Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur advanced to the fourth round of the French Open on Friday with a win over Dominika Cibulkova. She also reminded all those in attendance and watching the match at home that she can still bench press more than you.
As LB pointed out a long, long time ago, Stosur is incredibly muscular. The 2011 US Open champion’s guns were on full display during her 6-4, 6-4 win. Cork Gaines also noted that Stosur is by no means all upper body.
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) May 30, 2014
I’d just let her win.
- Samantha Stosur
Steve Kerr negotiated with Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks for quite a while before he ultimately decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. According to Jackson, the two actually got beyond the point of negotiations and all the way to a verbal agreement.
A previous report from Marc Berman of the New York Post indicated that Kerr ultimately chose the Warriors after receiving a lowball offer from the Knicks. Jackson offered a different story when speaking to reporters on Friday.
“Unfortunately for him, he committed to me the day before the job opened with Golden State,” Jackson said, per Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. “So I had to kind of release him to actually go to this job and say you have to do what’s right for yourself. I understood entirely the process he was going through to have that job open up. That was something he kind of thought would be a good fit for him. So that’s good, we’re happy for him.”
It seems like Kerr wanted to be closer to his family all along, so I’m more inclined to believe what Jackson said rather than Kerr being insulted by a lowball offer. That said, I wouldn’t doubt that the Warriors and others did warn Kerr about working for someone like James Dolan.
Jackson also admitted that the idea of him coaching the team next season during a “transitional” period has been discussed, but he is not open to it. He confirmed that Derek Fisher is on his list of “very good candidates” for the job.
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Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NBA during his Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics. Bird rarely stopped running his mouth on the court, but he almost always backed it up. And he definitely didn’t blow in anyone’s ear.
On Thursday, Bird was asked if he was bothered by Lance Stephenson blowing on LeBron James during Game 5. He was very blunt about it.
“Yes I am,” he told USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt in a text message.
Bird’s displeasure with Stephenson’s childish antics became even more clear on Friday, when reporters started asking the 23-year-old about the infamous incident.
Lance Stephenson says Larry Bird told him not to pull the ear-blowing stunt again.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 30, 2014
Reynolds also noted that Stephenson was asked by a reporter how he thought blowing in LeBron’s ear helped the Pacers. Before he could answer, a Pacers PR person told Stephenson, “Lance, go shoot.”
Pacers coach Frank Vogel also said on Thursday that the team does not condone what Stephenson did.
“Blowing in his face probably crosses the line,” Vogel explained. “That’s not really who we are. We want to be a competitive team, but we don’t want to cross the line.”
Stephenson isn’t throwing cheap shots or trying to injure anyone. He’s trying to get under the Heat’s skin any way he can, and he’s embarrassing himself in the process. The fact that Bird and Vogel both refused to stand behind the former Cincinnati star in the middle of a crucial playoff series tells you everything you need to know.
Prior to Friday, Rory McIlroy had been playing some of his best golf of the season in the wake of dumping his fiancee Caroline Wozniacki. McIlroy won the European BMW PGA Championship last weekend and kicked off the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village on Thursday by firing a 63 in the first round. Then, Wozniacki changed her Twitter avatar.
For whatever reason, Woz made her avatar a photo of her looking like a witch standing over her giant kettle. Chris Chase of For the Win noted that the photo was originally posted last October during a Halloween celebration.
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) October 9, 2013
The picture made sense in October, but what about now? If you believe in dungeons and dragons and witches and warlocks, you might find it interesting that McIlroy shot a second-round 78 on Friday, which could go down as the worst round of the day among the entire field.
What’s in the pot, Caroline? We’re onto you…
Lane Kiffin is extremely excited about the talent he will get to coach this season as offensive coordinator at Alabama. After hearing the comments he made about the Crimson Tide’s backfield earlier this week, some would say the former USC coach is too excited.
On Thursday, Kiffin said Alabama’s offense will be led by its tailbacks. And he thinks they’re all pretty damn good.
“As you guys know extremely well, I think the offense is led by the tailbacks,” Kiffin told those in attendance at the DEX Imaging 20th annual L’Arche Football Preview. “There probably aren’t three more talented tailbacks in the NFL on a roster than we’re fortunate to be able to work with at Alabama.”
Wait, what? Does Kiffin realize that there are countless backup running backs in the NFL who were absolute studs on their college teams? TJ Yeldon will likely carry on the tradition of Alabama running backs being taken in the early rounds of the NFL Draft, but we have to wait and see how second and third stringers Derrick Henry and Kenyon Drake will turn out.
As NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread noted, Nick Saban typically does not allow his assistant coaches to speak to the media. This is probably why.
One of Gregg Popovich’s most infamous in-game interviews came at the expense of ESPN’s Doris Burke. It took place roughly a year ago during the NBA playoffs, when Popovich used only the word “turnovers” to answer Burke’s two questions. It was vintage Pop and something sideline reporters have come to expect, but it apparently rattled Burke a great deal.
During an appearance on Zach Lowe’s Grantland podcast on Thursday, Burke said that particular interview with Popovich almost brought her to tears.
“Everybody laughed at that, last year – and I don’t know if you remember the moment – but I had asked him something about the offensive end, and he said ‘turnovers,’ one word,” Burke said, as transcribed by Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk. “Then I asked him about, ‘OK, on the defensive end, you held them to whatever percentage. What did you see that you liked on that end?” And he said ‘turnovers’ again.
“Two words. I was devastated. It was brutal. It was absolutely brutal. I was almost in tears. I go back to where I sit, and I’m trying to compose myself, because I thought I asked two pretty good questions. And those were those were the responses I got.”
Burke is right. There was nothing wrong with the questions she asked, but we all know how Pop can be. His team was coming off a brutal quarter at the time, and he was only going to use the word “turnovers” no matter what the questions were or who asked them. While the interview shook Burke up, she said she does not take it personally.
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Oklahoma State freshman running back Devon Thomas was arrested on Wednesday for his involvement in an alleged robbery. According to the Tulsa World, Thomas and three other suspects are accused of robbing a man at gunpoint and shooting with intent to kill.
A police report revealed that the victim claims the men stole his marijuana, money, shoes and clothing and told him to leave before they “bust a cap.” As the victim was driving away, he says one of the suspects fired a shot at him that went through the rear windshield and nicked the head rest, just missing the driver.
The victim said he has known the suspects for several years and identified Thomas as the person who was carrying the gun. Thomas had not been charged as of Friday morning, but he was being held on $125,000 bail.
Thomas is a three-star recruit who enrolled early at Oklahoma State. He set a record at Broken Arrow High by rushing for 1,840 yards during his sophomore season. He was also arrested in March on a traffic warrant. Should he be charged with anything related to Tuesday’s incident, his days with the Cowboys are likely numbered.
H/T Campus Union
Matt Kemp is currently playing under a $160 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but baseball is not his only occupation. Kemp has also done some modeling (remember that magazine shoot where he showed all that skin?). In fact, Gap Inc. recently announced that Kemp has become the first male celebrity for the company’s biggest ever outlet stores marketing campaign.
“This is pretty big,” Kemp told Women’s Wear Daily when asked about his new gig. “Everybody used to say that baseball players can’t dress and athletes can’t dress. You know, a lot of athletes now are trying to prove everybody wrong, though there are some athletes that try too hard and try to do over-the-top things. But me, I try to be simple and just make whatever I’m wearing look good.”
Athletes trying to do over-the-top things to make a fashion statement? Come on, where have we ever seen that? Guys like Dwyane Wade have the whole keeping it simple thing down pat, right?
Kemp showed up to his first fashion shoot with 17 pairs of shoes, three watches that included a gold Rolex, 11 belts and five pairs of glasses. Most people who shop at the Gap probably don’t have that kind of wardrobe, but none of that matters when your product is endorsed by a superstar athlete.
Kemp, who said he loves dressing up and will wear a suit any chance he gets, was asked by WWD’s Khanh T.L. Tran if he gives fashion advice to his Dodgers teammates.
“They can’t make it look as good as me,” he joked. “No, we play around with styles in the locker room. It’s fun for us. Everybody’s different. Everybody has their own personality. Everybody has their own brands, favorite brands, favorite colors.”
Yasiel Puig is one of Kemp’s teammates, so we know he’s not lying about the personality thing. And now that he has signed on to be the face of the Gap, I’m sure he’ll be the center of plenty of jokes in the locker room.
- Matt Kemp
Johnny Damon insists he never touched a performance-enhancing drug during his 18-year MLB career. Unlike many others, Damon says he made his living without cheating. On Thursday, the two-time World Series champion told our friends David Baumann and Big Joe on 810 CBS Sports in Orlando that he has been thinking about his Hall of Fame chances.
“I played it clean,” Damon said. “That’s what everybody’s going to be looking at. I think I’m one of the only players to come out and say, ‘I guarantee you there is nothing I’ve done that enhanced my baseball career.'”
Damon said that players receive a “slap on the wrist” for cheating today, which he believes sends a bad message to kids. He also said staying away from steroids and other PEDs forced him out of the game.
“You can’t fault someone who has a chance to make $20 million, 50$ million, $100 million for going against the system to get to where they are. You can’t fault them, but I’m as clean as they came and I got booted out of the game because I’m clean,” Damon said. “I sound a little bitter, but I’m not. I have six great kids and I get to be around them every day now. But there are certain guys who cheated the system and they’re still being patted on the back. That’s not great for our kids.”
Damon played his last season in 2012 and turned 39 shortly after it ended. He batted .222 in 64 games with the Cleveland Indians that year, so it’s probably safe to say his career was over even if other guys weren’t abusing PEDs and being rewarded for it.
Still, I see his point. Guys like Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun are known cheaters who fattened their bank accounts with PEDs. After being busted for using steroids, Cruz still inked an $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Cabrera did the same with the Toronto Blue Jays to the tune of two years and $16 million. You can understand how that would annoy someone who played the game right.
Here is Damon’s full interview with Baumann and Big Joe:
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- Johnny Damon
As you have probably seen through every major media outlet in America by now, 50 Cent threw out arguably the worst first pitch of all time before the New York Mets game on Tuesday. Can anyone who has a functioning arm really miss home plate that badly? According to one report, the rapper intentionally botched it.
“He did it so he would get all the press,” a source reportedly told Stephanie Smith of the New York Post’s Page Six. “He’s got a new album coming out, a new TV show on Starz and he wants to launch a tour.”
A graphic that has gone viral shows that 50’s first pitch may have actually been the worst ever.
— Know More (@knowmorewp) May 29, 2014
The rapper’s people say it was excitement that caused the horrendous throw, not a thirst for publicity.
“It’s apparent in his excitement on the mound that he released the ball too early, clearly not a stunt,” one of 50 Cent’s reps said.
To be honest, I had this in the back of my mind from the start. No one can be that bad. It just doesn’t make sense.
Thanks to LBS tipster David