Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 6, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* No white smoke yet. No decision from LeBron James.
* Amar'e Stoudemire agrees to a 5-year, roughly $100 million deal with the Knicks. Wouldn't you?
* Can it get any worse for quarterback JaMarcus Russell? The Raiders bust was arrested for possessing a controlled substance.
* Former Detroit Red Wings tough guy Bob Probert is dead at the age of 45. He collapsed while boating.
* Uruguay faces Netherlands today in the World Cup semifinals at 2:30pm Eastern.
2. While you Were on Holiday
It's been some long holiday weekend. In no particular order NBA teams fell all over themselves begging LeBron James to play for them. Nadal and Serena rule tennis. Tiger Woods is just another golfer. Brazil lost and the coach got fired. Washington's phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg was not picked for the All Star Game and Joey Chestnut won the Coney Island hot dog eating contest. Japanese star Kobayashi was arrested for trespassing but did not compete because of a dispute with Major League Eating. Excuse me? Major League Eating? What's next, the Major Indoor Drinking League? Oh wait, that already exists, on so many levels.
3. It's Good to be King
I find this whole LeBron James exercise a little distasteful. Is this what sports has come to? Team executives carrying bags full of money trying to lure an athlete to come play for them... pretty please. Sure, if I'm a Knicks fan, I'd want James on my team. Just the way Yankee fans could care less that their team throws cash around with abandon, while most other teams are out of the running for big name free agents. But taking a step back, does that make the Knicks or Yankees smart? Nope, just richer than the rest. I'd like to think it takes more than money to be successful. In fact, the TV show Hot In Cleveland made a video to keep James in town.
In the video, Betty White says that if LeBron stays, "I'll make it worth your while." Now we're talking.
Who's had the best record predicting World Cup soccer games? It seems it's Paul the German octopus. He lives at an aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. They drop two containers into his tank, each one draped with a flag of the two teams playing. There's a mussel in each container, and the one he eats is considered his prediction. In Germany's matches, Paul is 5 for 5. But he has chosen Spain to beat Germany in the semis. If he's right, I'm guessing at the aquarium's commissary, they're going to have a nice octopus salad on the menu.
5. Mental Case
It's Kreskin to the rescue. The 75-year mentalist wants to help the Pittsburgh Pirates. Why not? The organization is in the throes of a 17-year losing streak. They even fired, and then brought back, one of their racing pierogis because he wrote some negative things about the team on Facebook. Kreskin's first move would be to send the manager and general manager on a two year vacation to Tibet. Kreskin would then use the power of suggestion to get the players to perform better. Kreskin offered his services to the Mets in 2007, but they turned him down. The Mets then famously collapsed in September. I'm thinking the Pirates should take this guy seriously.
Happy Birthday: Lakers star Pau Gasol. 30.
Bonus Birthdays: Separated at birth. George W. Bush and Rambo (Sylvester Stallone.) 64.
Today in Sports: The first baseball All Star Game at Comiskey Park Chicago. The Babe hits a homer and the American League wins 4-2. 1933.
Bonus Event: Talk about inflation. A first class stamp in the U.S. goes from 2-cents to 3. That's a 50-per cent bump! 1932.
Follow Len Berman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenbermansports