Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 1, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* NBA free agency began at midnight. With slightly less fanfare, NHL free agency begins at noon today.
* Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers will return next season. Former Nets and Hornets coach Byron Scott is expected to be named Cleveland coach today.
* Wimbledon defending champ Roger Federer is gone, ousted in the quarters by Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
* The Men's semis will be: Novak Djokovic (3) vs. Tomas Berdych (12) and Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Andy Murray (4). If Federer hadn't fallen, the top 4 men's seeds would be in the semis, highly unusual.
* That'll teach 'em. The president of Nigeria has suspended the national soccer team from international competition for two years for their poor showing in the World Cup.
2. Nothing is Free
I'm not sure I'm a big fan of what's going on in the NBA. Sure, fans in New York, Chicago, and Miami have visions of bought championships dancing in their heads. How about fans in Minnesota, Oakland, and Indiana? And speaking of fans, Knicks fans, who pay some of the highest ticket prices in the NBA, have been subjected to years of losing. The last couple of seasons were thrown away by the franchise waiting for this moment. What happens if the Knicks don't score big time? Are those fans due refunds? Price reductions for next season? "Free" agency ain't so free for the fans.
3. Players Perspective
When it comes to blown calls, fans tend to take their own perspective. "We got screwed," or "the ump/ref cost me my bet." I liked Landon Donovan's take. The U.S. soccer star told David Letterman: "it sucks to put so much into it...and have it taken away from you."
4. Enough about Me, What do you think of Me?
A couple of interesting tidbits from Hank Haney during his interview with Golf Digest. Haney resigned as Tiger Woods' swing coach, calling their relationship "dysfunctional." During the interview, former football star Doug Flutie walked by and Haney told Flutie, the two best days of his career were "when Tiger asked me to help him and the day I resigned." The magazine asked Haney, "It's been said that Tiger views any association with him as helping that person out. Do you go along with that?" Haney answered, "You said it, I didn't."
There you have it. In Tiger's mind if you associate with Tiger, he's helping you out. What a guy.
5. Now Hear This
The French Parliament held a hearing into France's World Cup failure. In a related story, the U.S. Congress announced there aren't enough hours in the day to investigate the Detroit Lions, Cleveland and Seattle's lack of championships, or Isiah Thomas' tenure with the Knicks.
Happy Birthday: U.S. Davis Cup captain and TV commentator Patrick McEnroe. 44.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Pamela Anderson. 43. (That's her age, wiseguy.)
Today in Sports: Gentlemen start your syringes. The first Tour de France bicycle race is held. 1903.
Bonus Event: Before today, the only sure thing was death. Congress establishes the IRS. 1862.