Joe Santoro: Eric Musselman revamping Arkansas like he did Nevada Wolf Pack | NevadaAppeal.com

Joe Santoro: Eric Musselman revamping Arkansas like he did Nevada Wolf Pack

Joe Santoro
Eric Musselman, shown during Nevada's game against New Mexico on Jan. 5, is working his used car salesman magic at Arkansas, Joe Santoro writeas.
Andres Leighton/AP | FR171260 AP

Sports fodder …

Eric Musselman could sell a flip phone, transistor radio and a pager to a millennial. The former Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball coach is working his used car salesman magic at Arkansas once again, revamping his roster in less than a month. Musselman, as he did at Nevada, is transforming his Razorbacks with Division I transfers, the college basketball version of used cars. Trader Muss has added transfers such as J.D. Notae from Jacksonville, Connor Vanover from California, Isaiah Moss from Iowa and Jeantal Cylla from UNC-Wilmington. Musselman told the good folks at Arkansas during his first press conference after getting the job he wouldn’t have to concentrate on Division I transfers as much as he did at Nevada. Yeah, well, a good salesman just tells his customer what they want to hear. Musselman has always been and will forever be a win-now type of guy. He’s not going to waste time losing games while he teaches freshman and junior college players how to play in Division I.

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Do the Golden State Warriors really want Kevin Durant back? Well, probably. Any team could always use a 6-foot-9 All Star who can score from anywhere on the floor. But do the Warriors need Durant to win another championship? It doesn’t seem so. The Warriors put the finishing touches on Houston in the fourth quarter of Game 6 in the Western Conference semifinals and then swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the West Finals without Durant. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green obviously play better and are more productive without Durant. The Warriors move the ball better and get better shots without him. Yes, we understand Portland isn’t the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. And either Milwaukee or Toronto will present a bigger challenge to the Warriors in the finals. But Durant was always just a luxury for this Warriors team. He made them one of the all-time great teams in NBA history. But you don’t have to be all-time great to beat Portland and either Milwaukee or Toronto.

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Durant now finds himself in a Twitter feud with Fox Sports reporter Chris Broussard. Broussard said on his radio show recently the Warriors winning a title without Durant would be Durant’s “worst nightmare.” It was a silly and irresponsible thing to say and Durant had every right to react on social media. Durant is a champion. He’s arguably one of the 10 best players to ever play the game. The Warriors winning a title without him doesn’t change that. We’re sure Durant has far worse nightmares than watching his teammates win a title without him.

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Cody and Caleb Martin and Jordan Caroline are bouncing around NBA practice gyms lately working out for teams in preparation for the June 20 draft. Cody also performed well at the recent Chicago draft combine, testing well in several categories, though he was found to be just 6-foot-5 (with shoes) instead of 6-7 as the Wolf Pack and North Carolina State listed him the past five years. The pressure of trying out for NBA teams does have a tendency to make you shrink an inch or two. It doesn’t appear the Martins or Caroline will get drafted next month, though we might see a Martin or two picked late in the second round. The Charlotte Hornets seem to be the team most interested in the North Carolina-area native twins.

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No team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup since 1993 when Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens beat Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. And it won’t happen again this year with a Cup Final of St. Louis and Boston. Montreal and the Toronto Maple Leafs won 33 of the 64 Cup titles from 1930-93. The Canadiens of 1993 are also the last Stanley Cup champion to be composed of solely North American-born players. Coincidence?

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The NHL is turning the clock back to 1970 in this year’s Finals. That was the last time the Blues and Bruins met in the Cup Finals, a series that produced the iconic photo of Boston’s Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 4. St. Louis has been in three previous Cup Finals (1968-70) and was swept all three times. Boston, an Original Six team, has only won the Cup six times (the last time in 2011). A Bruins’ title will give the city of Boston three major professional sports titles since only last October (Red Sox in baseball and Patriots in football).

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The San Francisco Giants are not a good baseball team. The Giants are an aging team. Their manager is just sticking around for one more year. The team is averaging just more than 32,000 fans a game at Oracle Park this year, which would set a new all-time low for the stadium which opened in 2000. It’s time to trade Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, Joe Panik and, yes, even Buster Posey. Derek Holland, Mark Melancon, Pablo Sandoval, Sam Dyson and Tony Watson. If the Giants could trade Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and sell Juan Marichal, they can get rid of anyone on this roster. All they got for Mays and McCovey was Mike Caldwell and Charlie Williams because they waited too long to trade them. Don’t let that happen again. Thanks for the memories, Buster. See ya, Mad Bum. So keep McCovey Cove, the giant glove and Coke bottle in left field, the statues and Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow and get rid of everything else and start over.