Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 31, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Los Angeles beat New Jersey 2-1 in overtime in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Miami beat Boston 115-111 in overtime to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
- The NBA draft lottery was won by the New Orleans Hornets who are expected to take Kentucky's Anthony Davis with the #1 pick.
- Game of the night: Who needs Ichiro? Sitting out his first game of the season, Seattle scored eight in the second and eight more in the third to take a 16-0 lead against Texas. The Mariners wound up winning 21-8.
- Venus Williams is ousted in the second round of the French Open by #3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-3.
- The Pro Bowl lives for another year. It'll be held the week before the Super Bowl in Honolulu.
2. Ya Never Know
So what will New Orleans winning the NBA draft lottery last night mean? Who knows? When the Knicks won Patrick Ewing in the first lottery in 1985, most assumed a championship was in their future. It never happened. In the history of the lottery, only four number one picks have won rings, and three of them did it with the Spurs. (David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Glenn Robinson who was originally drafted by Milwaukee). Shaquille O'Neal was the fourth. Not surprising the team that's done the least with their lottery picks is the Clippers. Other top picks have been Kwame Brown and Greg Oden. Need I say more?
3. Giving the Devils their Due
I sang the praises of the San Antonio Spurs yesterday, saying that any list of great sports franchises now has to include them. G.L. made a great point on Twitter @LenBermanSports. "Over the last 20 years, you would have to include the NJ Devils right towards the top of that list too!" Bingo! Another team that gets no respect. Their mistake is playing the least favorite of the major team sports, and playing that sport within earshot of the New York Rangers. But while the Rangers have never made it back to the Stanley Cup Finals after finally winning in 1994, this is the Devils fifth Finals appearance having won three of the previous four. Talk about flying under the radar. Two names, goalie Martin Brodeur and general manager Lou Lamoriello. The Devils will never capture the hearts of New York hockey fans. They'll have to be content with all those Cups in their trophy case.
4. We Try Harder
So the Pro Bowl has been saved from the executioner. The players have vowed to try harder to make it a good game. That's the football equivalent of a kid begging for candy from his mom late in the afternoon by promising to eat his entire dinner.
I asked the other day, what piece of sports memorabilia would you consider to be the greatest to own? Your response was overwhelming. Here are some of your choices.
J.C. The Mookie Wilson ball.
J.R. and J.M. wrote: Bobby Thomson's mysterious home run ball.
J.B. The Babe's called home run ball.
G.R. I'd love to have a copy of the last script/lineup announced by Bob Sheppard.
J.D. and E.L. wrote: For me the collectible Holy Grail -- Lou Gehrig's uniform he wore on 7/4/39. ("Today, I consider myself... the luckiest man...")
A.H. The horseshoes Secretariat wore when he won the Belmont.
T.B. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5,"I've got a softball that my daughter used to throw her 1st no-hitter at the age of 9. To me that's the greatest."
Editor's Note: Can't argue with that.
C.A. Cassius Clay's 1960 Olympic gold medal that he tossed into the Ohio River.
J.N. Joe Namath's Super Bowl ring.
H.K. A Cleveland Browns Super Bowl ring, since no one alive or dead has ever had one.
D. G. and A.T. Monica Lewinsky's blue dress.
Editor's Note: Two of you thought of that? And that's sports?
Happy Birthday: Broadway Joe Namath. 69.
Bonus Birthday: Clint "Make My Day" Eastwood. 82.
Today in Sports: A day at the park, Shea Stadium. The Giants and Mets play the longest doubleheader by time in Major League history. The Giants won the first game 5-3 in 2:29. The Giants won the second game 8-6 in 23 innings which took 7:23. Grand total, nine hours and 52 minutes. 1964.
Bonus Event: A summer replacement show popped up on NBC called the Seinfeld Chronicles (later shortened to Seinfeld.) 1990.
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