The San Diego Chargers reminded everybody on Wednesday that they actually do excel at something.

It is called pettiness.

The Chargers are always a championship organization when you measure them up in that regard.

The Chargers sent out a statement Wednesday designed to make sure everybody on the planet knows Joey Bosa is the bad guy in their testy negotiations with the former Ohio State defensive end.

Bosa was the third overall selection in the draft and the Chargers say he and his representation rejected their “best offer” on Tuesday night and that they are now pulling the offer off the table.

They say this move is necessary because Bosa will no longer be able to contribute in all 16 games.

Got quite a laugh over the sudden concern about whether Bosa will be in the fold prior to the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 11.

If the Chargers were so worried about this, why didn’t they make their “best offer” two days before training camp started?

Funny how all the other 31 NFL teams know how to get a rookie into training camp.

Here is the Chargers’ statement:

“Our contract discussions and offers to the representatives of Joey Bosa have been both fair and structurally consistent with the contracts of every other Chargers’ player.

“Our offer included:

“An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.

“More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz).

“The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).

“We gave Joey’s representatives our best offer last night, which was rejected today. The offer that we extended was for Joey to contribute during all 16 games and beyond.

“Joey’s ability to contribute for an entire rookie season has now been jeopardized by the valuable time he has missed with his coaches and his teammates. Since Joey will not report at this time, his ability to produce not just early in the season, but throughout the entire season, has been negatively impacted.

“As a result, we will restructure our offer since Joey will be unable to contribute for the full 16-game season without the adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games.”

One thing to keep in mind is that NFL teams nearly always keep negotiations quiet and out of the media.

But the Chargers chose to reveal their differences publicly to EVERYBODY on Wednesday.

So you have to try to think like the Chargers — in other words, not rationally — to figure out why they would pull such a maneuver.

We know the two sides disagree on how much of Bosa’s signing bonus is deferred and also over offset language that only comes into play if Bosa is cut and signs with another team before the end of his rookie contract.

Well, if Bosa is indeed cut before the end of his rookie deal, then the Chargers have bigger issues as they must explain how they took a guy with the No. 3 overall pick that couldn’t play. (That will be general manager Tom Telesco ducking under the table).

Pretty soon, some details from Bosa’s side will be leaked out and things will really get messy. That’s because every agent knows an NFL media source or two that will love to write Bosa’s side.

But for now, we have the Chargers’ side and it is hard to understand the club’s rationale.

At face value, this statement was a dumber than usual move for an organization that excels at stupidity — remember the public relations manager telling the fans to take “chill pills?” — and has a history of acrimonious holdout situations with first-round picks.

The team has just assured that its relationship with Bosa will be adversarial and you can expect Bosa’s representatives to dig their heels in deeper after the Chargers’ threat to reduce the offer.

Bosa’s trump card is deciding not to report to the Chargers at all and then putting his name back into the 2017 NFL draft.

If he were to do that, the Chargers look even sillier for wasting the No. 3 overall pick of the draft.

Funny thing is, if the Chargers had just refrained from being petty, it would have been Bosa drawing most of the criticism as the start of the season neared.

Bosa’s mother was recently ripped for making a Facebook comment about how her son should have pulled an Eli Manning — remember that fiasco, San Diego fans? — and not become part of the Chargers.

Plus, the public typically doesn’t approve of a rookie holdout – you know, unproven player wanting millions of dollars — once a season commences. So Bosa’s desire to play football — and his intelligence — would have been greatly scrutinized.

But not anymore.

Fans of the Chargers and the public in general got a first-hand look at why the organization is considered one of the worst in the NFL.

So while the organization isn’t good at winning football games, you can just picture all the buffoons on the second level of Chargers Park congratulating themselves and high-fiving each other over their “best offer” statement.

Because making Bosa look bad and shaming him is somehow more important than resolving the situation and getting him on the field.

So congratulations to the Chargers, you won Wednesday with your petty statement.

But your fans wish you could learn to do more winning on the field on Sundays.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics concluded on Sunday and all the medalists and fantastic performances were overshadowed by one big buffoon.

If you just learned in 2016 that Ryan Lochte is a buffoon, you are four years behind most of us.

But the stellar swimmer overdid himself this time with his silly “over-exaggerating” tale about how he and three other swimmers were held up at gunpoint and robbed.

Over-exaggerating is slang for … lying a lot.

Athletes like the 32-year-old Lochte are used to having officials and public relations’ bobos help get them out of trouble and then spin a story that is nowhere close to the truth.

So it stands to reason that the 12-time medalist felt he could over-exaggerate (um, fib like crazy) and make the Rio de Janeiro police sound like gun-happy militants when the real truth was that he acted like a immature teenager and vandalized a gas station bathroom.

Do you know anyone who has vandalized a gas station bathroom? I know I don’t.

The fact that four U.S. Olympic swimmers think that rates as a fun time is pretty despicable.

In fact, Lochte isn’t the only buffoon in this episode. Let’s get those other names out there too — James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz.

Lochte, Feigen, Conger and Bentz — also known as America’s Four Buffoons.

Keeping alcohol away from this foursome is probably a good thing. Lochte is now claiming that he was still under the influence of alcohol the following day when he was first told his tale to the media. Pretty sure that means he was drunker than Jim Morrison in concert.

Translation: Fill up the Olympic swimming pool with alcohol and Lochte can and will drink it all.

Too bad there isn’t an Olympic drinking competition. Lochte would be a shoo-in for another gold medal.

Lochte did win one gold medal in swimming in these Olympics but his out-of-the-pool exploits and dishonesty overshadowed the stellar performances of some other Americans.

Namely fellow swimmers Michael Phelps (five gold, one silver) and Katie Ledecky (four gold, one silver) as well as gymnast Simone Biles (four gold, one bronze).

The United States won 46 golds overall. Biles became a household name with some stunning performances. Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt once again proved there is nobody in the world who can keep up with him.

But what people will remember more than anything is that Ryan Lochte is a gigantic dummkopf.

Know this: U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun didn’t find anything funny about Lochte’s act. Blackmun says disciplinary action is forthcoming for Lochte and his three partners in drunken buffoonery.

“They let down our athletes,” Blackmun said. “They let down Americans. And they really let down our hosts in Rio who did such a wonderful job, and we feel very badly about that.

“I think we ended up in the right place in terms of being able to shine a light on what really happened there.”

Whatever discipline comes down is more than deserved. And the best thing about this silly caper is that Lochte wrecked his own endorsement value.

Any company that chooses to line up with Lochte is misguided. So I say no chance you will have to see his silly, smug mug on any television commercials.

One thing about the Olympics is that these athletes pretty much disappear for four years. Nobody will pay much attention to athletes like Ledecky or Biles over the next 3 1/2 years but everyone will be back on board when the 2020 Olympics arrive.

Oh yeah, 2020. Lochte, who will then be 36, plans to compete in Tokyo.

At that point, there won’t be anybody learning for the first time that Lochte is a buffoon.

He has cemented that crown and it is forever part of his lore.

I see Lochte is from North Carolina. The state infamous for the misguided bathroom gender law.

He can brag about that his “buffoon crown” the next time he vandalizes a gas station bathroom.

The latest vacation home to San Diego was nicknamed #AllStarVacay the night before I departed and it sure became a fitting name.

San Diego was playing host to the baseball All-Star Game for the third time. I had attended the previous two but had no aspirations of being at Petco Park for the 2016 midsummer classic.

But a big sporting event in San Diego can’t go on without me inside the venue. I believe it is a rule if you are bored enough to sift through the City Charter.

Less than 48 hours before the start of the game, there was my mother on her computer buying two tickets.

One for her … one for me.

She requested I buy her a ballpark soda.

Yeah, no problem … might even twist my arm enough to get me to buy two … so yeah, thanks mom!

Being in attendance certainly became the highlight of the vacation. The American League won the game and Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer was the MVP. It was a terrific evening at the ballpark.

Oh yeah, can’t forget that the Padres were 0-9 against the San Francisco Giants this season before I arrived in town.

I show up to the ballpark and the fortunes reversed — the Padres beat Madison Bumgarner the first night I attended and won on a walk-off balk the next night.

There are many other highlights to share so now it’s time to get to the latest edition of vacation by tweets:

 

JULY 7

–Been so busy & never got around to naming this year’s vacation. Starts tomorrow. Let’s go with #AllStarVacay since a little game is in SD.

 

JULY 8

–Security checkpoint totally empty at #Boise airport. Sorry, not taking photos of TSA. #AllStarVacay

–Am I back on an #NFL beat? Flight delay … Will miss connection & sit in #Seattle airport for four-plus hours. Bad start to #AllStarVacay

–Wow, @AlaskaAir has rude baggage worker on tarmac at #SeaTac. Now I hang in airport for four hours due to missed connection. #AllStarVacay

–Have passed more people in #SeaTac over past hour than I have seen in #Boise all year long. Not Boise airport, but whole city. #AllStarVacay

–Not a single sighting of a #Mariners hat yet at this airport. Perhaps I’m in Tucson airport & not Tacoma. #AllStarVacay

–OK, old-school #Mariners T-shirt from Mark Langston era spotted. Or Alvin Davis if you prefer. #AllStarVacay

–Actually made it to #SanDiego … Doesn’t seem real … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 9

–Famous Belmont Park roller coaster. #AllStarVacay

–Sunset at Famous Mission Beach #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 10

–Apparently, I’m going to All-Star FanFest for free. And, um, to the All-Star Game for the price of a ballpark soda. #AllStarVacay

–A must visit on #AllStarVacay — my dad’s grave site.

–Delicious pizza at famous Mona Lisa … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 11

–Nutty woman yelling all kinds of stuff on trolley. Not sure what her deal is. Just yelled about sodomy with a child. #AllStarVacay

–At Fan Fest … Sure there will be some cool things to see #AllStarVacay

–Apparently I’m suiting up. Might be playing in the game. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, Jim Leyland & Tony La Russa. Should I ask for the microphone & throw out some steroid questions?

–Met another sports trophy. Not as famous as the Stanley Cup. #AllStarVacay

–Rollie Fingers & Gaylord Perry.

–Here is why #MLB teams can pay players $25 mil a year. Fans paying $40 for caps. #CanBeHadFor20BucksOnFriday

–Tim Raines … A couple baseball fans just said “Who?” #ummmmmm

–Wish I could unhear Berman saying “Let’s get ready to Trumbo.”

–Love all the replay shots where people sitting close at the #HomeRunDerby aren’t watching. One brunette seen texting multiple times. #Weak

–Pretty sure Pokemon Go is as dumb as The Macarena & as bad as the Philadelphia 76ers. And I won’t Google to see if I’m wrong. #PokemonGoAway

 

JULY 12

–On trolley. This #AllStarGame thing is really happening. For price of ballpark soda.

–Proof you can get into the #AllStarGame for the price of a ballpark soda!

–View from the outfield where Giancarlo Stanton was launching homers last night. #AllStarGame

–Joe Paterno lies! Duh. All college football & basketball coaches lie. And ADs. The hire the stakes, the greater the level of deception.

–My view at #AllStarGame#AllStarVacay

–Randy Jones still has better control than most current MLB pitchers. #AllStarVacay

–Looks like Miguel Cabrera was only person in ballpark not holding up a #StandUpForCancer sign. Not surprised. #AllStarVacay

–Fans in #SanDiego got really excited last inning because… They were doing The Wave … HELP … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 13

–Wow, really bad error by @USATODAYsports “Cubs All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant, who grew up in San Diego …” #RealAnswerIsLasVegas

–The highlight of every trip home — first In-N-Out burger of the year. #AllStarVacay

–Oh #Deflategate is back in the news? Sooo thankful to be on vacation & not having to waste carpal tunnel energy on that junk. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 14

–Kept streak of not watching #ESPYs alive. So proud. Swimming in pool & watching The Lion King (Go Simba) with 9-year-old niece much better.

–No longer see #Chargers gear at the #Target in Murrieta. All #Rams now.

–If you start to become good & you’re on the #Padres, you must be traded. #MiserableFailures #PomeranzGiveaway

–Who the heck is Mike Pence? … Related to Hunter Pence? Bassist for SixPence None the Richer? Someone involved in SusPenseful marble games?

 

JULY 15

–If you fall off a cliff playing silly Pokemon Go, I sure hope you are wearing a helmet. Just sayin’.

–Glad to reveal I survived 70 miles of driving chaos on I-15. One woman cut me off & returned to her lane just in time to avoid contact.

–Hard to believe I used to drive in that junk daily. Don’t ever see real traffic where I live now. What they call traffic isn’t traffic.

–Got email from @SouthwestAir about $59 one-way #SanDiego sale. Um, this is like SIX one-ways. LOL Trip Total $344.45

@MrSportsBlog Hey, Mike. We fight tooth-and-nail to have the lowest fares. But due to demand, it can’t be every seat, every time.

Except it is every seat, every time NOT for sale from #SanDiego to #Boise. Every single flight. #NotFightingForBoise

#Deflategate is over? Like really over? Not pretend over? Not Brady faking us over? Like over over OVER? Now let’s end #PokemonGO

Live at #PetcoPark … Could see my third no-hitter … Madison Bumgarner vs #Padres … Aka #MiserableFailures

–Fan sitting next to my friend asked who is #Giants pitcher. My pal said Bumgarner. Fan asked “Is he good?” Ummmm, kinda sir. Kinda.

–Read the “Fun Fact” for Christian Bethancourt. Would rank as embarrassing fact for most MLB teams. #Padres

–Not making this up — Brandon Maurer is the #Padres closer. No grand entrance necessary.

–Yangervis Solarte dives into stands to catch foul pop. Ball had nacho cheese on it when he emerged. #Padres

#Padres win … 1-9 vs #Giants this season.

–This was awesome. Great play and even better emergence from stands. #ThirdBasemanInMyNachos

 

JULY 16

–@TerryBlas If you’re sick of hearing about Pokemon Go for the past week let me tell you what hearing about sports is like for the past three decades.

Wait? This person doesn’t like sports? Ummmmm.

–They somehow still let me on the #SanDiegoState campus. #SchoolLegend

–My college geology teacher used to insist “Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do.” I think he works for NRA. #ApplyNRALogicToAnything

–Back at Petco Park with the much-appreciated free tickets & preferred parking. Can #Padres beat #Giants again?

–Some guy named Schimpf owns Samardzija … SCHIMPF … Might have been found in a rec baseball league. #Padres #Giants

–Pitching isn’t working out for this Villanueva guy. Serving up BP homers. #Padres #Giants

–Buster Posey just homered in 10th & I realized I actually went to a game in #SanFrancisco tonight, not #SanDiego. #Padres #Giants

–Walk-off balk. Seen it all. #Padres beat #Giants again.

–Dang, my research displays #Dodgers won on walkoff balk just last season. Would’ve thought a longer span since it happened. #Padres #Giants

 

JULY 17

–Police killed in #BatonRouge? Night of Dallas shooting I saw dude on #CNN saying, “Why Dallas? Why not Baton Rouge?” Got your way, sir.

–Nearing the point where people in this country who want to live will never again go outside — except the folks playing #PokemonGO.

–Starting to sink in that #AllStarVacay ends tomorrow. Will miss highs of 72 & lows of 64 every day. Not ready to get back in mid-90s furnace.

–Not watching #Obama speech. More entertaining just to type in Obama in Twitter search & watch people go nutso in both directions. #FreeFun

–The #Padres have never thrown a no-hitter. Nobody anywhere wants that first guy to be Edwin Jackson. Nobody.

–Getting exercise at #LakeMurray. Gal just stopped a guy & asked if he was playing #Pokemon. She then told him where one is located. #Absurd

–Whoa! I just witnessed two people who didn’t know each other talking in SoCal. Used to go months without someone exchanging hellos. #Pokemon

–Dear Lake Murray, want to move to #Boise? The Idaho natives are threatened by Californians but they would like you.

–People at Lake Murray all have the Madison Bumgarner look going — lot of glares, no smiles or friendliness. #AllStarVacay

–OMG … Just passed a DAD & 20ish son & Dad said “Do you see that #Pokemon over there?” Both had faces in phones & we’re in sheer delight.

–3.51 miles of exercise at #LakeMurray … Matched a personal record with 0 hello exchanges. Exchanged eye contact with 1 person (20ish gal)

–Vacation ends tomorrow. Seems like it just started. Why does it have to go so quick? Then football starts & boom, year over. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 18

–I hope I don’t accidentally find out what Kardashian/Kanye/Taylor Swift junk is about. Pretty sure I’d rather get run over by a bus Monday.

–Just saw this brouhaha about the Salt Lake soccer team & a columnist nobody outside of Utah knows. It reminds me M in #MLS stands for minor.

–Suitcase packed. #AllStarVacay nearly over. Going to be hard to leave the land of 72-high, 64-low every day for the #Boise furnace.

–@mshusa New post: “Astros hacker sentenced to 46 months in prison”

He got a much stiffer sentence than those female school teachers get for having sex with 14-year-old boys.

–Three people in front of me at TSA at SanDiego airport – repeat THREE – instead of the usual 300. This doesn’t even seem real. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, my flight isn’t going to depart on time. Knew there would be price to pay for there being only three people at TSA.

–Know I am back in #Boise. Copper Toyota LP 1A 7831G swerved to right four times in less than a mile on Chinden. Drunk, texting or #PokemonGo

The All-Star teams are on the field prior to the American League's 4-2 victory over the National League at San Diego's Petco Park.

The All-Star teams are on the field prior to the American League’s 4-2 victory over the National League at San Diego’s Petco Park on July 12, 2016.

Attended my third baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday night and it certainly was a memorable time.

San Diego’s Petco Park doesn’t receive opportunities to get all dressed up too often due to the Padres’ mostly woeful campaigns – you might have heard the man that runs the team recently referred to the squad as “Miserable Failures” – but the ballpark looked fabulous on this occasion.

The American League won the contest 4-2 for its 11th victory in the last 14 years and Kansas City Royals star Eric Hosmer deservedly won MVP honors with a solo homer and an RBI single.

But the biggest moment for San Diegans occurred prior to the game when it was announced that the National League batting title is being named after Padres icon Tony Gwynn.

Even with the announcement being tipped off – the naming of the American League batting crown after Rod Carew was announced first – it was an emotional moment for nearly everyone in the ballpark and it promoted the crowd to break into a “Tony, Tony, Tony” chant for the Hall of Famer who died in 2014.

“Rod is one of the most highly decorated players in American League history, who made 18 straight All-Star appearances in his Hall of Fame career,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Tony is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of the National League and there is no better place to honor him than in San Diego.

“Major League Baseball is pleased to recognize their extraordinary careers by naming our batting crowns in their honor.”

The two players combined for 15 batting titles – eight for Gwynn, seven for Carew – and it certainly was a smart idea for MLB to come up with this method to recognize two of the sport’s best-ever hitters.

Another big deal for San Diegans was seeing former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman delivering the game ball from the bullpen. His signature entry song “Hells Bells” by AC/DC blared in the background as Hoffman soaked in the moment.

Former Padres Cy Young award winner Randy Jones threw out the first ball and it looked like he still possesses better control than most of today’s hurlers.

Former University of San Diego standout Kris Bryant, a star for the Chicago Cubs, added to the local flavor by smacking a first-inning homer off Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.

Rancho Bernardo High alumnus Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers pitched out of a third-inning jam for the AL, Padres pitcher Drew Pomeranz pitched a scoreless inning in the fourth for the NL, and emerging San Diego star Wil Myers batted clean-up and had a double in three at-bats.

It was such a fun night at the ballpark that we’re going to pretend we didn’t see the silly fans doing “The Wave.” (Pretend I didn’t mention it too). Or the singer guy changing the words of the Canadian National Anthem.

A few other highlights worth filing away in the memories’ folder:

–Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz played in his final All-Star game and walked in his final at-bat. Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays entered to pinch run for him and every player on the AL team exited the dugout to congratulate Ortiz.

–Royals catcher Salvador Perez joined Hosmer in homering for the American League and it was a familiar face that both players took deep. San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto was a teammate of both players last fall when Kansas City won its first World Series title in 30 years.

–The National League threatened in the eighth inning and had the bases loaded. St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz came up as a pinch hitter and Houston Astros reliever Will Harris came in from the bullpen. Harris won the battle by retiring Diaz on a full-count called strike.

–Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber picked up the victory with a perfect inning of relief. Kluber could have been pitching regularly at Petco Park if not for a blunder by the Padres as the franchise dealt him to Cleveland in a three-team trade that brought fading outfielder Ryan Ludwick to San Diego in 2010. Kluber went from minor-league afterthought with the Padres to 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner and now will always be remembered as the winning pitcher of the 2016 All-Star Game.

commissioner's trophy 2016I got friendly with a famous trophy on Monday — it was my second time.

Oh, no no no. Not THAT kind of a trophy. I was at famous Mission Beach on Saturday night but there were no attempts to secure any blonde trophy catches. I was just out having a good time with family and friends.

But while prowling around the grounds of the San Diego Convention Center on Monday, I got friendly with the type of trophy that I was not allowed to touch. Yikes, I need to clarify that sentence too.

I was getting friendly with my second sports trophy.

I met the Commissioner’s Trophy at the baseball celebration FanFest and, yeah, it was pretty disappointing to be told I couldn’t touch. So you can see by the photo that my hands kept their distance.

No touching. No caressing. No fondling.

When I was fortunate enough to meet the most famous trophy in sports history — hockey’s Stanley Cup — I was allowed to touch. If you look on my main page, you will see me resting my left arm on the Stanley Cup with my tape recorder and notebook in my right hand.

Getting cozy with the Stanley Cup is certainly much, much better than only getting to look at the Commissioner’s Trophy, which is given to the World Series champion (the Kansas City Royals currently own it).

I can’t imagine ever meeting whatever the NBA trophy is called or the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy. Heck, I have covered three Super Bowls and been to the Commissioner’s Party and countless other events in conjunction with the Super Bowl and never recall the Lombardi Trophy being around.

Hmmm, does Major League Soccer have a trophy? How about the indoor lacrosse league? Fencing? Roller Derby?

So yeah, I just may have met my final trophy.

Anyway, my time with baseball’s trophy lasted about three seconds. I didn’t really get much of a close-up look either as the trophy’s guard snapped my photo and quickly shooed me away.

But still, I met another well-known trophy. Not many people can say they have met the championship trophy of two different sports’ leagues.

Even if the trophy will never recall my name.

Last week I wrote a soccer preview and hinted that something even more stunning could be on the horizon.

And that more astonishing thing did indeed happen on Thursday evening.

While most people were tuned into the NBA Draft and wondering if any of those foreign players they’ve never heard of are any good, I was writing the first WNBA preview of my career.

Yeah, look closely, there was a W there in front of NBA.

Wow, the things I do for money.

There it is right there on FoxSports.com with my byline nowhere to be found — foxsports.com/sun-storm-preview.

Don’t have a lot of personal tidbits for you on this front but I have seen a WNBA game in person at a once-famous venue.

Yep, I made the drive to Los Angeles to write a story on Vanessa Nygaard – a former Carlsbad High star – when she played for Portland. Met her at the team hotel in Marina Del Rey and then cruised over to the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood for the game.

The preview I wrote is for Friday’s game between the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm.

Seattle guard Sue Bird – one of the all-time WNBA greats – was once in the same arena as me.

I was in Viejas Arena covering San Diego State men’s basketball practice and then the women’s team took the floor. Bird was there visiting a San Diego State women’s assistant coach who was a former WNBA teammate — and now I will leave that topic alone.

Also on the Seattle roster is Breanna Stewart, the No. 1 overall pick who just got done winning four consecutive national titles at Connecticut.

That pretty much empties my WNBA tidbits’ file.

First MLS, now WNBA.

What’s next?

Indoor lacrosse? Rowing? Fencing?

Yeah, I better be careful what I wish for.

Well, I guess we can never dog LeBron James any more.

Was fun while it lasted.

Can’t do nothing but praise the man known as “King James” after the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to recover from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.

James and the Cavaliers won the city’s first major professional sports championship in 52 years with Sunday’s 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the rout-infested series.

James’ legacy had been questioned – particularly after Cleveland fell into the 3-1 hole – but a third world title in his career silences that debate.

If the Cavaliers had lost the series, James would’ve been 2-5 in seven NBA Finals appearances. And it would have been more than fair to question his ability to deliver a ring.

Remember, he won his first two titles with the Miami Heat when he had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as teammates. He was supposed to be part of a three-star circus in Cleveland too but Kevin Love has proven to be a terrible fit with James, leaving Kyrie Irving as the lone true other star on the squad.

James helped Cleveland stay alive with back-to-back 41-point performances and climaxed his strong series with the third Game 7 triple-double in NBA Finals’ history, joining Los Angeles Lakers icons’ Jerry West and James Worthy. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on Sunday.

He was the unanimous MVP of the series and I’m pretty sure he would have been named MVP even if Golden State had won.

Oh yeah, Golden State. Let’s discuss that team for a minute.

If Cleveland is the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, guess what that makes the Warriors?

Yep, the first team to blow a 3-1 series lead.

That takes a good amount of luster off their remarkable regular season in which they set a record with a 73-9 mark. But they lost the same number of games in the postseason and no longer possessed that look of a hard-to-beat team.

Golden State came close to not reaching the finals as the Oklahoma City Thunder held a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals before failing to close the deal.

Then the Warriors suffered three double-digit defeats to Cleveland before going scoreless over the final 4:38 in Game 7 and watching Irving drain the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 53 seconds left.

Draymond Green’s absence in Game 5 due to picking up too many flagrant fouls was a crusher. Then two-time MVP Stephen Curry suffered a Game 6 meltdown, displaying signs that the pressure was getting to him.

Talk about legacy? How the Warriors rebound next season will help determine a lot about how history looks at them.

Instead of being a two-time defending champion, Golden State will enter the next campaign with a ton of wins and just one banner.

As tough as the Western Conference is, it could be hard to get back. What if this band of Warriors win just one title?

“We understand, I think, when you look at the history of the league, how few teams repeated,” Curry said in the postgame press conference. “That was our goal, and we didn’t do it. It’s going to be a long three months over the summer thinking about it.

“But that doesn’t mean we can’t put this as another little unfortunate notch in the belt and move forward and come back stronger next year. That’s the mindset.”

Now that Cleveland has won a pro sports title — the 1964 Browns of the NFL were the most recent champions — guess what city has gone the current most seasons without winning a major pro sports championship?

San Diego!

Guessing a lot of you got that one right. San Diego has a streak of 109 straight seasons without a title – 52 by the Chargers, 47 by the Padres and 10 from two former NBA teams (Clippers six, Rockets four).

Cleveland got rid of that dubious distinction primarily because of James, the guy who returned to the franchise and made it a goal to end the city’s title woes.

And well, I guess he has been motivated by those of us who didn’t mind pointing out the truth in the past. There were tears everywhere as he relished Sunday’s accomplishment.

“Those emotions came out of me, just leading 14 guys and understanding, like I said, what our city’s been through over the last 50-plus years since Jim Brown,” said James, referring to the legendary running back. “Then also people just counting me out.

“Throughout my 13-year career, I’ve done nothing but be true to the game, give everything I’ve got to the game, put my heart, my blood, sweat, tears into the game, and people still want to doubt what I’m capable of doing.”

OK, OK — we get it. You’re now 3-4 in the NBA Finals.

Maybe you might want to win the next one you’re in as well to get the mark to .500.

But ridicule LeBron James for not coming through when the stage is at its biggest?

Pretty sure that is no longer an option.

You see, he won a title in Cleveland.

Life is getting weirder all the time.

I know this because I did something Friday evening that I once would have laughed at if it were suggested by someone.

I wrote a preview about an MLS game.

Wait, did everyone just collapse in bewilderment?

Let me repeat myself, I previewed an MLS game between the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC.

Making it doubly weirder is Saturday’s game will be played in Yankee Stadium.

So I guess it isn’t the House that Ruth Built after all. Is it the House that Pele Built?

Go ahead, read the preview — it can be found lots of places. I personally like that it somehow landed on Yahoo! Sports and gives credit to an organization that I didn’t write it for. (My first ever MLS preview … OMG).

Yeah, the Internet keeps getting weirder too.

The best thing is I never heard of any of those players or coaches I mentioned in the preview. Nope, not even David Villa, the MLS’ leading goal scorer.

It’s true, never heard of David Villa.

Guess he must be kind of good.

It’s not that I am against soccer – I watch the World Cup games every four years and I once covered the U.S. team for a couple weeks while it was training in San Diego. Oh yeah, I covered future World Cup stalwarts Marcelo Balboa and Eric Wynalda for two seasons as a student beat reporter at San Diego State.

I even attended indoor soccer games when the San Diego Sockers were winning titles faster than Donald Trump ships out immigrants.

But I typically rake in the big dough by writing about NFL, NBA and MLB teams and college football and basketball programs.

This is definitely a whole new world to be paid to write about soccer.

Geez, what’s next? Writing about WNBA teams?

Uh oh, I hear that might happen next.

Stay tuned.

The greatest player to ever lace up the hockey skates died on Friday.

Legendary Gordie Howe passed away at age 88 and if Wayne Gretzky says someone is the greatest ever to play the sport, count me in.

The timing of Howe’s death didn’t allow him to receive its due. Friday just happened to be the day-long remembrance of Muhammad Ali and ESPN was just a tad busy providing excellent coverage of Ali’s funeral.

That meant the network most people watch for sports news wasn’t in position to do Howe justice. He was a big-time star back in the day when people had to learn the hockey scores by listening to the radio broadcast or by reading the morning newspaper.

Pretty sure nobody has counted on the local newspaper for a score in about 25 years.

Anyway, Howe was known as “Mr. Hockey” and that alone should tell you about his stature with the sport.

The Detroit Red Wings’ star won MVP honors six times and scored 801 goals during a 26-year NHL stint.

He retired from the Red Wings in 1971 after 25 seasons and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the next year. But he wasn’t done playing, not at all.

He joined forces with sons Marty and Mark and played six seasons in the World Hockey Association – four for the Houston Aeros and two with the New England Whalers.

And that is when I saw Howe play a game. The San Diego Mariners were part of the WHA for three seasons and I recall it being a big deal to go see Howe play since he was a legend and was also pushing 50.

I cannot tell you how Howe fared in the game but I do recall Mark Howe scored a goal. No idea why I remember this. I definitely wasn’t taking notes at games at that age.

Maybe I will make an exhaustive search of the storage shed and go through the old ticket stubs box and see if I can pinpoint a date, research the game and re-live the results.

Howe played one last season in the NHL in 1979-80 and scored 15 goals for the Hartford Whalers before retiring at age 52.

Either way, it is nice to know I saw the greatest hockey player play a game.

“Unfortunately we lost the greatest hockey player ever today, but more importantly the nicest man I have ever met,” Gretzky said on his Twitter account. “Sending our thoughts and prayers to the Howe family and to the millions of hockey fans who like me loved Gordie Howe. RIP Mr. Hockey.”

The photo below was taken by a gentleman named Neil Leifer. In my opinion, it might be the best sports photo ever taken. famous.Ali.photo

Leifer snapped this photo at ringside when photographers had to go develop the film to see if they nailed the shot. As you can see, he captured Muhammad Ali in full powerful glory with a first-round knockout of Sonny Liston in 1965.

The photo displays Ali at perhaps the top level of his boxing career — and a much different version of the man that the young people of today envision.

Muhammad Ali died on Friday night at the age of 74 and it is one of those deaths that hits everyone.

He transcended the sports world and is truly one of the legends of our time.

Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for the last 32 years of his life and I can tell you firsthand what a despicable, horrible disease it is. I know this because my father died from it.

While my dad’s health was deteriorating, I began praying with a request that nobody I knew ever get diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I later upgraded it to ask that even people I don’t know not receive the diagnosis.

So part of me thinks of the sad way Ali lived the latter part of his life. Nobody of his stature deserves that.

But think of the way the younger Ali lived.

Wow, did he live.

I have no firsthand knowledge of how big Ali was in the 1960s but I can attest to his status in the 1970s. Every one of his fights was a major deal and the hype was incredible. This was before the ESPN era, mind you.

He would go on some crazy rants and would ridicule opponents and you never knew what was coming next.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” was one of his famous lines that you would hear repeated on the playground over and over.

Yeah, it is hard to believe Muhammad Ali no longer lives on planet Earth.

Here is a quick synopsis of his boxing career for the youngsters frequenting this website.

He was born as Cassius Clay and first earned boxing fame by winning the 1960 gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rome.

He later changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1967 when he joined the Nation of Islam. He refused to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, was found guilty of draft evasion and was stripped of the title he won in 1964 with the first of his two victories over Liston.

Ali eventually returned to boxing and suffered a loss to Joe Frazier in 1971 in one of three memorable fights between the two. Ali won the other two bouts, including the “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975.

In 1973, Ali suffered a stunning defeat when then little-known Ken Norton broke Ali’s jaw at the San Diego Sports Arena and won a 12-round split decision.

Ali regained the heavyweight title for the second time in 1974 when he defeated George Foreman in the famous rope-a-dope fight in Zaire.

Ali’s career record was 56-5 with 37 wins by knockouts. His last fight was in 1981 and he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984.

And now, on June 3, 2016, a true legend has died.

He often referred to himself as “The Greatest.”

He just may have been right.