Fun Fact of the Day: The Golden State Warriors are the first team in NBA history to start 30-5 or better through 35 games in 3 straight seasons.
He’s baaaaackkk. Duke’s latest super villain Grayson Allen was back on the floor last night for the team’s 110-57 win over Georgia Tech. ICYMI, Duke’s famed Coach K suspended Allen “indefinitely,” after he was spotted tripping an opponent for the third time in 2 seasons. It turns out “indefinitely” meant missing just 1 game—a game that Duke happened to lose without Allen. Duke critics also think it’s pretty fishy timing that Allen returned right before Coach K is expected to miss the next 4 weeks for back surgery. They think Coach K (largely regarded as one of the best basketball coaches of all time) is starting to care a little more about Duke’s record than molding and shaping young men.
Diving headfirst into the deep end. The Oakland Raiders will start rookie QB Connor Cook in this week’s wild-card playoff game against the Houston Texans. This is a big promotion for Cook, who started this season as the Raiders’ 3rd string QB behind starter Derek Carr (broke his leg on Christmas Eve) and #2 QB Matt McGloin (injured his shoulder last week). Now, Cook will make NFL history as the first quarterback to start his first game in the playoffs. This game will also be the Raiders’ first postseason game in 15 years… so no pressure or anything.
Getting handsy. On New Years Eve, Clemson blew out Ohio State with a 31-0 victory in the College Football Playoff semifinals. To add insult to injury, Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins inappropriately grabbed an Ohio State player in his nether regions after a play in the 2nd quarter. Buckeyes fans were outraged and started asking for Wilkins to be suspended or even charged with sexual assault. Wilkins responded that he was just “being silly” and that there were “no hard feelings” between himself and the Ohio State player. One of Wilkins’ teammates also came to his defense saying that they’ve all been messing with opposing players and that fans would be horrified if they knew what was really going on at the bottom of those piles of football players.
Seen and Heard
A vote for love. After getting sidelined for the past 2 years with foot injuries, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel “The Process” Embiid has been making waves in his debut season. He just won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month and is a favorite for Rookie of the Year. To Embiid, the awards are all well and good, but he’d much rather get a chance to date his celebrity crush, Rihanna. Apparently, he tried to ask her out once before and she told him to come back when he was an All-Star, so Embiid has been hitting social media hard to beg for All-Star votes. Even though the fans are on his side, he still has some convincing to do. This year is the first time players and sports media members will also be able to vote. Fan votes will count for 50%, players count for 25%, and media counts for 25%.