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Friday, April 29, 2016


Deron Williams reportedly intends to opt out of Mavericks deal


A bit surprisingly, Deron Williams reportedly intends to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

Williams would have made $5.6 million next season with the Mavericks, but according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Williams is opting out of his deal in search of what could be one final multi-year contract.

It sounds like he’d be interested in a return to Dallas if they can give him what he wants, though.

“I would love to be back,” Williams said earlier this week. “This was a great year for me. My family is settled and happy here, so it’d definitely be great to be back.”

One thing that will give potential suitors pause? A sports hernia that ended his playoffs early, though he expects to be healthy for training camp.

Williams won’t be a star for anybody, but he’s still a useful player at this stage of his career as long as he’s healthy. We can safely say there’s at least one team he won’t be going to.

Emmitt Smith says Ezekiel Elliott is better than he is

Ezekiel Elliott crop top

Emmitt Smith is pretty high on Dallas Cowboys draft pick Ezekiel Elliott. Very high.

Emmitt welcomed Zeke to the Cowboys on Friday via Twitter, not long after Dallas made the former Ohio State Buckeye the fourth overall pick in the draft.

But things got really interesting when a fan responded and said he hoped Elliott would be as good as Emmitt. That’s when Emmitt said Zeke is “better.”

For Emmitt to say that means a lot. Smith is the career rushing yards and attempts leader, and he is second in history for career touchdowns. He was a four-time single-season rushing champ and led the league in rushing touchdowns three times. As awesome as Elliott is — he rushed for over 1,800 yards each of the last two seasons and scored 41 rushing touchdowns — if he’s half as good as Emmitt was, the Cowboys will be in great shape.

H/T Morning News

Myles Jack responds to health questions with dunking video (Video)


Former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack fell out of the first round Thursday night because of knee concerns despite being one of the more highly-rated prospects in the draft. On Friday, Jack seemed intent on trying to soothe those concerns.

In a video Jack posted to his Twitter account, the linebacker was seen throwing down a slam dunk without any issue.

A message to potential suitors? Yeah, probably.

Jack has said that he may need microfracture surgery on his knee at some point in the future, which is obviously a huge red flag. Now that he’s fallen out of the first round, he reportedly intends to skip night two of the draft, though he seems almost certain to be selected at some point Friday night.

Yasiel Puig gives lifelong Giants fan Jared Goff friendly welcome in response to tweet


Jared Goff went to the Los Angeles Rams with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night. As you may know, Los Angeles and San Francisco have a fairly significant sporting rivalry, particularly in baseball.

Why does this matter in Goff’s case? Well, it turns out that the quarterback is a Bay Area native and a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan. It also turns out that L.A.’s newest athlete has some vehemently anti-Dodgers thoughts in his Twitter history.

Here, for instance, is Goff’s reaction to this 2013 Yasiel Puig walkoff homer, and all the theatrics that went with it:

Naturally, the rediscovered tweet began making the rounds shortly after Goff’s selection was made official by Los Angeles. The good news for Goff is that Puig is a pretty forgiving guy, apparently, because the Dodgers outfielder saw the tweet and offered Goff tickets to a Dodgers game and a tour of the city, complete with the endearing hashtag #PuigYourFriend.

Now who can stay mad at that? Not Goff, apparently, who said he was open to changing his allegiances.

“We’ll see,” Goff said, via ESPN. “That’s what I just told the fans, I said we’ll see. It’s going to be kind of a growing process, we’ll see what happens. I’m open. I’m not going to shut it down.”

No matter what happens, at least Goff can take solace in the fact that he is not the only draft pick to be haunted by an old tweet.

Laremy Tunsil misses press conference due to allergic reaction

Laremy Tunsil Dolphins

There was some good news and some bad news on the Laremy Tunsil front Friday.

The bad news is that the Miami Dolphins said Friday that Tunsil suffered an allergic reaction and therefore could not be a part of his introductory press conference. The good news is Tunsil was at least prevented from saying anything further that would create a controversy.

Tunsil was selected at No. 13 overall by the Dolphins after dropping in the draft due to a leaked video that was posted to his Twitter account showing him smoking out of a bong. The video was a few years old but still enough to temporarily tank Tunsil’s draft stock and lead to a slide that cost the man millions. A few hours later, Tunsil’s Instagram was hacked with someone posting text message conversations Tunsil had with Ole Miss staff about them paying his mom’s bills, which would constitute clear NCAA violations.

In his post-draft press conference on Thursday night, Tunsil was somewhat ambushed and seemed unprepared. He ended up causing a greater controversy by admitting he accepted money from Ole Miss coaches while in school.

Whether this was an admission regarding the text messages or his previous violations that led to a suspension to start the season is not known. But the timing of Tunsil’s allergic reaction led to suspicion the Dolphins were trying to shield their new player from further prodding.

Taking the medical issue at face value, it’s no doubt been a brutal 24 hours for Tunsil.

Report: Kings willing to listen on DeMarcus Cousins because moodiness annoys team

DeMarcus Cousins

Could this be the summer that the Kings finally move DeMarcus Cousins? It could be, according to one report.

According to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee, Kings general manager Vlade Divac would consider moving Cousins this summer as a result of locker room tension and a growing frustration with his team’s star.

Cousins reportedly has few allies within the locker room aside from free agent-to-be Rajon Rondo, and some Kings players have reportedly complained privately to management about his mood swings and general lack of respect, particularly for the coaching staff.

Players were also disappointed that former coach George Karl did little to confront Cousins whenever the center went on one of his tirades.

Cousins’ dislike of Karl was no secret. We didn’t know, however, that Cousins’ teammates didn’t like him much either. The situation looks untenable at this rate, and while he’s an ownership favorite, the trade rumors that surrounded Cousins last summer may be about to make a comeback.

Myles Jack will not attend draft on second night

Myles Jack UCLA

Myles Jack had one of the most disappointing nights on the first day of the NFL Draft, and he is in no mood to return to the scene of heartbreak.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the former UCLA linebacker/running back will not attend the second day of the draft on Friday and will instead watch from a hotel.

Ranked as a top prospect on some draft boards, Jack was not selected during the first round on Thursday. There has been a lot of talk about his knee injury making teams leery of taking him. It didn’t help when Jack himself said that he might need microfracture knee surgery at some point. However, the respected Dr. James Andrews apparently told Jack such surgery would not be necessary.

Jack suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice in late September. He had 15 tackles and an interception in three games during his brief junior season.

Tony Parker wants to play at five more seasons with Spurs

Manu Ginobili Tim Duncan Tony Parker

Tony Parker is somehow only 33 years old, and he believes he has a lot left to offer the San Antonio Spurs.

Parker, who is in his 15th season with San Antonio, intends to make it to twenty seasons with the Spurs before the two parties part ways.

“I want to go to 20 seasons, hopefully, with the Spurs,” Parker said, via Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “I would be 38 by that time. Twenty seasons will be enough.”

Parker has had knee problems, so if he wants to make that goal, the team may have to protect him much like they have Manu Ginobili. He’s in the right organization to make that happen, either way.

Parker’s 20th season would be 2020-21. By then, the Spurs’ core would be retired, as they already came close to doing by Parker’s own admission. He still has a shot at another title if he can stay healthy and effective, even in small doses.

Report: Jets tried to trade up for Laremy Tunsil despite bong video

Laremy Tunsil

The New York Jets were not put off by Laremy Tunsil’s bong video, and reportedly tried to trade up for him on Thursday night.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets attempted to move up to take Tunsil as he slid down the board, but the asking price proved too steep. There is no word on who the Jets were trying to trade with.

Tunsil ended up going to Miami with the No. 13 pick.

Not long ago regarded as a potential top pick, Tunsil’s stock crashed after this video popped up on his Twitter just minutes before the draft started. Despite being regarded as the best offensive lineman in the draft, character concerns reinforced by the video made him the third lineman taken. Imagine the circus if he’d ended up in New York. Perhaps it’s better for all involved that his destination ended up being Miami.

Eli Apple once trolled Giants fans on Twitter

Eli Apple

Athletes need to watch what they tweet, because they never know what may come back to haunt them. Eli Apple could tell you something about that.

Apple, a redshirt sophomore from Ohio State, was selected No. 10 overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft by the New York Giants. While getting picked so high was a great break for Apple especially after the character criticism he endured this week, he might have a little making up to do.

Before the NFL, and even before he was a student-athlete at Ohio State, Apple once trolled Giants fans after the team lost to the Falcons 34-0 in 2012:

Hopefully Giants fans will be able to forgive him. And, hey, it could have been much worse. Remember this awkward draft moment?

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