Today in Sports: Shaquille O’Neal, Ricky Rubio, Phil Ivey and Lance Armstrong
This week brought news both good and bad for sports fans, including Shaq’s retirement, Ricky Rubio’s draft to the NBA, Phil Ivey’s poker boycott and Lance Armstrong’s reaction to his “60 Minutes” episode.
The beloved basketball star announced yesterday that he will be retiring after playing 19 seasons in the NBA. O’Neal, who has nearly four million Twitter followers, tweeted, “I’m retiring” along with a link to a video, which showed him announcing his plan to stop playing professionally. It was also announced yesterday that the athlete would star in this month’s “Got Milk?” ad campaign, which is teaming up with OREO cookies for national dairy month.
On Wednesday it was declared Ricky Rubio would be joining the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio, who has been playing in Spain with Regal Barcelona, was originally drafted fifth overall by the Timberwolves in 2009. The 20-year-old point guard joined Spain’s ABC League when he was 14 and gained the attention of NBA scouts when he played for the Spanish national team in the 2008 Olympics. The deal was slightly rushed in order to assure Rubio received a high rookie salary, which could be reduced under new deals caused by labor negotiations within the league.
The poker player, considered to be the best in world by some, is boycotting this year’s WorldSeries of Poker because he is unhappy with his team Full Tilt. “My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “And on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.” Ivey is sixth in the WSOP rankings and has won more than $5.6 million during his career.
The seven-time Tour de France winner is demanding an on-air apology from CBS and “60 Minutes.” The show aired an episode last week interviewing Armstrong’s former teammate Tyler Hamilton, who alleged that the famous cyclist talked about using steroids, specifically the banned blood-booster EPO. Armstrong’s lawyer Elliot Peters said the segment was based on fabrications and he accused the show of sloppy journalism. “In the cold light of morning your story was either extraordinarily shoddy, to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job,” Peters’ statement said, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.