Headline Sports with London Marq: Big fan push for changing NBA logo to Kobe; How Reid and Shanahan will coach to win on Sunday; plus more

nypost.com photo: Simulated look at new Kobe NBA logo if switched from the current Jerry West NBA logo

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 Huge fan push to change NBA insignia from Jerry West to Kobe Bryant and the push is catching on

#2 The Super Bowl is normally one of sports biggest events but after the death of Kobe his death has overshadowed the big game.

#3 Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is looking for his first Super Bowl with the Chiefs while San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is looking to recover from the last Super Bowl he coached in. As an assistant coach Shanahan had the Falcons ahead in the Super Bowl only to cave and lose the Super Bowl. Shanahan is looking to get it done on Sunday.

#4 On ESPN Stephen A said there was no way that the 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo outplays the Kansas City Chiefs Pat Mahomes on Sunday

#5 How important is it that Dusty Baker hired by the Houston Astros who are trying to get away from the sign stealing scandal and Dusty is a player’s manager, doesn’t use technology or computers to manage a game or need to steal signs.

London Marq joins Sports Talk each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: ESPN Deportes saying Adios by September

Photo credit: espn.com

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Social Media has done it once again. They just about eradicated print media in this country as they continue to advance as part of the biggest media transformation of our lives. ESPN Deportes from Bristol, Connecticut confirmed that their radio channel in Spanish will cease to operate this fall. As a result, many full-time and part-time jobs will be going away. Most of these jobs are in Coral Gables (Miami) as well as in New York. However, while Miami and New York were their major hubs, they have stations all across the country. Maybe the best example of what has been happening for a decade with the social media transformation is the New York Times, the most famous newspaper in the country, received a loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim in 2009. Slim gave the NYT $250 million dollars to keep operating.

“Hispanic audience consumer habits are changing rapidly and this requires ESPN to evolve as well,” the statement said. “It’s no secret Hispanic fans skew heavily on digital and social media, which is why we made the decision to discontinue ESPN Deportes terrestrial radio (ESPN Deportes radio) in September.”

It is obvious that the majority of people in the US get their news and sports via social media. Everybody has a cellphone and can now access live and instant information at their fingertips. Social media facilitates the sharing of information and ways of expression via virtual communities and networks.

The future of media is truly in the hands of social media, the main engine of transformation in this business. Print media was first, then radio and television finding a way how to “befriend” social media.

Until as recently as 2016, today’s Oakland Athletics flagship station KTRB 860 AM was part of ESPN Deportes. When it comes to social media in relation to “old” media, the best thing to do is listed below.

In other words, if you can’t beat them, join them!

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: ESPN President says political commentary killed the network

Photo credit: @CornellNews

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

James Pitaro, new President of ESPN, said: “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them.”

Pitaro admitted political commentary killed the network and vowed for change.

Pitaro added: “Our fans do not want politics mixed with sports.”

Alexandra J. Robert, a law professor specializing in trademark law, entertainment law and pop culture recently wrote in The Boston Globe how one business in particular feels. In this case, Dunkin Donuts said: “We are not Starbucks, we aren’t political, we aren’t gonna put stuff on our cups to start conversations. we don’t want to engage you in political conversation, we want to get you in and out of our store in seconds. It’s donuts and ice cream– just be happy.”

The majority of businesses have one agenda — to make money. I do not know of anybody that goes into business to lose money. Having said that we live in a free capitalistic free enterprise society, and people (even businesses) are allowed to promote certain causes. There is nothing wrong with that.

When it comes to sports, Pitaro has seen what has happened to his network and he is trying to change that. ESPN has always been a sports network. They do not tell you how to cook an omelet or how to elect somebody to Congress, while those watching the Food Channel could care less (well, at least when they are watching their favorite show) what was the score of the game. To each their own. I am old enough to remember when we had ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and vice versa way before cable. Now, we have 200-plus channels to chose from.

For years, I have maintained that sports is one of the biggest escapes to the boring everyday life. Let’s face it, most people’s lives consist of going to work in the morning and coming home in the afternoon. The overwhelming majority see sports that should always be neutral, something to enjoy, escape and relax from a hard day of work.

Pitaro gets it. He knew he has been hired to heal a network that during the past few years have been going downhill, not only from the competition, but also because some who get paid to cover sports dived into politics.

Pitaro knows very well he has not been hired to save the world, but to save a sports network.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast with Barbara Mason: Will Irving reunite with LeBron in L.A.?; Leonard’s 4-bouncer rim shot gets Raptors in the semi Finals; plus more

Photo credit: @AFordTaurus

Barbara Mason is filling in for Amaury on That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 What about all the talk from ESPN radio that they can see a LeBron James and Kyrie Irving reunion at the Los Angeles Lakers especially if Jason Kidd had come on board as head coach but Frank Vogel got the job as Lakers head coach? Stephen A Smith says that not going to happen that his sources tell him that Irving is going to the Knicks and Brooklyn is trying to weigh in on Irving, but Irving is focused on going to the Knicks and Madison Square Garden.

#2 The Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard sunk a four-bouncer on the rim and got the Raptors into the next round defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on a buzzer beater. Leonard had himself a game finishing with 41 points in a Game 7 elimination contest to advance to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

#3 The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lilliard will be all the rage as the Blazers are coming off a narrow 4-3 win past the Denver Nuggets. It took seven games for the Blazers to advance. Do the Blazers have enough to go deep with Golden State? In game one the Warriors rolled past Portland 116-94.

#4 In hockey, the San Jose Sharks and St Louis Blues played Game 2 Monday night in the best of seven in this third round of the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Final. The Sharks have been getting help from all around, but the Sharks’ Timo Meier has been on fire with two goals scored in Game 1. The Sharks had home ice in game for the first two games.

#5 The Oakland A’s opened up a two-game series in Seattle on Monday night the A’s got five homers but couldn’t win it in the end. The A’s and M’s are battling for that third place spot in the American League West and are two games out of second place but eight games behind Houston. The A’s and M’s have almost identical records in a short series that could prove to test the A’s on the road and the M’s against an A’s team who’s capable to break out the bats and get good pitching.

Barbara does That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary every Tuesday night and is a freelance writer for Area Grande Spanish papers at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose State football games named to Mountain West national TV package

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

Three San Jose State Spartans home football games and one Mountain West conference road game are part of the conference’s 44-game national television package with CBS Sports Network and ESPN Networks.

San Jose State will be playing twice on Friday night starting with their Friday, September 27 conference opener at Air Force on CBSSN starting at 6:00 pm MT/5:00 pm PT. SJSU will be on CBSSN again the following Friday, October 4 for a 7:00 pm PT conference home game vs. New Mexico in CEFCU Stadium.

SJSU’s November 2 home game hosting Boise State now has a 7:30 pm PT game time and carried on CBSSN.

The Spartans’ final game in the conference’s national television package is Saturday, November 30 home game against Fresno State for the Valley Trophy. The game will be assigned to the ESPN Networks, but the game time will be announced at a later date.

With today’s announcement, AT&T SportsNet, Stadium, Spectrum Sports (Hawaii), CBSSN and ESPN will have an opportunity to select additional SJSU games for their respective broadcast packages.

Season tickets, group tickets and mini-plans are available for the entire San Jose State Spartans home football schedule at www.sjsuspartans.com/tickets or by calling (408) 924-7589.

Here’s the 2019 SJSU football schedule:

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Exclusive Interview With WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman

Photo credit: @NYDNSports

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

The New York Yankees paid their recent visit to the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum. Prior to the last game of the three-game series, I spoke with WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman, who handles commentary on all Yankee games with play-by-play man John Sterling.

Suzyn has been broadcasting sports for 32 years. This interview was conducted inside her broadcast booth at the Coliseum a good three hours prior to the game that night.

Q: Suzyn, how did you got started in sports broadcasting after 30 years of doing this?

A: Oh boy, well when I started I was in theater before I did this and musical theater it was changing and the only other thing I knew was sports, because I had my own season-tickets at baseball games with my grandfather when I was three and I was a sports person, but it was always my avocation, because little girls didn’t do that, and I was on Broadway and I sang and dance did all that and I go to ballgames, and…a friend of mine who used to be the announcer for the Boston Red Sox, Ken Coleman–we were very very close friends he said, “you know I have a friend and this next year they are starting this thing in New York it’s going to be called WFAN…and I told him he’s going to meet you, because you know more about sports than anybody I know and you’re female and they’re going to need a woman so I made a tape.

I didn’t know what I was doing and I was hired to do updates, I was actually the first voice on WFAN in 1987 so that’s the beginning, but then I realized that nobody wanted me there because I was female, so then it became something else and it became don’t you dare to talk to me like that, and don’t you tell me I don’t know because I am female…and so that’s how that started with people saying “no.”

Q: How do you feel being a pioneer? Actually there still not that many women in sports broadcasting in baseball like, say Jessica Mendoza, anymore.

A: Well I wasn’t trying to be a pioneer, I was just trying to make a living and I didn’t like being told I didn’t know anything…to tell you the truth I expected there to be a lot more women, it is just me in the broadcast booth, I know Jessica does ESPN, but it is only one game a week … it is just me and I am waiting for someone else to do this I know there are women down in the minor leagues trying to to this to get a chance or whether or not they give up, I think there is no failures. It’s just people that give up too soon.

Q: Is this more fun that playing Dulcinea in Man of LaMancha?

A: Nothing is more fun that being Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha. You know I did get over theater, although I miss it everyday, but I am still on stage. This a different stage, but I’m still performing. I don’t sing and dance anymore and I don’t get applause … Yeah, I miss theater everyday … but this is important and this is where I should be”

Q: Your best message for a young female that aspires to be in sports broadcasting like you maybe in baseball.

A: Think of what you can do that’s difference from everybody else go and look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I have a different way of looking at this, and I am going to do this, don’t let anybody stop you, because people are going to say no, you do commercials on television, you’ll get 200 no, before you get a commercial, but don’t let people tell you ‘no.'” You will know … and don’t want to be me, don’t want to be Jessica, just be you, because if you take my job is just one, but if it’s you, then there are two of us. Don’t let anybody stop you.

It was truly a pleasure to interview Suzyn for the first time, despite the fact we’ve known each other for decades during baseball games at many parks across the country.

Amaury Pi-González is the Spanish voice of the A’s and since 2016, he’s in the Advisory Board of the American Sportscasters Association in New York City.

Raiders to host Rams in regular season opener on Monday Night Football

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Yes, the NFL regular season is finally here. No more of watching unwatchable preseason football and hoping that both teams put on solid efforts.

The Oakland Raiders will begin their 2018 regular season on Monday night when they will welcome the Los Angeles Rams to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The game between the two clubs will be the second game of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader, which kicks off at 7:20 p.m. PT.

The New York Jets travel to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions in Game 1. Kickoff for that game is at 4:10 p.m. PT.

The Raiders met the Rams in Week 2 of the preseason in Los Angeles. The Rams won a snore of a game, 19-15, with both teams opting to hold out their starters.

This time around, things will be different as this is the regular season and the games count more than they do in the preseason.

The big story surrounding the Raiders has been the trade of defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears on Sept. 2. Oakland was unable to come to terms on a new longterm contract for the star defender.

The Raiders were hoping that Mack would return to the team and play under the franchise tag of $13.8 million but when it appeared that Mack wasn’t going to show up for any of Oakland’s training camp, head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie shipped the 27-year-old former NFL Defensive Player of the Year to the Bears for a boatload of draft picks: first- and sixth-round picks in 2019, and first- and third-round picks in 2020.

Along with Mack, the Bears received second- and fifth-round picks in 2020 as part of the deal.

Oakland will miss Mack no doubt. Mack amassed 40.5 sacks over the past four seasons for the Raiders and the name of the game on defense is to hit the quarterback and Oakland just let their best pass rusher walk out the door.

Last season, the Raiders finished 24th in defense last year despite Mack’s 10.5 sacks. This season, the Raiders will need to improve that ranking if they are to return to the playoffs after a dismal 6-10 season last year following a 12-4 campaign in 2016. That means rookies on the defensive line such as P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Arden Key will be tasked to pick up the slack for Mack.

Quarterback Derek Carr is looking for a bounce back season of his own in 2018.

Last season, Carr’s numbers dipped a bit: throwing for 3,496 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 86.4 passer rating after throwing for 3,937 yards with 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions to go along with a career-high 96.7 passer rating in 2016.

With Gruden back in town (after taking over for the fired Jack Del Rio), Carr’s play is expected to take off. Gruden is credited as being an offensive genius when designing plays and Carr’s performance will be critical for the Raiders’ offense that finished  23rd in production in 2017.

The Rams defense finished in 12th in scoring defense (20.6 points per game) and are loaded.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, leads the Rams into Oakland looking to build off of the team’s first postseason birth since 2004. Los Angeles won the NFC West title after finishing 11-5 last season and are one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in Atlanta on Feb. 3, 2019.

Los Angeles added defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to play next to Donald in the offseason, along with cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters via trades to shore up their secondary.

The Rams have one of the best offenses in the league, led by third-year quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley.

After a subpar rookie season in 2016 in which he threw for just 1,089 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions under former head coach Jeff Fisher, Goff exploded in 2017 under first-year head coach Sean McVay throwing for career-highs in yards (3,804), touchdowns (28) and passer rating (100.5).

Goff threw just seven interceptions during the 2017 campaign.

Gurley had a bounce back season too under McVay after a disappointing 2016 season where Gurley rushed for a career-low 885 yards and six touchdowns. The fourth-year running back rushed for career-highs in yards (1,305) and touchdowns (13). Gurley finished second in the NFL in total rushing, falling just 22 yards short of league-leader in rookie Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders could have their hands full with a Rams offense that finished first in scoring last season, averaging 29.9 points per game.

After Monday night’s game, both teams will begin their divisional schedule Sunday, September 16, with the Raiders traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos, while the Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Games will be scheduled for 1:25 pm and 1:05 pm, respectively.

Kings: Vinsanity comes to Sacramento

By Charlie O. Mallonee

carter-randolph
Zach Randolph and Vince Carter are teammates again in Sacramento

The Sacramento Kings knew their young roster needed some veteran experience to help guide them through the upcoming NBA season and to give them a chance to be competitive in the west. First, it was the signings of point guard George Hill and power forward Zach Randolph that brought maturity to the team.

Now according to ESPN reports, veteran small forward/shooting guard Vince Carter’s agents are announcing their client has signed a one-year contract with the Kings worth a reported $8-million. The 40-year old Carter will be entering his 20th season in the NBA in 2017-18.

Carter entered “the association” in 1998 when was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) out of the University of North Carolina by the Golden State Warriors. He then was traded plus cash to the Toronto Raptors in a Draft Night trade that saw the Warriors receive the number four overall pick Antwan Jamison in return.

This is another part of getting the band back together for Joerger 

Every coach desires to have the key people from his previous team join him in a new situation, but that is not always feasible. When Dave Joerger found out he would not be returning to the Memphis Grizzlies as head coach, he barely had time to go find a new job and bring assistant coaches with him to Sacramento let alone try to transfer player personnel.

Dave Joerger now has two key veterans from his days in Memphis on his roster in Sacramento with the addition of Carter. Carter joins Zach Randolph who is expected to his special “Z-BO” brand of toughness to the front line of the young Kings team.

Joerger knows how to develop young talent. He earned his way to an NBA head coaching job by spending years coaching young players in the CBA, D-League and then as an assistant in “the association”. Joerger really likes to have inexperienced players learn by observation as well as by instruction. He has some strong talent for them to watch in Carter, Randolph and Hill.

Carter was a key figure for Memphis in ’16-’17

Carter played in 73 games last season – his most appearances since 2013. He averaged 8.0-points per game to go with 3.1-rebounds per game in 24.6-minutes per game. The Grizzlies used him at small forward the majority of the time.

Carter shot 39.4-percent overall in 2016-17. He shot 41.8-percent from 2-point range and 37.8-percent from beyond the 3-point line. His eFG% was 50.8-percent. Carter added an average of 1.2-assists, 0.8-steals and 0.5-blocks per game. He turned the ball over less than once per game (0.7).

Carter is a “long distance” shooter. Of his 490 field goal attempts last season, 303 of them came from a distance of at least 20-feet away from the basket. 175 of those attempts came from 25-29 feet away from the bucket. Carter will help the Kings spread the floor.

They are going to miss “Z-BO” in Memphis

50
No other Memphis player will ever wear No. 50

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced they are planning to retire the number 50 jersey worn by Zach Randolph who has just become a member of the Sacramento Kings as a free agent. Randolph was in Memphis for eight seasons.

In a tweet, Grizzlies majority owner Robert Para said that number 50 “will never be worn by another member of the Memphis Grizzlies.” He also thanked Randolph for helping turn a lottery team into a playoff contender and helping to make the team a model of community service.

Randolph will be the first Memphis player to have his number retired in team history.

Kings add to the coaching staff

Ricci
Phil Ricci is now an assistant coach for the Kings

Phil Ricci has been hired to be an assistant player development coach for the Sacramento Kings working on head coach Dave Joerger’s staff.

Ricci has a resume that includes almost twenty years of coaching and playing time at the professional and collegiate levels. He played in the NBA Development League (now the G-League) and overseas.

This is a homecoming for Ricci who attended high school in Galt and played basketball at Delta Community College (Stockton) prior to going to Oregon State.

 

 

Organizational Stability must now be the Kings number one goal

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings did what?

silent-scream

SACRAMENTO–An NBA organization that was already labeled “unstable” just became more unstable in the minds of owners, managers, coaches, players, agents and fans with the sudden and surprising trade of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. The trade came on the heels of Vlade Divac – vice president and general manager of the Kings – telling ESPN that his team was about to sign Cousins to a 5-year, $200-million plus deal.

Cousins appeared to be excited about the possibilities of staying in Sacramento long-term. Cousins told ESPN, “I’m very happy. It’s where I want to be. I think we’re on the right path this season. We’re playing the best basketball of the season so far. Our team is extremely confident. We believe we can make this push and make it happen. We’ve been preaching it all year. It’s on us to make it happen.”

At the All-Star Break, the Kings are just 1.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot behind the Denver Nuggets. Fans in Sacramento – who have not seen a playoff game in 10 long years – have been be anticipating a first-round match-up between the Kings and the Golden State Warriors. Kings fans hold no illusions about beating the Warriors but what a return to the playoffs that would be for the loyal supporters of the team.

Now, it’s shock and awe time for Sacramento fans once again. Cousins is gone and so are the playoffs. The team now has more shooting guards than any organization can use. Management’s credibility is totally destroyed around “the association”and that credibility was almost no existent before this fiasco. Remember last summer, top rated draft prospects would not even come to Sacramento for workouts.

The Kings need an experienced general manager

vlade-peja

The time has come to promote Vlade Divac to president of basketball operations and let him handle things at a 10,000 foot level while he learns the intricacies of running the day to day operations of an NBA team (see the Philadelphia transaction that the Kings came out on the short end of). An experienced GM could also groom Peja Stojakovic in the area of player development. By all reports, the Kings scouting department needs a boost as well.

Divac and Stojakovic are smart guys who have played the game at the highest level. Now, they need to learn how to manage the game at the highest level. It’s like when they were young players. They need guidance.

Sacramento can also help make a social impact in “the association”

troy-weaver
Troy Weaver Asst. GM OKC Thunder

While bringing in experienced management to help Divac and Stojakovic, the Kings could also be a part of making a major impact in the NBA. In a June 2016 article in The Undefeated, Marc Spears pointed out that there is “a distressing lack of black leadership in the NBA”. He also reference a 2015 survey that 74.4-percent of the players in “the association” were black while there was one African-American team president, two African-American general managers and one native African general manager among the 30 teams.

A prime time target for the Kings should be Oklahoma City Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver. Weaver – who is an African-American – has been interviewed for the top job by several teams but has never received the call. Weaver is known for his strong scouting abilities which the Kings need. As the story goes, he led the charge to take the chance on Russell Westbrook. As an assistant coach at Syracuse he helped to recruit Carmelo Anthony. Weaver has been an assistant coach and recruiter at the college level. He has been a scout and director of player personnel for the Utah Jazz as well working for the Thunder.

An experienced executive like Weaver would have to have real decision making power to lead and set the direction for the Kings. He would also need some time. Unfortunately, the Cousins transaction means a return to a dependence on newly drafted players to make an immediate impact for the team. That usually does not have positive results as rookies have to learn how to play in the league. Time is needed to develop a team while time without wins and trips to the playoffs is the enemy of marketing and ticket sales.

The team has made some solid decisions

joerger

Hiring Dave Joerger as head coach has been one of the best decisions the Kings have made in recent memory. After the turbulent rule of George Karl, Joerger has calmed the locker room, won the respect of the players (including the now departed DeMarcus Cousins) and worked hard on developing young talent (see the resurgence of Ben McLemore). Joerger has also been a master at making adjustments as he has lost players to injury. Now, he has to make an adjustment for the loss of an All-Star center and his regular double-double games.

The Kings number one priority must be establishing stability in the basketball operations. They have done a great job of doing that on the business side which is why the team has doubled in value to just over $1-billion. Now they must achieve excellence on the basketball court.

 

Cousins fined, apologizes and gets back to work

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks
photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings came down hard on DeMarcus Cousins Tuesday for his outburst in the locker room with a Sacramento Bee columnist that was caught on video and presumably for the actions he has taken against the editor of the website Cowbell Kingdom. According to Marc Spears of ESPN/The Undefeated, the team fined Cousins $50-thousand.

The Kings management issued the following statement on Tuesday, “The Kings have a clear set of standards of conduct expected of our entire organization. As a result of negative interactions with certain members of the media that were not corrected after verbal warnings, we have decided to impose a substantial fine. If this behavior is repeated again we will be forced to consider further discipline.”

The Kings did not and we expect will not reveal the amount of the fine.

A statement from Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins released the following written statement before the game on Tuesday afternoon:

“There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong ones. Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family, and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation. I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball.”

Some may be critical that he issued the apology in written form and not publicly. A face the press apology may well have turned into a spectacle that would not have served either side well.

If there is any point of concern with Cousins apology from this reporter’s point of view, it is that it did not include Andy Furillo and Leo Beas in the list of people receiving apologies. Cousins did not need to apologize to me or the press corps in general but it would have been appropriate to have included the two reporters who had the target of the anger.

Why did the Kings act now?

The Kings in the past have taken a “hands off” approach toward their star big man. Why did they suddenly take such swift and decisive action in this case with Cousins?

First, there is the video evidence. The videos that have been displayed on the internet are not flattering and are not supportive to any type of explanation that Cousins might have wanted to make about his actions.

Second, some have suggested the presence of new blood in the front office has made a difference in the process. Ken Catanella was brought in during the offseason as assistant general manager to help Vlade Divac with the day-to-day operations of the team. He held a similar position with the Pistons and previously worked in the NBA Office of Labor Relations. He does not have the close ties that Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive have to Cousins.

It may be that a more independent and less emotional viewpoint led to more decisive action in this case.

cantella

Was a fine necessary?

I am not sure that a fine was the way to go in this situation. A suspension would certainly have been inappropriate. The solution here should not include harming the team’s performance on the floor and chances of success for the fans.

A commitment to some media training and an apology would really would have sufficed in this situation. The Kings probably felt the fine was needed to show the public that they were serious about the situation.

It is believed the NBA has strongly encouraged or mandated that Cousins receive some media training as well.

What to do with the money?

Fine money in all professional sports winds up in some charitable giving account. The most appropriate use of the money would be to evenly divide the money between the journalism departments of Sacramento State and UC Davis to be used for the furtherance of sports journalism education at both institutions.

Andy Furillo’s point of view

One of the people who had not been heard from was Sacramento Bee Reporter Andy Furillo. The Rise Guys from ESPN 1320 Radio in Sacramento made contact with Furillo in Chicago were he is vacationing for the holidays and you can hear his take on the situation by clicking on this link: http://media.espn1320.net/a/117859440/where-does-the-fallout-from-andy-s-article-come-from.htm

rise

Let’s move on

Hopefully, this is the end of what has been an unfortunate series of incidents involving the Kings, Cousins and the press. Now, it is time to put the focus back on the basketball court where it belongs.