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Saturday, April 29, 2017

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John Wall believes he deserves a max contract, thinks he’s a great shooter

John WallWhen the Washington Wizards selected John Wall with the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, they thought they were getting a player who could put the team on his back and become a game-changer. Wall is only three seasons into his NBA career, but that has yet to happen.

The former Kentucky Wildcat has averaged a decent 16 points and eight assists per game over his young career, but he has not made the type of impact many expected he would. Despite that, Wall still feels he deserves a max contract when he becomes a free agent after next season.

“I feel like I am,” Wall replied when Grantland’s Zach Lowe asked if he is a max contract player. “I do (feel like I am), definitely.”

While we know people like Stan Van Gundy and this NBA agent strongly disagree, it would not be wise for a player to admit they are not deserving of the most money possible. That’s a basic business strategy and there’s no actual way to define what it means to be a max contract player. However, Wall’s shooting ability can easily be analyzed by his career shooting percentage of 41.6%. Jump-shooting has been a problem, but that didn’t stop Wall from displaying confidence when Lowe asked him if the right elbow is his sweet spot.

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AHL’s Scott Timmins allegedly broke into house he thought was his own while drunk

Scott-Timmins-mug-shotThe old “I thought it was my house” story has made a comeback. Scott Timmins of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage reportedly went down that road early Monday morning, as San Antonio television station KENS reported that the 23-year-old broke into a family’s home after leaving a bar and took a seat on the couch.

Homeowner Benjamin Garza, who was not home at the time, was none too pleased. His three children and wife were in the house alone. Garza said his wife discovered Timmons on the couch and asked him who he was, to which he responded, “Don’t worry about that.”

“He was yelling, ‘What are you doing in my house,'” Garza told KENS. “My wife said, ‘You need to get the hell out of here.'”

Garza said his wife called 911 and then him. When he finally met Timmins face-to-face, he let him know how fortunate he was that the man of the house was not home when he decided to come in uninvited.

“You’re lucky I wasn’t here because I would’ve put a bullet between your eyes and it would’ve been over for you,” Garza said he told Timmins. “My first instinct was to beat the hell out of him. He needs to pay for what he did, traumatizing my family like that.”

The police report stated that Timmins was so heavily intoxicated that he was barely able to stand and did not remember how he got into Garza’s home. According to the report, he did admit that he had been out drinking with some teammates, but added that he thought he was in his own home. Timmins has been charged with criminal trespass.

Hey, at least he thought it was his own house. That’s a better explanation than the one this guy gave when he broke into an MLB general manager’s home November 2011.

H/T Puck Daddy

Elin Nordegren is reportedly dating billionaire coal magnate Chris Cline

Elin Nordegren is reportedly back off the market, though that is a story we have heard many times over the past several years. According to the NY Post’s Page Six, Nordegren has been dating one of her neighbors from the community where she lives in Florida. The gentleman is billionaire coal magnate Chris Cline, who is 53 years old.

Elin is only 33, so there is quite an age gap between her and Cline.

“Elin and Chris have been dating since the holidays,” a source reportedly told Page Six.

Cline has been married twice and was most recently divorced in 2000. He is a father of four who reportedly hosted a Mitt Romney fundraising campaign at his home in September. He is also known for being the victim of a strange extortion attempt last year by an aspiring actor that included targets such as well-known film producer Harvey Weinstein, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), Cline is the second billionaire that Nordegren has been linked to in the past year. She reportedly broke up with billionaire heir Jamie Dingman last spring because he wasn’t enough of a family man. A couple of months ago, a surprising report indicated that Tiger Woods wanted to remarry Elin and was offering an insane prenuptial agreement in an attempt to get her to agree. Between Nordegren’s link to Cline and this report about Tiger spending an entire week with Olympic skier Linsdey Vonn, it seems safe to say the former couple is not getting back together.

Vikings DL Kevin Williams: We were never told why Percy Harvin left last season

Percy HarvinThe volatile situation between Percy Harvin and the Minnesota Vikings finally came to a head on Monday, when the star receiver was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for draft picks. Last season, Harvin suffered an ankle injury during a Week 10 loss to Seattle (ironic, huh?). He was later placed on injured reserve in Week 14, but was there more to it than just a bum ankle?

On Monday, Minnesota defensive lineman Kevin Williams told the Star Tribune that the team was not given an explanation as to why Harvin was placed on injured reserve during the week leading up to a game against the Chicago Bears.

“I wouldn’t say it bothered me,” Williams explained. “Because I don’t know what all what went on. And I couldn’t say for sure what the relationship was like between him and the coaching staff and management. We just don’t know what that situation was about. I don’t know what his reason was for taking off. I just know that he was gone. And that’s the way it was left. Nobody every just came out and explained it to us, like, ‘Hey, he left for A, B, C and D.’

“So I don’t know what that relationship turned into. Was there something talked about? Was there a big problem? Or did he just leave? None of us really knew. I’m pretty sure it was addressed and we never got a clear answer on that. At all.”

If a player is injured to the point where he has to be placed on IR, it would not be a mystery to his teammates. The fact that Williams says the Vikings didn’t know the details of the situation is an indication that there was more to it than meets the eye. Head coach Leslie Frazier was vague when discussing Harvin’s injury last year, and players typically take four to six weeks to recover from severe ankle sprains.

Now that there are reports that Harvin had no confidence in his quarterback going forward, we’re starting to get a better idea of just how sour the relationship between the player and team had gotten. Perhaps it was more than just an ankle injury that closed the book on Percy’s 2012 season.

Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Jordany Valdespin wasn’t wearing a cup when Justin Verlander nailed him in the nuts

Jordany-Valdespin-MetsA lot was made of New York Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin being hit in the man region by a Justin Verlander fastball on Monday, but many people do not understand the severity of the situation. Fortunately, Valdespin’s health has checked out fine. The thing that made the situation so scary is that he was not wearing a protective cup.

“You would think if you are starting at second base, you would be smart enough to wear a cup,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

After he left the ballpark, the NY Post was told Valdespin wasn’t wearing a cup when he was drilled with a 94-mph fastball. Did he think you can’t get hit in the nuts during spring training just because the games don’t count? Infielders almost always wear a cup, and it’s probably smart for every position player to do the same. In fact, Valdespin proved that even designated hitters would benefit from using an athletic supporter.

“He took a hack at the first pitch and the next one — he already hit one bomb — and the next one he totally squared [toward] me,” Verlander explained. “And I’m like, ‘Oh God, this isn’t going to be good.’ Right out of the hand it’s like, ‘Oh, [bleep]! That is right at his [genitals].’”

Valdespin said everything is “working good” when reporters caught up with him after the painful experience. Collins has warned the 25-year-old about some of his antics potentially getting him into trouble, such as irritating Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg a couple of weeks ago when he faked a bunt to lead off a spring training game. If you want to get under the skin of opposing pitchers, it’s probably even more critical that you protect the family jewels.

Alex Rodriguez reportedly being sued by cousin Yuri Sucart for $5 million

alex rodriguezAs if New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez didn’t already have enough on his plate, he is reportedly facing a $5 million lawsuit from his cousin Yuri Sucart. According to the website TheMLBNation.com, the lawsuit is based on libel, defamation of character, fraud and dues owed.

When Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs several years ago, he and Sucart had a falling out after A-Rod publicly accused his cousin of pushing him to use steroids and also injecting him with PEDs on multiple occasions. A-Rod made a peace offering when he bought a diamond-studded ring for Sucart after the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, but Sucart sold it to a collector in South Florida.

Sucart has been banned from the Yankees facilities, team flights and buses. He reportedly proposed a settlement for Rodriguez which was turned down, and the case is now headed for trial seeking $5 million in damages.

Both Rodriguez’s and Sucart’s names have surfaced in the MLB and DEA investigation involving Anthony Bosch’s anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. A-Rod has denied his involvement, but authorities are in the process of determining whether Rodriguez, Sucart and several other players and people involved with baseball obtained steroids from Bosch.

Via NY Post

Barry Switzer: Fashion icon

Barry Switzer fur coat

It takes a certain kind of man with a certain kind of swag to pull off the fur coat at an indoor practice look. What that picture does not show you is that former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer complemented the fur coat he wore to the Sooners’ practice Sunday with jeans and New Balance sneakers, according to Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard.

Barry Switzer is the full package, ladies and gentlemen. You just can’t touch him.

Photo credit: Twitter/Pete Morris
H/T Reddit

Jon Gruden not concerned about Manti Te’o’s performance against Alabama

manti teo notre dameManti Te’o has given critics many reasons to doubt him leading up to the NFL Draft. He posted a poor 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, he was dominated by Alabama’s offense in the BCS National Championship Game, and there was that whole fake girlfriend thing. Despite these strikes against him, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden still believes in the former Notre Dame linebacker.

Gruden interviewed Te’o for his pre-draft “QB Camp” that is typically just for quarterbacks. After spending time with Te’o, he felt confident in the man who finished second in Heisman Trophy voting.

“He really understands the big picture,” Gruden said of Te’o, “how coverages work and how blitzes work. He’s got a vast amount of football expertise and it showed [during our interview].”

Gruden also told ESPN “NFL Live” host Trey Wingo that he thinks Te’o can overcome the girlfriend hoax story for which he has become known.

“I think he’s handled [questions about the fake girlfriend] fine. I think it’s time to move on.”

Even if Te’o can get past the jokes about the girlfriend hoax, people still have concerns over his ability that stem from his poor performance in the national championship game. Gruden dismissed those concerns, instead choosing to credit Alabama rather than discredit Te’o.

“I don’t have that much of a concern. I watched Alec Ogletree from Georgia play against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. I watched [linebacker Kevin] Minter from LSU play against Alabama. All of the linebackers got rolled by the Tide if you ask me. Alabama was the best team in the country,” Gruden told Wingo.

Though Gruden won’t use the national championship game as knock against Te’o, he does see areas where the former Notre Dame linebacker needs to prove himself.

“He’s got to run faster. The one thing he needs to prove is that he can play every down. He’s got to be comfortable in space against Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham and some of these Corvettes that we’re seeing in the National Football League today. His Pro Day will be very important to him.”

I appreciate Gruden’s analysis of Te’o. It has become popular to pile on Te’o, and most people have been ignoring some of the things he does do well. He was a top recruit out of high school, played well during college, and he seems to know where to be on the field. He had seven interceptions last season which says a lot to me about his presence on the field. That amount is almost unheard of for a linebacker.

Te’o does have a lot left to show at his Pro Day, but he is nowhere near as bad as others are making him out to be.

You can watch Gruden talk about his day with Te’o in the video below:

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Renaldo Balkman banned by Philippines Basketball Association for life

Renaldo Balkman received a lifetime ban and small fine from the Philippines Basketball Association for attempting to choke one of his teammates in a recent game.

Balkman, a former first-round pick of the New York Knicks who played six seasons in the NBA, confronted officials following a call he didn’t like during a game against the Alaska Aces last Friday. He then pushed two teammates and put his hands on the neck of Patron Blaze teammate Arwind Santos.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud made the announcement on Monday and said in his statement that he took the former New York Knicks guard’s history into consideration when making his decision. Salud cited a headbutting incident from a FIBA game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and a preseason incident with the bench of an opponent as reasons for his decision. The fine was for around $6,100.

Balkman sent the following statement via his Twitter account in response to the sanctions.

“I accept all responsibilities for my actions while playing an intense game, I have truly enjoyed my time here playing in the Philippines. I would like to apologize to [teammate Arwind Santos] a person who I truly respect and would never intentionally harm, my actions were irresponsible. I respect the Philippine Basketball Association and Petron Blaze Organization, this situation will never happen again…its a lesson learned. I would personally like to thank my fans and teammates who have shown me so much support during this time.”

To nobody’s surprise, Balkman’s agent, Sheryl Reyes, is unhappy with the lifetime ban. According to InterAKTV, she called it a “very harsh decision” that will affect her client’s job prospects.

You think? Maybe this is a wakeup call to Balkman to control himself on the court.

You can see video of Salud making the announcement and you can read his statement below:

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Community college basketball team has Gatorade shower celebration fail (Video)

Richard ThurinThe women’s basketball team for North Platte Community College (Neb.) beat Dakota College at Bottineau (N.D.) 64-40 on Sunday to win their district, but their celebration didn’t go so smoothly.

As you can see in the video above, the team tried to give their coach, Richard Thurin, a Gatorade shower, but they missed and spilled the liquid, which caused him to slip and land on his face.

The team’s effort was poor across the board. Let’s examine all the areas they went wrong:

    – They charged right up to their coach instead of sneaking up from behind
    – They didn’t lift the cooler high enough to dowse him
    – They left all the liquid on the floor, causing two people to slip

The only good news is that the team advances to the national tournament next week. And at least they can take comfort in knowing that they have something in common with the Alabama football team.

H/T Busted Coverage

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