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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

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Kings make big decision on Malik Monk

Malik Monk in a Kings uniform

Mar 26, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings successfully prevented one of the most sought-after free agents from entering the open market.

Combo guard Malik Monk has agreed to a 4-year contract worth $78 million to remain with the Kings, according to a report Thursday from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal is said to include a player option in the final year.

The $78 million price tag was the most the Kings were allowed to offer Monk in any deal.

The 6’3″ scorer has arguably been the third-best player on the Kings over his first two seasons in Sacramento. Monk finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting this season after averaging 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on 44.3% shooting from the field.

Monk suffered a sprained MCL in late March that kept him sidelined during the Kings’ two postseason contests. Without Monk, Sacramento was eliminated by the New Orleans Pelicans in their second play-in tournament game.

Reggie Jackson opens up about the racism he faced in minor leagues

Hall of Fame outfielder Reggie Jackson on Thursday opened up about the discrimination he faced while playing in the minor leagues for the Birmingham, Ala. in 1967

Jackson was a special guest panelist during MLB’s Negro Leagues tribute game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala.

Alex Rodriguez asked Jackson how he felt about returning to Rickwood Field, the former home of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons. Jackson, whose MLB career spanned from 1967 to 1987, began the 1967 season playing for the Double-A Birmingham A’s, whose home games were at Rickwood Field. That was just three years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act ended segregation.

Jackson shared some harrowing details on his experience as a black player at the time.

“Coming back here is not easy,” Jackson told Rodriguez. “The racism that I faced here when I played here, the difficulty of going through different places where we traveled. … I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. … I would never want to do it again. I walked into restaurants and they would point at me and say, ‘the n—-r can’t eat here.’ I would walk into a hotel and they would say, ‘the n—-r can’t stay here.'”

Though we edited it out in the quotation, Jackson said the N-word in the video seen here.

Jackson expressed gratitude toward his former manger John McNamara and teammates Rollie Fingers, Dave Duncan, and Joe Rudi. Jackson credited them for helping ease the burden he faced early in his MLB journey.

Jackson was a 5-time World Series winner, 1-time MVP, and 14-time All-Star across 21 seasons in the majors.

Former NBA champion could join Lakers’ coaching staff

The Los Angeles Lakers hired one recently retired player to lead their coaching staff. Could they have room for another?

JJ Redick on Thursday agreed to become head coach of the Lakers. The 15-year NBA veteran received quite a hefty sum for someone who’s never had any real coaching experience.

Former Laker Rajon Rondo is reportedly on the Lakers’ radar to join Redick’s coaching staff. According to Lakers Daily reporter Anthony Irwin, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis want Rondo back on the team in some capacity.

“We mentioned Rajon Rondo. I know LeBron and AD especially would be really happy to have Rondo’s voice back in that locker room,” said Irwin on the “Zach Gelb Show.”

There were rumblings last month about the Lakers eyeing Rondo for an assistant coaching role. That still appears to be in play with Redick now at the helm.

Irwin added that the Lakers are also interested in signing Chris Paul. However, a CP3 signing probably wouldn’t help lure Rondo to coach the team given that the two have quite a bit of history.

Rondo played three seasons for the Lakers and was a key cog during their 2020 championship run in the NBA bubble.

Rondo officially announced his retirement in April after a 16-year career. He ended his career with 2 championship rings, 4 All-Star nods, and 3 assist titles.

Magic Johnson makes mistake in his post about Lakers’ JJ Redick hire

February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Magic Johnson before the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Magic Johnson seems to approve of the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach (even if he can’t quite get the name right yet).

The Lakers made their long-expected hire on Thursday, naming former NBA guard JJ Redick as their new coach. Redick, a first-time head coach with no prior NBA coaching experience, is getting a four-year contract for a decent amount of money.

The retired Lakers legend Johnson commented on the Redick hire in a post to his X page. He said that he was cautiously optimistic about Redick … but also referred to him as “JJ Reddick.”

Johnson also repeated the incorrect “Reddick” spelling in a subsequent post about the Lakers’ next steps.

In fairness to Johnson, Reddick is the more common last name. Plenty of notable sports figures, including New York Jets All-Pro Haason Reddick, ex-Houston Astros champion Josh Reddick, and NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick all have it spelled that way.

But Redick is the only one who matters right now for the Lakers. Johnson seemed very excited about the potential of the Lakers hiring UConn head coach Dan Hurley earlier this month. But with that one ultimately falling through and Redick now becoming the consolation prize, it seems that Johnson still has some warming up to do.

Yankees linked to trade for AL breakout star pitcher

Aug 14, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a New York Yankees hat and glove on the bench against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees may be trying to enter the fold for one of the hottest names of 2024 thus far.

In an article on Thursday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post named left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet as the top trade candidate for the rancid 20-56 Chicago White Sox. Heyman specifically mentioned that the Yankees are one of the teams that love Crochet’s arm as well as his potential.

The 25-year-old Crochet, who began his career as a reliever, has transitioned into a full-time starter this season, yielding impressive results. He has been one of the lone bright spots for the White Sox, going 6-6 with a 3.25 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, and an AL-leading 124 strikeouts. Crochet also has two more years of arbitration eligibility left after this season.

Though reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole recently made his return from injury, the Yankees could still improve their rotation, especially when it comes to dynamic lefties. Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon have generally been pretty reliable this season, but they miss far fewer bats than Crochet does. It also seems like the MLB-best 51-26 Yankees are trying to stockpile arms for the postseason, having just signed another lefty pitcher as well.

Matthew Stafford’s wife makes embarrassing revelation on podcast

Nov 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with wife Kelly Stafford during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford’s wife Kelly may have recently shared a little too much information about the early days of her relationship with the Los Angeles Rams quarterback.

Kelly Stafford appeared on the “Off the Vine” podcast last week and shared a story that has since gone viral on social media.

Mrs. Stafford revealed that she once dated her husband’s college backup to make him jealous when the two were both still students at Georgia.

“It wasn’t that cute of a relationship at first. I hated him, I loved him. I dated the backup to piss him off, which worked,” said Kelly Stafford. “[The backup] was the bad boy too. Matthew’s so sweet, Southern gentleman and all that stuff. The backup was the complete opposite. Ooh, and it upset him.”

Kelly added that a young Matthew had eventually confronted her about dating said backup. The Georgia QB had told her that the mystery backup was “not right” for her.

Little did Matthew know that he fell right into Kelly’s mischievous trap. The ends may have justified the means as the two have been married since 2015 and share four daughters.

Not everyone was a fan of Kelly spilling more Stafford family secrets. Some fans felt that she embarrassed her husband for no reason in particular.

It wouldn’t be the first time Kelly Stafford divulged personal information about her husband she later regretted.

For what it’s worth, Matthew Stafford’s current backup is quite the handsome man.

Ex-Steelers receiving leader eyeing NFL comeback

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; View of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo at mid-field before the Steelers play the Las Vegas Raiders at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This NFL season could feature the triumphant return of Mr. Washington.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports this week that veteran wide receiver James Washington is attempting an NFL comeback. Fowler notes that Washington, 28, has received multiple inquiries from teams and could be participating in tryouts soon.

Washington was a second-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 (No. 60 overall). He went on to lead them with 735 receiving yards during the 2019 season but left in free agency after the 2021 campaign to sign with the Dallas Cowboys. Washington missed most of 2022 though due to a Jones fracture in his right foot and spent time on various NFL practice squads last year (with the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and Indianapolis Colts) but never made any game appearances.

The former Oklahoma State star Washington showed off some really strong physical skills during his first few seasons in the NFL. Now many years later, Washington could be getting his second wind and making a comeback.

7’9″ basketball player Olivier Rioux makes announcer look tiny in photo

7-foot-9 is every bit as tall as it sounds.

Basketball player Olivier Rioux has become a trending topic ever since some people noticed this week that the Florida Gators commit is now listed at 7-foot-9, which means he has grown in the last year.

What does Rioux look like? Chicago Bulls radio announcer Chuck Swirsky shared a photo on X Thursday of him with Rioux when the center was 7-foot-6. Rioux made Swirsky look positively tiny.

Swirsky comes up to Rioux’s chest. One of the basketball player’s legs looks like it might be taller than Swirsky!

Despite his height, we noted in a previous story that Rioux is still only listed as a 3-star prospect, so maybe expectations for the center shouldn’t be too high. But keep in mind that Zach Edey was only a 3-star prospect too, and he developed into a 2-time National Player of the Year.

The Gators obviously see something in Rioux. It’s not hard to see what they envision with the giant.

Who will replace JJ Redick on ESPN’s No. 1 NBA announcing team?

Jan. 4, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; ESPN logo prior to the 2011 Sugar Bowl between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN will have a vacancy on their No. 1 NBA announcing team now that J.J. Redick is being hired by the Los Angeles Lakers to serve as their next head coach. But who will replace him at ESPN? That’s a question many are wondering, and there may not be an immediate answer.

In a column published for Front Office Sports on Thursday, Michael McCarthy reported that ESPN may not move to hire a replacement for Redick anytime soon. McCarthy believes the network could stick with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and analyst Doris Burke as a two-person team instead of three-person announcing team.

If ESPN does look to fill Redick’s spot, McCarthy mentions Richard Jefferson as a possibility.

Redick, Jefferson and Ryan Ruocco were promoted prior to last season to serve as the network’s No. 2 NBA announcing team. Redick was later promoted to the No. 1 team after Doc Rivers left in January to coach the Milwaukee Bucks.

ESPN has several months to consider its options before making a decision on their announcing teams before the 2024-2025 NBA season.

Report reveals how desperate Bulls are to trade Zach LaVine

Dec 7, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) warms up before an NBA game against the Washington Wizards at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

A new report suggests just how desperate the Chicago Bulls are to offload Zach LaVine this offseason.

Bulls vice president Artūras Karnišovas has floated as many as 15 LaVine trade proposals to various teams so far this offseason, according to KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams the Bulls have approached, though they have yet to strike a deal.

It is telling that the Bulls appear to be the ones doing a lot of legwork on moving LaVine. The team would not be able to re-sign both DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams as well as bring in a first-round pick without entering the luxury tax unless they can find a way to offload LaVine’s $43 million cap hit. That money, however, is the biggest impediment to moving him, especially since the guard has dealt with numerous injury issues in recent years.

LaVine certainly appears to be the odd man out of the Chicago roster. The team has reportedly lowered their asking price in a bid to move him on as quickly as possible, but it has yet to work. The 29-year-old was limited to just 25 games last season, where he averaged 19.5 points per game.

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