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Jason Kidd was fired at a Pizza place

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Would you want to be fired at Pizza Hut?

We don’t know the exact location in Milwaukee where Jason Kidd was fired by Bucks General Manager and team president but it was a Pizza restaurant, as reported by ESPN.

There is a distinction for many between Pizza joint and a restaurant make no mistake about it.

You might imagine at a full fledged Pizza restaurant Kidd, general manager Jon Horst, and Bucks team president Peter Feign order diet cokes and pepperoni sticks before breaking the news, that hey we just fired you. Does Kidd stay for the Pizza?

Or at a pizza joint. Horst has already ordered slices for himself and his boss and when Kidd shows up they tell him the news while Kidd is trying to decide between supreme or sausage in line.

Or maybe they get a table and slowly break the news as soft drinks and salads are served.

All those scenarios would be interesting if it weren’t for the fact that Kidd already knew he was getting fired.

Before Jason Kidd was told of the news by his bosses, it was let out, Woj of ESPN got the scoop. Sometime after that, Kidd’s best player Giannis Antetokounmpo, and possibly one of the best players in the game, called Kidd one the phone and wanted to know if there was anything that could be done.

Kidd long in the tooth in NBA years, in his fifth season as a head coach, told the Greek Freak, nope, that’s just the way it was, and just let the truth be told.

It’s quite possible Kidd was the kind of coach they bring in to get them to a spot of growth, but won’t get to see them into the promise land. Those kind of coaches and are fried and hired in the NBA all the time. Ask Mark Jackson. It’s not the coach who gets them started but whoever gets them to the top of the mountain.

So now Milwaukee will go find their Steve Kerr.

It probably won’t be Jeff Van Gundy, but they’ll once again be trying to find a young smart head coach who can relate to players, coach in the 21st century and of course win.

The logic behind the Bucks move is not hard to figure out.

It’s not that hard right now to get to the 4th or 5th seed in the East. Cleveland is struggling big time. Boston is great, but the East is wide open. Let’s go out and get the east with the Antetokounmpo who is 2nd in the NBA in scoring, averaging a double-double at 28.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. Antetokounmpo’s scoring average trails James Harden at 31.4 points per game, but Antetokounmpo’s field goal percentage is way better, at 54% compared to 44% by Harden. By those numbers alone, the Bucks have the best offensive player in the game and should sit at the eighth spot in the East. Granted though, the Greek Freak needs some help.

To Jason Kidd’s credit he hasn’t had his best lineup on the floor. The Bucks have been without Jabari Parker due to an ongoing knee injury. Eric Bledsoe was brought to Milwaukee from Phoenix after the start of the season. But they have had Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton who has been playing very well.

The bottom line is that they didn’t believe Kidd would take them there, as confirmed by Bucks general manager Jon Horst Monday:

“You have short windows in the NBA to build towards contention and actually contend and we didn’t want to waste time in putting our team in the best position to do that,” Horst said, according to USA TODAY. 

“… A general manager in the NHL had a statement once, ‘If something’s inevitable, why wait?’ and so I think we’d come to the conclusion that this was the best thing for the future of the franchise.”

Apple News Users Read more at www.digitalsportsdaily.com 

Photo by Keith Allison, licensed under Creative Commons

 

Villanova still #1 in latest AP Poll, Kentucky out

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The Kentucky Wildcats are out of the AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll for the first time since 2014. UK was in the Top 25 for 68 consecutive polling weeks.

Villanova holds its spot as the top team in the nation followed by Virginia at No. 2 and Purdue at No. 3. Kansas moved up five spots to No. 10.

Watch out for a 19-2 St. Mary’s team who enters the poll this week at No. 16 this week with a 19-2 win loss record.

AP College Basketball Men’s Top 25 Poll Week of 1/22/2018 

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Villanova (63) 18-1 1,623 1
2 Virginia (1) 18-1 1,537 2
3 Purdue (1) 19-2 1,499 3
4 Duke 17-2 1,439 5
5 Kansas 16-3 1,338 10
6 Michigan State 17-3 1,243 9
7 West Virginia 16-3 1,217 6
8 Xavier 18-3 1,180 11
9 Cincinnati 17-2 1,087 12
10 North Carolina 16-4 1,014 15
11 Arizona 16-4 974 14
12 Oklahoma 14-4 917 4
13 Ohio State 17-4 787 22
14 Texas Tech 15-4 763 8
15 Gonzaga 17-4 610 13
16 St. Mary’s 19-2 571 NR
17 Wichita State 15-4 547 7
18 Clemson 16-3 474 20
19 Auburn 17-2 470 17
20 Florida 14-5 366 NR
21 Arizona State 15-4 353 16
22 Tennessee 13-5 260 21
23 Nevada 18-3 190 NR
24 Rhode Island 15-3 189 NR
25 Michigan 17-5 123 23

Jason Kidd out in Milwaukee, Bucks failing to live up to expectations

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The Milwaukee Bucks fired Jason Kidd Monday.

The Bucks oozing with young talent, have lost four of five games headed into Monday and sit at 22-23 for the season. The Bucks currently hold the eight spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

The bottom line is that Bucks leadership thought the Kidd could have done more with the talent. The Bucks realistically see the team as a middle-range contender in the east, somewhere in the four or five seed-which at this point is only five wins away. Five losses too many for Jason Kidd to stay on as the head coach.

Whether it be communication style, coaching style, the organization had serious questions about whether the Bucks would ever make the proverbial next step.

Giannis Antetokounmpo for the most part is one of the league’s best player, but the idea is if he’s the next LeBron then the Bucks should be winning a lot more games.

When most think about the Bucks, they’re thinking ‘wow a talented roster’. But the results unknown to many, (not that many have been paying attention and that may be part of the problem) are not where Bucks ownership and management want them.

For the time being assistant coach Joe Prunty will coach the team, including Monday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

Kidd who began coaching the Bucks at the start of the 2014-15 season compiled a record of 139 wins and 152 losses in four seasons. Kidd spent one year as the Brooklyn Nets coach in 2013-14.

The team released the following statement Monday:

“We appreciate everything that Jason has done for the Bucks organization, but we have decided to make a coaching change,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst.

“We believe that a fresh approach and a change in leadership are needed to continue elevating our talented team towards the next level, bringing us closer to our goal of competing for championships. Jason led a historic turnaround during his first season and would guide our team to two playoff appearances. He also played a meaningful role in helping to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. We thank him for all of his contributions and wish him the best.”

One named being tossed around early is former Knicks coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

Gordon Hayward is back on the practice court, almost

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Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who five minutes into his 2017-18 Celtic debut, suffered a horrific ankle and tibia injury.

Hayward dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia.

The initial prognosis was that Hayward would be out for the remainder of the ’17-’18 campaign.

In December, Hayward posted on Twitter in December, that he no longer needed a walking boot.

Sunday video was posted online by his wife Robyn, showing Hayward back on the court taking jump shots.

Still no word from the Celtics on exactly when Hayward will return. Of course Boston faithful are hoping for a return for the 2018 Playoffs. The Celtics currently sit at the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 34-13, holding a two-game lead on the Toronto Raptors.

Still can’t beat me… 🤷🏻‍♀️

A post shared by Robyn Hayward (@robynmhayward) on

 

 

Giants add Andrew McCutchen in trade with Pirates

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The Pittsburgh Pirates today traded centerfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for unknown players.

It’s expected the Pirates will receive prospects in return.

McCutchen is 31 and will enter the 2018 season with one-year left on his contract.

In 2017 McCutchen played in 156 games hitting .279 with 88 RBI and 28 home runs. He did show flashes of his former self in 2017, hitting .411 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in the month of June.

The Giants bolster their lineup after adding third basemen Evan Longoria via trade last week with the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the Pirates it represents a fire sale of sorts. Just days ago Pittsburgh traded No. 1 starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros.

 

Josh McDaniels to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts

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New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is expected to be named the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, according to multiple reports.

NFL.com and the Indianapolis Star have confirmed the news.

McDaniels, 41, has been an assistant with the Patriots since 2012 after being fired as the Denver Broncos head coach in 2010.

McDaniels represents a move towards an offensive frame of mind, a departure from Chuck Pagano a former defensive coordinator who was let go by the Colts at the end of this season.

McDaniels spent two seasons at the helm of the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010 compiling an 11-17 win/loss record.

Jon Gruden to the Raiders is done

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Jon Gruden will be the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders. All that is left to do is for Gruden to call his final game at ESPN this Saturday. Gruden and Sean McDonough will call the NFL Wild card matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs at 3:30 pm ET the network has confirmed.

Tuesday Gruden told the San Jose Mercury News regarding the Raiders job, “I think I am being considered, yes.”

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Raiders coach has already planned his defensive coordinator hire, according to Ian Rapport of the NFL Network. 

He currently makes around $6.5 million a year as the color analyst on Monday Night Football along with recurring segments on ESPN such as “Gruden’s QB Camp along with NFL Draft and some college football coverage.

Last week as word leaked out that Gruden would be the next coach, including a confirmation from ESPN colleague Adam Schefter, many wondered how the Raiders planned to satisfy the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate before making a head coaching hire. That interview process among several candidates is taking place now according to Gruden, lending to Gruden’s quote “I am being considered.”

It is clear that Gruden was the Raiders choice from the start after his fired Jack Del Rio and will eat a sizeable contract of $20 million.

Gruden also confirmed to the Mercury News, that the Raiders will announce a decision in a week. Look for Gruden to be named the Raiders head coach either Monday or Tuesday of next week.

The hiring means that Monday Night Football will have a different look in 2019 and could continue to shed light on a growing problem of team’s bypassing the Rooney Rule and only complying in appearance having had their guy all along.

Gruden has kept close to the game and it seems all with the purpose of coming back at the right time. He has maintained an office in Tampa which he affectionately calls the FFCA Fired Football Coaches Association http://jongrudenffca.com.

 

Dick Enberg was happy to be there

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“The one part of me that I think always comes through is I am a fan,” Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg once said.

“I really do get excited.”

Perhaps no one ever turned the channel to NBC, or CBS just to listen to Dick Enberg call a football game, a basketball game, a tennis match or to hear an essay about a golf tournament.

But many didn’t change the channel after listening to Enberg’s eloquence.

For many Dick Enberg was NBC, but all in all, he was a bit player happy to be there just to call the game, and not the star of the show a Costas a Howard Cosell. Costas perhaps didn’t do that intentionally, Cosell we know of course thought and had to be the star of the show. Jim Nantz from a top is the star of the show but still has some Dick Enberg in him.

Like Nantz, Enberg had staying power that is so subtle yet unique from a different generation of broadcasters from that golden-post war-60’s, middle-age by the 70’s and 80’s with the grand fatherly feel through much of the 90s and 2000’s.

Edberg spent 25 years at NBC sports and 12 years at CBS sports.

Enberg was still calling baseball games as of 2016, having called his last San Diego Padre game in September of 2016 as a member of the TV booth.

He was there for Wooden’s dynasty, well most of it, nine years and eight titles he was the voice of UCLA basketball.

He also was the radio and TV voice for the California Angels and Los Angeles Rams.

“He doesn’t have a big ego,”  one NBC producer lamented about him in 2000.

And essentially that is how Dick Enberg endeared himself to millions of viewers.

Enberg of course was talented but his ego didn’t come blaring through the broadcast.

“I’ve always enjoyed the role of being a complementary player, ” Enberg said at the time as he was asked about his role when he joined CBS and would be in the background so to speak as he was placed into it’s golf coverage.

“The game is the thing. I’m always appalled at some announcers who think that people tune in to see them and not the event.”

Enberg is also from a generation of broadcaster’s who’s fans and audience remember him from entirely different eras.

Some remember him as the UCLA broadcaster, and the California Angels.

Under 35 you might will remember him as the NBC broadcaster, perhaps on the NFL or NBA circuit. Some younger will remember his late contributions on CBS with Golf and Tennis and College Basketball, and yet others his final run through as the San Diego Padres TV guy in the later years of his life.

Still others may remember his days at the California Angels television guy.

“I can only do the best I can. I’m proud of my profession and I love what I do,” Enberg explained.  

“Personal recognition is something I don’t take lightly, but I also don’t take it so seriously that my ego needs to be fed. The game is still the thing…”

A lot of course will remember his signature phrase, “Oh my”, and although early on it may have come naturally, it then became his catch phrase. And as catch phrases go it was pretty tame and mostly enjoyed by viewers.

And “Oh My” Dick Enberg we enjoyed you.

Joe Girardi and the fate of a Yankee manager

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Long ago, the head man of the Yankees in the dugout was a very, very high profile job in the sporting world. However, it seems like Joe Girardi’s 10-year run in New York has been for the most part without controversy and somewhat quiet. Perhaps that is why he has lasted 10-years.

The Yankees had 15 different managers from 1980 until Joe Torre’s arrival for a historic 11-year stint. Girardi’s 10-year stint is the longest run for a manager outside of Torre since 1949-1960 when Casey Stengel managed the Yankees to seven World Series titles.

By that measure, Girardi is the 3rd most historic Yankee manager. His 910 wins rank fifth all-time on the Yankee record books.

He reached a pinnacle early, leading the Yankees to a World Series win in his second year in 2009. He’s survived Jeter’s retirement, A-Rod’s ban and retirement, a mini-rebuild and here the Yankees are tied 2-2 with the defending American League champs. The Yankees have talent, Aaron Judge most notably, but are not a star-studded group. If anything the Yankees are underdogs, overmatched against Cleveland.

Yet Girardi was met with boos Sunday night in New York in response to his not challenging a hit batsman call in Game 3 against the Indians in a 13-inning loss/collapse.

Boos turned to cheers as the Yankees beat the Indians 7-3 to force Game 5 on.

None the less, as Girardi put it, “I kind of expected it, you know,”

“I prepared my family for it. I told my kids what was going to happen,” Girardi said per NJ.com.

“But it’s life. And, again, it’s not going to change who I am. It’s no fun to be booed. But they’re passionate. Our fans are passionate and they want to win, and they get upset when we don’t win or when someone makes a mistake in their eyes. So that’s all part of it.”

Girardi is in the final-year of his contract, and many believe Girardi will not be back in the pinstripes. 

Girardi when asked about his future: “Whatever happens, happens.”

None the less, somebody give Girardi a handshake for surviving New York for the last 10 years.

Read more at www.digitalsportsdaily.com

Rick Pitino out at Louisville

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Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have been fired according to ESPN.

According to WDRB-TV in Louisville, Adidas hired Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich’s daughter month’s before it struck a $160 million deal to be the official shoe/apparel licensor for the school. 

According to WAVE-TV in Louisville, athletic director Tom Jurich was asked to fire Rick Pitino, when he refused both were fired. 

Update: Louisville Atheltic Director Tom Jurich has been let go by the school according to multiple reports.

By Travis Duncan

Rick Pitino may be a goner.

Yesterday it was revealed recruit Bryan Bowen, who is set to be a freshman on this year’s team, allegedly received a $100,000 payment from an Adidas executive.

An FBI probe has resulted in federal charges for at least four assistant coaches and the Adidas exec, James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for Adidas.

According to several reports, there is a “possibility” that the Louisville head basketball coach for the past 16 years, could be let go as soon as today.

Michael Eaves an ESPN SportsCenter anchor, today tweeted that according to people within the Louisville athletic department the expectation is that Pitino will be fired.

Eaves also reports that Pitino met with his staff today and told them he expects to be fired.

Pitino also met with university president Greg Postel today.

 

 

Louisville Atheltic Director Tom Jurich also could be on his way out today. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Jurich met today with Louisville interim president Greg Postel in a hurried meeting that took place today on campus and it was said to have lasted less than 10 minutes. Postel is also said to have been meeting with lawyers for the school and said they would have further comment later today.

Of course, there is a legal mess, from several different angles.

So real is the possibility that Pitino could be fired his attorney Steve Pence has said his client won’t be fired without a bare-knuckled fight. 

Pitino whether it be by design or out of circumstance, appears to be a master at the survive and advance game off the court. Scandal after scandal and he’s there on the sideline every November.

Part of his game is to play total innocence to the charges surrounding his program.

It was Pitino in 2014 that said, “We need to get the shoe companies out of the lives of young athletes.” Yet as ESPN’s Darren Rovel points out, no coach got paid more by a shoe company that year than Rick Pitino.

As with most prominent public university firings, there’s a board of directors or regents, and the board has to meet to make a decision.

Pitino’s contract calls for a 10 day written notice before he can be let go so that the coach could present evidence.

There’s a buyout which is allegedly set at around $44 million. The university needs to make sure it’s not paying Pitino, the school’s No. 1 money maker to sit on the sidelines. Like him or hate him, Pitino brings in dollars for the university in several ways, a giant shoe contract for the athletic department, ticket sales, TV revenue and more all hover around Rick Pitino as the head coach at Louisville. The school cannot just bring in another coach of his stature.

To fire Rick Pitino would be a major, major hit to the university financially and a decision they may not make as quickly as some might think.

 

 

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