|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony, red-hot Knicks clinch first division title since 1994||04.10.13 at 8:07 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Spurs at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Bruins at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Knicks won their 13th straight game Tuesday night, in the process clinching their first Atlantic Division title since 1994.
Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 41.8 points per game last week and took over the NBA scoring lead from Kevin Durant with his late-season surge, scored 36 points in the 120-99 victory over the Wizards at Madison Square Garden.
The players returned to the locker room to find shirts that read: Can’t Stop NY Knicks. 2013 Division Champions.
“There’s no reason not to have a smile on your face at this moment,” Anthony said. “We accomplished one of our goals that we set before the season in training camp, so it’s a stepping stone for us.”
♦ In a related note, Anthony’s jersey is the No. 1 seller in the NBA, as the Knicks forwarded unseated LeBron James in the top spot.
James is at No. 2, Durant has the No. 3 most-popular jersey, Kobe Bryant is at No. 4 and the injured Derrick Rose is at No. 5.
The list is based on sales at the NBA Store in New York as well as NBAStore.com since last November. Anthony ranked fourth on last year’s list.
In other jersey news, Robert Griffin III broke the NFL record for most jerseys sold in one year. The NFL did not release the number but indicated RG III beat out Peyton Manning for the top spot. Ray Lewis was third, Colin Kaepernick fourth and Tom Brady fifth.
♦ Rapper and businessman Jay-Z, who recently agreed to represent Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, will sell his minority share in the Nets so that he can represent NBA players, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has partnered with the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and is expected to make an immediate splash due to his profile in the entertainment world.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, owns a 1/15 share in the Nets, worth about $350,000, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
“It would be disappointing [if he left],” Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “I’d be disappointed. He had an enormous amount to do with the rebranding of the team.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 10, 1998, the Red Sox rallied from a 7-2 ninth-inning deficit against the Mariners, winning 9-7 on a walk-off grand slam by which Sox player?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Can FGCU keep coach Andy Enfield?||03.25.13 at 8:01 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Kings at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Heat at Magic, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Hawks at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: NIT, Robert Morris at Providence, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: NIT, Mercer at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: NIT, Louisiana Tech at Southern Mississippi, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Orioles, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Dodgers at Royals, 9 p.m (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ With Florida Gulf Coast University’s unprecedented NCAA tournament run, coach Andy Enfield has become a hot prospect for higher-profile schools with an opening on the bench.
The former Celtics assistant (1998-2000) is in the second year of a three-year deal, making $150,000 per season. FGCU reportedly wants to double his salary but would need donations to pour in for that to happen.
Even with that bump in pay, it might be difficult to keep Enfield from departing, following the Eagles’ victory over San Diego State that put the team in the Sweet 16 in its first-ever NCAA tournament.
The players danced around their coach and chanted his name following Sunday’s win.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Enfield said. “We try to have fun, get serious when we have to. Our goal was to make history and we did it.”
♦ With the expected addition of former Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, the Ravens finally improved a roster that has been stung by the loss of some key starters to free agency, a trade and retirement. Current Ravens players apparently are optimists, as they gushed over the team’s acquisition of Dumervil.
Said defensive end Arthur Jones (brother of Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones): “That’s awesome. It’s like a dream team in the making. I can’t wait until we all get together.”
Added linebacker Terrell Suggs:
“I think this move is awesome. It shows we’re still in the business of winning and we have the best [general manager] in the world.”
♦ Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had surgery to repair two knee ligaments on Jan. 9, is “way ahead of schedule” in his rehab, according to the surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.
“RG III is one of those super humans,” Andrews told ESPN. “First patient I ever had like that was Bo Jackson. And recently I, of course, had Adrian Peterson, who is also superhuman. They have an unbelievable ability to recover, whereas a normal human being may not be able to recover.”
Griffin, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, set an NFL record for best passer rating by a rookie. Despite spraining his LCL in a Week 14 win over the Ravens, he came back for the first-round playoff loss to the Seahawks, tearing his LCL and ACL in that game.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 25, 1984, the Red Sox acquired Bill Buckner from the Cubs by sending Mike Brumley and which player to Chicago?
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ Kobe Bryant mocks rumors of infighting with Dwight Howard||01.08.13 at 8:01 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Lakers at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Northeastern at Drexel, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Clemson at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama at Missouri, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Purdue, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Notre Dame at Minnesota (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ On the same day it was revealed that Dwight Howard has a torn labrum and will join Pau Gasol (concussion) on the sideline for at least a week, Lakers star Kobe Bryant tried to downplay rumors of discontent on the team.
Responding to a report that he and Howard did not get along and almost got into a fistfight, Bryant on Monday tweeted a picture of the two pretending to square off in the trainer’s room with coach Mike D’Antoni smiling between them.
“Obviously, there are fake stories coming out, somebody has something against our team,” Howard said. “Me and Kobe don’t have a problem with each other. We’re not beefing. So for somebody to come out with a random story and say me and him got into a fight? It’s ridiculous.”
Said Bryant: “It’s not true. We all try to be professional about what we do. I guess some [journalists] skate around that a little bit.”
The Lakers are 15-18 and in 11th place in the Western Conference.
♦ The Jets made a move to their coaching staff Monday, parting ways with quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. A former Patriots backup QB (1978-82), Cavanaugh spent four seasons on the Jets staff, and his contract expires in a few weeks.
There has been speculation that offensive coordinator Tony Sparano also will not be retained, following his one season with the team. He has two years remaining on his contract.
Coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson are scheduled to meet with the media Tuesday for their overdue season-ending press conference.
♦ ESPN “First Take” panelist Rob Parker, who is serving a 30-day suspension for his racially charged comments about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, appeared on a Detroit TV show and insisted that his comments were taken out of context.
“It was just a conversation that’s had in the black community when athletes, or famous entertainers or whatever, push away from their people,” said Parker, who previously apologized on Twitter. “And that’s really what it’s about. You saw it with O.J. Simpson, and some other people, where they say, ‘Well, I’m not black. I’m O.J.’ So it’s more about that, not about RGIII and what’s going on. It’s more about this thing that we’ve battled for years and why people have pushed away from their people. It’s more about that.”
Added Parker: “The whole thing is, and I want to make this clear, I wasn’t saying that he wasn’t black enough. And so, when people say that, it’s just not true. I was saying these are the conversations that take place once a guy pushes away. It was never aimed at him, or I was calling him that. I’m saying, these are the conversations that take place.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 8, 1944, which Bruins forward was leading the NHL with 53 points in just 26 games when he injured his shoulder during a 12-3 loss to the Maple Leafs, causing him to miss all but 10 games the rest of the season — and finish with 71 points, two points short of the league’s single-season record?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton admits working as an escort||12.21.12 at 8:04 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Bulls at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Florida Atlantic at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Niagara at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stanford at Northwestern, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Brigham Young at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Ball State vs. Central Florida, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The world has not ended, but there are a few individuals in the sports world who probably wish the Internet was destroyed. In the news Friday we have a former Olympian admitting a double life, an ESPN talker learning the duration of his suspension, and another NFL player receiving a death threat on Twitter.
In one of the most bizarre stories of the year, three-time U.S. Olympic middle-distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton admitted that worked as a call girl in Las Vegas for the past year. Favor Hamilton, 44, runs a real estate brokerage firm in Wisconsin with her husband and is the mother of a 7-year-old girl.
She tried to explain her actions on Thursday in a series of tweets after her situation was revealed by the website The Smoking Gun.
I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing. I was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life. It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life.
I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression. As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody. I have been seeking the help of a psychologist for the past few weeks and will continue to do so after I have put things together. I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support from family and those closest to me. I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.
♦ A day after ESPN “First Take” panelist Rob Parker apologized for his racially inflammatory comments about Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, the network announced Thursday that Parker has been suspended for 30 days.
“ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode of ‘First Take,’ ” ESPN said in a statement. “Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
“To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures.
“We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on ‘First Take,’ including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on ‘First Take.’ However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
♦ Days after Mark Sanchez was the recipient of death threats from a Jets fan, 49ers kicker David Akers retweeted a death threat he received and then disabled his Twitter account.
The tweet read: IF YOU MISS ONE MORE FIELD GOAL YOU ABOUT TO GET YOUR ENTIRE LIFE ENDED
Akers is 25-for-35 on field goals this season after setting an NFL record with 44 makes last season. The 14-year veteran missed one against the Patriots on Sunday night.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 21, 1996, in their final game of the regular season, the playoff-bound Patriots rallied from a 22-0 halftime deficit to beat the Giants, 23-22. Which Patriots receiver caught eight passes for 124 yards and finished the season with an NFL rookie record 90 receptions?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ll be honest with you. If we had Tom Brady, I’d be happy with that. We don’t.” – Jets coach Rex Ryan, on his team’s unsettled quarterback situation
STAT OF THE DAY: 3 – Votes by which Michael Phelps edged LeBron James to win the AP Male Athlete of the Year
‘NET RESULTS: Thunder star Kevin Durant gets fouled and throws up a shot that bounces twice off the top of the backboard before falling in during Thursday night’s game against the Timberwolves.
Spike Lee is not happy with Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni‘s purple sneakers, and he lets him know it.
Dirk Nowitzki has Christmas gifts for his Mavericks teammates.
The Nuggets show their lack of singing ability with this Christmas video.
And the Warriors do the same.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Terry Glenn
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Carla Thomas was born on this day in 1942.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jets reportedly will try to trade Mark Sanchez, might have interest in Michael Vick||12.20.12 at 7:55 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Thunder at Timberwolves, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Heat at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Elon at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Eastern Michigan at Michigan, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College football: Poinsettia Bowl, BYU vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Jets appear ready to start over at quarterback. According to the New York Daily News, the team will look to trade Mark Sanchez after the season — although it likely will be difficult to find a team willing to pay Sanchez the $8.25 million he’s owed. Sanchez, in his fourth season in New York after being drafted fifth overall, has been benched in favor of Greg McElroy for Sunday’s game against the Chargers following his disastrous five-turnover performance in this past Sunday’s 14-10 loss to the Titans that ended the Jets’ playoff hopes.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” Sanchez said after Wednesday’s practice. “At the end of the day, no matter what kind of situation that you’re in, the quarterback has the ball and it’s my job to make good decisions with the football regardless of the personnel situation. … I’m not going to go there. Is every interception the quarterback’s fault? Of course not. But they’re attributed to the quarterback. It goes as my stat. You live with that. You own up to your side of the mistakes and you move on.”
The Daily News also reports that Michael Vick, who is expected to be released by the Eagles when the season ends, would be amenable to joining the Jets, and that Rex Ryan has always admired the speedy QB.
“[Ryan] loves him,” a team official told the paper.
Vick lost his starting job in Philadelphia after receiving a concussion this season.
♦ Suspended ESPN “First Take” panelist Rob Parker apologized for racially inflammatory remarks he made last week about Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Parker, himself African-American, questioned whether Griffin was “a brother or a cornball brother” and brought up the fact that the player has a white fiancee and is rumored to be a Republican.
Wrote Parker on Wednesday:
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one.”
Added Parker: “I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.”
♦ Isiah Thomas, fired by Florida International University in March after going 26-65 in three seasons as coach, will make his debut as an analyst on NBA TV on Friday. Thomas is slated to make several appearances a month and write for NBA.com.
His first appearance comes as a lead-in to the game between the Bulls and Knicks, the last NBA team Thomas worked for.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 20, 1964, the Patriots ended their season with a 24-14 loss to the Bills. Despite failing to score in the game, which Patriots player finished the season with an AFL record 155 points?
|ESPN suspends Rob Parker for comments about Robert Griffin III and race||12.14.12 at 12:22 pm ET|
ESPN suspended “First Take” panelist Rob Parker following Thursday’s incendiary comments about Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Tweeted ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys on Friday morning: Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review.
Parker indicated that he felt Griffin was distancing himself from his African-American background and questioned whether RGIII “is a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”
Explained Parker: “He’s black, he kinds of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause; he’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the kind of guy you want to hang out with because he’s off to something else.”
Parker has been inundated with criticism since the show aired. He tweeted a response to one critic, referring to the individual’s comments as “typical and uneducated.”
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Grizzlies at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Div. 3 championship, St. Thomas vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS semifinal, Georgia Southern at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ ESPN host Rob Parker is the talk of the Internet following his analysis of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III as it pertains to the black community.
RGIII responded to a reporter’s question Wednesday by saying:
“I am [aware] of how race is relevant to [some fans]. I don’t ignore it,. I try not to be defined by it, but I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. So I understand they’re excited their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. So I understand that, and I appreciate them for being fans.”
Speaking on ESPN’s “First Take,” Parker — who also is African-American — said Thursday:
“This is an interesting topic. For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.”
Added Parker: “My question which is just a straight honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”
Asked to elaborate, Parker said: “I want to find out about him. I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. Then there was all this talk about him being a Republican, which there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.”
Stephen A. Smith, who was part of the discussion, tried to distance himself from Parker’s words.
“Well first of all let me say this: I’m uncomfortable with where we just went,” Smith said. “RG III, the ethnicity, the color of his fiancée is none of our business. It’s irrelevant. He can live his life any way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that’s his business, that’s his life. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kind of things. I just don’t do that. I’m not that kind of guy.”
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys responded to media requests Thursday night by tweeting: “The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”
♦ The Packers and Bears have been chirping at each other this week in advance of Sunday’s matchup in Chicago. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley started the latest round when he implied that the Bears are better off without injured linebacker Brian Urlacher.
“Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there,” Finley said Wednesday. “I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy in there might help them a little.”
Responded Bears linebacker Lance Briggs: “[Finley's] an idiot. Just suit up and play ball. His comments aren’t going to change the outcome of the game, they’re not going to help him or anybody else play better. Doesn’t really matter.”
Finley tried to play down the controversy on Thursday, tweeting: Urlacher is a hall of fame player and person. I meant no disrespect to him in previous comments, I was simply trying to explain that his replacement in the lineup is a good player as well.
Meanwhile, Urlacher might have gotten in the last word, noting that the Packers played pretty well without Finley when they won the Super Bowl in February 2011.
“Just like a couple of years ago, I think, [Finley] tore his ACL and the Packers were actually better without him. You know, they won the Super Bowl,” Urlacher told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I hope we can duplicate that as well because it won’t hurt my feelings if we go on and win the Super Bowl without me like they did without him.
“People can say what they want. It feels like I deal with something like this every year. Someone’s always saying something about me.”
♦ Rutgers suspended basketball coach Mike Rice three games and fined him $50,00 for a violation of department policy, specifically a pattern of “inappropriate behavior and language.”
Rice, known for his intensity, apologized for his actions, the specifics of which were not revealed.
“Since becoming a coach at the age of 21, I have taken great pride in not only helping young men learn the game of basketball but also in teaching them about character, respect and hard work,” Rice said. “To the extent that my conduct has ever been in contrast with those principles, I have failed my players — and myself — and I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the terms of my suspension.
“I will learn from my mistakes and I will become a better coach, teacher and role model.”
Reportedly, former Providence College star Eric Murdock — fired over the summer as the team’s director of player development — threatened to release taps of Rice mistreating players.
Said Murdock to the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger: “There is some concern for these players — that’s the biggest thing — as far as how they’re being treated. Eventually a lot of stuff will come to light and it’s not going to shed a good light on Rutgers University.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 14, 1960, the first expansion draft in baseball history was held. The Red Sox lost four players each to the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. One of the players they lost to the Angels went on to a long career as a manager of four major league teams. Who is he?
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Cubs manager Dale Sveum shot by Robin Yount on hunting trip||12.05.12 at 7:58 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nuggets at Hawks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio at Memphis, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Michigan State, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at Villanova, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at La Salle, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: South Florida at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: USC at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Cubs manager Dale Sveum revealed Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings that he was shot in the right ear and back during a recent hunting trip with Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The former Brewers teammates were hunting quail in Arizona when Yount fired a shot and Sveum was hit by the spray pattern from a six-shot.
“The bird got up in front of him, and he lost track of where I was and pulled the trigger,” Sveum said. “I was just looking for birds myself. It was behind me, so I got drilled with pellets in the back one stuck in the ear.”
Sveum, who said there was a lot of blood involved but he wasn’t seriously injured, added that he started calling Yount “Dick Cheney” in reference to the former vice president who shot a friend while hunting.
“You don’t get hit very often,” Sveum said, adding: “It’s not that big a deal.”
♦ The Lakers squandered a 13-point lead with 10 minutes remaining and dropped a 107-105 decision to the Rockets on Tuesday night in Houston. Like the Magic did Sunday night, the Rockets fouled Dwight Howard repeatedly down the stretch, and Howard cooperated, missing 5-of-10 from the line in the last 3½ minutes (8-of-16 overall).
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni defended his decision to keep Howard in the game.
“If you take him out now, then you’ll be taking out a guy that’s going to be your franchise player all the time,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got other problems to worry about. We shouldn’t be talking about him. He’s doing a [heck] of a job and he’ll work through it and knock them down.”
Said Howard: “People are going to say whatever they want to say, but at the end of the day, go back and look at the game. The reason we lost was not my free throws. That didn’t lose us the game. Our defense was not there in the fourth quarter.”
The Lakers played with Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees), who has come under fire for his inability to acclimate to D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense. According to an ESPN report, general manager Mitch Kupchak told Gasol’s representatives that he will look to trade Gasol if the Spaniard cannot adjust to the new system.
The Wizards recorded just their second win of the season Tuesday night, and it came against the defending NBA champion Heat. With quarterback Robert Griffin III looking on, the Wizards pulled out a 105-101 victory.
Washington, which started the season 0-12 and has been without injured point guard John Wall all season, has defeated Miami three straight times, dating back to last season. But the Heat’s stars aren’t too concerned about the setback.
“Nah, man, there’s not no lesson. This ain’t a lesson for us. We just lost,” LeBron James said. “We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to be like, ‘Oh, let’s catch ourselves.’ It happens.”
Said Dwyane Wade: “You move on. You learn from it, but yo don’t become a good team by holding on to certain losses — or certain wins.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 5, 1982, in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, which Bruins player recorded a hat for the second consecutive day?
|Dolphins center Mike Pouncey: Ryan Tannehill will be ‘one of those elite guys like Tom Brady’||11.02.12 at 2:03 pm ET|
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is stroking the ego of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, calling him “the best rookie quarterback in the NFL right now.”
Pouncey said the Dolphins QB is a leader on the team and has helped the Dolphins to a 4-3 start this season.
Pouncey said he values Tannehill more than Washington rookie Robert Griffin III, who is ranked third in passing efficiency.
“I think he’s better than RGIII,” Pouncey said. “Their games are different. RGIII can throw, but he can also run. Tannehill’s a smart quarterback.”
Pouncey took it a step further, though, when he compared Tannehill to Patriots QB Tom Brady.
“I think he’s going to be one of those elite guys like Tom Brady when it comes said and done,” Pouncey said. “Just his composure. His leadership in the huddle right now is just phenomenal. … I do see Tom, and the way he coordinates and runs his offense is the same as Tannehill does.”
Tannehill has completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,454 yards this season. He’s thrown for four touchdowns with six interceptions.
“We were lucky to get that kid at No. 8,” Pouncey said. “He’s playing phenomenal for us right now. … If he keeps it up, he’ll be the franchise quarterback for a long, long time.”
|Redskins QB Robert Griffin III cleared to play||10.10.12 at 3:41 pm ET|
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been cleared to play and is practicing with the team. The Redskins expect him to start Sunday against the Vikings.
Griffin went through the NFL concussion protocol and was cleared to play Wednesday. He was injured Sunday and left the game with a mild concussion after a hit while scrambling on third-and-goal in the third quarter.
The rookie quarterback is third in the NFC for passing and he is the NFL’s leading quarterback rusher.
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