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Friday, April 24, 2015

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Jameis Winston says crab legs were given to him for free (Video)

Jameis Winston crab legs

Jameis Winston recently sat down with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as part of a feature on ESPN called “Draft Academy,” which is designed to help prepare top prospects for meetings and interviews they will have with NFL teams. During the session, Winston had a chance to discuss his infamous stolen crab legs incident.

The conversation started when Harbaugh and Michigan quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch told Winston not to leave out the shoplifting story when teams ask about his off-field issues. Harbaugh said Winston could just quickly tell teams he “f–ed up and learned from it,” and Jameis responded by clarifying that he did not think he was stealing the crab legs.

“How am I supposed to handle if I got them for free?” Winston asked.

Harbaugh asked him to elaborate.

“Well, a week before was my buddy’s birthday and we had got a cake,” Winston said, as transcribed by Nick Bromberg of Dr. Saturday. “We met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, ‘Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.’ So that day, we just walked out and he hooked us up with that. And when I went to get crab legs, I did the same thing and he just gave them to me and I walked out. And someone from inside the store had told the security that I didn’t pay for them and that’s how the whole thing started.”

In other words, Winston is claiming he had a crab leg hookup at Publix. Harbaugh advised the former Florida State star to keep that story in a “tiny box” and admit he made a mistake.

Very few people are going to believe that Winston didn’t realize he was doing something wrong, whether that is the truth or not. The best thing he can do when discussing his off-field issues — which seem to grow by the day — is take ownership of them and tell NFL teams he learned from them.

Dwight Howard owns 50 guns and 20 snakes

Dwight-Howard-jacket

Dwight Howard was made for Texas. Regardless of how he has fit in with the Houston Rockets, the stuff Howard does in his free time is so Texas it hurts.

Like what? Like feeding his den of snakes and firing his massive collection of guns.

In a recent chat with Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, Howard revealed that he envisions finishing his NBA career in Houston. He has taken a liking to the local food, music and culture. And then there are his other hobbies.

Then there are Howard’s more exuberant activities, like riding around his neighborhood with his friends in his Can-Am Spyder three-wheeled bikes. He also likes going to the gun range—”It’s what you do in Texas,” he says—and he has about 10 different kinds in his collection encompassing more than 50 total, including shotguns, semiautomatics and handguns, such as one of his favorites, a gold-looking Desert Eagle pistol. He also collects, just for show, miniguns and bazookas.

But there’s no better way to describe Howard’s eccentricity and connection to Texas than through his pet snakes at home. All 20 of them. I tell him at dinner, not expecting a serious response, “I’ve got to see them before I leave Houston.”

Howard also likes candy — lots of candy. He told Zwerling he has a massive chest filled with candy in his home and used to eat about three bags of Skittles per game, but he gave it up because he and his Rockets teammates have agreed to make “sacrifices.”

We all know there’s no chance he loves Skittles as much as this guy, but I’d be willing to bet Howard is the snake king of the NBA. There’s just no way any other player has more than 20 snakes at home.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Phil Jackson: All-Star game was important to Carmelo Anthony, not Knicks

Carmelo-Anthony-hat

Had the New York Knicks known in November what we all know now, they likely would have shut Carmelo Anthony down long before February. But apparently Carmelo was gung-ho to play in the All-Star Game.

Phil Jackson spoke on Tuesday about how he had to reassure Anthony about the current state of the team over a dinner in London in mid-January. Part of the conversation dealt with Carmelo’s recurring knee problems.

“That was a moment we could really discuss: Here’s where we are now. Here’s your situation as I see it,” Jackson said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “It clarified a lot of things for him. That he was playing limited.”

The Knicks fell to 5-36 after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in London, so Jackson was basically telling Anthony to fell free to have his knee surgery sooner rather than later. The season was lost at that point, but Carmelo wanted to play in the All-Star Game, which was on Feb. 15.

“He was trying to push himself to the All-Star Game. That wasn’t very important to us, but it was important to him,” Jackson explained. “But the season was something we probably had to give up on. And to do that he’s going to have to retreat from that, ‘I have to be on the court and be on the brunt of the operation.’ That was a relief for him.”

Jackson didn’t appear to be taking a shot at Anthony in any way, but that doesn’t exactly reflect well on Carmelo that playing in an exhibition trumped having surgery sooner and getting back to full health as quickly as possible.

If you remember, there was a time when Anthony was supposedly willing to waive his no-trade clause if Jackson wanted to deal him to a contender. That didn’t happen, which leads us to believe the relationship between Phil and Carmelo is still fine. Should the Knicks find themselves with a record of 5-36 halfway through next season, that will likely change in a hurry.

Stephen Jones doesn’t see Cowboys trading draft picks for Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones is doing his best to downplay any potential interest the team might have in trading for Adrian Peterson.

During an interview with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, Jones was careful not to specifically address Peterson or commit a tampering violation. However, he did say that he doesn’t envision a trade of that nature happening.

“I don’t see us using any picks to trade for veteran ballplayers,” Jones said, via Drew Davison of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Jones, who is the son of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, was also asked if the Cowboys would be interested in trading for a running back rather than drafting one now that DeMarco Murray has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I don’t see that happening,” he said. “I think draft picks are so important for us. That’s where your value is in this salary cap era. I see us using all of our picks and hopefully do it in a good, wise way. Hopefully when the draft is all said and done, we’ll have really improved our football team.”

Could Jones be telling the truth? Sure. But even if the Cowboys are interested in trading for Peterson, it makes no sense to indicate as much publicly. That would do nothing but weaken the team’s position should a negotiation with the Vikings take place.

The Vikings are reportedly looking for a massive haul if they decide to trade Peterson, whom they seem intent on keeping. Considering AP is 30 and still owed a ton of money, it might make more sense for the Cowboys to draft a running back like Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley.

What we can’t underestimate in this situation is the power of Jerry Jones. Peterson would reportedly love to play for the Cowboys, and there have been rumors that he and Jerruh have had conversations about it in the past. The Cowboys also made this move recently with one of their star players. Stephen Jones’ comments should not be taken at face value.

Could Braxton Miller transfer to Alabama?

Braxton-Miller

We are all very familiar with how crowded the Ohio State depth chart is at the quarterback position. Unless Urban Meyer figures out a way to effectively utilize a three-quarterback system, there is going to be at least one great signal-caller riding the pine. Unless, of course, one of them transfers.

Braxton Miller, who was a Heisman Trophy candidate before injuring his shoulder in the preseason last year, has found his name at the center of a number of transfer rumors this offseason. The latest came from Paul Finebaum on Tuesday.

With Blake Sims having graduated, Alabama doesn’t have a quarterback on its roster that most of you have heard of — yet. The Tide have an open competition underway between five players, so it would stand to reason that a proven winner like Miller could cease the starting job with relative ease.

Naturally, Saban was asked about the Miller transfer rumors during a media session on Tuesday evening.

“I’m not really allowed to talk about any other players on any other team,” he said, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports.com. “I know nothing about any such rumors. I don’t even know who you’re talking about.”

Saban did, however, stop short of ruling out accepting a graduate transfer.

“If there was somebody out there that I thought could help our team, we have a spot or two available that we could probably – but it would have to be the right person in the right place that could make a contribution because that would be something that would have to be good for that person and it would have to be good for us,” he said.

Miller would certainly seem to fit that description, especially if he finds himself at No. 3 on Meyer’s depth chart. Since he already graduated from Ohio State, Miller would be eligible to play immediately if he went to another school.

As we know, Alabama is not the first school Miller has been linked to. Heck, even porn stars have tried to recruit him to other universities. Don’t be surprised if he sticks it out with the Buckeyes.

Rajon Rondo refuses to talk to media after bad game

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo had a night to forget on Tuesday, as his Dallas Mavericks dug themselves into a 0-2 series hole against the Houston Rockets. After getting into foul trouble early, Rondo ended up scoring just four points in 10 minutes of play. He had no interest in discussing his poor performance after the game.

Rather than field questions about why he picked up a technical foul or hardly played at all, Rondo ignored the 20-plus reporters that were huddled around his locker, got dressed, popped in his headphones and left.

According to ESPN.com, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had no intention of answering questions on his point guard’s behalf.

“You can ask him that question,” Carlisle said. “All I know … is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn’t about one guy who did or didn’t play.”

But there wasn’t an opportunity to question Rondo. He walked around 20 to 30 reporters in the locker room and headed for the door as one shouted, “You have to talk to us, Rajon!” Rondo looked back, scoffed and kept walking. Amar’e Stoudemire said, “He ain’t got to talk to y’all.”

Rondo certainly can’t be forced to speak with the media, but he will likely be fined for the snub. SB Nation shared a clip that shows him arrogantly walking away from reporters:

Mavs guard Devin Harris missed the game with an injured toe, so the team really needed Rondo to be at his best. Instead, he displayed the same type of attitude that resulted in a public shouting match with Carlisle earlier this season. As a result, the Rockets have taken control of the series.

Adam Jones and Jose Bautista have war of words after home run (Video)

The Blue Jays beat the Orioles 13-6 on Tuesday, but the final score wasn’t the only ugly thing about the game. During the 7th inning, Adam Jones and Jose Bautista got into a war of words that continued between innings.

With a runner on second base, Jason Garcia threw behind Bautista, which obviously did not sit well with the Blue Jays slugger. A couple of pitches later, Bautista launched a home run. What followed was Bautista enjoying his blast at home plate, a bat flip, a slow trot around the bases, and a few words for Ryan Flaherty as he rounded second base.

After the game, Bautista wasn’t shy about expressing his feelings on what transpired. He even took a jab at Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

Nothing like a few postgame shots to enhance a division rivalry. The two teams meet again Wednesday and Thursday. We can only hope there isn’t a repeat of the beanball war that took place this past weekend between the Royals and A’s.

Jose Bautista Adam Jones

Scott Van Pelt throws epic shade at Colin Cowherd over John Wall

Someone might have to arrest Scott Van Pelt for committing ESPN-on-ESPN crime Tuesday night.

Scott Van PeltVan Pelt, who is a Maryland native and huge fan of the area’s local sports teams, was rightfully impressed with John Wall’s incredible performance in a 117-106 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series between the teams. He decided to tweet about Wall’s fantastic game by throwing a subtle shot at fellow ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd.

If you don’t understand the reference, it has to do with Cowherd’s infamous criticism of Wall for doing the “Dougie” dance during his NBA debut.

“Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow. Then he opened his mouth later and confirmed it: not a sharp guy. All about him,” Cowherd said as part of his 2010 rant.

The thing is Cowherd has continued to harp on the point over the years and just won’t let it go, which forever has him tied to Wall as a result.

So, when Wall puts up 26 points and 17 assists in a playoff win over the Raptors, EVERYONE including Van Pelt should feel free to rub it in Cowherd’s face (which he probably loves), though none can do it better than Van Pelt did.

And the best part is this is now the second ESPN employee to zing Cowherd for his Wall criticism.

Photo: Scott Van Pelt on Twitter

Jay Feely: Tim Tebow is worst quarterback I ever saw in NFL

Tim TebowTim Tebow is back in the NFL (for now), which means it’s a perfect opportunity for the Tebow bashers to come back out of the woodwork.

One such basher is NFL kicker Jay Feely, who ripped the former Denver Broncos quarterback during an appearance on a panel on “Jim Rome on Showtime.”

“He’s such a dichotomy for me because I really respect the person, the man, the things that he believes in and the things he does off the field … he was the single worst quarterback I ever saw in my career in the NFL,” Feely said.

Feely then shared a story of what he saw from Tebow during a game against the Broncos.

“I watched him one day … I sat and watched him do routes on air with Ken Whisenhunt as we were playing the Broncos,” Feely recalled. “And routes on air, there’s no (defensive backs) — you know exactly what he’s going to run — there’s no pass rush. He had like 13 incompletions on routes on air. Jim, you and I could go out and do routes on air and we would complete most of our passes.”

Look, everyone knows Tebow isn’t much of a thrower, which is why he hasn’t done anything the past few years. Chip Kelly knows that, which is why he probably brought the former Heisman Trophy winner in to be a specialist. The guy is great in short-yardage situations and would be perfect for converting on those kinds of plays and 2-point conversions. There is value in that. We’ll have to see whether Kelly sees enough to even keep Tebow on the Eagles’ roster for the season.

Jameis Winston was disciplined in high school for laughing at coach for crying

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston has a long list of discipline issues over the past few years at Florida State that many of us know about, ranging from the sexual assault accusation to stealing crab legs at a grocery store. But one story to add to the list comes from his high school days, and it’s one I hadn’t heard about it til now.

Winston was interviewed by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as part of a feature on ESPN called “Draft Academy.” The “academy” was designed to help prepare Winston for some of the meetings/interviews he would have with NFL teams. One thing Harbaugh asked Winston about was his disciplinary issues beginning in high school. Winston responded by sharing a story many of us have never before heard.

“I was disciplined for one game against John Carroll for laughing at my coach because he cried,” Winston admitted. “[The coach] felt that I disrespected him.”

Oddly enough, there is no record online of Winston being disciplined for a high school game for laughing at his coach. However, there is a 2011 AL.com article that says Winston was benched for a game against John Carroll during his junior season for arriving late.

Winston was a late arrival with some other teammates before the John Carroll game last fall and was benched. His head coach’s rules also applied to the elite quarterback. He only punted that night.

To make matters even more embarrassing, three college coaches, including one who’d flown out from Stanford in California, attended the game and didn’t get to see him play.

Is that the same game as the one to which Winston was referring? If so, it means his coach covered for him about the real reason for the discipline. If not, then that means he screwed up a few times during high school.

This seems to be another bad sign about Winston’s character. He is an excellent football player and extremely sharp cookie, but his character (not leadership) definitely is lacking. This story along with this video of him with Jimbo Fisher also shows hints of a lack of respect for his coaches. That’s definitely something he needs to work on.

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