THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Thunder at Timberwolves , 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Heat at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball : Elon at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Eastern Michigan at Michigan, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten  Network)
College football: Poinsettia Bowl, BYU vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
‘¦ The Jets appear ready to start over at quarterback. According to the New York Daily News , the team will look to trade Mark Sanchez  after the season — although it likely will be difficult to find a team willing to pay Sanchez the $8.25 million he’s owed. Sanchez, in his fourth season in New York after being drafted fifth overall, has been benched in favor of Greg McElroy  for Sunday’s game against the Chargers following his disastrous five-turnover performance in this past Sunday’s 14-10 loss to the Titans that ended the Jets’ playoff hopes.
‘I’m not going to make excuses,’ Sanchez said after Wednesday’s practice. ‘At the end of the day, no matter what kind of situation that you’re in, the quarterback has the ball and it’s my job to make good decisions with the football regardless of the personnel situation. ‘¦ I’m not going to go there. Is every interception the quarterback’s fault? Of course not. But they’re attributed to the quarterback. It goes as my stat. You live with that. You own up to your side of the mistakes and you move on.’
The Daily News also reports that Michael Vick , who is expected to be released by the Eagles when the season ends, would be amenable to joining the Jets, and that Rex Ryan  has always admired the speedy QB.
“[Ryan] loves him,” a team official told the paper.
Vick lost his starting job in Philadelphia after receiving a concussion this season.
‘¦ Suspended ESPN “First Take” panelist Rob Parker apologized for racially inflammatory remarks  he made last week about Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Parker, himself African-American, questioned whether Griffin was “a brother or a cornball brother” and brought up the fact that the player has a white fiancee and is rumored to be a Republican.
Wrote Parker on Wednesday:
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one.”
Added Parker: “I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.”
‘¦ Isiah Thomas , fired by Florida International University in March after going 26-65 in three seasons as coach, will make his debut as an analyst on NBA TV  on Friday. Thomas is slated to make several appearances a month and write for NBA.com.
His first appearance comes as a lead-in to the game between the Bulls and Knicks, the last NBA team Thomas worked for.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 20, 1964, the Patriots ended their season with a 24-14 loss to the Bills. Despite failing to score in the game, which Patriots player finished the season with an AFL record 155 points?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The money and things like that in baseball are great, but I came here because I believe this team has as good a chance of winning as much as anybody else. I’ve always believed that. I believe that that should be your mentality going into any season because it’s proven day in and day out.” — New Red Sox  pitcher Ryan Dempster , at his introductory press conference  Wednesday at Fenway Park 
STAT OF THE DAY: 35 — The age of Paul Pierce , who became the oldest Celtic ever to score 40 points in a regulation game when he hit the mark in Wednesday night’s 103-91 victory over the Cavaliers 
Zach McCormick, a 6-foot-2 guard at Cincinnati’s Turpin High School, throws down an impressive one-handed alley-oop dunk vs. Anderson High.
Here’s Nike’s new “Hockey is ours” commercial.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Receiver/kicker Gino Cappelletti
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson was born on this day in 1966.