Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 9, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The champion Lakers are swept away by Dallas in four straight games in coach Phil Jackson's likely swansong.
* Atlanta and Chicago are now tied two games apiece.
* In hockey, Detroit staved off elimination but the Red Wings still trail San Jose three games to two.
* The other shoe has dropped for Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall. After his controversial tweets about the death of Osama bin Laden, Mendenhall has been dropped as an endorser for Champion athletic wear.
* Hold off on the retirement party. Remember that .250 Derek Jeter batting average the other day? After a two-homer game he's now at .276.
Maybe the most embarrassing performance in Lakers history. Not only didn't they show up for game four against Dallas, then they turned into thugs. Back to back ejections in the fourth quarter. For years you always used the words Lakers and class in the same sentence. But I guess that only applies when a team is winning. There's such a thing as being a graceful loser. Not this bunch. They're just a bunch of losers. Good riddance.
3. The Hits Just Keep on Coming
Now that was a fun weekend. One sports headline after another.
The Lakers crashing. A 20-1 shot, Animal Kingdom, winning the Kentucky Derby. He goes from a horse nobody ever heard of to Preakness favorite. After all, he's Maryland-based. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers pitched his second career no hitter. And Andre Ethier's hitting streak for the Dodgers died at 30. Maybe Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak will be eclipsed some day, but I just can't see it. And when we talked about records that will never be broken, here's another one you submitted. Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slams in the same inning. Three, anyone?
4. Let's Get Ready to Play Shuffleboard
I guess you heard the champion won Saturday night. Not Manny Pacquiao with his easy unanimous decision over Shane Mosley. But Evander Holyfield. Yup. The 48-year-old former heavyweight champ stopped 46-year-old Brian Nielsen in the 10th round in Copenhagen. Nothing quite says athleticism like 94 years worth of boxers going toe to toe. The most exciting moment may have been the weigh-in, when Neilson mooned the crowd.
If you pick up the sports pages and read about yet another Spanish sports triumph, or about a great European golfer, you don't think twice. But somebody had to be the first, and that athlete would be Seve Ballesteros. Yes, he won the Masters twice and the British Open three times, but he's also the all-time leader on the European tour with 50 wins. And we now take for granted that Europe has the upper hand in Ryder Cup competition, but he was part of the first European team that beat the U.S. in 1985. And all he did was win it again in 1987 and 1989. Quite a resume for a golfer who died way too young, at the age of 54.
Happy Birthday: Not a bad little basketball player and a great baton twirler, Calvin Murphy. 63.
Bonus Birthday: Mr. 60 Minutes good guy, Mike Wallace. 93.
Today in Sports: Hey, the horsies gotta start somewhere. For the first time a starting gate was used for a Triple Crown race at the Preakness. 1930.
Bonus Event: "The Biggest Little City in the World" comes into existence -- Reno, Nevada. Did you know it was named after a Civil War General? 1868.
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