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Friday, February 22, 2019

Headlines

James Harden: Scott Foster should not be allowed to referee Rockets games

James harden

James Harden was among the Houston Rockets who were frustrated with referee Scott Foster following the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, and he made an extreme suggestion afterwards.

Harden was called for two offensive fouls in the final three minutes of the game and fouled out for the first time all season and just the seventh time in his career. The calls took away Houston’s best player and resulted in two turnovers during a close part of the game.

After the loss, Harden called Foster “rude” and “arrogant” and said he probably shouldn’t be allowed to officiate Rockets games because of a personal issue with the team.

Chris Paul says he has met with the league about Foster in the past and doesn’t know what else to do.

Paul had an issue with Foster last year as well.

In a 2016 survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times, players and coaches named Foster the worst referee in the league — by a significant margin.

Zion Williamson is day-to-day with knee sprain

Zion Williamson

The injury news on Zion Williamson is about as positive as could be.

The Duke star is day-to-day with a Grade 1 knee sprain, the Blue Devils announced on Thursday.

Williamson injured his knee on a freak play in the first minute of Wednesday’s game against North Carolina. His left shoe ripped apart, causing him to do the splits and hurt his knee. He did not return to the game.

Duke only has five regular season games left before the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament. A date for Williamson’s potential return is not yet known.

Jim Boeheim releases statement following fatal car accident

Jim Boeheim

Police have confirmed that Jim Boeheim was the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian along the freeway Thursday night, and the longtime Syracuse coach has issued a statement about the incident.

According to police, 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez exited a vehicle he was riding in with several other passengers after the car struck a guardrail due to poor road conditions and came to rest in the middle of the road. Boeheim attempted to avoid the vehicle while driving his own car, which is when he struck and killed Jimenez. The 74-year-old coach says he is “heartbroken.”

As ESPN’s Mark Schlabach notes, police administered both field sobriety and alcohol sensor tests on Boeheim and the driver of the other vehicle, and the tests came back negative. While exact speeds could not be determined, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said Boeheim was traveling at a proper speed for the freeway. Fitzpatrick called the fatal crash a “terrible, unfortunate accident.”

No traffic citations were issued, but the investigation remains ongoing. Boeheim is cooperating with police.

Report: Jim Boeheim struck and killed pedestrian walking along highway

Jim Boeheim

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim was reportedly involved in an unthinkable tragedy late Wednesday night.

According to a report from Douglass Dowty of Syracuse.com, Boheim struck and killed a man with his vehicle who was walking along the freeway at around midnight following Syracuse’s game against Louisville. The man, who was in his 30s, had reportedly been walking along Interstate 690 after a car he had been in with four others crashed for unknown reasons. When he was outside the vehicle, Boeheim drove by and struck him.

Boeheim is said to be cooperating with the investigation. Road conditions were icy near the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night, and it’s unclear if that was a factor.

Syracuse pulled off an upset over No. 18 Louisville with a 69-49 blowout win, but that is likely the last thing on Boeheim’s mind now.

Competition pounces on Nike after Zion Williamson’s shoe breaks

Zion Williamson shoe

Nike’s worst nightmare occurred on Wednesday night.

In the first minute of the high-profile Duke-North Carolina game, Blue Devils star Zion Williamson exited with an injury after his shoe broke. Williamson was wearing the Nike PG 2.5 PE, and the shoe literally fell apart, resulting in a knee injury.

This is the biggest stage in college basketball and the biggest star in the sport, and to have the equipment fall apart and cause an injury could not have been a worse turn of events for the Swoosh. Instantly, people pounced.

Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier said Williamson/Duke should join Puma, a new brand in the basketball shoe market.

Puma joined in as well before later deleting their tweet.

Others on social media instantly knew what the injury and shoe failure meant for Nike and its competitors.

We’re not about to say Nike’s stock price is going to fall on Thursday, but this really couldn’t be worse for them.

Williamson was soon ruled out for the rest of the game due to his knee, raising questions about his future at Duke, and whether he might actually follow Scottie Pippen’s advice.

Watch: Zion Williamson’s shoe completely falls apart

Zion Williamson shoe

Zion Williamson exited Duke’s big game against North Carolina on Wednesday night after his shoe literally fell apart.

Williamson was dribbling with the ball by the free throw line when he planted and fell. Video showed that his left foot went through the shoe.

Not only was there immediate concern about Williamson’s health, but there are other ramifications. Nike, which sponsors Duke and produces their athletic gear, has to be mortified. This is a huge stage for them, and to have the best athlete in the sport rip through their shoe makes it seem like their basketball shoes are inadequate.

Giants reportedly still in running to sign Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

The Philadelphia Phillies have seemed like they are on the verge of signing Bryce Harper for the better part of a week now, but there is at least one other team in the running that could be making life difficult for them.

SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Wednesday that the San Francisco Giants remain in the hunt for Harper, while the Phillies are facing a “tough road” to sign the free agent slugger. If Philly is not willing to pay significantly more than $300 million, they may end up losing out.

The general consensus is that Harper is going to get more than Manny Machado, and Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday that includes an opt out after the fifth year. That is now the baseline for Harper’s deal, and agent Scott Boras is likely seeking significantly more.

Some comments made by a Phillies executive recently make it sound like less than a guarantee that the team is going to land Harper. Couple that with reports that Harper may actually prefer to play on the west coast, and the idea of him winding up in Philly hardly seems like a lock.