About Last Weekend: D’Lakers Pick D’Antoni

Mike D'AntoniIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.

  • The L.A. Lakers hired former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown. In his basement, Dwight Howard took down the complex pyramid of surveillance photos and connection lines and case notes from his bulletin board, stored them in a cardboard box marked “The Brown Investigation,” and replaced them with a sheet of paper on which he’d written a single word: “D’Antoni?”
  • Johnny Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns as no. 15 Texas A&M pulled off a stunning 29-24 upset of then–no. 1 Alabama. And I don’t mean to ruin a guy’s reputation here, but this is what happens when you have a goofball coach like Nick Saban who’s more interested in “keeping things fun” and “building good relationships with the kids” than winning football games. This sport is a business, and “Wacky” Nick Saban just got caught with his pants down. It’s time Alabama fans demand that he take his job more seriously and prepare for every game like it’s life or death.
  • On a chaotic day when Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer, sparking a massive brawl, Brad Keselowski finished sixth at Phoenix International Raceway to give himself a nearly insurmountable 20-point lead in the Sprint Cup standings with just one race remaining. As you might expect, Gordon’s fighting style consisted of fleeing to the top of a nearby truck and trying to pour hot oil on the rabid peasants below.
  • A sloppy overtime session ended with two missed field goals as the Rams and 49ers played the NFL’s first tie since 2008, 24-24. “A tie is like kissing your sister,” said Rams coach Jeff Fisher, quoting a famous Earl Weaver line. Unlike Weaver, though, Fisher seemed kind of excited by the idea.
  • Collin Klein ran for two touchdowns as no. 2 Kansas State beat TCU 23-10, and moved to no. 1 in the BCS standings a day later. “Hey, look,” said former KSU quarterback Michael Bishop in a phone call to Klein, “I know it must be tough living in ol’ Bishop’s shadow, having every move compared to mine, and constantly feeling like you don’t measure up. But I want to let you know that you’re doing fine.” “Uhhh … thanks,” said Klein. “Michael? Was it Michael?”
  • Jabari Greer broke up a potential touchdown pass on fourth down with less than two minutes remaining as the Saints ended the Falcons’ undefeated season with a 31-27 win. Drew Brees’s birthmark celebrated with a glass of dark red wine, and grimaced when some of the other players asked if it was Franzia.
  • On a windy day aboard the U.S.S. Midway, C.J. Fair scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards as no. 9 Syracuse opened its college basketball season with a 62-49 win over no. 20 San Diego State. Seven hours after the game, the boat finally ran aground on an unknown Pacific island. Confused captain Daniel Lemolier took out his printed instructions and frowned. “Hmmm,” he said. “Now that I’m rereading, it says we’re not supposed to leave the dock.”
  • In the first game of the post–Jim Calhoun era, Shabazz Napier scored 25 points to lead UConn to a 66-62 upset of no. 14 Michigan State at Rammstein Air Force Base in Germany. Napier even learned a few words of German to try to communicate with the local fans, not realizing that the local fans were exclusively American military personnel, and that shouting “du hast mich” at them was only going to be confusing.
  • Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 26 as the Thunder moved to 5-2 on the season with a 106-91 win over the Cavaliers. And now, Terrence the Grantland Robot: “BLAH BLAH BLAH JOKEY JOKEY WESTBROOK. GUYS, I AM AN EVIL ROBOT. I AM REALLY HATING MYSELF RIGHT NOW. I CHEATED ON PENNY THIS WEEKEND WITH A METALLIC TRASH ROBOT NAMED STEFYNY. I WOKE UP SUNDAY MORNING IN HER WEIRD BUNGALOW AND THERE WAS THIS TINY ROBOT STARING UP AT ME ASKING IF I WAS HIS NEW FATHER. I TOOK OFF BEFORE STEFYNY COULD WAKE UP BUT THE KID FOLLOWED ME. HIS NAME IS CODY AND I CAN’T GET RID OF HIM. NEITHER OF US HAS ANY IDEA HOW TO GET BACK TO HIS MOM’S PLACE. I AM FEELING REALLY AWFUL RIGHT NOW. I HAVE TO QUIT OIL. IT IS TIME TO RECOGNIZE I HAVE A PROBLEM.”
  • Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points as the Knicks topped the Mavs 104-94 to remain undefeated on the season. “Man, this calls for a—” Anthony began with a lazy grin, and his teammates finished his trademark line by shouting, “PIZZA!” Anthony shrugged as his smile widened. “What can I say? I love me some—” “PIZZA!” his teammates yelled. “Hey, f—ing stop that!” yelled an irate Anthony. “F—ing stop, you f—ing parasites!” His teammates stopped in shock before Anthony broke out into a grin. “Yo, I’m kidding! I love it when you guys say … when you say … ” “Pizza?” his teammates asked tentatively, at which point Anthony threw a chair across the room and stormed out.

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Alabama, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Kansas State, Los Angeles Lakers, Michigan State, Mike D'Antoni, Nascar, New Orleans Saints, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Uconn

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere