If Sunday night was any indication of what the Bulls have to contend with for the remainder of the Eastern Conference finals, now may be a good time to start worrying.
Chris Bosh put up an impressive 34 points in Miami's 96-85 win over the Bulls and showed he has much more to offer than just his strength on defense. As SI.com's Ian Thomsen explains, Bosh not only delivered Miami a 2-1 lead in their series against the Bulls, but answered critics who dismissed him as the least of The Big Three.
Rory McIlroy may have headed into Sunday's conclusion of the Masters poised for victory, but he left stunned and jacket-less as South Africa's Charl Schwartzel took top honors. But nearly as impressive as Sunday's victory in Augusta, Georgia, was the return of a newly energized Tiger Woods of yesteryear.
Before the scandal, the dropped sponsors and the divorce, Woods was an exceptional talent and the scope of his skill was once again seen on Sunday. Golf.com's Gary Van Sickle explains that Woods' last-day push at the Masters showed the extent of the golfer's skill:
"He loudly announced his return on this sunny, humid afternoon in Georgia, and it was a beautiful thing to see again, no matter what you think about him," Van Sickle writes. "He birdied the second and third holes with vintage precise shots and putts. He stuffed an iron shot close at the sixth for another birdie, and followed it with his fourth of the day on the seventh hole."
But that wasn't all. If four straight birdies weren't enough to announce the return of the Masters' youngest winner, then maybe "a hooking 3-wood that scampered onto the green like an Olympic sprinter and rolled to a stop 10 feet from the cup" did. Though Woods came up short and showed his trademark frustration during his post-round interview, his performance was stellar.
While his former "Today" co-host Katie Couric is apparently planning her departure from CBS News, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that Lauer might make a big move, too. He could leave the immensely popular "Today" show to join Couric and former NBC Chairman Jeff Zucker as they produce a syndicated talk show, the Times reports.
But NBC probably will make Lauer a huge contract offer to remain at the network. In its story on the possible move, The Wall Street Journal, citing Kantar Media, reported that "Today" brings in more than $500 million in advertising revenue yearly. Lauer has been a co-anchor on the show since January 1997. He has also been one of the NBC reporters at the most recent eight Olympics. His contract at NBC expires December 31, 2012.
The 19-year-old native of Japan says he will donate all the money he wins on the PGA Tour this year, including this weekend's Masters, to his earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged homeland.
Ishikawa, who shot a 1-under-par 71 in the first round of the Masters, won $2 million last year, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. He said he hopes to inspire his country by playing well.
"I understand that people, especially in Sendai, they are living in hell, and I would love to show the energy and power of what golf can bring to those people."
The "non-essential" government worker is one of 800,000 who will not get paid if the government shuts down. The Montana resident works for the U.S. Forest Service and doesn't consider the work he does "non-essential," since some of the work he does includes protecting the U.S.-Canadian border. Thatcher tells CNNMoney.com, "I've worked with the Forest Service over 30 years and I'm damn proud to be a Forest Service employee."
The baseball player at Mount Pisgah, a small private school in Johns Creek, Georgia, is turning heads as a relief pitcher with a reported 85-mph fastball.
But it's not the fastball that has people talking. It's the fact that Sandy is a girl, one of just a few across the country playing high school baseball.
"I've seen and coached with a lot of boy pitchers the same age, and she has got just as much or more talent than half of them," Joey Hamilton, a former major-league pitcher and one of Sandy's private coaches, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I love baseball; it's my favorite sport and always has been," Almon told the paper. "I don't know how to explain it other to say that baseball just comes natural to me. Other sports, like basketball, are work. Baseball is not that way."
The Sacramento, California, high school senior has achieved an honor few of her peers can match: A school in Liberia has been named for her.
Robbins founded Textbooks for Liberia when she was in eighth grade. The organization has sent more than 10,000 books to the West African nation, CNN affiliate KXTV reports.
In gratitude for her work, officials named a new school in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, for her.
"The school is taking enrollment now and it should be starting in the fall. It's the Casey Robbins International School," said Robbins, who visited the site in February. "It's definitely a cool thing for me. I got to have a picture with the sign for my school."
Robbins said she plans to continue and possibly expand the program while attending Stanford University after graduation.
The rocker played a show in China on Wednesday night to a crowd who mostly didn't know who he was, just days after artist and activist Ai Weiwei was arrested for alleged "economic crimes." Dylan's set list had to be approved by the Ministry of Culture, and a few of his most popular songs, including "The Times They Are a-Changin'," were not played, the Los Angeles Times reported. "Foreign acts coming into China are watched much more closely than native Chinese bands," said Nevin Domer, booking manager at D-22, a mecca for student rock in Beijing.
It’s the time of year when the game's greatest gather around the azaleas and take part in golf's greatest tradition: the Masters at Augusta National.
Although the world has a new No. 1 golfer in Martin Kaymer - and a new perception of an old No. 1 - Golf.com's Cameron Morfit writes the two golfers to beat this week are the same as always: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Combined, the two have won six of the last 10 Masters, and both seem poised to make a run at another green jacket this week. "Lefty" won last weekend to move up to No. 3 in the World Rankings and ahead of Woods for the first time in 14 years. Woods, meanwhile, hasn't won since November 2009, but is a four-time champion at Augusta and is seemingly more overdue for a victory than the Washington Generals.
With Major League Baseball season ready to get into full swing, SI.com’s Tom Verducci breaks down the season’s top story lines that any baseball fan should be well aware of. Topping the list: How will Derek Jeter’s standing with the Yankees progress throughout the season, and is the Phillies’ time in the sun drawing to a close faster than people think?
The preseason was marked with the Jeter will-he-or-won’t-he contract drama, but ultimately the Yankees captain and shortstop chose to stay in pinstripes, signing a three-year, $51 million contract in December. More intriguing than Jeter’s contract negotiations was the worst offensive season performance of his career. The shortstop’s .270 batting average, .340 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage left some wondering if the Yankees legend had reached his peak.
In 2011, as Verducci points out, Jeter will be chasing the 3,000-hit mark, a milestone that will make him only the 28th player – and first Yankee – to reach it. But if his struggles from last season carry over into this year, the road to 3,000 could be an arduous one.
“Every hitless streak, however brief, launches questions about whether Jeter should be dropped in the lineup, rested more or moved to another position,” Verducci writes.
No longer considered the world's top golfer, spokesperson or role model, Tiger Woods is hoping a turnaround 2011 season can resurrect his career.
He teed the new season off yesterday with a respectable 3-under 69 in the first round of the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Playing the North Course, Woods turned in a bogey-free round, along with 18 holes without an incident from the gallery. The world’s former No. 1 trails rookie leader Sunghook Kang by five strokes but is in prime position to compete this weekend and build on a feel-good start.
“I'm happy with the way I played, absolutely," Woods said after the round. "I could have been a lot better if I took care of the par 5s a little bit more, but obviously, I didn't do that."
Remember Chris Webber's infamous timeout? Or Steve Bartman's untimely snag?
When you think of the Boston Red Sox, do you think of recent World Series victories? Or do you think of painful losses and a wobbly grounder splitting Bill Buckner's legs at first base? And when you think of major collapses, do you get flashbacks to Greg Norman at Augusta or Jean Van de Velde rolling up his pants and wading in the Barry Burn at Carnoustie?
Our strongest sports memories aren't always our fondest, but the harsh reality is sports can often be as cruel as they are rewarding. For every winner, there is a loser. And for every priceless moment of utter bliss, there is usually a devastating feeling of emptiness right around the corner.
Being hit without warning by an awful golf shot is a risk that golfers assume when they play, New York’s highest court ruled as it dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday.
The New York State Court of Appeals upheld lower courts' dismissal of a lawsuit against Dr. Anoop Kapoor, whose shanked October 2002 golf shot struck a friend, Dr. Azad Anand, in the left eye.
Anand was blinded in the eye and sued Kapoor for damages, alleging Kapoor was negligent for failing to warn of the shot at a course in Long Island's Suffolk County.
Cuban film features zombie revolution – Fifty years after Fidel Castro's revolution, a new revolution is brewing. Cuba's first-ever zombie flick, “Juan of the Dead” brings the living dead to the streets of Havana. The plot features communist leaders claiming the living dead are part of a CIA-backed plot aimed at toppling the government. “Juan of the Dead," is Cuba's first zombie movie and is a mix of camp gore and wry satire. CNN’s Shasta Darlington walks with the undead and talks to the movie’s creators.
Tiger Woods says he wants to reconnect with fans.
Almost one year since his infamous Thanksgiving night accident and 14 years since his iconic first Nike ad, Tiger Woods is saying "hello" to the world again.
Following the downfall of his marriage, No. 1 world ranking and public image in a 12-month whirlwind, Woods is beginning to emerge from his self-induced exile and attempting to reconnect with his fans.
Although Woods has played in golf tournaments and held some awkward press conferences over the past few months, he has yet to appear comfortable being himself with the cameras watching.
But with his personal life self-reportedly in order, Woods says he wants to reconnect with fans and thank them for sticking with him through tough times.
In the past week, Woods has made several moves to show he's ready to return. He wrote an op-ed piece in Newsweek titled "How I've Redefined Victory" and explained his rededication to his family.
He went on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and proclaimed his life was more "blessed and balanced" than before. And he even opened a Twitter account to hear from his fans and attempt a few swings at humor.
It's yet to be seen if Woods can be the golfer and public figure he once was, but if there's one consistent message in his recent public outputs, it's that he's determined to be a better dad.
"I can never truly repair the damage I've done, especially to my family," Woods wrote in his Newsweek essay. "But I can keep trying. ... I'm not the same man I was a year ago. And that's a good thing."
Here's the action to watch tonight (all times Eastern):
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Thunder look to avenge their November 7 loss to the Celtics when they travel to Boston to take on the rested Celtics, who are 5-0 at home this season.
Tiger Woods blasts out of a sand trap Sunday at the Australian Masters tournament in Melbourne. He finished three strokes behind winner Stuart Appleby.
Golfer Tiger Woods says he's "infinitely" happier now than he was just before his private and professional life exploded into scandal a year ago.
"I'm so much better now because of this past year," he said during a frank, 26-minute telephone interview Thursday morning on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show. "It's been very difficult for a lot of people, especially those closest to me, but I'm better for it."
On Thanksgiving night last year, Woods crashed his car outside his Florida home, an event that led to revelations of numerous extramarital affairs and liaisons and ultimately to divorce from his wife, supermodel Elin Nordegren. Woods took several months off from golf while undergoing psychological therapy.
"The worst part of it was those closest to me, the ones I loved and cared about so much, were the ones most hurt by my behavior," Woods said. "(But) I feel so much better, and everything is in so much better perspective now."
Graeme McDowell of Europe celebrates his birdie putt on the 16th green.
Despite a valiant late rally from the Americans, it was Europe that claimed this year's Ryder Cup in a face-off that came down to Monday's final match. Europe's win came when Graeme McDowell birdied 16, hanging in just enough to beat out Hunter Mahan 3 and 1 in an anchor match. "There was a reason why he was put [in the final spot]," Ian Poulter said of McDowell. "He's the U.S. Open champion. He pulled it off."
The victory marked Europe's fourth consecutive win on home soil and the first time that the Ryder Cup ended on a Monday, thanks largely in part to the torrential downpours that periodically halted the action.
But credit has to be given to the American contingent for its efforts. The team managed to even the score after its youngest team member, Rickie Fowler, won the final three holes to halve his match with Italian Edoardo Molinari. That led the U.S. and Europe to square-off in the 12th and final singles match of the tournament. SEE COMPLETE COVERAGE on Golf.com.
A torrential downpour and a 7.5-hour rain delay were the biggest highlights from the first day of the 2010 Ryder Cup, but then again, what do you expect from a golf tournament played in Wales?
Shortly after all four groups teed off Friday morning, play was suspended due to flooded fairways, bunkers and greens. While the Twenty Ten course – a site built specifically for this tournament – has a state-of-the-art drainage system, the rain would not subside and rendered squeegees and umbrellas useless. Golf.com’s Michael Bamberger has more on the Celtic Manor course and its miserable conditions.
The captain’s picks are in – and, for once, Tiger Woods isn’t the biggest story.
Tonight Roger Federer looks to beat the Robin Soderling, the man who knocked him out of the French Open this year.
United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin announced yesterday his final four selections for the 2010 team, causing a bit of an uproar in the gallery, but not amongst the experts at Golf.com. Tiger Woods was obvious. Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson were experienced favorites. And Rickie Fowler was, well, a bit unexpected.
"It came down to a feeling," Pavin explained yesterday in a press conference at the New York Stock Exchange. "I have a good gut feeling about Rickie."
The four chosen ones will join the eight automatic bids at Celtic Manor, Wales when the U.S. takes on the European side on Oct. 1-3. The quartet has combined for just one win this season – Johnson’s first-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational – and will likely be what the Americans’ success hinges on. Fowler, 21, is a PGA Tour rookie and ranked 32nd in the world. If the Ryder Cup itself wasn’t enough, he’ll have some extra motivation in showing people why Pavin picked him over Anthony Kim (16th) and others.
With the tournament still weeks away, let’s narrow our focus to the immediate future. Here’s what is going on today in the sporting world (all times Eastern):
Roger Federer (2) vs. Robin Soderling (5), U.S. Open quarterfinals (7 p.m., ESPN)
Federer looks to avenge his French Open quarterfinals loss to Soderling earlier this year, when the Swede upset Federer’s streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.
Sigh. Macaulay Culkin insists on aging. He's 30 today.
Web Pulse is feeling old. Macaulay Culkin turned 30 on Thursday, and even crueler, his skin looks a lot more baby-soft than ours (despite this weird beard). Oookaaay, so it's not really weird to have facial hair, but Macaulay was supposed to remain forever the character he played in the "Home Alone" movies. Everybody, palms to cheeks! Do the scream. You know you want to.
Let's all observe this high holiday by going to Netflix.com and watching "Home Alone" while we apply an expensive jar of wrinkle cream to our faces and cover the lights in tissue paper. Good thing there's news today that a new iPhone Netflix app allows you to stream television episodes and movies. Go ahead, download that sucker and pull up Macaulay doing the palms-to-cheeks-scream. You know you want to.
While your gorgeous mug is buried in your iPhone, why not check out the latest sports headlines ... Hey, it's Tiger. (Remember that voice mail from last year?)
Tiger Woods has apparently gotten his game back after enduring what was believed to be one of the stinkiest stints in his professional career. He was in contention for the lead at Barclays tournament in New Jersey on Thursday, just a few days after his divorce from Elin Nordegren was formalized. Nordegren gave her first interview to People magazine this week, saying she had been "through hell" with her ex-husband after allegations surfaced of his extramarital trysts.
Nordegren is doing better than ever, thank you very much, no matter how much this lookalike on the green got attention today. Let's all take a cue from her and just accept that time marches on and we'll be just fine. Just fine. Really.
The same week Tiger Woods divorces, he bounces back on the golf course.
Tiger Woods was the Tiger of old Thursday - shooting a 65 and is tied for the lead at the Barclays in New Jersey after his first round.
His performance comes a few days after the formal announcement was made that he and Elin Nordegren are legally splitsville. His performance at Barclays is being noted by Golf.com who also pointed out a Nordegren lookalike on the green.
Tiger had been playing the worst season of his professional career until Thursday.
Nordegren's first, and perhaps last, interview was published in People Wednesday in which she said she'd "been through hell" with the golfer over his alleged extra-marital trysts. It was last November that this poor SUV and subsequently Tiger's reputation took quite a beating.
Tiger Woods' ex-wife tells People she feels "better" than ever.
Elin's peace - Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren have divorced and she's given her first interview. "I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," she told People in a series of talks at her home in Florida where the sex scandal began last year. Nordegren, People reports, is studying to get a psychology degree. She told the mag: "I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself." Well, you go, Elin. You're having a much better season than Tiger.
The golfer wished Elin "the best in everything" and said he's to blame for their divorce.
WikiLeaks - Let's review what's happened over the past several weeks involving the story of a whistleblower website, its controversial editor Julian Assange and every person and entity WikiLeaks has ticked off or inspired. In July, WikiLeaks released more than 70,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war and a U.S. soldier remains suspected of the leak. The posting of the so-called "Afghan diaries" angered military leaders but was also praised in some circles. In the days following, Assange threatened to released 15,000 more war documents. Most recently, a Swedish prosecutor filed rape and molestation charges against Assange, then immediately withdrew the rape charge but continues to pursue the molestation allegations. Assange has cried dirty tricks over the case.
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks published what it purports to be a CIA paper on terrorism.
Is the publishing of the CIA paper a big deal? The CIA says it's not.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin insists he was misquoted by Jim Gray.
As the PGA Championship gets under way this week in Haven, Wisconsin, the latest brouhaha over Tiger Woods (no, he hasn't misplaced his cell phone) pits Golf Channel contributor Jim Gray against U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin.
Gray reported this week that Pavin told him he'd use a captain's pick on Woods if he failed to make the U.S. PGA team on points. (Now, why would Woods fail to make ... the ... oh, never mind).
Pavin took to his Twitter account Wednesday to counter Gray's account of events. "For the record, @golfchannel and Jim Gray has misquoted me re: picking Tiger. I never said such a thing and will not say a thing until 09/07," he tweeted.
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