Friday, May 30, 2014

5/30 Weekend Quickie

*That Spelling Bee finish was amazing. I stand by my tweet from mid-event: After all that, to not let the two competitors keep going to find a winner feels like short-changing them; they might as well give trophies to all three finalists before they run through the 25 "championship" words. All that said, I'm thrilled for both of them and their families/friends. Best Bee ever!

*Ballmer buys Clippers? For starters, "Anyone But Sterling" was always going to be superior to Sterling. That it's one billionaire vs. another? Eh. That $2B pricetag? I don't see it as absurd -- not given escalating franchise values and the motherlode of TV rights coming up for NBA teams, including the Clippers.

Will it be the same ROI as it would be for an owner who bought a team for a mere $250M-400M? (Here's why that question is moot: Ballmer isn't buying it as an investment or to flip it; this is a "forever house." That his heirs will one day be able to sell the team for 2x or 5x or 10x that $2B number is largely inconsequential, although the reality is that they will.)

*"Peak Duncan." We've been talking about "peak" performances all week in the NBA Playoffs -- "peak LeBron," "peak Westbrook." Then there's "peak Duncan," which began in 1997 and hasn't really ended since, including last night's dominance -- what a great series.

*Rangers back in Stanley Cup Finals. I love the post-series handshake and the playoff beards as sports traditions -- they are both in the Top 10, across all sports -- but I really love the tradition where the conference champ doesn't touch the conference-champ trophy. Cup or bust -- gotta love that.

-- D.S.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

5/29 What The LeBron Quickie

*Lance Stephenson blowing into LeBron's ear pretty much captured LeBron's not-so-quite-peak night, what with the grand total of 7 points (mostly because of the atypically volumnious fouls).

*One thing that is not in question: LeBron made exactly the right play at the end of the game, finding a wide-open Chris Bosh for what would have been a lead-taking 3. That it didn't go in is unfortunate for the Heat, but has nothing to do with whether it was the right play.

*Meanwhile, Paul George -- from that last shot of the 3rd quarter through his dominant 4th -- was as impressive a 12-minute-1-second display as we have seen this year.

*2OT playoff hockey is the best kind of playoff hockey.

*Spelling Bee finals tonight! One of the best sports events of the year -- I'll continue to insist that these 8-to-12-year-olds display more cool under pressure (not to mention dedication to preparation) than any "adult" pro athlete.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5/28 Westbrook Quickie

*"Peak Westbrook": Yesterday, we were talking about "peak LeBron" -- today, it's "peak Westbrook."

*"Johnny Middleseat": Doesn't it say more about his character than anything else that he sucked it up and stuck with the middle seat, rather than try to bribe the window-seat passenger to switch?

*Serena and Venus both KO'ed from French Open: There goes any reason to watch.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday 5/27 LeBron Quickie

*Last night was "peak LeBron" on display. The only thing that can stop the Heat is the Spurs.

*An injury to Yordano Ventura would eclipse the residual feel-goods from Josh Beckett's no-hitter.

*I suppose the fan world divides into two camps: The tiny vocal minority that thinks it's an issue that Johnny Manziel was in Las Vegas, and the massive majority whose universal reaction is "And?"

*Best moment of the weekend, arguably: The announcers for Queens Park Rangers going bananas when the team scored in the 90th minute to put QPR back in the Premiership.

*On the other side: You've got to feel for fans of Atletico Madrid -- that's way (way) worse than the 2003 moment when the Yankees blew the 3-0 ALCS lead to the Red Sox.

*I don't watch enough auto racing -- both the F1 race in Monaco and the Indy 500 were awesome.

-- D.S.