With the Hornets having landed the top overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft despite having only a 13.7% chance at it, Anthony Davis now knows where he will begin his professional basketball career. Based on the odds, his most likely landing spot was Charlotte. After finishing with the worst record in the NBA last season, the Bobcats had a 25% chance of winning the lottery. A number of executives and players feel as though the NBA fixed the lottery so the league-owned team would get the top pick, but none of that matters at this point.
What does matter for Davis and his family is that the former Kentucky Wildcat is — barring a stunning change — about to become a Hornet. From the sound of it, his family is far from thrilled.
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- Anthony Davis Hornets
If there are any football coaches out there who were planning to apply for a position at Vanderbilt, be sure to bring along a photo of your wife to your interview with Vandy head coach James Franklin. Unless, of course, your wife isn’t a looker. If that is the case and you really want the job, you had better show up with a photo of a good-looking woman. Otherwise, you need not apply.
“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife,” Franklin said during an interview with Clay Travis of 104.5 The Zone. “If she looks the part and she’s a D-I recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal. There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.”
Franklin says the movie “Moneyball” spoke directly to him when scouts were talking about how the lack of an attractive girlfriend can indicate a player has confidence issues. Maybe Franklin is onto something. Lane Kiffin seems to have no problem landing top recruits, and have you taken a look at his wife? For what it’s worth, Franklin backtracked on Thursday afternoon.
“My foot doesn’t taste good, I hope I did not offend (anyone),” he wrote on his Twitter account. “I love (and) respect ALL. Have a great day, enjoy the (family) and don’t forget to #AnchorDown.”
No worries, James — Steve Spurrier’s coaching criteria may still have yours beat.
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- College Football
- James Franklin
Since Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones admitted she is still a virgin a little over a week ago, the entire sports world has been trying to get her together with Tim Tebow. In the eyes of many fans and most of his Jets teammates, Tebow makes perfect sense for the 29-year-old. As you can see from the photo above that ESPNNewYork.com’s Jane McManus shared on Twitter Thursday, Nick Mangold has decided to put on the full-court press and try to play Cupid.
Let’s be honest about the Pro Bowl: Very few people enjoy it. Most of the players who decide to participate are either flattered that they were chosen or simply feel like going to Hawaii. The game itself is nothing more than a technicality, and that is reflected in the quality of play. Despite recent rumors that the Pro Bowl is headed for extinction, the NFL has announced it will once again be played in Hawaii in 2013. Here’s why:
“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said in a joint release from the NFL and NFLPA. “We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl. We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards. We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season’s game.”
And the players’ perspective:
“The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition,” NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth said. “We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field.”
In other words, the game is staying because the players have agreed to try harder to make it a better show. Anyone buying that? Me neither.
Photo credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
- Pro Bowl
The more information that comes out, the more we realize the Allen Wranglers must really dislike Terrell Owens. Similar to what happened toward the end of Owens’ career with a number of NFL teams, it sounds like the receiver quickly wore out his welcome with the Indoor Football League. The Wranglers may have released T.O. earlier this week and demanded he give back the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee that they provided him with, but at least they had the decency to buy back his ownership stake in the company — for $50.
As TMZ.com pointed out, T.O. had a 50 percent stake in the company. The Wranglers are no Pittsburgh Steelers, but I’m guessing the team is worth more than $100. In all likelihood, the incredibly insulting “buyout” is another way for the Wranglers to show that they believe T.O. violated his contract by skipping two road games and missing a charity event.
As we told you on Tuesday, Owens’ lawyers are looking into details of the release. T.O.’s initial contract with the team stated that he was only required to play in home games and that visiting teams were responsible for compensating him for road games. Unless there is more than meets the eye, Owens could have a legitimate case for wrongful termination. If nothing else, the $50 check simply reinforces how much the Wranglers grew to dislike T.O.
- Terrell Owens
Anyone who watches baseball knows that certain umpires have certain tendencies. Some guys are animated about called third strikes whereas others are probably more excited about standing in line at a wake than they are about ringing a hitter up. After foul balls, some umpires like to throw a new ball to the pitcher and others would prefer the catcher to do it. MLB umpire Laz Diaz enjoys making the throws himself, whether Russell Martin likes it or not.
According to MLB.com’s Bombers Beat blog, Martin said Diaz would not allow him to throw new baseballs back to the mound during Wednesday night’s 6-5 win over the Angels. The Yankees catcher likes to throw the ball back as much as possible to keep his arm loose, but Diaz told him he has to “earn the privilege.” Apparently he wasn’t joking.
“At the end of the game, after I got hit in the neck (by a foul tip), I was like, ‘Can I throw the ball back now?'” Martin said. “He was like, still, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘You’re such a (jerk).’ Like, for real, unbelievable.”
Martin said he and Diaz argued about balls and strikes earlier in the game, so he wondered if Diaz was trying to bait him into saying something that could justify an ejection.
“I even told him, when there’s guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose,” Martin explained. “(He said,) ‘I’m not letting you throw a ball back.’ That’s pretty strange to me.”
Assuming Martin is telling the whole story, that seems completely uncalled for. I think an umpire wanting to get involved with the game by throwing balls back to the mound is great, but the player should be given the option if it helps keep his arm loose. Between this and the horrible call he made that cost the A’s a few weeks ago, Diaz is frustrating a number of players in the early part of the season.
Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
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With the Steelers having hired Todd Haley as their new offensive coordinator, many expect significant changes to be in order for the 2012 season. Haley likes to run the ball, and it remains to be seen how Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh receivers are going to react to that. On one hand, running it more could help preserve Big Ben’s health. That would be a plus, but the NFL is an extremely pass-happy league now and the Steelers have had success with Roethlisberger throwing it. Perhaps that is why it seems that there’s a hint of sarcasm in Big Ben’s voice when he discusses the upcoming season.
“And like I said, every day’s getting a little bit better, and we’re learning — and we’ll be running the ball a lot this year, so fans should be happy,” Roethlisberger told Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
It’s been no secret that Roethlisberger is unhappy with the change. When pressed further and asked if he thought the plan was to attack opponents on the ground more, he simply reiterated his point.
“That’s the way it seems,” he said. “I know the fans want it, so it looks like they’ll be getting their wish.”
He also simply said, “Who knows?” when asked if the Steelers would sling it around a few times given all the talent they have in the passing game. It’s tough to judge when you weren’t present for the actual interview, but Roethlisberger certainly seems bitter. The audio can be heard here for a better understanding of his tone.
Every quarterback wants the ball in their hands and the Steelers have had great success doing things a certain way for almost a decade now, so you can understand why Big Ben is threatened by the prospect of a major change. Whether or not he and Haley can coexist will be a storyline to monitor in Pittsburgh in 2012.
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
- Ben Roethlisberger
Meet Rex Ryan, Devils fan. When the puck dropped to begin the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night at the Prudential Center, Rex was in attendance to play the part of big-time coach who supports the other professional sports teams in the area. Having grown up in Toronto, Ryan likely knows a thing or two about hockey. However, he has mentioned being a Maple Leafs fan before. That doesn’t mean he’s not a Devils fan or can’t support the local team.
I’m sure the fans of New York and New Jersey appreciated it, and from the look of it Rex seemed genuine in his support. Unlike that other time when he wore that jersey and, well, you know.
After losing to their state rival earlier in the playoffs this season, Penguins fans have been on edge. Most of them are furious with the team for allowing the Flyers to walk all over them, but one fan has an entirely separate bone to pick with Pittsburgh. As The Consumerist pointed out, Penguins fan Fred Weiss has filed a class action complaint against the team for sending him too many text messages.
The lawsuit alleges that the team violated the Telephone Consumer Protection by sending Weiss more text messages than were agreed upon when he signed up to receive text alerts from the team. The plantiff says the agreement called for no more than three texts per week providing breaking news, information about trades, and special offers from the team. Weiss says in the first week he received at least five. In the second — brace yourselves — the team sent four.
“By exceeding the authorized limits on weekly text message calls made to Plaintiff…” the complaint reads. “Defendant has caused Plaintiff and the other members of the Class actual harm, not only because they were subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the invasion of privacy caused by unsolicited text message calls, but also because consumers frequently have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such wireless calls.”
The plaintiff is seeking for a court injunction that would limit the amount of texts the team is allowed to send as well as an undisclosed amount in damages. Some fans like to take out their frustrations by burning jerseys. Others file a suit against their team for blowing up their cell phone.
H/T The Pensblog
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
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- Pittsburgh Penguins
The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday night despite having the fourth-best odds with a 13.7% chance. The Bobcats, which had the worst record in the league, had a 25% chance of winning the lottery, but they ended up with the second pick. The Wizards, which had the second-best chance at 19.9%, got the third pick.
The Hornets’ surprising good fortune prompted several executives to complain to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the lottery was fixed.
“The league still owns the Hornets,” a high-ranking exec told Woj. “Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. [The Hornets winning the lottery] is a joke.”
Many executives and fans who believe in conspiracies think Commissioner David Stern gave the Hornets the top pick in the draft in order to convince Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the NBA team and keep them in New Orleans.
Wojnarowski went on to write this particularly damning paragraph: