Archive for May, 2013
In the NBA, it was a pivotal Game 5 between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers grabbed the last game to even the series, and this was a must win game for the Heat because they didn’t want the Pacers to have a chance to close out the series in Indiana. The game started out close and stayed close, but not without some theatrics. We saw a fight break out between the “Birdman” Chris Anderson and the Pacers rough man Tyler Hansbrough. Then Bird Man came back and threw down a monster block on Hansbrough. The Pacers had a slight edge going into the 3rd quarter, but LeBron gave the Heat a fiery pep talk (full of many swear words) before the 3rd quarter. And from that point on, LeBron was on fire, hitting everything, and finding each and every one of his wide open teammates at the right time. Down the stretch, the Heat cruised, crushing the Pacers. Indiana will hope to get it to a Game 7 where anything can happen. Miami 90, Indiana 79.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Clippers had a disappointing exit in the playoffs after a rather impressive season. They got rid of their head coach Vinny Del Negro and have been searching for a suitable replacement. Among their short list are Jeff Van Gundy, George Karl, Nate McMillan, and Alvin Gentry. But reports are circulating that the Clippers reached out to Byron Scott about possibly becoming their next coach. Scott was just released by the Cavaliers, but has had some success with New Orleans in the past. However, he really isn’t much of a significant improvement over Del Negro. Perhaps they should consider talking Jerry Sloan out of retirement? He coached the Utah Jazz, and led them to two championships. He also knows how to manage superstars.
As an addendum to this story, apparently Chris Paul is very angry at the Clippers organization for linking his name to the Del Negro firing. Reports are out there that Chris Paul didn’t want to work with Del Negro, and this is why he was fired. But Paul has come out and said that this is absolutely not true — that he had nothing to do with it. And Chris Paul is known to be a man of principle. People say that if he is not happy with you or your organization, he can turn on you. The Clippers can not afford to lose Paul. Fortunately, they can afford to pay him. Paul is the best thing to happen to the Clippers in the history of the franchise. He was a big name free agent who decided to sign with the Clippers. That has never happened.No comments
In the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks began this season with one of the best starts in NHL History. They were a perfect 16-0 before they were finally handed a loss. They were so good, everyone thought they were a shoe-in to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. However, unlike other professional sports, the hockey playoffs are completely unpredictable. There are major upsets all the time, and the #1 seeded Blackhawks suddenly found themselves on the wrong end of one. They were down 3-1 in a series against the red hot #7 seed Detroit Red Wings. But unlike in the NBA, home games in hockey are not as powerful, and the road team comes in with just as much aggression. Because of this, Chicago was able to force their way to a Game 7, where anything can happen. Wednesday night, in Game 7, it was tied 1-1 for most of the game, until Chicago’s Brent Seabrook scored the go ahead goal with just over 3 minutes remaining in the game. And, in a miracle comeback, the Chicago Blackhawks advance to the Western Conference Finals where they will take on the Los Angeles Kings. Chicago 2, Detroit 1.
There is no question that the Patriots Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends if not one of the best players in the game. But this off-season has been a health nightmare for him. Gronk has had to have a few surgeries to repair a forearm injury. Once you go under the knife a couple times, you’re never exactly the same as an athlete. And now, a source is saying that Gronk will likely need back surgery. Back surgery is a serious thing in the sports world, as it takes a player significant time to recover — especially in football where they could quickly suffer a detrimental re-injury to the region. The Patriots may want to look at a game plan this season that isn’t completely determinant on having Gronk.
Tampa Bay has a tongue-in-cheek reputation for having the most and best strip clubs in the country. Athletes are famous for visiting the clubs on road trips, but not much else is said about it. However, Tampa Bay prospect Jose Sale was at the strip club and bragged about it on social media. The Rays organization found it so foul, they suspended him. And rightly so, as Sale said on his Facebook account, “Threw fifty cents at a stripper tonight. First time. Got kicked out and she got so (mad) thought she was gonna cry. You’re a stripper. Be thankful”. Yep, gross and a low class move, and it’s unsure when Sale will see a Rays uniform again.No comments
In the NBA, it was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. This was an absolutely must-win game for the Pacers as they trailed 2-1 in the series. Plus, it would head back to Miami for Game 5. Indiana got walloped in Game 3, and they needed to make some key adjustments if they wanted to take the Heat. Fortunately for the Pacers, both Chris Bosh and LeBron James left the game momentarily with ankle issues. They both came back, but it’s not certain if they were at 100%. The Pacers had a substantial lead in the 3rd quarter, but they watched the Heat chip away at it until the game was tied. However, the Pacers got some lucky calls down the stretch to allow them to hold on for the win and send the series back to Miami tied. And the Heat need to pray that LeBron’s ankle is perfectly fine for that game. Indiana 99, Miami 92.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks have basically been in no man’s land. They are perpetually a #3 to #6 seed, and while they can be fun to watch on Sports Center highlights, they are not a team that scares anybody. New general manager Danny Ferry made some moves this past season to try and change this. He shipped Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams out of town, and his next move was bringing in a different type of coach. The Hawks are likely done with current head coach Larry Drew, as Ferry has decided to bring in Spurs assistant coach Budenholzer as the new head coach. The Hawks need direction, guidance, and a new style. Budenholzer will bring everything he has learned in San Antonio over the past 17 seasons. Looks like a good move by Ferry.
Notre Dame is dealing with a serious quarterback issue. Their star quarterback last year Everett Golson has been suspended this season for poor academic judgement. It’s not clear exactly what that refers to, but cheating is likely the case. Without Golson, the Fighting Irish will have a quarterback competition among Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and incoming freshman Malik Zaire. Head coach Brian Kelly said he was disappointed in Golson, but expects him to turn things around and return to Notre Dame eventually. The Irish certainly are not that worried — all of their choices at QB are still very good.No comments
In the NBA, it was Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have surprised everyone by grabbing a commanding 3-0 lead in this series. The Grizzlies can’t seem to find any answer to stop them. And on Memorial Day, the Spurs were hoping to sweep the series and get some much needed rest before the Finals. But the Grizzlies had no intention of watching their season end so easily. The game started out favorable for the Spurs again, as they went on a 22-6 run. But the Grizz powered back before the half to make it a 6 point game. In the end, however, the Spurs were once again too much for Memphis to handle, and the Spurs secured their trip the NBA Finals. This will be the 5th trip for Tim Duncan, and he has won every Finals he has played in. Can he grab one more? San Antonio 93, Memphis 86.
Finally, in the WNBA, the #1 draft pick Brittney Griner made her debut with the Phoenix Mercury. Griner is thought to be one of the best female basketball players of all-time. And this would mark the beginning of her pro career to try and solidify her reputation as the best there is. Her first opponent… The Chicago Sky, who had the #3 overall pick Elena Della Donne. Griner actually struggled in this game, realizing that the talent at the pro level is much more difficult than at the collegiate level. Della Donne, however, looked fantastic, pulling out her entire arsenal of moves. Griner dunked twice in the game, but it wasn’t enough to grab an opening game victory. Chicago 102, Phoenix 80.
And in the NFL, Adrian Peterson may be the most celebrated running-back in the game right now, even getting consideration for the best running-back of all time, but he made some controversial remarks this weekend. Earlier this off-season, the Vikings cut their punter Chris Kluwe after Kluwe made some very public remarks advocating gay marriage. Peterson told the media that he didn’t believe Kluwe was released for that reason. On top of this, Peterson said that he was actually against gay marriage. However, Peterson did say that he had some gay family members and there was nothing wrong with that — that he loves them as family and treats them with the utmost respect. But, Peterson said, he didn’t really support the idea of gay marriage. It just shows that this issue still divides professional sports.No comments
There was some very interesting news from the Pittsburgh/Ottawa Series. Pittsburgh is essentially trampling the Senators right now. They are playing faster, smarter, tougher and much more determined than Ottawa ever imagined. With all this, the Penguins have taken a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. When a reporter asked Ottawa’s captain Daniel Alfredsson whether the Penguins would continue dominating the Senators, Alfredsson said point blank that they definitely would. He said that the Penguins power play is just too powerful, and the Senators likely wouldn’t be able to ever stop it. It doesn’t exactly instill faith or hope in your teammates when your team captain is surrendering. Just a very rare moment in sports.
In the NFL, even though the 49ers are coming off a hot season where they made the Super Bowl and discovered they had a star quarterback on their roster in Colin Kaepernick, it looks like they might struggle a bit out of the gate in 2013. Yesterday, they heard the news that their star wide receiver Michael Crabtree will miss most of the season with a torn achilles tendon. The 49ers will have to hope that their 1st round pick in 2012, A.J. Jenkins, can step in at wide-receiver and become a target that Colin can count on. And they still don’t know if Randy Moss is coming back or not. Either way, it’s likely that head coach Jim Harbaugh will have the team ready for the season.
And finally, after 13 seasons where he was the driving force of the Chicago Bears defense, Brian Urlacher has decided to call it quits. The Bears made him a free agent at the end of the season, and no other team decided to pick him up. Urlacher was a fantastic defensive presence, but he suffered a lot of injuries over the past few seasons. Another team didn’t want to take a risk that he could miss a lot of games. Urlacher said he loved playing for the Bears and wouldn’t want to play for any other team. He got the opportunity to play his entire career as a Bear, and that meant the world to him.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: SPURS HOLD ON TO GAME 2, CAVS GET FIRST PICK IN DRAFT, CLIPPERS COACH FIRED, GARCIA’S FRIED CHICKEN REMARK
In the NBA, it was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs took Game 1 in convincing fashion, but the Grizzlies have lost the first game in both their first and second round match-ups, then came back to win the series. So how would this one play out? It seemed as if the Spurs had the Grizzlies number. They jumped out to a commanding lead that lasted all the way until the 4th quarter. However, the Grizzlies staged a huge comeback, and a controversial flagrant foul call gave them a quick 4 points to send the game to overtime. But at the end of the day, this was still Spurs territory, and they took care of business in OT to take Game 2. The series now heads back to the Memphis, where the Grizzlies absolutely must win. San Antonio 93, Memphis 89.
Tuesday night was also another major event in the NBA: The Draft Lottery. The Orlando Magic had the highest chance of landing the #1 pick, and they sorely need it because that franchise really struggled this season. They need another marquee figure to replace Dwight Howard. Unfortunately for the Magic, even though they had the best chance (meaning the most ping pong balls), they didn’t win. The #1 pick went to the Cleveland Cavaliers — 2 years after they selected Kyrie Irving #1 overall, and 10 years after they selected LeBron at #1. Orlando did get the #2 spot, and Washington snuck into the Top 3 by grabbing the #3 spot. Washington was set to get the #8 spot, so this is a wonderful thing for the Wizards who were decimated by injuries in the first half of the season. It’s not a super talent packed draft, but there are always gems to be found.
Finally, in some more NBA news, even though he had a winning record these past 3 years, Vinny Del Negro is out as the Clippers coach. This year, they had a healthy Chris Paul, a healthy Blake Griffin, and a solid supporting cast. They got off to a hot start, but struggled down the stretch. Then, they practically imploded when losing to the Grizzlies in the first round. When you have that much talent and the best point guard in the NBA, you need to make some significant headway in the playoffs. That is the job of the coach. So with Del Negro out, the search for their new head coach begins. And there is rumor that the Clippers are very interested in stealing away the Grizzlies Lionel Hollins.
Sergio Garcia was joking around at the European Tour awards dinner Tuesday night. When he was asked if he would invite Tiger Woods to dinner, he said, “We’ll have him round every night, we will serve fried chicken.” Fried chicken is often associated as a racial stereotype for African Americans. He later apologized for this completely insensitive and racially loaded comment.No comments
Even though there was no playoff basketball Monday, that doesn’t mean that there still can’t be some competition via the media. Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel came under fire when he said that Miami is “Just Another Team” on their way to the finals. Clearly with that statement, he’s not exactly showing respect that (A) Miami is one of the most superstar loaded teams of all time, (B) has the back-to-back reigning MVP, Lebron James and (C) are the defending champions. But this could simply be a case of “Poking The Bear” in which a coach tries to get into the opponent’s heads. However, later in the day, Vogel said that he NEVER said they were “Just Another Team”, but rather “The Next Team”. Semantics. Either way, it will be fun to watch this one play out.
In the NFL, in an attempt to drag-on their off season for years to come, the NFL may be moving their draft from April to May. The reason being that this would simply allow them to own yet another calendar year of coverage. They have the free agency period in April, and then hype up the draft until May. The NFL is the most popular league in professional sports by far, and the NFL wants to ensure that people can care about football for the entirety of the year. Now, pundits can have 40 versions of their mock drafts, and people can talk about football all year ’round.
The Colorado Avalanche owned the late 90s. But they have been a lackluster team the past few seasons. Now, they’re bringing in one of the best goalies of all time as their new head coach: Patrick Roy. Roy enjoyed a tremendous career with the Montreal Canadians, and was part of Colorado’s dominance when they went on a 5-year run of forays into the playoffs and a few Stanley Cup wins. Having Patrick behind the team will give this team the boost and new image they need.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: KNICKS OUT OF PLAYOFFS, SAN ANTONIO TAKES GAME 1, NO TRIPLE CROWN WINNER, SERENA AND NADAL DOMINATE
In the NBA, the New York Knicks were looking to steal a win on the road in Indiana to drive the series back to New York for a Game 7. They actually kept the game close for most of the way, and J.R. Smith was even playing a little better. But in the end, the Pacers exhibited their home court dominance. In what is now a classic play, Pacers center Roy Hibbert had an amazing block on Carmelo right at the rim that prevented a dunk. It completely shifted the momentum of the game, and was replayed about 200 times on Sports Center. After that, the Pacers held on to win the game and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Indiana 106, New York 99.
And on Sunday, it was Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the #5 Memphis Grizzlies and the #2 San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies are red hot right now, and everyone expected a slug fest between these two. However, we got something quite the contrary. The Grizzlies oddly came into the game ice cold. Zach Randolph went 1-8 from the field, only putting up 2 points. If the Grizzlies expect to win, they need Randolph to be a force of nature. On top of this, the Spurs were lights out from 3-point land and the Grizz couldn’t do anything about it. The Spurs easily took Game 1, but Memphis coach Lionel Hollins knows how to adjust strategy, so expect to see something very different come Game 2. San Antonio 105, Memphis 83.
It was the second leg of the Triple Crown: The Preakness. Orb, after winning The Kentucky Derby, was the favorite coming into the race, but horse racing is extremely unpredictable. When it was all over, the winner wasn’t Orb, but Oxbow. This was a complete upset, but Oxbow had Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens behind the reigns. Orb actually finished fourth in this race. With the win, Oxbow will go for another title at the Belmont Stakes. The stars don’t come out in mass for the Preakness like they do for the Kentucky Derby, but there are some serious horse fans, like Gene Simmons.
We saw some familiar faces winning titles this weekend, as both Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal picked up the championship at the Italian Open. Nadal beat his rival Roger Federer, while Williams crushed Victoria Azarenka. These two are easily the most dominant in the sport right now. Congratulations to them both.1 comment
In the NBA, it was a do-or-die game for the New York Knicks as they trailed 3-1 in the series against the Indiana Pacers. Game 5 was in Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks had no intention of ending their season on their home court. The Pacers are playing great basketball, but the Knicks have been cold the past few games. In Game 5, the Knicks finally found their shooting touch again. Carmelo and J.R. Smith were back in true form, and defensively they were able to contain Paul George and the Pacers. The Knicks grabbed the win, and if they can win on the road in Indiana, they will have a chance to bring the series back to New York for a Game 7.
Some very sad news. Former short-track star racer Dick Trickle was found dead in a cemetery. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71. Apparently, 911 received a call from Trickle just before he took action with Trickle saying “there would be a dead body, and it would be him”. Trickle had an amazing racing career. He has 1200 short track victories to his name, and entered the NASCAR circuit full time in 1989. All of his colleagues spoke highly of him and said that he “kicked butt” everywhere he went.
Finally, in some major news out of the soccer world, David Beckham, one of the best soccer players of all time, and arguably one of the greatest sex symbols of all-time is finally retiring after this season. Currently, Beckham is finishing up his last season with Paris Saint-Germain, and when the season is finished, Beckham will hang up his shoes at the age of 38. Beckham said that he wants to be remembered as a “hard working footballer”, but he will be remembered as so much more to the world of soccer.No comments
In the NBA, the Heat were hoping to close out the Bulls in Miami. Sure, they have 3 games to do it, but you never know in the playoffs. For example, LeBron could have a knee injury (like Russell Westbrook) and be out for the playoffs. So when you have a chance to close out a team, you do it. The Bulls wouldn’t go quietly however. They put up a huge fight, and even lead by as many as 13 in the 3rd quarter. But when LeBron, Wade, and Bosh want to turn it on, they seem to be able to do so at will. They bulldozed their way back into the game, and in the blink of an eye, the Heat had the lead. The Bulls had one last chance to tie the game at the end, but couldn’t hit the 3-pointer they needed. The Heat hold on to beat the Bulls and close out the series. They will take on the winner of the Knicks/Pacers series. Miami 94, Chicago 91.
In women’s basketball, it’s unanimous that Brittney Griner is one of the best female basketball players of all time. She will likely have a fantastic WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury. However, a basketball legend wanted to help her take her game to the next level. On a private court, Kareem taught Griner how to shoot his patented sky hook. Kareem’s sky hook was all the rage in the late 70s and 80s, as it was an undefendable shot. No center in basketball has really used it at such a high level, but Griner has the height and ability to do it. She could be a lethal player of historic proportions.
In the NFL, the Jets quarterback situation just got a little thinner. Recently, the Jets brought in veteran David Garrard. Garrard had his glory days with the Jaguars, but had been relegated to back-up duties the past few seasons. The Jets gave him a chance, but Garrard’s knee issues have kept him sidelined in Jets practices. So, after a successful career where he muscled his way to be the long-time starter in Jacksonville, even leading the Jaguars to the playoffs a few times, David Garrard has decided to call it quits. There is a chance we see him in the broadcast booth sometime soon.No comments