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Saturday, January 20, 2018


Kemba Walker says he would be ‘devastated’ if Hornets traded him

The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly put Kemba Walker on the trade market, but the star point guard would much rather stay put.

Walker said Friday that he would be “devastated” if the Hornets dealt him, admitting that he would prefer to stay put and turn the franchise around.

“I would definitely be devastated if I was to get traded,” Walker said, via Dan Feldman of ProBasketballTalk. “I do want to be here.”

Walker admitted that dealing with trade rumors for the first time in his career hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve never really been in trade rumors like that, like I’ve been hearing lately about myself,” Walker said. “But I mean, I don’t know. I don’t even know. I don’t know.

“This is very new, and I really just don’t know.”

Walker has, in the past, been frustrated with Charlotte’s lack of success, but he clearly wants to be a part of the turnaround. That may no longer be possible. He’s a 27-year-old signed on a very team-friendly deal through 2019, which could fetch the 18-25 Hornets a big haul in a possible trade.

Report: Robby Anderson threatened to sexually assault police officer’s wife

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is facing a number of charges after he was arrested in Florida early Friday morning, and the most disturbing part of the incident may have been the vulgar things he allegedly said to a police officer.

According to a police report obtained by Andy Slater of 940-AM WINZ, Anderson was pulled over for multiple traffic violations. Police said he sped past a marked cruised going 105 mph, ran two red lights and did not stop when an officer pulled up behind him. When he finally came to a stop, Anderson allegedly told the arresting officer he is going to find his wife, “f— her” and ejaculate in her eye.

The police report also states that the 24-year-old Anderson bragged about how rich he is and accused the officer of just trying to “ruin his fun.”

Anderson had a breakout season with the Jets in 2017, catching 63 passes for 941 yards and and seven touchdowns. While he appeared to be a rising star in New York, it will be interesting to see how the team handles his latest run-in with the law. Anderson was also arrested last year for allegedly getting into a physical altercation with a police officer at a music festival.

Tom Brady plays coy on hand injury, says ‘we’ll see’ about Sunday

Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t going to give much information about his mysterious hand injury.

Brady showed up to his Friday press conference with gloves on both hands and said he would not discuss the injury, saying only that “we’ll see” when asked about playing Sunday.

The Patriots are famously coy about injury reports, and it seems like there is almost zero chance that Brady misses the AFC Championship. The hand injury is reportedly “significant,” but this is a big game and Brady will find a way to gut it out. Brady wearing gloves on both hands is certainly suspicious, but there could certainly be some mind games involved here. Brady may just want everyone unsure of what he’ll be capable of on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Robby Anderson reportedly arrested on nine charges

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson has found himself in trouble with the law once again, and it sounds like he is going to need a good attorney to get out of it.

Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News reports that Anderson was arrested on nine charges early Friday morning in South Florida. ESPN’s Rich Cimini provided more information about the specific charges.

The Jets said they are aware of the situation and will not comment at this time.

Details surrounding Anderson’s latest arrest are unclear, but we know that the 24-year-old was also arrested at a music festival last May after he allegedly got into a physical altercation with an officer.

Anderson, an undrafted free agent out of Temple, had a breakout season with the Jets in 2017, hauling in 63 catches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns.

Bart Scott: Tom Brady’s hand injury could be QB’s latest ‘built-in excuse’

Tom Brady

Tom Brady took the practice field on Friday wearing a red glove on his throwing hand once again, and New England Patriots fans are starting to worry that something could be seriously wrong with their star quarterback. As far as Bart Scott is concerned, the hand issue may be nothing more than another “phantom injury” for the four-time Super Bowl MVP.

In an interview with “The DA Show” on CBS Sports Radio this week, Scott wondered out loud if Brady is milking his injury in advance of the AFC Championship Game.

“Brady always seems to have an injury around a big game,” Scott said. “I think that’s like a built-in excuse. It looked like he has maybe the splint on the thumb. So I don’t know if he maybe was throwing a pass and hit his thumb. But if it is his thumb, that is a cause for concern.”

Scott acknowledged numerous times that Brady could have a real problem if the injury is to his thumb, but the former Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets linebacker clearly has his doubts about the severity.

“I mean, before it was the Achilles and it’s this and that,” Scott added. “Every year during the big game, it always seems to be an injury or a phantom injury or his shoulder was messed up and we just left it off the scouting report and things like that. I don’t know. But I know if it is the thumb and he has to wear a glove, that’s going to be an indication that it was a legitimate injury.”

We all know how much the Patriots like playing mind games with their opponents, but Brady did not throw a single pass in practice on Thursday. If he didn’t have an actual injury, there’s no way he would sacrifice preparation time just to play it up.

Like anyone else, Brady has dealt with nagging injuries in the past. It makes sense that they pop up later in the season, as most players deal with bumps and bruises late in the year. If you remember, Brady acknowledged that he was battling an ankle injury before the New York Giants ruined New England’s perfect season nearly a decade ago.

The Patriots are intentionally keeping Brady’s status close to the vest, but the reports we have heard make it seem like the hand injury could be an issue.

Stormy Daniels: Ben Roethlisberger walked me home after affair with Donald Trump

Ben Roethlisberger

By now you have probably heard the juicy story swirling around about Donald Trump having an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. What you may not have heard, however, is that Ben Roethlisberger was supposedly hanging out with The Donald right around the time it allegedly went down.

Daniels says the sexual encounter took place in 2006. She spoke about it in an interview with In Touch in 2011, but Trump reportedly paid her $130,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement. On Friday, the full interview — which has supposedly be corroborated by a lie-detector test — was released. In it, Daniels recalls meeting Trump at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe back in 2006. One thing led to another and the two ended up in a hotel room together, and you can read her entire account if you so choose.

But back to Roethlisberger. The night after Daniels claims she slept with Trump, she said the president called her and invited her to a party. Roethlisberger was supposedly among the people Trump was hanging out with, and Daniels said Big Ben ended up walking her back to her hotel room when Trump had to leave.

“I ended up leaving and the next night I saw him again at a party. It was in the downstairs of the hotel I was in and he was hanging out with Ben Roethlisberger,” she told In Touch. “When I got there, he was already with him. He had Keith, his bodyguard, call me and ask me if I was coming. When I got there, I called Keith and he told me where he was sitting and he brought me over. And he was hanging out with Ben for a long time. A couple other people around, nobody famous. Mostly people trying to hang on to them. Ben had just won the Super Bowl that year. Donald excused himself. He had to leave, I don’t remember why, and he made Ben promise to take care of me. I stayed another 15-20 minutes and Ben Roethlisberger actually walked me up to my room that night because Donald told him to. Yeah, he walked me all the way to my hotel room.”

The Steelers did, in fact, win the Super Bowl in 2006. Trump also bragged about being friends with Roethlisberger while he was campaigning last year, so you can decide if you want to believe Daniels’ fun little anecdote.

Of course, all of this (allegedly) happened more than a decade ago. Roethlisberger is no stranger to having to answer uncomfortable questions about his past, so he probably won’t be surprised to hear he his name has been thrown into the Daniels-Trump drama.

Tim Tebow invited to major league spring training with Mets

Tim Tebow Mets

Tim Tebow may never end up playing in the major leagues during his professional baseball career, but he is one step closer to being able to showcase his skills to the people in charge of deciding his future.

On Friday, the New York Mets announced that Tebow is one of nine players not on their MLB roster who have been invited to major league spring training.

Tebow did not get the invite a year ago, so this is a step in the right direction. He has bounced around in Class-A with the Mets, hitting .226 with eight homers and 52 RBI in 126 games in his first full minor league season.

We have already seen some remarkable examples of how good Tebow is for business with the Mets, so it’s no surprise the team wants him in training camp. There are sure to be some players in the Mets’ minor league organization who feel they deserve an invite to training camp more than Tebow.

Reporter: Tom Brady hand injury is ‘significant,’ won’t keep QB from playing

Tom Brady

While it would be a major shock if Tom Brady did not play in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots may be concerned about the quarterback being limited because of his hand injury.

Brady, who reportedly injured his hand in practice on Wednesday when he collided with a teammate, did not participate in practice on Thursday. The extent of his injury is unknown, but ESPN reporter Mike Reiss told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Adam Kaufman on Friday that the hand issue is more than just Patriot mind games.

“They’re confident that he can play through it and be effective,” Reiss said. “When I look at it, this is obviously their most important game of the season, and on Thursday, they just went through their most important practice — their only one that they’d have in full pads — and their most important player wasn’t there. This is significant, and not just something to dismiss.”

As Reiss notes, one positive sign for Brady’s availability on Sunday is the fact that the Patriots have chosen not to add a third quarterback to the roster this week behind Brady and Brian Hoyer.

“If this was a major emergency in the sense of Brady’s availability was in question, it certainly makes sense to think they would have tried to rush another quarterback in here,” he said. “So when you frame the context of it, you say, Brady’s going to play, the question is more, how effective will he be?

“Tom Brady is as tough as they come, and this’ll be one on the list of many things that he’s fought through to play through.”

Having your quarterback at less than full strength against Jacksonville’s imposing secondary is not ideal. And if Brady makes a certain wardrobe change for the game, that probably won’t be a good sign. All that said, if any quarterback can prepare himself without taking reps in practice, it’s a four-time Super Bowl MVP. No QB and coach combo has been better at making adjustments than Brady and Bill Belichick, and they may have to do just that heading into their biggest game of the season.

Le’Veon Bell reportedly skipped almost entire walk-through before Jaguars game

Le'Veon Bell

If Le’Veon Bell wants the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign him to a record-setting contract, he may have to prove he will show more commitment going forward than he did before their final game of the 2017 season.

In a season wrap-up column that he published on Friday, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about some of the questions Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has faced about his players being disciplined. While Bouchette said Tomlin had his locker room under control and players respected him, he noted that there were instances where players and “a coach or two” ignored Tomlin’s requirement to report to the locker room two hours before kickoff for games. Bell was reportedly one of those players before last weekend’s playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

According to Bouchette, Bell arrived in the locker room “much later” than Tomlin wanted him to last Sunday. The star running back also missed almost all of the team’s Saturday walk-through, showing up with just five minutes remaining.

The Steelers ended their season on a sour note with their 45-42 loss to Jacksonville, but Bell’s finish may concern the team more than anything. While he put up great stats with 155 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, there were indications that focus was an issue for Bell. In addition to reportedly ignoring Tomlin’s rules and showing up late to the walk-through, Bell also sent a tweet that looked really bad after the Steelers were eliminated.

Bell has threatened to sit out the entire 2018 season or retire if the Steelers use the franchise tag on him again. Pittsburgh’s brass could call his bluff, but the tag would cost a whopping $14.57 million. For what it’s worth, Bouchette believes there is a chance Bell won’t be with the Steelers next season.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Report: Alabama promoting Michael Locksley to offensive coordinator

Nick Saban

Rumors had been swirling that Nick Saban could explore the possibility of hiring former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze as his next offensive coordinator, but that is apparently not going to happen.

ESPN’s Chris Low reports that Alabama has decided to promote offensive assistant Michael Locksley to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Locksley served as the head coach at New Mexico from 2009-2011 and the interim head coach at Maryland in 2015. He had an overall head coaching record of 3-31, but Saban must trust his play-calling ability.

After Brian Daboll left to take a job with the Buffalo Bills, a report claimed Freeze was interviewing with Saban for Alabama’s OC job. It’s unclear if Freeze was Saban’s top choice, as there were rumblings that the SEC might block him from hiring Freeze because of the circumstances under which Freeze left Ole Miss.

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