Rankonia: The Triangle Power Rankings

Russell Westbrook1. Russell Westbrook: The Kingslayer
Because I account for 203 of the more than 200,000 views of this video, I am now starting to fall in love with all these details about it, besides the shot: the steal, Kobe making a mental note to check on Orbitz for flights to Germany and walking up the court, Westbrook’s “I won the lottery!” fist pump. I guess the shot is pretty good, too.




2. Kerry Wood: Sweet Home

Sarah Larimer nominates “Kid K.”

“As a lifelong Cards fan, I feel a little weird about nominating Kerry Wood, known Cub. But Wood retired Friday at Wrigley (with his adorable son) and then reportedly went out to a karaoke bar with Eddie Vedder and Chris Chelios on Sunday. Less adorable, but whatever, you still win this round, Cubbies.”

3. Gregg Popovich and Lisa Salters: Chemists

Bill Simmons loves a good rom-com:

“I nominate every Gregg Popovich/Lisa Salters interview. What’s the opposite of sexual tension? When will these interviews be released collectively on DVD by Criterion?”

4. Facebook: The Social Network

David Cho was this close to naming his memoir David Cho: Money Never Sleeps.

“A lot of people think that Facebook is failing because, since going public, the stock price has been going down pretty dramatically. Well I think that’s all baloney and, eventually, Facebook will right the ship and everyone will be able to rest easy. You know why? Because I’m still using Facebook all the time! You know who else is using Facebook all the time? Everyone! So, sure, things might not be worth 150 billion dollars out the gate like everyone thought, but you know what? It’ll probably end up OK — especially as long as there are the people like the ones above who made a YouTube account and video just to share this “Thank You Facebook” video that they made for the company’s IPO. This thing will all be fine.”

5. Rafael Nadal: Out of the Blue/Into the Black
Shane Ryan serves and volleys:

“It’s been a nice week for my idol, who beat Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Rome Masters and reclaimed the no. 2 world ranking from Roger Federer. With the French Open starting Sunday, he can safely be called the favorite to win the Musketeers’ Trophy. Which isn’t too significant, until you consider that Djokovic beat him in two clay finals leading up to Roland-Garros last year, a sea change of sorts in a clay kingdom Nadal seemed to have ruled since birth. This year, he topped Djokovic at Monte Carlo and Rome, and won another clay title in Barcelona. His only misstep came in Madrid, where the experimental blue clay was almost universally reviled. Now he can begin to climb the next mountain — actually beating the Djoker in a major. The last three Grand Slam finals (Wimbledon ’11, U.S. Open ’11, and Australia ’12) have all gone the same way — Novak over Rafa. But it’s gotten closer each time, from a drubbing at Wimbledon to a six-hour duel in Melbourne. There’s no better place for Rafa to reverse the narrative than the clay courts in Paris.”

6. Mike Leach: Acclimating to the Northwest Nicely
Michael Weinreb just returned his copy of The Edge to Netflix after much longer than he would care to admit:

Mike Leach shot a bear (!), which I presume was one of several bears running a seam route in four verticals. Other than the time Timm Rosenbach roped several stray calves during a rodeo, this is already the greatest animal-related conquest in Washington State athletics history.”

7. Ilya Kovalchuk: Not Bobby Fischer
Katie Baker might be a Rangers fan, but when it comes to this goalie, she’s a borderline Devil worshiper:

“(1) after Game 4, in which Ryan Callahan smacked him in the head and he responded by spearing him in the nuts …

Kovalchuk explained, simply: “This is hockey, not chess, so we’re allowed to punch each other.”

(2) THIS PHOTO OF HIM AS A YOUNG BOY OH MY GOD I CAN’T EVEN.”

8. Amir Khan: Wrist Froze
Rafe Bartholomew just wants to celebrate the former junior welterweight champ’s timepiece. Because it exists.

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9. Alex Baptiste: Whistle-blower
Bill Barnwell pays tribute to a member of the English Championship Playoff losers, Blackpool.

“Thank you, Alex Baptiste, for saying what we’ve all been thinking. The Blackpool defender criticized West Ham for playing a longball style in the Championship playoffs final on Saturday that saw West Ham win 2-1 and earn promotion back to Premier League. One problem with Baptiste’s criticism, though, can be seen from the match highlights: While West Ham’s goals could be attributed to a counter attack and a well-placed cross (combined with slack defending), Blackpool’s goal was Grade-A 100 percent longball. Baptiste followed that complaint with a series of sore loser-y criticisms, notably, ‘Everyone wanted West Ham to win because they’re a team from London.’ That group must have included the Blackpool forwards, who scuffed a number of clear chances wide or off the woodwork.”

10. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade: Siskel & Ebert
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Cineastes up in this piece.

Filed Under: Dwyane Wade, Facebook, Gregg Popovich, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rankonia, Russell Westbrook

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Chris Ryan is an editor at Grantland.

Archive @ chrisryan77