Update: Tony Parker and Eva Longoria call off the wedding? The Western Conference Finals finally have a sub-plot worth paying attention to. Props to SportsByBrooks for the link.
SpurZzzzz beat JazzZzz: I'm certainly not the first or only person to suggest that this series is a dud... is terrible for an already declining NBA... is one that no one is paying attention to. Here's the detail from Sunday that is most glaring:
Even Spurs fans don't care! They didn't sell out Sunday's playoff game. Admittedly, it's the first time that has happened to the franchise, but make no mistake: It's a very clear signal. (By the way, because of this apathy, please drop the Spurs from their perennial place in the Top 3 of the Ultimate Team Standings.)
Put me in Dan Steinberg's camp: The NBA isn't about winning titles as much as it is about entertainment. The Spurs aren't entertaining.
Forget stuff like "They just win" or "They win the 'right way'" or "Their stars are so humble" (hmm: seemingly). I'd argue they actually devalue the NBA title by winning it repeatedly without any flair. Apparently, their fans are so bored by it, they don't sell out the arena.
We are living through the "Duncan Dynasty," and it's the new Exhibit A imploding the theory that dynasties are good for sports. It certainly isn't good for the NBA. (Can it get worse? Yes: Spurs-Pistons in the NBA Finals. And the Spurs being the NBA's leading title contender for the next X number of years until
Deron Williams: 34 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. His team might be headed to an early exit, but Williams has already clinched "Breakout Player of the Playoffs." Let's revisit that previous (non-)debate whether it was a mistake to pick Williams before Chris Paul.
Pistons-Cavs: I'll take the Pistons in 5, exposing LeBron as still having a long way to go before he's king of the East.
Ugh: Are we really back to another Yankees-Red Sox series?
MLB Stud: Randy Johnson, who had 10 Ks in 5.2 IP, leading the D'backs over the Pirates. Second straight start racking up a W (and many Ks).
MLB Stud, DL: Octavio Dotel, the Royals closer who has been on the DL all season, seems ready to return this week. Yes, it's the Royals, but it could have fantasy implications in your league.
MLB Dud: Andruw Jones, who struck out 5 times on Sunday, even after being dropped to 6th in the order. Remember when he was supposed to have a monster season in '07?
Joe Torre gets the dreaded vote of confidence: The Yankees manager described his conversation with George Steinbrenner this weekend: "Basically, it was all about support." Yes, if "basically" means "If we get to the August 1 and we're not in playoff contention, you're out."
Giambi's big mouth: MLB wants to talk to Giambi following his me-and-my-big-mouth interview last week about using steroids. So the way I understand it, MLB could give Giambi a suspension for 50 games if his admitting using steroids came after baseball decided to (finally) crack down. The more intriguing scenario is that the Yankees could use it as a pretense to void Giambi's contract. Tracking...
NFL (C)rap Sheet: Jets CB Justin Miller arrested on third-degree assault charges. While the Jets are bringing in everyone and their brother to mini-camp, better load up on DBs, too.
Meanwhile, ProFootballTalk breaks the story that an NFL assistant coach inadvertently sent a porn email to all the league GMs, their secretaries and, apparently, the Commissioner.
OK: It is totally irresponsible of PFT to NOT tell us the name of the coach. What good is it to be a Web site that traffics in the best NFL rumors if you won't name names? (Hell, I'd settle for a Page Six-style blind item obliquely providing clues to the guy's identity.)
If it's all true, it'll be interesting to see if the Commissioner cracks down, to make an example showing that his "Get Tough" policy goes for league employees and front-office types, as well as players.
Oh, and speaking of NHL, this is a must-read. The fact that the sport's biggest drama is that an OT playoff game was bumped on national TV for pre-game coverage of a horse race is why the sport finds itself in the precarious position it is in now. They've already done a nice job of alienating the casual fans; now they're going for the clean sweep by alienating the avid fans, too. Staggering.
Tennis: Federer beats Nadal... on clay! Notable because it ends Nadal's 81-match winning streak on the surface – and perhaps foreshadows Federer finally breaking through at the French Open en route to the Grand Slam that would secure his place as the greatest tennis player ever.
NCAA LAX: Duke cruises past UNC into the Final Four, where you just KNOW that the irony of the situation alone ensures a title. Meanwhile, party-crashing
UPDATE: New Varsity Dad post up now. (44 posts in, perhaps it's time to go from "soft launch" to "yes, the thing is officially launched.")