Friday, July 22
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Why Kobe's flirting with Turkey

The question has shifted from whether Kobe Bryant would play overseas to whether he will. Reports indicate Bryant is, in fact, interested in playing in Turkey. His representatives even initiated contact over there. So our question is this: Why? ... He surely works hard enough on his own to stay sharp during an extended work stoppage. He doesn't exactly need the practice. Speaking of which, recall that in an attempt to preserve his tiring legs, Bryant rarely even practices with the Lakers any more. Yet, here he is, evidently negotiating to play more basketball during a period of downtime that, at least in theory, actually could extend his NBA career. We're guessing this has something to do with global branding and international exposure and a bunch of stuff that seems way to grand to be real. (The Orange County Register) Comment

Owners tried to pull a fast one

In what might be an effort to shift the heavy weight of public opinion against players, owners ratified an agreement to end the lockout. What the owners agreed to in Atlanta was to ratify a proposal that they constructed. It wasn't the deal [Roger Goodell] and [DeMaurice Smith] had tentatively settled on. It was a dramatic modification of that deal, with the owners crossing out this, adding that and initialing the changes and then sliding it back on the table as if nothing at all had changed. And then to add insult to injury, they called a press conference and told the world that it's a done deal. This isn't a deal. This is only the owners once again flexing their negotiating muscles, even as they stood there smiling and complimenting Smith and all the players who sat across the negotiating table for the past three years. (Post-Dispatch) Comment

Reds looking for a big bat

Walt Jocketty was asked Thursday what he had targeted as an area in which to improve the Reds. "A hitter," Jocketty said. A leadoff man? A middle-of-the-order slugger? "All of the above," Jocketty said, chuckling. "Ideally, you're always looking for that guy who can mash in the middle of the lineup, put [Brandon Phillips] in a different spot, put [Scott Rolen] in a different spot. "It's important to have a good leadoff guy. But right now if we could find the right RBI guy, that's what we'll be looking for." Jocketty's assessment nicely sums up the paradoxical Reds. ... The Reds rank second in the National League in runs and 14th in rotation ERA, and they need a hitter? Well, yes. (FOXSports.com) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

A fatigued cyclist settles in to the best seat in the house during the 18th stage of the Tour de France. (Toni Albir/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Must-See Video

An end to the NFL lockout is in sight. What's going to get it done? Perhaps a pregame chant.

Game To Watch

The resurgent Pirates take on the Cardinals in a pivotal NL Central battle, 7:05 p.m. ET.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: More Sonny Liston
  • 1963 -- Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round to retain the World Heavyweight Title.
  • 1990 -- Greg LeMond wins his third and final Tour de France.
  • 1994 -- O. J. Simpson pleads "absolutely 100 percent not guilty" to the charge of murder.

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