SIX BITS: Miller, Francis, Chiozza, Tebow, Demps

By Adam Silverstein
July 19, 2013

1 » Former Florida Gators guard Mike Miller cleared amnesty waivers on Thursday and officially became a free agent but may have already decided on his next stop. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Oklahoma City Thunder are “frontrunners” to sign Miller and plan to meet with him on Friday in Miami, FL. Though Miller does want to play for a contender, the most the Thunder can offer him is the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million. No team bid on Miller during the waiver process because he has considered having back surgery this offseason. Because he passed through waivers, he will earn the full $12.8 million remaining on his Miami Heat contract in addition to whatever deal he agrees to sign with a new team. That is one reason why he may decide to accept a veteran’s minimum contract over a slightly more lucrative deal from another franchise. Others reportedly in contention for Miller’s services are one of his former teams, Memphis, along with Houston, Golden State and San Antonio.

Miami thanked Miller for his three years of service with this full-page newspaper advertisement in Thursday’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

2 » Florida head coach Will Muschamp will join the 13 other Southeastern Conference coaches by participating in ESPN’s “Car Wash” from July 22-23 in Bristol, CT, the network announced on Thursday. Muschamp will be featured on the second day of the festivities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. OnlyGators.com will have a live blog and full coverage of Muschamp going through the ringer on Tuesday.

3 » Gators four-star 2014 commitment G Brandone Francis (Jacksonville, FL) was a big get for a team looking to add some major scoring talent. A native of the Dominican Republic like former Florida big man Al Horford, Francis told Scarberry Media’s Zach Fleer that the Atlanta Hawks center played a big role in his pledge. “I grew up watching Florida play because of him, you know?” Francis said. “I just fell in love with the school and now knowing that I’m going to wear that jersey, [it] means more than one feeling to me.” He also Gator Chomps after good baskets (see below).

Check out three more Florida Gators news BITS…after the break!

4 » Just for good measure, here’s a new highlight video of Gators four-star 2014 point guard commit Chris Chiozza (Memphis, TN).

5 » In an effort to try and drum up as much Aaron Hernandez news as possible, the Orlando Sentinel referenced a “long-forgotten video from NFL Films” that shows then-Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and New England Patriots signal caller Tom Brady exchanging pleasantries after a game on Dec. 18, 2011. In the video, Brady tells Tebow, “…I’m trying to watch over Aaron and Brandon [Spikes].” Tebow replies, “I appreciate that, too, man. They’re good guys.” Brady then quips, “They’re a lot to handle.” And Tebow acknowledges that with, “Absolutely.”

Somehow, this has been interpreted as Tebow and Brady both having knowledge that Hernandez had major character flaws when in actuality it was likely Brady just trying to make a friendly connection with Tebow over the fact that two of the Heisman Trophy winner’s former teammates were now playing for the Patriots. It’s the same type of remark one might make to another about a mutual friend who may tell inappropriate jokes or drink too much on occasion. In other words, nice try attempting to make this video into something. Then again, you are reading about it right now.

And just in case you wanted one more Hernandez story that Tebow could get thrust into, Panini America, a company that makes NFL sticker books, “painstakingly removed Hernandez stickers from 500,000” copies and has since “produced 1 million stickers of … Tebow … to fill the spot” left open by the Hernandez stickers. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell: “The Tebow replacement stickers will be handed out at events or given to customers who received Hernandez in a pack and send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the company. The company is also allowing sticker collectors to download the Tebow sticker image from its website.” There are sticker collectors?

6 » Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jeff Demps is not exactly sure when, but he does still plan to join the team for training camp, according to Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. Demps is waiting to hear from Team USA, which has yet to decide whether or not he will run in the 4×100-meter relay during the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, from Aug. 10-18. Should he be selected for the event, Demps will participate in those races before returning to Tampa Bay and getting started with his new team.

5 Comments

  1. SC-Gator says:

    Well… we don’t call it the Orlando Slantinel for nothing.

  2. NYC Gators says:

    Adam is it possible for the Heat to re-sign Miller at the veteran’s minimum after exercising the amnesty or is that not allowed? I’m guessing it’s not because it would be a pretty sleazy way to bypass the luxury tax. If he’s getting the full $12.8mm, he really should sign for the minimum with a contender that needs good 3 point shooting (Memphis, OKC, Indiana, Chicago) and make another run though maybe he wants a little more financial security before retiring. Would be awesome to see him in a Bulls uniform.

    • No, he cannot. An amnestied or traded player cannot re-sign with the team that gives him up for a full season.

    • VO2max says:

      Financial security? That was funny. In his 13 year NBA career he has probably approached FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS in salary. I’d guess he’s actually cleared that amount. He also never had a posse.

  3. Michael Jones says:

    1. That was an incredibly class-act gesture from the Heat.

    2. Brandone Francis seems to be another in what seems to be a recent trend of Gator football and basketball landing not only nice athletes but good character kids that are excited about being Gators. Gotta love that.

    3. The exchange between Brady and Tebow is how we guys talk to each other about each other. We say that about friends who don’t drink too much or tell inappropriate jokes. We say that about friends who are the most perfect, rule following, law abiding guys on this planet. Probably even more so about those guys because it’s funnier. That’s guy humor. It’s how we talk. I would argue that it’s even a form of endearment. It’s ridiculous that should even have to be explained, but if we ever lived in an era of media sensationalism, this is it. It’s a scourge on our society and on honest journalism (almost an oxymoron these days, but I don’t want to insult guys like Adam and others who try be honest, objective, and professional).

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