May 26, 2003
Gil de Ferran:
Picked the wrong Brazilian to win the Indy 500 as de Ferran outraced countryman/Penske teammate Helio Castroneves.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
SMALL.  STALL.

Dallas' chances w/o Dirk? No-way-tzki.

Don Nelson's strategic gimmicks are like eating dinner at the arena: Maybe a little heat-flash to start, but ultimately unsatisfying. Making the best of a Nowitzki-less situation, the "small ball" Mavs zipped around just enough to exhaust themselves for the third quarter, which is when the Spurs dropped the hammer with a 30-18 advantage.

Colonial Wrap
Justin Leonard shot a sick final-round 61 and Kenny Perry won, but everyone stopped paying attention Friday when Annika didn't make the cut. Which is exactly why there will be more women playing PGA events ...

Want proof? ... Australia PGA's Heineken Classic director wants to invite LPGA star Karrie Webb to play, the BBC is reporting. Take heart, traditionalists: His logic ("We have to survive as promoters and this is a funny gimmick ...") is why the trend will burn out.

Serena vs. Guys?
More Annika hangover: Over the next few weeks, every top female athlete is going to get asked about playing against the guys. For example, Serena Williams, when asked this weekend, said she "wouldn't be tempted." Looking for a marketing-savvy sport that offers the best opportunity for mixed-gender comp? Pro bowling.

Coca-Cola 600
Rain turned it into a "414" but super soph Jimmie Johnson -- winning for a second straight weekend - has emerged as NASCAR's hottest attraction. (Hey, where's the women-participation program? And "hot driver girlfriends" is not what I mean.)

"DOES LEBRON LIKE CAVS' UGLY NEW UNIS?" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND
1 Clemens goes for 300, against Red Sox (if no rain)
2 NCAA men's LAX championship: Hopkins vs. Virginia
3 French Open opens: Agassi can set all-time win record
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 Van Gundy lock to coach LeBron: Rockets now in mix
2 Dodger-bashing: MLB's hottest team won 10th in a row
3 NBA playoff injuries: How 'bout just enjoying Duncan?
 
Jersey Renaissance
With both the Nets and Devils reaching the finals, New Jersey hasn't had this much cachet since The Sopranos became a national sensation. That said, would it be too much to ask to move half their home games to Madison Square Garden? Might help galvanize the splintered northern NJ and New York City factions.

Yankees Lose Again
How many people have also been waiting for the May when the Yankees stink up the AL East? Blue Jays completed a four-game sweep on Sunday; Yanks have lost seven straight at home. If this keeps up, set an All-Star break O/U on the Boss dumping GM Brian Cashman. (Dump Joe Torre? Put down that pipe.)

Nike's New Star
Forget LeBron's big deal: Nike signed 13-y.o. American soccer sensation Freddy Adu to a million-dollar contract, the Wash. Post reports. Prediction: In five years, Adu will have a deal equal to --- or better than -- 'Bron's $90M.

Missed Connections
You: Hot brunette with great eyes, suede bell-bottoms who asked for directions on a NYC subway platform Thursday morning. Me: Phillies P Randy Wolf, too stunned to get your name. Contact: Phillies p.r. (True story: So let's help Randy out, America!)

Bill Butler:
In apparent first for baseball, groundskeeper for minor-league (A) Lakewood (N.J.) ejected Friday night for arguing with umps over weather.
 
 
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Today on ESPN.com
NBA Playoffs
TEN: French Open
P2: Bigger than Elvis
 
"Larry Brown's Resume" Edition
Sixers
Mavs not going that far
 
Pacers
Exciting Indy 500 finish
 
Spurs
NBA's best backcourt in '04?
 
UCLA
In NCAA softball finals vs. Cal
 
ABA
League better suited for D-Nellie
 

Director Tim Burton eyeing a remake of "Willy Wonka"; perfect casting: Tony Kornheiser as Willy ...

Though Cavs could fill 50K-seat arenas with LeBron, they signed to play preseason exhibition in 5K seat arena in Newfoundland, Canada ...

Empire Maker pulled from today's Jersey Derby, to continue to prep for June 7 Belmont ...

Larry Brown staying or going? Will meet with team chairman this week ...


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