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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Stories by Steve DelVecchio:

Tom Brady, Gisele answer funny questions about each other in TikTok video

Tom Brady Gisele

Fans of Tom Brady have learned more about the quarterback since he left the Patriots than they did during his entire 20-year span in New England, and that continued on Tuesday with a funny video Brady and his wife Gisele made together.

Brady and Gisele took part in one of those TikTok videos where couples answer questions about each other with their eyes closed, and it was highly entertaining. We learned that Brady admittedly spends more money than his wife, has more clothes than her and is a bigger baby when sick. Check it out:

As you could see, Tom and Gisele’s son Benny was in the background giving his opinion on each question, too. He almost always pointed in the same direction as his parents, so it looks like everyone was being honest.

Brady’s trolls have been given plenty of material since the 42-year-old signed with the Bucs, and the TikTok video is just the latest. Brady also became a punching bag during “The Match” on Sunday and was ruthlessly mocked by Sean Payton, though TB12 ended up making the best shot of the day. Not bad for a guy who can’t handle the sniffles.

Damian Lillard says he will refuse to play if NBA gives Blazers no path to playoffs

Damian Lillard

The NBA is exploring a number of potential formats for when the 2019-20 season resumes, and Damian Lillard says he will refuse to partake in games if the plan does not give the Portland Trail Blazers a fair shot to reach the playoffs.

One possibility the NBA is considering is to jump straight into the postseason, which would eliminate Portland. The Blazers are currently in 9th place in the Western Conference and 3.5 games back of the 8th-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. Another scenario that has been mentioned is playing a handful more games so all teams reach 70, which would allow them to fulfill regional television deals. If the league opts for the latter, Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports he will refuse to play.

“If we come back and they’re just like, ‘We’re adding a few games to finish the regular season,’ and they’re throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don’t have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I’m going to be with my team because I’m a part of the team. But I’m not going to be participating,” Lillard said. “I’m telling you that right now. And you can put that [expletive] in there.”

Lillard said he will show up to work and take part in practices with the Blazers, but he has no interest in playing another four meaningless games after such a long layoff. He’d love an opportunity to finish the entire season and have a shot to reach the playoffs with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins due back from injuries, but he does not want to simply go through the motions so the NBA can fulfill the terms of its TV contracts.

“I do feel like if we do come back and our mind is right, we can beat anyone. It’s going to be hard to get going with no fans, you’ve been off all this time and some people are just ready for summer like, ‘[Expletive] it, I haven’t played in a long time and the season is basically over to me. Do I really care like I cared before?’ It’s going to be a lot of those factors going on and that presents a lot of room for a team to sneak some [expletive]. Like, really mess around and knock some teams off and then, ‘Oh, they’re in the Western Conference finals.’ It’s room for that with this situation. So the fact that it’s possible and we wouldn’t get an opportunity at that, that’s weak to me. I ain’t getting no younger.”

If the Blazers were somehow able to sneak into the postseason, they could be set up for a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Lillard believes Portland could be competitive in that series and entertain fans. He added that he has remained in shape but will consider that a head start in his summer training if the Blazers aren’t given a legitimate opportunity to compete.

While it would be a bold statement to sit out, Lillard can’t be the only player who feels that way. That is one of the issues the NBA has to juggle, as coming back for only a few regular season games would seem completely meaningless to teams that aren’t going to be included in the playoffs.

A survey the NBA recently distributed to executives listed several potential formats the league could follow when play resumes, and a play-in tournament was among them. That would likely be something that interests Lillard and others.

New Jersey governor paves way for Giants, Jets to begin training camp

New York Giants logo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that professional sports teams are clear to resume training in the state, and his colleague in New Jersey has now followed suit.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gave pro sports teams the green light to reopen their training facilities as long as they follow health and safety protocols. That will allow the Jets and Giants, who reside in New Jersey, to move from virtual workouts to in-person activities.

The NFL has told teams they can reopen their facilities as long as their local governments approve, and several teams have already received clearance. Since New York and New Jersey were two of the hardest-hit states by the virus, it is a good sign that sports have been given the green light in those areas.

While sporting events will undoubtedly look a lot different than we’re used to when they resume, things appear to be trending in the right direction.

Report: Dolphins open to starting Tua Tagovailoa in his rookie season

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins have the perfect bridge quarterback on their roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his presence should allow them to be patient with Tua Tagovailoa. But if Tagovailoa shows he is ready for the big stage, the Dolphins are not going to force him to take a redshirt year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that Fitzpatrick is likely to begin the 2020 season as the Dolphins’ starter, but the team is not opposed to playing Tagovailoa at some point. Fitzpatrick was impressive last season and has earned the trust of Miami’s coaching staff, but there will obviously be pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot if Fitzpatrick struggles at all.

As Jackson notes, the shortened offseason will work against Tagovailoa. The No. 5 overall pick has only been able to take part in virtual workouts, so there’s no way he will be as prepared as a rookie quarterback would be in a normal offseason.

Tagovailoa had hip surgery just six months ago, so that could also be a factor in whether or not the Dolphins choose to give him playing time. While he appears to be fully recovered, that is another risk to consider.

Fitzpatrick has every intention of fighting for the starting job, but he has also gone out of his way to mentor Tagovailoa already. He should be a great asset for the Dolphins while they try to groom their next franchise quarterback.

Dolphins owner says there will ‘definitely’ be an NFL season

As major sports leagues continue to explore ways in which they can safely begin or resume their seasons, the NFL community remains confident that there will be football in the fall.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked about the 2020 NFL season during an appearance on CNBC Tuesday morning, and he reassured fans that there will be football. However, it remains unclear if those fans will be able to attend games.

The Dolphins laid out a plan earlier this month that could allow them to host a limited number of fans at Hard Rock Stadium, and some teams may take that approach. Others in different areas of the country may decide to play in empty venues, and at least one team seems to have very little shot of hosting fans unless there are some serious changes in their local government’s policy.

Whatever the case, it would be a surprise if the NFL did not kick off as scheduled in Week 1. If the NBA, NHL and MLB are still planning to proceed with their seasons, time is on the NFL’s side.

Troy Aikman shares thoughts on Dak Prescott’s contract situation

Troy Aikman has made his opinion on Dak Prescott very clear in the past, and the Dallas Cowboys legend reiterated his stance during a radio interview on Monday.

Aikman spoke with Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan about Prescott’s contract situation, and the three-time Super Bowl champion said he loves Prescott as a player and fully expects the Cowboys to sign the 26-year-old to a long-term deal.

“I love everything about him,” Aikman said. “I’m not saying anything the Cowboys don’t already know. They will pay him, he’s going to make a lot of money, and I think he’s going to be the quarterback for the Cowboys for a long long time, and continue to have a great career.”

Aikman said he has been “surprised” by how much discussion there has been surrounding Prescott’s contract negotiations with the Cowboys, as Dak is going to be with the team in 2020 whether he plays under the franchise tag or a new deal. However, Aikman clearly believes the Cowboys should bend in the negotiations if it becomes necessary.

“I think he’s a very unselfish player,” the FOX broadcaster said. “I wouldn’t say that about everybody; he only wants to win. … Dak truly doesn’t care about his stats. He just wants to win, he’s a leader, his teammates love him. So, I would pay him. He’s going to get paid.”

This is at least the second time Aikman has publicly urged the Cowboys to pay Prescott, so he obviously thinks very highly of him. With the way things stand, it would still be surprising if Prescott and the Cowboys failed to reach a long-term agreement by the July 15 deadline. There appears to be only one major disagreement between the two sides, so they should be able to sort through that.

Doc Rivers gives his take on Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers played against Michael Jordan during his career and has coached against LeBron James on numerous occasions, so he has seen enough of both NBA legends to formulate an educated opinion on them. And based on everything Doc has seen, he has no problem labeling one the greatest of all time.

Rivers shared his thoughts on the Jordan vs. LeBron debate in a recent appearance on “SportsCenter,” and you could say he took the easy way out. He gave the nod to Jordan but said he can see how people would make the argument for LeBron.

“I played against Michael and have always put Michael as No. 1, but that shouldn’t take anything away from LeBron or Magic (Johnson) or Kareem (Abdul Jabar), who I think gets overlooked way too much as well … Kobe as well,” Rivers said. “But Michael, to me, is the greatest player. He’s the GOAT. It’s OK that everyone measures themselves against him.

“You can obviously make an argument for LeBron. Me, I’m always taking MJ until I see something better.”

Most people point to championships when comparing Jordan to LeBron, which makes sense. Jordan won six titles, whereas LeBron has three. Some people think LeBron is a better player overall but not as much of a winner as Jordan, and one former NBA player recently made a compelling argument for why he would place LeBron above Jordan.

The debate will never end, and there is no right or wrong answer. Even if LeBron won three more titles, plenty of people would still say Jordan is the GOAT. While it’s fun to hear opinions from people who have experience playing and coaching with or against both, there are always going to be arguments for both sides.

Cowboys reportedly not considering Jamal Adams trade

Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams is clearly unhappy with the New York Jets, and there have been reports that the Pro Bowl safety could demand a trade if the team does not sign him to a long-term extension. Many view the Dallas Cowboys as the team to watch if the Jets decide to move Adams, but there is nothing happening on that front at the moment.

The Cowboys have not explored the possibility of trading for Adams, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Their focus right now is on trying to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

Rapoport added that there’s a possibility the Cowboys could explore an Adams trade if they get Prescott’s contract taken care of. Any team that traded for Adams would likely want an extension in place before making the move, and it would be a terrible look for Dallas to throw big money at Adams before Prescott’s contract situation is sorted out.

Adams has reportedly made his stance clear to the Jets, but he doesn’t have a ton of leverage. He still has two years remaining on his rookie deal, so the Jets don’t really have to do anything. If Adams demands a trade, however, things will get a bit more tense in New York.