May 12, 2004
Kobe:
Bryant declared guilty!!! (Of proving me and every other critic wrong, with his s-i-c-k, how-could-we-have-doubted 42-point binge to lead L.A. to 98-90 win.)
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
HOME  COOKING.

Now that Kobe has everyone convinced -- including me -- that those court appearances really do elevate his game, the Lakers are toast:

Kobe doesn't have any hearings left in this series.

The next schedule conflict (probably time to stop using that word) would happen May 27 -- the middle of the conference finals -- but that's too late if the Spurs knock out the Lakers in this series.

Can't Kobe get busted for jaywalking or littering -- anything! -- just so he can be scheduled for some kind of court session before Game 5 on Thursday, Game 6 on Saturday or, most important, Game 7 a week from today?

What irony if lack of off-court distractions keeps the Lakers from beating the Spurs.

Nets Tie Up Pistons
Maybe now Larry Brown will pipe down. Two Brown complaint sessions -- and two thumpings -- later, the Pistons' Game 1 rout is a distant memory, and the inspired Nets (94-79 W) are clicking enough that Game 5 in Detroit is a legit toss-up.

Clemens: 7-0
With Bonds' slump, Roger Clemens has become the "must-see" attraction in baseball:

Scary: Perfect 7-0 record
Scarier: 1.99 ERA
Scariest: Season-high 11 Ks last night

LeBron: Olympian
Someone at USA Basketball has locked up the 2004 "Master of the Obvious" Award for finally naming LeBron to the team. (And I can't stress this enough: Duh!)

Orange You Glad
Syracuse Orange:
Sounds like a regional fruit, not a team nickname. 'Cuse is dropping "men" and "women" from its nickname. "The Orange" was cool fan shorthand; making it "official" doesn't just erode the cachet -- it's sure to create "disgruntled" alums, like the one who e-mailed me this morning.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Pedro Martinez: Clemens-like (11 Ks) en route to Boston W
Cincy RB Rudi Johnson: 1/$1.8m reward for replacing Dillon
NBA playoffs: How great is the every-other-night schedule!
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Pistons: Listen to Big Ben Wallace, "We played like bums."
Mizzou: Wants to appeal NCAA ruling against its hoops team
Kerry Wood: Had to exit game early (tight throwing tricep)
 
Reminds me of my favorite party game: Name the handful of college teams whose nickname:

(a) isn't an animal;
(b) doesn't reference a color;
(c) and doesn't end in "s."
(Answer coming tomorrow.)

BCS Watch
BCS honchos meet again today to talk about the "plus one" plan that would add a fifth "title" bowl game, matching the teams ranked 1/2 after the usual four BCS bowl games are played.

Reminder: Last season was an aberration; there are pitfalls everywhere. Just one example: How would plan supporters have handled Miami-Ohio St. two seasons ago' make OSU "prove it" in a "plus-one" rematch?

Flame(s) On!
Good seats still available on the Calgary bandwagon, even after they won a second game in San Jose (for a 2-0 lead in the West finals).

Americans without a hockey allegiance (and there are many of you): Outsource your loyalty; join me in rooting on the one Canadian team left in the NHL playoffs.

Baseball's Start Date
Baseball myth inaccurate? (Ooh, stop the presses!)

Pittsfield, Mass., historians Tuesday trumped Cooperstown's "1839" baseball start date ... by 48 years, claiming they have a document that establishes baseball -- in Pittsfield, naturally (which is as ludicrously unverifiable as Cooperstown) -- by 1791.

Funny how you don't see last week's "purists" rushing to move the Hall of Fame -- or even to investigate correcting the record. They would never want to let pesky facts get in the way of myth.

Kings-Wolves
The Kings will win Game 4 at home tonight, but -- even if they don't -- I have so little confidence in the T'wolves' ability to finish off the Kings that I'm not even willing to say that tonight is "must-win" for Sacramento; they could easily win three straight, (including two in Minnesota).

Spurs' third quarter:
Anatomy of blowing a 10-point halftime lead: Score only 16 points, but allow 31; corral Tim Duncan and force *any* other Spur to beat them.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2: Dueling Diaries
Gammons: The AL's best player
IN: Can Spurs get back on track?
 
Quickie Top 5 Sports Towns
Chicago
Would crush L.A. in bar brawl
 
Boston
They even love Boston Rob
 
Detroit
Too scared to say otherwise
 
Baltimore
On behalf of Cleve/Pitt, too
 
Philadelphia
See: I'm really no hater
 

More NBA tonight: Hope the Heat enjoyed that 17-game home winning streak, because the Pacers are about to obliterate it ...

Only problem with LeBron-as-Olympian is that Marbury might be named to the team too (to replace Kidd); would LBJ ever actually see the ball? ...

Speaking of Olympic invites: Uh, is Carmelo going to get one too? He better -- he deserves it as much as LeBron ...

Just because the Colorado AG doesn't want to charge anyone for alleged assaults at CU, that doesn't mean the admin should be off the hook ...

More MLB injury watch: Tejada (shin); Thome (thumb); Snow (banged head) ...

L.A. being declared the No. 1 sports town in America (Men's Journal) is the biggest farce in sports this week; it's Chicago ...



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