Archives for March 2013

Phil Jackson on Twitter: off to a ROUGH start


I have to admit it I did not see this one coming. Phil Jackson joined Twitter yesterday and that in itself is a story. The first tweet from Phil Jackson is in fact a much better story. If you’re a hard-core techie and you hold that stereotype about senior citizens and computers…well you just got a lot more material from the 67-year-old Phil Jackson.

The legendary former Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers coach knows how to win NBA titles. However, he might not be the greatest with “the twitter” or “twittering.” Then again, Phil Jackson is the Zen Master, so maybe there’s a deep, carefully encrypted message in there or something.

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Marquette basketball tries to “pass the test” versus Miami

marquette sweet 16

For the third straight season, Marquette basketball has advanced to the Sweet 16.  Ohio State, Kansas, and Florida are the only other programs that share that distinction.  Unlike the Buckeyes, Jayhawks, and Gators though, the Golden Eagles have been unable to take the next step and get to the Elite 8.  Thursday night versus Miami FL, MU will try to pass the test and get over the hump.

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Duke Blue Devils replace Chris Collins with Nate James


With the departure of Chris Collins to take the head coaching job at Northwestern, the Duke Blue Devils will promote Nate James to assistant coach on the Duke staff, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced in a statement. One of two formal statements that Chicago media have spent all day waiting to arrive in their inboxes.

“This will be a seamless transition for the Duke Basketball program,” Coach K is quoted. “Having served in an assistant coaching role previously, Nate is the perfect choice for this position. He has been a valuable member of our program since his playing days and he has certainly earned this opportunity.”

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Duke Assistant Chris Collins takes Northwestern job

duke blue devils cheerleaders

Northwestern has a new coach: Duke Blue Devils assistant Chris Collins. Collins was the top choice of Athletic Director Jim Phillips. Collins was rumored to be Bill Carmody’s replacement as far back as last year. Chris Collins is a local guy so this is a homecoming. He’s from the North Shore, his Dad is former Chicago Bulls coach and current Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins.

And as a player, he was the state of Illinois “Mr. Basketball” and a McDonald’s All-American as a prep at Glenbrook North high school.  Chris Collins is also a skilled recruiter. When Bruce Weber was at the height of his powers with the Illini, he went after a blue-chip prospect at Glenbrook North named Jon Scheyer; who was coached in high school by Dave Weber, Bruce’s brother. As you obviously know, Chris Collins was instrumental in getting Scheyer to leave the state and family allegiance behind, and come to Durham. Scheyer was a big star of the Duke Blue Devils 2010 National title team.

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NBC’s Michelle Beadle: photos and bio


Michelle Beadle is one of the few women/former women of ESPN to always get a lot of coverage. Michelle Beadle is currently with NBC and NBC Sports. Erin Andrews moved on to Fox Sports, Charissa Thompson moved up the ESPN ranks and replaced Beadle at Sports Nation when Beadle took her new gig with NBC and NBC Sports (formerly Versus formerly Outdoor Life Network)

Here’s some of what she does for NBC:

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New York Knicks, Rangers have new CEO; former Mets VP Dave Howard


The New York Knicks, New York Rangers and the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden all have a new boss today. And the people of New York are familiar with his work from the New York Mets.

Hank Ratner, president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company announced that Dave Howard joined the company as president, MSG Sports, effective April 9.

Howard will be responsible for running the business operations of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty and Hartford Whale, as well as the management of the company’s Sports Properties unit.

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Former New England Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe now an Eco-Investor (video)


You know Drew Bledsoe as the New England Patriots QB from 1993-2001 and #1 overall NFL Draft pick out of Washington State. After losing his starting gig to Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe went on to play for the rival (well, they’re too poor a team to be considered a real rival) Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. Today, the former NFL quarterback for “America’s Team 1a” and “America’s Team 1b” is principal of Bledsoe Capital Group and an Ecosphere Investor.

Drew Bledsoe discussed chemical-free water treatment for fracking on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” Ecosphere’s patented Ozonix(R) technology is allowing oil and gas exploration companies to recycle wastewater and eliminate chemicals traditionally used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process.

“We allow these companies to, first of all, clean the water before they use it the first time, and then also recycle it and reuse it in their process. We’re closing the loop for these responsible companies,” Bledsoe told “Closing Bell” hosts Maria Bartiromo and Bill Griffeth.

“We’re eliminating chemicals and we’re also reducing dramatically the trucking that’s involved with fracking, because they can reuse the water right on site. It’s been really effective for us.”

The complete interview can be seen after the jump
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Kendall Gill: what will become of Bulls TV analyst, Illini legend?


As you now have heard, Kendall Gill, former Illinois Fighting Illini star and Chicago Bulls pre-and-post game analyst for Comcast SportsNet Chicago (and WGN sometimes too) is suspended for the rest of the year. It’s all in the station’s hands, but Gill’s job could be in serious jeopardy when CSN re-evaluates his contract this off-season.

During his suspension, Gill won’t miss much when it comes to Bulls basketball.

He might be missing the studio and the money, but this Bulls season is a lost cause. They have first-round elimination written all over them and the Derrick Rose returning or not returning drama has now mentally, psychologically and emotionally persecuted a fan base. It’s now at Roger Clemens or Brett Favre level status. And I don’t know who’s at fault: the team, the doctors, D. Rose, Coach Thibs, the 3rd largest media market in the country, the Luvabulls, everyone all at once…but I do know the storyline is draining and irritating. This Bulls season can’t end fast enough.

I just hope Gill’s broadcasting career doesn’t end with it.

But if it does, I completely understand why.

I’ve written over 1,700 words about the past, present and future of Kendall Gill. Go here for that.

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Kate Upton actually influenced the FG% at Thunder-Suns game


Kate Upton was courtside at a Phoenix Suns-Oklahoma City Thunder game last year. She was in OKC shooting a project and visiting her aunt and uncle. According to this video from the Thunder website, the St. Joseph, Michigan native is a big Thunder fan, and has been a Thunder fan for awhile. Take that Detroit Pistons, Kate Upton doesn’t love you.

The 2012 and 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model’s presence actually had a statistical impact on this NBA game. I mean it’s Kate Upton she has quite an impact on all men.

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Tubby Smith Fired! No more Tubby Time in Minnesota


University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced minutes ago that Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith has been dismissed. A formal press conference will be held in about an hour. The Golden Gophers upset UCLA in an #11 seed over #6 game in the NCAA Tournament Friday night in Austin, TX. However, after winning in convincing fashion, Tubby Smith lost in convincing fashion to the #3 seed Florida Gators.

“Tubby has had a long and distinguished career and we feel it’s time for a fresh set of eyes for our student-athletes and our program in general,” Teague said in a prepared statement. “We are grateful to Tubby and his entire staff for their hard work and dedication to this University, our students and the entire Minnesota community. We wish Tubby, Donna and the entire staff well.”

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More Illini NCAA Tourney wins would be huge for Chicago


The Illini were huge in Chicago in 2005, and if they can upset #2 seed Miami today, they just might be again. If the Illini make it to the next weekend, and this becomes a regular thing -Illini basketball- playing deep in the NCAA Tournament, Chicago will truly be more of an Illini town. The more they win in the big dance, the more the media will cover them, and the more Chi-city bandwagon college basketball fans will jump on board the bandwagon. Like they did in 2005 when the Illini went to the national title game. I explored this in detail here. University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas is aggressively promoting the Illini athletic programs in Chicago and Illini hoops coach John Groce has re-opened the recruiting pipeline to the Chicago Public League. Bruce Weber, for whatever reason could not do the CPL right.

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Who’s ‘In Play’ at the NHL Trade Deadline?


With less than two weeks to go until this year’s National Hockey League, the NHL, trade deadline, there is a great deal of speculation as to who might be moved and to where they might be moved.  However, this season’s deadline could either be interesting or it could be ‘much ado about nothing’.

If you look at the last shortened NHL season – 1994-95 – the action, if that’s what you want to call it, was quite underwhelming.  The only trade of any consequence was between the Montreal Canadiens, who obtained Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov, and the New York Islanders, who obtained Kirk Muller, Mathieu Schneider and Craig Darby.

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