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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘wouldn’t accept’ Phil Jackson coaching Knicks home games next season 03.16.16 at 7:50 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: Thunder at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Holy Cross vs. Southern, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan vs. Tulsa, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Belmont at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Princeton at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Houston at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, UAB at BYU, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Flyers at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Astros, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Brewers, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Barcelona, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— There have been rumors in New York that Knicks president Phil Jackson might consider returning to the sideline as coach — perhaps only for home games, leaving current interim coach Kurt Rambis to handle away games. Carmelo Anthony, however, said that won’t be the case.

“Nah, nah, nah. I don’t think that should be accepted,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t accept that if that was the case. Phil is cool, man. He doesn’t need to be on the sidelines no more. He put so many years into this game. He’s cool. He doesn’t need to be on the sideline. I don’t think he’s thinking about coming back down on the sideline. I hope not. Let him ride on out. Let him sit out and be the president.”

Added Anthony: “Phil ain’t coaching no more, man. So let’s [kill] that rumor. Phil ain’t coaching no more.”

Last week Jackson hinted Rambis might be promoted to permanent coach. Anthony also had something less than enthusiastic to say about that.

“I think you still have to at least listen to other candidates out there,” Anthony said.

Anthony did not dismiss Rambis as an option, although Rambis’ 5-9 record since taking over for Derek Fisher last month — and his 32-132 record in his previous stint with the Timberwolves — isn’t blowing anyone away.

“I think you consider Kurt at that job,” Anthony said. “[Jackson] brought Kurt here for that reason if anything was to happen and the situation is here for him now. I think it’s just more of seeing how Kurt handles the situation right now, how the team does, how the team responds to Kurt.”

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino continues to profess ignorance to claims that an assistant coach paid strippers to perform for players and recruits during parties at a campus dormitory.

Speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” Pitino said he hopes the NCAA investigation “comes up with the right answers, because it’s puzzling to all of us.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Mateen Cleaves, Phil Jackson, Rick Pitino
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Browns deny using concussion protocol to cover up for intoxicated Johnny Manziel 02.10.16 at 8:21 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: Clippers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Lakers at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Tulane at East Carolina, 6:15 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Butler at Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Providence at Marquette, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: LSU at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Memphis at Houston, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Baylor at Kansas State, 8:15 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Iowa State at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Tulsa at SMU, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at Utah, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Diego State at Fresno State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: FA Cup, West Bromwich at Peterborough United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Johnny Manziel’s departure from Cleveland can’t come soon enough for the Browns.

On Tuesday the team denied an NFL Network report that it covered up for the fact that Manziel showed up at for practice the final week of the season in an intoxicated state by placing him in the concussion protocol.

NFL Network’s Michael Silver, using an unnamed Browns player as his source, reported that the team “lied” to protect Manziel, who took a couple of hard hits during the team’s Dec. 27 loss to the Chiefs.

“Johnny Manziel came to our facility on the morning of December 30th and complained of concussion symptoms,” the team said in a statement. “He was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league’s concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist.”

Manziel missed the final regular-season game against the Steelers, and he missed a scheduled medical checkup the morning of that game after reportedly visiting Las Vegas the previous day.

Similar speculation emerged that week, with then-coach Mike Pettine strongly denying the team covered for Manziel.

Silver sent out a series of tweets defending his report, but he backtracked slightly, saying he takes the Browns at their word and regrets using the word “lied.”

The Browns have indicated they plan to release Manziel, who is being investigated by Dallas police after his ex-girlfriend accused him of hitting her in an incident last week.

— The Clippers came down on star Blake Griffin, suspending the injured forward four games and docking him an additional game’s salary because his broke his hand punching a member of the equipment staff last month. The suspension will begin when Griffin returns from his injury in a few weeks.

“We have made it clear that this conduct has no place in the Clippers organization,” team owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers said in a joint statement. “Blake is remorseful and has apologized for his actions. He is a valued member of our Clippers family and we support him as he rejoins the team.”

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Johnny Manziel, Phil Jackson,
Knicks begin search for next coach after firing Derek Fisher 02.09.16 at 9:58 am ET
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Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher

Knicks president Phil Jackson decided to cut ties with coach Derek Fisher on Monday. The firing took place after Fisher led the team to a mark of 23-31 this season and an abysmal 17-65 record last season. The Knicks have lost nine of their last 10 games.

Former Lakers and Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis will step in as interim coach for the remainder of the season. While he will have a chance to earn the head coaching position, there are a number of outside candidates the Knicks may be taking a hard look at.

One name that is thrown around with just about every coaching vacancy in the NBA is former Celtics assistant and Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. There’s also former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, whom Jackson reportedly preferred over Fisher but could not hire because Shaw already had a job at the time.

Perhaps the most intriguing name on the list is Warriors assistant Luke Walton. The incredible job the 35-year-old did filling in for Steve Kerr this season has not gone unnoticed, and he almost certainly will be getting head coaching offers in the near future. One report indicated the Lakers would be willing to fire coach Byron Scott so they could hire Walton.

Walton and Fisher both played for Jackson with the Lakers, while Shaw and Rambis were assistant coaches under Jackson.

Read More: Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Luke Walton, New York Knicks
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Shaquille O’Neal admits to deflating basketballs with Lakers 06.09.15 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 Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Finals, Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. (ABC)
Soccer: Women’s World Cup, France vs. England, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Soccer: Women’s World Cup, Spain vs. Costa Rica, 4 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Women’s World Cup, Colombia vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. (Fox)
Soccer: Women’s World Cup, Brazil vs. South Korea, 7 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal

— As the Deflategate controversy continues, Shaquille O’Neal is the latest athlete to admit to deflating balls before games. O’Neal said on a recent podcast that he would let some air out of basketballs during the Lakers’ championship run in the early 2000s — “Get the ball, ‘Tsssss’ let a little bit of air out, squeeze it — OK, good,” he said.

“Sometimes, in the games during all my championship runs, if a ball was too hard, I let air out,” O’Neal said (via ESPN.com). “I’d have a needle. A friend of mine would have a needle and I would get the game ball. … I needed that extra grip, but I wasn’t doing that for cheating purposes. I just needed the extra grip for my hands so I could palm it, a la Michael Jordan, the way he used to palm it.”

O’Neal insists he was not breaking the rules, because he was not attempting to go below the league-mandated minimum of 7.5 psi.

“First of all, I’m not aware of any letter of the law that says, you can’t let air out of the ball,” O’Neal said. “I’m not aware of that. Second of all, it’s all about my [comfort level]. A lot of times, if the balls have too much air in them, they’re too bouncy. I didn’t want them to be bouncy. I needed that grip.”

Phil Jackson, who coached O’Neal with the Lakers, previously admitted that his Knicks teams used to deflate balls in the 1970s. Like O’Neal, Jackson said it should not be considered illegal because the balls did not fall below the league minimum psi.

Jackson told reporter Sam Smith for a book that other teams used to deflate balls below the NBA standard in an attempt to slow his Michael Jordan-led Bulls teams, but he would carry a pressure gauge and check the game balls so that they could be fixed.

— A defamation suit filed by former 49ers linebacker Ray McDonald against a woman who accused him of rape was dismissed by a California judge, who said McDonald failed to prove the woman talked to anyone but police.

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Read More: Oscar Pistorius, Phil Jackson, Ray McDonald, Shaquille O'Neal
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Despite worst season in franchise history, Phil Jackson asks Knicks fans to ‘remain optimistic’ 03.31.15 at 8:05 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: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Spurs at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Warriors at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT, Miami vs. Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Stanford vs. Old Dominion, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: CIT, Tennessee-Martin at Evansville, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: CIT, NJIT at Northern Arizona, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB exhibition: Yankees at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Athletics at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Royals at Padres, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Switzerland vs. United States, noon (FS1)
Soccer: Israel vs. Belgium, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Mexico vs. Paraguay, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Knicks have the NBA’s worst record at 14-60 and have lost 60 games for the first time in franchise history, despite entering the season with playoff aspirations. But team president Phil Jackson sees light at the end of the tunnel — or at least he’s trying to convince season ticket-holders that he does so they come back in 2015-16.

In a letter and video message sent out Monday, Jackson talked optimistically about the prospects for the future.

“While I know this has been a challenging season for our team on the court, I can also tell you that everyone in the organization is working tirelessly to get our Knicks back to a place where we are once again competing at the highest level,” Jackson said on the video (as reported by ESPN).

Added Jackson: “We have a clear plan and expect our efforts to really take shape as we enter the 2015 draft and free agency in the months ahead. I ask that you remain optimistic and hope you will join us on our continued journey as we build a team that once again reflects the spirit of being a New York Knick.”

With the Knicks expected to have at least $25 million in cap space this offseason, Jackson implied that the team could start to turn things around quickly.

“We have made key roster moves to free up significant cap space that will provide us greater flexibility to acquire talent in this summer’s free agency,” Jackson said. “And for the first time in many years, we expect to have a top pick in the NBA draft this June. These are key steps to building a roster of players that have both the talent and character to win in New York and who, alongside Carmelo Anthony, will become a team that can become a consistent winner.”

— While Jackson’s return to the Knicks organization hasn’t produced positive results, St. John’s is hoping for a different outcome after reportedly hiring former standout guard Chris Mullin to take over as coach.

Mullin, a New York native who led St. John’s to the Final Four in 1985, went on to star with the Warriors in the NBA and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, will take over Steve Lavin, who departed after five seasons and an 81-55 record (2-9 in the postseason).

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Read More: Chris Mullin, Eloi Vasquez, Lou Carnesecca, Phil Jackson
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Will Ferrell plays 9 positions for 10 teams in spring training adventure 03.13.15 at 7:59 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: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Michigan vs. Wisconsin, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: East Carolina vs. SMU, noon (ESPN2)
College basketball: La Salle vs. Davidson, noon (NBCSN)
College basketball: Penn State vs. Purdue, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Memphis vs. Temple, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: VCU vs. Richmond, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee vs. UTEP, 4 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Indiana vs. Maryland, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. Bonaventure vs. Dayton, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Alabama-Birmingham vs. Louisiana Tech, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Providence vs. Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: North Carolina vs. Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Baylor vs. Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Houston vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, 8:55 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: George Washington vs. Rhode Island, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: UConn vs. Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Notre Dame vs. Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma vs. Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Wyoming vs. Boise State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Georgetown, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Colorado State vs. San Diego State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Utah vs. Oregon, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UC Irvine vs. UC Santa Barbara, 11:59 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB exhibition: Orioles at Blue Jays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Brewers at Mariners, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Comedic actor Will Ferrell was successful in his quest to suit up for 10 teams and play all nine positions at spring training in Arizona, striking out twice, misplaying a couple of balls and raising money for charity in the process.

Ferrell, 47, started the day by playing shortstop for the A’s — after meeting with former A’s shortstop Bert Campaneris, who was the first big leaguer to play all nine positions in one game, 50 years ago this season. He then made appearances for the Mariners, Angels, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Reds, White Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Padres.

Ferrell made two appearances at the plate, striking out both times. In the field, he generally avoided embarrassing himself, even when he pitched for the Dodgers in the nightcap against the Padres.

Said Ferrell in a morning interview before his journey: “I’m actually hoping the acting career is over after today. It’s pretty much the feeling out here that I’m going to land with one of these clubs.”

Ferrell also chimed in on some baseball trivia, noting: “I know for a fact that Curt Schilling, the infamous bloody sock — that was from a shaving accident.”

When it was over, Ferrell spoke to the crowd at the Dodgers-Padres game and said, “There’s no doubt I turned some heads today, even if it was just for a moment. I brought passion to the field, dedication, ability and a lot of ignorance.

“The ball moves fast out there. A lot faster than it looks on television. It’s like a speeding bullet. It’s horrible. Terrifying. . . .

“They say nothing’s more American than grabbing a hot dog, heading to the ballpark and watching nine guys from the Dominican Republic make magic on the field. But you know what? Today I learned they are wrong. Make that eight Dominicans and one guy from Irvine, California.

“Ruth, Musial. Mantle. Will Ferrell. Who would have thought that those names one day would be synonymous with each another? Show of hands. Scratch that. Never mind.”

Phil Jackson already called his first full season running the Knicks “a failed experiment,” and on Thursday he didn’t lighten up a bit, calling the lost campaign “a project gone awry.”

During an interview session in Los Angeles before his team ended a five-game losing streak with a 101-94 victory over the Lakers, Jackson recalled a conversation with his fiancee, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss.

“My partner said, ‘You’re sitting on all this information. Come on out and destroy a basketball team that you love,’ So that’s what I’ve done,” he joked.

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Read More: Phil Jackson, Will Ferrell,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Phil Jackson criticizes Knicks on Twitter after latest loss 02.23.15 at 7:58 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:
NBA: Celtics at Suns, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Raptors at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Louisville at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Delaware State at Norfolk State, 7 pm. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at St. John’s, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kansas at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alabama State at Southern, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Red Wings at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Beanpot championship. Boston University vs. Northeastern, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Knicks fans who were hoping team president Phil Jackson would rescue the franchise got another dose of reality (and humility) Sunday, as former Knicks J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert helped the Cavaliers roll to a 101-83 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Jackson, whose team is a league-worst 10-45 as it prepares for a Wednesday night game against the Celtics in Boston, tweeted his disapproval.

Wrote Jackson: Each NBA game is an opportunity for players to show their “best” nature and please the basketball gods…and those who know “it” takes. Today’s game vs Cavs gave bb gods heartburn an those that know what “it” takes/means a smh.

The Knicks now are 0-15 when playing without Carmelo Anthony, who underwent season-ending knee surgery last week.

Sunday’s game was never in doubt, as the red-hot Cavaliers led 62-38 at the half en route to their 16th win in 18 games. New York has lost seven straight and doesn’t have much reason for hope.

“It’s the same thing occurring over and over. It’s nothing new,” Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said. “We need a better start to games, point blank.”

— North Korea has never been known as a haven for tourists, but one of the few events that has appealed to foreigners is the Pyongyang marathon in April. However, authorities are banning foreign runners this year due to concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus.

The country tightened its restrictions in October, suggesting Ebola is a biological weapon created by the U.S. military. Any foreigners allowed in the country have been subjected to a 21-day quarantine.

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Read More: Eddie Shore, Phil Jackson, Pyongyang marathon,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Former NFL QB Jeff Blake says ‘every team’ deflates footballs 01.29.15 at 8:04 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:
NHL: Bruins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Canadiens at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nuggets at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Bulls at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Dayton at UMass, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UConn at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kentucky at Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Murray State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colorado at USC, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Utah at UCLA, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Francisco at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A former Jets quarterback has come to the Patriots’ defense — sort of — claiming deflating footballs is such a common practice that “every team does it, every game.”

Jeff Blake, who started his career with the Jets in 1992 and went on to play for the Bengals, Saints, Ravens and Bears before retiring after the 2005 season, made his claim during a radio interview Wednesday with Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone.

“I’m just going to let the cat out of the bag, every team does it, every game, it has been since I played,” said Blake, who made the Pro Bowl as a Bengal in 1995. ” ‘Cause when you take the balls out of the bag, they are rock hard. And you can’t feel the ball as well. It’s too hard.

“Everybody puts the pin in and takes just enough air out of the ball that you can feel it a little better. But it’s not the point to where it’s flat. So I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not something that’s not been done for 20 years.”

Blake said he used to order ball boys to let the air out of his footballs just before games throughout his time in the NFL.

“Well, I would say [to a ball boy], ‘Take a little bit of air out of it. It’s a little bit hard.’ ” Blake said. “And then he’d take a little bit out and I’d squeeze it and I’d be like, ‘OK, it’s perfect.’ That’s it.”

Added Blake: “I guess it wasn’t a big deal back then, but it is now.”

— While we’re on the topic of Deflategate, apparently the practice is not limited to football.

Knicks president Phil Jackson admitted in a 1986 Chicago Tribune article that his Knicks championship teams of the early 1970s used to deaden the basketballs in order to compensate for New York’s lack of height.

Jackson claimed it helped the team’s rebounding.

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Read More: Deflategate, Jeff Blake, Phil Jackson, Ronaldo
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Magic Johnson endorses tanking, ‘I hope the Lakers lose every game’ 12.10.14 at 7:43 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 Hornets, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pelicans at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Heat at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Columbia at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: High Point at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Utah at BYU 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Washington State at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at Roma, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Magic Johnson, who helped build the Lakers into a dynasty, threw his support behind his old team to tank the season.

The Hall of Famer, speaking at an event in New York City, encouraged his club to lose for the sake of getting a high draft pick.

“I hope the Lakers lose every game,” he said. “Because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious.”

The Lakers, who improved to 6-16 with Tuesday night’s win over the Kings, are coming off the worst season in modern franchise history in 2013-14 when they went 27-55. That netted them the seventh overall draft pick, which they used on Julius Randle.

“If you’re going to lose, you have to lose because you can’t be in the middle of the pack,” Johnson said. “You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick. … I’d rather be all the way bad than be in the middle.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott, who played alongside Johnson in the 1980s, dismissed the comment.

“That’s easy to say, but when you’re behind the scenes and you’re in the trenches and you’re coaching, that’s not something that you want to do,” Scott said. “We’ve got to go out here and win every game possible. I mean, if you lose games, that’s one thing. But to go out and try to lose, that’s a different story. I think that sends a message to those guys in there that it’s going back to that losing mentality. We don’t we want to create that here.”

Dennis Rodman can’t understand the Knicks’ struggles learning the triangle offense that Phil Jackson brought to New York.

Rodman, who played for Jackson with the Bulls and Lakers, explained at an event in New York City: “I learned that in probably 15 minutes when I was in Chicago. It’s not that difficult. It’s a triangle.

“Everybody has an opportunity to touch the ball and shoot it. It seems like it goes back to Carmelo Anthony and then everything stops. What are you going to do?”

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Read More: byron scott, Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Rodman, Magic Johnson
Phil Jackson: ‘[Knicks] not ready for primetime’ following 24-point loss 10.30.14 at 9:21 am ET
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The Knicks did not get off to a good start to the season, falling 104-80 to the Bulls Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Knicks president Phil Jackson wasn’t impressed with the performance.

“Not ready for showtime, were we guys?” Jackson told reporters after the game before getting into his SUV.

The 24-point spread wasn’t indicative of just how bad the game was for the Knicks as they trailed by 35 points at one point in the second half. This is Jackson’s first full season as Knicks president.

“I can’t say how long it’s going to take,” Jackson said when asked how long it would take for the Knicks to be competitive this season.

He did add he expected the team to struggle in its season-opener: “Sure did,” he said.

Jackson was hired last March and is looking to turn the Knicks around after they did not make the playoffs last year, finishing with a 37-45 record.

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