John Tortorella is the new Frank White.
Or at least the Rangers coach thinks he is. In fact, Torts even got a ringing endorsement for President in this very space. Let’s review his year: He’s blasted Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, ripped and benched his own star Marian Gaborik, issued a conspiracy theory during the Winter Classic and recently lectured a New York reporter for forgetting to turn his cell phone off.
Up until Wednesday night, it was a funny, cute act. Now, that act has grown tired. And the New York media is dropping the ball (puck?) by letting him get away with it. After the Rangers lost Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Torts decided he didn’t want to answer any questions. His common refrain in a presser that lasted about 1 minute was: “Let’s keep it in the room.”
Here are some suggestions for a seemingly scared New York media …
1. Boycott the man. On the surface, this screams, “Torts Won!” No more press conferences. But the NHL won’t stand for that. They’ll call him into the league office and sit him down with Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts. No doubt he’ll keep that in the room.
2. Use kid gloves. Reporters should turn each postgame rendezvous into a theme night. For the first edition, show up armed with rattles and bibs, maybe flash some Gerbers for the cameras. Torts will either unleash an epic rant, or he’ll comply. Win win.
3. Send in the Brits. Look, we’re not the biggest fans of the British press. They take it to a whole new level (see this front page following the 2004 election) … but give them credit, they hold no punches. Let’s contract this assignment out to London.
Lake Show winning postgame war
Speaking of press conferences, has anyone been following the Lakers’ playoff run? Yes, L.A. is down 2-0 to Oklahoma City right now, but they are sweeping the postgame podium.
Kobe Bryant, as expected, is the star. Kobe has asked floppers, “Where are your balls?” He’s commented that Russell Westbrook wears a lot of “weird shit.” And instructed Blake Griffin to “smack the f— out of somebody.”
Now, it seems like Kobe’s star power is rubbing off on his teammates.
Paul Pierce, poker star
What do you do after making one of your oldest, fiercest rivals look like choir boys on the hardwood? Play $10-10 no-limit poker, of course. Celtics star Paul Pierce was seen at a table Wednesday night where the max buy-in was $3,000, right after he dropped 24 points on the Sixers. Yes, Pierce made about $15.3 million this season.
We don’t gamble — we don’t make enough money to waste — but considering the Celtics are off today, we don’t have a problem with it. Although, we have to hand Pierce a violation for his taste in casinos. He was spotted at a suburban Philadelphia gambling joint, where he was dressed in a hoodie and sitting by himself with a can of Red Bull. Which begs the questions: Where were his teammates? Where was the arm candy? Where was the Gray Goose?
When Kobe Bryant was in Philly for a regular-season game, he was caught lounging at a famous strip club, with Andrew Bynum in tow. Take notes, Paul. And just for the record, Atlantic City is less than an hour away, a place where Jay-Z owns a night club and Kim Kardashian has been known to host VIP parties. Just saying.
Off the rebound, ready to pounce
Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren has broken up with her boyfriend, according to People Magazine. And … everyone, all at once, pounce!
The former Mrs. Woods is reportedly pursuing a psychology degree while overseeing the construction of an ocean-front home. So, what kind of pick-up line would get you a date with Elin … give it a try:
» We should go clubbin’ some time
» Do you golf? We’d make an excellent two-some
» Are you famous? I swear I’ve seen you before, maybe in a magazine
» I promise I won’t cheat on you — with multiple women, in front of the whole world
» Back seat of my Escalade, let’s swing an episode