Leading Off

10 pressing questions in the world of sports

▪ When the 49ers stood by their man, Ray McDonald, earlier this season after he was arrested, was it partly because they still had Super Bowl aspirations?

▪ When the 49ers released McDonald on Wednesday because of another police investigation, was it partly because they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention?

▪ The 49ers cited “due process” in defending their decision not to punish McDonald after his earlier brush with the law, so what happened to “due process” this time around?

▪ After a DUI arrest in 2010 and three visits by police to his home this year, including this week’s search, do you also wonder if McDonald thinks he’s above the law?

▪ When the Kings fired coach Michael Malone on Sunday over “philosophical differences,” did anyone else think, “Wow, 10 days before Christmas; Merry Christmas”?

▪ If the Kings adopt the 4-on-5 defensive approach mentioned by principal owner Vivek Ranadive, will the players use rock-paper-scissors to decide who doesn’t have to run down the court to play defense?

▪ When a team wants to play a fast-paced, up-and-down style of offense, wouldn’t it be better if it wasn’t near the bottom of the NBA in assists and had more good shooters?

▪ Marc Gasol averaged 25 points in the Grizzlies’ victories over the Warriors and Spurs on back-to-back nights, so is the NBA really a league that no longer values dominant big men?

▪ After the loss of World Series hero Pablo Sandoval, who will protect Buster Posey and Hunter Pence in the Giants’ lineup?

▪ The college bowl season opens Saturday with the first five of 39 games over the next few weeks; is there really a need for a Camellia Bowl between Bowling Green (7-6) and South Alabama (6-6)?

– Tom Couzens


What to watch I

NFL, San Diego at 49ers, 5:25 p.m., Ch. 13, NFL: Now that they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention, will the 49ers let quarterback Colin Kaepernick loose?