Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

"Nate McMillan?" Said The NBA Prospect. "What College Is That?"

Your morning roundup for June 17, the day we got educated about obnoxiously-educated NYU students. Video of Blazers prospect at a Blazers workout not knowing who the Blazers coach is via Eye On Basketball.


What we watched: Page One, the New York Times documentary that makes convincing cases both for the country's paper of record and for the need for David Carr to have his own reality show. The movie was — as Michael Kinsley's meta review in the paper's pages today points out, rather brutally — a bit unfocused: "Having seen 'Page One,' I don't know much more than I did before. The movie, directed by Andrew Rossi, is, in a word, a mess." Kinsley's issue is the erratic pace, but honestly, as someone who uses Twitter every day and has 15 to 20 computer windows open at any given time throughout the day, the pace of the movie (as well as the sudden jumps from WikiLeaks to the Tribune folding to Carr reflecting on his years as an addict) just felt like the pace of the internet. Page One tells, broadly, the story of a newspaper's few good white men trying to learn to keep up with that speed, and by the time it was over, I really wanted them to win. Go see it, if you can. (Emma Carmichael)


What we're watching: Wimbledon, but more out of duty than expectation. They held the draw today, and two folks who are probably sick of each other's stupid faces will face off in the first round: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. Their 11 hour, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 match last year was the most bizarre, most captivating three-day tennis match we've seen. But that was very slow lightning in a bottle, and if they're hoping to catch it again, every law in the universe says it's unlikely. We won't say the draw was rigged to produce a rematch, but the All England Club has a history of intriguing early round pairings. But if they're looking to reproduce the once-in-a-lifetime, they'd be better off manipulating an actual match, any match, then by putting Isner and Mahut together again.


Does anyone really care about Isner and Mahut? I mean, really? Even as their brutal marathon last year dragged into darkness, it could have been anyone out there sacrificing their bodies for our amusement. Basically, we just want to see something historic, and we don't care who provides it. The Isner-Mahut rematch will likely be closer to their last match, in January, a 6-3, 7-6 snoozer. So you'll forgive us if we're not stocked up on canned goods and powdered milk when they face off, probably on Centre Court. But if you do notice a match, any match, putting on a ludicrously numbered tiebreaker, let us know. That's the one we want to watch. (Barry Petchesky)


Watching Dog Day Afternoon with Dad: "During a commercial break, I saw that his eyes were closed. I studied him. His stomach inflated and deflated in short, hard spurts. Dad was forty-five, almost six years removed from a heart attack, and his deep, uneven breathing worried me. He flexed his right foot and his big toe cracked so I knew he wasn't asleep. Maybe he was meditating. He opened his eyes and smiled at me, put his hand over mine and looked back at the TV. When he took it away, it was to reach for another cigarette. I stared at the movie until I heard him start to snore. So I slipped out of bed, moving like a cat on the branch of a tree, and butted out his cigarette in the ashtray sitting on a table covered with burn marks. Then I climbed back into bed, careful not to rouse him. I wasn't sure what was going to happen to the old man. He didn't have a job and wasn't in show business anymore. If only he would quit drinking." [Bronx Banter]


Rory McIlroy is leading the US Open (and where was Cigar Man when this photo was taken??): "This is the third time in the last four majors that McIlroy has either shared or held the lead after 18 holes, and the way he did it - while most of the field was struggling to survive the 7,475-yard Congressional Country Club layout - was most impressive. ‘I'm starting to get used to these first rounds in majors,' said McIlroy, who is three strokes up on Y. E. Yang (68) and the Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. ‘I just need to keep it going. I have to back it up tomorrow and put myself in position for the weekend.' Playing with a relaxed insouciance - as he did when he shot a 63 to lead the first round of last year's British Open at St. Andrews and when he shot a 65 to share the first-round lead at this year's Masters - McIlroy made it look easy. He hit 17 of 18 greens, never threatened to bogey a hole, and, though he hit only nine fairways, his misses were all playable." [New York Times]


The Mavs, in charts: Go look at Chartball's pretty poster dissecting Dallas's season. [Co.Design]

Kentucky does math: "UK said in a release Thursday that it had agreed to list Calipari's career win-loss record ‘in our media guides, Internet sites and other publications consistent with the NCAA's official records and statistics.' The school made the decision after consulting with the NCAA and being informed that the ‘honoring of our head men's basketball coach for his 500th career victory on Feb. 26, 2011 was in error.' UK publicly commemorated Calipari's 500th victory last season, but that total included 42 vacated victories at Massachusetts and Memphis." [Courier-Journal]


We are all Dave McKenna CXXXIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until the day we track down that terrifying 130-pound Canuck fan.


Freestyle canoe interlude, reverse transverse post ollie fake edition:

Followed, naturally, by your Lithuanian Euro-Pop Euro Basket promotion interlude:

[Via Europoppoed]

LeBron James is a "vast, soaring Richard Serra metal [sculpture]," and other revelations: "And if having beers with you is not now and never really was something Jordan wanted to do, either, it was also never really his beat. Jordan, like James, only really sounded interested when talking about himself and how we perceived him. There's something weirdly, disconcertingly believable about the tense revulsion of Jordan's interactions with other people in those squirmy-stiff, weirdly Hitler-stache'd Hanes commercial appearances of his. Jordan existed for Jordan, and that existence has had moments in which it was truly a thing to behold. And Jordan is who LeBron James is talking about being when he expresses his wish to be "a global icon," because Jordan is for the time being and possibly forever, basketball's ur-figure of implacable individual brilliance and will." [The Awl]


And LeBron James is not yet a movie star: "The Miami Heat forward has been attached to star in Universal/Imagine's sports comedy ‘Ballers' since September 2009, and after an initial yearlong delay to accommodate his summer 2010 free agency, production was pushed to next month. However, in the wake of Miami's NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, exec producer Michael Rosenberg told Variety that because the script is still being developed, ‘we are not shooting this summer.' [The story] follows five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues." [Variety]

LOLWimbledon: "The longest-match rematch is coming to Wimbledon: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will play each other in the first round. Last year, the pair played the longest match in tennis history, with Isner winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in a first-round match at the All England Club that lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes stretched over three days. A gasp followed the announcement at Friday's draw, followed by laughter. ‘It's going to be pretty nuts,' Isner said Friday. ‘I couldn't believe it. I joked with him earlier in the week, last week, and said, 'Watch us play each other.' And he said, 'No, there's no way. That's not even funny.'" [AP]


Kaaaahn and Ruuuubes, finally united in Minnesota: "It's official: Ricky Rubio is joining the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation on Friday when he said, ‘I have finally decided to start the journey' to the NBA... ‘This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn't be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota,' said David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations. ‘Ricky's skill set and feel for the game have made him one of the best young players in Europe for six years now, and at age 20 he's still a young player with a lot of upside. I expect Ricky to enjoy a long and successful career here in Minnesota.'" [Star-Tribune]

Mr. Belding throws out the first pitch: May also be drunk for his "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" rendition. Skip to the six-minute mark for his appearance. [It's Always Sunny In Detroit]

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