Rollins Presser: Jimmy and Ruben Talk Contract Details, Reveal Probable Fourth Year

Rollins Presser: Jimmy and Ruben Talk Contract Details, Reveal Probable Fourth Year

Jimmy Rollins has another four years in order to cement his legacy as one of the greatest Phillies of all-time. And that's coming straight from the man who signed him.

Both Rollins and (bearded) Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. were before the media on Monday evening to answer questions surrounding Jimmy's new deal and his future with the team.

Over the course of twenty minutes, they fielded and responded to inquiries regarding other offers, other players, other cities and other acceptable spots for the shortstop within the Phillies lineup. [video, notes and a pretty cool picture below]

In a somewhat unsurprising move given his outspoken nature, Rollins was plenty candid about turning down offers from other clubs, specifically the Milwaukee Brewers. Referring to them first as "a team out in the Midwest," he eventually admitted that the Brewers' deal would have afforded him both an extra year and an increase in pay. Still, Rollins stressed that he didn't want to feel like just another "rented player," but valued instead his long-time role as a part of the plan to build something special here in Philly.

Speaking of the extra year, it remains unclear as to whether that other offer from Milwaukee would have meant a fourth or maybe even fifth season for the 11-year veteran. Though his new deal with the Phillies is only guaranteed for three, Jimmy began hinting almost immediately that it was really more like a four-year deal. After multiple references to the exact nature his contract option, Amaro admitted that it is actually of the club, player and vesting variety.

With that as the case, Rollins will have the right to tack on a fourth year at his discretion. In terms of specific vesting details, though none were explicitly stated, Amaro also claimed that every one of the benchmarks needed to trigger the "appropriate mechanisms" are numbers that Jimmy has achieved in nearly every year of his career as a Phillie. While Rollins will ultimately have the right to exercise a one-year extension regardless of those contingencies, the tiered vesting option could allow for him to make more money in the process.

As for where he sees himself now that he's back with the club, Rollins maintained that he stills views himself at the top of the Phillies' lineup. After running through a brief bit of club history and name-dropping both Doug Glanville and Marlon Byrd, the oft-criticized lead-off man made it clear that as long as he's still able to steal bases, he's still the man for the job.

And finally, so as not to disappoint, Jimmy did grace us with a few of the gems we've all come to expect when he's been granted both free reign and a working microphone.

First, to set your mind at ease, no, he does not begrudge Jose Reyes' his extravagant new deal with the Miami Marlins. That said, he also refuses to consider the former-Met as $75 million better than he. Next, in addressing past teammates who have gone the opposite route in free agency and taken the larger offer, Rollins also was quite understanding of Jayson Werth's decision to go to Washington ("I mean, of course they're not going to beat us, but he can always play well"). And finally, though he seems genuinely in favor of this year's Winter Classic, citing the die-hard nature of both the Phillies and Flyers fans, he also has a distinct vision for life after outdoor hockey. "When the game is over," said Rollins, "come dig it up and replace it."

And there you have it. Jimmy Rollins is officially back with the Philadelphia Phillies, the organization with which—he reminded all who were listening—he's been a part since the age of 17.

With that in mind, we were prompted to offer up this picture of a very young Young James interacting with the fans in Clearwater circa 2001. Little did we know this kid would become a future WFC. Welcome back, Jimmy.

Best of NBA: Harden's 38-points fuels Rockets past Bucks

Best of NBA: Harden's 38-points fuels Rockets past Bucks

HOUSTON -- James Harden had 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-92 on Wednesday night.

Harden drilled a straightaway 3-pointer with six minutes left to give Houston a 13-point lead and shimmied his shoulders down the court in a celebratory dance as the Bucks called timeout.

After losing three of four, the Rockets regained their form while improving to 17-4 at home this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Milwaukee (see full recap).

Rose powers slumping Knicks past Celtics 117-106
BOSTON -- Derrick Rose matched his season high with 30 points, and the slumping New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 117-106 on Wednesday night.

New York played without injured starters Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah, but Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez each scored 17 points to help make up for their absence. It was just the third win in 14 games for the Knicks.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 39 points, his 13th time this season with 30 or more points. Jae Crowder added 21 for the Celtics, who lost for only the fourth time in 17 games.

Al Horford, Boston's big free-agent acquisition during the summer, had five points on 2-of-14 shooting. He was 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts.

Boston closed to 97-96 on Jaylen Brown's two free throws with just under eight minutes to play, but Justin Holiday and Courtney Lee nailed 3-pointers 29 seconds apart, pushing New York's lead back to seven. Rose then capped an 8-0 spree by putting in his own miss after Thomas missed a jumper -- his seventh straight shot that was off (see full recap).

Home cooking: Wiz top Grizz 104-101, 13th win in row in DC
WASHINGTON -- A vastly different team at home, the Wizards won their 13th consecutive game in Washington by edging the Memphis Grizzlies 104-101 Wednesday night behind two late layups from John Wall, who finished with 25 points and 13 assists.

James Ennis III missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer for Memphis.

The Wizards are just 4-13 on the road but now 18-6 at home, where they've compiled their longest winning streak since a 15-game run in the 1988-89 season.

Washington never trailed and led by as many as 19 points in the first half, then held on after a 10-0 run by Memphis made it a two-point game with 2 1/2 minutes left. That's when Wall took over, scoring on consecutive drives (see full recap).

Walker, Hibbert lead Hornets past Blazers 107-85
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 23 points, Roy Hibbert provided a huge boost off the bench, and the Charlotte Hornets stopped a five-game slide with a 107-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Nicolas Batum added 17 points for the Hornets, who limited the Trail Blazers to 35 percent shooting and snapped an eight-game streak of allowing at least 100 points. But it was the 7-foot-2 Hibbert who stole the show.

Hibbert, who came in averaging 5.2 points per game, had a season-high 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Damian Lillard scored 21 points and C.J. McCollum had 18 for Portland, which has lost three straight and 16 of 22 since Dec. 5 (see full recap).

Penn State falls to Indiana, 78-75, on buzzer 3-pointer

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Penn State falls to Indiana, 78-75, on buzzer 3-pointer

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Shep Garner gathered his teammates along Penn State's bench to remind them they needed one more stop to head to overtime.

Indiana's James Blackmon was ready to head home, however.

Blackmon took an in-bounds pass with less than five seconds to go, sprinted down the court and drained a 3-pointer to lift the Hoosiers to a 78-75 win over Penn State on Wednesday night.

Blackmon, Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson all scored 17 points for the Hoosiers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) who survived a late Penn State rally.

"They definitely grew up," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "It wasn't easy, but they definitely earned the victory. It would've been a shame if they hadn't gotten this win because they earned it."

Tony Carr scored a career-best 24 points and Garner added 15 for the Nittany Lions (11-8, 3-3) who trailed by 14 with 9:19 left. Garner brought Penn State within striking distance with a 3-pointer that cut it to 75-73 with 39 seconds to play.

It was the second straight win for the Hoosiers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) who took control by halftime and led the entire second half until a pair of Lamar Stevens free throws tied the game with less than five seconds left.

"I'm really proud of the kids, the way they fought back," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "I felt like Penn State really hurt Penn State tonight, missed layups, little things. If we shoot better from the free-throw line, maybe the outcome's different."

Memories of Watford
There's a good reason Blackmon's shot was strikingly similar to the one Christian Watford sank at the buzzer to beat then-No. 1 Kentucky in 2011.

"It was the same play-call," Crean said. "But we got open differently. Usually we run off a screen but in this case we knew they'd switch it so James did a great job of setting it up."

Penn State coaches and players knew they'd have to defend a similar play, Chambers made note of it in his scouting report, but Blackmon was able to slip past Josh Reaves at midcourt and pull up over Julian Moore to hit the winning basket.

Rim un-protected
Indiana didn't have as big of a challenge on the glass with Penn State's designated rim-protector Mike Watkins in early foul trouble. Penn State's leading rebounder played just 13 minutes and finished with no rebounds.

The Hoosiers won the battle on the glass 37-33 and Penn State made just 21 of 31 free throws.

Hurt Hoosier
Indiana lost OG Anunoby on the final play of the first half to a right knee injury. The sophomore forward came down after battling for an offensive rebound and crumpled to the floor where he clutched at his right knee before trainers helped him slowly to the locker room. He did not return.

Anunoby started eight games and was tied for sixth in the Big Ten with 1.4 steals per game.

Crean said Anunoby would be evaluated when the team returned to Bloomington.

The big picture
Indiana: The Hoosiers entered Wednesday's game having lost five of their last eight. They'll have a chance to gain momentum with four of their next five against middle-of-the-pack Big Ten foes before a trip to Madison to take on No. 17 Wisconsin on Feb. 5.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions' inability to put a full game together has to be grating on coach Patrick Chambers. Even in their last win against No. 24 Minnesota, the Nittany Lions were out of sorts early before a late rally paid off. They were competitive early and late in this one but sluggish and mistake-prone midway through when Indiana took over.

Up next
Indiana hosts Michigan State on Saturday.

Penn State plays at No. 22 Purdue on Saturday