June 27, 2005
Birdie Kim:
Best name in golf, hands down. Particularly after she clinched the USWO title on (guess what?) a birdie. Sick shot to deny Pressel b'wagon.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Don't listen to anyone: There's less certainty (and more speculation) than any draft I can remember.

That said, here's a breakdown of the top uncertainties, as of Monday:

Who's No. 1: Marvin vs. Bogut?
It's a classic draft dilemma: Do the Bucks take the best player available or fill their biggest need? Need is the CW, but BPA is safer.

Rated PG: Paul vs. Williams?
Forget the top pick: This is the biggest (and best) drama of the draft. Deron Williams' stock is soaring, even over Chris Paul.

More: Jazz rumored to be dangling No. 6 pick (and perhaps No. 27?) to the Blazers to jump to No. 3 to grab D. Williams (via SLC Trib). That puts Paul in New Orleans and forces Charlotte to take prep Gerald Green.

Can't Win: H.S. vs. College?
Prepare for the howls from college hoops loyalists when preps Green and Martell Webster are drafted ahead of all but a few college players.

More:One experienced college player who isn't suffering from scouts' myopia for potential is Arizona C Channing Frye, locked into the Top 10 and likely the first big man taken after Bogut.

Moves: Trade Up vs. Stay Put?
Despite common wisdom that this is the deepest draft in years, teams are scrambling to jump into the mix for one of the top two PGs or preps.

More: Already holding the No. 4, could Hornets send Canadian C Magliore to Raptors for 7 pick? Too rich for Toronto? (via N.O. T-P)

Final Draft preview coming Tuesday.

U.S. Women's Open
Being overrun by teens is the best thing to ever happen to women's golf, because it delivers the sport infinitely more cachet.

Wie, Pressel and Creamer: Between these Big Three (aged 15, 17 and 18), women's golf officially earns "growth sport" status.

With Wie's Sunday fold, Pressel stole the weekend with her telegenic competitiveness and breathtaking confidence. The new Arnie and Jack?

Red Sox in 1st
Why? Matt Clement: He has emerged (9-1) as the AL's best offseason pickup, propping up otherwise mediocre Red Sox pitching.

Texas: Wins CWS (sweeps FLA); you can return to not caring
Floyd Mayweather: Obliterates Gatti; top Lb-4-Lb fighter?
Justin Gatlin: Wins 200m gold to go with Saturday's 100m
Serena: Looked tired being bounced early from Wimbledon
Marion: Isn't she done yet? Pulls out of US T/F Champs
Annika's Slam: And now, she's being overtaken by The Teens
Unlikeliest statement of the first half: "Wow, Boston is better off with Clement than if they'd landed either Big Unit OR Pavano instead."

Boston finished off a weekend sweep of the Phillies behind Manny's 19th career grand-slam, which ties him for 2nd all-time (4 behind Gehrig).

Sox have won 7 in a row (12 of 13) and have surged past the slumping O's to take a 2.5-game lead in the AL East.

Prior Returns
6 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 ER, 1 W: In first start since 5/27, Prior leads Cubs to 2-0 win vs. rival White Sox. Who's Jon Garland?

Wood update: Scheduled to start Wed vs. MIL. If he and Prior can find a semblance of effectiveness, watch the Cubs for a 2nd-half WC surge.

MLB Weekend Wrap
A's shock Giants: In dominance like Floyd Mayweather over Arturo Gatti, the A's scored 16 and only allowed one hit.

Livan wins 10th: Get him on that NL All-Star roster!

Smoltz is Mr. CG: Braves ace throws 2nd straight complete game win.

"Demure-Train?": Willis actually lobbies NL All-Star manager Tony LaRussa to pick a Cardinals P to start the game (Carpenter?)

Who else's night was ruined by Jason Giambi's clutch hit to allow the Yankees to avoid a sweep by the Mets in the Bronx?

Early-Week Best: Another AL West showdown between the Angels and Rangers, with would-be All-Star aces Colon (Monday) and Rogers (Tuesday).

More NBA Draft
Green Room invites: Bogut, Felton, Frye, Granger, Green, Korolev, May, McCants, Paul, Vazquez, Villanueva, Warrick, Webster, Deron Williams, Marvin Williams and Wright.

Why is "in-the-room" status important? The expectation of being a 1st-rounder, our best chance for telegenic dramedy (see Lewis, Rashard).

Oh, and dress well, gents: I'll be tracking sartorial style for my 5th Annual Draft Fashion Review, coming Wednesday morning.

P2 Sneak Week, Cont'd
No Sneaker Week would be complete without tabbing the summer's must-have shoe.

From all indications, it's Nike's made-for-the-outdoor "LeBron 20.5.5," named for James' sick rookie stat line (and presumably not his speed-dial number for free-agent NBA shooting guards).

LeBron wants to play Cavs GM? More power to him. At least someone on that team realizes that the Cavs have to get a top-flight SG.

If new GM Danny Ferry, fresh from the Spurs front office, can't land Redd or Allen or Hughes, he may simply be known as the GM Who Lost LeBron.

(Hey, think Isiah Thomas would let him be player/GM if James jumped to the Knicks in a few seasons?)

Sean Taylor:
Let's look back to 2004 NFL Draft: Redskins could have taken Taylor (facing a 3-year felony rap) or Winslow (out 'til '06). Hindsight is... laughable.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
NBA Draft
ESPY Ballot
Monday Mock Draft:
Bucks: Bogut
Expect the howls to be loud
Hawks: M. Williams
Overloaded as SF, but so what?
Blazers: D. Williams
Trade here is presumption
Hornets: C. Paul
Will Bobs swap 5,13 for Paul?
Bobcats: Green
Team needs everywhere but PF

Rex Chapman to become T'wolves GM: Played for new coach Casey at Kentucky. First business should be to overhaul go-nowhere team by trading KG.

Stewart wins at Sonoma: Twisty, turny track may have driven NASCAR pit crews crazy, but it made for telegenic racing.

Danica Watch: 10th place on Saturday night. Hard to compete with the Teen Sensations of women's golf.

China announces 2008 Olympic slogan as "One World, One Dream." Left on the cutting room floor: "One Plan for World Domination."

Congratulations, Shaq, on joining the esteemed ranks of those who hold an MBA (cough!). You've made online alma mater U. of Phoenix proud.

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