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The way Jeremiah Masoli is playing Johnny Manziel isn’t going to see the field anytime soon.
Between Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals, with the outcome all but a fait accompli, LeBron James spoke to the media in a particularly reflective session. I felt like in order to win, you’ve got to have talent, but you’ve got to be very cerebral too, he said. Listen, we’re all NBA players. Everybody knows how to put the ball in the hoop. But who can think throughout the course of the game?
Now, more than ever, front offices and coaches have come to this conclusion as well. Asked what kind of skills they currently place a premium on, basketball IQ was mentioned more than raw athleticism.
Pure overall intellect is required now, Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. It’s hard to play with guys who don’t understand concepts, don’t understand tendencies and don’t understand analytics. You need the intellectual factor to succeed as a player and as a team.
Ryan converted his garage into a boxing gym in order to work out with trainer Galen Turner, who was recommended to Ryan by Eddie George. The former Titans running back has worked out with Turner for years and has joined Ryan for workouts that George believes will be rewarding for Ryan once he’s back on the field.
[Boxing] translates to you being on the football field, especially for a guy like Logan, George said, via the team’s website. When you are playing the press coverage and jamming up a receiver, knowing where the hand placement goes, which shoulder to go after to get the receiver off-balance and so forth, all that helps out. And from a mental standpoint and hand-eye coordination, it puts you in a different frame of mind, if you will. I like to call it spiritual conditioning. … He’s picked up the nuances of the punches and knowing when to slip and when to dip, and when to lay a combination. It’s now gotten into his muscle memory, and it is fascinating how he is able to mirror the hands with the feet, and it is going to translate well when he goes on the field.
So in the end, this didn’t come close to getting as savage as the great Smash Mouth vs. Athletics beef of 2016.
The first round of the NFL Draft is where franchises are built. Teams like the Steelers, Eagles, and Falcons have developed into postseason contenders thanks to savvy selections with high-value picks each spring. An impact rookie doesn’t just add value on the field, but his low-cost contract also allows a well-managed team to spend money on veterans elsewhere on the roster, building the foundation for long playoff runs.
The touchdown extended the Eagles’ lead to 31-7 early in the second half and shut down Minnesota’s hopes of climbing back into contention after a rough first half. And Pederson said he was thinking about his flea flicker pal when he made the call.
So the game comes, and I called it in the game at the right time, and I was thinking, ‘I hope Carol’s watching right now.’ There was Carol Wilson pressure! And we hit on it.
Right after the game, I look at my phone. She sent congratulations. She was so happy we called the play. She gave me the thumbs-up emoji. That was cool. That was cool. I am so happy we got her favorite play in the game—and it worked.
Lakers ticket prices on the secondary market soared in the wake of LeBron James’ joining the franchise, with one person paying $188,781 on StubHub for four season tickets in the lower bowl.
The Lakers, with the addition of LeBron James, are suddenly top-tier contenders to win next season’s NBA championship, according to Las Vegas sportsbooks.
The announcement was made through his agency, Klutch Sports Group, which announced the deal as $154 million.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the fourth year is a player option. It’s the longest deal James has signed since inking a six-year contract with the Miami Heat in 2010. His previous three deals were three years or shorter.
Their wins with Watson — over the Bengals, Titans, and Browns — would probably have been wins under Romo. The losses — against the Jaguars in Week 1 and then the Patriots, Chiefs, and Seahawks in Watson’s starts — would likely still have been losses. Watson played some of his best football in those defeats, but a mix of puzzling play-calling and shoddy defense cost the Texans a couple of wins.
So let’s say that in this scenario, the Texans still trade up and draft Watson and can be patient with him. In reality, they started Savage in Week 1, even though Watson was clearly a special talent. That leaves no doubt that Romo, who would’ve been an expensive addition and had a decade of starting experience, would’ve been under center in the season opener.
From there, we have a few different paths this alternate universe could’ve taken.
There’s no guarantee that Romo, football old and with all that injury toll on his body, would have been able to bounce back. But we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, ready to prove he’s not washed yet. Maybe he’s not the same guy who completed almost 70 percent of his passes in 2014, but he can still sling it. Perhaps he even found that ol’ Dez-like chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins, who might be part alien considering the receiving numbers he’s put up each season despite a revolving door of coat racks throwing him the ball.
The reaction by the White House comes following the NFL’s release of a new national anthem policy, which will require all players on the field during the national anthem to stand while it is played. Those who don’t wish to participate may remain in the locker room.
In response to the announcement, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney issued a statement, adding that city hall was always open for a celebration.
I’m proud of the Eagles on & off the field. Our players represent the diversity of our nation—a nation where we’re free to express our opinions. Disinviting them only proves the President is not a true patriot.
Jane Slusser, chief of staff to the Philadelphia mayor, took a shot.
Reports from Philadelphia indicate it would have been a very small party, had the Eagles celebration moved forward.
Five or fewer Eagles players had intended to attend the White House Super Bowl ceremony, a league source tells me.
Amin Elhassan, ESPN.com: An immense balance-of-power shift back to the West. Life looks a lot harder for any Western Conference playoff hopeful, with the addition of another wrecking ball in a James-led Lakers team, even assuming no further improvements to the roster. Furthermore, by agreeing to a long-term deal, he gives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka enough leeway to be able to make decisions over time to further enhance the supporting cast.
Jackie MacMullan, ESPN.com: It means the NBA’s orange ball is LeBron’s orbit, and the rest of the league is floating aimlessly about, hoping to be sucked into his world. He is the Kevin Bacon of the NBA — everyone is six degrees of separation from LeBron. Kawhi Leonard (His future hinges on LeBron.) Kevin Durant. (Sign for one year with an option … so he can see what LeBron is up to?) Chris Paul. (He was with James in a Hollywood nightclub when he OK’d the trade to the Rockets last summer.) Lonzo Ball. (Is he staying or going? Perhaps only LeBron knows!) JR Smith. (Seriously.) Lance Stephenson. (Stunningly, on his way to team up with LeBron.)
Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider: It shifts the epicenter of the league’s power even farther West. As Dan Feldman of NBC Sports pointed out on Twitter, just one player certain to be in the East this season has ever made the All-NBA first team: Joakim Noah. (Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade are candidates for that list.) Yes, the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are on the rise. For now, however, the league’s best and most interesting teams remain in the West.
Drew Doughty and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, two prized 2019 unrestricted free-agent defensemen, opted for stability and signed long-term extensions with their current clubs. Tyler Seguin will likely do the same with the Dallas Stars, and so will Marc-Andre Fleury, who revived his career with the Golden Knights, and possibly Wayne Simmonds with the Flyers, Joe Pavelski with the Sharks, Blake Wheeler with the Winnipeg Jets and … OK, we could keep going, but we’ll stop there.
There will still be some big names available. Erik Karlsson theoretically headlines the list, followed by Sergei Bobrovsky (and a half a dozen serviceable goalies), Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle and Jeff Skinner.
But we know the way these things usually go. Let’s see how many of these guys are still available next July 1.OKC ‘checked the boxes’ during its yearlong recruitment of Paul George
The Mavs, who could have more than $25 million in cap space if they decline the $5 million team option on Dirk Nowitzki (who would be re-signed at a reduced salary), are one of few teams with significant salary-cap space this summer.
Other intriguing centers include unrestricted free agent DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans and restricted free agent Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets, although the Rockets are likely to match an offer for Capela.
Dallas does not have the ability to include a first-round pick in the trade due to giving up a protected first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks in the deal for Doncic.
Matthews’ salary is significantly larger due to a promise the Mavs kept after Jordan decided to renege on his commitment and return to the Clippers in 2015.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban offered Matthews as much money as Dallas could pay him, pending Jordan’s decision, believing that getting Matthews on board was key to wooing Jordan. The Mavs got a commitment from Jordan the next morning when Cuban and Chandler Parsons, the then-Dallas forward who was acting as the franchise’s recruiting chairman, surprised the center with a visit to his Los Angeles home.
Acuna went 4-for-13 in the weekend series after missing a month with a mild ACL sprain and contusion in his left knee and also a lower back contusion. The 20-year-old is batting .269 with six homers and 15 RBI in his first 32 games.
Albies enters with a .275 average and on an 11-game hitting streak. During the longest streak of his career, he is batting .431 (22-for-51).
The Yankees own the best home record in the majors at 31-12 and are 26-7 in their last 33 home games. New York also has slugged 77 of its major league-leading 137 homers at home after setting a season high with six in Sunday’s 11-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
Aaron Hicks hit three homers and Aaron Judge belted his 22nd, rookie Gleyber Torres hit his 15th and Kyle Higashioka delivered his first as the Yankees roughed up David Price.
LeBron James might eventually go down as the best basketball player to grace the hardwood, but that will not be the only part of his legacy. James has his heights set for greatness to continue well beyond the moment he drops his last bucket.
At the ripe age of 19, James signed his first NBA contract worth $12.9 million across three seasons. James, who surpassed 30,000 career points this season (good for seventh all-time), is not surprisingly also near the top of the list for the league’s greatest earners.
According to Spotrac, James will have earned $233.89 million across 15 NBA seasons, making him the sixth-ranked NBA earner of all time. Counterparts ahead of James on the all-time list are Tim Duncan ($240.1 million), Dirk Nowitzki ($246.6 million), Shaquille O’Neal ($286.3 million), Kobe Bryant ($323.3 million) and Kevin Garnett ($334.3 million).
James will move into fourth place after next season and has a chance to finish his career at the top of the heap.
The Grizzlies missed the mark — Memphis, a franchise guys didn’t even want to work out for because they weren’t convinced with the direction the team was going, failed to pick guys who would make immediate impacts on the team. Taking Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. with the No. 4 overall pick was confusing, considering they already have former Spartan star Deyonta Davis, who is essentially the same player.
Memphis then took West Virginia guard Jevon Carter in the second round. While Carter enjoyed a productive career with the Mountaineers, he struggled to score at times, and is very small by NBA standards. His defensive prowess may take a hit at the next level.
The Detroit Lions will participate in joint training camp practices before preseason games with the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. The Lions said Friday they’ll practice with the Raiders in Napa, California, Aug. 7-8 before their game Aug. 10. The following week, the Lions and Giants will practice in Allen Park from Aug. 14-16. The teams play in Detroit on Aug. 17. Detroit’s other preseason games are Aug. 24 at Tampa Bay and Aug. 30 against Cleveland
As a member of the Hall’s selection committee for 21 years, I’ve been in that room, engaged in debates about the merits of candidates. I figuratively stood on the table defending Owens each year — and not because of his numbers, which can be so skewed, yet so many point to as the defining measure — but because he was simply one of the best of his era.
If he chooses not to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies he will be missing one of the most moving and emotional experiences someone could have in football. Indescribable moments. It will be his loss, not the Hall’s.
Athletically, Derek Rivers should be a future superstar pass-rusher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played a football game for over a year after he missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury.
That, compounded with the fact that he played in the FCS for Youngstown State, is a red flag.
The Pats’ top two returning pass-rushers are Deatrich Wise and Trey Flowers, who both play more of a length-and-strength form of pass rushing than anything else.
If Rivers can adjust quickly to NFL speed, he could cut into Adrian Clayborn’s playing time. Between Clayborn and Rivers, it’s likely that New England’s 2018 leader in sacks will come from a player who wasn’t on the field in the Super Bowl in February.
Estrada was shot in his hometown of Bejuma, Venezuela, in late January. He said two teens tried to rob him for his cell phone and cash while at a restaurant with his wife. When he told them he didn’t have either, one of them shot him.
The bullet is still in Estrada’s hip. Doctors there tried to take it out but actually may have made the wound worse, Mitchell said. So they gave up and left it there.
Though New York has played him at second and third base to enhance his versatility and to accommodate higher-profile prospects such as Gleyber Torres, there’s no question that Estrada is a big league shortstop. He covers a lot of ground thanks to his smooth actions and keen instincts, and he has the plus arm to make all of the throws. He’s also an asset at second and third base, and he’s athletic enough to handle the outfield if asked.
He is his own man.
You might not know the name Rashad Greene yet. You will next year.
Greene is a wide receiver for the Jaguars. If you do know him, it might be for one of the biggest plays of his young career, this punt return against Indianapolis last December.
Bennett responded similarly when he spoke to Philadelphia media last week, though he didn’t mention the we don’t have to take a knee part.
Here’s what he said last week…
For us it’s just about the work and how much work we can do in the community. A lot of times it gets mixed up… but it’s really about: how can we build bridges from different communities and become a better organization. That’s our focus as a team and then our focus as people, how can we be a better organization and better people outside. That’s how I feel.
The most interesting part of this Sports Illustrated story on the beginning of legal gambling in New Jersey is the picture showing Super Bowl odds.
The goal of oddsmakers is to encourage gambling. That’s understood.
Mookie Betts has been placed on the 10-day disabled with with a left abdominal strain, the Red Sox announced Friday.
He is eligible to return June 8 as the stint is retroactive to May 29.
If I wouldn’t have known he played left tackle last year, I would have assumed [right tackle] was his natural position, because he looks good in it right away, Hernandez said. Honestly, I think he’s great.
The Giants need more from Flowers than looking great in the spring, but it is a start.
If you looked at the Jets offensive line last year, well, it wasn’t great.
Collectively, the team’s quarterbacks were sacked 47 times — a bottom-10 mark in the league. The Jets running backs were stuffed behind the line of scrimmage 26 percent of the time, according to Football Outsiders, good for 29th in the NFL.
So, there was room for improvement. The franchise hopes that will come in the form of Spencer Long.
Rodgers appears to have avoided the ratings penalty applied to others who have missed considerable time due to injury last season or in recent years. Players like Gronkowski (-7), Landon Collins (-8), Kam Chancellor (-8), Andrew Luck (-3) and David Johnson (-2) were impacted, while Rodgers actually moved up three points coming off the injury that cost him most of last season.
An early look at the ratings for Madden NFL 19 features some changes near the top. While the game is still seven weeks from its release and adjustments can be made, it’s unlikely that any dramatic changes will happen. Von Miller missing from the list, however, seems like an error that will be corrected.
He credits Williams with making his life easier.
I think having [rookie Nathan] Shepherd will be able to free Leo up to do his thing, Lee said.
Sam Darnold is the future at quarterback.
The Dolphins announced they have signed tight end Mike Gesicki, the last of the team’s eight draft picks to agree to terms.
That article reported one of the primary sources of tension between the men was Belichick’s desire to groom his next franchise quarterback and Brady’s desire to play ostensibly forever while not going out of his way to help a potential successor.
But if Brady’s family life keeps going this well, Belichick might not have to worry about it much longer. Ever the competitor, though, Brady still talks like he can’t imagine a future off the field.
I am what I am, Brady said. I know my strengths. I’ve improved on some of the weaknesses. And I still think I want to go out there and compete and play with a bunch of 22-year-olds. It’s still a lot of fun.
The Bengals had subpar offensive line play last season and the hope is that Price becomes a foundation of a more capable group in 2018 and beyond.
What Webb admitted could have been an awkward situation last Thursday instead was filed away as another item in the progress report he is building. The second-year quarterback is one of the most fascinating players on the Giants roster, even though the plan for him is to serve as the backup to Eli Manning, historically a non-playing role. If Manning can finish up the final two years on his contract and then give way to Webb, the Giants could be set at the most vital position on the field for another decade.
No one knows if that scenario is plausible or wishful thinking. No one can be sure if eschewing a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the draft — Sam Darnold was right there, waiting for his name to be called — will be proven prescient or foolhardy. Saquon Barkley may turn into the next great running back, but if the Giants, post-Manning, are wandering in the quarterback-less desert, it will not matter much.