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Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Shaquille O’Neal shares fate of all the rims he’s broken

Shaq TNT

Shaquille O’Neal was no stranger to breaking rims throughout his career. In fact, he allegedly broke 19 total, including famously ripping down the entire backboard as a rookie with the Orlando Magic in 1992-1993.

So, what has Shaq done with all of those rims? Well, whereas some athletes collect jerseys and autographs, O’Neal decided to hang onto all 19 broken rims, ultimately turning them into the most bizarre and amazing piece of basketball art you’ve ever seen.

On Saturday morning, Shaq took to Instagram and shared a picture of his “rim tree” — a sculpture using the aforementioned broken rims to mimic branches on a tree.

These are all the backboards I have broken this is the “BROKEN RIM TREE”

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Shaq didn’t share a story for each of the 19 rims, but it’s likely some of those were acquired during practices or unofficial games. Either way, it’s quite an impressive collection and one of the most unique and interesting displays you’ll ever see.

Kam Chancellor will miss remainder of 2017 season with neck injury

Kam Chancellor Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks lost cornerback Richard Sherman to a torn Achilles last week, and now face the reality of being without safety Kam Chancellor for the duration of the 2017 regular season as well.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Saturday that Chancellor will be placed on season-ending injured reserve (IR) as the result of a neck injury suffered against the Arizona Cardinals.

Although Chancellor will not return this season, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he intends to return in 2018.

“Kam is still looking to play [next season]. Neck injuries are serious. … He will continue to be evaluated in hopes of getting him ready next year.”

Chancellor, a four-time Pro Bowler with 12 career interceptions, will likely be replaced by rookie third-round pick Delano Hill.

Simone Biles criticism leads to apology from Gabby Douglas

On Friday, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman used social media to call for an end to victim shaming in sexual abuse cases and attacks on women for the attire they choose to wear.

In response, fellow American gymnast Gabby Douglas, who won gold alongside Raisman at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Games, shared a controversial retort, implying women are, in part, responsible for sending the wrong message based on what they wear.

Simone Biles, another American gymnast who performed alongside Raisman and Douglas, took extreme offense of Douglas’ sentiment and offered a harsh criticism of her own via Twitter.

After facing the heat, Douglas deleted her original tweet and subsequently offered an apology to Raisman and all victims of sexual abuse.

Douglas has been repeatedly criticized for her attitude over the years, which is likely why Biles said this latest round of comments didn’t surprise her. However, Douglas made the right choice in walking back her initial comments and offering an apology. Now she should take it a step further and contact Raisman with an apology directly.

Michael Vick makes final payment, clears $17.6 million in debt

Michael Vick

Retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick is a free man. Again.

On Thursday, Vick made a final $1.5 million payment to creditors, meaning he paid back $17.4 million of his $17.6 million debt, clearing what he owed after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008.

“Paying 99 cents on the dollar, which he did, is remarkable,” senior vice president of Development Specialists Inc. Joseph Luzinski told ESPN. “It happens in, maybe, one out of 100 cases.”

After serving 548 days in jail for his part in an illegal dog-fighting ring, Vick faced down the additional consequences and vowed not to “stiff” anyone on the debt.

“I didn’t want to stiff people who never stiffed me,” Vick told ESPN at the time.

From 2010-2014, Vick went on a restrictive budget in order to pay back his creditors. Over that span and into 2015, Vick earned more than $50 million during stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring. He now works for Fox Sports as an NFL studio analyst.

The Atlanta Falcons ultimately lost out on $6.5 million for salary owed from 2009. Rather than gambling that Vick would pay it back, they sold the debt to Fortress Capital for an undisclosed amount of money.

Lonzo Ball explains why he skipped Lakers-Suns fight

Lonzo Ball Lakers

During the fourth quarter of a Friday night game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, a shoving match between Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tyler Ulis broke out, causing a temporary delay.

As teammates from each side rushed to support their respective teammate, Lonzo Ball casually turned his back and walked toward the bench, drawing ire and ridicule on social media.

After the game, a 122-113 Suns victory, Ball defended his decision, dismissed the fight and claimed he was simply trying to avoid a technical foul.

Unfortunately for Ball, it was a lose-lose situation. If he had gotten involved, he would have risked picking up a technical foul and possibly facing additional discipline, not to mention drawing criticism from fans and analysts. By not getting involved, he avoided the former but not the latter.

Welcome to life in the NBA as a rookie who is both struggling and has a bullseye on his back.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares early-career regrets

50 Cent Dale Earnhardt Jr

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will end his long and storied career with a final full-time race at the Ford EcoBoost 400 this Sunday. And with that career-ending reality setting in, Earnhardt Jr. has begun to reflect on his 19-year career.

In looking back, Earnhardt Jr. acknowledges there are at least a few regrets. Chief among them was his indifferent attitude early on his his career.

“If I’d taken it more serious in the Bud days, we might have had more success,” Earnhardt Jr. told ESPN.

Earnhardt Jr. says he changed his ways after joining Hendrick Motorsports and observing the tireless work ethic of both Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. That’s also where he learned the importance of relationships, which led to another regret.

“I regret [not wanting to work with my uncle],” Earnhardt Jr. told the Sporting News of Tony Eury Sr. “That’s probably my biggest [regret] in motorsports as a driver, was that decision because it did nothing and it made our relationship a challenge to repair. Like I say, we’d won a lot of races together and he had been a big reason why I even got in the XFINITY car to begin with. He was my biggest supporter and we had won so many races together.

“I don’t know what … I got confused there a while thinking that I knew better than anyone else what was best for me.”

One decision Earnhardt Jr. says he has no regrets or second-thoughts over is retiring. He’s ready to ride off into the sunset and not look back.

LaVar Ball downplays President Trump’s role in helping son

LaVar Ball

Despite the potentially serious nature of the crime, LaVar Ball downplayed the arrest of his son, LiAngelo Ball, and two other UCLA players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, after they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting in China — a crime that could have carried a rather extensive prison sentence.

On Friday, Ball continued his dismissive nature, implying that President Donald Trump had little to do with the three returning home to the United States after their charges were ultimately dropped.

“Who?” Ball told ESPN. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

While on a diplomatic trip to Asia, Trump claims to have raised their case with President Xi Jinping of China, ultimately leading to their expedited release and return to the U.S. on Tuesday.

Upon their return home, the three UCLA players did, in fact, thank President Trump for his involvement.

“I would like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they’ve provided as well,” LiAngelo Ball said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Riley and Hill offered similar thanks, but no appreciation had been extended to Xi, which prompted another Trump tweet.

Given what we know of both Trump and LaVar Ball, it’s unlikely this public exchange has reached its conclusion.

White Sox open to trading sluggers Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia

White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have traded away Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, and Melky Cabrera all within the last year, and the fire sale may not be complete just yet.

White Sox GM Rick Hahn said this week that the team has received trade inquiries on sluggers Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia and is willing to listen.

“We have to listen,” said Hahn, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. “We have to explore. We’re still in the same spot that we were a year ago, in that we’re focused on the long term.

“At some point, not necessarily this offseason, we have to make the decision,” he continued. “Are we best served by extending them through what we project to be the bulk of our window, or are we better off making a move like some of the others we’ve made and trying to reinforce the future with prospects?”

It’s obvious that the White Sox are planning for the future rather than the present by trying to stockpile as many top young prospects as possible. But whether or not they believe that the 30-year-old Abreu and the 26-year-old Garcia can still play a role in that future remains to be seen.

Both players are under team control for the next two seasons, which would make them more than one-year rentals. Abrue has slugged at least 30 homers in three of his four MLB seasons. Garcia broke out last season with the best year of his career, as he batted .330 with an .885 OPS.

Marvin Lewis sent Ochocinco funny text message after skateboarding mishap

Chad Johnson Ochocinco

Chad Johnson (formerly Ochocinco) got a funny text message from his former coach after a skateboarding mishap.

Ochocinco tweeted on Friday that he had just fallen off his skateboard while attempting a trick. Video later surfaced of his wipeout:

Ochocinco did note one silver lining to the mishap:

The best part came when he received a text from his former coach with the Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis. Here’s what Ocho says his former coach told him:

We agree, Marvin. We totally agree. But Chad doesn’t exactly have a history of mature and wise behavior, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

John Elway says Broncos ‘got a little soft’ after bye week

John Elway

John Elway gave a brutal assessment of what has gone wrong for the Broncos this season prior to their Week 11 game against the Bengals.

After a 3-1 start to the season, Denver has lost five consecutive games. During that span, they have been outscored 165-68 and are now in last place in the AFC West.

Some will point to the struggles of Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler during the team’s recent stretch. For Elway, he thinks the team “got soft” after the bye week.

A season that started out promising has rapidly turned south. Now, only the Chargers and Browns have a worse winning percentage in the AFC than the Broncos.

Head coach Vance Joseph is in his first season as an NFL head coach after being the defensive coordinator for the Dolphins last year. As expected, he is receiving his share of criticism, and Elway’s comments on Friday can’t be seen as a positive.

The Broncos face a Bengals team on Sunday that comes in losers of two in a row. If the Broncos can make it three in a row, that would certainly help ease the tension around Denver.

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