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Friday’s Morning Mashup: PG Deron Williams reportedly eager to leave Nets for Mavericks 07.10.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Haiti at United States, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)


— According to an ESPN report, Deron Williams wants to leave the Nets to join his hometown Mavericks, a move that would impact the Celtics in a number of ways.

The Celtics own the Nets‘ and Mavericks’ first-round picks next summer, although the Dallas pick is top-seven protected. Brooklyn reportedly is eager to part ways with Williams and swingman Joe Johnson — ideally via a trade so the Nets rid themselves completely of the overpriced contracts. With no apparent takers for Williams, the Nets’ second-best option is to orchestrate a buyout of the final two years and $43.3 million of his deal — a process ESPN reports has begun. That could allow Brooklyn to get under the salary cap and avoid paying the whopping “repeater tax.”

It also could send Brooklyn — barely a playoff team last season after parting ways with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — into lottery land and give the Celtics the top-10 pick they covet.

The Mavericks, with a hole at point guard after the failed Rajon Rondo experiment, are said to be very interested in signing Williams as a free agent, despite his disappointing performance with the Nets since he signed as a free agent in 2012. Last season Williams averaged 13.3 points and 6.6 assists while shooting a career-low 38.7 percent from the field. He’s also struggled with injuries.

The Cavaliers are said to be interested in Johnson, although that acquisition would push Cleveland way over the luxury tax and leave that franchise with a major luxury tax penalty.

And perhaps Brooklyn’s opening at point guard also might create a scenario where the C’s look to send one of their many young guards there.

Phil Kessel was the subject of critical stories after he was trade from the Bruins to the Maple Leafs in 2009, and now that he’s been traded by the Leafs to the Penguins, the negative stories are starting to emerge from Toronto.

Former Leafs forward Colby Armstrong said it was difficult at times to share the ice with the offensively gifted Kessel (which Armstrong did in 2010-11 and 2011-12).

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Read More: Colby Armstrong, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Phil Kessel
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Senators want suspension for ejected Canadiens D P.K. Subban after slash 04.16.15 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL playoffs: Penguins at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Red Wings at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Blues, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Jets at Ducks, 10:30 p.m. (CNBC)
MLB: Brewers at Cardinals, 1:45 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Giants, 10:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Draft, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Napoli at Wolfsburg, 3 p.m. (FS1)


— Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has infuriated the Bruins with his dramatics as he attempts to draw penalties. On Wednesday night in the opening game of Montreal’s first-round playoff series against Ottawa, Subban acted as the aggressor, and it cost him in the form of an ejection. Subban received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct after he slashed Senators rookie Mark Stone midway through the second period.

As Stone skated in front of the Montreal goal, Subban chopped his stick down on Stone’s right wrist, sending the 22-year-old to the ice in pain. Subban immediately raised his hand to protest the call against him and appeared shocked that he was being punished. Stone, the Sens’ leading scorer, skated to the dressing room. He returned before the end of the period, left again and then was back for the last half of the third period.

The Senators scored twice on the power play, although they allowed a shorthanded goal as well — one of four goals Montreal scored in the second period en route to a 4-3 victory.

Afterward, the Senators called for Subban to be suspended.

“I think it’s quite simple — it’s a vicious slash on an unprotected part of the body,” Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said. “You either do one of two things. I think it’s an easy solution. You either suspend him, or when one of their best players gets slashed just give us five [minutes].”

Said Stone: “It’s up to the league. Obviously it was a pretty big hack. It looked like he wanted to hurt me. He had been doing it a couple of times, he tried targeting me a couple of times in the first period off faceoffs.”

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, however, didn’t even think Subban deserved a major penalty.

“I agree it was a slashing penalty, but I don’t agree that it deserved five minutes,” he said.

— A day after Paul Pierce questioned Deron Williams’ ability to handle the pressure and said Williams “didn’t want” to be an MVP candidate, the Nets guard insisted the criticism doesn’t bother him.

“Being here, I got pretty thick skin,” Williams said Wednesday. “He has his opinions, and that’s fine.”

Added Williams: “It’s what it is. I can’t change his opinions. So just leave it at that.”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Deron Williams, P.K. Subban, Paul Pierce
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce details icy relationship with Ray Allen, criticizes ex-Nets teammates 04.15.15 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Nationals at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Rangers, 2:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mariners at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Celtics at Bucks, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Hornets at Raptors, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pacers at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Canadiens, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL playoffs: Islanders at Capitals, 7 p.m. (USA)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Predators, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Flames at Canucks, 10 p.m. (USA)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Barcelona at Paris, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico at United States, 9 p.m. (FS1)


— There have long been indications that Ray Allen‘s relationship with his Celtics teammates was icy during their time in Boston, and on Tuesday Paul Pierce explained just how strained it was.

In an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Pierce offered some details about the Big Three’s time together. He said he has not talked to Allen since Allen left Boston as a free agent to sign with the Heat in the summer of 2012 — not because he’s angry, but more because there wasn’t that much depth to the relationship.

“It was a weird relationship,” Pierce said. “We were all good friends on the court, but Ray always did his own thing. That’s just the way Ray was. Even when we were playing together, we’d be having a team dinner and Ray wouldn’t show up. We’d go to his charity events, but Ray wouldn’t show up to somebody else’s. I called him on it. I said, ‘Man, Ray, we support all your stuff but when we ask you, you don’t come to ours.’

“I remember when [Rajon] Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn’t show up. I know Ray probably didn’t like Rondo that much, but it wasn’t a fact of not liking somebody. You don’t have to like everybody you play with — it’s a matter of showing support. Rondo probably didn’t like Ray either, but he came to Ray’s functions to show, ‘Hey, we’re together in this.’

“It’s not a bad thing with Ray. We had a great relationship on the court. But even the year we won it, after a game we’d say, ‘Let’s go have something to eat and have a night with the older guys.’ We’d get there and it would be me, Kevin and Sam [Cassell], but no Ray. In a lot of ways, me, Sam and Kevin were our Big Three.

“It just got to the point where it was, ‘That’s Ray.’ No hard feelings. Everyone made such a big deal of us not talking after we left, but there really wasn’t much there.”

As for Rondo, Pierce said he’s trying to convince Wizards stars John Wall and Bradley Beal that they have to show up to play every single night if they want to be great, something he wasn’t able to convince Rondo to do.

“That was Rondo’s problem, too,” Pierce said. “Some days he did, some days he didn’t. I think it’s more this generation. A lot of these players have been catered to since the sixth grade. The NBA is changing so much. It’s not like when I came up, with that old-school mentality that practice really mattered. You’ve got these 24-, 25-year-old guys who sit out of practice now to rest. It’s hard for me to understand, but I’m trying.”

Pierce also discussed his “horrible” 2013-14 season in Brooklyn, criticizing the team’s players for not caring enough despite the efforts of Pierce and Kevin Garnett to fire them up.

“It was just the guys’ attitudes there. It wasn’t like we were surrounded by a bunch of young guys. They were vets who didn’t want to play and didn’t want to practice. I was looking around saying, ‘What’s this?’ Kevin and I had to pick them up every day in practice,” Pierce said. “If me and Kevin weren’t there, that team would have folded up. That team would have packed it in. We kept them going each and every day.”

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Read More: Deron Williams, Mark Reeds, Paul Pierce, rajon rondo
Friday’s Morning Mashup: UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s phone call to LLWS star an NCAA violation 09.05.14 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN)
College football: Pittsburgh at Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Washington State at Nevada, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: Rapids at Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)


— Much to the dismay of Geno Auriemma, the NCAA announced Thursday that the UConn coach’s congratulatory phone call to Little League Baseball star Mo’ne Davis was in fact a secondary violation of recruiting rules.

Davis, who like Auriemma is from Philadelphia, has said she hopes to play basketball at UConn, and Auriemma said he put in the call after being asked by a friend who works for the 76ers.

UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said Auriemma checked with the school’s compliance department and was told because Davis is only in eighth grade the 13-year-old is not yet considered a prospected student athlete.

“The nature of coach Auriemma’s two-minute conversation with Mo’ne had nothing to do with recruiting and instead had everything to do with congratulating and encouraging Mo’ne to continued success,” Manuel said.

MASHUP POLL: Should UConn be punished for Geno Auriemma's phone call to Mo'ne Davis?

  • No, there clearly was no ill intent so the matter should be dropped (91%, 442 Votes)
  • Yes, he and the school should know better and should have to pay a price (9%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 488

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Auriemma bemoaned the fact that another school would complain about the call, which is what triggered the investigation.

“It shows you what is wrong not only for things that go on but also with some of the people that I coach against,” he said before the NCAA‘s ruling was announced.

— Nets guard Deron Williams found himself on the defensive this week after being quoted in a magazine article talking about how difficult it can be to raise his kids in New York City as compared to his hometown in Texas or his current offseason home in Utah.

“I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like, ‘Yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’€™s more challenging,” Williams told Resident Magazine. “The process of getting them into school [in New York] is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’€™re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer. It’€™s a relief to take that timeout. No traffic. No crowds. My daughters still have their friends there. There’€™s a big backyard. They go to the pool; the playground and they jump on the trampoline. Kids running wild and free here …? I don’€™t think so.”

Asked to elaborate on his comments Thursday, Williams told the New York Daily News, “I love New York, but I also love my time in Utah.”

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Read More: Deron Williams, Geno Auriemma, Jim Kelly, Mo'ne Davis
NBA roundup: Nets retain Deron Williams after acquiring Joe Johnson 07.04.12 at 11:33 am ET
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Although no new contracts can officially be signed until July 11, a few teams already have reached agreements with some free agents. Here’s a recap of all the moves from a busy day Tuesday.

The Nets, preparing for their first season in Brooklyn, stole almost all the headlines. They came to an agreement to re-sign sought-after point guard Deron Williams, who hinted at his decision Tuesday night by tweeting a picture of the Nets logo. The deal reportedly is for five years and $98 million. Last season Williams averaged 21 points per game for the Nets.

The Williams deal came after reports that the Nets agreed to a multiplayer trade with the Hawks that will send Joe Johnson to Brooklyn in exchange for Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with a first-round draft pick.

In other Nets moves, the team landed forward Reggie Evans from the Clippers in a sign-and-trade and signed Bosnian power forward Mirza Teletovic, who played last season in Spain.

Brooklyn’s flurry of moves come two days after the team reportedly agreed with Gerald Wallace on a four-year, $40 million deal. Wallace, acquired by the Nets at the trade deadline, averaged 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season in Portland and New Jersey.

The Hawks also were busy Tuesday. In addition to the trade of Johnson, Atlanta reportedly agreed to swap forward Marvin Williams for Jazz guard Devin Harris. Williams averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, while Harris averaged 13 points per game.

Eric Gordon, a restricted free agent guard for the Hornets, opted to sign with the Suns for a reported four-year contract worth $58 million. The Hornets are expected to match the offer within the three-day limit, although Gordon said he would like to play for Phoenix.

The Raptors reportedly reached an agreement with Knicks guard Landry Fields for $20 million over three years. Because Fields is a restricted free agent, the Knicks have three days to match the offer. Last season Fields averaged 4.2 rebounds and 8.8 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field.

Read More: Deron Williams, devin harris, Eric Gordon, Gerald Wallace
Report: Nets discussing trade with Magic for Dwight Howard 07.03.12 at 9:59 am ET
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Even after landing All-Star guard Joe Johnson in a trade Monday and amidst being a front-runner to re-sign Deron Williams, the Nets are in active pursuit of trading for Dwight Howard, according to a report ESPN’€™s Chris Broussard.

Broussard says the Nets and Magic are in talks of a trade that would send Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks and the Nets’€™ first round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017 to Orlando for the All-Star big man.

Sources, according to Broussard, are expecting Williams to re-sign in Brooklyn, citing that he was pleased with the acquisition of Johnson. Atlanta reportedly shipped him for DeShawn Stevenson, the Nets’€™ 2013 first-round pick (from Houston) and the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams on Monday.

Howard has reportedly asked the Magic multiple times that he’€™d like to be traded to Brooklyn in the last week, and on Monday spoke publicly to Yahoo! Sports that he would only sign a long-term deal with one team, which is believed to be the Nets. But after they traded for Johnson, talks of a trade for Howard appeared to hit a wall.

Read More: Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Joe Johnson, Magic
Report: Nets PG Deron Williams to meet with Nets, Mavs on Monday 07.01.12 at 2:13 pm ET
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Deron Williams, widely considered as the best player in this year’s free agent class, told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that he will meet with representatives of the Nets and Mavericks on Monday. Broussard says Williams is leaning towards signing with one team, but wouldn’t reveal which one.

Sources also told ESPN the Magazine’s Ric Bucher that free agent guard Jason Kidd will follow Williams where ever he goes. However, Williams told Broussard that he and Kidd are not a “package deal.” The 28-year-old did admit to Broussard that the two were in contact about playing together, but said that both are going to do what’s best for each other.

Bucher had also been informed by sources with business ties to Williams and Kidd that the two have already decided to play together in Brooklyn for next season. Yet, other sources claim that Williams has still yet to choose between the two teams.

The Nets guard said he wants to make his decision before training camp for the U.S. men’s Olympic team which begins on July 7.

Read More: Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Rumor Mill,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Red Sox tickets remain most expensive in MLB 04.11.12 at 7:47 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Knicks at Bucks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Warriors at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Flyers at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Canucks, 10:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Nationals at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘™¦ Despite the Red Sox’ decision to freeze ticket prices following last season’s collapse, the team’s ticket prices remain the highest in Major League Baseball for the second year in a row, according to information compiled by Team Marketing Report. Sox tickets average $53.38 per non-premium seat, and the cost to take a family of four to Fenway — including two adults tickets, two children’s tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking, two game programs and two baseball caps — is a league-high $336.99.

Overall, MLB ticket prices increased only 1 percent from last season, the smallest increase in the survey’s two-decade history. The average ticket price is $26.92.

‘™¦ Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said Tuesday that he has talked to point guard Deron Williams about re-signing after he becomes a free agent this offseason. As for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban trying to lure Williams back to his hometown of Dallas?

“Let the best man win,” Prokhorov said, joking: “If he wins, I will crush him with the kickboxing throwdown.”

Meanwhile, Cuban confirmed Tuesday night that he had a confrontation at halftime of a recent game with forward Lamar Odom, leading to the team placing Odom on the inactive list for the remainder of the season. The argument came during Saturday’s loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis.

“I just asked him, does he want to go for it or not. Is he in or is he out? I think he thought we were playing poker. I just didn’t get a commitment. And that was the end,” Cuban said. “This was a big game for us, and he wasn’t connecting to that. And if you’re not positive energy, you’re negative energy.”

‘™¦ Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who suffered brain damage after being beaten outside Dodger Stadium at last year’s opener, will not accept an invitation from the Giants to appear at AT&T Park for the home opener. “We’re concerned it might tire him out too much and set back his recovery,” his mother, Ann Stow, told the San Jose Mercury News, which has an update on Stow’s recovery process.

‘™¦ Reebok agreed to remove thousands of pieces of Jets apparel it produced with Tim Tebow‘s name after a settlement with Nike that was disclosed Tuesday. Nike is set to take over the league’s apparel licensing deal from Reebok, and it sued the Canton company to stop it from trying to get in a last-minute money grab.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 11, 1998, which Red Sox pitcher recorded his 1,000th career strikeout?

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Read More: Bryan Stow, Deron Williams, Lamar Odom, Mark Cuban
Jazz owner Greg Miller says Karl Malone is ‘too unreliable and too unstable’ 02.04.12 at 4:12 pm ET
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Jazz owner and CEO Greg Miller is unhappy with comments made by assistant coach Karl Malone in an interview with a Salt Lake City newspaper. Miller claims Malone lied to the newspaper when the Hall of Famer said the only way he could get Jazz tickets was to purchase them from a scalper.

Miller refuted the statement in a blog post, referring to Malone as being “too unreliable and too unstable” to help the team as an assistant coach.

Miller also sent a tweet: Hey Karl – You’re lying. You have my number. Next time you need a seat to a Jazz game, call me. You can have mine.

Miller’s comments came one week after Malone criticized the way the team handled last year’s feud between point guard Deron Williams and coach Jerry Sloan, who resigned midseason. Malone said that Williams, since traded to the Nets, was given too much power by the Jazz, and in turn the coach had to pay the price.

Said Malone in a radio interview: “I know for a fact that [Sloan] was overridden on practices sometimes on the road because Deron was calling our GM [Kevin O’Connor] at that time. … You give a guy that much power, and he’s the kind of player you think he played hard all the time, but if he wanted to sulk he could sulk. … I never went to [late owner] Larry [Miller] to talk about coach Sloan. … It’s not one time, in my gut and heart, that I would go over his head.”

Greg Miller, who took over the team following his father’s death, wrote in his blog post that Malone isn’t worth the trouble he causes: The fact is Karl is still as high-maintenance as he ever was, but now he has nothing to offer to offset the grief and aggravation that comes with him.

Read More: Deron Williams, Greg Miller, Jerry Sloan, Karl Malone
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Titans accuse Saints of using whistle on sideline 12.12.11 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Rams at Seahawks, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NHL: Devils at Lightning, 7 p.m. (Versus)


‘™¦ 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?

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Read More: Chris Paul, David Stern, Deron Williams, Jake Scott