Nightmare loss for the Lakers last night, as the Rockets took down Kobe & Co. @ Staples thanks to the offense of Aaron Brooks, Chase Buddinger and David Anderson and former Laker Trevor Ariza locking down a injury-plagued Bryant like no one has in recent memory.
That doesn’t mean though that former Rocket Ron Artest wasn’t doing his all to slow down his former team. Just ask Ariza’s feet. Read more…
The Lakers are already the defending champs, and while the Cavs are adding an over-the-hill Shaq and Boston is making overtures to the shell that once housed Rasheed Wallace, the champs may have made the biggest splash of all — adding the insane, yet extremely talented, Ron Artest.
(Odds Ron’s going to forget he’s Kobe’s teammate and gets a flagrant 2 on him? About 2-to-1.)
The news came somewhat out of nowhere last night, as ESPN was still reporting during the early evening hours on the east coast that LeBron James had been reaching out to Artest in an effort to get him to Cleveland. ESPN expert Chris Broussard went on Sportscenter downplaying that situation, and within a couple of hours Artest was in ESPN’s L.A. studio announcing his intention to sign with the Lakers for the mid-level exception.
This is all fine and dandy, but does nobody remember about this?
Although, to be honest, Artest is just about the only guy in the league who could do this and then ask Kobe to go out to Applebee’s afterward. This guy doesn’t exactly go about things the normal way. I mean, we are talking about a guy who once tried to work at Circuit City in the offseason to get the employee discount.
All the clamoring for the Lakers to pony up the cash to keep Trevor Ariza sure went away quickly, considering that Artest is accepting the mid-level (which will be under $6 million next year) while Ariza was looking for something in the $7 million+ range. And now word is out that Ariza will be taking Artest’s place in Houston, and will in fact accept the mid-level (though over the full term of five years).
(”Here’s how many titles I’m going to win in Houston.”)
Apparently, the swarm’s queen bee took up residence inside the coat, which led to thousands of workers, or drones, or whatever they are, descending on the area around the jacket. It was nearly an hour before a beekeeper arrived on the scene to take care of the bees. He dove right into the jacket, sprayed the bees (which were in a mass about the size of a soccer ball) with some sort of agent, then shoveled the presumably dead bees into the jacket (PETA is already preparing to complain about this I’m sure), which was put into a plastic bag and carried away. Eyewitnesses report that the beekeeper received the biggest ovation of the day, as the Astros cruised to a 7-2 win.
• A suspected rapist who was attempting to assault a woman yesterday in San Diego was fought off successfully by the woman, then he tried to run away from her. Which might have worked…if the woman wasn’t a marathon runner. Let’s just say the future’s not looking too bright for this guy right now.
• The World Series of Poker’s main event starts today at the Rio in Las Vegas, and among the thousands registered to play over the next few days is none other than Barack Obama. No, the Prez didn’t buy in himself — a poker pro named Richard Sklar (who also happens to be an ex-con) put up the $10,000 to enter him into the event. Sklar then made a number of bets with other pros that Obama would show up to play at least one hand. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Phil Gordon are among the pros who said they’d pony up big cash for charity if he does show. GAMBLING ONLINE has details, as does this thread at poker site TWO PLUS TWO.
“If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball… This isn’t basketball. This isn’t March Madness. Football’s a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It’s hard to see why a playoff is a good idea.”
I’m with you, Harvey. I don’t even know why any of these silly sports with their useless playoffs even have a regular season. An arbitrary, invitation-based system guided by a perplexing computer formula is obviously the way to go for any sport that wants to be taken seriously.
The problem with Game 7s is that they’re under no obligation to be as exciting as the first six games of the series. Like the Super Bowl, the magnitude of importance usually outshadows the actual quality of the game by leaps and bounds.
(A homeless man makes a terrific play on defense for Los Angeles.)
Unfortunately, unlike the Super Bowl, NBA Game 7s aren’t played on neutral courts, so they’re often formulaic. Ask one question: Is the best team playing at home? If so, automatic game over, and fans may as well find something more exciting to do with their two hours, like a marathon tantric sex session with that hot blonde at work video games.
This was one hell of a starting weekend for the NBA playoffs. We mentioned it before, yes, but we can’t shut up about it because it’s something that ought not be shut up about: Derrick Rose’s highly testicular 36-point performance at the Boston Garden was one of the most remarkable playoff performances in the last, let’s say, decade. He made tough shot after tough shot while being defended by one of the premier point defenders, Rajon Rondo, and hit every single free throw, including two to swing a one-point lead to the Bulls with time running out in regulation.
Then there’s the shredding that the Lakers delivered to the Jazz at the Staples Center. Sure, the final score was somewhat close, but the Jazz were never in serious contention after the first quarter; the Lakers are too deep and too talented to drop a game at home in this series. And speaking of depth, how dangerous is the Lake Show with not only its regular cast of characters, but a 95% healthy Andrew Bynum, a motivated Lamar Odom, and a productive Trevor Ariza? That’s such a bad sign for the rest of the league; you could conceivably take Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol off that team and still win a series against most teams. Got to think Derek Fisher’s total implosion can’t help, though. You know the Lakers are drafting a point guard who can play right away in the draft.
As for the rest of the league, we had the Lakers’ dominance as mentioned above, and then the only other top 3 seed who looked capable of going deep in the playoffs was Cleveland, who just toyed with the Pistons, 102-84. Lebron James … what can you say? 38 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, and this absurd shot one step in from half-court:
How many players can take a shot like that and know it’s good from the moment it leaves their fingers? Look at him running at it. He knows. He’s Neo. He’s stopping the bullets and throwing them back at people. He sees those green numbers. He can fly.
Yes, we should mention the Nuggets’ 29-point win too, but having watched that game, we’re still not sold at all. Sure, if Chauncey Billups goes 8-9 from behind the arc in any other games from here on out, they’re probably going to win. But the final score, in this case, doesn’t reflect the competitiveness of the game; New Orleans was within seven points late in the third before collapsing. Denver’s still not a good 2 seed, and Chauncey’s avalanche seems like far more of an anomaly than J.R. Smith’s brickfest; he went 0-7 from downtown. Not sold, man.
And so that’s it. There’s nobody who, right now, looks like they can challenge the Lakers or Cavaliers. That’s not to say there won’t be exciting basketball, of course - witness Chicago-Boston or the Philly-Orlando game iced by Andre Iguodala - but those are sideshows, the undercard to the impending main event. The best part, then, is that even with the ultimate matchup worth writing in ink, we still have no idea who wins that series. The Lakers are deep, but Lebron is Lebron.
Is there a decent segue between anything Lebron does and the word “Gay”? No? Yeah, that sounds right. Anyway, golf has a fresh round of locker room jokes at the ready after Brian Gay set Harbour Town on fire, breaking Loren Roberts‘ scoring record and shooting -20 at the Verizon Heritage, including seven under in the final round. Well played, Brian Gay. Tyson Homosexual is impressed.
(Resisting temptation for any reference to his wardrobe…)
And what’s the deal with the “Gay” surname? Like, yeah, it’s only been a big deal for the last two generations or so, whereas the name’s been around for a lot longer, and yeah, being gay isn’t in and of itself a problem. But it’s still got to be utter hell for a child; can’t people just change their kids’ names to “Gray” until they turn 18, and then it’s a judgment call when the kid becomes an adult? Nobody likes to be the butt of gay jokes, after all. Haha, I said “butt.” Let’s just move on.
The college football world mourns the loss of Heisman winner Doc Blanchard, half of Army’s famed “Mr. Inside, Mr. Outside” duo with Glenn Davis. He was eaten by wolves at the senseless age of 84.
That’ll be good ebough for a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic; you can’t just hit dudes in the head in hockey, man! Except for their famous bare-knuckle sideshows that happen in every single game. Aside from that, we mean.
Don’t look now, but the Royals’ Zack Greinke is on a streak of 34 straight scoreless innings, meaning he’s just 25 away from tying Orel Hershiser’s record. We know what you’re thinking, and no, “Greinke” doesn’t rhyme with “stinky.” Grow up.
On the other side of pitching competence, there have been 25 home runs in Yankee Stadium in the first five games; that’s about 2.5 times as many as last season. Is it the new park? Lighter balls? How about “nobody on that entire team can pitch worth a crap”? I win!
Those would be the famous USC Song Girls, caputred in bikini form by - who else - BUSTED COVERAGE. It’s where you can read about sports, but masturbate at the same time!
But back to the Yankees, once you’ve cleaned up. You got some on your hand there. Okay, good. Anyway, the Yankees don’t really have much choice what to do with Chien-Ming Wang. He’s got a 34.50 ERA, but he’s not injured and he can’t be sent to AAA. But, on the plus side, manager Joe Girardican throw him out of an airplane into the ocean. It’s in the collective bargaining agreement; read it.
And finally, here’s a hockey player using two sticks. How is this not legal?
The Netherlands team’s combination of Arubans, Netherlands Antilles residents, and the occasional Dutch person bested the Dominicanos behind the power of their pitching in both games, no doubt buoyed by pitching coach Bert Blyleven.
If Blyleven can turn Sidney Ponson into a nominal pitcher again, he should launch past potential MLB pitching coach jobs and apply for beatification.
(We kid. While the WBC is a watering hole for semi-famous former ballplayers, it’s not exactly a test of coaching mettle. Also, 24 walks in 29 innings isn’t worth bragging about. Small sample size, thy name is “first-round WBC exit for the DR”.)
Apparently, Jay Cutler doesn’t picture himself as chattel. He leans into the mirror and he sees a diabetic, perhaps. He probably sees a Pro Bowl quarterback. However, he just can’t see the piece o’meat others do.
We just finished listening to Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and, yes, he’s brilliant. However, he kept referring to his players as “assets” he needed to accumulate to gather different assets down the line.
This is all fine and true, but you don’t engender loyalty when you refer to your employees with the same terminology as you’d use to describe your real estate holdings.
So yes, it’s a big bad business and Cutler knew what he was in for when he signed up to be a professional ballplayer, but he doesn’t have to like it. Also, if he has the leverage, he doesn’t have to put up with it.
And hey… if the Broncos don’t need a 25-year-old quarterback that has proved more than competent for the job, maybe they can’t value their assets or their people as well as they could.
If you mess with the Husky, you get the cyber whip: Some bright fellow (and Washington State fan) got ahold of a University of Washington player’s cell number and harrassed him through calls and texts before the big rivalry game. After UW beat WSU, the Husky player posted his harrasser’s number on Twitter and told his friends and fans to “let him have it”.
And now maybe Shaq wants to leave Phoenix. Again, we’re all for the return of personal choice for professional athletes, but we didn’t mean to suggest the athlete should make as many different ones as possible.
Last night, the Portland Trail Blazers blew out the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-94. Surprisingly, it was the 7th straight loss by the Lake Show at the Rose Garden. However, the real story of the game was when Trevor Ariza tried to remove Rudy Fernandez’s head from the rest of his body:
But Trevor’s attempted decapitation wasn’t the only bruising belt by a basketball player in the past few days.