Time Out For Sports Talk: Breaking News Sounds Like A Broken Record
Todd: The summer of non-stop sports news continues, vacations be damned! Let’s catch up yet again.
As the trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn finally becomes official in the eyes of the NBA, I now realize why it had to happen. Generally you prefer your players to be younger than your head coach, which would not have been the case following the hire of 36-year old Brad Stevens.
The former Butler University head coach was Danny Ainge’s No. 1 choice to replace Doc Rivers, and Ainge deserves much credit for making this one of the best-kept secrets in Boston sports. History says the large majority of college coaches tend to wash out in the player-dominated NBA, but with a six-year contract and a sabremetrician’s philosophy on his side perhaps Stevens can buck that trend. I’m still a bit skeptical, but appreciate Danny’s outside-the-box thinking on this decision.
Before the cannons were fired on the Boston esplanade last week, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli launched some July 4th fireworks of his own with the stunning departure of Tyler Seguin. Ok, so he’s a 21-year old who likes to party a little and occasionally showed up late to a practice or two, but it still seems a little early to be giving up on a number two overall pick with skills not found in your average NHL player.
In the short term, Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla (his flight to Boston finally arrived after a three-month layover in Pittsburgh) should be more than suitable scoring replacements. But it now feels like the B’s window of dominance has shrunk and if they don’t win another Cup or two in the next few years I think Chiarelli will regret sending Seguin south, despite his disappointing numbers this postseason.
On the plus side, locking up Tuukka Rask and making him one of the league’s highest paid goaltenders was a smart move, although for eight years I wonder if he’ll still be as dominant during the latter years of that deal.
Some thoughts about the Patriots, which I’ll preface by stating that the more I hear and read anything involving the actions of Aaron Hernandez off the football field, the more disgusted I feel. But what has been nearly as nauseating are many members of the local sports media suggesting that the Patriots organization should have known they had an accused murderer on the roster. When owner Robert Kraft recently said that the Pats were all ‘duped’, it’s easy to understand why. Hernandez was doing everything right as a football player and did not appear to need constant 24/7 surveillance. Keep in mind every reporter that has said the Pats deserve much of the blame for all this has had an ongoing axe to grind against the team. First and foremost, the former tight end is accountable for his actions.
On the heels of all this news comes Alfonzo Dennard’s recent arrest for DUI while currently serving a two-year probation for assaulting a police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska. Some of the immediate discussion has been whether the Pats should cut ties with their 2012 seventh-round draft pick before hearing any more details on this latest incident. While there’s no question Dennard showed some atrocious judgment driving drunk in the middle of the night in the same community where he’s already a marked man, this is not on the same level as homicide and should be viewed differently, even if the timing could not be any worse.
Just think, only two more weeks until the start of Patriots training camp. Not sure if I’m relieved or not to know that.
Mike: You’re right Todd, it’s been a busy few weeks here. And the latest news came down today (July 12) as the Bruins announced they had signed Patrice Bergeron to a huge 8-year contract extension that will pay him an annual average of $6.5 million.
This is a good deal for the Bruins, Bergeron has been a leader on this team for years and it’s nice to see him locked up (along with Rask) for what is likely the rest of his career. The Seguin trade could prove to be one they regret in the future, but they got some solid players for him right now, and I think they’ll be a contender for the next few years.
I don’t even want to touch the whole Patriots mess. It’s been a bad summer to say the least, but this latest story, the Dennard arrest, will end up being just a blip when all is said and done. The Hernandez case will hang over the team for a while, but I think that the Pats will quickly settle this thing with Dennard and cut ties with him and move on.
The funny thing is, it’s almost the All-Star break and the Sox are in first place, and that isn’t even the big story, in any other year, the Sox would be all over the place. That just proves to me that this is just a crazy sports year.