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Friday, March 23, 2018


King Cake Baby returns to horrify Pelicans fans


The New Orleans Pelicans seem to be intent on building their new brand by creeping fans out. At the start of the season, they introduced their weird looking mascot Pierre the Pelican. He later “broke his nose,” but we won’t get into that. On Monday night, the Pelicans brought back the ultimate nightmare machine — King Cake Baby.

King Cake Baby is one of three seasonal mascots — along with The King and The Jester — that the Pelicans roll out when Mardi Gras gets close.

As Ball Don’t Lie noted, a king cake is a seasonal food that typically has a small, plastic representative of baby Jesus hidden inside. King Cake Baby proves that we would all be best off if the representation remained a small figurine and not a terrifying giant baby.

Sleep tight, everyone.

Photo: Instagram/Arash Markazi

Rajon Rondo skipped team trip without permission?

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsBoston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo still needs a maintenance day every now and then as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. He has not played in games on consecutive nights since returning last month, and that trend continued when he missed Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings after playing 34 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers the night before.

The issue with Saturday is that Rondo remained in LA instead of traveling to Sacramento with the team. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, he did so without permission.

“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on Monday. “I’ll find out more about what went into it, and then we’ll handle it internally. We handle all of those kind of issues internally.”

Sources reportedly told Bulpett that Rondo, who turned 28 on Saturday, remained in LA for a birthday celebration.

“His wife and kids were with him in LA, and there were some other people who came in,” one source said. “I think he felt obligated to them, too, and what they had planned for his birthday.”

Rondo knew he would have the day off against the Kings, so it’s not as if he skipped an actual game. However, the team could discipline him for skipping an obligation without consulting anyone. After Monday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz, Rondo brushed the issue aside.

“We already talked about it,” he said. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

Ainge’s comments about speaking to Rondo when he gets back to Boston came after Rondo’s assertion that there is nothing to talk about, so there may be more at play than meets the eye. Maybe he just needed a day off after hearing his name attached to trade rumors all last week.

Arianny Celeste on Ronda Rousey: I don’t like the way she carries herself

Arianny-CelesteRonda Rousey is incredibly outspoken. Her undefeated record in the octagon and outgoing personality are the main reasons she is such a marketing machine. The latter, however, is why famous UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste is not Rousey’s biggest fan.

Before Rousey defeated Sara McMann on Saturday, Celeste told MMA Junkie Radio that she does not view Ronda as a positive role model for women.

“I don’t really like the way she carries herself,” Celeste said. “I don’t think she’s a good role model for women. I think that women should empower each other and give each other a little pat on the back.

“I’ve personally been talked about by her, and I don’t even know her. I’ve met her twice. She said a couple things in her Maxim interview. A lot of people pointed it out to me, but I didn’t really acknowledge it. … She’s paving the way for women’s MMA, and I’ve made being a UFC Octagon Girl into a career. She should definitely recognize that and be nice.”

The Maxim interview Celeste referred to took place in August 2012, when Rousey joked that it would have been fun to rank higher on Maxim’s Hot 100 list than Celeste.

“It would have been really funny if I’d beaten [UFC Octagon Girl] Arianny Celeste, because that would be like a triathlete coming along and beating the runners in a marathon,” Rousey said at the time. “Like, ‘Ha-ha, it’s your job to show your titties—I do that better than you!’ Maybe next year. She’s only getting older, and I’m reaching my prime.”

As Bloody Elbow pointed out, Rousey also took a shot at ring girls in general during a separate 2012 interview with Sherdog.

“There’s a reason why the ring girls aren’t asked to star in movies, and it’s because they’re pretty but talentless,” Rousey said.

That’s probably reason enough for Celeste to dislike Rousey, and I’m sure Rousey doesn’t care. After all, this is a woman who openly discusses her sex life on talk shows. She doesn’t seem to be concerned with what people think of her.

Vikings have red flagged prospects because of their Twitter activity

Twitter-logoNFL scouts are mostly focused on size, speed and strength when evaluating players at the NFL Combine. However, we know a player’s “intangibles” and personal background can be just as important. Apparently Twitter also plays a role.

Last week, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told USA Today Sports that “immaturity” has been a problem for some of the record 98 underclassmen that declared for the NFL Draft early this year. More specifically, Spielman has been shocked by some of the stuff he has seen on Twitter.

“There were guys I found on Twitter this year that I can’t believe they would post and re-Tweet some of the stuff they were saying,” Spielman said. “We wrote a report just on their Twitter accounts.

“I won’t say the names. But out of the 60 that we did, there are eight guys that we have concerns about their Twitter feeds that we will address here.”

If I was an NFL prospect and heard those comments, I’d be off Twitter until at least after I found a home in the NFL. Spielman was asked to elaborate.

“Immaturity: Why would you Tweet that?” he asked. “Some things specifically on there, ‘Hey, I’m going out and partying with the guys tonight.’ Or admitting that they just took a drug. It’s amazing what you can find on social media. And that they don’t realize what they just put out there.”

Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert agreed with Spielman, noting that the 2014 draft class is probably the most “immature group” he has ever seen in addition to being the most talented. The fact that something a person tweets could cost them draft position or a job altogether amazes me. Is it really worth it?

H/T Pro Football Talk

Lobbyist Jack Burkman drafts bill to ban gay players from NFL

Michael Sam MissouriWashington, D.C. lobbyist Jack Burkman announced on Monday that he is drafting a bill that would seek to ban gay athletes from being able to play in the NFL. Burkman said he got the idea for the legislation when Michael Sam came out two weeks ago.

“We are losing our decency as a nation,” he said in a statement, according to TheHill.com. “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”

Burkman said he has already drummed up political support for the bill, though he would not mention any lawmakers or politicians by name. He urged Congress to consider backing him.

“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it,” Burkman said.

Several prominent politicians, including president Barack Obama, have already publicly voiced their support for Sam. The former Missouri defensive end is looking to shift the focus toward football and away from his sexual preference, though it will be a while before that happens.

“Well, heck yeah, I wish you guys [the media] would just say, ‘Michael Sam, how’s football going? How’s training going?'” Sam said at the NFL Combine, via Eric Edholm of Shutdown Corner. “I would love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is. And I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

We have heard some stupid opinions on the subject of openly gay athletes playing in the NFL over the past two weeks, but Burkman easily wins the “Most Ignorant” award.

Angels’ contract for Mike Trout reportedly 7 years for $150 million, not 6 years

Mike Trout AngelsThe LA Angels were heavily criticized when news first emerged that they were discussing a contract extension with Mike Trout. Now it’s looking like that criticism might be misguided.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported Sunday that the Angels and Trout were talking about a six-year, $150 million extension. That contract would cover this season — Trout’s third with the team and one where the Angels would still be able to name his pay; three arbitration years; and two free agency years. Players make increasingly more in each arbitration-eligible season, but they still earn less than they would in free agency.

Say the Angels paid Trout $1 million this season, they could probably pay him around $60 million over this three arbitration years and $70 million over his two free agency years. All those figures look generous now, and that still leaves an additional $20 million to hand out at some point. That’s why people thought the Angels were making a bad deal.

But here’s the thing: the $150 million might be over seven years and would cover three of Trout’s free agency seasons. That’s what FOX’s Ken Rosenthal says. He also provided this breakdown of what the Angels would like to have for Trout’s extension:

Now that makes a lot more sense. If the Angels are able to lock up three of Trout’s free agency years and spend $160 million to do it, that wouldn’t be a bad deal for them at all.

Based on how ticked off Trout’s camp seemed to be over the Angels low-balling him with his 2013 team-designated salary, not to mention some of Trout’s free agency comments, just getting him to sign an extension would seem like a victory.

Jerry Jones hints DeMarcus Ware could be cut

DeMarcus WareDeMarcus Ware has been one of the top defensive players in football since entering the league in 2005, but he might end up as a free agent this offseason because of salary cap concerns.

Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones said on Monday that the team needs to determine whether Ware, who is 31 missed three games last season, will be worth the large salary he commands.

Dallas is nearly $20 million over the projected salary cap and Ware takes up $16 million of the cap. If the Cowboys were to cut the 4-time All-Pro passrusher, that would create around $7 million of space. That’s why the Cowboys are considering the possibility.

“We will address it,” Jones said of Ware’s contract status via ESPN. “We made a change in what he’s doing. We put his hand down [play defensive end], rather than stand him up [play outside linebacker]. That was a change and at the same time, he’s had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries, all of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted that for the future as well as where he is with his career and his age. Those are the ingredients in the stew and we have to stir it up and see where we’re going. It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses.”

The Cowboys could ask Ware to take a pay cut, or they could attempt to restructure his deal as alternatives to releasing him. Ware seemed to indicate at the end of last season that he might be willing to take a pay cut to help the team.

Ware is such a great player that I would want to bring him back for another season if I were them, even if it were at a high price. With an offseason to recover, he should come into 2014 more healthy. After that point I would be more serious about cutting him, but I think he still is good for another season.

Raymond Felton questioned for allegedly pointing gun at girlfriend

Raymond Felton McDonald's

Raymond Felton was questioned by police early Tuesday morning for allegedly pointing a gun at a woman just hours after the New York Knicks game.

Felton, who scored 8 points and had 7 assists in 34 minutes during the 110-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, was being questioned by police in a Manhattan police precinct, according to the New York Post.

The Post says Felton was allegedly pointing the gun at his girlfriend. Felton’s wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, filed for divorce last week. It’s unclear if the “girlfriend” refers to another woman, or his wife.

The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Herring confirmed The Post’s report. He says Felton has not been charged with anything yet.

We have quite a few jokes in mind, but we’ll save them given the severity of the allegations.

Photo: Twitter/AirJayMe

Floyd Mayweather chooses Marcos Maidana even though Amir Khan won poll

Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced via his Twitter account Monday that he will be fighting Marcos Maidana next, which goes against his word.

Back on Feb. 3, Mayweather said on Twitter that he would be holding a poll where fans could vote on his next opponent. Mayweather touted the poll by saying he would “let the fans decide”:

That seemed to be a bunch of hooey because Mayweather is not the kind of person who lets anyone dictate his business. Sure enough, he was full of crap.

Khan won the poll by nearly 5,000 votes, but Mayweather still announced he would be fighting Maidana:

Amir Khan Floyd Mayweather poll

Madiana and Mayweather are scheduled to meet on May 3, which is a typical weekend for Floyd to fight. They will likely fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which is where Floyd always fights.

I’m not at all surprised that Floyd chose Maidana considering he’s the better opponent. I’m actually more excited about this fight than a Floyd-Khan bout. I just wanted to post this to remind you that Floyd is full of crap and that you shouldn’t fall for his social media gimmicks (you know, like when he tells you how much money he won on sports bets without sharing how much he’s lost).

Undertaker chokeslams Brock Lesnar, will face him at WrestleMania (Video)

Brock Lesnar UndertakerIt’s finally on! The Undertaker showed up to “RAW” on Monday night in Green Bay and was challenged by Brock Lesnar to sign a contract to fight him at WrestleMania 30. Lesnar told Taker to sign a contract, but The Undertaker used the pen to stab Lesnar’s hand and then chokeslammed him through a table.

The two have faced each other before at No Mercy in the past, but this WrestleMania match has been in the works for a while.

You may recall that Undertaker showed up to the Honda Center in Anaheim for Lesnar’s UFC 121 fight against Cain Velasquez in 2010 and tried to goad Brock into fighting at WrestleMania. The match didn’t happen then, but it will finally be happening a little more than three years later.

Now the only question is whether Brock will be the person who breaks Taker’s perfect record at WrestleMania.

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