In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Pau Gasol had a crucial block at the buzzer as the Lakers edged the Celtics in overtime, 88-87. I'm not saying Boston has had a rough sports week, but Bill Simmons is standing behind me as I write, tapping a baseball bat against his palm and asking weird questions like, "Would you consider yourself a happy person, Ryan?"
- The reserves for the All-Star game were announced Thursday, and the list included veterans like Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Steve Nash. More like Old-Star game, am I right, gang? I mean, who picked these guys, Naismith himself? I hope they don't die from shock when they see that all the peach baskets have been replaced with nets, YAKNOW? (*Makes a series of wacky faces, curls up in a tight ball on the floor, cries softly, reaches for a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts*)
- The last undefeated team in college basketball fell last night, as no. 7 Murray State lost on its home floor against Tennessee State, 72-68. "Hey, there are still a lot of interesting things about our team!" said the Murray State coach, whose name isn't important. "Guys, where are you going?" As he continued to beg, he was led away from the podium by the team's star player, who I'm pretty sure has a name like Ishmael or Indigo, or something like that.
- MMA fighter Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana after losing a title bout to Carlos Condit. Authorities began to suspect something was amiss when Diaz repeatedly said, "Mannnn, you're being super uncool right now" whenever Condit hit him in the face.
- Speaking on an Atlanta radio show, LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson blamed poor play calling for his team's loss to Alabama in the national championship game. "Every time, we kept trying to go right into the defense!" he said incredulously. "Why? Those guys are way too good, but if you look at the tape, they were only guarding one side of the ball."
- The Big East and West Virginia reached a financial settlement Thursday night regarding WVU's impending move to the Big 12. The conference will receive $20 million, and WVU will be cleared to officially join the Big 12 this summer. According to a source, the Big East will use the money to lure a variety of online universities and vocational schools to round out the conference.
- Giants receiver Victor Cruz is making a play for higher pay after an All-Pro season that culminated in a Super Bowl victory. Man, I am so sick of the entitlement we see from these athletes, with their demands and their egos, when regular young Americans like you and me have to practically fucking beg our parents just to get them to mail a simple check so we can pay rent and put food in our mouths.
- Tiger Woods is four-under after one round at Pebble Beach. That puts him five shots behind the leaders, who were described by one witness as "a bunch of white dudes with khakis, who might actually have been the same white guy over and over."
- Lance Armstrong said he is happy that a federal investigation into doping allegations came to an end with no charges filed after two long years. President Obama, on the other hand, sat glumly in the Oval Office, staring at various pictures of Armstrong and suspected accomplices tacked to his wall. "This isn't over," he whispered. "Sooner or later, Lance, you'll slip up. They always do."
And now, it's time for the next installment of: PARTICIPATION FRIDAY! *Whooping noises and wild young people waving hats around*
Every week, I ask you, the reader, to throw your hat into the Grantland ring. You've delivered like champs over the past month on a variety of topics:
Next week is Valentine's Day, so we're going to stick with the romance theme. We covered breakups, so now I'm asking for the worst date you've ever experienced. Was it a blind date? Was it the first or last time you ever saw a potential soul mate? Something else? Stories can be about you or someone you know, as always.
Let's hear the cringe-worthy details. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could become American's next huge celebrity by making the top 10 list on Monday. You can also be anonymous, if you prefer. Enjoy your weekend!