Feel-good Warriors down O-2 after OT loss in
Were there mental mistakes near the end of Game 2? Sure: Missed free throws, turnovers. But you can't support the frenetic style one day, then curse it when its inevitable downside rears up and bites them in the ass.
The unlikely star of the game? Derek Fisher, who missed the first three quarters of the game due to a family emergency, but scored all five of his points in OT.
Deny: Jerry Hairston says he's no steroid guy.
Deny: Pat Riley says he isn't trading Shaq.
Deny: Jermaine O'Neal says he doesn't want out of Indy.
Yet another reason why Curt Schilling's blog is pretty amazing and transforming the way athletes deal with the media and fans: A day after he created a firestorm with a radio interview totally bashing Barry Bonds, Schilling went to his blog to issue a long, sincere-sounding apology for it. He didn't have to go to the media to get his message out. He was able to be ultra-reactive, on his own timetable. Fascinating.
Terry Francona wants Schilling to STFU (to the extent the player can). We can agree that Schilling weighing in on... everything... can be hit-or-miss, but his blog has been the most interesting sports-media story of the season – and, again, if he can use the blog to make nuanced arguments, rather than find himself reduced to sensationalistic sound bites by radio and newspaper hyenas, then isn't the blog a good thing?
Wah! Roger Clemens is upset that Phil Garner was pointing out that Clemens' contract's "freedom clause" was used for things other than spending time with his family? Boo-freaking-hoo for Clemens. If you're going to demand unique treatment, you're going to have to accept unique criticism. His freedom clause doesn't bother me; his griping about people complaining about it does.
MLB clubhouse alcohol ban reaches 13 teams: The Brewers, for one, are not going to remove alcohol from the clubhouse. It's the other side of the argument: Adults can make their own decisions, provided they aren't abusing the privilege. (Maybe post-game socials -- a tight-knit clubhouse -- are one of the reasons this team is winning and has become the toast of baseball this season.)
(Related: John Danks was doused in beer by teammates following his first win of the season.)
MLB Studs: Matsuzaka (8K/7IP) and Manny (HR 476) team up to lead the Red Sox over the hapless Blue Jays... Jason Marquis wins his fifth straight start for the Cubs... Ryan Howard: Pinch-hit grand slam... Brewers: Best home stand in 15 years (9-1) en route to MLB's best record.
From yesterday's Maddux-Smoltz item: Yes, I recognized I totally forgot Mariano Rivera and Pedro Martinez as lock Hall of Famers. No slight intended.
Steve McNair arrested: For owning a car being driven by a drunk driver (McNair was sitting shotgun). We'll see what the Commish does about this, under the new, harsher conduct policies...
Unsurprisingly, the NBA receives the highest marks for minority representation among league and team executives. If only the other major sports -- including college -- could follow the example.
PGA: TPC starts today. I'm always sympathetic to
(Not that that option was on the table, but it sure would have been cool if it was. That's one of the few holes where I'd be willing to have a "hole-cam" open on my computer during the day as players come through. I have no idea if that's even an option, but it should be. Aha: Here's the link, h/t reader Tyler.)
Meanwhile, there are few smarter moves in golf than the TPC moving into May, to fill the void between the Masters and the Open. Given the money ($9 million) and the unofficial status as "5th Major," maybe "official" status won't be far behind. Pick: Tiger.
The potential "national basketball academy" has been a recent fascination of mine, and Arn Tellem bashed it in the LA Times yesterday, hitting on the most substantial flaw of the concept: The academy would severely limit the number of players who would be helped.
How do you make the cut? Look at the players on the current (or any former) US National Team: How many were among the Top 10 players in their class in high school?
Are you going to tell a player ranked No. 15 he's in, but the kid ranked No. 16 he's not? We're talking about stability, security, schooling and a gift-wrapped ticket to the NBA, let alone college.
And I question what the ultimate purpose of the academy is: Is it to groom future national-team players? Groom future NBA stars who play "the right way?" Help the most talented players in the country avoid perils that might derail their career... or derail the NCAA and NBA's ability to make money off of their talent?
No question: Tellem has a vested interest in bashing the "academy" system; after all, an academy might short-circuit a player's need or interest in having a super-agent. But he raises good points.
Happy graduation to Ashley Judd, who can now officially claim
The logic behind the NFL adding a 17th regular-season game is becoming more clear: It will be so that each team can play a regular-season game outside of the
Junior leaving DEI: I'm no NASCAR expert, but it seems to me that Dale Earnhardt Junior not driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc (DEI) will be kind of surreal for fans.
Kevin Durant's first endorsement deal is with... Upper Deck trading cards. First of many, I presume. (H/T Darren Rovell at CNBC).
Mayweather-DeLaHoya a pay-per-view smash: 2.15 million buys (at $54.95 each!) makes it the most-purchased PPV event in TV history. Pretty astounding in this day and age of (1) consumer fragmentation and (b) boxing apathy.
Just to clarify, from yesterday's "Cavs-Nets: Zzzz" item: No, I don't particularly hate