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Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Kevin Love: I’m trying to find myself in the Cavs’ offense

Kevin Love

Kevin Love says he is trying go find himself and his place in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offense.

Love went from being the star of the Minnesota Timberwolves the last four seasons to being the third option for Cleveland following a trade. He has not attempted more than 13 shots in any of the last four games, and he has scored 13 or fewer points in three of the last four.

“It’s come to a point where I’m just trying to find myself in this offense,” Love said Thursday via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s almost related to when you come into the league; usually the guys that dominate the ball so much tend to learn a lot quicker than a guy like myself, a big man. So I’m just trying to find different spots in the offense.”

That wasn’t all. Love vented about sacrificing and said he wants the ball.

“I’ll just say we’re 10 games in, we’re looking at different stuff. I need to find myself. I think everybody knew coming in that we’d have to sacrifice, but at some point we’re going to need some low-post scoring and some outside shooting.”

Cavs coach David Blatt said he was not concerned about Love’s comments, but he should be. It takes a special player to accept the role Love needs to as a former star becoming a third option on a stacked team. Chris Bosh warned as much when he said it would be extremely frustrating for Love. He was exactly right.

Shantel Jackson covers up Floyd Mayweather tattoo

Shantel Jackson tattoo

Don’t plan on Shantel Jackson ever getting back together with Floyd Mayweather.

The boxer’s ex-girlfriend/fiancee is so serious about her breakup with the world champion that she covered up the tattoo she got to honor him.

Miss Jackson shared photos on Instagram of how her wrist looked before and after she got her new tattoo to cover up the old one. The old tattoo featured a band of little hearts around her wrist, along with a pair of red boxing gloves on the inner wrist. That boxing gloves were a tribute to Floyd.

Jackson, who broke up with Floyd earlier this year (supposedly over all the side girls he had), got a much larger design on her wrist to cover it all up. The new design features a locket, larger heart and some roses, so she continued with the love theme.

The breakup between Floyd and Miss Jackson got ugly, so this is a big deal. Floyd took a big shot at Shantel over Instagram in April, and then he claimed she also got an abortion. The truth is Floyd was just jealous that Shantel moved on and started dating Nelly.

In September, Shantel accused Floyd of assaulting her multiple times throughout their relationship.

Photo: Instagram/MissJackson

NFL Week 12 expert picks against the spread – Doc’s locks

Doc Brown continues to post strong totals on the season. Last week, Doc went 9-5 against the spread and also hit the lock to bring that season total to 14-4 (78%). You can’t miss with that. Hopefully you’ve been riding strong with Doc’s locks.

Doc’s picks for Week 12 against the spread and straight up are below. Take a look.

NFL PICKS WEEK 12
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL-Picks-Week-12

Doc locked in the Rams this week and figured since it’s only a 4.5 point spread, why not take them straight u? The logic behind the pick is pretty simple. The Chargers’ offense has been dreadful lately. They can’t run the ball and their passing hasn’t been much better. We just learned that the reason they can’t pass is because Philip Rivers is seriously hurt. That makes sense, because his dropoff did not make any sense otherwise. The Rams have a pretty solid defense and good line that can get to the quarterback, so we envision San Diego’s offense struggling. Doc also thinks Shaun Hill is a pretty decent quarterback and reliable. Maybe Tre Mason will have another strong game. Either way, Doc just does not see the Chargers winning big.

Other picks of note: 9.5 points for the Vikings at home seems like a lot in a divisional game. The Packers have been so hot it might be time for them to cool off for a game. Lastly, it was hard to go against the Cardinals. They are 9-1 this year and 8-2 against the spread. They have been a picker’s best friend. Whether it’s by defense or special teams, they always seem to make the key plays at the right time. We’re not going against them.

Jerry Rice: Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman couldn’t cover me

Jerry-Rice

NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice played in an era where cornerbacks could grab, shove and disrupt without being penalized. That didn’t stop him from setting NFL records for most receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions in a career. What if he played now?

Earlier this week, Rice was asked if there are any cornerbacks who play today that could put up a fight against him on the field.

“Richard Sherman, Revis Island, Patrick Peterson — they can’t handle me, though,” Rice told Bleacher Report on Wednesday. “They don’t have a chance.

“I really respect those guys and their talent, but my job is to be elusive off the line of scrimmage. I was always good against bump and run and being able to double-move, triple-move, get off the line of scrimmage. You don’t see a lot of that happening today, with guys being able to get a free release on the line of scrimmage.”

Rice is probably the best receiver to ever play the game. That said, it’s nearly impossible to compare players from different generations. Guys like Sherman and Revis do are able to shut down receivers even with today’s emphasis on illegal contact and pass interference, so it stands to reason that they would have been even better in Rice’s generation.

Does that mean they could have shut down Rice? Probably not. No one really could. He was just that good.

LeBron James: Teaching Cavs more challenging than winning first ring

LeBron James Kyrie Irving

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still struggling to find consistency, which is something most of us expected in the early part of the regular season. The Heat struggled when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, so why should this be any different?

According to LeBron, the work he has to do with Cleveland is much more challenging than what he had to do in Miami.

“This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship,” James told ESPN ESPN’s Chris Broussard on Wednesday. “Because that was a personal goal of mine. Doing this was never a goal until I decided to come back to Cleveland.”

LeBron’s play has been up and down through the first few weeks of the season. He is missing a lot of shots and appears to be forcing the issue at times. He said that part of the team’s struggles stem from trying to teach guys how to win.

“I’ve taken on the burden of leading young guys, getting them to understand what it takes to win,” LeBron said. “And it takes more than just basketball. It’s about being a professional, not having a sense of entitlement, being grateful that you’re a part of this league. Those things have a lot to do with winning.

“It’s going to take a while. When you’re losing, you pick up a lot of bad habits. When you walk into the building every night and don’t even expect to win, that wears on you, and it takes a while to break it.”

James basically said the same thing earlier this season when he pointed out that the Cavs have developed a lot of “bad habits” over the past few seasons.

It’s still very early in the season, but the whole “teaching these guys how to win” thing is going to get old fast. LeBron is getting dangerously close to sounding like he is passing the buck, which again is fine just 10 games into the regular season. Eventually, he might be wise to stray away from that narrative.

Jack Johnson’s parents reportedly led him to bankruptcy

Jack-Johnson

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy before the start of the 2014-2015 season. Johnson, who will earn $5 million this season and has made roughly $18 million during his nine-year NHL career, has spent almost all of his money and is still in debt.

Would you believe that the 27-year-old’s parents led him to the poor house?

“I’d say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path,” Johnson told The Columbus Dispatch last week. “I’ve got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It’s something I should have done a long time ago.”

While he would not comment further, Aaron Portzline of The Dispatch reports that Johnson’s own parents, Jack Sr. and Tina Johnson, contributed to their son’s financial downfall.

Johnson has not had an agent since he parted ways with Pat Brisson, who represents some of the biggest stars in the NHL, back in 2008. Before he signed a seven-year, $30.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings in 2011, Johnson signed over power of attorney that granted his mother full control of his finances.

Maybe he shouldn’t have.

According to The Dispatch, Johnson’s mother Tina borrowed at least $15 million in Jack’s name against his future earnings. She took out as many as 18 high-interest loans, most of which were defaulted on.

Johnson’s parents allegedly bought all kinds of fun stuff with the loans, including cars for themselves and a Manhattan Beach property that court documents claim Johnson didn’t even know about. Since all of the loans were in Johnson’s name, he has been sued at least six times for defaulting.

The entire story is very interesting and worth a read. We have heard of athletes blowing their money on countless occasions, but aren’t your parents supposed to be some of the few people you can trust? That’s pretty rough.

H/T Deadspin

FSU student Jason Derfuss was saved from gunshot by his books

FSU-4

Two Florida State students reportedly remain hospitalized and one has been released in the wake of the shooting that took place early Thursday morning inside Strozier Library. Had it not been for a backpack full of books, Jason Derfuss might have been the fourth victim.

Derfuss, an FSU student, allegedly heard the first gunshot go off at the library. He says the shooter, who has now been identified as an FSU graduate, targeted him from five feet away. The books in Derfuss’ backpack stopped the bullet and may have saved his life. Derfuss told the story via his Facebook page.

Earlier tonight there was a shooting at FSU, right as I was leaving Strozier. I didn’t know this at the time, but the Shooter targeted me first. The shot I heard behind me I did not feel, nor did it hit me at all. He was about 5 feet from me, but he hit my books. Books one minute earlier I had checked out of the library, books that should not have stopped the bullet. But they did. I learned this about 3 hours after it happened, I never thought to check my bag. I assumed I wasn’t a target, I assumed I was fine. The truth is I was almost killed tonight and God intervened. I know conceptually He can do all things, but to physically witness the impossible and to be surrounded by such grace is indescribable. To God be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

The bullet went through Derfuss’ backpack and penetrated the covers of at least two books. Fortunately, it never got to his body and he didn’t even realize the shooter had targeted him until hours later.

You can see more of the photos that Derfuss shared here. They’re absolutely incredible.

H/T Fortress America

Florida State shooter Myron May was an FSU graduate

Florida-State-shooting

The gunman who shot three people at a library on the Florida State University campus early Thursday morning has been identified as Myron May, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

May graduated from Florida State before attending Texas Tech for law school. He was fatally shot by officers. Two of the FSU students who were shot remain hospitalized while one has been released.

Abigail Taunton, a woman who runs a foster home in the Florida Panhandle, told the AP on Thursday that May had recently been staying at a guest house she owns.

[Incredible Photos: FSU Student says backpack saved him from gunshot]

The shootings took place in Strozier Library, where a terrifying amateur video showed students huddled together listening to instructions from police over the building’s PA system. Police and FSU officials have labeled the shooting an “isolated incident.”

“This person just for whatever reason produced a handgun and then began shooting students in the library,” FSU Police Chief David Perry explained.

Police have yet to release any further details.

Photo: Twitter/Nightline

USC players not happy about Josh Shaw reinstatement

Josh Shaw USC

USC defensive back Josh Shaw was reinstated this week after serving a suspension for fabricating a story about saving his drowning nephew from a pool. According to a report from TMZ, some of Shaw’s USC teammates are not happy to have him back.

Several Trojans reportedly told TMZ that they are “speechless” that Shaw, a senior cornerback, will be given the opportunity to start over players who have been with the team all season and stayed out of trouble.

USC still has important games remaining against UCLA and Notre Dame. Shaw has not been named a starter, but some players reportedly feel head coach Steve Sarkisian will give him his old position back in the near future.

“We don’t have to be happy with it,” one player told TMZ. “Just gotta roll with it.”

Keep in mind that these “sources” could be players who are in danger of losing playing time to Shaw.

Before Shaw admitted to lying, he reportedly got into a fight with a teammate who told him to come clean. Shaw expressed regret in a recent interview and said he jumped off a third-story balcony after an argument with his girlfriend because he feared racial profiling from police.

Anderson Varejao looked like a pull-string ornament on defense (Video)

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the San Antonio Spurs in a close game on Wednesday night, but don’t let anyone tell you Anderson Varejao didn’t do his part.

Varejao scored a game-high 23 points and tied Kevin Love with a game-high 11 rebounds. He also did his best to prevent the Spurs from inbounding the ball by turning himself into a pull-string ornament on defense.

Anderson-Varejao-defense

You know the ones I’m talking about. If you celebrate Christmas, you had to have had one of these bad boys on your tree at some point:

Pull-string-ornament

That kind of effort from Varejao deserves acknowledgment — win or lose.

Video via @DrewUnga

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