Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 8 hrs ago
The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it's time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2015-16.
Most seasons, we assume the Kings won’t make it to November before counting their Ping Pong balls, so wondering if they’ll last until January means progress. Last year, they nearly made it to December before DeMarcus Cousins contracted viral meningitis, Mike Malone was fired and they began their annual tailspin.
But they’re still the Kings, right?
Not unless everything breaks right for them, and keep in mind, this is the Kings we’re talking about.
Previously, on BDL 25:
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Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 13 hrs ago
The New England Patriots wasted no time reacting to Judge Richard M. Berman's decision to vacate Tom Brady's four-game suspension, posting a picture of a fired-up Brady to the team's official Twitter account.
Soon afterwards, the team also announced a contest with a signed Brady jersey as the prize, including a picture of the four-time Super Bowl champion waving his rings around. This comes off as even more comical when you consider the NFL suggested Brady bribed Patriots employee Jim McNally with autographed memorabilia in order to deflate the footballs for him, a notion the judge dismissed.
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The NFL is the dark overlord of the universe, or at least that's how the league is portrayed by Hollywood.
Even Sony Pictures Entertainment, one of few film companies with no major strings attached to the NFL, feared what the league's lawyers might have done had they pulled no punches in a movie about the nation's most popular sport, according to hacked emails scoured by The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, the discussion centered around: changes to the script; editing "some unflattering moments for the NFL" from the film, eliminating "most of the bite" for fear of legal retribution; careful construction of the movie's marketing strategy (i.e., making sure to mention Smith's fandom and the fact his son played football); and the director's attempt to set up a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, which ultimately went nowhere once a league spokesman demanded a copy of the script.
To the best of my knowledge, Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley is not in "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation," but based on a recent report about his decision to cut popular veteran Fred Jackson, he could've at least been an extra. And the way Jackson tells it, Whaley might've made a great villain.
On Monday, the Bills released running back Jackson, whose 5,646 rushing yards trail only Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson in franchise history, and the news wasn't just a surprise to fans. It also came as a shock to Jackson himself and perhaps even some members of the Bills organization. According to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, Whaley "went rogue" in releasing one of the city's most beloved players.
It's been almost eight months since the AFC championship game, and deflate-gate is still raging on, but in the meantime the NFL has instituted rule changes in hopes of preventing another PSI-related controversy.
According to rule changes recently announced by the league, officials will now record PSI levels of all 24 footballs submitted by each team prior to the game and will usher the balls to the field for kickoff. Much of the deflate-gate drama has centered on referee Walt Anderson's recollection of pressure gauge readings prior to the January playoff game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts as well as Patriots employee Jim McNally's pregame pit stop in a Gillette Stadium bathroom with the game balls.
3. Each ball will be numbered and stamped by the referee.
6. The referee is required to submit all pressure readings to the NFL by noon the following day.
Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago
As if the NFL didn't have enough controversy 10 days from the 2015 season opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, Sony Pictures just released the trailer for "Concussion," a movie based on the true story of the doctor who discovered the link between football and head trauma.
On the same day NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared in court opposite Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Sports Illustrated's Peter King unveiled the two-minute trailer in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column, and it doesn't exactly shine a favorable light on the league.
Really, the only surprising aspect of the trailer is that Goodell is played by Luke Wilson, who is apparently going against type after portraying Joe Bauers, the last beacon of intelligence in the 2006 film "Idiocracy."
Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago
It's been almost 72 hours since the last weird Robert Griffin III saga, so it's about time we had a fresh one.
You'll remember the Washington Redskins announced Griffin was cleared of concussion symptoms on Thursday to play in this weekend's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, and then not cleared upon further review "by neuropsychologists" on Friday. Just another 24 hours in the life of the Redskins.
In fact, a two-hour meeting between Snyder and McCloughan about the concussion weirdness may have been the impetus for the reported rift between ownership and football operations, according to Florio. All of which makes the latest on Griffin so very Redskins. What Florio's story does not refute, however, is that Washington may be prepared to cut ties with RGIII when NFL teams pare rosters down to 53 on Saturday.
Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago
As we continue to work our way through the endless summer between the Finals and Opening Night, we'll pause each Friday to briefly consider and count down some NBA-related topic of note. We like starting lineups and round numbers, so we'll run through a handful of items each week. With a nod to our friends at Dr. Saturday, welcome to Ball Don't Five .
This week's installment: The Top Five Players Entering a Make-or-Break Season.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
That’s risky business for an undersized and overweight big man who fell to No. 21 in the 2012 draft due to health concerns, had his rookie year cut short by back surgery and missed two months of last season with a foot fracture. And while he did return to average 20 minutes off the bench in Boston’s quick first-round playoff exit, Sullinger has never proven capable of playing starter’s minutes even when healthy.
You get the point.
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Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 9 days ago
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History .
Today, Ben Rohrbach pays homage to a rookie Chris Webber's stylish behind-the-back bombing of Charles Barkley early in the 1993-94 season.
Twelve-year-old me had an entire bedroom wall dedicated to the Fab Five. Every picture that ever appeared on a poster, in Sports Illustrated and SLAM, or anywhere else photographs were found in the early 1990s made its way to that wall. It even featured my own life-size Jalen Rose drawing that was nothing short of awful.
So, Nov. 16, 1993, represented redemption for me as much as it must have for C-Webb.
Not only had Webber’s college career just ended in humiliating fashion, but the dawn of his NBA career was depicted more as Orlando preferring Penny over him than the Warriors trusting so much in his talent that they made a Godfather offer.
Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 22 days ago
Of the roughly 1,400 pages worth of Tom Brady's personal emails released to the public during deflate-gate court proceedings, the most interesting one mentioned Peyton Manning in context of one of the great arguments in NFL history — which of the two future Hall of Famers would you rather have at quarterback?
Brady made his argument clear, predicting his longevity will put an end to the debate. The take isn't such a controversial one — as Brady captured his fourth Super Bowl ring at age 37 while the 39-year-old Manning showed his age down the stretch of last season — but the Patriots QB still felt the need to apologize.
"Somebody said I was roasted. I've been roasted before. That is not a roast. I won't be on that Comedy Central roast, but I've been in a couple of private dinners and banquets where I didn't know it was going to turn into a roast of me, but it did, and I can promise you that email was amateur night compared to some of things people have really said about me."