Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 21, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- LeBron James and the Miami Heat could be crowned NBA champions tonight.
- College football is closing in on a four-team playoff to decide the national championship starting in 2014.
- Closing arguments will be heard today in the trial of Jerry Sandusky. The defense rested yesterday without calling Sandusky to the stand.
- Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh wins the Hart trophy as NHL MVP. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist wins the Vezina trophy as the league's top goalie.
- U-Conn is one of 10 colleges banned from next year's post season basketball tournaments for poor academic performance.
2. Dewey Cheatem & Howe
The New York Times reports horses have been illegally doped up with stuff from frogs. They're going after Lance Armstrong again. A pitcher had pine tar in his glove. And that's just this week. Does everybody cheat? Is it true that "if you're not cheating you're not trying?" I thought it's "not whether you win or lose it's how you play the game." I'm so confused.
3. Flip Flop
The NBA is going to study flopping. They may come up with a system to watch the tape and take action retroactively. If it's determined that a player is "acting" he could receive a warning the next day. And then the penalties could be harsher as the transgressions mount up. I'm not sure anyone can really tell who's "faking it," but it's worth a shot. Maybe refs can just issue them yellow cards or better yet send them to the penalty box. Who's in favor of power plays in basketball?
4. LeRoy Neiman
LeRoy Neiman died yesterday at the age of 91. He was THE sports artist. He had seen it all and was on hand for most of it. He would tell me how the '60s were "noisy" between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell. And he would draw it all. From Olympics to iconic sports stars. I've interviewed him any number of times and have several pieces of his work. I can't even imagine how many "Neimans" exist, but if you see them, you instantly know they are his. His unique style was only surpassed by his calm ingratiating personality. He was one of those guys who was always around, and now he's gone. A piece of American sports history has passed.
5. It's a Mad Mad World
And now for the entertainment portion of the program. MAD magazine created this "Hall of Fame" plaque for Roger Clemens. Good stuff.
Happy Birthday: Former NBA star Derrick "Whoop-de-damn-do" Coleman. 45.
Bonus Birthday: Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. 30.
Today in Sports: Lou Gehrig hangs 'em up. 1939.
Bonus Event: Columbia Records introduces the LP (Long playing record album.) 1948.
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