The Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets last night, 111-to-106. It was a normally forgettable late January game. But every victory means something to a Lakers team suffering through a dreadful first half of the season. Last night's win was the Lakers' third in a row. It means there are signs of life for a team that was expected to dominate this year. And the big reason for that: L.A.'s best player has taken on a new role.
When Secretariat won what was certified to be his last race, I went down onto the track at Woodbine, and gauging where he had crossed the finish line, snatched up the last grass that perhaps the greatest thoroughbred ever had laid hooves to in his career.
MARTIN: OK. This week, we are going classic, like classical. Like, really old school, you know, Rome, Cicero, Latin. We're talking Latin this week. Specifically we want to talk about interregna or interregnum, if you please, which is a fancy way of saying a gap. Because the NFL is in the middle of a big old interregnum at the moment.
And for more, we are joined by, who else, but our own Marcus Aurelius, NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.
In recent years, regional cable TV sports networks have been a financial windfall for pro sports and college teams. And now it seems to be the turn of the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a record haul here.
There are reports the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable are close to announcing a deal for a Dodgers channel that would pay the team around $7 billion over at least 20 years.
But NPR's Tom Goldman reports it may be one windfall too many in a crowded Los Angeles market.
LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.
"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.
James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.
Finally, I have a word about Manti Te'o, the star Notre Dame linebacker, Heisman trophy runner up, who says he was the victim of an ugly hoax where someone — probably a male friend of his — created an online identity of a young women, with whom Te'o says he fell in love, although he never met her.
Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers had a terrible NFC championship game. Sure, he ran for two touchdowns. And yes, his team came back to win and made it to the Super Bowl. But pro football officials noticed his socks were sagging. It was his second dress code violation of the season and they fined him $10,500. Imagine what your bank account would like if your mom could do that to you.
You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A stunning upset in Australia and a huge moment for a 19-year-old American tennis player. Sloan Stephens, who has never won any title, knocked out the powerhouse Serena Williams to advance to the semifinals at the Australian Open.
SLOAN STEPHENS: This morning when I got up, I was like, look, dude, like, you can do this. Like, just go out and play and do your best.
BLOCK: That's Sloan Stephens after the match in Melbourne.