Oscar Picks coming later today! But before that, there's a ton going on today:
Wade Injury Update: If Dwyane Wade has season-ending surgery on his shoulder, the Heat's season ends, too.
Not only will they not make the playoffs, but they SHOULDN'T make the playoffs (given that they have no chance to win), and instead should take advantage of the rich NBA Lottery. (Who else has a "frozen Ping-Pong ball" sending Oden to
NBA Trade Dudline: Just make the commitment to yourself that you'll never get worked up about it again.
The Nets will regret not dumping Carter when he bolts for
Meanwhile, this is the most publicity Juan Dixon has gotten since
"Violence in Vegas," Update: David Stern said that Sunday's violence won't deter the league from bringing another event there (or even relocating a team) as much as the lack of a new arena. At least he's being honest.
Dennis Johnson dies: I'm sure Simmons will give this full-court treatment, but for the non-Celtics fan, DJ was notable for:
5. His defensive prowess
4. His Sonics title in '79 (Finals MVP)
3. His role in the Celtics 80s dominance
2. Consensus pick as "least attractive NBA player of the 80's"
1. His role in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference finals, finishing the "Bird stole the ball!" play.
Rest in peace, DJ.
CBB Last Night: When you find out that
Meanwhile, if you thought
Finally, Duke's win over Clemson puts the Tigers on the outside of the Bubble, needing a strong ACC Tournament push.
Women's College Hoops (2 Days in a Row!): But you know I love a good superlative, so "Longest Game Ever!" certainly qualifies. 5 OTs! (Who won? Who lost? Meh.)
CBB No. 1 vs. No. 2:
More CBB Weekend: Is Pitt at
The Steroid Cops are coming to spring training, where they can expect their lack of enforcement power to yield the same "Eff off" as before.
MLB: Clemens Watch. Presuming that the Yankees and Red Sox will be neck-and-neck all season long, the Rocket is going to make a LOT of money (and make a LOT of people happy/mad) when he comes back.
Hide the mics: So the Red Sox won't be re-signing Curt Schilling next season, and he's already talking about being a free agent. No, THAT won't be a distraction this season or anything.
NHL: What does it say that the only time the NHL makes the radar is when two teams brawl it out?
CFB: Boise State's Chris Petersen got a new five-year deal worth more than $4 million. Which he SO earned. Who doesn't love
High School Hoops: Anyone else catch OJ Mayo scoring 47 last night against No. 1 St. Patrick's? What great foreshadowing of his one-year college career: Lots of points, but ultimately losing.
NFL Draft: I love the total arbitrariness of the coin flip to decide whether the Browns or Bucs get the 3rd overall pick. It happened this morning: The Bucs called Heads; the coin came up Tails. And the Browns end up with the 3rd overall pick, with the Bucs picking 4th. (The teams will flip-flop in subsequent rounds.)
What's the difference? Well, if both teams want an O-lineman and Joe Thomas sneaks past the first two picks, he's there. If both teams want a WR and Calvin Johnson sneaks past the first two picks, he's there. If the Bucs really covet Johnson as much as the mock drafts insist they do, then the Browns -- who might not really want/need Johnson, with Braylon Edwards as their No. 1 WR -- might be wise to swap picks with the Bucs, in exchange for flip-flopping their positions in Rounds 2, 4 and 6, allowing the Browns to pick ahead of the Bucs.
(But via the must-read ProFootballTalk, it sounds like the Browns are hot-n-heavy for JaMarcus Russell. Either he'll drop to them at No. 3, or that No. 3 pick gives them a better shot at trading with the Raiders for the top spot than having the No. 4 pick. Draft intrigue already sizzling.)
NFL Combine: I would love to have a all-access camera inside the team one-on-one interviews with the players. They sound fascinating, and the premium seems to be on "football smarts" over, say, Wonderlic. (How's that Vince Young uber-low score looking now? He should frame that Wonderlic scoresheet next to his Rookie of the Year trophy.)
NFL News: Is Corey Dillon going to retire? (Was anyone else surprised to see the stat that he's 14th all-time in rushing yards and the career leader among all active players? Given that he's "only" 32, that's a hell of a career (but not Hall of Fame).
More NFL : The Raiders dumped Aaron Brooks. Those cheers are from fans in
Whitlock takes on the "Black KKK": If only he didn't compare himself to Rosa Parks for doing it, I might appreciate this column as much as I should.
DC Sports Bog does "The Big Picture": He had big shoes to fill this week (kidding), but it's a very interesting (long) interview.
Steve Rushin leaving SI: Excuse me if I can't get too worked up over this. I've always found his column to be overrated. We get it: You're married to Rebecca Lobo.
Cold Pizza leaving NYC: USA Today's Mike McCarthy confirms that the program is relocating to
Most intriguingly, the show is getting a new name, finally shedding what was quite possibly the worst name in sports-TV history. (When the show was first announced, I suggested the sensible and self-evident "ESPN A.M." but was ignored. Of course, I also suggested that they steer clear of the fuzzy, non-sports content, which was also ignored.)
Prediction: The ratings will go up simply from dropping the name "Cold Pizza" and changing it to something better. Many viewers will think that it's an entirely new show. (Of course, they'll still run into Skip Bayless at 10 a.m.)