Starting Five


1. Pop’s Stars

Thirty-nine seasons. Ten championship rings. One team, one coach. That is the curriculum vitae of Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tony Parker of France, and Manu Ginobili of Argentina. This trio is the core of the most successful and under-celebrated sports franchise in North America of the 21st century. Holy juxtaposition, Batman! The Spurs’ trio have stuck together, under one coach, Gregg Popovich, for more than a decade. Whereas the Heat’s trio came together in the summer of 2009 when LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. Oh, I think someone on TV will point out the contrast in a week or so.

2. Delle Donne Dominates

The headline reads, “Griner Dunks Twice, But Mercury Lose”, which is no less sexist than saying, “Coed With Shortest Skirt Fails to Pass BAR Exam.” Seriously, Bristol? Aren’t you the ones who actually have broadcast rights to the WNBA? Yesterday the most (the first?) anticipated match-up between two rookie post players in league history took place, and the No. 2 pick, six-foot-five Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky, gave the opposing franchise, the Phoenix Mercury, an aggravated case of buyer’s remorse. Delle Donne flashed a multi-faceted and mature game while the No. 1 pick, Brittney Griner, picked up three fouls in the first quarter. At halftime the Sky, which has never advanced to the playoffs, led by 24.

Griner’s two dunks — she became the first player in WNBA history to dunk twice in the same–whoop-de-doo! — came in garbage time, as did most of her scoring. Delle Donne finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Both players have bright futures, but Delle Donne won Round 1. Pity that ESPN barely noticed.

3. No, Yu Di’unt


Through 110 pitches Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, the most dominant pitcher in baseball thus far in 2013, had struck out 14 Arizona Diamondback batters. On his 111th D-Back rookie Didi Gregorius took him deep, over the right-field wall, for a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth inning. The D-Backs would score the winning run the following inning. Oh, and as for Gregorius? He was the lone starting position player for the D-Backs not to whiff once against Darvish.

4. All The Young Dudes

Look at this kid! Who does he think he is? The year is 1978 in this video, but only last week he celebrated his 53rd birthday.

5. Sydney Fog

Above, that is Sydney. Australia’s largest city was under a blanket of fog yesterday. I got nothing else to say about that.


My two-word review of “Behind the Candelabra?” “Pianist Envy.” You want more? Okay, understanding that I grew up during this era and am both keenly and fondly aware of it, I still go all Joy Behar and say, “So what? Who cares?” Queens having plastic surgery and sodomy fights. That is O-ring Bo-ring (I can’t say that, can I?). Okay, Rob Lowe remains miraculously beautiful (and I’m straight) and he kills it as the plastic surgeon. Michael Douglas never got Liberace’s diction down. He spoke much…more…methodically…and…slowly…than…that. Matt Damon was fantastic. He always is.

Best Supporting Actor statue for Rob Lowe at next winter’s Emmys. Or, if you are Jalen Rose, a Pulitzer.


Cullen Finnerty, who led Grand Valley State to three D-II national titles as their quarterback in the early 2000s, is missing. His head coaches were Brian Kelly (2003) and Chuck Martin (2004-2006). Perhaps you have heard of them.

Maeby They Should Have Left Well Enough Alone?

Dear America: Yes, all 15 new episodes of the new “season” of Arrested Development are available now on NetFlix. That does not mean you have to watch all of them at once. As creator Mitch Hurwitz warns, “You’ll get tired.” You don’t want me to get Mayor Bloomberg on this, now do you? You should know that each episode centers on a different character, and it seems to me this was less by artistic design than it was pragmatism. The “shoot” went from August through February and because of all the actors’ busy schedules (and whom do they have to thank/blame for that?), the entire cast was only together for two days. Oh, and not all of the reviews have been kind.

Remote Patrol

New York Yankees at New York Mets

ESPN 7 p.m.

It’s a pitcher’s duel. Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.93 ERA) of the Mets faces the Yankees’ ace of the spring, Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.67). Watch as the Mets attempt to bat David Wright more often than once every nine batters. Also, whichever team wins has their colors displayed in lights atop the Empire State Building. Really.


Harvey and new girlfriend Anna V., an SI Swimsuit model. Defying the Verlander-Upton curse.



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