Jon Gruden: ‘Iˇm preparing myself to come back’ to coaching

Jon Gruden has turned down offers to return to the coaching ranks, but that doens’t mean the Super Bowl-winning coach-turned NFL analyst is going to take the easy road and retire in the broadcast booth.

The Seahawks were stuck on 10 wins the past two seasons because they were a mediocre-to-bad team in the first month and a half. They got healthy and revved up just in time to make the playoffs each time, but by then, it cost them a shot at home-field advantage, sealing their fates in the divisional round.

Beyond a Week 1 trip to Green Bay, the opening stretch is a lot more favorable this season. Russell Wilson no longer has the nicks that plagued him for most of 2016, and both the running game and defense got deeper. These Seahawks are more in line with their NFC-champion identity from 2013 and ’14 than the sliding underachievers of 2015 and ’16.

The Seahawks not only stay on their perch, but a more favorable schedule including the AFC South and NFC East can provide the springboard back to a No. 1 seed. The Cardinals will be a tad better, but the Rams and 49ers will need to tread water near the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Seattle is most responsible for keeping things status quo as it beats on its division foes a little more.

Some of what Porter does might sound simple, but there’s few players in the NBA who can shoot and cut as efficiently as he does. Plus, there’s a lot more to his game we haven’t discussed. For example, Porter is built perfectly to play power forward in small ball lineups thanks to his Cheap Kids Jerseys NBA offensive versatility and he’s a disruptive defender who can switch onto the quickest of guards when needed and draw Cheap Jerseys Online China the assignment of chasing around the opposing team’s best wing scorer.

Bulls keep playoff hopes alive with win over slumping Cavs

The slumping Cavaliers have lost their grip on the top spot in the Eastern Conference and it might be the Celtics’ gain.

The Bulls overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit Thursday night to rally past the Cavaliers for a 99-93 victory at United Center.

With their third straight loss, the Cavaliers (47-27) dropped a half-game back of the Celtics (48-27) for the top spot in the East. The Cavs have lost five of their last seven and even 26 points from LeBron James, who passed another NBA milestone, couldn’t stop the skid.

James moved past Shaquille O’Neal for seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but 19 of his 26 points came in the first half as the Cavs held a 50-41 lead at the break.

“I wanted to ask Russell like, ‘How’s your family doing man, how you feel?’ Like stuff that normal people talk about,” he said. “But there’s just so many cameras watching and it’s like, ‘Oh what they talking about, they didn’t look at each other, they didn’t even say hi.'”

Durant also said he wouldn’t walk down the tunnel at the same time because if he saw Westbrook and ignored him then it would cause a scene. So instead he just kept to himself, even though he doesn’t really feel like there’s beef between them. He thinks Westbrook feels the same way.

“It was awkward. Everybody see it, everybody talked about it the whole time, that was the topic of discussion,” Durant said. “It was corny. It was tabloid TMZ talk. It’s not even Cheap High Quality Jerseys basketball, it’s not even what’s important in this game.”

The Warriors don’t play the Thunder again in the regular season, but there’s a chance the two teams can meet in the playoffs. If that happens, expect the media Cheap Girls Softball Jerseys attention on their relationship to be even stronger.

LaVar Ball addresses Lonzo’s sneaker carousel

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has strayed from Big Baller Brand’s ZO2 sneakers during Summer League and sported Nike and adidas.

And to everyone’s enjoyment, his numbers in BBB shoes pale in comparison to when he wears something else.

“That boy can play barefoot and do the same thing,” LaVar Ball Cheap Elite Nike NFL Jerseys said of his son, via “He can play in any shoe he feels like. That’s how that Big Baller Brand roll. We got that independence — we don’t have to be strapped down… He wear what he want.”

It’s nice to see a player not tied down by a sponsor, but it must be hard selling $495 basketball shoes when they’re rarely seen and consistently outperformed.

Lonzo Ball and the Lakers take on the Nets in Summer League play at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday in Las Vegas. Now we wait patiently to see what’s on his feet.

Kanter came off the bench to score 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting with 11 rebounds. Unfortunately for the Thunder, they don’t get to play a banged up 76ers team every night.

This, however, was still a move in the right direction for this mercurial bunch.

Wizards stars Bradley Beal and John Wall helped Washington eek out a 104-100 home win over the Hawks. Beal led the way with a team-high 28 points with nine rebounds. Wall added 22 points, 10 assists and four steals. He also did a nice job remaining aggressive despite a horrific start to the game Cheap Euro Jerseys from the field.

Stephen Jackson says Gregg Popovich told him he had to quit smoking weed to join Spurs

Stephen Jackson and Gregg Popovich are straight shooters.

Just ask Cap’n Jack, now a popular NBA analyst on ESPN, what he thinks of current Nets wingman DeMarre Carroll’s comments about the Raptors, his former employer, or bring up President Donald Trump around the Spurs coach.

Knowing that, it’s no surprise Popovich’s pitch to Jackson was as clear cut as they come when the two crossed paths back in 2001. Popovich knew he could use the 6-8, 220-pound Port Arthur, Texas native, but he also knew there was one obstacle keeping San Antonio from acquiring Jackson’s services.

Jackson, who played with the Spurs in Summer League after spending his rookie season in New Jersey, recently relayed the story on the “Ryen Russillo Show” on ESPN Radio.

It was a tough time for the entire family and one situation that LaVar Ball wasn’t aching to talk about, but the way Lonzo reacted when asked about his mother did show that he is a little more reserved than his father.

“She can’t really talk right now,” Lonzo told ESPN in May. “But she definitely knows what we’re saying, and she smiles all the time. So that’s a good thing.”

But hopefully there are some good things coming in Tina’s recovery. The Ball’s have said she has been making progress and many got to see that progress firsthand Thursday as she made her first public appearance since suffering her stroke in February.

LaMelo Ball and the Big Ballers AAU team went on to win Thursday night, 101-94.

In the meantime Lonzo dropped his second triple-double Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys of the New York Giants Cheap Jerseys summer in the Lakers’ win over the Cavaliers in the summer league.

Karl Malone on NBA players resting: ‘Get your a— playing’

Add Karl Malone to the growing list of people frustrated by NBA teams sitting down their stars to give them a rest.

The 14-time NBA All-Star, who played at least 81 games in 14 USA Basketball Cheap Jerseys of his 19 NBA seasons, told ESPN’s Sage Steele Saturday that today’s players need to play

There were big expectations for Parsons this year after he signed a four-year, $94 million contract with Memphis. But he missed more than a month with a bruised left knee, and played with a limit on his minutes per game. He averaged career lows in points (6.2) and rebounds (2.5) per game and Grizzlies fans had begun booing him at home.

But earlier this week, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said he knows Parsons will work hard to return to his previous form.

“To suffer a setback like this after working so diligently to rebound from the injury to his right knee is obviously tough,” Wallace said in a statement. “That said, we know he will continue to work tirelessly to return to the court with his teammates and contribute.”

Without Williams, the Lakers will be able to accomplish a very important mission: They can tank the final two months by just rolling out their regulars, headed by D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle.

If the Rockets, who finished third in the West last year and added Chris Paul, aren’t yet considered contenders for the Western Conference title (and still wouldn’t be even if they added Anthony), why would the Blazers, who were an eighth seed in the West, be considered a contender with the addition of Anthony?

And while Lillard may have complained in the aftermath that he was Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China misquoted in the tease by Bleacher Report, he probably should pump the Vancouver Canucks Cheap Jerseys brakes a touch because it’s going to take far more than Carmelo Anthony to make the Blazers contenders.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.

Judge has 27 multi-hit games this year, and he’s had just seven games all season in which he’s failed to record a hit or a walk. The guy knows how to get on base, and he appears to be a real threat to contend for the Triple Crown.

The Yankees also got unexpected production Wednesday from third baseman Miguel Andujar, who collected three hits and four RBIs in his major-league debut. The Cheap NBA Jerseys four RBIs were the most by a Yankees player making their MLB debut since the stat became official in 1920.

Possibly the most important performer in the Yankees’ blowout win came from starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The struggling ace gave up just two runs in six innings while striking out five batters. He has now turned in two quality starts in a row after previously watching his ERA balloon to 6.34 for the season.

New York (42-34) ran into a bit of a rough patch in mid-June, but it has now won two of its last three games to draw even with the Red Sox in the AL East.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 27-29), but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, five clubs will Cheap NFL Jerseys Embroidered hold voluntary veteran minicamps.

This season has been a disaster for the Giants as a team

Why he’s here: Trout hasn’t played since injuring his thumb on May 28, and he STILL ranks in the top three in WAR — a cumulative stat, mind you — among all MLB outfielders (he’s second in B-R at 3.4 and second in FG at 3.3). So, yeah, he makes our squad, ahead of healthy stars having great seasons, guys such as Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Marcel Ozuna.

Why he’s here: This season has been a disaster for the Giants as a team, no doubt, but Posey has been his typical MVP-caliber self through it all. Gary Sanchez, Salvador Perez and Tyler Flowers have been really good, but Posey is the easy choice here.

Why he’s here: Yes, I know Dickerson isn’t a full-time DH, and maybe you think that’s reason to go with RBI machine Nelson Cruz here instead. But Dickerson has more starts at DH (42) than in left field (30), so it’s not like this is much of a stretch. And Dickerson has been so good that we have to find a spot for him on this team.

Britton Colquitt returns after averaging 45.3 Cheap MLB Jerseys From China yards per punt last season, but the kicking competition became more intriguing with the addition of Zane Gonzalez, the 2016 Lou Groza Award winner who connected on 23 of 25 field goals for Arizona State last season. He’ll push Cody Parkey Cheap Miami Dolphins Jerseys for the starting job.

The key will be from 40 yards or more, where Parkey hit just seven of 12 last season. In the return game, Peppers averaged 14.8 yards per punt return at Michigan last season.

MLB Draft 2017: Dates, time, draft order, how to watch, live stream

The 2017 MLB Draft starts on June 12, and for the third time in team history, the Minnesota Twins are leading off the draft order.

For a team with just one winning season in the past six years, the Twins must find another franchise player atop the draft like they did 16 years ago when they drafted Joe Mauer with the No. 1-overall pick in 2001. Mauer went on to win the 2009 A.L. MVP award, and is a six-time All-Star. The Twins now have the tough task of deciding which elite prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft could be its next franchise player.

Like the 2001 MLB Draft, which also featured elite college players Mark Prior (No. 2, Cubs) and Mark Teixeira (No. 5, Rangers), there is no obvious selection at pick No. 1.

The 2017 MLB Draft will last 40 rounds, plus the two compensation (Competitive Balance) rounds that follow Rounds 1 and 2. The MLB Draft was reduced from 50 rounds to 40 rounds in 2012.

There’s no shortage of self-belief among this year’s final four quarterbacks. But I have to favor the scorching-hot player who has been there against the opponent who has not. So I expect Rodgers and the Packers to win a shootout over Ryan and the Falcons.

The AFC game also should be a thriller; a defensive mastermind in Bill Belichick trying to control Pittsburgh’s Killer Bs, Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Brady Cheap Jerseys Paypal Payment will be peeking over his shoulder at a fellow late-30s player in James Harrison, who has re-channeled his NFL defensive player of the year form from eight years ago.

Pittsburgh has won nine straight games, while New England is on an eight-game winning streak. After the Patriotsuneven performance against the Texans, I have a hunch that this is the week Brady and the Pats finally can’t overcome the loss of their best receiver and key run blocker in tight end Rob Gronkowski.

It would be fun to watch Judge and Bellinger take their unprecedented power show into October

In the meantime, though, you’ll read pieces proclaiming that Judge’s performance so far is on par with other 60-homer seasons of the past. But a lot of those other performances came from guys with names like Sosa, Bonds and, yes, our friend Mr. McGwire during seasons in which their home run totals were almost certainly, uh, aided. So, it’s not really a fair comparison.

None of this is to say I want Judge and Bellinger to fail. It would be great if they’re both approaching 50 homers with a few weeks to go, creating the Great Rookie Home Run Race of 2017. But know this: Since McGwire’s 49 homers in 1987, the most any rookie has hit is Albert Pujols’ 37 in 2001. Baseballing is hard, especially for rookies. Even good ones.

It would be fun to watch Judge and Bellinger take their NFL Cheap Jerseys Nike unprecedented power show into October, but don’t expect the surge to last that long.

None of the fresh talent and clever schemes at the skill positions will matter unless the Vikings fix a line that was a disaster last season. Free agent tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers will play right away and end the revolving door of last year.

Third-round pick Pat Elflein was taken high for a reason, and the Cheap Lacrosse Jerseys Ohio State center will likely find a home fast somewhere on the line. The same likely goes for fifth-round guard Danny Isidora. Veteran guard Alex Boone is healthy, and it helps them if he stays that way. Youngsters like T.J. Clemens and Jeremiah Sirles, pressed into service last year, have windows to make an impression. This line needs all the help it can get.

Rivers did not beat Johnson much when they were players.

A defeated Rivers said the next day, “I respect Magic Johnson, but at the end of the day, until we do something, I guess we are the Clippers.” He added, “I didn’t know being the Clippers was bad though, that’s the only thing I’ll say.”

Rivers did not beat Johnson much when they were players. And Johnson got the best of Rivers on Twitter. But he’s doing all he can to keep the Clippers ahead o the Lakers now.

Dennison loves him some fullbacks, which helps explain the Bills’ free-agency acquisitions of Patrick DiMarco and Mike Tolbert. But the OC also has a history of using zone blocking schemes, which makes Buffalo’s decision to let efficient runner Mike Gillislee leave for New England somewhat of a head-scratcher.

Nevertheless, LeSean McCoy again will be the Bills’ No. 1 back, and if healthy, he’s still capable of spearheading a rushing attack that ranked Miami Heat Cheap Jerseys first in the league last season.

The issue for the Bills at running back is depth — Jonathan Williams and Joe Banyard are McCoy’s projected backups. Perhaps local University of Buffalo product Jordan Johnson can make the roster and steal carries as a rookie.

Signing burly, undrafted forward Nigel Hayes was a good step toward that, because Hayes can play multiple positions, and he’s a good rebounder and passer. Committing to Willy Hernangomez as a starter alongside Porzingis, too, will help. In 22 games as a starter, Hernangomez averaged 11.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 25.8 minutes, and though he Cheap Paintball Jerseys badly needs defensive improvement, letting Cheap Orioles Jerseys him develop next to Porzingis is a must.