerleaders at Hall of Fame

• YOU BEEN BLINDED tosses up a classic clip of Johnny Bench berating a reporter for asking him about Pete Rose.

• DEADSPIN is all shook up, as Elvis takes advantage of the wild, wet weather at Wrigley to thrill the crowd with a sequined slip ‘n’ slide show.

• PLAYING THE FIELD wonders what daily words of wisdom they could expect if Manny Ramirez had a blog.

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After 17 Years, Kemp Now Wants In On Son’s Life

Shawn Kemp may have been known for his basketball talents, but the former NBA’er was better known for planting his seed far & wide. And Luke Winn of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED checks up on the growth of Kemp’s eldest wild oat sown - Shawn Kemp Jr.

Shawn Kemp Senior & Junior

The 17-year-old Kemp is currently a high school junior living in Georgia with his mom. Although the younger Kemp has gotten high marks from scouts, he’s recently struggled during summer camp games. However, scouts still see a lot of potential in Junior, and doctors expect him to grow to 7 feet tall by the time he turns 21.

Despite possessing his dad’s on-court skills, Kemp Jr. hasn’t had much in the way of contact with his famous father. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: St. Louis Cardinals Wedding Garter

• STL SPORTS MAG has a leg up on the perfect item for all those St. Louis baseball brides-to-be: an officially licensed Cardinals wedding garter.

St. Louis Cardinals wedding garter

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Seattle Arena Loses Sonics, Building’s Name Next?

When Sonics ownership reached a settlement with the city of Seattle, it paved the way for the team to finally move to Oklahoma City. As a result, KeyArena now has a whole bunch of open dates to fill - 100, to be exact.


The SEATTLE TIMES explains that although the Sonics play(ed) a 41-game home schedule, the arena would reserve extra dates to accommodate some flexibility for the NBA to plan out its season schedule. And there was the factor of possible playoff games to occupy arena space - although that hadn’t been much of a problem in recent years.

But with the loss of its prime tenant, could the KeyArena also witness the loss of its name, and more importantly, its sponsorship money?

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Blog-O-Say-Can-You See: Superb Star Spanglings

• In honor of the Fourth of July, BALL DON’T LIE belts out their favorite pre-game performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner“.

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• And ESPN’s HASHMARKS wishes Al Davis a crazy happy 79th birthday.

Michael David Smith of AOL FANHOUSE punches up word that boxer Humberto Solo blames his Saturday night loss on a racist referee.

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Blog Jam: Ex-NBAer McKie Unwelcome in Town?

• DEADSPIN discovers the welcome wagon derailed, as someone doesn’t want ex-NBAer Aaron McKie moving into their posh Pennsylvania town.

Aaron McKie keep out sign

Jorge Sedano of 790 THE TICKET believes Brett Favre’s retirement ruckus has all been just a big scam on the QB’s part.

• 100& INJURY RATE thinks it’s fabulous how newest Dallas Star Sean Avery responds to allegations that he’s gay - by telling a female fashion photographer that he’s “going home to jerk off to you now.”

Baron Davis is glad to be “bizzack” in L.A., but will still miss the Bay.

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Sonics Sooner State Bound After Lawsuit Settled

The Supersonics can now move to Oklahoma Sooner than later, as a settlement has been reached with the city of Seattle.

Sonics logo Oklahoma graffiti

The SEATTLE TIMES reports that city officials have reached an agreement with the NBA club over a lawsuit cocnering the team’s current lease with KeyArena. The city was suing the Sonics to force them to finish out the final two years of the lease, meaning the team would have to play two more years in Seattle. Read more…