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Coach K all class after loss, visits Mercer locker room

Coach-K-Mercer-locker-room

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski did not expect to be heading back to North Carolina before the first weekend of the tournament. The Blue Devils ran into an experienced and hungry Mercer team, and the end result was what could very well go down as the most shocking upset of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Say what you will about Coach K, but he loses with class.

Immediately after his team’s 78-71 loss, Coach K visited the Mercer locker room to congratulate the Bears on a hard-fought victory.

“If we got beaten, at least we got beaten by a hell of a basketball team,” Coach K told the Bears, per USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach.

Krzyzewski had more high praise for Mercer during his postgame press conference.

“I want to wish Mercer the very best,” he said. “I love the game, and when the game’s played really well — I hope it’s us that’s playing it — but when it’s the other team, you applaud it. I applaud Mercer. They were absolutely terrific today.”

The Blue Devils relied on 3-pointers all game long and knocked down 15 of them, but they couldn’t make enough down the stretch to get the job done. Coach K had to be incredibly disappointed and watching the opposition dance like fools probably didn’t help, but we applaud him for losing with dignity.

Photo: Twitter/Nicole Auerbach

Jeanie Buss on not hiring Phil Jackson: Lakers don’t need another voice

Jeanie Buss Phil Jackson selfie

Everyone knows the New York Knicks were Phil Jackson’s second choice. Had Jackson been offered the exact same position with the Los Angeles Lakers as the one he accepted with the Knicks, he would have chosen LA. Why wasn’t that offer extended? Lakers president Jeanie Buss, who referred to herself as “the boss,” shed some light on that on Thursday.

Buss has been in charge of the Lakers since her father Dr. Jerry Buss passed away. In a lengthy chat with ESPNLA 710 radio’s “Mason and Ireland” show, she explained her responsibilities with the team.

“In my position, I empower people that are in positions to do their jobs,” Buss said. “[Executive vice president of player personnel] Jim Buss and [general manager] Mitch Kupchak are responsible for all basketball decisions. They are empowered to do that. My job is to make sure, as a boss, that I provide them the tools to do the job successfully. But it’s up to them to make the day-to-day decisions on how they operate their area of the business.”

That’s where the Jackson situation comes into play. Buss, who is Jackson’s fiancee, admitted that she would love to share an office with Phil so they could carpool to work together. The decision to not hire Jackson ultimately came down to her siblings and employees not envisioning a significant role for him.

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Lamar Odom wants to make it work with Khloe Kardashian

Lamar Odom Khloe KardashianKhloe Kardashian officially filed for divorce from Lamar Odom more than three months ago, but the former NBA star is not willing to give up on their relationship just yet. During a recent interview with In Touch Weekly, Odom was open about wanting to save his marriage.

“I want to make it work with Khloe,” Odom said. “I’m going to see Khloe. I’m going to see her soon.”

Odom had been attempting to get his career back on track in Spain, but he was ruled unfit to play due to a back injury and his contract has expired. He said he has been focusing on “getting better,” and a source reportedly told In Touch that Khloe may be starting to soften after listening to his pleas.

“He confessed his feelings and cried his heart out to her on the phone,” a family insider said. “She’d been avoiding his texts and calls for weeks, but when she heard him pleading with her to take him back, she melted.”

That report corresponds with another report from Hollywood Life, which indicated that Khloe is not ready to get back with Lamar right now but could be persuaded in time.

“They are not getting back together, but never say never,” a source close to Kardashian reportedly said. ”If he really changed she would take him back. Lamar was the love of her life. But Khloe doesn’t believe he’s really changed and he did too much damage for her to sign up for that again.”

Khloe supposedly still checks in on Odom to see how he is doing as they go through their divorce. We haven’t heard any reports about her rebounding with rap stars or MLB players in a while, so that should be a good sign for Lamar. It’s Hollywood — you never know what could happen.

Did Antonio Cromartie rip Jets after signing with Cardinals?

Antonio-Cromartie-Calls-Tom-Brady-A-HoleAntonio Cromartie signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. The 30-year-old was released by the New York Jets earlier this offseason, which was expected because he was carrying a total salary cap charge of nearly $15 million in the final year of his contract.

After the Jets cut Cromartie, he would not rule out a possible return under a different deal. Despite the fact that New York is still looking for a No. 1 corner, that never came to fruition. On Thursday, the following tweet briefly appeared on Cromartie’s Twitter account. It was captured by our friends at Black Sports Online.

Antonio-Cromartie-rips-Jets

Cromartie’s wife Terricka later claimed she was on her husband’s account accidentally and meant to send the tweet from hers.

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Adrian Gonzalez injured his back while sightseeing

Adrian-Gonzalez-backAdrian Gonzlaez may be enjoying his time in Australia a little too much. The Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman left Thursday’s exhibition game against Team Australia with tightness in his back. He thinks the injury stems from walking around Sydney and sightseeing.

“I need to rest, get off my feet,” Gonzalez said, per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. “I’ve done a lot of walking around the city. I’ll be good [for Saturday night]. I’m positive I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

The Dodgers open up the MLB regular season with a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia this weekend. Gonzalez is confident he will be ready to go by then. He was removed from Thursday’s game in the fourth inning after an at-bat where he appeared uncomfortable and grabbed at his lower back.

“It actually got tighter,” he said. “I swung at a pitch in the second at-bat, and it didn’t feel good. I finished the at-bat because I didn’t want to take myself out of the game in the middle of the at-bat.”

As for the type of sightseeing the All-Star slugger has been doing, the Dodgers gave us an example of that earlier this week.

After seeing that photo, I can’t help but think it was worth it for Gonzo to suffer a minor back injury. The weird injuries are piling up at an unbelievable rate this offseason anyway. At least he got to hang out with a group of guys wearing grape-smugglers.

Carmelo Anthony got frustrated with Mike Woodson: ‘Lets play the f—ing game, man’

Carmelo-Anthony-Mike-WoodsonDon’t look now, but the New York Knicks have somehow strung together a series of wins. They beat the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night to pick up their seventh straight victory. Despite that, Carmelo Anthony reminded us late in the fourth quarter that superstar players have a tendency to get annoyed over nothing.

With the Knicks leading by seven points and just 19.5 second remaining, Anthony apparently wanted to go home. Mike Woodson was doing his job by reminding his players that they have no timeouts left and going over the situation when cameras caught a moment of defiance from Carmelo.

“Let’s just play the f—ing game, man,” a visibly frustrated Anthony said before putting his hand in the huddle to try to break up the discussion.

While you could argue that stuff like this happens all the time and it was no big deal, the reaction seemed pretty uncalled for. This is the same Woodson who admitted earlier this season that he forgot to call a timeout at the end of a game during a losing streak, so you can’t blame him for trying to be thorough. Anthony should respect that.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are 28-40 and just four games being the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th seed in the East. With 14 games remaining, they still have a shot at making the playoffs. What happens to Woodson if they go on a run? Phil Jackson will just have to cross that bridge if he comes to it.

Video via The Big Lead

Join the LBS March Madness Pool

Scrooge McDuck money

For the eighth year in a row (or is it third? or fourth?) I have no idea, I’ve lost count — whatever — LBS is running a March Madness Pool. You know what that means? It’s your chance to beat Doc Brown and Del at some more picks! And I promise you that you will be able to win. I am by far the worst March Madness Pool picker of all time. All time. I dunno if I over-analyze things, get caught up on a Pac-10 bias or what, but I promise that if you join the pool, you’ll at least beat me.

So here’s the deal: we’re running the pool through Yahoo! like last year, though, based on the change in their layout, we may have to switch in the future because the new layout stinks.

Here’s the link to the league.

You can also follow this link on Yahoo! Fantasy and click “Join a private pool.”

The pool ID is 99335
Password onions

There will be prizes for the top three finishers.

Good luck on your picks!

And remember … Duke still sucks.