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Pistons Fire Coach Monty Williams After One Season

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WIlliams | AP News Image

Monty Williams, the Detroit Pistons’ coach, has been sacked after only one season, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The individual talked with the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team had not made any announcements. ESPN was the first to report the termination.

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Williams | AP News Image

Pistons Fire Coach Monty Williams After One Season

The Pistons went 14-68 this season, the first under Williams’ six-year, $78.5 million contract, the largest ever given to an NBA coach. When the season finished, the team began a front office overhaul, which included the hire of Trajan Langdon as president of basketball operations, the departure of general manager Troy Weaver, and the current vacancy at head coach.

Williams’ termination caps off a bizarre stretch of events. In 2021, he guided the Suns to the NBA Finals, where they lead 2-0 before losing in six games to Milwaukee. In 2022, he was overwhelmingly voted NBA coach of the year. 2023 the Suns sacked him, and in 2024, the Pistons did the same.

The record for the overall sum of a coaching contract has already been broken; Miami signed Erik Spoelstra to an eight-year extension worth $120 million earlier this year.

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Williams | AP News Image

Pistons Fire Coach Monty Williams After One Season

By any measure, the Pistons had a disastrous season. They began 2-1 and did not win a game for the next two months.

A 28-game losing streak, the most in a single season in NBA history and tied for the longest when multiple seasons are considered, ruined the season. The Pistons’ greatest victory streak was two games (achieved three times), and the roster was continually changing. Detroit employed 31 different players and 36 different starting lineups throughout the season, and they lost 39 games by double digits.

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Williams | AP news Image

Pistons Fire Coach Monty Williams After One Season

The Detroit vacancy is the NBA’s third active one, with Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers also looking for coaches. The Pistons’ move comes a week before the NBA draft begins, with Detroit scheduled to make the fifth overall pick on June 26 – someone who should be able to bolster a youthful core led by Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren.

All 22 or younger, these three players were the only Pistons to start at least 60 games this season.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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LeBron James At 39 Still Is The Center Of Attention For USA Basketball. That Won’t Change In Paris

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Lebron James | AP News Image

LAS VEGAS — This is how the United States Olympic men’s basketball team took the court for warmups before an exhibition game in Abu Dhabi. Stephen Curry started with a layup, followed by Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, and Derrick White before Devin Booker nailed a short jumper.

All were greeted with cheers. LeBron James then took possession of the ball. The audience immediately became louder until his dunk elicited the arena’s biggest yell.

“He’s still LeBron,” U.S. assistant coach Erik Spoelstra explained.

At 39 years old, beginning his 22nd season in the NBA, the all-time leader in NBA points, and about to become the first men’s player to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in three different decades, LeBron James is LeBron. That’s why USA Basketball desperately wanted him on the team that will compete in the Paris Olympics later this month. He unquestionably makes the team a favorite for a fifth consecutive gold medal.

“Listen, once I got the clearance from Savannah James, that’s the one I had to get the clearance from to give up my summer pretty much to play basketball at 39 years old,” James told reporters, referring to his marriage. “Once I got the clearance from her, I didn’t have to have much convincing.”

James saw the U.S. World Cup team, which included 12 NBA players but needed more pedigree than those on this Olympic roster, struggle in the Philippines last summer and finish fourth. He did not like it. So he began ringing around to see if guys like Curry would be ready to play in Paris, to remind the world that the United States is still strong at basketball. He didn’t have to twist many arms.

LeBron James At 39 Still Is The Center Of Attention For USA Basketball. That Won’t Change In Paris

“He was the first person I talked to in the fall about whether this would be something I wanted to do,” said Curry, who will make his Olympic debut. “And from there it was like, ‘Let’s get it.'”

LeBron’s Olympic past
James made his Olympic debut in 2004, following his rookie season, on the squad that placed third at the Athens Games. The Redeem Team won gold in 2008, followed by another gold medal at the 2012 London Games. James hasn’t competed in the Olympics since, so it was legitimate to wonder if he’d do it again.

The United States won Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo three years ago without him, and now, with him back in the fold for what appears to be the final time, it is bidding for a fifth consecutive title.

“He’s just meant so much to the game of basketball, especially in my career since I was in high school following him, and he’s almost 40 years old now,” said U.S. forward Kevin Durant, pursuing his fourth Olympic gold medal. “He continues to play at an exceptional level, which inspires me as well. So, every moment I get to be around LeBron, even if it’s just for a brief bite to eat or to see him for a few minutes, his excitement is contagious.”

It’s still there in bunches.

When the U.S. team began camp in Las Vegas, coach Steve Kerr questioned two of his coaches – Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue, both of whom have coached James in the NBA – if the intensity with which he was practicing was normal. They nodded.

He goes all out all the time despite having four NBA championships, a Basketball Hall of Fame position, a permanent presence in the never-ending Greatest Of All Time debate, and a net worth of more than $1 billion. He has nothing to prove and continues to practice defensive slide drills like Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Kerr finds a lot of similarities between James and Curry, who faced off in four consecutive NBA Finals when Golden State and Cleveland ruled the league from 2015 to 2018 — and now gets to witness them play together for the first time. Curry notices them as well.

“I know exactly what he’s about,” Curry explained. “I get to see a new side of him in the job he does, how he approaches practice, and the way he speaks and communicates. I get to see that side of things, which is really, really cool. I suppose he gets to see it from me as well.”

LeBron says ‘game is in terrific hands’
The team is exactly what James would have wanted if he had put it together himself. Durant and Curry have veteran experience even though Curry has never played in the Olympics. Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo, and Joel Embiid are all big players who can protect the rim. Championship players — Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, and White are all from the current NBA champion Boston Celtics lineup. Young stars in Haliburton, Booker, and Edwards.

LeBron James At 39 Still Is The Center Of Attention For USA Basketball. That Won’t Change In Paris

James won’t have to play many minutes. The plan is for the Americans to use their depth, employ many players, keep everyone as fresh as possible, and recognize that no team has anywhere near the top-to-bottom skill on their squad that the United States possesses.

James must play in one Olympics alongside several who will most certainly be considered for the Los Angeles Games in 2028, such as Haliburton and Edwards.

“The game is in excellent hands… I mean, it’s very amazing that we can not only lead by example, but also simply be around them,” James remarked. “They have their own thing going on, so we don’t trip on their toes or anything like that, but we just hope that we can continue to establish a benchmark for them of what excellence is all about, because they are already excellent. I hope we’re simply establishing the benchmark for them.”

In Paris, there will be a lot of people sporting James shirts, especially from the Los Angeles Lakers, but also from the United States, Miami, and Cleveland. Everything he does and says will become news. Even at this point in his career, James continues to captivate fans. Some love him, some don’t, but they’re all keeping an eye on him. After all, as Spoelstra mentioned, he is still LeBron.

“I just feel incredibly honored to be coaching LeBron,” Kerr told the crowd. “And it’s definitely way better to coach him than coach against him.”

SOURCE | AP

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Lionel Messi Exits Copa America Final With Apparent Leg Injury, Ankle Swollen

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Lionel Messi | AP News Image

Miami Gardens, Florida – Lionel Messi’s night ended early in the Copa America final on Sunday night. He dramatically fled the field in the 64th minute with an apparent leg injury, and cameras subsequently showed him on the bench with a severely swollen right ankle.

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Lionel Messi | AP News Image

Lionel Messi Exits Copa America Final With Apparent Leg Injury, Ankle Swollen

The 37-year-old looked to have a noncontact injury while running on the field as Argentina defeated Colombia 1-0 for their record 16th Copa America title.

As he fell to the ground, Lionel instantly looked toward the Argentina bench. He remained down for several minutes until the trainers arrived. He was brought to his feet, and his shoes were promptly removed from his right foot.

As he went off the field, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner removed his captain’s armband and flung his shoe on the ground in disgust. An emotional Lionel was then observed concealing his face and sobbing in his seat.

Messi appeared limping after the game, but he seemed in high spirits. He celebrated with colleagues Nicolás Ottamendi and Ángel Di María, clapping and laughing as they lifted the trophy.

“We were able to win for him,” Di María remarked, “give him the joy.”

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Lionel Messi | AP News Image

Lionel Messi Exits Copa America Final With Apparent Leg Injury, Ankle Swollen

Lionel, making his 39th and possibly final Copa America appearance, scored one goal. He went down in the 36th minute after Santiago Arias caught his left ankle, but he returned to the pitch three minutes later.

Lionel had been struggling with a leg injury and discomfort for most of the competition, missing Argentina’s group stage final. He attempted one shot in the first half on Sunday.

SOURCE | AP

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Jacoby Jones, A Star Of Baltimore’s Most Recent Super Bowl Title Run, Has Died At Age 40

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BALTIMORE — Jacoby Jones, a former NFL receiver whose 108-yard kickoff return from 2013 remained the longest touchdown in Super Bowl history, has died. He was forty.

The Houston Texans, Jones’ team for the first five seasons of his career, confirmed his death on Sunday. According to the NFL Players Association, his family said he died at home in New Orleans. The reason for death was not provided.

Jacoby Jones, A Star Of Baltimore’s Most Recent Super Bowl Title Run, Has Died At Age 40

Jones played for the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, and Pittsburgh Steelers between 2007 and 2015, making several key plays for the Ravens during their most recent Super Bowl championship season.

Jones was a significant component of Baltimore’s “Mile High Miracle” in a playoff game against Denver in January 2013. With 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter, he caught a 70-yard touchdown pass that tied the game. The Ravens ultimately prevailed in double overtime.

Jones caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from eventual game MVP Joe Flacco in that season’s Super Bowl versus San Francisco. Then he ran 108 yards to the end zone to start the second half, giving Baltimore a 28-6 advantage. The Ravens secured a 34-31 victory.

The Super Bowl was held in New Orleans, where Jones grew up.

“My favorite football play was Jacoby’s conversation with his mother in the end zone, shortly before a late-game kickoff return against the Vikings in a snowstorm shootout. Jacoby then rushed to catch the ball and return it for a touchdown,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “My favorite Jacoby personal moment was every time I saw his smiling face full of joy.”

Jones earned a spot on The Associated Press All-Pro team as a kick returner in 2012. Shortly after that, he appeared on “Dancing with the Stars.”

“Jacoby was one of the most fun-loving teammates and people I’ve ever been around,” former Texans pass-rusher J.J. Watt wrote on social media. “Always dancing and laughing, with a permanent grin on his face.” “Gone far too soon.”

Jacoby Jones, A Star Of Baltimore’s Most Recent Super Bowl Title Run, Has Died At Age 40

Jones took over as head coach of the Beaumont Renegades, a Texas-based arena football team, in April.

“What can be said about him as a football player is only scratching the surface of who he was as a man,” the Renegades stated. “Whenever you needed something, he was there. When you called, he answered. It didn’t matter if you were a family member, a personal friend, or a player he coached.

SOURCE | AP 

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