Things might get even worse for the Pac 12, plus Sharks make history by hiring Mike Grier

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Let’s get right to it.


Good morning to everyone but especially to…


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MIKE GRIER

Yesterday, the San Jose Sharks hired Mike Grier to be the team’s general manager. He will be the first Black general manager in NHL history.

  • Grier, 47, played 14 seasons as a right-winger in the NHL, most recently in 2010-11. He suited up for the Oilers, Capitals, Sabres and Sharks and played over 1,000 career games, amassing 162 goals and 221 assists.
  • Following his playing days, Grier served as a scout for the Blackhawks from 2014-18. He was the Rangers’ hockey operations advisor last season.
  • Grier’s older brother is Dolphins GM Chris Grier, and their father, Bobby, has worked as an NFL coach and executive and is currently a consultant with the Dolphins.

Mike Grier joins San Jose at a time of major change. Doug Wilson stepped down from the job in November after nearly two decades with the franchise, and Grier will replace interim GM Joe Will. The Sharks fired head coach Bob Boughner on Friday and have missed the playoffs in three straight seasons, the longest drought in franchise history.

Oh, and free agency begins one week from today.

Honorable mentions

  • Chet Holmgren‘s NBA Summer League debut: 23 points (on nine shots!), seven rebounds, six blocks, four assists. That’ll do.
  • Max Scherzer struck out 11 in his return from the IL.
  • Robert Griffin III says he’s ready to return to the NFL.

And not such a good morning for…

THE PAC-12

The offseason of conference realignment has taken another huge turn: The Big 12 is in “deep discussions” to add several Pac-12 teams, as first reported by CBS Sports college football insider Dennis Dodd.

Though the Big 12 is already adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF in 2023, given those last two bullet points, the Big 12 “cannot afford to… stand pat,” a source told CBS Sports. And it doesn’t appear it will. Here’s why:

  • Dodd: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah bring an annual average value (AAV) that at least matches the 12 members of the Big 12 set to remain with the league once Texas and Oklahoma leave in 2025. … The Pac-12’s projected AAV dropped significantly from $500 million annually (approximately $42 million per school) to $300 million ($30 million) for the remaining 10 teams after the league lost USC and UCLA…”

This is, obviously, another huge blow to the Pac-12, which entered negotiations for its next media rights deal yesterday. While Colorado pledged its commitment to the Pac-12, the flagship programs have already decided to leave, and more could be on the way out shortly.

The Pac-12 said it would start exploring expansion options last week, but the conference is very much in a state of utter chaos. As of last night, the Pac-12 and ACC were discussing a “loose partnership” that could include a championship game in Las Vegas. You can follow our realignment tracker in the following days to stay up to date with all of this craziness (friendly hint: You’re probably going to need it).

Not so honorable mentions

Who are the best remaining NFL free agents? 🏈


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NFL training camps are just a few weeks from opening, but there are still plenty of potential contributors on the free-agent market. At this point last year, notable names such as Melvin Ingram, Morgan Moses, Justin Houston and Jason Peters were still looking for their new home.

So, who are the top names still available right now? NFL expert Tyler Sullivan played matchmaker for eight free agents who will likely find a roster for opening day, and the top one is due for a reunion:

  • Sullivan: Julio Jones: Colts — This one is obvious, right? The best years of Julio Jones’ career included Matt Ryan throwing him the football. Now that the quarterback is in Indianapolis as the Colts’ new signal-caller, it’d be quite the reunion for these two Falcons legends. Jones would immediately be the most experienced pass-catcher on the roster, and he already has a built-in rapport with the quarterback, which cannot be slept on.”

Meanwhile, Tyler sends another star wide receiver who has dealt with injuries to a similarly wide receiver-needy team.

  • Sullivan: Odell Beckham Jr.: Packers — Green Bay made a push to sign Beckham after he was released by the Browns last season, but the wideout ultimately decided to ink a deal with the Rams. … Beckham tearing his ACL in the midst of the Super Bowl has derailed his free agency some, but the Packers could be a team that is fine with only getting Beckham for the second half of the year considering their lack of depth at receiver.”

You can check out the entire list here.

Wimbledon updates: Djokovic to semifinals; Nadal hopes to book his trip today 🎾


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Novak Djokovic entered yesterday having only dropped two sets during his run at Wimbledon. Then he dropped the first two sets of his quarterfinal match to Jannik Sinner before storming back for an impressive five-set win, 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

  • It’s Djokovic’s 34th career five-set win at a major, the most in men’s tennis history.
  • Djokovic has won 26 straight matches at Wimbledon.
  • Djokovic will face Cameron Norrie in the semifinals. Norrie also won his quarterfinal match in five sets, beating David Goffin.

On the bottom half of the draw, Rafael Nadal faces American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinal. Nadal has already won the Australian Open and French Open this season. The winner of that match will face the winner of Cristian Garin-Nick Kyrgios. Yesterday, it was revealed Kyrgios is set to appear in court on Aug. 2 following an assault charge stemming from an incident with a former girlfriend.

On the women’s side, Ons Jabeur will face Tatjana Maria in one semifinal. The other will pit the winner of Simona Halep-Amanda Anisimova against the winner of Ajla Tomljanovic-Elena Rybakina.

You can follow along with updates scores from the All England Club here.

What we’re watching Wednesday 📺

Cardinals at Braves, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Mystics at Dream, 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 Liberty at Aces, 10 p.m. on CBS Sports Network



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