NBA MAX DEALS
They are the minimum needed to woo LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. But the wealth trickled down to Rudy Gay (five years, $82 million from the Grizzlies). Heck, the Timberwolves handed Darko Milicic $20 million over four years. So, next year during collective bargaining, how will the owners plead poverty?
HER SERENA HIGHNESS
July 11, 2010
In breezing to a fourth Wimbledon title, Serena Williams exhibited regal class, not royal temperament. Of overmatched finals opponent Vera Zvonareva, she commanded, "Everyone should give her a big round of applause." Noblesse oblige, baby.
NBA Finals rivals Phil Jackson (right, Lakers) and Doc Rivers (Celtics) re-upped. And despite England's tepid World Cup showing, Fabio Capello (an Italian) kept his job, which gave rise to a rump Facebook group named An English Manager for the England Team.
Some get their kicks from champagne; ours come from the duels that decide World Cup games. We dig the misses more than the makes, but we wouldn't want to be in the boots of, say, Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo (converted against Japan, failed against Spain).
NBA SEX APPEALS?
The least persuasive (if funniest) pitch to an NBA free agent came from America's sweetheart Betty White (left), 88. Plugging her sitcom Hot in Cleveland, the former Rose on Golden Girls said in a video to King James that she would "make it worth [his] while" to stay home. And we thought Blanche was the slut!
ONCE (AND FUTURE?) KINGS
Roger Federer (left), out in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon? Tiger Woods, scuffling at the AT&T? Best stomp them while they're down; there's no quit in either former No. 1. As Woods put it last Saturday, "The more I keep playing, the better I get."
THE DISABLED LIST
Big hurts: Phillies (Chase Utley, Placido Polanco) and Red Sox (Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek) were dropping like flies. Meanwhile, two-time champ Justine Henin ruled herself out of the U.S. Open because of ligament damage to her right elbow.
MICK'S CUP PICKS
No satisfaction: Mick Jagger (left) sat with Bill Clinton when the U.S. lost to Ghana; watched his England team fall to Germany; and with his half-Brazilian son, Lucas, saw the Dutch oust the Sele√ß√£o. You said it best, Sir Mick: You can't always get what you want.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
WHICH SHORTSTOP HAS THE BEST RANGE?
Elvis Andrus, Rangers 16%
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 14%
Jack Wilson, Mariners 12%
Jose Reyes, Mets 9%
Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 7%
Of the top five vote getters only Rollins has been awarded a Gold Glove. (He received the NL's last three.) ... This season's shortstop with the highest range factor (putouts plus assists multiplied by nine divided by innings played), the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki (5.42), finished ninth in the voting (4%).... Among active shortstops (minimum 1,000 innings) Wilson has the highest career range factor, 4.88.
Based on a survey of 347 MLB players