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Monday, July 15, 2019

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Mark Cuban fined $50K for admitting to leaking info about coaches’ challenges

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban has gotten himself fined by the NBA numerous times in the past for things he has said, but the latest is a bit different from all the others.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports that Cuban has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after he admitted to leaking information from last week’s Board of Governor meeting to a reporter. The fine was not announced publicly, but a memo was sent to teams and Cuban made a sarcastic remark to MacMahon about it.

“I appreciate the irony of your reporting on a fine that someone should, but won’t, get fined for leaking to you,” he said.

Apparently Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive expressed concern to the league that information about owners moving to allow coaches’ challenges next season was trickling out while executives were still meeting about it. Cuban immediately admitted he was the one who leaked the info, and that’s where the fine stems from.

The $50,000 fine is nothing compared to some of the penalties Cuban has had to pay in the past, and that probably gives you an idea of how serious the violation was — or, in this case, wasn’t.

Mike Leach likes tweet about Texas Tech’s struggles since his firing

Mike Leach

Mike Leach is arguably Texas Tech’s most successful football coach in the last half century. His Red Raiders finished as the joint leader of the Big 12 South in 2008, the only time the school could stake a claim to anything resembling a conference title since 1976. That year, he led the team to an 11-2 record, only to be fired a year later under controversial circumstances.

Leach clearly has not forgotten his dismissal from Texas Tech, and still harbors some hard feelings. He made that clear Monday, when he liked a tweet that outlined the Red Raiders’ football program’s extensive struggles both before and after Leach’s tenure.

Leach has proven his worth since then, reviving a moribund Washington State program and finishing in the top ten nationally in 2018. It came after Texas Tech let him go over allegations that he mistreated Adam James, the son of former SMU star Craig James. Leach made clear how he feels about James last year, and this seems to be an indication of how he feels about Texas Tech. It’s fair to say he’s ended up with the last laugh.

Cavaliers officially waive JR Smith after failing to find trade partner

JR Smith

JR Smith’s Cleveland Cavaliers tenure is over.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Cavaliers officially waived Smith at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, having tried and failed to find a trade partner before reaching that point.

The Cavaliers did everything they could to try to trade Smith, right down to getting him to postpone his guarantee date to try to make a move happen. No matter what Cleveland did, nothing materialized.

Smith will now be free to sign with any team he wants. He barely played last season, and was not in Cleveland’s plans going forward.

76ers have insane amount of money committed to their core players

Joel Embiid

If the Philadelphia 76ers fail to win a championship in the next five years or so, their fans certainly cannot blame the front office for a lack of financial commitment to the roster.

As expected, Ben Simmons agreed to a five-year, $170 million rookie max extension with the Sixers on Monday. The contract came in an offseason where Philly also shelled out $180 million over five years to keep Tobias Harris and signed Al Horford to a four-year, $109 million deal. And let’s not forget the five-year, $148 million extension Joel Embiid got prior to the 2017-18 season.

Apparently trusting “The Process” costs a lot of dough. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes, the 76ers will have well over a half-billion dollars invested in their four core players when Simmons’ extension kicks in starting in 2020-21.

With all the money they have spent, it’s hard to believe the 76ers did not offer one star player the max contract he was seeking. They clearly have a vision, however, and they feel their current roster is the one that is going to bring them a title. Their payroll says it all.

Warriors GM downplays chance of trading D’Angelo Russell

There was widespread speculation that the Golden State Warriors acquired D’Angelo Russell with the intent of eventually trading him, but GM Bob Myers won’t be pushing that angle.

Myers said Monday that the Warriors did not acquire Russell with the intention of dealing hi, which Golden State couldn’t even do until December 15.

Myers isn’t going to outright put Russell on the trade block right now. The Warriors will need him as long as Klay Thompson is hurt, and if he hits in well with the team, there’s almost certainly no aversion to keeping him around long-term. If he doesn’t fit in, it probably bears watching what the Warriors may do with him next summer.

Top trade target Zack Wheeler placed on IL with shoulder fatigue

New York Mets

Zack Wheeler has been frequently mentioned as a top target heading into the trade deadline later this month, but the New York Mets may have to hang onto him now.

Wheeler has apparently been experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder, and the Mets are placing him on the injured list with shoulder fatigue.

The Mets are 42-51 and expected to be sellers at the deadline, and Wheeler had turned into one of their most valuable pieces. The right-hander had reportedly drawn interest from the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and other teams. He is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA this season.

It sounds like teams were already having trouble moving players leading into the deadline this year, so Wheeler is almost certain to remain with the Mets now.

Boxing world pays tribute to Pernell Whitaker following death

The sport of boxing lost a legend on Sunday night when Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker was hit by a car and killed, and his death has hit the fighting community hard.

Whitaker, who was 55, was struck and killed in a tragic accident in Virginia Beach. Details of the crash were not released as of Monday afternoon with the investigation ongoing, per the City of Virginia Beach.

Several of boxing’s biggest names took to social media to pay tribute to Whitaker after learning the sad news.

Whitaker held numerous titles during his boxing career and had a 40-4-1 record with 17 knockouts. He was one of the best fighters of the 1990s and one of the best defensive boxers of all time. He made a name for himself similar to the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did, as he was virtually impossible to hit.

Sweat Pea was truly one of the best to do it.

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