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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

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Chiefs DB responds to Bengals’ Arrowhead Stadium nickname

Justin Reid smiling on the field

Sep 11, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid (20) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the Cincinnati Bengals’ talk prior to Sunday’s AFC Championship has certainly caught the attention of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bengals went viral on Wednesday after their “Burrowhead” nickname for Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium went public. Naturally, word quickly got back to the Chiefs about that nickname.

Chiefs safety Justin Reid was asked about the comment on Wednesday, and he offered something of a warning to Cincinnati’s players.

“I think we all saw it,” Reid said. “We are gonna let our play on the field speak for us.”

Reid has certainly learned his lesson after getting publicly admonished over his own comments about the Bengals earlier in the season. He is not taking the bait this time, though he most certainly has this filed away.

Burrow has only played at Arrowhead Stadium once in last year’s AFC title game, though he is 3-0 career against the Chiefs. If he can make it four in a row, the nickname is going to stick.

Viral video shows LeBron James having to be held back from heckler

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James was not at all pleased with a heckler during a game this week.

Video went viral on Wednesday of the Los Angeles Lakers star James having to be held back from a fan at the previous night’s game against the rival LA Clippers. As James was walking to the locker room, a fan sitting courtside gave him an earful.

“Hey Bron, you better get this s–t together,” the fan shouted. The fan then poked fun at James’ “receding a– hairline.”

You can see the video here. The curse words are censored in the video.

Another angle of the incident can be seen at this link.

As you can see in those videos, James had to be held back by a staffer and lingered in the walkway for over 20 seconds. Other Lakers players also congregated in the area.

TMZ Sports reported that the incident took place right after the halftime buzzer sounded. The Lakers were getting knocked around by the Clippers at the time, trailing 77-54 after two quarters, and James was clearly frustrated.

The game, which took place at Crypto.com Arena, was a Lakers’ home game, but both Lakers and Clippers fans were in attendance since the two teams share the arena. James finished the game with 46 points, but the Lakers ultimately lost to the Clippers 133-115, dropping to 22-26 on the season. Another video from the game went viral of James looking completely dejected about the loss.

Kyrie Irving makes statement about future with Nets

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is in the final season of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, and there is a real lack of clarity about his future. Irving, through his agent, has apparently made clear what his preference would be.

Irving’s agent Shetellia Irving said the guard wants a contract extension with the Nets, but so far the team has not set up any talks about a possible deal.

“Around Kyrie and staying with the Nets? I have reached out to the Nets regarding this,” Shetellia Irving told Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. “We have had no significant conversations to date. The desire is to make Brooklyn home, with the right type of extension, which means the ball is in the Nets’ court to communicate now if their desire is the same.”

Irving had sought a new contract last offseason, but the two sides were unable to agree on a new deal. While some rumors about Irving’s wild demands were apparently unfounded, the Nets may have had some reservations after the All-Star guard was limited to 29 games in 2021-22 due to vaccine requirements. More controversy followed this season, and some reports suggest that has soured the Nets on Irving even more.

The guard has been on a hot streak lately and is averaging 26.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5 assists per game for the season. He would be eligible for a full max extension worth roughly $200 million over four seasons.

Broncos reportedly make decision on 1 coach candidate

Rob Walton smiling

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Denver Broncos owner Rob Walton reacts during an NFL International Series game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jaguars 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have yet to make a decision on their next head coach, but they have made one decision on who will not get the job.

Interim coach Jerry Rosburg will not be retained as part of the team’s staff for 2023, according to Field Yates of ESPN. Rosburg has already been informed that he has been let go by the team.

This is not a huge surprise. Rosburg was brought in by former coach Nathaniel Hackett in the early part of the 2022 season to help with game management. The team’s next coach may already have that experience, and if they do not, a veteran assistant or two will fill the role instead.

Rosburg had apparently made his pitch for the full-time job, and while the Broncos considered it, it comes as little surprise that they will go in another direction. Previous indications were that there were two candidates they were looking at the most.

No. 1 recruit has telling comment about his ties to Nebraska

Matt Rhule at his first Nebraska press conference

Nov 28, 2022; Omaha, Nebraska, US; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule speaks at the introductory press conference at the Hawks Championship Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska fans may have dreams of landing top quarterback recruit Dylan Raiola, particularly considering his family ties. His latest quote, however, may dampen some of those expectations.

Raiola, the top-ranked recruit in the 2024 class, offered a rather bland quote about potentially committing to Nebraska when asked about the school. Raiola’s father Dominic, a former NFL center, was an All-American for the Cornhuskers in 2000.

“Nebraska is Nebraska,” Raiola told Chad Simmons of On3. “My dad went there, so Nebraska is family to my family. It is a program with a lot of history. A lot of great players have played there and Nebraska is special to my family.”

Raiola said nothing bad about Nebraska, but he also did not say anything about actually playing for them. In other words, that is not exactly a quote that suggests he is eager to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

Raiola had previously been committed to Ohio State, but he reopened his recruitment in December. He has recently been linked to the likes of Georgia, USC, and Oregon.

Arte Moreno not selling Angels could have 1 significant consequence

Arte Moreno waving

Mar 24, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno at a press conference to announce a 12 year contract extension for center fielder Mike Trout (not pictured) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arte Moreno on Monday announced the surprising news that he is not going to sell the Los Angeles Angels. Angels fans who have grown sick of the 76-year-old’s leadership of the team were not happy about the news.

The news could also have one significant consequence.

SNY’s Andy Martino wrote a column on Wednesday about the chances the New York Mets or New York Yankees have of landing Shohei Ohtani. In his column, Martino said that the “strong perception around the league” is that Moreno remaining as the Angels’ owner will make it far less likely that Ohtani re-signs with the team.

Ohtani stunned the industry when he chose to sign with the Angels in December 2017. He considered seven teams, and most of the teams had one thing in common: they were on the West Coast. The seven finalists were the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Ohtani has spent five seasons with the Angels, so 2023 will be his last year under team control. He can become a free agent after that.

The Japanese two-way star has not shared much about his plans, but he has emphasized that he wants to play for a winner. Though the Angels should be commended for the way Ohtani has developed under them, the team has not had a winning season since he signed with them (he did miss time as a pitcher with an arm injury). The Angels had four straight 4th-place finishes in the AL West to start Ohtani’s career with them, and they finished third last season.

Moreno is known for making whimsical decisions that often prove to be detrimental to the team. He declines to invest in player development, choosing instead to sign established stars on long-term contracts that hamper the team (Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton, Anthony Rendon).

Had a new owner entered the picture with big plans to spend and develop, perhaps that might have convinced Ohtani to stay. But as long as Moreno remains the team’s owner, Ohtani might not want to remain with the team so long as winning is his top priority.

Aaron Rodgers shares his opinion on Tom Brady retiring

Aaron Rodgers smiles

August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady both have yet to publicly decide on their futures, but one of them is rooting for the other to come back.

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday, and McAfee discussed how some view this weekend’s conference championships as a showcase for the next generation of quarterbacks. Rodgers seemed to suggest that comments like that would inspire him and Brady to come back in 2023.

“Say that a little bit louder so Tommy can hear, then we’ll both come back next year,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers is clearly rooting for Brady to play another season. That may be his lean as well, though there is increasing speculation that any return may not come with the Packers.

Brady is publicly undecided, and quite forcefully so. It may be that one of them ends up playing while the other does not.

Matt Barnes captured on video spitting in man’s face at game

Matt Barnes looks ahead

May 6, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Matt Barnes (22) walking into the arena before the game between the Utah Jazz and the Golden State Warriors in game three of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Barnes was captured on video spitting in the face of another man during an incident on Sunday.

Barnes attended Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The former NBA player got into a heated altercation with his fiancee’s ex-husband on a concourse at the venue.

In a video shared by TMZ Sports, Barnes is seeing spitting directly in the man’s face.

Police were called to the scene to investigate an allegation of battery committed by Barnes.

Though Barnes is shown in the video spitting in the man’s face, the former NBA player claims he is a victim of harassment by the other man, David Patterson Jr.

Barnes, 42, filed in Los Angeles County Court for a temporary civil restraining order two days after the incident, according to TMZ.

Regarding the incident at the NFL game, Barnes claimed in court documents that Patterson Jr. “hunted me down and aggressively confronted me.” He also accused Patterson of yelling profanities and threats at him.

Barnes said in his TRO application that Patterson Jr. has terrorized him for months and even threatened to shoot him.

Barnes was known for being physical and aggressive during his NBA career, which led him to rack up several thousands of dollars in fines from the league. In 2016, he was accused of choking a woman at a nightclub. Barnes also was suspended for his infamous incident with Derek Fisher.

Warriors GM Bob Myers could leave for 1 rival team?

Bob Myers holding a microphone

May 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers addresses the media in a press conference after naming Steve Kerr (not pictured) as the new head coach for the Warriors at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While general manager Bob Myers has been synonymous with the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty, there seems to be a chance that he could soon be working for a rival franchise.

The Athletic reported on Myers’ future in a lengthy feature that was published on Wednesday. The article notes that Myers’ contract with the Warriors expires in July and that, with extension talks not currently going anywhere, many around Myers are wondering if he will leave Golden State.

Additionally, The Athletic reports that front office circles are focusing on the LA Clippers, the Warriors’ Pacific Division rivals, as a potential destination for Myers. The Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, and New York Knicks are also worth monitoring as possibilities, as is the possibility that Myers pursues opportunities outside of basketball, The Athletic adds.

The Athletic feature takes a deep dive into Myers’ history with the Warriors as well as their current situation of uncertainty with one another. You can read the piece in full here.

Myers, 47, joined the Warriors as their assistant general manager in 2011 and was promoted to the GM job just one year later. He has been arguably the most successful NBA executive of the last decade or so, serving as the architect of four different NBA championship teams as well as another two teams that won the Western Conference. But the Warriors are a sub-.500 team this year (23-24), are being hamstrung by a sky-high luxury tax bill, and could be looking a lot different as soon as this summer.

The Clippers would be a very interesting landing spot for Myers. They have a spend-happy owner in Steve Ballmer as well as a front office figure in Jerry West whom Myers used to work with in Golden State. Myers also has deep ties to the Southern California area. He attended UCLA for college and later went to Loyola Law School, which is located in downtown Los Angeles just blocks away from the Clippers’ arena (though the Clippers will be moving to a new arena of their own in Inglewood for the 2024-25 season and beyond).

A few years ago, it was rumored that Myers could be leaving the Warriors for a different Pacific Division rival. While nothing ultimately came of those rumors, a split feels like a much greater possibility this time around.

Jalen Hurts makes frank admission about his health

Jalen Hurts in pads

Oct 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs off the field after loss against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will be playing through pain in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

Hurts made a frank admission about his health on Wednesday as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury. The Eagles standout dismissed the injury as an excuse, but made clear that he has “felt better.”

By all indications, Hurts is really gutting things out. The comment he made prior to last week’s game hinted at the same thing. That game turned into a blowout win against the New York Giants, and Hurts needed to throw just 24 passes, completing 16 of them for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The 49ers will likely provide a much tougher test than the Giants did, especially defensively. Hurts will have to find a way to overcome the pain and be on top of his game.