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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan reportedly inspires team by saying he expects to be fired 12.23.13 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Predators, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Wild at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NFL: Falcons at 49ers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Ohio vs. East Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: George Mason vs. Oregon State, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State vs. Akron, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Morehead State at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Florida vs. Santa Clara, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: South Carolina vs. Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Mississippi State vs. UNLV, 10:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Hawaii, 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Arsenal vs. Chelsea, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Jets coach Rex Ryan is either preparing for his dismissal, or he will resort to anything to motivate his team.

According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Ryan told his team in a meeting Saturday night that “word on the street” is he’ll be dismissed at season’s end, and he wants the team to put it on the line for him in the final two weeks. The Jets responded with a 24-13 victory over the Browns to improve to 7-8.

After the game, Ryan, his fellow coaches and the players high-fived fans in the front row at MetLife Stadium as they headed off the field in the team’s final home game of the season. He wouldn’t discuss his future in the postgame press conference, but he insisted the team has a bright future, using the victory over the 4-10 Browns as Exhibit A.

“I told you this team’s on the climb, it’s on the rise,” Ryan said. “I think it was pretty clear, at least to me, that that’s what we saw today.”

Regarding next season, he said: “What I do know, guys, is that I’m coaching this team, and my job is to focus on the present, what’s right now.”

The Jets players wouldn’t discuss Ryan’s reported comments from Saturday, but they continued to show their support for their coach.

“We were picked to be the worst team in the NFL,” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “It says a lot about this team’s character and the way we rallied under Rex. I guarantee you everyone loves playing for Rex.”

— The Lions dropped a 23-20 decision to the Giants on Sunday after losing a fourth-quarter lead for the fifth time in six games, and the Detroit fans let the team know how they felt even before the game went to the extra session.

Following an interception that gave them the ball at their own 25 with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lions ran out the final seconds of regulation rather than attempt to throw the ball down the field. Anxious fans at Ford Field booed the decision.

“I was disappointed to hear boos,” said Lions coach Jim Schwarz, who appeared to yell obscenities toward the crowd. “We’re getting ready to go to overtime right there, and our crowd is great for us and they support us. The team needed a lift right there. We didn’t need to feel bad at that point. We just intercepted a ball that got us to overtime. I thought that I was just trying to get our team ready.

“That’s tough, the situations when your players are getting booed and you want them fired up. That’s what I was trying to do right there.”

Said receiver Nate Burleson: “Fans are frustrated, but what do you think we are? I get it, you come in and sit down and you cheer lout and occasionally want to get upset and boo. But if the fans are frustrated, just imagine what we feel on the field. And I think maybe Schwarz was just speaking out because the same fans that boo turn around and go crazy when we get the lead.

“So, I get it. I’ve been playing long enough to where I don’t get upset when fans boo. You pay a ticket, you buy the jerseys, you have your right to go out there and show your emotions.”

— The bad news keeps on coming for the Nets. Already off to a terrible start at 9-17, Brooklyn lost leading scorer Brook Lopez for the rest of the season when the center broke his right foot for the second time in just over two years.

Lopez, who only recently had returned from a sprained left ankle, was averaging 20.7 points per game.

“It’s almost like we can’t catch a break,” guard Joe Johnson said. “It’s always something every day, every other day somebody goes down. One man comes back, somebody goes down.”

Added Johnson: “It’s been tough because it’s hard to gain any chemistry with guys in and out, but I just hate it for the big fella because I know he worked so hard to try to come back and prepare himself for this season, and then coming off an All-Star season I know he wanted to get back to that.”

Paul Pierce compared the Nets‘ situation to that of last season’s Celtics after Rajon Rondo went down with a season-ending torn ACL in late January. The Celtics responded by winning their first seven games following Rondo’s injury and earned a playoff berth.

“I mean, we just collectively came together pretty much. Everybody pretty much had written us off not to make the playoffs, which was kind laughable at the time to me,” Pierce said. “But like I said, we’ve got guys in here that are capable and I think the mentality is not going to change in here. We can’t use that as an excuse. We have to come out here and continue to do our jobs each and every day regardless of who’s out there. We dealt with the injury bug all year.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 23, 1986, which Red Sox player whose batting average declined each of his seven seasons in Boston signed as a free agent with the Mariners?

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Read More: brook lopez, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Rex Ryan
Nets’ Reggie Evans not impressed by LeBron James, Heat 01.31.13 at 12:36 pm ET
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Before Wednesday night’s game, Nets forward Reggie Evans provided LeBron James and the Heat with some bulletin board material, not that Miami needed any. The Heat defeated the Nets for the 13th consecutive time, 105-85, as James registered 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Earlier on Wednesday, Evans talked with the New York Daily News and attempted to devalue the Heat’s 2012 championship.

“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans said. “That was a lockout season.”

When James learned of the comments, he tweeted: Just keep throwing rocks at the throne, don’t matter cause nothing can break my zone.

Following the easy win, James continued with his response to the ineffective Evans (zero points, six rebounds).

“You can’t just come out and say something like that versus a champion,” James said. “No one knows what it takes unless you’ve done it. You can’t sit here and judge and talk about a team winning a championship unless you’ve done it. [Evans] hasn’t done it.”

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Read More: Andray Blatche, Avery Johnson, Joe Johnson, LeBron James
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