Ailene Voisin, sports columnist

Randall Benton / Sacramento Bee

Republic FC players celebrate scoring against the LA Galaxy II at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The team has momentum heading into its game against Rochester.

Ailene Voisin's Monday Morning High Five: LeBron, Silver, Sac City's Hughes Stadium, Cousins, Chrome

Published: Monday, Jun. 9, 2014 - 8:09 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014 - 10:06 am

•  Catching too much Heat: Why would anyone criticize LeBron James for asking out of Game 1 of the NBA Finals while he was dehydrated and suffering from debilitating muscle cramps? Seriously? The heat wave must be robbing folks (tweeters, bloggers, experts) of their common sense, because the best player in the NBA would never leave a game in the deciding moments if he physically were able to continue. What’s that saying? If you can walk, you can play. He couldn’t walk. It was no surprise he responded with a dominating performance in Game 2.

•  Silver deserves gold medal: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is on the verge of ridding his league of Donald Sterling, its longest-tenured and most-despised owner. With help from Sterling’s wife, Shelly, Silver facilitated a tentative $2 billion sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. While Silver can’t claim victory – though he already owns the moral victory – until the Board of Governors approves the sale and Sterling’s lawsuit against the league is resolved, he is close to making Donald disappear. When that happens, of course, Silver can turn his attention to the almost-as-despised New York Knicks owner James Dolan. Lucky him.

•  A fond adieu: While Republic FC coach Preki and his players are eagerly relocating from 20,231-seat Hughes Stadium to a grass turf and a wider pitch at a temporary 8,000-seat facility at Cal Expo, it won’t be easy to top the festive atmosphere that characterized the games at the charming old historical site on Sac City’s campus.

•  Cousins scores on Kimmel: DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t deserve an Emmy for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Sunday night in Los Angeles, but he was a good sport during the spoof and, more importantly, he looks to be in excellent shape. With TNT analyst Marv Albert keeping score for a “game” of 1-on-1 between Kimmel and Cousins – who had to bang on a marching bass drum with his left hand while attempting to score and defend on a pint-sized basketball court – the Kings center laughed when he was assessed a “technical” and grinned when Kimmel made a basket for the “win.” The format didn’t allow Cousins to show much of his outsized personality – he can be hilarious – but the Kings must be encouraged by how toned he looked in t-shirt, shorts and sneakers.

•  Coburn tarnishes Chrome’s run: California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn sounded like a sore loser after his colt faltered Saturday in the Belmont Stakes. Clearly, his horse appeared fatigued, but he knew the rules when he entered the contest. If he hasn’t turned off too many racing fans with criticism that persisted into Sunday, he can start lobbying the industry to lengthen the time between the Triple Crown races. Why three races in five weeks? An argument can be made to push the Belmont back another week or so, giving the horse more rest. IF the NBA can change its format to provide more rest for players between Finals games – enhancing the product – why can’t the racing industry at least consider a change? If only horses could speak ...


Call The Bee’s Ailene Voisin, (916) 321-1208.

Read more articles by Ailene Voisin



Ailene Voisin, sports columnist

Ailene Voisin

Ailene Voisin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UNLV and a law degree from the University of San Diego before committing full time to journalism.

Her career includes stops at the San Diego Union, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and time spent as the backup beat writer for Dodgers and Angels, Clippers and NBA beat writer, sports columnist, along with numerous assignments covering international events and the Olympics. Ailene joined The Sacramento Bee in 1997.

Email: avoisin@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1208
Twitter: @ailene_voisin

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