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Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Aly Raisman’s mother blasts Tom Izzo over Nassar comments

Tom Izzo

Lynn Raisman, the mother of Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, blasted Tom Izzo over his comments about Larry Nassar and Michigan State’s president.

After Michigan State’s 85-57 win over Indiana on Friday, Izzo faced questions about school president Lou Anna K. Simon. Simon has come under heat for the way she and the school handled accusations of sexual abuse by Nassar, a former osteopathic physician at the school who worked as an athletic trainer. Nassar is accused of sexually abusing over 100 athletes at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, including Raisman.

In his comments on the matter, Izzo expressed empathy towards the victims, but also said he hoped the right person was convicted, indicating he wasn’t completely sold on Nassar being a serial child abuser. He also expressed support for Simon.

Izzo has been a coach at Michigan State since 1983 and became the Spartans’ head basketball coach in 1995. He is one of the most respected figures in athletics in the state, as well as one of the most respected college basketball coaches in the country.

Izzo’s comment that he hoped they got the right guy did not sit well at all with Raisman, who blasted the coach on Twitter Saturday.

Raisman has a good reason for the tweet. Izzo’s comment about hoping they got the right person could not be worse. Nassar already has pleaded guilty to felony child pornography charges and several sexual assault charges. Over 100 people have come forward to share their stories of how Nassar abused them.

Aly Raisman, who has won six Olympic medals in gymnastics for the USA, was one of the victims to speak in court on Friday and address Nassar.

Several other USA Gymnastics national team members have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them, including McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas. Biles and Douglas, teammates on the “Final Five” gymnastics team, had previously gotten into a social media tiff over victim shaming. Douglas was among those who later stepped forward as one of Nassar’s victims.

Twitter reacts to Aaron Pico’s vicious knockout of Shane Krutchen

aaron Pico

Aaron Pico is quickly establishing himself as a fighter to watch in Bellator.

The 21-year-old world-class wrestler defeated Shane Krutchen in 37 seconds at Bellator 192 in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday night. Pico needed only a few seconds to show his dominance of Krutchen. He quickly dropped his opponent with some vicious body punches that had fans buzzing.

The win helped Pico improve to 2-1.

Twitter was incredibly impressed by the knockout. Take a look at the great reactions:

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  • MMA

Chris Paul does a hilarious fake laugh (Video)

Chris Paul

Just in case you couldn’t tell based on his commercials, Chris Paul is a great actor.

During the second quarter of Saturday’s Houston Rockets-Golden State Warriors game on ABC, TV cameras caught CP3 doing a great fake laugh:

It’s unclear to whom that was directed. Paul was talking with one of the officials, but he was also looking in the direction of where some of the Warriors were heading.

Regardless, that was awesome.

Duke now has the top three recruits in the 2018 class

Coach K

The Duke Blue Devils are incredibly well situated for next season after securing a commitment from Zion Williamson on Saturday night.

With Williamson now part of Duke’s 2018 recruiting class, the Blue Devils now have the top three recruits in the 2018 class, according to both ESPN and 247’s rankings.

247 has RJ Barrett at No. 1 like ESPN, but they have Cam Reddish ahead of Zion.

As if having Barrett, Williamson and Reddish weren’t enough, Duke also has point guard Tre Jones, who is the No. 8 player in the 2018 class. So, yes, Duke clearly has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for next season, and possibly one of the greatest recruiting classes of all time, in any sport.

None of this means that Duke is a shoe-in for the national championship next season. A few of their top recruits play similar positions, plus these guys will all be freshmen. It might not be quite as easy as one would think to just roll a ball out there and see the Blue Devils beat everyone they face.

Zion Williamson surprised even Coach K by choosing Duke

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson’s announcement on Saturday night that he was choosing to commit to Duke came as a surprise to even Coach K.

Williamson, a five-star prospect and one of the top recruits in the 2018 class, made his announcement live on “SportsCenter.” He later said that he did not divulge ahead of time which school he was choosing. Therefore, his announcement came as a surprise to even Mike Krzyzewski.

What about Duke appealed to Williamson so much? Their brotherhood.

“The brotherhood represents a family. Coach K is the most legendary coach to ever coach college basketball. I feel like going to Duke University ,I feel like I can learn a lot from him. I’m all about family,” Williamson said on ESPN2.

Williamson, who is from South Carolina, was also considering Clemson and South Carolina. He was believed to have been considering North Carolina and Kentucky as well. The forward says he is now shutting down his recruiting entirely.

Williamson is great in the open court and in transition. He’s most well known for his incredible dunks, which have helped him become a viral sensation.

LeBron James unsure about Ty Lue’s job security

Tyronn Lue

LeBron James did not exactly give Tyronn Lue the strongest endorsement after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Following the loss, James was asked what the Cavs need to do differently and did not identify one thing. He also was asked about the possibility of Lue being fired and said he hoped that wouldn’t happen.

Well, that’s not exactly comforting if you’re Lue. You’d rather have someone completely defending you and dismissing talks of a firing as crazy. He didn’t exactly get that.

Including Saturday’s 148-124 loss to OKC, the Cavaliers have now lost five of their last six games. Their defense in particular was horrendous (as it’s been lately), as they allowed the Thunder to make 58 percent of their shots. Maybe it’s as simple as figuring out how to play with Isaiah Thomas in the lineup, as they’re 3-4 in games he’s played. Lue better hope he’s not next to get the David Blatt treatment.

Bellator 192: Rampage vs Sonnen, Lima vs MacDonald live blog

Bellator 192

Inglewood, Calif. – Welcome to the official LBS live blog of Bellator 192 taking place in Inglewood, Calif. at The Forum and being televised on Paramount Network. The fight card is jam-packed and will be headlined by two events: Rampage vs. Sonnen and Lima vs. MacDonald.

MacDonald is fighting in Bellator for the second time and will be looking to dethrone Douglas Lima, who is the current Bellator Welterweight Champion.

Rampage Jackson and Chael Sonnen will be squaring off in the first official fight of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament. The tournament features eight different heavyweight fighters and is single elimination. This is one of the quarterfinal fights.

Refresh this regularly to see updates from LBS
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  • MMA

Draymond Green admits he has not been as good defensively this season

Draymond Green

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is making a bit of a stunning admission about his play on that end of the floor this season.

In an interview with Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle that was published on Saturday, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green admitted that he has not been as good defensively in 2017-18.

“I think I kind of caused a little more confusion on the defensive end last season than I have this year for other teams,” said the two-time All-Star. “I’ve been OK, but I don’t think I’ve been great.”

Letorneau also notes that Green has said publicly that he had “so many things going on” in his personal life earlier in the season that he found it difficult to consistently play with his usual levels of intensity.

Indeed, Green’s defensive metrics have slipped noticeably from his DPOY campaign last season — he has gone from 2.0 steals a game to 1.4 this season, from 5.0 to 2.8 in defensive box score plus-minus (per Basketball Reference), and from 99.3 to 101.3 in overall defensive rating (per NBA.com). He has also missed seven games now with various minor knee, foot, and shoulder injuries.

Even with Kevin Durant doing more for them defensively this year, the Dubs have dropped to the sixth-ranked defense in the league from second-ranked last season. That glimmer of mortality has even emboldened some rivals to take swipes at them over their play on that end. Nevertheless, for a team with little reason to care much about the regular season, Green and the Warriors still seem like a safe bet to flip the proverbial switch on D come playoff time.

NFL offers reported explanation for Raiders’ Rooney Rule clearance

Jon Gruden

The NFL reportedly let the Oakland Raiders go free and clear on the Rooney Rule because of their interpretation of a contract offer that wasn’t.

The league made clear Friday that, in their eyes, the Raiders did not violate the Rooney Rule during a hiring process that started and ended with Jon Gruden. In a further explanation to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on Saturday, the league said that they were satisfied that the Raiders conducted “bona fide interviews.”

“The club conducted bona fide interviews with minority candidates as part of its search process,” the statement said. “The Rooney Rule requires NFL clubs consider at least one minority candidate for the head coach position as part of the hiring process before extending an offer to any coach. We concluded that happened in this case.”

There was one remaining sticking point — namely, that owner Mark Davis admitted he had a commitment from Gruden before he fired Jack Del Rio. That Christmas Eve conversation, league sources told Florio, was determined to not have been a formal contract offer. In essence, the Raiders were allowed to reach a handshake agreement with Gruden, fire Del Rio, interview minority candidates, and then formalize the agreement with Gruden.

With that in mind, there’s no surprise that some NFL employees weren’t terribly happy with the league’s enforcement — or lack thereof — of the rule. It’s clear that the Raiders violated the spirit of the rule, if not the letter, and that sets a troubling precedent going forward.

Josh Donaldson still hoping for long-term offer from Blue Jays

Josh Donaldson

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is headed into his final year under team control, and he’s really hoping to hear from the team on a long-term extension.

Donaldson has long been vocal about his desire to remain with the Blue Jays, but on Saturday, he admitted that he hasn’t heard from the organization about a new contract.

The Blue Jays have been pretty clear about not trading Donaldson, so it remains to be seen what else they do with him. It would make sense to discuss terms with him soon if they are intent on retaining him long-term. He’s certainly ready to talk.

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