Ah, the hidden-ball trick. That perfectly legal move that's used -- often to great effect -- to catch a baserunner off-guard and record an out.

On Saturday, it worked in one of the biggest moments possible.

With a 9-8 lead and one out to go to clinch a spot in the Colorado Class 2A state final, Rye High School pitcher Luis "Junior" Ortiz caught a Hotchkiss baserunner with the following:

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For Hotchkiss: Ouch. What a way to go out of a hard-fought game that included a rain delay and even a venue change (according to CHSAAnow.com, the new stadium was better equipped to handle precipitation).

For Rye, though, it kept the Thunderbolts unbeaten and gave them a shot at their second state championship in five seasons; they had gone out in this round in the past three season. As for the final, they won a wild 12-10 game over defending champion Resurrection Christian later that day. Rye finished 25-0.

Quotes, via CHSAA Now:

"We weren't real sure if [the hidden-ball trick] was going to work. We practice it quite a bit and we ran it one time successfully, and it worked again. It's a tough play to do, and the guys executed it real well." --Rye coach Stacey Graham

"It was executed on their end. I couldn't yell loud enough [to our runner to go back]. I couldn't quite get my message relayed to the baserunner. You never want a game to end like that, but sometimes that's the way it goes." --Hotchkiss coach Blake Carlquist

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Rapper Lil B might not be a household name at the level of Jay Z or Kanye West, but the Bay Area-born man also known as The Based God carries much power in NBA circles.

Which is why the following tweet and subsequent comment to TMZ are big deals.

And, to TMZ: "If Harden doesn't tell what he is doing, which is the Lil B cooking dance, he will be cursed. He needs to stop stealing Lil B swag without showing love."

Lil B of course is referring to this dance from James Harden, which caught on late in the Houston Rockets' season, as well as the rapper's dance from his song "I Cook" (whose NSFW video we can't embed here):

But why is this a big deal? Because Lil B's curses work.

Just ask Kevin Durant.

Years ago the Oklahoma City Thunder star tweeted the following:

Lil B was not pleased.

So far? One MVP, sure, but no titles, only one NBA Finals trip, and this season an injury that helped keep the Thunder almost incomprehensibly out of the playoffs.

See? PROOF.

Note: There's a LOT more to this story, including a diss track, a temporary lifting of the curse, a return of the curse, a proposed truce, taking credit for the injury, and much more. Grantland broke it down last year -- warning, much NSFW language -- and Lil B commented on the injury this season.

Now, TMZ says Lil B is giving Harden until after Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors before the curse comes into effect ... although the consequences likely would have to be greater than losing to the Warriors, which is a probable outcome even without a curse.

(But that doesn't mean Lil B is wrong! Please don't curse us, Based God!)

UPDATE: It appears Lil B did not wait until Game 3 to make his presence felt.

Toward the end of Game 2, Harden had the chance to win, but mishandled the play.

And then:

Lil B clarified that this is just a warning, but ... point taken.

UPDATE PART II: And apparently it's a point well-taken by at least one NBA franchise. The Atlanta Hawks, one of four teams left standing in the playoffs, aren't taking any chances.

On Friday afternoon, their social media team pleaded mercy to the Based God:

H/T TMZ

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J.R. Smith might not have led the Cleveland Cavaliers in scoring Wednesday night; LeBron James dropped 31 as the Cavs beat the Atlanta Hawks 97-89 in Eastern Conference finals Game 1.

But the 3-point specialist -- who has literally said his motto is "When in doubt, shoot the ball" -- caught the eye with his 28-point outburst that included 8-of-12 shooting from distance.

Naturally, a lot of people watching at home -- some of them who have an equally indiscriminate approach to shooting -- loved it:

Not everyone liked it, though.

Game 2 of the J.R. Smith Experience (and rest of the Eastern Conference finals) is Friday.

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Garry Hill, a junior outfielder from Star City (Ark.) High School, might have a pretty ordinary name.

But when you can do EXTRAORDINARY stuff like this, you tend to stick out a bit:

The batter appeared headed for an easy extra-base hit before Hill went all superhero mode -- in a playoff game, to boot. Check out the full extension as Hill pursues the quickly descending ball:

Garry HillKamen Entchev/Youtube

Judging from his reaction, or lack thereof, catches like this appear to be the norm for the fleet-footed Hill. And his team won, so here's hoping the kid with the average name and superior defensive game offers up another Web Gem moment like this again.

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Kevin GarnettNathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

On Monday, Bleacher Report released an oral history of Kevin Garnett. Now, an oral history of one particular player might seem a little much, unless that player is a human anecdote machine -- which the former/current Minnesota Timberwolves and former Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets big man most certainly is.

We pulled some of the best quotes from the piece related to Garnett's infamous intensity and trash talk, but it really is worth the whole read:

Joe Abunassar, Garnett's personal trainer: "We had been working out and we went to Memorial Park [in L.A.], and he had forgotten his socks. It was him, [Chauncey] Billups, [Al] Harrington, Ty Lue, Michael Ruffin and a few others. He played every game. He was dunking on guys and blocking shots -- all with no socks on. Hours he was playing. When it was over, there was blood seeping through the front of his shoes. Part of his feet and toes were just bleeding. It was unbelievable."

Chris Bosh, Miami Heat/former Toronto Raptors forward: "Usually I don't talk back, but if he said something to me, I said something back. I had just a terrible game for me [against the Celtics in the 2011 playoffs]. He got me all off my game. He scored, like, four times in a row on me in the crunch. And I was so embarrassed and so upset, and he got in my head. Ever since that day, I never said anything else."

Paul Pierce, former Celtics and Nets teammate: "One time, he asked [Joakim] Noah if he could rub through his hair, like a female or something. ... And I know that kind of made [Noah] hot. And this was when Noah was a rookie, too. I remember Noah looked up to KG. He was like, 'Man, KG, I had your poster on my wall, I looked up to you, man.' And then [Garnett] just said something like that, and was like 'F--- you, Noah.' I was like, 'Whoa.' This kid fresh out of college, looks up to KG, just said he had his poster on the wall, and he tells him that! It crushed him. It crushed Noah."

Pierce again, recalling a light moment between himself (then with Boston) and Garnett (then with Minnesota): "We were both on losing teams at this point. This is probably around the last week of the season. We're talking [trash] at the free throw line. I'm like, 'Man, everybody needs to shut up, because we all going to the Bahamas next week.' And as intense as he was, he had to look up and just start laughing. ... I said, 'I'm going to Cancun. Where are you going, Ticket?' He said, 'I'm going to St. Lucia.'"

Tyronn Lue, former NBA guard: "A lot of people do all their howling on the court and they're faking just for attention, but what he does is genuine. So one day we were at his house and we were watching Puff Daddy's show 'Making the Band,' and in one of the scenes, some new guys came in and were trying to sing and were trying to compete against the guys who had been there. And KG just got so hyped: "M-----f-----, you've got to stand up for yours! You've got to fight! M-----f----, you've got to come together!" He's going crazy, he's sweaty. And he just head-butts the wall and put a hole in the wall of his house."

Check out the story here.

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