In case you were out playing it real cool about the NSA’s newly revealed data-mining operations because you have nothing to hide, nope, nothing at all, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday:
- Tim Duncan shook off a poor first quarter to post a double-double as the San Antonio Spurs stole home-court advantage in the NBA Finals with a 92-88 Game 1 win over the Miami Heat. Spurs point guard and noted Frenchman Tony Parker, who scored a game-clinching circus shot with 5.2 seconds remaining, said after the game, “You say this is a shot at a circus? Like I am some sort of sad clown, with a smile painted over downward-facing lips? You would misunderstand the meaning of both circus and sadness.” Parker then pulled a pack of Gauloises from behind the ear of a reporter, and lit one using a match that he pulled from the mouth of the imaginary bird that follows him around before continuing, “Circuses are mere entertainment, and sadness is mere emotion, but both of those assume a world that is, how would you say it, existing in a reality that we can all access and accept.” Parker then quickly shook his head and said “I do not accept” as the cigarette he was smoking disappeared from his mouth.
- Stanford starting pitcher Mark Appel was chosen first overall in the Major League Baseball draft by the Houston Astros, a year after turning down the Pittsburgh Pirates, who drafted him eighth overall, and electing to return to school. When asked if he regretted his decision, Appel laughed. When asked the question again, Appel said, “Seriously? I spent the last year in Palo Alto instead of Altoona. I have a degree from Stanford. And I’m the top pick in the Major League Baseball draft. I even look a little like a Harbaugh. I spent the last year of my life becoming perfect. So, what do you think?” When asked again if he regretted his decision, Appel shook his head and walked away muttering about how hard it is to try to engage with the common man.
- The women’s French Open final is set, pitting Maria Sharapova against Serena Williams, who is riding a 30-match winning streak after beating last year’s runner-up, Sara Errani, 6-0, 6-1, in 46 minutes. “Was I sending a message to Maria with my win?” Serena asked rhetorically after the match. “No. No. No, no, no, no, no. No. No, no, no, no, no. No. No. No.” Serena then added with a smile, “But I did just say no 16 times. Which is how many points Errani managed to score off me,” before pulling out her cell phone and having it play a .wav file saying, “You’ve got mail.”
- Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell, and Marian Hossa scored to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 comeback win over the Los Angeles Kings, breaking the Kings’ 15-game unbeaten streak at home in the playoffs. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” said Kane after the game, before adding, “that’s a thing I thought up back when I was just straight crushing brews with some gibrones last summer. I was all like, ‘I’m king of the brews,’ and that was true, cause I was. For sure, no doubt king of the brews. But then my buddy Mike was all like, ‘nah man,’ and took like half a rack straight to the dome. And I was like, ‘damn,’ and my head started wobbling and stuff cause I was wasted, and then I lay down and I was spinning like crazy, and it was cause I was wearing the king-of-the-brews crown I made for myself out of empty cans of Natty Ice. But then Mike took the crown from me, and I puked a couple times, and I felt way better, and I thought to myself, ‘damn, uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.'”
- Rookie phenom Yasiel Puig hit a grand slam as the Los Angeles Dodgers got a 5-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. Puig has become the talk of the town, and has been seen all week taking meetings with Bruckheimer’s people over at the Ivy, Rudin’s people at Spago, and Les Moonves himself at some sushi place in the valley that no one’s ever heard of, except to hear it’s the best sushi place in town. They were reportedly talking about a sitcom based on Puig’s wacky entourage tentatively titled Entourage, and yeah, they know they’ll have to change the title, but that isn’t what matters, because what matters is that Puig has it: heat. The guy is so hot you can’t hold him, but you can’t put him down, because now that you’ve seen him once, you want him beamed into your boob tube six days a week. There’s 10,000 guys getting off the bus from Ohio every day with Hollywood dreams that exist only to be shattered, but once a decade the guy getting off that bus is Yasiel Puig. And when that Yasiel Puig steps off that bus, the sky’s the limit, baby, because this is L.A., baby, the City of Angels, and Yasiel Puig is the Angel du jour.
- Bill Belichick denied reports that he “hates” Tim Tebow and would not consider signing the free-agent quarterback. Belichick went on to say, “To hate a thing, that is what? One of those emotions people talk about? Here, let me try.” Belichick then contorted his face for about 90 seconds before saying, “No, didn’t get there. Don’t hate the guy.” Belichick then quickly added, “We sure as hell aren’t signing Tebow to play for us though. He’s much too bad at football for that.”
- Adam Rosales hit a tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning as the red hot Oakland A’s dispatched the slumping Chicago White Sox, 5-4, at U.S. Cellular Field. After his team’s win, its 17th in 20 games, Athletics general manager Billy Beane called his old trading partner White Sox vice-president Kenny Williams to apologize. “Kenny, it’s Billy, I’ve got a deal for you. To make everything right. You ship me Adam Dunn, and I send you Jed Lowrie. Eh?” Williams, unamused by Beane, spat back, “I get it Billy. Go fuck yourself.” But Beane pressed on, “No, Kenny, I feel bad. I feel like I’ve raked you over the coals too much. And I wanted to make amends. Dunn for Lowrie. And no hard feelings?” Williams, softening, offered, “You serious, Bill? I mean, yeah, yeah, I guess that’s fair. Yeah, Dunn for Lowrie.” Unfortunately for Williams, Beane wasn’t serious, but at least Williams was spared the indignity of hearing Beane’s classic catchphrase “You just got Beaned!” as the A’s GM was laughing too hard to get it out.
- Justin Gatlin beat Usain Bolt by .01 seconds at the Golden Gala meet in Rome, Bolt’s first major loss since a false start at the 2011 world championships. “Yeah, but that’s cool, right? People will still love me if I’m the second-fastest man in the world, yeah? Hey, where is everyone? I’m Usain Bolt. Hello?” But the only other person in the room was retired Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, and all he had to offer Bolt was a sympathetic pat on the back.