The Philadelphia Flyers fired their head coach in the weirdest fashion ever. The Indiana Pacers hired the NBA’s first female assistant GM in almost 50 years! The Toronto Raptors head coach was fined $15k. Ottawa is in shambles… and we’re not talking about the parliament. Who knew Connect 4 could be more entertaining than hockey? Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner debuted in The Nutcracker and it was so jokes. RIP Penny Marshall. The Raps pulled out a big win last night. And, see what’s up this weekend.
Hired, Fired or Retired
The GIST: Just like us muggles regular folk, sports celebs go through ebs, flows and woes in their career.
Let’s Start with the Bad News: We have two firings to report this week! First up, Manchester United (Man U), one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, sacked their coach and manager Jose Mourinho on Monday after just two and a half years with the team. This firing is a BFD because Mourinho was once widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the world AND because Man U still has to pay him $25.5M in severance. Woweee.
Back on this side of the pond, the Philadelphia Flyers NHL team axed head coach Dave Hakstol in what could be the most confusing announcement of all time. First, the media got wind of the firing on Sunday. At that time, the Flyers very much denied that Hakstol was going to be fired. But then, the VERY NEXT DAY, they announced the firing anyway. Like, dafuq?! Imagine if that happened to you! Poor Dave.
Now Some Good (Great!) News: The Indiana Pacers might be our new fave basketball team (sorry Raps!). On Monday, they hired Kelly Krauskopf as their new assistant general manager, the first woman to hold that roll in the NBA since Nancy Leonard in the 70s (also for the Pacers!). We’re all about breaking ceilings, but we also know that Krauskopf was flat out the best person for the job, regardless of gender. From 2000-2017 she led the WNBA’s wildly successful Indiana Fever as president and GM, and this past year she oversaw the Pacers NBA 2k League team, so yeah, she knows her sh!t! And as Krauskopf herself puts it, “ball knows no gender.”
So long, sports!: We missed the memo, but Wednesday seemed to be the unofficial day to announce your retirement. Canadians Aleksandra Wozniak (tennis) and Kevin Reynolds (figure skating) said so long to their professional sports careers. And at just 23 years old, USA swimming phenom Missy Franklin also called it a career. We guess they’re really taking the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ thing to heart!
Calling Elle Woods
The GIST: It was a big week in sports for legal troubles so we’re gonna channel our inner Elle Woods to give you #thegist of it.
Put Me In, Coach: Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse was fined $15k after publicly ripping on the NBA officials following Sunday’s 95-86 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Nurse’s main complaint was about a lack of calls for fouls made against Raps’ star Kawhi (pronounced KAH-WHY) Leonard. Although it sucks that Nurse was fined, him saying the officials lack of calls were “ridiculous” definitely bought him some cred with Kawhi who def appreciated the backup.
Broken Dreams: Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been trying to move the Senators arena from the boonies to downtown Ottawa for several years. However, it’s proven to be a v difficult task. Most recently in November, Melnyk filed a $700M lawsuit against his partners on the project (yep, the people he’s working with) for things like political interference and betrayal. *gasps, sips tea, keeps reading*
But now, the tides have turned. Melnyk is currently facing a $1B counterclaim where his partners are saying that Melnyk never had the cash to fund the project in the first place. In other words, this partnership is imploding faster than Britney Spears' Vegas wedding. So, it doesn’t look like the Sens will have new digs anytime soon and you can bet with the dah-rama filled year they’ve had, they’re seriously ready to move on from 2018.
Dance Battle: Because esports are sports too, we just had to update you on the celebrities suing Epic Games over the Fortnite video game. Why are they suing? Because some of Fortnite’s characters use the celebs’ signature dance moves, and Fortnite didn’t get their permission to use them. One celeb who’s suing is none other than Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carlton (actor Alfonso Ribeiro). His lawsuit hopes to bar the game developers from using, selling or displaying the dance (more famously known as ‘the Carlton’) he made famous during his time on Fresh Prince. Here’s to Alfonso channeling his inner Cardi B, basically saying “Look, I don't dance now, I make money moves.”
GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know
- Monday’s 1-0 game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights was, straight up, boring AF. But no goals being scored until the third period left plenty of room for both teams to have a little fun on Twitter. Instead of watching the game, the teams legit played a game of Connect 4 against each other. Riveting stuff, we know.
- Young quarterback (QB) Patrick Mahomes has made a name for himself on and off the football field this season. On the field, he’s led the Kansas City Chiefs’ to an impressive 11-3 record and a playoff berth. Off the field, he’s the ketchup man. Earlier this season, he revealed he’s all about putting ketchup on everything, including steak. Ugh, so gross. His love of ketchup got so much traction on social media, fans even started the #MahomesChallenge... Turns out, the Hunt’s Ketchup brand took notice of Mahomes’ wacky eating habits and signed him to an endorsement deal. Never give up on your dream!
- Last night, our favourite Toronto Maple Leafs dynamic duo, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, traded in their skates for dancing shoes. You gotta check out their ballet debut in The Nutcracker. LOL we love this crossover so much.
- There are few sports movies as iconic as ‘A League of Their Own’ starring an all-female baseball team with Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna and Geena Davis. It’s just chock-full of quotable moments (there’s no crying in baseball!) and it changed the way people thought about women in sport. Sadly, the movie’s director, Penny Marshall, passed away on Monday at the age of 75. Thanks for leveling the playing field Penny, you’ll be missed.
- The Toronto Raptors had an EPIC, last minute, come from behind, 99-96 win over the Indiana Pacers last night. And when we say last minute, we mean it. The Raps only led the game for 79 seconds. Close call, but we’ll take it!
What’s Up This Week
Tonight: Although there are no NFL games tonight, you still need to make sure you get your week 16 picks in by 7:30 p.m. ET (because tardiness is unbecoming). Wanna play? We know you do. Click here to make your picks for a chance to win a sweet prize.
Saturday: Contrary to popular belief, Saturday's are not just for the boys... Saturdays are for sports! This one is jam-packed with two NFL games (Washington vs Tennessee, 4:30 p.m. ET; Baltimore vs. Los Angeles, 8:20 p.m. ET), a Leafs vs. Rangers game (7:00 p.m. ET) and even a Raptors game (vs. 76ers, 7:30 p.m. ET). Seriously, no matter what your little sports-loving heart desires, Saturday has something for everyone.
Shout-Out: Holla at some of our GISTer sisters Catherine McDougall, Rashan Edwards and Kendra Borutski for winning the ninth day of GISTMAS! WE LY, thanks for spreading the gift of The GIST this holiday season. <3