The Worldwide Leader dropped the bomb around midnight that Terrell Owens, whose given name could be Mercurial T. Owens, has been let go by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, anticipated chemistry issues with Jon Kitna forced the move. Kitna is on the record as preferring Sweet’n'Low while Owens is all about the Equal.
(”Ha ha ha ha… pack your stuff.”)
On SportsCenter last night, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported there would be significant financial penalties for the Cowboys to cut Owens as much of his 4-year, $34 million contract signed less than a year ago is guaranteed cash. We hope this means Owens will continue to have at least twenty million reasons to come back to camp this summer.
(Note to ESPN: Neil Everett is monumentally awful at ad-libbing. Never tell us how cool it is to be the one on the dais when news breaks. When a big story hits, break the glass on Bob Ley. Surprisingly good: Stuart Scott. Also, how did Ed Werder not break this story?)
(Note 2 to ESPN: Please remind Keyshawn Johnson that Charlie Manson comparisons may be a bit dated, not to mention a little racy.)
In brighter news, the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed the first musical chair in the Longines Symphonette that is the NBA playoffs with a 91-73 triumph at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers move to 48-12, which is exactly how LeBron James hopes his Knicks career starts in two years. (We kid, Cleveland, we kid.)
LeBron posted a silent but deadly 23-8-4 on 7-of-11 shooting Wednesday night. Unfortunately, his most offensive move isn’t necessarily the one he unleashes on the court:
On the other end of the spectrum, Shaquille O’Neal has been letting everyone know that his excrement does not emit a malignant odor. First, he somehow thought he could pull off the Divac Dive against Dwight “Time Warner Intellectual Property Here” Howard.
Then, when the Van Gundy with the honest living fussed about the sad little move, there was a Shaqhissy, captured on Miami’s 790 THE TICKET by Jorge Sedano and reproduced below in the popular MP3 format:
- Shaquille O’Neal addresses Stan Van Gundy comments
- Shaquille O’Neal calls Stan Van Gundy a frontrunner
- Shaquille O’Neal defends himself from Stan Van Gundy
- Shaquille O’Neal on what he told Stan Van Gundy after the Orlando game
- Shaquille O’Neal discusses his comments upon leaving Miami one year ago
None of this, of course, helped the Suns win in Orlando or Miami. The Suns dropped their second Florida game in the “He Hate Me” series of former O’Neal teams last night in Miami, 135-129. No defense in here anywhere.
(Perhaps the only men left who will fight for Shaq’s honor)
We feel compelled to note again that Shaq’s a complicated fellow. We recently saw him encourage his kids post-game to say hello to a fragile 7′ 6″ teen that sat near courtside after being featured on the local news the previous night. This was done under the stands with little fanfare, maybe a few dozen witnesses and none from the media.
When his young son was too shy to do so and tried to hide under Dad’s massive jacket, Shaq gently insisted until his son shook the adolescent hand. Shaq could relate to the teen’s condition better than nearly anyone on the planet and made sure that young man felt welcome. Also, Shaq showed his own son the importance of graciousness.
Shaq makes that gesture damned near every day of his life, often without credit. He’s also the same man that made the comments to the media above. He may have been compared to a meteorite by this author yesterday, but not in the most important way: Shaquille O’Neal is a force of nature. Try to comprehend him at your own risk.
Same for Terrell Owens. Same for LeBron James. Maybe not so much for Jon Kitna.
And now the proverbial hail of bullet points while saving a parking spot with your life…
- The biggest news out of the NHL trade deadline: Olli Jokinen moves from Calgary to Phoenix for a pretty bauble or three, allowing him to work for a team that has a half-decent chance of being solvent next season.
- Yes, this D-III basketball star put herself into college in part by stripping, but now she’s known for her ball-handling.
- As always, the players are asked to take all the financial pain, but it couldn’t hurt (much) for the NBA team owners to consider their role in protecting the long-term prospects of the league.
- Madison Square Garden personnel just can’t stop with the Italian stereotypes around Danilo Gallinari. We assume that’s why the Knicks keep changing leadership every few months.
- Our best to the family of Vikings coaching legend Bud Grant’s wife, Pat Grant, who passed away yesterday. We’d tell you her birthdate, but we never talk about a lady’s age.
- Kansas hasn’t been this shaken by a loss since John Brown left town.
- The WALL STREET JOURNAL is going daily with their sports coverage and have left the esteemed Sam Walker in charge of the section. Helluva time to cut PLAY, NEW YORK TIMES.
- Ohio State fans, prepare to donate $100 or more to University of Toledo for the honor of seeing your team overinflate their ranking.
- Tom Izzo shaves it all off for the children.
- Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring back phrenology to diagnose steroid users? Until then, we have Mike Piazza’s bloodied shirts.
- Thank goodness someone’s there to defend us against that heathen continent, Australia, and their relentless baseball team. Bless you, Ken Griffey, Jr.!
- And finally, a high school football coach-turned-sex offender just can’t stay away from the porn. Heavens, don’t tell him about the D-III basketball player! (Or Tom Izzo. Smooth, smooth Tom Izzo.)