Warriors Sweep Jazz, Shaq May Run For Sheriff, Big Baller Brand’s $150K Day

BASKETBALL

After a sweep of the Utah Jazz, the Golden State Warriors head to the Western Conference Finals. With the Cleveland Cavaliers sweeping their first two rounds as well, it’s only the second time since 1983 that two teams enter the conference finals with a perfect 8-0. The Warriors will now play the winner of the Houston Rockets/San Antonio Spurs series which is currently tied at 2-2. Golden State 121, Utah 95.

Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal claims he’d like to run for Sheriff in 2020 in either Florida or Georgia (he holds residency in both states). O’Neal has served as a reserve police officer in a number of cities, so the idea of him wanting to do more is not completely out of the blue. He stated, “You know, when I was coming up, people love and respected the police, the deputies. And I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community that I serve.”

Big Baller Brand, the company built around the Ball brothers (the oldest Lonzo hasn’t even been drafted yet), made over $150,000 in one day with its $495 sneaker called the ZO2. As big mouth dad LaVar Ball stated, “if you can’t afford the ZO2’s you’re not a big baller”.

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Always Dreaming Wins Derby, Cavs Sweep 2nd Round, Porzingis Confusing Tweet

HORSE RACING

“Always Dreaming” ran away with the Kentucky Derby Saturday night. The “Run for the Roses” took place on a muddy track where many horses were having bad trips.  Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Fletcher and ridden by John Valazquez, looked solid coming out of the gate and rode to a 2 3/4 length victory. Fletcher is used to winning, but has had problems at the Derby in the past. He previously had won only one 1 Derby in 45 starts.  Always Dreaming will now rest up and be back on the track in 2 weeks for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes on May 20th.

BASKETBALL

The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the second round of the Eastern Conference semi-final against the Toronto Raptors. The Cavs have now won 8 games in a row in the post-season and will have a week off before facing an opponent in the Eastern conference final. LeBron James proved once again he’s one of the greatest recording 6 straight games with 30 or more points in a playoff game. Cleveland 109, Toronto 102.

In other playoff news, with the Boston Celtics loss on Sunday, the Washington Wizards tied the series at 2-2. James Harden came out strong with 28 points to help his Rockets even the series with the San Antonio Spurs at 2-2. The Golden State Warriors are up 3-0 against the Utah Jazz and will play game four tonight.

The New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis sent out a confusing tweet over the weekend with just the words, “LA Clippers and three smiley face emoji’s”, suggesting his interest in being traded.  Many, including myself, were shocked he’d be so bold in showing his interest in another team. According to Porzingis, however, his account was hacked and he never intended to send this type of tweet.

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Chaos In Wizards Win Over Celtics, Warriors Easy Win, Big Baller Brands $495 Shoe

BASKETBALL

The Washington Wizards came out strong with a 22-0 run in the first quarter and kept the momentum for a win against the Boston Celtics in Game 3 (Wizards down 2-1 in the series).  The game descended into chaos with 8 technical fouls and 3 ejections. It all started when the Wizards Kelly Oubre Jr. ran over the Celtics Kelly Olynyk and was ejected from the game. Tensions ran high from then on, but the Wizards held on for a big 116-89 win. As the Celtics Isaiah Thomas said of the rivalry, “We don’t like them, and they don’t like us”. Speaking of Thomas, his teeth got knocked out AGAIN and he had to miss the beginning of the second half. He said he’s done with the dentist and won’t get his permanent teeth until the end of the season.

The Golden State Warriors made their game 2 win against the Utah Jazz look easy. Draymond Green recorded 21 points and Kevin Durant added 25 for a 115-104 victory. The Warriors now lead the series 2-0.

In other basketball news, the very controversial LaVar Ball (father of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball who is expected to be a top 3 pick in the June NBA draft), debuted his sneaker and apparel line called “Big Baller Brand”. The shoe, designed for Lonzo, is listed at $495 or $995 for an autographed pair. With seemingly no money spent on marketing, Big Baller Brand is getting lots of media attention, but not such great feedback considering the crazy expensive price tag. Shaq tweeted, “Hey @Lavarbigballer real big baller brands would not over charge kids for shoes. pic.twitter.com/N2U0VPXXyt

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LeBron Passes Kareem, Parker’s Leg Injury, Craziness At Fenway, Romo’s Golf

BASKETBALL

With 39 points in another big win over the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James recorded another milestone by passing Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become #2 on the NBA all-time playoff scoring list. Michael Jordan currently holds the #1 spot, but LeBron could pass him if the Cavs continue winning. Cleveland is now up 2-0 in the series. Cavs 125, Raptors 103.

The San Antonio Spurs evened up the Western conference semifinal 1-1 with the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, but Tony Parker suffered a leg injury which got him carried off the court. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker will undergo an MRI today and determine if/when Parker will be able to return. San Antonio 121, Houston 96.

BASEBALL

The Boston Red Sox/Baltimore Orioles series is getting out of control and causing some craziness at Fenway Park.  It all started on April 21st when Orioles player Manny Machado slid into Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The Red Sox players tried to hit Machado in retaliation. Then Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale hit a batter with a 98 mile fastball but didn’t get in trouble. Just a one day later, Kevin Gausman was ejected, without any warning, for hitting a batter with a curveball.

An even bigger issue coming out of this series is the fan behavior at Fenway. The Orioles Adam Jones was taunted with racist remarks on Monday night. Another racist incident happened Wednesday night as well, and the fan was immediately banned from the Park.

GOLF

Newly retired Dallas quarterback Tony Romo will test his skills in golf. He is scheduled to compete in a US Open qualifier on Monday in Texas. Romo is not new to the game, but reportedly had to pull out of other qualifiers due to conflicts with football.

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Thomas Scores 53 Points In Memory Of Sister, Curry Spins Over Gobert, Saban Gets Major Salary

BASKETBALL

Isaiah Thomas was the star of the Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards Eastern conference semi-final game 2. On what would have been his sister’s 23rd birthday, Thomas took control of the game and scored 53 points. After the game, he told reporters everything he does is for his late sister. He said, “My sister wouldn’t want me to stop. The only thing about it is, once I leave this gym, I hit reality and she’s not here. So that’s the tough part. But, when I’m in this arena, I can lock in and I know everything I do is for her.” Celtics now lead the series 2-0. Boston 129, Washington 119.

In the first game of the Western conference semi-final, the Golden State Warriors looked fresh and came out strong after their 8 days of rest from sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. The Utah Jazz appeared overmatched from the very start of the game. Steph Curry put on a show and made 7-1 Rudy Gobert, known as “The Stifle Tower”, literally spin.  Warriors 106, Jazz 94.

FOOTBALL

Nick Saban, Alabama’s head coach, will get a 3 year contract extension and reportedly will be making $11.125 million this season (including a $4 million signing bonus). The contract will run through  2025 with a total of $65 million (not including incentives). The Crimson Tide clearly want to make sure Saban doesn’t leave the school for a rival or for the NFL.

 

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Cavs And Rockets Big Wins, Brandon Marshall’s Thinks Kaep Blackballed By NFL

BASKETBALL

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were flying through the air, making passes and entertaining the fans during the 2nd round matchup against the Toronto Raptors Monday night. LeBron scored 35 points and Irving added 24 for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semi-final. Clearly the rest after their sweep in the first round paid off. Cavaliers  116, Raptors 105.

In the Western conference semi-final, the Houston Rockets embarrassed the San Antonio Spurs with a huge win where the Spurs never pulled close. With 22 3-pointers by the Rockets, the Spurs didn’t have a chance. Rockets 126, Spurs 99.

FOOTBALL

Denver Broncos’ linebacker Brandon Marshall claims former SF quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been picked up by any NFL team because he’s been blackballed by the NFL for kneeling during the National Anthem and starting a protest movement in the league.  Marshall said, “Quarterbacks are usually the face of the franchise. So, he’s probably being blackballed. Maybe part of it is owners don’t want their franchise tagged with that. But I still stand by what I said (on Twitter), that he’s the best quarterback in free agency. He’s better than all of those that got signed, the Matt Barkleys, the Nick Foleses. I think that’s a fair assessment, honestly.”

 

 

 

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Jazz Cut Clippers Playoff Hopes, Pierce To Retire, Toothless Thomas Big Game, Bormann Lives Dream, Oilers Belt National Anthem

BASKETBALL

The Utah Jazz/Los Angeles Clippers 1st round matchup came down to a game 7 where the Jazz simply outlasted the Clippers to take the win and head to round 2. The game marked the end of future Hall of Fame’s Paul Pierces’s basketball career. He announced earlier in the year he’d retire after the season and sign a symbolic contract with the Boston Celtics to officially retire with the team who picked him #10 overall 19 years ago. Jazz 104, Clippers 99. The Jazz will now head to California to take on the Golden State Warriors for game 1 of the second round.

With 33 points, a tooth-less Isaiah Thomas helped lead his Boston Celtics over the Washington Wizards in game 1 of round two.  In the first quarter of the game, Thomas hit the Celtics’ Otto Porter Jr’s elbow and his tooth came flying out. Thomas took it in stride and continued to play. With everything else Thomas has had to deal with over the past week, a flying tooth was nothing. Thomas insisted he’ll get his tooth fixed soon, but his teammates wanted him to keep the “tough” look through the playoffs. Celtics 123, Wizards 111.

BASEBALL

Catcher John Bormann lived the dream on Sunday when he woke up as a Single A Bradenton Marauder then got called up to the Majors and had to drive across the state of Florida to make his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates (who were playing the Miami Marlins). When he heard the news, he admitted he thought it was a joke. He said, “I’m thinking, ‘Maybe he misspoke. Maybe I’m going to Altoona. But he said, ‘No, we’re serious. You’re going to Miami.'” Bormann struck out as a pinch-hitter in the game, but at least he got to debut in the big leagues.

HOCKEY

My favorite moment in sports on Sunday came during the Edmonton Oilers/Anaheim Ducks Semifinal Game 3 when Canadian country singer Brett Kissel prepared to sing the US National Anthem but then realized the mic wasn’t working. He held the microphone in the air and the Oiler fans belted out the Star Spangled Banner.

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NFL Draft, Garrett #1, Bears Shocking #2 Pick Trubisky, Stanford’s Thomas At #3, McKinley’s Grandmother

FOOTBALL

After weeks of trying to predict the top players picked in the draft, it was no surprise, the Cleveland Browns took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the #1 pick. But then things got a bit wacky. The Chicago Bears surprised everyone by trading up with the San Francisco 49ers to take North Carolina’s quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (who has only had 13 college starts) with pick #2. This pick was widely considered the worst pick ever in draft history.

Then at #3, the 49ers grabbed Stanford’s defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (the highest a non-QB Stanford player has ever gone in the draft) and touted as a solid choice. The Niners also received praise for grabbing Alabama’s Reuben Foster with the 31st pick. A few other highlights, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers picked up LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (highest drafted RB the Panthers have ever chosen) with the #4 and #8 picks. At #6, the New York Jets received widespread praise for picking LSU Safety Jamal Adams. For the rest of the first round picks, click here.

In one of the most heart-warming moments of the draft, UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, drafted #26 by the Atlanta Falcons, held up a photo of his Grandmother and became emotional as he explained his promise to her that he’d go to a division 1 school, get out of the neighborhood and make it to the NFL. McKinley cursed on live TV during his speech and will get fined by the NFL, but it’s heartwarming to hear and see his emotions.

 

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NFL Draft Thursday Night, ESPN Lays Off 100

FOOTBALL

Finally after weeks of mock drafts, the excitement begins tonight in Philadelphia. The Cleveland Browns have the first pick in the NFL draft and Miles Garrett (DE from Texas A&M) or potentially Mitchell Trubisky (QB, North Carolina) could go #1. The San Francisco 49ers have the #2 pick, and rounding out the top five is the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. Tune in to ESPN 8:00 pm. ET to follow live.

Speaking of ESPN, on Wednesday afternoon, a number of ESPN longtime journalists and on-air personalties were laid off.  Reports estimated 100 or so employees were fired including former NFL QB Trent Dilfer, NFL reporter Ed Werder, Jayson Stark and one of my favorites, Danny Kanell. ESPN (owned by Disney) has lost millions of subscribers in the last few years and blamed higher NFL and NBA programming costs. Good luck to everyone in your next chapter.

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Westbrook Posts 47 But Thunder Fall, Spurs/Jazz Up In Series,

BASKETBALL

Russell Westbrook posted 47 points, but it wasn’t enough for his OKC Thunder to stay alive vs the Houston Rockets. Westbrook’s rival James Harden scored 34 points, but unlike Westbrook had help from the rest of the team to propel the Rockets to a 105-99 win. With the win, the Rockets win the series and head to the second round of the Western Conference. Houston will now play the winner of the San Antonio Spurs/Memphis Grizzlies series (Spurs up 3-2 with their win on Tuesday).

The Utah Jazz hit their shots in their 4th quarter giving them a big win over the Los Angeles Clippers and putting them up 3-2 in the series. Utah 96, Los Angeles 92.

BASEBALL

It’s not a done-deal yet, but a group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter has reached an agreement with the owner of the Miami Marlins to purchase the team. The agreement still needs to get approval from Major League Baseball and 75% of all Major League Teams.

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