The best dirt from around the sports world on Monday, Jan. 16:
‘I’m Ron Baker???”
Sports has never been more entwined with entertainment, so if you’re a sports franchise that’s going nowhere in the standings – why not give the people what they want?
Knicks reserve guard Ron Baker, who looks like a Von Erich brother from 1980s Texas pro wrestling, has become a fan favorite at MSG and a favorite in the Knicks’ locker room. He even cracked the Knicks’ starting lineup Monday against Atlanta. The former Wichita State guard seems like he has the green light to shoot whenever he wants now, so let’s get a Lin-sanity style streak going with Ron – victories be damned. Carmelo Anthony seems to be on board, as he deadpanned Ron’s locker room nickname during a halftime interview Monday.
“[Ron] Burgundy came in, played great minutes as a starter today,” Carmelo said.
Roger the dodger
Avoiding awkwardness is a great life skill, but NFL commish Roger Goodell is getting way too good at it. Goodell, who used to be a regular at Gillette Stadium, hasn’t returned to the scene of the non-crime of deflated footballs in two years. He was at the Georgia Dome this past weekend to watch Falcons - Seahawks as he always shows up at stadiums during the playoffs. The thing is, though, he never goes to the same stadium in back-to-back weeks. With the NFC title game in Atlanta, it would seem the circumstances are in place for the NFL boss to return to Foxboro this coming Sunday. Of course, we can’t wait to hear Goodell’s excuse for a no-show.
At this point, the guy should just own it and hand deliver properly inflated footballs to the Patriots’ sideline just before the game as Kelis’ “Bossy” blares from the PA system.
Dad to the defense
Sixers center Jahlil Okafor will likely be traded at some point in 2017 due to the phenomenon that is Joel Embiid. Okafor was the No. 3 overall pick in the draft just 19 months ago, but no one these days is excited to see him play. A 76ers blogger tweeted out Saturday night, “Imagine taking a bus for two hours only to see Jahlil Okafor start.” Okafor’s dad, Chukwudi, was apparently doing searches for his son’s name at the time, and quickly replied to the blogger via Tweet: “Imagine me slapping the s--- out of you.”