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Friday, July 29, 2016


PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite


PETA has decided to use Warren Sapp’s misfortune as an opportunity to capitalize on some publicity.

After hearing that the Pro Football Hall of Famer suffered a shark bite while lobstering in the Florida Keys, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter and gift to the former defensive lineman.

Here’s the letter, which was rife with football puns.

Dear Warren,

We heard about your interception of a defensive shark’s lobster dinner, so we wanted to pass along some delicious cruelty-free vegan lobster in the hope that it’s a winner with you and yours. We don’t want you running back to the water until you’ve tasted it—sharks work as a team to obtain food, so unwanted competition may be awaiting you. Despite that nasty bite, it’s humans who rank as the deadliest predator of all. We hope you look after yourself, so we invite you to tackle any health problems with vegan foods and to be a champion of lobsters. All your fans at PETA are wishing you a speedy recovery.

Warm regards,

Andrew Bernstein and the PETA Team

As mentioned in the get well note, the organization is sending Sapp a vegan lobster to try.

Sapp should be appreciative, because he sure could use the TLC. After all, that bite from the shark was pretty nasty as the photo showed.

Vikings QB Taylor Heinicke injured trying to kick open door after being locked out

Taylor Heinicke

Of all the bizarre, random, and weird injuries we’ve ever shared at LBS, this belongs towards the top.

Taylor Heinicke, a third-string quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings, could be out up to three months after severing a tendon in his left foot this month.

The second-year quarterback from Old Dominion saw “The Conjuring 2” with a friend. The two returned to the friend’s home and realized they were locked out, so Heinicke tried kicking the door open. His plan failed.

Heinicke talked about the incident Thursday from Vikings camp.

“I was locked out of my house after a late-night movie,” Heinicke said via the Pioneer Press. “I came back and there’s no one home, and I’m trying to nudge the door a little. It was one of those double doors. I thought it just needed a little nudge.

“Me and my buddy were getting it going a little, but when I put my foot to the door, my foot kind of slipped and it went through a window. It was just kind of a freak accident. I’m very embarrassed, but I’m just excited getting going with rehab and trying to get this going as soon as possible.”

ESPN’s Ben Goessling says there was no foul play involved in the incident.

The Vikings are planning to open the season with Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill atop their depth chart at quarterback. They also have Joel Stave in camp. And thanks to a bizarre window incident, they’ll be missing Heinicke for some time. I guess this at least sounds better than how Russell Martin was recently injured.

H/T Deadspin

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Josh McCown

If Robert Griffin III gets out to a slow start during training camp and the preseason, there is one person we know who will be ready to take his job: Josh McCown.

Ahead of the Cleveland Browns opening training camp on Friday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer did a breakdown on the team’s quarterback position. The Browns would obviously like RG3 to win the starting job, but McCown is going to be right there every step of the way.

In her analysis of the competition, Mary Kay Cabot said that “at times, McCown looked more ready in spring practices than Griffin to start and win a game.”

Cabot’s words perhaps should not be too big of a surprise. Griffin did not play last year in Washington and was below-average the season before. Meanwhile, McCown played eight games last season for the Browns, throwing for 2,109 yards and 12 touchdowns, though the team was only 1-7 in games he played.

At 37, McCown is not a long-term answer for anyone at quarterback. However, this should serve as a reminder that the team has another option in case RG3 completely implodes, which, based on some reports, wouldn’t be too implausible.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mocks Donald Trump at DNC (Video)


This year’s Democratic National Convention wrapped up on Thursday. Among those to speak was a basketball legend who mocked the Republican presidential nominee.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar addressed the crowd at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and wasted little time getting an applause from those on hand. After taking the stage, the NBA Hall of Famer said, “Hello everyone. I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m here with Hillary.” He followed that up with “I said that because I know that Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”

How’s that for coming out firing?

Abdul-Jabbar, of course, converted to Islam and during his speech had some harsh words for Trump for his views pertaining to Muslims. While Abdul-Jabbar certainly isn’t the only one to criticize Trump, his opening was definitely a popular one.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC


Kevin Durant did not appreciate a recent report that said he lied to his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates about his free agency plans, so he decided to respond.

On the TrueHoop podcast this week, ESPN Thunder insider Royce Young said Durant had been telling people he was returning to OKC. That includes point guard Russell Westbrook, whom, in a recent dinner, Durant reportedly told he was staying with the Thunder.

Durant told The Vertical that’s not the case.

“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.

“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”

Durant is adamant he never told his former teammates he was re-signing with them.

As is the case in most misunderstandings, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Though Durant may not have said the words, “I am going to re-sign with the Thunder, I promise,” to his former teammates, he could have made it seem to them like he was going to. Maybe he told them he’s not planning to go anywhere. That would be slightly different than a concrete promise because it leaves some wiggle room for plans to change.

Given the way Durant likes to please others and the way he has trouble disappointing people, we’re guessing he did make it seem to his former OKC teammates that he was going to stay with them. But when he got a chance to hear the presentations from other teams and sit down with his inner-circle, he probably decided moving on was best for him.

Three years ago Durant made a very serious decision in a capricious manner before walking it back months later (remember this?) The man is very prone to changing his mind on important matters. That could be what happened here.

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant


The Dallas Mavericks’ basketball altar just got a lot holier.

According to a report by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Thursday, former Providence point guard and streetball legend God Shammgod has been hired by the Mavericks as a player development assistant.

Shammgod, 40, is best known in hoops circles for his fabled (and eponoymous) crossover move.

Shammgod enjoyed a memorable college run with the Friars before going on to a brief stint in the NBA and a lengthy career overseas. After his playing days, he returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach. Everybody from Kobe Bryant to fellow Providence product Kris Dunn has credited Shammgod for helping them develop their ball-handling skills.

Now if only he could teach Dirk Nowitzki how to do “The Shammgod” next season, our lives might be complete.

Image via Expressions Stores on YouTube

H/T NBA Reddit

David Lee, Spurs agree to two-year deal


Here’s one way for David Lee to stick it to his old teammates in Golden State.

According to a report by Marc Stein of ESPN on Thursday, Lee, the ex-Warriors, has agreed to sign a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs worth $3.2 million. The deal comes with a player option for Year 2.

The two-time All-Star averaged 7.8 rebounds per game and 5.5 rebounds per game in 16.4 minutes per game in 2015-16, splitting time between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. Lee is entering into his age-33 campaign but should blend nicely into the Spurs’ culture with his high conversion rate at the rim, his work on the glass, and his willingness to make the extra pass.

There was some talk recently that Lee might return to his old stomping grounds in Golden State. But the Spurs had the greater need after losing Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Boban Marjanovic, and David West this offseason, so Lee should be a fine frontcourt cog for their rotation next season.

Report: Diamondbacks drawing interest in Shelby Miller, Daniel Hudson

Shelby Miller

How does that old saying go about one man’s trash, another man’s treasure?

According to a report by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, the Arizona Diamondbacks are drawing serious interest in right-handers Shelby Miller and Daniel Hudson.

Miller, 25, has been a certified trainwreck for the Diamondbacks since they acquired him from the Braves last December for a package that included Ender Inciarte and former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson. The ex-All Star has a hideous 7.14 ERA in 14 starts this season and was recently demoted by the team to the minor leagues and placed on the trading block.

The 29-year-old Hudson, meanwhile, is 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA this season and has only made 10 starts since 2012 thanks to back-to-back Tommy John surgeries to address a UCL tear in his pitching elbow. The Diamondbacks have since converted Hudson into a relief role, but he hasn’t really been great in that capacity either.

Both guys are close to the nadir of their respective trade values, so it remains to be seen if Arizona will try to cut their losses this trade deadline or continue to bank on either guy eventually righting the ship.

H/T Baseball Reddit

Royals reportedly trying to package Ian Kennedy in potential Wade Davis deal


It turns out that a team looking to acquire Kansas City Royals reliever Wade Davis this deadline may have to take on some extra weight in order to do so.

According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports on Thursday, the Royals are attempting to package right-hander Ian Kennedy in any potential Wade Davis deal. Passan also mentions that the Dodgers are a team both with interest in Davis and the financial flexibility to take on Kennedy.

Kennedy, 31, has gone 6-9 with a 4.41 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and 117 strikeouts in 20 starts in 2016. He has also served up 26 home runs (tied for most in the MLB this season) and comes saddled with the stigma of being in the first year of a five-year, $70 million deal signed just last offseason.

We’ve heard in recent days that the asking price for Davis, the bullpen death-dealer, is quite high. If the Royals insist that a buyer take on the Kennedy albatross as well, it may ultimately prove a deterrent too great to overcome.

Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

H/T Baseball Reddit

Carmelo Anthony: ‘I was shocked’ that Dwyane Wade left Miami

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade’s departure from Miami surprised many, including Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony spoke to the media Thursday prior to Team USA’s practice in Chicago, and he admitted the move caught him off guard.

“I was shocked,” Anthony said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I was shocked more from a standpoint it was just hard to see. It’s hard to see some players in different uniforms and he’s one of those guys who I never thought I would see in a different uniform other than Miami. But it happened, and I got a chance to talk to him and sit down with him and really dig deep about his feelings and what happened. He’s at peace now. And when he’s at peace, I’m at peace with it.

“I don’t think the masses really understand how difficult those decisions are,” Anthony added. “And what goes into those decisions. And as athletes what’s going through our mind during those decisions. A lot of people think we can just wake up and we can just make those decisions — it’s not that easy.”

Of course, Anthony thought that there was a chance his Knicks would land Wade. Perhaps he, like many others, ultimately thought that he’d return to Miami, though, even through that process.

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