MLB All-Star Game 2017: Robinson Cano’s 10th-inning HR gives AL fifth straight win

Elite Brian Sutter Jersey Robinson Cano gave the American League its fifth straight MLB All-Star Game win with a home run off Cubs closer Wade Davis in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday at Marlins Park.

Cano’s blast to right field gave the AL a 2-1 lead, and Indians reliever Andrew Miller shut the door on the National League in the bottom of the 10th for the win. Cano’s home run was just the fourth go-ahead home run in extra innings in All-Star game history, and the first since Tony Perez did it exactly 50 years ago Tuesday.

Cano was named All-Star Game MVP because of his clutch home run. The homer earned the AL its 23rd All-Star Game title in the last 30 competitions.

The Bulls made the playoffs last season, but lost in the first round. They have since traded away star forward Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves on draft day, and cut ties with Rajon Rondo.
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Hoiberg explained that he was not a big part of Chicago’s draft-day moves, and he was fine with that.

Coaches don’t have a big influence on draft and shouldn’t, Hoiberg said. Scouts are watching and gathering information. Coach gets involved much later.

(It’s) Important that coaches and front office have a good working relationship. (They) have to be on the same page with direction of franchise.

The Bulls appear to be in a rebuilding direction, which could suit Hoiberg’s coaching style, and his ability to develop talent.

While Hoiberg may have been fed up with recruiting in college basketball, he may have to start recruiting star players in the NBA soon. The Bulls’ front office will want to win eventually, and the current state of the NBA dictates a franchise must have two or three high-profile players to contend.

Charles Barkley responds to ‘scumbags’ who criticized his Isaiah Thomas comments

Charles Barkley didn’t appreciate the criticism directed his way after comments he made about Isaiah Thomas.

People just automatically think that, ‘Man, this guy ain’t from the hood, he ain’t cut like that, he ain’t cut from a different cloth. He’s supposed to be soft and this, that.’ And of course, Steph is light-skinned, so they want to make him out to be soft. So everybody just wanted to make him out to be this soft, jump-shooting guy and he continued to get better and better and better.

Green added that the feelings from other players are rooted in jealousy.

All of it goes back to the old saying: They want to see you do good, but never better than them. That’s what it boils down to; that’s jealousy. They want to see you do extremely good, but they never want to see you do better than them — and he’s doing better than a lot of people.
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But when you look at Steph’s life. They had money, but Steph wasn’t treated like they had money. He couldn’t watch TV (all the time). He had chores. They didn’t raise them like they were just these privileged kids, which shows why they’ve got two sons in the NBA and a daughter who’s doing great in college. They weren’t raised like that.

And because that’s the standard to which Golden State is now held, we can say the defending Western Conference champs are right on track as they roll toward The Finals, even if Draymond Green only gave his team a B-minus for what it has accomplished thus far.
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It’s 8-0 in the postseason and its average margin of victory is 16.5 points. Monday night it closed out Utah 121-95 in Salt Lake City. The Warriors now have plenty of time to enjoy the nightlife there before the start of the West finals against the Rockets or Spurs.

Shaq ruthlessly trolls Charles Barkley with hilarious photo

Shaq has been having a blast roasting his Inside the NBA co-host Charles Barkley and this Instagram post was probably his best job yet.
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Popovich usually is pretty even-tempered with his comments, so it’s a little surprising to see him be so critical of a player. But after announcing that Leonard likely will be out for Game 2, apparently he felt like he needed to defend his guy.

The conference finals are a mere formality. With Kawhi Leonard’s return to the Spurs in question, the Western Conference finals are all but over. After witnessing how the Celtics struggled against the Wizards and how the Cavs dominated them on their own floor the last time the teams played, it’s no wonder it was hard for Cleveland’s media team to produce a hype video that would manufacture excitement for a series that likely won’t last long.

Cliche quotes from LeBron James and coach Tyronn Lue and some ho-hum highlights. Did I see a Kevin Love backdoor cut for a routine two-handed dunk? The background music was fairly run of the mill.

Be honest. You just watched that, and you’ve already forgotten about it.

Limited Kids Christian Kirksey Jersey Now, peep this South Carolina football hype video. It’ll make you want to see if you’ve got any eligibility left.

Game 1 between the No. 1 Celtics and the second-seeded Cavaliers begins at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, but the Finals can’t start soon enough.

Aaron Donald won’t deny possibility of training camp holdout

Authentic Kevin Pierre-Louis Jersey Despite his desire for a new contract, Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald made a cursory appearance earlier this month at the Rams’ mandatory veteran minicamp.

Donald, though, won’t guarantee an on-time arrival for training camp if a new deal is not consummated.

I’m just working, just grinding and we’ll see what happens, Donald told co-host Mark Dominik and me Thursday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

When asked whether he was optimistic that a contract extension could be reached before camp, Donald’s response was similar.

I’m just letting my agents handle that, Donald said. All I can do is keep working to keep myself in top shape.

Authentic Ernie Stautner Jersey Jefferson quickly blossomed into a key member of the Nets, appearing in back-to-back NBA Finals starting in 2001. In just his second year, Jefferson started for New Jersey and averaged 15.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting. He turned into one of the best two-way players in the league and helped the Nets reach the playoffs for six straight seasons.

Griffin’s NBA career was cut short due to his battle with alcoholism, and he was cut by Houston in 2003. He died tragically in 2007 when his car hit a moving train.

Without Jefferson, the Nets and Jason Kidd probably never reach back-to-back NBA Finals.

It’s been well documented the Lakers trading for No. 13 pick Kobe Bryant is one of the most important trades in NBA history. Dallas executed a similar move in the 1998 NBA Draft when it traded for Nowitzki and the No. 19 pick (Pat Garrity) and dealt the No. 6 pick (Robert Traylor) to the Bucks.

you can see how James’ definition is rather limited and perhaps self-serving.

If we based the rubric purely on team wins, the Spurs would be at the top of this list. But no one’s calling this a superteam. This is a super franchise starring Leonard. The Spurs became the first team in NBA history to win over 60 games with only one All-Star on the team (Leonard).

Mens Grant Fuhr Jersey Bringing back Pau Gasol would technically make this a big three because of his 2014-15 All-NBA appearance and two All-Star bids in the last three seasons, but he’ll be 37 on Thursday and not close to a seventh All-Star bid. Not helping Aldridge’s current star status is this fact: He averaged a career-low 16.5 points per game this postseason and scored in single digits in two of his three games without Leonard by his side. Yikes.

How they move up: Moving Aldridge would be considered a sell-low move, so it’s hard to see them making a serious upgrade with him as the centerpiece in a deal. There are other interesting buy-low candidates out there like Andre Drummond and Anthony. Internal development from Kyle Anderson or Dejounte Murray is probably the best bet.

LeBron was drawing a line, implying that his Miami and Cleveland championship teams had been built differently than the Warriors. Their team was already kind of put together, James said during the Finals. For me, when I left [Cleveland] to go to Miami, we had to build something. We brought in eight or nine guys, and we had to build something, and when I came back here we had to build something again.

That may be true, but you can see how James’ definition is rather limited and perhaps self-serving. The fact is, with the 2007-08 Boston Celtics and LeBron’s Heatles as examples, superteams are coming together in all kinds of ways, and in all shapes and sizes.

Mens Phil Kessel Jersey In the effort to dethrone NBA champion Golden State or to be the first team since 2010 to knock a LeBron superteam out of the Eastern Conference playoffs, players are joining forces in new superstar combos that we barely could have imagined a decade ago.

The Bulls finished in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in five of Butler’s six seasons

The Wolves ranked 27th in the league in defensive efficiency, and won just 31 games. That was 13th in the West, and 10 games out of a playoff spot.

Authentic Youth Mike Pennel Jersey The Bulls finished in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in five of Butler’s six seasons, and the Wolves will be looking for him to have the same kind of impact in Minnesota. The Timberwolves were one of the worst teams in the league at defending outside, allowing 1.06 points per possession on spot-up shots, 28th in the league.

Warner would go on to take over the Rams starting quarterback spot when Trent Green got hurt and won a Super Bowl. He went to two more and mentored Eli Manning who won two Super Bowls himself.

Butler and Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg were a part of one of the more memorable feuds during the 2015 season with Butler criticizing Hoiberg’s mild-mannered personality and lack of tough coaching. The tension appeared to carry over to this past season when Butler and Wade were benched by Hoiberg in January because they aired their grievances through the media.

Mens Gerald Everett Jersey Fred had the same objective that I did. He wanted to win. I do agree that we go about it differently, but I don’t care what anyone thinks about me as a basketball player, Butler said Friday. I have no bad things to say about Fred at all. Maybe we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some things and a few things could have been handled different at different times, but like I said back then and I say now, I don’t regret anything. I don’t take anything back. I am who I am, and I’m not perfect in any shape or form.

Butler won’t have to worry about mild-mannered personalities with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Butler in Chicago before Hoiberg took over in 2015.

NBA Finals pick, predictions for epic Cavs vs. Warriors III

So, we meet again.
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For the first time in league history, the NBA Finals matchup will be the same for a third straight year, with both the Warriors and the Cavaliers arriving in impressive fashion — Golden State at 12-0 in the playoffs and Cleveland at 12-1. All season, there has been little doubt that the two teams would wind up here, but the way they dominated their conferences over the past month and a half is an aspect no one could have foreseen.

In a way, the rest of the regular season and the playoffs never really mattered much. The entire past eight months in the NBA pointed to this moment, to the rubber match between the Warriors, 2015 NBA Finals champions, and the Cavaliers, 2016 Finals champs. In fact, you could argue that this matchup was set in stone last July, when Kevin Durant opted to leave the Thunder, turn down the Celtics and land with the already-stacked Warriors.

James has sat a total of 35 seconds in the second half, and the Cavs simply can’t afford to sit him. Mark it down now: Cavs 102, Warriors 97 with 8:33 left. We’ll see what LeBron has left in the reserve tank.
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Green picks up his fifth foul with ten minutes to go in the game. Durant checks back in. Foul trouble has really limited him the past two games.

You might disagree. It didn’t hurt the NBA in the past, right? Hell, the Celtics won eight in a row from 1959-66. Chicago did it twice from 1991-93 and 1996-98. The Lakers did it in Minneapolis from 1952-54 and in Los Angeles 2000-02. Those Lakers teams with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal lost just three NBA Finals games in three years. The league survived.

The Lakers, however, weren’t playing LeBron James. The Warriors made the Cavs look like those 76ers, Pacers or Nets teams that Shaq and Kobe used to burn through. Boston, Chicago and Minneapolis had the best players in the game, too.

NBA Draft 2017: First-round prospect Jonathan Jeanne diagnosed with Marfan syndrome

Just before this month’s NBA Draft, French center Jonathan Jeanne likely has seen his dream of playing professionally dashed.

The potential first-round pick Jeanne has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a potentially career-ending disorder, his agent told The Vertical.

Early Thursday, Celtics GM Danny Ainge revealed that Ball turned down a request to work out for Boston ahead of the draft. But the UCLA guard is considering a workout with the 76ers, according to ESPN. The report says the only issue is how Ball will work with Ben Simmons, another ball-dominant player.

If Ball does agree to a workout, then it would defy what his father, LaVar, said. The outspoken pop had said his son would work out only for Los Angeles because, “There’s nobody else that we need to work out for.” But if the Lakers aren’t interested, then it might help Ball to let other teams know everything about him.

This will likely be the end of reports claiming who Ball will or won’t work out for. He likely won’t fall past the 76ers as he’s viewed as a consensus top three pick. We’ll know for sure where he lands when the 2017 NBA Draft takes place next month.

Lending significance to Colangelo’s comments is a recent report from Basketball Insiders that said, “With reports surfacing that the LA Lakers and former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball have finalized the details of a workout and face to face meeting in LA next week, there is a growing sense that unless Lonzo absolutely blows the doors off, he may not be the Lakers’ guy.”
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FS1’s Mike Hill rips co-worker Jason Whitlock on Twitter

Everyone who writes about sports has opinions. Many of those people want their opinions to be heard. Some are good opinions, others are bad. Many would say Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock had a bad opinion Thursday.

What’s worse, though, is when a co-worker disagrees, and Fox Sports’ Mike Hill disagreed vehemently with what Whitlock said Thursday about racist graffiti scrawled on LeBron James’ Los Angeles home. We’ll just leave these here.

Game Mens Mikael Granlund Jersey Boston (from Philadelphia) 鈥?Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas. The Celtics’ choice here probably will come down to one of two players: Jackson or Jayson Tatum. While Jackson is the better athlete and a potential shutdown wing defender, Tatum is a smoother offensive player. Don’t discount the notion of the Celtics turning around and trading down from here, too.

Phoenix 鈥?Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State. If the Suns are ready to commit to position-less basketball, Isaac is their man. He is a very athletic combo forward who would give the Suns an intriguing pairing alongside fellow youngster Marquese Chriss. With Fox, and possibly Ball, on the table, though, the Suns would have a tough choice if they went for a point guard, even if it means trading away star guard Eric Bledsoe.

Game Mens Walt Aikens Jersey Sacramento 鈥?De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky. The Kings want a point guard, and Fox is the guy they want most. There’s been some talk that the Kings would swap the fifth and 10th picks to move up to the Sixers’ No. 3 in order to draft Fox, but the Kings would be better served keeping both picks and taking the chance that Fox is on the board here, with Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina as a backup plan.

Russell Westbrook wants ‘nun’ of NBA Finals, watches ‘Sister Act 2’ instead

Womens Jaromir Jagr Jersey Russell Westbrook was locked in Thursday night . . . to a 1993 film starring Whoopi Goldberg.
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Yes, you read that right. The Thunder point guard watched Sister Act 2 instead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors. Screenshots from Westbrook’s Snapchat account started circulating around Twitter as the Warriors put the finishing touches on a blowout victory.

Westbrook made a wise choice with Golden State leading the majority of the second half by 20-plus points. He likely wasn’t interested in watching his former Thunder buddy Kevin Durant scorch the nets with a game-high 38 points.

But why not watch the far superior original Sister Act? Did he already finish it? Does he not have the VHS? (For all you kids out there, that’s a really big Blu-ray disc.)

We need to hear about Westbrook’s movie opinions. That would certainly be more entertaining than Game 1.

Lowdown: Two NFL franchises that have never reached the Super Bowl played a trilogy of NFL championship games in the 1950s. Bobby Layne and Doak Walker each scored TDs in the 1952 victory at Cleveland. The Lions pulled out a fourth-quarter victory in the rematch when Layne hit Jim Doran for a 33-yard game-winning TD. Otto Graham engineered a blowout in a third matchup with four total TDs for the Browns to give Paul Brown the second of three championships with the franchise.

Lowdown: The Royals and Yankees each scored 63 runs over the course of these three hotly-contested series. Chris Chambliss’ walk-off homer capped a thrilling 7-6 win in Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS, a game in which the Royals rallied to tie the score with three runs in the eighth inning. The same drama unfolded in the 1977 ALCS, and this time the Yankees scored three runs in the ninth inning to beat Kansas City in Game 5. New York won the 1978 ALCS in four games. The Yankees won the World Series afterward in 1977 and 1978.