The morning links, aka March of the Penguin:
"This is it. It hurts." Mario Lemieux has retired, again, but this time it's for good, and may well be the the prelude to disengagement: his own, from the Penguins, and the Penguins, from his lengthy shadow. One more link, from George Johnson in Calgary, has this bit from Paul Coffey on Lemieux vs. Gretzky:
"Wayne was, well, in another world altogether. But Mario brought something that no one had seen before. A guy 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5, smooth skater, with the softest pair of hands maybe in the history of the game. Some of the stuff he pulled when we won the Cup in Pittsburgh, undressing Ray Bourque, slicing open Minnesota in the final time and again, bordered on the ridiculous."
In the NBA, which is trying its best to cash in on Kobe Bryant's 81-point night: Ron Artest turns down a trade to Sacramento at least for now but then again, maybe for good (can't anyone make up their minds and trade this guy already?), and a former Knicks employee is suing Isiah Thomas for sexual harassment (reg. req'd; for the AP version of the story, go here).