Your morning roundup for July 7, the day we were promised the internets.

For Once, Lionel Messi Makes Soccer Look Very, Very Difficult

What we watched: We've been spared the horrors/excitement of another steroid scandal, thanks to a Canadian doctor's plea deal. Anthony Galea pled guilty to a lesser charge of bringing drugs across the border, instead of facing a litany of charges that would have required names to be named in a trial.

Galea appears to be HGH-happy in his prescriptions, and we know he's visited with and treated Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Takeo Spikes and Jamal Lewis, among others. You'd think that would be enough for front page news, but perhaps we're all a little burnt out. Perhaps we already know that A-Rod used PEDs, and we assume that all football players do, and we've already assumed the worst about Tiger Woods in everything — but these are some pretty huge names, and with a client list of 20 athletes, this would be just the kind of case that gets Jeff Novitzky's dick hard.

The Times recently wrote that Novitzky "is starting to look more and more like Ken Starr, circa 1998, myopically pursuing a case whose relevance diminishes with each new news cycle," and that sounds about right. In this case, prosecutors did their job — they got a conviction with a minimum of fuss and taxpayer cost. Their job has never been to clean up professional sports, or to chase their own personal white whale. And judging from the way Galea's story has been buried on page A19 from the beginning, I honestly don't think anyone cares anymore. (Barry Petchesky)

For Once, Lionel Messi Makes Soccer Look Very, Very Difficult

What we're watching: There have been reports throughout the past week that a few locked out NBA players have agreed to sign with teams overseas. These reports have mostly come from foreign outlets and without any actual substantiation from the players' agents, but we've run with them nonetheless (probably in part because there's not much else to run with right now). First, we heard that Ron Artest Metta World Peace had committed to play for Finland's LoKoKo, a notion that was quickly dismissed by Artest-Peace's agent as "a publicity stunt" (oh, one of those). Today there are multiple reports that Deron Williams has agreed to sign on with Besiktas, the Turkish club that babysat for Allen Iverson for a few months this past year. Here's the report, via HoopsHype:

Beşiktaş Erkek Basketbol Takımı, New Jersey Nets'ten Deron Williams ile prensip anlaşmasına vardı. D-Will'in yanı sıra Zaza Pachulia Beşiktaş'a katılmaya çok yakın. 27 yaşındaki Deron Williams, Nets'ten önce Utah Jazz'da Mehmet Okur ile birlikte forma giymişti.

Take all that lightly, though. We've yet to hear from Williams's agent, and when it comes to reports like this, well, gitmek için uzun bir yol var. (Emma Carmichael)

Elsewhere

Enjoy it while you can, Pittsburgh: "For the first time in what feels like forever (20 years, to be exact), people are talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates. At 44-41 (as of Monday), the Bucs are a game out of first place and won't be selling off players at the trade deadline. They've sold out PNC three nights in a row and boast one of the game's best young players in Andrew McCutchen. On top of that, they've re-stocked a farm system that was once the model for poor player development. As the Pirates celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1971 title team, could this be the year the Pirates get back to the playoffs? In a word, 'no.'" [Deuce of Davenport]

How to cover a lockout without losing your mind: "Having entered my fourth month of following this lockout, I've seen the best and worst of what the lockout has done for us journalists. On the one hand, writers have had more time to analyze the league and teams they cover. On the other hand, writers have had more time to analyze the league and teams they cover. NBA writers will have it tough, as many are predicting a long lockout that could very well cancel the 2011-12 basketball season. To help you along, here are some tips that have gotten me through covering the lockout." [ProFootballWeekly]

Register your displeasure with the NFL lockout, in neon billboard form: "It is time for the Fans to send a message to the Owners and Players to resolve this dispute. We would like to do this by posting the following message on a billboard in New York City's Times Square: Dear NFL Owners & Players, SETTLE IT! Love, Your Fans! [Phundraiser]

Boston's Citgo sign gets its day in the spotlight: "And yet, over 45 years, the Citgo sign has become a Boston landmark - an icon, even - and it's easy to see why. Double-sided, and measuring 60 feet by 60 feet, the sign commands attention like nothing else in the city. A signpost to drivers, a lure to Red Sox sluggers, a 20-mile marker in the Boston Marathon, and reportedly even an aid in timing contractions for laboring women in nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, it has also inspired generations of art students. What do they find so compelling about it?" [Boston Globe]

Das racist: "After your victory in the finals, US papers printed a photo-montage showing you as a nanny with black babies on your arm. The children bore the faces of star players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, among others, both of whom are known for their luxurious lifestyles. Is it now your duty to educate such players?" [Der Spiegel]

Your extreme weather-reporting interlude:

We are all Dave McKenna CXLVIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting every day until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit has a rectal prolapse.

If you're in New York, this is what you're doing tonight: "Gelf's Varsity Letters sports reading series returns on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m., at Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge. At this free monthly event, hosted by Gelf, Steve Friedman, Kostya Kennedy, and Steve Marantz will read from and talk about their newly released sports books. Friedman will read from his memoir of golfing with his dad, and how the sport mirrored their sometimes turbulent relationship. Kennedy will revisit Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak, the mythical record that has withstood 70 years of attempts to break it. And Marantz will recount a true story about high-school basketball, black awakening and rebellion, and innocence lost-all occurring in Omaha while he was a teenager there." [Gelf]

Pyeongchang 2018 will have many promises to fulfill: "As Candidate City for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang 2018 presents a fresh, new approach for the Olympic Movement. A new, youthful and contemporary nation marked by technological proficiency, human progress and natural splendour. A new attitude, characterized by the unique spirit of the Korean people who value friendship, fun and hospitality. And a new, compact and efficient Games plan, featuring the most accessible, world-class venues ever for an Olympic Winter Games." [Pyeongchang 2018]

What does Duff McKagan think about Terrell Owens? Glad you asked: "A lot of this situation reminds me of being in a rock band. With Terrell Owens thinking he can be in the movies or whatever without being on a pro football team is like a band not being on a major label or having a big booking agent such as Creative Artists Agency, International Creative Management or William Morris in your corner. Things will just not happen for you. Terrell Owens has a bad reputation for his locker room presence, too. I've been there. Being in a band is just like being on a sports team. It takes a lot of teamwork in both. You learn to trust each other in both. You travel and eat together in both. You are shoulder-to-shoulder in both for much of the year." [ESPN.com]

For Once, Lionel Messi Makes Soccer Look Very, Very Difficult

Armen Gilliam is dead at 47: "Mark Warkentien thought he had discovered a gem of a basketball recruit. That turned out to be an understatement. Warkentien, then a UNLV basketball assistant coach, was scouting the national junior college tournament in the early 1980s when he stumbled upon a monstrous 6-foot-9 power forward who immediately caught his eye. ‘I see this kid coming off the bench, and he was as big as a house,' Warkentien said. ‘He definitely passed the eyeball test.' That kid was Armen Gilliam, who went from being raw in talent and inexperienced to one of the best players in UNLV history. Gilliam, who led the Rebels to the 1987 Final Four and is seventh on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,855 points, died unexpectedly of a heart attack Tuesday. He collapsed while playing basketball at a fitness center in Bridgeville, Pa. He was 47." [Las Vegas Sun]

I bet he spit pretty far though: "An Australian motor racing fan leaned over an apartment balcony to see how far he could spit – then overbalanced and fell to his death, the Townsville Bulletin reported Thursday. ‘"A woman who was with him on the balcony reported that he made a comment about how far he could spit over the side, then he leant over and lost his balance,' Townsville acting Inspector Leonie Henwood said." [Fox Sports]

Bruce Pearl thinks he'll coach again, hopefully is not writing this book: "‘Do you want me to write the book about how do you lose $10 million jobs? I can write the book,' he told the radio station. ‘How can you be so dumb and so careless? ... It's not so much about what we did, it's about how we handled it. I think there was some decisions that we made. Specifically, in my visit with the enforcement staff. I answered about 150 questions. I answered 148 of them honestly. There were two questions that I did not answer honestly. Had I answered those two questions knowingly, willingly, honestly, instead of a week later asking them to come back because I knew I had made a mistake ... you guys would be interviewing the coach at Tennessee.'" [ESPN]