Sandbaggers News
Wizards fire Jordan after 1-10 start

WASHINGTON -- Eddie Jordan was fired as coach of the Washington Wizards on Monday after opening the season 1-10 without injured starters Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood.

Ed Tapscott, the Wizards' director of player development, will replace Jordan on an interim basis, running his first practice as the team's new head coach Monday morning, a team spokesman told The Associated Press.

Jordan

Jordan

The firing was first reported by The Washington Post on its Web site.

 

Assistant coach Mike O'Koren was also let go, and the Wizards named Randy Ayers as top assistant coach, a source told ESPN's Ric Bucher.

Jordan was in his sixth season with the Wizards and led the team to the playoffs each of the past four. In September, shortly before the start of training camp, the Wizards picked up a one-year option to keep him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

Tapscott

Tapscott

Jordan leaves as the Eastern Conference's longest-tenured coach and No. 3 in the NBA behind Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

 

After a 122-117 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday night, the Wizards' locker room stayed closed for longer than usual before Jordan emerged wearing a hallowed expression.

"First of all, not in our wildest dreams did we think that we'd be 1-10. Now how do you handle that?" Jordan said. "I wish I could give them a manual and say this is how you keep your poise, this is how you suck it up, this is how you stay positive. I can't find a manual like that yet. But, again I reiterated that we don't have losing habits. That's a big thing for us."

Wizards forward Antawn Jamison also addressed the rough start to the season Saturday.

 

"As long as we continue to work hard and continue to believe that we can turn things around, it makes my job easy," said Jamison, the Wizards' captain. "When guys stop playing hard and giving their all is when it becomes difficult for me, but this is a learning curve."

 

Jordan discussed the difficulties of having to lean on young players such as Nick Young and Javele McGee late in games.

"They're playing in the guts of the game where veterans usually carry you, and we haven't made a big shot when we've needed to, especially tonight," he said Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press

FANTASY ALERT: Luongo exits early with apparent left leg injury

PITTSBURGH -- Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo left the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday with an apparent left leg injury.

 

Roberto luongo

Luongo

 

Luongo, a two-time NHL All-Star, was injured while making what appeared to be a routine save on a shot by Philippe Boucher about 5 minutes into the game. He slowly collapsed to the ice and was assisted off while favoring his left leg.

No official word on his condition was immediately available.

Curtis Sanford replaced Luongo in goal, stopping 17 of 18 shots to earn the 3-1 win.

Luongo, twice a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, entered the game ranked seventh in the NHL in save percentage (.928) and ninth in goals-against average (2.18) this season for a Vancouver team that has not lost in regulation in eight games.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report

Raines, a 7-time All-Star, joins Newark Bears as manager

NEWARK, N.J. -- Former major league All-Star Tim Raines has signed a two-year contract to manage the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to manage the Newark Bears in the greatest sports region in the country," Raines said. "Newark is rich in baseball tradition, with legends like Yogi Berra, Monte Irvin and Rickey Henderson once calling the city home."

Raines joins the Bears from the Class AA Harrisburg Senators, where he was a hitting coach last season. Previously, he was a coach for the Chicago White Sox from 2004 to 2006, serving as first base coach during their 2005 World Series championship season.

Raines began his coaching career in 2003 as manager of the Brevard County Manatees, a Class A affiliate of the Expos.

A seven-time All-Star, Raines was one of baseball's top leadoff hitters and base stealers while playing for six teams from 1979 to 2002.

The switch-hitting outfielder hit .294 with 170 home runs, 2,605 hits, 808 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .385. He won a batting title, and led the league in stolen bases three times and runs scored twice.

The Bears were sold to the California-based Bases Loaded group for $100,000 last week. The group agreed to assume $1 million in liabilities from its owner, developer Marc Berson.

"Tim brings years of experience as a player and coach," said Jim Wankmiller, president and CEO of the Bases Loaded Group. "His extraordinary knowledge, talent and enthusiasm for the game will continue the team's success as we enter a new era of Newark Bears baseball."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Barkley, Manning, Vitale, Richardson among Hall inductees

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Charles Barkley isn't afraid to talk about race, readily explains how dumb college basketball players are for leaving school, and doesn't hesitate in making fun of NBA players when they do something foolish.

A man of many words, Barkley had just a few when he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

"This is a really cool honor," he said. "I've had obviously a magnificent life and this is just more icing on the cake."

Barkley was honored with a 2008 class that included former Kansas star Danny Manning, Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson and longtime Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan. Former Utah All-American Arnie Ferrin also entered the college hall, as did announcers Dick Vitale and Billy Packer as contributors.

In a room full of basketball dignitaries that included Bob Knight, John Thompson and Kansas coach Bill Self, Barkley was arguably the biggest draw -- ESPN's Vitale was probably a close second. He lived up to his outsized character during the ceremony, answering questions from hosts Seth Davis and Dan Shulman with a series of one-liners and self-deprecating humor.

That same outgoing personality is what helped keep Barkley's presence from diminishing after a hall of fame NBA career. He became an outspoken commentator, a wisecracking pitchman and late-night talk show guest.

But before he became a multimedia presence, Barkley was a pretty good college player.

Generously listed at 6-foot-5, Barkley led Auburn to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 1984, the same year he was an All-American and the Southeastern Conference player of the year. Often facing players six inches taller, Barkley led the SEC in rebounding three years straight and set the Auburn career record for career field goal shooting at 62.4 percent.

"He impressed me as one of the most outstanding big guys I had ever seen," Richardson said.

At the opposite end of the attention-getting spectrum is Manning.

He's been credited with single-handedly leading Kansas to the 1988 national championship, playing one of the greatest games in NCAA tournament history with 31 points, 18 rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots in the title game.

Despite winning the Wooden and Naismith awards along with being a two-time All-American, Manning never liked the attention that came with being part of "Danny and the Miracles." The 6-foot-10 forward shied away from the media, particularly after his career, returning to coach at his alma mater and helping Kansas win a national title last season.

"Awards like this are very special," Manning said. "You have to be a little fortunate to receive them. You have to be with a team that is very unselfish. That is certainly something I had a chance to experience."

Vitale had a nice college coaching career, leading the University of Detroit to the 1977 NCAA tournament and a 78-30 record from 1972-78, but he didn't gain visibility until he sat behind a microphone.

Known for his bombastic style and catch phrases -- "That's awesome, baby!" -- Vitale has been a voice of college basketball for ESPN since the network went on air in 1979. He also became a pop-culture icon, appearing in commercials and drawing his own fans to arenas across the nation.

Even at age 69, one year removed from throat surgery that could have ended his career, Vitale is still a bundle of energy, hitting the motivational speech circuit, doing book signings, still shouting at all those college basketball games.

"It's unbelievable. It's a dream," Vitale said. "I'm in the last stage of my life. I'm in the last chapter. I want to make it my best."

Packer's approach was more low-key than Vitale's. He occasionally riled up players, coaches and fans with his brutally honest approach, but was always a steady presence courtside.

Packer served as an analyst for 28 seasons at

"Pacman" Down To His Last 'Life', One And Done!

Adam "Pacman" Jones may finally be down to his last chance.

 

Pacman jones

Jones

 

Sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Sunday that the Cowboys defensive back must strictly adhere to the terms of his reinstatement and any missteps will lead to a lifetime ban from the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell relied on the recommendations of clinical specialists who oversaw Jones' 30 days in a rehab facility when deciding to reinstate him from his latest suspension.

Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season because of multiple incidents while with the Tennessee Titans, then was traded to the Cowboys during the offseason and given another chance by Goodell.

But on Oct. 7, only six weeks after being reinstated, he got into an alcohol-related scuffle with one of the bodyguards during a private party at an upscale Dallas hotel. The bodyguard was part of a security detail employed by the team to help keep the player out of trouble.
Goodell suspended Jones indefinitely a week later, saying he'd put a timeframe on it after the cornerback missed at least four games. By the time Jones returns, it will likely be a six-game suspension -- meaning he'll have missed 22 of 28 games since the end of the 2006 season because of suspensions.

Jones is slated to return to practice Monday and be eligible to play Dec. 7 at Pittsburgh.

Jones must now continue intensive rehab and counseling on an outpatient basis. Even a missed appointment will mean the end of Jones' troubled career in the NFL.

 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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