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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Augie Garrido steps down as Texas baseball coach

Augie Garrido

Augie Garrido may have reached the end of the road in his legendary college baseball coaching career.

The University of Texas announced on Monday that Garrido was stepping aside as Texas’ baseball coach and will accept a position as a special assistant to the athletic director. The announcement ends speculation over the past few months that this would be Garrido’s final season as head coach of the Longhorns.

Garrido, 77, is one of the most successful college coaches of all time. He won five national championships spread over four decades and two schools — Cal State Fullerton and Texas. He coached the Longhorns since 1997, winning a pair of national championships. But his teams missed the postseason three times in five years and this season endured their first losing season since 1998.

Garrido is 1950-919-9 over his 38-year coaching career. He was making over $1 million per season.

To give you an idea of what Garrido was like as a coach, take a look at this:

Kobe Bryant once told Andre Iguodala he was dropping 50 on him, nearly succeeded

Kobe Bryant angry

Andre Iguodala is one of the NBA’s finest perimeter defenders, so it’s no small feat when someone torches him, even if it’s Kobe Bryant in his prime. Bryant not only did it, but he even warned Iguodala that it was coming.

The story starts on November 11, 2005, when Iguodala was a second-year pro with the Philadelphia 76ers. On that night, the young Iguodala faced Kobe Bryant and, in what he called his favorite defensive performance of his career, limited Bryant to 17 points on 7-of-27 shooting in his prime.

“It was on the front page of the paper,” Iguodala recalled after Saturday night’s Game Six victory, via Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group. “After the game, Phil Jackson said it was the best he’d seen someone defend Kobe.”

Later that season, the Sixers traveled to Los Angeles, and Bryant remembered what had happened the last time Iguodala had defended him, determined not to let it happen again. In fact, Bryant went as far as to leave a message for Iguodala in the Philadelphia locker room prior to the game.

“Tell Andre 50 tonight,” Iguodala remembered being told. “You know how much he got — 48.”

In the grand scheme of Kobe motivational tactics, getting shut down is normal, especially compared to this one. We will see if Kevin Durant can come up with a similar response on Monday night.

Baylor to make Jim Grobe interim head coach

Jim Grobe

Baylor has found a more than satisfactory coach to temporarily guide the program in the wake of the firing of Art Briles.

Jim Grobe will become the Bears’ interim head coach, according to multiple reports.

Grobe coached at Wake Forest for 13 seasons, leading the program to five winning seasons — no small accomplishment for a non-football school. His best season came in 2006, when the Demon Deacons went 11-3, won the ACC and reached the Orange Bowl. He was fired by Wake following the 2013 season, which marked his fifth straight losing year.

Considering Grobe, 64, has been out the past two seasons, he probably felt this was the sort of short-term job he could do for the time being.

Briles was fired last week after the findings of an investigation were released. Those findings were that Briles and/or the school failed to address multiple sexual assault allegations against football players, discouraged a victim in one case, and failed to discipline players who faced serious allegations.

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson committed to Knicks ‘for many years’

Jeanie Buss Phil Jackson selfie

Despite the persistent rumors linking Phil Jackson to a Lakers return, his fiancée says it’s not on the table.

Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss appeared on ESPN Radio Monday morning and was asked by Ramona Shelburne if there was a chance that the legendary former coach would ever return to Los Angeles in any role.

“No,” Buss said. “To visit, yes..but in terms of basketball, he’s committed to New York for many years. He’s building something there. He has a mission, he’s on that journey to get the team back to where he believes it can be and it will be. He’s a former Knick…he loves New York, he loves the fans, he wants to make them proud. In terms of the Lakers, we have a front office. They’re putting together a team…they have a vision. I’m excited to see what the future holds for us. So, to answer your question….no, there’s no plans for Phil to come back here.”

Buss has maintained this stance all along amidst reports that a return to the Lakers seemed “inevitable.” Jackson, though, has just hired a new coach who won’t be forced to run his famed triangle offense. He doesn’t look like a guy who has designs on leaving anytime soon.

Masai Ujiri: Retaining DeMar DeRozan Raptors’ top priority, will not commit to max deal

DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan is one of the central figures in the Toronto Raptors’ renaissance, so it’s no surprise that the team wants to keep him around for years to come.

General manager Masai Ujiri would not, however, commit to offering DeRozan a max deal in comments he made on Monday.

There’s no reason for Ujiri to compromise his negotiating position by saying something flippant about a max deal right now. The only thing we need to know is that the Raptors want to keep DeRozan, and though the links to the Lakers are all over the place, it seems that, given the mutual interest, it’s more likely than not that the two sides will figure something out. It may well be a max deal.

Pau Gasol considering skipping Olympics due to Zika virus fears

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol is considering skipping the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over fears about the Zika virus.

The virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects and potential neurological issues in adults, has become a major issue in Brazil. Gasol thinks that the athletes set to compete in the Olympics have not been properly briefed on the impacts, dangers, and risks associated with making the trip.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see some athletes deciding not to participate in the games to avoid putting their health and the health of their families at risk,” Gasol said Monday, via Tales Azzoni of the Associated Press. “I’m thinking about (whether or not to go). Just like every athlete, or any other person considering going to Rio, should be thinking about it.”

Gasol noted that 150 health experts had called for the Rio Olympics to be relocated or postponed, and shared his belief that the authorities have not given adequate information to those who plan on going.

“I hope the national Olympic committees and the health organizations can be as clear as possible about the risks in Brazil so athletes can decide whether or not to take risks,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve been told enough about it.”

Both of Gasol’s parents were in medicine and Gasol himself wanted to be a doctor growing up, so it comes as no surprise that he’d be right on top of this. As he noted, many players have families and are considering having children, and Zika would come as a major concern to them. One other prominent athlete has pledged to play in Rio while also voicing concerns about the IOC’s handling of the situation.

Will Heat ever let Chris Bosh play if he’s on blood thinners?

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh wanted to take the floor when the Miami Heat were trying to stay alive in the NBA playoffs, but the team would not hear of it. And if doctors decide Bosh still needs to be on blood thinners next season, Bosh’s career in Miami — and perhaps the NBA — could be over.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Heat were adamant about Bosh not suiting up while he was taking blood thinners, as any minor cut or fall that caused internal bleeding during a game could be very dangerous. Bosh’s camp argued that the 32-year-old should be able to take the medication earlier enough in the day where it would be out of his system by game time and therefore not pose a risk.

Blood tests reportedly indicated that the thinners were out of Bosh’s system roughly 8-12 hours after he took the medication. Team doctors didn’t seem to care, and can you blame them? Robert Myerburg, a cardiologist at U-Health, told Jackson that it could be dangerous to allow Bosh to play even if the drug was out of his system, as he would be “unprotected” at that time.

Bosh is a competitor, so you can understand why he wanted to play so badly. You also can’t argue with the Heat not wanting to take the risks after their team doctors refused to clear Bosh. Since the condition is one that is recurring, you have to wonder if the Heat will ever be comfortable letting Bosh play for them again, regardless of the recent report we shared with you.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Hassan Whiteside reportedly wants to stay with Heat if money is right

Hassan Whiteside Heat

Hassan Whiteside would reportedly like to stay with the Miami Heat, but he expects to be compensated for it, too.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Whiteside wants to remain in Miami “if all things are equal financially.” However, the Heat reportedly intend to offer Whiteside a deal slightly under the max with the reasoning that Florida has no state income tax and they’ll be able to offer him more significant raises down the line. If another team offers Whiteside a max contract, the big man will have a decision to make. So, too, would the Heat, given the significant hole in their roster Whiteside would leave, as well as the fact that the obvious free agent alternative, Al Horford, would require a higher max salary.

Pat Riley has said that retaining Whiteside is the team’s top offseason priority. The Heat don’t have his Bird Rights, so they’ll need to be cognizant of their cap situation as they try to get something done.

Johnny Manziel was supposed to host family party, reportedly went MIA

Johnny-Manziel-dog

The troubling stories about Johnny Manziel continue to pile up.

Page Six reports that Manziel was supposed to host a small family party in the Hamptons over the holiday weekend. Manziel, who has spent most of his time this offseason in the Los Angeles area, was supposed to take a helicopter to the east coast, but he reportedly failed to show up for his flight. Some members of Manziel’s family tried to contact him for 15 minutes but ended up leaving because he wouldn’t answer their calls.

You might think that’s a minor thing, and it’s possible there was just some sort of miscommunication. However, a report that Manziel stood his own family up is more concerning when you hear rumors that his friends are concerned about the NFL free agent’s drug problem. Not to mention, Manziel’s own father said a few months ago that he is afraid his son is going to die.

While it’s unclear why he didn’t make it to the Hamptons, we know that Manziel was in New York as recently as Friday when the owner of a rental car company confronted him (video here) over money he claims Manziel owes him. The artist formerly known as Johnny Football can’t stay out of his own way.

Report: Carson Wentz ahead of Sam Bradford early in training camp

Carson-Wentz

The Philadelphia Eagles have said publicly that Sam Bradford is their starting quarterback, but that could change over the course of the summer if the early reports from training camp are any indication.

Matt Lombardo of NJ.com has observed that rookie first-round pick Carson Wentz is picking up Doug Pederson’s new offense quicker than Bradford.

“It has only been two public practices, so there can’t be enough of a sample size to make an absolute determination, but so far so good. Wentz has shown a plus-NFL arm, accuracy to make every throw on the route tree and an ability to move the pocket and buy time,” Lombardo said. “Not for nothing, but Wentz also seems to be ahead of Bradford in terms of mastering Doug Pederson’s offense.”

It is obviously very, very early to say either player has the upper hand. Chase Daniel, who is projected to be the third-string quarterback on the Eagles roster, played under Pederson in Kansas City last season and is probably further along than both Wentz and Bradford, so it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

The Eagles didn’t agree to pay Bradford $22 million guaranteed over the next two seasons to have him ride the bench. Even Pederson said he doesn’t want Bradford looking over his shoulder, but Philly’s offensive coordinator might disagree.

There’s no reason to rush Wentz, who is obviously supposed to be the quarterback of the future for the Eagles. But if he still looks better than Bradford in August, why wait? For all we know, Bradford’s agent could have really damaged the QB’s relationship with the team when he unloaded on the Eagles and demanded a trade.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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