June 15, 2005
Phil Jackson:
In announcing his re-hiring with the Lakers right before Game 3 of the Finals, was it fortuitous timing... or crass spotlight-swiping?
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

It is SO back on.

The Pistons may not win the NBA Finals, but they've at least made it interesting. That's a huge upgrade over Monday's bleak outlook.

This wasn't a scrappy salvage job; this was the same kind of thumping Detroit received in Texas, triggering all the Spurs-fawning through Tuesday.

In fact, if last night's result had happened in Game 1, we'd all be talking about Detroit's intensity, Big Ben's presence, Manu's wilting.

The entire mood of the series has shifted. Did you catch it in the 3rd and 4th quarters?

Hopefully Larry Brown noticed the correlation between running and pressing (they call that "energy") and Pistons success.

People may be too quick to proclaim that the Pistons are right back in it. Last night means nothing if they go into the weekend down 3-1.

But the fan-wagon was definitely too quick to write the Pistons off.

New Phil Jackson?
Phil's already hedging:

"It's not going to happen overnight," he said of his Lakers turnaround job. "It's going to take some time."

Um, how does "never" sound?

$30-some million is a small price to pay for relevancy for Lakers owner Jerry Buss. The Lakers matter again, if only to follow the Kobe-Phil saga.

But what's the hidden cost for Phil Jackson in this otherwise sweet deal?

Assuming he merely nudges the Lakers to mediocrity (from the current suckery), nothing but frustration.

People who argue that it'll taint his winning legacy are way off; fans have selective memories (see Riley, Daly, Rudy T).

The lingering question is: Why would Phil put himself through the pain, aside from money and power? Maybe that's the answer.

New "Fastest Man"
"World's Fastest Man": There is no cooler title in sports. The best part? The only way it changes hands is by being better.

No mainstream-sport title can make that same claim.

Ben Wallace: "Fear the Fro" is back (15 pts, 11 reb, 5 bl)
Chris Carpenter: StL P has 1-hitter in return to Toronto
NYC Marathon women's champ: Will be paid more than men's
Nomar: Cesar Izturis takes over ASG-voting lead at NL SS
Eric Gagne: Headed to DL (and possibly Tommy John surgery)
Andre Agassi: Won't play at Wimbledon for 2nd year in row
9.77: The new 100m standard. Congrats to Jamaica's Asafa Powell, who was fifth at last year's Athens Olympics.

If it took three years to shave 0.01 from Tim Montgomery's 9.78, how long will Powell's record potentially last?

New Wie Watch
Next stop: Augusta?! Teen sensation Michelle Wie qualified for U.S. Amateur Public Links championship in mid-July.

Just to clarify: MEN'S side!

If she wins that, she gets an invite to Augusta. Or, at least, that's the tradition. The Masters couldn't possibly neg her, could they?

New Nats Mania
Choose your own Nats-venture!

Top 7th: Angels RP Brendan Donnelly gets ejected after Nats manager Frank Robinson orders a glove inspection (before a single pitch!)

Angels manager Mike Scioscia goes all Jose Guillen on Robinson!

Ex-Angel/new-Nat Jose Guillen then goes all Jose Guillen on Scoscia and has to be restrained by teammates!

Bottom 7th: In retaliation, Scioscia asks for a glove review of Nats reliever Gary Majewski (umps determine the glove is clean).

Top 8th: In the final ironic twist, Guillen smacks the game-tying HR and the Nats win the game one inning later.

New Yankee Stadium
The only thing older than the Yankees' lineup is their stadium. (Thank you... I'll be here all week.)

So it's big news that the team will announce today that they're building a new Yankee Stadium, to be completed by the end of the decade.

The park's dimensions will be roughly the same (although shouldn't they be considerate of 2009 pitching staff Santana, Perez, Prior, Peavy and Clemens?)

The biggest difference will be the loss of 6,000 seats in favor of 50 to 60 luxury boxes, because as everyone knows, that's where the money is.

The "New Poker"?
Is ballroom dancing the "new poker," that mythical status in which a fringe sport enjoys explosive growth thanks to TV exposure?

Ratings for "Dancing with the Stars" have been huge (Larger than poker? That's penny ante. Larger than the NBA Finals.)

Sure, it's probably a fad. Don't expect to see groups of college guys getting together each week to cha-cha (or Dancin' Dan replacing Jackpot Jay).

But for one summer, it's the hottest show on TV. If anything, that may make the Olympics think harder about introducing it as a medal sport.

Manu Ginobili:
A sensation in Games 1 and 2 in San Antonio, Manu disappeared in Game 3, scoring only 7 points on just 6 shots (with 6 turnovers and countless flops).
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
P-Jax analysis
NBA Daily Dime
Biggest Stars in NBA:
Phil Jackson
And he doesn't even play!
Must break through in '06
You love to hate him

Love the NBA's idea to export great teams to play the best of Euroleague in preseason, but how will fans react to idea of an NBA ASG in PARIS?

The Cubs' new Prior/Wood/Zamb? How about Sergio Mitre, who had another good outing (5 H) in blanking the Marlins.

MLB Start of the Day: White Sox sensation Jon Garland goes for win No. 11 vs. the D'backs. Glaus had a HR and 4 RBIs vs. CWS on Tuesday

Desperate for an anchor for the wobbly passing offense, the Ravens signed star TE Todd Heap to a 6-year contract extension.

Coming tomorrow: U.S. Open preview, which basically means declaring which player fans should rally behind (Cough! DiMarco! Cough!)

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