As always, the reach of SbB stretches across the country, and last time we checked, Louisville is still in the country. So, as the Derby closes in on the starting horn, we bring you some of the day’s best, in the form of photos from the red carpet and infield.
And what kind of a big event would it be if Shawn Marion wasn’t in attendance … with his orange striped suit coat? Ummm, Shawn? Really? And on an orange shirt?
But first, if you’re still deciding who to bet on, take a look at the track. Start looking for mudders, because Lord, that’s a ton of mud.
The CBC’s experiment with Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts in Punjabi (the fourth-most spoken language in Canada) proved to be so popular that the CBC assigned the same broadcast team (Parminder Singh and Harnarayan Singh) to the second-most popular losing team in Toronto.
Therefore, the Toronto Raptors pounded the snot out of the L.A. Clippers 100-76 Sunday night while being announced in English and Punjabi (but not French), connecting Northern Indian and Pakistani immigrants with their countrymen in one common goal: shouting, “Pass the damned ball, Shawn Marion!”
It’s the scourge of young America, transcending race and socio-economic boundaries, and pervading schools, weight rooms and dance clubs everywhere: tattoos featuring Chinese characters.
As the BEIJING SPORTS SMOG’s Dan Steinberg points out, Asian-inspired ink is also prevalent among our professional sports brethren. Like, for example, NBA star Shawn Marion, who’s nickname is “The Matrix,” but whose Chinese character tatty means “Demon Bird Moth Balls.” Makes sense.
Apparently, the Chinese also have a fondness for tats, and amazingly, they prefer them in English. Let me introduce you to Chinese Olympic badmintoneer Cai Yun.
On any given night, finding a key member of the Miami Heat organization can be quite a chore. So many excuses and destinations have been formulated that it can require the sleuthing powers of the finest detective minds the world can offer. Like yours.
Sunday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks proved no different than any other night recently. Only nine Heat players logged minutes in the 25-point loss despite the game never resembling a competition. So where was everybody yesterday? Play along with us as we start yet another edition of “Where in the World Are the Miami Heat?”.
Hit it, Rockapella!
In quick succession recently, the NBA lost Yao Ming and Dwayne Wade to season-ending injuries. In each case, the player had apparently been struggling through one or more injuries and simply could not risk playing any longer. Also, each player had strong reasons to begin the healing process as soon as possible: Olympic glory.
Yao has extraordinarily strong national responsibilities, but both players have immense marketing muscle behind their athletic efforts under the international spotlight - in the most lucrative emerging consumer market.
Which leaves the obvious question: which players have the most incentive to set aside the remainder of the NBA season to better prepare for Olympic success this summer in Beijing?
O Great and Glorious Commissioner David Stern laid down the ground rules this week for the highly unusual replay of the last 51.9 seconds of regulation from the December 19th game between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. The do-over was called when the Atlanta Hawks scoring staff fouled Shaquille O’Neal out by accidentally giving him someone else’s foul. (Big man can hack his own slashers in the lane, thanks.)
(This explains a lot.)
However, since the replay was declared, both teams have modified their rosters rather significantly. The Hawks traded a pile of nominal NBA talent for Mike Bibby and the Heat bamboozled the Phoenix Suns out of Shawn Marion for the services of the man who did not foul out of the December 19th contest, Shaq.
The betting windows presumably closed about 20 minutes ago. Up until then, however, you could have put some action on a multitude of things related to the Pro Bowl. Yes, the Pro Bowl. If you did that? This is you:
I’m not here to judge you. I’m just saying that the question of whether the NFC or AFC enters the red zone first is not even a question of good taste.
It is surely not something to throw a Franklin at.
The EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE updates the latest on Shaq’s saunter to the Suns. O’Neal is expected to arrive in Phoenix early Wednesday morning by way of his private jet, and will head straight to his physical.
If Shaq Diesel’s tune-up goes as planned, Shawn Marion & Marcus Banks are off to South Beach to join the Heat.
Even if the deal goes through, O’Neal might not hit the court right away, as he’s been out the past six games with injuries. But as the Tribune points out, “he might have missed the games more out of a lack of interest than any truly debilitating problems.”
When your team’s 9-37 & you’re going through a costly divorce, it’s hard to pay much attention. But if the Big Aristotle is really relocating to the Valley of the Sun, he might want to step up efforts to sell his Star Island abode - no thanks to A-Rod.
Ric Bucher of ESPN reports tonight that Shaq is flying to Phoenix in the morning to take a physical and if everything proceeds without incident, the trade between the Heat and Suns will go through. That is, Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Heat for O’Neal. But, of course, consider the source.
More from ESPN.com, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, MIAMI HERALD, ARIZONA REPUBLIC and EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE.
Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD reports this afternoon that “The Heat has told center Shaquille O’Neal’s representation that it is talking about trading him and he should be prepared for the possibility of a deal, according to two officials close to the situation. Phoenix has discussed sending forward Shawn Marion and point guard Marcus Banks to the Heat in return for O’Neal.“Asked for confirmation, one of O’Neal’s representatives said O’Neal has been made aware that discussions with Phoenix are serious and ongoing, but that a deal was not definite.”
“Dallas also has been mentioned as a potential destination, though the Heat had not immediately informed O’Neal of that possibility.”
So the Heat would be trading for Marion’s expiring contract. Why the Suns would want Mr. Vitaminwater is one of the world’s most underrated mysteries.
Also keep in mind that O’Neal is very sensitive about being mentioned in trade talks. Since this has now gone public, we’re wagering he’s as good as gone from Miami.