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July 2nd 2010: Daily Sports News – Gossip – Headlines

Friday Water Cooler – July 2nd, 2010

Here we go with today’s sports water cooler talk. Here, you won’t just find the straight news; you’ll find the stuff everyone is talking about – the ice breakers, the Twitter Sports Picks and topics…well, basically all the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.

Enjoy!

Let the games begin. Free agency is officially underway and we have plenty of player movement to report.

The NHL had a wild first day whereas NBA stars are posturing themselves for big moves but most haven’t made their decisions yet.

NBA news: Gooden to Miami; Gay, Fry stay put; Phil Jackson returns

NBA free agency started slowly but one player did change teams: unrestricted free agent Drew Gooden. He left the Los Angeles Clippers to sign a five-year, $32-million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have been very busy this offseason.

Drew Gooden Signs Nice Free Agent Contract!

Gooden averaged 14-plus points a game after getting dealt to L.A. for the last 24 games of the 2009-10 season.

Not surprisingly, Rudy Gay re-signed with the Memphis Grizzlies (five years, $81.6 million) and Channing Frye will stay in Phoenix after a successful year with the Suns.

But what about the big names? One guy I naively didn’t expect to see in the news yet is Dwyane Wade, who I believe will re-sign with Miami. But Wade grew up in Chicago and lives there in the offseason, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to hear he’s talking with the Bulls. Also, the intriguing New Jersey Nets met with Wade too and left him “impressed.”

Phil Jackson will attempt a fourth three-peat in 2010-11. The 11-time NBA champion will return to coach the Los Angeles Lakers for what he says will be “the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.” The Zen master leads all NBA coaches in playoff wins and his ridiculous .705 regular season-winning percentage is also the No. 1 mark.

NHL news: Top defensemen go quickly on first day of free agency

Defenseman were without a doubt the theme of the day on July 1 as NHL free agency commenced, with virtually all the biggest fish finding new teams immediately.

Sergei Gonchar ventured to Ottawa, signing a three-year deal that pays him $5.5 million a year on average. The Sens let bruiser Anton Volchenkov walk and he ended up signing with the New Jersey Devils. Pittsburgh made up for Gonchar’s departure by locking up Zbynek Michalek (five years, $20 million) and Paul Martin (five years, $25 million).

Vancouver made a big splash late in the day by snatching Dan Hamhuis, who was arguably the most sought after defender available. But did they overpay by giving $27 million over six years to a guy who’s never topped seven goals in a season?

The most curious moves of the day belonged to Calgary. The sinking ship poked a few more holes in its boat by bringing back castoffs Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguy. Living in the past – and a mediocre past? Eek.

MLB news: Arizona fires general manager Byrnes, manager Hinch

Arizona had seen enough. Given the talent the Diamondbacks have on their roster, with young guns like Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, and Miguel Montero, it’s easy to understand why ownership was frustrated with the team’s 31-48 start.

The disappointment culminated in some major axe swinging yesterday. The Diamondbacks fired general manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch. Byrnes was once considered a golden boy – so much that he received an eight-year contract extension in 2005. The team sagged to 34 games under .500 in less than one full season with Hinch as manager.

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