| DIED |
This is an article from the June 11, 2012 issue
At 52 while under hospice care for a chronic heart condition, former NBA star Orlando Woolridge. Following a Notre Dame career that included four NCAA tournament appearances, one Final Four and a memorable last-second fadeaway jumper that ended No. 1 Virginia's 28-game winning streak, Woolridge was selected sixth overall in the 1981 draft, by the Bulls. He spent five years in Chicago and had stints with the Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons (above), Bucks and 76ers, making a name for himself with his flashy lob passes and thundering dunks. Woolridge ran into trouble off the court in '88, spending time in a treatment facility for cocaine use. He later spent two years playing in Italy before coaching in the WNBA, where he led the L.A. Sparks to their first playoff appearance, in '99.
| DIED |
At 78 of complications from blood cancer, Basketball Hall of Famer Jack Twyman. A second-round pick of the Rochester Royals in 1955, out of Cincinnati, Twyman (below) spent his entire 11-year career with the team, earning six NBA All-Star selections and averaging 19.2 points per game (including one 59-point showing). But he was equally famous for his off-court kindness. When teammate Maurice Stokes, then 24, was paralyzed in a game, 23-year-old Twyman became his legal guardian, helping Stokes keep his affairs in order. Twyman translated for his friend, whose initial means of communication involved blinking, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical costs through Maurice Stokes Foundation fund-raisers. (Stokes died of a heart attack in 1970.) One of Twyman's three daughters, Lisa Twyman Bessone, was a reporter for SI in the 1980s.
| CONFIRMED |
By Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, reports that he plans to sit out next season. In a Facebook message on Sunday, Thomas wrote, "The most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F's. Friends, Family and Faith. This is what I plan on doing over the course of the next year." Thomas, 38, has spent his entire eight-year NHL career with Boston, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2009 and again in '11, when he led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup, but he had warned Boston G.M. Peter Chiarelli that he might take the '12--13 season off. "These things happen, and you have to roll with them," Chiarelli said a few days before Thomas's announcement. "When someone talks about their family, you have to respect that." If Thomas indeed sits, that would leave Tuukka Rask, an unsigned restricted free agent, as Boston's likely starting goaltender.
| RAIDED |
By police as part of a yearlong match-fixing probe, the training camp near Florence of the Italian national men's soccer team. The arrest of 14 people last week, including Lazio captain Stefano Mauri, brings to 50 the number of apprehensions in the case since police executed warrants for 16 people a year ago. In the wake of the sweep, which came a day before the roster deadline for Euro 2012, Italy announced that it had dropped defender Domenico Criscito, whose home was searched but who has not been charged. The Azzurri are still scheduled to open the Euro against Spain on June 10, although prime minister Mario Monti considered withdrawing the team, a decision that manager Cesare Prandelli said he would support.
| DIED |
At 72 of prostate cancer, former St. John's and NBA player LeRoy Ellis. After starring for the then Redmen, for whom he still holds rebounding records for a single game (30) and season average (16.5), Ellis went sixth overall to the Lakers in the 1962 draft. He later moved on to the Baltimore Bullets, Trail Blazers and, after winning the '71--72 NBA title in a second stint with the Lakers, the 76ers. Ellis finished his career with averages of 9.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over 14 seasons. After the pros he worked in property management and kept up his game in AAU ball, winning nine masters national championships with his over-45, over-50 and over-55 teams and was tournament MVP eight times. One of his three sons, LeRon, played three seasons in the NBA.
| RELEASED |
By the Indoor Football League's Allen (Texas) Wranglers after four months with the team, Terrell Owens. The Wranglers also terminated the former NFL receiver's ownership stake, because, they say, Owens (left) violated his contract by refusing to play in two upcoming road games and missing an appearance at a children's hospital. Owens, 38, had signed with the Wranglers in an effort to make a comeback in the NFL, where he spent 15 years. (He did not receive interest from NFL teams last season.) On Monday, TMZ reported that Owens blamed his absence at the event on a team publicist's mix-up and that he was demanding the Wranglers pay him $160,000 (four game checks) along with unpaid fees for merchandising and ticket sales.
| SWAPPED |
Services last week, Mike Tyson and Justin Bieber, as the former heavyweight champ offered pointers on the heavy bag in exchange for a sampling of the pop singer's upcoming album. The training session (which took place hours after Bieber allegedly roughed up a paparazzo) is far from the first time a celebrity has sought tips in the ring from a pro. Check out these past pugilistic pairings:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
MLB PLAYERS POLL
Who is the most overrated pitcher in the game?
C.J. WILSON, ANGELS 14%
A.J. BURNETT, PIRATES 10%
JOSH BECKETT, RED SOX 5%
JOHN LACKEY, RED SOX 5%
JONATHAN PAPELBON, PHILLIES 4%
Sixty-one pitchers received at least one mention.... Average 2012 salary of the top five is $13,700,011.... Wilson is one of only two lefties in the top 10 (along with the Giants' Barry Zito, who finished seventh, with 4%).... Familiarity breeds contempt? Another Giant, Tim Lincecum, finished sixth, with nine nods—eight from his own NL West.... In a similar poll on Facebook, Beckett led with 48%.
BASED ON 227 MLB PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY
Times in the past 23 NBA draft lotteries—since the lottery was first weighted—that the team with (or tied for) the worst record has drawn the No. 1 overall pick, after the Hornets, who tied for third worst in 2011--12, drew the top spot on May 31, for the June 28 draft.
Years after playing his last NFL game that Kordell Stewart waited before finally retiring last week. The former Steelers, Bears and Ravens QB officially hung up his cleats after signing a one-day contract with Pittsburgh.
Price of a one-of-a-kind table crafted out of a fallen maple tree from the Splendid Splinters baseball camp that formerly belonged to Ted Williams.
7' √ó 12'
Size of the jail cell at Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas in which Floyd Mayweather Jr. last Friday began his 87-day sentence for domestic battery.
20' √ó 20'
Size of the ring Mayweather last fought in, winning a May 5 decision over Miguel Cotto.