Category: Sports

The universe in a single image

Sure, the Miami Heat throttled the Chicago Bulls by 37 points on Wednesday night to even the semifinals at 1-1, and that’s great and I’m sure somewhere else on the Internet someone is discussing just what it all means (it just means that the Heat and Bulls are tied at 1-1, and also that when the Heat get into an offensive groove they are essentially unstoppable, and oh also based on all of the technicals and the ejections the rest of this series will probably be nothing but calm and placid basketball with lots of friendly repartee between the teams). Me, I’ll just be over here staring at this picture taken when Joakim Noah was ejected, trying to figure out the secrets of the universe. [UPDATE: Good lord, her real identity is somehow crazier than anything I imagined.]

Attempting to Appreciate the Mountaintop

The Miami Heat are my favorite professional basketball team. The Miami Heat also happen to be the best team in the NBA right now; as of this writing, the team has won a franchise-record 16 consecutive games. The Heat employ LeBron James, the best player in the NBA, and they are, of course, the reigning NBA champions.

I mention all of this as a way of trying to remind myself that this will very likely be the apex of my experience as an NBA fan, and it will almost definitely never, ever be this good again. Continue reading

The New Orleans Hornets Are Going To Become The New Orleans Pelicans

Marc J. Spears is reporting that the New Orleans Hornets, a professional basketball organization, are going to change their name to the New Orleans Pelicans. There are a few reasons why they are making this particular move. The Pelicans were a minor league baseball team in New Orleans for decades, so there’s some local history. Also, the other choices were “Brass” or “Krewe,” so at least it could have been worse.

But what this basically boils down to is that there will be a group of professional basketball players called “the Pelicans,” presumably as a way to make the Toronto Raptors feel slightly less dumb, I suppose.

Florida/Miami Marlins, 1993-2012

In case you missed it, the Miami Marlins (but they will always be the Florida Marlins to me) essentially gave up on Tuesday. The franchise entered the 2012 season with a new name, new stadium, new neighborhood, new manager, new players and a new strategy (one that would involve actually paying for star players and spending money on trying to put together a good baseball team, a novel concept for the Marlins). That didn’t go so well.

So, rather than make another go of it, the team opted to just blow the whole thing up. Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck were shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays, ridding Miami of its pesky big-dollar contracts. Giancarlo Stanton remains, and though he is less than thrilled, I can’t imagine he’ll remain a Marlin long enough to experience this again.

Fans of the team will. Fans know that this is what they do. Aside from being a historical oddity (their two World Series titles over the last 15 years are matched only by the Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants, while the Yankees won more during that window), the Marlins are mostly known for getting rid of any and all players deemed worthwhile. This year was supposed to be the start of something different. It was supposed to be the dawn of a new era. After all, that’s why the city spent half a billion on a new stadium.

But don’t worry, fans! Jeffrey Loria is still sticking around, so you get to enjoy this exact same spectacle again in another few years, assuming the Marlins aren’t playing in Toledo by that point.

David Stern to retire…in 2014

David Stern, the NBA’s bewildering commissioner, has announced that he is retiring on Feb. 1, 2014. That would mark the 30th anniversary of when he started the job, meaning that David Stern has been the commissioner of the NBA longer than some people (people who may or may not be writing this very sentence) have been alive. That is a very long time to commission something! Continue reading

The Rise of Bleacher Report

Perhaps uniquely among journalistic entities, Bleacher Report has a “blanket policy” forbidding its writers from seeking out and breaking news…. Bleacher Report is designed to engage in the far more lucrative practice of pouncing on news broken by others, deploying its legions of writers to craft articles — or better yet, multi-page slideshows — linking to its own voluminous archives, and supplanting original stories on the Google rankings. Breaking a story is no longer valuable: owning it is.

SF Weekly has a very interesting story out about Bleacher Report, the highly-trafficked, generally-reviled sports site. If you were curious about how Bleacher Report got to be the site you always run into when Googling anything related to sports, you’re in luck.

Sacramento Kings considering move to…Virginia Beach?

UPDATE: Some knowledgeable folks have poked holes in this story, while Joe Maloof said they haven’t spoken with Virginia Beach. So. Stay tuned. Maybe they’re heading to Poughkeepsie instead?

ORIGINAL POST:

The Sacramento Kings are an NBA franchise that currently plays in Sacramento, as the name implies. They are not likely to stay in Sacramento a long period of time, and rumors are always flying around about where they will wind up. Even as recently as February, the team was pondering a move to Anaheim. Las Vegas and Seattle are often mentioned as potential destinations for the Kings. The Kings are looking for another home, is my point, so any report about a new city for the team would have to be pretty far out there to surprise.

Which brings us to today’s news that the Kings are apparently on the verge of heading to Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach? Virginia Beach. The story, which comes from Inside Business in Norfolk, says the Maloofs (who own the Kings) are negotiating with Comcast as part of the move. Comcast would build and lease out a new arena. The deal could be announced next Wednesday, Aug. 29.

I don’t know if it’s the last possible destination I’d name for the Kings, but it’s still an incredibly left-field choice. Virginia Beach has a population of about 442,000 people, which is not much behind Sacramento’s 472,000 people. Virginia Beach is mostly known for being a resort town located near a few military bases. Virginia Beach is not a place one can easily imagine hosting a major sports franchise. Professional athletes get bored living and playing in places like Minneapolis, Orlando, Cleveland and, yes, Sacramento. Virginia Beach is…well, it’s unexpected, that’s for sure.

Did you think when you woke up today you would hear the words “Virginia Beach Kings?” Because I did not.

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BREAKING, STUNNING GOLF NEWS

Did you already hear today’s SHOCKING golf-related news? If not, I hope you sit down, because this news is absolutely going to knock you straight into the 1950s. Augusta National Golf Club — a club where people play golf, and the place that hosts the Masters — has decided to admit women.

YOU GUYS. I know you all just fainted from the sheer, stupefying shock that is this breaking and vital news, but I need you to stick with me for a little bit longer.

This is truly thrilling news, if you are the kind of person who gets excited about a golf club deciding that two women (Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore) get to become members in the year 2012. Augusta National opened in 1932 and didn’t have a single black member until 1990, so we should really all celebrate the fact that it only took them 58 years to admit black people and 80 years to admit lady people. We should focus solely on the part where they finally decided that yes, women could also be members of their stupid club, and we should ignore the part where it took them 80 years to get to that decision, because today is a day for celebration. You’ve come a long way, two women who have been deemed worthy of inclusion in this absurd, antiquated organization.

Dwight Howard to the Lakers

It’s happening: Dwight Howard, the petulant behemoth who kept reminding you he was still playing for the Orlando Magic and was not happy about that fact, is heading to L.A. On the one hand, this is wonderful news, because the horrid and unending “Where will Dwight Howard go?” blather will finally stop invading actual sports news (well, for now, but more on that in a second).  Continue reading