About Last Night: LeBron’s Sick Night

In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday

  • Flu-like symptoms didn’t stop LeBron James from scoring 31 points and leading the Heat to a 98-87 win over the Lakers. “It was just like Jordan in Game 5 of the ’97 Finals!” yelled a sweaty, 6’8″ reporter wearing a fake mustache and beard, as everyone in the press area waited for LeBron to come out.
  • Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal both advanced to the round of 16 in straight sets at the Australian Open, where they’re on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. The last time they met in Australia, Rafa made Roger cry by beating him in the finals. This time, Roger vowed to stew moodily in the background, flick wisps of hair off his forehead, and daydream about fire-bombing the whole island of Mallorca.

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder signed Russell Westbrook to a five-year extension reportedly worth $80 million. There are also incentive clauses built in that allow him to make up to $10 million extra per year if he stops punching lockers every time someone mentions that Kevin Durant is really good.
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. spoke with Manny Pacquiao on the phone Thursday, and though nobody will reveal the details of the conversation, some think it may be the prelude to a fight. On the other hand, a scratching recording reveals that Mayweather began by asking Pacquiao is his refrigerator was running and, apparently not getting the answer he wanted, shouted at him for several minutes in terms that can only be described as vulgar.
  • Ryan Braun has begun the appeal of his 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. “Look, I know Gatorade is an official sponsor of MLB,” he said, “but it feels really unfair that you made Powerade a banned substance.”
  • Tiger Woods was critical of a new book about him written by former swing coach Hank Haney, saying, “I think it’s unprofessional and very disappointing.” He was going to say more about the book, but just then he received a text message, read it, and whispered, “oh, you naughty, naughty girl” before sprinting out of the press conference.
  • An Alabama fan caught on video committing a lewd sexual act after the national championship game was arrested in New Orleans. He’s just lucky he didn’t get arrested anywhere else in the US, where the crime would have been more serious than New Orleans statute 18.6, punishing violators who “fail to get sufficiently weird within city limits.”
  • O-KAY. You know what time it is, my brothers and sisters. It’s time for Participation Friday, the Internet’s most popular weekly feature (as measured by a Rasmussen poll of 100 of my relatives). Every Friday, I put out a query to the readers, and on Mondays I print the best responses. So far, we’ve done animal facts and bizarre laws. This week, it’s time to get personal. In honor of crazy fans, I want your best heckling story. I assume most of these will revolve around athletes, but if anyone’s heckled a politician or some other figure, you can bet I want to hear about it. Were you the heckler? Was it your friend? Did you witness the inspired heckling of a stranger? Send your story to tobaccordblues@gmail.com for a chance at eternal fame. Several readers who made the first two lists have told me they’re going to put “Grantland contributor” on their resumes. And while we can’t officially condone something like that, it’s also something we simply cannot enforce. Have a great weekend.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Duke, Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Manny Pacquiao, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma State, Roger Federer, Russell Westbrook, Tiger Woods, UNC, Virginia Tech

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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