When he found outthat the Arizona Cardinals had drafted USC quarterback Matt Leinart, LesCorieri, the owner of three Phoenix-area clubs, told The Arizona Republic,"I am really happy he's here with the image that he's bringing."Leinart bolstered his man-about-town rep last week when he was spotted squiringParis Hilton around Los Angeles and Las Vegas. After a shopping date in L.A.(Hilton hid behind a long brunette wig), they hung out (with Leinart's buddyNick Lachey) at the Caesars Palace nightclub Pure for Leinart's postdraft bash,which featured Hilton performing the song Do Ya Think I'm Sexy and dedicatingit to the guest of honor. As Hilton (right) left the party--alone--she toldreporters she and Leinart are "just friends."
• Vince Young hasalso found himself trailed by cameras of late, but they're not paparazzi's. Theformer Texas quarterback will be the subject of the six-part series Next Level:Vince Young, scheduled to premiere on BET in October. The network has beenshadowing the Titans' top pick since April.
• Put 5'9"Knicks guard Nate Robinson in a roomful of NBA players, and he's one of theshortest guys there. Put him at the White House Correspondents Dinner and,well, he's still not very tall. So the reigning NBA slam dunk champ almost wentunnoticed last week at the Washington Hilton and Towers. Says Robinson, "Ihad a lot of people--a lot of celebrities, like Ludacris--kind of looking at melike, Is that him? Nah, that can't be him; he's too short." Robinson, whobought his first tuxedo for the event, scored an invite to the formal gala fromMSNBC.com, which runs his blog, The GR8 Life. Robinson's take on fellow guestAnna Kournikova? "She's so hot." His take on the Commander in Chief?"[The President] seemed like a cool guy. He has a great sense ofhumor."
• Looking for theperfect hat to wear to next year's Kentucky Derby party? If you don't mind aused chapeau, you could do worse than the one Petra Nemcova wore last Saturday.The SI swimsuit model is auctioning off the Grey Goose vodka designer hat shewore to the Derby on eBay to raise money for a diabetes charity. Nemcova wasone of many sports celebs in attendance. Michael Jordan, Jerome Bettis, CalRipken Jr., Serena Williams and O.J. Simpson--who picked Lawyer Ron because, hesaid, "I love lawyers"--were also at the track.... Mitch Richmondlearned a thing or two about athlete finances during his 14-year NBA career. Hesays, "If you're living the fast life, taking care of your mom and yourfamily, what happens to that money when you don't manage it right? You getbroke fast." That's the quandary facing a group of former football playersin Free Agents, an action movie on which Richmond is working as an executiveproducer. The players' solution: rob a few banks.
Opponents often think they're seeing double when theyface the Tamalpais High tennis team of Mill Valley, Calif. The Hawks are led byjunior twins Scott and Alex Chun (Scott, wearing black shoes, is directlyacross the net from his brother), and this is their official 2006 team photo.Tamalpais went undefeated in the Marin County Athletic League this year but ranout of luck in the postseason, losing the league title to the Giants of RedwoodHigh.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Alabama football coach Mike Shula had to switchchurches after being hounded by autograph seekers, including one who waswaiting at the end of the communion line with a football.
They Said It
TORII HUNTER, Twins outfielder, on whether his battingslump is keeping him awake at night:
"I'm sleeping pretty well. When I get up, that'sthe problem."
JIM SUGAR (PICTURE THIS)
JOHN GRESS/REUTERS (HUNTER)
GUSTAVO CABALLERO/GETTY IMAGES (HILTON)