Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Will Bumgarner continue to ride horses in the rodeo?; Kings roll to their third straight win; plus more

Arizona Diamondback pitcher Madison Bumgarner tunes up during spring training as he gets set to face his former team the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale AZ on Monday (photo from sfgate.com)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony:

#1 How sensible is it for Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner to ride horses and bulls in the rodeo and the team allows him to do that he’s a huge investment to a team?

#2 The Sacramento Kings picked up their third straight win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night at Chase Center in San Francisco 112-94

#3 The Warriors most recently host the New Orleans Pelicans where all the rage was Zion Williamson, Williamson in his first two games in the NBA scored 30 points

#4 It was reported by the Sacramento Bee that Northern California got it’s first case of Coronavirus the CDC told the Bee. With baseball season on the horizon and the City of San Francisco declaring a state of emergency ahead of the coming pandemic how do you see this effecting baseball?

#5 Everybody is wearing masks now with the oncoming pandemic and South Korea is no exception suffering from Coronavirus that they have postponed Table Tennis Federation matches for now and rescheduled the event for March 22.

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria can be heard each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


Kings: Let the games begin -the Bogdan Bogdanovic negotiations are on!

by Charlie O. Mallonee


“We have (Bogdan) Bogdanovic coming over next season as another asset.” Sacramento Bee February 25, 2017

If you thought Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic was going to finish his season in Turkey and fly to Sacramento ready to put on a Kings jersey ready to play, you would be wrong. The Kings obtained the rights to Bogdanovic as part of a draft-night trade with Phoenix that sent Marquese Chriss to the Suns.

Bogdanovic was drafted in the first-round (27th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. The shooting guard decided to remain in Europe to play for Fenerbahçe of the Turkish Super League in part to avoid the NBA Rookie pay scale.

Now that three years have passed, Bogdanovic can negotiate a contract that pays him up to the maximum of a free agent with 0-6 years of experience in the NBA. A max deal at that contract level is projected to be $26-million dollars per year under the new CBA. Bogdanovic is not going get 26-mil but he is throwing down the gauntlet that he is not going to settle for $3 to 5-mil per year. This guy and his agents are looking for a major payday.

After researching his value, I still have no real idea where to place the “Euro” shooting guard on the salary chart. My guess (this is a pure “WAG”) is that Bogdanovic’s agent will be looking for a 3-year, $30-million deal with a one-year player option. This player and his agent have played hardball for three years, this will not be an easy negotiation.

Bogdanovic is having a very nice EuroLeague season. He is averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting a 55.2-percentage for 2-point shots and 38-percent from 3-point range. He scored a season-high 27 points against  Olympiacos Piraeus on February 23rd. By all accounts, he is a talented and still developing player with a tremendous upside.

Here is the downside. If Bogdanovic joins the NBA next season, he will be 25-years old. That is almost ancient by today’s NBA standards where first-round draft picks are 19-years old. A team will be asked to make a veteran level dollar investment in a player who will have a shorter career in “the Association” and has never played a minute in the NBA.

Bogdanovic might come into the NBA and have an instant impact while becoming an All-Star. The more likely scenario is that he will come into the league as rookie with a big learning curve and struggle like most rookies do while he adjusts to playing basketball at the highest level in the world.

Bogdanovic at the advice of his advisers has already played a very dangerous game with the NBA in order to up his contract value. If he spurs the Kings for next season, he takes an even more calculated chance that teams will want to invest big money in a 26-year old rookie. The “Euro” star needs to remember the big, new CBA money will not stay uncommitted for long.

For the Kings, this is a time to be prudent. They now have two first-round picks in a star-studded draft. They really like Bogdanovic’s game or they would not have included him in the Phoenix deal, but they need to cautious. Before backing up the “money dump truck”, the Kings must remember Bogdanovic has played zero minutes in the NBA where it is a brand-new game.

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.


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


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.

Some words of advice for DeMarcus Cousins from an “OG” reporter

og-cousinsby Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–DeMarcus Cousins is back in the news and not in a good way. On Friday, a story with video of the incident was released showing DeMarcus Cousins shouting at and frankly trying to physically intimidate Sacramento Bee sports columnist Andy Furillo over his story on the Barnes – Cousins incident in a New York City nightclub. Cousins was upset over a reference Furillo made to another incident from last summer about a fight that involved Cousins’ brother and himself in Florida.

You can click on the link to see the video and read the column: (http://www.sacbee.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/andy-furillo/article120107843.html). Let me just say I enjoy reading Andy’s column’s on sacbee.com and I have enjoyed the few conversations I have had with him at Kings games. He like myself has a few road miles on him and he probably carries a AARP card for discounts. I mention that to highlight the fact that Furillo is an experienced reporter and observer who understands the rules of the road. He is also the son of a famous Southern California sports writer and broadcaster so he knows his way around this business better than most.

I have read the column and there is nothing in the story that should have elicited the kind of over-the-top response from Cousins gave to Furillo. I would not have expected Cousins to have given Furillo any kudos for the column but his response in the locker room was uncalled for in this case.

This is my response to Mr. Cousins.


First, let me say that I have really enjoyed watching you play basketball as I have covered the Kings for the past three seasons. What you do on the court amazes me. You see, I am an “OG” who saw “the Big O” – Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell play each other in the first NBA game I saw in live and in person. I have had the privilege of seeing many of the best big men of the game play live and you fit right in on that list.

When you execute a dribble-drive from the arc into the paint then add a spin move with an underhand layup that makes every guard in “the association” jealous, its amazing. You will then turnaround on the next possession and bury a 3-pointer. Later, you are battling double-teams with your back to the basket and pull off a hook shot that’s good for two. We have not even started to consider your passing ability. George Karl said you were the best passer on his team and that was from a man we are fairly sure did not like you much.

You wear “best big man in the NBA” mantle well.

DeMarcus – in the spirit of full disclosure – I have called for the Kings to trade you. I have two reasons for calling for a trade:

  1. You are the Kings best asset. This team needs a lot of pieces in order to truly become a playoff contender. Sometimes, you have to part with an asset in order to get back the multiple assets you need. Trading you would probably bring the Kings two serviceable starters and two very valuable number one draft picks based on the projections I have read. Sacramento needs those extra first round picks to create the foundation they need to build a winning situation.
  2. The other reason I have called for a trade is because it is what I think is best for you. This next contract is your “BIG” contract. You will be at the apex of your career. This your chance to be on a team and play for a ring. A chance to play in a larger market and cash-in on the endorsement business. You can be one of players helping to carry the team rather than having to carry the entire team on your shoulders. It could be your chance to really become one of the best known players in the NBA by playing in a major market.

With that out of the way, I am now going to give you some “OG” words of advice from my personal perspective.

A battle with the press is a losing proposition. There are more of them than there are of you and they will not go away. You are in the sports and entertainment business. One of the reasons professional sports makes the money it does is because of the coverage it receives from the press. If television, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites and other social media ignored sports, the money that teams and players make would be much less than it is now. Of course the same is true for the press, they need the teams and players to sell the advertising that makes them their money. It really is a codependent relationship. Sports and the press need each other.

You can fight and intimidate the press in Sacramento easier because it is a smaller market where there are less media players and loss of access would have a larger impact. If you would be traded – say to Boston as some of the rumors have suggested – you would be in for a rude awakening. Boston is a large city with major media competition. Reporters in that kind of situation eat their young for breakfast. They are looking for something to set you off into a tirade so they can report it first. It is a minefield that you cannot control.

Fighting the press does not pay off in the long run – ask Barry Bonds. Bonds had an adversarial relationship with the sports press during his entire career. When his shortcomings came to light, reporters were delighted to report the story. At a time when a person could have used a friend in the press, he had none.

Bonds is still paying for his poor relationship with the press. Baseball’s all-time home run leader received just 195-of-440 votes from eligible voters for baseball’s Hall of Fame. Of course, there is the PED controversy but I believe that attitudes would be softening toward Bonds faster had he been less of an enemy to the press. We are talking basic human nature in this situation. Bonds has six more years on the ballot and will probably make it into the Hall but I think there are voters who are determined to make him wait until the final opportunity because of his attitudes toward the press when he was a player.

I know the press can be a pain, 20-plus people asking the same questions 20 different ways. After a loss, how many times do they expect you to answer “how do you feel?”. People not caring that you do not feel like talking after a loss. People who do not care if you did not like what they wrote about you, your friends or family. People who do not know how to play the game but just talk about it.

DeMarcus – when was the last time you read something negative about LeBron and the press? You do not read those stories. Is LeBron always up and happy with reporters? I will guarantee you he is not. He has made it part of his career to learn how to deal with the press in the best way possible. When he has an off night with the press, you do not hear about it because the press corps remembers all of those nights when he accommodates them and their questions.

Dealing with the press is as much a part of your job as is pulling down rebounds. That is one of the reasons you get paid so well. Actors do not get paid just to act. They have to be interviewed and promote their work. It is all part of the entertainment business and sports is part of the entertainment business. When you sneeze, it’s news. Eat at a new restaurant, it’s news. Get a traffic ticket, it’s news. Score 50 points, it’s news.

I close with three pieces of heartfelt advice:

  1. If you are unhappy about something a reporter has said or written, tell a member of you great media relations staff and ask them to let the reporter know or better yet – ask them to bring the reporter back for an off-the-record chat. Andy Furillo would have listened to you. It would not have changed his story but he would have politely listened to your opinion. And who knows, you might change someone’s mind once in a while.
  2. Hire a press consultant to teach you how to think and speak in sound bites. If you do this, you will be prepared after the tough loss when really do not want to talk about it. You know what questions are coming. Learn how to give those five to 10-second answers that will delight the readers and viewers at home while getting the reporters out of your hair.
  3. Finally and this is my most important piece of advice, stop reading and watching what we as reporters are saying about you on TV, radio, in the newspapers, the internet and social media. Do not let your staff tell you about we are writing. Do not let us count. The people who should count for you are Dave Joerger and the assistant coaches, your teammates, Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadive. Trust me – you will be much happier.

DeMarcus – good luck with the rest of the season. Happy holidays and Peace on Earth.