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How Josh Heupel brought hope back to a battered Tennessee fan base

It was a largely lost decade for Tennessee football, full of on-field disappointments and off-field drama. And while many fans were skeptical of Josh Heupel when he was hired last year, he was quick to make them believers. (Author: Gardener)

TennesseeKNOXVILLE, Tennessee - Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee's all-round wide receiver and return specialist, jumped into an Uber one night this fall. The conversation immediately turned to Tennessee football. The Vols had just lost a heartbreaker to nationally ranked Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin, an electrical environment at Neyland Stadium that was marred by a 20-minute hiatus due to debris being thrown on the pitch. Had a few questionable calls the Vols gone their way that night, they could have been working on a three-game winning streak with the SEC after scoring 107 points in Missouri and South Carolina in the past two weeks. "Even though we lost to Ole Miss, he kept talking about how excited he was to see Tennessee football again and that it hadn't been for a long time," said Jones. "You could hear it in his voice when he talked about how the fans played Neyland like a checkerboard, how we thrived on the offensive and the impact coach Heupel had made in just one year." "You are Velus Jones, aren't you?" he said. Jones, SEC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year, nodded and smiled widely. It was a ride that, for Jones, only underscored what this season meant for so many ailing Tennessee fans whose passion for a return to the glory days was boiled over more than once in the past decade as the Vols through the football Wandered the wasteland. "When I got out of the car, I took a picture with him and everything," said Jones. "He thanked me for helping bring Tennessee football back to life and I told him there was a lot more life left." A year ago this time, the Tennessee program might as well have been life sustaining. The Vols had a 3-7 season behind them, their third defeat campaign in four years. An internal investigation was ongoing into suspected NCAA rule violations, the scope of which University Chancellor Donde Plowman later described as "numbing" and "shocking," and Tennessee was looking for its sixth head coach in 14 seasons after Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause was. Phillip Fulmer retired as sporting director after all of this, and in the end 33 scholarship holders left the program or entered the transfer portal. There was no reason to believe that a 7-5 season in which Heupel would be a finalist for the Steve Spurrier Award as the country's best coach in the first year was anytime soon. "There were so many strangers and so much noise about how bad it was going to get," said Jerome Carvin, senior offensive lineman. "But the guys who chose to stay fell in love with playing for the University of Tennessee again, mostly because Coach Heupel and the rest of the coaches came in and created a culture of trust." Josh Heupel's steady demeanor and the mixture of positivity, steadfastness and iron responsibility have developed a calming effect in a place that was the opposite of calm. "He's gotten into such a challenging situation and one of Josh's strengths after working with him for the last four years is that he doesn't get nervous," said Danny White, Tennessee director of sports, who hired Heupel at UCF and then turned and hired him back in Tennessee. “He comes to campus every day, the same guy and works on his plan. But, as Tennessee Defense Line coach Rodney Garner points out, don't let this humble person fool you in anything we do, "said Garner, one of five on-site assistants Heupel had with SEC coaching / recruiting Experience has ceased. And while Tennessee might be one of the SEC's surprises, especially given the fact that the program is based on 69 fellows at One Point this season, Heupel won't be celebrating the Vols for the fourth time in the last 14 years Have a chance of winning more than seven games in a season when they meet Purdue at the TransPerfect Music City Bowl (3pm) on Thursday (ET, ESPN and ESPN-App). "We have never set a cap on what we can do could or couldn't reach this year, "Heupel told ESPN. Heupel, 43, also knew exactly what he was getting at in Tennessee after leading UCF to a 28-inch -8 record in three seasons The V ols had gone through far more head coaches, sporting directors, and chancellors / presidents in the past decade when they won major soccer games. White, Tennessee's fifth full-time sporting director who went back to Mike Hamilton in 2011, said any tale out there that Heupel was the Vols' fallback after several others turned down the job is obviously wrong. "I cast a wide net and came full circle as I did the search and I kept coming up to Josh and saying he was the whole package," White said. "So, yeah, we've talked to a lot of different people, but to say that Josh took this job because others didn't want it is not right and not really fair to Josh." Either way, it wasn't long before White was introduced to the bandwidth of Vol Twitter - the passion, the loyalty, the injured pride, and sometimes the poison. "In my first few months here, people were angry, frustrated and excited," said White. "It wasn't all, but I think our fans see a lot of the same things that I see after year 1 - really healthy culture, kids who play hard and a coaching team who get the best out of them. Formerly athletic director Doug Dickey always said the Tennessee head coach is always judged by how he fared against main rivals Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and that the Vols should beat these three teams at least as often as they beat the Vols Fulmer's last season in 2008, Tennessee beat these three teams 4-38. The Vols now have five seasons behind them losing to all three teams, 14 of the 15 in double digits, and those 15 losses averaged 26 , 5 points per game. "The thing with this team is that we never stop fighting, never stop competing," said Carvin. "Even if we have a bad quarter or a bad half fte we came back. "The next game was ready to go and were literally away from being a nine-win team. But those are the games and the things that will help us grow as a program. ”Carvin will return next season with quarterback Hendon Hooker and lead receiver Cedric Tillman. Hooker was one of college football's most impactful transfers after joining Virginia Tech, finishing the regular season at the national No. 3 pass efficiency with 26 touchdown passes and just three interceptions, while also storming five touchdowns. The Vols are again actively mining the transfer portal for the 2022 season and Heupel's first recruiting class earlier this month brought several important additions, especially on the defensive. But it's not to be underestimated how far behind Tennessee was in terms of personnel when Heupel arrived. As a player, Heupel faced similar challenges. He grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and jokes. “If you hunt pheasants, that's the only reason you go there.” His high school basketball team was playing for a state title, but his high school football tee fought in both his sophomore and junior seasons. "But in my senior season we were able to turn it around and take a deep run in the playoffs," said Heupel. It was a similar story in Oklahoma when Heupel arrived in 1999, Bob Stoops' first season as a coach. The Sooners had failed to win five seasons in a row, and Stoops was OU's fourth head coach in six seasons. But that second season, Heupel was runner-up in the Heisman Trophy and the Sooners won the national title. "Some of the greatest experiences in my life were part of trying to build something," said Heupel. "It is rare that you take a historic program with all the tools and resources we have here and rebuild it in a unique way." Right away, Heupel felt the skepticism and doubts among the players. He wasn't hired until Jan. 27, just a week after White was hired as sporting director, and the team - at least what was left of it after the mass exodus - was already participating in off-season training sessions. "We didn't know what to expect," said Jones. "None of us enjoyed football much." Heupel's first encounter with the players lasted about an hour and a half. Above all, those present wanted accountability for what, according to players and coaches, was sorely lacking in the program. "Before Coach Heupel came here, the guys were ready to leave this place and pretty much did what they wanted," said Carvin. Now the boys want to stay, watch films and just hang out. It's a different atmosphere and the guys know what the expectations are on and off the field. "Garner, who is in his second stint in Tennessee, has also trained at Georgia and Auburn in the SEC. He said it was obvious that the players were looking "In the first two weeks I had more failures - missed meetings, meeting late, missed lessons - than in my 31 years before," said Garner. "[Heupel] set the tone and left it everything is known to matter. Nothing was too trivial, whether it was eating all three meals at the football complex or making a serious effort to get to know all of your teammates and not just the guys in your position group. You are too important within the game, and I think our children have learned and accepted that, "said Heupel. "That was a big part of the change you saw in Tennessee football." The Vols haven't feasted on a pleasant schedule in Heupel's first season. They faced five of the top 22 teams in the college football playoff committee's final standings - and four of the top 12th record for most points in a season (484) set during Fulmer's first full season in 1993. The Vols have scored 45 or more points in six of their 12 games, and their 466 points are the third highest in school history. I know this: a lot of people will want to play in this offense and play for a coach who believes in you, like Coach Heupel, "said Jones, who started his career at USC before moving to Tennessee. The next step will be Tennessee State's More Successful Recruiting ls only signed one of the state's top 15 candidates in the 2022 signature class, according to ESPN rankings the [NCAA] cloud and noise, and it continued uninterrupted, "said Heupel. The university announced in November that it had completed its year-long internal investigation and would not impose a bowling ban itself, although the university would impose other penalties such as wants to impose a reduction in scholarships and other recruitment restrictions. Heupel's formative memory from this first season is ours d be how hard the players played and how they adapted to his style of hard love. "We use the saying in this building that you train with passion. You don't train with emotions," said Heupel. This approach leaves the Big Orange Nation even more thirsty next season. Billboards labeled “# eVOLution22” are already appearing in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. "These guys started something that we can build on," said Heupel. Jones, a sixth grader, won't be around in 2022, but he can't wait to see what's next.

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Powerball jackpot nears $ 500 million after no one reached Wednesday night's drawing

Everything you need to know about the game from winning numbers to drawing the numbers to how to play. (Author: Gardener)

$ 500 millionNo ticket matched all of the Wednesday night Powerball draw numbers, which means the New Year will kick off on Saturday with a chance of a nearly $ 500 million jackpot. The Powerball numbers on Wednesday were 2-6-9-33-39, with Powerball 11 and Power Play 2. The Powerball website estimates the jackpot on Saturday at $ 483 million with a cash payout of $ 347.7 million Dollar. Get all the messages you need in your inbox every morning. The Powerball jackpot winner was last drawn on October 4th. Start 2022 with a laugh: check out these fun New Years jokes and memes Here's what you need to know about the Powerball: The numbers for the Wednesday 29th December drawing were 2, 6, 9, 33 and 39 , and the Powerball was 11. The Powerball was 2. The double play numbers for Wednesday, December 29, were 43, 51, 53, 63, and 68 every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Videos of the latest Powerball drawing can be found at www.powerball.com/watch-drawing at 10:59 PM. SUMMERTIME. Powerball drawings are televised here in Indiana: * South Bend - WNDU16, every Monday and Wednesday between 11:09 PM and 11:13 PM. EDT and every Saturday between 11:20 pm and 11:28 pm. SUMMERTIME. Best Christmas Movies On Netflix ?: Your Guide to 90+ Streaming Holiday Movies Powerball tickets are $ 2 each. Make power play for $ 1 and your non-jackpot winnings can be multiplied up to five times. Players can multiply non-jackpot winnings up to 10 times if the jackpot is $ 150 million or less. For an additional $ 1, you can enter your numbers in a second drawing that will take place after the main jackpot drawing. Entrants can win prizes between $ 7 million and $ 10 million. The Hoosier Lottery also has an instructional video on how to play Powerball: Powerball can be played in 45 states in Washington D. The cut-off time for purchasing a Powerball ticket varies by jurisdiction. In Indiana, tickets must be purchased by 9:58 PM. SUMMERTIME. Love Christmas Carols ?: 50+ Christmas Radio Stations and Playlists to Try Out Approximately 1 in 24.87 Powerball tickets sold are winners. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. The last Powerball jackpot winner was October 4, 2021. One lucky California winner won the $ 699.8 million prize ticket. Here's a rundown of all of the Powerball jackpot winners in 2021. Here's a look at the number of winners by location: This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Powerball jackpot is approaching $ 500 million after no one has drawn reached on Wednesday evening

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Oregon vs Oklahoma Football Live Stream

Oregon and Oklahoma will clash in a top 20 fight at the Alamo Bowl tonight. If you don't have a cable, here's a free live stream of the game to watch. (Author: Gardener)

OregonThe Oregon Ducks, number 14, will take on the Oklahoma Sooners, number 16, in a marquee match at the Valero Alamo Bowl Wednesday night in San Antonio, Texas. But if you don't have a cable, there are a few different ways you can watch a live stream Oregon vs. Oklahoma Online: You can watch a live stream from ESPN and over 100 other live TV channels on FuboTV, with a seven-day free trial: Once you've signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Oregon vs. Oklahoma live in the FuboTV app available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X / S, Samsung TV, LG TV, any device with Android TV (ex E.g. Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. You'll need to sign up with a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don't have your Fubo credentials you can sign in and watch. You can watch a live stream from ESPN and over 30 other live TV channels through Sling TV's "Sling Orange" package. This option doesn't come with a free trial, but it's the cheapest long-term streaming service with ESPN, and you can get your first month for just $ 10: once you sign up for Sling TV, you can watch Oregon vs Oklahoma live on the Sling Watch TV app running on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X / S, Samsung TV, LG TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV ) is available or Nvidia Shield), airTV Mini, Oculus, Portal, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. You'll need to sign up with a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don't have it, you can log in with your Sling credentials and watch. DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) offers four different channel packages: "Entertainment", "Choice", "Ultimate" and "Premier". ESPN is included with everyone, but you can choose any package and add-on you want with your 14-day free trial. If you look on your computer, smartphone or tablet, you will not be billed for 14 days. If you're watching on your TV (Roku, Fire Stick, Apple TV, etc.) on a streaming device, you'll be billed for the first month, but you can still get a full refund if you cancel before 14 days: after the Signing up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Oregon vs Oklahoma live in the DirecTV Stream app that runs on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung TV, any device with Android TV (such as Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android mobile phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch it on your computer through the DirecTV Stream website. You'll need to sign up with a cable provider to see this way, but if you don't have it, you can sign in with your DirecTV Stream credentials (which may still be listed as AT&T in the list of cable providers) and watch. You can watch a live stream from ESPN and over 90 other TV channels on Vidgo, which comes with a seven-day free trial: once you sign up for Vidgo, you can watch Oregon vs Oklahoma live on the Vidgo app, which on their . Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, any device with Android TV (e.g. Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet are available. Or you can view it on your computer through the Vidgo website. You'll need to sign up with a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don't have your Vidgo credentials, you can sign in and watch. You can watch a live stream from ESPN and over 65 other TV channels through Hulu With Live TV, which now also includes ESPN + and Disney + as part of their special package: once you sign up for Hulu With Live TV, you can get Oregon vs Oklahoma watch live in the Hulu app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X / S, PlayStation 4 or 5, Nintendo Switch, Samsung TV, LG TV is, any device with Android TV (e.g. Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer through the Hulu website. You'll need to sign up with a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don't have your Hulu credentials, you can sign in and watch. This year's Valero Alamo Bowl will feature two marquee programs that will rotate coaching when the Oregon Ducks (10-3, 7-2 Pac-12) face the Oklahoma Sooners (10-2, 7-2 Big-12) on Wednesday night . In a breathtaking turn of events, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley turned the college football world on its head when he decided to leave the program behind to take on the USC head coach appearance. Brett Venables, Clemson's defense coordinator, will be the new Oklahoma coach starting next season. Heading the Sooners at the Alamo Bowl will be Hall of Fame coach Bob Stoops, who will return for a game to support the program he coached for 18 seasons (1999-2016). Stoops set a record of 190-48 while leading Oklahoma to a national championship and nine conference titles. The Sooners got off to a promising 9-0 season but lost two of their last three games, including a heartbreaker against the state of Oklahoma on November 27, which ultimately cost them their chance to play in the Big 12 championship game. Stoops will have a lot of work to do on his return as he has to plug the holes in defense left by lead tackler Brian Asamoah and three of the top sack-getters (Isaiah Thomas, Nik Bonitto and Perrion Winfrey). who will all miss the bowl game. The Ducks will employ their offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead, for the bowl game, although he will also be leaving as a coach at Akron after this season. The two-time Pac-12 defending champions started the season 9-1 and looked like he was about to make a run in the college football playoff, but was stumbled on the track by Utah twice, including a 38-10 defeat in the Pac-12 Title game on December 3rd. The Ducks will be without their defensive star on Wednesday as he is the potential number one - DE Kayvon Thibodeaux chose to skip the bowl game and signed up for the NFL draft. Oregon will have two of their studs on the defensive side of the ball, however, in freshman LB Noah Sewell and sophomore Verone McKinley III. Sewell led the Ducks in tackles and tackles for loss and was called up to the All-Pac-12 First Team, while McKinley won the All-American Honors of the first after a season performance in which he put up the nation's top six interceptions Team received. McKinley understands the chance the Ducks will have to end their season properly on Wednesday. "We can have another cheer at a bowl game," said McKinley, "or we can send a message for next year." Oklahoma leads the all-time streak between the two programs, 6-1. The last game between the two was played by the Ducks in 2006 in Eugene.

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Hayes, Robinson declares entry into the NFL draft; Sooners now have nine players who are foregoing college eligibility

Nine OU players have chosen to forego college eligibility, including five since the Sooners' 47-32 victory over Oregon at the Alamo Bowl. (Author: Gardener)

HayesPlease log in to read further. Enjoy unlimited items at one of our lowest prices ever. You are the owner of this item. You are authorized to edit this article. Hayes, Robinson declares entry into the NFL draft; The Sooners now have nine players waiver of college eligibility Hayes, Robinsons declared entry into the NFL Draft; Oklahoma's Marquis Hayes, 54, will make his way to the NFL draft with teammate Tyrese Robinson and forego the remaining college eligibility. Offensive Guardians Marquis Hayes and Tyrese Robinson - a pair of three-year-old starters - announced their early entry into the NFL draft. Nine OU players have chosen to forego college eligibility, including five since the Sooners' 47-32 victory over Oregon at the Alamo Bowl. The offensive linemen, along with Jeremiah Hall, Kennedy Brooks and Gabe Brkic, announced their intention to move on after the bowl game on Wednesday, while Brian Asamoah, Nik Bonitto, Isaiah Thomas and Perrion Winfrey waived the bowl game in order to maintain their professional careers to concentrate. The number of players dropping out of school early is high, but not unexpected. All players were granted an additional year of eligibility after last year's COVID season. Without this rule, many would have exhausted their time at OU. The nine players join three other key contributors visiting the transfer portal and starting new schools. Quarterback Spencer Rattler and tight end Austin Stogner are heading to South Carolina, while wide receiver Jadon Haselwood will be playing in Arkansas for the next season. Pat Fields, a Union High School graduate, is retiring on academic grounds. The Alamo Bowl's Most Outstanding Defensive Player will enroll on a full academic scholarship at Stanford. OU Sports Extra: The season ended on a positive note. Watch Now: OK Preps Extra: Barry Lewis Talks About Who And What Impressed Him At The Tournament of Champions Watch Now: Caleb Williams No Commitment When Asked If He's Staying With OU Watch Now: Caleb Williams No Commitment When Asked on whether to stick with OU I cover the University of Oklahoma football and men's basketball teams. Your notification has been saved. There was a problem saving your notification. Email notifications are only sent once a day and only when there are new matching articles. Please log in to use this function. Log in Oklahoma was injured and needed help. What better way than to resort to a Hall of Fame soccer coach whose love for the university is unparalleled? Castiglione's most recent search for football was reminiscent of December 1994 and OU's hiring Schnellenberger for an uncomfortable season. Watch Now: Bob Stoops Leading Sooners Via Oregon To Alamo Bowl; Caleb Williams Goes On Vacation Williams, the freshman quarterback, met the media for the first time in his college football career after Oklahoma triumphed 47:32 over Oregon on Wednesday night. Oregon at the Alamo Bowl: Everything You Need to Know About the Sooners Victory in Four Downs Seeing Bob Stoops on the Oklahoma sideline was step back in time. Gundy said he relied on assistant coaches Bill Bedenbaugh, DeMarco Murray, Joe Jon Finley and Ty Darlington to prepare for the Ducks. He stormed the best 1,253 yards of his career this season. He is one of only four OU players to storm over 1,000 yards in three seasons. One Final Ride: Three OU assistant coaches to lead the defense before moving to new jobs Brian Odom, Calvin Thibodeaux and Jamar Cain helped put together the defensive game plan against Oregon. All three will start new jobs after the Alamo Bowl. What made Bob Stoops laugh with reporters at a hypothetical Alamo Bowl win? Would the Sooners' interim head coach consider getting doused in rock n roll tequila if Oklahoma wins? Watch Now: Kennedy Brooks deserves a spot among OU's great running backs, according to Cale Gundy Kennedy Brooks has had three 1,000 yard rushing seasons. It was only achieved by three other OU players: Demarco Murray, Adrian Peterson and Samaje Perine. Williams has not publicly announced his future plans. Will he stay in Oklahoma? You have no notifications. Get the latest news straight to your device.

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The Brooklyn Nets star says he "respected" the team's decision to ban him from playing due to his vaccination status.

Kyrie Irving says he was "incredibly grateful just to be back in the building" the first time he spoke to the media since it was announced he would be returning to the Brooklyn Nets after a mix of Covid-19 Problems and injuries had exhausted the NBA team's roster, leading to three postponements of their games. (Author: Gardener)

The Brooklyn NetsLOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Kyrie Irving # 11 of the Brooklyn Nets watches the action from the bench during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on October 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Kyrie Irving says he was "incredibly grateful just to be back in the building" the first time he spoke to the media since it was announced he was going after a mix of Covid-19 Problems and injuries drained the NBA team's roster, causing their games to be postponed three times. Irving was not vaccinated against Covid-19 and left the team after Sean Marks, general manager of Nets, announced in October that he would not be allowed to play or practice "until he is eligible to be a full participant". Jrue Holiday # 21 of the Milwaukee Bucks defends Kyrie Irving # 11 of the Brooklyn Nets in Round 2, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 13, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, the seven-time all-star guard is only eligible to participate in street games due to the New York City vaccine mandate that prohibits him from playing at the Barclays Center. "I just pray that everyone is healthy during these times. If I get the chance to go out on the pitch and play with my teammates, even if it's only for away games on the road, I'll be grateful for the opportunity." added Irving, who said he was welcomed with "open arms" by his teammates and "the entire organization". Kevin Durant # 7 and Kyrie Irving # 11 of the Brooklyn Nets watch the first half of the fifth game of their playoff series in the first round of the Eastern Conference against the Boston Celtics on June 1, 2021 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City. On Tuesday, the US hit a record seven-day average for new Covid-19 cases and it's still going on. Tuesday's figure surpassed the previous record of 251,989 new cases set on January 11, 2021. The seven-day average for new cases is now 265,427. The seven-day average of new deaths is currently 1,453 and 76,779 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States. During Wednesday's media conference, Irving was asked what had changed from the October decision to the current rethink. "I understood and respected your decision," said Irving. I really empathized and understood your decision to say if you are not fully vaccinated you cannot be a full participant. either you are all-in or you will have to wait on the sidelines for things to either settle down with the mandate on some of these cases. "We just want everyone to stay safe and healthy, and that was why and I got that." When asked if he knew the consequences of not vaccinating, Irving said he did, but he was "not prepared for them at any performance". "At the start of the season, I thought of being a full-time teammate, just going out, having fun and being a great basketball brand," added Irving. Things happen for a reason, and now we're here and I'm just grateful. "Aside from playing at New York's Barclays Center, Irving is also not eligible to play street games in Toronto and San Francisco, as those cities are" if you're a state Bringing a mandate that everyone has to obey, it's not up to them, it's not the team, it's really a state mandate, "said Irving of the juggling act he and the Nets are now facing." I don't have too much Put pressure on them, they didn't put me under too much pressure and we just respected each other's boundaries, along with everyone else on the team, and now we're here and they could just support us. "That I only did the street games Irving previously defended his decision not to get vaccinated in October, saying on a live Instagram video that “no one should be forced to do anything with their body he did, ”adding that his decision was not politically motivated. Irving's first appearance could be on January 5, when the Nets travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers.

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Ask Sam Mailbag: Coby White's value to the cops, Patrick Williams' status, and more

Damien Power: (Author: Gardener)

Sam MailbagAsk Sam Mailbag: Coby White's Value to the Bulls, Patrick Williams' Status, and More Sam answers your questions about potential Bulls rotation tweaks and more. The deal from Wendell Carter Jr. plus picks for Vuc, the signing of Lonzo, AC, DJJ and DeMar, the drafting of Ayo, and Lauri's permission to leave in private so we could sign Zach LaVine to a maximum contract was all masterpieces by AK and Eversley. However, it remains a negative legacy from the previous management group and that is Coby White. So I was wondering if you think Coby's days in Chicago are almost over? I know he's a streaky scorer and can get hot, but he got totally scorched by Trae Young against the Hawks. In comparison, Ayo Dosunmu played a certain point guard in the second quarter and he almost completely eliminated Trae Young. Why is the management giving Coby so many minutes and reducing Ayo's development time? Do you think they are giving Coby more game time to increase his trade value so we can swap him plus one or two more players or a draft pick so we can get another defensive minded stretch power striker like Robert Covington or Maxi Kleber who can help us? really go deep into the playoffs? I know there's always someone you don't like, and Coby came in for a lot after that first Hawks game (which the Bulls won easily, by the way) even though he had more assists and fewer turnover than Young in the next game. Of course the hawks were like a game of HORSES with only one H; much was still missing. I know this latest tale is popular celebrating Dosunmu at the expense of white, although make him look bad against Young because of the commercial value you might guess. Thanks to Dosunmu and Green for their defense, despite Young scoring a lot of goals despite playing with about two other regular NBA players. I think the mistake a lot of people make with white that I don't think management makes is that white is probably more valuable than the other reserves when the bulls make the playoffs - and we can now pretty much tell when they will do it . Because he can do what neither of the others can and what a playoff game can steal from you. Defense is vital, but when the cops are playing caruso and ball they don't need any further defense. What they need is a fast, filling shooter / scorer that can get you 10 or 12 points in a short amount of time if your main players collapse or are shadowed. That's what can make all the difference in a playoff game, and a loss that turns into a win often changes a streak. But more that despite these dozen assists, he's not a point guard. No big deal, the Bulls have them now. He's Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford or Eric Gordon or John Starks or Jason Terry, marksmen the size of a point guard. Many teams haven't got Williams for a long time. Doug Collins first realized, as he often did with the coach, that Williams was not a point guard even though he measured himself like one. But it was valuable, and those points came off the bench in the second quarter too. All big teams have players who can make the difference offensively in segments, if not necessarily as a whole. White took the blow at Trae because he was asked to. Replacement coach Fleming found it out quickly, and White shone in the rematch. These other guys help with floating around in the regular season; You need someone like White in the playoffs from the bench. Remember, this is a guy, even as a rookie, who has played nine games averaging 26 points and over 100 points in three consecutive games. Hardly anyone who got off the bench has even played a 20-point game in their career. The Bulls currently have Portland's 2022 lottery-protected draft pick. If Portland gets a lottery selection in that draft, which seems likely, will the Bulls get Portland's next non-lottery draft pick, or will that pick eventually go away? It's still an excellent trade, although it may not help the bulls this season. I get a lot of trade proposals that include Portland first which you notice is lottery protected which means 15-30. Like back to Portland for maybe Covington or Nance, the latter that the Trailblazers wanted for the selection and their playoff run. J. McCollum returns but Nance has been a disappointment, the franchise is mistaken for the GM's layoff, the new coach has been questioned, and Damian Lillard's name is always in trade speculation. They are not currently in the top 10 and it seems unlikely that they will win a play-in spot. Which is okay for the future of the bulls, as the protected pike rolls in year after year until 2028 when it becomes a second. But if they swap Lillard ... It doesn't look like the bounty will at least help the Bulls much this season. Nikola Vucevic played an extraordinary game against the Hawks: 24 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks and 4 threes (followed by 16 points and 20 reps). Out of curiosity, I compared his performance to another Nikola (Jokic) who is also from the former Yugoslavia and I was impressed with what I found. Jokic averaged 25.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists. His Player Efficiency Score is 32.83, and only Giannis is close at 30.91. Jokic was a deserved winner of last year's MVP award, and the two Nikolas will likely fight for it for years to come. The Nuggets' success without Jamal Murray, who should be back before the regular season ends, is one factor in Jokic's candidacy, but he's a consistent and remarkably effective player. Who beats Giannis and Jokic as MVP? But the way he's been doing lately - 18.6 points, 14.2 rebounds, two blocks, 1.2 steals, and 40 percent on three in the last five games - he could push his way back into the All-Star conversation. As impressive as his stats are, Jokic doesn't get involved in the MVP discussion either. MVP is not an award based on statistics, except in historical cases like Westbrook's triple double for a bad team. The MVP is a blend award, a rough combination of the best player with the best team. It's not always the best player and not always the best team, but basically an elite scorer and / or moderator with a playoff team at home level. Now Jokic has to be mostly a statistics producer for maybe a playoff team. Maybe Anthony Davis will come back and change things, but as great as LeBron has been lately, it still tends to lose weight. My top 5 MVPs would be: Durant, Curry, Giannis, LaVine, and Donovan Mitchell. I know DeMar DeRozan has gotten more national attention - do they take Zach for granted? - because so many had dismissed its effect. So the player (or coach) must have done something unexpected. But it's LaVine who turned out to be one of the top three or four best offensive players in the NBA. Perhaps only curry is a better hard hit maker. The Bulls put a 26-point scorer next to him. And he shrugs his shoulders and still puts 26 on, which is better than Curry. LaVine is probably as hard as anyone in the league to stay ahead of him, and only the seven-footed like Giannis and Durant can shoot anyone like him. I think Jokic has to look at Zach and wonder how he gets these recordings. So what happens to the games that have been postponed due to NBA protocols for the 2021-22 season marking the NBA's 75th anniversary? An extended All-Star break to catch up on a few games? It seems obvious that as long as the NBA doesn't pause the season, there will be enough teams playing 82 games, which it doesn't seem inclined to do and which I agree with. It doesn't always feel good as the Hawks were rightly not against the Bulls this week. I know there was some moaning about how unfair it was when the Bulls lost to the Cavs with over half a dozen players with virus. But the Bulls still had LaVine, Vucevic, Ball, Dosunmu, Bradley, and Jones. The fourth Hawks player was a G-League two-way player. Hey, remember the call they missed ... Anyway, it seems like the NBA is going to have to accommodate these games, and so far it's three for the Bulls, including an additional trip to Canada. Everyone is in a bad position this season. It's better to just keep playing and find out in the playoffs what the Bulls should be good at this season. Apparently there was a report this week that the Bulls were denied an exception for disabled players. Reigning coach Fleming was asked about this and said he was unable to comment on the accuracy. The exception means that the team believes the player is out for the season and requests to spend money on another player. A cancellation means that the league is of the opinion that the player can still play this season. It seems unlikely that Williams would recapture his starting place throughout the season if he returns. But he was able to work his way into a valuable defensive role for a few minutes. The way the Bulls played, unless they added an all-star player in trade, I don't see Javonte Green being dropped from the starting XI. But the way Bulls coach Billy Donovan generally plays with speed and activity to get the ball out of the way, and the way he likes to put smaller players on bigger players, like Alex Caruso, to avoid losing ball At the cost of some lost offensive rebounds or forcing shots over a smaller player, I see the bulls sticking to the green. But Donovan was also quick to make substitutions, so starting doesn't always necessarily mean 30 minutes of playing time or the end of a game. You must be thinking the same thing as all of us when Javonte showed up on Wednesday to injure his shoulder: Oh no! Because as long as Javonte stays healthy, the cops are fine! Seriously, what a move from AK and Billy - fake everyone by playing a bunch of Daniel Theis and not Green and then signing the better player. Seems to be a great year for Javonte to get an invite to the slam dunk competition. Shouldn't the Bulls be pushing it? Derrick Jones Jr. and Green in the Slam Dunk Contest, Zach, DeMar and Vooch in the All-Star Game, Alumni Joakim Noah for the Chamber of Commerce. What it really shows is that he is watching the games and listening to his coach. I had heard that this was a problem for coaches in Oklahoma City, that management was operating unilaterally. You've heard a lot from Billy last season about how much he values ​​his input. Like many fans and media outlets who seemed to be fond of Theis, Donovan didn't seem to like the mix with Vucevic. Donovan often said that last season the team was slower after the trades, although he stayed true to his style and didn't blame anyone. It seems like management got the message and let go of Theis the Rockets don't even use much. And that Billy felt more comfortable playing smaller and faster; and this is how this partnership should work. Maurice Cheeks has been on Donovan's coaching staff and in various teams for many years. This year the Bulls are dramatically better on the defensive, in part due to the dedication of Caruso and other vets to the entire team ball. It's tough with the virus press training restrictions, but how do you feel about Cheek's defensive coaching contribution? He has taken a defensive stance in relations with the media lately. Perhaps virus related as it was for most of the staff and the front office during this difficult season. Not to be defensive, let's say one of the reasons I like the Bulls staff is because someone is as easygoing and experienced as Cheeks is. It's nice to see Nikola Vucevic playing better. If he can get to his normal all-star level, what is this team's cap? The Bulls are obviously a good team, but with Golden State, Utah and Phoenix on another level, they seem like a second division team. But who has two players left in the fourth quarter who, like the Bulls, can score from anywhere on the pitch? It's difficult to gauge things at this stage of the season with so many unequal games. Many of us here, if not nationally, saw the names on the back of the shirts more than the recent history of the name on the front of the shirt, and even before the start of the season we believed the Bulls were much, much, much, much better than them Vegas projections of 42-43 wins. What many suspected and quickly realized is that the cops could compete with any of these teams because they added veterans, not just talent. But I honestly don't see a single team in the NBA that I don't think the Bulls can beat in a playoff series. Giannis, for example, is better than anyone at the Bulls. Middleton and Holiday may not be Bulls starters. This Lakers game. Yes, Otto Porter had moments in Chicago, but only moments. The other player to "retire" with the Bulls was Ben Wallace. He went back to Detroit and played ten times harder. It was painful to watch Otto Porter win the Suns for the Warriors this week. Wallace — Hall of Fame, seriously? —Was an invention of great coaching from Larry Brown and selfless teammates like Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, and Richard Hamilton. And for me, media votes often confuse the defense of the edge with the all-round defense. Ben was just more exposed when he got to the Bulls, though he's often my fallback for that duck (now seemingly over with the DeRozan and Ball additions) that free agents Chicago hate. Wallace, a Hall of Famer, it turned out, was the No. 1 free agent in the market in 2006 after four straight all-star appearances and a title, and he wanted to come to Chicago. Just because he was exposed didn't mean Chicago is an abomination to free agents. It looked like a lot, Porter for Bobby Portis after failed negotiations and Jabari Parker. Porter was an instant game changer, averaging 17.5 points and shooting 49 percent on 3-pointers in 15 games. And the cops won seven of their first twelve with him, and it looked like the beginning of something to build on, a real veterinarian with talent. Then he mysteriously closed down for the last 11 games of the season and didn't seem much interested after that. It was a bad team with a lot of hard stuff, but still seeing him easier, more energetic and more productive now. Send your question to Sam at [email protected] The content on this page has not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations employees, parent company, affiliates or sponsors. His sources are unknown to the Bulls, and he has no specific access to information beyond the access and privileges that come with being an NBA-accredited media member. Key to the game: Bulls at Pacers (12.31.21) Chuck checks in: Bulls deliver enormous offensive performance vs.

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