July 19, 2005
Larry Brown:
Soap opera in Detroit reaches white-hot intensity today, with reports that he's out -- and rampant speculation about what he'll do next.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Fired or buyout? Who cares!

That is the least of the Brown-Pistons saga, quickly coming to an end.

So many other questions are floating around today that need to be answered (or at least wildly speculated about):

Should Brown go to New York?
If he can, he should. Isiah is willing, and for a HOF coach who built a rep on projects, rebuilding the sorry Knicks is his career's biggest.

But is NY his best move?
Given his health and history, is he really ready to commit to the half-decade it'll take to fix the Knicks? (There may be questions about buyout restrictions, too.) Why not rest a year? Isiah will wait.

Will Detroit take a PR hit?
Brown is a media favorite and the perception of forcing out a championship coach is ugly. But Brown's shtick eroded a lot of his support.

Can Detroit still contend?
Brown was the coach who gave the Pistons the best chance to win a title in 2006; bandwagon pick Flip Saunders' track record in the playoffs is spotty.

Who else could Dumars pick?
Given the win-now pressures, I'd make Rudy T. a must-interview. The Pistons are a lot closer to the '94-95 Rockets than the brutal '04-05 Lakers.

What about Darko?
What about Darko? What part of "win-now" do people not understand? And do you really care about him, or are you just asking because saying his name makes you chuckle?

Yanks Lead AL East
Who else liked it better when the Yankees were gurgling below .500 and every day was a new laugh at New York's expense?

Then the Red Sox became entrenched in first place, and they became as insufferable as the Yankees ever were. How insufferable?

So insufferable that the Yankees became sympathetic (now there's a trick) and NY's express train back into first is a cool development. That's sickening to even think.

Let's face it: If you're not from either area, you hate both. But their presence in a playoff race has become MLB's drug of choice... the new steroids.

MLB Trades
Burnett to O's could come today, precisely the bold midseason move that O's fans have been craving for years.

Bob Weiss: Longtime Sonics assistant gets head-coach job
Barry Larkin: Nats' Bowden trying to get him to unretire?
Tim Brown: One of NFL's "Top 5 Ever" WRs retires as Raider
Damon: Consec-game hitting streak ends at 29 games
Andrew Bogut: NBA's top rookie ejected from summer game
Reggie Sanders: Cards LF expected to miss a month (leg)
It's a signal the team considers itself a contender - and is serious about competing with the Yanks and Sox (or is it really about the Nats?)

More Marlins: McKeon out? Could be a busy couple of days for Florida, rumored to be interested in Torre protege Joe Girardi.

I liked Karl Ravech's idea on BT Monday night: Why not trade McKeon to the D-Rays for Lou Piniella, straight up? Would create buzz for both teams.

Red Sox making a move? Presumably out of the running for Burnett, Boston is rumored to be looking at Twins RP J.C. Romero.

Wasn't it a key trade with the Twins last summer (for 1B Doug Mientkiewicz) that proved a key to Boston's title run? Who will they ship out? (FA-to-be Bill Mueller?)

K. Rogers Redux
Turned himself in on misdemeanor assault charges. Bet the guys in Oz have a different interpretation of "All-Star pitcher."

The best part? During the process, he got snappish with a cameraman, who caught it on tape. Poor Kenny: Won't he ever learn?

Ricky Watch
The NFL's must-follow training camp is the Dolphins', beginning Sunday.

Despite a hot new head coach (Saban) and a hot new rookie RB (Brown), the brightest spotlight will be there for one reason: Ricky.

Williams' agent says he'll be there this weekend. What a way to kick off TC season!

NBA Free Agency
Shareef Abdur-Rahim to Nets? Sign-'n'-trade would be one of the coups of offseason. Nets starting 5 would be tough; Kidd should be thrilled.

Stromile Swift to Rockets? Another smart move, teaming the talented (if erratic) Swift with Yao on Houston's front line.

Marko Jaric jumping to Cavs? Imagine a backcourt with 6-8 LeBron and 6-7 Marko, both with the ability to handle the ball.

Samuel Dalembert meeting with Hawks: Nice fantasy for Atlanta fans, but the Sixers are said to be ready to match any offer (hmm: even the max?)

50 in 50: ID
Impressions of Idaho:

Boise State football (and that blue turf!) might have the most innovative offense in college football.

NCAA Tournament: Not only does Boise regularly host the most exciting sub-region, the fans are the best that March Madness has to offer.

Vote Best of Idaho here!

USA Softball:
Loses to Japan in shocker in final of World Cup of Softball. (Conspiracy theory: US tanked to prove to IOC and critics that sport is competitive!)
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Scoop on W-Sox
Stein on Brown
What Next for Brown?
Last challenge of career?
Another team
Any have allure of NY?
Simply retire
Nothing left to prove?
Would make great analyst?
Front office
Out of his comfort zone?

Today's best MLB matchup: surprising Tigers ace Jeremy Bonderman goes for his 12th W vs. AL Central-leading White Sox.

Quickie favorite and NFL rookie QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (7th round, Harvard) signed a deal with the Rams. Kids at home: Studying matters.

49ers make a hire to fill the current worst job in sports: PR director of the team. Good luck, Aaron Salkin. Avoid that "how-to" video theme.

One of the all-time NFL draft busts, Heath Shuler, announced he's running for Congress (N.C.) Insert your own NFL-bust-themed campaign slogan here.

NHL news: Mark Messier is reportedly open to playing for any team, not just the Rangers. Forget his skills; sign him for PR value (via NY Daily News).

Sure, it was impossible to avoid finding out the winner of the 2005 WSOP; that doesn't mean you can't catch the show's new TV season (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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