Cardinals’ Keim, Mercury’s Pitman and more: Best of Newsmakers Week Day 5
The final day of Newsmakers Week brought great discussion and big news.
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim discussed the futures of running back David Johnson and cornerback Patrick Peterson. Phoenix Mercury general manager Jim Pitman announced the team signed center Brittney Griner to a multi-year extension.
Listen to full interviews below or see some of the top quotes from each guest on Friday’s edition of Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Steve Keim, Cardinals’ general manager
On David Johnson’s future:
“Cutting him is not an option. Not only the cap hit, but you’re still paying the cash as well. It wouldn’t be responsible for me or the organization to do that. If David Johnson isn’t the starter, he still has a significant role. The guy still creates big time mismatches in the passing game, he still brings kick return ability. There’s a number of things and you can’t have just one back. You have to have a platoon of backs, we’ve seen that. So there’s enough carries to go around to have multiple players there.”
Brian Mueller, GCU president
His thoughts on paying college athletes:
“The NCAA basketball tournament is an amazing phenomenon. It makes tremendous money. And those athletes are a big part of that. And those monies get spread across all the rest of the athletic programs which aren’t revenue producing. And so what people look at is four and five million dollar salaries for coaches…athletes not getting a piece of that. But without that, there wouldn’t be the collegiate programs that we have. There wouldn’t be soccer programs, there wouldn’t be baseball programs and golf programs. And so it is very complicated.”
Jim Pitman, Phoenix Mercury general manager
On Brittney Griner:
“She’s the best big player in the world. She’s in the prime of her career, she’s 29 years old, she’s been with us for seven years now which is really hard to believe. She’s playing incredibly well in Russia for her Russian league team playing in the Euro League. Her team is dominant. I think they’ve only lost once in about 30 games this year. She’s leading their league in scoring. Last year she led the WNBA in scoring and in blocks and she’s incredibly efficient scoring-wise. And so we’re thrilled to continue to have her on the court, but what she does off the court is equally as impressive for what she does in the Phoenix community.”
David Hines, AIA Executive Director
On officials in high school sports and how you get fans or parents to back off:
“Our commissioner of officials Brian Gessner is always quick to say there are no perfect games and there are no perfect officials. The officials that we have do a very, very good job. However, they’re going to call what they see and what an official sees is different than we as a coach or a fan or someone with a different angle may or may not see. So it is a challenge.”