Fun Fact of the Day: We’re 19 games into the NBA season and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is averaging an incredible triple-double (30.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 11.3 assists). But he still has a long way to go to catch up to Oscar Robertson—the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a full season in 1961-1962. Back in Robertson’s day, it was a little easier to get those crazy stats because the game was faster paced. There were 30 more shot attempts and 30 more rebounds per game.
All quacked up. After 4 seasons as head coach, Mark Helfrich was fired by the Oregon Ducks yesterday. Ah, how quickly things can change. Just 2 years ago, he led the Ducks all the way to the national championship game and groomed Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota, but this season is a different story. The Ducks are an abysmal 4-8 (their worst record since 1991) and won’t even appear in a bowl game.
The pre-playoffs picture. The College Football Playoff rankings came out last night and as expected, undefeated Alabama took the top spot. Ohio State, Clemson, and Washington rounded out the top 4. After losing to Ohio State in double overtime last weekend, Michigan dropped down 2 spots to #5, but there is still stand a slim chance they could make the playoffs. If Clemson or Washington loses its conference championship game this weekend, it could make room in the playoffs for Michigan or the Big Ten conference champion (the winner of #6 Wisconsin v. #7 Penn State).
Behind bars. Former NFL safety Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping 2 women in Los Angeles. If that sounds creepily familiar, it’s probably because he also was sentenced to 18 years in prison earlier this summer for a rape case in Louisiana. He’ll be allowed to serve the sentences concurrently, but he may face more jail time because he is suspected of as many as 16 rape cases across 4 different states. Sharper was a 5x Pro Bowler and won a Super Bowl during his 14-year NFL career. Since 2011, he traveled the country as an NFL Network analyst, but wherever he went women reported blacking out and waking up sexually abused after drinking with him.
When you’re a Met, you’re a Met all the way. The New York Mets re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a big time 4-year, $110M deal. Even though his performance dipped a little this past season, the Mets were anxious to lock him up because he was still the best hitter available in free agency. Hopefully, he’s learned to stay out of trouble off the field. Last season, he was caught playing hooky by the Mets’ general manager, when he was spotted playing golf the same day he landed on the disabled list with a quad injury.
A string of Grizzly injuries. Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley fractured his back and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Extra unfortunate because Conley was off to the best start of his career, after signing a huge 5-year, $153M deal this summer (briefly the biggest contract in NBA history before LeBron James re-signed in Cleveland). Now, on top of Conley, the team is missing Chandler Parsons (knee), Zach Randolph (personal leave), James Ennis (calf) and Brandan Wright (ankle). Not promising.