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Friday, May 26, 2017

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Kobe Bryant’s feud with mother reportedly started over money for new home

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant is fighting with an auction house over his mother’s decision to sell some of his memorabilia, and the root of their fight reportedly is money for a new home.

Bryant’s mother, Pamela, sold memorabilia from Kobe’s basketball career to Goldin Auctions and was paid $450,000 up front. She planned to use the money to buy a new home. Some of the memorabilia included trophies, rings, an autographed ball, high school game and practice jerseys, and Lakers gear, according to TMZ.

Kobe tried to block the auction because he claims he owns the memorabilia. The auction house filed a lawsuit in hopes of having Pamela declared the owner of the merchandise.

Early Saturday morning, TMZ provided some more background on the fight between Kobe and his mother.

TMZ says the issue erupted over Kobe buying a new home for his parents. He reportedly offered to buy them a nice home in Las Vegas for less than $1 million, but “they wanted something bigger and more extravagant” and Kobe said no.

Kobe’s parents reportedly are chapped that his mother-in-law, Sofia Laine, seems to be better taken care of than them; she is living in a multi-million dollar home in Southern California.

Kobe reportedly is upset over the whole matter because he feels like he has given his parents millions over the years. Bryant has had a rough relationship with his parents over the years, and things got particularly bad when he married Vanessa early in his career. His parents did not approve of the marriage for a number of reasons, which include their youth and Kobe’s lack of a prenuptial agreement.

This is a tough situation all the way around and we truly feel badly that the Mamba is going through it.

Susannah Collins fired over sex slip-up, raunchy videos or something else?

Susannah CollinsSusannah Collins was fired by CSN Chicago after her humorous, embarrassing slip-up went viral.

As seen in the video above, Collins was in the middle of an intermission report about the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night when she talked about the “tremendous amount of sex” the team had during the regular season. Collins quickly realized her error and recovered by saying “success.”

The Chicago Tribune says Comcast Chicago fired Collins after the slip-up went viral, leading to a previous raunchy video series in which she participated receiving more attention. That series was called “Sports Nutz,” and it featured plenty of dirty language and low-brow humor. You can see an example of the show below:

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Joey Crawford ejects Chris Paul, Zach Randolph at end of game

Joey Crawford wasn’t content letting the final minutes of Game 6 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers play out. Oh no. The veteran NBA referee decided he had to make himself a central story.

Crawford decided to eject Chris Paul with 2:29 left in the game. Tayshaun Prince was at the line and made his second of two free throws to put the Grizzlies up 113-99. After the second free throw, Paul and Matt Barnes sandwiched Marc Gasol who was in the lane. Paul ran up and rammed into Gasol with his elbow first. It was a physical play, but it didn’t seem to deserve an ejection. Either way, Crawford gave Paul a technical and tossed him.

Chris Paul Marc Gasol

“I don’t understand how you can throw Chris out of the game,” coach Vinny Del Negro said after the game. “Unless it’s something incredibly flagrant — which it wasn’t.”

Paul said his team had a small lineup on the floor and that he was going down to help box out Gasol.

After his ejection, CP3 gave a hug to Prince, Zach Randolph, and Jerryd Bayless before leaving the court.

Then with 1:57 left in the game, Crawford tossed Randolph. Mike Conley was at the line and getting ready for his second of two free throws when Crawford ejected Z-Bo. No real reason was given for the ejection.

The Grizzlies went on to win the game 118-105, but Crawford’s officiating was suspect. Chris Paul’s brother, CJ Paul, accused Crawford of having a role in fixing the end of the game:

With such a quick trigger, is there any surprise some Spurs players pretended to shoot a fake Crawford on Halloween? He really had no business ejecting those players, but that’s Joey Crawford.

In all, there were seven technical fouls called, two ejections, and the Grizzlies shot 47 free throws compared to 24 for the Clippers.

Zach Randolph chokes Blake Griffin during wrestling match (Video)

Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin got into it during the third quarter of Game 6 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Prior to the two get into a wrestling match, Griffin was called for a foul for pushing Randolph in the back. After played resumed, the two were fighting for position in the low block like usual when they got tangled up following a Mike Conley 3-pointer to make it 74-59 Memphis.

Griffin appeared to lock up Randolph and take him to the ground. Z-Bo then went for rear mount on Griffin and began pinning him to the ground with his left arm. He then moved his left hand to Griffin’s throat and briefly choked the Clippers forward:

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James Harden’s strep throat so bad he struggled to drink water

James HardenJames Harden has been playing for the Houston Rockets despite being ill.

The Rockets guard scored 31 points in a surprising Game 5 win over the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, which was extremely impressive considering he was sick and later diagnosed with strep throat.

Harden still played in Game 6 despite the illness.

During Game 6, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported that Harden’s throat was so bad during Game 5 that he had difficulty drinking water during timeouts. Rowe says Harden had to spray his throat with Chloraseptic to numb it before drinking water. Harden also had an IV at the hospital on Thursday.

Harden still played plenty of minutes and was Houston’s top scorer in the first half of Game 6.

He’s not exactly going to be remembered like Michael Jordan was for the “flu game,” but Harden’s effort is pretty impressive nonetheless.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce leave court without shaking hands (Video)

Kevin Garnett Paul PierceKevin Garnett stayed true to his competitive form to the very end. After the Boston Celtics lost to the New York Knicks 88-80 in a series-ending Game 6 at TD Garden on Friday, Garnett walked off the court without appearing to shake hands with his opponents. Teammates Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were right in front of him as they walked off the court and into the locker room.

Exiting the playoffs without congratulating his opponents on the court is a postseason tradition for KG. He and Rajon Rondo did it last year after Boston lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Neither player would apologize for not being sportsmanlike, and Rondo even said he wished the team had more “sore losers.” Though Rondo wasn’t around because he is rehabbing his knee injury, Boston did have more sore losers this time to join Garnett.

There actually is a lot more going on here than a matter of sportsmanship; there is a lot of bad blood between the teams. In January, Garnett and Carmelo Anthony got into it during and after a game. Then the Knicks angered the Celtics by wearing all black to Game 4 for the “funeral” of the Celtics.

Garnett is signed for two more seasons while Pierce has a $15.3 million team option. Boston could buy out Pierce for $5 million. Garnett, who is turning 37 on May 19, hinted in February that he would be retiring after the season. Pierce has indicated that he does not want to play for any other team. This may finally be the year both players call it a career.

If Garnett’s last actions on an NBA court were walking off without congratulating his opponent, it would be very befitting of his competitive personality.

Pablo Prigioni flopped all over against the Celtics (Video)

Pablo Prigioni flopPablo Prigioni got his flop on against the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Friday night. The Knicks guard flopped at least twice during the game — once in the second quarter (video above) and another time in the third quarter (video below).

In both cases a Celtics player jumped and landed on Prigioni, so both foul calls were legitimate. However, especially in the case of the second flop, Prigioni completely exaggerated how much he was hit.

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Vince Lombardi accepted, protected gay players on his team

Vince LombardiJason Collins coming out as gay this week was a breakthrough because he became the first active professional athlete in major American team sports to come out. There have been many questions about how he and other gay players would be accepted by coaches, players and teammates, especially in the close-knit setting of a sports locker room. Hines Ward has said he does not think the NFL is ready for a gay player. If that’s the case, then he is about 45 years late to the party, because Vince Lombardi apparently knew he had gay players on his team in the late-’60s, and protected and accepted them.

ESPN New York columnist Ian O’Connor conducted an interview with Lombardi’s daughter who says her father was way ahead of his time when it came to preaching equal treatment for all.

“My father was way ahead of his time,” Susan Lombardi told ESPN New York. “He was discriminated against as a dark-skinned Italian American when he was younger, when he felt he was passed up for coaching jobs that he deserved. He felt the pain of discrimination, and so he raised his family to accept everybody, no matter what color they were or whatever their sexual orientation was.”

O’Connor says that Lombardi worked with at least five gay men on his 1969 Washington Redskins team — three players and two executives. The coach is quoted in his biography, “When Pride Still Mattered,” by author David Maraniss, as protecting running back Ray McDonald, who was gay.

“And if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood,” Lombardi is quoted as telling one of his assistants, “you’ll be out of here before your ass hits the ground.”

Lombardi’s late brother, Harold, was also gay, and Harold’s partner of 41 years says the coach lent his brother unconditional love and support.

Former running back Dave Kopay played for Lombardi’s Redskins in 1969, and he became the first player to come out following his playing days. Kopay was in a relationship with the team’s tight end, Jerry Smith, who never came out but was widely known to be gay. Kopay says he feels strongly that Lombardi knew he was gay.

“Lombardi protected and loved Jerry,” Kopay told O’Connor.

Lombardi also protected his African-American players during a time when there was still a lot of tension over civil rights. He refused to let his team frequent restaurants, bars or hotels where equal services were not offered to black players.

As Lombardi’s daughter said, her father treated everyone equally — like dogs. Maybe treating people like dogs isn’t so great, but not discriminating against people because of their skin color, culture, or sexual orientation is just about what any athlete could ask for.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Mickey Mantle corked bat being sold in auction

Mickey Mantle corked bat

A Mickey Mantle corked bat is being sold at an auction by Grey Flannel Auctions, presenting a chance for someone to get a hold of a one-of-a-kind collectible. And this item is special for a few reasons. There are plenty of Mickey Mantle fans out there who would love to get a hold of any item associated with the former New York Yankees legend. But who knew that the Mick corked his bat?

According to Grey Flannel Auctions, Minnesota Twins equipment manager Ray Crump admitted in his autobiography that he had corked some bats for Mantle. This auction would indicate the bat is one of them.

As noticed and documented by John Taube of PSA/DNA, “during our examination of the bat, we noticed a circular area .75 inches wide in the center of the top barrel. The finish in the area has also been touched up to mask the circular area. Alterations of this nature indicate the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork….we had the barrel x-rayed and (it) confirms that the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork…this is the first corked bat of Mantle that we have seen or heard of.”

Here are the specs on the bat, per Grey Flannel Auctions:

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Terrence Williams: Knicks funeral talk was offensive

Knicks funeral black

The New York Knicks may have thought they were being cute when they dressed in all black before Game 5 in New York on Wednesday, but it turns out they may have only offended and motivated the Boston Celtics. In fact, Celtics reserve forward Terrence Williams said Friday he found the gesture offensive.

“But when people wear all black and say it’s a funeral, a lot of us have people that died in our own personal lives. So that’s not really something funny, that’s not really nothing to play with.

“You can say you’re going to end the series in New York, but not a funeral. So we know we don’t like them, and they know they don’t like us,” Williams said before the team’s shootaround Friday, via the New York Daily News.

I wouldn’t say that wearing all black in this context is offensive, but if Boston took it that way, more power to them.

The Celtics have won two in a row against the Knicks after starting the series down 3-0. With Friday’s game being a home contest in Boston, there’s a realistic possibility the C’s can send the series to a seventh game. If they do, we might have to pinpoint two things that helped turn the series: JR Smith’s elbow on Jason Terry that got him suspended for Game 4, and the all-black funeral attire.

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