Talking Points: Keeping the team together



What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:


For all you Oklahoma City Thunder fans out there, reality is about to take hold.

The Thunder enter the offseason with coach Scott Brooks’ contract about to expire, Sixth Man of the Year James Harden and NBA blocks leader Serge Ibaka eligible for new deals and the future of veterans Derek Fisher and Nazr Mohammed up in the air.

It will be up to general manager Sam Presti to determine whether they all can still fit on a team with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook already locked into expensive, long-term deals.

Certainly management doesn’t want to lose the good thing going, but reality is those expensive superstars are often the downfall of many NBA rosters.

Most NBA teams rise and fall like the tides, so it will be interesting to see how supportive OKC will be of a team that could someday return to lottery status.


Trade rumors involving the Seattle Mariners are beginning to swirl.

MLB Network’s Peter Gammons mentioned last week that Jason Vargas and Brandon League are being inquired about by other teams.

In his Sunday column, Larry Stone of The Seattle Times pointed out how Ken Rosenthal of FOX mentioned trading Felix Hernandez could bring the Mariners some much-needed hitting.

Stone mentions Ichiro Suzuki as potential trade bait, but Ichiro’s 10-and-5 status to veto any trade likely means he isn’t going anywhere.

So what’s a struggling team to do?

Wrote Stone: “The Mariners owe it to their fans to see if next year, with Hernandez at the forefront, can be a contending one, with some artful offseason moves and some breakthroughs by young players. If not, there’s always July 2013 to potentially put Hernandez on the market.”

Stone closes with: “There will be a frenzy of excitement and anticipation, as always, but don’t expect any deals that will reshape the Mariners as we know them.”


On this day in 2010, John Isner finished off Nicolas Mahut in the longest match in tennis history — 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon.

Ready for a rematch?

If both win their first round match this year, Isner and Mahut would meet in the second round.

“Random” draws can be cruel.

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