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6/05/2008 03:44:00 PM
Game Changers Who Are Available
Will any team take a chance on Barry Bonds?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Two of the NBA's most legendary teams, the Celtics and the Lakers, face off tonight in the NBA Finals. But these franchises did not make it to the NBA Finals via shrewd drafting and cunning long-term planning; both teams swung trades to bring in hired guns (mostly Garnett and Gasol) that pushed them over the top. It's a great reminder of the power of one, of the ability of a great player to make a single team stunningly better. Here's my top five current game changers in sports who are (allegedly) available...
1. Barry Bonds: With Bonds' current legal problems looming, it's not surpising that MLB teams are avoiding the free agent Bonds like the plague. Still, on an AL team Bonds could DH, provide nuclear-level power and maybe, just maybe, make a good team a great one.
2. Jason Taylor: The defensive stopper seems to be dancing his way out Miami. He may be nearing the downside of his career, but he'll providea heckuva anchor for someone's D-line.
3. Gilbert Arenas: Agent Zero recently announced he'd be opting out of his contract with Washington. Even with his occasional knee problems, Gilbert's a stone-cold scorer who can provide enough swag to keep an entire city entertained.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo: Rumors are swirling this week, linking Manchester United's dazzling winger to Real Madrid. Whatever team he plays for, including his native Portugal in the Euro 2008 tourney starting this weekend, Ronaldo is perhaps the most magnetic, dominant player in soccer right now.
5. Mike Vick: I mean, he'd certainly change things, right?
Which gamechanger would you mortgage the future to bring in? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
Kimbo Slice has a face and a name you won't forget.
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Mixed Martial Arts made it's much-hyped network debut on CBS this weekend. To the disappointment of many who tuned in hoping to see a main event knockout, instead we got a lot of rolling around on the mat. To me, however, the real breakthrough here has been the emergence of a name that will go down in history as one of the coolest athlete names of all time: Kimbo Slice. It sounds exciting, menacing, fun, marketable. Sometimes it doesn't matter how talented an athlete is, it's how cool his name sounds. Here's my top five coolest athlete names. I thought of about 50 contenders, but that up to you guys to fill in the rest...
1. Shaquille O'Neal: Sounds like something Don King dreamed up. Mellifluous, tailor-made for a superstar.
2. Stig Tofting: This former Dutch soccer midfielder was known for making hard hits, both on and off the field. His name accurately reflects his blunt style of play.
3. Champ and Boss Bailey: These NFL brothers have names that make each sound like All-Pros. That's only true for Champ thus far, though.
4. Longar Longar: This former University of Oklahoma basketball player is currently attempting to make the jump to the NBA. If nothing else, he definitely has length.
5. Nook Logan: The name conjures images of a blazing leadoff hitter. In actuality, Logan is a free agent looking for work.
What's the coolest athlete name of all time? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com