The local coaches were in the spotlight this week.
Tom Renney was sent packing, with his opposite, John Tortorella, coming in to replace him.
Joe Girardi is already on the hot seat before the season even starts. He took a page out of Tom Coughlin’s book by taking the Yankees to a pool hall to distract them from what a poor job he did last year.
And Jerry Manuel is running his first spring training with the Mets, and is doing it his way, which means unconventionally and wackily.
This week’s prize for the Hot Stove Player of the Week: A copy of Tom Renney’s upcoming book How I Made Petr Prucha a Healthy Scratch All Season Because of a $10 Bet With Perry Pearn.
The Nets' point guard made the shot of the year, when he threw in a buzzer beater at half court to beat Philadelphia on Monday (and wasn’t he fouled on his first attempt anyway?). He also had 39 points and eight assists in that game.
He followed that up by piling up 42 points in the Nets win over Chicago on Wednesday. He’s willing the Nets into the playoff race.
Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate
The two hockey legends finally had their numbers retired on Sunday. The 2009 Rangers could sure use a couple of players like these guys.
The Giants' big running back was locked up for four years at $25 million. Big Blue used the franchise player tag to buy more time for negotiations, and it worked out beautifully. No hold outs, whining or tantrums.
He’s back, and recorded a shutout in his return. The Devils shot to first place without him, though. Hmm, maybe it’s the system after all...nah.
Schmuck of the Week
The longtime loser was finally kicked out of town. He was on the Knicks for parts of six seasons, which is twice as long as any other team could stand him.
The Knicks made the playoffs once while he was on the team, which, of course, is not all his fault. There was plenty of blame to spread around during his tenure in New York.
But nothing’s ever his fault, is it? He gets a special award by also being named the Schmuck of the Last Half Decade.