Shooting Victim Says Harrison Hired The Gunman

All right Captain Renault, time to round up the usual suspects. Dwight Dixon is the rather large man on the right, below, who sued former Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, saying that Harrison shot him during an altercation in Philadelphia last year. Now Dixon is in critical condition after being shot seven times on Tuesday, and has said, just before slipping into a coma, that Harrison hired the shooter. How does he know that? It’s unclear. But that’s quite a charge.

Marvin Harrison, Dwight Dixon

And so we have another chapter in this strange saga that began in January of 2008, when Dixon and Harrison argued outside of Harrison’s bar, Playmakers, in North Philadelphia. Then in April of that year, Dixon was wounded in the hand outside a garage owned by Harrison at 25th and Thompson Streets, which is about a mile from the bar. Harrison was not charged, even though the bullets were found to be from his gun. Read more…

Speed Read: College Class Lets Rickey Be Rickey

Rickey Henderson’s upcoming speech after his Baseball Hall of Fame induction on Sunday has the potential to be almost as awesome as a dinosaur fighting a squid and a whale. After all, this is someone who used to scream “Rickey is the best!” while standing naked in front of a mirror in the clubhouse taking practice swings. Who used called Padres GM Kevin Towers searching for a job and left the following message: “Kevin, this is Rickey. Calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.” And of course, who after breaking Lou Brock’s stolen base record, got on the mic and said “Lou Brock was the symbol of great base stealing. But today, I’m the greatest of all time.”

Rickey Henderson

So imagine him getting to give a whole speech dedicated to the matter of his greatness? It’s staggering to think what might come out of his mouth. It’s like taking Mel Gibson out for a night of drinking and then asking him about Jews. But the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS reports that Henderson is attempting to refine his speech, and some lucky college students at Laney College in the Bay Area are getting to help. For the past several weeks, he’s been practicing his speech in front of a public speaking class and receiving critiques from the students.

Rickey Henderson

The teacher is former major leaguer Earl Robinson, who offered Henderson his help because even Henderson can admit that he needs it:

“Speech and me don’t get along sometimes,” he said. “I’m not a doctor or professor, so for me to go and write a speech or read a speech, it’s kind of like putting a tie too tight around my neck.”

Usually, it’s hard to accuse Rickey Henderson of an understatement, but to say that he and speech “don’t get along sometimes” is like saying Madonna’s face is starting to look “kind of weird.” So where does this leave us for Sunday? Because let’s face facts: it would be tragic if his speech was too good.  But it appears that there’s no need to worry, as Robinson assures people that the speech is still all Rickey:

“He’s going to say what he feels,” he said. “How they interpret it, we’ll see. When he throws something out there, whatever else you hear in terms of him being critical of this or that, he overpowers you with the sincerity of his words.

“Like I finally said to him, just do the best you can. Let Rickey be Rickey.”

Manny Ramirez grand slam bobblehead

Yesterday we told you about how Manny Ramirez hit a game-winning grand slam on Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night into the Mannywood section of seats. And for many people in Southern California, it’s probably a good thing that we did, because they sure didn’t get a chance to watch it on TV. That’s because, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, Time Warner Cable customers missed the homer thanks to a roughly one minute service outage. Whoops!

One minute, viewers were watching the game. Then, they saw a frozen screen followed by back-to-back commercials, only to come back to Ramirez taking a curtain call because…something happened. Not that Time Warner cares about the dozens of angry e-mails and phone calls. I mean, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Time Warner spokesman Darryl Ryan said that what occurred was “an inadvertent glitch.” He said it affected a “small number” of customers on L.A.’s Westside and the western San Fernando Valley. And, as if this will matter to that “small number” of customers, “it only took them away from the game for 54 seconds,” Ryan said.

Hey, it least you didn’t have the Super Bowl climax replaced by a porn scene. Or, perhaps it’s too bad that you didn’t, depending on if your wife is in the room.

Finally, are you ready for a sitcom called “Jock Itch”? If you said yes, then Dolphins CB Nathan Jones is your kind of man. (Also, if you said yes, please resume beating yourself over the head with a mallet.)  Jones is executive producing the show, which he describes as “really ‘Friday Night Lights meets ‘Friends’.” Which I assume means that there will be a ton of cute talking, but no one will watch. Still, it’s an open audition if you’re interested.

  • POLITICO says former Bengals and Buccaneers head coach Sam Wyche is mulling a run for Congress as a Republican in his native South Carolina. I’m sure he’ll be ahead in the polls until Joe Montana’s last-minute entry into the race throws everything crazy.
  • Sam Wyche

  • YES Network’s choice for a “Yankee Classic” to air this weekend? Not one of their 26 World Series-clinching victories, or even a great game by Rickey Henderson. Nope, it’s their 9-8 win over the Mets from June 12, aka the Luis Castillo dropped ball game. All I know is that Tony Bernazard is ready to cut someone at the YES Network.
  • The guy who accused Marvin Harrison of shooting him has managed to get shot again. This time Dwight Dixon is in critical condition in a Philadelphia hospital, with Harrison nowhere in sight.
  • Really, is anyone surprised that Rickey Williams is studying New Age medicine as his post-football career? At least I know who I can turn to in order to get a prescription for my “glaucoma.”
  • CURBED LA says that one of the few people who stands to benefit from the California budget deal is billionaire Ed Roski, since his NFL stadium plan for the City of Industry happens to be right next to a proposed “redevelopment area.”
  • What is former MLB Troy Neel’s punishment for being the “most egregious child-support evader in Texas history” after fleeing the country for ten years in order to avoid paying more than $750,000 in support? Two years of probation. What ever happened to “Texas-style justice”?
  • The roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Hollywood Stars celebrity game has been announced. With names such as Larry King, Tom Arnold, Tom Green and former Creed lead singer Scott Stapp, it’s a veritable Who’s Who of celebrities I’d like to see take a fastball to the temple, Ray Chapman-style.
  • Headline of the Day: Kobe Advises Taiwan’s Wang to be Patient”. And for God’s sake, don’t stay at any hotels in Colorado.
  • Is there anything more dangerous than a drunk Bison? North Dakota State’s football team is dealing with its fourth player to be arrested in the past six months on DUI charges. Not to be outdone, a University of North Dakota hockey player gets suspended for drunkenly throwing so much stuff from a garage onto a road - including a lawn mower, kitchen table and glassware - that the street had to be closed for clean-up.
  • The police car footage from Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido’s January DWI arrest has been made public, and offers many tips on what not to do if you’ve been pulled over after having “five glasses of wine.” Such as: tell the cop you are drunk, and volunteer that a DWI will ruin your career.

Seriously: who would you most want to see take a screaming line drive in the crotch?

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Speed Read: Devin Harris Miracle Shot Sinks 76ers

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.

Devin Harris

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.

Nate Robinson

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…

After Jerry Rice, who is the second-best receiver in NFL history?

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Speed Read: Penn St. & Illinois Stink Up The Joint

Basketball: it’s a beautiful game. Or fantastically ugly, depending on which game you watched last night. On one hand, you had the Phoenix Suns putting up 140 points for the second straight game in their 142-119 victory over the depleted Los Angeles Clippers. On the other, there was Penn State and Illinois, who combined scored exactly one-half as many points as the Suns did in the Nittany Lions’ 38-33 upset victory over the Fighting Illini.

Penn State vs Illinois

Let’s talk about the latter game first. It wasn’t the lowest scoring game since the 45-second shot clock was introduced in 1986, but it was close. (That distinction belongs to Monmouth’s 41-21 win over Princeton in 2006.) They also flirted with the record for fewest combined points in a half, with the two team’s output of 32 just eclipsing the record of 28 set by Mississippi and South Carolina back in 2003.

The box score tells you all you need to know about the debacle. Exactly one player scored in double digits: Penn State’s Talor Battle, who put up 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Heck, the Nittany Lions as a team shot 28.3 percent from the field, and they won.

At least the two teams didn’t let a little thing like not being able to hit the broadside of a barn stop them from shooting the deep ball: they combined to go 6-for-33 from the three-point line. And Illinois didn’t attempt a free throw. For the game. Way to be aggressive, guys. But I guess a win’s a win, even if it’s the most embarrassing and pathetic kind possible. Congratulations, Penn State, I guess.

Steve Nash and Al Thorton

And then there are the Suns. You’ll excuse me if I don’t get too excited by the sudden return of the high-scoring, fast-paced, exciting Suns with Alvin Gentry as head coach after putting a hurting on the Clippers on back-to-back nights. First off, it’s the Clippers to begin with, but if a team with Amare Stoudemire (for now) can’t murder a team that’s missing Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, Brian Skinner and Zach Randolph, then something is seriously wrong.

Check back with me on Sunday after you guys visit Boston, and we’ll see how you’re doing.

But the Suns have a date with Oklahoma City before then on Friday, which will be without newly-acquired Tyson Chandler. Permanently. That’s because the Thunder rescinded their trade with New Orleans from Tuesday and sent Chandler back to the Hornets after he failed a physical with their team doctor.

Tyson Chandler

As TRUEHOOP notes, it’s probably going to be pretty awkward in New Orleans as Chandler has to return to the team that just unloaded him for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. (By the way, is Joe Smith involved with every strange trade or free agent signing in the NBA?) What makes things even more odd is that Chandler didn’t fail the physical because of his sprained left ankle - it was because of a big toe injury he suffered in 2007. And the Thunder’s doctor was the one who performed the surgery.

And speaking of injuries…Ken Griffey Jr. is back with the Mariners! All joking aside, I think most people of my generation will think it’s pretty neat to see Junior back in a Mariners uniform (presumably) for the rest of his career. And the story of his signing with the Mariners is unique; the SEATTLE TIMES says that apparently the No. 1 salesman for Seattle was Harold Reynolds, a close friend of Griffey’s. He had been working on Griffey to sell him on the move to Seattle when he played his trump card: hugging Willie Mays.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Reynolds set up a phone call between Griffey and the Say Hey Kid, who was Griffey’s idol and the reason he wears No. 24. And sure enough, soon after having the phone conversation with Mays, Griffey told the Mariners that he would sign with them. A great story, although I’m not sure I’d take advice from Willie Mays on how to end your career gracefully.

More sports stories to learn about as you ponder if anyone’s life could be stranger than Tracy Morgan’s

Which star athlete’s end of career death spiral was most painful to watch?

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Marvin Harrison’s Accuser Guilty Of Lying To Cops

Remember last April when some guy claimed that Marvin Harrison shot him near a Philadelphia garage owned by the NFL receiver? Yeah, it turns out that this guy might not be so reliable.

Marvin Harrison

Dwight Dixon, who claims Harrison shot him in the hand, was convicted today of making false statements to police surrounding the incident and sentenced to six months probation. It’s not clear exactly what statement got Dixon in trouble, but at various times he claimed he was either assaulted by random street toughs or shot by an unidentified man outside the garage. Then, he settled on pointing the finger at Harrison.

Read more…

Speed Read: Curry Wanted Gay Sex From Driver?

The best part about this headline, in truth, is that it’s not even the first time we’ve been able to connect Eddy Curry with a preposterous legal suit in the past month. Remember this? Still, as bad as a two-year-old Big & Tall clothing bill is, this takes the cake: According to this story in the NEW YORK POST, the oft-injured and always overpaid Knicks center is accused of trying to solicit gay sex from his chauffeur, whom he also made touch his penis, clean up towels he had ejaculated into and whom he called a, “f**king Jew”, “white slave”, “white devil”, and “grandmaster of the KKK”. Oh, and when the driver complained, Curry pointed a loaded gun at him and threatened to kill him if he spoke.

Eddy Curry hidden in towel
(Nothing is coming up Eddy anymore. That’s for sure.)

Yes, folks, that’s about as good a story lede as you can get. Just imagine the eyes on the reporter who tripped across this court filing. “Oh, look, a Knicks benchwarmer is getting sued. Hmm, wait a minute! Gay sex! Racial epithets! He makes $9 million!! Someone get me the executive editor!”

For your reading pleasure, here are the best lines from the suit, carefully culled by the POST:

The stunning court papers claim Curry, a married father of three, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky “in the nude,” allegedly telling him, “Look at me, Dave, look” and “Come and touch it, Dave.”

In a disturbing episode reminiscent of some of the evidence in the manslaughter case against former Nets star Jayson Williams, Kuchinsky further claims in his suit that Curry pointed a “fully loaded” gun at him on at least two separate occasions to keep him from complaining about his treatment. “Look, I have one in the chamber,” Curry allegedly said.

Exactly how many of the allegations Curry fulfilled is up for debate, but — as with the Duke rape case — at the very least he was doing things that weren’t advisable. Note to self: Don’t call any future butlers grandmaster of the KKK”. Oh, and don’t make them butlers if you’ve only hired them to drive you around.

However, what might be the most astonishing thing about the suit, is just how little David Kuchinsky, the driver in question, is asking for. The POST claims that he wants $98,000 — $68,000 in unpaid wages and another $25,000+ in unpaid expenses from Curry — and “compensatory damages” from the center. Look, we’re not genuises here, but $98,000 is chump change for a guy whose been making $9 million a year. Sure, it’s good money, but if you’re Curry, don’t you just settle that suit as fast as humanly possible? You whipped it out on the guy repeatedly and made him clean up your masturbatory mess, and all he wants is a measly $100G? Seems cheap at the price, if you ask us.

“Instead of paying him, they discriminated against him, figuring that it would keep him there,” said Kuchinsky’s lawyer, Matthew Blit. “Imagine going into your boss’s office … and he stands up and drops his pants and he asks you take care of him. Those actions are unacceptable whether it’s in a corporate office or a private home.”

It’s worth noting that Kuchinsky does have a checkered past — he served a three-year prison sentence for a 1992 burglary in New Jersey — and that Curry’s lawyer, Kelly Saindon, says that the suit is the culmination of a series of blackmailing threats from the former chauffeur.

Still, if any of these allegations are admitted to or proven true in a court of law, it will solidify one thing: Curry is the human equivalent of canine feces. Yes, we’re calling him dog crap. He can take his 2:38 of game action this entire season and shove it. Or maybe Kuchinsky can do that for him. He might like that.

There was more NBA news, but alas, it was much less inflammatory, degrading or insulting. Still, it was pretty entertaining. Following a second-straight win over Toronto, snapping the team’s previous elongated losing skid in the process, Celtics center Kevin Garnett felt comfortable enough to loosen up in a postgame presser and go Christopher Reeve on everyone. Here’s the video:

Is it just us, or does Paul Pierce always seem like KG’s red-headed step-cousin in the interview room? Garnett steals the stage even when he’s trying to deflect praise, all of which makes the dual-mic pressers even more awkward, and more entertaining in the process.

Also, if you haven’t seen him play yet this year, now might be a good time to check out Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. Here’s a lowdown of what he does well: Everything inside the three-point line. Here’s what he does poorly: select earphones. Did anyone see the earbuds he was using during a pre-game shootaround before Monday night’s win over rival Texas, a victory which snapped a six-game Oklahoma hoops losing streak against the Longhorns? They were either A) really old iPod earbuds or B) ripoffs of iPod earbuds. We couldn’t see “COBY” on them, but they had all the tell-tale signs. What, he can’t afford any Bose or Sony in-ear headphones? And what about the Nike ‘phones that are allegedly “designed for athletics”. Nike sponsors OU and they won’t comp a future top-10 pick a pair of headphones?

blake griffin
(Hmmm. Blake Griffin. Think he’s from Quahog, R.I.?)

Here are the full highlights of Griffin’s 14th double-double of the year, this one worth 20 points and 10 rebounds against his school’s biggest rival, all while allegedly playing with some sort of a hip pointer/side injury suffered early in the second half. We’d also note that there’s a distinct irony in the fact that Oklahoma’s other big contributor Monday night is named Austin. Oh, and for good measure, Bob Knight’s a pretty big Griffin fan, too.

  • Things keep getting worse for the Panthers. First, they get blown out at home in the playoffs. Then their fullback throws the team’s coaching staff under the bus. Now? A nasty prostitution ring is going to ensnare at least one Panther in it’s web, according to PROFOOTBALLTALK.
  • You know all those horrible chick flicks they put out with a hot actress — say, Kate Hudson — who is torn between two perfectly affable potential lovers and friends? Well, in this one, the two guys are played by PGA stud Adam Scott on Alex Rodriguez. Oh, and it’s actually happening.
  • Remember the old codger of a Hall of Fame voter in Tuscon who openly forgot to vote for Rickey Henderson? Well, ol’ Corky Simpson is taking out his frustration on the interwebs. We’d give you his home address and email if we had it … so come back soon. We should have it by lunch (gotta love the interwebs, even if Corky doesn’t).
  • There is no way Ed Rendell will ever win another election in Pennsylvania; he just simultaneously jinxed both the Steelers and Eagles with one, ferociously stupid blow.
  • Rendell might get off easy if it’s really snowy in Pittsburgh and the Ravens slog out a gross game. That’s more than you can say for the Spanish soccer fans in the video below.

Will Eddy Curry be found guilty?

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With Today’s HOF Game Football is Back, Sort Of

Tonight’s Hall of Fame Game, a matchup of guys wearing Indianapolis Colts jerseys against other guys wearing Washington Redskins jerseys, marks the debut of the 2008-09 NFL season - if you count football games played by people you’ve never heard of in high school stadiums that have no bearing on the win/loss record of either team as an actual NFL game.

Darrell Green and Art Monk Inducted into Hall of Fame

NBC’s coverage of tonight’s game is sure to draw in an audience, the majority of that audience might consist of the key demographic of degenerate gamblers excited about the opportunity to throw money down on football for the first time since the Arena Bowl but an audience nonetheless.

Aside from the degenerate gamblers, Redskins fans will also have an interest in watching at least a portion of tonight’s game; partially to see their new head coach Jim Zorn work the sidelines but mostly to enjoy the celebration of two of the franchise’s greats Art Monk and Darrell Green who were inducted into the Hall yesterday.

Read more…

LeBron Lashes At Mom; Paps Plays Craps On Field

We say a solemn sayonara to Annika Sorenstam, who’ll soon be swinging off into the sunset at season’s end.

• During the heat of battle, LeBron politely asks his mom to sit down.

LeBron James yelling at mom

Jonathan Papelbon plays like crap(s) at Detroit’s Comerica Park.

• This guy must have mistook the sand trap for a water hazard.

Kelvin Sampson is a blameless, misunderstood creature.

• Plans punched up for a Woody Hayes statue have been knocked down.

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Harrison Tells Colts He’s Not Involved in Shooting

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison has been in contact with Colts owner Robert Irsay and head coach Tony Dungy to let them know that he did not participate in the shooting of a man outside his Philadelphia club with a gun owned by Harrison. Philadelphia police emphasize that Harrison is not currently a suspect and is cooperating fully in the investigation.

Marvin Harrison doing his best O.J. Simpson

Well… hell. This must be heartbreaking for so much of the media for it to go all sideways on them like the Ray Lewis murder trial-that-wasn’t. They even had their covers ready:

Don’t mind the Photoshop work. After all, TIME didn’t.
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Blog-A-Roni: Bruins’ Zamboni Sure Is Razor Sharp

Darren Rovell of CNBC knows a close shave is a-Bruin for Boston hockey fans, as Gillette is on the cutting edge of Zamboni sponsorship.

Gillette razor zamboni Boston Bruins

• The BOSTON GLOBE lassos in word that Tom Brady would think it super if Gisele Bundchen dresses as Wonder Woman.

• GOSSIP ON SPORTS via HOCKEY BEAT splashes up some photos of Elisha Cuthbert frolicking in the surf with the Calgary Flames’ Dion Phaneuf.

• DEADSPIN receives rumors that Marvin Harrison may have some more skeletons in his clean-cut closet.

Read more…