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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Andre Iguodala did not seem happy about Sacramento Kings pulling their offer

Andre-Iguodala-NuggetsOn Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Sacramento Kings were aggressively pursuing Andre Iguodala and had offered him a generous four-year, $52 million deal. The offer was not on the table very long.

The Kings pulled the offer either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. A team source reportedly told USA Today Sports that Sacramento wanted a fast answer from the 29-year-old veteran, who was reportedly considering returning to the Denver Nuggets in addition to exploring his options with other teams. Just before word surfaced that the offer was pulled, Iguodala tweeted the following:


ESPN’s Chris Broussard said on Wednesday that the Kings felt as though Iguodala was trying to use them to leverage his position with Denver, which rubbed them the wrong way.

As you know, the Kings are under new ownership. They seemingly decided to go in a different from Tyreke Evans after the point guard was offered a lucrative deal from the New Orleans Pelicans — one that was hefty enough to illicit this reaction from Reggie Miller. Perhaps Sacramento’s new owners are trying to prove that they won’t be pushed around.

Gio Gonzalez bought his family all luxury cars, his brother a new boat

Gio-Gonzalez-NationalsNationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez signed a hefty contract extension over the winter that will keep him in Washington through at least 2016. The deal is reportedly worth $42 million and could be worth as much as $65 million if the Nationals exercise their team options in 2016 and 2017. The contract certainly gives the 27-year-old financial security, and it sounds like his family is reaping the benefits.

Before a recent game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki took the mic for MASN and interviewed Gonzalez and D-Backs pitcher Trevor Cahill (the three were once teammates in Oakland). Suzuki asked Cahill and Gonzalez what they bought after signing their recent extensions, and Gonzalez was not shy about providing detail. Via Sarah Kogod of DC Sports Bog:

“I’m already broke,” Gonzalez joked. “I got a couple toys for my brother, a couple of toys for my mom. … Well, first I bought myself a nice house. I moved out of Hialeah, live in Broward now. I bought me, also, a nice little car. A Lamborghini. And then I bought my brother one, a Lamborghini. I bought my mom a Rolls Royce. I bought my brother a boat, and I bought my dad a Bentley.

Depending on the model of each of the aforementioned luxury vehicles, that’s got to be somewhere in the ballpark of $2 million worth of gifts. Given that he seems to be such a generous guy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one who paid for these hilarious shirts to rip on pitching coach Steve McCatty. Gonzalez certainly seems to know how to have a good time.

Ahmad Brooks allegedly hit teammate Lamar Divens three times with beer bottle

Ahmad-Brooks-NinersThe NFL has had more than enough problems with arrests this offseason, but another could be added to the tally if San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks is arrested for allegedly assaulting a teammate. According to court documents obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, Brooks struck Niners nose tackle Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle and punched him in the face last month.

The two teammates were allegedly arguing about Brooks’ ability to drive at the time of the incident. Divens wanted to press charges at first, but changed his mind five days later.

“He said this would be bad for both of their careers and that he just wanted to keep playing and that they had resolved it,” according to the court documents.

[Related: Video: Ahmad Brooks punches teammate during practice]

However, Divens’ change of heart does not necessarily mean Brooks is off the hook. Prosecutors submitted an application on Thursday seeking to obtain an arrest warrant against Brooks on a felony assault charge with great bodily injury. For whatever reason, the DA’s office intervened on Friday after the judge signed the warrant and put a hold on it.

Brooks was accused of punching a woman in the face when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 and accepted mediation on the charges. The 29-year-old was also dismissed from the Virginia football team at the end of the 2005 season because of an unknown incident that occurred off the field. In 2003, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday, the Niners released a statement saying they are aware of the situation but will have no further comment until the legal process runs its course. Because of his checkered past, Brooks may wind up getting in trouble without Divens pressing charges.

UPDATE: An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued for Brooks.

Helmet smack to Around the League

College DT Kyle Smith suffers horrific injuries while making Bloomin’ Onion

Deep-fried-onionWe have spent a lot of time over the years here at LBS poking fun at athletes who suffer embarrassing injuries off the field, but there is nothing funny about the horrifying incident sophomore defensive tackle Kyle Smith experienced last month. Smith, who plays at NAIA Carroll College in Montana, suffered serious burns while attempting to deep fry an onion.

Smith’s girlfriend, Christie Fredericks, shared the disturbing story with the Casper Star-Tribune earlier this week. She said it all started when the oil on the stove began to smoke.

“Kyle didn’t want the smoke alarms to go off so he grabbed the pot off the stove and was taking it outside,” Fredericks explained. “The next thing I know the lid popped and the oil overflowed. Kyle slipped on the oil and it burned him.

“By that time the house was starting to fill with smoke and Kyle was just screaming at me and my daughter to get out of the house.”

Fredericks said she then took her 2-year-old daughter to the garage and waited for Smith when she heard him yell out, “Call 911…my feet are burnt off.”

“When I finally saw him his pants were melted and he was army crawling to the door,” she recalled. “It was pretty traumatic.”

Paramedics arrived and stabilized Smith before he was taken to the emergency room and later air-lifted to the University of Utah Burn Center. His father, Mitch Smith, said Kyle is burned on 20 percent of his body and that his arms look good but his legs will take a while to heal. He underwent skin graft surgery last Friday, with doctors taking skin from his thighs to replace the skin he lost on his feet, toes, shins and calves.

Doctors estimate that Smith will be in a bed at the burn center for about another month. He won’t be able to run again for four months and probably cannot begin working out for another six, meaning he will likely miss the upcoming football season. Here’s hoping he has a full and speedy recovery.

H/T Deadspin

Former Patriots teammates reportedly felt Aaron Hernandez was a loner

Aaron HernandezThe New England Patriots had nothing but positive things to say about Aaron Hernandez during his three seasons with the team, but the truth is starting to surface now that so many have gone digging for it. One common theme that seems to keep popping up about the 23-year-old is that he spent very little time with his teammates off the field.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald claims to have spoken with several sources who have “direct ties to Hernandez and the locker room.” While he may have looked like a fun-loving guy in interviews and during games, Hernandez was reportedly a loner who didn’t hang out with teammates outside the Patriots’ facility.

“No one hung out with him,” a source reportedly told Howe. “No one.”

[RelatedAaron Hernandez reportedly had gang ties]

Another source said Hernandez opted for spending time with his “network” from his hometown of Bristol, Conn. over any of the Patriots players.

“Out of 53 guys, surely there’s someone you could find to hang out with,” the source said. “Instead, he chose to revert to his network from his hometown.”

[RelatedAaron Hernandez reportedly threatened Wes Welker]

While some of Hernandez’s teammates say they were concerned with the crowd he associated with, no one ever imagined it would led to a murder charge or anything even close.

“I could see him being involved only because of his background, but would have never thought to this extent,” a former teammate reportedly said.

Again, this has become a common theme. Former Patriots captain Matt Light said before Hernandez was arrested that he never embraced anything the tight end believed in. All of these reports about the shady characters Hernandez hung around with make it less believable that he does not have any gang affiliations.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder

Sheriff says he will try to prevent Aaron Hernandez from marrying in jail

Aaron HernandezAaron Hernandez is engaged to his high school sweetheart Shayanna Jenkins, and the two have a 7-month-old daughter together. There has been some speculation that Hernandez could try to tie the knot with Jenkins before his trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd begins, which would mean she could not legally be forced to testify against him. But getting married while he’s in jail won’t be easy.

On Tuesday, Bristol County Sheriff Tomas M. Hodgson told USA Today Sports that he will do everything in his power to try to stop Hernandez from benefitting from the spousal privilege as long as he is in Bristol County jail.

“I don’t subscribe to that,” Hodgson said. “I feel that those rights are things that you access on the outside, if you’re a good citizen. We’ll do everything we can to not have that happen.”

[Related: Aaron Hernandez reportedly involved in domestic dispute last year]

Hernandez smiled and made a kissing gesture toward Jenkins during his arraignment last week. Prosecutors said they had begun speaking to Jenkins after Aaron’s arrest until she received a phone call from him telling her not to talk.

Without a wedding, the state reserves the right to call Jenkins as a witness to testify in the case. As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk mentioned, no one knows what Jenkins is thinking. It’s possible that she may not want to marry Hernandez, so the idea of spousal privilege could be irrelevant. But if Jenkins and Hernandez are going to attempt to get hitched while he remains behind bars, the sheriff will have something to say about it.

Urban Meyer reportedly turned in Florida coach over minor violation

urban-meyerUrban Meyer spent six great seasons as the head coach at Florida and won two national championships with the Gators, but business is business. Meyer is the man in charge at Ohio State now, and if he sees someone cheating he’s not going to hesitate to point a finger — even if it’s his former team.

According to Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis (via FOXSports.com), Meyer recently turned in Florida assistant coach Brian White after he allegedly committed an improper “bump” violation while recruiting Erasmus Hall (NY) High School running back Curtis Samuel. Investigations revealed no wrongdoing on the part of Florida. Samuel later revealed that Florida is no longer one of his top choices, but OSU remains on the list.

A “bump” violation is a secondary NCAA offense that basically means a coach or representative from a program contacted a recruit when they shouldn’t have. Meyer actually hired White while he was at Florida, which makes the report about him blowing the whistle even more surprising.

Samuel ran an impressive 4.36 40-yard dash at Nike’s The Opening on Monday. He received a scholarship offer from Florida on April 17 and seemed excited at the time.

“I’m interested in Florida and what they have to offer,” he told Gator Country in April. “I have watched them play since I was young and I was excited to have a coach from Florida come all the way to New York just to see me and offer me. I want to visit Florida so I’m going to try my best to set something up maybe for this summer.”

Meyer loves to win, but does turning in a former coach cross the line? If he thought it would help him land a recruit, I guess that’s all that matters.

UPDATE: Meyer told The Columbus Dispatch that the report about him turning in a former assistant is “absolutely not true.”

Police reportedly take hoodie, ammo, other evidence from Aaron Hernandez’s condo

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsPolice reportedly searched another property owned by Aaron Hernandez this week and turned up several items that could become key pieces of evidence. Among them was a white hooded sweatshirt, which was found at the former New England Patriots tight end’s condo in Franklin.

The Sun Chronicle reported on Wednesday that investigators believe Hernandez may have been wearing the white sweatshirt the night 27-year-old Odin Lloyd was murdered. He was allegedly seen wearing a white sweatshirt on surveillance video when he returned to his North Attleboro home the night of the shooting. Police also seized a baseball cap that Hernandez was believed to be wearing outside a Boston nightclub the night before the murder.

“The white sweatshirt could be used to assist in linking Hernandez to the scene of the crime,” Massachusetts State Police detective Michael Bates wrote in his affidavit. “The baseball hat could help provide the whereabouts of Hernandez on the Friday night before the homicide. This night, in particular, is a critical aspect in the timeline of events leading up to the homicide.”

[Related: Aaron Hernandez associate police wanted to interview died in crash]

Police also confiscated several rounds of .45 ammunition, which is the same type that was discovered at the scene of the crime, in addition to a valet parking ticket from the W Hotel, which is within walking distance of Boston’s Rumor nightclub. Prosecutors claim Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s murder at that club because he was angry at him for talking to a particular group of people.

Another key piece of evidence that was reportedly discovered was a cell phone that matched the description of the one 27-year-old Carlos Ortiz told authorities he accidentally left at Hernandez’s condo the night of the murder. Ortiz was interviewed on June 25, the day before Lloyd was killed, and told police he and Hernandez went to the condo the night of the murder.

The more they search, the more they find.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder

H/T Fox 25 Boston

Aaron Hernandez being investigated for possible role in 2007 Gainesville shooting

Aaron HernandezBy the time Aaron Hernandez begins his trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, there is no telling how many other instances of crime and violence authorities will have tried to attach his name to. The latest investigation reportedly involves Hernandez’s possible involvement in a 2007 shooting in Gainesville, Fla.

According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Massachusetts authorities have reached out to police in Gainesville to determine if Hernandez, who would have a 17-year-old freshman at Florida at the time, had a role in a shooting that left two men wounded.

On Sept. 30, 2007, two men say they had left a nightclub with a friend when someone opened fire on their car when they were stopped at a red light. Corey Smith, who was 28 at the time and sitting in the front passenger seat, was shot in back of the head. Justin Glass, 19 at the time and driving, was shot in the arm. Randall Cason, who was in the back seat, was unharmed.

[Related: Did Florida pay off bouncer for Aaron Hernandez?]

Witnesses said the shooter was a black male, but Cason told police there were two suspects. He described the shooter as a “Hawaiian” or “Hispanic” male with a large muscular build who stood about 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 and weighed 230 or 240 pounds and had a lot of tattoos. He identified the black male with the shooter as former Gator Reggie Nelson, who was a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars at the time. Nelson later said he had been at the club but denied any involvement.

(more…)

Oakland Raiders to pay JaMarcus Russell $3 million

Brian-Billick-JaMarcus-Russell-RavensThe Oakland Raiders rid themselves of the bust that was JaMarcus Russell back in 2009, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped paying their former starting quarterback. According to SFGate.com, Russell recently settled a lawsuit with the team that will pay him another $3 million.

The Raiders filed a grievance against Russell when they released him halfway through the 2009 season, seeking repayment of $9.55 million in salary advancements. The former LSU star signed a six-year, $68 million contract in 2007 and had been paid $36.4 million at the time of his release. He filed a grievance of his own against the Raiders in 2009, seeking an additional $9 million.

The Raiders claimed that Russell’s contract had changed at one point during his time with the team, so they believed they could recoup some of his salary. The two sides were going to go to court but instead reached a settlement, with Oakland agreeing to pay Russell $3 million.

Even with all the talk about JaMarcus being the biggest bust in NFL history, I still don’t think people appreciate just how horribly the deal worked out for the Raiders. They have now paid nearly $40 million to a player who threw 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 31 careers games. Russell compiled a passer rating of 65.2 in three seasons and lost 22 fumbles.

As SFGate.com pointed out, Oakland is used to paying and receiving little in return; the team will be shelling out $49.6 million this season to players no longer on the roster.

Russell began his NFL comeback at the beginning of the year when he reportedly weighed 308 pounds, but we recently showed you this picture of a 265-pound JaMarcus. He has been working with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia in hopes of making it back into the NFL.

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