Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer suspended after tirade, shouldering official

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was suspended one game without pay for making contact with an official during a loss to the Cavaliers Friday, the NBA announced.

Budenholzer was irate with Brian Forte with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter when he bumped into the referee. The reason for his madness? LeBron James appeared to push off the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore, dropping him to the court on his back without a whistle.
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The Hornets started the season out strong, winning seven of their first 10 games and dipping no lower than .500 as of Jan. 13. Since then, they’ve gone 4-13 with only 2.5 games separating them from a 76ers team that has been without Joel Embiid since Jan. 27. They’re lucky nobody has emerged as a legitimate contender for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they can’t afford to slip much further.

Some of their problems will be solved when Cody Zeller returns to the lineup. Zeller has the best net differential on the Hornets this season and his ability to roll hard to the basket opens up a lot for Kemba Walker in the half court, which is sort of important seeing as their offense revolves almost entirely around Walker.

Chris Baker Mens Jersey Even so, with over $90 million tied up in Walker, Zeller, Marvin Williams, Miles Plumlee, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb each season until 2019, this isn’t a great position for the Hornets to be in.

Russell Westbrook doesn’t care about Steph Curry’s MVP prediction: ‘Who’s he?’

Russell Westbrook and James Harden are seen as two of the favorites to win the NBA’s MVP award this season, and Stephen Curry recently gave the edge to the Rockets star.

“You kind of have to reward the better team, I would think, record-wise,” Curry said. “That’s just kind of going in the history of the MVP award. So, I think James (Harden) will probably edge (Westbrook) out just off of that.”

When asked Thursday about these comments, Westbrook didn’t seem to care what Curry thought.

Obviously Westbrook knows who Curry is and his “who’s he?” remark was more of a “who is he to say who should win MVP?” Curry’s thoughts have no impact at all on the MVP race, so Westbrook isn’t going to concern himself with whatever the Golden State guard says.

But as far back as his debut as a wisp-thin 18-year-old with Milwaukee—he was quickly bought out of his Zaragoza contract and never played in Spain—it was clear that Antetokounmpo had the makings of a revolutionary player. Even at his height, he had point-guard quality ball skills, and natural court vision. His ability to gobble up yardage of hardwood with mere steps made his highlights required viewing. And that hasn’t changed.

“He’s unbelievable,” said All-Star Hornets guard Kemba Walker. “Every time you watch a highlight, he is doing something crazy. I saw him jumping and dunking from the free-throw line the other night. He is a special talent.”

Now comes the challenge for Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee gave him a four-year, $100 million contract last summer. He earned his first All-Star appearance this season, and is averaging 23.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He could become just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in those three categories, plus blocks (1.9) and steals (1.7). He would join Hall of Famers Dave Cowens and Scottie Pippen on that list, along with future HOFers Kevin Garnett and LeBron James.

MLB trade rumors: Yankees in on Sonny Gray, hesitant to give up Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres

The trade deadline is a little more than two weeks away and the Yankees are likely to be active in it. They have already made a minor trade for a first baseman as they moved Tyler Webb earlier this week for minor league first baseman Garrett Cooper, but the big move has yet to come.

Could that big move be for the Athletics’ Sonny Gray?

It’s possible, and the Yankees are certainly interested, but they are hesitant to move their top prospects to get him. Guys like Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres and maybe even a Justus Sheffield may be untouchable, but to get Gray it’s likely going to take at least one of them to get Oakland’s ace who tossed six innings of one run ball Friday night.

But according to FanRag Sports, that would be the hang-up in a trade between the two teams.
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Authentic Youth Josh Hamilton Jersey The question here is what qualifies as a biggest prospect? How far down does that list go? In theory, Dustin Fowler won’t be considered because of his leg injury. Same goes for James Kaprielian. But what about a guy like Sheffield? Or maybe even a Blake Rutherford, who the Yanks got in a steal in the draft last season?

While the Yankees may not be willing to part with their top guys a package of several lower, but still very talented, guys could get the deal done. Throw in a Chance Adams, Jorge Mateo and an Albert Abreu and the deal might possibly have some legs. It just depends on if the Yankees want Gray enough, and right now they certainly need help considering the recent injury to Michael Pineda.

If the Yankees don’t grab him, though, maybe keep an eye out for a guy like Lance Lynn of the Cardinals. His contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. He won’t be nearly as expensive as Gray and he’s actually been slightly better than Gray this season. And he is reportedly on the market.

Warriors’ Nick Young hilariously fails at Peyton Manning trivia before ESPYs

The Warriors’ Nick Young has been disqualified from ever being on Sports Jeopardy.

Game Youth Rick Martin Jersey Hold on, son. There’s lots of (Gang) Green left in that putt from now until next April. Your play could tank, too. For now, though, let’s assume Darnold excels for the Trojans this year as a redshirt sophomore. QB-starved NFL teams will be knocking down the door (and be willing to trade tons of picks) to get him.

That means any attempted pre-emptive strikes by Darnold won’t carry weight. The Jets are shedding payroll to become even less competitive. The Browns are always a threat. Other bad teams will hit the eject button the second their playoff chances evaporate.

Whenever Darnold leaves college 鈥?he told ESPN he’s taking his future year by year, a response to a report saying he’ll remain in school for two more seasons 鈥?he will have to rescue a rotten team. A team picking in the bottom 10 won’t have the juice or the motivation to jump into the top five, which is Darnold’s expected range. A move like the one the Texans made for Deshaun Watson this year is rare.

If Darnold is trying to pick his team by claiming leverage, well, he’s better served holding his nose and bracing himself for the dive into the dumpster.

Crawford, meanwhile, is expected to negotiate a buyout with the Hawks after being traded by the Clippers. According to cleveland.com, the most the Cavs can pay him is the taxpayer’s mid-level exception (about $5.2 million), but he’s willing to accept less than his market value for the chance to play alongside James.

Game Youth Pekka Rinne Jersey Still, Washington’s lineup was meant to be its strong suit entering the season. The main reason for the team’s success strictly related to its ability to score runs in bunches. Eventually, the injuries will catch up.

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.

Grousbeck is rich, and he almost certainly doesn’t care about this list.

General managers will give you even less than coaches. Frank Kaminsky and Boban Marjanovic should be the reps. And Boban should be allowed to hold other reps like they are babies.

Grousbeck is rich, and he almost certainly doesn’t care about this list. So take your second-to-last ranking, you extremely successful person!

This is nothing against Harris as a player or person. It’s the situation. If — and this is a huge if — the Nuggets snag a top-two pick, they would likely take a guard. Harris would have to be excited about Denver drafting someone to potentially push him out of town. Thanks, Gary. See ya later!

Lopez has always prided himself on being a bit quirky by pro-athlete standards — he calls himself the Screech Powers of the NBA on his Twitter page. As this Bulls season has led the league in weirdness from start to finish, it’s only fitting that Lopez is shining now, just as the Bulls’ fortunes have taken the weirdest turn of all: a possible spot in the East playoffs’ second round.

He’s not getting ahead of himself, however.

“We have been very focused so far, and that is going to be the key for us,” Lopez said. “I said earlier, we have been taking it possession by possession. When we don’t, they’re going to make runs. But that is part of the game. The focus has been very good for us.”

“Coach is always asking how I feel throughout the game, and I feel great,” James said. “If I’m on the floor and I’m hurting us, not giving quality minutes, then I need to come out. In this series, I played a lot of minutes and felt really good. I actually could have played the whole game if need be.”

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.

JaVale McGee to meet with Clippers, per report

While the Warriors are great because of their big four of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, what makes them virtually unbeatable is their depth.

Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee had their own great postseason moments this year and the Warriors will do all they can to keep a championship roster intact. Iguodala and Livingston have both re-signed, so now the front office has to focus on McGee, who has a meeting with another team today.

Francona also missed a game last August after experiencing chest pains, and was hospitalized for similar issues as far back as 2005, when he was managing the Red Sox.

Sanchez has the fewest homers among those competing, but he missed more than a month of the season because of a strained biceps.

Defending champion Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, teammate Justin Bour, Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger and Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon make up the National League team.

“I’m not disappointed,” Morrison said. “It’s par for the course. I play for the Rays. I get it. They can’t even get my picture right. When they put my name up there, they put Corey [Dickerson’s] picture up there … on MLB Network. When they put up the home run leaders, they put Corey’s swing on there — not mine.”

Morrison might get a chance to go to the All-Star Game. Although he wasn’t chosen for the squad, he is on the five-man ballot for the final spot on the American League team.browns_015