More Pau Gasol, More Problems for Lakers’ Opponents

October 31, 2010 at 8:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

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PHOENIX — The thought of the Lakers fortifying their bench in the offseason with proven role players like Steve Blake and Matt Barnes might be frightening enough for any team with visions of taking down the two-time defending champions.

But if Pau Gasol is no longer the forgotten superstar on the offensive end of the floor, and he actually gets the additional touches that he both wants and deserves, that would be absolutely devastating for anyone standing in L.A.’s path to a third straight championship.

Now of course, it’s early. We’re two games into the season. But so far? That appears to be exactly what’s happening.

Gasol was dominant in the Lakers 114-106 road win over the Suns on Friday, putting up a near-triple-double line of 21 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. He did it with 17 shot attempts, only two fewer than Kobe Bryant, who finished with 19 but was aggressive from the start with nine in the first quarter.

Gasol finishing a close second to Bryant in field goal attempts isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. But through the Lakers first two games, Gasol is averaging 20 to Bryant’s 19.5, and leads the team in that category — by one — at 40-39.

I know — really small sample size, to be sure. But listening to Bryant speak after the win in Phoenix, you get the feeling it’s by design, and something that could very well continue as the season rolls on.


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World Series Game 3: Colby Lewis, Mitch Moreland Give Rangers First Win

October 31, 2010 at 5:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers made themselves at home, and now the World Series is looking a lot more interesting.

In the first World Series game played at Rangers Ballpark, Texas knocked off the Giants 4-2 to halve San Francisco’s lead in the best-of-seven series to two games to one.

“Now it’s our turn,” was a sign that one Rangers fan held up after closer Neftali Feliz, in his World Series debut, struck out two Giants to complete the victory.

The crowd, announced at 52,419, was the largest in ballpark history.

Building on his strong postseason, Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis checked a Giants offense that had amassed 20 runs in San Francisco across Games 1 and 2.


Lombard and Fujii get the spotlight this week

October 31, 2010 at 2:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

They’re both badly in need of more attention from casual fight fans and with no other major action on the schedule this week, Hector Lombard and Megumi Fujii get to take centerstage. A powerful middleweight on the male side and the woman some call the best pound-for-pound in the world, fight at Bellator 34 on Thursday night.

Lombard (27-2-1) could be on the verge of exploding into the mainstream. Without a loss since late 2006, he’s got it all. The Cuban certainly looks like a fighter with a thick build that would stack up against most NFL running backs. Lombard also hits the cage with a killer instinct. His last two fights, wins over Herbert Goodman and Jay Silva, lasted a combined 44 seconds. Remember Silva had just gone the distance in a pair of UFC fights against Chris Leben and C.B. Dollaway.

The 32-year-old has a special pedigree having competed for Cuba’s Judo squad at the 2000 Olympics. The No. 18 middleweight in the world according to the USA Today/Bloody Elbow rankings, Lombard may be a bit underrated. He just hasn’t gotten a crack at the best of the best. He’ll face Alexander Shlemenko, who is 15-1 since 2007. Both guys are sluggers, so don’t blink. 

During Bellator’s 115-pound women’s tourney, Fujii (22-0) has certainly lived up to her lofty reputation. The submission specialist has blown threw her three American opponents in the tournament. She’ll have to deal with the biggest fighter in the field to win the title. Zoila Frausto (9-1) cuts down from over 130 pounds to reach the 115 limit. If you’re not a fan of female fighting, this one might change your mind. The fighters down at 115 are similar to the men at 155 and below. The pace is quick and there are no stamina issues. 


Aaron Goodwin Plans Action Against Arn Tellem for Poaching Al Horford

October 30, 2010 at 11:46 pmCategory:Uncategorized

by Sam Amick

Filed under: ,

Poaching has long been a part of the agent industry, with some considering the practice of stealing clients a necessary evil to survive in the business and others deeming it deplorable.

But three months after agent Keith Glass won his courtroom bout with agent Andy Miller in a landmark decision, the case is serving as a segue into a contentious faceoff between two industry heavyweights and might spark change at the institutional level as well.

Aaron Goodwin, 2009

Agent Aaron Goodwin told FanHouse that he plans to file a formal complaint against top agent Arn Tellem with the NBA Players Association in the coming weeks because of how his colleague came to represent Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford. Horford was represented by Goodwin from the time he was picked third overall out of Florida in 2007 until late June, when he changed agents days before he was eligible to begin discussing a possible extension. The union will rule on whether the case goes to arbitration.

Adding to the mix that Goodwin finds mysterious, the agent who is listed as Horford’s representative by the union is B.J. Armstrong, the former player who works for Tellem and has decidedly less experience than Goodwin in dealing with such negotiations. Tellem, however, is nothing short of a top dog in their dog-eat-dog world — listed by as the top grossing agent in the game with 38 players in all (nine All-Stars) and a combined salary total of $181,526,949 among his players.


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‘Jersey Shore’ Star Ronnie Promises ‘More Drama’ On Season Three

October 30, 2010 at 8:46 pmCategory:Uncategorized

Vinny and Ron dress as ‘Shore’ roommates and dish about next season on MTV’s ‘The Seven.’
By Mawuse Ziegbe

“Jersey Shore” stars Vinny dresses like Snooki and Ronnie like Pauly D on MTV’s “The Seven”
Photo: MTV

When “Jersey Shore” residents Ronnie and Vinny paid a visit to “The Seven,” on a Halloween-themed episode of the show, they didn’t have to look far for costume ideas. The fellas sauntered onto the set as trick-or-treat-ready versions of their roommates DJ Pauly D and Snooki.

Ron rocked a shellacked ‘do, black tank top and headphones like record-spinning housemate Pauly, while Vinny squeezed himself into a snug gold halter and donned a high-volume wig like Snooks. When “The Seven” hosts pointed out that Vinny has smushed the real-life version of his Halloween alter ego, the Staten Island native shrugged it off, saying, “I’m pretty hot.”

Both guys did admit that it’s weird seeing people dressing up as the “Shore” cast for Halloween revelry, and Ronnie told fans they may have more material to draw from when season three hits screens. Ron Ron promised that the next outing will be packed with more madness then ever.

“[It’s] everything you got in season one and season two, just more,” he said. “More action, more drama. Makeups, breakups, hookups, smush room — everything.”

Viewers will have another option for Halloween costumes next year when the newest housemate, Deena, debuts on season three. Vinny and Ron seemed confident that fans will connect with the latest addition to the “Shore” collective.

“She’s fun,” Vinny said. Ron was more straightforward in his assessment, adding, “[She’s] better than Angelina.”

Vinny also described how the “Jersey Shore” kids get down on Halloween. “We go trick-or-treating and stuff; Halloween parties.” He also revealed one of his favorite parts of the holiday. “I like when the girls wear all these sexy costumes — like this,” he quipped, referencing his Snooki-inspired halter dress.

What are you looking forward to from season three of “Jersey Shore”? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t miss “The Seven” every weekday at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.

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Olympian Rick Hawn Shows How Judo Works in MMA

October 30, 2010 at 5:46 pmCategory:Uncategorized

by Michael David Smith

This might have been my favorite mixed martial arts finish of 2010.

Thursday night at Bellator 33, former U.S. Olympic judo team member Rick Hawn used an absolutely brilliant judo throw to put opponent LeVon Maynard on his back and finish him off with punches, in a textbook illustration of how judo techniques can work in MMA.


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Bob McNair Ordered Sweep of Texans Locker Room for Banned Substances

October 30, 2010 at 2:46 pmCategory:Uncategorized

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HOUSTON (AP) – Houston Texans owner Bob McNair ordered the team’s staff to go through the locker room to make sure no players are using banned substances.

USA Today first reported the Texans had staff members remove any products from lockers that are not approved by the NFL. Two of Houston’s players — left tackle Duane Brown and linebacker Brian Cushing — served four-game suspensions for different violations of the league’s policy on banned substances.

McNair said Friday he wanted to take a step to prevent future occurrences. He says the Texans have the right to control players while they’re in the team’s facilities.

“We concluded that one thing we can do is to just go through the locker room and make sure that if anybody is using anything, it’s a product from one of the approved manufacturers,” McNair said. “That’s about all that we can do.”

Team spokesman Kevin Cooper said the procedure took place “about a month ago.” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the decision “is a club matter.”

The NFL Players Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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What you need to know from this week on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

October 30, 2010 at 11:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

We’re down to the final first-round bout on "The Ultimate Fighter." Team Koscheck still looks shell-shocked from losing both bouts in last week’s episode, but they have to get right back at it with the final first-round bout, Team Koscheck’s Sako Chivitchian vs. Dane Sayers of Team GSP. Who will win? And who will win the Coaches Challenge? Read on for a recap and spoilers.

— Water cooler talk of the week: Spencer Paige has returned to the house after he had surgery on his hand, so he won’t be able to earn the wild card spot. The only thing these fighters are talking about is the wild card. Who deserves it, who doesn’t, who fought well in their bout, and who has been drinking and partying too much to show they really "want it." Aaron Wilkinson claimed that Jeff Lentz has been hitting the bottle too much to deserve the shot, calling Lentz a "professional waster." Be sure to use that term at the bar this weekend, folks.

— Drunk of the week: Speaking of drunks, Skarbowsky is back! He dispenses pearls of wisdom, like pointing out that Sayers, a Native American, is the only one really from "the States." And that being good is not OK. If someone asks you how you are, answer perfect. Then you’ll make Parisian drunks happy.

— Cool nickname of the week: Sayers’ nickname is Red Horse, which is also his Indian name.

— Misogynistic, unfunny humor of the week: Clearly bothered by GSP’s aloofness to his prank attempts, Josh Koscheck goes off on a Team GSP medic, Brad Tate, calling him a male nurse. That’s a joke that would have been funny at a time when both men and women weren’t nurses and doctors, but pointing out someone’s profession + gender? Sorry, Josh. Not funny. You’re going to have to keep working to get under GSP’s sin.   

— Inspiring story of the week: Sako was shot in the leg when he was 19 by gangfire. He said that experience taught him to stop drinking, partying and running the streets. Now, just three years later, he’s used the judo he learned earlier in life and is now on "The Ultimate Fighter."

— Coaches Challenge! My favorite thing of the week: If you can’t get behind the UFC forcing their fighters to play unfamiliar sports for large amounts of cash, check your pulse. It’s usually hilarious, and this season, Kos and GSP are facing off in a home run derby for a prize of $10,000 to the coach, and $1,500 for each his fighters.

Needless to say, GSP is not pleased. He’s Canadian. Do they play baseball in Canada? (Oh.) It shows, as GSP has no idea how to swing a bat, much less hold one. Kos is slightly more experienced, having played ball as a child, and won the prize for his team. 

— Trash talk guessing game of the week: Who said?

1. The other team is underestimating me.

2. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t beat him.

3. I plan to win. I plan to win this damn fight.

4. I don’t know what he thinks about me, but if he thinks he’s going to walk in and take me out, he’s mistaken.

Sako Chivitchian (Team Koscheck) vs. Dane Sayers (Team GSP)

Round 1: Sako survived a guillotine attempt at the beginning of the round, just to get in a clinch-filled brawl. Both fighters were in defensive mode, avoiding takedowns and strikes instead of scoring their own. Even GSP was saying how close the round was.

Round 2: Sako started with the takedown. Though Sayers got back to his feet, Sako controlled him the whole time, landing knees often as they were clinched. Referee Josh Rosenthal had to warn the fighters Sako more than once not to hold onto the fence, and quite frankly, he was lucky that he didn’t lose a point.  

Surprisingly, the fight did not go to the third round. Sako won the unanimous decision, 20-18, but Dana White and the coaches were impressed with Sayers.

Wildcard winners of the week: Koscheck lobbied White for Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens, while GSP mentioned both Wilkinson and Sayers. White made the final decision for Aaron Wilkinson vs. Stevens, both Team Koscheck fighters. This is the fight for next week.


Miley Cyrus’ Movie ‘LOL’ Picked Up By Distributor

October 30, 2010 at 8:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

Remake of 2008 French hit co-stars Demi Moore and Ashley Greene
By Gil Kaufman

Miley Cyrus
Photo: Fotonoticias/ WireImage

Miley Cyrus will cement her transition from kiddie TV star to teenage vixen in her upcoming movie “LOL,” which was just picked up for distribution by Lionsgate, according to Variety.

The English-language remake of the 2008 French hit reportedly includes a number of scenes that might make Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana” fans blush; her character is said to lose her virginity, smoke pot and kiss two girlfriends on the lips.

Co-star Demi Moore told MTV News in April that though Cyrus — whose parents announced their divorce this week — plays a wild child in the film, in real life she’s “incredibly grounded” and not at all like her “LOL” character.

“[Miley] is a true professional, and she truly has a wonderful family,” Moore said. “It really shows.” The veteran actress plays the overbearing, confounded mom of Cyrus’ character, who gets freaked out after accidentally reading her daughter’s journal and finding out just how out of touch they have become.

The movie, which also stars “Twilight” alum Ashley Greene, does not have a release date. Like the French original, it is written and directed by Lisa Azuelo; the cast also includes Thomas Jane (“Hung”), Gina Gershon (“Rescue Me”), Marlo Thomas (“That Girl”), Fisher Stevens (“Awake”), Adam Sevani (“Step Up 3D”), Jay Hernandez (“Takers”) and Austin Nichols (“One Tree Hill”).

Cyrus and Greene were spotted shooting scenes for the film in Detroit earlier this summer and recently moved to Paris to continue production. In photos released last month, a smiling Cyrus, embraced at the waist by co-star Douglas Booth, is standing alongside a pensive-looking Greene and other castmembers Ashley Hinshaw and Lina Esco. In other shots, Booth and Cyrus are snuggling on a double-decker bus while Greene is on another bus. Booth and Cyrus also were filmed standing on a bridge chatting.

Cyrus has said that in her post-“Hannah Montana” career, she’s looking to film more serious, mature movies, and that she intends to take a break from music to pursue her film career.

“I’m working on lots of different films: drama, action, comedy,” she said. “I like challenges, so I’m doing a little bit of everything.

“The more I make music that doesn’t truly inspire me, the more I feel like I’m blending in with everyone else,” she added. “I’m taking some time off [from music].”

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US Open

October 30, 2010 at 5:46 amCategory:Uncategorized

I went to the US Open yesterday. It was quite an experience and something I’ll never forget. It’s like a bucket list thing, you know? And I got to watch both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play, two of the best players ever.

I took tennis lessons as a kid and then again in college, but I’m not a player. But I knew enough to follow along and the matches were really great. Plus, my friend Lacy and I made the jumbotron! Woot woot!


The US Open takes place in the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is a complex consisting of a bunch of smaller courts, two midsize ones, and one big one (which is the Arthur Ashe Stadium.) It looks like this:

So while the Men’s Singles Semi-Finals were going on in the Arthur Ashe Stadium (which is what I got to see), junior matches were being played on some of the smaller courts.

Of the two matches I saw, Nadal won and Federer lost. I was a little bummed out by that because I like Federer, but the guy who beat him, Novak Djokovic from Serbia, was so excited and it’s always nice to see an underdog win. Here he is right after he won yesterday:

And here’s a photo of him hitting himself in the head yesterday after losing the third round.

Tennis can be pretty brutal. But anyway, it’s really cool because the whole stadium gets really quiet when they play. You can hear their sneakers squeak on the court, you can hear the ball bouncing and hitting the racket, you can hear the players grunt… Our seats were pretty far up but we could still hear every single thing happening. But, man, was it a long day. We watched tennis for eight hours straight.

The final match is this afternoon but I haven’s decided who I’m rooting for yet. I like Novak because, even though he’s competed in the US Open before (he lost to Federer in 2007), he only has one Grand Slam title and he’s clearly the underdog of the match. Plus, he’s supposed to be really funny and I like a person with a sense of humor. But I also like Nadal because, even though he’s currently ranked number one and holds eight Grand Slam titles, he’s never competed in or won the US Open before. If he wins today, he will have a Career Grand Slam.

For those of you who don’t know, there are four major “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments every year:

  • Australian Open – Played on concrete
  • French Open – Played on clay
  • Wimbledon – Played on grass
  • US Open – Played on concrete

Winning any one of these gives you a Grand Slam title. If you win all four at least once during your career, you have a “Career Grand Slam.” Federer has won 16 titles and has a Career Grand Slam. Nadal has won eight titles, but never the US Open, so he doesn’t have a Career Grand Slam. Novak has won one title.

(Btw, I never thought I’d be giving a sports lesson of any kind on this blog.)

Anywho, 2010 has been a great year for me. First my movie gets made, then I get to go to the US Open… The fact that I’m lucky is not lost on me. I’m so grateful for everything.

Click here to see my photos from the day.