April 19, 2009
Monday, April 20
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Truth & Rumors
Did LeBron anger Boston media?
NBA commissioner David Stern refused to put his foot down when it comes to the dancing Cavaliers. During a pre-playoff conference call with reporters on Monday afternoon, Stern was asked about the Cavs' celebratory performance during Sunday's blowout victory over visiting Boston. According to a transcript of the call, Stern was asked, "Is there some way of dealing with LeBron James, who danced on the sidelines yesterday? It was an embarrassment towards the Boston Celtics, and approaching the playoffs where emotion tends to run high?" "I missed that dance, but I think celebrations by our players do have a place," Stern said. "If I were the Celtics, I would make sure that that tape, if it exists, runs every game in the locker room as a sort of motivation. I wouldn't spend my time telling our players about that. "Although I don't know the specific instance, and sometimes you can go over the line. I don't know if he did or didn't at this time." In a follow-up the reporter stated that "it looked like a way to provoke the other team." "I certainly wouldn't want to provoke the Celtics," Stern said. "I think perhaps it was just over-exuberance at the time."(Cleveland Plain Dealer)
A-Rod vows to end off-the-field drama
Alex Rodriguez says he's done grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Yankees' third baseman reported to the team's minor league complex in Tampa Monday to begin the second phase of his rehab from March 9 hip surgery in Vail, Colo., and continue his quest to beat doctors' May 15 projection for his return. He said that during the five weeks he remained in Colorado, he figured out he needs to put his team first and "focus on things on the field with the Yankees." He said that the time in Colorado gave him the "opportunity to rethink things, recommit myself and really understand my responsibility to my teammates and my team." "I'm talking about 100% of my focus on baseball," said Rodriguez, who took questions after his workout and again at Tropicana Field before the Yanks played the Rays. "It's liberating that I've had an opportunity to do that and put a lot of things behind me. I've done that.(Boston Globe)
Stafford telling friends he'll be a Lion
Last week, we've heard that the Lions have locked onto Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The information came from a source with knowledge of the team's thinking. This week, we're hearing the same thing, but from the player's perspective. As we hear it, Stafford is telling his former Bulldog teammates that he'll be the pick, and that he'll receive more than $40 million, guaranteed, under the contract that the team will pay him. Stafford is characterizing the move as a "done deal." If true, there's no further reason for the Lions to continue to push the "signability" nonsense, and for the Lions to announce that Stafford is the guy sooner rather than later. (profootballtalk.com)
Must-See Photo
Jason Terry gets a rousing cheer from fans and teammates after scoring the game-winner (AP)
Must-See Video
To get you in the mood for what's coming this week ...
Game To Watch
NBA Playoffs, Round 1: Celtics vs. Bulls, 7:00 PM ET, TNT -- Can Boston (sans Kevin Garnett) avenge its Game 1 loss to Chicago?
Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls
This Day In Sports History

SI Vault: More Michael Jordan
1912 -- Fenway Park opens in Boston with the Red Sox beating the New York Yankees 7-6 in 11 innings.
1997 -- Chicago's Michael Jordan wins an unprecedented ninth scoring title with an average of 29.6 points, the first time in those nine seasons that he fails to average at least 30 points.
2006 -- Julio Franco, 47, becomes the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run, helping the New York Mets rally for a 7-2 win over San Diego.

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