What's that saying everyone's using nowadays? "Real recognize real"?

Little illustrates this better than the Twitter reaction to Lionel Messi's incredible second goal Wednesday, in which the Barcelona star effectively crossed Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng to the ground -- not unlike that Stephen Curry-on-Chris Paul play -- before chipping over goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with his weaker right foot (watch it above).

Naturally, notable names in the soccer/football world loved it:

But it didn't stop there. Over in the states, some of our biggest athletes were blown away by the move:

Real recognize real indeed.

Well, unless you're a fan of the other team.

Comment »

Happy birthday, Chris Paul.

Today the NBA superstar turns 30 years old, although he's still schooling defenders like he's in his early 20s (sorry, Spurs). In honor of No. 3 hitting the big 3-0, here are three things you may not know about CP3.

1. He's a politician who actually keeps his word
Paul organized, promoted and co-hosted West Forsyth High School's 10-year class reunion in 2013. He did so not to flash his opulence or make exes jealous of his wife, but to dutifully fulfill one of his responsibilities as senior class president. That steadfast dedication likely played a role in Paul getting elected as NBPA union president.

Chris Paul George Bridges/MCT/Getty Images

2. He rolls with the stars, but roots for one star
Paul and his super friends -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony -- vacation together each summer, hitting up hot spots like Las Vegas. Like James, Paul is also a passionate Dallas Cowboys fan and can often be found at training camp in Oxnard, California, to assess Big D's title hopes.

Paul/JonesAP Photo/James D. Smith

3. He's a gracious host -- even to rivals
You might not be able to tell it by the way Curry embarrassed his elder counterpart with this ridiculous crossover last month or the animosity that has developed between their teams, but Paul and the newly minted league MVP are tight off the court. Curry credits Paul with helping him prepare for the transition to the NBA, as the two Carolina natives traveled around the Southeast to train. Paul took Curry under his wing as a rookie, even opening his home to his future rival to train and live with him.

Paul/CurryAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

As for Paul's birthday, we couldn't let it pass without offering a few gift suggestions for the man who has it all. While a healthy hamstring and a Game 2 win in Houston likely top his list, we have a couple of other suggestions:

More acting lessons: Let's be honest, those Cliff Paul commercials have run their course. We'd like to see CP3 branch out to other roles like a diminutive cop buddy flick alongside his buddy Kevin Hart.

New jewelry: We're thinking a couple of rings -- one for the Clippers, of course, as 2014-15 NBA champs, and the other for his beloved Cowboys as SB 50 winners.

The latter might be the only thing that can top last year's gift. Thanks, Kelly ... err, Tiffany.

Comment »

This weekend, we brought you the stories of how Doc Rivers' Los Angeles Clippers used experts' predictions, including some from this site, as motivation in their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Apparently that isn't stopping in the Clippers' second-round series against the Houston Rockets. But this time, it's someone from the other team who is vowing to remember the picks.

That, from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, comes in response to this post, in which all five of our experts predict a Golden State Warriors-Clippers matchup in the Western Conference finals.

Furthermore, 12 of our 15 experts expect Chris Paul & Co. to outlast James Harden and the Rockets.

Stay tuned ...

Comment »

The Los Angeles Clippers took down the San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game series that players sure loved.

But the Clippers weren't exactly favorites to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. In fact, before the series, coach Doc Rivers handed players one sheet of paper as motivation (read more about it here):

Yes, those are predictions from nationally known analysts, including many of ESPN's own.

Guess the Clippers might be paying attention to this page a little more closely than we thought ...

Comment »

The fight everyone has been waiting for is here. SportsNation is siding with ...

Comment »