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Morning Jolt: Boston mayor: Refs ruining NBA Finals

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Thursday, June 10

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Boston mayor: Refs ruining NBA Finals

At a recent appearance with Celtics fans, players and management, as well as David Stern, Tom Menino referenced the officiating of the NBA Finals. He stopped short of direct complaints -- "I'm not saying anything; the commissioner is right behind me," Menino said, but everyone could read between the lines, including Stern. A second later, Stern smiled and gave the mayor the hand motion signaling a technical foul. ... Menino, who said he was a onetime high school basketball referee, said the high foul totals are ruining the flow of the games. "You just can't take control," Menino said. "You ruin it for the fans. The referees aren't supposed to be the show. The players are supposed to be the show, but sometimes the referees want to be the show. That's unfortunate." (The Los Angeles Times)Comment

Ticked-off Piniella issues ultimatum

Lou Piniella's "stern warnings" to Cubs hitters Wednesday afternoon appear to have paid off for at least one day. Derrek Lee lofted his 300th career home run while Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto each added two to help gift wrap a 9-4 victory for Carlos Zambrano, his first victory since April 10. "Geez, that's a long time ago, man," he said. But it came just hours after Piniella called players into his office to tell them that "we're going to play the people who deserve to play. That's it. Period. In a nutshell." (Chicago Tribune)Comment

Cause for optimism in Miami

Already comfortable with talk of a Super Bowl appearance, the Dolphins can now also celebrate Brandon Marshall's return to practice. [Tony] Sparano didn't expect the Dolphins' prize offseason acquisition to practice at all during the spring minicamps and organized team activities. But there Marshall was in the early part of Wednesday's OTA, running routes in quarterback-and-receiver drills, actively participating in a practice for the first time since being traded to the Dolphins on April 14. More importantly, it was his first practice since having surgery on his right hip just after the trade. (The Miami Herald)Comment

Must-See Photo

Blackhawks fans celebrate on Madison Avenue in Chicago after the team beat the Flyers for its first Stanley Cup title since 1961. (AP)

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Must-See Video

With Game 4 of the NBA Finals tonight, here's a Nike commercial on Kobe Bryant's quest for a fifth championship ring (with a little help from Andre 3000).

Game To Watch

NBA Finals Game 4 (L.A. leads 2-1): Lakers at Celtics, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Boston Celtics

SI Vault: Mike Schmidt

This Day in Sports

  • 1921 -- Babe Ruth becomes all-time HR champ with No. 120.
  • 1944 -- Cincinnati's Joe Nuxhall becomes youngest MLB player at just 15 years old.
  • 1974 -- Mike Schmidt hits ball off public address speaker on Astrodome roof.
  • 1981 -- Pete Rose ties Stan Musial's NL record of 3,630 hits.
  • 1984 -- 38th NBA Championship: Celtics beat Lakers, 4 games to 3.
  • 1997 -- Marlins ace Kevin Brown no-hits Giants in 9-0 win.