BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Freddie Kitchens made a great first impression. Everything after that was underwhelming.
Kitchens, who famously crowed "if you don't wear brown and orange, you don't matter" at his introductory news conference less than a year ago, was fired Sunday night by the Cleveland Browns following a season in which he failed to lead a talented team to a .500 record - let alone the playoffs.
Kitchens was dismissed shortly after the Browns returned to team headquarters following a 33-23 loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals (2-14), who ended Cleveland's disheartening season and an inglorious 16-game run for the former running backs coach who was hoping for more time.
The Browns (6-10) didn't come close to meeting expectations. Neither did Kitchens.
Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam decided one season was enough for Kitchens and parted ways with the 45-year-old, who is the ninth coach fired by the Browns since 1999. Kitchens was a surprising hire a year ago. He had no previous head coaching experience, but his successful eight-game stretch as the team's offensive coordinator and relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield sent his stock soaring.
But Mayfield regressed in his second season and Kitchens was plagued by numerous mistakes as a rookie season coach with game management and an inability to get Cleveland's offense rolling among his most notable flaws.
"We thank Freddie for his hard work and commitment to this organization but did not see the success or opportunities for improvement to move forward with him as our head coach," the Haslams said in a statement. "Our focus is on hiring an exceptional leader for this football team and we will take a comprehensive approach to this process. We are excited about the core players we have to build around and develop and we look forward to bringing in a strong head coach that will put this group of players in the best position to succeed."
NEW YORK (AP) - He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart.
Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called "King" spent the last decade reigning over all others - with no signs of slowing down.
James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.
NEW YORK (AP) - Serena Williams dominated the decade, on the court and in conversation.
There were, to begin with, the dozen Grand Slam single titles - no other woman had more than three over the past 10 seasons - and the 3 1/2 years in a row at No. 1 in the WTA rankings.
And then there was the celebrity status that transcended tennis, making everything she did and said newsworthy, whether it was the triumphs and trophies and fashion statements or the disputes with tournament officials, the magazine covers or the Super Bowl ad with a message about women's power, the birth of her daughter or the health scare that followed.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The son of Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones has died.
The Lions announced the death of Jones' son, Marlo, in a statement Saturday night, and Jones posted a message on Instagram.
"We miss you already buddy and will forever love you," Jones said in his social media post. "Rest peacefully our sweet baby boy. You have gained your wings."
A team spokesman said Marlo was about 6 months old.