Category Archives: NBA Basketball Player News

NBA Basketball Player News

Richard Sherman jogging, expects to be ready for camp

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman‘s recovery from last year’s torn Achilles has taken a step forward.

Sherman told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he jogged on a field for the first time since his injury on Wednesday after previously being limited to working on a treadmill. Sherman said his Achilles “felt great” after the new work and that he anticipates being fully ready to go when training camp starts this summer.

“Larry knows his job,” said Clarkson. “He’s going to screen, he’s going to roll, he’s going to get rebounds and he’s going to defend. I think his time is coming in this series.”

Nance came into the postseason as the Cavs’ backup center behind Kevin Love. Needing more toughness and experience in the lineup, Lue made Tristan Thompson the starting 5, shifting Love to the 4 and cutting Nance’s playing time.

But Boston’s size has since given the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Nance a second look.

The key takeaways are: 1. The kicking team must line up within one yard of the line where the ball is kicked (typically the 35-yard line), and must have five players on each side of the kicker. That changes the rule that allowed players to line up five yards behind the spot where the ball is kicked to get a running start. Now the kicker will be able to get a running start, but everyone else will get one step at best.

At least eight of the 11 players on the receiving team must line up within 15 yards of their restraining line, which would typically mean between the kicking team’s 45-yard line and the receiving team’s 40-yard line.

3. At least two players must be lined up outside the numbers, and two players between the numbers and the hashmark. 4. Until the ball is touched or hits the ground, players on the receiving team can’t cross the restraining line (typically the 45), or initiate a block within 15 yards of the line where the ball is kicked. 5. Wedge blocks will be eliminated. Past rule changes have limited wedge blocks to two players, but now even the two-man wedge will be banned.cardinals_012

Cowboys sign first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch

The Cowboys have hammered out a contract with their first-round pick.

The team on Friday agreed to terms with rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Dallas later announced the signing.

The No. 19 overall pick in the draft, Vander Esch is expected to slide right into a starting spot alongside veterans Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith.

Seen as a three-down contributor, Vander Esch starred at Boise State and thrived at the combine as a SPARQ-score darling. He is viewed by the Cowboys as something of a Brian Urlacher 2.0. according to NFL Network’s Jane Slater.

At least for the mainstream fan and skittish team management who didn’t want their players getting involved in race and social issues, the messy stuff of raised black fists and boycotts, greenwashing solved the issue. By the end of the 20th century, it had been nearly 30 years since a top-shelf, in-his-prime athlete had embraced the Heritage. Jackie Robinson had been dead nearly 30 years. Muhammad Ali had been ravaged by the effects of Parkinson’s disease, and he and the country had reconciled. Ali was embraced as a courageous warrior of yesterday’s fights, not a living, activist threat.

Wilson was born on August 16, 1996. Vinatieri has kicked 559 field goals and scored 2,487 points in his career, both second-most in NFL history behind Morten Andersen. If he plays all 16 games he’s sure to break Andersen’s record, and his young teammates will be there to see NFL history that started before they were old enough to watch football.

Fans had no issue with players being vocal. It was dissent from the black athlete the public didn’t want. After the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Red Sox superstar David Ortiz took the microphone at Fenway Park before Boston’s first game back and said memorably, “This is our f—ing city!” to delirious applause. Later that year, as the Red Sox were on their way to overcoming a dismal, last-place 2012 season with a World Series championship, one of the enduring photos of the playoffs was a police officer cheering in the bullpen after an Ortiz grand slam. sabres_123

Trammell felt overwhelmed.

Harvin ranks 18th nationally and tops among freshmen with a 44.1 yards-per-punt average. He finished second in the ACC in punting, and 32 percent of his punts were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He was fifth in the league in net punting, averaging nearly 40 yards per kick after returns.

The Buccaneers, a fellow “bad dangerous team,” fell flat in Lambeau Field because they made mistakes and couldn’t protect Jameis Winston, and Winston wasn’t capable of running out of trouble. Kizer has the same cannon, and his mobility can cause problems for the Packers — while buying time to find Gordon in a favorable matchup downfield.

The Ravens have found some more passing pop of late, but they’re still make-or-break based on the success of their running game. Now they’re also down Jimmy Smith, the cornerback who would have made things tough on Gordon.

“I came to realization that it might not happen, and I was OK with that. I really was,” he said. “If people thought it was a tad short, I could live with that.”

Former catcher Ted Simmons fell one vote shy, and former players’ union head Marvin Miller was five short of the 12 needed.

“It’s not a big surprise,” Miller’s son, Peter, said from Japan. “I think my father’s place in history is understood by all baseball players, all baseball fans and the general public.”

The lineup invokes memories of the old Sesame Street tune, “One Of These Things (Is Not Like The Other).”eagles_075_d861b779a2610576-180x180

Coach Adam Gase said last week that Miami was “the worst offense in football.

The Jaguars might be the best team in the league right now if they had Watson behind center … or almost anyone besides Blake Bortles.

Their defense is setting the pace so far this season. They lead the league in sacks with 33, which puts them on pace to finish with the most sacks in league history. They have 10 picks, nine forced fumbles, and 50 pass breakups. That defense and a strong run game is what’s allowing them to win games, rather than putting anymore weight than they have to on the shoulders of Bortles, who has thrown 56 interceptions over three and a half seasons.

Philadelphia got some help for its running game and a replacement for the injured Darren Sproles, while the struggling Dolphins, coming off a 40-0 loss to the Ravens, get a valuable pick.”

“Albeit in limited game action, Jimmy has displayed the characteristics and traits that we believe are vital to being a successful quarterback in this league. He has had the rare opportunity to sit and learn from a future Hall of Fame quarterback in a championship atmosphere.”

Also on that Cuban team was a man sitting in the ESPN Deportes broadcast booth at Minute Maid Park, directly over Lourdes Gurriel: Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez. Five years after Barcelona, the pitcher left Cuba in a boat and landed at Yankee Stadium, where he became a star. “Had we played together as a unit in the major leagues, we might have competed for the pennant. Our very best was Omar Linares, a Hall of Famer, for sure, but Antonio Pacheco, German Mesa, Victor Mesa, Orestes Kindelan were not far behind. Lourdes was a tremendous clutch hitter, just like his son.”nike_patriots-012

Kirk Cousins’ door to 49ers closes, but opens to other teams, including his own

The football universe has a sense of humor, so it made sense when the planets aligned Monday night to make Kirk Cousins’ future look so complicated in such a short time.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Friday’s win that neither injury has been an issue recently, despite the increase in long balls Kershaw has allowed. “In the fourth, fifth and sixth [innings] his slider just wasn’t there so he was going with this fastball … I think he’s strong, he’s healthy. Since he’s been back he has continued to get better. Obviously we know the history, but managing him in his start, I’m not thinking about the back.”

While Iowa State has had success against ranked opponents, West Virginia has struggled. Holgorsen’s teams won four of their first five game against ranked foes, but just three of the next 20. They’ve fallen in 10 of the last 11 opportunities, with this season’s win against Texas Tech the lone outlier.

If the Mountaineers can regain their edge, they can play with anyone in the conference.

Iowa State and West Virginia will meet for the sixth time this Saturday with the Mountaineers holding the series lead at 4-1.

The series is tied at 1-1 in games played in Morgantown. Iowa State’s lone victory at WVU was a 52-44, triple overtime win in 2013 when the Cyclones battled back from a 31-7 deficit to record its largest comeback victory (24 points) in school history.patriots_118

The Seahawks have been particularly vocal about social activism

The league, owners and players are trying to find common ground on how to highlight social issues in the wake of kneeling protests during the national anthem that have roiled the NFL this season, in part because of comments by President Donald Trump.

Interestingly, the player at the center of the protest firestorm, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was invited to the meeting but wasn’t present, one of the players who attended, the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, told Sporting News’ Alex Marvez, adding that very little time was spent on the anthem during the meeting.

On Winston’s first series Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, he took a jarring hit from linebacker Chandler Jones and fell hard on his right shoulder. He attempted to play through it but was replaced by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick will get the majority of reps this week.

“Jameis is as tough as they come, but we’ll be able to see at some point this week how it’s affecting his velocity,” Koetter said. “That was the thing yesterday, when Jameis said he needed to come out — Jameis loves to compete and loves to play — but he just felt like he couldn’t drive the ball down the field like he needed to. We’ll just have to see how his days, how his recovery and how his treatment goes.”

“It was so frustrating,” Thomas told PFT Live in August. “It was extremely annoying. The rule doesn’t make sense. I really hope they take it out for other athletes that have to go through it, especially those who weren’t draft picks because that hurts them even more, they can’t even show off at OTAs. So that hurts them even more. So I really hope they take this rule away and just let the guys go.”

J.J. Watt’s Hurricane Harvey relief closes at a remarkable $37.1 million

Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast and Houston. It inspired J.J. Watt to help the area, and he set out with a goal of $200,000. On Friday when his fundraising concluded, he had raised $37,097,248 from 209,428 donors, according to

At first, Watt simply tweeted a video where he talked about the storm, devastation, and his goal of $200,000. He started the campaign through YouCaring.

Fox was brought in because he was known for quick turnarounds: The Bears are 9-25 under him.

After that awful Trestman era, Fox was supposed to bring stability, competence and discipline that would shore up the ugly mistakes, miscues, penalties and general lack of preparedness that was demonstrated so often in 2014.

The Bears had four first-half turnovers and three first-half third down defensive penalties on Sunday.

And, perhaps most importantly, the blowouts were finally going to stop. Even if the roster was talent deficient, Fox was supposed to get the most out of his players and scheme to put them in a position to succeed, play in closer games and not get blown out.

But the Bears lost 29-7 in a game that was 29-0 until there was less than two minutes left.

So all of the supposed strengths of John Fox, all of the things he was supposed to do well, haven’t come to fruition at this point.

So I ask again: What exactly is John Fox bringing to the table? What is he giving the Bears that makes winless Septembers (0-8 under Fox in the first month) and Steve Smith Sr Jersey blow out week two games (outscored 106-44 in week two under Fox) and nearly two Bud Dupree Youth Jersey shutouts in 34 games is ridiculous.

The Bears were never shut out from 2003-2014, or 1990-1999. This could be the team’s second shutout in the Fox era.

Lonzo Ball: I’m a better team leader than Washington’s Markelle Fultz

Lonzo Ball is starting to sound a lot like his dad, LaVar Ball.

The former UCLA star said he is a better player than Washington prospect Markelle Fultz, citing his leadership skills.

Philadelphia announced Friday that Covington’s right knee revealed a slight tear of the lateral meniscus. Okafor is still dealing with right knee soreness.

Okafor, who has not played since March 22 against the Thunder, really stepped up after the 76ers traded Nerlens Noel away to the Mavericks, and Joel Embiid was ruled out for the season.

The 76ers seemingly can’t catch a break when it comes to promising, young centers.

With the season nearly over and Philadelphia well out of playoff contention, it was wise to shut down the team’s young stars so they can be healthy and ready to compete next season.

Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, missed the entire season, but should be ready to start next season.

It’s unlikely he would be able to sustain those numbers with that level of efficiency over an entire season — he would join elite players like Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James if he did — but McCollum would be in a position to prove himself as an All-Star caliber talent. Plus, McCollum is an excellent pick-and-roll scorer. It makes up 35.2 percent of his offense on the season, and he ranks in the 79.2 percentile with 0.93 points per possession.

That would make him a great fit in D’Antoni’s system since Harden went from scoring 25.9 percent of his points in the pick-and-roll last season to 40.7 percent this season.steelers_123

Isaiah Thomas gains brief respite from grief in playing Game 1 for Celtics

For 2 1/2 hours, Isaiah Thomas could do what comes naturally. His heart, heavy for the better part of a day, became just another organ, powering his forays up and down 94 feet of hardwood at TD Garden. His brain, addled with more than 24 hours of remembrance and tragedy, could return to familiar, comfortable territory — the mechanics of the playbook, the cool impassiveness of Xs and Os. Thomas could just play basketball.

And he did. Thomas did what he could to push the Celtics the way he has all season. He scored, finishing with 33 points. He tried to push the tempo, and wound up with six rebounds and five assists. He came on late in the game, with 12 points in the final quarter even as he was being blanketed at times by long-armed ace defender Jimmy Butler.

While Westbrook is a top contender for NBA MVP, Houston’s MVP candidate had a much more efficient night. James Harden was 7 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 7 from long range, to finish with a team-high 35 points and eight assists. The Rockets also got 15 points from guard Patrick Beverley, who provided some late heroics as Houston went on a 10-0 run to take a 114-104 lead with 1:22 remaining.

Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each were 8 of 14 off the bench as Gordon had 22 points and Williams finished with 21. A Gordon 3-pointer with 8:07 remaining gave the Rockets their first lead of the game at 96-94.

The Thunder might be in trouble if Westbrook can’t get some help, or allow his teammates to help, as the series moves to Oklahoma City for Friday’s Game 3.

Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal both had big games in Washington’s 109-101 win over the Hawks. Wall scored 32 points to go with five rebounds and nine assists. Beal had 31 points, including a 3-pointer off a Wall assist with 38 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory.

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