Softball player crushes comp in Page 2's Hottest Sports Personality poll (33 percent of 234,000 votes cast).
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Kobe Bryant was held to "only" 32 points last
night. The Lakers still won, beating the Clippers
109-98. The world didn't end with the end of his
streak of consecutive 40-plus (or even 35-plus) point
What number counts? If anything, with the
weight of the streak off his conscience (or lack
thereof), the Lakers should be stronger than ever,
even though Corey Maggette and his Double-Team Friends
were able to provide a lesson in Kobe Kontainment (how
sick that 32 is "containment"?)
More lessons: Hopefully, Kobe learned that
points are just a means to an end; the only number
that matters is wins -- enough to get into the playoffs
for now, then 16 later. As I mentioned in a
SportsNation debate about Kobe yesterday, 32 might not
have the ring of 40, but it is enough to get
him another ring.
Talking Good Game
After the game, Kobe said all the right
things: "It's important to put the emphasis on how
we're playing as a team. That means the streak is a
streak. It's not going to win us any championships."
Now he's got a one-game streak of being in our good
Kobe comedy: Bryant even had a little fun with
the media, joking that Phil Jackson called him at
halftime to tell him to try to score 60.
The theme of trading a few individual points
away for wins was contagious around the league last
* Tracy McGrady (no scoring slouch himself) only
scored 26 (again, "only"), but dished seven assists,
helping new G&G teammates Gooden and Giricek score 20
each, and the surging Magic upended the Mavs.
* MJ scored 25, but let little Tyronn Lue pick up
the slack (18
||"BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES" EDITION
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE IN PLAY:|
1. Canucks: Thrashed Atlanta 8-0; unbeaten streak at 14|
2. Freddy Adu: Under-17 nat'l soccer team picks 13-year-old
3. Match Play: Who's got Phil Tataurangi in the pool?
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE SO OVER:|
1. Nets: Reeling after loss ... to Cavs?!|
2. U. Washington: Even w/ recruiting fouls, they stink
3. Indiana: WAY outside bubble, after loss to Illinois
pts, 11 ast), and the Wizards won at
slumping Indiana for the first time since '97.
* Tim Duncan continued to prove that a superstar
doesn't have to score much, netting just 17 in a Spurs
romp over the Heat. Then again, who needs scoring
punch to knock out sorry Miami?
MLB HOF Vets Vote
I'm setting the over-under on the Veterans'
Committee Hall of Fame vote (announced
today at 2 p.m. ET) at 5. New voting rules put the
ballot in the hands of living HOF members -- players
and media -- with only a handful of votes for leftovers
from the previous Vet Committee, accused of
Word of the day: Inclusiveness The gates will
open for Marvin Miller, Ron Santo and
Gil Hodges. My wild-card pick is Joe
Torre. The fifth spot is up for grabs, but
it will assuredly be filled by the sympathetic living
Serena: I'm No Annika
During a rain delay yesterday in Arizona,
Serena weighed in on a
tennis battle of the sexes, after being asked about Annika Sorenstam.
Like Lennox vs. Laila: "I think it would be
impossible," she said. "With tennis, it's like Lennox
Lewis against Laila Ali." Boxing presents the most
obvious gender gap of any sport that allows both women
and men to compete.
But which mainstream sport offers
the best chance for women to successfully hang with
Our top three: How wide is your definition of
"sport?" (Archery? Horse racing? Equestrian events in the Olympics are already co-ed.) Predictably, the
more physically demanding the category, the wider the
gap; it closes where accuracy counts: 3) Auto
racing (years away); 2) Golf (months
away); 1) Bowling (should start tomorrow).
||Spree vs. Byron Scott:
Boys, boys ... can't you just learn how to play nice? Tonight's Knicks-Nets matchup should be interesting.
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|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Hottie vote|
|IN: Spring training|
|MLB: HOF vets vote|
Yao drew the loudest cheers of the night at the
The Boss is getting soft: Of Matsui, Steinbrenner
said, "We've got to be patient with him" ...
Giving away Gary Payton won't keep the Sonics from a
Glove nesting-doll giveaway at tonight's game, at
fans' request ...
Kurt Warner is getting a $6M bonus check. He'll be
second-string by Week 4, so let's call it what it is:
Martha Burk won't rule out illegal protest at Masters;
Augusta cops seem just dense enough to take the
As if four years and a redshirt isn't enough, one NCAA
sub-group wants to let football jocks have five full
years to play ...
NFL teams must be under the salary cap by tomorrow;
free-agent "midnight madness" starts Friday ...
PGA and USGA consideration of an equipment restriction
for pros smacks of biting the hand that feeds ...