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What Steve Cohen means for Van Wagenen, Mets front office

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What Steve Cohen means for Van Wagenen, Mets front office

PHILADELPHIA — The first significant decision for the new Mets boss-in-waiting will be deciding who should oversee baseball operations.

Steve Cohen’s transition to Mets owner won’t become official until next month at the earliest, when MLB owners vote on the $2.4 billion transaction that would leave the hedge fund billionaire as the franchise’s control person. However, it’s also possible that vote won’t occur until the quarterly owners’ meetings in November. Cohen will need 23 of 29 votes.

The Wilpon and Katz families will relinquish their voices on organizational matters, but less clear is whether general manager Brodie Van Wagenen will retain control of baseball operations.

According to sources, Van Wagenen and Cohen have spoken on several occasions since last winter, when Cohen, a minority partner, first entered exclusive negotiations to buy the team. That deal never materialized, however, as team COO Jeff Wilpon’s potential role in the new regime became a sticking point. Cohen, as part of the feeling-out process, also got to know key members of Van Wagenen’s front office. Cohen had a previous relationship with senior adviser Omar Minaya, a longtime friend.

“[Cohen] is not a stranger to Brodie,” a source said.

The Post reported in January that Van Wagenen wanted Cohen’s input on selecting a managerial replacement for Carlos Beltran, who stepped aside after his role in the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing scheme was revealed. But Cohen did not want to become involved at the time, preferring to see how Van Wagenen handled the situation. Van Wagenen ultimately promoted from within, elevating quality control coach Luis Rojas to the position.

Steve Cohen; Brodie Van Wagenen
Steve Cohen; Brodie Van WagenenEPA, Charles Wenzelberg

The source indicated there is a sense of optimism among Van Wagenen’s staff that Cohen will give this front office at least into next season before considering changes. That especially holds true if Cohen isn’t approved until November, when teams are already formulating offseason strategy. But even if Cohen were approved in October, his timeline would be tight to install a new front office.

The expectation is Cohen would hire a team president to oversee the daily operations of the club. Those duties are presently handled by Jeff Wilpon.

One possibility until a team president is hired, is Cohen would allow Van Wagenen to report directly to him. If Cohen’s purchase of the team occurred months earlier, Van Wagenen would be less likely to return.

Van Wagenen, a former agent, became Mets general manager in October 2018 following a search that began with Sandy Alderson’s resignation the previous June. Under Van Wagenen, who received a four-year contract, the Mets missed the playoffs last season, finishing 86-76.

Unless the Mets, who lost 4-1 to the Phillies on Tuesday, get hot over these final 11 games, they will again miss the playoffs, even in an expanded format that will include eight teams from each league.

Those results hardly scream “job security,” but Van Wagenen may have the calendar on his side.

“A new GM is going to have to come in and get his people in place, he’s going to have to figure out what is where,” the source said. “[Cohen] is going to be replacing Jeff’s work. Steve isn’t going to come in and do that himself.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Charles Barkley Has an Interesting Take on Why LeBron James isn’t Like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant

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Charles Barkley Has an Interesting Take on Why LeBron James isn't Like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant

The man that comes to any sane person’s mind when anybody mentions the Lakers right now is Lebron James. He maybe 35 years old but he still plays like he is in his 20s. He is born to score and contribute massive points. Although his identity revolves around making the right plays at the right time. What’s brilliant about him is that he’s okay with not taking the last shot as long as it means they win. It is an important quality many may not possess but his style certainly resembles another legend we all know very well.

LeBron James is Magic Johnson 2.0?

Magic Johnson was considered the greatest point guard of his time. He was with the Lakers for 13 seasons and is listed as the greatest player to ever exist in NBA History. Following this man’s footsteps is none other than LeBron James. He is also en route to being the GOAT.

Even a few years ago, we all envisioned LeBron turning into Magic Johnson really soon. Therefore, it looks like our predictions are becoming more and more accurate with time. During game 3 against the Denver Nuggets, LeBron scored another triple-double. He dropped 30 points, 10 rebounds, and11 assists.  Only Magic Johnson from the Lakers has more triple-doubles than that and that speaks a lot about LeBron’s caliber. He is inching closer day by day in becoming the next Johnson.

However, the comparison is not just about the scores. It’s more about the way they move on the court and their style of leading the team. In ‘The Ringer’ podcast, Charles Barkley raved about how the only player who ever came close to Michael Jordan was Kobe Bryant. Then, he said, “I consider Lebron as great as he is, I think he’s more of a Magic Johnson type of guy because the other two guys would kill you. They’re not worried about having friends. They just want to kick your butt.” The clean passes, the expertise of half-court sets, and domination on the court are all signs that point towards a Johnson replica.

Can the Lakers make their NBA Finals appearance after a decade?

It was very surprising to see the Lakers lose after LeBron and Anthony Davis combined for 57 points in game 3. However, Davis’ remaining performance was not up to the mark. If the Lakers want to create history once again, they can’t let make room for any errors. The Nuggets are known for their upsets this season and the Lakers need to be extremely wary.

Sep 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with guard Rajon Rondo (9) and guard Alex Caruso (4) during the second half of game three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses long-term deal: ‘I love being here’

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Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses long-term deal: 'I love being here'

Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he did not have to think about signing a new deal as the NBA Coach of the Year heads into another uncertain offseason.

Nurse agreed to a “multiyear” contract extension earlier this month and a year after guiding the Raptors to their first championship.

He was unable to repeat the title feat this season; the Raptors lost to Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals at Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando, Fla.

In his first public comments since re-signing with the club and seeing the title defense come to an end, Nurse told reporters Thursday: “I don’t know if it’s a load off my mind or anything.

“Obviously, man, I love being here and love the job, and there’s nothing not to love, man. I think it was just pretty much, it was time to renew a contract, and that’s what we did. It was really, really easy, you know?”

Nurse added: “For me, I love coaching. I love the whole setup here we got, everything. For me, I just want to keep doing it. I want to continue to provide this city and this country with a tremendous amount of energy that they can all get behind and be proud of.

“It means a lot to me that everybody loves a team so much and we can go out there and give them, on most nights, something to really be proud of and play hard and look like we’re organized and look like we’re playing together and all that stuff. I love that part of it.

“That’s really I want. I want to keep doing it. I want to do it in a place I want to be — and here is where I want to be — and with some guys I want to coach and with some people I want to work alongside.”

While Nurse’s future is secure, there are doubts over whether Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol will return as they enter free agency.

Nurse experienced similar uncertainty in 2019 as championship heroes Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green departed for the Clippers and Lakers, respectively, as free agents.

There are also concerns regarding Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who has one year remaining on his contract.

Asked if he was concerned, Nurse replied: “Yeah, for sure. We’ve been together, [general manager] Bobby [Webster], Masai and I, for seven years now. Only a real close working relationship for two, since I became a head coach, and we feel like a team. We feel like a team that leads the organization. So, yeah, there’s a little concern.

“I was never concerned that they were not going to get a deal done for me. I feel the same way about Bobby and the same for Masai. If something changes, we’ll do the best we can. If it changes, it will probably be for a good reason for somebody or a better reason. If not, we’ll just keep working together.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 4 WCF Injury Update, Lineup and Prediction

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NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 4 WCF Injury Update, Lineup and Prediction

The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets will lock horns once again on Thursday night for WCF Game 4. Although the Lakers still hold a 2-1 lead over Denver, Game 3 was a forgettable experience for them.

Not only did the Lakers lose the matchup, but the Nuggets also out-rebounded them by 19! The three big-men disappeared on the defensive end for the team. Moreover, the Nuggets’ role player truly dominated the LA bench in scoring.

Jerami Grant was a huge factor in the Nuggets’ victory as he scored a playoff career-high 26 points. And like always, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic were the backbones for their victory.

The only positive pointer for the Lakers was a great comeback effort in the fourth quarter. Heading to the fourth quarter, the team was trailing by 20 points. But, at one point they reduced the lead to mere 3 points. Unfortunately, they couldn’t overcome Denver and Murray put the game to bed with an insane three-point shot.

Los Angeles Lakers injury update and lineup predictions

Following the Game 3 defeat, the Lakers have a few concerns to take care of. While LeBron James is still listed as probable from groin issues, Alex Caruso and Danny Green both join him in the list. Caruso experienced some discomfort in his right wrist, while Green has a left ring finger injury.

However, none of the injuries are too lethal and the players will most likely play through them. So the predicted lineup for the Lakers is LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Denver Nuggets injury update and lineup predictions

With a huge Game 3 victory in the books, the Nuggets have brought themselves back in the series. They were nearly automatic from every spot in the victory, and Jerami Grant played a huge role in the triumph.

As far as injuries are concerned, there are no new additions on Denver’s injury list. Will Barton will miss the entire Western Conference Finals and there are no reports of his return soon. So the predicted lineup for the Nuggets is Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, and Jerami Grant.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 4 WCF predictions

Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James battle for a rebound during the second half of game three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Nuggets being dominant in Game 3, they might not overcome the mighty Lakers in the next few games. For starters, it’s very rare to see the Lakers being out-rebounded by such a huge margin. Moreover, they almost made a comeback after entering the fourth quarter being down double digits.

If the Lakers play with the same motivation and pace, the Nuggets might struggle in future games. So, the Lakers should bounce back and put Game 4 in the bag.

What do you think? Will the Lakers increase their lead to 3-1 or will the Nuggets tie the series two games apiece?

Aikansh Chaudhary


A vivid follower of Basketball, Cricket, and Football. Started writing as a passion now it is my bread and butter.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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