|After first Lakers practice, Mike D’Antoni says team is ‘built to win this year’||11.16.12 at 3:00 pm ET|
Four days after formally accepting the Lakers coaching job, Mike D’Antoni was at his first practice for the Lakers on crutches Thursday.
D’Antoni is on crutches and pain medication following surgery earlier this month, but he said he’ll soon be back to normal as he attempts to help the Lakers become an up-tempo, high-scoring team.
“I’m really happy to be here — excited,” D’Antoni said. “[We're] starting to put stuff in now. Might take a little bit, but … we’re built to win this year. This is not a five-year project. We have a window, and we’re going to try to get through it.”
Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s older brother and a new assistant coach on the staff, ran the team through a variety of shooting and pick-and-roll drills during the practice.
D’Antoni has high hopes for the Lakers going forward.
“I told the team if we’re not averaging 110-115 points a game, we need to talk,” D’Antoni said. “That’s our goal. It should be easily done.”
Kobe Bryant has been full of praise for D’Antoni since his hire. Former coach Mike Brown was fired after just five games.
“He has a very calm demeanor about himself,” Bryant said. “He simplifies the game to its purest form. It’s not overcomplicated for him.”
D’Antoni, the former coach of the Nuggets, Suns and Knicks, said he would not coach Friday’s game against the Suns, instead targeting Sunday against the Rockets as his debut.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Antonio Cromartie, Rex Ryan predict Jets will make playoffs||11.09.12 at 7:57 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Jazz at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Pittsburgh at UConn, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan State vs. UConn, at Germany, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Marquette vs. Ohio State, at Charleston, S.C., 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Georgia State at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kentucky vs. Maryland, at Brooklyn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Florida vs. Georgetown, at Jacksonville, Fla., 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: South Dakota State at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ It’s been a difficult season for the Jets, who sit at 3-5, but cornerback Antonio Cromartie remains confident in his team and his coach, who earlier this week was named most overrated coach in a poll of NFL players.
“The Jets will make the playoffs this year,” Cromartie said on the NFL Network. “We believe in each other. We believe in … coach [Rex] Ryan and his staff. … So, we definitely are going to make the playoffs this year.”
Six of the Jets’ eight remaining games are against teams that are .500 or less, so perhaps that gives them reason to believe. Whatever the reason, Ryan supports Cromartie’s approach.
“I feel that as an entire football team that we should all feel like that,” Ryan said. “And I think we do feel like that. Nobody wants to hear it, but who cares? That’s really how we feel. Whether you like it or not, that’s our mentality. I would think the Jets fans … would want us to feel that way. And we do.”
♦ After Lakers practice on Thursday, Kobe Bryant was asked about the frustration he showed in Wednesday night’s loss to the Jazz. During that game Bryant outwardly displayed his anger on a number of occasions, leading some to speculate that he’s losing patience with his teammates and/or coach.
Said Bryant: “I don’t give a [expletive] how it’s interpreted. I’m too old to deal with that stuff. I really am.”
In a lighter moment, Bryant smiled when showed video of his now-infamous “death stare” toward coach Mike Brown from the bench at the end of Wednesday’s game.
♦ Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh was voted the dirtiest player in the NFL by his peers for the second year in a row. The Sporting News conducted the midseason poll of 103 players, and Suh was No. 1 with 32 votes despite generally staying out of trouble this season.
Following Suh in the ranking was Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan, Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Titans offensive tackle David Stewart.
♦ A walk-on freshman defensive back at Tennessee State collapsed during practice Wednesday and was declared dead after being taken to a hospital.
William Wayne Jones III collapsed after catching a ball and throwing it to defensive backs coach Ed Sanders. The 19-year-old had no pulse when trainers attended to him.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 9, 1972, in an 8-3 victory over the Red Wings at Boston Garden, which Bruin became the seventh player in NHL history to record 1,000 career points?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m going to look at things differently. I may be young and wild, but I’m not. I’m engaged now. I have a baby, so it’s just going make me think of life a lot differently, and doing things the right way because now another one’s looking up to me. I just can’t be young and reckless Aaron no more.” – Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez
STAT OF THE DAY: 153-44 – The count by which the Jaguars have been outscored in five home games this season, following Thursday’s 27-10 loss to the Colts
‘NET RESULTS: A girls high school volleyball player in Iowa takes out two people on one spike. Her blast catches an opponent in the face, and the ball then bounces to the sideline and trips up a fan walking by.
Former child actor Emmanuel Lewis (“Webster”) takes on Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas in a dance-off during a team fundraising event.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Johnny Bucyk
SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary, was born on this date in 1936.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant tells critics of Lakers to ‘shut up’||11.02.12 at 8:06 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Washington at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Lakers’ 0-2 start is not sitting well with anyone in Los Angeles, and much of the criticism is falling upon second-year coach Mike Brown. Kobe Bryant said he’s “amused” by the noise, but he doesn’t sound like he finds it very funny.
“I’ve won, so I can [tell people to shut up],” Bryant said Thursday. “For Mike, it might be a little tough to say that, so I’ll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work. At the end of the day, you’ll be happy with the result as you normally are.”
Bryant said those who are pointing fingers at Brown’s Princeton-style offense don’t know what they’re talking about. He noted that the offensive philosophy isn’t that different from Phil Jackson‘s.
“I don’t understand,” Bryant said. “And I’m trying to bite my tongue and not calling them ‘dumb,’ which I kind of just did. But they’ve seen us win multiple championships here in an offense that was tough to learn, that was a sequence of options that weren’t set plays, that took five guys getting on the same page and working together.
“They know how that stuff works, so for them to be so stupid now, for them to say, ‘Oh, let Steve [Nash] dribble the ball around and create opportunities for everybody, or let Dwight [Howard] post up, or let me iso’ … It’s, I don’t want to say ‘idiotic,’ but it’s close.”
♦ The lawyer for Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith claims the player is missing more than $1 million, two days after Smith called the police because some family members were at his house looking for money.
“I’m not certain of the amount of money that’s gone,” attorney John Schorsch said. “I would suggest to you that the numbers are in the seven digits that need to be accounted for. I don’t know how much of that, if any, is a legitimate gift and how much of that is squeezed out of him or how much of that is flat out taken. And I know of the latter two categories it’s a bunch.
“I’m going to make sure all the money is justified, and it’s not going to be pretty.”
The 21-year-old Smith signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract in July 2011 after being drafted ninth overall out of USC, and he reportedly gave a substantial amount of money to his family. Earlier this year, however, Smith filed a protective order against his mother and stepfather, barring them from having any contact with him.
Smith’s mother, Frankie Pinkney, insists all money she received was “accounted for,” and she said the family dispute stems from Smith’s relationship with a 26-year-old woman. The girlfriend, Leigh Costa, says she’s not to blame.
“Nothing she says is factual,” Costa said of Pinkney. “I didn’t do anything. I’m a drive-by victim to his family’s chaos.”
♦ Former major league pitcher Pascual Perez was killed in his Dominican Republic home on Thursday, apparently during a home invasion. A prosecutor involved in the investigation said it appears that multiple assailants ransacked the home in an attempt to find money, and the attack might have been premeditated. Perez, 55, was found Thursday morning by his ex-wife with a fractured skill from blows to the head.
Perez went 64-62 in 11 major league seasons with the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees. He was a member of the Yankees when he was suspended for the 1992 season after testing positive for drugs, and he never pitched again.
♦ Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is trying to get in either the Steelers’ heads or the referees’ heads — or maybe both — before Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. On Thursday, Tuck said Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been benefiting from the officiating.
“I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder,” Tuck told ESPN. “They’ve done a good job protecting Ben [Roethlisberger] — they don’t hold on every play. But we’ve seen a whole lot of it.”
The last time the Giants used this strategy was when offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride made a similar comment about 49ers defensive end Justin Smith three weeks ago. While the remark didn’t sit well with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, it apparently did not hurt, as the Giants rolled to a 26-3 victory in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the Steelers were going to travel to the New York area on Saturday, a day before their game, but their hotel was without power as of Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy. So, the league waived its rule requiring teams to travel at least a day before a game, and the Steelers will fly in on Sunday morning.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 2, 1969, the Patriots won their first game after opening the season with seven straight losses. Which now-defunct team did the Pats shut out, 24-0?
|Ailing Kobe Bryant might miss opener for Lakers||10.26.12 at 11:28 am ET|
The Lakers are not sure if Kobe Bryant will be ready to play in Tuesday’s season-opener against the Mavericks.
Bryant has a bruised and strained right foot. He did not make the trip to San Diego for the Lakers’ final preseason game on Thursday night against the Kings. The Lakers are winless in the preseason.
Asked whether Bryant would play Tuesday, coach Mike Brown said, “I don’t know if he will or not.”
Added Brown: “He came in and got some treatment for his foot. It didn’t make sense for him to make the bus trip because he needs to elevate the foot. And the 2½-hour ride down and back would not be good.”
Bryant missed several practices earlier this year in training camp because of discomfort in the same right foot. Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that this injury is in a different place on his right foot and is considerably more painful.
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Mike Milbury apologizes for comments about Sidney Crosby||04.04.12 at 7:27 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Spurs at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Thunder at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Lakers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Red Wings at Blues, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Cardinals at Marlins, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Mets at Yankees, noon (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Angels at Dodgers, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ NBC hockey analyst Mike Milbury apologized Tuesday for calling Penguins star Sidney Crosby “a punk” and making a sarcastic reference to his concussion problems during an interview on a Philadelphia radio station Monday and. Milbury had criticized Crosby for instigating a late-game brawl in the Penguins’ loss to the Flyers on Sunday.
“In hindsight, I realize what I said was inappropriate and wrong, and I want to apologize to the Penguins organization and their fans,” Milbury said.
Crosby took issue with Milbury’s accusation that he started the ill will Sunday by cross checking Brayden Schenn, who retaliated a few seconds later with a cross check to the back.
“I don’t really know what he’s looking for — if he’s looking for attention or what. I don’t know what it is,” Crosby said Tuesday before leading his team past the Bruins, 5-3. “I don’t have much to say there. I don’t where that came from, and you can really twist something a certain way and he’s obviously showing he’s capable of doing that. He’s pretty good at twisting things around, that’s for sure.”
♦ Mohammad El Akkari of the Lebanese Division A team Moutahed scored 113 points in a 173-141 victory over Bejjeh on Tuesday, according to FIBA Asia. The 27-year-old guard was averaging only 7.6 points in 23 games before his outburst. Akkari hit 40-of-69 shots, including 32-of-59 3-pointers, and one free throw.
“Thank God for this performance. I think it’s all a result of my practice,” Akkari said, adding: “I also want to thank my coach for letting me play that long and all my teammates for helping.”
♦ According to an ESPN report, Lakers center Andrew Bynum was fined by the team for “numerous infractions,” including skipping a meeting with general manager Mitch Kupchak. Bynum, who was benched after shooting a 3-pointer in a game last week, missed Tuesday night’s victory over the Nets due to a sprained ankle.
Lakers coach Mike Brown did not directly confirm the fine, saying: “I’m not concerned with Bynum’s attitude. … I don’t have a problem with Bynum.”
♦ One day after Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was arrested in Michigan after being caught chewing marijuana, defensive lineman Nick Fairley was arrested in his hometown of Mobile, Ala., for marijuana possession. Fairley, like Leshoure a rookie in 2011, was pulled over after reports of a car repeatedly speeding through a Mobile subdivision.
“We hold all of our players to a high standard of behavior, and the recent charges against Nick and Mikel Leshoure are not consistent with those standards,” the Lions said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 4, 2001, which pitcher made his Red Sox debut and threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore?
|Andrew Bynum benched late in Lakers win||03.29.12 at 11:10 am ET|
Lakers stars are earning plenty of bench time lately. One game after coach Mike Brown benched Kobe Bryant, center Andrew Bynum rode the pine late in the Lakers’ 104-101 win over the Warriors Tuesday. Bynum was benched for most of the fourth quarter and some of the third quarter after he missed a 3-pointer with 10:05 left in the third quarter and 14 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Bynum recorded just seven 3-point attempts in his seven-year career.
The shot seemed to be the final straw in Bynum’s game that led Brown to bench Bynum, but Brown refused to elaborate on the specifics of Bynum’s benching following the game.
“If I don’t feel like he’s playing the right way, I’ll take him out the game,” Brown said. “I didn’t feel like he was playing the right way. I didn’t feel like we were playing the right way as a club when he was on the floor. That’s why I took him out the game.”
Bynum’s behavior did not improve on the bench. He refused to join the team in huddles during timeouts and mocked taking the shot on the bench shortly after Brown pulled him from the game. After the game, Bynum said he would not change the way he approaches three-pointers following the benching.
“I guess, ‘Don’t take 3s’ is the message, but I’m going to take another one and I’m going to take some more, so I just hope it’s not the same result,” the infrequent three-point shooter Bynum said after the game. “Hopefully I make it.”
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Giants owners tweak Jets about Tim Tebow press conference||03.26.12 at 7:59 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Nuggets at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Hornets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Lightning at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Phillies, 1 p.m. (NESN)
MLB preseason: Rockies at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Rangers, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions, but the Jets have been grabbing the offseason headlines, most recently with their trade for Tim Tebow.
At the NFL owners meetings in Florida, Giants owner John Mara joked about the fact that the Jets have a press conference scheduled for Monday to introduce their backup quarterback.
“The David Carr press conference will be [Monday] afternoon, too,” Mara said, referring to the Giants backup who did not throw a pass last season while playing behind Eli Manning.
Added co-owner Steve Tisch: “Well, [the Jets] are getting a lot of attention, so if that was one of their goals, I think they have been successful.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan was respectful when apprised of the Giants bosses’ comments.
“When you win a Super Bowl, you can say anything you want because they are the world champions,” Ryan said. “That’s all fine and dandy. To the young man [Tebow], he’s not going out there trying to get the attention. The attention follows him.”
Last year, Ryan famously claimed the Jets were New York’s premier football team, a statement that backfired badly.
“Clearly the statement wasn’t very good,” Ryan acknowledged. “We’re looking up to them as is every other team in the NFL right now. They accomplished what I wanted to, being the best team in New York, being the best team in the NFL. The Giants accomplished that last year. We’ll take a swing at them.”
♦ Kobe Bryant was benched by Lakers coach Mike Brown for four minutes late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 102-96 loss to the visiting Grizzlies. Although he acknowledged he was upset about sitting, he did his best to avoid making the situation more of a controversy.
“It’s his decision to make,” Bryant said of Brown. “If you guys are looking for a story, I’m not going to contribute to it. I can’t sit here and criticize the decision. As leader of this ballclub, it’s something I can’t afford to do. I’ve got to have his back. I’ve had his back the whole season. I can’t start doing something crazy now. It doesn’t make any sense.”
The Lakers trailed by three points at the start of the final period and had fallen behind by 14 points with 5:45 left when Brown called a timeout and subbed in Metta World Peace. Bryant returned with 1:51 left and the Lakers down by nine, following a “Ko-be! Ko-be!” chant from the crowd.
Explained Brown: “I felt I wanted to make a sub at the time, so I did. Not one particular thing. Went with Metta for a couple minutes and then tried to go back to [Bryant]. Obviously, it didn’t work.”
♦ Jose Canseco, who was in the news last week when he and Shaquille O’Neal agreed to an MAA fight, went after another retired athlete Sunday. Canseco, apparently bothered by NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp‘s accusation that Jeremy Shockey sold out his former Saints teammates and coaches for Bountygate, put out a feeler to Sapp, asking if the former defensive lineman knew how to fight MAA style.
Responded Sapp: @JoseCanseco My hand to hand days on film!! #YouWantSome.
That was all Canseco needed to hear. Answered the disgraced former MLB star: @QBKILLA love some .wanna dance i need a warmup for shaq fight.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 26, 1974, the Red Sox released which two future Hall of Famers?
|Metta World Peace meets with Lakers coach Mike Brown after reports of disharmony||02.15.12 at 12:56 pm ET|
Lakers coach Mike Brown and forward Metta World Peace met after Tuesday’s shootaround following reports of friction between the two.
The former Ron Artest, who has struggled in Brown’s first season at the helm, recently questioned Brown’s credentials.
“Right now, coach is a stats guy,” World Peace told CBSSports.com. “His background is video coordinator or whatever. So he’s all stats. But Ron Artest is all feel.”
Responded Brown before Tuesday’s game against the Hawks: “If I were him, I’d be frustrated. I talked to him about it. I said, ‘Metta, I don’t take anything personally. I’m OK with it. Just be careful what you say to the media in that regard. But if I was a stats guy, Metta, you wouldn’t be playing at all. Because look at your stats offensively, and then Synergy [a video scoring service] says you’re the 192nd best defensive player in the league.”
World Peace is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.7 steals, all career lows. The 32-year-old also is shooting career lows from the field (32.7), 3-point range (19.0) and the free throw line (51.4). But he insists that didn’t play a role in his comments.
“I was never frustrated,” he said. “There was no frustration. Just looking for the consistency of whether I was on the bench or whether I was playing, just looking for the consistency. Once you find the consistency you already know where you stand at and you can move forward and win games.”
|Jeremy Lin: For several teams, emerging star the one who got away||02.11.12 at 2:22 pm ET|
Harvard grad Jeremy Lin came off the bench and led the New York Knicks to a 99-92 victory over the Nets at Madison Square Garden last Saturday night. On Wednesday night, he led the Knicks with 28 points and 10 assists over the Washington Wizards in his first start, and he has since inspired the viral spread of Linsanity that is sweeping the nation.
Today, several teams that could have had Lin are regretting their decisions. For the Lakers, against whom Lin scored 38 on Friday to lead the Knicks to a 92-85 win, the point guard was there for the taking.
“I knew who [Lin] was because when he was floating out there, I know Mitch had some interest in him and he brought his name up to me,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown told the Los Angeles Times, referring to General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
When the Lakers passed on Lin, he went to Houston. After a short stay there, he was released and signed over to New York, something that has inspired profound regret in Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Morey now is on the Lin bandwagon, while noting his regret that Houston is among the 29 teams that missed an opportunity to acquire a player who has emerged as a phenomenon.
Morey tweeted: We should have kept [Lin]. Did not know he was this good. Anyone who says they knew misleading U.
In a separate tweet, he said: Finally, really happy for [Lin.] Very hard working, nice, & humble. He has a great, great future.
Even Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob expressed his regret during a radio interview at KNBR in San Francisco.
“I would be lying if I thought … he’d be this good [and] all of a sudden explode on the scene,” Lacob said, according to the New York Post. “It’s a great, perfect situation where he got an amazing opportunity. None of the other guards in New York were playing well. So I give him all the credit in the world, and obviously we wish we had him.”
Lin’s overnight success has awed fans everywhere while leaving those who passed up on him embarrassed.
|Lakers coach Mike Brown suspended one game, fined||02.06.12 at 1:03 pm ET|
First-year Lakers coach Mike Brown has been suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 by the NBA after making contact with an official.
The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 96-87 loss to the Jazz Saturday. Brown was reacting to a no-call after Lakers forward Pau Gasol was stripped of the ball and fell to the floor.
“I wish I wouldn’t have put my team in a hole or predicament like that,” Brown said after Saturday’s game. “I did. I apologized to them. Now I need to make sure that I don’t do it again in the future. … It’s not good to do that, not setting the right example or proper tone for your team.”
The outburst came in the middle of a 14-0 run by the Jazz that gave Utah firm control of what had previously been a closely contested game.
Brown will miss the Lakers’ Monday night game at Philadelphia in compliance with the suspension. The Lakers are 14-10 this season under Brown, who came to the Lakers after serving as the Cavaliers coach from 2005-10.
Below is a video of Brown’s ejection. The incident begins at the 2:47 mark.
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