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When Fisher took over at FSU, among his first hires was mental conditioning coach Trevor Moawad.

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“Well, I guess the obvious place to start here is with me, isn’t it?” Kirby Smart said, knowing well where this conversation was going. After all, it’s the conversation he has been having all season long, but particularly over the month since the head coach led his Georgia Bulldogs to their first SEC championship in a dozen years.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard this,” he said facetiously, “but I used to work with Nick Saban.”

Smart did indeed, for a little more than a decade total, spread out over three teams. He served as LSU’s defensive backs coach in 2004. He took a similar position with the Miami Dolphins in 2006. And he held down the same job at Alabama in 2007, before eventually getting promoted to defensive coordinator.

Smart chose to stick with Saban, even as co-worker after co-worker left Tuscaloosa for head-coaching gigs. When Smart finally answered the call from his alma mater, Georgia, two years ago, he not only followed the Saban blueprint, he followed the blueprints of others who had followed the Saban blueprint, namely Smart’s former co-worker at LSU, Jimbo Fisher.

Among Smart’s first hires at UGA? Moawad. The only direct-from-Bama hire Smart made was to lure secondary coach Mel Tucker away to become Georgia’s defensive coordinator. Saban didn’t like that much, but he understood.

Huge shoutout to the community at Bright Side of the Sun, who raised money to send 2,000 underprivileged kids to their first NBA game! You can still donate to help take more kids, too.

Paul Flannery on how the Celtics won a statement game that wasn’t against the Cavaliers. Speaking of the Celtics, their blueprint is to be the best team in the NBA in a few years. Are they ahead of schedule? And by the way: It looks like they’ll get another top-five pick this year.

So Isaiah Thomas requested no video tribute on Wednesday because he wasn’t playing. The Celtics accepted that request. But now things are complicated! The next and final Cavaliers visit of the regular season is Feb. 11 … when the C’s are retiring Paul Pierce’s jersey. Paul Pierce is uninterested Wholesale NFL Jerseys Supply in watching an Isaiah tribute video during his special day. This is like office party politics turned up NFL Jerseys From China to 11, and it’s hilarious. Good luck, Celtics!

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