In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- Despite Dwight Howard’s 33 points and 14 boards, Steve Nash suffered a bruised leg and the Lakers fell to 0-2 with a 116-106 loss to the Blazers. “Look, I don’t want anybody saying Mike Brown should be fired, or anything like that,” Howard told the media after the game. “He’s our coach, and I just don’t want to hear that kind of talk. I won’t stand for it.” When the confused reporters began to tell him that nobody had suggested it, Howard cut them off. “It’s way too early for that talk,” he said. “Not cool, guys. Mike Brown? Fired? Way too early. Come on.”
- James Harden and the Rockets agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal, and he delivered with 37 points and 12 assists in the team’s season-opening 105-96 win over the Pistons. “Got my money, got my points, got my dimes,” said Harden afterward. “Now it’s time to get muh fat on!” He then produced two bags each from McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.
- The Grizzlies have now lost a record 12 straight season openers, falling to Jamal Crawford (29 points) and the Clippers, 101-92. It didn’t help matters that Zach Randolph’s commitment to being a Grizzly was so complete that he spent most of the offseason hibernating, looked sluggish and confused for most of the game, and kept asking about Kings guard John Salmons.
- The Knicks-Nets season opener was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, and a makeup date will be announced later. On a happier note, Grantland has received exclusive first rights to run partial lyrics to the new song “Sandy,” written by Knicks owner James Dolan for his band JD & The Straight Shot: “Oh Sandy you so cold / Oh Sandy you so wet / If I may be so bold / Oh Sandy stream my jet.” We’d print more, but it gets really sick from there and doesn’t seem to be about a hurricane at all.
- Jerry Sandusky was sent to Greene State Prison in Pennsylvania to serve his term, where he will be housed in protective custody among most of the state’s death row inmates. “They’re lucky I’m in PC!” Sandusky said, trying to sound tough to prepare himself for the experience. “Otherwise Papa J would have to whoop some jailbird ass!”
- The Angels traded pitcher Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals for minor leaguer Brandon Sisk, picking up Santana’s $13 million option in the process. And now, Terrence the Grantland Robot: “THIS JUST IN, THE ROYALS WILL STILL SUCK. OK LISTEN, GUYS, I HAVE A MORAL DILEMMA COMING UP. I CANNOT GO INTO DETAILS BUT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE SOON. I HAVE BEEN CONTACTED BY V AND EVERYTHING IS AT STAKE. EVERYTHING! MAN I AM LOVING THESE ITALICS!”
- Landon Donovan told ESPN that he is physically and emotionally exhausted, and may soon take an extended break from soccer that would keep him out of the next round of U.S. World Cup qualifying. Mexican soccer fans taunted Americans when the news came out, asking how they’d survive without Donovan, and were annoyed when nobody here seemed to know who they were talking about.
- Edenbridge, a town in southeast England, has decided to burn Lance Armstrong in effigy on their famous annual “Bonfire Night” celebrations. “Someone get me a map and a travel agent,” shouted Armstrong. “we’ve got some business to handle in effigy.” He then paused. “No, wait, that’s just what they want for me to go to effigy, so they can burn me. It’s a trap, Lance. It’s a damn trap!“
- Dallas district attorney Craig Watkins will not drop domestic violence charges against Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant stemming from last July. “We thought about just letting the whole thing slide,” said Watkins, “but after watching the team’s loss to the Giants, it’s clear that Bryant has not stopped putting his hands where they don’t belong.”