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March 4th 2010: AM Sports News – Gossip – Headlines

Thursday AM Water Cooler – March 4, 2010

Here we go with today’s EARLY 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 Sports Picks and topics…well, basically all the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.

Enjoy!

The NHL trade was yesterday afternoon so we’ll leave most of the analysis until later. In the meantime, we’ll check in with other sports news.

NBA news: LeBron to change number

Clap, clap, clap. As an ardent supporter of Michael Jordan, I always wondered why anyone else was allowed to wear No. 23 at all after he retired. Apparently, LeBron James wondered the same thing. He filed a request to change his number from 23 to 6 in honor of Jordan. Some conspiracy theorists are already suggesting the move is more about competing with Kobe’s jersey sales. Whatever.

Then again – do we know for sure that Jordan’s number should be retired? After all, he can’t beat a rookie at H-O-R-S-E. After buying the Charlotte Bobcats, he challenged guard Gerald Henderson…and proceeded to lose twice.

Jordan wasn’t the only player honored this week. The Philadelphia Flyers hosted “Elton Brand Night” on Monday to celebrate Brand’s contribution to the 76ers’ Community Assist Ticket Program – complete with discounts on Brand merchandise and one-dollar giant pretzels. But there was one little problem: Brand wasn’t there. He missed the game with tendinitis in his Achilles. Oops.

MLB news: Beltran talks to feds; Upton closes in on extension

We can call Carlos Beltran many different things – star, power hitter, injury prone…and now we can add “FBI co-operator” to that list. He spoke with the feds about his connection to Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who has been accused of selling an unapproved drug. So far, though, there’s no reason to suspect anything of Beltran. He’s been open and honest and claims he only saw Dr. Galea for an opinion on his bruised knee.

It looks like the Arizona Diamondbacks are about to lock up their budding superstar long-term. Former No. 1 overall pick Justin Upton, compared to Ken Griffey Jr. by scouts, is poised to sign a six-year deal worth over $50 million. Good work, D-Backs. Upton is 22 years old and already has an All-Star selection and 26-homer season under his belt, not to mention one of the highest OPS numbers of all-time through two seasons. As for brother B.J. – the prognosis ain’t so positive so far.

Golf news: Tiger returns home; Daly’s misconduct revealed

While Tiger Woods supporters still shouldn’t hold their breath, there’s no doubting that Tiger is at least one step closer to competing in golf tournaments again. He returned home after a week of family counselling in Arizona and is back practicing and hitting balls. There’s still, however, no true sense of when he’ll return.

Attention, gossip hounds; the juicy details of John Daly’s wild lifestyle have been released. The 456-page PGA document has something for everyone in it. Six probation stints; alcohol rehab; trashing hotel rooms; 21 citations for “not giving his best effort”; and a partridge in a pear tree. Wonder if the Golf Channel will still go forward with the Daly reality show? I say skip it and bring on the biopic, starring John Goodman.

NHL news: Quick trade update

Most of the trades get filed in the 11th hour of the NHL trade deadline, but one significant pre-deadline deal sent forward Alexei Ponikarovsky from Toronto to Pittsburgh for defender Martin Skoula and offensive prospect Luca Caputi. Ponikarovsky brings a 6’4” frame and a five-year average of 20-plus goals to the table and is a virtual lock to play in Pittsburgh’s top six.

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