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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Blog

Ray Allen is reportedly expected to sign with Heat, and that’s bad news for the NBA

The Heat are currently on the top of the NBA universe, but the frightening thing for the rest of the NBA is that they could be getting significantly better over the offseason. According to a number of reports, Ray Allen is expected to sign with Miami at some point in the near future. In terms of places to close out his Hall of Fame career, Miami has to be the best possible scenario for arguably the best three-point shooter in NBA history.

If the Heat had one glaring problem on offense this season, it was a lack of consistent shooting from the outside. Shane Battier is their most reliable shooter. Mike Miller filled that role off the bench in spurts — particularly in the clinching game of the NBA Finals — but back injuries plagued him throughout the season and prevented him from being that guy all the time. Allen is also coming off ankle surgery, but you have to believe he’d be a more reliable option than Miller.

For the Heat, Allen would play the same role he played for the Celtics when they won the title in 2008. At age 36, it can only benefit Ray to be on a team with two slashers like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. There would simply be no way to efficiently guard LeBron and D-Wade while also keeping tabs on where Allen is on the perimeter. If teams thought the Heat were too much to handle this season, a healthy Allen on the court with Battier could create nightmares.

Photo credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

On LeBron James’ crowning achievement, and the media’s response

Typically, it is not an easy thing to define one’s legacy, especially in this day and age. (I’ve tried with my own, but nothing printable for a family audience can be written in this space.) For athletes, there was a time where their impact on a particular sport could be qualified based on championships won, or even to have so profound an effect as to change the way the game was played.

Nowadays, however, who the heck knows? The number of one’s Twitter followers has been a seemingly quantifiable characteristic of greatness. Count at least one person in who hopes that is not the end-all. At last check, I have fewer followers than Charles Lindbergh, and he died more than 30 years before the social media site crossed the Atlantic. Others might be judged by their actions on and off the court, for better or worse. Does anyone believe that Ron Artest or his alter ego will be remembered more for his Game 7 against the Celtics in 2010 more than for his Palace malice or his Harden bombarding? Winning championships still gets its proper due, but now it is competing for elbow room — sorry Ron-Ron that wasn’t for you — with superstars who gather news attention for dressing like Steve Urkel.

Legacy really is a funny word, like caddywompus, kumquat, or blimp. Not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, though. (Most of the readers of this column should be unfamiliar with such a response anyhow.) It’s more like a Jay Leno monologue: You see it, absorb it, think about it, and after 20 seconds go by, you start questioning how much of your life you’ve wasted on such an endeavor and unwittingly pass out in the process. Media-types are always big on forcing you to consider what an athlete means in the broad landscape when a title is won or lost, especially when multiple attempts have been made, oftentimes conveniently forgetting that said star plays not on a team of one.

The latest sports figure to undergo such scrutiny is LeBron James; he of the barnstorming high school team that was turned into a documentary, soon becoming the brightest thing to burn in the state of Ohio since the Cuyahoga River, then famously spurning Cleveland like so many others, only to make back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals after shamelessly hosting a televised event with the nebbishy Jim Gray to declare where he would take his talents.

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A.J. Hawk shoves guy into a lake during touch football game at charity event (Video)

A.J. Hawk and a number of other Ohio State alumni took part in a charity golf tournament over the weekend in Ohio to raise money for after school programs for at-risk youth. Since there were a number of football players present, it appears a few of the guys decided golf was not entertaining enough so they decided to get a game of touch football going outside the clubhouse. As you can see from the video above that Deadspin shared with us, Hawk got a little carried away at one point.

That swamp does not look clean. Let’s just hope the victim had a change of clothes handy. If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t speak to Hawk for the remainder of the day. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he tried the old cream cheese on his deodorant truck to get even with him. It’s only right.

Alex Ovechkin voted ‘Worst Local Athlete’ by Washington magazine readers

When Alex Ovechkin first broke into the league with the Capitals back in 2005, visions of Stanley Cup championships were dancing through the heads of Washington fans. Ovechkin dominated the league in scoring for several years, but recently it seems as though he has started to wear out his welcome. His production has been down and he has not been able to lead the Capitals to a championship in seven seasons. For those reasons and others, Ovechkin was recently named the “Worst Local Athlete” by readers of the Washingtonian.

As you can see from the photo above that Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog shared with us, the blurb under Ovechkin’s dishonorable mention reminds readers that he was voted the area’s local hero just a year ago. My how things can change in a hurry.

With all the struggles Washington teams like the Redskins and Nationals have faced in recent years, the voting reflects how situations like this one have resulted in Ovechkin’s image taking a huge hit. He may be talented, but the bottom line is he’s not very likable at the moment.

Brett Favre says Tony Romo is the quarterback most similar to him

When we think of Brett Favre, there are generally two schools of thought. On one hand, we remember the guy who was one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and probably the toughest player to ever play the game. On the other, we think of the guy who didn’t know when to call it quits and who made a mockery of himself over the final few years of his career. But do we think of Tony Romo? Favre does.

When discussing some of the NFL’s active quarterbacks during an appearance on the NFL Network, Favre said he feels that Romo is more like him than any other quarterback in the league.

“Romo is probably more like me than any of those guys,” Favre said according to Pro Football Talk. “I think way too much is cast upon him, good or bad. It’s Dallas, and much is expected. He’s carried those guys. I watched him last year, and I like Tony. I like the way he plays. I think at times he’s underrated.”

Naturally, Favre had to toot his own horn a bit by comparing a guy who carries his team to himself. Favre and the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders then went on to agree that Romo has to tell his offensive players where to be and what to do before each snap, which is a valid point. There were several times throughout the season last year where the Cowboys receivers looked clueless as the were lining up — an issue that arises way too often in Dallas.

“How in the world are you going to have a positive play when the ball is coming and you’re telling guys?” Favre asked.

That all may be true, but Romo has made some epic mistakes and had some serious mental lapses on the field over the years as well. He hasn’t gotten a whole lot of help, but Tony hasn’t exactly helped himself in big situations either.

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Junior hockey coach Martin Tremblay trips 13-year-old boy during handshakes, gives him broken wrist, flips off crowd (Video)

A junior hockey coach in Vancouver has reportedly been arrested and released and is awaiting charges after he tripped a 13-year-old boy during a postgame handshake line last weekend. The UBC Hornets coach, Martin Tremblay, had just coached his team to a 5-4 victory before the classless postgame antics were unleashed. As you can see from the video above that Richmond Steel manager Tammy Hohlweg shared with LarryBrownSports.com, Tremblay clearly tripped two of the Richmond players.

Hohlweg, who saw the entire situation unfold, says one of the boys who was tripped suffered a broken wrist and will be in a cast for two weeks.

“He was just trying to shake hands,” Hohlweg explained. “The game was over. No matter what happens in a game, our rule is you shake hands, you do what you’re supposed to do at the end.”

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Anthony Davis: No beef with Thomas Robinson

Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson are expected to be the top two picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Though Davis is the consensus No. 1 pick and expected to be a franchise-changing player, Robinson believes he should be the top pick. The former Kansas forward even took a shot at Davis earlier this month after Davis was seen wearing a T-shirt that said “Check my stats.”

“If you wanted to check the stats, then I’d be the No. 1 pick easily — if that’s what you want to do,” Robinson said, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. “I should get one of those shirts. I’ll get a shirt that says, ‘Numbers don’t lie.'”

Based on that back-and-forth, it looked like there was a beef brewing between the players. Not so, says Davis.

“There is no feud,” he told The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday, laughing at the question.

“He’s the coolest guy and most positive guy I’ve ever met,” Davis continued. “I don’t know if he has a feud with me, but I have no feud with him.”

When asked specifically about the T-shirt quote, Davis brushed it aside.

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Clippers reportedly trying to trade for Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom could be on his way back to playing in Los Angeles. But it probably won’t be for the Lakers.

The Clippers are reportedly trying to work a deal to acquire Odom from the Mavericks. Odom, who spent his first four years in the league with the Clippers, would certainly welcome a return to L.A., where’s played all but two years of his career. But it’s not clear how disappointed he would be over his return to the city not being with his old pals on the Lakers (or how frustrating it’s going to be explaining to the Kardashians that L.A. has a whole other basketball team).

Ironically, though, the Lakers might play some role in the Clippers’ acquisition of Odom. Here’s ESPN’s Marc Stein:

The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in trade discussions to bring Lamar Odom back to the L.A. team that drafted him, according to sources close to the situation.

Yet the deal, sources said, could hinge on the willingness of a third team to take on the contract of Clippers veteran guard Mo Williams, which would allow the Dallas Mavericks to send Odom to the Clippers with no significant money coming back to the Mavericks. […]

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that one team to express interest in Williams is the Los Angeles Lakers, who still have a trade exception big enough to absorb Williams’ contract that they created when they dealt Odom to Dallas.

Many believe Odom’s disastrous season in Dallas was due in part to being away from L.A., which has become a home to Odom and is where his TV family lives. Well, this potential trade might be the defibrillator his career needs. And even though he would probably prefer to be with the Lakers, at least these are much different times than when he was last on the Clippers.

H/T I am a GM
Photo: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Paulina Gretzky gets cozy with Jarret Stoll (Photos)

Paulina Gretzky might be dating L.A. Kings center Jarret Stoll. Or maybe they’re close friends. Really close friends. Either way, one could surmise the two are more than just friends after Gretzky earlier this week posted photos of her and Stoll acting flirty with one another at a pool in Canada. Which would be big news because Stoll just won the Cup with the Kings and Gretzky has nearly broken the Internet several times already.

The Great One’s Great One shared the photos on her Instagram account but, as she is wont to do, later deleted them. No word on how Papa Gretzky feels about this. Remember, Wayne previously made Paulina cool it with the Twitter use because the pictures she was sharing were distracting civilization from progressing, or something. But we’re guessing he probably still hasn’t taken his face out of his palm after his daughter’s racy Vegas weekend was broadcast around the world.

As for Stoll, this is would just be another impressive addition to a relationship resume that already includes Rachel Hunter. So, all in all, these photos might very well be the most-Jarret Stoll and -Paulina Gretzky thing to happen, which combined might be some sort of record.

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Umpire Mike DiMuro blows call on Dewayne Wise dropped fly ball (Video)

Umpire Mike DiMuro made one of the worst calls of the MLB season on Tuesday when he ruled that Yankees outfielder Dewayne Wise caught a fly ball that he clearly dropped.

Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan was batting in the seventh and sent a ball down the left field line. Wise tracked the ball and fell into the stands trying to make the catch. Though the ball came out of his glove, DiMuro ruled it an out.

Wise wasn’t complaining about the call.

“I’m not going to argue with him,” Wise said, according to Bombers Beat. “It was a tough angle for him. Stuff like that happens. They’re not perfect. He said, ‘Out,’ right away, so what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field? I ran off the field.”

Hannahan actually was ejected in the 8th for telling DiMuro to take a look at the replay. DiMuro eventually did, and admitted he was wrong after the game.

“I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in his stands. He disappeared into the stands and I believed that the ball was in his glove,” he told a pool reporter, per The Star-Ledger.

“Now that I see the tape it’s obvious that the ball fell out of his glove. In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”

I still think Tim Welke’s blown call was worse, but this was pretty darn bad.

Time to finally add instant replay, MLB? I’d say so.

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