SAN ANTONIO -- And you thought the Pacers Lance Stephenson blowing sweet nothings into LeBron James ear made for bizarrely eventful playoff basketball.
So did I, until Game 1 of the NBA Finals topped it. Until an air-conditioning outage turned the Spurs arena into a sauna and turned LeBrons muscles into cramping rods that refused to cooperate. The cramps truncated LeBrons fourth quarter and led to Miamis loss, but the fascination, for me, was in the twofold reaction Thursday night has caused.
First, the conspiracy theorists were out. Many envisioned a modern-day Zapruder film, with a grainy figure on the grassy knoll who appeared to be Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, furtively flipping a power switch with a villainous cackle. (Why was there a power switch on the grassy knoll? Hmm.)
Simultaneously came a barrage from the ever-ready anti-LeBron crowd the lunatic wing of the Twitterverse out in full force, acting as if James so-called cramps were just his lame excuse for not being man enough to suck it up.
Game 2 on Sunday night cant arrive fast enough, and the arena air conditioning supposedly is fixed.
Now heres hoping there are no other surprises such as exploding lights, a flash flood, falling scoreboard, backed-up plumbing, sinkholes at midcourt or armadillo infestations.
• LeBron was named all-NBA first team on 124 of 125 ballots, all except that of one Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com. In an unrelated story, estimates are that one in every 125 people vote while drunk.
• As the Dolphins continue their offseason practices this week, a new Pro Football Focus ranking rates Miamis overall roster a credible 13th best in the NFL and says the Patriots Tom Brady no longer is a top-five quarterback. DOLPHINS ARE WINNING JUNE! WOOO!
• The NFL is skipping Roman numerals for its Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season. Rome wept.
• England trained in South Florida for the World Cup and played friendlies here against Ecuador and Honduras. What we learned: Wayne Rooney leads all the world in hair transplants.
• And in other World Cup news, a Ghana witch doctor has put a spell on Portugals Cristiano Ronaldo.
• Its Novak Djokovic against Rafael Nadal in Sundays French Open mens final after Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep met for the womens crown Saturday. Reminds us that when Serena Williams has a rare bad tournament, American tennis is a hopeless wasteland.
• The Rangers host Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Monday against the Kings. Meantime, there are signs the traditional political bet might be running out of ideas. If the Rangers win, Los Angeles politicos will send organic brown rice cakes. Hmm. Sounds awful. Also, what, they dont sell those in New York?
• Golfs U.S. Open starts Thursday, and, with Tiger Woods not competing, all eyes will be on Phil Mickelson as he tries again to end his jinx. Mickelson has never won the U.S. Open but has been runner-up six times. He is expected to finish second again this week when a sinkhole swallows his winning putt.
• The Hurricanes failed to advance out of their own NCAA baseball regional, falling short of reaching the College World Series again. Omaha, for UM, is now pronounced Omah-awww.
• The X Games are going on an hour from here in Austin, Texas. If you are unfamiliar with the X Games, thats where a bunch of 30-year-old slackers do tricks on skateboards and small bikes.
• ESPN ranked Miamis Jim Larrañaga as college basketballs 28th-best mens coach. Cue halfhearted applause?
• Sentences That Make Me Sad (one in a series): Terry Bradshaw is touring with a live one-man show and the advertisement for it touts him as Americas favorite dumb blond.
• Fifty U.S. senators are urging the NFL to abolish the Redskins nickname. The other half of the Senate presumably enjoys gratis suites at Redskins games and would rather not jeopardize the perks.
• Oregon States new mens basketball coach is Wayne Tinkle. If I were him Id hand out business cards that read: Yes I have endured a lifetime of teasing. Whatever youre thinking, Ive heard it.
• There has been a spate of Tommy John surgeries 40 years after the first one. It must be so weird having a major surgery named after you. Dont I know it, said Al Triplebypass.
• The NFL plans to place cameras in locker rooms and air video to fans in stadiums. It will be a good idea until the moment a horrified crowd is accidentally shown a 365-pound guard with no pants.
• Parting thought: The 49ers gave quarterback Colin Kaepernick a $126 million contract extension. Until he starts being known for championships and not tattoos it sounds like overspending.
Visit Gregs Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.