About Last Night: The Never-Ending Spurs

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In case you were busy looking for a radio station that plays all of the Hall with none of the Oates, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday:

  • Despite being down their best three players, the San Antonio Spurs still beat the Golden State Warriors, 104-102. After the game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was seen clutching his leather-bound fatigue-tracking ledger, tears welling in his eyes. “It was just so perfect,” Popovich said of the win, which allowed him to rest his top players without losing to a fellow Western Conference contender. “What do I even do now? I’ve been chasing the rest so long; now that I have it … I …” But Popovich, who had rested his men so perfectly, had forgotten to rest himself, and he suddenly fell into a slumber wrought from decades of sleepless nights.
  • Duke pulled away with a dominant second-half performance to beat UCLA, 80-63, at Madison Square Garden. “I love Madison Square Garden,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after his team’s win. “You’ve got my favorite president, my favorite shape, and my favorite place to relax on the Duke campus all in one place.” This statement, however, contradicted Krzyzewski’s comments after his team’s loss to Arizona at MSG earlier this season, when he said, “I hate Madison Square Garden. You’ve got my least-favorite state capital, my least-favorite iPhone-based cash-register service, and my least-favorite genteel party type all in one place.” Last night, when asked if Square was still his least-favorite iPhone-based cash-register service, a suddenly grumpy Krzyzewski replied, “It’s the only one I know. So, yes, by default, smart-ass.”
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will miss six weeks after being diagnosed with a knee fracture. “It’s tough, and we’re down a lot of our backcourt, but next man up,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of the injury. D’Antoni then pointed into the camera and said, “And that means you!” When asked later if that meant he was holding open tryouts, D’Antoni replied, “No, I was referring specifically to Katelyn Bermer of Torrance, California. I was fairly confident that she was watching the press conference, as I called her beforehand to tell her to turn it on.” When asked why he hadn’t just offered her the job over the phone, and also why he said next man up if the person was a woman, D’Antoni replied, “That’s not how I do things, OK? You’re starting to piss me off.”
  • In a battle of NHL teams named after memorable moments from Ben Franklin’s life, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Nashville Predators, 4-2. The Lightning are of course named after Franklin’s most famous invention: the lightning round, which is still frequently used to settle disputes between game-show contestants. The Predators, on the other hand, are named after the subject of the following famous aphorism, said to have been coined by Franklin after a forgettable trip to the Tennessee state capital: “A predator who plays is here to stay, but a predator who eats is out on the streets.” This quote has been relegated to the dustbins of quote history because of its lack of clear meaning, except in Nashville, where it was considered the most profound thing said in Tennessee’s capital until the song “Pfft You Were Gone” was sung on the set of Hee Haw in 1969.
  • Outfielder Raul Ibanez, who last season equaled Ted Williams’s record for home runs hit by a player at least 41 years old with 29, is reportedly close to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. “Look, we have a lot of long-term deals with old players, and those haven’t worked out as we hoped,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said of the deal. “So we had two choices: Get younger or get shorter. We chose shorter, because that was way easier and cheaper.”
  • In response to reports from unnamed sources that he is under consideration for the University of Texas head coaching job, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, “In Judge Judy’s court, hearsay is not admissible evidence. I think we can all agree that an unnamed source is hearsay.” While this may put the rumors of a job switch for Harbaugh on the back burner, it raises far more interesting questions about Harbaugh’s relationship with Judge Judy. Why was he so quick to crowbar a reference to Judge Judy into this context? Is there some sort of back-room shady endorsement deal happening? And why does Harbaugh need to court influence with a member of the judiciary? These are the sort of questions that should be answered by The People’s Court. Man, The People’s Court sure is a great show. And I say that with absolutely no desire to get a favorable outcome in an ongoing landlord-tenant dispute over an unpaid water bill. Nope. Not at all.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Duke, Golden State Warriors, Jim Harbaugh, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Texas, UCLA

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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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