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#pounditWednesday, December 1, 2021

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NBA announces penalties for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Lowry tampering

Lonzo Ball warming up

The NBA has completed its tampering investigations regarding the deals involving Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, and the result was nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will both have to forfeit their next available second-round draft pick, the NBA announced on Wednesday.

That punishment is light considering the NBA could have fined the franchises up to $10 million each and handed out suspensions to team executives. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league told teams in a memo that the Bulls and Heat “fully cooperated with the investigations” and that their cooperation was taken into account.

Chicago acquired Ball in a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal was reported almost immediately when the free agency legal tampering period began, though it wasn’t completed until Aug. 8.

The Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors. The deal was completed on Aug. 6 but Lowry announced an hour into free agency on Aug. 2 that he would be signing with Miami.

Sign-and-trade deals can be complex to pull off. So when the deals were reported so quickly, red flags apparently were raised for the league.

The NBA reviewed electronic messages from agents and team executives during their investigation. The Pelicans and Raptors were also investigated due to their involvement, but no punishment was announced for either team.

Photo: Mar 26, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball warms up before their game against the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Kelly reveals when he knew he was taking LSU job

Brian Kelly in a suit

Brian Kelly has faced criticism for leaving people in the dark before he took the job at LSU, but the coach insists that was the result of the deal coming together so quickly.

During a Wednesday appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Kelly claimed it was not until after Notre Dame’s win over Stanford on Saturday that his agent informed him LSU was interested. He said he was actually in California on Monday recruiting on behalf of Notre Dame. His deal with LSU was finalized on the plane ride back to South Bend.

Kelly admitted that his attorney was on the plane with him back from California, which is an indication that he was negotiating with LSU. You can hear more below:

Patrick also asked Kelly if he contacted the recruits he had spoken with on behalf of Notre Dame and asked them if they have interest in playing for LSU. Kelly said “of course not” and seemed offended by the question.

A report on Monday evening said LSU was targeting Kelly as its next head coach. Hours later, the 60-year-old was finalizing his new deal. Kelly admitted that LSU contacted him on Saturday night, so the discussions were obviously ongoing throughout the weekend.

Kelly was accused of ghosting Notre Dame, and one assistant coach was said to be furious that Kelly made him look bad.

High-level coaching departures are always tricky. Kelly probably didn’t want to put everything on hold in case the deal fell through with LSU. Still, Notre Dame players could not have felt good about the text message they received from the coach.

Photo: Sep 28, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans as he enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Virginia Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones files for Tom Brady-like trademark

Mac Jones

Mac Jones has quickly become one of the NFL’s more popular players in just his first professional season, and the New England Patriots quarterback is looking to profit from that in a way that is not very unique.

As Darren Rovell of Action Network discovered, Jones recently filed a trademark for “MJ10.” The rookie is seeking to use the word mark on apparel.

That immediately made everyone think of Tom Brady’s world famous “TB12” brand. Jones is the heir to the Brady throne in New England, so some feel he is playing a dangerous game by seeking such a similar trademark. Of course, Brady is hardly the first athlete to use hit initials and numbers as part of a trademark.

Jones is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year and has the Patriots looking like a Super Bowl contender. He has already joined notable company with some of his achievements this year. If he doesn’t make money off of “MJ10” merchandise, somebody else will.

Photo: Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones 10) throws the ball during a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Otis Anderson Sr. reportedly shot and killed his son after dog bite

Otis Anderson celebrates a touchdown

Former UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr. was shot and killed this week, and the circumstances surrounding his death are shocking.

According to a police report obtained by First Coast News, Anderson Jr. was shot by his father, Otis Anderson Sr., at his parents’ home in Jacksonville on Monday evening. Denise Anderson, Anderson Jr.’s mother, told police that her husband was bit by their son’s girlfriend’s dog, which led to an argument.

Denise said Otis Sr. became upset after being bit by the dog, as he was bleeding throughout the house. That led to an argument, and she says the two men appeared to be on the verge of a fight after Anderson Sr. flipped a reclining chair. They then went their separate ways, with Anderson Sr. heading toward the garage.

Denise says Anderson Sr. came back in the house to meet her son in the kitchen, and she heard a gun shot followed by her son saying “you shot me!” She claims she then began hitting Anderson Sr. with a floor cleaning device, at which point he turned and fired more rounds.

Anderson Jr. suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and back, according to the police report. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Denise Anderson was treated for multiple graze wounds and released.

Anderson Sr. was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He appeared in court on Tuesday and is being held without bond.

Tributes to Anderson Jr. have been popping up on the UCF campus this week.

Anderson Jr., who was 23, played for UCF from 2017 to 2020. He rushed for 2,182 yards and 17 touchdowns and had 91 catches for 1,025 yards and nine touchdowns. Anderson Jr. spent time with the Los Angeles Rams during training camp this past offseason.

Photo: Sep 21, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; UCF Knights defensive back Myles Wilson (37) congratulates running back Otis Anderson (2) on his punt return for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson has message for Seahawks fans

Russell Wilson

The Seattle Seahawks are in danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time since they drafted Russell Wilson in 2012, but the star quarterback does not seem to be hitting the panic button.

A day after Seattle’s 17-15 loss to Washington, Wilson took to Twitter with what appeared to be a message for Seahawks fans. Part of the message was, “The breakthrough is coming!”

Seahawks fans probably want to know one thing — when?

Seattle is now 3-8 on the year. They have lost six of their last seven, with the lone win coming against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ll host the division rival San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which is another tough game. The Seahawks would likely have to win out in order to have any shot at reaching the postseason, and that almost certainly is not going to happen.

Wilson’s optimistic message could be viewed as a positive sign after one NFL insider made a bold claim about his future. That said, 2021 is starting to look like a lost season in Seattle.

Photo: Oct 4, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks on after defeating the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

RG3 writing tell-all book about Redskins

Jay Gruden Robert Griffin III

Under owner Dan Snyder, the Washington Football Team has become a dysfunctional mess sideswiped by scandal after scandal. It’s something quarterback Robert Griffin III witnessed firsthand, and now he’s ready to tell the world all about it.

On Tuesday, RG3 announced that he will release a new book titled, “Surviving Washington.”

“Every experience that I’ve had has made me a better husband, a better father and a better player,” Griffin said in a tweet. “But I want you to take this journey with me as I walk you through one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of sports.”

Griffin promises to explain what happened during the 2012 NFC wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks. He also accuses Washington of medical mismanagement and claims to have additional details about the sexual harassment allegations that rocked the organization.

“They say the truth will set you free,” Griffin added. “So here it is. Unfiltered.”

The book, which is co-authored by former New York Daily News reporter Gary Myers, is available for preorder now. It is currently scheduled to release on August 9, 2022.

Coach K shares reason why Ohio State beat Duke

Mike Krzyzewski in a suit

Just as soon as Duke took the No. 1 spot in the college basketball rankings, they may be giving it back up.

The Blue Devils beat Gonzaga on Friday to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season. That helped Duke earn the No. 1 spot in the country. But on Tuesday night, the Blue Devils lost to Ohio State 71-66.

Duke had an off shooting night, going 25-65 (38.5 percent) on field goals and 4-14 (28.6 percent) on threes. By comparison, Ohio State shot 26-54 (48.1 percent) and 8-20 (40 percent) on threes.

Duke led 43-30 at the half but got outscored 41-23 in the second half. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game that he thought his players wore out.

That’s a nice way of Coach K saying his team choked a 15-point lead against the Buckeyes. Ohio State didn’t actually take the lead until a minute left in the game, so it took a long time for Duke to get worn out.

Coach K’s comment about them being worn out have an interesting meaning in light of the note about Paolo Banchero and his sweating.

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Frank Vogel, DeAndre Jordan had heated moment on Lakers bench

Frank Vogel's incident with DeAndre Jordan

One Los Angeles Lakers player seemed none too pleased with head coach Frank Vogel’s decision-making during Tuesday’s game.

Vogel pulled starting center DeAndre Jordan just four minutes into the first quarter of the Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings, inserting Dwight Howard in Jordan’s place. Jordan and Vogel were seen having an animated conversation on the bench immediately after the substitution. Take a look.

Vogel’s decision ultimately worked out for the best though. While the Lakers took some time to find their footing and were trailing by double digits as late as the third quarter, they eventually unleashed an avalanche on the Kings and won by the final of 117-92. Howard had a vintage outing with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in 35 minutes. Meanwhile, Jordan did not see the floor again for the rest of the game.

Though Vogel did not directly address the incident afterwards, he did hint to reporters that Howard is more familiar with the team’s defensive schemes than the first-year Laker Jordan.

The ex-All-Star Jordan has started at center for the majority of the Lakers’ games this season. But there is definite urgency facing Vogel right now, so he will not hesitate to pull the plug on a lineup piece that is not working.

Julius Randle complains about treatment from referees

Julius Randle smiles

Julius Randle complained about the officials following his New York Knicks’ 112-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

Randle was called for a technical foul in the final two minutes, giving Kevin Durant a technical free throw to make it 108-105. But that wasn’t his only issue.

Randle had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, but he only attempted two free throws in the game. He felt like he deserved to receive more foul calls.

Randle said after the game that he was told by the referees that he didn’t get more calls because he is big and strong and unaffected by the fouls.

“I can’t be penalized for just being stronger than people, and that’s an answer I got today (from the refs),” Randle said after the game. “They said because certain contact doesn’t affect like it affects other players because I’m stronger, they missed the calls.”

That’s unfortunate for Randle, and it confirms that officials can be reactionary. The same reason why Randle wasn’t getting calls is exactly why flopping works.

It’s not fair for Randle not to get the calls for that reason, so his frustration is completely understandable.

Photo: Nov 8, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

Duke star Paolo Banchero has odd issue with sweating

Paolo Banchero staying hydrated

Paolo Banchero pours his blood, sweat, and tears onto the court every single game … but mostly his sweat.

During Tuesday’s game between Duke and Ohio State, ESPN’s Holly Rowe spoke on the cramps that the Blue Devils star Banchero has dealt with this season. Banchero recently had a sweat test performed on him by a doctor, which revealed that he loses about seven pounds every game. As a result, the freshman now drinks a special oxygenated fluid during games that absorbs immediately and helps prevent cramping.

The 19-year-old Banchero is Duke’s leading scorer and rebounder with 18.3 points and 7.6 boards per game this season. He is also a strong candidate to go with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Banchero’s cramps briefly forced him off the floor during both of Duke’s marquee games against Kentucky and Gonzaga earlier this month. While cramping has been a problem for some very prominent basketball players, Banchero’s issue is definitely one of the stranger ones we have seen at any level of the sport.