Chicago's, with Tyson Chandler (left), had won six of eight to sneak into theNBA's Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Durham's Triple A Bulls started 4--0 andmay get an $11 million upgrade to their ballpark. And how's this for bullishplans: New York's Red Bulls MLS team wants to land Brazilian soccer godRonaldo.
The Brewers' big-haired, big-armed closer inked a three-year, $6.5 milliondeal, then saved Milwaukee's first four games. After Turnbow, 28, mused of hiscontract, "It's hard to pass up security in an unsecure world,"teammate Matt Wise said, "His first big deal, and [he] turns into MahatmaGandhi."
Florida sophomores Joakim Noah (left), Corey Brewer (below) and Al Horfordannounced at a celebration in Gainesville that they would spurn the NBA draftand try to repeat as NCAA champs. But is Noah spending too much time aroundDick Vitale? He told the crowd, "We're back, baby!"
April 16, 2006
One day before his 26th birthday, the NASCAR stud snagged his second win infour weeks, passing Tony Stewart late in the race. Said Kahne, "I feel likeI'm doing the best driving I've ever done."
Atlanta's first Leo Mazzone-less staff in 16 years (the pitching guru is now anOriole) had a baseball-worst 7.58 ERA. Added bummers: Chipper Jones (right)limped out of Sunday's game with an ankle sprain, and the team's Triple ARichmond Braves can't get funding to replace their broken-down ballpark.
Two years after going 13-5 for the Dodgers, the 33-year-old righty couldn'tmake the Mets in spring training. He said he was "too old" to play inthe minors but is doing so anyway and gave up four runs in five innings in aNorfolk Tides loss. The red-white-and-blue lining: He belted out God BlessAmerica during the Tides' seventh-inning stretch.
While others around them surged (see Sharks, Ducks), Los Angeles had gone 2-6and slipped to the verge of NHL playoff elimination since firing coach AndyMurray on March 21. Seem familiar? L.A. lost 11 straight to miss the playoffsin 2004. Said forward Jeremy Roenick (right), "We have noconfidence."
Lousy season (he finished last at Daytona) got lousier when he spun out andcrashed in Texas. Said Edwards afterward, "It was a winning car, and it'smy fault for messing that up."
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
Who is the toughest rebounder in the NBA?
Ben Wallace, Pistons C .......... 63%
Dwight Howard, Magic PF .......... 6%
Reggie Evans, Nuggets PF .......... 6%
Marcus Camby, Nuggets C .......... 5%
Players were not allowed to vote for a teammate.... Wallace leads the NBA with3.8 offensive rebounds a game.... More than 74% of rookies picked Wallace....Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, averaging an NBA-best 12.7 rebounds,finished fifth (4%).... Howard is second in rebounding (12.3); Wallace isfourth (11.6).... Camby and Evans, who was acquired from Seattle in February,were the only teammates to receive multiple votes.
[Based on a survey of 248 NBA players] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.