About Last Night: Clippers KO OKCNoah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
In case you were busy waiting for some good news in the world of football, seriously, any good news, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:
- In a chippy Western Conference matchup that saw Matt Barnes and Serge Ibaka get ejected, Blake Griffin’s double-double proved the difference as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103. “It’s not fair!” Ibaka yelled in the Thunder locker room after the game. “It doesn’t make sense! Barnes pushed me. Why do I get ejected?” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks sat down next to his furious center, put his hand on Ibaka’s back, and said, “Hey bud, sit down. Why do you think they ejected you?” But Ibaka snapped back, “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m not a kid anymore, Scott! We’re not kids anymore. We’re grown men, and it’s time you started treating us that way.” Brooks smiled and said, “I know, Serge, come on,” but Ibaka continued on, saying, “No! You don’t know. They say you’re a bad coach. They say you’ve always been a bad coach. Our offense is a joke. Griffin was laughing at our offense. They all were laughing. They all were laughing!” Ibaka balled up his fists and clenched his eyelids shut. Brooks looked at him and said, “Hey, bud. I get it. No one likes to be laughed at. But you don’t fight my fights. We’re all grown-ups here, Serge. Hey, Serge, look at me.” Tears were visible in the corners of Ibaka’s eyes as he shook his head, unable to look his coach in the eyes. “Sorry, Scott,” Ibaka managed. “I just got carried away.” Brooks touched Ibaka’s head, told him, “No need to apologize,” and started to walk away before turning back and adding, “You got ejected because they caught you fighting back. If you want to fight, you have to start it. That’s part of being a man. Time to grow up, ace. Time to grow up.”
- Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw and Tigers starter Max Scherzer were named the 2014 MLB Cy Young winners. Both pitchers were well deserving of their awards after posting excellent seasons reminiscent of great performances by legends who donned the jerseys before they did. In Kershaw’s case, of course there’s Sandy Koufax, another Dodgers lefty with multiple Cy Young awards who relied on a vicious curveball to dominate the National League. And for Scherzer there’s Billy Chapel, whose legendary early-career performances in 1984 and 1987 were comparable to Scherzer’s Cy Young campaign. One can only hope that eventually Scherzer gets the end-of-career closure that Chapel got; Chapel, of course, is the only pitcher to finish his career with a perfect game in his final start.
- San Antonio debuted its home alternate camouflage jerseys in a 92-79 win over the Washington Wizards. The Spurs won despite an ugly period in the first quarter, when shooting guard Manu Ginobili was unable to see his teammates. “Where are you guys?” the Argentine yelled as he hopelessly scanned his surroundings. Things then got worse for Ginobili, who looked down at himself, couldn’t see his own body, and sprinted to the locker room yelling, “I’m the Hollow Man, I’m the Hollow Man!”
- In a fierce rivalry game, Brayden Schenn scored two goals as the Philadelphia Flyers continued their turnaround with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. “It’s a heartwarming rags-to-riches story. I mean, we’re the Philadelphian dream incarnate,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux of his team’s recent upswing, which began after a recent goalie brawl. “The Philadelphian dream, of course, being the one about a questionable bunch of dudes starting a meaningless fight, wounding and angering our enemies, and then drawing strength from our collective willingness to inflict pain on others.”
- The Brooklyn Nets continued their disappointing start to the NBA campaign with a 107-86 loss to the Sacramento Kings. In honor of the Nets, let’s try out a new ALN feature called In Hindsight, Where Did This Go Wrong? in which we describe a thing that happened in the past to understand, in hindsight, where exactly it went wrong. The Brooklyn Nets traded for two aging veterans with big personalities and championship pedigrees in exchange for a number of first-round picks. So far, we’re OK. They then paired these aging veterans with two other aging backcourt players to create a quality — if questionably athletic and potentially explosive — roster that would need leadership in order to settle quickly. We’re walking the line, but we’re still not in the danger zone. They then, in order to pull the roster together, hired a head coach with no experience who is considered a peer by all of these top players. Oh! Bingo! That is, in hindsight, where this went wrong! We did it!
- Sources are reporting that shortstop Stephen Drew will not re-sign with the Red Sox, after rejecting the team’s one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer. “Good riddance,” said Boston superfan Aaron Sullivan upon hearing the news. “Once a Drew, always a Drew. Now I can put him back on my list of Garbage Drews.” Sullivan then pulled out a crumpled-up Cumby’s receipt with the following names written on it with a crayon: J.D. Drew, Andrew Miller, Drew Bledsoe, Drew Brees, Drew Henson (what’s with all the QBs?), Uncle Drew, Drew Barrymore (post-E.T.), Drew Carey (pre–Whose Line; that show is wicked funny), Drew Pettitte, Drew Jeter, Bucky Drew, the whole fucking Drew York Yankees organization, and Drew Goddard ('cause fuck that Cloverfield shit, that was scary).
- Mexico beat a poor New Zealand team, 5-1, in the first leg of its FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff, all but ensuring El Tri will qualify for the 2014 Cup in Brazil. However, expect the Kiwis to mount a stronger effort in the return leg as they shift from a 3-4-3 to a four sheep–four sheep–one sheep and a wallaby lineup that’ll get their most talented footballers back into the first XI.
Filed Under: About Last Night, Blake Griffin, Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards