Anna Kournikova, Hines Ward, Stanley Cup Finals and Wednesday's Top Sports Buzz
Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars concluded yesterday with Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward becoming the DWTS winner.
Anna Kournikova isn’t the Biggest Loser winner, but she'll join the show's training staff next season. She is going to replace the intense Jillian Michaels. We’ll see if the ex-tennis player can even come close to Michaels’ aggressiveness.
In other news, the Vancouver Canucks are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Canucks don’t know who they will face yet, but it will either be the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins have a 3-2 series lead on the Lightning.
Back to Hines Ward—he came up short in the Super Bowl back in February, but he came through in the clutch when it mattered most in the Dancing With the Stars finale. Sorry, Steelers fans, I had to.
Stay tuned for more of Wednesday’s top sports buzz throughout the day.
Will Sergio Martinez Back Up His Big Mouth And Challenge Manny Pacquiao?
In a recent interview with Boxscorenews.com, Sergio Martinez spat out a few quotes on Manny Pacquiao that could easily draw the adjective: disrespectful.
Pacquiao is a legend, no doubt about it, but that didn't stop Martinez from letting his big mouth run wild. When asked about Manny's recent fight, he responded:
"[Pacquiao] didn't show much to me in his last fight with Shane Mosley, which I thought was boring. Manny Pacquiao is working his business by picking boxers he knows he can beat and are pretty close to retirement. He is picking guys that are easy to beat, so when you do this, it isn't hard to be pound-for-pound."
His most attention grabbing line during the interview was, "If we fought I would beat him by knock out."
Now, that sounds like a challenge to me. A fight between Pacquiao and Martinez may not seem realistic, but it's not out of the question. Martinez weighs 160 pounds while Pacquiao weighs only 145 pounds.
It's not like Pacquiao hasn't moved up weight classes to fight before though. In 2007 after winning at 135 pounds he moved up two weight classes to fight the 150 pounds Oscar De La Hoya.
Martinez and Pacquiao have each fought light middleweight before. If there is a challenge from Martinez and Pacquiao doesn't have to submit any blood tests, I can't see Manny not fighting a challenger that talked that much trash.
Jalen Rose Pleads Guilty After Being Arrested For Drunk Driving
Ex-Fab Five member Jalen Rose was arrested on suspicions of driving drunk back on March 11th after he crashed his Cadillac Escalade. Rose plead guilty in court admitting that he had a few too many that night.
Something like this sure isn’t going to help his reputation. After the ESPN Documentary, “The Fab Five,” was aired, Rose received quite a bit of criticism for some of the comments he made during the show, specifically about Duke’s basketball program.
He said growing up he believed Duke only recruited black players who were “Uncle Toms”. Rose reaffirmed multiple times in the documentary his hatred for Duke. Let’s just say ex-Duke players, black and white, didn’t have too many nice things to say about Jalen Rose and the documentary.
At one point, Rose singled out now Phoenix Sun Grant Hill labeling Hill in that stereotype of black player Duke would only recruit. Hill responded in the later days saying:
To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.
I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.
I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.
Duke great Thomas Hill was also critical of Rose saying, "Those comments were just pure ignorant," and, "The comment Jimmy King said about him being from the inner city, it's misleading, it's fraudulent. It's like he's living a lie." Coach K was also called out in the documentary, but he refused to comment on it.
Will Young, More Explosive Wide Outs Steal Targets From Dancing With The Stars Winner Hines Ward?
Hines Ward is 35 years old. He was never the most athletic wide receiver in the NFL, but at his age, separation for cornerbacks that can run a 4.3 40 doesn't come easy.
After recording back-to-back thousand yard seasons in 2008 and 2009, Ward's production dropped dramatically last season. He recorded only 59 receptions, 755 yards, and five touchdowns.
He hasn't had a worse statistical season since back in 2000. Ward even had better stats in 2007 when he missed three games due to injury.
In terms of playing time, it doesn't help that the Steelers have three young, talented wide receivers on the roster who can really do some damage with the ball in their hands.
Mike Wallace has turned into one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL. He put together a 60 reception, 1,257 yard, 12 touchdown year in 2010. The man who ran a 4.33 40 at the combine averaged an insane 21 yards a catch last season.
Emmanuel Sanders ran a 4.41 at the combine and emerged as a solid target late in the year for Ben Roethlisberger. Antonio Brown has return ace speed as well and should get more playing time in 2011.
With so much young talent, Ward could begin to be utilized more and more as a blocker, and less and less as a receiver. Just some advice, don't draft Ward in fantasy football this year.
Will Kobe Bryant Give Mike Brown Respect As The New Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach?
See Kobe's face in that picture? That's the expression he gave when he first heard Mike Brown was among the coaches the Lakers were thinking of signing to replace Phil Jackson.
On a serious note, a source close to Kobe did say he was surprised by the news that the franchise was on the verge of hiring Brown.
Can Kobe mesh with Mike Brown? Sure.
Will Kobe mesh with Mike Brown? Doubtful.
Remember, this is the same Kobe Bryant that is credited for dismantling the Shaq and Kobe duo to fly solo while kicking Phil Jackson to the curb as well. This is Phil Jackson we're talking about. It took Jackson almost 10 years to earn Bryant's respect and he's the greatest coach in NBA history.
Can you name the coach who followed Jackson the first time around? No? Rudy Tomjanovich.
Tomjanovich resigned after just 41 games because of "health issues." In other words, a young Kobe made Rudy T.'s hair go grey faster than the U.S. president's. Tomjanovich couldn't handle Bryant so he got out of L.A.
How do you handle the ego that is Kobe Bryant? Hire a proven leader that has an impressive and respectable resume.
Some claim that Rick Adelman would've won at least one title with the Sacramento Kings if it weren't for some questionable refereeing. He always got the most out of his Houston teams as well.
Even Mike Dunleavy was the head coach when Magic's Lakers lost the Michael Jordan's Bulls back in 1991. He did coach some pretty bad Clippers teams over the past few years, but they're the Clippers, no mortal man can break that curse.
Instead of hiring Adelman and even Dunleavy, they hire Mike Brown. Brown couldn't earn the respect of LeBron James and his equally large ego. Most would credit James was behind the Cavaliers firing Brown.
If you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.
Get ready to watch some post-2004 LA Lakers drama reruns.
Randy Savage And Other Deaths Raise Questions About WWE Safety
Every single football player that started for the New York Giants or Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV the same year is still alive.
44 boxers held a world title in 1991. Only two are dead which is less than five percent.
Zero out of the 50 musicians who performed at the 1991 and 1992 Monsters of Rock festivals in England have died.
Are these numbers just a coincidence or is there something more to it? Randy Savage died of a heart attack. Dare I say he could've been on steroids?
Just look at his arms.
It's not like wrestlers haven't been linked to steroids in the past. Davey Boy Smith died from overdosing on a steroid cocktail. Mr. Perfect died from a combination of steroids, cocaine, and pain killers.
Andre the Giant, Big Boss Man, Hawk, and Hercules all died of heart problems. Steroids cause heart trouble.
I'm not saying any of those Bills or Giants football players didn't use steroids. Some of them probably did.
Just looking at the numbers though, it's obvious WWE is far more juiced than any other sport. Not all deaths are steroid related, but it's pretty safe to say the majority are.
Nancy Kerrigan's Brother Dodges Manslaughter Conviction
In 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee by one of Tonya Harding's goons forcing her to skip the Olympic trials.
Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she trained twice as hard. After her miraculous recovery she was able to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. She placed second in a controversial decision in which she probably should have won gold.
Kerrigan overcame great adversity in 1994. In 2011, her family has done it yet again.
Wednesday, Nancy's brother Mark Kerrigan was acquitted of manslaughter after he was accused of killing his father. Instead he was convicted of assault and battery with a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in prison.
What killed the father wasn't the struggle he had with Mark. He had three major coronary arteries which were 85 to 100 percent blocked.
The Kerrigan family managed to stay in the news 17 years after Nancy was attacked, but they still were able overcome yet another obstacle.
Barry Bonds Is Coming to San Francisco Giants Fan Bryan Stow's Family's Aid After Attack by Los Angeles Dodgers Fans
Back on March 31, Bryan Stow was attacked by two Dodgers fans outside of Dodger Stadium because he was wearing a Giants jersey. He is still in critical condition with brain injuries.
Retired Giants star Barry Bonds has reached out to Stow. Bonds possibly feels a connection towards him because Stow was beaten by Dodgers fans—Bonds was spit at, mocked and taunted by Dodgers fans.
Bonds visited him in the hospital, left a signed bat for his children, and offered to pay for their college.
Neither suspect in the beating has yet been convicted of a crime. One suspect has been arrested, but still isn't technically convicted.
If Bonds wants to help even more, using the home run king, juiced up or not, as a threat could get a confession pretty easily. Just take the suspects to a back room, turn off the cameras, hand Bonds a bat and say, "Confess, or take one to the knee cap." I'll guarantee a full confession.
Seriously though, he may be one of the most hated men in sports history, but you have to respect Bonds for how he's coming to Stow's side in his time of need.
Will Tiger Woods Leave IMG to Follow His Agent Mark Steinberg?
On Tuesday, CNBC sports reporter Darren Rovell tweeted the following: "BREAKING NEWS: Tiger's agent Mark Steinberg is no longer w/IMG. Company announces new heads of golf business. Contract expired in June."
Mark Steinberg has been Woods' agent for the last 12 years. Woods has said he's committed to both sides (Woods...commitment, get it?).
Steinberg is responsible for getting Woods his deal with Nike reportedly worth $20 million a year. He also got Woods $55 million for a golf course design project.
According to IMG, or the Internal Management Group, the company represents over 1,000 elite athletes.
Will Woods leave the powerful IMG to follow Steinberg? I would tend to believe so. Woods worked with Steinberg himself, not with IMG as a whole. It would seem like more of a betrayal to Steinberg if Woods chose IMG over him than the other way around (Woods...betrayal, get it?)
Look for Woods to cut his ties with the business and follow his friend. It's the only stable relationship he has left.
How Much Did New Jersey Nets Forward Kris Humphries Pay for Kim Kardashian's Ring?
TMZ reported that New Jersey Nets power forward Kris Humphries paid $2 million for Kim Kardashian's engagement ring. I don't know if that's a record, but it has to be up there.
Humphries isn't some huge NBA star like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James that make over $20 million a year off salary and endorsements. He doesn't even have any major endorsements, if any at all. Humphries only made $3.2 million this past season, only.
With the possibility of an NBA lockout this upcoming season, it doesn't sound too intelligent to spend over half your salary on a wedding ring.
The pair should be fine though. The Kardashian family has a whole is buried in Benjamins.
Just as an example, Kim Kardashian makes 10 grand every time she tweets something on Twitter. Best job ever?
Kris Humphries himself should be set on cash too soon enough. He hits free agency this summer.
What nice timing to have the best season of his career. He was probably chasing down rebounds with Kim in mind thinking, "I need all the money I can get to pay for this $2 million ring."
Paul Banks of the Washington Times predicted that Humphries would be offered a contract of $40 million over five years this summer.
Will Bitter Rivals Los Angeles Lakers And Boston Celtics Fight to Acquire Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard?
Dwight Howard has been connected to the Los Angeles Lakers for some time now. The most common rumor has been a swap for Andrew Bynum with the possibility of Gilbert Arenas being thrown in for the Magic to create some cap space.
Taurus Londono of Yahoo! Sports threw the Celtics' name into the Dwight Howard sweepstakes with their obvious need at center.
The Lakers and the Celtics are the two greatest teams in NBA history, and no one else is even worth throwing into the discussion. The Celtics boast 17 NBA titles while the Lakers have 16. The Chicago Bulls are third with just six.
The two teams almost always manage to stay relevant, hence the abundance of championships. Each franchise is now coming off having championship squads in the last few years, but it looks like the ship has sailed for their current rosters.
Each team needs an injection of youth, but not just any youth. If they want to skip the rebuilding process and continue to contend, they need the best youth: Dwight Howard.
If the Lakers were to grab Howard, he could combine with Kobe for the next few years and then take over as the face of the franchise. For the Celtics, Howard and Rajon Rondo would form an unstoppable point guard-center duo for the next decade.
The New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks have been mentioned in the discussion of where Howard will be playing in 2012, but if he has a choice, there's no logical reason to choose those teams over the Celtics and Lakers. Mike D'Antoni's system isn't built to win a championship, and the Nets are, well, the Nets.
The Lakers and Celtics are proven winners. Each team will do whatever it takes to stay at the top. Expect the two rivals to be at the head of the pack in the race for Dwight Howard starting at the trading deadline next season.
Are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather the Last Great Boxers?
There is no question boxing is dying. The days where Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman's game was considered one of the major American sports is long gone.
Boxing isn't even the most popular fighting sport today, after being passed by Mixed Martial Arts. The last thing that is keeping the sport of boxing breathing is its names. That is the one thing the MMA will most likely never pass boxing on: star power.
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are far bigger than any MMA fighter. When each man fights, he is the number one sports story of the week.
After Pacman and Pretty Boy Floyd retire, though, who's left to keep boxing from flat-lining? No one. All the top young fighters are heading to the MMA.
The only hope boxing has to remain relevant, you know what's coming, is a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
It would be the top sports story of the entire year. The fight would bring boxing back to the front page. It could reignite popularity into the sport and save boxing forever.
The chances of that happening are slim to none, though. Each fighter is aging and the feud between the two sides doesn't look like it's going to die down anytime soon.
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather owe it to Ali. They owe it to Louis. They owe it Robinson, Armstrong and Pep.
They owe it to every all-time great to save the sport of boxing. If they fight, there's a legit possibility it breathes new life into the sport. If they refuse and forget every fighter that's made it possible for them to do what they do, in 10 years, the sport of boxing will be unheard of to new generations of sports fans.
Boxing will be extinct.
Kim Kardashian Engaged to New Jersey Nets' Kris Humphries; Khloe and Lamar Got One, Reality TV Show Coming?
After Khloe Kardashian and Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom got married, E! gave them their own reality television show.
Now that Klhoe's sister Kim just got engaged to the New Jersey Nets Kris Humphries, their reality show could be coming next.
The Kardashian family has plenty of experience with reality TV. An episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians show holds the E! record for the most watched broadcast in the channel's history. There's no way Kim would turn down another TV show offer.
Kris Humphries, on the other hand, could. The 26-year-old power forward just had the best season of his career averaging 10 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and he only started half the season. He may not want to risk a distraction like a reality TV show getting in the way of his performance on the court.
The good news for Humphries and the possibility of a reality TV show is that Lamar Odom's show that aired this past year didn't get in the way of basketball for him. He had one of the best seasons in his career, averaging 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds a game off the bench and winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award for the first time.
Of course, Lamar Odom has more of a laid-back personality compared to Humphries, who is more of a high-motor type of player so we'll see.
The money a reality television show would bring in may just be too much for Humphries to pass up.
Will the Vancouver Canucks Face the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals?
The Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night in a 3-2 game five double overtime victory to punch their ticket to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. They will either face the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins have a 3-2 series and will try to close it out 8:00 p.m. ET Wednesday night. Don’t count out the Lightning though.
The total goals scored in this series is actually tied 16 to 16, so it’s not like the Bruins have been dominating and the Lightning snuck away with two wins. Tampa Bay at home is favored to force the conference final to a Game 7.
Even if the Lightning tie it up, when it’s all said and done, the Bruins will most likely be headed to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins have the much better defense and in sports, except for golf and tennis, defense wins championships.
Tim Thomas has been one of the best goalies this postseason. Unless Tampa Bay’s offensive stars in Sean Bergenheim, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier dominate the next two games, Boston will be headed to face off against the Canucks in the championship.
Will Anna Kournikova Be Able to Match Jillian Michaels’ Intensity on Biggest Loser Next Season?
If there was ever a list created about the "Top 100 Women Who Could Beat Up the Average Man," Jillian Michaels would most likely be in the top 10.
Michaels is a personal trainer and she is as intense as they come. Once Michaels was asked what she would be doing if she wasn't a trainer and she answered, "A boxer." No, I just made that up, but would you really be shocked by that answer?
Her passion for working out and losing weight is one of the things that made the television show The Biggest Loser a hit. Will tennis player Anna Kournikova, who is known for just being a pretty face, be able to match that passion?
According to the Herald Sun, Kournikova won't be able to replicate Michaels' intensity, but her passion, on the other hand, is a different story. That's why she reportedly was given the job.
Biggest Loser executive producer Todd Lubin said that he was impressed with Kounikova's ability to motivate the contestants, and was also quoted saying:
"She grew up with very little in Moscow, pounding tennis balls every day when she was five. What's alarming about Anna is that when she really gets intense, she starts speaking Russian. And as a child of the Cold War, it scares me when she does."
If you didn't just laugh at that image you must not be awake yet.
It sounds like Kournikova will replace Michaels after all just fine.
Will Being Dancing With The Stars Season 12 Winner Improve Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Hines Ward as a Football Player?
Believe it or not, dancing takes athletic ability. You need quickness, balance and core strength—three things that come in quite handy on the football field.
After months of dancing on the biggest stage, Hines Ward could come back to the gridiron more athletic.
Ward has never been the most athletic wide out in the league, but at the age of 35 years old, he could use any boost of athletic ability he can find.
Professional football players in the past have been known to take ballet to help them on the football field. Examples include Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann and Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George.
Ward is only the second football player ever to win the competition, and the first one was Emmitt Smith so there’s no past example to see if there was a noticeable result. Still, it’s one good-looking theory.
Instead of needing to put Ward in motion and release him in the slot because he can’t get off the line of scrimmage, the Steelers could be throwing him plenty of screens in 2011 with his new-found agility, or he could’ve just lost all of his strength from being out of the weight room for so long.