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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Stories by Gordon Dixon:

Watch: Dwyane Wade gets tribute video from Lakers

LeBron Wade

The Los Angeles Lakers showed Dwyane Wade some love during his trip to Staples Center on Monday night.

The Miami Heat on Monday played the Los Angeles Lakers for the final time this season. The occasion marked the final time Wade and long-time friend LeBron James would be on the court together as competitors, barring an unlikely meeting in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers took the opportunity to play a tribute video for Wade, who embraced James afterward.

Wade is putting the final touches on a Hall of Fame career. He will likely receive other tributes between now and the end of the season after previously announcing this would be his farewell year. This one will probably be among the more memorable.

Kings player trolls Bulls with funny zinger after easy win

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings piled on to the Chicago Bulls’ misery.

The Bulls’ disappointing start to the season continued with a 108-89 loss to the Kings in Chicago. Following the game, a Sacramento player trolled the Bulls with a comment that made reference to the way their new head coach is handling the team.

Following a loss to the Indiana Pacers last week, new Bulls head coach Jim Boylen had his players run “suicides” during a two and a half hour practice. Boylen reportedly felt the team was not in good condition.

Since then, Chicago has held a team meeting and had players discuss skipping practice. There have also been players who reportedly confronted Boylen over his coaching tactics.

Right now, it’s easy to pile on the Chicago Bulls, and at least one Sacramento Kings player did just that.

Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotić suffers ankle injury

Nikola Mirotic

Nikola Mirotić had his night cut short on Monday due to an injury.

During the New Orleans Pelicans’ game against the Boston Celtics, Mirotić was forced to leave with a sore ankle and was ruled out for the remainder of the night by the Pelicans.

The Pelicans have been bitten by the injury bug lately.

E’Twaun Moore missed Monday’s game with a leg injury. Elfrid Payton will be out for an extended period of time due to a fractured finger. Anthony Davis left Sunday’s game in the first quarter after taking a knee to his hip but was able to return in the third quarter. All in all, the Pelicans are short on depth.

In 24 games this season, Mirotić is averaging 18 points and 9.6 rebounds.

Patriots’ mistake was playing for Hail Mary on final play

The Miami Dolphins’ miracle win over the New England Patriots was aided by what proved to be a costly mistake by the Patriots.

With just seven seconds remaining in regulation, and down 33-28, the Dolphins went into their bag of tricks to pull out a miraculous victory. Twitter had fun with the moment afterward, but had the Patriots approached the situation differently, the outcome may not have been the same.

New England decided to prepare for a Hail Mary even though Miami would have needed to make approximately a 75-yard pass to reach the end zone. Throwing a Hail Mary from so far away was unrealistic, which is why Miami went with the hook and ladder instead. Defending for the Hail Mary meant bringing Rob Gronkowski onto the field to play defense. That backfired when Gronk was left on the field to try and tackle Kenyan Drake, who scored the winning touchdown.

After the game, Gronkowski talked about the Patriots’ approach to the final play.

The decision by New England was questioned by some, including Bill Simmons, who thought it was one of the worst decisions of the Bill Belichick era.

There haven’t been many times a Bill Belichick decision has been questioned and criticized. Sunday’s will definitely be on what is a short list.

Report: Bulls players discussed skipping practice

Chicago Bulls logo

The Chicago Bulls’ rough start to the season has included a players-only meeting and players discussing not showing up to practice.

The Bulls suffered their largest defeat in franchise history on Saturday, a 56-point loss to the Boston Celtics. The following day, members of the Bulls held a players-only meeting that had a dispute surrounding it.

Prior to the meeting taking place, there were a few players in a text message exchange who reportedly discussed not showing up to practice.

Leading up to the season, the Bulls were pegged by most to not be very good and they are living up to that expectation so far. They are 6-21 on the season and fired head coach Fred Hoiberg after 24 games. Now it’s up to Jim Boylen to right the ship, which may be easier said than done.

Jalen Ramsey roasted for ridiculous flop

Jalen Ramsey flop

Jalen Ramsey was the subject of jokes on social media after the ridiculous flop he committed on Thursday.

During the Tennessee Titans’ 30-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ramsey and Taylor Lewan got in each other’s faces and appeared to exchange words. There was minimal contact between their helmets but Ramsey reacted as if Lewan shoved him with all of his strength.

Afterward, Ramsey was roasted for his reaction to the minimal contact.

We have seen some pretty egregious flops here at LBS. This one might make its way near the top of the list.

Rudy Gobert ejected three minutes into game as retribution?

Rudy Gobert ejected

Rudy Gobert’s night against the Houston Rockets was a very short one on Thursday.

After committing an offensive foul early in the first quarter of the Utah Jazz’s game, an unhappy Gobert took his frustration out on a drink that was sitting on the scorer’s table. The result was Jazz center being ejected with 9:13 remaining in the first quarter.

From the outset it was apparent this wasn’t going to be Rudy Gobert’s night. He picked up a personal foul just one second into the game. Then he was called for a weak foul after James Harden flopped fewer than three minutes into the game.

The ejection was the first of the season for Gobert.

On Tuesday, Gobert was fined $15,000 by the NBA for criticizing officials following Utah’s loss to Miami on Sunday. There is speculation that the early foul calls were retribution for his previous criticism of the officials.

DL Damontre Moore was working at Home Depot before Raiders signed him

Raiders logo

One of the newest members of the Oakland Raiders was actually working for a home improvement supply store when he got the call telling him he would be added to the team’s roster.

Back in October, Damontre Moore worked out for the Raiders. At the time, he did not receive a contract offer from the team. Moore, who was drafted in 2013 out of Texas A&M, needed to earn an income while trying to relive his NFL dreams, so he had been working at Home Depot while training and working out on the side.

This week, Oakland came calling after cutting Fadol Brown.

These types of stories are always heartwarming, especially when the player talks about never giving up on their dream. He’s actually not the first pro athlete we know of who turned to Home Depot for a job.

Moore, a defensive end, has spent time with the Giants, Dolphins, Seahawks, and Cowboys during his career. In 52 games, he has recorded 10 sacks.