Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard doing better than his ’11 Draft classmates

June 16, 2014 – 2:15 am by Hickey

kawhi

Sage veterans Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have been the heart of San Antonio’s championship dynasty, but it was young gun Kawhi Leonard who helped the Spurs push through for the franchise’s fifth NBA title. The third-year player from San Diego State averaged 17.8 points per game on 61 percent shooting from the field in the title series.

It’s quite the feel-good story. At 22, Leonard is the youngest Finals MVP since Duncan in 1999. He’s also just the sixth Finals MVP who didn’t make the All-Star Game the year he won the award. Chauncey Billups was the last player to earn that distinction in 2004. And it was a stirring bounce-back from last year’s Finals, when Leonard’s missed free throw in the waning moments of Game 6 helped set up Ray Allen’s game-tying three that sent the game into overtime. The Heat won that game and the next to seemingly put a fork in San Antonio’s last great chance at a title.

So who was picked ahead of Leonard in the 2011 NBA Draft? We’re glad you asked, though most of the guys on this list probably wish you wouldn’t have.

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Cleveland Cavaliers doctors clear Joel Embiid

June 13, 2014 – 5:58 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel Embiid has become the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft over the past few weeks. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the top pick in this year’s draft and rumors have persisted that they preferred Embiid over both college teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker. The only issue surrounding Embiid was his health as he suffered a back injury late in his only season of college basketball. But now it looks like that won’t be an issue.

Initially a report surfaced that claimed Embiid’s physical with Cavs doctors did not go well. Based on what we’ve been hearing about Embiid’s workouts, that came as a huge shock. That initial report has now been countered by a report that says his back is fine and Cleveland actually cleared him. The first report was likely a smokescreen by the Cavs to deter the Milwaukee Bucks from possibly selecting Embiid with the No. 2 pick.

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Video: John Oliver eviscerates FIFA and the 2014 World Cup

June 11, 2014 – 4:36 am by Ryan Phillips
    John Oliver

If you haven’t been watching “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” you should really start. The ex-Daily Show correspondent has been fantastic during the first season of his new Sunday night HBO show. His protracted rants about one subject each week have been absolutely perfect and this Sunday was no exception. Oliver’s target this week? FIFA and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

After the jump you’ll see a 13-plus minute clip of him ranting about the topic that is pure gold. The man knows how to rant…trust us, we would know. His evisceration of FIFA covers a ton of topics, including: bribery, Sepp Blatter’s idiocy, protests in Brazil, the organization’s ridiculous “non-profit” label, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and how FIFA is actually enabling the deaths of migrant laborers.

Since it’s HBO, he drops an f-bomb or two, so it may not be safe for work if you don’t have headphones. That said, watch the hell of out this clip. Then start over and watch it again.

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Landon Donovan ad has terrible (or terrific) timing

June 11, 2014 – 1:20 am by Hickey

donovan sunburn

I finally got around to reading Sports Illustrated’s May 26 profile of Adam Silver, but amazingly that wasn’t the thing that stuck out the most in the magazine. And not their profile on Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, either. Which is stunning given that both pieces were superbly done.

So what could possibly be more eye-catching? An unfortunately timed ad starring one Landon Donovan.

Clearly put together by people who (rightfully) did not conceive of a scenario where Donovan wouldn’t make the U.S. World Cup team, the ad identifies the shirtless, pantsless, chest-hairless player as “Landon Donovan, U.S. Soccer Star.”

This, planned out quite meticulously in advance, no doubt, ran the very week he was cut from the national team. Doh.

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Katharine McPhee pictures: The best of the newly-single singer

June 11, 2014 – 12:00 am by Ryan Phillips
    Katharine McPhee

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a big fan of Katharine McPhee. And no, for not her music or her acting. The 30-year-old became famous thanks to a runner-up showing on American Idol in 2006, but almost as soon as she got famous, she was locked down and married to some random dude who was almost 20 years older than her.

But good news everyone, Ms. McPhee has officially filed for divorce from her husband, which means she’s back on the market. Here is a collection of her best pictures to celebrate.

Video: Montage of Darryl Sutter press conferences is wonderful

June 10, 2014 – 8:55 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Darryl Sutter

Monday night the Los Angeles Kings moved themselves one game away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. Their 3-0 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden gave the Kings a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. It has truly been a remarkable run for the Kings, who opened the playoffs down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks, before reeling off four wins to take the series. But based on their coach’s post-game press conferences you would have no idea how great this story is.

Darryl Sutter is a hell of a hockey coach, but man, is he a tough interview. His post-game press conferences have become legendary for his deadpan humor and lack of real engagement with reporters. It’s not that Sutter is a jerk, he just doesn’t get caught up in things like “emotion” or “momentum” and often laughs off the ridiculous questions asked of him. He just wants to coach hockey. As Deadspin pointed out, he’s basically a less-ornery version of Gregg Popovich.

Before Game 3 Monday night, Hockey Night in Canada put together a video montage of some of the great moments of Sutter’s press conferences this postseason. Set to Joplin’s, “The Entertainer,” it is nothing short of brilliant.

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End of an era: Martin Brodeur to test free agency

June 7, 2014 – 1:08 am by Ryan Phillips
    Martin Brodeur

It appears that Martin Brodeur’s time with the New Jersey Devils has finally come to an end. After 24 years with the Devils organization, Brodeur claims that he will test free agency this summer.

Brodeur is widely considered the greatest goaltender in NHL history. During his 21-year career, he has set dozens of records and won three Stanley Cups. He has also spent his entire career as a New Jersey Devil, after the team selected him with the 20th overall pick in the 1990 NHL Draft. It would be an absolute tragedy if the 42-year-old finished his career elsewhere.

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It’s summer, so it’s time to get a Custom Koozie

June 6, 2014 – 10:44 pm by Ryan Phillips
    MSF-Koozie

Summer is finally here after what seemed like a 10-month winter in the Midwest. For me, one of the best parts of summer is sitting outside and tailgating before a baseball game. If you’re tailgating, you’re going to need a beer in your hand and that means you’re going to need a koozie to keep that thing cold. We all have random koozies for teams or companies we don’t care about, but now there’s a website that lets you design your own custom koozies, which is a perfect addition to the tailgating lifestyle.

Express Imprint’s Custom Koozies site lets you design your own beer koozies for everything from cans to bottles to bigger water bottles and there are even koozies with carabiners attached so you don’t lose them. I can’t count how many koozies I’ve “misplaced” in the past, so that’s a fantastic feature. Go check out ExpressImprint.com.

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