* Off the bench *
* Leading off *
- Big night for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. He recorded his 107th triple double of his career – aka he had 23 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists. Ole Russ is now tied with Jason Kidd for third on the all-time list. The only two players they trail are Magic Johnson (ever heard of him?) at 138 and Oscar Robertson at 181. Westbrook had a roughhh shooting night on Saturday, so he stayed 2 ½ hours after the game to shoot around by himself. The hustle! The dedication!
- The ACC/Big 10 Challenge is happening this week in men’s college basketball. Lots of fun tests for some of the best teams in the country early on in the season. No. 4 Virginia beat No. 24 Maryland (but the turtles looked pretty good!), unranked Syracuse topped No. 16 Ohio State and No. 15 Florida State barely got past No. 19 Purdue. Then there was UNC. The No. 11 Tar Heels lost by 17 points to No. 7 Michigan, and head coach Roy Williams was SO dramatic about it. He said he feels like he’s done the worst job with a team in 31 years as a head coach, that the team stinks and if the media wanted to hear some positives they better go “find someone on the street.” Let’s all pray for Roy during this time of extreme existential crisis.
* Halftime *
I got this
LeBron James became notorious for just straight up ignoring play calls from his coach in Cleveland. He was running that team and everyone knew it. Well, that habit has made its way to L.A. it seems. Apparently, LeBron rarely looks over to coach Luke Walton for plays, and even if he does, he generally ignores them and just does what he wants. Coach is seemingly like “yeah, whatever, Lebron. You do you, I’ll just be over here if you need anything.” Power moves only by LeBronBron. This is his team and everyone else is just there to help.
What like it’s cold?
Then there is Lions coach Matt Patricia. Ain’t nobody telling him what to do or ignoring his decision making. For some context: the Lions have an indoor stadium. It’s cold AF in Detroit, but players aren’t forced to deal with that for home games. Practice, however, is another story. Coach Patricia made his team practice outside in freezing temperatures despite playing at home this week. He may have been trying to make a point after he was criticized for this move a couple weeks ago. No softies around here! Tough guys only! They will have to play in Buffalo in a couple weeks, so better to start getting acclimated now?
* Keep your eye on the ball *
House of Richt
Max Johnson is one of the top college quarterback recruits for 2020. He is also the nephew of Miami coach Mark Richt. Back in 2016, Mark was like “Guys, I got this.” He extended his nephew a verbal offer … before he was even in high school. Didn’t work. Max announced he will play for LSU. So now Miami has no QB commit for 2019 or 2020 and LSU is laughing all the way to the bank with their two 2020 QBs. Poor Uncle Mark! Perhaps he should’ve played hard to get. The ole take it or leave it strategy?
* Play under review *
Trouble in Washington
Classic Washington Redskins dealing with a less than stellar PR situation. The team picked up linebacker Reuben Foster two days after he was released from the 49ers and three days after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence. This is issue number one billion Foster has had over the past couple years along with suspension for marijuana possession, possession of an assault rifle and other domestic violence issues. But before you are too hard on the Redskins for picking him up, just know they thought about this, like, sooooo hard. “He’s got a lot to do before he even thinks about anything as far as being with the Redskins,” coach Jay Gruden said. Well … not really, because you guys picked him up. “We hold our standards very high,” he continued. Once again, not really, because you guys picked him up. So don’t worry. The Redskins are super vigilant about the situation and totally don’t condone domestic abuse or anything.
* Overtime *