WATERCOOLER CHAT: NEW HOME FOR GRADY, NO GRUNT WORK FOR BRYANT, CONTADOR WINS TOUR

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, it looks like a former superstar may have found a new home.  Yes, Tracy McGrady was once thought of as a superstar.  He was the man in Toronto, moved to the Orlando Magic, then signed a big contract with Houston.  He and Yao Ming were supposed to battle the Lakers and Spurs every year for a championship.  Well, McGrady was plagued by injuries during his time in Houston (as was Yao), and he just sort of crumbled there.  Last season, he went to the Knicks and actually looked pretty good.  Many thought if he found the right place, he could be an interesting spark off the bench.  Now it appears that that right place is Chicago.  They have all the pieces in place to sign him, and sources say that’s where he will go.  The favorites in the East now are Miami, Orlando, and Boston, but Chicago is putting together a nice package hoping to cause havoc in the post-season.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys have signed Dez Bryant to a five-year deal.  According to reports, the star rookie receiver has been a golden child — showing up to practice early and doing everything he’s been told.  Well, yesterday he had his first backlash.  Apparently, the rookie declined to carry fellow receiver Roy Williams shoulder pads.  That is a rite of passage in NFL training camps — rookies do grunt work and go through a hazing process.  Bryant has said, “I was drafted to play football, not carry shoulder pads”.  While this may be true, not going thru the rookie “team grunt” process is a big no-no.  Williams has said he needs to move to Phase 2 of hazing now, and we’ll see what that looks like.

CYCLING

Finally, in an exciting day in the cycling world, we had a winner for the Tour De France.  Unfortunately, the American hero, Lance Armstrong, wasn’t standing atop the podium.  In fact he finished in 23rd place, a far cry from the 3rd place finish in 2009 after coming out of retirement.  When asked how he felt, Armstrong replied, “I need a cold beer”.  This year’s victor — none other than the three-time champion Alberto Contador from Spain.  This has become custom for Contador as he is poised to take Armstrong’s spot in the sport as the world’s best cyclist — an amazing feat of athleticism.  Congrats to Contador.

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