The Last One with the Black Mamba

Fun Fact of the Day: L.A. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is retiring after tonight’s game, and it will cost you a pretty penny to say goodbye in person.  The average ticket on Stubhub is priced at $997, and one Kobe super-fan dropped $55,000 on a pair of courtside seats.


Today's Rundown

WORLD SOCCER 

On to the next round.  After wins in yesterday’s quarterfinals, soccer behemoths Real Madrid and Manchester City will be advancing to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League (psst—it’s one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world and it is played annually between 32 qualifying European teams).  The Real deal.  Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick in yesterday’s game, allowing Madrid to overcome a 2-goal first-leg deficit to Wolfsburg.


Seen and Heard

NFL

Permanent party partners?  Yesterday Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordan’s request for reinstatement to the league was denied.  He was suspended after repeated violations of the NFL’s drug abuse policy.  This wasn’t a huge surprise, since he failed another drug test last month, testing positive for marijuana and having a diluted sample.  NEEDED: Better role model.  Lately, Gordon has been rooming with former teammate QB Johnny Manziel, who has partying all over L.A. since he was dropped by the Browns last month. 

Another development in a senseless tragedy.  Former New Orleans’ Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death Saturday night following a car accident.  New surveillance footage shows that Smith rear-ended a Hummer and pulled away.  The Hummer gave chase and rear-ended him back, leading to a heated exchange and shooting.  Smith was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The Hummer driver, Cardell Hayes is in police custody and claims he was not the aggressor in the incident.  Yesterday, police found a fully loaded gun in Smith’s vehicle, which may support Hayes’s story.


Hot Read

NBA

Black Mamba out.  Tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz will be the last for L.A. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.  Love-fest! This whole season the Lakers have been terrible, but that hasn’t stopped Kobe’s farewell tour from selling out night after night as fans say their goodbyes. Now that it’s finally the end, we've reached a fever-pitch of Kobe tribute videos, songs, and commercials. Want to commemorate the special occasion?  You could always get a snakeskin #24 hat available for the low, low price of $38,248.08Will the Lakers win?  With the worst record in the West and the Jazz still looking to clinch a playoff berth—“no” is a safe bet.  But hopefully we get one more vintage Kobe performance to send him off right. 

The one we’ve been waiting for… In their last game of the season, the Golden State Warriors are going for their 73rd win in order to beat the ’95-96 Bulls record.  They will take on a depleted Memphis Grizzlies team that has suffered injuries to stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley among others and has lost 12 of their last 15 games.  Want to watch this historic game in person?  Compared to Kobe’s last game, this one is a steal, averaging just $436 a pop.

 

NHL

Stanley Cup Playoffs here we come!  The first round of the playoffs start tonight with these 3 games.  Need to fake a hockey conversation in a hurry?  We’ve got you covered with our Stanley Cup Playoffs survival guide.

  • Detroit Red Wings v. Tampa Bay Lightning—The Red Wings squeaked into their 25th playoff appearance this past weekend.  In the first round, they will face the Lightning—the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year and made it all the way to the finals.  But this time around the Lightning will be missing 2 of their best players to injury.
  • N.Y. Rangers v. Pittsburgh Penguins—The Rangers will face the Penguins, who are going into these playoffs as the hottest team in the Eastern conference, winning 8 of their last 9 regular season games.  Unfortunately, both teams are suffering from injuries to key players.  
  • Chicago Blackhawks v. St. Louis Blues—Tune in to see the defending champion Blackhawks take on the Blues… again.  The Blues have lost in the first round of the playoffs 3 years in a row, including 2x to the Blackhawks.