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By Matt McCoy
Guard Tony Parker looked a little like Curly Neal in the late stages of game one of the NBA finals...only he's not a member of the Globetrotters and he wasn't playing the Washington Generals.
Parker led the San Antonio Spurs to a 92-88 win over the Miami Heat by scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. The biggest basket of the game was spectacular.
Leading 90-88, the Spurs worked the shot clock--giving the ball to Parker. He dribbled on the perimeter, then drove through the Miami defense to the baseline where he turned and fell down but maintained his dribble. With LeBron James bearing down, Parker stood up, ducked under James arm and banked in a double-pump leaner as the shot clock expired to make it 92-88 with five seconds left. It iced the game, giving the Spurs a one game lead in the series.
"It was a crazy play. I thought I lost the ball like three or four times," Parker said. "It didn't work out like I wanted to but at the end I was just trying to get a shot up. It felt good when it left my hand and I was just happy it went in."
If you missed it, check it out.
What a Voice
As good as the Parker play was, the most impressive moment in game one came before tip-off when 12-year old Julia Dale beautifully belted out the National Anthem. She's been singing the Anthem at various Heat games for three years and I can see why. It was breath taking to hear such a big voice come out of a such a little body. Check it out.
By Matt McCoy
My former WTVN colleague Larry Larson, who covered not only high school sports, but also Blue Jackets hockey, used to marvel at the toughness of hockey players. "They're the toughest guys in sports," he used to tell me. He's right. They play a fast, physical, sometimes dangerous and always tough game, night after night for an 82 game season and then the playoffs.
We got concrete evidence of just how tough these guys are in Wednesday night's Boston/Pittsburgh game in the Eastern Conference Final.
With the Penguins on the power play in the second period, Evgeni Malkin's slap shot from the point was blocked by Boston's Gregory Campbell, who put his body in harms way. Campbell was shaken up, but with the puck still in the Boston zone, he shook it off, got to his feet, and in obvious pain, skated out the shift.
Boston killed off the penalty and eventually won the game in double overtime, taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.
It turns out, on his initial dive to the ice and block of Malkin's shot, Campbell suffered a broken leg...yet for another 45 seconds, he stayed on the ice and finished his shift. He even disrupted the play briefly with a poke check of the puck. I'm pretty sure I couldn't even stand with a broken leg, let alone ignore the pain and skate. But I'm not a hockey player...they're a rare breed of tough guys you can't help but appreciate and admire. If you didn't see Campbell's grit, you can check it out here.
Hockey is also a game of violence. There's the fighting of course, but other forms of retaliation occur on a nightly basis. We saw it in game 3 of the Western Finals Tuesday night when Chicago's Duncan Keith slashed former Blue Jacket and L.A. Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face. Carter got 20 stitches...Keith got a one game suspension. With L.A. trying to even the series Thursday night, Keith's swipe could prove to be very costly.
By Matt McCoy
The retirement of Ohio State University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee drew reaction in the sports world. Gee's controversial comments at the December Ohio State Athletics Council meeting became public just six days ago. Gee denies that his jabs at Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky, the Southeastern Conference, etc. had anything to do with his decision to retire. The perception, however, is that it did.
"If you listen to the comments, it was off the cuff and in a joking manner," former Buckeye great and 1995 Heisman winner Eddie George told Fox Sports Primetime on our sister station, AM 1230, Fox Sports Radio. "But given his history, you just couldn't overlook it."
Gee was reprimanded by the Ohio State Board of Trustees for his comments, which is why former Buckeye coach and WTVN analyst Earle Bruce thinks it may be a retirement, in name only."
"(The Trustees) fire most of the football coaches, most of the athletic directors and most of the daggone President's too," Bruce said.
610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White, who is an attorney, has worked alongside President Gee on the advisory board for the OSU Medical Center. He Gee is stepping aside because he no longer wants to be a distraction to Ohio State.
"He wants to put the interests of the University ahead of his own," White said. "The distraction and the swirl of all of this from a national basis, I think (made him) decide it was best for Ohio State that he step aside."
The entire interviews and reactions of George, Bruce and White are posted below.
To hear Eddie George's comments on Fox Sports Primetime click HERE:
To hear Earle Bruce give his reaction to the Dr. Gee news click HERE:
To hear Tony White's comments click HERE
By Matt McCoy
Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is not a fan of Ohio State President Gordon Gee, calling Gee "a pompous ass" during a interview on WHAS radio in Louisville.
Pitino was reacting to Gee's 'quip' at the December Ohio State Athletics Council meeting when he talked about Big 10 expansion and said, "The Presidents of the (Big Ten) institutions are very clear that the number one criteria is to make sure that we have institutions of like minded academic integrity...so you won't see us adding Louisville."
Pitnio spoke on WHAS Terry Meiners show and put Gee in the crosshairs.
"It's a pompous attitude...just a pompous attitude," Pitino said of Gee. "I have a major problem with him, not with Ohio State, I have a major problem with him. He's a pompous ass for making those statements."
Pitino pointed out during the interview that Louisville had the number one grade point average in the Big East over the last three years. But as angry as Pitino was about the Louisville comment, he said he was more bothered by Gee's swipe at Notre Dame.
"What gets me boiling is the fact that he knocks the Catholics at Notre Dame," Pitino said. "I don't know what denomination he is or what Lord he prays to but in trying to get jokes out of that, it really, really boils me."
Pitino skewered Gee for several minutes. To listen, click below.