Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 16, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Chicago easily handled Miami 103-82 in game one of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
* Oklahoma City beat Memphis in game seven, 105-90. The Thunder will now play Dallas in the Western Conference finals starting tomorrow night in Dallas.
* In the NHL Playoffs, Vancouver beat San Jose 3-2 in game one of their series.
* South Korea's K.J. Choi wins the Players Championship on the first sudden death hole against David Toms.
* #2 in the world Novak Djokovic beat #1 Rafael Nadal to win the Italian Open. Djokovic has now won 37 straight matches to start the year. John McEnroe holds the record, 42 in 1984.
* The Red Sox sweep away the Yankees in the 2011 version of the Bronx Zoo.
2. Too Young
How sad that a 28-year old hockey player, in the prime of life, is found dead. Derek Boogaard was 6 feet 7, and was a fan favorite, not for his offense but for his toughness. He rarely scored, but visited the penalty box often. His season with the Rangers was cut short by concussion, after spending five years in Minnesota. Foul play is not suspected, and autopsy results won't be available for a couple of weeks. His family is donating his brain to research. From the sound of things, he was a good guy and a great teammate. Sad, indeed.
3. The Core Four
Yankee fans like to wax poetic about the "Core Four." Why not? Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada have been there for all the glory. But there's no guarantee that things end pretty in sports. Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup the other night to "clear his head," and because his "back stiffened." Oh, by the way, he's hitting .165 and Joe Girardi had dropped him to ninth in the batting order. With all due respect to Jorge, if he were batting seventh would he still need head clearing? At least he was smart enough to apologize to the manager the next day. I think the idea of "Core Four," should mean more than just a catchy title. How about being a team player?
4. The Last Taboo
You've got to read this story about Phoenix Suns President Rick Welts. After a lifetime in sports, he's now telling the world that he's gay. It's a wonderful story that only asks more questions. What took him so long? And when will the last great taboo be broken? When will active gay pro sports stars be able to live in the open, without the fear of exposure or ridicule?
5. No Bull
Don't blink. Cincinnati's flamboyant wide receiver Chad Ochocinco rode a bull over the weekend in Atlanta. The NFL lockout had better end before he gets stomped to death. By the way, he lasted 1.5 seconds, so call him Chad Uno y Medio.
Happy Birthday: Gymnast Olga Korbut. 56.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Janet Jackson. 45.
Today in Sports: This kid has potential. Michael Jordan is named NBA Rookie of the Year. 1985.
Bonus Event: Truly a sad day. The greatest entertainer I ever saw, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson of Muppets fame both die on the same day. 1990.
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