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Monday, July 13, 2020

Stories by Larry Brown:

Cam Heyward defends opponent Quenton Nelson in face of criticism

Cam Heyward

Cam Heyward sent a fantastic Twitter response to a post that denigrated one of his gridiron opponents.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler compiled a list of the top 10 interior linemen in the NFL. He promoted the list via Twitter with an inflammatory quote about Indianapolis Colts lineman Quenton Nelson. One NFL defensive assistant coach said their opinion of Nelson changed after seeing what Heyward did to him.

Heyward saw the tweet and stood up for Nelson in defense. He said that him having a good game against Nelson doesn’t devalue Nelson’s talent.

That’s a tremendous response from Heyward, who is a great player and wants to recognize Nelson’s excellence as well.

Here are some of the clips of Heyward getting the best of Nelson during Pittsburgh’s 26-24 win over Indianapolis in November last year.

Nelson was the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2018 out of Notre Dame and has been an All-Pro player in both of his seasons. Heyward was a first-round pick in 2011 and has made the Pro Bowl in three straight years and was All-Pro in 2017 and 2019.

Bottom line? They’re both great players, like Heyward said, and that point should not be lost just because Heyward got the best of Nelson in last year’s matchup.

Rajon Rondo expected to miss 6-8 weeks with fractured thumb

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo will miss some time for the Los Angeles Lakers after suffering a hand injury on Sunday night.

Rondo suffered a fractured right thumb during practice on Sunday night and will miss 6-8 weeks, according to the team.

That injury timeline will likely lead Rondo to miss the final eight regular season games before the playoffs begin. The Lakers are set to play the Clippers on July 30 for their first of the final eight regular season games being played for seeding. Their final regular season game is scheduled for Aug. 30.

Based on this timeline, Rondo could be ready to return to the team around the second round of the playoffs.

Rondo has averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 20.5 minutes per game over 48 contests this season. His absence would likely result in more playing time for Alex Caruso.

Report: Rajon Rondo suffered ‘significant’ hand injury

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo suffered a “significant” hand injury during a team practice on Sunday night, according to a report.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Malika Andrews reported about the injury and say Rondo underwent an evaluation of his hand and thumb, and that more should be known on Monday about the extent of the injury.

Rondo, 34, is one of the point guards on the Los Angeles Lakers’ depth chart, along with Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook. He is averaging 7.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 20.5 minutes per game over 48 contests this season.

Caruso would likely see additional time if Rondo has to miss any game action. The NBA is set to resume its season later this month, with the first games set to be played on July 30. The Lakers are scheduled to meet the Clippers as one of the two showcase games on July 30.

Former Indiana champion Steve Bouchie dies at 59

Indiana Hoosiers logo

Steve Bouchie, a former Indiana Hoosiers champion and Mr. Basketball in Indiana, died on Sunday at the age of 59, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

The Courier & Press says Bouchie suffered a heart attack over fourth of July weekend and was taken to the hospital.

Bouchie won Indiana’s Mr. Basketball honor in 1979 while playing for Washington High School in Indiana. He played four seasons as a forward for the Hoosiers from 1979-1983, averaging 5.1 points and and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Bouchie was a member of the 1981 national championship team and helped IU win three Big Ten championships. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1983.

Redskins to announce on Monday the removal of their nickname

Redskins logo

The Washington Redskins are moving into a new era for the team.

Washington is expected to announce on Monday that they will no longer go by the “Redskins” nickname, Sports Business Journal’s Ben Fischer reported on Sunday.

The team’s new nickname is not expected to be announced yet because trademarks are pending. The pending status of the trademarks seems to confirm our belief about what their next nickname will be.

The Redskins have resisted calls over the years to change their team name. However, pressure intensified in recent weeks from business partners and retailers, leading the team to prepare for a formal switch that many believed was long overdue.

The team originated as the Boston Braves in 1932, was named the Boston Redskins in 1933, and has kept that nickname ever since moving to Washington in 1937.

Video: Meyers Leonard tries to outdo JJ Redick in shotgun beer challenge

Meyers Leonard

Shotgunning beers may be the new trend inside the NBA bubble.

On Sunday, JJ Redick posted a video on social media of himself shotgunning a beer. Redick initiated the challenge on Saturday, saying he would shotgun the beer if he got 10,000 retweets. Redick hit the mark and then did the beer chug.

Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard decided to get in on the act too. He posted a video of himself shotgunning a beer from inside his hotel room in Disney World.

Leonard slammed that beer in no time. He still expressed some disappointment with himself over his procedure.

His results were excellent no matter what he says.

Leonard has done this before, also with a Coors Light.

Leonard appears to have a promotional relationship with Coors Light and has tweeted an ad for them in the past.

Leonard is in his first season with Miami after being acquired from Portland in the Jimmy Butler deal last year. He is averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game this season for the Heat. Miami is fourth in the East with a 41-24 record entering the resumed season.

Redskins likely to change name to ‘Washington Warriors’?

Dan Snyder

Reports have said that the Washington Redskins are likely to announce a change of their team name in the coming days, and we think we have an idea about the name.

Washington could be changing the team name to the “Warriors”, which is a name owner Daniel Snyder reportedly has had marked for years as a possible replacement.

On a recent podcast, The Team 980’s Kevin Sheehan said he would bet big that “Warriors” would be the next name.

“I think people do know that the Redskins have marked Washington Warriors just in case and that this has been the way,” Sheehan said. “I would bet big money on the Warriors being the new name for the football team.”

JP Finlay also said a week ago that he thought “Warriors” was the leader.

What’s also of note is that there are six pending applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the name Washington Warriors.

The Redskins have resisted calls over the years to change their team name. However, pressure intensified in recent weeks from business partners and retailers, leading the team to prepare for a formal switch.

Report: ESPN suspends Adrian Wojnarowski for profane email to Missouri senator

Adrian Wojnarowski

ESPN has suspended NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for sending a profane email to a United States senator, according to a report.

On Friday, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a press release blasting the NBA for its limited selection of pre-approved messages they would allow league players to wear on the back of their jerseys during the restart in Orlando. Hawley’s letter, which was directed at NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, noted that the messages did not give players the option to support the military, law enforcement, or condemn the Chinese Communist Party.

Hawley’s letter was sent out as a press release via email, and Wojnarowski was one of the recipients. The noted NBA reporter responded to the email with two words: “F— you“.

Wojnarowski shared a formal apology statement not long after Hawley publicized the profane email response. Woj called his actions “disrespectful” and a “regrettable mistake”.

ESPN also addressed the situation.

“This is completely unacceptable behavior and we do not condone it. It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”

Outkick’s Ryan Glasspiegel reported on Saturday night that Woj has been suspended by ESPN.

Wojnarowski is the preeminent NBA reporter in the country and has been with ESPN for just over three years after previously working for Yahoo.