Boston Strong, Bill Murray The MC, & No Steph, No Problem.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Quick Hits
  • By A Knuckle. Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams' fingers are too damn long. Down 85-84 to the Dallas Mavericks with time expiring, Adams collected a rebound and put it in the basket at the buzzer for a Thunder 86-85 win... or maybe not. A review determined the ball was still touching Adams' fingers when the clock struck zero, nullifying the basket while securing a Mavs victory to tie the series (1-1). If only Adams had Donald Trump-sized hands, the ball would have cleared his stumpy fingers no problem. Speaking of Trump...
  • Rex Trump. Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Buffalo last night to the '90s Jock Jams hit "Get Ready For This." We're neither condemning nor endorsing this action, we simply felt you needed to know it happened. We will mention, however, that the Bills were very quick to release a statement saying Ryan was "not representing" the Bills organization at the rally.
  • Stronger. Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who will play Bauman in the upcoming biopic "Stronger," threw out the first pitch yesterday at Fenway Park in Boston. Being the mediocre mess they are, the Red Sox couldn't muster a win for Bauman, falling 4-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Where's the compassion, Sox?
  • No Steph, No Problem. The Golden State Warriors managed not to wet themselves without star point guard Steph Curry, who sat out with an ankle injury, as they topped the Houston Rockets 115-106 to take a 2-0 series lead.
  • Here To Stay. Damn, the Washington Capitals are good. They blew out the Philadelphia Flyers last night 6-1 and are the only team to hold a 3-0 lead in their first-round NHL playoff series.

The Main Event
WHAT?
Sports figures from across the globe gathered in Berlin, Germany last night for the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards, which is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the "outstanding achievements of sportsmen and sportswomen around the world." It's like ESPN's ESPY Awards, sans a drunken Brett Favre almost falling over on live TV.

WHAT ELSE?
Wearing a Bavarian lederhosen outfit to open the show (along with angel wings later on), host Bill Murray presented the 2016 awards, which recognized the best of the best from 2015. Tennis was tops, as stars Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Serena Williams of the States were named the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year. Djokovic won for the second-straight year (third overall), while Williams won her fourth award. Here's how the rest of the awards shook out:

Team of the Year: New Zealand All Blacks (rugby)
Comeback of the Year: New Zealand All Blacks captain Dan Carter
Breakthrough of the Year: U.S. golfer Jordan Spieth
Action Sportsperson of the Year: German triathlete Jan Frodeno
Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias

THOUGHTS?
One could easily argue the Laureus is just another needless awards show created for the sole purpose of providing the sports industry with yet another opportunity to blow themselves while in full formal regalia... and they'd be right.

Good Sport
Clean Sweep
A Caucasian couple from Roanoke, Virginia won the men's and women's Boston Marathon races yesterday. Just kidding, a pair of Ethiopian runners took home first place. It was, however, the first time Ethiopians won both the men's and women's titles in the same year. Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men's heat with a time of 2:12:45, while Atsede Baysa won the women's race with a mark of 2:29:19. The U.S. still had their moment though, as American Tatyana McFadden won her fourth-straight women’s wheelchair race (1:42:16).

Twice As Nice
Speaking of successive successes, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season. Leonard received double the first-place votes of second-place finisher Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, who's just gonna have to settle for winning a second-straight NBA championship with the Dubs this year.

Bad Sport
Saint Louis University Plantation
To the casual observer, it might be difficult to determine the difference between the Saint Louis University baseball team and 19th-century plantation owners. Yesterday, SLU administrators said a group of student-athletes on the baseball team would not be punished for a group text message conversation between the teammates last May. The exchange included several delightful barbs toward President Obama, including: "The kfc in the white house?" "I heard they got a colored running this country.. This Tru?" and the coup de grâce, "F*cking watermelon eatin baboon." Since their playful chat was deemed a "private conversation," they will escape punishment from the school.

Never Forget
The time LA Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford forgot how to baseball. The "slide" was made better by Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who said the effort would have been "okay if he had a sled under him and he was on snow." Never Forget.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
NBA PLAYOFFS. Game 2: Celtics at Hawks - 7pm on TNT (Hawks lead 1-0); Game 2: Grizzlies at Spurs - 9:30pm on TNT (Spurs lead 1-0)
NHL PLAYOFFS. Game 4: Lightning at Red Wings - 7pm on NBC Sports (Lightning lead 2-1); Game 3: Penguins at Rangers - 7pm on USA (Series tied 1-1); Game 4: Blues at Blackhawks - 9:30pm on NBC Sports (Blues lead 2-1); Game 3: Ducks at Predators - 9:30pm on USA (Predators lead 2-0)
SOCCER. Premier League: Newcastle United vs. Manchester City - 2:40pm on NBC Sports
BOXING. Premier Boxing Champions: Ivan Redkach vs. Luis Cruz - 9pm on Fox Sports 1
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