Optimism has given way in the eye of a storm. The Nets stumbled and wheezed. And the Barclays Center soundtrack morphed from the warm, familiar "Brook-lyn" chant to something more wrathful: "Booooo." They were the first sustained boos the Nets had heard since arriving in Brooklyn. But then, this was as listless and demoralizing as any loss the Nets have had. They failed to take advantage of the Spurs' depleted lineup, failed to hold an 8-point lead in the third quarter and utterly failed to contain Parker. ... At this point, the Nets can assume nothing and underestimate no one. Every team is a threat. "It's almost like we have two different teams," [Deron Williams] said, "and it's just guessing which one's going to show up." (New York Times) Comment
The latest edition of "Gronk being Gronk" found Rob Gronkowski performing wrestling moves at a Las Vegas nightclub, but former Patriots enforcer Willie McGinest said recently that, in his day, the distractions might have been ended sooner rather than later. In that light, McGinest also believed it was time for someone in the room to drop a dime on Gronk. And who might have the McGinest-like clout to make an impression on the young tight end? Tom Brady. "The only guy on that offense that could probably say anything is Tom," McGinest said. "He has the years in. Or maybe Wes (Welker). ... Gronk's young. It would have to be an elder statesman like Vince (Wilfork) or Tom (to speak up). Someone who's been there for a while. But Tom might be the one." (Boston Herald) Comment
Sometimes, even a king has to wait. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is expected to start spring training as usual this week despite reports Sunday that an elbow issue had delayed his finalizing a contract extension. The issue was said to have surfaced last week when Hernandez reportedly took a physical ahead of the extension being signed off on. ... As for the state of Hernandez's elbow, Zduriencik would not comment further. "I'm just not going to comment on that while negotiations are ongoing," Zduriencik said. "That's our policy. We don't comment on any of that stuff." Rumors about a problem with Hernandez's physical began percolating on Saturday morning, after the Mariners failed to officially announce a contract extension. (Seattle Times) Comment
North Carolina State's Scott Wood fires a game-winning three pointer in the closing moments of the Wolfpack's 58-57 victory over Clemson. (AP)
As this entire play -- from Dwyane Wade's behind-the-back save to Norris Cole's alley-oop to LeBron James -- shows, the Heat are just toying with the rest of the NBA at this point.