The NBA Finals are in full swing, and the Golden State Warriors have been dominant. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Stephen Curry says he has been getting a lot of questions about his “dynasty” from people who don’t know much about basketball.
The used car salesman stereotype is a common belief that people who sell used cars are dishonest. This is not always true, as some of the most successful salesmen have been those who were able to find the right buyer for their product.
Keyshawn Johnson, a former NFL wide receiver, and Jon Gruden, the infamous head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, don’t get along. Since Gruden sent the pass-catcher home for the second part of the 2003 season, the two have been at odds.
Now that Gruden is in Las Vegas after the revelation of racist, sexist, and homophobic emails sent over a seven-year period, Johnson is speaking up about his disagreements with the coach, and it seems that the player was correct.
Jon Gruden and Keyshawn Johnson won a Super Bowl together, but they didn’t get along.
Al Bello/Getty Images | Jon Gruden with Keyshawn Johnson
Keyshawn Johnson, the 1996 No. 1 overall selection, was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after four turbulent seasons with the New York Jets. The talented squad fell short over two seasons under head coach Tony Dungy, losing in the playoffs in 2000 and 2001.
The Buccaneers hired Jon Gruden from the Oakland Raiders in 2002, and he guided the team to their first-ever Super Bowl victory.
The next season, Johnson and Gruden’s relationship deteriorated to the point that the coach effectively booted him off the club for the last seven games of the 2003 season while still paying the receiver. Johnson was dealt to the Dallas Cowboys for WR Joey Galloway the following summer.
Johnson told PFT in 2011 that there was a poisonous atmosphere surrounding Gruden’s squad that he didn’t want to be a part of:
I was not looking forward to being there. I didn’t want to be in that situation. Regardless, we had recently won a championship, and I was having a fantastic year the year I was deactivated. We even had a chance to participate in the playoffs. But there was something about the way I was trained, spoken to, and treated with that bothered me. It was only that I didn’t want to be there. So when I received the phone call saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to deactivate you for the remainder of the year,’ I was overjoyed. I was ecstatic.
On his dispute with Jon Gruden, Keyshawn Johnson says
Johnson made similar remarks in the same year that Gruden wrote the first email, in which he used an insensitive racial cliché to refer to NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith. According to the New York Times, Gruden resigned as the Raiders’ head coach when more of his emails surfaced, which contained “misogynistic and homophobic words to degrade individuals.”
Johnson’s remarks from a decade ago now appear prescient.
After resigning as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Johnson annihilated Gruden.
Now that at least part of Keyshawn Johnson’s views about Jon Gruden have been justified, the retired receiver returned to ESPN to share his thoughts on the coach.
When criticizing Gruden on his ESPN morning program, Keyshawn, JWill & Max, the former Buccaneer didn’t hold back:
I had no idea Jon would say things like that and then send them to me. To me, he’s always been a liar…. He’s been a used-car salesman since day one, and people bought it because he inherited a championship team built by [former coach] Tony Dungy and [general manager] Rich McKay, and he came in with a little bit of a different energy than Tony, and it helped us get our world championship, which I am grateful for. But, at the same time, I got a glimpse of who he was as he went through the process of winning a championship.
Jon Gruden with Keyshawn Johnson
Johnson also described a Super Bowl scene in which Gruden snatched the trophy away from McKay, “basically saying, ‘Give me this, this belongs to me,’” and claimed that McKay left for the Atlanta Falcons GM job in the middle of the next season because he didn’t want to deal with Gruden’s “shenanigans.”
Who will be the next head coach of the Raiders?
Rich Bisaccia is the temporary head coach now that Gruden has stepped down. According to NFL.com, Bisaccia has been the Raiders’ associate head coach/special teams coordinator for four seasons.
Bisaccia, who has no head coaching experience, is unlikely to be Gruden’s long-term successor. Many people are speculating about who that individual will be.
Replacements will most likely come from one of three groups.
The popular coordinator names are the first category. Offensive coordinators like Eric Bieniemy of the Kansas City Chiefs, Brian Daboll of the Buffalo Bills, Joe Brady of the Carolina Panthers, Byron Leftwich of the Buccaneers, and Kellen Moore of the Cowboys are among them.
The second category includes Black assistant coaches who have previously served as head coaches in the NFL. Both Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles deserve a second chance at head coaching and would go a long way toward helping the Raiders move on from the Jon Gruden controversy in the locker room and in terms of public perception.
The third basket is a Raiders classic. Al Davis, the father of owner Mark Davis, was never one to follow the rules. He always seemed to think outside the box and had a soft spot for former Raiders players. Is it possible for Mark to follow suit?
In this scenario, Hall of Fame Raider Tim Brown or FOX’s Howie Long might be the next Raiders head coach. Alternatively, he might make a huge statement by bringing in NFL great Deion Sanders from Jackson State.
You never know with Davis and the Raiders, and no risk is too great.
This leads to Keyshawn Johnson as the dark-horse candidate for the future Las Vegas Raiders head coach.
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RELATED: Rex Ryan Slams Randy Moss ‘National Football League, This Hurts Me,’ says Jon Gruden in an emotional on-air response to an offensive email.
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