Afternoon Links: Just in time for the holiday
December, 20, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
What we're reading while we dread final-weekend shopping. Submit links via Twitter.
- As you've likely heard, and has been expected since Wednesday's reinstatement of Leslie McDonald, North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston will not be returning to the Tar Heels in this or any other season. C.L. Brown has the story: "The actions were there," [UNC coach Roy] Williams said. "All of us in life pay for our actions, and these are some very difficult consequences that he's paid for his actions. I have no problem saying that. That's the very frustrating part. The very mad part. Like your children, you get very mad and very upset at their actions, but you still love your children."
- Meanwhile, the Hairston family released a statement through a lawyer saying they were "displeased" with UNC's decision "not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have P.J. reinstated," also calling it "a shame." CBS' Gary Parrish has some thoughts: "From there, the statement goes on to ask for privacy throughout the rest of the holiday season, and it's all so silly. I mean, seriously, Hairston family? You think it's a 'shame' that UNC won't seek reinstatement? Why isn't the 'shame' that a promising basketball prospect ended his own college career by knowingly violating NCAA rules and then choosing to lie -- or, at the very least, not be honest -- about those violations when NCAA and UNC officials asked about his transgressions?"
- Christian Laettner made the most famous shot in the history of college basketball while wearing a uniform. That he was wearing a uniform isn't news, of course; uniforms are compulsory during basketball competitions. What is news is that said compulsory garment is now going where most famous game-worn sports uniforms go: to the auction block! "Lelands.com, an online auction house, says it is selling the jersey that the former Duke Blue Devils forward was wearing for the famous moment in the East Regional Finals of the 1992 NCAA Tournament when he caught an inbounds pass from Grant Hill at the free throw line and hit the turnaround jumper as time expired to beat the Kentucky Wildcats by one in overtime. The owner of the jersey has asked to remain anonymous, but the auction house showed ESPN.com a notarized letter in which the consigner says he had a relationship with Laettner, who gave him the jersey when the season concluded. Lelands.com officials said they also matched the jersey to up-close pictures taken of Laettner's uniform for the game."
- UCLA freshman Zach LaVine is dunking his way into becoming a household name, writes SI.com's Chris Johnson.
- Finally, if you've always wanted to see Bob Huggins give an otherwise nondescript interview in a completely amazing Santa hat, Christmas done come early. All hail Santa Huggs.