Foam Finger: Sports Roundup

What to know before catching the next rounds of local competition

Shark Shutout
Just one win away from the series victory, the Los Angeles Kings last night overpowered the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Now up 3-2, the Kings have to thank goalie Jonathan Quick, who notched postseason shutout number three. Anze Kopitar, Slava Voynov, and Jeff Carter found the back of the net for L.A., giving the Staples crowd a 13th-consecutive home win. The Sharks are still trying to figure out how to make the Kings keeper crack, but they have only one more shot (two if they’re lucky) to do so. The Game 6 showdown will take place Sunday in the Shark Tank.

Mattingly Madness
Perched at 19-26, the Dodgers face a rocky weekend series with the Cardinals as well as what seems like a test for now-manager Don Mattingly. L.A. has won three of its last four series, but the games lost to the Braves stirred up insecurities. His comments have made headlines of late, and the future of the team isn’t looking as rosy as some would like—especially Mattingly. “There has to be a mixture of competitiveness,” he said. “It’s not, ‘Let’s put an All-Star team together and the All-Star team wins.’ It’s finding that balance of a team that has a little bit of grit and will fight you. And also having talent to go with it.” What’ll happen next? The peculiar dynamic of this team, its manager, and its front office seems like fodder for a reality show. The next episode will air today at 7:10 p.m.

No Mamba, No MJ
Sports media buzzed last week with news of living-legend former coach Phil Jackson voicing his opinions on Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant. Remember that? Well, move over MJ, because you are not the Zen Master’s pick for helming a championship team. Jackson revealed in a ten-question interview with that Bill Russell would have to be his centerpiece, citing the former Celtic’s eleven titles as cred. “That’s really the idea of what excellence is,” Jackson said, of Russell. Coach avoided picking between MJ and Mamba, saying he would simply flip a coin. “They were that good.” (TIME)

A Spark-less Future?
According to 24/7 Wall St, a site that offers “insightful analysis and commentary for U.S. and global equity investors,” and its annual Ten Brands That Will Disappear list, the WNBA will soon fade to nothingness. The site points to David Stern’s February 2014 retirement as one of the main reasons, saying, “It is hard to imagine how the WNBA could have survived without his support, and that will soon be gone.” The post also notes a lack of attendance, TV viewership, perennial money losses, and disappearing franchises as other reasons why the league will—or should—cease to exist. If that happens, Angelenos will have one less reason to go to the Staples Center. (h/t Los Angeles Times)

A Foam Finger Farewell
Speaking of things disappearing, this will be the last Foam Finger with Fitz-Gerald in it—at least for now—as I’m heading to the land of the Knicks, the Nets, the Yankees, the Mets, the Rangers, the Islanders, the Giants, and the Jets. Summer and working in New York City will be different. There will be no Lakers, no Dodgers, no Kings—definitely no Sparks. What there will be, though, is a transplanted fan with fingers crossed for Kobe’s speedy (and full) recovery, another Stanely Cup, some postseason redemption for the boys in blue, and—God willing—a competitive Trojan football program. Go L.A.