Monday, January 3
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Kobe Bryant may yet find ways to individually challenge or motivate his teammates, but Phil Jackson wasn't pleased with his approach in Sunday's loss to what could have been an exhausted Memphis team. Bryant became assertive in the third quarter, scoring 17 points, looking for a way to push his team. "I just felt like we had no energy," Bryant said. "So I tried to generate some of that and just get us started, but we weren't able to carry it through." The problem? Bryant took 12 of the team's 22 shots in the third. "Kobe had to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one," Jackson said. "That takes the rest of the guys out and as a consequence, that didn't bring us back in." (The Los Angeles Times)Comment
Adrian Beltre appears ticketed for the AL West, it may be a matter of Texas or Anaheim. No agreement has been reached between the Rangers and [Beltre], said a baseball source, but both sides are engaged in conversations as the Rangers continue to search for a right-handed power hitter. Vladimir Guerrero remains in that mix, too, and he and the Rangers continue to talk about a 2011 encore even though he turned down their most recent contract offer. A news outlet in the Dominican Republic reported early Sunday that Beltre had agreed to a six-year deal worth $96 million, and ESPN Deportes later said a six-year deal for $90 million was "imminent." Both reports were swatted down by a source, but the Rangers have shown an interest in the third baseman represented by Scott Boras. (The Dallas Morning News)Comment
Sunday's game in Indy came down to the final play for Tennessee, a 23-20 loss, which may be the final act of Jeff Fisher's career with the Titans. Immediately, questions turned to whether it was Fisher's last game after 16 full seasons. Owner Bud Adams is expected to make that call soon, possibly as early as today. "I'm under contract for another year, so we'll see," Fisher said. "I've said time and time again I'd like to finish my career in Tennessee." (The Tennessean)Comment
In case you spent Sunday sorting through all of the NFL playoff scenarios, we offer this reminder that Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies into Los Angeles Sunday night and routed the Lakers by 19. (AP)
What better way for Packers fans to kiss goodbye to the holidays and say hello to the playoffs than with a chant about how much you still hate the Bears.
Game To Watch
Will this be Jim Harbaugh's last game as Stanford's head coach? Find out when his Cardinal take on the streaking Hokies in the Bowl that pays you back with good health, the Discover Orange Bowl, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Stanford Cardinal
SI Vault: More George Steinbrenner
This Day in Sports
- 1973 -- George Steinbrenner buys the New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million
- 1991 -- Wayne Gretzky scores his 700th goal in a game against the Islanders
- 1971 -- The Baltimore Colts beat Oakland 27-17 and the Dallas Cowboys beat San Francisco 17-10 to each reach the Super Bowl