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Why athletes shouldn’t take home town discounts

There’s been a lot of talk lately about NBA superstars and role players alike taking less money than they’re ostensibly worth “for the good of the team.” The collective bargaining agreement is structured to minimize a team’s ability to load up on big contracts, and it makes guys who don’t settle for less seem greedy. C’mon, you’re really going to take $8 million over there instead of $5 million over here? DON’T YOU WANT TO WIN?

Meanwhile, the owners are taking Scrooge McDuck baths in gold coins and bitching about only getting half of the league’s basketball related income.

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The HBS: LeBron’s Babyface Turn

By: Mike Asti and George Gerbo

LBJ SI

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The HBS: #IBelieveThatItWillBeAsinine

By: Mike Asti and George Gerbo

WC

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29
Jul

Kevin Durant says he will explore all options in free agency

LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland—and the way in which he did so—was universally lauded by everyone outside the Miami area, and you can count Bron’s buddy Kevin Durant as one of those who thought James made the right move by returning to the Cavs.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said Tuesday, after a training camp session with USA Basketball. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

KD has a similar decision weighing on his mind in the next couple of years, when he becomes a free agent in 2016. He’s already been inundated with questions about whether or not he’ll play for his hometown Washington Wizards.

“I’m going to do what’s best for me,” Durant said. “It’s hard to talk about that right now when I’ve got two years left in Oklahoma City. I’m just going to focus on that. I’m not going to make a decision based on what anybody else does.

“I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City, too.”

“It’s great to feel wanted, you can tell. Guys taking four or five trips to see teams,” Durant said. “You’ve got to see what’s out there if you’re a free agent. We play in a league where it’s so powerful, you can impact so many different people, you’ve got to look at all your options.”

If the Thunder are smart they start loading the team now for a title run the next couple of years in the hopes they can secure a title, so that they’ll either a) entice Durant to stay in OKC, or b) at least have a championship to their name before he leaves town.

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29
Jul

The Raiders are looking to move to San Antonio


They say everything is bigger in Texas, so could three NFL teams coexist in the Lone Star state? We could find out next year. Raiders owner Mark Davis met with met with San Antonio officials two weeks ago to discuss a potential move to the Alamo City, according to a report from the San Antonio Express-News.

With their lease at the O.co Coliseum set to expire at the end of the season, Davis and spent a couple of days in San Antonio and even visited the Alamodome, a potential site if the team were to relocate.

City manager Sheryl Sculley issued a statement to the city council:

I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence. The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.
The Alamodome hosted three preseason games between 1993-2001. It’s played host to numerous high school state championships, UTSA football and the appropriately named Alamo Bowl. The Saints played three games there because of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and averaged 62,666 spectators per game.

The San Antonio Raiders has a nice ring to it. Not to mention, the Spurs already don black and silver over there, so that’d be cool. But still, we grew up with the Raiders in California and dammit we’re not accustomed to change like this. Also, they’re probably just bluffing, because who would say no to a free trip to Texas in the summer?

If a move were to happen, the son of the late Al Davis would be apparently creeping into the territory of the Cowboys and Texans. Dallas owner Jerry Jones didn’t appear too pleased when asked about the possibility of a team in San Antonio following Tuesday’s practice, saying ” San Antonio is Cowboys country”.

24
Jul

Ray Rice’s Wikipedia Changed to HOF Wife Beater

Split second decisions can lead to life-long consequences. This is what Ray Rice is finding out now. I can’t pretend to know Ray Rice, so I can’t tell you if this is the first time it happened or just the first time it was caught on tape.

What I can tell you is no one is going to forget about it any time soon. Look at the edits made to his Wiki page.

22
Jul

Rivers, Clippers players may quit team


Because Donald Sterling refuses to release the Clippers franchise from his gnarled, racist fingers, the legal battle to remove him and complete the team’s sale to Steve Ballmer still rages. In court today, Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons said that team president and coach Doc Rivers has told him he would quit if Sterling was still with the franchise by the start of next season.

Via ESPN:

Dick Parsons said he’s talked to Rivers, several players and key sponsors who are troubled by Sterling’s continued ownership of the franchise, which is being adjudicated in a California probate court…

“If Doc were to leave, that would be a disaster,” Parsons said. “Doc is the father figure of the team. Chris (Paul) is the on court captain of the team. But Doc is really the guy who leads the effort. He’s the coach, the grown-up, he’s a man of character and ability — not just in a basketball sense, but in the ability to connect with people and gain their trust.

“The team believes in him and admires and loves him. If he were to bail, with all the other circumstances, it would accelerate the death spiral.”

Rivers expressed his issues with working for Sterling when the (latest) scandal first broke, so this isn’t a surprise. And Rivers leaving the franchise would be a devastating blow to a team that is just starting to assume the role of “actual competent and competitive basketball team” after years of being terrible. But could it be even worse?

“If none of your sponsors want to sponsor you, your coach doesn’t want to coach you, and players don’t want to play for you, what do you have?” Parsons said.

We know that the Clippers and Warriors were hours away from boycotting a huge playoff game last season, saved only by the commissioner’s decision to give Sterling a lifetime ban. If Rivers walks away from his contract with the team, whose to say guys like Paul, Blake Griffin and every other player wouldn’t feel the impetus to follow suit? What if the Clippers are simply incapable of fielding a basketball team this fall?

In all likelihood, it won’t come to that. Shelly Sterling will probably win this case against Donald, and if not, there’s reason to believe the NBA will simply seize the team and sell it anyway. And once that happens, Ballmer needs to take this team to Seattle, if only to remove the stink this fucked up case has left on the franchise.

16
Jul

Tony Romo ranked among the NFL’s most clutch QB’s

 

Depending on what fan base you support and how you feel about Tony Romo, this ranking may shock and awe quite a few people. I’m going to put myself out there on the limb, and I’m sure I’ll catch pure hell for this.

I am a Tony Romo apologist. I spend my days during the NFL season trying to explain why Romo is a really good quarterback, who gets a raw deal at times.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brook hopped on my Romo bandwagon when he ranked Romo as one of the NFL’s top 10 “clutch” quarterbacks.

Romo came in at No. 6 to the surprise of many.

6) Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: The sight of Romo’s name on a list of clutch performers will make some Cowboys fans cringe, but the three-time Pro Bowler doesn’t get enough credit for coming through in crucial situations. Romo is one of the most efficient fourth-quarter quarterbacks, completing 69.6 percent of his passes and compiling a 105.6 passer rating in the final period last season. Critics, of course, will point out some memorable interceptions with the game on the line, but the fact that he has orchestrated 11 fourth-quarter comebacks in the past three seasons suggests that he routinely comes through for the Cowboys when it matters. Now, I know these truths won’t absolve Romo from the harsh criticism of some unrealistic football fans, but this should shed some light on why NFL evaluators hold the quarterback in high regard as a clutch playmaker.

New York Giants fan can now start to raise hell because Brooks left two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning off the list.

To be fair, Brooks does his list on a year-to-year basis, and Manning absolutely stunk it up last season. Here is the non-playoff comparison for the two.

 

16
Jul

NFL Sunday Ticket will be available without having Direct TV

This will be glorious news to anyone who doesn’t want DirecTV or can’t get a satellite dish in their area.

No official announcement has been made, but a promotional page for the new offering has appeared at NFLSundayTicket.tv. The company says viewing will be limited to out-of-market games when it begins on Sept. 7, but the popular Red Zone channel is included. AppleInsider was first tipped to the page by reader Sean.

“Now you can access live, out-of-market NFL games without a DIRECTV satellite TV account—no matter what team you follow,” the site reads. “NFLSUNDAYTICKET.TV lets you stream games on your computer, tablet, phone, or game console. All while keeping up with real-time player stats and your fantasy teams.”

A $199.99 subscription will grant access via Sunday Ticket apps on mobile devices and personal computers, while access on gaming consoles will require a $239.99 subscription. The most expensive tier, at $329.99, combines the two and adds access to Red Zone and the new Fantasy Zone channel.

 

12
Jul

Drake wants to move to Cleveland

Drake is hosting the ESPYs next week, so he was doing some media rounds about the event, including a conference call where he was asked by Complex Sports if the Cavs were now his favorite team because LeBron sign there.

Here is what Drizzy had to say.

“Well, first of all, I’d like to say that despite what everyone on the Internet thinks, I do not team jump. In the past I’ve always supported the player and not the institution—unless we’re talking about the Kentucky Wildcats and the Toronto Raptors; I will never stray from them. But whether it comes to soccer or football or basketball, I have a lot of friends that play for a lot of teams. I’m not team jumping. I’m a supportive friend.”

“Of course, I’m gonna go watch games in Cleveland. If not for LeBron—who I said is a brother to me, we’ve got three kids from Toronto on one team, plus Manziel who is part of our family and our brother. I definitely have to look into some real estate in Cleveland and spend some months of the year out there. Like I said, my teams will always forever be who they are but I will support the group who has shifted to Cleveland.”

It is a reasonable answer, but it isn’t going to stop the internet memes and photoshops, so I hope he doesn’t worry too much about it.

 

10
Jul

The Decision’ Was Better Than This #LeBronWatch2014 Nightmare

Four years ago, LeBron James enraged sports fans everywhere when he turned his free agency decision announcement into a one-hour television special, donating proceeds to charity. The climactic quote of the event became something used to mock him. The words “take my talents” took a life of their own, as did the coming out party that the Big Three threw. You know, the one where they counted off how many rings they would win.

Everything about that free agency was poorly executed. There was LeBron’s mess of an ESPN announcement, reminiscent of the Heisman ceremony where its not worth tuning in until the last minute.

There was the fact that the Cavaliers found out in that last minute for the first time that they would lose their star player, the best player in basketball, and their hometown hero.

There was the speculation about where he would end up and a short list of suitors that got their hopes up before being crushed when the words “south” and “beach” came out of James’ mouth.

But in the end, I’m not sure that I’d take the torture of this year’s #LeBronWatch over that of four years ago, over “The Decision.” I don’t blame James for the madness that has erupted since he decided to opt out of his contract, mostly because he was smarter this time and decided to do the exact opposite of what irked so many NBA fans four years ago. This time, he hasn’t said anything. He’s kept quiet. There’s no short list and no set announcement date.

And that’s the problem. Because there’s nothing coming out of the James camp, we instead have Chris Sheridan reporting that he’s reuniting with Cleveland and Chris Broussard reporting that he’s staying in Miami. We have fake accounts getting thousands of retweets on Twitter announcing that he’s signed deals with this team or that team. We have rumors that range from reasonable to ridiculous and everything in between. We have guess work in the media and nonstop coverage of absolutely nothing on ESPN all day.

With hindsight in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can just turn on the television tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on the dot to find out where the biggest player in the world of sports is going to spend the next four or five years of his career? Wouldn’t that be better than reading Chris Broussard’s annoyingly misspelled tweets with no punctuation telling us things we probably don’t believe because he’s Chris Broussard?

#LeBronWatch2014 sucks. I vote for “The Decision.”

10
Jul

Why Dwayne Wade needs to sign with the Suns

The NBA is a business. But if the rumors about LeBron leaving Miami for Cleveland are true, we won’t blame Dwyane Wade for taking it personally. Wade opted out of the remainder of his two-year, $42 million deal to try to keep his best friend in town, and that friend basically told him “You’re not enough.” It has to hurt. And the whole “losing money” thing must not be fun either.

If LeBron leaves, Wade is really in trouble, because in all likelihood Chris Bosh will leave too, for Houston. Because of Wade’s close relationship with the Miami organization, it’s assumed that he won’t be left in the lurch, and will sign another above-market deal with the team and/or get some kind of cushy front office job after he retires to “take care” of him.

But Wade should take a page out of his (former?) teammates’ book and look for better options. And while he may not get the same kind of money the Heat would (should?) offer him, there is a team with plenty of cap space, looking for a potential splashy signing, that would be perfect for Wade: the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns are a forgotten player in this year’s NBA free agency period, even though they’ve got a good young team led by Goran Dragic, a potential top-20 talent in Eric Bledsoe (currently unsigned) and lots of solid role players who are improving steadily under coach Jeff Hornacek. The Suns’ backcourt might be a little crowded if they re-sign Bledsoe, but they could use an actual shooting guard not named Dionte Christmas, and Wade is just the guy for the job.

Here’s the most important factor as to why Wade should choose the Suns over another team looking for scoring punch like the Bulls: The Suns are renowned for having the best training staff in the league. They are credited with having revived the careers of multiple former stars, from Grant Hill to Steve Nash to Shaquille O’Neal. The Suns staff is viewed as a veritable fountain of youth for both its older and younger players for what some call their “unorthodox” methods.

Wade has never played a full 82 games in his entire career. He only played in 61 last season due to knee problems. He clearly needs help staying healthy, and the Suns have proved they can do that.

Plus, if guys like Bosh and Melo and Greg Monroe and Chandler Parsons go elsewhere, Phoenix will have plenty of money to throw around. Why not sign Wade, keep him healthy, and use him and Dragic as the selling points to free agents in the coming seasons?

Wade is unlikely to leave Miami, whether out of comfort or familiarity or a sense of duty. But if he wants to prolong his career and show guys like LeBron that he does, in fact, have plenty left in the tank, he should consider Phoenix as his next stop. Everyone else is leaving South Beach — why not the original Heatle?

9
Jul

Former Bulls player used “Patrick Ewing” alias to get happy endings

Former Chicago Bulls player and coach Rick Brunson was arrested for sexual assault on a masseuse at Lifetime Fitness. Records show he had seen the masseuse seven times over December 2011 to August 2013. After his last visit Brunson was banned from seeing her but he booked an appointment using the alias Patrick Ewing in order to get in the same room as the masseuse.

Via Next Impulse Sports:

Brunson used the former Knicks star and Hall of Famer as an alias, and found himself in the same room with his former masseuse on April 2nd. The masseuse went ahead with the session, as it was a booked time slot. Over the course of the hour, Brunson proceeded to touch her inappropriately, and he’s now facing charges of sexual abuse, attempted sexual assault and three counts of battery.

After this last incident the woman filed a complaint with Lifetime management and Brunson’s membership was terminated on April 9. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

 

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