Dominique Attacker Was NBA Official At Age 23!

Former NBA referee Rashan Michel was arrested for starting an altercation with Dominique Wilkins at Philips Arena after a Hawks game last night. As you can see, Wilkins finished the altercation:

Rashan Michel Mugshot Former NBA Referee Who Attacked Dominique Wilkins

(Michel Booking Info)

Michel claimed to the arresting officers that Wilkins owed him money for suits he allegedly sold to the ex-NBA star “several years ago.

In 1997 Michel became the youngest NBA ref in history, joining the league as an official at age 23.

Michel was part of an influx of inexperienced league referees that prompted then-NBA coaches Lenny Wilkens and Randy Wittman to complain to Tomasson about the trend in a December 26, 1999, AKRON BEACON-JOURNAL article headlined, “YOUNGER OFFICIALS ADD UP TO TROUBLE THERE’S LOTS OF CRITICISM THESE DAYS AROUND THE LEAGUE ABOUT OFFICIATING, EVEN FROM HAWKS’ WILKENS

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Greek Team Desperate To Dump Josh Childress?

The prominent Greek all-sports website RedPlanet reported last weekend that due to Greece’s collapsed economy and changing tax laws, Olympiakos is ready to jettison 27-year-old Josh Childress back to the United States.

Josh Childress May Depart Greece

The second is Josh Childress and the main problem has to do with a lot of money , which has to take into next season. More specifically , the U.S. should get 7 million dollars, which is huge and they can be obtained at least two frontline players , maybe three.

For this reason , as the newspaper LIGHT , the agenda was informed that it has no problems finding the Olympic team in the NBA and continue his career with the same player has deadline until July 15 to respond.

Approximate flight of ” Chilli ” solves the problem of government, but if left will cry as well, as proven by the U.S. is a good player and started high standard apodisis a large part of the season.

Translation: Childress has until July 15 to make up mind if he wants to forgo his final season in Greece and return to the U.S., where the Atlanta Hawks currently own his NBA rights. The “government” problem refers to tax laws set to go into effect in Greece that will double duties paid by pro athletes to the Greek government. Read more…

Photo: Atlanta Hawks Coach Shaved Off Eyebrows

So far no explanation from Atlanta Hawks Coach Mike Woodson on why he shaved off his eyebrows - as confirmed by Atlanta Hawks player Al Horford.

Photo of Mike Woodson's Shaved Eyebrows

(Not Woodson’s first case of bad judgement this week - last note)

Wait, he coaches the Hawks.

Never mind.

Confirmed: Former NBA Cheerleader Doing Porn

UPDATE: Since my post the NBA has taken down the photos of former Atlanta Hawks cheerleader Briana, who turned to a career in porn. Thank goodness for the Google cache!

United Business Media has the delightful story of a former Atlanta Hawks cheerleader named Briana who is now an enthusiastic porn participant code-named “Brandy Blair“:

Brandy Blair NBA Cheerleader Turned Porn Actor

(Porno site photo? Nope. Try NBA.com)

Briana, who can still be seen on active pages of the Atlanta Hawks’ NBA.com official site, had her contract with the team “ended” four months ago. So she did what any self-respecting former NBA cheerleader would do: turn tricks on video for money.

Brandy Blair NBA Cheerleader Turned Porn Actor

(Former NBA cheerleader Briana: “A very liberating experience”)

Actual copy from her first porn appearance on a website I can’t link (or spell out) on SbB:

Brandy has just moved to California to pursue her goal of becoming an NBA Cheerleader. She showed up at my massage studio in her cheer practive outfit - white booty short and knee high socks!

Hey wait, I thought her NBA cheerleading career had just “ended”?

NBA Cheerleader Doing Porn As Brandy Blair

The pr newswire release is almost too good to be true, with wonderful passages like these:

Recently Blair’s profession has been leaked to her old fans and family. On November 18th she was identified as a star in the adult entertainment world by a local radio station in Georgia. With the news leaked she was happy to find that many of her family and friends were supportive and their response was very positive.

“Many” of her family and friends = More than one.

NBA Cheerleader Doing Porn As Brandy Blair

(Might wanna change “Most people don’t know this about me”)

Now the question is, how did “Briana” really turn into “Brandy”? Read more…

Paul Pierce Won’t Pay $10,000 Wager With Hawks?

Remember how contentious that first-round series was between Atlanta and Boston in the 2008 playoffs? Yapping, thugging, mean-mugging all over the place, and eighth-seeded Atlanta taking the eventual champs to seven games before Boston casually dispatched the underdog with a roughly 40,000-point beating in the pivotal game.

Al Horford Giving Paul Pierce The Business
(”Where’s the damn money, Paul?! WHERE’S MY MONEY?”)

We mention this, of course, because we always like dragging up 18-month old news. No no, we kid. That’s not true. No, the real issue is that apparently, that trash talk between Al Horford and Paul Pierce at the end of Game Three might have been over a cool $10,000 - a bet that, according to Henry Abbott, is outstanding to this day.

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Hawks Player to Receive $100M If He Gets Married

After Thursday night’s thrashing at the hands of the Cavs, it seems that the Atlanta Hawks should start making their post-basketball plans pretty soon. And one Hawks player would appear to have his offseason occupied with a fun little adventure - looking for a wife.

Zaza Pachulia

(Ladies - how can you resist this?)

Zaza Pachulia needs to find a bride. Does he have his own biological clock ticking, a la Sheryl Crow? Possibly, but the more important reason is that Zaza stands to receive $100 million if he gets hitched, and stays hitched for at least five years.

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Speed Read: No One Is Shocked By Mannygate

It’s been said that either Manny Ramirez is incredibly dumb, or incredibly good at playing dumb, and his response to his 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program gives proponents of either theory plenty of fuel for the fire. On one hand, claiming that a doctor gave him medicine for a “personal problem” seems like a flimsy attempt to use ignorance to cover up cheating, especially since the drug in question (hCG) is primarily used as a fertility treatment for women.

Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez

But what the “personal problem” really was personal - like he was trying to get pregnant? Maybe he saw that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Junior” on a plane flight and thought that sounded like a great idea. I mean, come on: Manny’s so crazy, he doesn’t even know that men can’t conceive. That’s just Manny being Manny.

Junior

(The only thing inconceivable is Manny Ramirez’s story.)

Are you buying it? Me either. As the news spread throughout the baseball world, the most shocking aspect is just how not shocked anyone who wasn’t a Dodger fan was about it. His former teammates with the Boston Red Sox seemed to be more upset that they have to talk about Manny Ramirez again than anything else, with closer Jonathan Papelbon summing up most player’s thoughts:

“I just walked in the clubhouse today and found out about it. I haven’t really thought about it all. We’ve got more things to worry about on our club. Obviously, it’s a news story, blah, blah, blah. There’s so many more things we have to go get ready for. He’s not in our clubhouse anymore, so this is something that we’re not even worried about.”

Meanwhile, the debate seemed to come not about Manny Ramirez’s guilt or innocence, but about everything surrounding his presumed guilt. Such as Brooks’ question that if everyone is doing PEDs, then do we have to let Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens into the Hall of Fame? Or if the Dodgers are going to symbolically tear down “Mannywood,” the section devoted to the team’s Cult of Personality.

Dodgers fans celebrate Mannywood

So how did the Dodgers react on the field without their leader? In a word: shaky. Oh, it started out good, jumping out a 6-0 first inning lead on the dreadful Washington Nationals. But then it all fell apart, although this had nothing to do with Ramirez’s absence.

Blame this on the Dodgers’ increasingly leaky bullpen, which allowed nine runs in the seventh and eigth innings en route to an 11-9 Dodgers loss - which stopped the team’s record home winning streak to start the season at 13. You also couldn’t blame Ramirez’s replacement in left field, Juan Pierre, who went 2-for-4 but did make the inning-ending out in the eighth with the bases loaded.

Meanwhile, back to Ramirez’s former team again … actually, let’s look at both of them, since his original team (the Cleveland Indians) just happened to be visiting his most recent team (the Red Sox) on Thursday night. And while it might be tacky after the events of yesterday to says that Boston’s offense was on steroids, it’s safe to say that they were at least jacked up on a six-pack of Jolt colas.

Scoreboard of Red Sox vs Indians

The Red Sox matched a major league record by scoring 12 runs in the sixth inning while drubbing the Indians 13-3. At least we can be sure that Jason Bay isn’t juicing, unless he tests positive for having too much maple syrup in his blood.

And speaking of blowouts, let’s take a moment to congratulate the Atlanta Hawks for making it to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs as they collect their parting gifts and head to the exits. Sure, they are only down 2-0 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they are returning home.

Cleveland Cavaliers bench

But anyone who saw just a few minutes of Cleveland’s 105-85 thrashing of the Hawks knows that this series has all the makings of a sweep. Cleveland lead by as many as 36 before calling off the dogs, and LeBron James was just toying with defenders. And oh yeah, Joe Johnson sprained his ankle and might be out for the series. Have fun at the golf course, Atlanta!

More news that you might have missed last night as you were slowly backing away from Kiefer Sutherland and avoiding eye contact as not to enrage the beast:

  • The Players Championship teed off in Florida yesterday, and of course Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson share the lead. Actually, that’s a lie: the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION says that while Ben Crane leads after an opening-round 65, Woods dealt with a balky putter while shooting a 71 and Mickelson was all over the place while putting up a 73.
  • Tiger Woods

  • But if Tiger feels like he needs any help, he can call on Lee Trevino, as the DALLAS MORNING NEWS says that “Super Mex” has offered to teach him a power fade that will make sure that “he doesn’t lose any tournament.” At the least, he would like him to try an authentic salsa from Texas versus a competitor made in … NEW YORK CITY?!?
  • As usual, the Stanley Cup playoffs didn’t disappoint: the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES says that the Blackhawks relied on a late third-period goal to pull even and then scored early in OT to win 2-1 and level their series with Vancouver at 2-2.
  • Meanwhile, the DETROIT NEWS says the Red Wings also tied their series with Anaheim at 2-2 but were far less dramatic about it, playing some old time hockey on the way to a 6-2 blowout.
  • And as hockey attempts to shine on the ice, it continues to stumble elsewhere, as the TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL says that a group of investors trying to buy the failing Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton, Ontario are accusing the NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman of “operating like an illegal cartel” in blocking the sale and move. Kind of like a more stupid version of the Mafia.
  • As the baseball world was reacting to Manny Ramirez’s suspension, the EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE says the Arizona Diamondbacks took the opportunity to relieve manager Bob Melvin of his duties while no one was looking. He’s being replaced by former major league catcher A.J. Hinch, because that’s apparently the only people who can manage the Diamondbacks.
  • YAHOO! SPORTS claims that Louisville coach Rick Pitino has made himself a candidate for the Sacramento Kings coaching job. It probably won’t have as much impact when he tells the local media that “Vlade Divac is not walking through that door.”
  • The WASHINGTON POST says there was plenty of hot disciplinary action in the NBA, as the Magic’s Rafer Alston received a one-game suspension for his head-slap on the Celtics’ Eddie House, while the Lakers’ Derek Fisher received the game punishment for his cross-check of the Rockets’ Luis Scola. There were no suspensions given to Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest or any pieces of furniture.
  • It wasn’t just Didier Drogba who was upset with Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo for several calls that didn’t go Chelsea’s way in the 1-1 tie with Barcelona that knocked them out of the Champions League semifinals. EUROSPORT says the ref had to be “smuggled” out of the country under police escort.
  • A football player at Chico High in Texas has been arrested for assaulting a 13-year-old girl in what WFAA-TV is referring to as a “sex game” gone horribly wrong, involving freshman girls “sexting” the popular football players to gain popularity.

What was your initial reaction when you heard about Manny Ramirez’s suspension?

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Speed Read: Wings Denied By Ref’s Early Whistle

It might not have seemed possible a few months ago, but it appears as if Ed Hochuli has no longer made the worst officiating gaffe of the last 12 months. That honor now belongs to NHL ref Brad Watson, who probably didn’t sleep very well after the mistake he made in last night’s Red Wings-Ducks game in Anaheim.

Wings Ducks puck highlighted

(I guess Brad Watson still needs that glowing puck they used to have on FOX)

Trailing 2-1 with just over a minute left, Detroit’s Marian Hossa knocked in a loose puck that squirted free from Jonas Hiller’s pads and was sitting all by itself in the crease (as you can see above) for the apparent tying goal. But, astonishingly, Watson blew his whistle just before Hossa scored, wiping out the goal because he says he lost sight of the puck (admittedly, Watson was at a terrible angle to see where the puck was) even though the rest of the world could see the thing sitting right in the middle of the crease. The play wasn’t reviewable, and the Ducks held on for a 2-1 win to take an identical lead in the series. Wings fans are irate, but since everyone else in hockey hates Detroit the screams aren’t resonating much outside of Michigan. Here’s the full video of the play:

For what it’s worth, the announcers are right that NHL refs are required to blow the whistle as soon as they lose sight of the puck. And, while Hossa’s shot clearly goes in before the whistle sounds, the rule is that the play is dead as soon as the ref decides to blow the whistle, which is a second or so before he actually does. Procedurally, Watson did everything right. But the whole thing about not seeing a puck right there in plain sight? Yeah, he messed that up pretty bad.

Brad Watson and Islanders cheerleaders

(Hey Watson, are your eyes ever where they’re supposed to be?)

In the NBA playoffs, The Hawks hung around for a while, but eventually the Cleveland Cavs ran away and hid, making it eight straight games involving Atlanta that has ended in a blowout. LeBron accepted the MVP award from David Stern before the game, then tossed up a ho-hum 34 and 10 in a 99-72 win. The Cavs outscored the Hawks 50-28 in the second half and lead the Eastern semis 1-0.

LeBron MVP

The Nuggets also used a second-half run to take a 2-0 lead in their series with the Mavs. Carmelo Anthony and Nene each scored 25 in a 117-105 Denver victory. Dallas was one of the hottest teams down the stretch but this just looks like a bad matchup for them. They’re now 0-6 against the Nuggets this season and, including their only home loss after the All-Star break. DALLAS MORNING NEWS columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor has already declared the series over.

The Dodgers beat Arizona 3-1 last night to move to 12-0 at home this season, which is just obscene in a sport like baseball. The win tied them with the 1911 Detroit Tigers for the best home start in Major League history. Even more obscene is that L.A. won the game with Jeff Weaver on the mound. Is Scott Erickson not with the team anymore?

In the Bronx, the Red Sox pounded Joba Chamberlain for four runs before an out was recorded, and cruised to a 7-3 win, making them 5-0 against the Yankees this season. Even though Joba got roughed up early, he recovered and ended up striking out 12 batters in 5 2/3 innings. Regardless, he still had a better day than his mother.

Jason Bay

(The new Yankee killer)

• SI’s Jon Heyman says MLB is now “investigating” the pitch-tipping allegations about Alex Rodriguez. If you haven’t heard, Selena Roberts says in her book that A-Rod would let opposing batters know what pitches were coming in blowout games, with the understanding that they would return the favor later. There’s about a 0% chance that we’ll ever know what really happened. But it all seems a little far-fetched. Wouldn’t somebody notice this? And who are the other people in on this scheme?

• SPORTS RUBBISH brings us footage of a soccer team called Corinthians in Brazil celebrating a major tournament victory by setting their team captain (known only as “William”) on fire during the trophy presentation. They didn’t mean to, but I’m sure that’s of little consolation to the guy who was on fire:

• According to the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, the Titans will travel to New York Jersey in September to play…the Titans?

• Remember when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in the late ’90s and everyone said it was crazy that they thought a hockey team would work in Arizona? Well, looks like everyone was right. The Coyotes are bankrupt and the CEO of BlackBerry wants to buy the team and move it to Ontario (the Canadian province, not the dusty city in California with an airport).

• Manchester United is going back to the Champions League final for the second straight year, after throttling Arsenal 3-1 in London. Man U scored twice in the first 11 minutes and never gave the Gunners a chance to compete. Through all of this, United is still finding time to wheel and deal, reportedly offering $127 million to Bayern Munich for French star Franck Ribery.

• The Patriots’ cheerleaders just got back from a week-long photo shoot in Aruba, where they were joined by 150 Pats fans, says the BOSTON GLOBE. The girls reportedly engaged in some beach volleyball, presumably to the delight of said 150 fans.

Pats cheerleader

• Shockingly, LeBron James is not going to be rolling around in that new Kia he got for winning the MVP, choosing to donate it instead, according to CARS.COM.

• The Nats and Astros played to a tie after nearly 11 innings yesterday in D.C. and then the rain came. And everyone just shrugged and said “really, does anyone think the outcome of this game is going to matter in September?” and decided to just call it off. Well, that would be the reasonable thing to do. In reality, they will resume the game in July in Houston (but the Nats will still be the home team).

• If you offer any of the Pittsburgh Pirates a beer right now, they might punch you in the face. The Bucs have now lost to the Brewers 17 times in a row after an 8-5 decision last night. It’s the longest such streak for any two teams in almost 40 years.

Zack Greinke missed most of the 2006 season because of anxiety and depression. Three years later, he’s the AL’s pitcher of the month and one of only three pitchers in ML history to start 6-0 with an ERA of 0.50 or less (the other two are Fernando Valenzuela and Walter Johnson).

Is Zack Greinke the real deal?

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Hawks Coach Squawks About ESPNer’s Comments

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson is a busy man these days. He just got done coaching his team to a not-so-epic Game Seven win against the Miami Heat, and now he’s got his hands even fuller trying to gameplan against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mike Woodson Jon Barry

With so much going on at the office, you wouldn’t think Woodson would have to time to hang out watching NBA analysis on ESPN. Turns out he does, and he was none too happy with what he heard come from ESPN analyst Jon Barry, who took some time out from cavorting with the Cuervo Girls to make some observations on the Hawks.

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Hawks Finally Wrap Up Worst 7-Game Series Ever

It’s already been a special NBA Playoffs. The Celtics and Bulls have treated us to perhaps the greatest non-Finals series of all time, but that series’ exact opposite just wrapped up in Atlanta. Yes, I’m going out on a limb and say that the Hawks-Heat series was the worst series to go 7 games in NBA history.

Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

(Lou Hudson was the leading scorer for the Hawks the last time they won a 7-game series… in 1970)

Part of it is that none of the games were all that compelling in the fourth quarter, with every game being decided by double digits. Today’s final game was no different, with the Hawks leading by as many as 29 in the fourth on the way to a 91-78 victory. How horrible was this debacle? There were no lead changes after the first quarter… in the entire series.

The other part is that the outcome of this series seems so irrelevant anyway, since the winner has to play the Cavs, who are so much better than either of these teams it’s ridiculous.

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