To international competitive gymnastics with a handy win at the American Cup, Paul Hamm (above). In his first international competition since winning the all-around gold medal in Athens 3 1/2 years ago, the 25year-old won by more than three points (94.4 to 91.15) over countryman Sasha Artemev, with Hisashi Mizutori of Japan, the reigning world bronze medalist, in third. "It certainly puts [Hamm] in the running with anyone in international competition," said his coach, Miles Avery. In the women's competition Nastia Liukin beat out fellow American Shawn Johnson, the reigning world champ.
By Bob Knight, a job as a journalist—a position he once described as being "one or two steps above prostitution." The former coach will work for ESPN as a postseason college basketball analyst. During his 47-year coaching career, Knight—who retired from Texas Tech last month—had countless run-ins with the media, and he was fond of reminding scribes that "all of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things."
By the Cardinals, infielder Scott Spiezio (below), after he was charged with drunken driving. Spiezio, 35, played only 81 games last season and was away from the team for more than a month while undergoing treatment for substance abuse. Last week Spiezio was charged with misdemeanor counts of DUI, hit and run, aggravated assault, and assault and battery stemming from an accident in Irvine, Calif., on Dec. 30, when Spiezio allegedly crashed into a fence, ran from the scene and assaulted a resident of a condo complex. Spiezio, who will be paid the $2.3 million he was due to earn this season, could face two years in prison.
After breaking his left wrist and collarbone in a fall at home, legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. Last Thursday, Wooden, 97, fell at his Los Angeles condominium. He was hospitalized the next day and spent the weekend resting comfortably. Wooden, who has a cast on his wrist, also received two blood transfusions because doctors discovered that he was anemic. "Dad will be fine," Wooden's daughter, Nan Muehlhausen, said. "Everyone expects him to make a full recovery."
To support Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the presidential race, Trail Blazers rookie Greg Oden. Last week Oden, who has missed the entire season after undergoing knee surgery, wrote on his blog that he recently met Obama and came away impressed. "I know it's just one small vote, but it's big to me," wrote Oden, 20, who will be voting in his first presidential election. Obama has received endorsements from several high-profile athletes, including Charles Barkley and Grant Hill. Among those who have endorsed Hillary Clinton is Magic Johnson.
By President George Bush, a visit to the White House by the Red Sox on Feb. 27. Bush quipped his way through a presentation on the South Lawn. He singled out pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka for praise, marveling at the large Japanese press corps that follows Dice-K and noting, "We both have trouble answering questions in English." Bush also took a friendly swipe at Manny Ramirez, who skipped the event, by referring to an excuse Ramirez once used for missing All-Star workouts: "I'm sorry [he] isn't here. I guess his grandmother died again."
At age 82, William F. Buckley. The conservative commentator wrote erudite prose on a variety of topics—his first book was called God and Man at Yale, a critique of his alma mater—and occasionally focused on sports. He wrote several articles about sailing and in 1972 contributed a piece to SI that examined the cold war rivalry between athletes from North America and the Soviet bloc.
They Said It
Coach of the 11--46 Miami Heat:
"I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do; I just don't know where to start."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A nine-year-old girl in Australia has been banned from her tennis club for grunting too loudly when she hits the ball.
STEPHEN DUNN/GETTY IMAGES (RILEY)
RHONA WISE/ICON SMI (SPIEZIO)
AL TIELEMANS (HAMM)