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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Chiefs coach Andy Reid defends clock management vs. Patriots 01.22.16 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Raptors, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pacers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Toledo at Northern Illinois, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rhode Island at George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Canisius at Niagara, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Albany at Stony Brook, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Vermont at UConn, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3 p.m., 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Chiefs have taken some heat for their clock management late in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, but coach Andy Reid stands firm that it wasn’t an issue.

During an interview with Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio, Reid defending himself against those who pointed to Sunday’s time-consuming drive in the fourth quarter as yet another example of his poor game management skills.

“I think clock management’s very important,” Reid said (via Pro Football Talk). “Every situation’s different. It’s a fluid situation on the spot and you’ve got to go off of feel. … This situation, I think, was handled right.”

The Chiefs did not appear to have any urgency as they worked their way down the field despite trailing by two touchdowns. (“At that point it really didn’t matter to me. I wanted to make sure we were calling the best plays,” Reid said.) Although they scored a touchdown, they did not get the ball back after the Patriots recovered the onside kick and then got a first down.

“I thought we handled it right,” Reid said. “You give us a minute on the clock and three timeouts, we feel like we can move the ball pretty good.”

— Former UConn star and NBA player Tate George continued to claim innocence while being sentenced Thursday in New Jersey to nine years in prison for running a $2 million real estate Ponzi scheme.

George, who also was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution, did not apologize to his victims, including current NBA player Charlie Villanueva, but instead claimed his real estate projects still had a chance of succeeding.

“For the umpteenth time, I’m sorry — I’m sorry the projects got delayed,” said George, who played at UConn in the late 1980s and in the NBA with the Nets and Bucks from 1990 until ’95.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Durant rips media for ‘killing’ Kobe Bryant 12.01.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Wizards at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Mavericks at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Michigan at N.C. State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland Eastern Shore at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Villanova at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Virginia at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Purdue at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Miami at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Maryland at North Carolina, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Kobe Bryant farewell tour has begun, after the Lakers legend announced Sunday that he’s retiring after the season. Thunder star Kevin Durant is ready to pay tribute to Bryant, but he’s disappointed in the lack of respect Bryant has received from the media to this point in the season. And on Monday he wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion about it.

“I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys [the media] treated him like [expletive],” Durant said. “He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting and it’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like [expletive], and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year.”

Durant, who said he idolized Bryant grown up and “wanted to be like him,” responded later Monday to backlash about his comment by elaborating on his point.

“I understand [the media] have to write about the game. Of course I understand that,” Durant said. “Kobe hasn’t played well, and his team hasn’t played well, but did we expect that from them? You did say he was the 93rd-best player in the league, you did have the Lakers as the worst team in the West, but it seems like everybody is happy that he’s going out like this. Every game he’s played on TV is about how terrible he looks, every article the next day is about how he should retire and give it up. Just killing him.

“I never hear about the Finals MVPs, the accolades. They did it for [former Yankee] Derek Jeter, they will do it for Tim Duncan when he leaves even if he’s playing bad. I know you’ve got to report the games, but you’re going too in-depth about how bad he is. You’re almost kicking him out the league.”

Added Durant: “They say I don’t get the media and how they work. Well, they never got players and how we work.”

— According to reports out of Miami, the Marlins are having internal discussions about hiring disgraced home run king Barry Bonds as their hitting coach. Bonds has worked as a special instructor for the Giants at the last two spring trainings.

Baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 dingers, Bonds batted .298 in 22 seasons with the Pirates and Giants.

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Jahlil Okafor, Kevin Durant, kobe bryant
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers coach Byron Scott ‘shocked’ by Kobe Bryant’s decision to retire after season 11.30.15 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:
NFL: Ravens at Browns, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Illinois State at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Clemson at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Considering how poorly he’s played this season, Kobe Bryant‘s announcement that he will retire from the NBA after this season can’t be considered a complete surprise. But apparently it was to Lakers coach Byron Scott.

Scott said he was shocked when Bryant calmly told him his plans Sunday, as the coach figured Bryant “had at least another year” in him.

“He kind of shocked me when he told me,” Scott said. “[I’m] just sad more than anything. Just sad more than anything. Somebody who I truly care about, have a lot of respect for. I think it’s always hard when greatness like Kobe decides to hang it up.”

Bryant, however, decided that his 37-year-old body needed to rest.

“My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” Bryant wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have.”

Bryant also left a letter for Staples Center fans at Sunday’s game against the Pacers, writing: “What you’ve done for me is far greater than anything I’ve done for you. I knew that each minute of each game I wore purple and gold.”

Tributes poured join from around the league after the 17-time All-Star announced his plans.

“Kobe was my Jordan,” Pacers star (and Southern California native) Paul George said after Bryant missed a late 3-pointer that could have tied the game in the Lakers’ loss. “Watching him win championships when I was growing up, that’s who I idolized. That was the standard.”

Said Commissioner Adam Silver: “Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.”

Asked about it after the game, Bryant kept his composure but made it clear his decision is final.

“I had to just accept the fact that I don’t want to do this anymore, and I’m OK with that,” he said.

— Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor finally commented on his off-court issues, acknowledging he has not made the best decisions of late.

Okafor was involved in a fight outside a Boston bar after Wednesday’s game at TD Garden (and a man filed a police report claiming he was the victim in the confrontation). After the incident, reports emerged that Okafor had an incident at a Philadelphia club in October in which a man pointed a gun at the player’s head, and he was stopped by police earlier this month for driving 108 mph on the Ben Franklin Bridge, where the normal speed limit is 45.

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Read More: byron scott, Jahlil Okafor, kobe bryant, Kyle Flood
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets LB David Harris ‘shocked’ by team’s lack of effort, promises, ‘It ain’t going to happen again’ 11.03.15 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Stars at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College football: Northern Illinois at Toledo, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Juventus, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, CSKA Moscow at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Jets, apparently suffering from a Patriots hangover, were embarrassed by the Raiders on Sunday, dropping a 34-20 decision. That hasn’t shaken the confidence of what had been the league’s best defensive team.

Said linebacker David Harris on Monday: “Just trust me: It ain’t going to happen again.”

Harris said the team’s effort was not up to par, saying it was “disgusting” watching the game film.

“We just did a poor job of tackling,” Harris said. “The effort was poor all the way across the board. We had way too many guys not hustling on every play and it hurt us.”

The Jets had been the league’s stingiest team prior to allowing 30 points to the Patriots and then 34 to Oakland in consecutive losses that have dropped their record to 4-3 — and dropped them to 12th in points allowed (four spots behind behind the Patriots). Raiders quarterback Derek Carr amassed 333 yards passing with four touchdowns against the vaunted Jets secondary, while tailback Latavius Murray compiled 113 rushing yards. Pro Football Focus tallied 19 missed tackles by Gang Green.

Said Harris: “They outplayed us in every aspect. … Nobody expected it to happen. Surprised. Shocked. Worried. Any way you view it, it wasn’t our best effort, let’s put it that way.”

Kobe Bryant laughed off a preseason breakdown from ESPN that had him rated as the 93rd-best player in the NBA. A week into the season, he doesn’t even consider himself that good.

After saying he’s the “200th-best player in the league right now,” Bryant was given a day off Monday by coach Byron Scott, who hopes the 37-year-old will stop beating himself up.

“I said, just stay away from the gym today,” Scott said after Monday’s practice. “Just spend some time with your kids and family and get basketball off your mind for 24 hours if you can — which I don’t think he can — and then come in tomorrow fresh and we’ll go from there.”

Bryant is shooting 31.3 percent from the field and 20.7 percent from 3-point range, although he’s still averaging 17.3 points per game.

After Sunday’s 3-for-15 performance in a loss to the Mavericks that dropped Los Angeles to 0-3, Bryant said, “I just can’t make a shot,” and, “I freaking suck.”

Said rookie guard D’Angelo Russell: “We’re going to keep feeding him. … He’s in the gym 24/7. It’s not that he’s not putting in the work. It’s just, the basketball gods aren’t blessing him right now with making shots. But they’ll fall. Then we won’t be having this conversation.”

— Almost exactly three years after taking over as 49ers starting quarterback — and proceeding to lead the team to the Super Bowl — Colin Kaepernick reportedly is being demoted.

According to multiple reports out of San Francisco, Blaine Gabbert will be behind center when the Niners take the field Sunday.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Cowboys ban filming of practice with Patriots heading to town 10.09.15 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Rangers at Blue Jays, 12:45 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB playoffs: Astros at Royals, 3:45 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Southern Miss. at Marshall, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: N.C. State at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA Finals: Lynx at Fever, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Euro qualifier, Spain vs. Luxembourg, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Deflategate finally is dying down, but Spygate appears to be making a comeback.

According to a report out of Dallas, the Cowboys — who normally allow reporters to film their offensive work during the parts of practices that are open to the media — banned anyone from filming Thursday’s session in advance of Sunday’s game against the visiting Patriots.

Tweeted Dallas Morning News writer Jon Machota: Cowboys usually don’t care what cameras film during the open portion of practice. But this week, no filming the offense.

The Patriots, of course, were heavily penalized in 2007 after it was determined they were filming opposing coaches during games despite being warned to stop. And there have been unsubstantiated rumors that they filmed a Rams practice prior to the Super Bowl in 2002.

Meanwhile, while the Cowboys continue to tweak the Patriots, they have their own issues to worry about — first and foremost, how to justify the presence of domestic abuser Greg Hardy.

Jennifer Staubach Gates, a member of the Dallas City Council and the daughter of team legend Roger Staubach, said she will struggle with rationalizing supporting someone like Hardy.

“I’ve grown up a Cowboys fan, and it’s hard not to continue to root for them, but there will be a lot of mixed emotions when he takes the field on Sunday,” she said in a radio interview (via the Dallas Morning News). “It will be difficult to cheer for someone who has been accused of what he’s been accused of.”

Gates chairs the city’s Domestic Violence Taskforce, and she said someone like Hardy can’t be viewed as a hero no matter what he does on the field.

“If he makes an incredible tackle or makes a difference and we win the game … I don’t want to wish it doesn’t happen, but we need to make sure that we don’t make him the hero,” Gates said. “Hopefully they’re coaching him in a way that he’ll be a better person. I’ve heard [coach] Jason Garrett say that.

“We’re going to hold them accountable that they are going to make him a better man. We as a society need to stand up and say we’re not going to tolerate domestic violence and we’re not going to make heroes out of celebrities or athletes that engage in that kind of behavior. We can do that.”

Garrett said he spoke to Hardy about his comments referencing Tom Brady‘s wife this week, insisting, “That’s not how we want to operate as an organization.”

Said Gates: “I thought, like so many other, why is he talking about players’ wives, why is he going down that road?”

Hardy also showed no remorse for his off-field actions, but even if he did, Gates said she’d need to see more from him.

“I think he still needs to be held accountable, and the Cowboys still need to hold him accountable,” she said. “Words are not enough. It’s about actions over time.”

— Last year, when aging Lakers star Kobe Bryant was ranked 40th in ESPN’s list of the league’s top players, he dismissed the ratings as “silly” and “laughable,” adding: “I’ve known for a long time [that] they’re a bunch of idiots.

This year he’s dropped to 93, and he said Thursday, “I don’t need to defend that [ranking]. Nobody does, really.”

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Read More: Greg Hardy, Jennifer Staubach Gates, kobe bryant, Raffi Torres
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Nationals star Bryce Harper says he’s OK with suspended closer Jonathan Papelbon returning next year 09.29.15 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA playoffs: Fever at Liberty, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Dinamo Zagreb at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Leverkusen at FC Barcelona, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jonathan Papelbon is done for the season following his dugout attack on teammate Bryce Harper, but Harper said he’d be OK with the outspoken closer returning next season.

“If Paps can help us win a World Series next year, that’s what I need. That’s what this whole clubhouse needs,” Harper said. “We can’t be fighting or anything like that.”

Papelbon was suspended three games by the league for throwing at Orioles star Manny Machado, and the team gave him a four-game punishment for Sunday’s fight. He initially appealed the league ban but dropped it Monday, meaning he’ll miss all of his team’s remaining games.

Harper sat out Monday’s game, which the team said was discipline for the fight, although he had said Sunday it was a scheduled day off.

Harper also said he’s not sure what he could have done to avoid the scrap. Papelbon was criticizing Harper for not running out a fly ball when the exchange became heated and Papelbon grabbed Harper by the throat and pushed him backward.

“If you’re in a bar or if you’re in the dugout or if you’re anywhere, if someone grabs your neck, your first reaction is to do what I did, I guess,” Harper said.

— There was a scary moment in Monday night’s Cardinals-Pirates game in Pittsburgh, as St. Louis left fielder Stephen Piscotty’s head collided with the knee of center fielder Peter Bourjos while Bourjos made a catch of a fly ball.

Piscotty was knocked unconscious by the blow, and he was bleeding from the mouth. He eventually moved his arms while receiving medical attention. He was taken away on a cart and examined at Allegheny General Hospital, where he remained overnight. Manager Mike Matheny said the initial test results “were as good as we can get.”

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Read More: Bryce Harper, Jonathan Papelbon, kobe bryant, Stephen Piscotty
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Brandon Bass, other new Lakers awkwardly silent about contact with Kobe Bryant 07.23.15 at 8:29 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lakers introduced their new trio of players Wednesday, and the most memorable moment of the press conference concerned their reaction to an apparent lack of enthusiasm for their acquisition by franchise cornerstone Kobe Bryant.

Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and former Celtic Brandon Bass were welcomed to Los Angeles by the team, but Bryant — who has been criticized for failing to help land any high-profile free agents — has been noticeably quiet.

Asked if Bryant had reached out to any of them, the players said nothing. Bass smiled during the period of awkward silence, although he later said he’€™s looking forward to “a great opportunity to play with one of the greatest ever to play the game.”

Williams, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season with the Raptors and was named Sixth Man of the Year, spoke highly of the team’€™s aging and injury-prone star.

“You always feel like you have an opportunity to win here,” Williams said. “And when you have Kobe Bryant, that always gives you an opportunity to go far. So for me, they have a winning tradition, they always are one move away from their team going from zero to 100 and you’ve got Kobe Bryant.”

Bass, signed as a free agent after four productive seasons with the Celtics, said he’s long been a Lakers fan and didn’€™t think he’d have an issue switching sides in the league’s most heated rivalry.

“I haven’t thought so much about it,” Bass said. “All I’ve thought about is me playing in purple and gold when I was in college [at LSU]. It kind of got me back to my roots. I remember being in college and being a Laker fan. I haven’€™t thought about the rivalry, but I know I’€™m going to get a lot of questions.”

— Former ESPN columnist and commentator Bill Simmons is headed to HBO, where he will host a weekly TV show and produce other content for the network’€™s digital platforms.

“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons said in a statement.

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Read More: Bill Simmons, Brandon Bass, kobe bryant, Zack Hample
Lakers GM: Kobe Bryant says next season will be his last with team 05.22.15 at 2:36 pm ET
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Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday that Kobe Bryant has told him next season will be Bryant’s last with the Lakers.

“He has indicated to me that this is it,” Kupchak said in an interview on SiriusXM, via ESPN.com.

Bryant’s contract runs through the 2015-16 season, during which he is scheduled to make a league-high $25 million. He will be 37 at the start of next season, and missed much of this season with a shoulder injury that allowed him to play only 35 games.

“I think it is clear,” Kupchak said. “He’s on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions [about playing beyond next season]. He hasn’t indicated that he wants to continue to play.”

Kupchak said he expects a full recovery from Bryant, but does not expect there to be any discussions with Bryant about playing for the Lakers beyond next season. Whether Bryant receives a farewell tour from the Lakers and league is up to Bryant, Kupchak said.

“It’s kind of up to the player, if they want to do something like that,” Kupchak said. “And it also may take away some options a year from now and put a player in an awkward position, but he will be recognized appropriately with great gratitude when it is time.”

Bryant is a five-time NBA champion and the league’s third all-time leading scorer with 32,428 points.

Read More: kobe bryant, Mitch Kupchak,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan plays down impact of Deflategate on Patriots 01.30.15 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Rockets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Mavericks at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Harvard at Princeton, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Monmouth at Fairfield, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kent State at Buffalo, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Sabres at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Providence at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: North Dakota at Nebraska-Omaha, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— New Bills coach Rex Ryan still might not want to kiss Bill Belichick‘s rings, but he also isn’t ready to pile on the Patriots coach regarding Deflategate.

Reporters caught up with Ryan on Thursday in Phoenix, and Ryan laughed when asked if he ever suspected that the Patriots deflated footballs.

“No, I never, you know, I don’€™t see that,” Ryan said (via MassLive.com). “And I think it’€™s unfortunate that this takes away. This is the biggest stage there is and here we’€™re talking about something like that. It is a black eye to the league and the league will handle it as they see fit. But they’€™re a great football team, and they’€™ve earned the right to get here. Same thing with Seattle.”

Ryan also said he doesn’t believe the legacies of Belichick and Tom Brady will be affected by this controversy.

“I don’€™t think that’€™s anything,” Ryan said. “I mean, when you look at, you’€™re going to have a guy that’€™s arguably going to end up being if not the best coach in the history of the game, at least in that conversation. Same thing about their quarterback. So I don’€™t think it’€™s going to be anything.”

Ryan also weighed in on the issue the Patriots have been having with the fire alarm in their hotel going off in the middle of the night.

“Let’€™s face it: Belichick probably did it himself,” Ryan joked. “He’€™s the one that pulled the thing and created a different story. Those things happen. You try to prepare your team in the offseason — training camps and all that kind of stuff. Would you pull a fire alarm or something? You may.”

Ryan claimed that alarms have gone off in his teams’ hotels during visits to New England, but he insisted he wasn’t getting his revenge this week.

“I was not there,” he said. “You can’t blame that one on me.”

— Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is headed to jail for five days after pleading guilty Thursday to reckless driving for an incident in July in Virginia.

Werth admitted that he was driving his Porsche GT3 RS more than 100 mph on I-495 in Fairfax Country. A Virginia State Police trooper paced Werth driving at least 105 mph on an on-ramp, and Werth pulled way from the police cruiser on the highway, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

Werth, who was cooperative after being pulled over and admitted he was “pressing his luck” by driving so fast, had been convicted of the charges in December. He appealed and was due for another trial next week before reaching a plea deal. He will serve his sentence on weekends.

“We are aware of the agreement reached today. It is clear that Jayson has taken this matter seriously and with great personal reflection,” the team said in a statement. “We do not condone reckless behavior, and we expect all members of the Washington Nationals organization to act in a responsible manner. We support Jayson, who is an integral part of the community and of the Washington Nationals family.

Werth, who declined comment after the hearing, is entering the fifth season of a seven-year, $126 million contract. He hit .292 with 16 home runs, 82 RBIs and a team-high .849 OPS in 147 games last season. He had arthroscopic shoulder surgery Jan. 9 and is expected to be ready to play in 2-3 months.

— One day after having season-ending shoulder surgery, Kobe Bryant said he intends to return in September for his 20th season.

“Yeah, that’s the plan,” Bryant told ESPN.

Bryant stopped by Staples Center to visit with former teammate Pau Gasol before Thursday’s Bulls-Lakers game, although Bryant said he wasn’t feeling well enough to go on the court.

Bryant will be heading into the final year of his contract in 2015-16, when he is slated to earn $25 million. The 36-year-old said he doesn’t pay attention to other people’s suggestions that he should retire.

“I don’t really listen much to what people have to say, to be honest with you,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 30, 1973, the Patriots had perhaps their best draft ever. Which three players did they select in Round 1?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “His desire to be so competitive, I’€™ve never seen it. You could put him in the category of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, just some of the great athletes in this world, and I’€™€™m talking different sports, too. He has the fight, the will and the determination to go out there and destroy anybody who’€™€™s in his way. You see the results on the field, he’€™€™s awesome.” Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis on Tom Brady

STAT OF THE DAY: 25 — Percent decrease in recorded concussions in NFL games from 2013 to 2014, according to data released by the league Thursday

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch play Mortal Kombat X on “Conan.”

Magic guard Victor Oladipo soars in for an impressive dunk against the Bucks.

Bulls forward Joakim Noah makes a nice behind-the-back pass to Pau Gasol for a layup against the Lakers.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Offensive lineman John Hannah (fourth), running back Sam Cunningham (11th) and receiver Darryl Stingley (19th)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Phil Collins was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jayson Werth, kobe bryant, Rex Ryan
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce pays tribute to injured Kobe Bryant 01.28.15 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Louisville at Boston College, 9 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: SMU at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at UCF, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Florida State, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Duke at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: East Carolina at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Chile vs. United States, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2), 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Things are going well for former Celtic Paul Pierce, who has become a veteran leader for a talented Wizards team. Not so much for Pierce’s longtime rival with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

Bryant is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his rotator cuff in a game over the weekend, and even before his injury his team was headed for another miserable season.

Although the two have butted heads in the past, Pierce lamented the loss of Bryant.

“It always saddens me, knowing that Kobe, who is one of my NBA brothers we lose [him] due to injury,” Pierce said before sitting out the Wizards’ 98-92 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles with a toe injury. “It always saddens me.”

Added Pierce: “A lot of fans around the league pay to watch Kobe, a lot of fans around the world. Regardless of how the Lakers are doing or not, he’s an icon. He’s a player who defined his generation. A lot of people that come out here to see him.”

Bryant recently said that he’s enjoyed his on-court verbal exchanges with Pierce, and Pierce agreed.

“It’s just fun. We’re one of the last two of our generation,” Pierce said. “That’s pretty much a lot of the things we talked about on the court, a little bit of a trash in there.

“But we also said there’s no more trash-talkers in the league today coming up. It’s a generation that’s passing by, and a lot of these guys are friends. I don’t think this new generation is as competitive as we were with the past guys.”

— Clippers forward Matt Barnes, whose temper has gotten him in trouble a number of times in the past, lashed out on Twitter at the owner of the Suns after being fined for an incident in Phoenix.

The NBA slapped Barnes with a $25,000 fine Tuesday for his conduct during Sunday’s game, when he directed inappropriate language toward a fan.

Barnes, who shot 1-for-9 in the Clippers’ 120-100 victory, acknowledged he swore, but he claims it was because Suns owner Robert Sarver provoked him.

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Read More: kobe bryant, Matt Barnes, Paul Pierce, Robert Allenby