Been a hot minute since I’ve knocked out an MNR — seriously thinking about revamping some things here on the ol’ blog … but for now, here’s today’s edition:
The Big Aristotle himself, Shaquille O’Neal, announced his retirement (rather, his intent to retire) yesterday on Twitter. He leaves the NBA as the game’s fifth-leading scorer and as one of its all-time greats.
My take: But how great? In my opinion, he leaves the game as the third-best center — behind Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain and right ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Moses Malone.
Overall, he’s certainly a top 10-12 player of all-time, too.
But there might not have been another player in history that combined his considerable skills and remarkable personality. And don’t even try to put Michael Jordan in THAT category — while MJ is arguably the best player of all time, his “personality” was all Nike-generated; he was a sullen, angry player who denigrated his teammates and was hated by the media. No, he wasn’t that happy-go-lucky player Nike tried to sell.
Shaq, on the other hand, was a media darling — and a great player. He will certainly be missed (although he probably should’ve retired a couple of years ago).
TORNADOES TEAR THROUGH … MASSACHUSETTS?
Tornadoes ripped through Springfield, Mass., yesterday, killing four and sending dozens to the hospital.
My take: Since we’ve recently been through this ourselves, we can certainly relate to what these poor folks are going through in the Northeast.
But tornadoes in Massachusetts? What the …? I’m not one who is real big on Revelations and the End of Times, but all these storms throughout the country and other weather abnormalities makes one pause, doesn’t it?
JOHN EDWARDS CASE HEARD BEFORE GRAND JURY
A federal grand jury in Raleigh is hearing evidence against former U.S. Sen. John Edwards about his possible campaign finance violations.
My take: I only have one word for this — karma. It’s a bitch and this SOB is getting a healthy dose of it. Good. I hope his wife is in heaven looking down and giggling.
But you know what’s going to happen — he’ll make some deal, pay a few thousand dollars and get out of it altogether (see: Mike Easley).
CAPPS, LEWIS EARN ALL-AMERICAN HONORS
Former North Lenoir star and Mount Olive pitcher Carter Capps and former South Lenoir star and South Lenoir pitcher Braxton Lewis were named All-Americans by two different organizations.
Additionally, Capps was named the NCAA Division II pitcher of the year by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
While Capps is in the NCAA World Series in Cary with the Trojans, he is one of eight finalists for the NCAA D-2 player of the year, which will be announced Monday.
My take: Congrats again to a pair of good guys — and you can vote for Capps here for the honor. Yes, I know the deadline says May 30 … but it’s still accepting votes — so let’s load up the votes for Carter!
The iPod shuffle
I’m A Man — Bo Diddley
L.A. Woman — The Doors
Mony Mony — Billy Idol
Justify My Love — Madonna
Dance, Dance — Fall Out Boy
P.S.: Check out Jon Dawson’s hilarious column in which Dizzle takes up Stephen LaRoque’s offer to clean up his yard.
P.P.S.S.: I am heading to Goldsboro in a bit to cover an NAACP press conference in which they take humbrage at LaRoque’s comments about the organization and its North Carolina director being racist. Should be fun — and I’ll give you my quick-hit reaction to the presser when I get back to the office.