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Monday, June 26, 2017

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Report: Jason Williams injured in first BIG3 game

Ice Cube’s BIG3 league, which features exciting three-on-three dream matchups, officially held its inaugural game in Brooklyn on Sunday at the Barclays Center. And one of the largest early-season attractions was the return of White Chocolate, Jason Williams.

Fans poured into the arena wearing Williams jerseys and cheered as he hit the court. However, that enjoyment was short-lived as Williams appeared to suffered a relatively serious non-contact leg injury.

More than a handful of reporters and fans hit Twitter with photos of Williams surrounded by teammates, opponents and coaches as he writhed in pain on the court.

Although Williams did eventually walk off under his own power, he did not return to the game. The good news is that he was able to put weight on his leg and even do a little light running in the locker-room.

A first-round pick of the Sacramento Kings in the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams quickly became a fan favorite for his electric ball handling skills and no-look passes. He helped spearhead the Kings’ exciting offensive run in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and also spent time with the Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, where he won his only title in 2006.

Mavericks ‘strongly’ considering two-year deal for Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki caveman

The Dallas Mavericks will decline Dirk Nowitzki’s $25 million team option for the 2017-2018 season, but fans should not fret.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports the Mavericks believe Nowitzki still has a few good years left in him and are now considering a new two-year deal.

Nowitzki entered last season having signed a two-year deal worth $50 million, but the second year was the aforementioned team option. Accordingly, this latest report suggests the Mavericks not only believe Nowitzki can play beyond next season, but could help them create some additional salary cap space.

During his wrap-up interview in April, Nowitzki implied he felt healthy enough to play several more seasons.

“If I feel like this [next year] like I did at the end [of this year], I think I could play another one after that,” Nowitzki told reporters. “I’ll just leave all that open. … But I’m definitely playing next year.”

Although Nowitzki’s numbers were down, he remained effective in 26.4 minutes per game, averaging 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Next season will be Nowitzki’s 20th in the NBA.

Paul George denies that he is already moving out of Indiana home

Paul George

Paul George knows all about social media speculation with the way his name has been thrown around in trade rumors over the past several weeks, but the frenzy hit new heights last week when moving trucks entered the narrative.

On Thursday, a Snapchat user shared a photo of a moving truck that she believed was parked outside George’s home in Indiana.

George responded over the weekend. Although he reportedly informed the Pacers recently that he has no plans of signing an extension with the team, the star swingman claims the moving trucks had nothing to do with him.

It’s no secret that George wants out of Indiana, so it doesn’t really matter if he’s leaving his Indiana home or not. The Pacers have made it clear that they intend to trade him at some point, and at least one team reportedly believes George can be convinced to sign an extension with them.

Even if George was moving out of his home, it’s not like Pacers fans would be learning something they didn’t already know.

Christian Pulisic does his best Odell Beckham impression (Video)

Odell Beckham catch

New York Giants superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is as gifted an athlete as we’ve seen in decades. Not only does he shine on the football field, but he’s displayed impressive talent on the basketball court and soccer field.

Beckham has even said that soccer would have been his preferred sport of choice if not for football, but fate led him to the NFL.

In a unique parallel, 18-year-old American soccer phenom Christian Pulisic, who plays professionally for Borussia Dortmund, carved out his path in the opposite direction. And while he continues to dominate on the pitch, he’s recently showed off some of his football skills.

The U.S. soccer team shared an incredible video of Pulisic on Sunday morning that shows the midfielder doing his best — and very impressive — Beckham impression.

Beckham apparently hasn’t caught wind of Pulisic’s catch just yet, but you can bet he will. And when he does, he’ll likely provide him some well-deserved kudos on Twitter.

Ezekiel Elliott cracks great joke about Dirk Nowitzki’s running style

Dirk Nowitzki held his annual charity baseball game on Saturday, and Ezekiel Elliott was one of a number of Dallas Cowboys players who took part. The star running back also may have provided the best joke of the night.

As you might expect from a man who is 7-feet tall, Nowitzki is not the most gifted runner. Elliott pointed that out to the Dallas Mavericks star, noting that Dirk’s running style is similar to that of a baby giraffe.

Elliott kind of has a point. Check it out:

Believe it or not, Dirk claims he was running his hardest on that particular play.

Don’t feel too bad for Dirk. While it was bold of a young player like Elliott to zing him, Nowitzki is a notorious troll — just ask Harrison Barnes. What goes around comes around, as they say.

Louis Riddick denies report he is interviewing for Chiefs GM job

If the Kansas City Chiefs intend to interview Louis Riddick for their vacant general manager position, the ESPN analyst says he has not heard anything about it.

On Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that the Chiefs have contacted Riddick about setting up a meeting for next week. Riddick claims the report is completely false.

The Chiefs announced last week that they are parting ways with former GM John Dorsey, who had been considered one of the best personnel men in football over the past four years. The timing of the decision was very unusual, and one report about Dorsey’s reaction made it seem like it was unexpected.

Riddick, a former NFL safety, has worked as an analyst for ESPN since 2013. After he retired from playing, he worked as a scout and director of pro personnel for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. There was some talk about Riddick potentially joining the San Francisco 49ers’ front office earlier in the year, but nothing ever came of that.

Paxton Lynch gaining on Trevor Siemian in Broncos quarterback race

Paxton Lynch

Just two short weeks ago, Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch, who was the team’s first-round pick in 2016, was considered a “work in progress” and an unlikely threat to Trevor Siemian for the starting job.

Over the final two weeks of Denver’s offseason workout program however, Lynch made substantial progress and may now be a legitimate option to start at quarterback in 2017.

Mike Klis of 9News reports that Lynch began looking like a player capable of leading the team and not necessarily a developmental option for down the road.

His switch was flipped. He started to get it. He started to play as if he was doing just that – playing. Playing and not thinking about his protections and hot reads and coverages and delivering the ball on time.

“Yeah, I mean the more reps I’m getting with these guys, the more I get to go against the defense and see the looks live compared to just on paper, it’s helping me a lot,” Lynch said in an offseason exit interview of sorts with 9News. “I think each practice I’ve progressively got better.”

Lynch will still be considered the outsider when the Broncos report to training camp on July 27, but he’s clearly put himself in a much better position to compete for the starting job.

If nothing else, Lynch’s sudden progress will help push Siemian and any other quarterbacks on the roster. And competition always yields positive results.

Marcus Camby being sued over death of his nephew

Former NBA star Marcus Camby, who played for six teams including the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets, is being sued over the November 2016 death of his nephew.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Marcus Carter McGhee has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Galveston Division against Camby after his nine-year-old son died in Camby’s care while visiting from Connecticut.

While visiting Camby over Thanksgiving break, the boy, whom McGhee said was autistic and required continuous adult supervision, was playing with other children in Camby’s yard when he went missing. After a two-day search, he was found deceased in a pond on Camby’s property.

According to the suit, the former Houston Rocket was aware of his nephew’s significant limitations and he failed to supervise the 9-year-old while he was at his house. McGhee also stated that Camby put no protective measures in place to keep his nephew from the pond.

In the suit, McGhee alleges that had Camby exercised the most basic of precautions, this tragic death could have been avoided.

Shortly after the death of his nephew, Camby released the following statement:

“While the outcome was tragic, the outpouring of support has truly touched us all. If God forbid, something like this happens to another family in our community, my family will be front and center with assistance,” Camby said.

Camby last played in the NBA in 2012 with both the Knicks and Rockets.

Report: Chiefs will interview Louis Riddick for GM job

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to fill a vacant general manager job with roughly one month to go until training camp, and Louis Riddick is reportedly on the list of potential candidates.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Chiefs have reached out to Riddick to set up an interview.

Riddick, a former NFL safety, has worked as an analyst for ESPN since 2013. After he retired from playing, he worked as a scout and director of pro personnel for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. There was some talk about Riddick potentially joining the San Francisco 49ers’ front office earlier in the year, but nothing ever came of that.

The Chiefs announced last week that they are parting ways with former GM John Dorsey, who had been considered one of the best personnel men in football over the past four years. The timing of the decision was very unusual, and one report about Dorsey’s reaction made it seem like it was unexpected.

Chael Sonnen calls out Fedor Emelianenko, fans after beating Wanderlei Silva

Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen defeated Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision at Bellator NYC inside Madison Square Garden Saturday night, and the 40-year-old immediately got to working on setting up his next fight after the victory.

Sonnen hit Silva with a number of punches and was able to take him down in all three rounds, earning a 30-27 score in his favor from two judges and 30-26 from the other. When the bout was over, Sonnen trolled the fans in New York City and called out Tito Ortiz and Fedor Emelianenko, who was knocked out by Matt Mitrione earlier in the night.

Sonnen, who is 2-4 in his past six fights, retired from the UFC after a two-year doping suspension in 2014 and returned to sign a contract with Bellator last year. He has bad blood with a number of other fighters, which was evident when Ortiz was jawing at him from outside the cage before Saturday’s fight.

Ortiz actually defeated Sonnen by submission back in January, but there has been some question about whether Ortiz tapped out in the first round and the referee missed it. Sonnen obviously feels that was the case.

While speaking with reporters after his win over Silva, Sonnen was not quite as critical of Emelianenko.

“I respect Fedor, and I think he and I’s paths are going to cross sooner rather than later,” Sonnen said, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com.

Sonnen has always been one of the most outspoken fighters in MMA, and Ortiz’s ex-girlfriend could tell you all about that. Win, lose, or draw, he’s always going to talk like he’s the greatest fighter of all time.

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