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8 Things I Learned: Goodbye Phil!

It was another action-packed sports weekend, filled with plenty of surprises and upsets. The biggest shocker involved the NBA’s defending champs.

Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson is finally calling it quits...this time for good. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

1. The Lakers getting swept out of the NBA Playoffs. I was shocked the defending NBA Champs were swept by the Mavericks, and more surprised how they did it. The team was thoroughly outplayed in the series and the cheap shot fouls by Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom were totally uncalled for. I don’t think Lakers head coach Phil Jackson could have ever dreamed this end to his Hall of Fame coaching career. 

Animal Kingdom
Jockey John Velazquez, riding Animal Kingdom #16, races towards the finish line to win the 137th Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images) 2. An upset special provides the drama at Churchill. Animal Kingdom was a 20-1 longshot, but a last-minute jockey change (John Velazquez for the injured RobbyAlbarado) was just the luck the horse needed to win his biggest race. Twice the Appeal, the Sunland Derby winner finished 10th, but never contended. 3. Plenty of pitching masterpieces around the Majors. I don't ever remember a week in the baseball season that featured two no-hitters (Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander) and two near no-hitters (Yovanni Gallardo and Anibal Sanchez). A friend suggested that umpires are enforcing a tighter strike zone. If that's true, 2011 will become the year of the pitcher. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

4. Pac-Man makes easy work of another past-his-prime opponent. Sugar Shane Mosley was no match for the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Even if Pacquiao signs to fight Floyd Mayweather for $50 million each, the two will be years past their prime by the time they enter the ring. 

5. Norm Macdonald is the perfect guy to host a sports TV show. If you listened to my interview with Norm on Friday, you know why. If not, listen to the replay.

Gary Williams
Maryland Basketball Coach Gary Williams Announces Retirement. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

6. A legendary college basketball coach calls it a career. Gary Williams decided the time was right to say goodbye. He leaves with record of 668-320, including 461 wins in 22 seasons at Maryland. Williams might not be one of the 10 greatest college coaches of all-time, but he is clearly one of the most respected coaches in the game.  

7. Do not expect any Oscar De La Hoya sightings at Cohen Stadium. An announcement is expected soon to announce the sale of the team, but it will not involvethe Golden Boy. It will, however, involve some of El Paso’s most prominent businessmen.

8. Abie Han adds to his perfect record in Las Vegas. The El Paso product won his 13th professional bout without a loss Friday night at Mandalay Bay. Han could soon become one of the top middleweight prospects in the country and El Paso’s next pro boxing star.

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