1. Quick Hits
- NBA Playoffs: San Antonio leads Memphis 2-0 after last nights 93-89 overtime win. Miami hosts Indiana tonight in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- Cleveland won the NBA draft lottery and owns the #1 pick for the second time in three years.
- After their best season in years the L.A. Clippers fire coach Vinny Del Negro.
- Subject to NBA approval, the Charlotte Bobcats are changing their name to Hornets after New Orleans went from Hornets to Pelicans.
- NHL Playoffs: Boston now leads the Rangers 3-0. L.A. and San Jose are 2-2.
- 21-year old Mike Trout became the youngest American Leaguer to hit for the cycle in the Angels 12-0 rout of Seattle.
- An L of a game. Super Bowl L (as is 50) will be played at the new home of the 49ers, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California in 2016. Houston gets Super Bowl LI the following year.
- Even with opposition from the PGA tour, golf’s ruling bodies have banned the use of anchored putters starting in 2016.
2. Stepping Up
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant immediately gave $1-million to aid tornado victims after the devastating tornadoes that hit in nearby Moore. The NBA, the players union and the Thunder all made sizable donations. Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is from Oklahoma City and pledged $1000 for every homer he hits before the All-Star break. The foundation of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari will make a donation to help those affected. And there will be many many more. You can always count on the sports world when tragedy strikes. If you’d like to help, text “REDCROSS” to 90999. You’ll be making a $10 contribution to the Red Cross.
3. Anchors Away
They used to “Ban the Bomb,” now its much more serious, belly-putters. Actually, the long putters will be legal in 2016, it’s just that can’t be anchored to the body creating a hinge. This of course creates quite a conundrum for PGA tour players particularly the ones who recently won Majors with the anchors. Masters winner Adam Scott, British Open champ Ernie Els and U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson all won with their putters anchored. So did Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship. So on December 31, 2015 I can anchor my putter but the next day I can’t. Either way my putting will still be an adventure. But for the guys who do this for a living, this is huge.
4. Vanilla Spurs
Clearly the San Antonio Spurs are NOT America’s team. All they do is win but sports fans want more. They find the Spurs lacking in color. You can see it in the TV ratings for their games and the collective yawn that greets their yearly success. Too bad. They’ve got a great coach in Gregg Popovich and they play terrific team basketball. I guess they need some crazy-selfish quotes and look-at-me dunks not to mention nose rings and tattoos before they’ll get some love. By the way, if you’re wondering about the Top 5 NBA Contest, 19 of you predicted a Miami/San Antonio final. I guess the Spurs do get some love from our ultra-smart collection of Top 5 subscribers.
5. The Mick
As you know, no fair ball has ever been hit clear out of Yankee Stadium, either the old Stadium or the new. (Legend has it that Josh Gibson might have done it in the Negro Leagues.) Mickey Mantle came the closest. His shot to right rattled off the facade. Mickey said it was the hardest ball he ever hit. He hit the ball off Kansas City’s Bill Fischer in the bottom of the 11th. It won the game for the Yankees 8-7, 50 years ago today.
Happy Birthday: #1 in the tennis world, Novak Djokovic. 26.
Bonus Birthday: Coincidentally, he was the first player to undergo Tommy John surgery. Tommy John. 70.
Today in Sports: 10 years ago today Annika Sorenstam became the first woman to play on the PGA tour in nearly 50 years. She shot a one-over par 71 at the Colonial in Fort Worth. But she wound up missing the cut. 2003.
Bonus Event: The end of an era. Johnny Carson hosted his last Tonight Show. 1992.
Two days left to win valuable prizes! Send me the emails of 3 new subscribers and you’ll be eligible for a drawing. You can win one of three autographed books or one of five That’s Sports baseball/golf caps. And just think how your friends will thank you for enlisting them in the Top 5 family. (Of course you can send more than three if you wish!) The deadline is tomorrow.
The next time you need a gift for that young sports fan in your life, check out my books. And if you’d like a personally autographed copy contact the Dolphin Bookshop at 516-767-2650.