Today in Sports: Picking an NBA Finals villain, a kidnapping drama in Nigeria, and Rafa still owns the clay.
- The NBA Finals will once again become a basketball morality play, but this time the Miami Heat may have lucked into the only NBA person more hated than LeBron James: Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett. While millions of basketball fans still curse LeBron's name for abandoning his Cleveland Cavaliers in spectacular fashion, it was Bennett who stole an entire team from the city of Seattle, after lying about his intentions to keep the Sonics in their old hometown. (He also basically forced Seattle/OKC fans to watch years of horrible basketball in order the build their current star-studded roster.) [The Nation]
- Jerry Sandusky's lawyer announced during opening arguments that Sandusky will take the stand in his own defense during his sexual abuse trial that began today. That's a pretty surprising move, especially when you consider that Sandusky's televised interview with Bob Costas last fall was a disastrous P.R. moment that did way more harm than good. (Remember his painful hesitation when asked if he was "sexually attracted to young boys"?) Perhaps lawyer Joseph Amendola should re-watch that clip (and his own terrible performance) and reconsider. [Yahoo]
- It took two days and a lot of umbrellas, but Rafal Nadal took down Novic Djokovic in four sets to win his record seventh French Open title. The win also ended a streak of three consecutive Grand Slam finals losses to Djokovic, denying the Croatian the chance to be the first man to hold all four titles at the same time since Rod Laver. The match was suspended yesterday to due to rain storms and even took a brief break before the final games of set four on Monday while the players waited for a brief shower to pass. Nadal now has 11 Grand Slam singles titles, five short of Roger Federer's record of 16. [ESPN]
- The judges responsible for the controversial split-decision win by Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao will not likely not be investigated, even though Bob Arum, the promoter for both fighters, has called for an inquiry. Bradley suffered a broken left foot, a twisted right ankle, landed nearly 100 fewer punches, and delivered his post-fight press conference from a wheelchair, but was declared the winner over the seven-time champion on Saturday when two of three judges gave him a 115-113 edge over Pacquiao on their scorecards. (The third judge gave Pacquiao a six-point advantage.) [Yahoo/ESPN/SBNation]
- A junior hockey coach in Canada was suspended for an entire year and fined $2,000 after keeping his team out of the opening ceremony of a recent tournament. Why did he keep them away? Because they're all university students who had to study for exams. So much for student-athletes. [CBC]
- Far away from the madness of Euro 2012 was a different sort of madness for Nigerian soccer star Christian Obodo, who was kidnapped by six "very young boys" and held for ransom over the weekend. Obodo described his ordeal of being blindfolded and dragged through the jungle where he was forced to sleep on the ground overnight. He quickly arranged for a ransom the next day, but when five of the kidnappers went to pick it up, they were ambushed by security forces and arrested. Left alone with only one kidnapper, Obodo knocked the man down and ran to a village where a "vigilante" group came to his aid. Despite getting away unharmed, Obodo said the kidnappers suggested he had been set up by someone close to him demonstrating once again how dangerous it can be to be rich and famous in some parts of the world. [Kickoff Nigeria]