Lakers coach Byron Scott said an offer to fight an abusive fan on Instagram on his account was the work of a hacker. That may be, but in case he actually did it, he ought to consider moonlighting with the Clippers. They don’t use Instagram, but they will get into a fight.
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Speaking of which, we’re still waiting to see how the Clippers’ promise of “appropriate action” will affect the employment prospects of assistant equipment manager Matias Testi after he hurled his face multiple times in the direction of Blake Griffin’s fist. I’m guessing poorly.
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But one last Clipper tidbit. JJ Redick, the shooting guard who has neither punched an employee nor signed with multiple teams, will have a weekly podcast for The Vertical, the web site run by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. If he doesn’t break the real reason behind the Griffin-Testi story, he will be fired.
[RELATED: Griffin fractures bone in hand]
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Shaquille O’Neal joked at an apparently dull speaking engagement the other night that LSU, where he did he pre-NBA work, treated his amateur status as a bit of a lark.
“Yes, they paid me very well,” he said to much laughter, and followed with, “Statute of limitations is up. I can talk about it. They paid me very well. That’s right baby, LSU.”
This caused much wailing and gnashing of local pride, as recorded by the Baton Rouge Advocate’s Sheldon Mickles. Mickles reached O’Neal by phone, and the classically trained not-quite-as-funny-as-he-thinks-he-is comedian backed away from his punch lines.
“You guys know I’m the life of the party, so I had to pick it up,” O’Neal said. “So every question they asked me, I had to give them a funny response.
“I was on stage and a guy asked, ‘How was your time at LSU?’ and I said, ‘Yes, they paid me very well,’ ” he said. “The crowd went crazy. ... It was a joke.”
But it was captured by Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Bresnahan, whom O’Neal not as hilariously called “someone with 82 followers” tweeted out the comment to gain national notoriety and it went from there.
“Everyone knows LSU is the most honorable university ... ever,” he said. “Everyone also knows I don’t sell my soul for anything. Everybody knows the relationship me and Dale Brown have, and the love we share for each other. Something like that would never happen.”
In other news, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to insist that LeBron James had nothing to do with coach David Blatt’s firing, despite the fact that Israelis have come out boldly against James in levels that rival their animus toward Hamas.
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Oregon State is expanding what it calls the Valley Football Center but in doing so has apparently dug up a mammoth’s femur, and other bones from equally extinct animals.
If this delays the project, though, rest assured that the athletic department will simply say it was former coach and AD Dee (The Great Pumpkin) Andros and get a court order to keep the plow from cooling.
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The new thing in the NHL, one we suspect will be reprised at this weekend’s All-Star Game, is to have kids hold up signs at rinkside saying their father will buy them a puppy if a specific player scores a goal. So far, Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan and Columbus’ Cam Atkinson have delivered, and the Sharks are planning to have a fan hold up a sign for primordial defenseman Brent Burns that reads, “My Dad Will Buy Me A Kodiak Bear If Brent Burns Scores.”
That said, this is all a ripoff of the most famous dog exploitation scheme ever, from 1973.
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The city of Orlando has agreed to sell 12 acres of land to Orlando City soccer club for its new soccer stadium at a price of $18 million. We mention that only because it represents the first time in modern memory that a city has successfully resisted a team’s extortionate land demands. There might be other side demands that have been met (you can read Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel for any further developments, but this may be the start of the end of the city as sports team prostitute.
We can only hope.
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The NHL All-Star Game is pegging its latest incarnation on the notion that 3-on-3 is the future of the game, but professional killjoy/buzzkiller/antifun journalist Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Globe and Mail points out that coaches have already learned how to suck the cheer out of that innovation already.
“According to statistics compiled by the Star’s Andrew Bailey, the month of October saw 70% of overtime games concluded in the extra frame — a huge jump over the 44% settled with four-on-four overtime last season,” Feschuk typed. “(But) October’s 70 percent success rate has been on the decline every month since. In November, 67 percent of overtime games ended before the shootout. In December, 60 percent. And in January, heading into Monday’s games, that number was down to 59 percent. And as for the slower, chess-like pace: It’s certainly taking teams longer to score in the fourth period. In October and November combined, a typical NHL overtime lasted about 2:20. So far in January, the extra periods have lasted an average of 2:59.”
Yay the death of fun!
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And finally, the Carolina Hurricanes celebrated their 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks by putting the Crying Jordan internet meme on the arena scoreboard and their Twitter feed with the pithy legend, “Hawks Fans Be Like.”
Apologies and firings in three . . . two . . . one.