During his extraordinary career as a coach, Phil Jackson was known for his unique leadership style. Sometimes called "The Zen Master," Jackson somehow reined in supersize egos for the good of the team.

In his new role as the president of the New York Knicks, Jackson isn't as subtle. The 69-year-old sent out a tweet this week that was meant as motivation but appears to have backfired:


At the beginning of this week's three-game road trip, the Knicks are 4-10 and 1-5 on the road. The team has struggled as it adjusts to a new offensive system under rookie head coach Derek Fisher. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 24 points, but he's doing so on about 19 shots . The Knicks' measly offense is producing just 95.4 points per game, which is 25th out of 30 teams.

Twitter users were quick to point out that Jackson's tweet won't do much to change New York's offensive woes:







Jackson was spotted in Los Angeles this week, a news item which inspired a mini-controversy and this response tweet:


The negative response to his California trip grew so loud that Jackson addressed it for his more than 750,000 followers:


Jackson has proven himself a clever and insightful Twitter presence, so perhaps there's something more to the tweet than meets the eye.

The Knicks made a splash in March when they signed Jackson to a deal valued at $12 million per year. The hope was that Jackson, who has more NBA championships than any other coach, could rejuvenate a franchise struggling to remain relevant. Thus far it appears there's still a lot of work to be done.

John Calipari is an especially busy man these days.

Kentucky's basketball coach is tasked with running the country's top-ranked team and scouting the nation's best high schoolers. And, oh yeah, he's got a family to attend to.

So when Calipari appeared to forget the exact date of his daughter's birthday, he cited his non-stop schedule as the reason.




For the record, Kentucky played Nov. 21 (against Boston University) and Nov. 23 (against Montana State). The Wildcats play again Tuesday, Nov. 25, against UT-Arlington.

After Kentucky's 86-28 victory over Montana State, Calipari brought a birthday balloon to his press conference and explained his mistake.

"Just so you know, I know my daughter's birthday," Calipari told reporters. "What I don't know is what day of the week it is, what day of the month it is, I have no idea."

Perhaps Calipari is working extra hard with this squad, which many believe is the most talented team Calipari has had at Kentucky. And that is no small compliment. Since arriving in Lexington, Ky., in 2009, Calipari has coached three Final Four squads and one national championship team (2012).

Thus far the Wildcats have won all their games by at least 19 points, with their most impressive victory a 72-40 drubbing of fifth-ranked Kansas.

Michael Irvin may be an NFL Hall of Famer and current analyst for NFL Network, but he faces the same problems as the rest of us. On Wednesday, that specific problem was running out of gas while driving on the highway.

Irvin's Hummer emptied its tank during his commute, stranding him on the shoulder in need of assistance.

As Irvin revealed in a series of tweets, a kind stranger pulled over and delivered him from his crisis.








That much calamity would have been plenty for one day, but Irvin wasn't so fortunate:


Just one of those days.

So far in this young NBA season, the Memphis Grizzlies have been good. Very good. As in, 10-1 good.

They're good enough that longtime Grizzlies fans are suddenly being trolled for their presumed "bandwagon" fanship. One such Grizzlies fan: Justin Timberlake.

In this case, the problem with criticizing Timberlake is that he's not only a Memphis native, but also a part-owner of the NBA team. After the Grizzlies completely decimated the Houston Rockets on Monday, Timberlake posted this to Twitter:


To which he received a mix of positive and negative feedback. Such is the celebrity life. One of these comments, though, caught Timberlake's eye, and he wasn't happy.


And then the Internet's self-appointed Accountability Partner shot back ...


And then the Memphis Grizzlies got involved ...


And while the troll has kept things up in hopes of extending his 15 minutes of fame, the flare-up basically ends there. Unless you're the guy's girlfriend:


He'll be with you in a minute, Ashley. Right now, the world needs him.

It's fair to say Mike Trudell handles unwanted touching better than most. In the middle of a sideline report at a recent Lakers game, Trudell was surprised with a massive hand stroking its palm over the reporter's hair.

But the hand was so large that Trudell, in keeping his eyes squarely on the camera, couldn't be sure it was a hand at all. Trudell held it together as best he could until he identified the assailant.

Who else is brazen enough to walk up to random people and fondle their heads in the middle of work? Only Shaquille O'Neal.




As fun a story as that might be to tell, the real winner in this scenario is the world at large, which now has video proof that Shaq could easily palm the head of a grown man.


For that, we'll all sleep better tonight.

There's no easy solution for Devon Still. With his young daughter, Leah, fighting pediatric cancer, the Bengals defensive tackle considered retiring from the NFL to spend time with her.

But the league's health insurance is so good that Still couldn't give it up. To help cover his daughter's cancer treatments, he stuck with the game -- even though it means spending less time with Leah.

The value of his employment doesn't make the separation any easier for Still -- or Leah, for that matter.


Although Leah appeared at the Bengals-Browns game earlier this month, her father's commitment to football has served as something like a necessary evil. Fortunately, Devon Still had a great follow-up message to share on Twitter just hours later:


The Still family's saga has become one of the great inspirational stories of the NFL season. Hopefully Leah's condition continues to improve so that everyone can enjoy a happy ending.

LeBron James may be The King, but he's not completely disconnected from the peasantry. Nor is he sloughing off parenting duties to an in-house nanny.

As the proud father of a baby girl -- his third child, but his first daughter -- James has been juggling the duties of embarking on a new NBA season while taking care of an infant at home.

And, just like any other parent, that sometimes means waking up at all hours. Thankfully, James was considerate enough to share his struggles with the Twitterverse. According to the timestamps, James was up until almost three in the morning trying to comfort Zhuri, who was born in late October, and coax her back to sleep.

His efforts came up short.










Of all the things the Chicago Bears need to improve, punting is probably toward the bottom of the list.

But after the team's humiliating 55-14 loss on Sunday night to the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Jay Cutler came out and blamed punter Pat O'Donnell for the Bears' lackluster play.

Or, at least, that's what a lot of people think.

In reality, the satirical publication The Onion published a story in which Cutler blames O'Donnell for the team's struggles. The headline read, "Jay Cutler: ‘I’ll Be The First Person To Admit We Need A New Punter’."

The story, of course, was fake. But not everyone realized that, and this confusion led to some humorous tweets:












Stephen A. Smith can relate to these fooled fans, as the polarizing ESPN commentator once got tricked by a 2012 Onion story claiming he thought his son (he doesn't have one) was finally ready for "the sex argument."

The same thing happened earlier this year to former NBA player Ron Harper:


What makes the Onion story so frustrating for the Bears fans who actually believe it to be true is that Cutler himself is widely perceived to be the problem in Chicago. In his first season after signing a three-year, $54 million contract extension, Cutler is second in the league with 10 interceptions through nine games. Chicago's defense, which is giving up a league-worst 30.8 points per game, also deserves much of the blame.

And how about poor Pat O'Donnell? The rookie, who had a punt blocked on Sunday in somewhat embarrassing fashion, is averaging a respectable 45.2 yards per punt.

Leah Still's presence at Thursday night's Browns-Bengals game in Cincinnati was an emotional experience for just about everyone watching the game.

Even The King himself.

LeBron James was tuned in to the NFL clash, and he came away impressed and inspired by the 4-year-old's appearance at the game. Still was there to watch her father, Devon Still, play defensive tackle for the Bengals.

Because she continues to battle cancer, Leah Still wore a face mask to protect her from inhaling anything infectious or harmful.

James, who welcomed his first daughter into the world last month, sent a strong message of support to Leah.


Still also received a thunderous ovation from fans between the first and second quarters. She participated in a ceremony in which the Bengals provided a $1.3 million donation to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center.

The stadium also played a video montage featuring Leah and her father, set to the Sara Bareilles song "Brave."

Michael Jordan doesn't need Twitter. But after his cameo Tuesday morning, we know this much:

Twitter needs Michael Jordan.

After famously eschewing social media for years, basketball's Greatest Of All Time took over the Charlotte Hornets' Twitter account to offer a rare glimpse into Jordan's world as the team's owner.

Jordan has been opening up to the media more in the days leading up to the NBA regular season. After years of struggle -- including one campaign where his team set the NBA record for fewest wins in a season -- Jordan's Hornets have developed into a respectable team with hopes of making a run in the playoffs.

MJ is relishing the moment.


Jordan took us to the Hornets' practice facilities, where he observed coach Steve Clifford leading the team through a workout:


And he showed us his social savvy by performing his first photobomb:


Later, MJ toured the locker room, where Al Jefferson is apparently an enormous slob:


Since post-playing days MJ isn't exactly the most outgoing person in the world, this rare fan engagement came as a real treat to basketball fans. Maybe we'll see more of Jordan if the Hornets start the season strong.

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