The photo was taken in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Sedano also has audio of Fisher and Riley at the hotel refusing comment about their meeting today (mp3): Read more…
The photo was taken in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Sedano also has audio of Fisher and Riley at the hotel refusing comment about their meeting today (mp3): Read more…
I was at the Lakers-Suns game last night. Sat right behind George Lopez. Saw Ray Liotta (cheer), Jesse Jackson (boo), David Geffen, Jack, Steve Kerr. You’ll be happy to know Khloe was once again buried behind basket opposite Lakers bench. Best part: Tex Winter is back permanently, stationed behind Phil & Co.
This happened about 15 feet from us, Nash gets dinged by Violet Palmer for fouling Derek Fisher on a 3-ball.
I can confirm via the eyeball test that the Suns are a fraud. Prediction: Nash be traded at some point this season. Or after the season. He has no chance to win anything with that team, regardless of their record at the moment. Read more…
Dagger Derek? Darned Important Shot Derek?
Derek and the Three-Point Dominoes?
Perhaps the experts should handle the new handle for Derek Fisher now that he’s sunk another huge shot to carry the Lakers into overtime, where they took a formidable 3-1 series lead via a 99-91 triumph in Orlando last night. A three-pointer on an unusual inbounds play (taking it full court instead of using the opportunity to advance the ball on a time out) with just a few clicks left on the clock cinched the need for extra work from Kobe and friends.
Neither team shot the ball worth a Mouse’s posterior, allowing the Magic to freefall from a 12-point lead into an overtime where they made one lousy shot from the field. Also not helping: the Vitamin Water that made Dwight Howard’s hands too slippery, causing him to turn the ball over seven times and miss over half of his 14 free throw attempts.
The series continues Sunday (because why rush greatness?) in Orlando, but it’s all over but the Kobe Koronation (™ SPORTSbyBROOKS Industries), barring three straight Creighton-esque repeats of Game 3’s wanton abuse of the three-point stripe.
The NHL, on the other hand, has gone the distance in the Stanley Cup Finals with home ice making the difference thus far. For one more night, they’ll be able to draw attention from the Phoenix Coyotes debacle and one man’s claim that the St. Louis Blues are even worse off than the Coyotes these days.
As always, Pittsburgh has brought the charm and grace it’s known for to the final Final game table:
(That man is Bill Guerin, 87-year-old right wing for the Penguins. The sign is in Pittsburgh. The ridiculously large bird wearing the faux sandwich board probably isn’t a union member.)
On the other hand, the birds that sabotaged the Kansas City Royals last night in Cleveland have clearly organized. The Indians’ Shin-Soo Choo singled in the bottom of the tenth to score Mark DeRosa for a 4-3 win, but any possible throw to the plate to thwart the scoring attempt by DeRosa had to be abandoned when the batted ball bounced off a flock of seagulls in center field and ricocheted away:
First bugs and now nature’s winged rats… the Indians will rain down just about any ol’ plague on its enemies, won’t they? The only natural disaster of Biblical proportions left to terrorize opponents with has to be Dwight Howard’s free throws. (Bricks are the little-known 11th plague for obvious reasons.)
And now an errant hail of bullet points to enjoy while you avoid arrest while holding the police at bay by claiming to have swine flu:
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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:
• How did porn star Jenna Jameson & MMA fighter Tito Ortiz first meet? It was through the modern miracle of MySpace!
• The Nuggets sting the Hornets with a record-tying playoff blowout.
• Bob Knight would appreciate it if the Dutch media wouldn’t f***ing ask him about the f***ing chair-throwing incident.
• Could you stand yet another day of the NFL Draft - in primetime, even?
• Al Roker & Donald Trump have thrown some of the most fabulously futile first pitches at Fenway.
Now that the Lakers have finally put away the Jazz, Derek Fisher can concentrate on how to prepare battling his next tough opponent. Not the winner of the Rockets-Blazers series, but a woman who’s been stalking him.
TMZ has the details on a lady who calls herself Symone Fisher, a person that Derek says he has never been in a relationship with, but who has been harassing himself & his family for a few years now. It’s gotten to a point that Derek has finally had a restraining order placed on Symone.
Just how bad has the stalking been for the Lakers star?
This was one hell of a starting weekend for the NBA playoffs. We mentioned it before, yes, but we can’t shut up about it because it’s something that ought not be shut up about: Derrick Rose’s highly testicular 36-point performance at the Boston Garden was one of the most remarkable playoff performances in the last, let’s say, decade. He made tough shot after tough shot while being defended by one of the premier point defenders, Rajon Rondo, and hit every single free throw, including two to swing a one-point lead to the Bulls with time running out in regulation.
Then there’s the shredding that the Lakers delivered to the Jazz at the Staples Center. Sure, the final score was somewhat close, but the Jazz were never in serious contention after the first quarter; the Lakers are too deep and too talented to drop a game at home in this series. And speaking of depth, how dangerous is the Lake Show with not only its regular cast of characters, but a 95% healthy Andrew Bynum, a motivated Lamar Odom, and a productive Trevor Ariza? That’s such a bad sign for the rest of the league; you could conceivably take Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol off that team and still win a series against most teams. Got to think Derek Fisher’s total implosion can’t help, though. You know the Lakers are drafting a point guard who can play right away in the draft.
As for the rest of the league, we had the Lakers’ dominance as mentioned above, and then the only other top 3 seed who looked capable of going deep in the playoffs was Cleveland, who just toyed with the Pistons, 102-84. Lebron James … what can you say? 38 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, and this absurd shot one step in from half-court:
How many players can take a shot like that and know it’s good from the moment it leaves their fingers? Look at him running at it. He knows. He’s Neo. He’s stopping the bullets and throwing them back at people. He sees those green numbers. He can fly.
Yes, we should mention the Nuggets’ 29-point win too, but having watched that game, we’re still not sold at all. Sure, if Chauncey Billups goes 8-9 from behind the arc in any other games from here on out, they’re probably going to win. But the final score, in this case, doesn’t reflect the competitiveness of the game; New Orleans was within seven points late in the third before collapsing. Denver’s still not a good 2 seed, and Chauncey’s avalanche seems like far more of an anomaly than J.R. Smith’s brickfest; he went 0-7 from downtown. Not sold, man.
And so that’s it. There’s nobody who, right now, looks like they can challenge the Lakers or Cavaliers. That’s not to say there won’t be exciting basketball, of course - witness Chicago-Boston or the Philly-Orlando game iced by Andre Iguodala - but those are sideshows, the undercard to the impending main event. The best part, then, is that even with the ultimate matchup worth writing in ink, we still have no idea who wins that series. The Lakers are deep, but Lebron is Lebron.
Is there a decent segue between anything Lebron does and the word “Gay”? No? Yeah, that sounds right. Anyway, golf has a fresh round of locker room jokes at the ready after Brian Gay set Harbour Town on fire, breaking Loren Roberts‘ scoring record and shooting -20 at the Verizon Heritage, including seven under in the final round. Well played, Brian Gay. Tyson Homosexual is impressed.
(Resisting temptation for any reference to his wardrobe…)
And what’s the deal with the “Gay” surname? Like, yeah, it’s only been a big deal for the last two generations or so, whereas the name’s been around for a lot longer, and yeah, being gay isn’t in and of itself a problem. But it’s still got to be utter hell for a child; can’t people just change their kids’ names to “Gray” until they turn 18, and then it’s a judgment call when the kid becomes an adult? Nobody likes to be the butt of gay jokes, after all. Haha, I said “butt.” Let’s just move on.
Some quick hits while you make your very own flaming bacon lance of death…
That’ll be good ebough for a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic; you can’t just hit dudes in the head in hockey, man! Except for their famous bare-knuckle sideshows that happen in every single game. Aside from that, we mean.
You know who had a good night on Monday? Devin Harris of the New Jersey Nets. Not only did he score 39 points, but he sunk a game-winning half court shot as time expired to lift his team to a 98-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. The entire play was about as nutty as you can get in the NBA, with Harris having his initial shot blocked before recovering to sink the game-winning basket a fraction of a second before time expired.
As BLACK SPORTS ONLINE points out, Harris’ shot raised a whole host of questions: was he fouled in the act of shooting; did he travel after recovering the initial blocked shot; and did he really get the shot off before time expired. Take a look for yourself and be the judge (and please pay attention to Violet Palmer, who emphatically waved off the shot, probably because she’s an awful referee):
As for the 76ers: as THE 700 LEVEL points out, this loss was a microcosm of their season: for the sixth time, they lost a game they were leading with ten seconds to go. So the next time you complain about a close game your team lost, keep in mind that it could be worse - you could be a 76ers fan.
If Devin Harris had a good night on Monday, then the New York Knicks’ Nate Robinson continued his great month of February. Not only did he win the NBA Slam Dunk title by (literally) leaping over Dwight Howard, but he’s been a beast on the court as well. Besides blocking Chris Bosh, Robinson has been on a scoring tear. His 41 points against the Pacers marked the fourth time in the last six game he’s scored 30 points or more, helping lead the way to a 123-119 victory.
Meanwhile, not having such a great day or month is Marvin Harrison. It’s hard to imagine the possibly second-greatest wide receiver in NFL history playing for another team than the Indianapolis Colts, but that’s the real possibility after the INDIANAPOLIS STAR reports that Harrison is all but certain to be cut by the team, barring a last-ditch effort by team owner Robert Irsay. Then again, if Jerry Rice can play for the Seahawks…
The Clear. It sounds like the name of a rock band with a vaguely Christian background, but we all know what it really is: the steroid concoction that Barry Bonds and other elite athletes took as part of their training regiments through BALCO labs as a way to cheat the system and produce jaw-dropping, chemically-enhanced performances. Technically, the drug is called tetrahydrogestrinone, otherwise known as THG, but The Clear is clean name for it when used by dirty players.
But YAHOO! SPORTS did some poking around some recently unsealed grand jury testimony from expert witnesses, and found some very interesting facts. Like that THG wasn’t classified as an illegal steroid until 2005, well after the BALCO case broke and Bonds had admitted to using The Clear. Or that that lead BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky testified in 2004 that ”there’s never been any studies to show whether or not THG does, in fact, enhance muscle growth.”
So yeah, the drug that has become a code word for a designer steroid at the heart of the government’s perjury case against Bonds? It wasn’t actually illegal when he was allegedly taking it. That’s more than a monkey wrench being thrown into the government’s case - that an entire 48 piece Craftsman tool set.
The government is expected to claim that regardless of the legality of THG, they have proof that Bonds took other banned substances. But if that’s the case, why is it that the only thing we heard about was The Clear for the past five years?
So it’s time to be honest with ourselves: Barry Bonds is not going to jail. This case is teetering close to a total meltdown, and at some point the government either has to cut its losses or risk a series of headaches in court. There will be no Schadenfreude moment of him doing a “perp walk” to a federal prison somewhere in Kansas, no teary interviews from jail with ESPN. It’s not happening.
But now what? It’s an amazing coincidence that this news comes out the same week that Hall of Fame voting results were released, which showed that voters are apparently willing to make at least Mark McGwire a scapegoat for the “Steroid Era” in baseball even if he’s been convicted (or charged) with no crimes, a fact that didn’t bode well at all for Bonds.
So do voters do with Barry Bonds? It’s easy to keep him out if he’s convicted, or has the cloud of the BALCO case hanging over his head. But if it turns out that The Clear - the drug that people thought might doom his chances - wasn’t illegal when he was taking it, and perhaps didn’t give him any edge, how do you justify keeping him out?
Meanwhile, back in the world where we actually talk about sports - as in what happened on the field - the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the Lakers had themselves a little bit of a Texas Train Wreck against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. First, with the Lakers clinging to a 111-109 lead with 10 seconds to go, the Spurs’ Roger Mason was fouled by Derek Fisher while scoring, setting up a three-point play to give San Antonio a one point lead.
That’s ugly, but what happened next was worse. With a chance to win the game, Kobe Bryant (who had drained a three pointer the previous possession to give the Lakers their lead) took the ball and confidently … passed off to Trevor Ariza, who got all tangled up with Manu Ginobili and was called for travelling with 0.8 seconds to go to end the game.
What? No offense to Ariza, who is a good role player. But why in the hell is Kobe Bryant passing up a game-winning shot? If you ask him, it’s because he wanted to motivate Ariza and the team:
“I could have rose up and shot it myself, but I felt like if one of my teammates, particularly Trevor, to get that opportunity just to drain a shot or something like that, he just takes his game to a whole ‘nother level,” Bryant said. “It just didn’t work out.”
Which is great if he makes it, Kobe. But since he blundered the chance, you’ve probably crushed the kid’s confidence. Way to go.
• Before he begins his senior season, should Tim Tebow follow God’s work in the Philippines, or stay a god in Gainesville?
• All 34 bowl games are now squared away. I was really worried about who would get invites to the PapaJohns.Com Bowl.
• One ESPN.com contestant’s Streak for the Cash reaches 25 games - and $1 million dollars!
• Blimey! Could we really see a U.S. pro team in London within 3 years?