Fun Fact of the Day: Japanese player Wataru “Wat” Misaka was the first non-Caucasian player in the NBA (then called the Basketball Association of America). He joined the New York Knicks in 1947—the same year that Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line.
Always a bridesmaid, finally the bride! Villanova is ranked #1 in the AP poll for the first time ever! This makes Villanova the 6th team to hold the #1 spot this season (Read: No one’s really dominating the playing field this season, so be prepared for some serious upsets during March Madness). Villanova has been ranked #2 a whopping 7 times in the AP poll, but they’ve never held the top spot. This is really exciting and unexpected for Villanova because 3 of their star and veteran players (Pinkston, Hilliard, and Ennis) left at the end of last season. Let’s see how long they can hold onto the top spot!
Blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol. Over the past weekend, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy and former San Diego Chargers running back Curtis Brinkley got into a fight with 3 off-duty cops at a nightclub. You should see the other guy… We’re guessing McCoy and Brinkley won because 2 of the cops were sent to the hospital with injuries like lacerations, a broken nose, and broken ribs. What was the fight about? Oh you know, it was the classic whose-bottle-of-champagne-is-that? mix-up. Now the NFL and police are investigating the incident. What else is McCoy known for? Before this year, McCoy spent 6 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and was known for breaking all sorts of franchise rushing records. McCoy did not go quietly when he was traded to the Bills this past season. He accused then-Eagles head coach Chip Kelly of trading away all the team’s talented black players. They did not kiss and make up.
Spotlight on the firing of Derek Fisher
Yesterday, the New York Knicks fired head coach Derek Fisher after just 1.5 years with the team. Overall, the Knicks are doing a tiny bit better than last year, but recently they’ve taken a nosedive losing 9 of their past 10 games.
What should I know about Fisher? Fisher played in the league for 18 years, leading right up until he was asked to coach the Knicks. He spent a majority of that time with the Los Angeles Lakers under then-head coach Phil Jackson, who is the current Knicks President. When Jackson approached him about the head-coaching gig, Fisher jumped at the opportunity. One problem: he had zero coaching experience. Now it looks like Fisher maaaay not have been ready for the big time. Fisher’s drama off the court with Memphis Grizzlies player Matt Barnes probably didn’t help.
Who’s going to take his place? Assistant coach Kurt Rambis will serve as the interim head coach. He previously coached the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, but let’s just say he wasn’t super successful. Meanwhile Jackson is looking into other head coach alternatives, including Luke Walton and Brian Shaw who both have coaching experience and also used to play and/or coach for Jackson on the Lakers. If they don’t work out, Dennis Rodman says he’ll take the job.
Seen and Heard
Give and take. You thought football season ended with the Super Bowl, but people are still talking about how Panthers QB Cam Newton barely answered any questions and stormed out of his post-game press conference. Many called Cam a sore loser, especially considering his epic showboating throughout the season. Others said that Cam probably left because he was sick of listening to Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr.’s winning interview from the neighboring booth. Either way, leaving after 3 minutes probably wasn’t the best for Cam’s already controversial image.
From bad to worse. More details have come out about Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel’s alleged domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend. From her account it sounded pretty gruesome, including him dragging her into a car and hitting her so hard he burst her eardrum. Now everyone is just hoping Johnny gets better, especially his dad who said he’s worried Johnny won’t make it to his next birthday.