Wakeup Call: Victory and controversy in San Francisco

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Wakeup Call: Victory and controversy in San Francisco

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, November 20:

BASEBALL
So the Blue Jays conduct a six-week managerial search and, at its conclusion, decide to resurrect John Gibbons? Really? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Ichiro joins a growing list of Japanese players who are saying thanks but no thanks to next year's World Baseball Classic. (AP)

The Padres like Bud Black! They really like him! (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The ACC has spent the better part of a decade gobbling up schools from other conferences, but yesterday it lost one of its charter members: Maryland, which is bolting for the Big Ten. (CSN Baltimore)

Here are five things the Terrapins will miss when they leave. (CSN Baltimore)

Georgetown spoils Shabazz Muhammad's UCLA debut. (AP)

Thirty years later, Chaminade pulls off another upset . . . this one against Texas. (AP)

There's only one tournament Connecticut's Huskies could have won this year: The Paradise Jam. But they didn't. (AP)

Stanford snapped Baylor's 42-game winning streak and was rewarded with the top spot in the AP women's basketball poll. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is happy the BCS championship will be decided where it should be: On the field. Unless the Irish lose to Southern Cal, that is, at which point . . . well, let's not go there. (CSN Chicago)

Miami, attempting to stay one step ahead of the sheriff, bans itself from postseason play for a second straight year. (AP)

The NFL's Cowboys already play every Thanksgiving at home, and the University of Texas wants to make it a Lone Star State tradition. (NBC's College Football Talk)

High praise indeed for West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin from Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. (College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
The fact that Bill Daly says he was "frustrated" by yesterday's two-hour negotiating session indicates it's situation normal at the NHL labor "talks". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

The owners are insisting on a new offer from the players, and Donald Fehr says, well, we'll think about it. (Pro Hockey Talk)

When this whole thing is over, Kris Versteeg thinks the reigns of Bettman and Daly should be over, as well. (Pro Hockey Talk)

If the NHL ever returns, Jaroslav Spacek won't. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Looks like the NBA is blaming Zack Randolph for the Randolph-Kendrick Perkins confrontation last week. (AP)

The winless Wizards are halfway to a dubious record. (CSN Washington)

The Grizzlies' winning streak is over . . . (AP)

. . . but not the Clippers'. (AP)

The Cavaliers will be without Kryrie Irving for a month. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The 49ers make a statement against fellow division leader Chicago. (AP)

And now we have a full-blown quarterback controversy in San Francisco. (CSN Bay Area)

A controversy that Jim Harbaugh did nothing to quell after the game. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Talk about a wakeup call, eh, Bears? (CSN Chicago)

Looks like the Steelers have lost another quarterback. (AP)

Which may wind up being Brian Hoyer's ticket back into the NFL. (Pro Football Talk)

Ed Reed certainly doesn't have a reputation as a dirty player, but reputations mean nothing to the NFL: The Ravens star was suspended for a game after being penalized Sunday night for his third hit to the head-and-neck area since 2010. (CSN Baltimore)

Titus Young's sitting out the next game, too, but this penalty is being imposed by his team and it's basically for being a jackass. (AP)

Old friend Brandon Meriweather is out for the year. (CSN Washington)

And old foe Willis McGahee is out for six to eight weeks. (AP)

As you might expect, the Eagles' 3-7 season isn't going down too well in the City of Brotherly Love. (CSN Philly)

Still, Andy Reid won't walk away. Doesn't mean he won't be departing; just means he won't quit. (CSN Philly)

Oh, that conversation between Jerry Jones and Mike Holmgren on Sunday? Just two old friends chatting, insists Jones. (Pro Football Talk)

Remember when the Giants and Dolphins each contributed 500,000 to the Superstorm Sandy relief effort? Drew Brees is going them one better with a 1 million donation. (AP)

SOCCER
The MLS Cup title game on Dec. 1 between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo will be David Beckham's swan song. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

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While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.