Best gag of 2010? The one pulled by a onetime Nuggets ballboy, who filled Kenyon Martin's white-interior Range Rover with buttered popcorn. Popping hot, K-Mart (right) threatened to skip the playoffs if the jokester didn't fess up. He did, but had to foot the cleaning bill—per kernel of humor, a bargain.
The Prez is a mad bomber! In a game of H-O-R-S-E treys (played as P-O-T-U-S) that aired during Butler--Michigan State, Barack Obama faltered early—"I've got a few other things on my mind," he sandbagged—before ending six of 10 to beat '82 Big Ten MVP Clark Kellogg.
KING CARLOS TEVEZ
Man City's bank-breaking hire (right) has earned every pence of his (at least) ¬£25 million transfer fee. El Apache has 20 goals in 29 games, fourth-most in the Premier League, and his Citizens are in striking distance of their first Champions League spot in 34 years.
Will Nicholas Sparks title his next work The Mountaineers? After West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler tore his ACL against Duke, coach Bob Huggins provided the tournament's tenderest moment, getting on his knees to comfort the senior. Were those tears, Huggy Bear?
Down went Wayne Rooney ... and Butler's Matt Howard ... and the Bucks' Andrew Bogut. (YouTube the last one at your own risk.) Their respective ankle, head and arm injuries were all the result of awkward tumbles, and all came at inopportune times, as the EPL, NCAA and NBA seasons neared their ends.
Sure, Bernard Hopkins, 45, avenged a 17-year-old loss to Roy Jones Jr., 41. But really, what was the point? The infraction-plagued fight landed both men in the hospital. Said one Hopkins adviser, "It's time for his friends ... to have a serious talk with him."
NO WORLDS, KING SAYS
Citing a brutal off-season (he's in a movie and must pick his next NBA team), LeBron James said he'd "probably" skip the August world championships. That, says Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo, might mean no '12 Olympics for King James.
Finish line or finished line? The West's former front-runners, the Blackhawks, lost five of 12 to fall behind San Jose; and the two clubs hanging on to the final playoff spots—Philly in the East and Colorado in the West—had combined to win six of their last 20.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
WHO IS THE TOUGHEST FIGHTER?
Derek Boogaard, Wild LW 44%
Colton Orr, Maple Leafs, RW 21%
Jody Shelley, Rangers, LW 5%
Zdeno Chara, Bruins, D 4%
D.J. King, Blues, LW 3%
Penguins RW Eric Godard also got 3%.... From this hittin' half dozen, only Orr is among the NHL's top 20 in 2009--10 fighting majors; his 21 bouts are fifth highest. The most whistled scrapper, Lightning C Zenon Konopka (28), got one vote.... According to hockeyfights.com, Boogaard hasn't lost a dustup since Dec. 6, 2008. He was whupped twice that season by Predators RW Wade Belak (three votes).
Based on a survey of 272 NHL players
ICON SMI (MARTIN)
JAE C. HONG/AP (OBAMA)
PAUL THOMAS/ACTION IMAGES/ZUMAPRESS.COM (TEVEZ)
JOHN BIEVER (HUGGINS)
MARILYN INDAHL/ICON SMI (BOOGAARD)
ABELIMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (ORR)