Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 22, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* In a blockbuster deal, the Knicks land Carmelo Anthony from Denver.
* Hank Steinbrenner likened revenue sharing in baseball to socialism. He said, "if you don't want to worry about teams in minor markets, don't put teams in minor markets." Yeah, it doesn't work in the NFL with Green Bay, right?
* 36-year old Justine Siegal became the first woman to throw batting practice at a Major League spring training camp, when she threw for the Cleveland Indians.
* The season opening Formula One race in Bahrain scheduled for March 13th has been canceled due to political unrest.
The deal is done. Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Knicks. It's a three-team deal including Denver and Minnesota. Lotsa players and draft choices are involved. The downside: the Knicks gave up too much. President Donnie Walsh was probably overruled by owner James Dolan. And Dolan reportedly had Isiah Thomas advising him. Cringe. The upside. The Knicks get a second superstar. The truth is, you don't win in his league without stars, and the Knicks now have two. That's two more than they had a year ago. One more, preferably one who can play defense, and Knick fans can actually start to dream about that elusive championship.
3. Spring Has Sprung
Ah, the rites of spring. In Yankee camp that means A-Rod addresses the media, as he did yesterday. He actually made light of his famous popcorn-feeding brouhaha with Cameron Diaz. He quipped "did anyone watch the Super Bowl?" And he denied going ballistic at FOX for showing the scene on TV. Not as compelling as when he admitted to being a steroid cheat. Oh well, you can't have real news in spring training every year. And the word is they laid down the law in Mets camp. There is now a cutoff time when card playing must cease in the clubhouse before the game. What? The players now have to focus on baseball? Since when?
4. Slam Dunk
Blake Griffin certainly upped the ante the other night, winning the NBA slam dunk contest by jumping over a car. One can only imagine what's next. Flying on strings like Spiderman on Broadway? Having fans shoot weapons at you while you're in mid-air? Of course the car Griffin jumped over was a Kia, the "official car of the NBA." I'm guessing more product placements are in our future. At next year's contest, the winner, will probably whip out a can of Right Guard (the official deodorant of the NBA) and spritz under his arms in mid-flight.
5. Pole Position
Some sports teams just don't have a sense of humor. While teams will do anything to entertain their fans, perhaps as a distraction from how their team is performing, others would prefer that fans actually pay attention to what's going on down on the field. There's a German soccer club in Hamburg that sells luxury boxes. One box owner is a local establishment called Susi's Show Bar. OK, it's a strip club. So to "entertain" their guests at the soccer games, they put up a pole in their box and had strippers dancing. Ouch, the team issued a red card. No more dancing during the game. They can dance after the game, but no nudity. There are too many rules in soccer.
Happy Birthday: Dr. J. Julius Erving. 61.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Drew Barrymore. 36.
Today in Sports: Do you believe in miracles? The U.S. shocks Russia in hockey at the Lake Placid Olympics. My choice for #1 in my kids book, the Greatest Moments in Sports. 1980.
Bonus Event: The original W. is born. George Washington himself. (And they used to give us the day off from school as a result.) 1732.
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