The Lakers reportedly had an abrupt change of heart when they hired former Suns and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown, and the news did not sit well with the legendary Phil Jackson, who many thought was headed back to the bench.

Antonio Cromartie is “still confident” about his playoff guarantee despite the Jets’ latest embarrassment, a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle that dropped New York to 3-6. Rex Ryan, meanwhile, said he isn’t rethinking his quarterback situation. Despite an anemic offensive performance (the only touchdown came from the defense), the Jets will stick with Mark Sanchez.

It’s been a difficult season for the Jets, who sit at 3-5, but cornerback Antonio Cromartie remains confident in his team and his coach, who earlier this week was named most overrated coach in a poll of NFL players.

The Lakers are 1-4 after Wednesday's 95-86 loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City, and Kobe Bryant, who only days ago was ripping impatient critics, is having trouble containing his frustration with everyone around him.

Bryant played Wednesday night with an anger he acknowledged he had not displayed in a while, although he wouldn't say the reason for his motivation.

"Nothing I care to share," said Bryant, who finished with 29 points and six turnovers.

Veteran Lakers guard Steve Blake was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for using inappropriate language toward one of the team’s front-row fans during Friday night’s loss to the Clippers at Staples Center.

The Sporting News conducted a midseason poll of 103 NFL players from 27 teams to determine the most overrated coach in the league. Much to Patriots fans' delight, coming in at No. 1, named on 35 ballots, is Jets coach Rex Ryan. However, in second with 16 votes is Pats boss Bill Belichick. Andy Reid of the Eagles is third with nine votes.

The surprising Colts are 5-3 after Sunday's win over the Dolphins, and the fact that they're doing so well while their coach is off battling leukemia is even more impressive.

Chuck Pagano, weakened by chemotherapy treatment, paid a visit to the locker room after Sunday's game and delivered an emotional pep talk.

They play two entirely different sports with two vastly different body types.

Brandon Spikes is a 6-foot-2 beast of an inside linebacker who weighs 255 pounds and flies around the football field trying to punish whoever gets in his way. He sees the target and destroys it.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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The Lakers' 0-2 start is not sitting well with anyone in Los Angeles, and much of the criticism is falling upon second-year coach Mike Brown. Kobe Bryant said he's "amused" by the noise, but he doesn't sound like he finds it very funny.

"I've won, so I can [tell people to shut up]," Bryant said Thursday. "For Mike, it might be a little tough to say that, so I'll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work. At the end of the day, you'll be happy with the result as you normally are."

Before his Mavericks upset the Lakers on Tuesday, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was pointed when asked to assess the reloaded Los Angeles squad.

"I don't know, I don't care, I just hope they suck," Cuban said with a laugh.

Through two games, Cuban is getting his wish.

A night after losing their opener to the Mavericks in Los Angeles, the Lakers dropped a 116-106 decision to the Trail Blazers in Portland. Adding injury to insult, point guard Steve Nash left the game with a bruised leg after a collision with Blazers guard Damian Lillard.