Welcome back to Flagrant 2, your a.m. update on last night’s biggest sports headlines.
Here’s what happened while the East Coast was sleeping and the West Coast was stuck in traffic. Or, you know, missed because they left in the seventh inning or something.
Elefantes de Cienfuegos
It was Cuban Defector Night at Chavez Ravine (ropa vieja for everybody!) as two of the country’s brightest young stars – White Sox rookie José Abreu and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig – met for the first time in a Major League Baseball regular-season game.
And, Abreu, fresh off a two-week stay on the disabled list, did this:
Yowch. The two-run blast was Abreu’s 16th of the season, making him just the third player since 1900 to reach that number in his first 45 career games. Of course, given that Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw was pitching, those were the only runs the White Sox managed, losing 5-2.
Puig, Abreu’s former Cienfuegos teammate in the Cuban National Series, went 0-for-4, and did not draw a walk, ending his 33-game on-base streak. There were a total of six Cuban-born players in uniform for the series.
The Fish That Saved New York (or Los Angeles?)
Derek Fisher is still under contract to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a technicality that cost New York Knicks’ president Phil Jackson $25,000 (seems the NBA doesn’t take too kindly to tampering). But, at this point, Fish’s contractual status also seems a mere formality.
Because it appears the veteran point guard will be coaching one of the league’s two high-profile franchises, as both the Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in bringing him in to be their next head coach.
Jackson is set to meet with Fisher – whom he previously coached with the Lakers – by the end of the week, and given their lengthy relationship, some believe the Knicks are the frontrunners to land Fisher’s services. The Lake Show, still searching for the man to fill Mike D’Antoni’s mustache, are also reportedly interested.
Fisher has won five NBA titles during his 18-year career, but he’s never coached. But, hey, neither had Steve Kerr, and he just signed a $25 million deal to lead the Golden State Warriors. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind league execs that we’ve never coached, either.
The NBA Finals rematch between the Spurs and the Heat doesn’t tip off until Thursday night, but the trash-talk is already underway. It began when Spurs’ granite-man Tim Duncan told reporters “this time, we’ll do it,” which led to a response from Heat star LeBron James: “The don’t like us. They wanted us, and we’ll be ready for the challenge.” … Disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling is facing a lawsuit from a woman who alleges she was former employee of his, and subjected to a “steady stream of racially and sexually offensive comments.” Boss of the year. … Reminder: Harry Caray was fucking awesome.