Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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The Celtics have so many talented players.

Yet, they started Gordon Hayward – whose play clearly didn’t merit it – his first 15 games this season.

Boston went just 8-7 during those games. Its main starting lineup – Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford – scored only 91.1 points and got outscored by 3.9 points per 100 possessions during that span.

Why were the Celtics so invested in Hayward?

Several reasons:

He’s earning $31,214,295 this season and is due $66,887,775 the next two years. He was going to factor significantly into the team’s roster construction, regardless. There was plenty of financial pressure to get Hayward on track.

Hayward suffered a season-ending injury in Boston’s first game last season. He didn’t get healthy until shortly before the season. Hayward reaching full speed was always likely to require a rocky transition into gameplay at some point.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward at Butler. It always helps to have the coach so personally believe in you.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

And then there’s the element of Boston, Massachusetts. They don’t just want a star. Of course, they’ll take any star that they can get, because their priority is winning. But everybody and their mother knows that particularly when it comes to Boston if we can have a white superstar, that would be even better. And they view Gordon Hayward as having that kind of potential.

So, all of those things considered, the players recognize this, were aware of this. And ultimately those who were compromised by having to be on a court with Gordon Hayward were sensitive to it.

Not because they don’t like him. Not because he’s not a good guy, because he is a good guy. It’s just that they know he hasn’t fully recovered 100 percent from his injury. So, he’s not the same as he used to be. They know he’s going to be a step slower. They know he’s going to be compromised. I have spoken to people in the league who literally have said, “Look, man, no disrespect to Gordon Hayward, nice guy, but he’s really, really compromised right now. He’s not the same guy that he was.” And they said, “We actually kind of feel sorry for him, because he is a nice guy, and we know he’s trying to come back from injury.”

Are there Celtics fans who’d prefer a white star? Yes.

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The San Francisco 49ers already have some decent offensive potential with young players such as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle, but could they add a veteran star on top of that?

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the 49ers may be looking to do just that, as Mortensen is reporting that San Francisco may be in on free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell.

The New York Jets are viewed as the favorites for Bell, mainly due to the fact that they have $102 million in cap space, but the Niners would certainly be an interesting destination.

Bell sat out the entire 2018 campaign due to a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also held out through Week 1 of 2017, but returned in Week 2 and ended up rushing for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns while hauling in 85 receptions for 655 yards and a couple of scores on the season en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection.

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The Bears could be looking to add a new running back.

If Washington doesn’t retain Adrian Peterson, Chicago might be interested in making a play on the 2012 MVP, according to an NFL Network report.

Teams reportedly have interest in trading for Chicago’s young running back Jordan Howard, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020. Howard’s perceived value and the free agency market are expected to impact the Bears’ effort to add new personnel to their backfield.

According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Bears could be the team to land Adrian Peterson depending on what happens with AP and Washington.

The 33-year-old back signed a one-year deal with the Skins last season after injuries plagued Washington’s backfield. AP rushed for over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns with a 4.2 yard per rush average, as he proved doubters wrong once again in 2018.

Tom Pelissero added that Brad Childress could even be joining Matt Nagy’s coaching staff next season, which further increases the chances that AP could be a target for Chicago.

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When the Bulls named Michael Reinsdorf chief operating officer and president in 2010, Jerry’s son vowed to be hands-on and accessible.

The former has been apparent over the last eight-plus years, and the latter is happening with more frequency. Michael Reinsdorf sat down with the Tribune for a lengthy interview on the eve of this season and did so again by phone Monday.

Over the course of 30 minutes, he touched on a wide variety of topics, including the futures of John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jim Boylen. Here’s a partial transcript of that conversation, edited for space and clarity:

Will John Paxson and Gar Forman be back next season?

Absolutely. We believe they’ve done a great job. I know that in this market, with some of our fans and some in the media, they look at it differently. That perplexes me. Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.

John, as our vice president of basketball operations, he took over in 2003 and orchestrated our first rebuild. He inherited a team and made a lot of different trades. He drafted Kirk Hinrich. We spent $3 million in a trade with Phoenix so we could draft Ben Gordon and Luol Deng in the same draft. He added Joakim Noah. We signed a top free agent in Ben Wallace in 2006. A lot of people forget he was the No. 1 free agent that year. And we ended up sweeping the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the first round and played Detroit in a tight, six-game series. We were on our way.

As the Kyler Murray-to-Arizona rumors intensify, there’s some smoke pouring out of the combine that Josh Rosen could be on the move to Washington.

On Saturday, NFL insider Tony Pauline shared that he’s heard the Redskins “have openly spoken about trading for Josh Rosen.”

One day later, and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel added fuel to that fire.

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The reeling Lakers have lost four of five and are now an extreme long shot to make the NBA playoffs. Is it time to do the once unthinkable and sit LeBron James?

ESPN analyst Jay Williams thinks so. The former college star and NBA player said Monday morning on the network’s “Get Up!” program that the Lakers should “shut down” LeBron James for the final 19 games.

“Magic Johnson needs to shut LeBron James down,” Williams said. “He needs to take it away from LeBron, because LeBron’s pride will want him to play. LeBron is the ultimate competitor, and he will want to compete for an eight [playoff] spot. But if you’re thinking about long-term return on investment for LeBron James, who is 34 years old, you have to be able to compartmentalize that if you’re Magic Johnson, and say, ‘OK, LeBron, sit down, I don’t need you to get injured … sit down, get healthy.'”

The NBA would certainly frown on that, given the league’s recent directive to the Pelicans that they must play disgruntled star Anthony Davis rather than sit him. But might the Lakers take a similar stance with James, and play him extremely limited minutes the rest of the way? Williams said sitting James would allow the team to show off its younger players and boost their trade value. And as far as coach Luke Walton … well, Williams, like many others, expects he’s on the way out.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.