Pop culture: Sports Bites

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From the June 12, 2014 edition

INSERT HEAT PUN HERE

Golak: The Heat lost to the Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals after LeBron James internet-famously cramped up in the fourth quarter and rode pine into defeat. Numbers and rings aside, when the person you're constantly compared to is famous for taking over a playoff game with the flu, how much does a loss brought on by leg cramps hurt your legacy?

Sumukh: Unfortunately for him, LeBron's legacy was left open to constant criticism because of how bad "The Decision" was. If only Jordan had a live television event to show his gambling habits and played during an era of memes, these comparisons could be more sensible.

HORSING AROUND

Sumukh: California Chrome failed in his bid to win the Triple Crown, but the most memorable moment of the day may have been Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn's post-race rant calling other owners whose horses skipped the first two races of the Triple Crown "cheaters" who took "the coward's way out." Do you think horse racing would be more popular if owners started acting like boxers like Coburn did?

Golak: Perhaps Mike Tyson, who could reasonably make the move up from flying pigeons to racing horses, will join the equine game. I would love to hear him threaten to eat Tonalist's ponies.

COVER TO COVER

Golak: Richard Sherman was voted this year's Madden video game cover athlete. I love Richard Sherman. I think he should be on the cover every year a la John Madden pre-cover athletes. Agreed? If not, is there someone you'd bestow that honor upon?

Sumukh: Richard Sherman is someone to love for this year, but the fame and ability of players can fizzle out quickly. I don't like the idea. If we followed having the same person every year on the Madden cover, then the cover this year potentially would be of Peyton Hillis in street clothes.

BEST OF THE BEST

Sumukh: Rafael Nadal won his fifth straight French Open and ninth overall. He now has 14 career Grand Slams, just three behind all-time leader and rival Roger Federer. When it's all said and done, do you think Nadal will be considered the greatest male tennis player of all-time?

Golak: Definitely. Grand Slams, a Gold Medal and killer headband hair. The Triple Crown of tennis.