Gutierrez: New faces in new places pace A's win

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Gutierrez: New faces in new places pace A's win

June 10, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comAnd now, playing the role of Fantasy Island's Mr. Roarke, new A's interim manager Bob Melvin.Smiles, everyone. Smiles.Or did you not catch the shot of the A's congratulating themselves after their most satisfying victory of the season? Smiles, indeed..GUTIERREZ: A's Insider gallery -- Smiles all around in Chicago
And a huge sigh of relief. Are you ready for this nugget, courtesy of A's historian David Feldman? The A's became the first team since 1900 to snap a losing streak of 10 or more games by winning a game after trailing by two-or-more runs with two out and no one on base in their last at-bat.Facing an 0-and-2 count with two out in the ninth inning, the A's entire team deserves credit for the spirit-lifting comeback victory. The spotlight, though, deserves to shine on three of the new guys, and an older guy batting in a new spot in the lineup.- "Moonlight" Graham Godfrey was shaky at first, giving up a two-out, two-run home run to Paul Konerko before loading the bases and escaping further damage. He was charged with three more runs in the fifth inning and only went 4 13 innings, but the rookie right-hander, making his major league debut, kept things from spiraling totally out of control. He battled after his 36-pitch first inning.- Jemile Weeks showed every dimension of his exciting game. His defense was showcased on a bare-handed pick-up of a grounder up the middle and cross-body throw out of Carlos Quentin in the second. The pop in his bat was exhibited in his third-inning triple. And his wheels were on display when he beat out an infield single in the fourth.- Scott Sizemore had the game-winning hit, meeting White Sox closer Sergio Santos' 95-mph heater on 1-and-0 head on and driving it to the left-center wall for a bases-clearing double. It was Sizemore's third hit of the night.- Cliff Pennington looks a lot more comfortable in the No. 2 hole than he ever did hitting ninth. Al he did was go three for five with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. To be fair, the fired Bob Geren toyed with the idea of moving Pennington here, but it was Melvin who puled the trigger.

Report: Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

Report: Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

A blockbuster trade reportedly went down on Wednesday morning.

The Clippers are sending Chris Paul to the Rockets, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, Houston will ship Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and a 2018 first-round pick to Los Angeles.

More to come...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Knicks, Phil Jackson part ways

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AP

Knicks, Phil Jackson part ways

NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson is out as New York Knicks president after he oversaw one of the worst eras in team history and feuded with star Carmelo Anthony.

Days after Jackson reiterated his desire to trade Anthony and said he would listen to deals for Kristaps Porzingis, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan reversed course and cut ties with Jackson on Wednesday.

"After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction," Dolan said in a statement. "Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched."

But his work as a first-time executive was awful. The winner of an NBA-record 11 championships as coach, Jackson couldn't engineer one playoff berth while running the Knicks. The team was 80-166 in his three full seasons, including a franchise-worst 17-65 in 2014-15. His departure was quickly welcomed by Knicks fans such as film director Spike Lee, who posted a picture of himself on Instagram in a celebratory pose after it was first reported by The Vertical.

The move comes less than a week after Jackson led the Knicks through the NBA draft and on the eve of free agency that opens Saturday. Dolan said general manager Steve Mills would run the day-to-day business of the team in the short term.

Jackson was a Hall of Fame coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, delivering titles with some of the game's biggest stars like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He also played for the Knicks when they won NBA titles in 1970 and 1973.

He was welcomed back to the organization to huge fanfare in March 2014, but it soon became clear the transition would be a poor one. His first coaching hire, Derek Fisher, lasted just 1½ seasons, and Jackson's trades and free agency moves also failed to improve the club.

"I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren't able to do that," Jackson said. "New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best - today and always."

The turbulence he created off the court may have led to his departure more than the Knicks' record on it.

Jackson wanted to trade Anthony, the All-Star forward who has two years left on the five-year, $124 million deal that Jackson gave him shortly after taking the job. Anthony has a no-trade clause and has said he wants to stay in New York, and the stalemate that hung over the team for much of last season threatened to linger throughout the summer.

Then he said before the draft that he was listening to offers for Porzingis, the 21-year-old forward from Latvia whom Jackson drafted with the No. 4 pick in 2015 in one of his few successful moves.

Jackson believed the Knicks would compete for a playoff berth last season after he traded for Derrick Rose, signed Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee and hired Jeff Hornacek to coach. But after a solid start, they quickly spiraled toward their familiar position at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and finished 31-51.

Despite all that, Dolan said during an ESPN Radio interview in February that he would allow Jackson to finish his contract, and the sides picked up the mutual two-year option on Jackson's contract.

But the instability involving Anthony and Porzingis threatened to damage the team's ability to lure free agents and may have spurred Dolan's decision. Though he had been intent on keeping Jackson, the dysfunction within the franchise showed no sign of ending even as Jackson, 71, largely stayed out of sight.

He never spoke to the media last season after vowing openness upon taking the job and refused to provide Anthony with the communication he sought.

"It's like a total train wreck ," tennis great and Knicks fan John McEnroe told The Associated Press last week.

"I mean, he's known as the Zen Master, like a master talker, and then he's not talking to anybody," McEnroe said of Jackson. "So this whole thing seems to have gone completely off the rails."

There was also incessant debate about Jackson's insistence that the team employ the triangle offense, which potential incoming players were schooled on during the run-up to last week's NBA draft. The Knicks wound up taking 18-year-old French point guard Frank Ntilikina, who spoke highly of the triangle and Jackson's belief in the scheme.

"I think I can definitely fit with this system," Ntilikina said on draft night.

Not even a week later, the triangle is probably gone, and the Knicks will start anew.

Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, will be a free agent. Noah - whom Jackson gave a puzzling four-year, $72 million contract last summer - will start the season by finishing out a 20-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. He averaged 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds in his first season in New York, shooting just 44 percent from the foul line.