Sportige The Sports Know-It-All Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:57:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NBA Rumors – Los Angeles Lakers Need to Hope Kobe Bryant Doesn’t Ruin it for D’Angelo Russell & Jordan Clarkson Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:57:46 +0000 More ]]> Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell

The Los Angeles Lakers will try to be different and especially better than last season. They’d also like to start developing something. A Jordan Clarkson-D’Angelo Russell backcourt, with Julius Randle finally playing his rookie season. Kobe Bryant taking a step back is a big key in all this planning.

This isn’t another Kobe bashing post, even if it has a huge potential to turn into one. This is about the options the Lakers have heading into next season. From the words of Byron Scott, Bryant is going to play away from the backcourt this year. And play less minutes. And games. More small forward minutes, maybe even as a power forward, as Scott realizes the game has moved on since his days as the coach of the Nets over a decade ago.

Are we going to have a Russell-Clarkson-Bryant-Randle-Roy Hibbert lineup? Not out of the question, but that is going to be a hideously slow lineup except for Clarkson. It also puts some pressure on the three perimeter players, all loving the ball in their hands, to share. Maybe we’re going to see someone move to the bench?

It’s not going to be Bryant, that’s for sure. He’s going to be rested in some games, but don’t be surprised if the future backcourt for the Lakers gets its minutes later in games, not right from the start. Brandon Bass might also start instead of Randle, while Lou Williams is also going to be getting minutes and time with the ball. Maybe for Russell and Randle, playing in the second unit works out better, at least before everyone knows what they’re dealing with.

Russell is an excellent shooter, but also has great vision. A real point guard, who is slower than your average bear, but makes up for it with his passing and shooting, and hopefully in time his decision making as well, usually not the strongest attribute for a rookie. Scott got lucky last year with Clarkson’s rookie campaign and Bryant’s injury. He “developed” him well. Now it’s time to see him under more difficult circumstances, unless Bryant gets injured again (not in the realms of science fiction), do the same with Russell.

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NBA Rumors – Golden State Warriors Trying to Keep Their Championship Team Together Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:33:29 +0000 More ]]> Harrison Barnes

The Golden State Warriors won a championship with a relatively young squad, and it came at a time just before the massive spike in the salary cap, making their attempts to keep everyone happy with new deals more difficult than under normal circumstances.

The Warriors signed Klay Thompson on a max deal that now almost looks like a bargain before the 2014-2015 season began, and Draymond Green signing an $82 million, five year contract after the championship doesn’t seem like such a blow considering the salary cap from 2016 onward.

But the deals the Warriors are going to be signing and handing out next will no longer seem like change. Stephen Curry is on contract until 2017, so there’s time before that potentially turns into a mess. Andre Iguodala, who like Curry is making around $11 million a season, doesn’t hit free agency until 2017, but his bargaining power isn’t as strong as Curry’s obviously.

So who do the Warriors have to worry about in the immediate future? Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli. Barnes went back to the lineup last season under Steve Kerr and took his game to the next level in his third season, although he remains inconsistent in a number of aspects. Festus Ezeli is great in the few minutes he does play and played a small but important part in the finals, but how necessary and irreplaceable is he?

The Warriors are going to try and sign an extension with the both of them before November 2 and try not to let this move into the next offseason, when both of them are restricted free agents. The Warriors are hoping they can get Barnes for around $14 million or $15 million a season once his rookie deal ends, and Ezeli for somewhere between $5 million and $7 million.

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NBA Rumors – Los Angeles Lakers Still Vastly More Popular Than Los Angeles Clippers Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:11:50 +0000 More ]]> Lakers vs Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers might have been the best team in the city for the last three or four years, but they remain miles behind the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of appeal and the size of their fanbase, something that will probably never change.

The Lakers obviously have the much bigger national appeal, and it’s not different in the local market as well. The Clippers might be considered contenders and are one of the best teams in the league, not to mention fun to watch, but they average about half the viewers on local broadcasts compared to the Lakers, despite Kobe Bryant hardly playing over the last two seasons, and the Lakers being in more or less tank mode during that time.

Does this mean the Clippers need to leave Los Angeles? Not yet. While they might be able to get some great numbers and money from local broadcasters by moving to a place like Seattle, the success of the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Angels to move out of the basement and become a much bigger name in terms of merchandise and visibility in the city suggests it’s all a matter of winning championships.

One user on reddit suggested the Clippers are pretty much like an expansion team that only got noticed the moment Blake Griffin was drafted. They have a long history in other cities but none of it too successful, and their time in Los Angeles has been more about failures not to mention a owner everyone hated (Donald Sterling). Positive things only started happening from 2011 onward, including Steve Ballmer purchasing the franchise.

Maybe we’ll see something change in favor of the Clippers once Kobe Bryant retires. But Bryant retiring opens the door for the Lakers to finally sign some max-contract players which they’ve been unable to do while Bryant keeps them away with his presence. In short, it’ll probably take more than a decade, including winning a championship, of Clippers-dominance to start making some noticeable shifts in the fan alignment in the city.

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NFL Rumors – Buffalo Bills Closer to Starting Tyrod Taylor at Quarterback Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:54:53 +0000 More ]]> Tyrod Taylor

If there’s one team drowning in changing starting quarterback rumors this offseason its the Buffalo Bills, who surprisingly might be giving the job to Tyrod Taylor over EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel.

Yes, Taylor, with four seasons of being a backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore, throwing a total of 35 passes, not starting a single game. He’s now the favorite by Rex Ryan to start over EJ Manuel, the first round pick in 2013, had a perfect quarterback rating in the previous preseason game and Matt Cassel was expensive to get in terms of draft picks, but they’ll be on the bench.

So why is Taylor getting the job? Besides his impressive ability in training camp and the preseason game (although a lot of them against backup defenses), Ryan seems to like the idea of having a very mobile and unexpected quarterback to work with.

Greg Roman messed up the Colin Kaepernick situation last season, but overall he knows how to make someone like Taylor do well in an offense that’s expected to run a lot of read option if Taylor is indeed the quarterback of this team. It’s a big gamble to make, but maybe the Bills, out of the playoffs since 1999, need this kind of shake up to change the status quo.

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NFL Rumors – Detroit Lions Want Eric Ebron to Feel Some Pressure Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:42:35 +0000 More ]]> Eric Ebron

The Detroit Lions aren’t dropping Eric Ebron from the first-team offense just yet, but adding Tim Wright to the tight end depth chart is about putting some pressure on the first round pick.

The former North Carolina player, Ebron was the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft. Despite the high pick, he fizzled during his rookie year, catching only 25 passes in 13 games, finishing with 248 yards and one touchdown, looking nothing like the “best tight end in the draft” he was promised to be.

Wright played for the Patriots last season, playing some wide receiver as well although mainly as a tight end. He finished with 26 receptions in 16 games for 259 yards and 6 touchdowns.

With what seems to be a more reliable end zone target, Ebron isn’t losing his place on the line just yet, but it’s probably a good move to improve the depth at the position, and make him sweat a little bit for his playing time if he continues to perform the way he did in his rookie season.

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NFL Rumors – Buffalo Bills Releasing Fred Jackson Shouldn’t Be a Personal Decision Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:31:34 +0000 More ]]> Fred Jackson

The NFL is a business, and whether or not Fred Jackson was worth the money the Buffalo Bills were about to pay him in the 2015 NFL season was the only thing that should have been playing a factor in the team’s decision to release him.

Whenever a veteran player is cut, people feel bad for him. Jackson is a positive, likable guy. He played eight seasons with the Bills, and wanted to retire in Buffalo. But the Bills have released him less than two weeks before the season begins, saving around $2.7 million in cap space, which they say is the main reason for his release.

Jackson wanting to retire with the team should have had nothing to do with the decision. If he’s not good enough to be a running back and especially isn’t worth the money he was about to be paid, then it shouldn’t be that big of a deal for people to accept. Bill Belichick is running what has been the best organization in the league for the last 15 years. Sentiment is never part of the decision making for him.

Jackson rushed for 525 yards last season but also had his best receiving seasons with 501 yards. He’ll now try to find a team before the season begins but at 34, it’s going to be difficult, and he might need someone to get injured for him to get picked up, although he probably can be helpful to teams who need someone to backup their running back.

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NFL Rumors – New England Patriots, Tom Brady & Roger Goodell Waiting For the Farce to be Over Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:19:55 +0000 More ]]> Tom Brady

It’s not too far away now; the day that the ruling in the Deflategate case comes, and it’ll all be behind us. Yes to a suspension or not, the endless and seriously uninteresting quarrel between the league with Roger Goodell spearheading the attack, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady is way past its peak point.

The two sides once again couldn’t settle in court about finding somewhere that’s between “not guilty of anything” and “caught cheater, suspended 4 games”. Rumors suggest the league offered to trim Brady’s punishment by one game if he admitted guilt, but at this point, it’s not going to happen, and it just means the league doesn’t really want to settle making these kind of offers they know will be rejected.

So now, it’s up to U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman to give his ruling. He will announce a ruling as early as Tuesday and no later than Friday, and is currently putting the final touches to his decision.

Berman has been pushing for a settlement since the case began, shortly after Goodell upheld the suspension following Brady’s appeal. If Berman reverses the league decision, Brady will have enough time to prepare for the new season. He has taken part in preseason games and training camp.

The judge has also been mostly critical of the league during the hearings, citing weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy and suggested that the league’s finding was too vague, that Brady was generally aware that game balls were being deflated.

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NFL Rumors – Oakland Raiders Releasing Trent Richardson Should End his NFL Career Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:09:23 +0000 More ]]> Trent Richardson

There’s no coming back from this one. The Oakland Raiders cutting Trent Richardson as teams around the league trim down their rosters to 75 players probably means it’s the last we’ve seen of him in the NFL.

Richardson isn’t the only player released in a busy day for teams getting rid of players for various reasons while making others think twice about who they can pick up now. But it’s interesting to see the trajectory of his career coming to a full stop, beginning at pretty high point of being the number three overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and ends with a thud of not even making it into the regular season.

The Raiders gave Richardson $600,000 in guaranteed money following his release from the Colts, but he was either sick (pneumonia) or simply terrible during training camp. He finished his preseason duties with 19 yards on five carries in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Richardson wasn’t too bad his rookie season in Cleveland, with 950 yards and 11 touchdowns. Traded to the Indianapolis Colts a season later for a first round pick, Richardson started falling down the pecking order, averaging barely over three years per carry in Indianapolis. He rushed for 519 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Colts, probably his final contribution in the league, despite being just 25.

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NFL Rumors – Washington Redskins Make the Sane Choice by Picking Kirk Cousins to Start Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:54:36 +0000 More ]]> Kirk Cousins

No more assumptions and guessing: The Washington Redskins name Kirk Cousins as their week 1 starting quarterback, a first for him since being drafted by the team, which means it’s one step closer to the door for Robert Griffin III.

Since the two have been drafted, Griffin was always the opening day starter. Cousins impressed in some of his cameos or starts instead of Griffin, although looked bad in others. Overall, Griffin was always the de facto #1 and was moved from the spot only when injured.

He’s not 100% right now as well, but it’s more than that. There has to be at least one or two voices in the organization calling for the team to move on from a player that seems to be getting worse with time, as a combination of injury problems and his own football ability have made him almost untouchable once his rookie contract runs out, with no takes on trade offers.

Cousins has started nine times for the Redskins, and overall has completed 59% of his passes for the team, throwing 18 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. Unless Jay Gruden figures out a way to get the offensive line working again, Cousins being better than Griffin won’t make much of a difference, he’ll be destroyed by the pass rush as well.

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College Football Rumors – Florida State Seminoles Make Everett Golson Their Starting Quarterback Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:46:35 +0000 More ]]> Everett Golson

The transfer from Notre Dame to Florida State has paid off for Everett Golson, being named the starting quarterback for the Seminoles.

Entering his senior season following a transfer and a turnover-filled year with the Fighting Irish (22 turnovers in 2014), Golson beat junior Sean Maguire for the right to replace Jameis Winston at quarterback after he went to the NFL draft, becoming the number one overall pick in 2015.

Golson announced his transfer in May, following his graduation at South Bend. There were no transfer holdups by the NCAA because he had earned his degree at Notre Dame and has eligibility remaining. In 23 starts for Notre Dame, he has thrown for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns and rushed for 14 more scores.

I’ve seen him grow and grow and grow, of course in his knowledge of what we’re trying to do but then his performance on the field. It’s been more consistent and the more times you do it and the more times you see it then the better you get at it. Both guys had tremendous camps, and I feel very comfortable with both guys. Both guys are playing well and we’re going to need both guys to play well throughout the year.

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