Tag Archives: Dirk Nowitzki

Good News Friday: A 4-year-old gets mic’ed up for hockey practice, and it’s adorable as all heck. An NBA coach stops the game to have his home crowd salute Dirk Nowitzki. And a one-armed Little Leaguer smashes a home run.

And a Happy Friday and more importantly, HAPPY MARCH! I love March for many reasons, No. 1 being that its the most glorious month of the year for college basketball fanatics like me, but also because it means the frigid weather here in the Northeast may finally start to thaw.

We’ve got an all-sports related Good News Friday, but two of the stories are more about amazing or funny young kids than sports themselves.

First, when four people from various areas of my life all email me the same story within 24 hours, there’s a pretty good bet I’ll love it and want to use it here.
And that was certainly the case with the story of 4-year-old Mason, whose Dad, “Coach Jeremy” decided to put a microphone on his adorable tyke during a recent hockey practice (They live in Canada, 4-year-olds there have been playing hockey for years).

To say Mason is hilarious is an understatement. In this video, he talks about going to eat at “BaDonald’s”, takes a nap during practice, and does too many other hilarious things to list. Just watch, smile, and remember how much fun life was when you were 4.

The video has more than 6 million views in less than a week. Sometimes, the Internet is a good thing.

**Next up today, it’s pretty rare for an opposing coach in a pro sport to stop the game before it’s over, grab the mic, and instruct his home crowd to salute an opposing player.

But that’s what L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers did on Tuesday night, when, with the outcome decided and the Clippers game with the Dallas Mavericks winding down at Staples Center, he called timeout, grabbed the microphone and asked his fans to salute Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, likely retiring at season’s end.

As a shocked Nowitzki stood there and smiled, the crowd roared, players walked over to him and shook his hand, and Rivers called him “one of the greatest of all time.”

A very, very cool and classy gesture, since Nowitzki is likely to retire this year after a brilliant 21-season career.

**And finally today, a remarkable moment from a Little League game. Check out the exploits of 7-year-old Tommy Morrissey, who despite possessing just one arm is an outstanding youth golfer and all-around athlete.

In a game in the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Youth Athletic Association Little League last Saturday, Morrissey blasted a long home run.

With one arm.

This kid is incredible. Watch the homer at this link.

Obviously this kid doesn’t believe in limits, and thank God for that.

 

A brilliantly funny letter, from a Mom to her spawn. The Heat go down in flames to the Mavs. And a beautiful Tony Awards moment

They threw a party back in July, celebrating like they’d already won a championship.

Go ahead, click this video and watch it. You’ll see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, with one title between them, ever, prancing and preening and carrying on like they were the greatest damn thing ever.
All year, they had a target on their back. And rightfully so.
They rolled through everybody in the playoffs, until they ran into the Dallas Mavericks, who finished off a surprisingly convincing Game 6 Sunday night, and won the NBA title.
It was a fabulous game, just like every other game in this series.
So many thoughts… I’ll try to be fairly brief.
— LeBron James’ legacy is not forever tarnished, and people who are saying that forget that the dude is only 26. He’ll have at least another 10 years to get a few rings. But wow, this series really does damage to his rep for a while. He was better Sun. night in the 4th quarter, but not good enough.

— Can’t say enough good things about the Mavs. Their role players all were fantastic; Tyson Chandler got so many big rebounds in Game 6. Jason Terry was unconscious shooting the ball. J.J. freaking Barea couldn’t be stopped, and even DeShawn Stevenson chipped in.
It wasn’t just Dirk Nowitzki. This was a hell of a team effort.
— Very happy for Jason Kidd, 38 years old, in the league so long, and finally getting a title. I wish he’d gotten it for my Nets, but hey, at least he got one. One of the 5 greatest point guards to ever play.
— Definitely bummed we didn’t get to see NBA commish David Stern have to hand the trophy to his mortal enemy, Mark Cuban. In a classy move, Cuban had original Mavs owner Donald Carter accept the trophy.
—  That relentlessly promoted ABC show “101 ways to get thrown off a Game show” or something like that? Yeah, I’ll probably watch 1 episode. I’m sick like that.
— Hope you enjoyed Game 6 if you’re a basketball fan.  NBA is headed for a lockout this fall, just like the NFL has. Yep, millionaires arguing with billionaires in another sport.
Good thing we have hockey. Go Bruins! (Game 6 tonight).

**Tricia Bliven Chasinoff is a friend of a friend. She’s the mother of two, she’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s just a really cool person (though I’m sure she’d vehemently deny that.)

She writes a blog called Just Breathe, about her life, and motherhood, and all the crazy stuff that goes on.
This may be her funniest blog post yet. It’s titled “Letter to My Spawn,” and I predict at least 7-9 chuckles if you read it. It’s honest and witty and if you’re a parent, you will totally empathize.

**Finally, didn’t watch Sunday’s Tony Awards since it was on against Mavs-Heat, but did catch this online. Larry Kramer, one of the most important AIDS activists of all time, saw the revival of his play The Normal Heart win a slew of big awards.
Kramer gave a short, eloquent speech here about the cause that has inspired his life.
Thirty years after the scourge of HIV/AIDS was first discovered, people like Larry Kramer are still fighting for acceptance.

A beautiful father and daughter story about reading. The most ridiculous scientific study, ever. And an ode to NBA benchwarmers

This story made me all kinds of happy, and I’m neither a father nor a daughter (that’ll make sense in a minute, I promise.)

Last week on CBS Sunday Morning, the story was told of Jim Brozina and his daughter, Alice Ozma, from New Jersey.
When Alice was in the 4th grade, Jim was worried that as Alice grew, their close relationship might suffer a bit. So he made a vow to read her a story every night. And he kept that up, every night.
For nine years.
Alice came home from parties in high school so she could read with her Dad. They didn’t miss a night, amazingly.

It’s a beautiful story about fathers and daughters (Alice wrote a book about it) and the joys of reading. It’s guaranteed to brighten your Sunday. And make you want to read a book.

**This is one of the more ridiculous scientific “studies” I’ve ever seen. It basically says that vivid TV advertisements make people believe they’ve had experiences that they haven’t really had. Like, they gave one group of subjects popcorn, and another one didn’t, then showed the subjects a really awesome TV commercial about popcorn.
Then they followed it up by asking the subject groups about the popcorn, and some people in the group that didn’t get popcorn actually said it tasted good and they enjoyed it.
I’m sorry, I call B.S. on this study. But here, read for yourself. 

**Very psyched about Game 6 of the Mavericks-Heat series tonight. LeBron gets one more chance to prove he’s not a stiff in the clutch. Excellent column here by Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Mr. James and his big moment.

Personally, I think Dallas must win tonight if it’s going to win the series. Winning a Game 7 on the road is gonna be awfully tough.

Anyway, who cares about Dirk or Dwyane? The real drama is with the benchwarmers. Check out this funny video (above) by Jimmy Kimmel and Usher about the dudes who never play…

The best first kiss video ever. LeBron again collapses at crunch time. And Happy 25th, Ferris Bueller

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I’m just going on record and saying this is a video you’ll be sending along to your friends and family. It may be the cutest thing ever. Five-year-olds Elliott and Bowie share their first kiss; she’s literally the girl next door and, well, just watch.
My favorite part is at :53, the expression on his face is priceless.

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**Another scintillating game in the NBA Finals Thursday night. Another dramatic Dallas win. The Miami Heat are now one game away from elimination and the biggest disappointment in South Beach since NBC cancelled “Miami Vice.”
Some quick-hit thoughts from Game 5…

— This is a legacy-altering series for Mr. LeBron James. Once again, he came up incredibly small in the fourth quarter of one of these games. He now has ELEVEN points in five games in the last period, the most important one. It’s almost unfathomable; he was so good in the clutch for the first seven years of his career in Cleveland.
Is the pressure getting to him? Something in his personal life? Is he sick or hurt? Something is seriously wrong here.

— Writing this sentence 15 minutes after the last one. My boy Tony, the biggest LeBron fan I know, is seriously depressed. We agree this series is a permanent stain on his reputation if the Heat lose. I tell Tony it’s not over, the Heat can win in 7.
He doesn’t believe me.
— As a Jason Kidd fan for two decades now, I’m overjoyed to see him playing so well and  that he’s so close to a title. I got such joy watching him bring my beloved New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals two straight years. One of the greatest players ever deserves a ring.

— Said this on Twitter last night: I’m now genuinely surprised when Dirk Nowitzki misses a shot.

— This has been a sensational series. Maybe the best I’ve seen in 20 years. Go Mavs.

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**Finally, we love anniversaries here at Wide World of Stuff. And 25 years ago Thursday, a movie that my generation knows by heart was first released.

Take it away, Ferris…

An unbelievable win for Dallas. The Spelling Bee is awesome, again. And when a foul ball is more important than your daughter

This is why I watch live, competitive sports.
To see the unexpected. To have your jaw drop, your eyes blink rapidly, and your cell phone light up with friends calling and saying “Did you just see that???”

All that happened last night. Because of the Spelling Bee.
OK, no, NOT because of the Spelling Bee. Though the Bee awesome. And I’ll get to that in a second.
No, of course what I’m referring to is the Dallas Mavericks, all set to go down 0-2 to the Miami Heat, and head home to Texas with their collective tail between their legs, staged an epic comeback.
The Mavs were down 88-73 with about seven minutes left. Then went up 93-90 with 30 seconds left.
Yes, they went on an insane 20-2 run, and won the game 95-93.
It was … breathtaking. Beautiful. Watching the obnoxious Heat fans go silent, and seeing LeBron and Wade and Co. slink off the court after they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory was exhilarating.

What a comeback. Now it’s 1-1 and we’ve got a series. This is an all-time crushing loss for the Heat; they might not be able to recover in this series.
This is why we watch. Because the impossible sometimes happens.

**OK, now for the REAL best sporting event Thursday. Man, the National Spelling Bee brought the goods this year. After last year’s disappointing Bee, this year’s was terrific. It lasted much longer than the 2010 Bee, and the quality of the spellers went way up.
At one point when we had five spellers left, they went like five consecutive rounds without missing a word! After a few of my early favorites went out early, I was rooting for Dakota Jones, an awkward-looking excitable kid from Nevada. (And by the way, note to ESPN: God bless you for giving us these little “skits” that try to make the spellers seem cool. But come on, who are we kidding here? These kids are not cool! And that’s what’s cool about them. Did you see last night how awkwardly they high-fived each other?)

After Dakota went out, I thought Joanna would win. But nope,  Sukanya Roy, an Indian girl from Pennsylvania, outlasted Laura Newcombe from Canada. It was tense, it was exciting, and it featured kids who are way smarter than I’ll ever be.

The Bee was awesome. Can’t wait till it’s on again next year.

**And finally, if you’re a parent, and you’re feeling a little bit bad today about your parenting skills, this will cheer you up. No matter how inept you may think you are, you are NOT worse than this dude. Who drops his daughter while in pursuit of a foul ball at a baseball game.

Lance, Lance, Lance: Impossible to defend Armstrong now. Epic NBA collapse. And Kyle gets Buckets, 2.0

Note: For you tennis fans,  I’m once again doing a daily French Open blog for my newspaper. Check it out here. And follow me on Twitter here.

I’ll admit it. I was a Lance Armstrong believer.
Maybe I’m naive. Through all of the whispered accusations from discredited sources, to the French media hounding him for well over a decade, I thought the 7-time Tour de France winner was basically clean.

No positive drug tests in all these years had me thinking he was a miracle, a cancer survivor who worked so hard to reach the top of his profession, and he did it cleanly.
He was an inspiration to so many people, not just cancer survivors, and I’d say he was maybe the most admired athlete in America.
And I just didn’t believe he was a cheat.
But after watching “60 Minutes” Sunday night, well … I give in. I give up. Given what Tyler Hamilton and other former U.S. Cycling teammates have to say, and what they’ve allegedly said to a grand jury,  I can’t possibly defend Armstrong anymore.
The evidence has gotten overwhelming. Former teammates are testifying to grand juries about testosterone injections and EPO drops and all kinds of filthy, dirty practices they engaged in with Armstrong.
The scariest allegation for me was Hamilton’s claim that Armstrong and his protectors basically had a positive drug test he produced in 2001 disappeared, so it would never come out.

And so now, we wait. We wait for Lance Armstrong to finally stop the lies and obfuscations, and do what Marion Jones and Mark McGwire and so many others finally did: they stopped ducking and ignoring and admit what they’ve done.
This admission by Armstrong, when it comes (and it will come eventually) will crush millions. Here was a guy who positively, absolutely represented all that was good about athletes, and how much can be overcome with talent and dedication.
And it looks like he was just as dirty as so many others.
It’s sad, really. Even sadder if Armstrong continues to lie to all of us, the people who believed he was worthy of admiration.
Watch the “60 Minutes” video and tell me how you can come to any other conclusion: Lance Armstrong is a fraud.
LiveStrong? More like CheatStrong.

**A few minutes ago I just finished watching the Oklahoma City-Dallas NBA playoff game.
And I’m having a hard time believing what I just saw. The Thunder were in total control the entire game, and led by 15 with about five minutes to go.
Then, like Donald Trump’s presidential hopes, it all fell apart. Dallas started scoring, Dirk Nowitzki, who is reaching a new level this playoff season, hit some crazy shots, and soon the game was in overtime and the Thunder were stunned and lost the game.
It was shocking and once again reminded me why sports are SO much better than “reality” TV and scripted shows: Because you never know what’s going to happen.
Looks like we’re headed to a Dallas-Miami NBA Finals. Which would put most of America in the unfamiliar position of rooting for Mark Cuban.

**Finally, a few months ago I linked to a crazy-cool Kyle Singler trick-shot video. Well, he’s back with another. Kyle Gets Buckets, 2.0. The shot from the top of Duke Chapel is just nuts.

LeBron sweepstakes are finally here. Federer falls. And Larry King is leaving us. Oy.

There are New York Knicks fans I know who have been, literally, dreaming about July 1, 2010 for years now.
This is the day that has given them hope. The day that things are finally going to turn around.
The day LeBron James will come to the Knicks. Or so they’ve been dreaming.
Yes, NBA fans, after years of dreaming, wondering and questioning, 7/1/10 has finally arrived. It’s the start of what will be the craziest offseason in NBA history, with so many huge stars available to the highest bidder. LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Larry Bird (just seeing if you were paying attention) are all out there, with no contracts tying them down.

Obviously, LeBron is the grand prize. Several teams, including the Knicks, have basically been tanking the last few years, using inexpensive players to make sure they had enough money to sign LeBron.

I thought it was disgraceful, and thankfully it looks like teams that were trying to win (Chicago, Miami, and Cleveland) have the best chance to sign King James.
I know I’m going against the wisdom of the last five minutes, but all along I’ve thought LeBron was going to stay with Cleveland. I believe he’s loyal to his hometown, the Cavs can give him the most money, and I don’t think he wants to be known as a mercenary.

I hope he stays. It would send a positive message that sometimes, staying where you are and winning a championship the hard way is the more satisfying way to go.

**Sad day for me Wednesday, as the great Roger Federer was stunned in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Lots of reasons are being bandied about for Fed’s recent slump; my mother’s theory is that the year-old twins are keeping him up at night.

“It’s hard to sleep with two new babies in the house,” she said. Somehow, I don’t think Rog is waking up for 3 a.m. feedings.

Anyway, I make the point in my Wimbledon blog that I don’t think it’s time to write the obit yet for Fed’s career. He’s still got greatness left in him. But it’s going to be really, really strange waking up Sunday at 9 a.m. for Breakfast at Wimbledon and not seeing the greatest of all time walk out to Center Court.

**I know I’m a day or two late on this, but I think we all need to take a moment of silence to acknowledge the end of “Larry King Live.” Twenty-five years is a hell of a long time for any TV show to be on, and while sure, I mock Larry, and others mock Larry (I crack my mother up every time I’ve said “The Hague, hello, you’re on with …”), the fact is he’s had a hell of a run.

We forget this now, but remember when H. Ross Perot basically launched his presidential campaign just from King? For a while there, ole’ Mr. Suspenders had the hottest show on TV.

We’ll miss you, Larry. Here are two great clips from the show. The first, when Miss USA Carrie Prejean got all offended by his question.

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And here’s a great Ross Perot clip from 1992; I miss ole’ Ross a little.

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