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Friday, January 20, 2017

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LeBron James fires back at Serge Ibaka: ‘I don’t really care what he says, he’s stupid’

As soon as LeBron James heard about Serge Ibaka criticizing his defense and saying he is incapable of covering Kevin Durant, he knew the media would be looking for a response. Ibaka was undoubtedly trying to get a rise out of LeBron, but rather than starting a trash talking war James held himself back when asked about it on Tuesday — sort of.

“I don’t really care what he says, he’s stupid,” James said according to ESPN.com’s Heat Index. “Everyone says something to me every series, then (the media) tries to get a quote. It’s stupid.”

Well, they kind of just did. LeBron’s point about people trying to get under his skin all the time isn’t really debatable, but “he’s stupid” is pretty much the exact reaction writers and reporters were looking for. They may have preferred a more long-winded response, but a personal insult will do.

In any event, I tend to side with LeBron in this (non)argument. Ibaka may have been trying to stir the pot a little, but there’s no need for him to give LeBron more motivation in a series where the Thunder already have to dig themselves out of a hole. If James somehow manages to shut Durant down in Game 4, Oklahoma City fans know who to thank.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Rangers’ announcer Dave Barnett has a brief moment of insanity on air (Audio)

What you just heard (if you turned your volume way up) is a snippet of Texas Rangers announcer Dave Barnett having what can only be described as an out-of-body, hallucinating experience.

“A 2-1 game, the tying run on second — a lead-off single by Chase Headley. Go-ahead run is at (pause) fifth on what Adams is insisting on calling it a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman (pause) took piece literally out of my, his–.”

Go ahead run is at 5th base? Maybe Dave Barnett is just thinking of Josh Hamilton during his party days when he became the first person in human history to make it to the coveted 5th base. One can only assume that getting to 5th base involves at least 20 women, a couple of dwarfs, and a Unicorn. Not too sure where the botched robbery that Adams’ is insisting on calling it would be. One of the dwarfs trying to steal Hamilton’s pants but gets kicked by the Unicorn and bursts into a thousand gold coins? Seems legit enough.

Legitimately the only explanation I could think of for Barnett’s ramble.

UPDATE: Barnett will miss at least two games to undergo evaluation after that episode. He believes it may have to do with migraines.

H/T Deadspin

Wes Welker and friends reportedly involved in scuffle with security at Aspen party

Had Wes Welker not signed his franchise tender and held out of Patriots camp for a long-term extension, he might be considered a celebrity. Instead he signed his tender, accepted that he’ll probably be making $9.5 million in 2012 and went to work. That type of reasonability apparently does not get you into exclusive parties in Aspen.

Welker is getting ready to marry his fiancee Anna Burns — who as you can see here is extremely easy on the eyes — next week. According to the NY Post, Wes and six of his buddies were out for an “unofficial bachelor party” in Aspen Friday night when they attempted to get into a Patron-sponsored party that was part of the 30th annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic. From the sound of it, the result was the same as it would have been if six of my friends and I tried getting in.

Sources say Welker strolled up to the bash at restaurant Above the Salt with his posse and tried to rush in without checking in with party staffers. When security tackled the group, witnesses said they still wouldn’t cooperate, and demanded to be let in right away.

“Security tried to subdue the group” when a brawl almost broke out, a source told us. “Security then physically restrained [Welker] and his group to break everything up.”

We’re told Welker and his rowdy crew weren’t arrested, but cops threatened to do so. “Security calmed them down and kicked them off the property,” a source told us.

Aspen police confirmed there was a record of a “lecture and release” incident at the Aspen eatery Friday night, but couldn’t confirm if Welker and his crew were involved.

When you’re Wes Welker and company, being denied access to an exclusive party probably isn’t a familiar feeling. Welker has been on Twitter over the past couple of days talking about how excited he is for the wedding and how much he loves Aspen, so it doesn’t sound like he’s in any sort of serious trouble. At the moment it doesn’t appear Bill Belichick will have to bench him to start the season.

H/T Eye on Football
Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Phelps could give himself chance to break his record of eight gold medals

One big question that many Olympic fans have been pondering in the months leading up to the London Olympics will soon be answered: Will Michael Phelps make an effort to break his own world record of eight gold medals at a single Olympic Games? The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, it may not be that simple.

According to the psych sheet released by USA Swimming on Tuesday, Phelps will compete in seven events at next week’s trials — the 200-meter and 400-meter individaul medleys, the 100-meter and 200-meter butterflys, the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyles, and the 200-meter backstroke. Those seven events combined with the three U.S. team relay events would give Phelps a shot at 10 gold medals. However, qualifying for an event does not necessarily mean he will chose to enter it in London.

“Our typical plan is always to enter more events than he will usually swim so that we have some flexibility should something unforeseen come up,” Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach, said on Tuesday. “Whether he swims all of those all the way through the events – like, there’s a chance he might swim some of those events in the preliminary and scratch, or whether he swims them all the way through, that still remains to be seen.”

In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, Phelps raced in three less events than he qualified for back in the States. Bowman previously said that Phelps will only compete in events that he has a chance to win, but for those of us who have seen him swim that means pretty much nothing. If you’re holding out hope that Phelps will try to break his gold medal record this summer, just cross your fingers he only decides to scratch one event.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector
Photo credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Drew Brees compares Saints bounty evidence to weapons of mass destruction

Comparing world affairs to professional sports is never a good idea. Football is a huge part of many of our lives, which can make it easy to get carried away when discussing issues involving the game. Drew Brees gave us an example of that on Monday night.

On Monday morning, the NFLPA made the evidence against the Saints from the bounty scandal public. While the ledger that supposedly details the bounty payments was not revealed, some other disturbing documents were. Apparently Brees thought it was all nothing, and he expressed himself with a pretty dumb comment on his Twitter account.

Not smart. Brees, of course, is referencing how the Bush Administration eventually convinced enough people that Saddam Hussein was holding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. To this day, there is still no sign of those WMDs Bush insisted were an immediate threat to other nations. Now do you see the connection between an NFL scandal and one of the most signifcant foreign relations nightmares in our nation’s history? Yeah, neither do I.

Whether Brees feels that the bounty evidence is bogus or not, his decision to compare it to weapons of mass destruction is regrettable. Football is a game. Wartime is not.

UPDATE: Brees clarified his analogy and apologized for it.

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Serge Ibaka says LeBron James is ‘not a good defender’

LeBron James is widely considered to be one of the better defenders in the NBA. Whether he is truly effective defensively or officials are just too scared to call fouls against the league’s biggest star is a debate for another day. Regardless, LeBron has the size and speed to cover just about anyone in the league. Serge Ibaka does not agree.

“LeBron is not a good defender,” Ibaka said Monday according to the Palm Beach Post. “He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes.”

More specifically, Ibaka feels as though LeBron cannot cover Kevin Durant. Can anyone? James began covering Durant in Game 2 after K.D. dropped 36 points on 12-of-20 shooting with Shane Battier covering him in Game 1. In Games 2 and 3, Durant put up 32 and 25 points, respectively. Obviously the results were better for Miami, but K.D. is going to score no matter who is covering him.

“LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one,” Ibaka added. “They’re playing good defense like a team.”

As long as the Heat continue to win, I’m sure LeBron is not concerned with Ibaka’s opinion of his defensive ability. The risk you run with someone like LeBron covering Durant is that it could wear him out and make him less effective on offense — where the Heat desperately need James most of the time. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter if Durant scored 100 points between Games 2 and 3 because the Heat won. They did so with LeBron covering him, so at the moment that’s the plan the Heat will stick with.

H/T I Am a GM
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Giants fan calls 911, says he’s the president, demands to speak to Tim Tebow

Most of us have followed Tim Tebow closely enough throughout the years to know that he has some pretty intense fans. Tebowmania inspires people to do crazy things, but few are crazier than what 28-year-old Giants fan Jason Slater did a little over a week ago. According to Patch.com, Slater called 911 on three separate occasions June 10, said he was the president and demanded to speak with Tebow. The call was traced to Slater’s mother’s home (naturally) and he was later arrested.

Since we’re talking about a 28-year-old man who lives at his mother’s house and called 911 demanding to speak with Tim Tebow, you know there are more exciting details to be shared. When police arrived at Slater’s home, they say his mom gave them permission to search the house. Officers discovered Slater in his mother’s bedroom hiding under a stack of pillows.

Slater reportedly cursed at the officers several times before he was arrested and taken to the Hopatcong police station and charged with making false public alarms and hindering his apprehension. He crumpled his summons notice up and threw it on the ground outside the police station once he was released. When an officer warned him to pick it up, he obliged. Slater later threw it on the ground again outside a Dunkin’ Donuts and was charged with littering.

And you thought Tebow fans who wear jerseys like this one and get tattoos like this one were strange? All in all, it sounds like it was a pretty standard Sunday night. Don’t worry, Jason — your insanity plea will be taken very, very seriously.

Thanks to Busted Coverage for the story

Austin Rivers admits he is cocky, but the good kind of cocky

Austin Rivers is one of those players people either love or hate. For every scout who believes he is a dynamic talent and can be an impact player immediately at the NBA level there are others who think he is overrated and has a questionable attitude. Many have criticized Rivers for being too cocky, which is a common trait for young players who have dominated their sport to possess. Austin himself agrees with those who say he is cocky, but according to him that is not a bad thing.

“Truthfully, I just think it’s kind of unfair just because that’s not how I am,” Rivers said during an interview with TSN 1050 in Toronto. “I think every great player is cocky and I think every great player has an ego. And that is something I have. I am cocky and I do have an ego. But it’s a healthy confidence and a healthy ego. You can’t have a negative one.

“There’s a difference between being cocky and believing in yourself and believing you can do anything and believing you can do anything to help your team win and giving your teammates confidence … than being an arrogant guy who thinks he knows it all and thinks he’s better than everyone else. There are two different kinds of cocky and I’m the first one.”

In a sense, he’s right. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Larry Bird are three of the cockiest athletes to ever live. They are also three of the best. Almost all Hall of Famers have a certain confidence about them, but the way you present it is the important thing. As Rivers matures, he’ll either learn how to harness his cocky attitude or end up with people viewing him the way they view LeBron James.

Photo credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Does Patrik Elias of the Devils have the Kings’ winning Stanley Cup puck?

The L.A. Kings have possession of the Stanley Cup, and at the end of the day that’s likely all they care about. However, the game-winning puck would certainly look nice in a trophy case right next to their massive piece of championship hardware. The problem is the Kings don’t seem to know where it is.

What we do know is that the puck was on the ice as the final horn sounded at the end of Game 6. As you can see with a close examnination of the video below, Patrik Elias of the Devils skated toward the puck when the celebration began and appeared to pick it up. He then skated toward the bench and returned to the handshake line without it. Skip ahead to the two-minute mark and keep your eye on center ice.

Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider broke the mystery down with still images and a better explanation of what could have happened. Hammond says he reached out to the Kings and nobody seems to know the whereabouts of the puck. The video isn’t the greatest evidence, but the still shots Hammond provides seem to make it clear that Elias was one of the last people – if not the last person – to touch the puck. As for what would motivate him to keep it, we have no idea. Perhaps he brought it over to the bench absentmindedly and it got lost in transition. Or, perhaps he’s sitting at home having a good laugh at the buzz he’s created across the internet.

Adidas pulls disrespectful slave shackle shoes after backlash (Picture)

For every good design in the fashion industry, there are 100 that are awful and never make it onto the shelves. Then, there are those that are horrible but somehow slip through the cracks. Adidas let on past the goalie on Monday when it released a photo of its new shackle sneakers that were designed by Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott.

Adidas briefly defended the design, but after the Twitter world erupted with outrage and labeled the sneakers “Adidas slave shackle kicks” they decided it was best to pull the shoes. Good choice. We’ve seen some hideous basketball sneaker designs in the past, but how someone could be ignorant enough to say these aren’t offensive is baffling. And even if they weren’t, who the hell would wear these things?

H/T I Am a GM

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