Tuesday Water Cooler – January 26, 2010
Here we go with today’s sports water cooler talk. Here, you won’t just find the straight news; you’ll find the stuff everyone is talking about – the ice breakers, the Twitter topics…well, the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.
One of basketball’s best one-on-one rivalries produced a memorable game last night. LeBron and D-Wade lead the way in today’s news.
NBA news: Did personal rivalry cost Wade, heat game against Cleveland?
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat treated us to something special last night but may have gotten the better of Mr. Dwyane Wade. He went shot for shot with LeBron James pretty much all night but, when the Heat had last possession in a one-point game, Wade tried a behind the back pass with LeBron guarding him. LeBron promptly stole that pass, got down the floor, got fouled and sank two winning free throws. Here’s hoping these two squads somehow meet in the playoffs.
Javaris Crittenton, one of the gun-toting Washington Wizards, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge yesterday. The plea stems, of course, from the Gilbert Arenas incident. Crittenton gets off relatively easy with a $1,000 fine, some community service and a year of unsupervised probation. His claim that he had the pistol because he “feared for his life” seems to have worked.
It’s not like the Peak shoe company was rolling in the dough in the first place. But still, having Phil Jackson slam your product has to sting. He suggested that Ron Artest’s shoes – Peaks – were responsible for his plantar fasciitis. Maybe if Artest switches kicks, he’ll regain his defensive edge and help the Lakers start beating spreads for a change.
NHL news: Kovalchuk trade talks heat up
With respect to Vinny Lecavalier, there’s no more coveted trading chip in hockey this winter than Ilya Kovalchuk. The speedy, brash Russian sniper is one of the top two or three goal scorers in the world and can surely help any team who acquires him from the hapless Atlanta Thrashers.
Except maybe Washington.
Why would I say that? The Capitals are actually one of two teams leading the pack in the bidding right now. But they really have to research the law of diminishing returns. The Caps already have not one, but two elite Russian goal scorers in Alexander Ovechkin in Alexander Semin. They already have the league’s No. 1 offense and power play. What, then, would they gain by acquiring Kovalchuk? He plays the same position as Ovie and is just as selfish. Can we thus expect Kovalchuk to accept second-line duty? I strongly doubt it. To me, a Kovalchuk trade would just give Washington what it already has and, naturally, clean out their prospects and draft picks cupboard.
Calgary, the other main Kovalchuk suitor, makes much more sense. The Flames play shutdown “D” but can’t buy a goal right now.
NCAA basketball news: Kentucky unanimous choice for No. 1 in AP Pool
Kentucky has regained a very familiar perch atop the Associated Press college basketball rankings poll. Believe it or not, the storied Wildcats are now No. 1 for the first time since the end of the 2002-03 season. Only three schools have held the top rank more than Kentucky in Division-1 history.
The Wildcats are the only remaining unbeaten team in Divisoin-1 at 19-0 this season. They haven’t been as kind to bettors, however, going 9-8 against the spread.
SPORTSBOOK.COM PROMOS – JOIN and GET up to $100 FREE – 10% New Member Bonus on your first deposit. $20 Mobile Free Play – Stay on the go and in the dough with Sportsbook.com Mobile. Bet now! Join Now