You know it’s been a rough game when you look like you’ve been coaching in a wind tunnel
In case you couldn’t tell from the photo above, Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford had a bad night on Sunday.
Buford’s squad (the G League affiliate for the Bucks) imploded at home against the Grand Rapids Drive, blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead to lose 126–117. The Herd were outscored 48–20 in the final period, hence Buford’s Adam Gase–like look.
Addressing reporters after the game, Buford vented his frustrations with his team’s play but didn’t lay all the blame at his players’ feet. He also took issue with how the game was officiated, even going as far as to single out a specific ref as a “f---ing clown.”
"The officiating definitely went right for Grand Rapids,” Buford said. “That was as unprofessional as an officiating performance—I hope you tweet this out and tag the league, because that was embarrassing. Matt Rafferty is a f---ing clown. That being said, we have to be so much better at the end of games. We can't blow a 21-point lead with 12 minutes to go. However bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating the referees are, we have to be better closing games. So that's the way I feel.”
As someone who grew up around basketball—Buford’s father is legendary Spurs executive R.C. Buford—he should know better than to blame the referees for his team getting outscored by 28 points in 12 minutes. I don’t know how many calls would have to go against your team to swing the game by 28 points.
The team released a statement on Buford’s behalf a few hours later apologizing for the rant.
Herd general manager Dave Dean said in a statement that the team is “discussing the situation internally and the appropriate discipline for Coach Buford” and will make an announcement Monday.
A zamboni driver beat the Leafs
There’s nothing in sports quite like emergency backup goaltenders in the NHL. A couple of times per year, a guy gets pulled out of the stands to sit on the bench after an injury to a goalie. It’s pretty rare for the guy off the street to get in the game, and what David Ayres did for the Hurricanes on Saturday night is unprecedented.
Ayres, a 42-year-old kidney transplant survivor who drives a zamboni for the Maple Leafs’ minor league affiliate, not only saw over 28 minutes of ice time in emergency duty, he got the win after allowing just two goals in a 6–3 victory. No emergency backup had ever gotten a win in the NHL before.
The reception he got in the dressing room was incredible.
The performance turned Ayres into an instant media darling. Just look at all the interviews he’s doing.
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