June 3, 2005
Anurag Kashyap:
Survives three-way battle to win 78th Annual National Spelling Bee. His winning word was "appoggiatura."
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Make no mistake: If Wade gets any more injured, the Heat won't win the series.

He's questionable for Saturday's Game 6 in Detroit. So here's an appropriate question:

To play or not to play?

More specifically: Even if he can play, should he play?

Frankly, an injured half-speed Wade in Game 6 might do more harm than good. How effective can he be against the Pistons bruisers in Detroit?

More troubling: What if he aggravates the problem? Don't think Detroit won't understand that implication.

It's not like the Pistons are going to lose in their building in a win-or-go-home Game 6. So why risk Wade for an inevitable Game 7?

The Heat should consider sitting Wade, trying their best (but essentially ceding Game 6) and getting him more healthy for Game 7 back in Miami.

The alternative is that he plays in Game 6, doesn't recover (or worse), the Heat lose anyway, and the Pistons win Game 7 with a compromised Wade.

Pistons: Shaky?
The good news for Miami: Detroit's "Wade Rules" defense stopped Dwyane -- but it allowed every other Miami player to contribute.

Mentally, the Pistons looked out of it. Sure, some of the foul calls against them were shaky (Cynics cry: "Make up for Shaq's fouls in Game 4!"). Maybe it was the fouls. But maybe the unintended consequences of the scrambling D on Wade threw the Pistons off their game.

Be interesting to see if they use the same D in Game 6 and 7, given Wade's limitations (and the Pistons' otherwise brutal Game 5 results).

LB Talked to Cavs
"I spoke to them," Brown (finally) admitted.

He then proceeded to spin the hindsight so as not to look like a complete jerk for going off on the media earlier this week.

K.C. Royals: Sweep (yes, SWEEP) the Yankees. Hail Buddy!
D-Train Willis: Wins MLB-best 9th, ends Fish curse at PIT
Cubs: Rusch blanks Padres for Chicago's 7th straight win
Koren Robinson: Seahawks drop troubled WR. (Drop? Get it?)
Redskins: Being investigated by NFL for offseason workouts
Dan Kolb: Yep, blows another game for the Braves...
Now he only looks like a minor jerk.

George Mikan, 80
In his era, George Mikan was more dominant than Wilt or Shaq. Mikan laid the groundwork for every big man that followed him.

Listen to the Diesel himself:
"Without No. 99, there is no me."

Mikan put the NBA on the sports map. He also established, for better or worse, the dominance of the center in NBA history.

Face of Baseball?
Is Derek Jeter really the face of baseball, as Tim Kurkjian argues?

Maybe, but doesn't the face change every year with the champ (Johnny Damon?), or every season with the hot hand (Dontrelle Willis?).

Jeter's fresh-faced eagerness doesn't really jibe with our current era's Post-Roids cynicism; his team's underachievement doesn't really help him, either.

The face of baseball has to reflect the era: Payroll-crippling salary, apparently juice-free, at least some joy for the game. I'd argue A-Rod.

No one said the face had to be a totally good thing. In fact, by its definition, it can't be.

"Cinderella Man"
Based on pre-release hype, the best movie of the year (for the second straight year) could be a sports movie about boxing.

More sports movies opening: For a little insight on the forefathers of the X Games-style sports revolution, check out "Lords of Dogtown"

Fantasy Bee Wrap
Can you spell "domination?" Anchored by runner-up Samir Patel Team Shanoff placed three in the Top 5, to run away with the 2005 Page 2 Fantasy Bee League title.

Patel Dynasty? Samir is only an 11-year-old 6th-grader, yet he just finished his third Bee. He's got two years of eligibility left. Wait 'til next year!

(Wait: Our fantasy league IS a "keeper league," right?)

Jason Giambi:
Just don't do it: Nike drops him off their endorsement roster.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Daily Dime
Face of Baseball
Best Boxing Movies:
Raging Bull
You did WHAT to my wife?
Consider 1-3 (discount 4,5)
Million Dollar Baby
More awards than any
Requiem for a HW
Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason!
Underrated indie flick

McNabb on his relationship with T.O.: "Things are great." Forgive fans if we don't immediately embrace the new spin.

Reds release closer Danny Graves: Probably won't take him the weekend to find new work with another relief-starved team.

French Open: Today is the best match of the tournament, upstart clay stud Nadal vs. world No. 1 Federer.

I'm excited for Dream Teamers to help pick the Olympic men's hoops roster. But let's avoid the unhelpful "Back when WE played..." bunk.

Even more Bee (just to round out the week): Best of luck to the great "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at the Tony Awards on Sunday.

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