Top 5 Sports Stories

05/28/2010 10:39 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 28, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Ron Artest's buzzer beating layup gave the Lakers a 103-101 win over Phoenix, and a 3 games to 2 lead.
* The Stanley Cup Finals begin tomorrow night in Chicago with the Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers.
* The hottest team in baseball? Your New York Mets, after sweeping and whitewashing the Phillies. 3 consecutive shutouts from their maligned pitching staff.
* Among those elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, former Arizona State linebacker Pat Tillman who was later killed in Afghanistan.
* Argentina's team doctor says sex with wives and girlfriends is OK for Argentina's players during the World Cup soccer tournament. We assume he means separately.

2. Deja Vu Repeatedly

So, should the Lakers and Celtics survive, it would be their 12th showdown, and the league has had only 64 finals. If that happens, it would automatically be the 33rd title won by one of those two franchises, over 50 percent! Here's one more. This would be the 40th final out of 64 featuring either Boston or the Lakers. They used to have a smug line in Dallas, that it's not the Super Bowl without the Cowboys. But in the NBA... no Celtics... no Lakers... no NBA final.

3. Numero Uno

I often hear my fellow sportscasters talk about great athletes playing today. OK then, who is the greatest athlete of all time? How about Jesse Owens or Jackie Robinson? Or Babe Didrikson? All worthy candidates. Then there's Jim Thorpe. In 1950 the AP voted him the top athlete of the 20th century. By 1999, he had slipped to third behind Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. With all due respect to the Babe and Michael, Thorpe won Olympic gold in pentathlon and decathlon. He played pro football, basketball and baseball and eventually died in poverty in 1953. But to my way of thinking, he lived as the greatest of them all, born on this date in 1888.

4. Friday eMailbag

Concerning the New York area Super Bowl, W.W. writes, "The famous photo of Joe Namath before the game (making his brash Super Bowl III prediction) was at poolside. With the Super Bowl in NY, the QBs will have to hold court by an indoor pool."
Editor's Note: Or a ski slope.

As for the debate over the cold weather Super Bowl, M.H. writes on Facebook at Len Berman's Top 5, "What difference does it make. The world is supposed to end in 2012 isn't it?"
Editor's Note: Only 18 more months of the Top 5.

P.S. is worried about his New York state license plate. "The Albany legislature, in its infinite and always tardy wisdom, decided to change our license plate colors from its current navy blue and white (Yankees colors) to orange and blue (Mets colors)."
Editor's Note: It worked for the Yankees, Mets World Series here we come!

5. Spanning the World

Here's my Spanning the World highlight of the week.
Wanna see a record for the 2010 baseball season to date? Watch the clip before reading below, and figure out what the record is.

So what record did David Ortiz set? Slowest home run trot of the season. Nearly 31 seconds. Yup, somebody actually keeps track of this stuff. Hey, Big Papi (or is it Big Jalopy?) was saving his energy for playing the field. No wait a second, he's the designated hitter.

Happy Birthday: The NBA logo himself, Jerry West. 72.
Bonus Birthday: America's mayor, Rudy Giuliani. 66.

Today in Sports: After starting his career 0-12, Willie Mays gets his first major league hit. It's a home run. 1951.
Bonus Event: The Dionne quintuplets were born in Ontario, the first quints to survive infancy. Two of them turn 76 today. 1934.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone. The Top 5 resumes Tuesday, June 1st.