Commentary

This and That

Updated: June 8, 2009, 4:00 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

• Roger Federer will go down in history as the greatest male tennis player ever as far as I am concerned. He tied Pete Sampras with his 14th Grand Slam singles championship, and you know he will be favored to make it number 15 at Wimbledon. He completed a personal grand slam by finally winning the French Open. Federer became the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam events during his career. I know some people felt he was on the way down earlier this year, but then he beat Rafael Nadal in Madrid and his confidence was boosted. He has his struggles at Roland Garros, but he found a way to win. Congratulations to Mr. Federer, the crème de la crème of the tennis world!

• Kobe Bryant showed why he is a winner during overtime of Game 2 as the Lakers moved up 2-0 in the finals. With the score 94-91 in overtime, Kobe made a big-time play, getting the ball to Pau Gasol in good position. Gasol made the basket and drew a foul. Kobe could have been frustrated by Hedo Turkoglu's blocked shot near the end of regulation. Instead he got the job done in overtime. Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu had big performances, but a few shots in overtime did not fall as Orlando is in trouble.

• Tiger Woods showed why he is a champion during the final round of the Memorial. Talk about making the big shots, he was absolutely brilliant on the 18th hole Sunday to wrap up the championship. Some athletes understand when it is crunch time and they seal the deal.

• Randy Smith was an iron man during his outstanding NBA playing career. He played 906 consecutive games, a streak of over 10 seasons without missing a contest. He played for Dr. Jack Ramsay and the Buffalo Braves and I am sure his coach would tell you how special this athlete was. A.C. Green ultimately broke that record for consecutive games played. It is so sad and tragic to hear that Smith passed away at age 60, suffering a heart attack while using a treadmill. Smith had blinding speed on the court, always giving his best. He was a warrior on the hardwood.

• Calvin Borel fell short of his quest for his own personal triple crown. Mine That Bird finished third at the Belmont Stakes as Summer Bird scored an upset win. Kent Desormeaux rode Summer Bird, and that is a big story in its own right. You may remember that Desormeaux was going for the Triple Crown on Big Brown last year at the Belmont, but the horse had a bad performance. This time Desormeaux got to the winner's circle, giving him victories in all three Triple Crown races during his career. Let's not forget that Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby as a 50-1 shot and then finished in the money during the other two Triple Crown races. That's pretty solid, baby!

• The Detroit Red Wings are a dominant team and they sit just one win away from capturing back-to-back Stanley Cups. Mike Babcock is an outstanding coach that may not receive the publicity he deserves.

• The NCAA infractions committee met with Memphis and now the wait is on, with a decision on the program coming in 6-8 weeks. There has been a lot of John Calipari bashing and that seems unfair to me. There were reports that he was not involved in any wrongdoing. Come on now, my friends ... let's be honest and fair here.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.