Panthers hire Rhule...Giants negotiating with Judge...Surgery for Pistons’ Griffin
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Matt Rhule (rool) has left Baylor to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers. The 44-year-old Rhule has accepted a seven-year, $62 million contract to replace Ron Rivera, who was fired last month with four games remaining in a 5-11 season. Rhule just led Baylor to an 11-1 regular season before losses to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants and New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge are working on a deal for him to become the team’s head coach, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The 38-year-old Judge has worked under Bill Belichick at New England and Nick Saban at Alabama. Judge would take over a team that went 4-12 and 5-11 in Pat Shurmur’s two seasons.
UNDATED (AP) — Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely after having surgery on his left knee. The Pistons announced Tuesday that Griffin will have an extended rehabilitation period with no timetable for his return. The 30-year-old Griffin was an NBA All-Star last season for the sixth time. He has played in just 18 games this season and is averaging career lows of 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says there is still no firm date on when Zion Williamson will play in his first regular season game. The first player taken in last year’s draft has now participated in full-court and five-on-five drills as the NBA’s top overall draft choice moves closer to making his NBA debut. Gentry says Williamson generally looks “fine,” but he ruled out the 6-8, 285-pound forward for tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — John Hynes lost his Nashville Predators head coaching debut last night, 6-2 against the Boston Bruins. The 44-year-old Hynes was behind the Nashville bench one day after Peter Laviolette was fired following a 19-15-7 start to the season. Hynes spent four-plus seasons with the New Jersey Devils, going 150-159-45 with one playoff berth before he was dismissed early last month.