NBA’s top pick out for the season? Steve Kerr lets his players coach

NBA’s top pick, failing in shoulder rehab, may miss remainder of season

Markelle Fultz, who was the first player chosen in the last NBA draft, has not recovered well from shoulder surgery.  He lacks full range in his shooting motion, and Bryan Colangelo, general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, said, “There’s a chance he isn’t going to play this year.”  Colangelo said Fultz is unable to shoot beyond the free-throw line, that his range “is within the paint, basically.”

Between the Lines: The 76ers continue “The Process” – redshirting their rookies for a year or two or three.



Steve Kerr stands aside to let his players coach the Warriors

In a game against the Phoenix Suns, Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, stood back and let his players – forwards Draymond Green and David West — run the huddles and diagram plays during timeouts.  After the game ended in a 46-point victory for Golden State, Kerr said: “I don’t feel like we focused well at all the last month, and this seemed like the right thing to do.  It had to do with me reaching my team.  They’re tired of my voice; I’m tired of my voice.”

Dear Coach:  Although the Suns did not complain publicly about your stunt, don’t think they will forget how you showed them no respect.  And if you’re going to let a player design the plays, shouldn’t it be the point guard ?


Boston Herald retracts story after being fooled by prankster posing as Brady’s agent

Nothing can be more embarrassing to a journalist than to have to retract a story because it was based on false information that was not properly vetted.  This is what happened to Ron Borges, columnist for the Boston Herald, who wrote that Tom Brady is jealous of his former understudy, Jimmy Garoppolo, for becoming the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, at 5 years, $137.5 million.  Citing “sources close to Brady,” Borges wrote that the quarterback will sit out the next football season “unless he gets a new deal with up-front money similar to what Jimmy got.”  The journalist based his report on a text message that he thought came from Brady’s agent, Don Yee.  But it was not Yee.  Someone identifying himself as “Nick in Boston” called a talk show on WEII Radio in Boston to say he had duped Borges.  The Herald retracted the story and suspended Borges indefinitely.  It was not his first gaffe.  When working for the Boston Globe, he was suspended for two months in 2007 for plagiarism.

Dear Ron: The timing for this hoax could not be worse, with the President of the United States constantly complaining of “fake news” from the mainstream media that’s based on anonymous sources.


Lane Johnson calls Patriots ‘a fear-based organization’   

Lane Johnson, All-Pro right tackle of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, said on Pardon My Take Podcast: “I just think the Patriot Way is a fear-based organization.  Do they win?  Hell, yes, they win.  They’ve won for a long time.  Do I think people can say, ‘I had a lot of fun playing there?’  No, I don’t.  That’s just the honest truth.  I’d rather win one Super Bowl having fun than win five Super Bowls and not having fun.”

Dear Lane: I’m not sure Rob Gronkowski does not have fun.  But according to ex-Patriots, it is true that Bill Belichick requires a heavier workload than most if not all other coaches.  And there’s little tolerance for rule-breaking.  Still, most players find winning is fun in itself.


Goose Gossage calls Yanks’ GM Cashman ‘a weasel’

Goose Gossage, Hall of Fame closer, was highly offended when he was not among the former New York Yankees greats invited by general manager Brian Cashman to the team’s spring training camp in Tampa.  “I can’t look at him,” Gossage said to New York reporters.  “He’s a disgrace to the Yankees.  I don’t have any respect for him.  He doesn’t have any respect for older people in baseball.  There’s no respect for anybody who has real baseball knowledge.  . . . He’s a weasel.  . . . He doesn’t think he needs any baseball people around.  Maybe he’s right.  The way the game is being run today, maybe you don’t.  . . .  A bunch of nerds are running the game.  . . . Cashman surrounds himself with a bunch of computer guys.”   

Between the Lines: The Cashman-Gossage feud goes back a couple of years, when the retired pitcher criticized the GM for his reliance on analytics.  Gossage, 66, also has objected to current players flipping their bats after home runs.  He considers that “disrespectful.”  He admitted he’s “turned into a distraction,” thereby wearing out his welcome with the ballclub.

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