11:45 AM The Mirror (UK) reports Malaysian Airlines may be considering changing the company's name after flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine and flight MH370 went missing over the Indian Ocean this past year.
Ruben Castaneda of the WASHINGTON POST reports that a Prince George’s County grand jury indicted Delonte West on six weapons offenses Tuesday stemming from a September incident in which he was arrested “on the Capital Beltway with three loaded guns and an 8 1/2-inch bowie knife.”.
26-year-old West is also charged with reckless and negligent driving.
While all charges are misdemeanors, that doesn’t mean that West won’t suffer the same fate as Plaxico Burress. Read more…
As we mentioned on SbB Live last night, Delonte West missed his second straight day of practice for the Cavaliers, apparently holed up in his apartment and not answering the phone. Well, now make that three missed practices (out of a total of three), as West didn’t show up for this morning’s workouts, according to the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER’s Brian Windhorst.
The Cavs are saying that West is “attending to personal matters,” which translates to he hasn’t been taking his meds for what is reportedly bipolar disorder. If that’s true, the Cavs have bought themselves a lot more trouble than they likely realize. Read more…
Somehow LeBron James ended another game against the Orlando Magic in their Eastern Conference Finals with the ball in his hand and a chance to win the game. But unlike Game 2, he couldn’t find the miracle the Cavaliers needed, as his desperation heave from 35 feet was off the mark, wrapping up the Magic’s 116-114 OT victory. Orlando now holds a commanding 3-1 series lead, as the Cavaliers are threatening to take a page from the Ohio State football team and choke at the worst possible moment.
And perhaps it was fitting, since the game only went to overtime on two James free throws on a questionable foul committed by Mickael Pietrus with six seconds left - with James needing a friendly roll to get the second. (And honestly, how can the best player on the planet be so average and unreliable from the free throw line? Do you ever remember feeling nervous when Michael Jordan stepped to the line at the end of a game?)
It’s hard to blame James for Game 4: after all, he did have 44 points and 12 rebounds. Even the eight turnovers in the box score are more a reflection of him trying to do everything because he had to than any faults. No, the big problem for Cleveland is that they’ve pretty much turned back into King James and His Inept Court of Jokers this series, with his supporting cast basically providing nothing (Delonte West and Mo Williams combined to go 12-for-30 in Game 4, including 0-for-6 from behind the arc.)
Meanwhile, the Magic were unconscious from three-point range, going 17-for-38, with Rafer Alston leading the way with six threes on the way to a 26 point night. And Dwight Howard played angry in overtime - perhaps over picking up his sixth technical foul of the season, or because he thought he was fouled at the end of regulation. No matter what the reason, he took it out on the Cavaliers, scored on three straight dunks en route to 10 points in the extra session. So a dominant big man plus great outside shooting is a good thing, I guess.
Also a good thing: having your league’s best player and leading scorer on the same team. That’s exactly what the Pittsburgh Penguins have, and why they are heading back to the Stanley Cup after a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to sweep the Eastern Conference Finals. And even though they didn’t score in the series-clincher, Penguins stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had done more than enough, proving to be way too much for a game but overmatched Carolina side. So while the NBA is wincing at losing their dream match-up, the NHL has to be thrilled with a likely Penguins vs. Red Wings rematch.
Finally, to update a tragic story we told you about earlier today, KPHO-TV in Phoenix reports that Mike Tyson’s daughter Exodus, 4, has died from injuries she sustained in a freak accident at her family home in Arizona. No matter what you think about Mike Tyson as a person, monster or character in a classic Greek tragedy, your heart has to go out to him and his family. For anyone with a child, reading about this gets your stomach all tied up in knots.
So after what PRO FOOTBALL TALK had reported was a tug-of-war to sign John Lynch as an NFL analyst, NEWSDAY says that the winner is Fox, snatching the former Buccaneers and Broncos standout from ESPN. Lynch will likely be replacing Brian Baldinger, which means that he’ll need to have his finger run over with a steamroller to match the “analyst with the gross digit” quota at the network.
Ready for a career switch to the exciting and fast-paced world of sports business? Fat chance, says the NEW YORK TIMES, as tough economic times have made jobs in the industry tougher to get than ever. In fact, it’s so bad that people actually want to work for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Top Orioles prospect Matt Wieters is getting his call-up to the big leagues, and is expected to make his big-league debut as a catcher on Friday against the Tigers. CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING wonders if the Baltimore sports media is making too big of a deal about this. (i.e. could Peter Schmuck please remove his tongue from Wieters’ mouth?)
The NEW YORK TIMES has the latest from Roland Garros (English translation: Ron Garrett) Stadium and the French Open: Serena Williams serves a “horrendous” performance, while James Blake is bounced yet again.
Just how dominant has Zack Greinke been this season for the Royals? As the KANSAS CITY STAR reports, he gave up one earned run in his fifth complete game of the season, a 6-1 win over the Tigers…and his ERA actually went up slightly, “ballooning” to 0.84.
Probably not what Marshall wanted to hear about their prized football recruit A.J. Graham: the TALLAHASSE DEMOCRAT says that Florida’s “Mr. Football” was arrested on robbery charges - just hours before his scheduled high school graduation.
While Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have a lot of free time right now to go and make ’70s cop-show video spoofs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the playoffs and making a run at an NBA title. Of course, after seeing the way they’ve manhandled the Detroit Pistons in the first two games, it’s pretty obvious they don’t need to waste too much time practicing right now. Which means they have a lot more time to shoot comical commercial spoofs.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the Heineken commercial where a group of men jump around and scream upon discovering their friend’s new walk-in fridge that’s fully stocked with beer. Well, the Cavs have seen it too, and they decided to have some fun with it for their new playoff commercial.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were certainly in a good mood during their 107-76 blowout of the Boston Celtics on Sunday. (Why, Anderson Varejao was in such high spirits, he didn’t even notice Ray Allengiving him an elbow to his groinal region.) And it was such a fun time at the Quicken Loans Arena for the Cavs that some players decided to do a little dancing before the final horn sounded.
(Mo & LeBron wave their fists in the air, wave ‘em like they just don’t care)
LeBron James, Delonte West and Mo Williams got their groove on while the clock ticked down toward Cleveland’s 39th home win of the season. And the busting of such moves rubbed at least one member of the Boston media the wrong way - enough so that he asked David Stern if he was going to do something about it.
(Video of one of the offensive dance routines is after the jump.)
So they handed out a bunch of awards last night, and frankly, we don’t care. Until the “Academy” lifts their de facto ban on nominating sports movies with animals as the lead, we’re boycotting the Oscars and we think you ought to as well.
(Sweeping the Oscars in our hearts.)
And as if you needed further proof, The Wrestler, which was probably the best sports movie since Air Bud 2: Golden ReceiverRudy, was snubbed entirely by the Academy last night, as traditional Oscar-bait roles like “impoverished underexposed foreign minority” and “socially stigmatized overachiever” took center stage for the 90 millionth year in a row. But for Mickey Rourke and us, we’ll always have his exuberant speech from the Spirit Awards, which features insanely NSFW speech.
Oh yeah, he definitely did roids.
And there was one other nice sports moment at the Academy Awards: Will Smith, tripping over some pedestrian-at-best lines from the teleprompter, goes boom:
(”Nope, I see nothing wrong with 30 shots and 5 assists.”)
But back in the real world, we had another big individual performance: Dwyane Wade dropping 50 on the Magic. One problem–none of the rest of the Heat decided to show up, and Orlando ended up blowing Miami out, 122-99. Dwight Howard was the man for the Magic once again with 32 and 17… and this 75-foot shot, which didn’t count but makes me feel like it somehow should have. If you needed more evidence that going Berzerker like this was actually a bad idea on Wade’s part, the Heat are now 0-4 when Wade scores at least 44 points. The Eastern Conference is dutifully taking notes on giving D-Wade the long jumper all night long.
(Welcome back, man! But about those cornrows…)
And speaking of notes for the Eastern Conference, Delonte West is back for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and that is bad, bad news for everyone else. The Cavs dispatched the Pistons, 99-78, in a game that wasn’t really that close at all; the Cavs led 67-34 at the break (!!!) and coasted to a jarringly easy win. West led all scorers with 25 points, including a 5-5 performance behind the arc.
The Florida president thinks Urban Meyer’s the kind of guy who’ll just “burn out and quit” from Florida instead of taking another coaching job. To be fair, coaching a football team and fighting the Joker at the same time is both physically and emotionally taxing.
Garret Anderson signs a 1-year deal with the Braves after spending a long career with Anaheim. This is like when Willie Mays finished his career with the Mets, except if Willie Mays had like 1 good year instead of 15.
I was going to make some bad joke about Delonte West being depressed because, between him and ‘Boobie’ Gibson, there’s not enough opportunities to chuck ill-advised threes to go around in Cleveland. But I won’t.
West has been one of the more interesting characters in basketball, dating back to when he and I were in college at the same time, and I would watch him just take apart my Temple Owls twice a year. But what drew people to him was his offbeat personality, and his almost-bizarre interviews. (Sample quote: “You can’t kill a G. Bugs Bunny is a G. I want to be Bugs Bunny. I would pay to be Bugs Bunny for one day.”