Maya Moore, Tiger Woods, NBA Draft 2011 and Thursday's Top Sports Stories
In addition to her historic college career, Maya Moore is now a trailblazer off the court as well. After being selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft to the Minnesota Lynx, she recently signed a deal with Michael Jordan’s division of Nike. While Moore is certainly not the first female athlete to ever have an endorsement deal, she’s the first to have done so with the Jordan brand.
In Nike, there is no bigger face than Jordan. While Tiger and LeBron James have all made a name for themselves in the Nike company, Jordan’s brand is the first, the most widely recognizable and clearly the most successful.
Moore joining the family was no small feat.
Now, she just has to live up to it. Not only is she expected to represent the brand well, but she’s expected to win in order to help her team and increase profitability of her deal. In the WNBA, the fan attention is scarce, so she’ll have to win if she wants to stay relevant at all.
The task is daunting, but Moore prides herself in being a winner. Let the game begin.
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Andre Eithier disgraces the Dodgers with childish outbursts
You might expect other players to be caught giving photographers the middle finger, but you wouldn’t expect it from Andre Ethier.
In photos taken before the game at Chavez Ravine the other day, Ethier could be seen giving the finger to photographers. To make matters worse, he did so in the presence of children as well as other spectators.
According to TheBigLead.com, Ethier’s outburst caused a complaint that is being investigated by Major League Baseball.
This is the last thing that the Dodgers organization needs. From the awful fallout of Frank McCourt’s ownership of the club, to an attack that two fans committed on a San Francisco Giants fan, this is the last amount of bad press they need.
The Dodgers brass would be right to give Ethier a healthy suspension. While it is out of his character the Dodgers need to send a message to their players that they must act with the highest sense of integrity and moral decency. The Dodgers need all the good press they can get.
What’s alarming about the incident is that there seems to be no indicated reason. If Ethier was razzed by fans or photographers then he needs to check himself and learn how to turn the other cheek. It’s hard to do, admittedly, but he must do it for his own image as well as the image of his team.
NBA Playoffs 2011 might find Kyle Korver as a scape goat
If the Bulls are pointing fingers for their Game 2 loss, it might have to be pointed in the direction of Kyle Korver.
It seems to be the mantra that you live by the Korver, or you die by the Korver. For the Bulls in Game 2, Korver killed them.
The plus to having Kyle Korver on the floor is two fold. First he’s a great shooter. While he’s been a little cold in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, when he’s on he is one of the best catch and shoot guards in the league.
The Bulls when they are down like to keep him on the floor. He can hit big shots and the other thing he does well is space the floor. The defense has to respect his shot so they can’t take a body off of him. This allows Rose a better chance to get to the rim and draw contact.
The issue with last night, is that Korver is a bad defender and keeping him on the floor is a defensive liability. When he was on in the fourth quarter he had to be moved over to the point guard, leaving Derrick Rose in charge of guarding Dwyane Wade. That match-up favors Wade and tires out Derrick Rose.
If the Bulls are going to get a win in Game 3 they are going to have lean on Keith Bogans.
Kyle Korver may only hurt them in the long run.
French Open 2011 sees the downward spiral of Roddick’s legacy
Andy Roddick will not win the French Open this year.
According to Forbes.com, the former U.S Open winner and Wimbledon finalist had to withdraw from the French Open due to a right shoulder injury.
The injury had previously forced Roddick out of the Italian Open. The likelihood is he’ll rest and gear up for Wimbledon this summer.
The sad news for Roddick is this is just another missed opportunity to win a Grand Slam title. While it was a longer shot that Roddick, who has just one grand slam title to his credit, was going to win, it’s always just another damning mark on his resume.
Roddick may best be known as the greatest player to be crippled by Roger Federer’s career. At the time that Roddick was reaching his prime, Federer was embarking on one of the greatest runs in the history of tennis. His dominance led him to 15 grand slam titles(the record) and casting a shadow so large that Roddick would never be able to escape it.
At this point Roddick, the emotional and occasionally diva like tennis star, can only hope that he can manage just one more grand slam to lend more credibility to his career.
That’s the only thing he can shoot for.
NBA Draft Combine has big things at stake for Jimmer
Ask Kyrie Irving and he’ll tell you that the NBA draft combine isn’t for everyone.
The Duke star won’t be participating in any events. However, for someone like BYU standout Jimmer Fredette, the NBA draft combine could be his ticket into the top ten.
There is no one in the draft who was a bigger star than Jimmer Fredette, but there is no one who is poised to see his draft stock plummet either. Fredette has a laundry list of concerns to answer for GM’s around the NBA.
There are questions about his speed, his ability to create off the dribble and his ability to pass like a true point guard.
The only thing GM’s aren’t in question about is his range. Fredette can score from anywhere on the court. He’ll instantly be one of the best straight up shooters in the NBA. The real question is if his ceiling is J.J Reddick or Stephen Curry.
With an impressive showing at the combine(with tests other than shooting) he can prove to scouts that he’s an impact player, and could move up from the projected 13 pick, into the Top 10.
It’s all up to Jimmer. He can determine his own fate.
Jorge Posada entitled to nothing from Yankees
Our vision of sports exists primarily in a fantasy land. We believe in loyalty, integrity, winning over income and fairness above all else.
But the reality of sports is that none of those things matter outright. If, in the course of business loyalty can be granted or integrity can be upheld then so be it.
In the case of the Yankees and Jorge Posada, it’s about a business decision and it might call for Posada’s outright release.
According to a story on ESPN.com, the Yankees haven’t ruled out the possibility of giving Posada his release if he doesn’t get better by the All-Star break.
I know, what a horrible thing for the Yankees to do right?
What other options do they have?
Can they convince Posada that his days as a starter are over? Can they convince him that he’s a glorified bench player at best? Can they convince him that he’s better off mentoring their young prospects?
Would a guy who was so resistant to batting ninth in the lineup be ok with be out of the lineup every day?
The Yankees will have to make a decision and the only choice they may have, in order to field the best team and keep away from contemptuous situations, is to release Posada.
People can cry about loyalty, but in most sports it’s a made up word. In baseball the word “loyalty” means little.
If Posada goes at the All-Star break he’ll be given the remainder of his $13.1 million to sit at home. If he retires at the end of the season he will have made $104 million in his baseball career from the New York Yankees. That money, money he may not have made as much of elsewhere, will have been their fitting tribute to an all-time great.
It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. The Yankees and Jorge Posada have done enough for each other. If it’s time to go then that is just the nature of the business.
Austin Box confirmed dead by medical examiner
Today the Box family and Sooner nation, as well as the entire world of college football, will mourn the passing of Austin Box.
The details are very little at the moment but here is what is known at this time.
According to Enidnews.com, Box “was found unresponsive in El Reno today and taken to an Oklahoma City hospital.”
The report indicated that he was flown to Mercy Hospital.
There were no further details given at that time.
What we know, thanks to Kfor.com, is that Austin Box was pronounced dead by the medical examiner.
There was no other information about Box’s death. It will probably be some time until it’s clear what may have caused the young man to die.
There are very few tragedies that are harder to comprehend than the loss of a person so young. His death will reach far beyond a football field. At this moment Oklahoma Sooners football is the very last thing that matters. Parents lost a son. Others lost a family member. And his teammates lost a friend.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who knew him. I am certain he will be missed.
NBA Playoffs 2011 is not the arrival of a new closer
In sports we are quick to anoint. We were quick to condemn Dirk Nowitzki as a choker and we are growing quickly attached to the idea of LeBron James as a closer.
Neither are entirely true.
James hit key shots against the Bulls last night to put the game to bed. With just four minutes remaining the game was knotted up, but James drained two key shots – a jumper and a three pointer- to effectively put the game out of reach.
This wasn’t the first time in the playoffs he found himself throwing daggers. In their closeout Game 5 against the Celtics, James rained buckets down to pull the plug on the 2010-11 Celts.
However, two great games does not a closer make.
LeBron, for all his clutch play in the last few weeks, has been woefully inept at willing his team back to victory throughout the season. His many failed attempts at last second shots were to the point where media and fans alike were wondering if it shouldn’t be Dwyane Wade handling the ball in the fourth quarter.
While it might not be fair to pigeon hole James as either, there is one other deterrent to calling James clutch, beside his small percentage of success as a closer, is his lack of an NBA ring.
Like it or not most who earn the label of clutch performer, whether it be Ray Allen, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant or even Dwyane Wade all have a ring to their name. In some cases the moniker came before the title, but essentially a title was needed to validate it.
Even Derrick Rose, who’s ascension to the label has been quick, will need to win a ring for such a honor to last.
While James is showing his mettle in the playoffs he’ll need more than just a couple of good games to prove he’s one of the best clutch players around.
David Kahn makes stupid statement, keeps reputation in tact
David Kahn wants all of us to know that he was just joking when he said that the NBA Lottery 2011 was rigged. Clearly he couldn’t have meant that.
The comments were this:
This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines. Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin [O'Connor of Utah]: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right.
But now Kahn wants us to know he was joking and doesn’t understand why we take everything so seriously.
Had any other GM in the league come out and said the same thing, there would have been the kind of buzz that would have forced a press conference from David Stern. There would have been a review and blogs and talk radio would have collapsed upon themselves like a dying star in the wake of so much talk about them.
But alas, this is David Kahn. This is a man who’s incapable of making even the simplest of deals. He’s run the Timberwolves franchise in circles and has the same level of respect as an NBA GM as I do.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but that’s what you get for putting your foot in your mouth.
NBA Playoffs 2011 and how the Heat won the hustle game
The Heat didn’t do anything revolutionary to beat the Bulls in Game 2.
There was no stunningly brilliant performances(minus the inspiring performance of Udonis Haslem) and they didn’t unveil a game plan that was confusing or altogether original.
The Miami Heat did the only thing they could do: they beat Chicago at their own game.
In the 85-75 loss the Bulls were out rebounded, out played on defense, and outhustled in all facets of the game to amount to a 1-1 series tie and home court advantaged controlled by Miami.
It was a must win for the Heat and they took it by playing harder and wanting it more than Chicago.
While Chicago did have a poor shooting night, particularly from behind the arc, what was most obvious for the Bulls in the second half was how hard it was for Chicago to find an offensive rhythm. The Miami Heat stifled the Bulls both off the pick and roll and inside the paint.
If there was a bright light in last nights game for the Bulls it was that though they shot poorly and failed to move ball in the second half, they were knotted up with just four minutes to play.
Nothing that has happened in the first two games give control to either team.
This makes Game 3 the must win on both sides.
Nancy Kerrigan gets emotional at mothers testimony
Brenda Kerrigan, mother of Nancy Kerrigan, broke down on the stand yesterday in the murder trial of her son.
Mark Kerrigan was accused of killing his father. According to police a fight that Mark Kerrigan had with Daniel Kerrigan on January 24,2010 caused the larynx to be fractured and his heart to stop beating. The Kerrigan family denies that it was Mark who caused Daniel to die suddenly.
Brenda Kerrigan got emotional on the stand talking about her husbands debilitating health as Nancy sat in the courtroom getting emotional as well.
It would be foolish of me to weigh in with an opinion about the guilt or innocence of Mark Kerrigan. I wasn’t there and I don’t have all the facts. It’s clearly for a jury to determine. However, it does shed a light on just how quickly our lives can change.
I know it wasn’t yesterday that Nancy Kerrigan was an Olympic hero, but it was in my lifetime. Now all those accolades and that silver medal don’t mean a thing. It is secondary these days. All that really matter is getting through this family crisis. Let’s just hope she can.
Jim Tressel has secure future despite dishonorable actions
Money talks and with Jim Tressel there is money for Ohio State.
He can lie, cheat and cover up all he wants to, but at the end of the day he’s going to bring Ohio State, as well as the Big Ten, a ton of money and wins and that’s all anyone really cares about.
It’s a shame that we live in a world where what you can give someone outweighs everything you have ever done. You needed be classy, honorable, truthful or of the highest moral standard. You just need to win.
When Tressel acted like a babe in the woods after his players were suspended we wondered just how much he really knew. When we found out he was notified of his students NCAA violations well before they were punished for them, we shook our heads.
When Tressel gave us a flimsy excuse that he didn’t know where to turn we felt ashamed that someone who seems to be as bright as Tressel would try and sell us a line like that. He thought we were all fools.
Yet Ohio State never batted an eyelash. They slapped a meaningless five game suspension on him went about their business.
His shady actions are better than the prospect of not winning. Failing to handle the issues on your team for the sake of winning is disappointing, but rebuilding a proud program is even morning disappointing.
He’s stick around not because he deserves to, but because in college football there are things more important than integrity.
NBA Playoffs 2011 features verbal jabs between two NBA greats
If Dwyane Wade has proven one thing in the NBA Playoffs it’s that he’s not willing to take anything lying down.
And that goes for comments from Charles Barkley as well.
Off the heels of Charles Barkley’s comment that he didn’t care for the Miami Heat because they were “whiny,” Wade told the Miami Sun-Sentinal he doesn’t care much what Barkley thinks.
When I was a kid they called me whiny all the time because I cried a lot. That's fine. I'm done addressing what Charles has to say. That's the way he thinks, and that's fine. He's not in our locker room. He's not going to have any bearing on what we do in the game of basketball. So that's fine. We don't care what people have to say about us. We're coming out to win the game. And we understand what the word 'bandwagon' means.
While I think Wade is right to be done addressing what any analyst says, I don’t know that this will be the last time D-Wade answers back to Sir Charles. These two have traded verbal jabs before and Wade has been walking around with a big chip on his shoulder since the free agent bonanza.
I think if Wade wins the NBA title, he’s going to have a few things to say about Charles and everyone else who was filled with Heat hate. It won’t be classy if he does, but to the victor go the spoils.
NBA Draft 2011 raises red flags about Duke freshman sensation
The book on Kyrie Irving is…well, it’s tough to say. In less than 15 college appearances it’s an incomplete chapter the he enters the NBA draft on.
While there are some scouts, especially those of the Cavaliers, Jazz and Timberwolves, who were hoping to get a look at the possible No. 1 pick, they will have to wait to see it on the court.
After the draft.
According to the AP, Irving’s agent has said that while his client will take part in the medical tests, he’s not taking part in any on-court drills or tests.
If these sorts of actions don’t put doubt into the minds of NBA teams, I’m not sure what will.
Dan Gilbert, who is reportedly head over heels with Derrick Williams, may have to stick with his gut and steer clear of Irving.
It’s not as if Irving has “bust” written all over him. He’s going to be a decent player we think. But we would know more if we could watch him in drills. It screams that either he’s afraid to show his toe, or that he’s afraid that he’s not equipped to perform well in these drills.
Yes, the drills have been skipped by stars in the past, but normally it’s been due to injury or because there was no doubt in just how good they really are.
For a guy like Irving, who is a nice kid and claims to be a hard worker, you would think he’d work harder to impress these scouts.
He’s got to be raising some concerns.
Dick Ebersol era at NBC is over, better things ahead?
It’s hard to look at the current state of NBC and see a lot of positives, sports included. While Dick Ebersol had a successful run as the head of NBC Sports, he will now be leaving his position.
According to the New York Times, Ebersol and his new bosses, Comcast, could not agree on a new contract, forcing his departure. While the initial shock is tough for NBC, in the long run they will end up better off.
Ebersol made a list of failures in his career. He presided over NBC getting a large chunk of the Olympics, which has only lost interest in the last decade.
He made the terrible decision to launch the XFL as it bombed out.
His decision to bring in hockey, a sport that doesn’t translate well on television, was only solid because he was able to get it at a bargain value.
He gave up primary rights to the NFL and the NBA, which both leagues are currently on the uptick.
It’s not the Ebersol was a bad exec, but more specifically, that NBC was just in need of a change. For a network that is desperate for viewership they need an executive with a fresh set of eyes. Ebersol will likely get picked up by another major player, but his time had run out at NBC.
A new day is dawning and it’s good for the company.
Tiger Woods can’t shake rumors of foul play
As if Tiger Woods needed more people talking about him.
After he removed himself from the Players Tour Championship last week, for a knee injury that continues to bother him, the Orlando Sentinels Mike Bianchi questioned Tigers past.
According to Bianchi’s article, there are more than a few golfers on the PGA tour who believe that Tiger isn’t clear. Translation: they think at one point or another Tiger has been on the juice.
Bianchi goes on to say:
it was hard not to wonder if his golfing free fall has more to do with his much-publicized split from wife Elin or his less-publicized disassociation with Dr. Anthony Galea.
Woods says he used Galea not for HGH but for a technique known as "blood spinning" to help expedite Woods' recovery from knee surgery. Why Woods would choose a well-known HGH doctor from Canada to do this "blood-spinning" when many licensed American doctors also perform the technique has raised a mountain of suspicion.
It’s easy in a sports culture where we, as fans, are lied to routinely and scandals appear as regularly as reality shows on cable TV, is it wrong to question an athlete once so strong, but now appears to be so broken down?
His association with Dr. Galea is a bit suspect at best. If I routinely frequented a house where drugs were being distributed, would it be wrong to wonder if I were doing drugs? If I routinely choose a doctor who had a history of selling HGH to patients, would it be wrong to wonder if I were in on it too?
It’s not pleasant to assume the worst in athletes, but it’s not right to dismiss it either. We didn’t create the culture of mistrust, we are just responding to it accordingly.