In case you were busy justifying your documentary short's omission from this year's Sundance Film Festival, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Miami scored the final nine points of the game in a 99-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. LeBron James dominated the game on both ends of the court scoring 39 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. "We've been bad on the road this year by our standards, so I came out mad," LeBron explained after the game, before Kobe Bryant appeared behind him cloaked in a cloud of smoke. "Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it," Bryant said to James with a menacing laugh. A terrified James responded, "Why didn't you just beat us then?" Bryant grinned broadly at James and hissed, "your punishment must be more severe."
- Lance Armstrong confessed his use of performance enhancing drugs to Oprah Winfrey in a televised interview that was released on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the IOC stripped Lance Armstrong of a bronze medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and reallocated that medal — hold on, this is awkward, but I'm gonna take a phone call real quick, I'll be right back — to me! Oh my word, I don't know what to say! I've always dreamed of winning an Olympic medal, so I am on cloud nine right now. I will say that this will likely come as a huge shock to those who know me, as I never learned how to ride a bike, but apparently I was still officially the third most talented clean bike rider in 2000. This again proves that if you stick to my core principle of never getting caught taking your own blood out your body, shaking it around a bunch, and putting that blood back into your body, you can accomplish anything.
- James and Bryant will both be starting the 2013 NBA All-Star game in Houston as their respective conferences leading vote-getters. This year the NBA instituted a new voting system, where players were divided between frontcourt and guards for purposes of voting, eliminating the need for fans to vote for a traditional center. This new voting system will also give Denver Nuggets center Kosta Koufos a ready-made excuse for his mother when she asks him why no one voted for him and whether this means he'll finally consider going to dental school.
- Michigan bounced back from their first defeat of the season, topping Minnesota 83-75 on the road. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for Michigan with 21 points, while Glenn Robinson III threw down an emphatic dunk as Michigan pulled away in the second half. While the present of Michigan basketball is bright, the future looks even brighter as head coach Rumpelstiltskin "John" Beilein has already secured commitments from the firstborn children of Keith Van Horn, Chris Webber, Tom Gugliotta, and Sam Cassell, along with six of Shawn Kemp's offspring. "Some of those were tough sells, but I didn't even have to do anything for Shawn; he just kept giving me his kids," Beilein explained from his home beneath a tree stump in the Black Forest of Germany.
- Duke overcame an early first half deficit to top unranked Georgia Tech 73-57 in Durham. "I can't believe we were losing to Georgia Tech," said Duke Freshman Calhoun "Cal" Jackson IV, "I mean, who has even heard of Georgia Tech having a basketball program?" When told that current NBA players Jarrett Jack, Chris Bosh, and Derrick Favors are amongst Georgia Tech's basketball playing alumnae, Jackson was dismissive, saying, "yeah, whatever, I think my point still stands. That first half was so patently absurd I almost puked on my loafers." When told he in fact did have puke on his loafers, Jackson explained, "yeah, whatever, I think my point still stands: I'm sixty percent sure that isn't my puke."
- After spending much of the 2012 NFL season serving as the Indianapolis Colts interim head coach, Bruce Arians has been named the full-time head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. "With my top pick in next year's draft, I'll be taking Andrew Luck," Arians said at his introductory press conference. When told that Luck was no longer available to be drafted, a panicked Arians said, "wait, this is some sort of keeper league? Really? Someone should have explained that to me before I joined up here. Poor communication from the commissioner, and another red mark against Roger Goodell if you ask me."
- Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bradley opened his press conference with a brief introduction to the defensive style of play he plans to bring to Jacksonville, before current Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll popped up behind him and shouted, "WOOOOO! PETE CARROLL'S GONNA MISS THIS MAN AS HE IS MY BROTHER BUT I'LL TELL YOU PETE CARROLL HAS GREAT THINGS GOING ON ALL OVER THE WORLD AND I'M GONNA TELL YOU ABOUT THEM NOW! WOOOOOO!" Carroll took up the remaining allotment of Bradley's time going on at length about his charity work with the inner-city youth of Los Angeles and his friendship with Will Ferrell, while keeping his heart rate elevated by making his former assistant sit on his back as he did one-armed push-ups.
- Maria Sharapova dominated Venus Williams in their third round Australian Open match, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. "It hardly seems fair," Williams, who has failed throughout her successful career to win a title in Australia, said after the match, "we all know the Australians and Russians have been in cahoots for centuries." When asked to elaborate on what specific cahoots she was referring to, Williams responded, "uh, does the Austro-Russian alliance ring a bell? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austro-Russian_alliance] Sure, in theory it ended after the Crimean war, but let's be real." As an awkward silence fell over the press corps, Williams continued, "it's like no one here knows their Czarist history at all."
- Mike Napoli finally completed his free agent move to the Red Sox agreeing to a heavily incentivized one-year deal after failing a physical earlier this offseason. The deal reportedly would have been completed sooner, but Napoli kept demanding incentives prohibited under the CBA such as $500 per hidden ball trick — hold on, this is awkward, but I'm getting another phone call here, one second, I'll be right back — oh man. Well this is tough. Did I ever blood dope? Not intentionally, no. But apparently my collegiate dalliance into the underground world of recreational transfusions has just come back to haunt me. Looks like that bronze medal is a thing of the past. But that's not what is important; what's important is how sorry I am. I betrayed your trust, and I betrayed my own core principle of never getting caught taking my own blood out of my body, shaking it around a bunch, and putting that same blood back into my body. I will say that in some ways it's probably for the best that I don't have an Olympic medal. All that undeserved glory was taking me away from what I'm meant to do: Making up things that Mike Napoli might have tried to get included in an illegally incentivized contract. Things such as $100 per person nicknamed "Sully" he high-fived on Patriots day and $50 for every offensive gesture he made when someone mentioned Bobby Valentine's name in the clubhouse.