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Thursday, February 26, 2015

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James Harden drops Ricky Rubio with crossover (Video)

Ricky Rubio has missed a considerable portion of this season due to an ankle injury he suffered in early November. Thankfully, he didn’t sustain another one on this play.

james-harden-crossover-ricky-rubioJames Harden is one of the best offensive players in the NBA on the planet and he showed why against Rubio. Harden utilized a series of crossovers, one of which dropped Rubio to the floor, to help create the space he needed to get off a three-pointer. Since it’s mandatory to make the ensuing shot after a move like that, Harden calmly did so.

There aren’t many players who can make that sequence look that effortless. James Harden is definitely in that group.

Harden also notched his second triple-double of the season with 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Rockets defeated the Timberwolves 113-102.

Here’s the “Boyz n the Hood” remix via our friend @cjzero:

Tim Federowicz went to taco stand in Mexico to research trade to Padres

tim-federowicz

The San Diego Padres overhauled their roster this offseason through a series of trades and signings. Among the transactions saw the arrival of Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. Included in that deal was catcher Tim Federowicz.

How Federowicz found out he was traded is quite the story.

The 27-year-old spent part of his offseason playing winter ball in Mexico. It was there where Federowicz started receiving phone calls and text messages regarding a potential trade involving him. Unfortunately, his location did not have WiFi service, so he went in search of a connection.

“The Internet at the hotel wasn’t too good, Federowicz said via the U-T San Diego. There was a restaurant that we always went to, a taco stand next door that had good Internet. We’d always go there to eat after games. So once I heard about it, I went over there to do some research.”

The Padres also acquired all-star catcher Derek Norris from the A’s this winter. Federowicz is among those in spring training competing for the backup job. Whether Federowicz breaks camp with the major league club, of course, remains to be seen. However, if he does go on on to have a successful stint with the Padres Federowicz surely won’t forget how it began.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Zach LaVine was scared about having Kevin Garnett’s old locker

Kevin Garnett tips cap

Among the many players to change locations prior to the NBA’s trade deadline was Kevin Garnett, who returned to team that drafted him, the Timberwolves. The future Hall of Famer waived his no trade clause, but he will now end his career where it began in 1995.

The T-Wolves have a host of young talent like Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Anthony Bennett, and Shabazz Muhammad who Garnett can serve as a mentor to. One of them happens to have the locker Garnett used during his previous stint with the team. LaVine now uses his new teammate’s old space and was more than willing to surrender it. Garnett declined the offer.

“This is his locker and I’m actually kind of scared because I think he is going to say something about me being in his locker,” Zach LaVine said, according to The Pioneer Press.

“I did more than offer; I wanted him to take it,” LaVine said. “I wanted him to sit there. I said, ‘I’ll move!’ But it’s going to be great for me, I know that. Future Hall of Famer, man, everyone wants to get to his level. He was playing in this league before I was born!”

Garnett has gained a reputation around the league in recent years as something of an agitator. Just this season he has blow in David West’s ear and come close to biting Joakim Noah. That said, he’s a guy many young players, like LaVine, grew up watching. He’ll garner respect in the locker room and will be listened to when he speaks. Minnesota obviously felt that was worth giving up Thaddeus Young for.

H/T For The Win

Alex Rodriguez’s I made ‘mistakes’ excuse is not valid

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is one of the most disliked athletes in professional sports and it is widely agreed that his public relations skills are among the worst in sports. It’s almost like the guy can do nothing right at this point.

Yet, despite how easy of a target A-Rod is, there is still an issue I have to point out: Rodriguez seems to be too cavalier about terming his past behavior as “mistakes.”

Rodriguez reported to spring training Monday and spoke with the media, answering questions and saying his piece. The guy is clearly trying a new PR strategy, one where he takes responsibility for what a di-k bag he’s been.

“I served a big penalty personally and professionally,” Rodriguez said via the NY Daily News.

He was asked if he would have done anything differently, Rodriguez expressed remorse.

“We don’t have for that. There were plenty of mistakes. I cringe sometimes,” he said.

It’s nice that Rodriguez is cringing over his past, but the problem is that you cannot chalk up his past as “mistakes.” Maybe if Andy Pettitte said he took HGH to recover from an injury and it was a one-time deal, he can get away with calling it a mistake. Hanging a slider over the plate instead of throwing it low and away is a mistake. Swinging at a pitch out of the zone and striking out instead of letting it go for a ball is a mistake. But repeatedly cheating and lying about it does not add up to mistakes; that is a life choice.

When Rodriguez was first confronted with reports from SI that he tested positive for steroids in 2003, he said that he only used from 2001-2003 because of pressure. That was a lie. That was after he went on “60 Minutes” in 2007 and lied his face off to the American public. Rodriguez was tied to controversial doctor/HGH dealer Anthony Galea in 2010. He repeatedly received HGH injections from Anthony Bosch as part of the Biogenesis scandal, yet he fought his suspension and denied the allegations. He supposedly got substances from former BALCO founder Victor Conte. He even publicly denied using PEDs despite admitting to the DEA in Jan. 2014 that he used banned substances.

The constant search for the edge, the constant use of PEDs, the constant cheating and the constant lying do not add up to “mistakes,” A-Rod. This is why people struggle to forgive you, this is why people do not believe you, and this is why it is not as simple as dismissing your repeated cheating and lying as “mistakes.”

Soccer fans console Timo Baumgartl after costly error (Video)

Soccer fans have a reputation for being some of the most ruthless and unreasonable people in the sports world, and there are many that fit that description. Lumping them all into that category, however, would be unfair to a group of Stuttgart fans in Germany.

On Friday night, Stuttgart lost to Borussia Dortmund at home after 18-year-old defender Timo Baumgartl tried to pass a ball to his own keeper in the 89th minute. The pass was severely under-hit, and an opposing player raced in and turned it into the game-winning goal of the 3-2 match.

Believe it or not, Stuttgart fans did not throw dangerous objects at Baumgartl or curse at him when his error resulted in the last-place team falling to 4-6-12 on the season. Instead, the fans embraced Baumgartl and offered words of encouragement for other players.

Timo-Baumgartl-consoled-fan

Are these the same soccer fans that are responsible for idiotic acts like this? No, no they’re not. And for that, we commend them.

H/T Deadspin

Chris Jones told woman he would ‘smack’ the f— out of her

Chris Jones

Chris Jones allegedly threatened a woman he was seeing via text message by saying that he would “smack” the f— out of her, leading to his suspension from Louisville’s game against Syracuse last week.

Jones, who was kicked off the team over the weekend, was not arrested, but was the subject of a harassment report filed by the woman with police.

According to WDRB, the woman, who was having a relationship with Jones, told police she went to Jones’ apartment on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and waiting for him, but he did not return. WDRB reports that the the woman acknowledged “messing up” Jones’ room as she left. They say that around 2 p.m., Jones “texted the woman that he would ‘smack TF out of’ her.”

The woman supposedly did not want Jones prosecuted but wanted someone to talk to him about his behavior.

In addition to this incident, Jones also reportedly was involved in a fight two weekends ago. He reportedly quit the team earlier in the season and was let back on, but now he has been dismissed for good.

This story in the Louisville Courier-Journal provides extensive details about Jones’ troubling past. Jones was averaging 13.7 points per game this season.

Bettor wins over $48,000 on $1 UFC parlay

Frank-Mir-Antonio-Silva

Hardcore UFC fans who missed the live broadcast of UFC Fight Night 61 in Brazil on Sunday were likely stunned when they looked over the results. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Edson Barboza were defeated on a night that was loaded with upsets, as 10 betting favorites lost their fights. That resulted in a huge payday for one savvy gambler.

The sports gambling website Bovada shared a slip on Monday morning that showed a bettor won $48,291 on a nine-leg, $1 parlay. He bet on nine underdogs.

You want to know what’s even more crazy? The guy didn’t even hedge his bet after he went 8-for-8. He let everything ride on Frank Mir against Silva in the main event. Either the bettor didn’t realize he was one win away from $50K, or he has some serious stones.

That may be the craziest parlay we have ever seen, and we’ve shown you some insane ones in recent months. Good for that guy.

H/T For the Win

Tom Brady reportedly wants to go into movies after football

Tom Brady happy

Tom Brady does not plan to retire from football any time too soon, but when he does hang up the cleats, a career in Hollywood could follow.

According to The Boston Herald, Star Magazine reports that Brady is eyeing a career in the movies after he’s done with football.

“At 37, Tom knows he only has a few seasons left before retirement. He’s thinking ahead and believes he could become a huge movie star,” a source told Star Magazine, per The Herald.

“He’s used to being a superstar. After winning the Super Bowl again, he’s thinking about new challenges outside of football.”

Brady may be up there in age, but after his successful season that included winning Super Bowl MVP, it’s clear he has plenty of years left. However, we cannot overlook that Brady has already started his movie career; The Herald notes that Brady is playing himself in “Ted 2″ and the “Entourage” movie next summer.

Mark Wahlberg, who stars in “Ted” and was a producer for “Entourage,” got Brady into the movies and was complimentary of the quarterback.

“Tom [Brady] is in the movie. He plays himself, but he does an amazing job. Funny, funny moment.

“He did a great job, really funny. So, I got him in two movies.”

Between them, Peyton Manning has been more of a TV personality/pitch man than Brady, but that doesn’t mean Tommy doesn’t want a piece of the action. Maybe they can compete in acting careers after they are both done with football.

Kobe Bryant: Winning only one MVP bothers me

Kobe Bryant angry

Kobe Bryant is in the discussion for greatest NBA players in history, yet he has only won one MVP award. That is one of the more shocking statistics when it comes to the greats of the game.

Bryant has finished in the top five in MVP voting 11 times, including his win in 2008. Kobe joined “The Grantland Basketball Hour” on Sunday and talked about his lack of MVPs.

First, like Kevin Durant, Kobe complained that the reason he does not have more MVPs is because the media doesn’t know what they are doing.

“Because the media votes on it,” Bryant said of why he didn’t win more.

Bryant also conceded that he is bothered by not having won more regular-season MVPs.

“It was never a mission of mine to win a bunch of MVPs; it was to win a lot of championships. With that being said, does it bother me? Yeah, it bothers me. Of course it bothers me.”

Bryant did not that he has won two NBA Finals MVP awards, which makes him feel better because he values that more.

The real issue people tend to cite when looking at Kobe’s lack of MVPs is that Steve Nash won back-to-back awards in 2005 and 2006. Nash was running the Suns’ seven seconds or less offense at the time and was posting incredible stats. His MVPs were debatable, though his success at the time was undeniable. The funny thing is that if you go by win shares, Nash wasn’t even the most valuable player on either of those two Suns teams; Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion had him beat. And if you go by win shares, the guy who really got robbed of MVPs was Dirk Nowitzki, who finally won the award in 2007.

Bryant’s one MVP award really is about right for his career. He still has five titles, two Finals MVPs, four All-Star Game MVPs, 17 all-star selections, two scoring titles, and he is an 11-time first-team All-NBA selection. Few players in history can boast a more impressive resume. But knowing Kobe, he will never be satisfied.

Bryant, who reportedly will retire after next season, also said that he does not want a retirement tour the way guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera had it in baseball.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Report: Adrian Peterson’s agent, Vikings official had to be separated

Adrian Peterson

The relationship between Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings could be going south in a hurry, and an event that reportedly took place at the NFL Scouting Combine last week may have been proof of that.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, got into a heated verbal altercation with Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski and the two had to be separated. During the argument, Dogra reportedly told Brzezinski that Peterson would never play for the Vikings again.

The altercation was witnessed by several people, including some who are not part of the Vikings organization or Peterson’s camp. Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was reportedly the one who stepped in and separated Dogra and Brzezinski.

La Canfora added that sources have told him Peterson has no intention of ever playing for the Vikings again. He is signed with the team through 2017 and is scheduled to make a whopping $13 million next season.

Peterson cannot be reinstated by the league until April 15. He and the NFL Players Association have taken his case to federal court, but it’s unlikely any resolution would be reached in less than two months.

Though the Vikings have maintained publicly that they expect Peterson back next season, it’s obvious AP’s relationship with the team has been strained. And with reports floating around that Peterson already has his sights on playing for a specific team in Texas, it is becoming less likely that he will remain a Vikings in 2015.

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