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Wednesday's A.M. Hot Clicks

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Benny the Bull :: AP Benny the Bull :: AP

Donald Sterling dominated NBA headlines the past few days but the action on the court took center stage last night as the Clippers defeated the Warriors, the Wizards closed out the Bulls and the Grizzlies squeaked by the Thunder in overtime. That's not to say that the controversy is completely over, as Clippers fans proudly displayed their Sterling hatred in signs and t-shirts. As for the games, Serge Ibaka's game-winning tip-in was a millisecond late, referee Joey Crawford proved (once again) that he needs attention and the Wizards continue to be the surprise of the playoffs.

Robinson Cano Returns to the Bronx

Much to the dismay of the previous tenant in this space, Yankees fans greeted Robinson Cano with a chorus of boos during his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium as a member of the Mariners, while Derek Jeter couldn't stop touching his former teammate's beard. Cano, who had a fun time with heckling fans on Monday, got the last laugh as the Mariners won, 6-3.

Meet Mr. Belding

On Saturday, the Asheville Tourists will welcome Mr. Belding to their stadium and fans can enter a contest to win a 30-minute 'meet and greet' with the former Saved by the Bell star. If you noticed I used his fictional TV name (Mr. Belding) instead of his real name (Dennis Haskins), that's because he is referred to as Mr. Belding in all the promotional material for the event.

Lovely Lady Of The Day

Steve in Salt Lake City wrote me a passionate email yesterday requesting I make Aarika Gerette Wolf a LLOD. Who am I to deny him his wish?

Hockey Referees are Tough

Three days after taking a puck to the face, referee Steve Kozari returned to action last night sporting an enormous black eye. In completely unrelated NHL news, Blues forward T.J. Oshie cut his hair and fans responded in horror.

So Long, Bobcats

Charlotte was swept in the first round by Miami, which means the Bobcats are no longer. The team is switching its name to the Hornets next season and hopes to have more luck than its 293-511 record over the past decade. Extra Mustard has a great retrospective on the 10 years of the Charlotte Bobcats.

From the SI Vault

Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar :: Neil Leifer/SI Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar :: Neil Leifer/SI

On this day in 1971, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led the Milwaukee Bucks to the franchise's only championship with a four-game sweep over the Baltimore Bullets. Peter Carry wrote the game story for SI, which included this memorable lede:

"At last the Milwaukee board of directors held its final series of meetings for this fiscal year, a time-consuming, two-week schedule clearly out of tempo with the board's usual brisk efficiency. But that was not the members' fault; they were working under an agenda composed by somebody else. The last four formal sessions were dominated by Mr. Costello, the head of research and development; Mr. Robertson, the experienced director of operations in the field (see cover); and Mr. Alcindor, the group's young chairman. When the members had finished hammering out decisions, there was no doubt that the three-year-old enterprise had ascended to the top of its field and could remain there for years to come. As the board broke for a brief summer vacation, during which its three leaders will safari in Africa lending technical expertise to six underdeveloped nations, Mr. Robertson reflected the overall mood of restrained satisfaction by describing his role in the firm's latest triumphs as "an important phase of my professional career."

Thus did Oscar Robertson, after 11 frustrating seasons in the National Basketball Association, celebrate the world championship won by theMilwaukee Bucks last week. It was certainly not surprising that the Bucks defeated the Baltimore Bullets in the playoff finals nor was it too startling, considering the crippled state of the Bullets, that Milwaukee became the second NBA team—Boston, in 1959, was the other—ever to sweep the championship round in four straight games. In fact, it was no shock to observe that the Bucks, whose strength mounted steadily during the season while most of their rivals teetered along with rosters depleted by expansion and injuries, won their title with more ease than any former champion. Milwaukee lost fewer playoff games (two) and out-scored its opponents by wider margins than any of its predecessors."

Odds and Ends

A Milwaukee woman was suffering from "Dodgeball Rage" when she attacked a 12-year-old boy ... Nats outfielder Kevin Frandsen made one of the best defensive plays of the young season ... Matt Cain was scratched from last night's start after a sandwich mishap ... Mean Girls turns 10. Here is a compilation of Regina George's best insults ... ESPN's value would make it the fifth richest person in the world ... Jerry Seinfeld had a sugar-free cake for his 60th birthday ... A note found in Kurt Cobain's wallet after his death is being made public for the first time ... Sick of all the superhero movies? Too bad. They are saving Hollywood.

Play of the Day

Marlins ace Jose Fernandez dips into his bag of tricks. 

[mlbvideo id="32472411" width="600" height="336" /]

Cramps Happen 

Charles Barkley was forced to take action after getting a cramp during Inside the NBA last night.

The Illini Love Their Boy Bands 

Illinois quarterbacks Reilly O'Toole (4) and Wes Lunt (12) sing along to Backstreet Boys' I Want it That Way while warming up for the Orange and Blue Spring Football Game .

Funny Animals Compilation 

April's best funny animals on YouTube.

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