[Three notes: 1. Thanks to all who joined our live online chat today. We do it every Monday from 1-2 p.m. To join then or post questions any time click on Chatty Chatty Bang Bang. 2. We have reached the 300 follower mark on Twitter. If this were bowling, that'd be quite an accomplishment! Follow for free by clicking on Twitter.com/gregcote. 3. Looking for 'Boldin to Dolphins?' poll? It's in the blogpost directly below this one].
No stopping LeBron vs. Kobe inevitability: NBA conference-championship round underway Tuesday, and I give the Magic against Cleveland a slightly better chance than I give the Nuggets against L.A. -- but only slightly. Both series could be routs; neither will go seven. Orlando and Stan Van Lucky were fortunate to face Boston without Kevin Garnett. I cannot envision any realistic way the NBA and TV won't get itheir wish for a LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel in The Finals. Can you? Take a dip in our poll:
On Marlins and Dan Uggla, Pedro Martinez: The Marlins' extended slump since the 11-1 start has made me begin to think two things I did not think a couple of months ago: 1. Trading Dan Uggla would not be such a bad thing; that's if his sub-.200 average has plundered all his market value. (Although I am enocouraged to see Uggla eating spinach at left. Otherwise before long he will have to go on a crash diet to continue hitting his weight. 2. If the Marlins think unsigned veteran Pedro Martinez (pictured right) has any arm left and he'd come cheap, it might be worth considering.
Best wishes, Brian: Sad, the news that former Heat player Brian Grant is in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Click here for ther ESPN.com piece that revealed the story. Grant, 37, is one of the more interesting, generous athletes I've run across, and our best hopes are with him.
Monday booth gets latest makeover: Jon "Chucky" Gruden (left) replacing Tony Kornheiser alongside Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski in the Monday Night Football booth. TK leaving of his own volition after three years due to a fear of flying, the same phobia that beset John Madden. I'm not making fun, though. We all have our travel pecadillos. For example, I am afraid of jostling over the plain in a covered wagon.
Steelers' James Harrison identified as un-American rat: The NFL's reigning defensive player of the year won't join his champion Pittsburgh teammates Thursday at the White House to be honored by President Obama. Why? "If you want to see the Pittsbuurgh Steelers," he said, "invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl." Lord, what a moron.
This just in. Canada sucks: Pittsburgh vs. Carolina and Detroit vs. Chicago in the hockey semifinals reminds us of one thing: Canada sucks. What I mean is, this season will extend the ignominous streak of the country that invented ice hockey failing to see one of its owns teams raise the Stanley Cup. You are an admirably knowledgable hockey fan or a weeping Canadian if you know the last north-of-border team to win it all was Montreal in 1993.
Makeover for Anna Kournikova: Tennis hottie Anna Kournikova, competing again for the first time in almost a year, has refashioned her image. She used to be known mostly for her sex appeal (see left). Now she is known mostly for her sex appeal but also for claiming she doesn't want to be known for that.
Mom draws attention to daughter's ... oh never mind: A Florida mom is demanding her daughter's Citrus Park high school re-do its yearbook because the original yearbook shows a photo suggesting her daughter is (ahem) not wearing underwear. Click on Oops! for more. Hey thanks, Mom! Your demand has assured that your daughter's embarrassment has gone from local to national.
Adler's Marlsox movin' on up like Jeffersons: Weekly fantasy baseball update. My team up to 3rd place in 10-team league with 58 points. David Wright en fuego, Johan Santana and Zack Greinke kings of my hill.
Virgin Mary appears on window pane: A Massachusetts hospital doesn't know what to do with a window that enraptured Catholics claim holds the likeness of the Virgin Mary. Click on Ubiquitous Mary for the tale. Cannot confirm reports that a man resembling Satan was seen lurking around the hospital with a bottle of Windex.
Tourist attraction news: Two employees of Yellowstone National Park have been fired for (click on Streams of Stupidity for the story) urinating on Old Faithful. Yellowstone, indeed.
Busty the Mannequin: Referencing our recent "sexy mannequin" blognote, a reader (with our thanks) offers this photo of a mannequin he spotted in a shop window on South Beach. I do not know this woman. But I am guessing her breasts may not be real.