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Dallas Morning News

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The intense technician and a QB reminiscent of Warren Moon: Inside Jon Kitna and Dak Prescott's budding relationship
05/25/2019 9:00am

FRISCO -- Jon Kitna met Dak Prescott roughly three years ago when he was asked to share his story with the Cowboys rookie class. The journey of an undrafted athlete who went on to play for 14 seasons in the NFL is one head coach Jason Garrett wanted his young players to hear.The next time the two had a chance to sit down and talk was a few months ago on a bus at the Pro Bowl. Prescott spoke of his desire to be elite. Early in this budding relationship, Kitna told Prescott who he reminds him of as a quarterback.I had the chance to play with Warren Moon in my second and third year, and I feel like he throws the ball very similar to Warren, Kitna said of Prescott. Its one of the tightest spirals youll ever see.Prescotts responseI didnt know what to say, he remembered. Ill take it.He played forever. Hall of Famer. He can throw it.In his first few months as the Cowboys quarterbacks coach, Kitna stresses his job is not to revamp Prescott. Its to refine whats already in place. Its to give him feedback and find the right drills to work on day in and day out.Many of those drills have to do with footwork. The right foot is the key.All those little things that matter, Kitna said. Where your weight is, your weight distribution, how you come out from center, how you land, where your foot is, all that stuff.We dont want to be to the point where you get bogged down thinking about those things. But I think thats what the offseason is for.Kitna points to two influences. The first is Ken Zampese, his quarterbacks coach in Cincinnati.Zampese is the son Ernie Zampese, a key architect in the Air Coryell philosophy that swept the league in the late 1970s and early 80s. Zampese also worked under head coach Mike Martz in St. Louis, the offensive mind behind The Greatest Show on Turf to open this century.Kitna produced one of the best seasons of his career in 03 with Zampese. He was even better in 06 and 07 in Detroit. His offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in those two seasonsMike Martz.He Zampese was really good teaching how to work through progressions and what your footwork looks like, Kitna said. Then I got with Mike Martz, and he broke it down to the minutest detail of footwork and how everything gets aligned and where you need to be so you stay in the pocket.A quarterback under pressure, mistakes can be self-inflicted because youre not where youre supposed to be in the middle of the pocket. Youre talking about an inch or two a lot of times. But youre always tweaking and always trying to work at it.I mean, the stuff Mike taught me, like I said, in Year 11 my arm got stronger, my release got faster and my accuracy went up by teaching me how to work my right foot, ad nauseam. So Im a big believer in it, and weve already seen big changes in all of our quarterbacks.Prescott was sacked 56 times last season, only one less than his first two seasons combined. He certainly wasnt at fault in all of those. But thats one area where he can improve.The phrase Kitna uses is pocket engineer.Watch any good quarterback over time, the ones that last, they know how to create their own space like jump shooters in basketball know how to get their own space so they can get their shot off.Its the same in football. How do I create space so I can be on time and get this throw where I want it to beKitna believes quarterbacks are built from the feet up, not the arm down. If your arm is in the wrong slot or youre having difficulty getting through throws, its usually because youre not in the proper alignment.And it goes back to one foot in particular.Its amazing how what we do is with that right foot, Kitna said. Its a lot of drills, the stuff they do every day.Its not something new. Im not some guru. Its just a focus.Garrett is encouraged by the relationship he sees building between Kitna and Prescott as the Cowboys enter their second week of organized team activities.I think theyve gotten along really well, Garrett said. I think they have a lot of similar qualities if you think about them as people.I think its good to have a new voice for Dak, someone who again I think believes in the things that we believe in but maybe can present it a little differently. Hopefully that resonates with Dak and the other quarterbacks.Prescott likes how active Kitna is a coach, how he keeps pushing.He calls him a technician at the quarterback spot.He likes the intensity.He has such a strong personality that you kind of wonder, Prescott said. Im excited, but he might have to ease up a little bit.But as you get on the field, its much more than I could honestly ask for. Just in the first two days and the teaching sessions, hes going to push me. Thats what I ask for. Hes going to make me a better player, even when hes got me out there dead tired and Im drenched.Bring it. Keep coming. I want more. Thats how Ive had success, and I know hell lead me to it.Kitna evaluated Prescott before he took the job. When he put it next to Prescotts self-evaluation the two were remarkably similar.These two are on the same page.Theres always room for improvement, Kitna said. For him, its continuing to define that together and working together.Its really little things.Twitter: DavidMooreDMN

Brilliant, dedicated and gruff: Dallas Morning News sports reporter Gerry Fraley dies at 64, leaving legacy of unrivaled work ethic
05/25/2019 8:03am

On a slow night in the early 80s, a message on the Astrodomes scoreboard invoked baseball patrons to make some noise for the home team, inciting a visiting sportswriter instead.Leaning out over the railing of the open-air press box, he bellowed, Clap, you sheepA nearby reporter gasped, Who is thatOnly one of the most respected sportswriters of his generation, thats who Gerry Fraley was. Brilliant, dedicated and gruff. A bona fide Breslin-esque newspaper character admired by peers, players, managers, coaches, umpires, officials, scouts, clubhouse attendants, at least one commissioner, waitresses in general and a former president in particular.Fraley, who died early Saturday morning at 64 after a two-year bout with cancer, was a loyal friend, bitter enemy, loving father and a ballwriters ballwriter, according to the consensus of nearly two dozen national colleagues.He also covered football, basketball, NASCAR and various assignments over a career spanning four decades. Fraleys versatility, said his Dallas Morning News boss, Garry Leavell, is what separated him from his peers.Only a month before his death, he wrote the lead on a Stars-Predators NHL playoff game despite his weakened condition and a tight deadline. Hit the button with a minute to spare, as was his custom.Even as he fought against this dreadful illness, Leavell added, it was hugely important to Gerry that he didnt let down his colleagues and his readers. He had a work ethic second to none.Prepared for any subject, Fraley preferred one above all others, as a former Texas Rangers owner indicated through a spokesperson.Gerry was an accomplished writer and a keen observer of many sports, President George W. Bush said. It always seemed to me that baseball was his real passion, thereby establishing a kinship and a lasting friendship.A media career was foreshadowed early. According to family legend, he read the morning paper over a cup of coffee, then set out for his first day of grade school. He was so smart, said his brother, Brad, that, his senior year, his Florida high school teachers told him he was on his own.Or maybe it was because he was a pain in the ass, Brad said.He majored in football and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University before converting to journalism. He would cover the Braves for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Rangers for The News, joining SportsDay in 1989.Foxs Ken Rosenthal called Fraley a role model for me ... just by the no-BS way he carried himself.Claire Smith, a colleague of Fraleys at the Philadelphia Bulletin and the first woman elected to the writers wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, said Fraleys passion and desire were like guideposts.Watching Fraley work, ESPNs Mark Kreidler said, I learned what being a great beat writer entailed and what a professional line of questioning sounded like.Fraleys dedication -- he charted Rangers statistics after each game, even when he wasnt on the beat -- informed his coverage.You didnt have to draw any pictures for him, former commissioner Bud Selig said. He knew. He understood. You could trust him. He was fair, honest, a great reporter.Work ethic and an extensive network helped Fraley forge relationships built on reporting, not flattery. He never shied from the truth or hid from the fallout.For us guys they call old school, said former reliever Charlie Kerfeld, now a scout, he was the ultimate reporter. He wrote what mattered, not gossip and junk. He showed up every day in case you had an issue with what he wrote.Fraleys crisp, incisive prose crackled with insight. He didnt just report that a player had been sent down. He explained why what the player had to do next and how opposing scouts regarded his odds.His coverage rarely accentuated hi-jinks, eliminating a good deal of Rangers material. When Jose Canseco headed a baseball over a fence, Fraley sought out the pitcher victimized by the gaffe. Kenny Rogers didnt think it was funny, Fraley wrote.Despite his often sober approach, he was clever and quick. Like the time he watched a pitcher roll a baseball down the first base line with his nose and exclaimed, loud enough for fans to hear, If you want to see something really funny, watch him try to get a big league hitter out.On the Orioles Jeff Stone, running into outs at every base in a single game: Stoney, running for the cycleOn being the father of twins: Its like youre always killing the power play.In 1996, when The News sent him to Pittsburgh in advance of the Cowboys-Steelers Super Bowl, he displayed his lightning wit and grasp of the local scene in a news conference exchange with Bill Cowher.Fraley: People say you are the perfect Steelers coach, a Pittsburgh guy with that blue-collar ethic . . . Cowher: Who says thatFraley: A couple guys down at Froggys.Fraley also had his weaknesses. Wrestling, for instance. He knew the history of every rassler from Killer Kowalski to Ric Flair. He favored heels.Occasionally he played the part himself. He could be petty and even a bully.He had a highly-developed sense of right and wrong that didnt allow much gray area, said Paul Hagen, a close friend and longtime baseball writer. If he concluded that you were lacking in some way -- that you were lazy or unprofessional or not performing up to your potential -- he wouldnt hesitate to let you know.Upon meeting Fraley at the 1985 World Series, Phyllis Merhige, then director of public relations for the American League, said she was terrified of him.But it didnt take long to realize that he was a sweetheart underneath, she said. I felt lucky that he liked me because he was the kind of guy who, once he liked you, he was yours for life.As ESPNs Pedro Gomez put it, Youre either accepted or not with Gerry. And when youre accepted, there is no better place to be.Fraley never left a News colleague alone in a press box or failed to check on visiting writers on his way out the door. Toronto sportswriter Bob Elliott said Fraley once picked him up at his Arlington hotel every day of a four-game series and drove him back every night.Only on the final day, Elliott said, did I realize he had been off for four days.For reasons unknown, MLB.coms Richard Justice said, Fraley was protective of our nations servers. Treat a waitress rudely, Justice said, and youd feel a glare that would melt steel.He stood up for his own, too. Once, when Fraley judged that Jon Daniels had done a disservice to a News reporter, he let the Rangers general manager know it.And he was a hundred percent right, Daniels said. We developed a mutual respect after that.Even as cancer and chemo turned his gray mane white and reduced his gait to a shuffle, Fraleys approach remained undiminished.I knew Gerry for more than 30 years, said John Blake, executive vice president of communications for the Rangers, and he covered baseball with the same passion and intensity until he wrote his final game story on May 5.Besides a brother and sister, Tracey Bruch, as well as their families, Fraley is survived by his wife, Stephanie Brownlee twin sons Tyson and Sam a couple of cats and the best dog he ever had. Funeral services are pending.Correction, 10:35 a.m. Saturday: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Fraleys start year at The News as 1988. He started in 1989.Twitter: KSherringtonDMN

How Stars’ ‘Finnish Mafia’ including Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz serve as the biggest reason for optimism in Dallas
05/25/2019 12:42pm

The Finnish Mafia isnt hard to find.Its a trio of franchise building blocks -- center Roope Hintz and defensemen Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell -- thats nearly inseparable off the ice. They walk into arenas together. They leave together. They share a corner in the American Airlines Center dressing room, where Finnish in the first language and where Hintz and Heiskanen are perhaps the most talkative.And so, general manager Jim Nill dubbed the three players the Finnish Mafia during exit interviews this month.Between Lindell, Heiskanen and Roope walking around, Nill said, thats our future.Lindell has already cashed in on a strong season with a six-year contract extension, but Hintz and Heiskanen will have to build on impressive rookie seasons.Hintz, 22, began the season as the teams fourth-line center, shuttled between the NHL and AHL before establishing himself as a true second-line option down the stretch and into the playoffs. He finished with 22 points in 58 regular-season games and eight in 13 postseason games.Heiskanen, 19, had loftier expectations after he was the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft, and he somehow met them. He played all 82 regular-season games and all 13 playoff games while leading all rookies in ice time at 23:07 per game. His smooth-skating was evident immediately, and his strong stick work in his own zone helped mask shortcomings with his size.Hintz and Heiskanen helped provide internal improvements for the Stars and now serve as the biggest reasons for optimism in Dallas after a second-round exit in the playoffs.Thats the tough part sometimes, especially for people out there, Nill said. Theyre always You got to get going, you got to make changes and stuff. I think its a good example this year, you just got to let some things, everybody develops at different paces. Roope Hintz at this time last year was never on the radar screen. Jason Dickinson wasnt on the radar screen. Miro Heiskanen wasnt.Hintz especially feels like found treasure. To go from battling Remi Elie and Gemel Smith for playing time in September to the teams best forward in the last game of the season while playing with a fractured foot is quite a leap.At 6-3, 215 pounds, Hintz combines size with his blazing speed, making him a matchup problem for opposing teams.Roope finally figured it out, Nill said. He found, How do I get in the battle Roope used to get in the battle and maybe disappear sometimes. Now hes in the battle, he stays in it, he wins the battle and hes got the puck.Stars forward Andrew Cogliano didnt know Hintz was even in the league before Coglianos trade from Anaheim to Dallas in January. But after seeing him up close for four months, Cogliano said Hintz reminded him of Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews 21 years old, 6-3, 223 pounds.I think Matthews would be a guy that he looks kind of similar to me, Cogliano said. Matthews is more of a shooter maybe, likes to shoot and has one of the best releases in the league. Roope skates faster than him, but theyre similar in how the move and how that play with the puck and how they have the puck on their stick.Those guys, they look like theyre skating effortlessly sometimes. Hes a guy that you want on this team for a long time.Hintz credited his in-season improvement simply to a confidence boost and should enter next season behind only Tyler Seguin on the depth chart at center. For Heiskanen, the summer is about getting stronger after his first season in North America finished with Nashville and St. Louis targeting the rookie physically.My strength, thats maybe the biggest thing, Heiskanen said. I havent think about that yet too much, but maybe strength is the biggest one.Progress from young players such as Hintz and Heiskanen is essential for the Stars -- and for every other team, really -- in the leagues salary cap environment. Productive players on entry-level contracts are the greatest assets in the sport because it allows general managers to spend big money on veteran players, either due for raises or in free agency.Next season will be the last one both Hintz and Heiskanen are on their entry-level contracts. Hintz has one more year at a $811,667 cap hit before restricted free agency. Heiskanen has two more years at a $894,166 cap hit. The smaller salaries for younger players allow the Stars to spend on Seguin $9.85 million, Jamie Benn $9.5 million, Alexander Radulov $6.25 million, Lindell $5.8 million and Ben Bishop $4.917 million.Its the key to having success in this league, Nill said. You have to have young kids coming. Thats always the balancing act.Twitter: MDeFranks

Grant: Gerry Fraley was fearless and the ultimate teammate -- I owe my career to him
05/25/2019 12:40pm

It wasnt Herschel Walkers finest moment.The then-University of Georgia legend was in the beginning stages of turning pro that involved accepting a contract, pulling out of it, denying it and, well, it was a mess. It was an enormous story for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, of course, Gerry Fraley somehow found his way into the investigation. At that very moment, he was arguing with an editor about how Herschels words and actions didnt add up.And thats when I met him.Oh, I wasnt involved in the investigation. No, I was a 17-year-old clerk, charged with answering calls, inputting scores and, on occasion, seeing if anybody needed anything from the company cafeteria. A high school senior, I was also planning to attend the University of Georgia and was infatuated with Herschel. As usual, I was still learning about timing when I walked up timidly up to a guy whose fierce personality had already proceeded him, about to ask him if he wanted something from the cafeteria. Do you ... , I started to stammer.Fraley interrupted, bellowing loudly: Hes a fraud on this, a fraud. There may have also been a profanity included. Or three.I think I dropped the tray I was carrying. And I may not have approached Fraley again for several months out of sheer fear. Im glad I did. Because everything Ive become as a sportswriter, I became because of him. As a high schooler reading his punchy Braves leads, I tried to emulate him. As a young journalist, I marveled at his fearlessness in any situation. And eventually, as a colleague, I learned first-hand so much about baseball, journalism and people.Fraley, who died Saturday after a two-year fight with cancer, helped bring me to The Dallas Morning News in 1997, took me out for dinner my first night here, introduced me to innumerable baseball executives, fleshed out story ideas, joked about mascots and wrestling, scowled at me for special-ordering in restaurants where he thought you ordered what was on the menu, exactly as it was written, and didnt make any further requests. And, of course, we often engaged in a sportswriters favorite pastime: Venting about everything that is wrong with the industry.As a reporter, he was thorough. He had encyclopedic memory, and usually a clipping somewhere, on just about every subject that could be imagined on the baseball beat. Was a guy from Texas Fraley knew his back-story in depth. Needed a contact with another club Fraley knew a scout or a minor league coach there for years. When another colleague would stop to ask me a question on the beat, while Id stammer to come up with something, Fraley always had the answer on the tip of his tongue. Visiting writers, scouts or club officials would often stop by my seat in the press box with one quick inquiry: Hey, wheres FraleyHe was loud in the press box with wisecracks, occasionally letting out a what a beating when the game turned ugly. He was loud in dress, too, wearing the tackiest Hawaiian shirts he could find, a trend that I followed because, well, I was trying to be Fraley. As if that was possible.He was competitive, sometimes to the point of confrontation with the competition. Ask anybody whos squared off against him on the beat and, if there was any conversation between the two, it was minimal and barely cordial. He lived to beat you. But the respect was immense.As a friend, he could not do enough for you. My first year in Dallas, I knew nobody. Had a health scare. He picked me up and drove me home from the hospital. That happened in the middle of the night once in spring training, too.It all shaped me as a writer. I could never be as tough as him, but I could be tougher than I was. I could never be as connected as him, but I could be more connected than I was. I was never going to be as prepared as him, but I could be more prepared.It motivated me. It still does. It intimidated me, too. It still does. Almost every night, I wonder: What would Fraley do Would he approve of my coverageIm intimidated even now. Hed hate this. And Im indebted to him beyond my ability to express.Im not going to bore you with a bunch of old inside-journalism war stories that mean the world to me, but this was Gerry Fraley at his essence:In the last two months, it had become very evident that the cancer that first surfaced two years ago was back and it was taking a toll on him. But he took so much value from work and the routine brought him some sense of purpose that he wanted to keep going, even to the point where he was shuffling through the ballpark slowly and clearly in pain. And yet he never shied away from an assignment.Three weeks ago, he was to go to Pittsburgh for a two-game trip with the Rangers. It was an important trip for him to make. He went to college in Pittsburgh, began working in journalism as a clerk there, and his mother is buried there. But as the days neared, it became more and more clear that if he made the trip at all, it would likely be his last one. I feared for his personal safety but wasnt about to tell him not to go.The day he was to travel, he called.The doctor doesnt want me to travel, he rasped weakly. Im sorry if this screws up things for you. I feel bad about that.That was him. The ultimate teammate, dying from an insidious disease and apologizing for thinking he may have inconvenienced someone.On Twitter: EvanPGrant

Mavericks free agent series: Does Nikola Vucevic have the potential to finally end Dallas' search for a center?
05/24/2019 7:00pm

The Mavericks run of bad draft-lottery luck continued on May 14 and as a result they wont have a first-round draft pick on June 20, though they do have a second-rounder, No. 37 overall.Most of the Mavericks focus has turned to the start of free agency, which in past years has begun at 11:01 p.m. Central time on June 30, but will now begin at 5 p.m. Central on June 30 this year.Most projections are that the Mavericks will have $29.4 million to $37.9 million or even $48 million to spend on free agency. The lower figure factors in the potential of Dwight Powell enacting his $10.2 million player option for next season, although a Yahoo report stated that he will not and the Mavericks by June 29 extending qualifying offers and thereby placing cap holds on restricted free agents Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith.The $37.9 million figure could be reached if the Mavericks use the stretch provision, on July 1 or later, to waive guard Courtney Lee and stretch his $12.76 million 2019-20 salarys cap hit over three seasons, to $4.25 million per year, clearing $8.5 million for next season. Thats not an ideal scenario, however, because Lees dead money in years two and three would inhibit spending during those summers.And the $48 million figure could be reached if the Mavericks use the stretch provision on Lee AND Powell does not opt in, although both are not likely to happen and in the case of Powell the extra money would need to be used to sign him or replace him.Dallas most glaring roster needs are for a scorer who ideally can swing between both forward positions, and for a rugged center/power forward who can defend physically imposing players at both positions and help shore the rebounding deficiencies that glared after last seasons trade of DeAndre Jordan.Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has said that Dallas can spend the bulk of its free-agent dollars on a star player or split our aces and sign two or three players at smaller salaries.Mavericks fans have a long wait, and various scenarios to imagine how to spend Mark Cubans money in July. This series is a position-by-position list of free agents and restricted free agents from whom Dallas should at least gauge interest, others that are a more logistical fit, some dark horses and players the Mavericks absolutely should avoid.Todays installment is centers. By making this our last positional installment, havent we in a way been avoiding the elephant in the room Or should we say elephantsFor one thing, finding rebounding help and ideally someone who also can provide low-post scoring and defense is one of Dallas biggest needs. The other fact is that, where free agency is concerned, the Mavericks have long been fixated on centers, almost from the moment after they allowed Tyson Chandler to leave for New York after the 2011 championship.They pursued Dwight Howard in the summer of 2013. They traded for Chandler for the 2014-15 season, then allowed him to leave again when they chased DeAndre Jordan in the summer of 2015 and briefly had his verbal commitment. They swung and missed on Hassan Whiteside in 2016 while also whiffing on guard Mike Conley.Continuing their quest, the Mavericks tried a different tact, trading for Nerlens Noel two-thirds into the 2016-17 season. They offered him a four-year, $70 million contract that summer - and to Dallas everlasting dumb luck he turned up his nose at the offer, instead signing a one-year qualifying contract of $4.18 million.Noels decision wasnt the Mavericks only lucky break. With the exception of Jordans summer of 15 change of heart, it could be argued that the rest of the snubs proved to be cases in which the Mavericks were saved from themselves.Last summer Dallas again went center-hunting and finally landed a literal big fish, Jordan, but signed him to only a one-year deal and wound up trading him in the seven-player Knicks trade that brought Porzingis here.The presence of 7-foot-3 Porzingis at power forward on offense and center on defense should lessen Dallas big-man desperation, but the Mavericks clearly need to add at least one this summer - two if Powell signs elsewhere.Click below to view other positions in this series: PG SG SF PF CNIKOLA VUCEVICIts natural to envision the Mavericks courting 28-year-old All-Star Vucevic, whose agent, Bill Duffy, also represents Luka Doncic.Its also easy to envision playing alongside Porzingis -- offensively, that is. Porzingis is a prototypical stretch-four, while Vucevic has most of the offensive attributes you want in a modern center - above-average post-up game and with the ability to pop out to three-point distance, where he shot 36.4-percent last season.The concern of a Vucevic-Porzingis frontline would be on defense. Neither is athletic enough to guard fellow stretch-fours and stretch-fives on the perimeter, which is why coach Rick Carlisle envisions Porzingis guarding centers on most nights. Where would that leave 7-foot, 260-pound Vucevic Guarding quicker, more athletic power forwards on many nights That doesnt seem promising.During stretches when Vucevic and Porzingis are getting overmatched defensively, Carlisle probably will need to summon Kleber and/or Powell, assuming they return. Conversely, there would be many times when opposing power forwards and centers would be overwhelmed by Vucevics and Porzingis shooting and passing. Basketball is a sport of matchups. Whichever team pounces first generally forces the opponent to match up, not vice versa.The primary obstacle to a Vucevic-Mavericks marriage is money. Vuevics current team, Orlando, has the ability to pay him as much as a $189.6 million deal with Orlando or $140.6 million with another team, with a $32.7 million starting salary in each case.In todays NBA, centers dont generally get max contracts, and it seems unlikely that the Mavericks would expend all or most of their available cap space on one center.Of this seasons top 20 paid NBA players, a range that stretched from No. 1 Steph Curry at $37.4 million to No. 20 Carmelo Anthony at $25.5 million, the only center was Bostons Al Horford, who ranked 13th with a salary of $28.9 million.The next highest-paid centers were Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Whiteside, each at $25.4 million.Is Vucevic worth more than all of those centers I dont think so. The Mavericks, though, apparently either believe they have a chance to get Vucevic, or were at least closely studying the feasibility of a Vucevic-Porzingis pairing late last season. As Orlando-based Josh Robbins of The Athletic wrote at seasons end:It should be noted that Mavericks dispatched a high-ranking member of their front office to observe several post-trade deadline Magic games, ostensibly to scout Vucevic.Given their modus operandi of recent summers, does anyone want to bet against the Mavericks pursuing a centerDeMARCUS COUSINSWildcard. Its hard to imagine the Mavericks risking a significant investment in a player with Cousins recent terrible-luck injury history.Coming off an Achilles rupture, Cousins, 28, signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with Golden State and for the 30 games in which he played he looked like a bargain, averaging 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists.Cousins was rewarded with his first trip to the playoffs, but in Golden States second game, against the Clippers, he tore a quadriceps muscle in his left leg.Boogie in the past four regular seasons has played 55, 17, 48 and 30 games. Only six times in his 11 seasons has he played 60 or more games and only four times has he played 70 or more.Signing Cousins even to a moderate contract, is a huge risk, but the Mavericks brain trust has been infatuated with him for at least five years - and that cannot be dismissed.ENES KANTERNot much of a defender, which is one of the reasons he played in only 44 games for a rebuilding Knicks team this season.The Knicks waived him at the trade deadline, eating the rest of his $18.2 million salary, so Portland signed him and he played well to finish the regular season 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds per game and through the playoffs.If you want scoring and rebounding, 27-year-old Kanter can give the Mavericks or any other team plenty. For defense, the Mavericks would have to look elsewhere.DARK HORSES:Brook LopezWillie Cauley-SteinDewayne DedmonNO WAY:DeAndre JordanHassan WhitesideJonas ValanciunasJaVale McGeeRestricted free agentPlayer optionClick below to view other positions in this series: PG SG SF PF C


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Gerry Fraley, Longtime Sports Writer For Dallas Morning News, Dies At 64
05/25/2019 4:38pm

Gerry Fraley, a longtime sports writer who spent most of his career covering the Texas Rangers for The Dallas Morning News, has died at the age of 64.

Former Baylor Football Coach Art Briles Hired To Coach At Mount Vernon High School
05/24/2019 7:33pm

Briles was fired by Baylor in 2016 as the university confronted a sexual assault scandal involving athletes on the football team.

Stream The Charles Schwab Challenge
05/24/2019 4:10pm

The Charles Schwab Challenge comes to you live from Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

Study: NFL Players More Likely Than MLB Players To Die From Brain, Heart Problems
05/24/2019 11:11am

A new study suggests professional football players may be more likely to die from degenerative brain diseases and heart problems than pro baseball players but the reasons are unclear.

University Of Texas Gives Head Football Coach Herman 2-Year Contract Extension
05/23/2019 12:46pm

Hes only been there a couple of years, but University of Texas regents have approved a two-year contract extension for Longhorns football coach Tom Herman.

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Register to win a Lakewood Brewing Company VIP Experience
05/24/2019 9:50am

Lakewood Brewing has combined the awesomeness of Hari Mari, The Common Table, Stater Hotel to bring you the Ultimate Summer Experience Giveaway One lucky winner and a plus one, will spend the afternoon Saturday, June 22nd traipsing around Dallas enjoying a one of a kind VIP experiences. In the afternoon, you will tour the Hari

Texas Lottery Gem 7’s Scratch Tickets
05/20/2019 12:00am

Shake the Magic 8 Ball to see if luck can happen to you thanks to the Texas Lottery

May 15, 2019
05/15/2019 7:49pm

The White House plans to implement a merit-based proposal to increase the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter the U.S based on merit specifically for employment and skills in specialized vocations

The Woodford Reserve Musers Ticket Compound Starts Wednesday May 8
05/02/2019 9:58am

Its timethe Woodford Reserve Musers Ticket Compound is coming to your ears starting at 3pm on Wednesday May 8th. All nine Ticket hosts go deeeeep into the woods and broadcast from our hidden, undisclosed location through 7pm Friday May 10th. Take off work, schedule your naps, get loaded up on coffeewhatever it takes to get

The Ticket’s Mavericks Postgame Show
02/05/2019 9:38am

Its the Tickets Mavericks Postgame Show with voice of the Mavericks Mark Followill and The Tickets Jake Kemp. Tune in after the final buzzer sounds after every Mavs home game at the AAC to get instant knee jerk reactions and hot sports opinions from Jake and Mark on Luka Doncic, Dirk and the Mavs. These


4805 Amon Carter Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76155   Directions

(800) 232-5927


Calhoun Rallies Angels Past Rangers 3-2 to Snap 5-Game Skid
05/26/2019 8:32am

Jared Walsh has seemingly done it all in his short major league career. The rookie has hit and pitched, and now added his first RBI and game-ending hit to his accomplishments.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Wounded Warriors Receive Mortgage-Free Homes at Colonial
05/25/2019 9:32pm

Since 2005, Colonial Country Club has honored the military in a special way. This year Robert Gass IV and Alex Freeman became the 16th and 17th members of the Wounded Warrior program to be given homes --...Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports

NBC 5 Football Minute: Frisco Lone Star
05/25/2019 7:26pm

A program that almost always seems to finish with double digit wins and coming off a trip to the regional semifinals, Frisco Lone Star is not holding back its hopes for 2019.Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports

Longtime North Texas Baseball Writer Gerry Fraley Dies at 64
05/25/2019 8:31pm

Gerry Fraley, a longtime baseball writer who spent most of his career with The Dallas Morning News, has died. He was 64.Photo Credit: Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News

Smyly Gets First Win Since 2016 As Rangers Rally to Win
05/25/2019 3:43pm


Plano Star Courier

624 Krona Dr
Plano, TX 75074   Directions

(972) 398-4200


Energy and growth: Soukup, West close first chapter of 2019
05/25/2019 2:30pm

When new Plano West head coach Tyler Soukup took over the job in February, his first steps were clear he aimed to instill a commitment to a mindset of growth, mental toughness and energy that he felt the program

Shifting identity: East football filling in gaps left by class of ‘19
05/24/2019 2:30pm

A season ago, the high-flying Plano East offense, paced by senior quarterback Brandon Mallory and his deep, veteran corps of wideouts, led the Panthers to an appearance in the bi-district round of the 6A postseason.

PODCAST: 2018-19 Athletics Year in Review - Rowlett, Plano, Mesquite
05/24/2019 6:17am

Star Local Media reflects on the 2018-19 high school sports year for all 14 of its markets, beginning the series with a look back at the school year for Rowlett, Plano and Mesquite.

PODCAST: Softball, Baseball Playoff Roundup - Rivalries Renewed, Underdogs Make History
05/20/2019 3:53pm

A high-profile district softball rivalry is renewed with a trip to state on the line and a pair of third-place baseball teams continues to crank out wins in the playoffs.

Surging for second: Lady Wolves’ day-two jump earns West silver medal
05/17/2019 7:00pm

Entering the second day of competition at the Class 6A state girls golf tournament, Plano West trailed leader Austin Westlake by a mammoth 14 strokes. No team was within 10 of the Chaparrals, as Southlake Carroll and Houston Memorial were

Rambler Newspapers

627 S Rogers Rd
Irving, TX 75060   Directions

(972) 870-1992


MacArthur Basketball Standout to Take Talents to Louisiana Tech
05/24/2019 10:51am

Irving MacArthur High School standout Tailor Broussard signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Louisiana Tech. The four-year letterman averaged 17 points...

Irving Soccer Hits the Big Leagues
05/23/2019 1:43pm

Hold on to your shin guards Irving has its own professional soccer team. Los Gallos Football Club, a member of the United Premiere Soccer League...

Irving Native Coaching in College Basketball Final Four
04/04/2019 2:08pm

Texas Tech Coach Chris Beard is making national news with his Red Raiders basketball team being one of four across the nation still standing in...

Coppell High Swimmers Compete at State Championships
02/28/2019 2:16pm

Johan Pretorius and Aurelie Migault represented Coppell High School in style at the 6A State Championships in Austin. Aggressive racing in prelims on Friday led...

Irving ISD Middle School Basketball City Champions Named
02/08/2019 10:47am

Basketball teams from Johnson, Lamar and Travis Middle Schools won city championships this season. The seventh-grade girls and boys A teams from Johnson won titles...


808 Throckmorton St
Fort Worth, TX 76102   Directions

(800) 776-7827


‘Shame on you’ for Art Briles hire, says Fort Worth dad of woman who was raped, murdered
05/26/2019 3:44pm

Molly Jane Mathesons dad is mad. Still coping with the rape and murder of his 22-year-old daughter, David Matheson cant believe that Art Briles the former Baylor football coach Click to Continue

KU basketball adds walk-on guard Michael Jankovich, son of SMU hoops coach
05/26/2019 4:22pm

Michael Jankovich, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and Jesuit College Prep School of Dallas, has committed to play basketball at Kansas as an invited Click to Continue

TCU’s leading scorer Desmond Bane returning for senior season
05/26/2019 2:41pm

Desmond Bane is coming back for his senior season. The TCU basketball standout guard has made a decision to return after testing the NBA Draft waters, Bane confirmed to the Click to Continue

TCU baseball loses Big 12 semifinal in 10 innings, leaving NCAA tournament bid to fate
05/26/2019 1:26pm

TCU baseball was eliminated in a Big 12 Championship semifinal game Sunday morning. Now the Horned Frogs will have to hope the NCAA tournament committee thinks they deserve a bid Click to Continue

UIL softball state tournament pairings
05/26/2019 12:11pm

UIL STATE SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS STATE TOURNAMENT Class 1A state semifinal games will be played at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. All other games to be played at Red and Charline Click to Continue


606 Young St
Dallas, TX 75202   Directions

(214) 748-9631


Simon Pagenaud wins 2019 Indianapolis 500
05/26/2019 4:21pm

He came into the season trying to hang onto his job, now Simon Pagenaud is an Indy 500 Champion.

'Remember the Titans' coach Bill Yoast, dies at 94
05/25/2019 2:49pm

Remember the Titans portrayed how Bill Yoast and Herman Boone led the newly integrated T.C. Williams High School to an undefeated 1971 football season.

Art Briles returns to Texas as Mount Vernon High head football coach
05/24/2019 10:32pm

Art Briles was Baylors head football coach from 2008 to 2016. He was fired in May 2016 amid the programs sexual assault scandal.

Jerry Jones does not expect NFL to discipline Zeke over latest incident
05/23/2019 9:09pm

Jerry Jones says the incident caught on cellphone video will not impact contract negotiations with his star running back.

A year away from the Dallas Cowboys may help TE Jason Witten knock off the rust
05/23/2019 4:20pm

Jason Witten has been away from the rigors of the game which should help him come back refreshed while he reintegrates himself back into the offense

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