All Congrats Go To Cory For Earning Himself The Deepest of Breaths, As Schneids Is Finally Off The Schneid
So lucky. The New Jersey Devils are so lucky, and I don't just mean that in the sense that you need a couple fortuitous bounces to go your way to come back from a three goal deficit on the road with a depleted lineup and a long-suffering goaltender entering in relief. The luck I'm referring to is somehow, against all odds, timing the morale boost of Cory Schneider's first regular season win in the flipping of multiple calendars at the end of a road trip during which they predominantly played the infuriating role of snoring passenger across multiple state lines...
My frustration had been building like that of a pissed off girlfriend suffering through a suspiciously quiet Valentine's Day ever since the Devils showed about as much of an interest in being in St. Louis as the Rams. Then, just when that hopelessness was about to manifest itself in hysteria, they basically busted down the door armed with a goddamn garden of good will and managed to find the only course of action for all to be forgiven. In no way, shape, or form should an otherwise uncompetitive team be all hugs & kisses coming off three games that were largely a sad excuse of an out-of-town effort. Yet, if only for one night, we were all Drew Stafford...
Of course, that luck of which I spoke earlier was long overdue with the Devils both accidentally and actively sabotaging the outcome of the few starts in which Cory Schneider played well enough to win. Still, for a fatalistic fourteen months to come to a head when his team had appeared to bury theirs in the sand prior to a nauseatingly necessary change in net was as entirely unexpected as it was absolutely awesome. Battling back to tie the game and using all 1.5 seconds of which they possessed the puck in overtime to slap a period on what felt like one man's run-on sentencing of solitary defeat was just the perfect punctuation. As the Devils are merely playing for pride and draft position at this point, there's not too many wins that are going to fully feel like such, but with the come-from-behind beating of the most malicious of monkey off the back of Cory Schneider came a thrill that's been unfortunately unfamiliar this season.
There's a joke to be about how not playing Cory Schneider for the first ten minutes of games could have ended his losing streak a long time ago. However, the fact of the matter is that this feels all the more uplifting due to the professionalism of the person who has had to swallow his pride in becoming a punchline. Say what you want about him aging poorly as a player, but - to a man - what he's had to go through as a competitor sucks six different ways to Sunday. The hope is that this a huge step in the same direction his confidence has been trending of late, but - realistically speaking - the future might hold a few more failures for Cory Schneider. That said, if he's proven anything since December 27th of 2017 it's that neither his effort or attitude will be responsible for a single one of them.
There's not a player, person, or teammate in the entire league that's been more deserving of an all-too-elusive victory, so a tip of the cap to Steve Cangialosi for having the wits about him to call it as we all saw it. Last night, relief - in every literal and figurative sense of the word - was spelled C-O-R-Y.
We have the answer, and trust me when I tell you that is most certainly not a reference to Allen Iverson's classic line of kicks. Instead, it's a nod to the enlightening realization that Kawhi Leonard's individuality is officially about as exciting as...the MLA Format. I've been looking for an accurate comparison for the lack of charisma exuded by a superstar so boring that he makes the media appearances of hockey players seem like standup routines. Then, all the sudden, there it appeared...perfectly punctuated in Times New Roman across the back of a basketball shoe produced by a painfully caucasian company in a way that was almost too fitting to not be photoshopped.
Kawhi Leonard has the personality of proper grammar. His personal style is set to default. His lack of creativity is so unprecedented in the NBA sneaker game that, in an ass-backwards way, it might actually be creative despite its uninteresting intentions. I honestly can't tell if the back of that shoe is more characterlessly characteristic of New Balance or Kawhi Leonard, and for that reason I offer him my deepest apologies in questioning whether his decision to jump ship from Jumpman was the right one. He's being branded right where he's supposed to be branded, which will presumably be in the back of every elderly, suburban English teacher's closet.
Considering The Undisclosed Size Of The Bag He Just Secured, Colin Kaepernick Should Have Asked For $100 Million To Play In The AAF
I'm not going to try to counter any argument made by those that maintain suspiciously selective hearing as it pertains to anything related to Colin Kaepernick. I'm sure they are using the lack of context attached to this piece of news to continue pushing the same false narrative they've been pushing in saying that his greediness is what's kept him off an NFL roster. This is low-hanging fruit for the Colin Kaepernick haters to chew on, and - boy, oh boy - do they need it having been left malnourished by the NFL paying out the ass to make him go away as opposed to offering an undoubtedly weak defense against collusion in court...
Those that won't just maintain the stubborn stance that a former quarterback with interests in equality isn't a loathsome asshole until their dying day, ask yourself the following question. Was what he stood to gain from playing in the AAF at even the most ridiculous of rate anywhere near what the AAF stood to make off his presence plus what he stood to cost himself in pricey negotiations with the NFL?
Polarizing figures always have and always will get people's attention, be it positive or negative, and no brand was more in need of any type of awareness than that of a secondary football league full of hopefuls and has-beens. Add to that the fact that the only way said polarizing figure could have done damage to the legally compelling case he was making for why he hadn't played competitive football in years was by stepping on a field and not looking like a superstar while throwing to hopefuls and has-beens.
After enduring years of rust, Colin Kaepernick would have had to have been the Patrick f'n Mahomes of the AAF from the first snap of the football for even 5x what the rest of his entire team would be making to cover what he would have been risking in the settlement he just received. For a guy that went on to win BIG against a multi-billion dollar business less than week later, potentially having his performance in playing up the prestige of second-rate football league used against him was ultimately a losing proposition.
Call him un-American if you somehow still willfully choose to be so ignorant, but his command of capitalism is as red, white, and blue as the flag he was principled enough to continue kneeling in front of.
The moment has this way of imprisoning us all. With this particularly drama-filled moment all-but-arresting the attention of anyone with more than a passing interest in the NBA, it would be easy to say that Dell Demps just got canned for laughing in the face of the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline. The timing of his firing implies that the mismanagement of Anthony Davis as an asset was an unforgivable misstep.
The truth of the matter is that every mistake that led to a freakishly talented franchise cornerstone feeling the need to force himself into a more favorable situation with a year and change left on his contract probably makes up over 90% of the list of reasons he got unceremoniously ousted. The idea that ownership was on board with telling the Lakers to piss off until the summer makes this news a little less fun to digest, but Dell Demps' bed was more than likely made well before Anthony Davis tucked his ass in with an untimely trade demand.
For that reason, I think this is actually the optimal way for him to go out. Never mind the unknown that is the package the Pelicans get for AD this summer, because the Lakers could have thrown a team of A+ architects into their outrageous offer and Dell Demps still wouldn't have been able to build a winner in New Orleans. The big picture has been far from easy on the eyes, as he's been an undeniably bad General Manager for years now.
Therefore, appearing as though he was martyred for giving a massive middle to two iconic basketball figures is the best way he could possibly bid farewell. Magic Johnson and LeBron James have basically been begging to be told to "go screw", so - as petty and potentially counterproductive as it may have been to acquiesce - it'll go down as far more memorable than anything else Dell Demps was able to do during his time with the Pelicans.
Of course, I'm sure he'd have preferred to remain in a high ranking position within an NBA organization, but it's not like Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram would have been packing carry-ons full of job security in their flight over from LA. Dell Demps basically went out with type of bang that somehow rings louder than his woefully underwhelming resume, which serves as quite the desirable distraction from the fact that he deserved his inevitable dumping.
Amidst A Situation His Coach Described As A "Dumpster Fire", Anthony Davis Left The Game And Then The Building Early After Bruising His Shoulder
Hey, what do you know? A relationship more doomed than any retread that appears to be seeking out bad looks more shamelessly than J.R. Smith in his prime just got even more gratuitous in its awkwardness. I don't know if what happened last night is predominantly an indictment of a league that forced the entirely meaningless participation of an oft-injured player that apparently can't absorb a light bump without needing to be rushed to an examination table. Maybe it's more of an indictment of a player and his agent looking for just about any reason to create some breathing room so as to avoid ingesting the fumes from the dumpster fire they started...
Whatever the case may be, it doesn't look great that the lead arsonist in the burning of the bridge between a superstar and the organization with which he spent the last seven seasons, that being Rich Paul, was caught accompanying Anthony Davis out of the building mid-game like the shoulder he merely bruised was about to fall off. I know that New Orleans' medical staff has been much maligned, but I think their trainers are capable of deciphering between contusion and catastrophe. Therefore, looking as though he was in a rush to go on vacation with his recklessly ruinous representation isn't exactly a sight for the sore eyes of anyone invested in the best interests of the Pelicans' organization.
Now, it would be fair to say that Alvin Gentry and Co. haven't handled an unprecedentedly amateurish situation perfectly, as benching AD during a 4th quarter of a nationally televised game that he dominated for three quarters only drew more attention to how icy things have become. However, let last night serve as the evidence that they were forced into an impossible position. Either Anthony Davis is injured and his trade value suffers or he's entirely uninterested and the team's chemistry suffers. Since those were really the only two ways in which a sabotaged stretch run was going to play out, he might as well stay home and collect a paycheck post-All Star break.
The circulation of a video that either rightfully or wrongfully paints a picture of a premier player walking out on his team certainly isn't going to endear him to them. The Pelicans are trying to clean up the debris in the wake of a collusive and foundation crumbling trade demand (and doing a decent job, if last night's upset win over the Thunder is any indication), and every time Anthony Davis picks up the proverbial broom he's at risk of making things more of a mess.
Seems The Bengals Are Getting Dikembe Mutombo'd In Their Attempt To Interview Yet Another Saints' Assistant For Their Defensive Coordinator Position
Yikes. Sounds like somebody pissed off Sean Payton, and I'm placing my bets on the organization that apparently didn't take the hint when their interest in Dennis Allen immediately got one-upped by a contract extension. Truthfully, he should be flattered that he finally has a defensive staff worth flirting with for the first time in forever, but I wouldn't tell Picasso what brush to paint with so I'm damn sure not suggesting Sean Payton tone down his professional pettiness. Plus, you'd have to consider it great news that the Saints are doing everything in their power to keep their house in order, and that goes especially for a room of defensive backs that have become as cohesive off the field as they have on in posing under the watchful eye of Aaron Glenn.
The truth is that it's only a matter of time before AG is coordinating his own defense (or Dennis Allen is coaching his own team, for that matter). Until that time comes (and the Saints are no longer able to actively set the clocks back), however, he's a huge asset to a young, promising secondary has taken far more strides than the statistics would lead you to believe. There's a reason he was on the radar of a particularly successful curmudgeon of a head coach that knows a thing or two about maximizing defensive potential last offseason, and it's likely the same reason that Sean Payton shattered Cincinnati's radar as ruthlessly as he smashed their fire alarm.
I do wonder how Aaron Glenn feels about being denied an opportunity for a promotion, but - having gotten a first-hand look at the Bengals' defense when Drew Brees and Co. fed 'em a 50 burger - I think there is probably a mutual understanding that it would only be a step up an entirely unstable latter. In my extremely biased opinion, he's much better off - both short term and long term - continuing to reinforce a Super Bowl-worthy secondary that has no conceivable reason not to improve. So, hopefully an interception of his interview offer is seen as more of a compliment to his capabilities than any type of constraint on his career.
JoeBucsFan- One question posed to Jameis by Tampa’s own Leger Douzable, the former 10-year NFL defensive end, was an inquiry into how Jameis turned things around midseason, specifically how he got himself right mentally to return from an October benching.
Jameis said it was all about self-evaluation.
“I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Hey Jameis, what do you have to do?’ Jameis explained. “And that was simply, ‘Get back to playing Jameis Winston football. Be yourself. Have that swag. Don’t try to be something that a coach is trying to get you to be.’ You know, you gotta go and be you.”
Ah yes, because when has Jameis Winston listening solely to the voices in his own head and operating on instincts ever backfired? The question we've spent years asking, what could help move along the maturation process of someone who still has issues throwing inexplicable interceptions, apparently didn't learn from his first (alleged) sex crime, and can't put one foot in front of the other without it somehow ending up in his mouth? The answer was goofily smiling right in our stupid face this entire time...less mentorship, MO' JAMEIS!!!
I don't want to take away anything Dirk Koetter's complete failure of a tenure in Tampa Bay. That being said, regardless of how many questions arose because of it, Jameis Winston being himself neither was, is, or will be the answer to a single one of them. The mere suggestion that going off the books in carefully studying his own swag is what turned things around for him is so preposterous that it distracts from the fact that he went 2-6 down the stretch of a season highlighted by FitzMagic after his performance allegedly hooked a U-ey.
To be honest, I almost feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, as it's long been proven that anything that gratuitously leaks from the gums of someone who I'm certain has taken quite nicely to playing the role of Freddy Krueger in the nightmares of the Buccaneers' PR staff is bound to be problematic. Jameis Winston's mouth is getting pretty close to being considered a handicap, and I'm not down with picking on the disabled.
Still, the idea that he took a long, long look in the mirror following a well-deserved benching that came a mere month after a sexual assault suspension and went full-Stuart Smalley is not exactly a great sign of things to come either in the pocket or in the passenger seat. Though we'll see how long he survives solely on self-affirmation with Bruce Arians hogging all the real swag on the sideline.
NFL Owners Have Reportedly Approached NBA Commissioner Adam Silver About Replacing Roger Goodell, Which Is Almost Too On The (Clown) Nose
ESPN- While Silver did not explicitly confirm that he had been approached by NFL owners, sources close to the situation told ESPN that several NFL owners have tried to persuade Silver to run their league over the course of his five years as the NBA's commissioner. Silver has also been approached by a number of Fortune 500 companies, according to sources.
"I'll just say I have not given it any thought," Silver told ESPN about his reaction to those job opportunities. "I feel very fortunate to be in this position. As a longtime fan, as a longtime league employee, the opportunity to become the commissioner of this league was beyond anything I even ever dreamed of as a kid.
"I've loved every day I've been in this job, and I think there's nothing but enormous opportunity ahead for this league. And ultimately, I realize I'm just passing through like every player who's gone through this league and ultimately like every owner, and I feel an enormous obligation to the fans and to this greater NBA family to do my best and try my hardest every day. But that's where 100 percent of my focus is."
How? Just...how? How is entirely unsurprising? The NFL thinking they could just pry the nails out of the most crucified Commissioner in professional sports and replace him with the most beloved Commissioner in professional sports with a pitch that probably just equated to a swimming pool full of additional salary should be huge news. Instead, the fact that they tried to give a whole new meaning to the term "copycat league" by not only trying to emulate the NBA's success in being run forwards instead of ass-backwards, but by trying to buy it off them is about as shocking as the NFL botching another domestic abuse investigation.
To be fair, the NFL should be looking to add a tell-it-like-it-is type leader. It's partially by design, as being NFL Commissioner basically just means serving as "The Shield" in taking a bunch of bullets on behalf of greedy billionaires, but Adam Silver is all the things Roger Goodell is not. Prompt. Forthright. Likable. Rational. Chances are that list would be stunted in short order if he were the voice of a league that's only progressive in being counterproductive and literally only cares about its liquidity, but - from a personality standpoint - someone like (being the operative words) Adam Silver would be a massive upgrade.
That's not really the point though. The point is that the multibillion dollar behemoth of a business is essentially the equivalent of the spoiled grade schooler that thinks everything that strikes his fancy can be funded, regardless of whether or not it belongs to someone else. NFL owners are basically Willy Wonka's worst nightmare in being an entitlement army staffed entirely by Veruca Salt clones. They don't care how, they want it now...despite "it" being something almost as unattainable as a goose that shits out golden eggs. That, of course, being the good will and/or benefit of the doubt that comes as a result of leaving a (very particular, apparently) man with a moral compass to weigh management decisions free of outside influences that are too long in both tooth and pocket to be anything other than short in sight.
Brian Burke Took Partial "Credit" For The Anaheim Ducks Dropping 'Mighty' From Their Name And Turning Their Jerseys Into A Joke
Confirmed: Brian Burke is, indeed, an old white man. You probably could have been able to tell by his transparent skin tone, or the fact that he'll forever have a powerful position in the sport of hockey, or his repressed opinion on all things fun...
However, being so deprived of a decent eye for dress that he took even the slightest of credit for having champs out there looking like chumps really hammers home the demographic for which he speaks...
The pride in his voice as he overrated his influence towards trading down from jerseys that are now considered classic to the NHL equivalent of a dime-a-dozen, clearance rack special at your local pro shop was just painfully and profoundly as antiquated as it was caucasian.
I understand their desire to drop the 'Mighty' and disassociate with Disney after purchasing the team from them, but the Anaheim Ducks have unequivocally had the league's worst uniforms since ditching the purple and teal. Yet, the man that gave them a slight push down that path is basically patting himself on the back for doing so. If I had any input whatsoever on making a letter-shaped webbed foot the official mark of professional franchise I would go to the end of the earth trying to erase my chapter from that oral history. Not over Coach Bombay's dead body would I be puffing out my chest like somehow avoiding jail time after committing a felony against fashion was some sort of huge accomplishment, though I probably have to let my stylistic interests age poorly for about 35 more years before saying so with any certainty.
Oh well, much like a Ducks' team that rode a debut shoutout from a rookie goaltender to their third win in approximately three months, we'll take what we can get...
Steve Kerr Went A Little Nutty Nuts In Getting Tossed For Arguing A Questionable Flagrant Foul Late In A Warriors' Loss
A tip of the hat to Steve Kerr. Not just for a throwing both a clipboard and an absolute shit fit in response a routine foul that was only made flagrant by the reputation of the person who committed it, but for choosing exceptional circumstances in which to do so. There's a time and a place for everything, even expletive-laced tantrums, and what better time and place than one that starts your vacation early while making a public talking point of a questionable officiating decision that would have otherwise flown under the radar?
We sometimes have to dig a little deeper to praise the job Steve Kerr does as the overseer of a superteam that can coast on talent, hence the amount of times you'll hear him (accurately) referred to as an excellent manager of egos. Therefore, I'm willing to take it a little too far in treating that cleverly-placed conniption as a feather in his coaching cap. Ranting and raving at referees with rage in your eyes late in a loss isn't often worthy of praise, but doing so with passion, principle, and purpose? That's something I can stand firmly behind...even if said passion is just a strong desire to use 4-letter words, said principle is just an over-the-top attempt to paint your villain as a victim, and said purpose is to receive an early dismissal from "the office" ahead of a long weekend.
Ken Hitchcock Reportedly Considered Stepping Down As Oilers' Head Coach, Less Than Three Months After He Took The Job
Sportsnet.Ca- With Ken Hitchcock watching practice from the seats one day and then blasting the Oilers’ effort following Saturday’s 5–2 loss to San Jose, that there were rumours he’d had enough and would step down. That obviously didn’t happen, but it underlines how tense things are in Edmonton.
Welp, everyone check your calendars. I would have said that you'd have to be the type of eternal pessimist that requires a live-in therapist to have taken the under on three months in the "how long before the shine of coaching Connor McDavid wears off and Ken Hitchcock reconsiders retirement?" pool. However, here we are less than 90 days later and someone who has basically become a professional placeholder is already wondering whether it's even worth it to keep on mentoring potentially the most talented player the sport he has dedicated his life to has ever seen.
Imagine the amount of other issues she'd need to have for an elderly man to even let the thought of dumping his smoking hot, 20-something year old nymphomaniac of a girlfriend cross his mind. Now, think of Ken Hitchcock as that elderly man, Connor McDavid as that sexy little minx, and the rest of the Oilers' organization as her never-ending carousel of baggage.
Someone who knew full well he was brought in to do damage control has been all-but-broken by the task at hand. The man who prides himself on making it work is supposed to still be in the honeymoon stage, and yet he's already rethinking and re-rethinking a relationship that turned toxic so fast you'd think it was entered into by 6th graders. Ken Hitchcock has been addicted to hockey for decades, and one short stint in the fishbowl of failure that is Edmonton has him on the verge of quitting cold turkey. From an organizational standpoint, the Oilers are such a haunting picture of the sport at its absolute worst that their head coach of not even one CALENDAR season is about to be Scared Straight off into the sunset. That's equal parts horrifying and hilarious.
In Answering To How He Handles Criticism, Russell Westbrook Explicitly Dropped The Quote Of All Quotes
I don't know if the blessed talent of which Russell Westbrook speaks is of his personality or his play, but I'll be damned if I...well...give a fuck. That's just an all-time quote that should, at least temporarily, transcend however you may have felt about a player who has a tendency to be polarizing. We often say we don't care, but it's nowhere near as often that we actually remain entirely unscathed by criticism, so it is very much a skill to keep a blind eye to the haters and a deaf ear to the doubters.
Now, I suppose it's technically impossible to say that whether or not that's a skill Russell Westbrook possesses, as he could very well go home and curse the name of every person who has ever criticized him into his pillow at night. However, if the lack of alterations he's made to a style of play that was seen by many as selfish during a season in which he chased both stats and history by design is any indication then he didn't exactly pay much mind to the idea that he's impossible to play with. Paul George is helping proving any negative commentary wrong in making a strong play for MVP alongside the former MVP, and it's not like the latter has had to go out of his way to pass up the torch (or a ton of shots, for that matter) for the former to do so...
The formula that presumably sparked Kevin Durant's exodus from Oklahoma City is pretty close to the same one that has the Thunder as one of the most well-rounded teams in the West and - ironically enough - one the biggest threats to Golden State. Therefore, I'm more than willing to believe Russell Westbrook when he says he doesn't give a fuck what people have to say about his hogging of boards and his floundering shooting percentage. For better or worse, he's unabashedly himself both on and off the court. Without naming names...or reptiles, that's more than can be said for even some of his more accomplished peers who merely dream of being internally talented enough to remain undeterred by the opinions of others.
In Lateral Moves That Don't Matter, John Elway's Quarterback Purgatory Has Agreed In Principle To A Trade For Joe Flacco
It's not fair. It's just not fair. In the year 2019, there is absolutely no reason for football fans to still be going out of their way to dump all over the demise of a Super Bowl MVP who put together one of the most...ahem...elite postseason runs in relatively recent memory. We should have been moved on from giving redundant flack to Flacco, as there are only a select few idiots betting against the obvious downward trajectory of a long-time starting quarterback whose career median was mediocre.
Both unfortunately and amazingly, however, one of those select few idiots just so happens to also be in charge of making the foremost executive decision on who to entrust with the fate of his franchise. I know, what are the odds, right? At this point, we're basically screaming wildly underwhelming stats into an empty void while John Elway has his soundproof headphones plugged in to cancel out the noise while watching decade-old game tape. Doesn't matter how many times we yell at that same cloud, because John Elway's head is buried far too deep in it to make out anything that's gone on down on the football field the last few years. After pumping every last pass out of Peyton Manning's arm, the proof is in the pudding that Joe Flacco appears to be trudging through whenever he's asked to navigate the pocket...
The Broncos (and, ironically enough, the best quarterback they've ever called their own) have absolute no idea what a quality quarterback looks like, and it's resulted in decidedly bad quarterbacks getting absolutely brutalized in the process of every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to hammer home the same damn point that every Brock, Trevor, and Paxton has already proven. I've grown as tired of mocking Joe Flacco as I have of watching him play football, because those frustrations have been taken out on the wrong target. He, himself, wouldn't care to come up with a feasible argument in favor of him still starting in the NFL, so it feels unnecessary to blow the dust off a long-crafted counterargument. John Elway has turned Denver's pocket into a quarterback purgatory, and I wish there was a way to rightfully kill him for incompetence without continuing to beat a bunch of dead arms.
In The Wake Of The Sixers' Loss To The Celtics, Joel Embiid's Entirely Enlightening Opinion Was That NBA Refs F'n Suck
If you're asking me to spot the lie then the process of finding it would take longer than the one Sixers trusted on their long, winding road back to relevance. The truth is, NBA referees - due to both the relative impossibility of their job and their inconsistency in doing it - do fucking suck. The following travel going uncalled and the subsequent social media defense of that swallowed whistle spoke to that louder than even the most boisterous and unapologetic of NBA star ever could...
In fact, I think that what Joel Embiid said is so cut and dry that I don't feel as though the proverbial whistle needs to continue being blown at those that use theirs so haphazardly. That's why I'd rather focus on another epidemic that's running rampant in the NBA, and that's players actively placing their fate in the hands of those that have made no bones about fucking sucking...
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By current standards, the play above almost certainly should have been called a foul against Al Horford. I just have no problem with it being judged differently in crunch time, because the current standards are what have some of most talented athletes on the planet trying to bang bodies as opposed to trying to get buckets with the game on the line. For whatever it's worth, which was apparently not two foul shots, the arm of the Celtics' big man was in place before a more skilled opponent swung up under it knowing full well that putting the ball in the basket was his second priority.
Point being, if the calling of fouls is inherently fickle then it's probably best to stop relying on them. That's pretty much the same philosophy I use in avoiding Spirit Airlines. The free throw line should be harder to get to late in games, and it's unbelievably easy for an athletic specimen the likes of Joel Embiid to create contact on unorthodox moves in which attempting an actual shot is just an added bonus. Awful officiating is undeniably hurting the NBA's product. However, so is the Hardenization of offenses that are too damn talented to be dependent on an aspect of the game that's as inconsistent as post-Mexican bowel movements in big situations.
If Joel Embiid thinks the new referees fucking suck because they let the game be decided by the players then the old school referees would have had him cowering in the corner. Therefore, the Sixers' biggest weapon probably should have just stopped talking after taking some responsibility for being completely cuffed by Al Horford for 75% of a game that his team lost by one possession in which he didn't happen to get bailed out...
Devils' Prospect Jesper Boqvist Made A Social Construct Out Of Science With An Absurd Catch-And-Release Goal
I don't want to take too much umbrage with the caption focusing on the assist that allowed for Jesper Boqvist to create a hockey highlight that had the casualness of a game of catch. After all, Simon Bertilsson did everything in his power to avoid the forecheck and get the puck to his forward standing alone behind the defense. That said, in my opinion, if it were punctuated properly it would read "what, a pass?" in reference to the rink-long, waist-high wrist shot that the Devils' prospect knocked flat with an inexplicable ease unseen since the last time someone caught a fly in their hand on the first try. It definitely took two, but only one player in that clip turned in stride to laugh in the face of physics by making a tape-to-tape pass out a projectile before scoring in a way that was almost too nonchalant for it's own good.
While his future NHL team has made watching hockey far too effortful, Jesper Boqvist is in the SHL making the time-sensitive coordination of his hands and eyes look far too effortless. To consider that goal merely "good' would require you to be swayed heavily by the fact that the person who scored it looked like he may have done so while sleep-skating, and that - as well as the 2nd round pick's season to date - is great news for the New Jersey Devils and the market they've cornered on quality Jesper's...
Evgeni Malkin's Ridiculous Response To His Attempted Decapitation Of Michael Raffl Is A Reminder That, In Russia, Stick Swing You
TheAthletic- “I didn’t hit him in the face,” Malkin explained. “If I had touched him in the face, for sure, I would get suspended. It’s a high stick, but it’s not like I broke his face. I think I won’t get suspended.”
"It was a little bit dangerous,” Malkin admitted. “But it was nothing real bad, I didn’t think. It’s my fault, for sure. The refs thought it was dangerous. Next time, I need to play smarter.”
“I think if they give me five minutes, he should have gotten two,” Malkin said. “It was a dirty play, too. I was surprised.”
“I just touched his shoulder,” Malkin said. “No bleeding. I’m not trying to hit his face. But I didn’t play smart. It was my fault, for sure.”
To clarify, for those that are in disbelief, the play that Evgeni Malkin is referring to was, indeed, the same one in which he took a Spartan-like swing at the skull of an opponent. I know you may have been thrown off by him calling it "nothing really bad", but - as it turns out - using your stick as a sword is only considered a little bit dangerous in certain cultures. Speaking so casually of the intent to leave Michael Raffl blindly feeling around the ice for his severed head may be tough pill for some to swallow, but apparently Russia is a very results-oriented country. Therefore, we can consider the referee's determination that Evgeni Malkin's audition for ISIS was worthy of a 5 minute major and a game misconduct to be lost in translation.
In all seriousness, if Evgeni Malkin isn't handed down a multiple-game suspension then whatever small shred of trust I had in the Department of Player Safety's decision making will have been dealt a death blow. Trying to use his blade as a razor in slitting someone's throat is very, very bad, but - given the fortunate result - basically spitting in just about every objective person's eyeballs by talking about the incident like it was merely a bump in the hallway might actually be worse.
As hesitant as I am to consider the player who rabbit-punched a player returning from injury in the back of the head (before selling a stick to the face so shamelessly you'd think he was pushing fake purses for premium prices) to be an innocent victim, the league absolutely has to come down hard on the guy that violently and verbally assumed the role of the villain. After all, I wasn't even aware it was possible to be less apologetic than Tom Wilson until an NHL superstar tried to justify his Gladiator-esque actions under his own personal 'no blood, no foul' clause.
Reading through the reactions to a play that featured two idiots engaging in high variance jackassery leads me to believe it would make for an excellent case study in the subjective stupidity of fandom. That said, Evgeni Malkin recklessly using his stick as a a goddamn axe in trying to chop through an opponent somehow did the impossible in giving Flyers' fans the moral high ground. If only for that, he must be punished in way that strongly sends the message that not succeeding isn't an excuse for using equipment in attempted murders.
Doesn't Seem Like The Oakland A's Are Interested In Taking A Hint, As They Reportedly Remain Intent On Swooning Kyler Murray
Oh no. I have seen this before. Especially in the case of rejection, denial is the most delirium-inducing of drug. I hate to kill the Oakland Athletics for remaining hopeful, but looking at a short romp in the sac that didn't work out in their favor as only a lost battle in a war to win the hand of Kyler Murray is basically the plot to Swimfan...
The vibe I get is that the A's aren't leaving the dugout any time soon, but the following announcement (and the returned millions that went along with it) made it undeniably clear that they struck out swinging with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in whatever game of 'hard to get' may have been taking place...
Of course, if Kyler Murray's questionable frame gets crunched enough times, shortstop will make for a hell of a backup plan. I'm just concerned that the Oakland A's see themselves as more of a scorned side-chick than a future option with which to settle.
All-too-predictably, a 21-year old kid who lapped up all the limelight during a Heisman-winning season chose to pursue playing the most prestigious and profitable position in a sport that immediately provides a payday and the adoration of peers, as opposed to traveling by bus to pay his dues in suburban "cities". I suppose his decision isn't set in stone as professional football could pretty easily prove unforgiving, but the professional baseball team that holds his rights sounds suspiciously hell-bent on changing his heart. So much so that I think Kyler Murray might be wise to invest that first NFL paycheck into personal security detail.
Inexcusable. Simply inexcusable. Of all the things not to clue a proud and accomplished newcomer in on, they forgot to give Marc Gasol the low down on the player intros? As if a 7-foot white foreigner didn't stand out like enough of a sore thumb in a new city, the Raptors left him standing solo in uncomfortably watching over their pregame core-crunch like he's Steven f'n Glansberg? Never mind indoctrinating him into the offense, as he's a savvy veteran with a high enough basketball IQ to find the passing lanes and identify the proper time for a pick-and-roll...
The first order of business should have been getting the big man up to speed on the little ways in which to avoid any initial awkwardness. Needless to say, doing what the two-way, 3x All Star was left to do in peaking through the proverbial window at a group workout is awkward enough behavior to get your gym membership revoked. Marc Gasol has been a big name in the NBA for far too long to be left standing on the court wondering what the hell to do with his hands while the rest of his team gets a pump and plays patty-cake, so let that amateurish scene be a lesson to a Toronto Raptors' team that would have been an absolute nightmare for new kids during recess.
And there you have it, proof that 'The Greek Freak' is currently beyond reproach. Never mind somehow quietly carrying the Milwaukee Bucks to the top of the Eastern Conference as a consensus MVP candidate. Being a peck away from the most outrageous of presidential ploys and not getting questioned on it by those who are professionally inclined to point out the obvious is almost as impressive as the fadeaway dunks and alien-esque athleticism.
Three and half minutes. Three and a half minutes and not one single reference to the human being he was holding. Once that baby got comfortable it started grabbing mics like they contained breast milk, and the reporters that held them still didn't uphold their responsibility in letting us know who the hell she belongs to. I'd imagine that's mostly because they already know, but not pointing out the elep-infant in the room even once is evidence that Giannis can do no wrong.
I bet he could have palmed that little girl out of a court-side stroller without asking and we'd all just assume she was a product of bad parenting. He could've robbed an actual cradle and we'd treat him like he just casually leaped from a burning building having saved a life. His smile is as infectious as his transition game is hellacious, and the combination somehow makes for someone you want responsible for both your offense and your offspring. I don't know if he wins MVP over a guy that just topped 30 points for the 30th straight game, but - if only because he's the smoothest of operator in both playing and politicking - he's got my vote.
Oooooh, the hometown angle. Seeing as the skies have otherwise been quite gray in and around the Prudential Center, I have no shame in soaking up the Vitamin D of this local spotlight. It probably seems a hell of a lot brighter than it actually is due to the deep, dark place the bottom of the Devils' lineup has beaten me into, but having a recognizable birth certificate gives Kenny Agostino more redeeming qualities than...well...just about every other career AHLer they've called up. Add in the fact that he was born into the biological dilemma of both loving to hate and hating to love New Jersey, and I'd be shocked if he didn't quickly develop a following within the fanbase.
Statistically speaking, odds are that his sixth stint with a new NHL team in five seasons isn't going to be the one that finally helps translate the talents he displayed in winning AHL MVP two seasons ago. However, without naming names, I can certainly think of worse players to give developmental/tank time to than a fast 26-year old that panders to the irritable regionalist inside every New Jerseyian.
Just from a hockey standpoint, Kenny Agostino has been decently productive in spurts at the pro level. For that reason, he better be careful, as actually contributing some promise to a lost season is what got Egor Yakovlev (and now Ryan Murphy) sent down to Binghamton to show skills that are apparently far too intriguing for the hometown hockey team between bus rides...