Ben Rohrbach

  • LeBron James wants you to know this is most challenging chapter of his career

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Every team in the league wanted LeBron James this summer, and the four-time NBA MVP chose Cleveland over Miami, because, in his words, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball." The Cavaliers also happened to have Kyrie Irving, enough assets to acquire Kevin Love and a few other young pieces that made the city an attractive destination from a basketball perspective.

    Nine games into his homecoming season, James told ESPN's Chris Broussard this is the most trying experience of a career that has seen its share of trying experiences since he entered the league in 2003.

    "This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship," James told ESPN.com on Wednesday, hours before his Cavaliers hosted the San Antonio Spurs. "Because that was a personal goal of mine. Doing this was never a goal until I decided to come back to Cleveland."

    ...

    In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

  • Bengals fan who had ball stolen by Saints curmudgeon gets last laugh

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Remember the female Cincinnati Bengals fan who had a game ball snatched away from her by an ornery New Orleans Saints fan in the Superdome? You know, the one who seemingly got elbowed by an old man as he wrestled away a pass from tight end Jermaine Gresham aimed at the only Bengals fan in the vicinity of his touchdown?

    Well, she got the last laugh on "NFL AM."

    "I think I first just said, 'Seriously?'" said Christa Barrett, the displaced Bengals fan who moved from Cincy to New Orleans this past summer, "because I was just so surprised. Afterwards, the video of me pleading for the ball was basically just me and my sister asking, 'Hey, can we just get a picture with it?' My sister told him, 'I'm a good Christian woman. I won't steal your ball. I promise.'"

    @PrincipalCara Truly sorry about you guys not getting that ball. I'll make sure you guys receive something greater for compensation.

  • Dwight Howard's concerning child abuse allegations won't go away

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    In a sad state of affairs surrounding Dwight Howard, TMZ released successive reports the past two days conflicting about whether or not the Houston Rockets center abused his 6-year-old son.

    Over the weekend, the celebrity news organization reported Howard had been cleared by the Florida Department of Children and Families from allegations brought forth by the boy's mother, Royce Reed, who reportedly filed a complaint in August alleging Howard had whipped their son with a belt.

    On Monday, however, TMZ obtained DCF documents that support Reed's claim. The doctor assigned to investigate the alleged abuse reportedly discovered injuries "consistent with Braylon being struck with the buckle end of the belt" and "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse."

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  • Noted character Stephen A. Smith takes issue with Michael Carter-Williams calling him a character

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith's vociferously articulated diatribes have become a part of pop culture, even being lampooned on "Saturday Night Live," and once we enter the wormhole of his rants it's tough to tell where the Smith we see on "First Take" begins and Jay Pharoah's impression ends.

    So, it wasn't all that surprising when young Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams used Smith as an example in his Players' Tribune piece of the circus atmosphere that surrounded his team during its 26-game losing streak last season. At least, not to those of us who aren't Stephen A. Smith.

    Before we get into Smith's somewhat bizarre reaction to Carter-Williams' rather benign criticism of him, here is a condensed version of the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year's comments about the talking head.

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  • DeSean Jackson joins Robert Griffin III in ripping Redskins teammates

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    If Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III stabbed his teammates in the back after Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then wide receiver DeSean Jackson twisted the knife on Monday.

    A day after Griffin announced in the wake of his two-interception performance, "It doesn't take one guy, and that's proven," Jackson backed his quarterback's claims with a photo on Instagram of the following quote.

    "You can't do epic (expletive) with basic people."

    Now, Jackson may be lumping Griffin and even himself in that "basic people" population, but it sure seems like the three-time Pro Bowl wideout is frustrated by the team's 3-7 record after losing to a two-win team.

    There lies some truth beneath his statements, but Griffin would be better served keeping quiet as the de facto leader on a team tied for last place in the NFC East.

    That won't be such an easy task with games at San Francisco and Indianapolis the next two weeks.

  • Videos: Rob Gronkowski turns Lucas Oil Stadium into personal roadhouse

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has come under plenty of fire in New England for partying alongside Johnny Manziel in Las Vegas while still recovering from season-ending knee surgery this past offseason and partying shirtless after the Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants, among other partying-related antics.

    Gronk partied plenty again on Sunday, but don't expect to see much complaining from New Englanders this time around, since the man who once dubbed himself "Yo Soy Fiesta" did his carousing on the field.

    Through three quarters of the Patriots' 42-20 victory against the Colts, Gronkowski had just three catches for 45 yards, doing most of his damage behind the scenes as a run-blocking tight end for Jonas Gray's 199-yard, four-touchdown effort. In the fourth quarter, though, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronk announced his rather impressive physical presence with a pair of stunningly overpowering plays.

  • Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili making fun of each other on Twitter is good times

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    San Antonio's success has been built on a brotherhood, understanding that relationship building off the court lends itself to cohesion on it. The philosophy has served Gregg Popovich well as players like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have signed contracts below market value to play for a coach they view as somewhat of a father figure. Almost every team imitates this system; few if any duplicate it.

    On the eve of a Western Conference showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers, Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills offered a glimpse behind the curtain, trading barbs on Twitter in that same brotherly vein.

    The exchange began with an innocuous tweet from Mills, who is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery over this past summer and shared a post-workout photo of his rather impressive 6-foot, 185-pound frame with the caption, "Keep The Passion" and, of course, a fire emoticon.

    @Patty_Mills Incredible what you can do with photoshop now!

    Good times. Although, he could've saved himself some time by using one of the great GIFs in history.

    Around the NBA:

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  • Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, as wonderfully misunderstood as ever

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    In an article penned by Bleacher Report senior NBA scribe Ric Bucher entitled, "Meet the Real DeMarcus Cousins: Strong-Willed, Maturing, Misunderstood," we're being convinced of the Sacramento Kings center's progress, even as Boogie refuses to acknowledge Charles Barkley's presence in person, throws his former coach under the bus and takes a veiled shot at Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

    It's all as confusing as ever. Take these two Cousins quotes from Bucher's piece — on the 6-foot-11, 270-pounder's apparent evolution during USA Basketball service this summer — as Exhibits A and B.

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    Well, then, that clears it up. Glad we had this talk.

    All the while, though, Cousins took notes, as we learned in a few jabs aimed at Barkley in Bucher's piece.

  • Of course Wizards center Kevin Seraphin will autograph your dog

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    When first we met Kevin Seraphin as a Washington Wizards rookie in 2011, he checked into a game with his shorts on backwards, returned to the bench, removed said shorts and corrected his mistake. The French have forever been known to be a bit risqué, and the French Guianan is nothing if not uninhibited.

    After all, Seraphin once enjoyed massage therapy while snakes slithered across his back in an Ibizan spa.

    These are all true stories, and so when Monumental Network's Dan Nolan asked the fifth-year center about the strangest thing he's ever signed, we braced ourselves for anything and everything. Naturally, his response — as transcribed by The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg via NBA.com — was a weird one.

    “The coolest thing for sure is my contract,” he said.

    That was a joke.

    “I’ll sign anything,” he said. “Bring your dogs; I’ll sign your dogs too.”

  • How long can Bengals survive in AFC North without Giovani Bernard?

    Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner 9 days ago

    The Cincinnati Bengals are in a dogfight in the AFC North division, where all four teams own winning percentages better than .600, and the extended absence of stud running back Giovani Bernard could mean the difference between a fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs and a tee time a week earlier than usual.

    Bernard injured his hip in a 27-24 win over the division rival Baltimore Ravens (6-4) in Week 8 and has missed the team's last two games, including a loss to the AFC North-leading Cleveland Browns (6-3). According to the NFL Network's Albert Breer, he will also miss Sunday's game at the New Orleans Saints.

    The Bengals (5-3-1) can ill afford to lose Bernard beyond this week. Outside of a lull against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13, Cincinnati will be battling teams jockeying for playoff position for the remainder of the season, including two division games against the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) sandwiched around a rematch with the Browns and a visit from the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos on Dec. 22.

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