Month: August 2017

Ohio Supreme Court justice calls athletes draft dodgers after Browns’ anthem protest

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill was not happy about the 12 Browns players that protested during the national anthem by taking a knee and praying prior to their matchup with the Giants Monday night.

He even went so far as to accuse athletes of being draft dodgers even though there hasn’t been a draft since 1973.

“I will never attend a sporting event where the draft-dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field,” he said in a Facebook post. “Shame on you all.”

While it has been well-documented that the NFL’s television ratings were down in 2016, more people actually watched the league’s games last season than the previous year.

The total number of people who watched any regular-season game grew by 5 million in 2016, SportsBusiness Journal reported Monday, and a Fox Sports executive pointed to those numbers as evidence that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest had no negative impact on viewership.

“That is in conflict with the idea of a boycott (by fans upset about Kaepernick’s actions),” Fox Sports executive vice president of research, league operations and strategy Mike Mulvihill told SBJ. “If there was really a meaningful boycott going on, you’d see reach go down. And we didn’t.”

That’s not to say the NFL’s overall ratings dip had nothing to do with politics — it just wasn’t Kaepernick’s politics. Mulvihill cited coverage of the presidential election as the top factor in fewer people choosing to tune into football on a regular basis than in previous years.

The SBJ report notes that the trend could continue into 2017 due to continued strong ratings for cable news networks covering President Donald Trump’s administration.seahawks_103

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Darren Collison reportedly agrees with Pacers on 2-year deal worth $20 million

Veteran point guard Darren Collison has signed a two-year, $20 million free agent contract with the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It is the first major signing the Pacers have made since trading Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in late June.

Mens Franco Harris Jersey Collison played in 68 games for the Kings last season, averaging 13.2 points on 42 percent three-point shooting. The signing marks his second stint in Indiana after first playing for the Pacers from 2010-12.

Mens Felix Potvin Jersey Teodosic is 30 and a legend in Europe. He’s helped make his home country of Serbia one of the best non-U.S. teams in international competition, and he’s a former EuroLeague MVP (2010) who led CSKA Moscow to a championship in 2016.

Beyond all that, Teodosic is a siiiiiick passer. That’s really what we’re here to tell you. Teodosic is a solid shooter and a pretty bad defender, but he throws assists you’ve never seen before in your life, and he’s been doing it for a while now. Teodosic is absolutely not a replacement for Chris Paul in terms of overall skill, but as a lob-throwing, needle-threading machine for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, he fits perfectly.

Milos Teodosic is not young and he’s not a great two-way player, but he’s an otherworldly passer who’s going to be a whole lot of fun in Los Angeles.

Collison posted near 50-40-90 club numbers last season in Sacramento. He joins a back court that features Oladipo, Monta Ellis and Lance Stephenson.

Don’t worry, Dwyane and Gabrielle, it breaks our heart to see that lonely ass banana boat too.

DeMar DeRozan absolutely cooked No.1 high schooler in Drew League game

The top of the East will look a lot like it did last season, leaving an opening for teams like Miami, Milwaukee, and maybe even Philly to make inroads. The rest of it is wide open, if fairly uninspiring.

That presents an uncomfortable balance in a two-conference league, but ultimately, ambition is good in any form. Superteams are great, but competition is even better. With so many stars now concentrated on fewer teams, it may not be the player sharing system the league envisioned years ago, but it should make for a more engaging season. At least in the West. After the season we had, we’ll take what we can get.

Limited Kids Ramon Humber Jersey The Warriors entered free agency with five players under contract and marching orders to retain as much of their core as possible. General manager Bob Myers brought back all their top priorities and even added to the puzzle with a pair of free agent signings. If you were hoping for the luxury tax to weaken the Warriors roster, you’re out of luck. To wit:

Most rookies need to wait until they reach the league to get their welcome to the NBA moment, but No. 1-ranked high schooler Marvin Bagley III got it early thanks to DeMar DeRozan and the Drew League.

Bagley III, who is deciding between Duke and Kentucky among others, got on the court in Los Angeles to show his stuff when he ran into the Raptors All-Star.
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Is it to be expected that DeRozan could cook a high schooler? Absolutely — but hey, Bagley III got his rite of passage out of the way early.

Kristaps Porzingis is doing unicorn things at NBA Africa Game

It’s been four months since Kristaps Porzingis last played basketball on TV, but guess what? He’s still a beautiful unicorn and did beautiful unicorn things at the NBA Africa Game on Saturday.
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A Kyle Lowry lob wasn’t timed accurately in the first quarter, but that was no big deal for Porzingis. He just used his freakishly long arms to high-five the ball and lay it in while he got fouled.

Jordan’s response came when he was asked if Kawhi could score on Kawhi, the very same question featured in a Jordan Brand commercial in June. Leonard is a Jordan Brand athlete, so it makes sense that he would get a glowing endorsement from Jordan himself.

Jordan’s opinion on Kobe vs. Bron is off. There’s really not much of an argument for Bryant being better than James outside of RINGZ. With respect to Kawhi, what is a two-way player anyway? All players play both ends of the floor.

Youth Alexander Radulov Jersey But that really isn’t the point. Hearing Jordan speak on something other than his own legacy is always interesting. We always want to know how retired legends feel about the game today, even if they try to invalidate it. Fact is, they have insights and knowledge the layman doesn’t.

Jordan, who is considered by many the greatest player of all time, is at the top of that totem pole. What he says is gospel to some, and whenever he says it, people are going to tune in. He might be wrong, but he’s also Michael freaking Jordan. That matters.

NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith says work stoppage in 2021 is ‘almost a virtual certainty’

The 10-year collective bargaining agreement signed between the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2011 is reaching its final years and there isn’t much optimism that a new one will be agreed upon without a labor fight.

“I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout in 2021 is almost a virtual certainty,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in an interview with Sports Illustrated posted Thursday.

Walsh did it a second time after making another 52-yarder. This time, teammate Richard Sherman joined him in the shading, livening up an otherwise uneventful second half of an exhibition game.

“I simply was just responding to getting taunted,” Walsh said, via ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia. “I didn’t say anything. When you’ve got guys who were your teammates for five years yelling at you when you’re trying to kick, it’s just odd. And I hope they were in jest. And I hope they didn’t mean it because I didn’t mean anything with mine, but it was definitely not out of nowhere.”

“They were giving him a hard time. They were razzing him a little bit and all that,” Carroll told Kapadia. “He was just having a little fun with it. He’s a really good competitor. I like his mentality, and I think we are very fortunate to have him.”

Here’s my first political cartoon. Dedicated to my brother @mosesbread72 and all of the other athletes using their platform to promote change. As I’ve been saying it seems as if “you can use the platform provided to promote products but not to promote change to the products of your environment.” I’ve read a lot of the hate mail and comments sent to my brother as well as the ones sent to me. This illustration is how I feel about it all. here’s to those willing to risk it all to promote change.

After the game, Britt told reporters that he wasn’t against “against what the flag means and veterans,” but he wanted to show understanding about Bennett’s protest.redskins_006_fd4af6c0f4f988b7-180x180

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NHL trade rumors: David Pastrnak is staying put, Bruins GM Don Sweeney says

There’s no truth to the rumor the Bruins will look to trade David Pastrnak — if one is to take general manager Don Sweeney at his word.

NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton caused a stir over the weekend by stating he would not be surprised if Boston decided to part with its high-scoring winger rather than continue trudging through sluggish contract negotiations. Sweeney shot down that report Tuesday in a succinct email to the Boston Globe.

The U.S. finished 7-0 in winning the WJC for the fourth time and the first since 2013. It beat both Canada and Russia twice. That should be an enormous point of pride, and a confidence booster for the entire USA Hockey program.
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Our country needed us at this point with the hockey, Kieffer Bellows, who scored twice Thursday, told reporters. Kids looking up to us, teenagers, older adults that love hockey so much were looking up to us. We came out on top, and hopefully the country’s proud of us.
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The professional bona fides of the 23-player roster provide another clue to this group’s potential: seven NHL first-round draft picks, four second-rounders and 21 drafted players overall. One of the second-rounders, goalie Tyler Parsons (Flames), blanked Canada in the five-round shootout. Fifth-round pick Troy Terry (Ducks) scored the lone goal in the session; the night before, he put the U.S. in the final with a shootout goal, his third of the session, against Russia.

These guys won’t be ready to represent their country in the 2018 Winter Olympics, NHL or no NHL involvement. By 2020, though, expect to see a few of them in red, white and blue, and very possibly playing for gold again.

They’re going to get a good return for him

Do nothing. Hold onto Darvish and the exclusive negotiating window. It’s tempting to exchange him for prospects, especially ones who might help in 2018, but for every Cliff Lee and Aroldis Chapman who is traded in the middle of the season and comes back, there are roughly 100 pitchers who drift away and never return.

The Rangers have a chance, still, and those notes under what it would take for them to contend next year? They could all happen over the next two months, as well. Really, though, Darvish is too important to their 18 plans to deal, and that’s what should drive them. If they make up ground in the wild card chase, that’s grand. If they don’t, they’ll send a message to Darvish that they’d rather keep him than deal with incubating new prospects. The Giants did this in 2013 with Hunter Pence, and he never made it to free agency.

Jay Novacek Authentic Jersey That’s the plan for the Rangers. But I don’t blame them for being tempted. All they would have to give up is two months of a pitcher they can reacquire in the offseason, and they would get a huge boost to their farm. It sounds so simple, so seductive … how could it possibly go wrong?

As has already been discussed many times over, the A’s want to trade Sonny Gray. He’s out of there. They’re going to get a good return for him, and it’s only the size of that return that is up for debate at this point.

Trading him to the Dodgers would work out nicely for Oakland, especially when taking stock of its other potential trade partners and what they could offer.

With young talent like Willie Calhoun, Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler, and Yadier Alvarez available, the A’s would be smart to partner with the Dodgers and capitalize on that talent for their rebuilding process.

Dennis Smith Elite Jersey While it was likely before this development, the Dodgers are now definitely looking for starting pitching support now that Clayton Kershaw is once again dealing with a back injury that could derail him for longer than they hope.

2017 MLB All-Star Game odds: AL looks to continue dominance as small betting underdog

The American League is 4-0 both straight up and on the runline in the last four MLB All-Star Games. The AL will go for a fifth straight win and cover this Tuesday night against the National League.

Chris Sale will start for the American League and is a -105 underdog in Miami at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Max Scherzer is set to start for the National League as a -115 betting favorite.

Tuesday, Chris Antonetti, Cleveland’s president of baseball operations, said Francona, 58, wasn’t going to manage the Indians that night because he was undergoing tests at the Cleveland Clinic. In June, Francona went to the hospital twice after leaving games for light lightheadedness and a rapid heart rate.

Of the four teams he has spent time with, Beltre has hit the most in Texas, with 1,107 total. Second is Los Angeles, at 949, then Seattle where he hit 751. His lone year with Boston brings up the rear at 189 total hits.

The only other active player to surpass 3,000 hits is Ichiro Suzuki with 3,059. Albert Pujols is inching closer at 2,911, but after him it’s the 40-year-old Carlos Beltran, who is more than 300 hits away from reaching the club.

Game Youth Tre’Davious White Jersey Beltre’s quest for 3,000 was briefly interrupted by a fairly ridiculous ejection on Wednesday night, but he wouldn’t be Adrian Beltre if fairly ridiculous wasn’t part of his legacy.
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Adrian Beltre is also the first-ever Dominican-born player to reach 3,000 career hits. Albert Pujols will very likely be the second at some point in 2018, and then Robinson Cano (2,308 hits) is the next best-bet.

Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem

Another season, another controversy surrounding the national anthem.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch remained seated during the national anthem prior to the team’s 20-10 loss to the Cardinals in their preseason opener.

In his first game back since the 2015 season, Lynch was dressed in uniform but did not play. Instead of standing for the song, he sat on a cooler while holding a banana.

Smith, 22, suffered nerve damage when he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in his Notre Dame team’s Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1, 2016, an injury so severe many thought he’d never play again.

The Cowboys drafted him with the No. 34 pick in 2016 and he has been rehabbing the knee since.

Smith has been wearing a brace on his knee during training camp, but participated in drills and scrimmages without issue. He said the brace isn’t limiting him too much and that he “feels explosive” and is moving fast. He ended Cowboys practice Monday with a “sack” of Kellen Moore.

“I’ve been feeling great,” Smith told reporters Monday. “For us it’s just about getting reps. That’s something that I’ve gotten. We’ll finish up this week and see if they’ll let me go.

“I’m really looking forward to be able to contribute this year. When they call my number, I’ll be ready.”

The actions by Adidas show what happens when an organization does not support those tasked with protecting the integrity of the game. We support the referee community. This offensive behavior cannot stand [and] hurts all those involved in basketball.”

It was also an opportunity for us to set the standard for that team coming back and what we want it to be moving forward. We were gonna have a good time together, but we were gonna work. That’s what that trip is all about.dolphins_078

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The Overlooked: Brad Peacock may be the Astros’ most valuable pitcher

Authentic Mason Foster Jersey Little did Jordan Jankowski know that when he taught Astros teammate Brad Peacock how to throw a slider in 2016, he would help turn Peacock into one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball.

Peacock is 10-1 with a 3.20 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 87 innings this year and leads the Astros in wins. If he were to toss a few more innings this year, his 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings would rank fourth in baseball.

Much of that can be traced back to his decision to scrap his old slider and ask Jankowski for help while they were at Triple-A Fresno.

Analysis: At the end of the day, Verlander is making a lot of money. And while he’s still a top-of-the-rotation guy, it’s hard to see someone A) taking the majority of the money he’s got left ($56 million, with a $22 million vesting option for 2020) and B) giving up a ton of prospects for a 34-year-old starter with a lot of innings on his arm.

The Tigers are probably a little unwilling to back down off their trade demands in order to start a full-blown rebuild in coming years, but Verlander also isn’t getting any younger.

It’s hard to see Verlander getting moved unless Detroit eats some of that money, but that seems unlikely, at least this weekend.

Authentic Kenny Clark Jersey Latest rumors: The asking price could be too high for Yankees, according to Fanrag Sports’ Jon Heyman, but they are still seriously considering him. A deal could get done without including Triple A prospects.

Both the Astros and the Brewers are on the periphery, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Analysis: Of all the teams that need a front-end starter to shore up the rotation, it has to be the Astros. They have a great one-two in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, but injuries have turned out to be a speedbump for the Astros this season. They still have a healthy lead in the AL West, but a Gray-type could put them over the top.