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24 Feb 2017 14:51:49 -0500
Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’
Jimmy Butler is still a member of the Chicago Bulls despite rumors swirling he could have been shipped out of town ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.With the dust still settling post-deadline, Butler now finds himself on a squad without Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott and three new teammates. Despite the roster shakeup and uncertainty about how the new-look Bulls will proceed going forward, Butler has only one thing on his mind: Winning.“No organization is the same. Everybody operates differently. Everybody has different personnel. I don’t care if anybody wants to build around me. Just win,â€* Butler said Friday, via the Chicago Tribune. “At the end of the day, when you win, everything is fine whether you’re built around or not built around. Everybody’s happy. All of that is just background noise. I just want to win at all costs.â€*Regarding trade rumors that he may be shipped off to the likes of the Boston Celtics or Atlanta Hawks — “You can always be moved,â€* Butler reminded reporters â€

24 Feb 2017 14:15:28 -0500
Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul
The New York Giants are going to have to pay big bucks to keep Jason Pierre-Paul around, and early indications are that they are willing to do that.Ralph Vacchiano of SNY said this week that the Giants are planning to be “aggressive” in trying to sign Pierre-Paul to an extension. However, they may run into some issues with the salary cap, as they already have two defensive linemen in Damon Harrison, who signed a five-year, $46.25 million contract last offseason, and Olivier Vernon, who set the market last year with a five-year, $85 million deal that includes $52 million guaranteed.So how can the Giants afford to pay top dollar to yet another member of their front seven?That’s likely where the “aggressive” part comes in. Pierre-Paul has already said he has no intention of signing another short-term deal, but the Giants could get him for slightly less if they are able to come to an agreement before the start of free agency next month. Even if he is not planning to sign another one-year deal, perhaps J

24 Feb 2017 14:12:15 -0500
Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis was spotted wearing a walking boot after Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it sounds as though he avoided a serious injury.Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports that Porzingis did not suffer ligament damage in his ankle, though he could miss multiple games. The Knicks would be wise to err on the side of caution with Porzingis, who may just be all the franchise has going for it at the moment. Porzingis, 21, is averaging 18.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in his second NBA season.If his tweet from Thursday was any indication, Porzingis is just as frustrated as the rest of Knicks nation at the moment.

24 Feb 2017 14:04:40 -0500
Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver
Brooks Koepka was in full meltdown mode during Friday’s second round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. And it only required horrible misplays on consecutive holes to establish that as undeniable fact.To make matters worse, Koepka’s epic meltdown occurred on the first two holes of his second round.Teeing off on No. 10 on The Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa, to open his round Friday, it didn’t take long for Koepka’s day to veer dramatically off course.Koepka found himself with a dicey lie with a much dicier stance after finding the rough. With his backswing compromised by a tree, Koepka barely made contact with the ball, popping it meekly a few feet almost sideways. Koepka finished the hole with a triple-bogey 7. And if that wasn’t ugly enough, just wait to see what happened on the tee box at No. 11.To be fair, Koepka’s nerves must have been a bit frazzled and his temper short after his experience on the tenth hole. But there isn’t much excuse for Koepka angrily sto

24 Feb 2017 13:59:40 -0500
Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine
It’s not a secret that the San Francisco 49ers will likely be looking for a new starting quarterback this offseason. The question here is more about how they will land said quarterback.There’s multiple scenarios in play here. San Francisco can go the traditional route by selecting a quarterback No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. They can also look at a free-agent market that will likely include Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Brian Hoyer.In addition to this, Colin Kaepernick remains a viable possibility. He met with the 49ers’ new brass this week and things seemed to go well there (more on that here).Though, there’s definitely another scenario in play here. Linked to New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo and Washington Redskins Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins, the 49ers could potentially work out trade for a franchise signal-caller.Much like the deal they worked out to send Alex Smith to Kansas City back in 2013, it’s also a possibility that said trade could be completed at the NFL Scouting Combine in Ind

24 Feb 2017 13:36:12 -0500
Hawks suspend Dennis Schroder for one game
In a surprising move on Friday, the Atlanta Hawks have suspended starting point guard Dennis Schroder for their upcoming game against the Miami Heat on Friday night.“Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder has been suspended by the organization for one game without pay for failure to report to the team on time after the All-Star break,” the team announced on Friday, via Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “He will serve the one-game suspension tonight when the Hawks host the Miami Heat.”We’re not entirely too sure what happened here, bit it’s clear that the Hawks are not too happy with Schroder’s tardiness in returning from the near week-long break.Schroder is in his first season as the Hawks starting point guard after they traded away former All-Star Jeff Teague during the summer. He’s averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 assists while shooting at a 46 percent clip from the field on the season.

24 Feb 2017 13:21:51 -0500
Mike Pereira: Chips in footballs wouldn’t improve spotting
One of the biggest mysteries of sports is how football officials spot the ball.The ball is often hidden underneath a tangle of bodies, and it’s hard to believe that there isn’t a little bit of guesswork involved.It would seem that putting a microchip in the football would make the science a little more precise, but former NFL head of officiating and current Fox NFL analyst Mike Pereira said that’s not the answer.Pereira said it’s more about determining where the ball carrier’s knee hits the ground.“You can put a chip in the ball, but then you better put a chip in the guy’s knee, too,” Pereira said on Peter King’s podcast.There still could be a body obstructing the official’s view of the ball when the knee hits the ground, but Pereira’s point is true especially in goal-line situations when it’s hard to see both the ball and the knee.NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said the league won’t be putting chips in footballs anytime soon, and Pereira acknowledged that part of h

24 Feb 2017 12:57:40 -0500
Tony Romo takes great shot at Jimmy Kimmel ahead of Oscars
Tony Romo’s NFL future may be hanging in the balance this offseason, but that doesn’t mean the quarterback has lost his sense of humor.Jimmy Kimmel, a pal of Romo’s, will serve as host the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday. As the late-night talk show star was participating in an interview with E! News, who else but Romo pops in via video chat to dispense an unflattering pep talk. “I mean, just don’t (expletive) up the Oscars,” Romo tells Kimmel.But the great cheap shot was still to follow.“I mean, at the end of the day, if they’re picking you, you know they ain’t got much to pick from,” Romo observed.While that may or may not be true — no word on whether the Academy reached out to Billy Crystal for the umpteenth time — it’s a solid line from Romo.Perhaps Romo’s wife Candice was right. Maybe her husband does have a future in Hollywood. She also said he might make a great D.J., too, so there's that, too.All said, Romo will likely land on his feet with another NFL team regardless of whet

24 Feb 2017 12:29:53 -0500
Report: Pelicans sign veteran G Jarrett Jack
It’s not a secret that the New Orleans Pelicans have been looking for guard help after acquiring big man DeMarcus Cousins this past weekend.Unable to work something out prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, New Orleans has reportedly signed veteran guard Jarrett Jack to a 10-day contract. Jack, 33, has not played since tearing his ACL when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets back in January of 2016. Despite some interest in him over the past several months, nothing came to fruition until Friday morning.It’s interesting that a player of Jack’s ilk could only receive a 10-day contract on the open market. Prior to suffering that devastating knee injury, the veteran put up 12.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and a career-best 7.4 assists for Brooklyn in 2015-16.This came following stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors that saw Jack help bring those franchises back to relevance in the NBA.For the Pelicans, adding a veteran guard to the mix makes sense. The team traded away Langston Galloway an

24 Feb 2017 12:17:03 -0500
Carmelo Anthony does not understand direction of Knicks
The New York Knicks made no moves at the NBA trade deadline, and Carmelo Anthony wonders if that was part of the plan or the result of the absence of one.After the deadline passed on Thursday, Anthony was asked if he understands the direction the team is heading in. He was quite blunt.“No, not now. No, to be honest with you,” Anthony said, via Ian Begley of “I think they were kind of planning on the trade deadline, whether they were trying to make moves. I think that was one plan. Now they’ve got to get back to the drawing board and come up with another plan about the future of this team.”For a while it sounded like the Knicks were close to trading Derrick Rose to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio, but that ultimately fell through. Anthony himself was also the subject of countless trade rumors during the month of February. While the 32-year-old claimed to have “no reaction” to the team not making a move, it’s obvious he remains frustrated with Phil Jackson’s le

24 Feb 2017 12:09:42 -0500
Ricky Rubio opens up about ‘tough’ buildup to trade deadline
Ricky Rubio was at the center of rampant trade speculation in the days leading up to an NBA trade deadline for the second season in a row. This year, however, the sixth-year Minnesota Timberwolves point guard insists “felt a little different.”The trade rumor that generated the most buzz involving Rubio was a straight-up exchange with the New York Knicks for fellow point guard (and T’Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau ex-pupil) Derrick Rose. What almost seemed like a near-certainty fizzled out as the trade deadline passed. Rubio arguably helped in part to drum-up speculation this week that a trade was imminent by curiously starting to follow Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis as rumors swirled. But in the end, Rubio remained with the Wolves. And yet, he admitted feeling a different vibe leading up to Thursday’s deadline.“As pros, we know what’s the deal,” Rubio said, via the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda. “But this time felt a little different.”Rubio did take to Twitter amid the speculation to indic

24 Feb 2017 12:09:18 -0500
Chiefs sign RB C.J. Spiller
Once a dynamic Pro Bowl performer with the Buffalo Bills, former first-round pick C.J. Spiller has fallen on hard times recently.The 29-year-old running back was released by the New Orleans Saints back in September, eventually latching on with the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks later in the campaign. He would end up rushing a combined six times in as many games between the two teams.Falling off the cliff at this age would normally end a running back’s career in the NFL. For some reason, that’s not the case as it relates to Spiller.The Kansas City Chiefs officially announced on Friday that they have signed the former Pro Bowler to a one-year contact. It’s a somewhat surprising move for Kansas City. Despite an injury-plagued past two seasons for Jamaal Charles, the team’s running game has remained solid. Spencer Ware filled the void last season, putting up over 1,400 total yards for a team that won 12 games.For his part, Charles has played in a combined eight games over the past two seasons. This mi

24 Feb 2017 12:05:15 -0500
Shaq gets into epic Twitter brawl with JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee was once again ridiculed by Shaquille O’Neal and his “Inside the NBA” colleagues on Thursday night, and the veteran center has had enough.McGee, who has found himself a nice job as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, has been the biggest star of Shaq’s TNT segment “Shaqtin’ a Fool” over the years. With McGee playing fairly well on a quality team this season, Shaq recently said he was going to lay off for a bit.Then this happened: In the past, McGee has owned his screw-ups and was a good sport about being mocked by Shaq. But this time, McGee came out swinging on Twitter. Of course, Shaq didn’t back down. A full-on Twitter brawl eventually broke out. And that was that … for now at least.McGee has become well-known over the years for making hilarious blunders like this, and Shaq makes sure they don’t go unnoticed. You can’t blame JaVale for standing up for himself, but it’s probably going to be twice as bad now on “Inside the NBA” if he messes up in the future.

24 Feb 2017 11:50:36 -0500
Ben Simmons won’t play for the Sixers this season
With less than a third of the season remaining, time was running out for rookie No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons to make his NBA debut. Simmons suffered a broken foot back in training camp and has been sidelined since.Unfortunately for those with the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons will now sit out the remainder of the season.“The scan on his (Simmons) right foot the first overall pick had on Thursday at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York showed that his foot still has not finally healed,” Keith Pompey of reported Friday. “That’s why he is unable to make his debut this season.”As Simmons’ timeline continued to get pushed back, it became obvious that something wasn’t right. Obviously, his foot has not healed at the level the team had initially hoped.The reality of the situation for Philadelphia is that it is smart to shut Simmons down for the remainder of the season. The Sixers just traded away two core players. And despite vast improvement from previous seasons, they are currently

24 Feb 2017 11:51:44 -0500
Chad Kelly might show up to combine despite not being invited
The NFL recently withdrew its invitation to Chad Kelly for the upcoming Scouting Combine, but that may not stop the Ole Miss quarterback from showing up.In an email to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Kelly’s agent Duray Oubre said the quarterback’s camp is “still considering the possibility of traveling to the Combine along with Chad.”As Florio notes, there may be a situation where Kelly would be barred from taking part in official NFL activities inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to secure meetings with scouts and front office executives. While he might irritate league officials, Kelly’s persistence may impress some NFL teams.Kelly was reportedly uninvited from the Combine because of off-field issues, of which he has had many. You can read more about why his reputation has been tarnished here.

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