After months of unsuccessful negotiations and several games lost, the NBA lockout has finally ended. The players and owners met for over 15 hours Friday and news was announced early Saturday morning that the sides had reached a tentative deal on a labor agreement. Details need to be worked out, but the sides decided they want to make sure basketball is played this year.
The plan is for training camps and free agency to begin on December 9th and the season to start on Christmas. The season would be 66 games. The three games scheduled for December 25th are:
- Celtics @ Knicks – 12pm ET
Heat @ Mavericks – 2:30pm ET
Bulls @ Lakers – 5:00pm ET
This is fantastic news and we’re excited to have basketball back. Frankly, I was worried that the basketball season would be canceled. I figured at best, we would have a shortened season beginning in January. Looks like the sides have topped that projection.
We’re thrilled to have the NBA back because we were getting sick of writing stories about players taking college coaching jobs and internships, and talking about playing overseas. Maybe now Andy Rautins can afford to rent his own place, and Tony Allen can afford something more than Ramen noodles. Most of all, we’re just happy for all the escorts who will finally have a gig back.
- NBA Lockout
It’s no secret that we here at LBS are huge Rory McIlroy fans. We have been since he burst onto the golf scene over a year ago, and I can’t speak for L.B. but I can assure you Rory remains a Del favorite. That being said, the kid is slipping a little. Since he started dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, McIlroy has become visibly softer. Whether it’s making out in front of a college football team or exchanging the most corny presents in gift-giving history, Wozzilroy has become tough to follow.
After hearing about the latest shot Holly Sweeney took at McIlroy, I might be a bigger fan of Rory’s ex-girlfriend than I am of him. As the Irish Independent shared with us, Sweeney recently threw a golf pros and tennis hoes party as a blatant shot at McIlroy and Wozniacki’s relationship. You may call it the work of a bitter ex-girlfriend, but I say it’s genius.
What makes the stunt so special is Rory’s reaction. According to the report, McIlroy sent Sweeney texts begging her not to go through with the theme, since it is a dinner party that will be shown on TV3’s Celebrity Come Dine With Me next month.
“She was preparing the starter when her iPhone went off. A series of text messages arrived one after another and she just stopped dead in the kitchen,” a source from the TV show said. “She started laughing and said Rory had just discovered that she was having a tennis and golf themed night and asked her to back out of it. She just laughed and carried on cooking.”
It was a hilarious jab to begin with, let alone McIlroy actually being bothered by it. Score one — a huge one — for Holly.
Thanksgiving has passed and there is still no NBA season, which means professional basketball players are in search of ways to keep their skills sharp. Some have turned to less-productive methods like dunking on 25-foot hoops while others have officially begun weighing their options for playing overseas. Oklahoma City Thunder center Byron Mullens has one of the more unique practice routines you will hear about. Actually, it’s the setting — at Ross Correctional Institute in Ohio — that makes it unusual.
Mullens grew up in Ohio and was the product of a tough upbringing. He had his own apartment by the time he was in high school and had to work two jobs and go to school in order to get by. Rather than playing basketball at nearby public courts while he was in school, Mullens and his friend used to go to the local juvenile detention center and play pickup games with troubled teens. Now, he plays against prison inmates at Ross.
The 7-foot Mullens said the prisoners bring an “under-the-radar” level of competition and, despite their constant shouting at him to dunk the ball, he uses the games as an opportunity to work on his perimeter game. The prisoners have yet to defeat Mullens in a game, but 31-year-old inmate Ryan Janes seems to embrace the challenge.
Ndamukong Suh is one of the most emotional players in football. That’s part of the reason he is so good. Despite having been fined and reprimanded many times by the NFL and accused of taunting opponents, Suh has vowed to not change the way he plays the game. After a recent meeting with Roger Goodell to discuss the NFL’s rules and the ways in which Suh has broken them, some people wondered if he would curb his playing style at all. As you can see from the images above, Suh is still letting his emotions get the best of him during game situations.
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- Ndamukong Suh
Since his sudden and unfortunate retirement from the NBA back in July, Yao Ming has turned the page of his life and quickly focused on a new set of goals. For starters, he has been attending one of the most prestigious schools in China. Yao has also continued to work toward raising money for charities, which is what he hopes to do with his latest entrepreneurial idea: bottling a selling his own wine.
According to China Daily, Yao will debut his wine this Sunday at an auction held by the Special Olympics in East Asia. The bottle, which is called “Yao Ming: a 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,” comes in a 1.5-liter container and is extremely rare and expensive. There are 1,200 bottles in existence — none of which will be sold on the open market — and each one costs about $596 or 3,800 yuan.
“He did this because he is one of the biggest sports stars in the world,” Ma Guoli of the China branch of Infront Sports and Media AG said. “He is running a basketball team now, going to a university to further broaden his horizons and is also devoted to charity. Although some other sports stars have explored new lines of work after retirement, Yao is one of the few who can do everything so brilliantly. And everyone has his own ambitions.”
Personally, I’d like to see Yao’s wine hit the open market so we could see how it stacks up against Steve Spurrier’s creation or the San Diego Chargers bottle. If I had to take a guess, I’d say Yao’s probably tastes the best.
H/T to the USA Today’s Game On! for passing the story along
- Yao Ming
Expansion drafts can be tough for a player. No expansion team is ever good right from the start, so why would you want to leave your team to play for a brand new one with no following and no reputation? Unfortunately, a player sometimes has no choice. Unless, of course, you threaten to retire like soccer player Brian Ching.
Ching, the Houston Dynamo’s all-time leading scorer, was chosen by the Montreal Impact with the first pick in the MLS expansion draft on Wednesday. According to the Houston Chronicle, Ching had said prior to the draft that he would retire and work in the Dynamo’s front office is Montreal selected him.
The reason is Montreal’s coach, Jesse Marsch. Marsch was one of the assistant coaches for Bob Bradley’s 2010 U.S. World Cup team and Ching was one of the last cuts before the team made its trip to South Africa. Ching insists he would never play for anyone other than Houston coach Dominic Kinnear, but Kinnear chose not to give him the off-limits label heading into the expansion draft.
“I’m very surprised he was selected and very sad,” Kinnear said. “This was a chance we took in leaving him unprotected, and obviously, our gamble didn’t pay off.”
Now, there is nothing left for Ching to do but pray for a trade, suck it up and get over it, or hang his cleats up before he was ready.
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Ugly tattoos are one of life’s great mysteries. For ever piece of ink that you look at and think, “That’s pretty sweet,” there are about 1,000 tattoos like this one and this one that are an absolute joke. We understand Tebowmania is sweeping the nation in a way that is unrivaled in recent history, but there’s no excuse for getting a horrible tattoo like this one. Have a look at what could be one of the worst athlete-themed tattoos in America:
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If you have to lose a game by 33 points, you might as well pick up some style points along the way. Fortunately for VMI, Stan Okoye is an athletic freak. Yes, this is the first time I’ve ever seen him play. After you see the dunk he threw down on Wednesday night against Ohio State, you’ll agree. Check out this video that The Dagger passed along:
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- College Basketball
Two weekends ago, Bruins forward Milan Lucic was on a breakaway when the puck got away from him and he collided with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who had left the crease. Miller ended up with a concussion and called Lucic a piece of s*** after the game. The NHL did not suspend nor fine Lucic, feeling that his collision with Miller was unavoidable rather than intentional. The Sabres were upset with the ruling and felt the league wasn’t doing enough to protect the goalies.
The teams met again Wednesday night, and in the first 90 seconds, Lucic and Sabres center Paul Gaustad agreed to throw down. Lucic dropped Gaustad in a matter of a few stiff right hands. Observe:
There is a saying in basketball called “ball don’t lie.” The saying means that the outcome on the court indicates who was ultimately right or wrong in a dispute. In this case, the same principle applies. Fight don’t lie, Buffalo.
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The Minnesota Wild signed a 51-year-old print shop owner to serve as the team’s emergency goalie Wednesday.
Paul Deutsch runs a screen printing and embroidery store in Richfield (Minn.), and he is a good friend of assistant Mike Ramsey. Deutsch has practiced with the team several times over the past few years when one of the goalies needed a day off. The Wild signed him as their emergency goalie Wednesday because they had limited options.
Starter Niklas Backstrom will miss the game because of personal reasons, so backup Josh Harding will be in net. The Wild summoned Matt Hackett from the minors, but he had to fly from Houston to Minneapolis for the game. Unsure of when Hackett would arrive, the team signed Deutsch to a contract because they were not allowed to sign an emergency goalie with professional experience.
Not only is it impressive that Deutsch was signed as a 51-year-old, but it’s even more impressive to learn that he didn’t even start playing goalie until his thirties. The aged athlete is now in the same class as the 52-year-old boxer, the 49-year-old college swimmer, and the 61-year-old college football player.
H/T Clay Travis