From Comcast SportsNetDENVER (AP) -- Players who stood by Jim Tracy while the Colorado Rockies endured their worst season in franchise history are reiterating their support for him following the manager's resignation over the weekend.Left-hander Jeff Francis said he was surprised to hear Tracy had decided to step down, telling The Associated Press in an email: "I loved playing for him and I think everyone did. The Rockies will miss him for sure."Among the most vocal supporters was outfielder Dexter Fowler, who appreciated Tracy sticking with him through protracted slumps over the last two seasons before a breakout 2012. He tweeted, "Man I'm gonna miss Tracy, thanks for believing in me! You are a wonderful and stand up guy!"One of the few bright spots as the Rockies flirted with the dreaded 100-loss season before finishing 64-98, Fowler batted .300 with a .389 on-base percentage and 13 homers last season, all career highs.Rex Brothers, Tyler Colvin and Josh Rutledge also tweeted praise for Tracy, who informed Bill Geivett, the team's director of major league operations, on Sunday that he was forgoing the final year on his contract, which was to pay him 1.4 million."Gonna miss No. 4 sitting in that dugout at Coors! Thanks for everything skip. None better," Brothers tweeted.Colvin tweeted he was "Sad to hear the news about our skipper. It was a privilege to play for such a great manager and such a great person." He concluded with (hashtag)ClassAct"And Rutledge tweeted, "So lucky to be able to have played for a manager like Jim Tracy with the professionalism and intelligence for the game. He will be missed."Energized by the young players and the challenge of fixing things, Tracy had said repeatedly the last several weeks that he wanted to fulfill the final year on his contract and players including clubhouse leaders Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez said they were sticking by Tracy.Tracy, however, changed his mind after meeting with Geivett for several hours on Friday and then mulling those discussions over the weekend. He called him Sunday afternoon and offered his resignation.Tracy, who took over after Clint Hurdle lost the clubhouse in early 2009 and led them to the playoffs that year, finished 294-308 in three-plus seasons.The Rockies are now conducting their first managerial search since Jim Leyland resigned after the 1999 season. Geivett said he had no set time frame for hiring Tracy's replacement.Possible candidates include bench coach Tom Runnels and Stu Cole, who managed the Rockies' Triple-A farm club in Colorado Springs.
0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.
4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.
9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season.
13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.
CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.
And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.
But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.
“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”
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- Dr. Chihlas: Optimistically Gordon Hayward could be back by end of season
- Gorman: Gordon Hayward injury could deflate the Celtics for quite a while
- Isaiah Thomas visits Gordon Hayward in locker room after injury
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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.
But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.
The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?
That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.
What’s even crazier?
Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.
Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.
But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.
“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.
Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”
And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.
There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.
But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.
“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”