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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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Juwan Howard to reportedly be named head coach at Michigan

The University of Michigan has reportedly found its John Beilein replacement. According to Five Reasons Sports, Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard has agreed to multi-year deal to become Michigan’s head coach. BREAKING: Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard is expected to be named Michigan head coach, sources tell @miaheatbeat and @5ReasonsSports. Story posting soon on…Read More

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Hornets’ Miles Bridges agrees with All-Rookie omission: ‘I played like a–’

Miles Bridges

Miles Bridges is keeping things real about missing out on All-Rookie honors.

The Charlotte Hornets forward was one of the most notable omissions from the NBA’s 2018-19 All-Rookie Teams, which were announced on Tuesday.

Many believed that the 21-year-old was snubbed, but he had other thoughts.

“I didn’t get snubbed. I played like a– all year,” Bridges tweeted shortly after. “I don’t deserve to be on any team. Next year will be different.”

Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick in last year’s draft, finished his rookie season with averages of 7.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 80 contests for the Hornets. He also made an appearance (albeit a forgettable one) in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest, giving him plenty to build on for his sophomore season.

Joe Lacob says Kevin Durant will be back for Finals

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant still has no official timetable to return, but Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob seems to be spilling some tea on that front.

After the Warriors advanced to their fifth straight NBA Finals with a 119-117 overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, Lacob spoke on the injured forward with Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“I don’t know if you forgot so quickly how in the first round, and the second round, and how everyone was saying Kevin was the greatest player in the world and he was dominant,” said Lacob. “So he was incredibly important.

“Unfortunately, he got injured,” Lacob continued about Durant. “He’s coming back now for the Finals, and so the story’s not fully written yet.”

The reigning back-to-back Finals MVP suffered a calf strain during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semis against the Houston Rockets and has missed five straight games and counting since then. With Golden State sweeping the Blazers however, that gives them nine full days of rest before the Finals start on May 30, which would mark roughly three weeks since Durant went down.

Durant appears to be getting antsy on the sidelines, especially with the team undefeated since his injury. Lacob’s comments make it seem like he will be back sooner than later though.

Jon Gruden has ironic remark about not criticizing Derek Carr in the media

Jon Gruden wasted hardly any time in his first season back with the Oakland Raiders last year publicly criticizing Derek Carr for his poor play, but apparently the coach is planning to take a new approach in 2019.

On Tuesday, a reporter asked Gruden a seemingly standard question about what strides he would like to see from Carr this season. Gruden responded by complimenting Carr and saying he does not want to critique the quarterback through the media.

This is the same Gruden who had no problem calling Carr out for missing some deep throws after the very first game of the season last year. The coach said after another loss a few weeks later that he did not regret calling a pass play on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line because Carr should have known not to throw the ball.

Gruden and new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock have said they are committed to Carr, but you have to wonder how long all these positive vibes will last if Oakland gets off to another bad start. Even if Gruden stays true to his word and doesn’t criticize Carr in the media, we’ve seen him light into Carr on the sideline during games. The leash probably won’t be very long for Carr in his second season under Gruden.

Patrick Beverley brags about Clippers putting up biggest fight against Warriors

The 2018-19 Golden State Warriors are so good that they have their opponents bragging about not getting embarrassed by them.

Coming off their four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, it would appear the Warriors have gotten better as we get deeper into the postseason. They needed six games to beat the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers before demolishing the Blazers, and one opponent seems proud of the way his team lost to Golden State.

Patrick Beverley and the Clippers found themselves in a 3-1 hole against the Warriors before surprising some people by winning Game 5 at Golden State. They then lost 129-110 at home in Game 6.

Was that a better performance than Houston had? The Rockets lost the first two games of their series against the Warriors before battling back to win Game 3 and Game 4 at home. They then lost two straight with Kevin Durant sidelined because of a calf injury.

Every game of the Rockets-Warriors series was decided by six points or less, though Beverley would probably argue that the Clippers put up a better fight because Durant was healthy for the whole series. The way he praised Durant da few weeks ago gave you an idea of how valuable he thinks the two-time NBA Finals MVP is.

At the end of the day, a loss is a loss and a win is a win. If saying his team put up a better fight than the Rockets and Blazers helps Beverley get over the disappointing result, more power to him.

Frank Ntilikina denies that he wants Knicks to trade him

Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina recently decided to hire new representation, and there has been speculation that he wants the New York Knicks to explore trading him this offseason. According to his new agent, that is not the case.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News confirmed reports on Monday that Ntilikina is on the trading block and said the former No. 8 overall pick “desires a relocation.” Ntilikina’s new agent, Bouna Ndiaye, told Marc Berman of the New York Post on Tuesday that the 20-year-old is content in New York.

“I can just tell you that the fact he was not traded has nothing to do with this change of agent,” Ndiaye said. “Frank is extremely happy to be part of the Knicks.”

If the Knicks are shopping Ntilikina as multiple outlets have reported, there is really no need for him to embarrass them by saying he wants out. Perhaps both sides have quietly agreed that a divorce would be best, and Ntilikina can help the Knicks protect his trade value leading up to the draft if he doesn’t publicly say he wants to be dealt.

Ntilikina appeared in just 43 games for the Knicks in his second season as he battled injuries, and he did not show any improvement offensively from his disappointing rookie season. He averaged just 5.7 points and 2.8 assists per game while shooting just 33.7 percent from the field. Ntilikina has a high ceiling as a defender at 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, but he has not lived up to expectations since being a lottery pick. It’s possible his career with the Knicks was doomed from the start.

Ndamukong Suh reportedly agrees to one-year deal with Bucs

Ndamukong Suh

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a surprising decision to release star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on Monday, but it now looks like they had his replacement in mind all along.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal with Ndamukong Suh.

McCoy was set to make $13 million in 2019, which was an amount the Bucs were not comfortable paying. Suh made $14 million in his lone season with the Los Angeles Rams last year.

Suh is actually a year older than McCoy at age 32, and McCoy has more sacks in each of the past four seasons. McCoy was signed with Tampa through 2021 prior to being released, so the move was probably more financially motivated than anything. The immediate signing of Suh is further evidence of that.

Zion Williamson autograph snub story being taken out of context?

Zion Williamson

An old quote Zion Williamson had a few years back about signing autographs went viral this week, but the way it is being presented is not entirely accurate.

Williamson made it a point to spend extra time signing autographs during his lone season in Duke, and that is something he has been passionate about since high school. When he was 16, Williamson said in a documentary about his team that he tries to sign every kid’s autograph because he knows how he would feel if an athlete he looked up to snubbed him.

“When I was little, I looked up to high school players and wanted their autographs and sometimes I couldn’t get it, I’d be hurt,” Williamson said at the time, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I said when I grew up, I don’t want to be like that. I want to sign every kid’s autograph. No matter how long it takes me.

“I try to sign every kid’s autograph. I don’t want to turn a little kid down because I know it will hurt them because it hurt me. Anthony Davis, John Wall turned me down. So I try to sign everybody’s.”

Apparently what Williamson said came off wrong. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, he didn’t mean that Davis and Wall actually turned down his autograph request. He was simply using them as part of an analogy.

That makes sense, because Williamson said in the video clip that he never actually got a chance to see Wall and Davis play:

Everyone can relax now. Davis and Wall aren’t heartless autograph snubbers — at least not that we know of.

For such a young guy, Williamson seems to have the right attitude about being a superstar player. We saw that with the way he handled his unique situation at Duke, and the fact that he goes out of his way to sign as many autographs as possible is another great example.

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