THEY’RE DUBBING IT “THE DECISION,” WHICH MAKES IT SOUND LIKE WE’RE DEALING WITH ROE VS. WADE HERE. In reality, all we’ll find out at 9 p.m. today is where a basketball player will lace up his shoes next winter. LeBron James will announce his free agency choice on ESPN at that time. ESPN reports this morning that it looks like the Heat will be his destination. I’ll believe it when I see it. Put me in the “stays in Cleveland” camp. Hard to imagine a guy who opened a Twitter account calling himself King James — not to mention someone who would announce a free agency decision on an hourlong special — would want to share the spotlight with Dwyane Wade or anybody else.
GIVE IT UP FOR PAUL THE PROGNOSTICATING OCTOPUS. As we told you in yesterday’s Daily Sports Briefing, the wacky sea creature predicted Spain would beat Germany in the World Cup semifinals. Sure enough, Carlos Puyol scores a second-half header to give Spain a 1-0 victory, vaulting the nation into the title match for the first time. Spain is a slight favorite to beat The Netherlands in Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. championship.
-Never thought I’d say this, but today’s headlines aren’t being entirely fair to Michael Vick. Check out this AP headline: “Prosecutor: Vick in confrontation before shooting.” Sounds pretty juicy, right? Well, the actual story has a different thrust. Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey L. Bryant actually strengthens Vick’s defense, saying that the QB was not involved in the shooting and left the nightclub 3 to 5 minutes before it occurred. More from the article:
Bryant would not go into detail about the confrontation, but said there was no evidence the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was involved in “anything that would amount to aggressive or assaultive conduct.”
“He’s an athlete and an entertainer, but he’s also a human being, and things that would tick you and I off would tick him off,” Bryant said. “But he extricated himself from those things and left with the help and encouragement of some of his friends and supporters.”
Police have said Vick was not the shooter. Bryant said the investigation also shows that Vick “was not aware of whether or not anyone was going to be shot, was threatened to be shot or anything to do with any of that business.”
Sounds to me like the headline should have read: “Despite confrontation, Vick cleared of involvement in shooting.” Guess that’s not sexy enough.
-Blacksburg high school graduate Courtney Ellenbogen launches her third appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open today at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. TV coverage is on ESPN2 today and Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. WSLS will carry the final two rounds from 3-6 p.m. Ellenbogen’s goal is to make the cut. Randy King has the full story here.
TOUR DE FRANCE
-Coverage of Stage 5 began on Versus at 8:30 a.m.
-Will Middlebrooks homers twice to lead the Salem Red Sox to a 4-1 win at Kinston.
-The Pulaski Mariners get a 10th-inning homer from Ramon Morla to edge Greeneville 5-4.
-On TV today: Angels at White Sox (2 p.m., MLB Network), Reds at Phillies (7 p.m., MLB Network), Padres at Nationals (7 p.m., MASN), Orioles at Rangers (8 p.m., MASN2) and Cubs at Dodgers (10 p.m., WGN).
AND FINALLY, THE NONSPORTS FAKE NEWS
-It’s good to leave a legacy in something. For Queen Elizabeth II, it’s her uncanny endurance when it comes to waving. Every time I see her do that I think of “The Naked Gun.” Ahh, who am I kidding? Every time I see anything I think of “The Naked Gun.”