|By Marc Lawrence — It was a sad day Sunday when NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash in Los Angeles. As great a basketball player as he was, Bryant should be remembered more for turning his life around and becoming a model parent, business tycoon and philanthropist than for his exploits on and off the court. It was heart-warming when several NBA teams took 24-second shot clock violations and 8-second half-court violations on Sunday to honor Bryant’s jersey numbers. He will be missed. |
Signs of Gray Matter
The dysfunctional Cleveland Browns finally showed signs of life when they hired Andrew Berry, Eagles VP of Football Operations, as the new General Manager. In an ideal world, the new general manager would have spent January meeting with various departments and going over evaluations those already in place had made. In most organizations, the GM would also have had at least some input/voice in the building of the coaching staff and the structure of things. But this is the Cleveland Browns were talking about, whose owner Jimmy Haslam never even interviewed Ray Farmer when he promoted him to GM in 2014. Berry served as a vice president of player personnel with the Browns from 2016-18 and at 32 is the youngest general manager in the NFL. He became a favorite of owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam when he worked for the Browns the first time, and they didn’t want him to leave last year when he accepted his current position with the Eagles. Chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and Berry backed Kevin Stefanski’s head coaching bid last year, when Freddie Kitchens was appointed the job instead by recently fired GM John Dorsey. So now the Browns are hopeful an Ivy League trio of Harvard graduates DePodesta and Berry and Pennsylvania graduate Stefanski, hired Jan. 12 as Kitchens’ successor, will give them the alignment that has eluded a franchise plagued by power struggles and infighting since the Haslams purchased it in 2012. Let it be known that I have socks that are older than Berry, to which I have three words to say: Where’s Ozzie Newsome.
|Hoops History Book|
|New York: 1-8 $ off DD win vs. Hornets … Golden St: 11-1 SU vs. Sixers … New Orleans: 5-1 SUATS vs. Cavaliers … St. John’s: 7-1-1 $ vs. Wildcats … Florida: 4-0 $ home with revenge vs. Bulldogs.|