21 Jan 2017 20:54:04 -0500
Irsay: Pagano safe, Peyton not in picture as potential Colts GM
In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts firing general manager Ryan Grigson, many wondered if owner Jim Irsay was closing in on hiring Peyton Manning. Another question on all our minds was whether head coach Chuck Pagano would still be with the club in 2017.During the owner’s press conference in which he announced Grigson’s termination, Irsay answered both questions with some amount of authority. Irsay said that he and Manning sat down and discussed some things but that there were never any real negotiations. That said, he also didn’t rule out bringing in Manning at some point for a role within the organization. While Irsay’s comments about Manning indicate he’s not going to be involved in personnel decisions at this time, they don’t altogether rule out the possibility that Irsay would still try to bring in Manning as the director of football operations as was previously reported.But for now, the owner said the team is focused on preparing to go to the Senior Bowl. He said Jimmy Raye III will be hea
21 Jan 2017 15:11:36 -0500
LeBron James: Gregg Popovich ‘factors a lot’ into 2020 Olympics decision
LeBron James isn’t ready to make any decision about playing for Team USA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but if he does opt in Gregg Popovich will have a lot to do with it.“It factors a lot,” James said at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ shootaround Saturday morning, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I’ve said that before. He’s just a great mastermind of the game of basketball.”James also said the U.S. national team is in good hands with the legendary head coach of the San Antonio Spurs.“Team USA is in good hands with him,” James, a gold medalist in 2008 and 2012, told the Associated Press at the time. “It was in good hands with Coach K. It’s almost like ‘The Godfather.’ We hand it off to Michael Corleone now.”Popovich is replacing Mike Krzyzewski as the lead man for the U.S. men’s national senior team and has experience as an assistant for the 2004 team that won bronze in Athens, Greece. He has garnered plenty of praise from James in the past. Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers fo
21 Jan 2017 22:41:45 -0500
Cuban softens stance on superstar status of Westbrook
One of Mark Cuban’s more controversial and curmudgeonly statements that he has stuck to for a while now is the argument that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is not a superstar.According to the Dallas Mavericks owner, a superstar can walk into any team and lead them to a 50-win season, and Westbrook hasn’t shown he can do that yet. After an incredibly impressive first half of the season, though, Cuban was willing to hedge just a little bit. You’re almost there, Mark. We believe in you.Of course, as recently as December, Cuban declined to use the terminology even as Westbrook was putting up a constant string of triple-doubles. He’s sticking to his definition, no matter how absurd it makes him look – but he’s starting to soften a tiny bit.
21 Jan 2017 22:42:25 -0500
Ric Flair gets into Twitter fight with Panthers player over Falcons fandom
To get his Atlanta Falcons fired up before their NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time world champion Ric Flair gave a pep talk to the team in a Facebook video. It wasn’t on the level of elbow dropping a book or stripping down to his boxers in the middle of a wrestling ring but it was a decent promo. The issue is that Flair lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and has lived there for decades. And the fact that he is openly rooting for a rival of the Carolina Panthers, who play in Charlotte, it has rubbed many people the wrong way. This includes Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson.Johnson took notable offense and called Flair out, starting an argument between the two. While Flair lives in Charlotte, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any ties to Atlanta. Flair wrestled in Ted Turner’s WCW in most of the 90’s, which was headquartered in Atlanta. So it’s not unrealistic that Flair would be a Falcons fan. He even expressed interest in attending an Atlanta U
21 Jan 2017 22:24:07 -0500
Charlotte thinks a $175M MLS stadium will help heal racial divisions
No matter how many studies show that new sports stadiums don’t help cities nearly as much as officials say they will, people across America keep on insisting a new stadium is the cure for all of their cities’ ills.In the latest and perhaps most ridiculous example, Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, thinks a proposed MLS stadium in Charlotte would heal the city’s racial divisions.Via The Charlotte Observer:
Smith also said the new stadium would offer an opportunity to help heal the racial divisions in Charlotte that erupted following the Sept. 20 Keith Lamont Scott shooting by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer.
“This is a $175 million public project,” said Smith. “We as a city were changed last September … This is an opportunity for us to have a really large investment and think through how do we do it differently?” The project could offer chances for worker apprenticeships or greater minority-owned business participation, Smith said.
“We think landing an MLS franchis
21 Jan 2017 21:15:21 -0500
Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate
Here’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be writing this year: The Philadelphia 76ers could make the playoffs. As of this writing, they sit 4.5 games out of eighth. They’re 8-2 in their last 10 and just beat the No. 2 seeded Toronto Raptors. They are at least three games better than every team between them and the No. 6 seed in that span. This could really happen, people!There is literally only one reason that this is on the table and it’s Joel Embiid. He has been so good and so consistent as a rookie that many are calling for All-Star consideration. I’ll do them one better: I believe there’s a reasonable argument to be made that Joel Embiid, a rookie, is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.The argument lives and dies with the rest of Philadelphia’s roster. It is truly awful. When Embiid plays, the Sixers have a net rating of +3.2. When he sits, that falls to -11.8. That’s a difference of 15 points per 100 possessions. For one player.That’s just behind Russell Westbrook, whose team dips 15.7 poi
21 Jan 2017 14:53:41 -0500
Jadeveon Clowney fined $18k for hit on Tom Brady during playoffs
Jadeveon Clowney will be a little lighter in the pockets for a hit on Tom Brady.During the third quarter of the Texans’ 34-16 loss to the Patriots in their Divisional Round playoff game, Jadeveon Clowney hit Tom Brady just after he released the ball. You can see the play here. After the play, Brady was visibly upset and was seen having words with officials. However, no flag was thrown.On a separate play, during the fourth quarter, Clowney was flagged for roughing the passer after Brady completed a pass to Dion Lewis. It was that one that will cost the Texans defensive end over $18,000. After J.J. Watt was lost for the season due to back surgery, Clowney stepped up and showed why he was so highly thought out coming out of South Carolina. He finished the season with 52 tackles and 6 sacks. Clowney was named to his first Pro Bowl, although he withdrew due to injuries to his elbow and wrist.
21 Jan 2017 14:37:40 -0500
Travis Kelce fined $21,615 for shoving player, calling out ref
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is developing quite the reputation as a hothead, and as a result he’s becoming accustomed to dropping some cash into the NFL’s swear jar.Following a couple of incidents that occurred during and after the Chiefs’ devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday night, Kelce has been fined a total $21,615, per ESPN’s Adam Teicher.The first incident involved Kelce straight-up shoving Steelers defensive back Ross Cockrell to the ground after a play (watch the dirty play here). Frustrated after a couple of drops cost his team a chance to score a touchdown, Kelce lost his composure, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.The second incident occurred after the game. Upset about a holding call on Eric Fisher on the play that negated what would have been the game-tying two-point conversion, Kelce laid into the ref who made the call.
“Ref No. 51 [Cheffers] shouldn’t even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again,” Kelce said after the game. “He shouldn’t eve
21 Jan 2017 13:27:32 -0500
10 best undrafted players remaining in NFL playoffs
Three games remain in the 2016 NFL season.The Packers visit the Falcons in the NFC championship game Sunday and the Steelers visit the Patriots in the AFC championship game.Super Bowl LI will be played Feb. 5 in Houston.After that will be three months of draft talk, and many people won’t know what they’re talking about.Players who turn out to be busts will be talked about like someone already ought to be chiseling away at their bust for Canton. Players who turn out to be key contributors or even stars won’t be talked about at all.These players fell into the latter category, and they all have a chance to get to Super Bowl LI. No. 10: Geronimo Allison Geronimo Allison might get goosebumps Sunday, because he’s returning to the place where he played his first NFL game.Not that reminiscing about his debut requires a long memory. It came in Week 8 at Atlanta. The rookie caught a touchdown pass in the Packers’ 33-32 loss.Allison’s biggest contribution came in Week 16 and Week 17 when Randall Cobb was out
21 Jan 2017 11:02:04 -0500
Arizona's Allonzo Trier cleared to play after drug test comes back negative
It was revealed earlier in the week that the reason Arizona Wildcats sophomore guard Allonzo Trier hadn't played basketball yet this season was due to a suspension from the NCAA for PED usage.But that Trier was suspended for PED usage definitely does not tell the full story here.ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported on Thursday that Trier unknowingly took a PED after being given to it by "someone close to his family" as a way to recover from injuries suffered in a serious car accident over the summer:A source told ESPN that Trier was in a serious car accident over the summer, and the Trier camp told the NCAA that someone close to his family gave him the drug - without his knowledge - to help him recover from injuries suffered in the accident.Trier appealed the NCAA's decision, and won.However, the NCAA wouldn't let Trier play in games - he was allowed to practice and travel with the team - until the drug was completely out of his system. So, even though the NCAA agreed that Trier unknowingly took this drug, he was sti
21 Jan 2017 00:34:42 -0500
Rodgers dealing with sickness ahead of NFC Championship Game
The Green Bay Packers’ best shot at winning the NFC Conference title involves the team being to be in tip-top shape. That doesn’t appear to be quite the case with this latest bit of breaking news coming out of the Packers’ camp, that Aaron Rodgers has joined Jordy Nelson and others dealing with an illness. Rodgers catching a bug just two days before a huge game is not at all ideal. The Packers will once again be on the road to square off with the Atlanta Falcons who have been scorching hot all season long. Not only is Rodgers sick, but wideouts Jordy Nelson and Devante Adams have been dealing with injuries, with Nelson’s being the most serious.Hopefully all Rodgers requires is some extra rest and fluids to fight away his bug. Things like this can be gone within 24 hours, but sometimes they can take several days to recover from.The Packers must outplay Matt Ryan and his high-scoring offense this Sunday with the hope of advancing to Super Bowl 51.
20 Jan 2017 16:26:53 -0500
Russell Westbrook responds to All-Star snub
If Russell Westbrook is upset about missing out on a starting spot in the All-Star Game, he isn’t showing it.The starters for the All-Star Game were revealed on Thursday, and Westbrook is not one of them despite being first in the media and player vote among Western Conference guards. Westbrook, who was behind Stephen Curry and James Harden in the fan balloting, says there are things that are more important.“It is what it is,” Westbrook said Friday, via ESPN. “That’s the nature of the business, the game. I just play. I don’t play for All-Star bids. I play to win championships and every night I compete at a high level, and it’ll work out.“I just continue doing what I’m doing and play the game the right way and everything else will work out.”Westbrook did win in the media and player votes, but that didn’t console him much.“(Winning the players’ vote) doesn’t change anything for me,” Westbrook said. “It’s a great honor … and being an All-Star is something you don’t take for
20 Jan 2017 16:20:53 -0500
Report: Knicks, Melo to part ways by next season
The trade speculation surrounding Carmelo Anthony has been heating up, and now one plugged-in NBA reporter says ‘Melo and the New York Knicks will part ways by next season.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says Anthony will be gone either by the trade deadline or summer.
@stephenasmith on @carmeloanthony "he will be gone by the deadline or by the summer"
— Michael Kay Show YES (@TMKSonYES) January 20, 2017
The writing is on the wall in this one.
The Knicks are looking to get younger and build around second-year player Kristaps Porzingis. It’s hard to do that with Anthony being the focal point of the team. Even Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek recently seemed frustrated by Anthony calling for an isolation play on offense.
Between Phil Jackson confidants saying Anthony has worn out his usefulness in New York and reports saying some in the Knicks’ front office want to get rid of Anthony, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him traded.
What helps is the latest report saying Anthony would be willing to waive
20 Jan 2017 16:08:03 -0500
Report: Pau Gasol out up to six weeks after hand surgery
The San Antonio Spurs will be without Pau Gasol an indeterminate amount of time after the center underwent surgery to repair his hand.This news comes by way of Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports the surgery was to repair a fracture in the fourth metacarpal on Gasol’s left hand.“The procedure has a potentially broad recovery period, league sources said. There are scenarios in which Gasol could return to the lineup inside of a month and a possibility that his absence could extend as long as six weeks, league sources said.”Gasol injured his hand during pre-game warmups Thursday night and had surgery on Friday morning. He has averaged 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds for San Antonio this season.The 36-year-old center’s timetable for recovery will depend on how the healing and rehab process goes in the coming weeks.The Spurs, with a record of 33-9, are in second place behind the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. They will need to depend on LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard all the
20 Jan 2017 16:01:11 -0500
Adam Jones to serve as penalty box attendant for minor league hockey team
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is embarking on a new career, if only for a day.Jones, a San Diego native and season ticket holder for the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, signed a contract for Friday that will allow him to be an off-ice official in the team’s next game. “I’m living out my dream joining the San Diego Gulls to be an off-ice official and serve as a penalty box attendant,” Jones said in a team statement.Jones will be responsible for recording penalties, opening and closing the penalty box doors, and providing extra game pucks to referees.Who knew that Jones was such a big hockey fan? It looks like he enjoys it as much as he enjoy smashing desserts onto his teammates’ faces. Here’s hoping the players give Jones a lot to do on Friday night so he can get the most out of his day of employment.