November 11, 2004
LeBron James:
Legend-boosting game: Outscores PHX 17-14 in 4th quarter leading 19-point comeback. Finished with season-high 38 in Cavs' thrilling 114-109 OT W.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
RON.  RAPS.

My name is Ron-Ron,
And I love to rap.
Team commitments?
I don't give a crap.

Benched for promoting
My new hip-hop CD.

But can't figure out
Why fans don't love me.

Wikka-wikka-wikka...

Ron Artest's decision to ask the Pacers for some time off to promote his rap album -- during the regular season -- makes Allen Iverson's "Who needs practice?" downright committed.

Who else would give huge pay-per-view dollars to have witnessed the initial conversation between Artest and martinet coach Rick Carlisle.

But hey: As long as M.C. Ron-Ron remains all about the music, wishing him nothing but the best for his debut on his "Tru Warier" label.

Warier, indeed. Think he intended that irony?

AL Cy Young
No-brainer: Johan Santana, who put together one of the sickest second halves of our era. (To Schilling fans: Yes, I'd rather have a World Series ring, too.)

Yesterday: AL/NL Managers, and I offer a mea culpa from my picks of Phil Garner and Terry Francona.

The former had a better second half than winner Bobby Cox, but Cox did it over an entire year with a weaker roster.

The latter was a protest vote against the BBWAA, which insists on keeping this award regular-season only, which for players is fine, but for managers is ludicrous.

MLB Winter Meetings
Surprise, surprise: There's resistance within MLB to instant replay, the hot topic of today's winter-meeting session. Replay critics who want to maintain the "purity" of the game seem to be putting their bitter aversion to change ahead of, say, ensuring that the calls are right.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Kansas, UNC: Winners in "Rich-Get-Richer" CBB signing day
Mel Stottlemyre: Torre pal remains Yankees pitching coach
Liz Johnson: First woman to qualify for a PBA tour event
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Jeff Bzdelik: Nuggets coach on hot seat after 1-4 start
Randy Moss: Officially out for Sunday's game vs. Packers
T-Mac: Hip, groin injuries limit practice. Foreshadowing?
 
How about plays at the plate? I'm certainly not talking about balls and strikes, but plays at bases would certainly limit the effect of, say, the Derek Jeter Phantom Call.

College Hoops Preview
Season tips off tonight with the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament first round. Tonight: Three Top 25 teams play, featuring three studs, including two preseason first-team All-Americans (and a freshman PG who could end the season on the list):

No. 6 Syracuse
Featuring: Hakim Warrick
Opens with: No. Colorado

No. 14 Mississippi St.
Featuring: Lawrence Roberts
Opens with: Fairfield

No. 23 Memphis
Featuring: Darius Washington
Opens with: Savannah St.

NFL Midseason
A few awards, in honor of the must-read ESPN.com midseason report cards (see Q It Up, right):

MVP: Ben Roethlisberger
Rookie: See above
Summer move: Signing T.O.
Comeback: Drew Brees
Let-down: Panthers
Coach: Jack Del Rio
S.B. pick: Still NE d. PHI

"New Poker" Contender
Table tennis? Certainly willing to give the 2004 Spinvitational Table-Tennis Championship a try (6:30, ESPN2), but do they have a version of Phil Hellmuth? Or, more importantly, Jackpot Jay? (Maybe "Paddle-Me Pete?")

Quickie Book Club
Don't let people fool you: Honeymoons are great for lots of... um, reading. Three newly released titles to recommend:

"When Nothing Else Matters": Michael Leahy offers a fascinating look inside Michael Jordan's comeback with the Wizards. A little too much play-by-play but a side of MJ you really haven't seen. (Page 2 Book Club selection! See Q It Up.)

"America's Game": Michael MacCambridge's history of the NFL does a thorough job fleshing out the biggest turning points of league history, with vivid detail even hard-core fans will find enlightening.

"I Am Charlotte Simmons": Tom Wolfe's novel is tangentially about sports, but hits on an issue that I think is one of the most underreported in sports -- sexual relationships in women's college athletics.

NASCAR:
Relaxes ad-ban on hard liquor. Because nothing says "go ahead and get behind the wheel" like a handle of bourbon. Tell that to the fans in the infield.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2 Book Club
NFL Midseason
College Hoope Preview
 
NFL Midseason MVP:
Ben Roethlisberger
Did anyone see this coming?
 
Terrell Owens
Carried team to new level
 
Drew Brees
Who's Philip Rivers?
 
Daunte Culpepper
Still has sick numbers
 
Tom Brady
He'll take Super Bowl MVP
 

Even after getting hung with their first L by the suddenly competitive Raptors, the Jazz are the West's early-season "Team to Beat"...

19 Days Update: L'ville puts up 58 on TCU; tonight: No. 12 Florida State at N.C. State (7:30, ESPN)...

Best In-Game Promotion of Year update: Wizards run "Singles Night" last night; no word on any confirmed matches, but the team scored...

More NBA: Congrats to the Griz, who got their 1st W of '04, at the expense of LAL, who had one of those Kobe-can't-score-so-they-lose nights...

Smarty Jones resembles a boxer: His owners considered unretiring him; not-so-smarty: Evander Holyfield's comeback this weekend...

Dennis Rodman sighting: Signs with Orange County franchise of ABA, who continue to get credit for doing almost anything to sell tickets...

On this Veteran's Day, we honor everyone who has served the country's military...

In Thursday's Morning Quickie: MLB awards, college hoops preview and more. *LIVE*, 9-10 ET or read the transcript. (See Q It Up.)



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