Month: July 2017

NBA asks State Department how immigration ban might affect players

The NBA has contacted the State Department for some clarification on how the U.S. ban on immigration from seven countries might affect the league.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told TheVertical.com in a statement that, “We have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries.”

The executive order, signed by President Donald Trump Friday, bans immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days. It sparked mass protests at airports around the U.S. Saturday as reports surfaced of immigrants who had left the country to visit relatives or for other legitimate reasons had been detained by immigration officials.

NBC, which carries the second half of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season (Fox carries the first half), has not announced exactly how it will utilize Earnhardt.

“Earnhardt will be utilized in a number of capacities on NBC’s NASCAR coverage, with specifics to be announced in the coming months,” NBC Sports said in a release. “In addition, the agreement with NBCUniversal allows Earnhardt a wide range of opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television, podcasts, and other areas.

Last season, Smith won his first NBA championship alongside “The King.” He has high respect for him. Smith shot 40 percent from deep during the regular season and because of it, inked a four-year, $57 million deal in October. His career was revived in Cleveland. That explains his next response.rangers_098-115x115

team captains selecting starters instead of fan balloting and implementing a 4-point shot.

So this past Friday at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT, NBA commissioner Adam Silver promised a new format for next year’s game in Los Angeles. He said he has spoken about the issue with Clippers guard Chris Paul, who is president of the players union, and Paul agrees that the All-Star Game needs to be shaken up.

Chris said, ‘We need to fix this,’ Silver told the audience at Sloan.

I just think this is one where we just have to reset, Silver added.

Some of the ideas that Silver floated: team captains selecting starters instead of fan balloting and implementing a 4-point shot.
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While unconventional, those changes would have little effect in terms of bringing excitement back to the All-Star Game and would not amount to hitting reset, as Silver suggested.
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Without Durant? The offense has not been as good, dropping to 110.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s still not bad, and the dropoff is to be expected. Naturally, when the Warriors turn to the bench, their offense is less efficient.

All the Warriors need from McCaw is to fill the Harrison Barnes role. He doesn’t need to shoot much Barnes took an average of 9.6 shots per game last year but he needs to defend and hit 3-pointers when defenses leave him open, which they will do often. Barnes benefited from that space, but now, in Dallas, Barnes has shown he was much better than his spot in the Warriors’ pecking order allowed him to be. McCaw simply is not as good as Harrison Barnes.

Stacking up winners and losers of NBA free agency

From even before the tip-off of free agency, things in the NBA were a bit wacky. The Clippers traded Chris Paul, the Pacers traded Paul George, the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler and the Hawks even found a taker for Dwight Howard. Once things got into gear on July 1, we were already looking at a changed league.
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Limited Matt Martin Jersey Boston got the big score of the offseason by signing Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward, pairing him with his former college coach, Brad Stevens, and putting the Celtics that much closer to the Cavaliers in the East. The Celtics now have a core of Hayward, Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas, as well as some young players who shined in summer league — No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum, last year’s No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown and rookies Semi Ojeleye and Ante Zizic.

They still have, potentially, two top-five picks in next year’s draft, so the Celtics have emerged from this summer with an All-Star caliber core of veterans and a budding group of youngsters behind them.

Who will these 54 future Hall of Famers be out of the current crop of major leaguers? Trying to guess is part of the fun with Cooperstown.

On the other hand, perhaps the Hall of Fame will decide when the time comes to start to inducting players from this era that it simply needs the same average number of players it’s been putting in each year, which would lead to a lower percentage of players being let in.

This would be unfortunate. It would likely lead to even more worthy players being left out.

Flash forward a week and New Orleans has lost all three games with Boogie by an average of 17 points, as Holiday has recorded more than half as many turnovers (5.3 per game) as points (10 per game), while shooting under 29 percent from the field.

Cousins and Anthony Davis have gotten theirs during this three-game stretch, combining for 29.3 points and 11.5 rebounds, so it’s easy to point the blame in the direction of the team’s primary ball-handler.

Scott Brooks says Wizards need ‘better version’ of Kelly Oubre

The Wizards suffered a painful loss against the 76ers Friday night, and head coach Scott Brooks found his target.

Small forward Kelly Oubre Jr., the No. 15 pick in the 2015 draft, caught the ire of Brooks after scoring just three points in 19 minutes of action.

Limited Womens Pharoh Cooper Jersey The All-Star forward suffered the injury Tuesday night when teammate Zaza Pachulia fell into Durant’s knee. The team plans to sign Matt Barnes as a replacement as they wait to see what happens with Durant.

The news is overall positive for Golden State after reports late Tuesday caused concerns about his availability in the postseason. Wednesday morning reports, however, are trending upwards and provide hope that Durant will be able to return by the time the playoffs begin.

The Western Conference Playoffs begin in six weeks, which is two weeks after Durant will be re-evaluated.
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There is some concern over the way that Patton wore down over the course of the season. He took eight or fewer shots in five of Creighton’s final six games, and outside of a 21-point performance in the Big East tournament against Xavier, struggled through the closing stretch (10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds).

He is an athletic, well-rounded 7-footer who fueled the Jays’ surprising start and played well enough over the course of the year to establish himself as a clear first-rounder. But he’s been too passive at times, and fatigue has hurt him. He could turn that around with a good tournament.

Pelicans’ Jarrett Jack out for 4-6 weeks with torn meniscus

Jarrett Jack managed just two games with the Pelicans.

The veteran point guard was signed by New Orleans after the team traded away a majority of its backcourt to land DeMarcus Cousins before the trade deadline.

New Orleans announced Friday that Jack would be out 4-6 weeks with a torn meniscus, effectively ending his season. Jack was coming back from a torn ACL suffered last year.

Ball makes a move up the board here this time around due to his ability to make the players around him better. Efficiency is the name of the game here. He leads the country averaging 7.7 assists per game and shoots 41 percent from 3-point range and nearly 72 percent from 2-point range.

He’s the driving force behind one of the top offenses in the country, telling me earlier this year that “it’s nothing to pass up a good shot for a great one.” Beyond that, he has a nose for the basketball, as his six rebounds and two steals per game show. There are concerns here defensively and in terms of pure explosive athleticism, but Ball has been one of the best players in all of college basketball as a freshman and projects well to the next level.

The only players who aren’t averaging one 3-point attempt per game for the Celtics this season are Tyler Zeller (0.0), Jordan Mickey (0.1), Demetrius Jackson (0.3) and Amir Johnson (0.8). Furthermore, of the players who are taking at least one 3-pointer per game, all but three are shooting greater than 35 percent from the perimeter: Smart (30.8 percent), Rozier (32.4 percent) and rookie Jaylen Brown (30.4 percent). Even if they aren’t the most accurate of shooters, though, defenses still have to be aware of where they are because they won’t shy away from letting it fly when left open.saints_013-223x223

Pirates don’t expect Jung Ho Kang to play this year; even 2018 ‘uncertain’

Whatever fleeting hopes the Pirates had of Jung Ho Kang contributing in the second half of this season have faded.

Limited Mens Mike Pouncey Jersey General manager Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the team has no expectation of Kang’s visa issues being resolved in time for him to play in 2017 — and even indicated his status for next season could be in jeopardy.

Beane, who has been with Oakland for 20 years, said he has never completely broken down the roster.

However, he already appears to have gotten a head start. Relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson were traded to the Nationals for pitchers Blake Treinen and Jesus Luzardo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse.

Really what’s been missing the last 20 years is keeping these players, Beane said. We need to change that narrative by creating a good team and ultimately committing to keep them around so that when people buy a ticket, they know that the team is going to be around for a few years.

The Athletics have been in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum since 1968, with the stadium being built in 1966. The team currently has narrowed the site for their new stadium to three locations in the Oakland area.
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But the truth is, we’re three-and-a-half months into the season, and it’s pretty clear that, without some sort of unforeseen revival, that rotation wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs. And it certainly wasn’t good enough for the Cubs to repeat as World Series champs, which is pretty much the only goal that matters at this point.

Thunder supermax contract extension could pay Russell Westbrook $235 million

Even though Russell Westbrook agreed to a renegotiation and extension a little less than a year ago, his contract status has returned as a major point of intrigue around the league. Typically, the Collective Bargaining Agreement has strong limitations on how frequently players can renegotiate or extend their contracts, but Westbrook’s special situation changes that.

Last summer, he and James Harden both agreed to longer contracts that used some of their teams’ cap space to make the existing years on the deal more lucrative as well. Four months later, the players and owners agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that established Designated Veteran contracts and extensions, a brand new way for elite players to receive the highest 35 percent maximum salary even before reaching ten years of NBA experience.

Elite Womens Carson Tinker Jersey Yankees fans have risen for Aaron Judge a lot this season. The sudden slugging sensation is on pace for 57 home runs, which would shatter Mark McGwire’s 30-year-old rookie record (49). Judge is also challenging both Babe Ruth (60 in ’27) and Roger Maris (61 in ’61) as the most profilic single-season Bronx Bomber in franchise history.
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Judge, at 6-7, 282 pounds, isn’t just hitting long balls. Like King Kong swatting planes over the Empire State Building, he’s smacking towering blasts worthy of his massive frame, at Yankee Stadium and well beyond.

The teams that saw the future, either pre- or post-2017 draft, and said, we’re all in for the year after next, have to be questioning themselves now. Granted, Darnold was not alone in what’s supposed to be a superior quarterback class to the one entering the league now, after this year’s draft. Josh Rosen is still supposed to be a major target. So is Josh Allen. Lamar Jackson is lurking. Most early projections have five quarterbacks going in the first round; a few push it as far as six.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Dennis Smith Jr. to delete vulgar tweets

Like many young and carefree athletes before him, the Mavericks’ top draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. tweeted some pretty stupid things back in his day.

Game Youth Jeremy Lin Jersey While reports of mutual interest between the Knicks and Griffin surfaced in late June, a day after the team parted ways with Phil Jackson, Griffin has had several conversations with organization since, including a dinner meeting with team executive Steve Mills in New York on Friday, according to ESPN.

Should Griffin come to terms with the Knicks, he would be given the GM title, as Mills is expected to take on the president’s role in the wake of Jackson’s departure. As GM, Griffin would run the team’s basketball operations.

There’s no deal yet, however, and here’s a key sticking point: Griffin may want to bring in his own front office and staff, a notion to which the Knicks may not be receptive.

Also, the New York Post is reporting the Knicks may interview more candidates, so the process may take a while.

Throw in the defense, and it’s hard to come to any conclusion other than Millsap being one of the 20 to 30 best players in the sport.
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That well-rounded skill set makes him a perfect fit in Denver, particularly next to center Nikola Jokic. Millsap’s defensive ability and unselfish offensive game will mesh perfectly with Jokic’s unique game. Not only is it a mesh of talent, where the Nuggets have two All-Star quality bigs, but it’s also a mesh of fit given the way they’ll complement each other.

This is why the team was built this way

iller holds high expectations for Jokic. He knows just how good he can be, because he has played with two brothers who are just like him.

“He has a lot of Marc [Gasol] in him,” Miller said, “because he can go a whole game and dominate it with eight points and 14 rebounds and 12 assists. He can go like Pau [Gasol] and give you 30 and 20. Now that Marc is stretching the floor like that, [Jokic] is also stretching the floor like that. He’s just a special player.”

The Nuggets see in Jokic what Miller does, and they’ve cleared the way for him to grow. They dealt Jusuf Nurkic, who was competing for Jokic’s minutes, to the Trail Blazers in February.

In the past week, with the Celtics down 0-2 to the Bulls despite ranking as the East’s top seed, the spotlight has landed on Boston’s coach, Brad Stevens. His record now stands at a mere 2-10 in three playoff appearances. That has caused a backlash in some corners over his sterling reputation juxtaposed on his paltry postseason winning percentage, the worst among coaches in history with 12 playoff games to their credit.

But, as guys like Wilkens, Sloan and Ramsay can attest, early returns on coaches in relation to the playoffs can be deceiving. That’s happening to Stevens as his team bungles its way through its first-round debacle against Chicago. His playoff record is unsightly, but it is early in his career. He is a better coach than 2-10 would indicate.

“This is why the team was built this way. Our depth has been challenged this year because of injuries, we haven’t been able to get a full dosage of what we can become even with the guys on the floor,” James said.

“But our bench definitely got the game ball tonight. Channing, Shump, D-Will, Kyle, those guys came in and gave us huge minutes.”jets_033

Warriors coach Steve Kerr underwent spinal cord leak procedure

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Steve Kerr likely won’t return to the bench anytime soon.

During a Friday interview with Bloomberg Radio, Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob revealed the Golden State coach underwent a spinal cord leak procedure on his back and remains out indefinitely.

I’m not giving it to you, James told reporters, via Cleveland.com, following Thursday’s practice before the second-seeded Cavs (51-31) face the Pacers (42-40) on Saturday. But I’ve got the answer why I feel like we’ve got a great chance.

The Cavaliers will have Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith for the postseason, after each missed extensive time in the second half of the regular season. Even with those three back, James knows it won’t be easy to dispatch the Paul George-led Pacers.

It starts with baby steps first, and we understand that, James said, via ESPN. It starts with our opponent in two days. We have to be very determined, but we also have to be very smart about our game plan and how we execute that game plan, execute that (for) 48 minutes as possible starting with Game 1.

Authentic George Johnson Jersey I think through everything that went on with our team, we’re in a position where we can do something special still, James added. At the end of the day, I’m not going to harp on what happened in the regular season through injuries, through bad losses, through good wins, through whatever the case may be. We have a good club going into the postseason. That’s all you can ask for.