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Monday, July 24, 2017

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Kobe Bryant gives his all-time starting five, highlighted by Larry Bird

Kobe BryantOne of the most popular questions radio hosts have decided to ask current and former NBA players lately is who they would select for an all-time starting five. Given how many Hall of Famers have played the game over the past six decades, the answers tend to vary. During an interview with John Ireland and Mike Trudell on ESPN LA 710 on Wednesday, Kobe Bryant gave his take.

“It’s not very difficult for me,” Kobe said. “I’d go Magic (Johnson), (Michael) Jordan, (Larry) Bird, (Bill) Russell and (Kareem Abdul-Jabar).”

Trudell apparently had the same exact team as Bryant, so Ireland informed him of a team that they say could beat Kobe’s and Trudell’s all-time starting five. That team consisted of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Oscar Robinson, Tim Duncan and Wilt Chamberlain. Kobe agreed that neither one of those teams would dominate the other and that it would be competitive, but he made it a point to discuss how underrated he feels Bird has become.

“I will say as the years go on people really forget how great Larry Bird was,” Bryant said. “He was ridiculous. And I grew up in LA — just like everyone else here — hating his guts. But the guy was just money.”

That has to hurt coming from a Laker legend, but it’s the truth. Personally, I feel that Bird is a much better overall player than Scottie Pippen, although Pippen did make his way into Karl Malone’s all-time starting five and Jason Kidd’s lineup as well. Those of you who were expecting LeBron James to make his way onto the list — get real. This is Kobe’s all-time starting five. King James never stood a chance.

Dwight Howard’s baby mama was reportedly occupying Kim Kardashian’s preferred maternity suite

Kim-Kardashian-pregnant-Kanye-WestDwight-Howard

As many of you know, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their first child into the world earlier this week. What you may not know is that her plan for the delivery of the baby did not go as smoothly as planned. Get this — Dwight Howard reportedly stood in the way.

According to TMZ, Kardashian had made arrangements before she went into labor to stay in one of the high-class maternity suites at Cedars Sinai hospital so she could deliver her baby. However, the baby came more than a month early and none of the suites were available. At that particular time, TMZ claims one of the suites was occupied by Howard’s newest baby mama.

Kanye and Dwight were reportedly roaming the maternity ward when they bumped into each other. TMZ’s source says they “got along great” and West even let Howard preview his new album “Yeezus.”

As the sign this fan held up at a recent Los Angeles Lakers playoff will tell you, Howard is believed to have many baby mamas. Also, we’re surprised to hear that Kanye and Dwight didn’t bump into Kerry Rhodes while they were waiting for their significant others. After all, he does believe he could be the genetic father or Kardashian’s first child.

NBC affiliate KXAN runs promo, misses Blackhawks’ winning OT goal (Video)

NBC KXANFans in Austin, Texas, watching Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals on their local NBC affiliate buckled up for 70 awesome minutes of high-scoring hockey between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Unfortunately, their local station, KXAN, ran a poorly-timed promo during the middle of sudden-death overtime, right as Brent Seabrook scored the winning goal for Chicago, preventing viewers from seeing the suspenseful payoff.

Adding insult to injury, after missing the winning goal in OT, KXAN ran a story about the popularity of hockey increasing in Austin. They later apologized to viewers for the mistake.

If those of you in Austin (or elsewhere) would like to see Seabrook’s winning goal, you can watch it below:

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Bruce Bochy: Yasiel Puig on NL All-Star team is a ‘long shot’

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig has been so impressive in his limited time in the bigs, there have been calls from some people to put the phenom in the All-Star Game. San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will manage the NL All-Star squad, says Puig making the All-Star team is a “long shot.”

Puig is not on the All-Star ballot, so it is unlikely for him to be voted in as a write-in candidate this late in the season. His best chance of getting into the game would be if the players or All-Star team manager put him in. Bochy told MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden and Casey Stern that he is unlikely to add Puig to the team.

“I’ve got to be honest here, that would be really hard for me to consider that,” Bochy told the hosts in response to a question, via the LA Daily News. “And I’ve already had that question. I guess there was somebody who wrote they would like to see him there and that he deserves to go because this game is for the fans and they want to see not just the best players, but the most interesting or intriguing players.

“I would have a hard time picking somebody who has been here three weeks, to be honest. The numbers would have to be so stupid that you say, ‘Ok I’ll consider it.’ But, you know, I couldn’t take away from a player who has been here and done it the whole half and been out there grinding every day and he doesn’t go. I couldn’t look at that player. I couldn’t look at myself, to be honest. So that’s why I’m saying, that’s a really long shot.”

Bochy’s point about not putting a guy in the game who has played less than a month is well taken, but Puig does have the type of eye-popping numbers — or “stupid” numbers as Bochy calls it — that would merit consideration. Puig has batted .474 with five home runs and a 1.289 OPS in 15 games. Still, I agree that an amazing two weeks is not enough to warrant an All-Star selection. If he keeps it up, the 22-year-old will have plenty of chances to make All-Star teams in the future.

But this is also funny coming from Bochy, who has been a huge homer when choosing the All-Star team in the past. If Puig were playing for his Giants, I guarantee you he wouldn’t be a “long shot.” You have to wonder how much Puig playing for the rival Dodgers factors into this matter.

Ronald Belisario commits comedy of errors on one play (Video)

The New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 in the first game of a double-header on Wednesday, and they can thank Ronald Belisario for helping their cause.

The Dodgers reliever, who was suspended one game for his role in the Dodgers-Diamondbacks fight last week, went full Little League mode and turned a pathetic popup to the mound into a two-base error that cost his team a run.

Ronald BelisarioBelisario relieved J.P. Howell in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second and one out. He jammed Vernon Wells for what should have been an easy popup back to the mound. But, Belisario, for some reason, was unable to make the catch. Then, he pulled a classic boot job and somehow knocked the ball behind him, which prevented him from getting a runner. Then he realized he might have a shot to nail Robinson Cano at second, so he decided to twirl a ball despite having his feet in a terrible position for the throw. No surprise, he uncorked one into center that allowed Brett Gardner to score.

Belisario completed his perfect outing by hitting the next batter before being replaced.

By my count, Belisario made three mistakes on the same play. The first was missing the popup. The second was kicking it behind him. The third was the awful throw to center. Just pitiful.

The only thing funnier than watching Belisario butcher the play in that video is watching it on a loop like in the GIF below:

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Kobe Bryant to Lakers: You have to lock up Dwight Howard

Kobe Bryant Dwight HowardKobe Bryant and Dwight Howard may have had a contentious relationship during the regular season, but make no mistake about it: Kobe understands the importance of Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.

During an interview with 710/ESPN Radio LA on Wednesday, Bryant was asked if he has talked to Howard about free agency. Bryant said he had, and then he explained why it is imperative for the Lakers to bring back Howard, who will be a free agent this summer.

“It’s not like you have guys like Dwight Howard walking around every day,” Bryant told hosts John Ireland and Mike Trudell. “Those guys are hard to find. They don’t grow on trees. I think when you have somebody like that with his talent level, you have to be able keep him and lock him in with this franchise.”

The Lakers have had some of the best centers in history play for the franchise. Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal have all worn the purple and gold. Bryant believes Howard would be the next great center in the franchise’s lineage.

“The history this franchise has with having great centers, in my opinion, this would be a great spot for him,” said Bryant.

[Related: Mitch Kupchak: Dwight Howard will have statue someday]

Kobe said earlier this month that he would let Howard shop around and explore the free agency process. He said that he just wanted the last word with Dwight. But Bryant says he has spoken to the center somewhat recently.

“I spoke to him maybe a couple of weeks ago, just to check in with him, see what he was up to, see how his summer was going,” said Bryant. “But I haven’t spoken to him since. I know he’s got a big decision to make and I’m sure he’s going to make the visits and talk to the players from the teams that he’s considering. We’ll touch base with him a lot more.”

[Related: Kobe Bryant confronted Dwight Howard in team meeting]

The Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Atlanta Hawks all are expected to pursue Howard in free agency. Houston reportedly believes they have a good shot of landing the center. Despite that, the Lakers can offer Dwight over $30 million more than any other team and therefore have a strong chance of retaining the big man.

What’s notable here is that despite all the fighting Bryant and Howard did during the season, Bryant’s opinion of Howard as a player has not changed. The question is, will Bryant’s words be enough to change the opinion of Lakers fans who grew tired of Howard during the season? Regardless, Kobe emphasizing Howard’s importance to the team should only increase the center’s chances of returning to LA.

Bob Stoops’ house burglarized, car stolen

Bob Stoops OklahomaThe home of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops was burglarized early Wednesday morning and a vehicle was stolen from the home, Norman police confirmed to Larry Brown Sports.

Stoops’ family was at home when the burglary occurred sometime around 3:30 am. The family was asleep and did not discover the missing items until later in the morning, Norman Police Department lieutenant Cary Bryant confirmed to LBS.

Jake Trotter of ESPN’s Sooner Nation says police have leads in the case.

The Stoops family moved into a new home last year. The home is located about a mile south of Moore, Okla., and was nearby the tornadoes that ripped through the area last month. The spacious home reportedly is about 13,000 square feet.

Report: Aaron Hernandez drove car with Odin Lloyd in it, returned without Lloyd

Aaron HernandezA new report from Boston FOX 25 Boston reporter Ted Daniel heavily implicates Aaron Hernandez in the homicide case of Odin Lloyd.

The New England Patriots tight end reportedly had been uncooperative with the investigation into the homicide of Lloyd, whose body was found on Monday around a mile from Hernandez’s home. Hernandez has not been named as a suspect nor ruled out as a suspect, according to various reports. But Daniel reports some information that makes it seem like Hernandez was somehow involved or connected to the murder.

According to Daniels, Hernandez, Lloyd, and two others were at a bar the night of the homicide. At some point they left the bar, which reportedly was confirmed via text message sent by Lloyd to a friend. Daniels does not know what happened after that, but his source told him three men returned to Hernandez’s home without Lloyd.

Here’s what Daniel reported on Twitter Wednesday:

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Everything you need to know about the cases involving Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsNew England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is in the news this week because of two serious issues. We’ll do our best to break down exactly what Hernandez is facing and why he is involved in both cases.

Hernandez, 23, was a star high school player in Bristol, Conn., before moving on to Florida from 2007-2009. He was drafted in the fourth-round by the Patriots in 2010 and reportedly slipped in the draft because of failed drug tests in college. He has caught 175 passes for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in 38 career games for the Pats and has been limited by injuries.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Hernandez was questioned by police in a homicide case.

A 27-year-old man named Odin Lloyd was found dead by a jogger in North Attleboro, Mass., on Monday. Lloyd’s body was found about a mile from Hernandez’s home, and a report said the possible connection between Hernandez and the case was a rental car found near the body that was in the tight end’s name. Hernandez supposedly was being uncooperative in the police’s attempt to investigate the case. He reportedly has not been ruled out as a suspect, though SI says Hernandez is not believed to be a suspect.

Lloyd was a player for the Boston Bandits, a semi-pro football league. The Boston Globe says a neighbor told them it was known that Lloyd would hand out with Patriots players. WBZ in Boston also reported that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.

On Wednesday, TMZ brought up another case involving Hernandez that appears to be unrelated to the homicide.

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Joe Torre’s daughter reportedly caught falling baby in New York

Cristina Torre babyJoe Torre’s daughter is being considered a hero in New York Wednesday after making a catch to save a falling baby. Seriously.

The New York Post reports that Cristina Torre was biking to work Wednesday morning when she saw a baby hanging from the awning above a frozen yogurt shop at 3rd Avenue and 92nd Street. Torre, 44, apparently was calling 911 to report the baby on the loose when the 1-year-old boy fell. She luckily was in the right place when the boy fell and made a life-saving catch.

The New York Daily News says police determined that the baby slipped through some cardboard placed next to an air conditioning unit in a second-floor window, crawled onto a fire escape, and then fell onto the awning. His parents were asleep when it happened and were taken into police custody. The Daily News says the parents are facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child and neglect.

The family’s four children were reportedly taken into child services. ABC reports that the apartment was described as being in deplorable conditions, with “no food in the house, peeling paint, not adequate bedding for children, and no window guards.”

LBS was unable to obtain footage of Torre’s daughter making the catch, but we believe it may have looked like this:

Thanks to David for the tip

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