What we watched: Bobcats at Knicks, live from the Garden. Fellow Deadspinner Luke O'Brien warned of Boris Diaw's lockout-induced fatness, and he was not wrong. Even so, as Diaw waddled around the court, he ripped apart the Knicks defense for 27 points with an array of spins, head fakes, and deadly shooting, leaving New York fans with nothing to do but break out the "Let's go, Giants!" chant.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): North Carolina State at Miami in women's college basketball at 7 (ESPNU). Pittsburgh at DePaul in men's college basketball at 7 (ESPN2). Miami at Atlanta in NBA basketball at 8 (TNT). Michigan at Indiana (ESPN2) and Saint Mary's at San Diego (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 9. Los Angeles Lakers at Portland in NBA basketball at 10:30 (TNT).
The father of flash mobs, on the year of spontaneous assembly: "Groping for what to call these events, the media christened them 'flash mobs'—lumped them in, that is, with the fad in which large crowds carry out a public performance and then post the results on YouTube. So at around the same time that Fox was running a lighthearted flash-mob reality show called Mobbed, and Friends With Benefits, the high-grossing rom-com starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, featured a flash-mob dance in Times Square, pundits and public officials suddenly began railing against flash mobs as a threat to public order. The convenience store knock-overs became 'flash mob robberies,' or even 'flash robs.' 'The evolution of flash mobs from pranks to crime and revolution,' declared one of my local papers, the San Francisco Examiner, after the hacktivist group Anonymous had helped to create subway shutdowns. Here is where the story got a bit uncomfortable for me personally. The Examiner's flash-mob timeline, which ended in a terrifying stew of rioting and revolution, literally began with my name. Back in 2003, as a sort of social experiment, I sent an email to friends and asked them to forward it along, looking to gather 'inexplicable mobs' of people around New York. Then, over the span of just a couple of months, I watched in amazement as my prank turned into a worldwide fad." [Wired]
Jan. 5, 2011: Tony Allen Whupped O.J. Mayo Over A Gambling Debt
It's not a conspiracy, but we'll take your money to shut you up anyway: "Even if his criticisms were valid and his accusation was intentional exaggeration, New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella was still fined $30,000 by the NHL on Wednesday for his post-Winter Classic conspiracy theory — despite a rather robust apology. In the press conference room at Citizens Bank Stadium in Philadelphia, after the Rangers' Winter Classic victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, Tortorella blasted the officiating in the third period with hyperbolic aplomb, wondering if referees Ian Walsh and Dennis LaRue were working in concert with NBC to orchestrate an overtime while calling their work in the game 'disgusting.' It wasn't exactly a joke. There was no wink, no grin. But it wasn't exactly serious either. It was an attention-getting tactic to draw attention to injustice." [Puck Daddy]
Packers players actually do feel the cold: "After running onto the field, the boy waved his arms around as he ran more than 50 yards during a timeout in the Packers-Lions game Sunday. Then, as Green Bay's defense began to take the field, Jones saw the fan and slammed him to the ground as security finally began to enter the picture. 'I don't understand how 10 security guards can't catch one little kid,' Jones said. 'Really, I was just cold. It's all good.' Even as Jones was bringing him to the ground, apparently it didn't ruin the experience for the boy. 'I think he was still laughing,' Jones said. 'I think I could still hear him. Maybe not. I was just happy to get the game back going again.'" [Fox Sports]
Your World's Dumbest Criminal Interlude:
Liar liar pants on fire: "The 23-year-old left NBL team Melbourne Tigers to sign for Xinjiang in November in a deal reportedly worth upwards of $1 million. But his relationship with the club deteriorated as they debated the seriousness of the injury. Mills took to Twitter to fire back at a club release from team general manager Hou Wei which said 'due to a fake injury, the Xinjiang team has cut the foreign player Mills.' Mills responded: 'Firstly, hammy is doing well and is on track to be back in full swing by next Saturday,' Mills tweeted. That will be 3 (weeks since suffering the injury). I had both MRIs sent to my doctor in Aus. It was made clear from the start to EVERYONE that it was a torn hamstring and would take 3-6 weeks (to recover). So why the team and doctors over here are saying its not torn, only swelling and should be playing totally defeats me. So basically everything in the Chinese media is totally inaccurate and false. Ive been honest and professional throughout.'" [Australian AP, via Ball Don't Lie]
Wardrobe malfunctions: "There's handling the NBA's nixing the trade that would've brought Chris Paul to the Lakers. There's adjusting practices with a compacted 66-game schedule and energy-sapped roster. And then there's the cultural fixations that exposes his naivety. 'I have a green sweater vest, but I can't wear the green sweater vest even though it says Lakers,' Brown said. 'We have a history with Boston.' But he didn't realize that connection with the Celtics until after the fact when he arrived one day at the Lakers' facility wearing one. Brown wouldn't say which Laker intervened on his wardrobe choices. But it's likely the conversation could've initially been testy. After all, Jerry West has said multiple times that seeing the color green increased his anger and frustration over never beating the Celtics in the Finals during his NBA career, a sentiment that many other Lakers share." [LA Times]
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