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Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Bulls players reportedly have been told Tom Thibodeau will not be back

Tom Thibodeau

One of the worst kept secrets in the NBA is that the Chicago Bulls want to move on from Tom Thibodeau as head coach.

It has long been reported that Bulls management was not happy with Thibs and that they have been anxious to fire the head coach.

But just in case you weren’t convinced that Thibs was going to be let go by Chicago despite having two years left on his contract, Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reports that some players and people around the Bulls have been told that the head coach will not be back with the team.

If everyone knows that the Bulls are getting rid of Thibodeau, then why haven’t they done so yet? The word is that they want draft pick compensation in return for the coach. The problem is they don’t have much leverage here as they’re the ones who want Thibs gone. Another report said the Bulls are intentionally waiting because they want to screw over the coach and fire him when all the other vacancies have already been filled. If they are doing that, it would be a really unprofessional move.

Noah Syndergaard sends funny tweet after hitting first career HR (Video)

Noah Syndergaard Mets

Noah Syndergaard smacked his first career home run during Wednesday’s 7-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, and he sent a funny tweet as a result.

Though Syndergaard went 3-for-3 at the plate including the homer, first baseman Lucas Duda was even more impressive and went 3-for-4 with two home runs. That led to this great tweet from Syndergaard:

Syndergaard also pitched 7.1 scoreless innings for the win, so we suppose he has a pretty good argument for being the star of the game. He is now 4-for-9 on the season, which is pretty respectable for a pitcher. And check out the big blast he hit — it was way out:

Jared Dudley: Carmelo Anthony is most overrated player in NBA

Carmelo Anthony

Jared Dudley said what many people probably already feel about Carmelo Anthony: he is one of the most overrated players in the NBA.

Dudley, a forward with the Bucks, was doing interviews with ESPN on Wednesday and talked shop with Colin Cowherd. Cowherd set him up by asking who the most overrated player in the league is, and Dudley said ‘Melo.

“I would say Carmelo [Anthony] … Carmelo is viewed as a top-five player … He has the talent to be able to facilitate … He’s gotta get out of the first, second rounds — he’s gotta get his teams to the playoffs. LeBron, with that [Knicks] roster, LeBron would’ve gotten them to the playoffs. They would’ve been at least an eight-seed,” Dudley said as transcribed by SB Nation.

Dudley also offered thoughts on Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, James Harden, and Zach Randolph. He called Randolph the most underrated player in the game, said Love would be crazy to leave LeBron, raved about Harden, and said players do not want to play with Kobe. What Dudley said about Kobe is no surprise given the evidence we’ve shown in the past.

Dudley’s criticism of ‘Melo is valid. The guy was supposed to be a cornerstone for the Knicks and really hasn’t delivered. I still think he’s an awesome player and elite scorer, but he’s not in the same class as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and some of the other top five players in the league. He is getting up there in age, injured, and his team is too used to losing. He’s running out of time to change his legacy.

(thanks to USA Today for bringing this to our attention)

IRS official Richard Weber zings FIFA with play on words (Video)

The scandal that rocked the soccer world early Wednesday morning was serious enough that several FIFA officials were arrested at their hotel in Switzerland, but that wasn’t going to stop one IRS official from delivering a clever one-liner.

While discussing the corruption charges — which include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering — against the FIFA officials on Wednesday, IRS official Richard Weber described the scandal as the “World Cup of fraud” and said FIFA is being issued a “red card.”

Richard-Weber-IRS

We haven’t seen a joke that inappropriate since Adrian Peterson’s agent made this Bill Belichick reference outside a courtroom after Peterson pleaded not guilty to felony child abuse.

Then again, unveiling new material in front of an audience that big takes some serious brass. In a way, you have to respect it.

H/T The Big Lead

Texans chosen for ‘Hard Knocks’

JJ Watt blood face

The Houston Texans have been chosen as the team that will be featured on the latest installment of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” according to a report.

Tania Ganguli of ESPN reported on Wednesday morning that the Texans — labeled the favorites for the show a week ago — will be letting HBO’s cameras into their training camp this summer. There should be no shortage of entertainment.

J.J. Watt is one of the most ferocious players in the NFL, and he does some incredible things off the field as well. Arian Foster has a long history of toying with the media, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to production crews joining the team during training camp.

In addition to being able to follow plenty of colorful personalities, it will also be intriguing to monitor Jadeveon Clowney’s recovery from knee surgery and the quarterback competition between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. We don’t expect the Texans to disappoint.

LeBron James’ manager Maverick Carter is mentoring Johnny Manziel

LeBron James Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel is in the process of repairing his public image, and the Cleveland Browns quarterback has been calling on LeBron James’ most trusted confidant to help him achieve that goal.

Manziel has been spending a lot of time with Maverick Carter, LeBron’s longtime business partner and right-hand man, since he was released from rehab last month. Browns safety Donte Whitner spoke about the relationship between Manziel and Carter on Tuesday.

“He’s taken a big responsibility in making sure that Johnny’s doing all the right things,” Whitner told Mary Kay Cabot of Northeast Ohio Media Group. “(Manziel) has a mentor, somebody to talk to, certain things that he really didn’t have the ability (to do) or somebody to talk to before. It looks like it’s working out so far.”

Carter and James are co-founders of the LRMR marketing firm. Manziel signed with LRMR as soon as he decided he was leaving Texas A&M for the NFL, but he seems to be spending a lot more time with Carter as of late. The two have been spotted sitting courtside together at Cleveland Cavaliers games during the playoffs. Manziel has also spent time with LeBron.

“(Manziel) understands that you can’t be in Vegas or Miami or any of these other places, you have to be here,” Whitner added. “If you have to come in a day or two extra for an hour or two per day, that’s what quarterbacks do. And no matter if you like it, you have to be here.”

LeBron is arguably the biggest sports superstar in the world, and Carter has helped him maintain a clean image off the court. Manziel tried to use LeBron’s image strategy before his rookie season, but he kept making headlines for the wrong reasons and played poorly when called upon to start for the Browns.

Manziel took second-team reps behind veteran quarterback Josh McCown at the first day of organized team activities on Tuesday. If he can remain on a clean path with the help of Carter and not put himself in any compromising positions like this, there’s no reason we should write off Manziel just yet. He’s only 22.

Report: Ray McDonald broke door down, tried to take baby from ex-fiancee

Ray McDonald 49ers

Details have started to emerge from the latest domestic violence arrest for NFL defensive end Ray McDonald, and they paint a disturbing picture of what happened before the 30-year-old was taken into custody early Monday morning.

In a phone call to 911, the mother of McDonald’s ex-fiancee told emergency dispatchers that her daughter had barricaded herself in a bedroom with her infant child after McDonald began acting violently. The woman claimed that McDonald “broke down” the door to the bedroom and tried to take the baby from his ex before eventually leaving by himself.

“She said she received a call from her daughter … advising that her boyfriend Ray McDonald was being violent,” the dispatcher said, via Robert Salonga of the San Jose Mercury News. “She tried to lock herself in her bedroom but he broke the door down … Ex is trying to leave now with her infant.”

After arriving at the scene, police determined that McDonald had physically assaulted his ex-fiancee while she was holding the baby. McDonald’s attorney admits there was an argument but insists it never became physical. McDonald is currently free on $15,000 bail.

The woman McDonald allegedly assaulted on Monday is the same woman who accused him of domestic violence last August, when she was pregnant and still engaged to the former San Francisco 49ers lineman. No charges were filed and McDonald was later cleared by the NFL in that incident. He signed with the Chicago Bears this offseason but was released after Monday’s incident.

McDonald was also investigated for an alleged sexual assault back in December. No charges were filed in that incident, and McDonald filed a defamation suit against the accuser. She responded with a counter-suit and alleged that McDonald and former 49ers teammate Ahmad Brooks made sexual contact with her when she was semi-conscious after falling by a pool.

Don’t be surprised if McDonald has played his last snap in the NFL.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Hawks announcer Steve Holman calls Matthew Dellavedova ‘Tonya Harding’

Matthew Dellavedova Al Horford

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova has developed a reputation this postseason for being an agitator. Some have even called him a dirty player, which is a label that Atlanta Hawks broadcaster Steve Holman seems to agree with.

When Dellavedova checked into Game 4 on Tuesday night, Holman referred to him as “Tonya Harding.”

For those of you who don’t get the reference, Harding is a former Olympic figure skater who is infamous for her involvement in hiring someone to injure fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg so Kerrigan would not be able to compete in the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

What does that have to do with Dellavedova? The 24-year-old has gotten three players injured or ejected so far this postseason. The first was Taj Gibson, and it appeared that he was tossed after Dellavedova put him in a leg lock. A similar thing happened in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals when Delly was all over Al Horford and Horford was ejected for retaliating.

Dellavedova also injured Kyle Korver diving after a loose ball in Game 2, and some believe he did it intentionally.

For what it’s worth, all of the aforementioned incidents contributed to the Cavs getting to the NBA Finals. Dellevedova may be developing a lousy reputation around the league, but I’m sure his teammates are just fine with his playing style.

Charles Barkley: Hawks are a bunch of chihuahuas (Video)

The Cleveland Cavaliers took a 59-42 lead into halftime of their blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, and Charles Barkley was not impressed with Mike Budenholzer’s squad. We know that because he compared the Hawks to a certain breed of dog that isn’t exactly known for it’s ferocity.

During the TNT halftime show, Barkley urged the Cavs to not let up on the “chihuahuas” they were facing.

“These some chihuahuas out here from Atlanta,” Barkley said. “There’s a pit bull out there in Golden State, so you can’t take no chances.”

Charles-Barkley

The Cavs took no chances, and they kept their foot on the gas en route to a 118-88 victory and an Eastern Conference Finals sweep. Between Barkley’s commentary at halftime and what J.R. Smith’s mom said after the game, we were treated to some fantastic quotes on Tuesday evening.

H/T GIFD Sports

JR Smith’s mom quotes Drake after sweep of Hawks

JR Smith

J.R. Smith was a major contributor in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference Finals sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, and his mother could not be more proud.

After the Cavs won Game 4 in convincing fashion, Smith’s mother, Ida Smith, used a line from a Drake song while reflecting on what has been a tumultuous season and career for her son.

“My mom was on the court when the confetti fell down, and she said, ‘Talk about started from the bottom now we here,'” Smith said, per SLAM Magazine.

Ida could have been referring to a number of things. Most recently, Smith was suspended for the first two games of Cleveland’s series against the Chicago Bulls after he hit a Boston Celtics player in the face on this brutal play. He vowed to be a better player and person after the suspension.

Smith has had plenty of problems with previous coaches and has been known to spend more time partying than he does practicing. However, LeBron James urged the Cavs to acquire Smith earlier this season and assured them that he would keep the sharp-shooter in line. After Smith averaged 18 points per game against Atlanta, Cleveland’s brass has to be pleased.

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