Welcome to the Tuesday edition of The Cooler, where anything is possible.
*I’m still shaking my head at the breakup between the Stanley Cup-winning Capitals and head coach Barry Trotz, who resigned Monday after failing to come to terms with the team on a long-term contract. He entered the season as a lame duck … but he won the Cup! Pay the man.
The Capitals instead seem poised to promote associate coach Todd Reirden to head coach.
“Todd’s a good candidate for it,” GM Brian MacLellan said. “We’re going to start with Todd here, and we’ve been grooming him to be a head coach whether for us or for someone else. We’ll see how the talk goes with him and then we’ll make a decision based on that. If it goes well, then we’ll pursue Todd, and if it doesn’t, we’ll open it up a little bit.”
Washington seems to have a lot of “smartest guys in the room” running the show. They’d better be right.
*SPEAKING OF ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of Kevin Garnett’s one and only NBA championship. It came in his first season with the Celtics, in 2007-08, after the Wolves dealt him in the offseason and embarked on a rebuilding project that looked mostly like the longest and worst episode of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” in history but has finally started to take shape a decade later.
Boston united Garnett with fellow veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, sprinkled in young point guard Rajon Rondo and some killer defense (aided by associate head coach Tom Thibodeau) and embarked on a dramatic turnaround from 24 wins to 66 wins.
The Celtics eventually knocked off the Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals, including a 131-92 bludgeoning in the clinching Game 6. (Kobe Bryant was 7 for 22 from the field and a minus-35 for the game, in case you believe any revisionist history about how Kobe never struggled in the finals).
But more importantly, a triumphant and euphoric Garnett conducted one of the most famous post-game interviews ever after winning the title — including the bellowing of the phrase, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!”
I probably shout that at least once a week because it’s the perfect phrase. Here is the full two-minute interview from 10 years ago:
*So here’s a fun quirk: Juan Soto has been crushing big league pitching since being called up by the Nationals on May 20 at the tender age of 19. He had five home runs entering play Monday, and he hit his sixth against the Yankees yesterday.
But that sixth home run came as a pinch hitter in a game that started May 15 but was halted because of rain and resumed Monday. So his sixth home run will be credited as happening in a May 15 game — five days before his MLB debut.
Anyway, here’s the mammoth blast:
*The NBA Draft gets most of the hype, but don’t forget about the NHL Draft this week as well. ESPN did its final mock draft and has the Wild taking wing Serron Noel from the Ontario Hockey League at No. 24 overall. He projects as a big forward who in several years could do the things for the Wild that Alex Tuch is doing right now for Vegas (sheds single tear).