|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN fires Rob Parker, apologizes for Brent Musburger||01.09.13 at 7:41 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Suns at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Lakers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Boston College at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Michigan, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Louisville at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa State at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Minnesota at Illinois, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Arkansas at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UNLV at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at California, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Hawaii at UC-Irvine, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Harvard at Boston University, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Two days after Rob Parker went on a Detroit television show and attempted to convince people his comments about Robert Griffin III were taken out of context and that he was not questioning RGIII’s “blackness,” ESPN announced that it was parting ways with the “First Take” panelist.
“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end,” a statement from the network read. “Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”
Parker, who had been on the show for six years, was serving a 30-day suspension. A “First Take” producer also reportedly was suspended, apparently due to the fact the show re-aired repeatedly with the offensive comments unedited.
In other ESPN news, the network apologized on Tuesday for announcer Brent Musburger gushing about the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron during Monday night’s national championship game. Katherine Webb, the 2012 Miss Alabama, said she wasn’t offended — and her Twitter following has jumped about 200,000 since she was shown on TV during the game — but ESPN felt the need to silence critics of the announcer’s behavior.
“We always try to capture interesting storylines, and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test,” the statement from ESPN read. “However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far, and Brent understands that.”
♦ Tuesday was a rough day for the NFL’s Ryan family. On the same day the Cowboys announced the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Jets coach Rex Ryan confirmed that two of his assistant coaches (offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh) would not be retained. The Jets also need to hire a new defensive coordinator to replace Mike Pettine, whose contract expires at the end of this month and is interviewing with the Bills, but apparently it won’t be Rex’s brother, as a New York Daily News reports indicates the Jets will go with Dennis Thurman.
“I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better,” Rob Ryan told ESPNDallas.com. “I [expletive] made them a hell of a lot better. I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.”
Rex Ryan, who has two years and more than $6 million remaining on his contract, acknowledged Tuesday that he had concerns he might not be retained after the Jets’ woeful 2012 season. Now, he has a renewed focus as he looks to turn around the team’s fortunes.
“I’m approaching this day like it’s the first day. Period. Like my first day as a head coach,” he said. “This is a new chance for me. This is a beginning, certainly not an end.”
Ryan also continued to express confidence in his team.
“We are going to be a dangerous football team,” he said. “I can promise you that. I’m going to tell you: You’re not going to want to play the Jets.” Added Ryan: “We’re not going to be bullied. We might not win every game, and no team does. But you’ve got to stand for something. We’re going to be the team you don’t want to play.”
♦ Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., after he allegedly lied about his identity following a traffic stop for tinted windows. McClain, who was sentenced to 180 days in jail for firing a gun next to a man’s head in 2011 (the case eventually was dismissed after the victim decided to drop the charges), insisted police are out to get him.
“I’m falsely accused of everything,” he told the Decatur Daily. “It’s corrupt. It’s terrible.”
McClain, 23, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, was suspended by the Raiders two games late this season after arguing with coach Dennis Allen. He played in 11 games (starting nine), recording 60 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. He has two years and more than $9 million remaining on his rookie contract.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 9, 1993, who resigned after two seasons as Patriots chief executive officer, clearing the way for the new staff led by coach Bill Parcells?
|Reports: Clippers’ Blake Griffin to sign extension, Chris Paul declines||07.01.12 at 8:35 pm ET|
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin intends to sign a five-year contract extension, according to a report from ESPN.
In less positive news for the team, The Los Angeles Times reports that Chris Paul will decline his three-year, $60 million extension.
Griffin can’t officially sign the extension until July 11, but sources told ESPN that the negotiations between the two parties will not be drawn out because no player coming off a rookie-scale contract has ever passed on a max contract extension. The 23-year-old could amass up to $95 million on his five-year extension if he is voted as an All-Star again or named an All-NBA second-team player in the so-called “Derrick Rose Rule.”
Paul, 27, still has $17.7 million left on the final year of his current deal and will wait until next offseason to sign a max contract extension of five years and $108 million, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The point guard was acquired last year in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first-round pick that turned out to be Austin Rivers.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant questions ‘direction’ of Lakers||12.16.11 at 7:51 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA Preseason: Bulls at Pacers, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NHL: Bruins at Flyers, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Cowboys at Buccaneers, 8 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI)
College basketball: Memphis at Louisville, 4 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Notre Dame vs. Indians, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Syracuse at NC State, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Quinnipiac at UMass, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Patriots at Broncos, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
NFL: Dolphins at Bills, 1 p.m. (CBS)
NFL: Redskins at Giants, 1 p.m. (Fox)
NFL: Ravens at Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC; WEEI)
NBA Preseason: Celtics at Raptors, 1 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
College basketball: Bryant at Boston College, 1 p.m. (NESN)
Women’s college basketball: UConn at Baylor, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ On the day the Clippers introduced new guard Chris Paul, Lakers star Kobe Bryant questioned the future of his team. “I’m not sure what the hell the direction is, to be honest with you,” he said, referring to the team’s failed efforts to acquire Paul and subsequent trade of Lamar Odom to the defending champion Mavericks.
“I’ve never seen something like this unfold,” Bryant added. “It’s become somewhat of a mess.”
Told by a writer that many fans view the Clippers as a more exciting team, Bryant said: “I agree. I would definitely watch them.”
♦ A day after Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland expressed his hatred for the Canucks and the “Sedin sisters,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault defended his players. “They are great examples for players in the NHL, and for young people,” Vigneault said of the Sedins. “They are just two great young people. When you have comments like Bolland’s, he’s obviously an individual whose IQ is probably the size of a birdseed. And he has a face that only a mother could look at.”
Added Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa: “I think [Bolland] looks more like a girl than they do..”
♦ The NFL does not allow computers on the sideline, but that may change in the near future. The Wall Street Journal reports that the league has been meeting with technology and communications companies to determine how to better use technology without sacrificing the integrity of the game.
Said Giants coach Tom Coughlin: “It is going to affect competition without a doubt, but it’s certainly going to make it more convenient.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 16, 1979, in a 27-23 victory over the Vikings in the season finale, which two players became the first Patriots to pass the 1,000-yard single-season receiving yardage mark?
|Report: Chris Paul-to-Clippers deal collapses due to NBA demands||12.12.11 at 5:48 pm ET|
For the second time in five days, a deal that would send Hornets guard Chris Paul to Los Angeles has dissolved, ESPN sources say. Earlier Monday, reports emerged saying the Clippers and Hornets were submitting a bid to the NBA for a multi-player deal that would send Paul to the Clippers and a combination of players and a draft pick to the Hornets.
Last Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a deal involving three teams that would have sent Paul to the Lakers. The situation is extra sensitive because the NBA currently owns the Hornets, thus making getting the most available for Paul in the league’s best interest.
ESPN sources said the Clippers backed off of the deal Monday when the Hornets insisted on a high price for Paul. The Hornets were intent on getting Clippers guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Karman, prospects Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe in addition to a first-round draft pick all in exchange for Paul.
|Report: Chris Paul to Clippers pending league approval||at 10:56 am ET|
Coveted Hornets point guard Chris Paul may still be heading to Los Angeles just days after NBA commissioner David Stern rejected a three-team deal that would have sent Paul to the Lakers. According to ESPN, the Hornets and Clippers submitted a multiplayer deal to the NBA Sunday that would send Paul to the Clippers in exchange for guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman and forward Al-Farouq Aminu as well as a first-round draft pick in 2012.
Paul averaged 15.8 points, 9.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game last season and was named to his fourth consecutive All-Star team. According to an ESPN source, Paul said he would pick up the player option on his contract if the deal went through, meaning he would stay in LA through the 2012-13 season. Although Paul will not become a free agent with the Hornets until July 2012, Paul already told the Hornets that he has no intention to sign an extension with them. The Hornets are looking to trade Paul in order to avoid a contract saga during the season.
The newest deal, however, has been complicated by the league’s interests. The NBA owns the Hornets and reportedly wants Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe as part of the deal as well, while the Clippers do not want to part with Bledsoe. In 81 games last season, Bledsoe averaged 6.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. According to ESPN, the deal submitted to the league now does not include Bledsoe, and a source said if Bledsoe had not been a talking point, the deal would have been done.
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Rams at Seahawks, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NHL: Devils at Lightning, 7 p.m. (Versus)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Titans dropped a 22-17 decision to the visiting Saints on Sunday, but a couple of Tennessee players said there was some funny business originating from the New Orleans sideline.
Offensive linemen Jake Scott and Michael Roos said they heard a whistle coming from the Saints sideline late in the game, and a producer for “Titans All Access” has proof after capturing it with a microphone that was on Roos.
“Somebody was blowing a whistle on the sideline,” Scott said. “There is audio of it, so we’ll let it go from there. The second-to-last drive, I think.”
Said Roos: “Everybody on our side heard something, we’re not sure where it came from exactly. But it sounded like from over there, and until we know more I can’t really say anything else. It’s not something that should be done but until we can have somebody look at it, we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Saints did not comment after the game.
♦ The Cincinnati and Xavier basketball teams brawled on Saturday, and Cincy coach Mick Cronin was especially forthcoming in the postgame press conference about how embarrassed he was. And yet, on Sunday the punishments were announced, and the longest suspension was for just six games. That was for Yancy Gates, who hit Xavier’s Kenny Frease with a sucker punch to the face that left Frease bleeding, punched another player and had to be restrained from continuing his assaults. At Yahoo! Sports, Pat Forde criticizes both teams for the “copout” as they failed to follow through on their tough talk.
♦ Nets guard Deron Williams weighed in on the aborted Chris Paul trade to the Lakers and didn’t hold back when talking about the NBA commissioner. “David Stern‘s a bully,” he said. “You really can’t go up against him, man.” And when asked if he was OK with that quote bring used, Williams said: “[Stern] knows he’s a bully. Ain’t no secret. … Everybody knows that. I think every owner of every big business is a bully. That’s how they become successful.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 12, 1975, the Red Sox traded Roger Moret to the Braves for which pitcher, known in part for the fact that he caught Hank Aaron‘s 715th home run ball in the Atlanta bullpen in 1974?
|Hornets reportedly pursuing Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon for Chris Paul trade||12.07.11 at 12:50 pm ET|
In the latest round of Chris Paul trade rumors, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard are reporting that the Hornets have been pursuing both Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Clippers guard Eric Gordon in an attempt to work out a way to trade Paul.
But Golden State and Los Angeles are wary of parting with their talented, young guards because there is no assurance that Paul would sign long term with either team, as his contract expires following the 2012 season.
According to the report, the Hornets have been trying to work out a deal for Curry since before last season’s trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Clippers have been pursuing Paul this offseason, but the team has not made Gordon available in the trade. Instead, the players Los Angeles are offering include veteran center Chris Kaman, point guard Eric Bledsoe and small forward Al-Farouq Aminu.
Teams that are reportedly willing to work out a trade for Paul without assurances that he’ll sign long term are the Celtics, Rockets and Mavericks.
|Report: Lakers looking to trade for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul||12.06.11 at 12:57 pm ET|
Despite the NBA lockout not being officially over yet as the two sides put the finishing touches on a new CBA, the trade rumors continue to fly. Now, ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the Lakers are eyeing a blockbuster trade that would bring both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles to team up with Kobe Bryant.
According to Broussard, everyone on the Lakers roster other than Bryant is available if a deal to bring both Paul and Howard to L.A. is possible, including Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and most surprising of all, Pau Gasol. The Lakers have reportedly already been in talks with the Hornets about Paul.
The Lakers are just one year removed from winning back-to-back NBA titles, both championships coming with the core of Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and Odom. But last season ended in disappointment for Los Angeles, as the team was swept by the eventual-NBA champion Mavericks in the second round. Coach Phil Jackson retired after the season. The Lakers hired former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown in May to replace Jackson.
Broussard also reported that the Lakers are not the only team in Los Angeles to be pursuing Paul and Howard. The Clippers are reportedly interested in obtaining both players and have the assets and cap flexibility to do so. The only player the Clippers would not be willing to trade is forward Blake Griffin.
|Report: Chris Paul’s agent never asked for trade to Knicks||12.02.11 at 10:18 am ET|
Ever since the players and the owners came to a tentative agreement to end the NBA lockout, Hornets point guard Chris Paul has been at the center of numerous trade rumors. Some have speculated that New Orleans will deal him to the Knicks, teaming him up with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Other rumors have him being traded to the Celtics for Rajon Rondo.
On Thursday, Yahoo! Sports released a report that said Paul’s agent told Hornets officials that his client will not ink a contract extension with the team and wishes to be traded to the Knicks. But according to the New Orleans newspaper The Times Picayune, neither Paul nor his agent have requested a trade.
“It is just rumors; you can’t control it,’’ Paul said. “It’s always going to happen, and it’s part of the game. I’m just happy to be back with my team.’’
Paul is in the final year of his contract with New Orleans. The Hornets will try to sign Paul to a contract extension, but according to The Times Picayune and Yahoo! Sports, the team has entertained trade offers from other teams to ensure that it gets some sort of compensation for Paul leaving rather than letting him enter free agency at the end of the season.
While the Yahoo! Sports report says that Paul wishes to be traded to the Knicks, it also details how New York does not have the trade assets to obtain Paul from the Hornets. Much of the speculation surrounding Paul going to the Knicks has been fueled by the fact that Paul and Anthony are good friends and spent time together over the summer.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: New York paper reports Roger Clemens drank beer in Yankees dugout||10.21.11 at 7:31 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
No games scheduled
NHL: Sharks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
MLS: Revolution at Toronto FC, 12:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
No games scheduled
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Despite the furor in Boston over Red Sox players drinking beer in the clubhouse and dugout, reports are coming out showing that the behavior is not uncommon around the majors. The New York Daily News quotes sources as saying the Yankees and Mets have a history of drinking in both locations. For example, according to the report, Roger Clemens and Jason Giambi “routinely” drank beer on the dugout bench when they played for the Yankees. And they were not alone.
“Rally beers are big in the clubhouse,” a Yankees source told the paper. “Guys would drink them all the time, on the bench, in the clubhouse, in the training room. It’s common.”
Added the clubhouse insider: “Beer in the clubhouse, it’s nothing new. Been going on forever.”
♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan continued to apologize Thursday for his inadvertent swiped at Chargers coach Norv Turner. Ryan said Wednesday that he would have won a couple of championships had he been named coach in 2007, but he quickly realized how his comments would be perceived and called Turner.
“It was me, it’s all on me,” Ryan said Thursday. “I’m guilty. Absolutely. I did call Norv. I won’t get into that conversation, but [the slight] was unintentional.”
♦ During the NBA lockout, players can’t be fined. So, Carmelo Anthony talked about wanting Hornets point guard Chris Paul to join him on the Knicks when Paul has the opportunity next offseason.
“If it works out and he comes here and they allow him to come here, you’ll see a smile from ear to ear,” Anthony said. “It’s not just me. It’s everybody [in New York]. If he decides to leave New Orleans and goes somewhere else, they’ll be feeling the same way I’m feeling.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 21, 1975, the Red Sox beat the Reds in Game 6 of the World Series on Carlton Fisk’s 12th-inning home run off Pat Darcy. Which pitcher got the win for the Sox?
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