The morning-after round-up won't be as much fun should the Dallas Mavericks drop a game or four to the Miami Heat; who wants to search thousands of articles detailing your home team's butt-whooping, when it's bad enough to read just one? Thankfully, this morning's newsstand is filled with good news--and the damnedest tidbits. Take this one from Janny Hu, the San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter who could be man, woman or knock-knock joke. Did you have any idea that Jason Terry sleeps "in the opposing team's shorts the night before a game"? (Oh, you did? And how, exactly? Update: Apparently, you know from the TV broadcast last night, which I barely paid attention to and couldn't really hear.) In the interest of full disclosure, at this very moment I am wearing Superman underpants. Of course, Terry's performance--32 points, including two three-point shots when it got too close for comfort in the fourth--is the subject of most of the morning's post-game pieces. Percy Allen in The Seattle Times does a nice job of celebrating the hometown kid from Franklin High who's all grown up and ready to put the team on his back when Dirk can't get it done.
On the nutty-owner front, Miami Heat owner and Israeli Raanan Katz says the only way his team can win is with a little help from G-O-D and Israelis. "They must go the Western Wall and pray for us," he says. "Miami Heat is no less Israeli" than Maccabi Tel Aviv, Katz's Euroleague team. Yeah, like Israelis ain't got nothing better to do than slip a note in the wailing wall for Shaq, who, last I looked, doesn't own a tallis. And Mark Cuban e-mailed this response to The Onion's article yesterday about the team's using "custom-made, razor-sharp machetes" as part of its Hack-a-Shaq strategy. "It's not fake at all," he writes. "Just a new approach." I think the smiley-face emoticon at the end suggests he was goofin'.
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Dirk Nowitzki tells his old pal and dining partner, former Dallas Morning News Mavs beat writer Marc Stein of ESPN, he thought the Heat were gonna crush 'em after Miami's first-quarter play: "They looked awesome early on. I thought they had everything going." Guess not. And, finally, The Los Angeles Times also has a little Skip Bayless in its blood with this headline: "O'Neal? More Like Old'Neal." --Robert Wilonsky