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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024


Mavericks looking to trade for $160 million player?

The Dallas Mavericks logo

Nov 20, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the Dallas Mavericks logo during the game between the Mavericks and the Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly in talks to try to land another difference-maker next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

The Mavericks recently “checked in on” the availability of Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

Grant is entering the second year of a $160 million contract he signed with the Blazers in 2023. But given the team’s rebuilding status, Grant has become one of the most sought-after trade pieces around the league.

The 30-year-old is a versatile offensive weapon who can space the floor and even create his own shot at times.

Grant averaged 20.7 points on 46.3% shooting from the field and 40.2% from beyond the arc in his first two seasons in Portland. He also scored at least 19 points per game in each of his last four seasons.

Grant’s 7’2″ wingspan allows him to defend multiple positions, similar to the defensive role Derrick Jones Jr. played for the Mavericks this season. Dallas could very well lose Jones in free agency since they only offer him the $5.2 million taxpayer’s midlevel exception given their cap situation.

Grant would be a clear upgrade over Jones but would probably cost the Mavericks a few assets in any potential deal. With the Blazers in rebuild mode, a pick or two would more than likely be involved.

The Mavericks have been quite active in trade talks since falling short against the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals. Dallas has reportedly placed one veteran player on the trade block in an attempt to shake up their roster.

Ryan Garcia had awkward interaction with Jimmy Butler at poker game

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler didn’t seem very amused to be sitting next to Ryan Garcia on Saturday during a celebrity poker event.

Garcia was extremely boisterous while participating in the “Legends Of The Felt” poker tournament held in Hustler Casino Live in Los Angeles, Calif.

Garcia was chugging drinks, eating pasta, flexing, and making a fool of himself throughout the poker game. Butler seemingly ignored Garcia’s antics while at a table that also featured Brazilian soccer star Neymar, video game streamer Ninja, and professional poker player Dan Bilzerian.

At one point, Garcia awkwardly tried to chat up Butler. The boxer told Butler that he was a big fan of the 6-time All-Star when he played for the Chicago Bulls. Garcia had to ask which team Butler currently plays for.

“Who do you play for now?” Garcia asked.

“Miami,” Butler replied.

“Oh yeah, I don’t even know why I asked. I’m sorry Jimmy about the Finals last year,” Garcia added.

Erratic behavior from Garcia isn’t out of the ordinary. But Garcia could have also been employing some mind games to try to unnerve his opponents.

But if Garcia was indeed trying to distract Butler, it didn’t work. The Heat forward took home $123,000 in tournament winnings — the second-largest amount just behind Neymar’s $306,000.

Despite Butler being in trade rumors of late, the 34-year-old appears to still be having some fun when he can.

Joe Gibbs has great response to Christopher Bell spilling Chase Briscoe news

Apr 30, 2022; Dover, Delaware, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series owner Joe Gibbs walks on pit road prior to the A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell accidentally broke some news early this weekend. The team’s eponymous owner couldn’t have cared less about it.

Bell slipped up during a press conference on Friday and revealed that Chase Briscoe was set to replace Martin Truex Jr. at Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

The gaffe didn’t stop Bell from winning Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, N.H.

After the race, Gibbs was asked if Bell’s win “made up” for Bell spilling the Briscoe news.

“Somebody asked me that in the winner’s circle,” shared Gibbs. “And I said, ‘Christopher Bell can do anything he wants.'”

Bell’s Cup Series victory Sunday was his third of the year. His total tied Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and William Byron for most wins in the Cup Series this season.

Bell outlasted the field on what was a weather-beaten track at NHMS. Drivers had to make some wild adjustments to avoid mishaps given the slippery setting.

But not everyone was able to avoid escape Sunday’s race unscathed. Blaney and Michael McDowell got tangled up while battling for a top-three position with just nine laps to go. Blaney had some choice words for McDowell over the incident.

Mets’ Edwin Diaz ejected over sticky substance found on his hand

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz was ejected Sunday before even throwing out a single pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill.

Diaz was slated to take the mound for the bottom of the 9th inning with the Mets looking to protect a 5-2 over the Cubs.

Umpires noticed Diaz’s hand looking rather slick and shiny. After inspecting the 30-year-old Puerto Rican’s hand, 3rd base umpire Vic Carapazza tossed Diaz from the ballgame.

Mets reliever Drew Smith took Diaz’s place and preserved his team’s 5-2 lead to complete the save.

MLB has implemented more stringent inspection rules for sticky substances over the last few years.

Diaz could potentially be suspended for 10 games if the ruling on the substance on his hand is upheld.

Diaz claimed that he used “the same thing always,” which he described as a combination of rosin, sweat, and a little dirt.

Diaz’s brief appearance Sunday was just his sixth since returning from the injured list on May 24. Diaz has allowed just one earned run over 5.0 innings of work over that span.

Report reveals Lakers’ stance on signing Chris Paul

Dec 12, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul (3) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul has been linked to both of Los Angeles’ NBA franchises recently, but one of the two teams may be more interested than the other.

Paul has one year left on his contract with the Golden State Warriors. The entirety of his $30 million salary for the 2024-25 season is not guaranteed. The Warriors have until June 28 to decide whether or not to keep the 12-time All-Star.

Should Paul hit the free agency market, both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have reportedly shown interest in signing him.

However, a report published Sunday by NBA reporter Marc Stein stated that the Lakers’ interest in Paul isn’t “unanimous” despite Paul’s friendship with LeBron James.

Paul has long been linked to James ever since the two were seen sitting together on a banana boat in 2015. But James may not be pushing to team up with his friends the same way he did when he was younger.

The Warriors could also reportedly opt to keep Paul with the intention of trading him down the line.

Paul is entering his age-39 season and is coming off the least productive season of his career. But Paul still offered some value off the Warriors’ bench. He averaged 9.2 points on 44.1% from the field to go along with 6.8 assists and 1.2 steals.

Ryan Blaney slams Michael McDowell over late spin at New Hampshire

Mar 16, 2024; Bristol, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) before practice for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Michael McDowell did not get in Ryan Blaney’s good graces Sunday during the NASCAR Cup Series Race at New Hampshire.

Front Row Motorsports driver McDowell was jockeying for second with the Team Penske star with just nine laps to go at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

McDowell’s No. 34 Ford Mustang lost its grip at Turn 1 and ended up spinning Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang. McDowell finished 15th, while Blaney dropped down to 25th.

“What the f–k did he think was going to happen there?” said Blaney after the contact with McDowell. “F–king idiot. I know exactly what happened. He bombed it in there like a moron.”

After the race, McDowell apologized to Blaney and his team. McDowell also acknowledged that it was a “low-percentage move” but added that he “had to try” given his place in the standings (20th entering Sunday’s race) this late into the season.

The track was also extra slippery on Sunday due to weather issues. Drivers had to employ some unusual tactics beyond just debuting their wet-weather tires.

Christopher Bell emerged victorious for his second Cup Series win this season. Bell swept the weekend after also finishing first in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. Bell beat out second-place finisher Chase Briscoe, marking the second time this weekend that Bell stole Briscoe’s thunder.

Aaron Judge reveals if he would ever do Home Run Derby again

Oct 18, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts at the end of the fifth inning in game five of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge wowed the baseball world by winning the Home Run Derby as a rookie back in 2017. He has not taken part since, however, and that appears unlikely to change anytime soon.

The New York Yankees slugger ruled out participating in this year’s derby in Texas, though he confirmed he had been asked. Judge said he felt there was “no need” to do it this year, and his stance appears unlikely to change with one exception.

“I’m not done with it. Once it’s back in New York, I’ll be there,” Judge said, via Dan Martin of the New York Post.

MLB has announced the All-Star Game venues for 2025 and 2026, which will take place in Atlanta and Philadelphia, respectively. While venues for 2027 and 2028 have yet to be announced, commissioner Rob Manfred previously suggested that Chicago and Toronto are leading contenders. In other words, Judge might be waiting a while.

It’s worth noting the new Yankee Stadium has yet to play host to All-Star week. The original Yankee Stadium hosted the event in its final season of 2008. Citi Field hosted the 2013 festivities.

Judge has held this stance for years, and he does not appear likely to change his mind now. He turned 32 in April, and at some point, it will become fair to ask if he will ever get another chance without backing down on his condition.

Weather forces NASCAR drivers to make wild adjustments at New Hampshire

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire wound up looking very different, arguably in a good way, thanks to some intervention from the weather.

Rainy weather led to a lengthy delay at Loudon on Sunday, and when the race restarted, every car had been made to change over to wet-weather rain tires. There was some criticism that NASCAR did not choose to start the race with the cars configured for a wet track, but it certainly made for interesting viewing after the restart.

When the green flag came out with 73 laps to go, drivers had to get very creative when it came to progressing on what was suddenly a slower track. That meant a whole array of cars clumped together, sometimes going four- to five-wide.

Hilariously, drivers actually went through the puddles on the side of the track during a caution in an effort to keep the wet-weather tires cool.

Wet-weather tires made their NASCAR debut earlier this year after being approved for the 2023 season. They certainly changed Sunday’s race, and for many people, it was actually an improvement as it forced drivers into a bit more strategy.

Alex Bregman has postgame interview derailed by his son

Oct 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) prior to game six of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Bregman’s postgame interview Sunday went off the rails a bit, all because his son desperately wanted to go hit up the batting cage.

Bregman went 4-for-4 with two doubles in the Houston Astros’ win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, so plenty of reporters wanted to talk to him about his big day. His 23-month-old son Knox, however, wanted to talk about something else: a trip to the batting cage and the dugout that he had apparently been promised.

“He’s been begging all weekend. He wants to go to the cage and the dugout, so we’re going to take him to the dugout and the cage,” Bregman said sheepishly.

Bregman is hardly the first person to have something like this happen, nor will he be the last. Based on how well the Astros did this weekend with a sweep of the Orioles, Knox might be considered a good luck charm at this point.

After a rough start to the season, Bregman has caught fire lately, and is hitting well over .300 since the start of June. Sunday’s performance was his fourth multi-hit game in his last six.

Jordan Love makes major personal announcement

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw in the first quarter in the team’s first preseason game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Credit: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love is looking forward to a bright future in more ways than one.

Love on Sunday announced his engagement to girlfriend Ronika Stone. In an Instagram post, Love posted several pictures from the proposal, which took place in Italy. The images were simply captioned “first step to forever.”

Stone is a professional volleyball player for the San Diego Mojo of the Pro Volleyball Federation. She and Love became Instagram official in September 2020.

Love’s big personal news comes with his NFL career on the rise. His first season as the Packers’ starter was a breakout one, and he is seen as one of the game’s best young players at the position.

Congratulations to the happy couple. Presumably, this will help Stone get much better seats to Love’s games in the future.

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