February 11, 2005
Reggie Miller:
Sister Cheryl says lock HOF'er will retire at season's end. Love him or hate him (usually hate), the guy was big-game and clutch, especially in New York. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco are a study in contrasts of spin control.

(Well, except for the whole "both took steroids" part.)

And you'll be shocked at who comes across worse.

Witness Giambi's meeting with the media Thursday, ostensibly to start his image repair with an apology.

The problem is that he refused to say what he was apologizing for. And it was laughable; critics are talking more about how he wouldn't utter the "s"-word ("steroids") even as he repeated the "s"-word ("sorry").

"Can't get into specifics": That's his story, and he was sticking to it. And sticking. And sticking. And so the media rejected him.

Meanwhile, there's Canseco going on "60 Minutes" this Sunday.

Not only does he throw around the word "steroids," but he uses damning phrases like "injected teammates."

He includes sensational de-tales, like sweaty Caligula-like spearings in the buttocks among teammates in the locker room.

"Something so common": Now THERE'S a quote about steroids we can sink our teeth into.

Here's the thing about Jose: Most fans believe him; they just don't believe him, you know?

But at least Canseco owns up to being skeevy; Giambi's refusal to get into it actually makes him worse.

Canseco might come across as a joke, but Giambi comes across like a jerk.

Giambi Quotes
"I feel I let down the fans, I feel I let down the media, I feel I let down the Yankees, not only the Yankees, but my teammates. I'm sorry.

For what?!

"Going to be a tough road to hoe, but I'm going to work my butt off to get back their support ... I'm not a bad person."

About what?! Say it! Say it!!

LeBron vs. Carmelo
Remember when this was a rivalry? Way back in, oh, 2004.

Now, LeBron has ascended to the NBA's Most Talented Player (not to mention first pick in the fantasy "If Everyone Was Draftable" draft.

Carmelo, meanwhile, has battled injury, plummeting public perception and a bootleg DVD scandal. Only good news? That engagement to MTV's La-La.

Schilling's bloody sock: Donated to Hall of Fame. (Nasty)
LSU: Changing of women's hoops guard? Tigers crush Vols
OC's Marissa/Alex: Took 'em long enough, don't you think?
Pats coaching continuity: Mangini offered Fins D.C. job
Lakers: Stomped by Pistons; how quickly rivalries sputter!
Carlos Boozer: On outs w/ Jazz owner; on way out of Utah?
If you think Friday's game (8, ESPN) is a contrast, wait until next weekend in Denver -- on Anthony's home court, no less:

LeBron will be the star of Sunday's All-Stars ...

... And Carmelo is fourth option on the Sophs team in Saturday's JV Game.

Spurs at Heat: Huge
Don't let experts fool you, by calling Sunday's humongous Spurs at Heat game (1, ABC) a "possible" NBA Finals preview.

Don't hedge! This is, by far, the most likely Finals pairing. (Ack: Now even I'm hedging!)

OK: This WILL be the Finals.

Mangini Watch
Break up the Pats! At least, the coaching staff.

Secondary coach Eric Mangini (the heir apparent to Romeo Crennel's D-Coord role) is being recruited heavily for the same role with the Dolphins and under Crennel in Cleveland. Oh, and New England, too.

Evaluating the contenders:

Pros: Loyalty to Belichick; best chance to win a 4th ring
Cons: It'll always be BB's D.

Pros: More money; team can only go up from here, right?
Cons: But what if they don't?

Pro: Relationship with Romeo; relationship with Indians GM
Con: Team is just terrible.

Pro Bowl Preview
Best gimmick? Fans get to vote on one play to be run by each side. Last year, both plays were successful (one was a TD!)

Back in 2004, Eagles O.C. Brad Childress offered his hilarious-in-hindsight analysis: "We should let the fans call all the plays."

Based on the way Childress choked last Sunday, most Philly fans probably believe they could have done a better job than he did.

Speaking of Eagles in the Pro Bowl, let's see if NFC coach Jim Mora Jr. runs any no-huddle plays when Donovan McNabb is playing, just to punk him. (Sunday, 7:30, ESPN)

Celtics Auction
Best. eBay auction. Ever.

You can buy the naming rights to the Boston Celtics' Formerly-Known-As-Fleet Center for Feb. 16-28. Wait, it gets MUCH better:

A different high-bidder wins each day.

For example, one guy who writes a sports-business newsletter bought Sunday's rights ... for $500. $500!!!

Think: "Daily Quickie Center"

Who's with me?

NHL: 'We're Done'
The NHL season is going to be cancelled.

Wait: You hadn't noticed?

Or worse: You already thought it had been?

And there's the league's much bigger problem, in a nutshell.

Ohio State:
Investigating allegations that its women's hoops players got free dental work from a booster. "Out of control" doesn't describe OSU's problems.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
Stark on Giambi
Vote: Reggie Miller, Hall of Famer?
Reggie Miller Moments
G1 '95 East Semis
8 pts in 8.9 sec at MSG
G5 '94 East Finals
25 4th Qtr pts at MSG
G4 '98 East Finals
Hits G-W 3-pter over MJ
G1 2001 playoffs
Hits G-W shot vs. 76ers
Fight with MJ
Few throw down with King

Making the Spurs-Heat game even more exciting, Alonzo Mourning could join the team by tipoff. Zo and Shaq on the same front-line? Sick!

Weekend college hoops: GameDay is at Maryland for UMD-Duke (Sat, 9, ESPN). Other big games: Cuse at Nova; Wisc at ILL; Pacific at Utah St.

Weis goes F/T at ND: "One set of pressure is off and a new set of pressures are rolling in ... I can now give all my attention in one direction."

Franchise Tag watch: Eagles slap Tag on DT Corey Simon.

NBA ASG Skills Challenge field: Arenas, Boykins, Nash, Ridnour. No question: I'm taking Boykins, and you can have the field.

Report out of Green Bay has the Packers preparing for the offseason under the assumption that Brett Favre WILL be back in '05.

Coming next week: Spring Training begins. Welcome, all you pitchers and catchers!

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