Print and Go Back News & Opinion

Friday, June 24, 2011
NBA draft-o-rama

By Stacy Title

NBA: Former Duke point guard Kyrie Irving was the No. 1 draft pick taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their rebuild after a horrific 19-63 season (blamed on the departure of now detested LeBron James.) Power forward Derrick Williams was the No. 2 pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. After that, five of the first seven players drafted were born (and mostly trained) outside the U.S. And myriad trades came down (stay with me if you can!): Milwaukee, Sacramento and Charlotte agreed to a three-team deal -- Stephen Jackson goes to Milwaukee (unhappily, apparently). The Bucks will also get Charlotte's Shaun Livingston and the rights to 19th pick Tobias Harris from the Bobcats. Charlotte gets the rights to the Kings' seventh pick, Bismack Biyombo, and Corey Maggette from Milwaukee. The Kings get Milwaukee's John Salmons and the rights to their 10th pick, uber-hyped Jimmer Fredette.

Side note: Still my favorite NBA player because he's so hilarious -- and stealing a page from '80s NBA star Lloyd Bernard Free who changed his name to World B. Free -- Ron Artest announced plans to change his legal name. Yes Ron Ron, of the infamous 2004 brawl between players and fans in Detroit and (reverse!) this season's winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, has chosen the catchy new moniker -- Metta World Peace. (Metta, from the Indian language Pali, means kindness, happiness and love. And it's the first of the so-called sublime states in a type of Buddhist meditation.) Indeed, Ron's jersey will now read 'Peace' across his shoulders. He'll have to refrain from flagrant fouls in order to keep the peace.

Wimbledon: French Open champion Li Na lost 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 to wild card Sabine Lisicki, ranked 62nd, for the biggest upset in the tournament so far. Serena Williams dropped her first set but went on to beat Simona Halep 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Seems she was annoyed that both she and her sister were moved over to Court 2 from center stage (aka Centre Court) -- or even the lesser Court 1. Serena wryly noted that the male players wouldn't have been moved aside like that. Venus Williams was more sanguine, setting her sights on "not going down on Court 2," which she achieved a day earlier. The scrambling All England Club tried to explain with a bit of politesse. But their harrumphing made it obvious that they consider the women less of an audience draw.

College World Series: Cal's Cinderella fairy tale ended on Thursday with the Bears being eliminated by Virginia 8-1. Bet they're shocked. They seemed like the team of destiny after being redlined last fall, then somehow managing to raise over $9 million to have the program reinstated. It's the first time since 2002 that the last four teams standing in the CWS are all national seeds.

MLB: Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned Thursday after demanding a longer-term commitment from his team's management. He walked the walk after telling general manager Mike Rizzo if he didn't pick up his next year's option on Thursday, he wouldn't get on the team bus. Frankly, he has a point: The Nationals have won their past 11 of 12.