How's this for an unexpected end-of-year event: The Knicks are 13-18 (and one game out of first place in the Atlantic Division) after beating
Isiah Thomas for NBA Coach of the Year? It's not as crazy as it sounds. As of right now, he'd get my vote, simply for defying the common expectations that the Knicks would be a lot closer to 31 losses than 13 wins right now.
(For the record, Isiah is three games ahead of Larry Brown's pace after 31 games last season. And, remember: When Brown's team reached 13 wins a year ago, they lost 16 of their next 17 and 20 of 22. Watch the Knicks' next stretch of 22 games before the All-Star Break.)
But, really, who would have thought Isiah would have them playing with this level of success, particularly winning 4 of 5 since the Brawl?
More NBA: Fantasy Line of the Night: Gerald Wallace, who had 40 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 blocks in a loss to the Wizards (who got 39 from the sizzling Gilbert Arenas). It was the type of game that Wallace fans have been expecting all year.
MLB ROIDS: How quickly before someone in the government leaks the names of the 100 MLB players who tested positive for steroids in 2003? (And who wants to bet that Barry Bonds' name isn't on the list?)
MLB HOT STOVE: Rangers give Zito an ultimatum: He has until the weekend to accept their six-year offer. Between
NFL AWARDS: Jason Taylor smacks Shawne Merriman! Dolphins DE says Chargers LB shouldn't be eligible for NFL Defensive Player of the Year because of his steroid suspension. (Silly, Jason: If it wasn't for PEDs, there wouldn't be an NFL!)
NFL CONTRACTS: What are the Bucs thinking? The team gave injured QB Chris Simms a 2-year contract extension that Simms reportedly called "starter's money." I prefer to call it "fool's gold."
CFB BOWLIN': Where was that
Meanwhile, THIS was the UCLA team that stifled USC? Just goes to show how out of their minds the Bruins played in their ultimate rivalry game. Against FSU? By comparison, they had nothing to play for.
AP Story of the Year: Tiger's season. Seems like kind of a cop-out, given that the AP gave him Male Athlete of the Year and "season" isn't exactly a story. (For example: At what point in a "season" is it defined as a single story, rather than a lot of small stories?)
I've been going back to this well a lot, but if I had to pick a single best Story of the Year, it would be
Finally, any comments about ESPN.com's ranking of every state by its football power? Including high school, college and pros, they have Texas ranked No. 1. I don't have a quibble with that, but I'm pretty sure they'll get some arguments down the line.