Category Archives: Sports

Regreso de Manny

Manny is back.

Sort of.

The Dodgers’ slugger is nearing the end of a 50 game suspension instituted by the MLB for Ramirez’s use of banned substances. Manny is scheduled to return to the Dodger lineup on July 3 at San Diego. He is currently working his way back into playing shape with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate

In his first game with the Topes, Manny was without words.

“I aint talking today, baby,” Ramirez said. “Write what you want.”

Manny isn’t some young player intimidated by the limelight. Rather, he knows what kinds of questions the media will throw at him. And having not played in sometime, his bat speed is a little slow. Keep that elbow in, Manny. Continue reading Regreso de Manny

Follow the Leader: L.A. Coaching Questions and Answers

School’s Out, But Not For Long

University of Southern California Athletic Director Mike Garrett can breathe a little easier this week. Garrett happily announced Kevin O’Neill as USC Men’s Basketball Head Coach Saturday afternoon.

O’Neill returns to the college ranks to replace Tim Floyd. Floyd suddenly resigned on June 9 amidst NCAA investigations surrounding his involvement in barred recruiting practices. Floyd allegedly delivered cash to a man who helped convince former Trojan O.J. Mayo’s to sign with the program.

O’Neill brings with him a strict coaching principle. Although his 171-180 in 12 seasons as a head coach is not the most impressive, he found recent success in a stint with Arizona and helping prime a young Memphis Grizzlies team at the NBA level.

“He stresses defense and I’ve always believed that defense wins championships,” Garrett said of O’Neill. Continue reading Follow the Leader: L.A. Coaching Questions and Answers

Kobe Crowned King

This comes as no surprise. The Lakers have done it again. The team won its 15th NBA Championship Sunday, its first in seven seasons. Kobe Bryant is officially being sized for his fourth Championship ring. Head Coach Phil Jackson is being sized for his tenth.

With the win, Jackson officially owns every postseason coaching record including wins, winning percentage, finals appearances and championships. Similarly, Kobe further solidified himself as the game’s best. The two affirmed their strong kinship by sharing a long embrace at games end. This was something questioned frequently over the last few seasons.  

In fact, it was a different scene overall as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Continue reading Kobe Crowned King

Heating Up The Ice

Did you happen to catch last night’s Finals Game? 

Yes, there was a game last night. 

Wait, you mean you missed it?

How could you miss the gutsy performance by the Pittsburgh Penguins as they took the Stanley Cup from the defending champion Detroit Red Wings? It was almost too perfect.

Hockey needed this series – something to remind fans this is a competitive and electrifying sport, something to solicit new fans and leave them wanting to see more. It was a fight to the very end.

Pittsburgh was literally against all odds Friday. They had not won a championship in 17 years. Detroit on the other hand, was looking for its fifth Cup since 1997, its 12th overall. Home teams had won 12 out of 14 times the Cup went to Game Seven. And prior to Friday’s loss, Detroit had only dropped one playoff game at home (11-1) Continue reading Heating Up The Ice

Stan’s Push for Stan’s Cup

Yesterday, Stan (Stan Lerner) asked me to write about the Stanley Cup. At first I thought he was speaking about some shameless self-promotion. Then I thought, “Well, there is the original bowl, the authenticated Cup and the replica at the Hall of Fame.” Of course, I’m kidding.  But when you ask the average person their favorite hockey team, they might chuckle.

The truth is hockey does not get the attention it deserves. Seriously. Have you seen a game? Have you seen a game live? It’s incredible.

The atmosphere is unmatched and you actually feel like you are feet away from the action. And of course, humans are for some reason intrinsically attracted to violence. As we all know, hockey harbors bare-knuckled showdowns.

But professional hockey also showcases athleticism and skill. Yes, there is sport behind the squabble. Did you realize the Stanley Cup Finals are underway? Continue reading Stan’s Push for Stan’s Cup

Show Some Enthusiasm – USC’s Floyd Resigns

About a year ago, USC basketball coach Tim Floyd was offered the coaching job at Louisiana State, his alma mater. Floyd respectfully declined, saying, “This is my last job at SC.”

In April, Floyd turned down an offer from Arizona to fill a vacancy created by the departure of longtime head coach Lute Olson.

“This is still my last job,” he said.

Floyd may be correct in his statement. He resigned Tuesday in the midst of an NCAA investigation. The investigation stems from allegations that Floyd gave money to a “handler” under the agreement O.J. Mayo would sign with USC. Continue reading Show Some Enthusiasm – USC’s Floyd Resigns

Orlando Wins Two Home Games Tuesday

The Orlando Magic made things interesting Tuesday evening. They took Game Three of the NBA Finals, topping the Los Angeles Lakers 108-104. It was the first Finals win in franchise history.

The Lakers looked good early. They led at the end of the first quarter 31-27, four points of which came in a rare four-point-play by Kobe Bryant. Kobe started off determined and had 17 points in the first quarter. However, hats off to Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus. He finished the game 7-for-11 for 18 points. More importantly, he was the man who forced Kobe into a fit late in the game. Kobe missed 11 of his last 14 shots. He finished with 31 points, but also the loss.

Magic guard Rafer Alston also played well in this one. Continue reading Orlando Wins Two Home Games Tuesday

Oh Gee, Courtney Lee

Twitter had a few sports-related “Top Trending Topics” last night.  “Kobe Bryant” was one. “NBA Finals” was another. Not surprisingly, another topic was atop the list.

“Courtney Lee.”

The rookie out of Western Kentucky had a decent regular season for the Magic. Lee was fortunate to study under some good guards and a passionate head coach. He averaged nearly nine points a game. He was consistent and shot 45 percent from the field.

Lee even peaked at the right time. He was impressive in the first round of the playoffs against Philadelphia. However Lee suffered a fractured sinus in Game Five. Experts speculated Lee would miss the rest of the playoffs.

The resilient rookie returned after corrective surgery – his young face now covered with a plastic facemask (a mini-Rip Hamilton if you will). Magic fans are still waiting for Lee to return full-force. Don’t hold your breath, Orlando. Continue reading Oh Gee, Courtney Lee

No Shaq, No Robert Horry – A True Champion on the Rise

The NBA’s three best players were quite busy yesterday. Miami’s Dwyane Wade sued his ex-business partner for libel. Wade’s ex-partner made allegations Wade used illegal drugs and steroids. Apparently the allegations were worth $100 million to number 3.

Cleveland’s Lebron James was fined $25,000 for skipping the postgame news conference after Cleveland lost to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals. Lebron failed to congratulate opposing players and coaches after the loss. NBA Commissioner David Stern came close to not fining Lebron. After some consideration, Stern remembered Lebron’s earnings and decided King James would survive.

Finally, Kobe Bryant proved a wrecking force in Game One of the NBA Finals. Kobe was “unstoppable” on Thursday evening, posting 40 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Kobe was everywhere and did a little bit of everything even provide a myriad of photo-ops with his various facial expressions. Continue reading No Shaq, No Robert Horry – A True Champion on the Rise

In Praise of Sport Notes on Great Feats of the Recent Past-Part 1

An unknown Kenyan.  How many times have we heard that before?  Yet again, a young man from that most prodigious nation of long distance runners came from out of nowhere, (in the sense that he was an an-almost-unheard-of runner in his second 26.2-mile race ever), to set a course record in the 2009 LA Marathon.  Wesley Korir, 26, ran the race of his life, finishing in two hours, eight minutes and 26 seconds, 14 seconds faster than the previous best time set in 2006

On the spot he was awarded $160,000 and a 2009 Honda Accord EX-L.  The largest part of his cash prize was the $100,000 Banco Popular Challenge award to the first finisher of either gender.  The elite women are given a head start that is determined by the difference between the women’s course record and the men’s course record.  This year, it was 16 minutes, 57 seconds.  In the four years of this practice the sexes are tied at two each.

Mr Korir didn’t think he had a shot to win, let alone break the course record. Continue reading In Praise of Sport Notes on Great Feats of the Recent Past-Part 1