Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vinny Del Negro isn't too happy with DeAndre Jordan

The Los Angeles Clippers have dropped three straight in their first round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. I'm sure Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro isn't too happy about that, but what really has him fired up, besides the seat he's sitting on, is the play of center DeAndre Jordan.

Del Negro is dealing with the losses, a hobbled Blake Griffin, and his place on the hot seat. So it naturally irks him to see Jordan, a talented, athletic big man come up with a lame effort against the Grizzlies. Del Negro needed Jordan to be big in a pivotal Game 5 but Jordan came up with a six point, eight rebound effort in a 103-93 loss.

Del Negro ripped Jordan after the loss for the way he's come up short against the Grizzlies front line throughout the series.  

"I don't know if crossroads is the right (word) but there's definitely a level you have to play at right now that is much different," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He has a much different responsibility now. He understands it.

"I haven't seen the consistency that I like. He hasn't seen the consistency he would like."

"I didn't see him controlling the game the way I thought he needed to, and at that stage you have to go with someone you feel can," Del Negro said. "Maybe Ryan Hollins could have played a few more minutes after looking at the tape.

"But those are decisions that are made during the heat of the battle, and you go with your rotation as best you can. At this stage of the game you want to stay with your rotation, but if they're not being productive, you have to look at other guys you have confidence in, that have produced throughout the series."

For reasons unknown to me Del Negro is on the hot seat. He pushed for a Jordan for Kevin Garnett deal before the trade deadline and Chris Paul might be skipping town. He's trying to pull out all the stops after being ahead 2-0 in the series and seeing the bottom fall out. The Clippers will have to try to win Game 6 on the road with a hurting Griffin and the way things have been going I don't see it happening.

It looks like this may be the end for Del Negro.

Torii Hunter's son seeking $40 million in lawsuit

Torii Hunter's son, Darius McClinton-Hunter, has filed a lawsuit for $40 million in damages from those who accused the 17-year-old of sexual assault last year. Torii took a leave of absence from the Los Angeles Angels last season to be by his son's side in this case. Hunter is currently an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers.

Hunter's attorney Larry Friedman, says there is also the possibility of legal action against the Prosper (Texas) Police Department, which, Friedman claims, "investigated a crime that didn't exist for over a year after the accuser recanted her complaint."

Two girls said in May 2012 that McClinton-Hunter and three other boys from Prosper (Texas) High School forced them to have sex, but the girl who made the allegations against McClinton-Hunter recanted her statement less than 48 hours later. In February, a grand jury declined to indict McClinton-Hunter. 

One of the other boys was indicted on a lesser charge of unlawful restraint. The case is pending.

The lawsuit, filed in Collin County, Texas, seeks to "recover damages against the girls and the parents of the girls who made the false accusations of sexual assault against Darius that falsely branded as a 'criminal,' ruined his reputation, sent him to an Alternative School for a year, got him kicked off the Prosper High School Football Team and banned from High School Sports."

In my personal opinion the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I don't know the facts of the case so I won't go and say the girls are lying or say that it was consensual. But if one has recanted her statement there is some truth to both sides of the story.

It's a ridiculous amount of money Hunter is seeking, but I do agree that false rape allegations and the like should be punished harshly. This is a period of time, unfortunately, where men and women are not equal, but opposite of the way it had been for centuries.

Jim Boylan out as Milwaukee Bucks head coach

The Milwaukee Bucks were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat. The Bucks have swept interim coach Jim Boylan out of town. Boylan took over for Scott Skiles midway through the season.

In 50 games, Boylan went 22-28 and 0-4 in the opening-round sweep to the Heat.

The Bucks confirmed the news and general manager John Hammond said: "At this time we feel it's in the best interest of the organization to seek a new coach to lead our team. We appreciate Jim's efforts not only in his time as head coach but in his entire tenure as a coach in Milwaukee.

"We wish Jim and his wife Jan the best."

It didn't help that Boylan had occasional clashes with point guard Brandon Jennings and that J.J. Redick hadn't spoke to Boylan during the playoffs. There was some disconnect with that team.

The Bucks have some major decisions coming up this summer in addition to finding a new coach. The team must figure out what to do about Jennings, Monta Ellis, and Redick, all free agents.

If the Bucks remain intact they do have some pieces but they must find the right coach that can make it work.

Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson is rumored to be a candidate for the job.

Former Packer Leroy Butler, loses church speaking engagement over Jason Collins tweet

NBA player Jason Collins has received a lot of support and some backlash after announcing that he was gay. He has become the first active player in a major sport to do so.

Former Green Bay Packers safety Leroy Butler offered a few words of support via Twitter. 

Congrats to Jason Collins.

Seemingly harmless, but not to the church where Butler had a speech scheduled.  A Wisconsin church cancelled Butler's engagement because of support to Collins for being strong enough to come out and announce that he was gay.

Butler tweeted: “Wow, I was scheduled to speak at a church in WI, and a member said that the pastor wants to cancel my event. I said ok why? Then I was told, because I said congrats to Jason Collins on Twitter,” Butler wrote. “I said really? we have a contract, he said check the moral cause, FYI the fee was $8,500, then I was told if I removed the tweet, and apologize and ask god forgiveness, I can have the event. I said no, only god can judge.”

I'm not one to get into the religious aspect of this whole debate. But churches would condemn millions if they knew about all the others sins that happen daily. I can see where the church has their beliefs and they can cancel out anyone who doesn't share them.

I applaud Butler for not bowing down and caving in to how many feel about Collins coming out.

Personally, if Collins was on a team I was a fan of I wouldn't care as long as he helped my team win games. Other than that, it's his life.

I understand both sides of this debate but I wonder how the church Collins attends feels about it.

Geno Smith's former agents wish him the best

New York Jets second round draft pick, quarterback Geno Smith fired his agents after his free fall through the first round of the NFL Draft. Although Smith said that the draft experience wasn't the sole reason, most believe that is why he gave them the boot.

His former agents, Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports Group  have taken the high road in this and have wished Smith the best in his NFL career.

“We worked tirelessly for Geno Smith and all of our draft prospects,” the firm said in a statement released to PFT.  “The NFL Draft is unpredictable, and we prepared Geno and all of our draft prospects, as we do every year, about what can happen during the draft.   Not only did we tell him that what transpired on the first day of the draft was possible, the question of whether Geno would be a first- or second-round pick was arguably the most talked about subject in the three months leading up to the draft.   We wish Geno the best.”

Maybe if Smith would've performed better after West Virginia took a nosedive because their defense wasn't very good he wouldn't have lasted until the 39th pick. When you're the quarterback of your job is to lift team to a victory no matter what adversity you face. When it became evident that the key to beating the Mountaineers was to keep the defense on the field it was Smith who should've taken his game up another notch.