Paul Pierce ready to say Kevin Durant has passed LeBron James as ‘best player’

Kevin Durant has been the clear Finals MVP through the first two games, and perhaps high off of recency bias, Paul Pierce said Sunday night on ESPN’s postgame show the Warriors forward may be the best player in the world today.

Despite battling a knee injury toward the end of the regular season, Durant enjoyed an impressive first year with the Warriors. The sweet-shooting small forward averaged 25.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while adding length and versatility to an already stacked roster.

Durant’s stance, if it holds true, will make life easier for the Warriors this offseason because point guard Stephen Curry is in line to sign one of the new five-year, supermax contracts when the season ends.

Should Durant ultimately take less than the league max, it would create a positive domino effect on Golden State’s entire offseason. Not only would they comfortably be able to supply Curry with the pay raise he deserves, they may also be able to keep one or both of free agents Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Limited Mens John Hannah Jersey But first, Durant, like all his Warriors teammates, will be focused on beating the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, starting with Game 1 Thursday night.

Limited Mens Dave Hollins Jersey But a story last week on said Ball is considering working out for the 76ers, who are set to pick third. That decision will be made after his agent, Harrison Gaines, and Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo discuss Lonzo’s potential fit with the team. That fit may not be perfect for the point guard, as sources believe Philly wants to feature Ben Simmons in a point-forward role next season.

This chapter of the Lonzo/LaVar Ball saga ends June 22, the day of the NBA Draft, when we’ll learn which team values the son’s talents over the father’s bluster.

Thomas Rawls makes Seahawks true NFC playoff beast again

Thomas Rawls didn’t get to play in the playoffs as a rookie. He’s wasting no time making up for lost time.

The Seahawks have been waiting for the Rawls who rushed for 161 yards in Saturday night’s 26-6 playoff rout of the Lions for a long time.

His 2015 season was cut short by a broken ankle, just as he was dominating in December as Seattle’s feature back. His ’16 season was limited to nine regular-season games after he suffered a fibula injury early.

With his team having more offensive line woes, Rawls posted only one effective game before running all over the Lions. In Week 12, he flew out of the gate in the first half against the Panthers and rumbled for 106 yards total, leading to a 40-7 dismantling of Carolina.

Bottom line: When the Seahawks are blocking like they did against the Lions and Rawls is bursting through holes like he did, they won’t lose in the playoffs, all the way through Super Bowl 51.

No, the Falcons didn’t condonedog-fighting by inviting Vick to the game. Because, again, he paid for that crime. He has expressed public remorse. He has worked with the Humane Society to help end dog-fighting. He is not who he used to be. This petition suggests change isnt possible. Or that if it is possible, it should be ignored and previous malfeasance should define someone forever. This, of course, is silly.

It would be understandable if Vick was still awaiting trial, or was unrepentant, or arrogant, or showed no signs that incarceration and humiliation had changed him. But That’s not the case.jays_1209_07538b1818b8e436-180x180

Colts fire GM Ryan Grigson

The Indianapolis Colts have fired GM Ryan Grigson, the team announced Saturday.

Team owner Jim Irsay discussed the decision during a press conference that evening.

Grigson has been on the hot seat for months, and rumors swirled that both he and head coach Chuck Pagano would be let go after the Colts finished their disappointing 8-8 season. But last month, Irsay told NFL Network that he didn’t plan any big changes in the offseason.

In fact, NFL Media reports that trading Romo is the Cowboys’ No. 1 priority this offseason, and the Broncos are his preferred landing place.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Sunday (via Business Insider) that the Cowboys, out of deference to their longtime quarterback, want to take care of him by trying first to move him to a championship-contending team.

It’s no secret, his No. 1 spot would be the Denver Broncos, Rapoport said. But from what I understand, that is not something the Broncos would be inclined to do.

Limited Womens Dale Hunter Jersey Here’s why: New Broncos coach Vance Joseph, along with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, must assess their team’s quarterback situation with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. That won’t happen overnight.
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There’s also the challenge of Romo’s contract. At 36, an injury-prone Romo has three years and $54 million remaining on his contract. His cap number is more than $24 million in 2017 and ’18.

If the Broncos follow their inclination, then retirement is still a possibility, Rapoport said, while other teams mentioned as possible landing spots are the Texans, Bills and Bears.

Braves fan eats dirt in race against super hero

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Brandon Dubinsky Jersey One poor Braves fan on Friday learned a painful lesson in premature celebrations.

The fan was tasked with beating the freeze, a between-innings race where he got a 200-foot head start against what looks to be a super hero, The Freeze. Everything was going well until the fan decided to coast to the finish line and, well, you can see the rest for yourself.

If this poor fan ever finds himself in a similar position — how many chances do you get to race a super hero, really? — I’m sure he’ll sprint from start to finish, and at least maintain his dignity.

Teixeira was clearly a first-round talent, but rumors about his signability made clubs hesitant to draft him in 1998. The Red Sox took a calculated chance with this ninth-round pick, but Teixeira, soured by the entire process , gladly played at Georgia Tech instead. A couple years later, the Rangers made him the fifth overall pick in the draft.

The Twins picked Grace in the January MLB Draft (MLB had both January and June drafts from 1966-86) out of junior college. Instead of taking the money , though, he transferred to San Diego State and hit .395 for the Aztecs, but that didn’t help his stock much. The Cubs picked him in the 24th round of the June draft, and he hit .332 in 270 minor-league games before finishing second in the NL rookie of the year voting in 1988.

The Yankees pushed hard to sign Jackson out of high school, reportedly offering $250,000 to persuade him not to attend Auburn and play both football and baseball. You know how that worked out, though. Still, it’s fun to imagine what might have happened if Jackson had focused solely on baseball his entire career (and thinking about him on George Steinbrenner’s Yankees is almost too much to comprehend).

Drone grounded after flying over Falcons practice field

Security officials grounded a drone seen flying over the Atlanta Falcons’ practice field Thursday at Rice University.

Before all the conspiracy theorists start pointing fingers at the New England Patriots, Peter King of reports that a neighborhood resident apparently flew the drone over the field.

Manziel is considered a “Stage Two” offender under the league’s drug policy, which would subject him to random drug testing if signed by an NFL team. By volunteering for testing beforehand, Manziel would be showing potentially interested clubs he is committed to trying to salvage an NFL career that went off the rails during two seasons in Cleveland.

Manziel already has started working with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in an effort to improve his game and get back into football shape. He was in the Houston area earlier this week to autograph memorabilia during a paid appearance.

Manziel’s standout play at Texas A&M helped him become a 2014 first-round draft choice by Cleveland. Manziel, though, struggled on the field and generated headlines for his party lifestyle and arrest on a domestic violence charge against his ex-girlfriend. Manziel agreed to a plea agreement in December and still may be subject to future discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Whether another team will trust Manziel — who spent 10 weeks in 2015 at a rehabilitation center — enough to sign him is in question because of the baggage he brings, let alone questions about whether he can be a successful NFL quarterback. But, at least for right now, Manziel is committed to becoming “Johnny Football” once more.

NFL free agency 2017: Raiders could lose top rushing option Latavius Murray

The Raiders are at risk to lose their best running back option to free agency this offseason.

According to an ESPN report, Oakland is expected to let running back Latavius Murray test free agency at the start of the league year on March 9. The report states that Murray could possibly re-sign with the Raiders after having tested the free agency waters.

This season’s success was boosted by the performances of dynamic rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott, a fourth-round pick from Mississippi State, was only starting following season-ending injuries in the preseason to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore.

Prescott went on to throw for 3,667 yards with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Elliott, the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns.
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Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was selected as the league’s top assistant coach.

After a 110-tackle season and offering plus size for the position, the declared junior had a lot to prove at the Combine in terms of his lateral quickness and fluidity as a coverage linebacker and pass rusher. He’s an effective 3-4 inside linebacker or 4-3 strong side linebacker, and his production proved as much.
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But Lee’s lack of great coverage range or sack production may limit the teams interested in him as a mid-round draft choice. If he can’t produce impressive numbers at his Pro Day, Lee may end up seriously regretting his decision to enter the draft early.

In appreciation of Jim Thome and the quietest 600-homer career of all time

Jim Thome had the quietest 600-homer career of all time. We know this because people keep forgetting Jim Thome is in the 600 Home Run Club.

It was 612 home runs, actually, and Thome is one of eight players to reach the hallowed milestone. Albert Pujols will be the ninth, and it’s the Pujols Watch that has brought Thome’s name back into the baseball conscience. That seems odd to say given that he was active as recently as 2012, but here we are.

It’s not quite Jim Thome, forgotten slugger. But it sure seems close.

Earlier in the season, Travis induced weak contact on inside pitches or was missing altogether. Now, Travis takes pitches over the plate and barrels them to the outfield.

Throughout April, the bulk of his swings and misses were on pitches in the inner half of the strike zone. Like many right-handed hitters, Travis found that location to be his Kryptonite. But now with his new position in the box, he predominantly whiffs on offerings down and away.

In April, Travis had three measly extra-base hits, while in May he collected 20 extra-base hits and now has the most doubles of any hitter in MLB with 18.
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What’s the reason for his dramatic turnaround? The answer may be a simple step backward in the batter’s box.

Game Womens Jimmy Graham Jersey Earlier in the season, Travis was standing much closer to home plate. In essence, that also pushed the barrel of his bat even farther away from the plate and was causing him to chase pitches outside the strike zone or induce weak contact.

But a small shift backward in the batter’s box has lined the barrel of his bat back into the strike zone. It’s rejuvenated his swing and Travis has enjoyed a tremendous spike in extra-base hits throughout May.

The mock drafts would be a lot more convoluted in these years

“There was, like, this,” she stops to open her arms, puts her lips together and makes a sound similar to dropping a cannonball into a body of water.

It took Schakowsky time to grasp the full scope of the need for players’ health advocates, even as she took up the banner. She talked with constituents who blew up her phone that March after the roundtable and realized the enormous hold football has on American culture. She met with retired NHL players in October and watched middle-aged men cry because they couldn’t remember things.

Schakowsky was born in a quiet Northside neighborhood in Chicago to two eastern European Jews who came to America at the height of the Nazi occupation across the ocean. By 1969, she was a young mother, who had grown annoyed by not knowing what basic items were fresh at local supermarkets and so organized the National Consumers Union (eventually changed later to National Consumers United) which, she jokes, was a “modest name for a group with six people.”

Buffalo jumps all the way from No. 19 to No. 2 in 2016 and from No. 8 to No. 1 in 2014. Meanwhile, the Browns drop out of the top three again in 2016 and fall two spots each in 2014 and 2013.

The mock drafts would be a lot more convoluted in these years, but there are a few interesting situations:

What do the Giants and Jets do with the first two picks in 2015? The Jets could certainly use Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, but the Giants may be better served trading that pick away. Maybe the Buccaneers or Titans would want to come up from No. 4 or No. 5, respectively, to secure a franchise quarterback.

Mike Tirico replaces Al Michaels on ‘Thursday Night Football’

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Mike Tirico will slot in to call play-by-play on NBC’s broadcasts of Thursday Night Football this upcoming NFL season.
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The network got the green light from the NFL to have Tirico replace Al Michaels, who will still do the playcalling for Sunday Night Football.

Cris Collingsworth will remain as the NFL analyst for both Thursday and Sunday games featured on NBC.

Then why’d they go get Glennon?Lynch said, via The MMQB’s Peter King.

It’s important to note that the car washing scene isn’t reality. As I said there’s a lot going on here. We got to this point through a wavy transition, which is the ultimate sign of a dream sequence.

In the car-washing dream Gronk is impressed by a butt.

Part of the reason why the Seahawks need a reliable backup quarterback is because their cheesecloth O-line keeps getting Russell Wilson wrecked. Seattle ranked 28th in the league last fall after letting Wilson and his backups get sacked on more than 7 percent of passing plays. Wilson has used, uh, bubble water to stay remarkably resilient, but it’s clear Pete Carroll needs a contingency plan as his star quarterback gets older.

Wilfork: Draft was a dream come true. Everybody that gets in this game and gets drafted, as a kid you dream of being an NFL football player and for that dream to come true, man, it was an amazing feeling. It was one of the perfect things in my life because when I was four to five years old, that’s all I dreamed about was being a football player, an NFL football player, to be the best.

Brad Miller and Matt Duffy are the listed starters

Elite Womens Jason Taylor Jersey Most underrated player in baseball history? Every player mentioned here might have a case, though Johnson could lay the most claim. In the special Negro League induction for the Hall of Fame in 2006, the last time Johnson was up for consideration, his candidate profile noted, Johnson may have acquired his Home Run nickname in his Findlay semi-pro days, when he reportedly hit 60 round trippers in a single season. His constant production at bat in high-level black ball may have also led to the nickname – he is credited with season batting averages of .371, .374, .397 and .413 while in his prime. He also spent five years in the Cuban Winter League before 1910, winning a batting championship and hitting .319 overall.

Authentic Kids Brandon Thompson Jersey Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, becoming the first African-American since 1884 to play in the majors. During the Reconstruction Era, though, a number of blacks played with whites, Fowler among them. Fowler was the first African-American in Organized Baseball, Brian McKenna wrote in Fowler’s SABR biography. He also had the widest traveled career and longest, of the early players, by any qualification. Shocking to some, he was the first African-American to captain an integrated club. He was also one of the first significant black promoters, forming the heralded Page Fence Giants and other clubs and leagues.

Brad Miller and Matt Duffy are the listed starters, but Duffy is still recovering from Achilles surgery. That could force Miller back to his natural position, shortstop, from second. A Duffy setback could also open up short to a slew of competitors: Tim Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft; Nick Franklin, who’s mainly an outfielder now but who began his career as a middle infielder; prospect Willy Adames, one of the key pieces in the trade that sent David Price to the Tigers (Franklin was in that trade, too); and minor leaguer Daniel Robertson, who was acquired in the deal that sent Ben Zobrist to the A’s in 2015. Plus, the Rays reportedly are interested in signing recently released Brett Lawrie as a second base option.