1. You’ve Got Bail
South Africa Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair grants accused murderer/double amputee/Olympian Oscar Pistorius bail ($28,500). Nair: “I’ve come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.” Refuses to say whether he is “a good guy with a gun” or a “bad guy with a gun.”
What will the conditions of bail be? Will Pistorius be asked to forfeit both his guns and his blades to the state?
2. Parker Brother
Is San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker the NBA MVP? No, not ahead of LeBron James (nor Kevin Durant), but he definitely belongs in the conversation. In fact, he might even be No. 2 behind LeBron. The Spurs are 44-12 after last night’s 116-90 demolition of the L.A. Clippers at Staples. They’ve won 16 of their past 17 and have the league’s best record and the 30 year-old French man is the impetus behind it.
The 11-year veteran has been the squad’s glue all season, as his fellow future Hall of Fame teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobiliiiiiiii! have missed a significant number of games (10 and 13, respectively). Even coach Gregg Popovich has missed time. Parker is averaging 29.3 points per game in his last six games while leading the Spurs in assists each outing. For the season he is 8th in the NBA in scoring (21.1 ppg) and 6th in assists (7.7). Only one player in the league is ahead of Parker in both categories: OKC’s Russell Westbrook, who also deserves MVP consideration. The main difference between the two is that Westbrook has the luxury of playing with Durant.
3. Drew Peterson Gets 38 Years
Hey, we appreciate how difficult it is to keep your wife-murdering Petersons in order. To refresh, Scott is the one who was convicted of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son in 2002. He is currently on death row in California.
Drew, however, is the more intriguing Peterson. And, according to police and in-laws, more dangerous. A long-time Chicago-area cop, Drew has been married four times. His fourth wife remains missing and last autumn he was convicted of drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in their bathtub back in 2004.
Today a judge sentenced Drew to 38 years in prison moments after Drew screamed out, “I did not kill Kathleen.”
We know people who have covered this case from its inception, who live in Chicago, and what they’ve always said is how smug Drew appeared to be. As a police officer he knew all the rules of evidence, not to mention that he was buddies with a number of officers. A former wife, who is not dead, has called him “a legend in his own mind.” He almost challenged authorities to charge him.
Also, it should be noted that his last two wives were decades younger than he. He married his fourth wife, Stacy, when he was 49 and she was 19.
4. Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr. J, turns 63 today. If you were born in the 1960s then I need not tell you that he was the Michael Jordan of the Seventies. Dr. J is largely forgotten because he existed in an era just before ESPN and when the NBA was arguably at its nadir. Magic Johnson led the Lakers to the NBA championship in his rookie season, 1979-1980, versus Dr. J’s Sixers. Magic’s immortal Game 6, in which he played center in place of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and scored 42 points as the Lakers clinched the title, was ONLY SEEN ON TAPE-DELAY. Seriously.
Anyway, Dr. J defied gravity. And ESPN has not devoted the past two weeks to honoring him. Not that he deserves Jordanian plaudits, but he was pretty special. And by the way, we DO realize that he was even better back when he was in the NBA sporting those awesome Nets uniforms that should still be in play somewhere.
What needs to be said: The Doctor was wearing his ‘fro and dunking over dudes in a very, very different era. It was a white world in the early ’70s (and mid- and late-70s), where black people were only accepted on TV if they were non-threatening and could give us a solid catchphrase (“Kid Dy-NO-mite!” and “Sock it to me!” come to mind). Now, sure, Muhammad Ali ran lead on breaking barriers, but the Doctor did so, too. Not with words. He was no more outspoken than MJ. But with deeds? Surely.
After all, he (and Walt Frazier) are the only two guys I can recall before Jordan who had sneaker deals. And it was Dr. J’s famous All-Star Game dunk contest dunk (an idea the NBA took from the ABA) that Jordan mimicked back when he did it.
So, Happy Birthday, Dr. J.
5. This is more than a week old, but I’ve just spotted it. The best and most gleefully defiant Jeopardy! guest since Sean Connery is Leonard Cooper, who won $75,000 on Teen Jeopardy! and, with the tournament already locked up, provided a goof answer on Final Jeopardy. You’re our hero, Leonard, and keep rockin’ the Dr. J/Oscar Gamble ‘fro.