Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 11, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* In the NBA playoffs, Chicago has taken a three games to two lead over Atlanta.
* The Lakers Andrew Bynum was suspended without pay for the first five games of next season for his flagrant foul on J.J. Barea of Dallas. He was also fined $25,000 for removing his shirt on the way to the locker room. Total cost, over 700,000.
* I'm glad that's settled. The Lakers Pau Gasol denies there were problems between his girlfriend and Kobe Bryant's wife.
* In the NHL, after trailing three games to zero, Detroit has forced a seventh game tomorrow night in San Jose.
* Legendary NY Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo is dead at the age of 88. Here's some of his extraordinary work.
2. The Boss
George Steinbrenner was lots of things to lots of people, but who knew he was an FBI informant? It turns out he cooperated with the government on a couple of investigations; one of them involved terrorism. Was he a super patriot? Nah. It helped him get a pardon for his illegal campaign contributions. On George Steinbrenner's desk, a sign read "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way." I guess it should have said, FBI Stoolie.
So you heard the one about the golf ball that only goes straight? It's not a joke. They've come up with a ball that doesn't slice. Of course it's illegal, but does it really matter to hackers? What if the ball gets more people playing an impossibly difficult game? But messing with the equipment? That would be like corking baseball bats, or basketball players using illegal sticky stuff to get a better feel for the ball, or a goaltender sewing netting between his legs to stop pucks, or... no wait... that's all been done. Never mind.
4. U-S-A, U-S-A (Not)
Not that this is earth-shattering, but with Tiger Woods plummeting in the golf rankings, the top American man is #4, Phil Mickelson. The top woman is 5th, Christie Kerr. And in tennis? Not one American man or woman is ranked in the top 10 for the first time in history. Where have you gone Arnie, Jack, Chrissie, Billie Jean, Johnny Mac and Jimmy? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
5. The Big 5-0
You'll have to wait two more days for Dennis Rodman to show up in my Happy Birthday section. But he can't wait, so he'll celebrate tonight, at where else, a strip club in New York. According to the New York Post, he'll then have his #10 "retired" as a nod to the "two big loves of his life -- basketball and women." Strippers will don his #10, before undonning them. Kinda brings a tear to your eye, don't it?
Happy Birthday: Heisman winner, national champion and #1 draft pick, quarterback Cam Newton. 22.
Bonus Birthday: Well, he was great at USC. Quarterback Matt Leinart. 28.
Today in Sports: The Say Hey Kid comes home. The Giants trade Willie Mays to the Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams and $50,000. 1972.
Bonus Event: Hey, now we can stage sleep-inducing Oscar ceremonies. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded. 1927.
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