BOSTON -- With the New England Patriots out of contention, the Boston Celtics were not buzzing with championship chatter on Super Bowl Sunday.
Except for Chris Wilcox.
The University of Maryland alum made it no secret he is rooting for the Baltimore Ravens to beat the San Francisco 49ers.
"Ravens, Ravens," he said prior to the Celtics game against the Los Angeles Clippers. "It doesn't matter how we win, how many points, I'm not into all that. At the end of the day, up one, that's all we need."
Wilcox did not budge, either, when the Ravens faced the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. He became a fan of the team while in college and has stuck with them ever since he left school in 2002.
"I was Ravens all the way," he said. "I can't just fall and be like, 'I'll go with the Patriots because I'm here.' I've got to be loyal to the team."
Wilcox, a North Carolina native, is also pulling for the Ravens because of a hometown connection. He grew up in the same area as fullback Vonta Leach, whom he became friends with once they both entered professional sports.
He isn't fazed by having an uncommon opinion in a New England locker room.
"It is what it is," Wilcox said. "You've got a lot of people in here from everywhere, and everyone has their own team that they go with and ride it out."
Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.
"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”
Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”
Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11.
Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.
The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM.
BOSTON -- Two of the NBA’s biggest names on the trade market, Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins, changed zip codes (Ibaka to Toronto from Orlando, Cousins to New Orleans from Sacramento) without the Celtics showing much interest in swinging a deal for either player.
MORE TRADE TALK
Could it be because they had their sights set on Detroit’s Andre Drummond all along?
Pistons general manager/head coach Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about talking with lots of teams about his players leading up to the trade deadline, well aware that his team has been one of the league’s biggest underachievers.
Detroit (27-30) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place Cleveland by 13 games.
Drummond was reportedly offered to Sacramento as part of a deal for Cousins, so it should not come as a surprise that his name has found its way into the rumor mill.
Still, Drummond only added fuel to the rumor mill fire by re-tweeting the eyeball emojis posted by the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas, something Thomas did shortly before Boston added Al Horford to the mix last summer.
And then Drummond followed that up by posting his own set of eyeball emojis
on Tuesday, which adds to the speculative nature of a trade-deadline season that ends Thursday at 3 p.m.
Drummond, a former UConn standout, is an easy-going, fun-loving guy, so the emoji stuff isn’t all that out of character for him. But he also changed his Twitter profile picture
to him waving goodbye. after removing Pistons information from his bio.
Is he pulling our leg, or giving a heads-up that the Celtics are close to pulling off a trade?
A league source tells CSNNE.com that while no deal is imminent, Boston is a possible landing spot for Drummond if the Pistons are, in fact, planning on trading him. That, says the source,"is not a definite. [Van Gundy] knows he has to do something significant with that team, if not at the deadline [then] definitely this summer.
"So he’s looking to find out the value for all his guys, Drummond included.”