The Percolator: John Paxson shows his fire

Here at the Daily Jolt, we prefer our coffee on the stove top and not from the electric drip machine. We're just old-school that way. Here's what's happening this Wednesday morning...

…The Buffalo Bills, while not actively shopping Marshawn Lynch, are reportedly open to trading the troubled running back — if the deal is able to net a second-round pick in return. The Seattle Seahawks have reportedly had internal discussions about acquiring Lynch, who is best friends with former Cal running back and current Seahawk Justin Forsett. Seattle holds the 28th pick in the second round (60th overall) in next week’s draft. Since losing his starting role to Fred Jackson last season, the 2007 first-round pick failed to show up for offseason workouts with the Bills.

I loved Lynch’s game coming out of Berkeley, and though he is a former Pro Bowler, a second-rounder seems a tad too high in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see how many teams pick up the phone and call new Bills general manager Buddy Nix. I wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately the troubled back could be had for a fourth-rounder and perhaps a backup player. With a new head coach in Chan Gailey and an owner in Ralph Wilson who likely would be open to ridding the franchise of a player with off-the-field issues, the Bills could be an interesting team to watch as draft day approaches.

…Remember Ashley Dupre? Well, we do here at the Jolt. In case you aren’t familiar, however, Dupre was the high-priced hooker who was sleeping with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, forcing Spitzer to resign from his post in 2008. Well, the New Jersey native did an interview with Playboy for its May issue. And, oh yeah, a photo shoot, as well. The 24-year-old is featured in an eight-page spread and opens up about becoming a call girl, the political scandal she was involved in and the Tiger Woods debacle. So what’s Dupre up to these days? She is a relationship advice columnist for the New York Post. Awesome.

…I don’t think I’ve done an NBA story in the Percolator yet, but with the playoffs beginning this weekend, expect a healthy dose. The story coming out of my hometown of Chicago is too good to even believe, but apparently Bulls vice president John Paxson tried to provoke a fight with head coach Vinny Del Negro after a March 30 game at the United Center. The beef was over how much playing time Del Negro gave center/forward Joakim Noah, who is battling plantar fasciitis in his left foot, in a game that night against the Phoenix Suns. Front office brass apparently gave Del Negro strict orders on how much time he could play Noah in games, as to not further derail the Bulls’ best inside presence. According to the report, Paxson walked into Del Negro’s office after the game and grabbed him by the tie and poked him with jabs into the chest. Paxson was heard challenging Del Negro to a fight before assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff intervened and pulled Paxson away. The report states that Del Negro didn't retaliate out of fear it could lead the team to void his contract and paint him in a bad light.

Now I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Paxson for hitting the game-winning three-pointer against the Phoenix Suns to give the Bulls their third title in the dynasty days. And I loved Pax as an announcer and as a general manager, but this is just crazy — especially after reports surfaced shortly before Christmas that the Bulls were actively searching for a replacement for Del Negro — to no avail. Say what you want about Del Negro’s coaching — and he definitely makes some questionable substitution decisions — but the guy has done a pretty good job of keeping this team together as it has battled injuries throughout the season. It’s clear that he won’t be back for the 2010-11 season, but this story really disappoints me as a Bulls fan. It also doesn’t look good for an organization that is losing steam in light of the Blackhawks’ resurgence in the city.

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