About Last Night: Heat Wave Good-bye to Bulls

In case you were busy weighing the pros and cons of employing Vinny Del Negro at your place of business, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • Dwyane Wade was scintillating down the stretch as the Miami Heat moved on to the Eastern Conference finals after a 94-91 win eliminated the Chicago Bulls from the NBA playoffs. After the game, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose did a teleconferenced interview from his home, saying, “Oh no! I was ready to go tomorrow! What are the odds? Come on guys, we had this! Oh well, guess I got to shut it back down.” Just as the feed went out, the camera trained on Rose zoomed out to reveal a shoddy backdrop of a Chicago home in the middle of a sunny beach locale, with Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich in the background drinking extravagantly large blended drinks.
  • The top seed in the West has fallen as the Memphis Grizzlies ousted the Oklahoma City Thunder with an 88-84 win. Meanwhile, in Blaine, Washington, Chad McFadden, a man whose allegiances were as divided as his geographic proximity to Vancouver and Seattle, awoke up from a decadelong coma. Bleary-eyed and confused, he cheered the Grizzlies win while lamenting that what seemed to be the Sonics were once again unable to make the Finals as the top seed. “I remember ’94, before there even was a Grizzlies team to spit my affection … wait … what the hell is this? WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT HAPPENED! THE ONLY PERSON I RECOGNIZE IS BRYANT BIG COUNTRY REEVES!” But it wasn’t Bryant Reeves at all that he recognized, and when McFadden was told that he was watching Pau Gasol’s little brother dominate defensively for the Memphis Grizzlies against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that had once been the Sonics, McFadden lost consciousness again.
  • Not everything that happened in sports Wednesday seemed contrived to infuriate Chicago fans because, behind three third-period goals, the Chicago Blackhawks opened their second-round series with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Patrick Sharp scored his sixth postseason goal in the win and joined Patrick Kane in assisting on the game winner. “It’s pretty neat having two great Patricks on the team,” Sharp said after the game, “but I probably shouldn’t have bought us matching dagger canes. It seemed clever at the time, but there have already been a number of close calls with Kane. It turns out he’s definitely not the sort of guy you want able to smuggle swords into pretty much any location. Who knew?”
  • O.J. Simpson took the witness stand in an appeal proceeding as he attempts to have his 2008 conviction for armed robbery overturned. His appeal is being funded by the Game Show Network as a cross-promotional effort with its relaunch of the classic game show “Press Your Luck.” In exchange for funding his defense, Simpson is required to say “no whammies” whenever his attorney objects to a question asked of him. GSN has deemed the endorsement deal a success as, according to spokesman Ted Sajak, “nothing has ever made Americans think Man, don’t do it, man, don’t press your luck as much as this story.”
  • Chelsea got a stoppage-time winner off the head of defender Branislav Ivanovic to secure the Europa League championship with a 2-1 win over Benfica at Amsterdam Arena. The win makes Chelsea the first team to hold the Champions League and Europa League titles simultaneously, a feat it will manage until Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich square off in London in 10 days. In unrelated news, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari woke up in a cold sweat, having had the same dream he’s had every night since March in which he relives his team’s NIT loss to Robert Morris.
  • Raul Ibanez had two home runs as the Seattle Mariners beat up the New York Yankees, 12-2, in the Bronx. Ibanez, who has had a run of recent success at Yankee Stadium, said after the game, “I don’t know what it is about this place. Maybe it’s the cartoonishly short porch in right. Perhaps it’s the extremely close seats beyond right field. Maybe it’s the positioning of the right-field fence. It sure is something related to the positioning of that fence, though.”
  • Zack Greinke was solid over 5⅓ innings as he made an early return from his brawl-induced shoulder injury and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals, 3-1, at Dodger Stadium. And I know what you’re thinking. Did Greinke bean anyone? He had to, right? If you don’t bean someone in your first game back, people are going to think you’ve gone soft. But not only did Greinke not bean anyone, he didn’t even walk anyone! Who’s going to be scared of a pitcher who neither hits nor walks batters?
  • The NBA owners have blocked the Sacramento Kings’ proposed move to Seattle, effectively forcing the team’s current owners to sell the team to a consortium of Sacramento businessmen who will build a new arena for the team in Sacramento. Meanwhile, in Blaine, Washington, Chad McFadden woke again. “Oh, it was all just a dream,” he said. “Just a silly dream. There’s surely still basketball north of Portland, I’ll just flip back over to ESPN and … no … no … no!” As McFadden flatlined, and his final breath escaped his lungs, he was able to barely articulate, “there is another … Big … Country.” It is wholly unclear as to what McFadden was referring to.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Chelsea, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Dwyane Wade, Los Angeles Dodgers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New York Yankees, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Zack Greinke

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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