Kyrie Irving Trade To Celtics For Isaiah Thomas, ESPN’s Robert Lee Relocated

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It was no surprise the Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving, wanted out of Cleveland, but the trade with the Boston Celtics appeared lopsided to many sports fans. The Celtics gave up Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick for Kyrie. LeBron James took to social media to express his appreciation of his time with Irving and said, “That’s the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode”.  LeBron and Irving will face each other early on when the Celtics head to Cleveland on October 17th for the first game of the NBA regular season.

FOOTBALL

With the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA, ESPN was concerned for their broadcaster Robert Lee, who shares a similar name to the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, whose statue was removed this month. ESPN apparently consulted with their broadcaster and asked if he’d prefer to be relocated from covering the Virginia-William and Mary game, and Lee agreed. ESPN explained the decision by saying, “We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue.”

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Odell Beckham Jr And Brandon Marshall Injuries, 12 Browns Take Knee

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Pre-season games don’t mean much, unless someone gets injured, which unfortunately happened on Monday night. The New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall both suffered what appeared to be minor injuries, but the team will access the severity when they return home.  Beckham Jr limped off the field with an ankle strain and Marshall with a shoulder injury. Many fans are upset that the Brown’s Briean Boddy-Calhoun’s hit on Beckham was dirty and he should be fined.

In other news from the Giants pre-season loss to the Cleveland Browns, 12 Browns players took a knee in prayer during the National Anthem. According to rookie Jabrill Peppers, “There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now. We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.” Browns’ tight end Seth DeValve became the first white player to kneel. According to the Seahawks Michael Bennett, it would take a white player kneeling to change the conversation.  No word on whether the players will continue to take a knee during the regular season.

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Magic And Lakers Investigated For Tampering, Boldin Announces Retirement

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The NBA is investigating the Los Angeles Lakers and specifically their President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, for tampering with a potential trade of the Indiana Pacers Paul George. George will be a free agent next summer, and shortly after expressing his desire to play for the Lakers, the Pacers traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They didn’t get great trade value for him, however, as (according to the Pacers), no team would want a player who is planning on leaving anyway. The Lakers deny there was tampering, but if the investigation proves there was any kind of side-deal, the Lakers could lose draft picks and suffer a financial fine. In addition, George might be disqualified for playing for the Lakers.  This whole incident stemmed from Magic Johnson’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel where he joked about wanting George on the team.

FOOTBALL

After 14 years in the NFL, Anquan Boldin announced he’s retiring. Two weeks ago he signed with the Buffalo Bills but now says he’d like to devote his time to fighting for human rights. Boldin and his wife have been actively involved in charitable work including sponsoring scholarships for college. In 2015, Boldin focused his attention on criminal justice after his cousin was fatally shot by a police officer when his car broke down on a highway. In his statement to the press he said, “Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority.”

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Cutler Solid In Dolphins Debut, NFLPA Says Work Stoppage Certainty In 2021

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Former Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler came out of retirement as a fill-in for Miami Dolphins backup QB Ryan Tannehill (who is undergoing surgery). Cutler was only in for 9 plays in his pre-season debut against the Baltimore Ravens but looked solid. According to Dolphins coach Adam Gase, “His tempo was really good. I think we gotta get used to that a bit, the rest of the guys, because he’s ready to go a little sooner than everyone else.”

We can enjoy a full football schedule for a few seasons, but according to the head of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, there’s “virtual certainty” a work stoppage will occur after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement in 2020. He told Sports Illustrated, “I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout is almost in ’21 a virtual certainty.” Some of the issues needing resolving is the revenue split between owners and players and how much power NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has in instituting the personal conduct policy for the league.

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Falcons Chick-fil-A Closed On Sundays, 49ers Lynch Refusing To Stand Divisive,

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The Atlanta Falcons are getting heat for their new billion-dollar stadium and the Chick-fil-A restaurant. As any football fan knows, most games are played on Sunday (other than an occasional Thursday night or Monday night game), and Chick-fil-A is not open on Sundays. According to the restaurant’s website, the founder, Truett Cathy, decided to close the restaurant in 1946, so employees could have a day of rest. Fans have been grilling the team on social media with comments like, “If you ever think you make bad decisions, just remember they’re putting a Chick-Fil-A in the new Falcons stadium”

SF 49ers general manager, John Lynch, weighed in about players sitting for the National Anthem (Raiders Marshawn Lynch and Seahawks Michael Bennett this week sat). Lynch said he personally thinks refusing to stand is “divisive“, but also said, he understands  and “guys see things and they’re not happy. They have that right. And I think we’ll always respect people’s rights. That doesn’t mean I believe that. I believe this game should be celebrated for what it is — I think, a tremendous unifier for our country, and for the way things should be.”

 

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Dodgers 50 Games Over .500, ESPN Tone Deaf Auction

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodgers remarkable season keeps getting better. With a win over the Chicago White Sox, the Dodgers (84-34) are now an impressive 50 games over .500.

FOOTBALL

In a completely tone deaf segment, ESPN held a fantasy football draft where they auctioned off mostly black  players to white owners, causing outrage on social media. Players such as Odell Beckham Jr wrote on his twitter feed, “speechless” as the segment appeared eerily similar to a slave auction. Other athletes, such as NBA star Kevin Durant, weighed in as well tweeting, “bum ass espn running out of ideas.”

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Elliott Suspended 6 Games, Katie Sowers Hired By 49ers, LaVar Ball Loses Shootout W/Ice Cube

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The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys’ star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games without pay for domestic violence abuses. The NFL came under intense scrutiny a few years ago for not imposing stricter punishments for violating personal conduct policies, especially in the case of Ray Rice.  The NFL now has new, stricter guidelines and a six game suspension is the minimum requirement. Elliott is the highest profile player to receive this punishment. According to the NFL, his case uncovered “multiple instances of physical violence” against his former girlfriend. The NFL Players Association plans to review the decision and Elliott said he’ll appeal.

Katie Sowers is expected to be hired by the SF 49ers, making her the second female assistant coach in NFL history. Sowers completed an internship this summer in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship then posted on Facebook she accepted a full time position under Niners coach Kyle Shanahan.

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The controversial LaVar Ball was all bluster and no substance when he lost a shooting contest against rapper/actor Ice Cube during Ice Cube’s BIG3 event.  This probably wouldn’t be much of a story if it wasn’t for the fact LaVar claimed he could beat the great Michael Jordan in his heyday (with one hand tied behind his back).  It sounded as if the entire arena was happy Ball lost.

 

 

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Marshawn Lynch Sits During Anthem, Thomas Wins PGA Championship, Stress Monitors In Chess


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Marshawn Lynch, Raiders running back, appeared to stage a silent protest when he sat during the National Anthem during a pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Jack Del Rio spoke to Lynch after the game and told him, ” “So you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, and we’ll do ours.’ So that’s a non-issue for me.” Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel said the team supports Lynch in whatever he chooses to do.

GOLF

A 20-something pro won the PGA Championship, but it wasn’t Jordan Spieth, it was his buddy 24 year old Justin Thomas. Spieth has taken the golf world by storm this year and was looking for a win to secure a grand slam. It wasn’t meant to be though, as his friend and rival Thomas shot a 68 on his final round to win his first major championship and move to #6 in the world.  After the tournament he said, “I truly felt like I was going to win. I remember my girlfriend was supposed to fly out at about 7 and I was like, ‘You need to change your flight to later, because I don’t know, I just feel like I don’t want you to miss this. I feel like I’m going to get it done.’ I just was very confident.”

CHESS

Watching a 3 plus hour chess match isn’t exactly the most exciting spectator sport so the World Chess organization is planning to have players wear biometric monitors on the Grandmasters so we can see how stressed they get after a specific move. The CEO of World Chess Ilya Merenzon told the Telegraph, “Chess matches can be very dramatic, and biometric data gives fans and spectators alike another opportunity to follow the games and relate to them on much deeper level. It’s not enough to know what the next best move is anymore: you have to know what the grandmaster is thinking.”

 

 

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NBA Changes Rules On Resting Players, KD Criticized For Taking Less Money

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Many NBA teams received criticism last season for resting their players during regular season games. Fans felt they paid good money to come to games and didn’t like seeing health players resting up for a more important game or for the playoffs. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he understands teams need to prevent players getting injured, but felt there should be a better balance. “There is an expectation among partners that teams are going to act in appropriate ways, (and) find, as I said, that right balance between resting on one hand and obligations to fans and partners on the other.” With that said, he’s instituted a number of other rules to benefit players in an  82 game schedule.

This summer, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant signed a two year $51 million dollar contract. Many basketball enthusiasts are giving him a hard time, not because it’s a lot of money, but because it’s so much less than he should be making. He’s accused of giving the Warriors a “discount” so the team could afford some of its other star players. Durant told the Atltantic in a recent press conference, “Well, I’m a smart guy and I want to keep this thing going and looking at Andre and Shaun (Livingston) and Steph (Curry) — they all should make the most money that they can make and get what they deserve. Because they were all underpaid and I knew at some point they’d want to get what they deserve. So I just took a step back and let the chips fall where they may. Then I took it in my hands. I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back. And on top of that, it’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.” Durant can opt out of his contract after this season, and if all goes well, he’ll be one of the highest paid players (which, of course, will also bring criticism).

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Dodgers Historic Season, NFL Hires Full Time Officials

BASEBALL

Baseball fans are in awe of the Los Angeles Dodgers historic season. With a current 80 wins and only 33 losses and a 15 game lead in their division, the Dodgers hold the best record in baseball and are primed to not only advance to a World Series berth, but also make history with number of wins for the season. The current record set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906 and then later by the 2001 Seattle Mariners is 116 wins in a 162 game season. Interesting to note, neither of those teams went on to win the World Series, but this year’s Dodgers don’t seem phased by the hype or the pressure. They just keep entertaining the crowds and winning games.

FOOTBALL

After years of criticism about poor officiating, the NFL has agreed to hire full time officials to ref games this season. NFL officiating was previously a part time job and many felt the refs were not fully qualified to make crucial judgments about controversial calls during games. With a full time crew, the NFL believes the referees will be better prepared and have more consistency during games.

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