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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Headlines

Chargers troll Stephen A Smith in hilarious fashion after botched game preview

Stephen A Smith

Stephen A. Smith left NFL fans feeling like he knows absolutely nothing about football with the way he spoke on Thursday about the upcoming showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, and the longtime ESPN personality is being absolutely crucified for it on social media.

Things started to go south for Smith when he said he is looking forward to seeing the type of impact Spencer Ware can make in the game. As you may know, the running back has been ruled out with hamstring and shoulder injuries. It only got worse from there.

To put it lightly, Twitter was not kind to Smith. But the Chargers’ official Twitter account fired the best shot of all.

Smith was truly getting it from all angles. Perhaps making matters worse, he tried to defend himself on Twitter by saying he misspoke and said Henry when he meant fellow tight end Virgil Green.

Really? The same Virgil Green who has caught 15 passes all season and not snagged a ball in the past three games? What about his reference to Johnson? Smith is going to have to do a lot better than that.

The looks on the faces of Tedy Bruschi and Max Kellerman said it all. Smith has made a career out of unloading on other people with hot takes, but he’s just going to have to take his medicine this time. He clearly wasn’t prepared enough to discuss the Chiefs and Chargers.

Carson Wentz reportedly has fractured vertebrae, will not need surgery

Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been dealing with a back injury for several weeks, and it turns out it is more than just minor soreness.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Wentz underwent a CT scan this week that showed he has a fractured vertebrae. While he is expected to be able to avoid surgery, it is unclear if he will play again in 2018.

Wentz has been on and off the injury report with a back injury since October, so the ailment is likely one he has been playing through for quite some time. That could help explain why his performance has been inconsistent, though he has also been working his way back to full strength after undergoing ACL surgery.

While Wentz seemingly beat the odds by coming back so quickly from his knee injury, the Eagles are going to play it safe with a player they feel is the cornerstone of their franchise. They have one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league in Nick Foles, and they may need the veteran to lead them on another deep postseason run this year. With a record of 6-7, it could already be too late for that.

Baron Davis blasts Derek Fisher over new business venture

Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher was once considered one of the most respected veteran players in the NBA, but it seems his reputation has taken a bit of a hit since he decided to call it a career.

A good example of that would be the way some of Fisher’s peers are responding to his latest business venture. On Wednesday, sports business reporter Darren Rovell revealed that Fisher has joined a company called Luxury Asset Capital, which basically lends money to athletes who have gotten into financial trouble.

You can see how that would not be the best look. The business model appears to be one that targets athletes who have spent their money recklessly and need a way out. Former NBA star Baron Davis, who played at a time when Fisher was president of the NBA Players Association and helped negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement during the 2011 lockout, blasted Fisher.

Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley also took aim at Fisher and the new company.

Players believed Fisher worked with the NBA on a CBA that was more favorable for team owners, and he lost the trust of many of his peers. Davis is certainly not the only current or former NBA player who feels Fisher’s involvement in Luxury Asset Capital is wrong.

Fisher recently landed a job as the head coach of a WNBA team, and the way he was taunted on social media shows you how far the level of respect for him has fallen.

Steelers RB Stevan Ridley still bitter over departure from Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Stevan Ridley will have something extra to prove on Sunday.

Ridley was drafted in the third round in 2011 by the New England Patriots and played four seasons for them. He rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns for them, including a 1,263-yard, 12-touchdown season in 2012. But then he tore his ACL and MCL during the 2014 season and never got back with New England.

Ridley has bounced around to many other teams since the Patriots let him go and he still hasn’t shown his form from that 2012 season. Now he’s with the Steelers, getting carries here and there, and he says he wants to beat the Patriots more than any other team.

“I’m very open and I have to be real: I want this game more than any other game, man,” Ridley told the Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy.

“I was trashed after an injury. I’m just going to put it that way. I’m not going to say specifically, but to be a starter for (the Patriots) for four years, to tear my ACL and never get a call back, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”

Ridley believes the Pats still haven’t found an answer at running back since his injury. He feels they continue to shuffle guys in and out ever since.

Maybe someone should remind him that he was already on the roster bubble due to fumbling issues before his injury.

The Steelers are thin at running back with James Conner hurt and could give carries to Jaylen Samuels as well as Ridley. As far as a big revenge game coming? We don’t see it happening, but we admire the grudge.

Stephen Curry was ‘one thousand percent’ joking with moon landing comments

Stephen Curry

Yes, it turns out Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry wasn’t being sincere with his recent moon landing skepticism.

Curry admitted that he was “one thousand percent” joking when he expressed skepticism that the moon landing had ever happened. The quote, which was said while Curry was talking about conspiracy theories during a podcast from The Ringer, quickly went viral, culminating in an invitation from NASA to visit the lunar lab in Houston.

“One thousand percent,” Curry said Wednesday, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “One thousand percent. Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast. I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake moon landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.”

Curry cautioned against believing everything you hear just because a celebrity said it, and added that he fully intends to take NASA up on its offer.

“I am definitely going to take [NASA] up on their offer,” Curry said. “I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years. And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power. For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe.”

This sort of thing seems to be a running gag among NBA players. Given the reaction that Kyrie Irving got with similar comments, Curry probably shouldn’t have been surprised that his words went viral.

Report: Carson Wentz to miss Week 15, possibly beyond with back injury

Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was held out of practice on Wednesday after he experienced back spasms, and it sounds as though the injury could be a significant one.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Wentz is not expected to play on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams, and there is a possibility he may be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

While the Eagles have one of the most experienced backups in the league in Nick Foles, the timing of Wentz’s injury could not be much worse. Philly remains in playoff contention at 6-7, and Wentz finally appears to be rounding back into form after it took him a while to get his rhythm back following ACL surgery. He played well against a tough Dallas Cowboys’ defense on Sunday, though the Eagles ended up losing in overtime.

Wentz seemingly beat the odds earlier this season by coming back so quickly from offseason surgery, but unfortunately the Eagles may have to find ways to win without him yet again.

Clippers going all-out with recruitment of Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant

Kawhi Leonard

The Los Angeles Clippers have been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season, but some members of their front office have not been present the majority of the time to witness their hot start in person. Instead, they are too busy trying to lay the groundwork for a dynasty.

With the Clippers off to a 17-10 start, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that they are going all-out to prepare themselves at making a run at both Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard this offseason. Windhorst writes that L.A. been “treating the two like college recruits,” with Raptors officials saying they have noticed a Clippers employee at roughly 75 percent of Toronto’s games this season. Executives from the Clippers have also been spotted at many Golden State Warriors games that did not involve L.A.

While teams can’t actively recruit players who are under contract, the Clippers obviously want to be noticed by Durant and Leonard. One of the executives that has been attending many of Leonard’s and Durant’s games is president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, and Windhorst notes that people that high up in the front office almost never attend games that don’t involve their own team.

The Clippers have several players under team-friendly contracts, and they have two max slots available with Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan no longer in the picture. They are hoping to fill them with Durant and Leonard, and the idea may not be all that far-fetched if L.A. reaches the postseason with what they currently have.

The assumption all along has been that Leonard won’t re-sign with the Raptors, even if he is enjoying his time in Toronto more than he expected. Durant previously seemed like a lock to remain with the Warriors, but his feud with Draymond Green may have changed things.

Leonard has always been linked to Los Angeles, and the Clippers would make sense for him if the reports about him not wanting to team up with LeBron James are true. Whatever the case, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is not going to be out-hustled by the competition this offseason. If his team is unable to sign two premier free agents, it won’t be due to a lack of effort.