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Derek Norris' girlfriend Kristen Eck is the perfect addition to the Technicolor world of the 21st Century Oakland Athletics, team of the future! She's got tastefully done purple and blue hair, she's beautiful, and she's spunky. She's also pals with Tina Milone, so you know she's cool. This happens a lot in wife and girlfriend circle amongst pro athletes. It's sort of like the wives in Goodfellas.
I have the perfect way to describe what Kristen looks like: she's a cross between a young Pamela Adlon and Karen Fillipelli. Nailed it, right? So Kristen is a hairstylist, and that explains the craftily cut mullet which Mr. Norris is known for. In a recent article in USA Today, Derek basically summarized Kristen's relationship to the mullet as something she puts up with and is cool about. He describes it as "back from the past, into the future," which is sort of apt considering mullets have been laying low for a long time. They mine as well rear their weird head now that it's 2014.
Derek's year with the A's has been great. You can't complain about a .305 batting average and 58 hits thus far. He's a good catcher with an arm, and I sort of think any catcher hitting above .270 is a bonus since good all-arounders are hard to come by. Like his teammates, Derek's an absolute steal at about $500,000 per year, which will of course rocket up as soon as he becomes a free agent. Them's the ropes. Your agent's helpless until you prove yourself and enter the market. I've said this about other Oakland supervalues-- Derek will probably be picked up by the Yankees at some point when he enters free agency, and then he'll start hitting .230 as soon as he dons the pinstripes. Seen it time and time again. According to baseballreference.com, he's not eligible to be a free agent until 2019, and the earliest that he'd be eligible for salary arbitration is 2016. Pretty sweet to be Billy Beane right about now.
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Muhammad Ali's wife Lonnie Ali has been at the center of some controversy surrounding Muhammad's children. Recently an article detailing the breakdown of Ali's relations to his kids appeared in the New York Post, and Lonnie was fingered as the catalyst. Part of the problem is that Muhammad Ali is now wholly in the grips of Parkinson's, whether you want to call it the disease or the syndrome. His sons attest to his catatonic state, and his son Muhammad Jr. says he wishes it would take him sooner rather than later so that he could escape the pain.
According to Muhammad Jr., who is poor and destitute and living in a slum in Chicago, his father cannot communicate and is existing in a comatose state, in pain all the time. A number of the Ali children say that Lonnie Ali cut them off from visiting and seeing their father when she married him. She was his fourth wife, and Ali had actually had children with a few other women besides his wives. There's always two sides to a story, but it does seem wrong that Muhammad Jr. will not get a chance to see his father on his birthday and has been barred from seeing him at all. Lonnie might say Ali is too frail to travel and that a visit wouldn't make any difference considering his condition, but it doesn't seem right to keep Ali from his family.
For the one or two people who don't know who Muhammad Ali is, he is widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight champion ever. His blinding speed and reflexes, tough-as-nails endurance, and preternatural ring instincts allowed him to become the only boxer in history to win the lineal World Championship three times. That means he was undisputed three separate times: 1964, 74, and 78. I've seen almost all of his fights, and for a nice demo of his skills, check out this video.
A big problem for his kids now is that he can't remember who they are. Ali Jr. detailed a story about when he first started having memory lapses back in 1986. Ali had taken him to an ice cream parlor and then driven off. His son called his wife, and his wife relayed the message to Ali that he'd left him there, and when Ali got back he told his son that he forgot he was there. Ali Jr. says that was the first time he realized Ali had a real problem, and it's only gotten worse with time. It is true that Muhammad looks quite unhealthy now. All I can say is I hope for the best for his family and peace for Muhammad Ali, The Greatest.
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These two just got married a couple days ago, and Jamal Crawford's wife Tori Crawford was able to mix-a-lot at her wedding. Yes, Sir Mix-a-Lot was a surprise musical guest, and he performed his early 90's hit "Baby Got Back" to guests including Chris Paul, Grant Hill, and pretty much his whole team of Clippers.
Jamal's wife Tori has something to be proud of in the fact that Jamal is only the fourth person in history to win the NBA sixth man award twice. His value to a team is clear, and his value to Sir-Mix-a-Lot's career cannot be overstated. Tori herself is 29 years old and the mother of two. She's busy all the time taking care of the little ones. Their son is named JJ and their daughter is named London. She also helps take care of Jamal's first son, Eric.
Tori is a fairly private wife for Jamal, but the two are actively involved in community reach-out programs and charity. Jamal himself seems like a really generous, cool dude. He's friends with basically all the top athletes. His last birthday, the 13-year NBA vet got a shout-out from Floyd Mayweather wishing him a good year. He's been photographed hanging with Kobe, Isaiah Thomas (who attended his wedding), and of course all the Clips. Tori is a bit more private and likes to stay home with the kids, though the two enjoy vacations in the offseason and spending quality time at their current pad in Los Angeles. Jamal makes some decent cash to support his wife. His biggest earning year was 2010-2011, when he made $10.8 million. Last year he pulled down a cool $5.2 million. One of the most impressive stats I found from Crawford was his league-leading .927 free throw percentage back in the 2011-2012 season. Only 206 attempts but that's nothing to sneeze at.