Your morning roundup for May 20, the day Kirsten Dunst was (politely) shocked and appalled. H/T Ryan Boone for the vid.
What we watched: I'm not taking any issue with Scott Brooks's decision to bench Russell Westbrook for the duration of the fourth quarter last night — it worked, after all — but Westbrook goes for 18 on 7-of-15 shooting with four assists and we're still talking about his "selfish" play. Was Brooks finally "sending a message"? Meanwhile, Derrick Rose produces a World B. Free mixtape the other night against the Heat — 7-of-23, with a handful of shots coming against triple-teams and one three-pointer launched from somewhere near Cicero — and the verdict is that he just had a bad night, that Rose is only human. If you needed any more proof that mainstream sportswriters share their DNA with all those Beltway hacks working the green rooms on Sundays, look no further than the cardboard storylines of Rose and Westbrook, two very similar scoring point guards. By the way, Westbrook's replacement yesterday, Eric Maynor, scored 13 points in 20 minutes. As Kevin Pelton notes, he had one assist. (Tommy Craggs)
What we're watching: Can you believe tonight kicks off the fifteenth edition of interleague play? Why, it seems like only yesterday that if you wanted to see the Rockies play the Orioles, you'd have to wait for them to meet in the World Series. You and Vladimir and Estragon. But the novelty's worn off for some. "It has run its course," says Jim Leyland, who hates having to give up his DH. "I just don't like it." Joe Maddon laughs at the notion that anyone's excited for the six games with a "geographic rival," when your rival is ostensibly the Marlins.
The fact is, it's not going anywhere. There's a modest but measurable bump in attendance figures for interleague play, and if you think Bud Selig's going to do anything to simply forfeit those extra tens of thousands of tickets sold and beers drank and caps bought, you don't know Bud Selig and you don't know sound business. But to alleviate the tedium of yet another Mariners/Padres home-and-home, it needs something new. Something on the line. We suggest that whichever league wins more games in interleague play gets home field advantage in the All-Star Game. (This time, it counts. For something.) (Barry Petchesky)
The Games, after Ebersol: "Yes, ESPN could get the Olympics. Maybe they would have, anyway. Maybe the era of Ebersol's Up-Close-and-Personal Olympics will be replaced by 100 meters, Around the Horn. Fox could win out. Maybe the next Bob Costas will be Bill O'Reilly." [LA Times]
More owner spam: "The NFL's business model needs to be fixed. Of that, there is no doubt. The 2006 collective bargaining agreement was not balanced. Players have readily acknowledged they 'got a great deal.' Then the economy went south, adding to the problem. A fair adjustment must be negotiated in a new CBA." [Giants.com]
Warriors hire Jerry West to stand around and look respectable: "West's exact title has not yet been formalized, but he is expected to be reporting to co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber and possibly act as a sounding board in many areas." [Mercury News]
This is a story about Ron Artest: "The philosopher Hannah Arendt, in her own theories of citizenship, rejected determinism. She believed that modern political relationships were artificial constructs, not our human nature. However she also saw in that artificiality something wonderful: the exercise of human free will. She believed that an irrational actor was necessary to preserve liberty." [Negative Dunkalectics]
And on the seven millionth day, The Executioner was still talking smack: On the day that Bernard Hopkins got to comparing Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb in terms of blackness, he also said he didn't much care for opponent Jean Pascal's homeland of Canada. He drove that point home in pre-fight quotes like this: "I am wearing a [Philadelphia] Flyers jersey into the ring on Saturday night, a Bobby Clarke jersey with my name on it. I am going to be just like him, I might even take out my front teeth." Get it, Bobby Clarke was a Flyer and Canadiens still hate the Stanley Cup winners from 1973-75. [Canadian Press]
If Alex Ferguson had his way, people would read more: His highness Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United has a fundamental problem with Twitter, both for society as a whole and its use by His players. To wit: "There are a million things you can do in your life without that. Get yourself down to the library and read a book. Seriously. It is a waste of time." @WayneRooney suggested he take "Seriously" out of his message, just so people would be able to read the whole thing without having go to one of those annoying (ctd.) expanded Tweets. [Guardian]
We just say that he's good at tennis: "Djokovic fingered the microphone. 'Well,' he began, 'I don't think that...' Then he hesitated. How to describe the terror and rage he felt as a 12-year-old when the air raid sirens wailed and explosions thundered across Belgrade? How to describe the way it all got balled together, the tennis and the bombing, because tennis is what kept his family sane? The way his life, his future career, became the prime focus of his parents' attention and his success became his family's goal and salvation? 'He is something special,' says Novak's mother, Dijana. 'I always say he is the child of God.'" [Sports Illustrated]
Skydome must be open, because it's getting dusty in here: "As Rays leadoff man Ben Zobrist stepped into the batter's box, Jays ace Ricky Romero stepped purposefully off the back of the mound, bent and traced in the dirt with his finger the letters RJM. Pausing to gather his thoughts, the emotional left-hander then stood and walked slowly to the top of the hill to begin the game. For Romero, it was a personal tribute to a young friend, Ryley Martin, who had passed away at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Kids earlier on Thursday." [Toronto Star]