Posts Tagged ‘Job Security’

The final days of a disappointing Brooklyn Nets season ended not with Ben Simmons on the floor with his teammates, but on the floor of his home, the pain from a back injury shooting through his lower body.

The Nets would go on to get swept by the Boston Celtics, with Simmons having back surgery shortly thereafter. While Simmons was rehabbing in the summer, Kevin Durant requested a trade — unless coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks were fired.

Nash wasn’t sacked, nor was he even shaken.

“Knowing Kevin as long as I have, it didn’t really bother me the way maybe everyone would think,” Nash said. “That’s a part of being a competitor, that I wasn’t like overly surprised and I wasn’t even overly concerned. It was just something that I thought we would address in time and we did, and here we are and we’re looking forward.”

The Nets opened training camp Tuesday with Simmons finally on the floor with his teammates, wearing a new number. But the book wasn’t closed on 2021-22 just yet, not with Nash first having to revisit the tumultuous summer.

He and Durant have had a lengthy relationship: Nash was a consultant with Golden State during Durant’s stint with the team. When the Hall of Fame point guard was hired as Nets coach in 2020, despite no experience, it was assumed that the superstar player had weighed in.

So it was shocking when reports surfaced that Durant wanted him out, except to Nash.

“You know, I never thought that was 100%. There’s a lot of things that it’s not black and white like that,” Nash said. “So there’s a lot of factors, a lot of things behind the scenes, a lot of things that are reported are not accurate. A lot of things that are reported are not 100% accurate, so you get fragmented bits of truth, things that are flat-out not true.”

Nash said he knew he would talk to Durant at some point, and they did meet in August, along with Marks and owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, where they decided to continue together. Nash wouldn’t specify what was said to get Durant back on board.

“But it was an opportunity for us to clear the air and just communicate and it was pretty straightforward,” Nash said. “Didn’t take a lot of time and got to bottom of it and decided to move forward.”

Durant pointed to how poorly the Nets played while he was sidelined by a knee injury in January and February as one of the reasons for his frustration, saying the team wasn’t respected by its opponents. That was confirmed Tuesday by newcomer Markieff Morris, who played with Miami last season.

“I agree with what he said. They were soft,” Morris said. “Point blank. When we played against them, they were soft. Just go right in their chest. That’s what we did.”

Having Simmons should help. He was an All-Defensive first-team pick in his final two seasons in Philadelphia, with the size and strength to guard all five positions.

“He’s strong as hell,” Morris said.

Simmons sat out training camp last year after deciding he would no longer play in Philadelphia for mental health reasons. The 76ers eventually sent him to Brooklyn in February in a deal headlined by James Harden, but the 2016 No. 1 draft pick’s back problems flared up soon after he arrived.

It turned out Simmons had a herniated disk and had a procedure to remove a portion of it in the offseason.

“I don’t think people really realized where I was at,” Simmons said. “That day I was supposed to play Game 4, I woke up on the floor. Couldn’t move, could barely walk.”

He does exercises to manage the back pain and also said he takes daily steps to improve his mental health.

“That’s just working on yourself and I feel like everybody has dark days, but when you’re able to address it and you’re able to work toward a place to where you need to be, that’s where I am,” Simmons said.

Most importantly for the Nets, he’s finally out there alongside Durant. Nobody could be certain that would happen in the summer, though Nash never believed Durant had closed the door.

“It was never really as big a deal to me,” Nash said. “I always thought we’ve have our moment, discuss it and choose a course, and we’re fortunate to all be in the gym working again.”

The Wrestling Observer is reporting that Triple H just implemented a brand new ‘two year’ rule. Basically, wrestlers have 24 months to become “good enough” to earn a full-time spot on NXT television or they’ll be discarded and released from their contracts.

Dave Meltzer noted that this puts a lot of current men and women “on the clock”. Time is running out for some to make a splash on the third brand and prove they’re worthy of being prepped for featured spots on Raw or SmackDown in the future.

It’s believed that this will impact company new-starts and those who have been on the roster for a while now. So, everybody lives and dies by the same edict – if they can’t turn heads and impress within that two year window, then they won’t get a third to try again.

If this sounds harsh, just consider how small a timeframe athletes in leagues like the NFL have to dazzle. WWE don’t want to mess around wasting time, and Trips figures 24 months is long enough to figure out whether somebody has improved or not.

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 1-2 with a loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, but head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t pushing the panic button.

Tomlin said postgame that he won’t consider making a change at quarterback or who calls the offensive plays over the Steelers’ extended break ahead of Week 4.

“I’m not in that mindset,” said Tomlin. “I’m interested in reviewing this tape and looking at the totality of it and figuring out how we collectively get better. So the answer to that question is definitively no.”

Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky put together another uneven performance, completing 20 of 32 passes for 207 yards and rushing for one touchdown.

While Trubisky struggled, Pittsburgh’s entire offense looked disjointed. The passing game dealt with multiple drops, and embattled offensive coordinator Matt Canada continued to stumble in putting together consistent drives.

Tomlin will likely face increased calls to turn to first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett, who impressed in the preseason to earn Pittsburgh’s backup job. The former Pitt standout threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions while completing 80.1% of his passes.

The Steelers face the New York Jets in Week 4 before their schedule ramps up with games against the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and Philadelphia Eagles.

Boston Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy doesn’t intend to dismiss manager Alex Cora or chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom despite a disappointing season.

“I am very comfortable saying Chaim and Alex will be back. And I am very comfortable saying there is a strong belief in the direction of the franchise from our ownership group,” Kennedy said Monday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “That direction is continuing to build for the future but also continuing to invest at the major-league level.”

Cora is under contract for two more seasons, while Bloom has at least another year left under his current deal, sources told Rosenthal.

Boston entered Monday’s action sitting in the AL East basement. However, Kennedy insists the goal is to win a title and expects the club to add during the offseason.

“I see us continuing to invest across the entire organization, at the major-league level, throughout our baseball operations. This group is hungry for another World Series championship,” Kennedy said. “And we’ve got, in my opinion, the best baseball operations group, the best staff in that dugout, an amazing manager in Alex Cora, Chaim, and (team executives) Brian O’Halloran and Raquel (Ferreira) and Eddie (Romero).

“The whole group is outstanding. I know we’re in a tough spot right now. But we have a lot of flexibility going into this offseason. I’m really excited to see what we’re going to do with that flexibility and the resources we have.”

J.D. MartinezXander Bogaerts, and Nathan Eovaldi are key players likely to test free agency after the season is over.

Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks

Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.

The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.

The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.

The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.

The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.

Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.

The impact of Tuesday’s news regarding the NFL’s punishment of the Dolphins for tampering with Tom Brady wasn’t limited to just the Miami front office.

Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also has had to deal with the reaction to the news.

An independent investigation, led by by former U.S Attorney and S.E.C. chairperson Mary Jo White, into whether the organization violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game determined that Miami engaged in “impermissible communications” with Brady in 2019-2020 when he was with the Patriots. The investigation also concluded the Dolphins had “impermissible communications” again after the 2021 season when Brady was under contract with the Buccaneers.

The team was also found to have impermissible contact with former Saints coach Sean Payton representatives when Miami attempted to gauge his interest in becoming the Dolphins’ coach early this year.

A hypothetical pairing of Brady and Payton would have rocked the NFL landscape. Instead, it didn’t materialize. Tagovailoa remains as QB1 in Miami, while the organization forfeited two draft picks and owner Stephen Ross was suspended until Oct. 17 following White’s investigation.

The quarterback was asked about the situation on Wednesday.

“I would say everyone heard about it yesterday when we went into the locker room, seen it on the TV,” Tagovailoa said. “For me, I have no idea about all the details other than what was shown on TV with the $1.5 million fine and then something happening with Brady. I mean, I don’t know all the details. I don’t even know what happened. But I got to talk to a couple of the guys to kind of find out what was going on, and everyone’s wondering the same thing. So not too sure.”

The Dolphins’ pursuit of Brady effectively indicated the team wasn’t satisfied with its existing situation at the position, which was, of course, headlined by Tagovailoa.

It’s no secret that Tagovailoa has yet to reach the expectation set for him by the fifth-overall pick the Dolphins spent on him in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s struggled with injuries and consistency, leading to some uncertainty as the window for development continues to shorten in today’s NFL.

Evidently, that uncertainty was enough for the Dolphins to circle back to Brady after last season.

Tagovailoa has certainly been through enough when it comes to public perception of his standing with the Dolphins. For the first nine weeks of the 2021, Tagovailoa was forced to tune out constant rumblings about Miami’s rumored desire to trade for then-Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. He later appeared relieved when the trade deadline passed and Watson remained in Houston.

Now, he’s using those same skills to ignore the noise surrounding team’s failed pursuit of another star quarterback.

“I remember I came in in 2020, so whatever happened in 2019, I can’t even speak on that. I was here in 2020, and I’m still here, and I’m blessed to be here,” Tagovailoa said. “If it has to do with support from the team, I think the team’s all-in with me and all the guys that we have now.”

If anyone is good at keeping his focus on internal matters, it’s Tagovailoa. Miami has equipped him with upgraded tools for success in 2022, and he sparked some positive buzz over the weekend with a highlight-reel touchdown pass to one of those new arrivals: receiver Tyreek Hill.

Tagovailoa will again need his earmuffs, at least for the next few weeks. Once the season arrives, he’ll be able to speak with what matters most: his on-field performance.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is confident Mike McCarthy is the right man to end the franchise’s championship drought.

“I want to be real clear,” Jones said Tuesday, according to Cowboys Country’s Mike Fisher. “He wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t think he could lead this team to a Super Bowl. And I have choices.”

Jones opened up his annual training camp press conference by unpromptedly shutting down speculation about his head coach’s future.

One of Dallas’ “choices” is widely believed to be Sean Payton, the former Cowboys assistant and Jones’ longtime target who retired this offseason from his job with the New Orleans Saints.

Payton left the door open to an NFL return, fueling speculation that he could finally land in Dallas despite McCarthy only being two years into his tenure.

On Monday, McCarthy brushed off the noise about his job security, calling it “a media-driven narrative or at least a narrative driven outside my realm.”

Jones continued to emphasize the safety of McCarthy’s position when asked about possibly extending the coach’s deal to end talk over his future.

“We”re in good shape. We have years left on the contract,” he said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “There are years past this one, that’s all I’ll say.”

The Cowboys are looking to make a second straight playoff appearance after winning the NFC East with a 12-5 record in 2021-22.

While Dak Prescott‘s return to full health pushed Dallas back toward the top of the conference in the regular season, the club lost in the wild-card round to the San Francisco 49ers.

Dallas has only won two postseason games since 2014, and its last Super Bowl title came in 1995.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t have time for questions about his job security at this point of the offseason.

“My viewpoint is it’s not a story. It’s a media-driven narrative or at least a narrative driven outside my realm,” McCarthy said Monday, according to David Moore of The Dallas Morning News.

The 58-year-old added: “It’s irritating that the first question you ask me has nothing to do with how I do my job. I show up every day for work to win a championship. How do we win today? That’s what I’m asking.”

McCarthy’s future became a topic of speculation after Dallas suffered a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card game. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fueled speculation after taking 12 days to commit to McCarthy publicly following the defeat.

“That was an answer after an emotional playoff loss,” McCarthy said. “Maybe those words did not come out exactly as he wanted. I know that’s happened to me in those moments.

“The reality of it is that’s not an accurate presentation of who we are as a football team. If you want to talk about how everyone here is working hard to get it right and exemplify what we can become, great. If you want to chase these other narratives for whoever they benefit, I really have no interest.”

McCarthy is entering the third season of his five-year contract in Dallas. The Cowboys went 6-10 in his first campaign on the sideline while playing most of the season without quarterback Dak Prescott due to injury. The Cowboys bounced back last year, clinching the NFC East title after winning 12 games during the regular season.

The biggest name linked to the Cowboys this offseason was Sean Payton. Rumors linking Payton to Dallas have circulated for years, but they reignited in 2022 after the former New Orleans Saints head coach retired in January while leaving the door open for an NFL return. He previously served as an assistant for the Cowboys from 2003-05.

Jones, who said earlier this year he never considered moving on from McCarthy, shut down the Payton speculation in June, adding that those rumors were pulled “out of the air.”

Former NXT Champion and WWE star Karrion Kross has described his departure from the company as like living in “the Twilight Zone”.

Kross told Sportskeeda that he and his wife Scarlett figured they’d be part of WWE’s system forever – the pair “loved the environment so much”, and thought for sure they’d be “lifers” in Vince McMahon’s organisation.

That’s why their twin releases in November 2021 came as a bit of a surprise to them.

Karrion and Scarlett had been a successful double act on NXT (prior to the NXT 2.0 reshuffle), but McMahon elected to split them up when Kross moved to the main roster for a stint on Raw. That confusing decision backfired and didn’t make either performer especially happy.

Still, Kross thought things would pan out in the end and both would find their feet again.

Karrion likened WWE’s system to being in the military. He didn’t mean that in a negative way, and actually enjoyed the non-stop process. “Everything is just living in preparation for the next event and that’s the way it operated there”, he explained.

Both thought that’d be their life for good.

Bruce Cassidy’s dismissal from the Boston Bruins on Monday raised some eyebrows around the hockey world, but nobody was more surprised than Cassidy himself.

The former Bruins head coach says management told him during his season-ending exit meeting that his job was safe.

“The end-of-the-year meeting was that I would be coaching on this year of my deal,” Cassidy told reporters Thursday, including Conor Ryan of the Boston Sports Journal. “That’s how it would be proceeding forward. And that was it. Sometimes there are talks after every year of – right away, there are coaches let go, there are extensions, there’s status quo. So that was the message: It would be status quo.”

Cassidy led the Bruins to the playoffs in all six years at the helm, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2019. However, Boston was ousted in the first round of the postseason by the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 this year.

“The Bruin is basically tattooed to me. That’s the difficult part,” Cassidy said. “I feel I did my job. We can always get better; we can always be better.”

Cassidy’s career points percentage of .635 ranks 20th all time. With his resume, he likely won’t have any issues finding work. In fact, he’s already spoken with multiple teams.

“In respect to the teams, I’m not going to go through them,” Cassidy said. “But yes, I have talked to a number of teams.”

He added: “I want to get back to work. Hopefully, it’s a really good fit – best fit possible. That’s not always the case, but that’s what I’m hoping for both sides. And we’ll see where it gets to.”