Man’s phone blow­ing up; But­ler did it

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE - Com­piled by Frankie Frisco

Call­ing the wrong phone num­ber is gen­er­ally a bit awk­ward for both par­ties, but it hap­pened to one per­son more than 100 times Thurs­day.

That’s the re­al­ity for Evanston, Ill., res­i­dent Michael Byrne, who has a phone num­ber one digit off of the one Jimmy But­ler gave out, en­cour­ag­ing his crit­ics to call him, at his in­tro­duc­tory news con­fer­ence with the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves on Thurs­day.

“At first I heard my phone go­ing off a bunch,” Byrne told NBC 5 Chicago. “When I checked it, I al­ready had 37 missed calls.”

Ac­cord­ing to the TV sta­tion, Byrne re­ceived more than 100 voice mails and more than 150 text mes­sages from fans think­ing they were reach­ing out to the for­mer Chicago Bulls All-Star. De­spite liv­ing just north of Chicago, Byrne didn’t even know who But­ler was and had to Google him to it fig­ure it out, ac­cord­ing to NBC.

Byrne could stay low for a while and en­joy a few days without con­stantly look­ing at his phone, but there’s one big prob­lem: He’s cur­rently wait­ing to hear back from jobs about em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to NBC, so he is left to take all the calls that he can and then ex­plain to fans they have the wrong num­ber.

Byrne said he tried to reach out to the Tim­ber­wolves to see if they could help, but an op­er­a­tor told him there wasn’t much they could do. Byrne also said he tried to reach out to But­ler with the cor­rect phone num­ber but was un­able to get through.

Spread­ing the news

There was cause for cel­e­bra­tion Wed­nes­day among New York Knicks fans after learn­ing the club had parted ways with team pres­i­dent Phil Jack­son.

On Thurs­day, New York news­pa­pers joined in on the fun.

Metro New York went with the sim­ple head­line “Bye Phil-icia,” along with a photo of the ex­ec­u­tive who will be re­mem­bered for pro­duc­ing los­ing teams but also for draft­ing fan fa­vorite Kristaps Porzingis.

Both the front and back cov­ers of the New York Daily News fo­cused on Jack­son’s ouster. One side was a par­ody of The Wizard of Oz that pro­claimed “Karma’s a Witch” and “Ding-Dong, the Jax Is Gone,” while the other showed film di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Spike Lee rais­ing his arms to­ward the heav­ens upon learn­ing about Jack­son’s exit from his beloved Knicks.

Momma’s boy

The mother of golfer Li Hao­tong went into the wa­ter at the French Open to re­cover her son’s dis­carded put­ter. After she grabbed it, she re­al­ized it was bro­ken and threw it back in.

Li’s mother rolled up her shorts and waded through the muddy wa­ter on the Golf Na­tional course Thurs­day as play­ers watched. She care­fully moved for­ward and col­lected the bro­ken club.

A Twit­ter video by the Euro­pean Tour showed golfers Tyrrell Hatton and Thomas Pi­eters laugh­ing on the nearby 11th green as Li’s mother re­al­ized the club was use­less. Once back on dry land, she threw it into the wa­ter.

“Ab­so­lutely much [sic] watch this… priceless… she thought she was get­ting a nice new club…,” Ian Poul­ter tweeted, un­aware at the time that the woman was Li’s mother.

Li threw his club into the wa­ter out of frus­tra­tion after bo­gey­ing the par-3 11th hole. After the in­ci­dent, Li played the fi­nal seven holes at level par us­ing a sand wedge as a put­ter. He even birdied the 14th and fin­ished the first round at even-par 71.

AP/CHARLES REX ARBOGAST

After Jimmy But­ler of the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves gave out his phone num­ber at a news con­fer­ence Thurs­day, Michael Byrne of Evanston, Ill., re­ceived more than 100 phone calls from fans think­ing he was But­ler. But­ler and Byrne’s phone num­ber dif­fer by one digit.

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