Russell Westbrook got into it with Jamal Murray and other members of the Denver Nuggets at the end of Friday night’s game.
Torrey Craig and Paul George were getting ready for a jump ball in the final minute of the game with Denver leading 107-98 over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook and Murray were jostling for position, and Westbrook shoved Murray.
Jamal Murray and Russell Westbrook getting into it, everyone talking pic.twitter.com/oMdFcOpxXW
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 15, 2018
Nikola Jokic got in the middle of things and tried to get Westbrook to back off. Westbrook then turned his attention to Jokic, telling him to back off.
Westbrook and Murray each received technicals for the scrap.
Westbrook shot just 5/15 in the big Western Conference matchup and was understandably frustrated by the end. As for Murray, whether he’s annoying the Lakers or Westbrook, he’s proven to be a pest.
A Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards trade reportedly has fallen apart over confusion about which Brooks player the Phoenix Suns were receiving in the deal.
The Suns, Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies were all working on a 3-way trade involving five players. Here’s what the trade looked like:
– Wizards getting Trevor Ariza from Phoenix
– Grizzlies getting Kelly Oubre from Washington
– Suns getting Austin Rivers from Washington and two players from Memphis
The hangup has to do with the two players the Suns were getting from Memphis. One of the players was Wayne Selden. The other was “Brooks.” The problem is Memphis has two players with the same last name, and there was a confusion about whether MarShon Brooks or Dillon Brooks was in the deal.
Memphis thought they were trading MarShon Brooks, while the Suns only were going to make the trade if they were getting Dillon, according to information from Suns reporter John Gambadoro and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Woj says the deal is dead unless the Wizards and Suns make it directly or involve a different third team.
If you’re wondering how the confusion could have happened, it’s apparently because Washington was used as a conduit in the trade talks and Phoenix and Memphis never spoke directly.
Deal's suddenly in peril. Memphis and Phoenix didn't communicate directly on trade, using Washington as a conduit in coordinating the 3-team deal, sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me. Grizzlies believe they were trading MarShon, but somehow Suns believed it was Dillon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
Who would have figured that Dillon Brooks would come between one of the biggest trades of the season?
The Chicago White Sox may have had a greater prize in mind when they acquired Yonder Alonso in a trade.
The White Sox acquired Alonso in a trade with the Cleveland Indians on Friday, as first reported by Watch Stadium.
Alonso is the brother-in-law of Manny Machado, so there is some thought that the White Sox are trying to appeal to the free agent shortstop. Ken Rosenthal mentioned this factor on Thursday, a day before Alonso was traded.
Value-obsessed baseball teams do not think like this, but it would be interesting if a Manny Machado suitor traded for his brother-in-law, #Indians 1B Yonder Alonso, who now figures to be highly available. Alonso would amount to a $9M enticement, but who’s counting?
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2018
The White Sox are among the teams said to have high interest in Machado.
Alonso, 31, is making $8 million next season and has a $1 million buyout for 2020, so he’s only guaranteed $9 million. He batted .250 with 23 homers and a .738 OPS last season. Dealing him helps the Indians clear some payroll, which could allow them to keep all of their starting pitchers despite the trade rumors.
The Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are nearing completion on a 3-way trade that would send Trevor Ariza to Washington, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday night that Ariza would go to the Wizards, while Phoenix would get Austin Rivers, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden as part of the deal. Washington would send Kelly Oubre to Memphis.
As part of a three-team deal nearing completion: Ariza to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers and two Grizzlies role players to Suns, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/1EmRCHrjOP
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
A trade of Ariza has been anticipated all week. He signed with Phoenix for $15 million in the offseason but has not played well for them, and multiple teams were said to be interested in acquiring him.
Rivers is making $12.65 million this season and will be a free agent after the year. Oubre is making $3.2 million this season and set to make $4.4 million next season with his qualifying offer. He is still on his rookie contract. Oubre is averaging 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
This would mark the second time Rivers has been traded in six months. He was dealt by the Clippers to the Wizards in June.
Things have not been going well for the 11-18 Wizards this season, so they’re hoping this roster shakeup could lead to some positive results.
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Malik Monk and Tim Hardaway Jr had a moment of tension following a dunk during Friday’s game.
Monk dunked a ball on a fastbreak pass from Tony Parker under the basket and yammed on Hardaway during the second quarter. He went right up to Hardaway after the dunk and the two bumped chests and exchanged words.
Monk went right at Tim Hardaway Jr. pic.twitter.com/Ft2AU4CFuw
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 15, 2018
Monk’s Charlotte Hornets were up by around 20 points at the time but ended up losing 126-124 in overtime. Monk had 9 points in the game, while Hardaway had just 12 during an off shooting night.
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Nick Saban’s “school for college football coaches needing their image rehabbed” took in its most controversial figure yet, which led to the Alabama head coach issuing a statement.
On Thursday, word emerged that former Maryland head coach DJ Durkin had been serving as a consultant for Alabama. Durkin was placed on administrative leave in August over an investigation into the death of one of his football players during an offseason workout. Durkin was initially cleared to return to work following an investigation, but he was later fired by the school due to public outcry.
Saban working with Durkin led to plenty of public backlash. Prominent SEC figure Paul Finebaum of ESPN said the move was an “absolutely terrible, embarrassing look” for Saban.
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) December 13, 2018
USA Today’s Dan Wolken said Saban was sending the wrong message with the move.
The backlash led Saban to issue a statement on Friday about Durkin’s role with the team.
Nick Saban: “DJ Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint. He has not been hired in any capacity at The University of Alabama. He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years”
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 15, 2018
Saban and Alabama are trying to straddle the fence here by saying “we’re taking Durkin’s help, but hey, he’s not been hired, so don’t get too mad at us.”
According to ESPN’s Chris Low, Durkin will not accompany the team to its playoff game against Oklahoma.
Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen, under siege from his players, has leaned on mentor Gregg Popovich for support.
Boylen served as an assistant under Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs from 2013 to 2015 and has clearly used him as a coaching influence. The two apparently still speak, as Boylen said Popovich has privately offered him support as he clashes with his players.
Jim Boylen said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has reached out to him recently to offer support: "It means the world. He’s arguably one of the two or three best coaches of all-time that I have a relationship with and that cares about me. And I care about him."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 14, 2018
Boylen has actually used some of the tactics Popovich has used on his Bulls players. That has clearly backfired, and Boylen was told he has a long way to go before he can consider himself in the same league as the Spurs’ coach. Regardless, Popovich is apparently supporting him, for whatever it’s worth.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen may miss some time with a hip injury, but it reportedly won’t be much.
Allen left Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs with what has been diagnosed as a hip pointer, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The injury is not considered serious and any absence should be brief.
#Chargers WR Keenan Allen, who went down hard last night, was diagnosed with a hip pointer, source said. No structural damage and nothing that’ll affect him long-term. He could miss some time, but it’s unlikely to be much. All in all, could have been much worse.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 14, 2018
Allen is the Chargers’ leading receiver, having already surpassed 1,000 yards on the year. He has a long week to recover before the matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, where the Chargers would really be able to use him. Even if he’s not healthy then, it sounds like he’s expected to be ready for the playoffs.
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- Keenan Allen
It’s safe to say Clemson coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t want to see the College Football Playoff get any bigger.
Swinney said Friday that he hates the idea of an expanded playoff, saying he’d rather go back down to two than expand to eight.
“I’d be more back to two, to be honest with you. I’m not a ‘More is better’ guy,” Swinney said, via Matt Connolly of The State. “I know there’s a huge crowd out there for that, but I think college football is unique, and now all of a sudden it just becomes like everything else when you do that.”
One of the big reasons Swinney is opposed is that he feels the playoff has cheapened other bowl games to the point that players are comfortable skipping them to avoid hindering their NFL Draft prospects.
“I hate the fact that all of a sudden now it’s not cool to go to the Gator Bowl. Are you kidding me? I don’t like that mindset,” Swinney said. “I think the more you expand the more that becomes (the norm). I know that falls on a lot of deaf ears. It doesn’t mean I’m right. That’s just my opinion. I’m not telling anybody else they’re wrong. They can have the opinion whatever they want to have. But I love the passion of college football, and I think the more you expand the less the season matters.”
Despite the recent chatter, there are plenty in the sport who don’t want to see the playoff expand for various reasons. If the NCAA wants to go to eight teams, there are a lot of hurdles they have to clear and factors they have to consider.
- Dabo Swinney
College football bowl seasons begins on Saturday, and what better way to enjoy the fun month of final college football games than by picking the winners? LBS will be running a bowl games pick ’em contest through ESPN’s Capital One Bowl Mania this year.
In order to join, follow this link and join the “LBS College Bowl Pick ’em.” The password to enter is “heisman.”
The group is private but anyone who follows the link can join. In order to play, you must pick the winner of each bowl game and assign a level of confidence in the pick, ranking 1 for the game in which you’re the least confident, to 41 points for the outcome in which you’re most confident. The idea is to score as many points as possible.
As with most of our contests, top finishers will receive prizes. As of now, we have prizes for the top three finishers. The first place finisher will get first pick of the available prizes, second place gets second pick of the remaining prizes, third place gets third pick of the prizes, and so on until the prizes have been given away. (note: be sure to contact LBS if you are a top finisher)
Here are our prizes so far:
– Cheribundi 7-Day Challenge. Cheribundi, the sponsor of the Boca Raton Bowl, is giving away a week’s worth of its tart cherry juice. Cheribundi has the highest antioxidant strength of any super fruit juice on the market today. You can find more information about it on the Cheribundi website or on Amazon.
– I-Top from Goliath Games (set of 4). This electronic spinning game allows you to compete against your friends for the highest score. There are challenges and you can unlock hidden features. It’s available at Amazon and Walmart.
– Killerspin Jet Set 4 ping pong paddles and balls. The JET SET 4 table tennis racket set comes with 4 paddles and 6 balls. It is the perfect gift for any ping pong table owner, or beginning player. It is also the perfect addition to your personal table tennis equipment collection.
– Lucyd Loud glasses. Lucyd Loud is a line of both prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses that let you talk on the phone, listen to music and use a voice assistant! The glasses are Bluetooth enabled eyewear that feature speakers that deliver hi-fi audio!