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Kobe Bryant reportedly does not want Mike D’Antoni back

Mike-D'Antoni-Kobe-Bryant-LakersThe Los Angeles Lakers have played their way to 22-42 record this season. Kobe Bryant appears likely to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury and will start fresh for the 2014-2015 season. He is reportedly hoping to do so without Mike D’Antoni.

According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, Bryant has “no interest” in playing for D’Antoni and is hoping a new coach will be in LA by the start of next season. D’Antoni has done little to secure his job since he was hired by the Lakers prior to last season. If Kobe and his new two-year, $48 million extension want him gone, that will be all the more reason to fire him.

As we know, D’Antoni and Pau Gasol have had problems working together since day one. Gasol believes D’Antoni does not coach to his strengths. Bryant seems to agree, and he considers Gasol a close friend. He has said in recent weeks that he wants the Lakers to keep Gasol this summer.

With Kobe aging rapidly, the Lakers would be wise to gear up for one final championship run this offseason. They will have plenty of cap space to sign top free agents like Carmelo Anthony, and I’m sure Kobe would love to bring ‘Melo on board. However, Anthony had his problems with D’Antoni when he coached the New York Knicks prior to going to LA.

Bottom line? D’Antoni might as well start packing his bags.

Brent Musburger moves to SEC Network; Chris Fowler or Rece Davis may replace him

Brent MusburgerIt’s the end of an era for college football fans. Brent Musburger will no longer be calling the national championship game for ABC/ESPN.

The network announced on Wednesday that Musburger will no longer be calling ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” package or the national championship game. Instead, Musburger will team with Jesse Palmer as the lead announcers for the new SEC Network, which launches in August.

Musburger’s first assignment will be calling the Texas A&M-South Carolina game on Aug. 28.

Musburger is turning 75 in May, so he told SI’s Richard Deitsch that he understands why he’s being reassigned. He appreciates that he has a three-year deal at his age.

Though Brent will be working the SEC for college football, he says he will stick with calling the Big 12 for college basketball because he is so familiar with it.

Since Musburger, who received some heat for the whole Katherine Webb thing last year, is no longer doing the national championship game, you’re probably wondering who will replace him. ABC/ESPN has not announced it yet, but Musburger told Deitsch it will either be Chris Fowler or Rece Davis replacing him.

This is a sad day. Musburger is definitely getting up there, but I still loved hearing him on big college football games and will miss not having him broadcast the national championship game.

Eagles likely among teams interested in DeMarcus Ware

DeMarcus WareJerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys may have finally made a fiscally prudent move rather than overspending like usual, and their discipline may be rewarded with some punishment.

The Boys released DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday, though they left matters on terms where they could still bring back the pass rushing maven. The problem is they might not have a chance for that.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, six playoff teams have already called about Ware.

And ready for this, Cowboys fans? The Philadelphia Eagles could very well be one of those teams.

Louis Riddick, who is a former Eagles scout and now with ESPN, tweeted that he would bet the Eagles are “working hard to get DeMarcus Ware. Very hard.”

Ware will be 32 in July and missed three games last season with injury, but we still think he will be a good pass rusher for any team that adds him. He was probably too expensive for the Cowboys, but how could you know want him on your defense this season? The guy is still a force. Imagine if he ends up in Philly … that’s going to be bad news for Dallas.

Rich Peverley collapses on bench; Stars-Blue Jackets game postponed (Video)

Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench during Monday’s Dallas Stars-Columbus Blue Jackets game and was taken to the hospital to be treated, and reports say he is currently conscious.

Peverley was diagnosed in training camp with an irregular heartbeat and underwent a procedure for it in September. He collapsed about six minutes into the game after heading to the bench following a shift.

The game between Dallas and Columbus was initially delayed and then postponed.

Here was the statement from the NHL:

“Dallas player Rich Peverley is doing well and is in stable condition. He has has been transported to the hospital. As a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency, the game is being postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank the fans.”

A doctor who treated Peverley said the center wanted to return to the game after being treated.

Rich Peverley Stars

Cavaliers still think they have chance to acquire LeBron James

Dan GilbertAh those pesky Cavaliers. How can you not love them?

Even though team owner Dan Gilbert trashed LeBron James after the star left the team for the Miami Heat in free agency — a widely unpopular move at the time that turned out to be a wise choice — the team still believes it has a chance to acquire their former franchise icon. Seriously.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote an article on Sunday about the Cavs’ ceremony to retire the jersey of Zydrunas Ilgauskas. In the article he talked about how the Cavs still believe they have a chance to get James if they can add another star to the team.

Here’s what Lloyd wrote:

But the Cavs privately believe it’s not too late. They still have the assets to pull off a mammoth trade this summer at the draft, the type Grant tried so hard to make. Kevin Love will be entering the final year of his contract, as will LaMarcus Aldridge. Grant tried for two years to unsuccessfully pry both stars out of their current cities, but each had too many years left on their contracts for their current teams to consider it. That’s no longer true.

Let’s just break down how absurd this line of thinking is. First, Cleveland needs to acquire another star to pair with Kyrie Irving just to make themselves a semi-attractive option. Secondly, as Lloyd outlines, the team fired ex-GM Chris Grant, who was close with one of LeBron’s marketing people. Big Z is close with Grant and unhappy with the team for that move. So that’s not going to help. Lastly, they still are the Cavs and still have the same owner who trashed LeBron. Why would he want to return to that? And why would LeBron even want to leave the Heat anyway?

I suppose you might as well dream big if you’re going to dream, but someone needs to give the Cavs a dose of reality!

Chest bump to Eye on Basketball

Phil Jackson reportedly leaning toward taking Knicks job

Phil JacksonCould the long-anticipated Phil Jackson to the New York Knicks move actually take place?

After Jackson turned down the Knicks’ overture to become their head coach in place of Mike Woodson, the team offered him a front-office position. Now ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says Jackson is “leaning toward” taking the job.

It’s unclear if Jackson would serve as Knicks’ head coach, but that seems unlikely given that Phil has expressed an interest in working in a front office capacity instead.

Though this seems like it really could happen, I think the news was leaked because Phil wants to let the Lakers know that they have to make a move if they want him. Jackson was passed over early last season when the Lakers fired Mike Brown and hired Mike D’Antoni instead. I think this is his way of telling them this is their last shot.

The other thing to consider about Phil taking this job is that it wouldn’t be seen as a blemish on his coaching resume if he fails. Not succeeding as a president of basketball operations is much different from not succeeding as a coach. For that reason, I bet Jackson feels his coaching icon status is safe regardless of what happens with the Knicks.

Hideki Matsuyama apologizes after Ian Poulter rips him for ‘idiot’ move (Video)

Hideki MatsuyamaHideki Matsuyama apologized to Ian Poulter and other golfers on Saturday, a day after learning that the veteran called him an “idiot” for damaging a green during the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on Friday.

Matsuyama, 22, was playing in the group ahead of Poulter, who was in a group with Charl Schwartzl and Jason Dufner. Damaging the 13th green left the next group to clean it up. Matsuyama apologized to all three prior to his third round on Saturday.

“At the time, I didn’t think I did it so strong, making the divot on the green,” Matsuyama told Japanese reporters in remarks that were translated, per ESPN. “Upsetting the players behind me means I did it.

“I was not careful enough. I need to be more careful about etiquette and manners in the future.”

Poulter called Matsuyama an “idiot” in a series of tweets sent Friday night.

Poulter and Matsuyama were actually paired together for Saturday’s third round. The youngster shot a 1-under 71, while Poulter went 1 over. Matsuyama is +4 for the tournament.

Looking at the video, what Hideki-san did seemed very minor.