Monthly Archives: July 2017

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t know how good Jason Kidd was

Elite Kids Matt Forte Jersey Jason Kidd is coaching the Bucks, but before that he had an incredible NBA career as a player. One that apparently Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t know about. Via Sports Illustrated:

The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’? Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made 3s, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.’

I texted Reggie and just said, ‘This is crazy season, and we’re not trading you for Ricky Rubio,’ Van Gundy told reporters Saturday.

That message addresses the ESPN report Friday that the Pistons and Timberwolves are discussing a deal that would send Jackson to Minnesota for guard Ricky Rubio and possibly swingman Shabazz Muhammad.

Elite Kids Jaleel Johnson Jersey Van Gundy confirmed the discussion took place, but stressed it’s not going through. Chris Brown and Soulja Boy have both signed a contract for a three-round bout in March to be televised on pay-per-view and promoted by boxer Floyd Mayweather’s companies. The fight card also includes rappers 21 Savage and 22 Savage, who admitted to copying the Atlanta rapper’s name and brand.

Martin and Thomas, who retired in 2015 and 2010, respectively, have a strange rivalry on and off the court dating back to the 2004 playoffs when Thomas called Martin fugazy. That set off a war of words leading to an altercation at a Dallas-area nightclub, an incident the two argued about in separate podcasts in 2016.

Robert Griffin III will work out for Chargers on Tuesday

Robert Griffin III is finally getting another chance with an NFL team.

NFL Media reported Monday that the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year will work out for the Chargers on Tuesday.

Lillard specifically called out ESPN writer Tom Haberstroh, who introduced a couple of negative comparisons between the two star point guards.

“Irving might fancy himself as the next Kobe (Bryant) or (Russell) Westbrook — alpha dogs who became MVPs after their co-star left the picture — but you can’t just ignore Irving’s losing track record as the No. 1 guy. The more realistic expectation is that he’s another Lillard,” Haberstroh wrote.

Lillard does have a point. Aside from a tough rookie year in 2012-13, the Trail Blazers have had a winning record each season since. They have also frequented the playoffs during Lillard’s tenure.

From an individual standpoint, Lillard is one of just three players (Oscar Robertson and LeBron James) who has recorded more than 1,500 points and 400 assists in their first five years in the league.

The Cardinals only have three players who can be free agents after this season.

Zach Duke has been on the DL all season, so he won’t/can’t be moved (though he is on track to return at some point in 2017). Sueng-hwan Oh was great in 2016, but has struggled this year (4.07 ERA/4.80 FIP) in the late innings.

Let’s start with this: Verlander, 34, is owed a lot of money over the next couple years. He’ll bring in approximately $10 million for the rest of 2017, then he’s guaranteed $28 million next year and $28 million in 2019, too, with a vesting option for $22 million for 2020 that automatically kicks in if he finishes in the top five of the 2019 Cy Young vote.

No team is going to pay his entire salary and give up an elite prospect or two. That’s just not going to happen. So the question is this: Can the Tigers find the right money/prospects balance with any team? More on that in a moment.

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Stephen Curry is right: ‘It’s comical’ to think he’s having down year for Warriors

Stephen Curry is still one of the best players in the NBA right now, but his stats have dropped off a bit since last season. He’s averaging about five points less, his shooting percentages are down and stats in other areas are slightly decreased as well.

Russell Westbrook had 28 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to help the Thunder crush the Kings 110-94 for their fifth straight win. The streak is the longest current run in the NBA and have Oklahoma City just a half-game behind the Clippers for the fifth seed in the West.

Fellow MVP candidate James Harden had yet another 40-point triple-double, this time against the Nuggets in a four-point win. Harden scored 40 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It’s Harden’s fourth straight game with triple-double.

Authentic Tie Domi Jersey Dennis Schroder had another dismal game Saturday. The Hawks point guard scored just eight points on 2-of-14 shooting in Atlanta’s home loss to the Blazers. Schroder is a combined 6 of 30 from the floor his past two games.

Rockets veteran Nene may need to sit out a game here and there as he ages but the big man can still throw it down, as evidenced by this dunk over Mason Plumlee.
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Celtics (44-25) at 76ers (25-43), 1 p.m. ET — Without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas (knee), Boston will look to come within one game of the Cavaliers for the top seed in the East. The Celtics were able to win against the Nets without Thomas on Friday but a pesky 76ers team could give Al Horford and company trouble.

Let’s take a look at why Rose joining the Cavs could be interpreted as a wise move for Cleveland

When you came into the league, there were stories written wondering if you were too nice of a guy to be successful in the league. A few years in, there were stories wondering if you were a dirty player. So which was it? Were you a nice guy or a dirty player?

I would not say dirty. But a little of both. You can have your personality off the court. But I only played one way on the court. I am just coming really hard, and sometimes you have a collision, sometimes you don’t. But I was not like that off the court.

Failing to improve a roster better equipped to handle Golden State has left LeBron James frustrated and concerned. Apparently, Cleveland’s front office (what’s left of it, anyway) took James’ concerns to heart. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday afternoon the Cavs are in serious talks with Derrick Rose about a one-year deal. (UPDATE: USA Today’s Sam Amick reports Rose will likely make a decision this weekend with the Cavs, Lakers and Bulls in contention.) But should potentially adding the former MVP make James feel any better about his team heading into the 2017-18 season?

Limited Kids Cody Wichmann Jersey Let’s take a look at why Rose joining the Cavs could be interpreted as a wise move for Cleveland — or a complete waste of the limited money the franchise is able to spend.

How does the adversity affect you?
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I’ve been through worse situations. I’m not the only one going through things. If a bad time for me for is somebody talking about how bad I played, I had a pretty good day. There’s someone right now who didn’t eat today. I’m good. I can handle some trolls.

Pelicans announce intention to launch new D-League team

The Pelicans announced Friday their plan to launch their own NBA Development League team with the intention of starting in the 2018-19 season when the league will be known as the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G League).

Our goal is to establish a Development League team in nearby proximity to our home base of New Orleans, team owner Tom Benson said. I have been very impressed with the growth and structure of the NBA Developmental League. It is a wise and necessary investment into the future of the Pelicans.
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A billion dollars, it has to be there, Ball told USA Today on Monday. That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.

To put LaVar’s vision into perspective, ESPN reports LeBron James’ lifetime Nike deal signed in December 2015 is worth at least $1 billion, while Michael Jordan’s Nike deal earns him more than $100 million annually in addition to royalties from his brand.

Womens Patrick Corbin Jersey LaVar clarified last month that Lonzo will go with the family’s Big Baller Brand apparel line if he doesn’t reach an agreement with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour by the time he reaches the NBA.

Lonzo, who will declare for the NBA Draft after this season, is a consensus top-five pick in the upcoming lottery. His brothers, high schoolers LiAngelo and LaMelo, already have committed to follow Lonzo’s footsteps to UCLA.

Joel Embiid out indefinitely with swelling in knee, will have MRI today

Joel Embiid cannot catch a break.

The promising 76ers big man and Rookie of the Year candidate, who has missed the last 13 games with a left knee injury, is now out indefinitely, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Embiid news comes just days after the 76ers announced that rookie forward Ben Simmons will miss the enitre season while recovering from a broken foot.

Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons due to foot injuries.

He is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in 31 games played this season.

Shamet helped himself by playing well in Indianapolis this weekend against group of tough, athletic guards from both Dayton and Kentucky.

First, he was matched up against Scoochie Smith and Kyle Davis from Dayton, both of whom are physical, tough defenders who can make life miserable. Then, he was forced to match up against De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk against Kentucky. Shamet played exceedingly well, especially in the Kentucky game, mostly helping Wichita State to dictate tempo against the Wildcats.

For a player whose athletic limitations will be the main point of contention about his draft stock over the next couple of years, Shamet held up exceedingly well against elite players both in terms of quickness and physicality. He was probably the best player in the Missouri Valley this season despite not winning the POY award. A freshman, Shamet will be a 2018 or 2019 NBA Draft prospect. But it’s worth pointing out his impressive play as something to watch for on a Wichita State team that should be in the preseason top-10 next season.broncos_068 (1)

MLB trade rumors: Sorting out the market for starting pitchers

Two weeks from Monday marks the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Cubs jumped the market for starting pitching by acquiring Jose Quintana from the cross-town White Sox.
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Game Jake Matthews Jersey That took what many assessed as the top target off the market.

With the clock ticking to July 31, here’s a quick look at three tiers of starting pitchers out there:

Although the Blue Jays are set with five starters, Estrada and Liriano are pending free agents, which presents two rotation voids at season’s end.

Toronto relied upon six starting pitchers the entire 2016 season, but in 2017 the Blue Jays have gone through nine starters in total. Their depth starters included Mike Bolsinger, Casey Lawrence and Mat Latos.

With a true lack of MLB-worthy starting pitchers in the minor leagues, the Blue Jays could do well to acquire any starters with big-league upside. Those players may not make an immediate impact, but Toronto has several gaps to fill in its rotation as early as this offseason.

From an outsider’s perspective, the logical move for the Blue Jays is to hit the reset button on the 2017 season and maximize value by getting as much as they can in return for their star players, including Donaldson and Stroman.

However, judging by Atkins’ comments, the Blue Jays don’t want to jeopardize their chances beyond the 2017 season by removing franchise figureheads from the roster.

So, if anyone’s expecting a huge fire sale in Toronto within the next few weeks, don’t hold your breath. It doesn’t look like a Blue Jays rebuild is on the horizon.

Young was an efficient scorer in transition and off screens last season as well.

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The question with Belichick now: Is the personnel boss making the coach better, or is the coach making the personnel boss better? The last two offseasons have made a strong case for the former, an amazing feat considering his status among the greatest coaches ever in any sport. Since rallying to win the Super Bowl last February, they have schooled the rest of the league on roster movement, so that their additions were almost an embarrassment of riches. In a competitive field, Belichick reigns.

Young was an efficient scorer in transition and off screens last season as well. He ranked in the 79.1 percentile with 1.26 points per possession in transition and the 62.1 percentile with 0.99 points per possession off screens. Together, they made up an additional 37.6 percent of his offense.
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With the amount of attention Curry, Thompson, Durant and Green command in both the open court and half court, it’s no wonder the Warriors scored more points in those categories than any other team last season. Young fits into that picture by giving them another shooter who can run off their split cuts, for example, while also being a legitimate option in transition when one of Curry, Thompson, Durant and Green draw an additional defender.

While signing Young might seem redundant on the surface, the Warriors weren’t actually as dominant from the perimeter last season as they were the season before. They went from making 13.1 3-pointers per game at a 41.6 percent clip in the 2015-16 season to 12.0 3-pointers per game at a 38.3 percent clip in the 2016-17 season. Replacing Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush, Leandro Barbosa and Marreese Speights with Durant obviously didn’t prevent them from winning another championship, but Young and Omri Casspi will help them regain some of the wing depth they were missing last season when they had to make financial room for Durant.

Chiefs’ Marcus Peters plans to ‘beat the dog s—’ out of Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch is representing his hometown of Oakland this season after surprisingly coming out of retirement to sign with the Raiders. Fellow Oakland native Marcus Peters thinks that’s cool, but as an AFC West division rival, the Chiefs cornerback has a profane message for Lynch, courtesy of The Mercury News .
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I was watching the OTAs and I seemed more and more hyped about the football season coming up, Howell said. I thought what better way than to name him after our two future stars?

Malik Jackson Game Jersey Oh, about the strange Luuuke spelling that Howell will have to some day explain to his son. That’s the sound (Luuuke!) the home fans make at Bank of American Stadium when the middle linebacker makes a big play.

Put two on there and people will think we misspelled it or something, Howell told the Gazette. Three seems more intentional. I want to give props to Luke and his career that he’s had.

Of course, choosing a baby’s name has sparked many disagreements between couples. Howell’s wife, Sandy, had this response to his idea: Whatever.

He was writing it on the birth certificate in the hospital, she said. He was asking about the U’s. I said, You can do two’ and said no more. He said, What about three?’ I said, ‘Whatever.’

Next up for Howell: He wants both Newton and Kuechly to sign the birth certificate.

Will Kyle Lowry leave Raptors to escape LeBron James’ dominance in the East?

Kyle Lowry said before the season he’d opt out of the final year of his contract, and he told reporters Monday he still stands by that.

So what’s next for the All-Star point guard? Typically when a star opts out of his contract it means he’s coming back just to sign a larger deal, but Lowry may actually consider leaving. He’s currently on a team that just made several offseason moves to challenge the Cavs, only to be swept by them in the second round of the playoffs.

When asked Monday what he’ll seek most as a free agent this offseason, his response was, without hesitation, “A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring.”

Bradley Beal had been averaging just under 30 points in the Wizards’ last four playoff games, but he misfired Tuesday, hitting only 1-of-9 3-pointers and 4-of-15 overall. He also turned the ball over six times.

How does John Wall sneak behind Isaiah Thomas and strip this ball? He gets a well-deserved dunk for his cobra-like quickness.

Rockets (55-27) at Spurs (61-21), 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT (Rockets lead series 1-0) — The Rockets buried 22-of-50 3s in Game 1 to blow out the Spurs, 126-99. Meanwhile, the Spurs, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage in the regular season, fizzled behind the arc. The more troubling aspect for the Spurs might have been that they lost their composure, something that doesn’t happen very often to Gregg Popovich’s teams. Don’t expect to see a repeat Wednesday night.

Embiid, of course, started the feud with Ball on draft night, tweeting, “Please dunk on him (Lonzo Ball) so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.”

LaVar Ball upped the ante Friday, telling TMZ Embiid made the foul comment because, “his vocabulary is limited,
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