As NBA Preseason Draws Near, Bynum Getting Closer to Practicing

As NBA Preseason Draws Near, Bynum Getting Closer to Practicing

The Sixers will open their preseason schedule without Andrew Bynum this Thursday in Orlando, but insider Dei Lynam shared some good news from training camp on Monday.

There was some legitimate concern after the team announced they were shutting down their newly-acquired center for three weeks, a precautionary measure taken due to a bone bruise in his knee. He may be over a week away from stepping on the hardwood yet, but Bynum admitted he is feeling much better recently, thanks.

“I feel pretty good and I am definitely getting better,” Bynum said. "I just really have been trying to get down the offense because it is brand new.”

“I think if all the beans were on the table, I would be out there.”

Doug Collins also weighed in on Bynum's progress:

“He’s happier,” Collins said of Bynum’s mood. “He senses he is getting closer to play. Anybody who has ever been injured, especially going to a new team where so much is expected and you can’t get out there and play, it’s a downer. You see his energy level and he has worked his tail off.”

The beans will be on the table soon enough, three weeks from tomorrow in fact, so it's good to hear Bynum and his coach think he should be ready to go.

If the Sixers stick to a full three weeks off as expected though, that will give him little more than a week to practice with his teammates before the regular season begins on Halloween. You can read more from Dei about how Bynum and Doug are working through the process despite the big man not actually being allowed to play basketball -- but so far, it sounds like the two are really hitting it off.

>> Bynum feeling better, meshing with Collins [CSN]

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't support any charity with his cleats last Sunday.

In reality, he was funding the NFL.

The Eagles' receiver was fined $6,076 by the NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats (Kanye West's shoes), which had no affiliation to a charitable organization or cause, CSNPhilly.com has confirmed. Players around the NFL last weekend wore decorative spikes supporting a charity or cause they felt passionately about as part of the league's My Cleats, My Cause promotion. Green-Beckham was fined because his cleats were unapproved by the league; earlier this season Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins was fined for wearing Yeezy cleats. 

Green-Beckham told NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks he was supporting the "Yeezy Foundation." ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the fine on Friday. 

Bradham fined for tackle
Speaking of fines, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was hit with a $18,231 fine for his horse-collar tackle last Sunday on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in the third quarter.

The first-year Eagle finished the game with five total tackles and a forced fumble.