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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 7, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder will host Game 1 of the NBA Finals Tuesday after beating the San Antonio Spurs 107-99. After losing the first two games the Thunder won the next four.
  • The New Jersey Devils stayed alive beating the L.A. Kings 3-1. The Kings still lead the Stanley Cup Finals three games to one.
  • David Ferrer knocks off #4 seed Andy Murray to advance to the French Open semis where he'll face Rafael Nadal.
  • There will be 12 horses in Saturday's Belmont Stakes. I'll Have Another will break from the #11 post in his bid to win the Triple Crown. He's the morning line favorite at 4-5.
  • Giants coach Tom Coughlin receives a well-earned contract extension through the 2014 season.

2. Headline News

If Miami gets eliminated tonight in Boston, the "heat" will be on LeBron James. He was involved in the biggest play of the game the other night. Paul Pierce launched his dagger three-point shot right over his head. That's the way it's going to work. Boston might win, the bigger story will be "Miami loses."

3. The Mick's Place

Mickey Mantle's restaurant on Central Park South in New York City is no more. It used to be fun walking in there and seeing the Mick in the back. (Not so much fun seeing him nursing a scotch in the middle of the day.) And during its heyday the food was actually pretty good. Mickey owned a small piece of the place which filtered down to his kids. They tell me they're looking to resurrect another Mickey Mantle's somewhere else with new investors. Any place with the Mick's name, pictures and memorabilia gets my vote.

4. TMI

You can't watch or listen to sports without being bombarded by stats. I have to admit, I don't know what some of the new stats even mean in baseball. Can't we just watch a game without "breaking it down?" Anyway, I'm surprised this stat didn't pop-up on the screen. Budd Bailey facetiously wrote in the Buffalo News the other day, "The New York Mets have now gone two games without a no-hitter it's the second-longest such streak in team history."

5. Birth Order

Does your birth month affect your success? Well if you read Malcolm Gladwell's The Outliers you know that more pro hockey players are born early in the year than later. They have a physical advantage since the cutoff is January 1. A kid born in January is virtually a whole year older than one born the following December. And he gets fast tracked in junior hockey. For example 10 L.A. Kings, including goalie Jonathan Quick, were born in January and February. But how do you explain tennis? June seems to be a particularly fertile month for tennis stars. Rafael Nadal, Bjorn Borg (yesterday), Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport (both tomorrow), Venus Williams, Andrea Jaeger, and Anna Kournikova are all June babies for starters. Maybe their parents were all inspired by the U.S. Open nine months earlier?

Happy Birthday: Practice? Former NBA star Allen Iverson. 37.

Bonus Birthday: Prince. 54.

Today in Sports: The Mets pass on a guy named Reggie Jackson and draft catcher Steve Chilcott #1. 1966.

Bonus Event: 75 years ago today, the cover of Life showed the latest campus fashion, saddle shoes. 1937.

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