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#pounditSunday, March 3, 2024

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Vikings coach has ominous comments about Kirk Cousins’ free agency

Kirk Cousins drops back to pass

Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) sets to throw a pass in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins is a free agent after spending the last six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell does not exactly sound like someone who is convinced his quarterback will return to the team next season.

O’Connell is in Indianapolis, Ind. for the NFL Combine. He joined NFL Network for an interview on Saturday and was asked a question about Cousins. O’Connell was pretty adamant that Cousins will be meeting with other teams in free agency.

“I’ve been having kind of the dialogue that you have with a player like Kirk Cousins, the relationship we’ve built up over a long period of time. I know Kirk, where he’s at in this whole process. He’s earned the right to be a free agent. He’s played really good football. I know Kirk’s gonna go through a full process. He’s a process guy. And hopefully we continue to be a strong part in that process and we figure out a way to keep him a Minnesota Viking,” O’Connell said. “But my expectation is we’re not going to be the only ones that would like Kirk Cousins to be the quarterback of our team in 2024.”

O’Connell made it very clear that he expects the Vikings to have competition for Cousins. He even insinuated that other teams may have been tampering with Cousins already.

The 35-year-old Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles’ tendon that limited him to just 8 games last season. He’s had three seasons of at least 30 touchdown passes with Minnesota and led the team to two playoff appearances.

You can hear O’Connell’s comments and judge for yourself.

Matt Rempe throws down again in another heavyweight hockey fight

The bruises under Matt Rempe’s eye still were fresh from a fight last weekend, but that didn’t deter him from fighting again on Saturday.

The New York Rangers rookie threw down with Maple Leafs winger Ryan Reaves during Toronto’s 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Reaves had been trying to goad Rempe into a fight early in the game, but Rempe did not engage. Then Rempe checked Leafs defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin into the boards in the second period, causing Lyubushkin to suffer a head injury.

A period later, Reaves finally got his wish and the chance to fight Rempe. The two dropped gloves at center ice and traded some big blows before agreeing to end the fight:

This fight came just over a week after Rempe and Nicolas Deslauriers fought in the NHL fight of the year.

Rempe has captivated fans for both his style and willingness to fight. It’s been years since we’ve seen a player so willingly engaging in fights — the kinds you used to see where guys would just throw repeated blows back-and-forth.

This was Rempe’s fourth fight in just seven games. Does it even matter that he may have lost this one?

Bradley Beal ejected after shoving match with Jalen Green

Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal was ejected Saturday from his team’s 118-109 loss to the Houston Rockets at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

Beal was tossed midway through the third quarter after being called for two technical fouls following an altercation with Rockets guard Jalen Green.

While inbounding from his own team’s baseline, Beal appeared to hit Green in the face with the ball. The two continued to exchange words even after the ball was put in play. Words turned into shoves soon after.

Here’s another angle of the Beal-Green shoving match.

Green was assessed one technical foul after the incident and remained in the game. Fred VanVleet sank the resulting technical free throw to give the Rockets a 73-57 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Green led all scorers with 34 points on 12/23 shooting from the field, tied for his second-best scoring output in a single game this season.

Beal was relatively quiet in the contest with 7 points on a 3/6 shooting clip. The Suns star had just returned from another multi-game absence due to injury.

Beal has played in just 31 of his team’s 60 contests so far this season due to a full smorgasbord of injuries.

Jerry Jones has interesting comments about Dak Prescott’s extension

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones. Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dallas Cowboys executives Jerry and Stephen Jones may be playing a football front office version of good cop, bad cop when it comes to negotiating quarterback Dak Prescott’s extension.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones on Tuesday affirmed the team’s intent to sign Prescott to an extension.

Prescott is entering the final year of his 4-year, $160 million contract he signed in 2021. His cap hit for next season is slated to be at around $59.4 million.

Dallas could conceivably lower that figure with some salary cap tinkering should Prescott sign an extension. Lowering his nearly $60 million cap hit would go a long way toward helping the team have more flexibility ahead of free agency.

During his Saturday media session at the NFL Combine, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked specifically about whether his team’s “all-in” approach to roster building hinges on getting a Prescott extension done. The 81-year-old billionaire stated that he believes the team can “absolutely” remain aggressive without a new QB deal in place.

“You can get in and get on the same page and see if you can come to an agreement. If you can’t, what we have in place works,” said Jones via Nick Harris of DallasCowboys.com. “And so obviously, if you do it one way, you’ll be working through some of the other areas on the team in a different way, but you can’t really plan on that until you see when you’re there.”

While Jones affirmed his desire to keep Prescott under center long term, the Cowboys owner added that he doesn’t “fear” the possibility of his star QB leaving after 2024.

However, Prescott’s deal and the Cowboys’ free agency plans may not be the only things on Jones’ mind of late. The Cowboys owner was recently ordered by a Dallas County judge to take a paternity test amid an ongoing legal battle with his alleged illegitimate daughter.

No, wrestler Hikaru Shida is not Shohei Ohtani’s wife

April Fools’ Day came early for one rumor.

Shohei Ohtani revealed during the week that he is now married, which has sparked speculation about the identity of his wife. All Ohtani revealed to the media is that his wife is a “normal Japanese woman.”

That wasn’t enough information for some people, who decided to spread a rumor.

An X account for wrestling show “The Superkick” made up a rumor Friday that AEW wrestler Hikaru Shida was Ohtani’s wife. The account in question even falsely cited ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan and TMZ Sports as sources to enhance the credibility of the fake news post.

No, neither Passan nor TMZ Sports reported that information — because it’s not true.

Ohtani’s wife is not a famous woman or celebrity in Japan. She definitely is not the famous 35-year-old AEW wrestler Hikaru Shida.

The account that posted this rumor was trolling for clicks and got exactly what it wanted.

Ohtani has revealed a few more details about his relationship. Though he desires to keep his relationship and the identity of his wife private, he did say they got engaged last year and she came to join him for spring training this year.

The 29-year-old Ohtani is preparing for his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after signing with the team during the offseason.

DeMar DeRozan called out Bucks player over disrespectful move

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan lost his cool Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

DeRozan was called for a flagrant foul after bumping into Bucks big man Bobby Portis during the Bulls’ 113-97 loss to Milwaukee at United Center in Chicago, Ill.

DeRozan was peeved that Portis glared at him after the Bulls star was knocked down to the ground during their battle for a rebound. The incident happened as the Bulls trailed 80-69 with just over 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

During his postgame press conference, DeRozan spoke about the altercation with Portis. The 6-time All-Star suggested that Portis went overboard with his “theatrics” and didn’t properly respect the game.

“He stared at me. That’s all it takes for me,” said DeRozan. “I don’t care who it is. It could be the janitor in the hallway. Look at me a certain type of way. Like, just play basketball. Get the rebound and play. I’ve just never been a player with the extra theatrics.”

The final score may not have been close, but the physicality between both teams could have had viewers believing otherwise.

DeRozan, who was linked to multiple teams before the NBA trade deadline, finished with just 12 points on 5/13 shooting — his third-lowest scoring output this season. He also had 9 assists and 4 rebounds.

Portis didn’t fare any better with 11 points on 4/13 shooting off the Bucks’ bench. Bucks star Giannis carried his team with 46 points and 16 rebounds.

NFL did Patrick Mahomes dirty with 40-yard comparison against Xavier Worthy

Aug 20, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) warms up prior to a game against the Washington Commanders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is many things — but super fast is not one of them.

The 3-time Super Bowl champion’s lack of explosive speed was on full display when the NFL combine broadcast directly compared him to new 40-yard dash record holder Xavier Worthy.

Worthy on Saturday ran a blistering 4.21 seconds during his 40-yard dash to set the record for fastest time in combine history (video here). The Texas alum surpassed the previous record of 4.22 set by John Ross during the 2017 combine.

Mahomes also ran the 40-yard dash during the 2017 combine. He was well behind Ross and most of the field at 4.80 seconds. The NFL had some fun by combining Mahomes’ dash time with that of Worthy’s.

The NFL’s official X account apologized to Mahomes for showing the world just how much slower the Chiefs star was compared to Worthy.

The preemptive apology was probably issued because Mahomes specifically requested NFL Network bury his 40-yard video earlier this week. The 2-time NFL MVP’s plea fell on deaf ears.

“As the combine starts this week! All i ask is that [NFL Network] doesn’t use my 40 overlay anymore,” implored Mahomes on Wednesday.

Mahomes was one of several NFL stars who reacted to Worthy’s blazing run. Perhaps the Chiefs, who are in definite need of a wide receiver upgrade, might take a closer look at the 6’1″ speedster ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

LeBron James completes incredible NBA scoring feat

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James once again stands alone in NBA scoring history.

During the Lakers’ prime time showdown against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, James became the lone member of the 40,000-point club

James had the capacity crowd at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. on their feet when he scored his 40,000th point via a spinning layup in the second quarter.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer needed just nine points on Saturday to reach 40,000. He scored five in the first quarter, which set the stage for the historic moment before halftime.

At 39 years old, James is the gold standard of longevity in the NBA. The 20-time All-Star remains as effective on the court as ever even in his 21st season in the association. James entered Saturday’s contest averaging 27.1 points on 50.5% shooting across 1,474 games for his career.

The 4-time MVP’s record may very well stand for decades — if not the test of time.

Despite a scoring renaissance currently ongoing in the NBA, no player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has even come close to James’ combination of productivity, availability, and longevity. And even the Captain fell over a thousand points shy of breaching the 40,000 club.

James also doesn’t appear to be on the brink of retirement just yet. The Lakers star has been more open about the topic of his retirement of late. But James still seems to have at least a few more years in him to pad his scoring record.

NBA referee Tony Brothers goes viral after issuing tech for seemingly odd reason

NBA referee Tony Brothers is clearly not a fan of being given the silent treatment.

Brothers on Saturday went viral after issuing a seemingly peculiar technical foul on Dejounte Murray during the Atlanta Hawks guard’s contest against the Brooklyn Nets.

The 1-time All-Star appeared to be penalized for ignoring the 59-year-old referee on the sideline at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The incident happened with the Hawks down 107-90 with just over four minutes left in the contest.

Murray may have been called for the tamest NBA technical in league history. No words were uttered, nor were there any demonstrative gestures made.

The Hawks ended up losing Saturday’s contest 114-102. Murray finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists on 8/19 shooting.

Brothers doesn’t exactly have the best track record in treating NBA players with respect at all times. The 30-year veteran official was punished last season for allegedly using profane language against a Nets guard.

Stars like Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and even Murray’s Hawks teammate Trae Young have had beef with Brothers in the not-so-distant past.

Brothers had just returned from a nearly month-long absence due to an Achilles injury he reportedly suffered during a February 6 contest between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. He may not have been in the best of spirits about having to run up and down an NBA court again.

Saturday was a warning to the rest of the NBA — ignore Brothers at your own peril.

NFL players react to Xavier Worthy’s record-breaking 40-time

May 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Tyreek Hill (10) stretches during OTA practice at Baptist Health Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Former Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy broke the NFL Combine record with a blazing 4.21 40-yard dash time he ran on Saturday. His record-breaking sprint captivated several notable players around the NFL, who shared their reactions online.

First off, let’s take a look at the run — just be sure not to blink, otherwise you’ll miss it.

Tyreek Hill, who is one of the fastest players in the NFL, wrote on X that Worthy’s time was “crazy.”

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said the same thing, but only after initially getting the time wrong and having to correct himself.

Former NFL star/speedster DeSean Jackson added in his reaction.

Worthy got two tries at the 40. His first run was 4.25, but he knew he could top that. Then he cranked out 4.21 on the second attempt. He was initially clocked at 4.22, which would have tied him with John Ross for the fasted 40 ever at the combine, but Worthy’s time was correctly adjusted down to 4.21.

That is blazing fast — and everyone around the NFL knows it.

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