THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Coyotes at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN) NHL: Rangers at Wild, 8 p.m., 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Rockets at Bulls, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT) College basketball: Rhode Island vs. UMass, 9 p.m. (NBCSN) College basketball: Florida State vs. Maryland, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Seton Hall, noon (FS1)
College basketball: St. Bonaventure vs. La Salle, noon (CSNNE)
College basketball: Illinois vs. Indiana, noon (BTN)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Houston vs. SMU, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Purdue vs. Ohio State, 2:25 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: St. John’s vs. Providence, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Dayton vs. Fordham, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Rutgers vs. Louisville, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: San Diego State vs. Utah State, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UNLV vs. Wyoming 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duquesne vs. Richmond, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Penn State vs. Minnesota, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: N.C. State vs. Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UCF vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton vs. DePaul, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Northwestern vs. Iowa, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Memphis vs. UConn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: New Mexico vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Marquette vs. Xavier, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona State vs. Stanford, 11:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Nevada vs. Boise State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Rockies at Athletics, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Bryant, speaking Wednesday after the team announced he would not play again this season as he recovers from a fractured knee, said he had no patience regarding the team’s reported plans to wait until 2015 to rebuild.
“Oh, yeah, let’s just play next year and let’s just suck again,” Bryant said sarcastically. “No Absolutely not. It’s my job to go out there on the court and perform, no excuses for it. Right? You’ve got to get things down.
“Same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court, it’s the same expectations I have for them up there.”
Bryant and Johnson both criticized the organization for passing over Phil Jackson last season and then allowing the coaching legend to join the Knicks front office this week. Bryant called out team executives (and siblings) Jim and Jeanie Buss and questioned the future of coach Mike D’Antoni.
“I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team,” he said. “What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play? It starts there.
“You’ve got to start with Jim. You’ve got to start with Jim and Jeanie and how that relationship plays out. It starts there and having a clear direction and clear authority.
“Then it goes down to the coaching staff. What’s Mike going to do? What do you want to do with Mike? It goes from there. It’s got to start from the top.”
While Bryant was talking, Johnson tweeted out his concern about the direction of the team.
“I love Jim & Jeanie Buss, but we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers,” Johnson wrote in a series of tweets. “Kobe Bryant is the face of the Lakers’ team. Who is the face of the Lakers’ organization? In signing Phil Jackson, [Knicks] Owner Jim Dolan & [team executive] Steve Mills are saying to the Knicks fans, they’re ready to win now!”
O’Neal, a onetime Celtic, received a technical foul with 8:55 left in the game after he walked toward the Clippers bench to yap at Griffin before being directed away by teammates and officials.
After the game, as Griffin was making his way to a postgame press conference following Los Angeles’ 111-98 win, O’Neal shared a few choice words with the young star. Griffin would not comment on the conversation, but the Los Angeles Times reported that he told O’Neal, “Why you going to walk up on me like that? Leave that ‘¦ on the court.” A snarling O’Neal then quickly shook Griffin’s hand and walked away, saying, “Man, I’m a monster off the court.”
Fans who donate $1 or more by Monday via the new digital fundraising platform Fame4Good.com are entered into the contest. The winner and a guest will receive round-trip plane tickets, a two-night stay at a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fort Myers, Fla., and a visit with Victorino on the field prior to a game against the Rays on March 23.
“Partnering with Fame4Good allows me to shine a light on our foundation’s incredible efforts to support kids in need and it does so in a way that fans can have fun with and really get engaged,” Victorino said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the communities that have given so much to me and I look forward to meeting the lucky winner.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 13, 1971, who became the third player in Bruins history (and fifth in NHL history) to record 100 points in a season when he scored a goal in a 6-3 victory over the Canucks in Vancouver?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He’s been great all year. He’s the guy we look to be big for us. We didn’t worry about anything that’s happened in the past. It’s more about how we’ve been playing lately. We focused on how we have to play.” – Bruins winger Brad Marchand, on Tuukka Rask‘s performance in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Canadiens that snapped the B’s five-game losing streak against Montreal
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From an Iowa high school basketball playoff game, Central DeWitt junior Logan Sheppard nails an 80-foot heave at the halftime buzzer for his only points of the game in a 69-67 victory over MOC-Floyd.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Johnny Bucyk
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Neil Sedaka was born on this day in 1939.
We listen in as Aqib joins the Broncos, and react to it as well.
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We set the table for the day in sports with Field Yates of ESPN Boston, Chris Price and DJ Bean, both of WEEI.com
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