June 2, 2003
Pistons exec
Joe Dumars:

Definition of "trading up": Snagging Larry Brown while dumping Rick "Mr. Personality" Carlisle. Pistons in NBA Finals next year.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
COACHING.  CAROUSEL.

With NBA coaching roles apparently settled in Detroit and Cle-Bron, the big lever is in Portland: Will the Blazers let the Sixers talk to current coach Mo Cheeks? ("Talk to" meaning "hire away.")

Then Carlisle, who picked his Detroit wake to break out the jollies for the first time this season, can go to the Blazers, where his personal brand of dysfunction would rank about 13th on the team.

More Coaching
By process of elimination: Does Jeff Van Gundy go to the "best team available?" (That would be the Rockets.) If you're wondering about the Raptors, Clippers, Hornets or Wizards' searches, it's like a four-car fender-bender: You can rubberneck if you want, but it's ugly. (See today's poll.)

Clemens' 300 Denied
The baseball Fates obviously didn't want Rocket to win his 300th game in Detroit (how else could the sorry Tigers rally from 7-1 deficit before finally losing in 17?); it's much more enticing for him to win next weekend at the Friendly Confines in a matchup with Kerry (Li'l Rocket) Wood.

Lemieux Watch
Mario Lemieux in a Rangers sweater ranks just below MJ in a Wizards uni on the "Just Doesn't Look Right" Top 10.

Yet reports out of Canada and New York (neither ever guilty of hockey hysterics) have Super Mario interested in rejecting retirement -- and Pittsburgh -- to play for the Rangers (barely better than sorry Pens) or the Flyers ... or, it seems, any team rather than his current one.

"FREE MO CHEEKS!" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
1 Devils at Ducks, Game 4: Hold on to your sticks!
2 D'backs at Padres: See Shea; won't see Matt Williams
3 French Open: Robredo vs. Kuerten should be interesting
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 Coaching LeBron: Not P. Silas' problem; rest of team is
2 Rick Carlisle got raw deal in Detroit: Gotta manage up
3 D'backs cut Matt Williams: No roster room for memories
 
Mailman to Mavs?
If Karl Malone wants a ring more than anything else, signing with the Mavs is a good choice (signing w/ Lakers or Spurs better); if he wants to break Kareem's career scoring record (2,000 pts away), playing in Dallas where he's the third option (at best) is a mistake.

PGA: "Tiger" Perry?
After Kenny Perry built on last week's Annika Open title to win the Memorial yesterday, he's got quite the momentum with just a couple weeks until the U.S. Open. Still give you him and the rest of the field if I get Tiger (Memorial tie, 4th).

French Open
You may not be able to distinguish sizzling Russian teen-pop-duo t.A.T.u. from Russian tennis teens Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova,

but Vera and Nadia will be playing each other in the French quarters after bouncing out Capriati and Venus, whose booting means no "All-Williams" Slam final for the first time in what feels like years.

NFL Waiver Wire
In case you forgot the NFL was a business: Enjoy the waiver-wire madness that comes with the beginning of June. Call it "Anti-Labor Day."

Big name: Brian Griese
One-time "next Elway" in Denver, now on cusp of being "next Fiedler" in Miami.

Akili Smith:
Expected to be punted today by Bengals (by Bengals!), he says "fresh start"; more like "fresh stink."
 
 
The NBA's got some open gigs. Want one? Vote below ...
Today on ESPN.com
NHL Finals
NBA Finals
The Sports Guy's
40 Most Valuable
 
"Reasons to be waived" Edition
Underperform
Yanks lose for Clemens
 
Cost too much
Yet NBA coaches cash in
 
Personality
Rick Carlisle Factor
 
About time
Brown: 5-yr deal? We'll see
 
Losing 'tude
Ducks have to win
 

The ACC's East Coast "Poach 'Em All" Tour continues today at BC ...

Barcelona is interested in bending their wallet (reported $49m) to get Beckham; he covers his cost in marketing alone ...

Time in PGA good for Annika: She cruised to a win in Cereal and Cracker (Kelloggs and Keebler) Classic ...

If only Bucs RB Michael Pittman hit holes like he drives ...



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