The NBA trade deadline was last Wednesday and perhaps the biggest deal was one that no one had speculated about in advance, as the Utah Jazz shocked just about everyone -- including Deron Williams -- by trading Deron Williams. We'll see if there's a deconstruction of a trade so thorough coming out of the NHL's trading period in the next few days: But while Williams was kept in the dark, the Jazz were making a play. After Denver took the New York Knicks to the limit Tuesday, receiving maximum worth for free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony, Utah knew the stage was set. The Jazz had spent the weeks leading up to Anthony's trade gauging Williams' market value - a process that started after teams began dialing Utah's number when news of Williams' seasonlong clashes with Sloan went public, as opponents tried to sweep in and steal the disgruntled guard. Once Anthony was finally moved, the Jazz cashed in. Utah spent the night leading up to Williams' trade contemplating the decision, weighing whether a team that started the season 27-13 was for real, or really just one that would face another disappointing first-round playoff exit. But once the Jazz realized what was on the table - a future-laden deal that contained as little risk as possible, and one that would immediately send Williams and his mounting problems packing -Utah did not hesitate. Moreover, by intentionally keeping the trade as quiet as possible, the Jazz negated any leverage Williams still held. By not allowing him to first go public and back the organization into a corner if he disapproved of the move, Utah was able to completely elude the 24-7 Internet rumor mill and discreetly pull off the most shocking trade of the season. To Williams, the Jazz's top-secret operation was unwarranted.
"If that's what they wanted to do, I can't stop [the trade]" Williams said. "There's nothing that I can do. Am I going to say, 'I'm not going there?' That's not who I am."
3. Headshots and firearms -- welcome to the EPL:
Two of the biggest clubs in world soccer -- Chelsea and Manchester United -- play today and the build-up is mostly that two of the sports biggest starts will each be in the lineup despite recent snafus. Ashley Cole of Chelsea will get the nod despite having wounded an intern while fooling around with air rifle at the club's training ground, while Man U will be able to to turn to Wayne Rooney despite Rooney have elbowed a Wigan player in the head on the weekend -- would he have been suspended if he played in the NHL? The lack of action in either regard has some up in arms: The FA should be ensuring justice is done, that mistakes can be rectified. Nobody is advocating that results be changed, simply that catching culprits is important whether the match is on-going or concluded. Inconsistency riddles FA thoughts. It pours money into a glossy Respect campaign and then sits idly by as one high-profile footballer elbows a lesser one. Those right-minded souls seeking to instil healthy sporting habits into impressionable youngsters have had their tasks further complicated by Clattenburg and the compliant officers of the FA. "How will I explain this most recent action from their 'role model'?" one teacher lamented on Monday. "Another accident?"
4. Ferguson Jenkins -- Cy Young winner; Hall of Famer, memorialized on a stamp:
There is no shortage of Canadian talent making an impact in major league baseball these days, but it's unlikely that any of them took a route as challenging and circuitous as Chatham's Ferguson Jenkins, the most accomplished baseball play Canada has ever produced. A nice story here by Tom Hawthorne on the occasion of Jenkins having his own stamp in recognition of Black History Month: He signed baseballs and sold paraphernalia to benefit his eponymous charitable foundation. The son of a Barbadian immigrant father and a mother whose family came to this land along the Underground Railroad as escaped U.S. slaves, Canada's greatest ballplayer has been placed on a postage stamp to mark Black History Month.
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