About Last Night: Firing on All Pistons
In case you were busy demanding a recount of People’s Sexiest Man Alive voting, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:
- Rodney Stuckey scored 21 points off the bench as the Detroit Pistons heaped more woe onto the New York Knicks with a 92-86 win. Meanwhile, in Bayside, Queens, a father and his son watched the game together. “I hope the Knicks win!” the boy exclaimed, long after it was clear the Knicks were certainly not going to win. “Remember, son,” the father said as the clock wound down. “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” The father then grabbed his boy by the shoulders. “That’s why we watch the Knicks. Not to win. We never win. But to remember not to hope. Never hope, my boy. Promise me you’ll never hope.”
- In front of a star-studded audience in Stillwater, including Kevin Durant, sophomore Marcus Smart put up 39 points as Oklahoma State throttled Memphis 101-80. “Man, there are so many kids out there this year,” the 19-year-old Smart said after the game. “Think they know what’s up. They don’t.” Smart, who is 12 months older than Jabari Parker, then added, “I get it, I was that age once.” Smart shook his head, age having worn his face visibly, and added, “But now I know about the real world. About hard work, discipline. I’ve been in college for a whole year, man. I’ve traveled all over Big 12 country. I took Art History 104. Shit. The things I know, I could write a 1,500-word paper on them. These kids? They’d be lucky to pump out 800 words. Lucky.”
- In a battle of the top-ranked school in North Carolina and the top-ranked school in East Carolina, Duke topped the ECU Pirates, 83-74 … wait a second, where the fuck is East Carolina? What’s going on here, huh, Duke? Making up schools to beat to pad your nonconference résumé? Gardner-Webb? That’s just a type of snake and the thing a spider makes. Elon? That’s just the name of the Tesla guy. Notre Dame? That’s just a professional football team. Come on. Also, you really want me to believe that Rodney Hood scored 30 points? No, no, nothing here adds up at all.
- Tuukka Rask was dominant for Boston, allowing only one goal on 44 shots as the Bruins topped the Rangers, 2-1, at Madison Square Garden. When asked if he finds a next level when he plays in New York, Rask yelled, “RASK! RASK! RASK!” before pulling out two tickets for Wednesday’s matinee of Annie on Broadway. When asked if he was a man of the theater, Rask broke a stick against the wall as an offering to the Greek actor Thespis before singing a version of “Tomorrow,” substituting the word “RASK!” for every lyric in the song.
- Yankees president Randy Levine said his team will not give second baseman Robinson Cano a 10-year, $310 million contract, saying the All-Star needs to “get a little more realistic.” Cano shook off the reports, saying, “I am being realistic. Just hop on my spaceship and ask my first mate, Han, about how realistic I’m being.” Cano then gestured to a 1993 Astro van, before adding, “Han Solo, this is everybody. Say hello, Han. Then tell everyone how realistic I am. No, Han, don’t pull out your blaster! You don’t have to shoot first! No! No! Why? Why would you be so violent without provocation?” Cano then fell to his knees in despair and cried, “My innocence! Taken from me at the perfect age for an infielder to be given a massive contract: 31!”
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals, but Cristiano Ronaldo topped him with three as Portugal outpaced Sweden, 4-2 on aggregate, to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. For those of you concerned that Ronaldo was forced to ritualistically decapitate Ibrahimovic after the match, come on. Highlander is just a movie, and nothing like that happened after the game. That said, as is standard when one Highlander defeats another, all of the energy and knowledge that Ibrahimovic has accrued over his years as an immortal transferred to Ronaldo in an event known as “the Quickening.” But again, the decapitation thing is totally not real; Ibrahimovic’s head has not been separated at the shoulders.
- France also qualified for the World Cup in Brazil, after overcoming a two-goal deficit to stun Ukraine, 3-2 on aggregate, behind a pair of goals from Mamadou Sakho. “Ha!” scoffed German chancellor Angela Merkel when she saw the result. When asked why she was laughing, Merkel replied, “Oh, it’s just, you know, I had a funny thought about Germany. And France. And Ukraine. And history. You know, gives me a chuckle.” When asked to elaborate, Merkel glared and replied, “No, no I won’t be doing that.”
- The Red Wings’ slump continued as Detroit was shut out by the Nashville Predators, 2-0, extending their winless streak to seven games. “Sometimes you are the Predators,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said ruefully after the game, “and sometimes you are Carl Weathers. Tonight we were Carl Weathers.”