AFC North 2017 predictions: Ravens, Bengals can’t let Steelers run away

The AFC North is not the NFL’s best division. But it’s not the worst, either, and it remains one of the most competitive. The Steelers and Ravens figure to reinforce that sentiment in 2017.

The Bengals hope to crash their rivals’ playoff-hopeful party and bounce back from a six-win season after four prior years of double-digit wins. The Browns, of course, just hope to win more than one game.

The AFC North has not seen a repeat champion since 2012, when Baltimore won its second consecutive division title and rode the momentum all the way to a Super Bowl victory. Your move, Pittsburgh.

While there is no one in that position with “NBA 2K18,” the soundtrack offers a wide variety of current-day hits and blasts from the past that goes 50 songs deep.

Among the artists featured are Kendrick Lamar, Future, Drake, Pitbull, OutKast, Naughty by Nature, Def Leppard, Nas and even Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard, who raps under the name Dame D.O.L.L.A. He actually has two songs in the game, with one of them hidden away to be unlocked through the game’s MyPlayer career mode.

A playlist has been put together on Spotify which features 48 of the 50 songs.

As we’ve noted before, we’re not buying what the Texans are selling in regard to their starting quarterback. Tom Savage is not the player who can lead Houston deeper into the playoffs, so Deshaun Watson’s development as a rookie will be key throughout 2017.

For a defense that fields the NFL’s best three-man attack in a Cheap Jerseys Online single front seven — J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus — the addition of rookie inside linebacker Cheap Kids Football Jerseys Zach Cunningham for depth should help in run support.

Russell Westbrook out-assists entire Raptors team for 34th triple-double as Thunder roll

Russell Westbrook was a walking highlight reel Thursday against the Raptors and didn’t even need a full game to stuff the stat sheet for his 34th triple-double of the season.

The MVP candidate had 24 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds in just three quarters of work as the Thunder won their fourth consecutive game with a 123-102 victory over the Raptors. Westbrook, who inched closer to the NBA’s single-season record for triple-doubles, sat out the entire fourth quarter of the rout but still recorded one more assist than the entire Raptors squad combined.

The Thunder never trailed in the game, which saw Westbrook secure his triple-double with a 10th rebound with just under four minutes to play in the third.

“That exhibition of basketball was unacceptable. I want to apologize to our fans, everybody, for the way we played tonight,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters after the game. Toronto sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, 6 1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland.

To make matters worse, Griffin was reportedly working on a potential Cheap Germany Soccer Jerseys trade for Jimmy Butler shortly before the Cavs announced he would no longer serve as the team’s GM.

Griffin was elbow deep today, as late as an hour ago, working to put together a monster deal to get Jimmy Butler from Chicago.

The Cavs missed out on hiring Chauncey Billups as Griffin’s replacement, reportedly handing him what was viewed as a below-market contract for the GM position. Cavs assistant GM Koby Altman has been in charge since Griffin’s departure.

James is 32 years old and on the “back nine” of his career (unless he’s a cyborg and will play forever, which is possible). He understands the complexities of the salary cap and the restrictions the Cavs face, but he also had a GM in Griffin who worked around those restrictions and helped build a Cheap Giants Jerseys roster around James, which the four-time MVP clearly appreciated.

Kevin Durant eyes NBA front office or ownership role after playing days

Kevin Durant isn’t going to hang up his basketball shoes anytime soon, but he is already making serious plans for when his playing days are finished.

Durant told reporters Thursday he dreams of being an NBA general manager, or even team owner. To that end, he says he’s been avidly following basketball news the past Cheap Elite NFL Jerseys few days about trade rumors and the NBA trade deadline.

“Today I have to announce Ben Simmons is not playing this season,” Colangelo told reporters . “The scan indicated there’s not full healing.”

The former LSU star and native of Australia suffered the injury during the 76ers’ final training camp scrimmage. He underwent surgery in early October to repair what is termed an acute Jones fracture in his fifth metatarsal bone on his right foot.

John Barchard of WIP Sports Radio reported Thursday that the CT scan showed there is still a fracture, but it was unclear whether it was the original injury or a new fracture. According to the Philadelphia News, which cited unidentified sources, this week’s doctor’s visit “revealed an inside portion of the bone wasn’t fully mended together.”

The 76ers have a cursed history of injuries with young players, with Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel, like Simmons now, having missed at least 82 games before making their professional debuts Cheap Essendon Jerseys and Jahlil Okafor missing extended time too early in his career.

Tracy McGrady, Bill Self, Jerry Krause head 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame induction class

Former NBA star Tracy McGrady, Kansas coach Bill Self, late Bulls GM Jerry Krause, former ABA star George McGinnis and former UConn women’s star Rebecca Lobo are among the 2017 inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Harlem Globetrotters owner and chairman Mannie Jackson, Black Fives Era star Zack Clayton, former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt, Notre Dame women’s coach Muffet McGraw and Texas high school coach Robert Hughes are also part of this year’s class.

The announcement was made Saturday outside University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., site of the 2017 Final Four.

“The Rockets are a great franchise. They have a great team. They’ve got great coaches, great basketball players, great staff. Whoever is coming in, it’s not like they’re going to have to rebuild it. I’m trying to convince some people about trying to buy this team. It’s one of the best franchises right now. It’s really the right time.”

Houston has already made some significant moves this offseason in preparation for a bright future, signing James Harden to the largest contract extension in NBA history and trading for Chris Paul. The team also locked up general manager Daryl Morey for another four years with an extension of his own.

Mutombo, who also had stints with the Nuggets, Hawks, 76ers, Nets and Knicks during his 18-year NBA career, still has a home in Houston but will need to come up with a couple billion New Vikings Jerseys Cheap dollars if he has any hope of becoming the Rockets’ next owner. The franchise is reportedly Cheap Kids NFL Jerseys valued at roughly $1.65 billion after Alexander paid $85 million for the team in 1993.

Oscars 2017: ‘Gary from Chicago’ gets offered tickets to Bulls game

If you watched Sunday night’s Oscars then you were introduced to “Gary from Chicago.”

If you didn’t watch it, then here’s a brief background on our friend Gary: He was part of a large tour bus group who got a moment to shine during the Oscars. They got to mingle with celebrities, taking selfies and shaking hands.

Gary was the star of the group, and become somewhat of a social media sensation. Little is known of Gary, but we do know he’s from Chicago. So, taking advantage of the moment, the Chicago Bulls decided to offer him tickets to a game.

We also know Gary has a pink iPhone case, which he gave to Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali to take a photo. The Chicago Bears offered up to replace his iPhone case, which isn’t quite as nice as tickets, but it’s the thought that counts.

“You left Toronto. You’re on the Nets. Be happy there,” Pierce said. “Just be happy. Don’t take shots at Toronto now that you’re gone. Understand you’re a role player.”

If you’ve heard him discuss these kinds of topics before, you know Jackson isn’t one to mince words. He went right at Carroll.

“DeMarre Carroll, why are you even talking?” Jackson said. “If anybody passes you the ball, you should be happy. Play defense. You’re Bruce Bowen. Just go in the corner, shoot 3s and be Wholesale MLB Jerseys happy. You shouldn’t even have an input. You’re not good … He’s not good enough to have an opinion.”

If you stack up the numbers of Carroll, Jackson and Pierce, of course Carroll comes up short. Still, he performed well enough with the Hawks to earn a four-year deal from the Raptors Wholesale Cheap Jerseys back in 2015, and he has stretched out his career after entering the league as a late first-round pick (No. 27 in the 2009 NBA Draft). He can say whatever he wants about his current or former teams.

Just know Jackson and Pierce might have a strong rebuttal.

Watch: Tom Brady tackles sumo wrestler during Asia tour

If his historic Super Bowl comeback is any indication, Tom Brady is a fighter.

During his TB12 Asia tour promoting for Under Armour, the Patriots quarterback took his fight to the ring while visiting a gym of sumo wrestlers in Toyko.

After an unsuccessful attempt to move the wrestler more than a few inches, Brady then faced off against someone closer to his size — his son, Jack.

Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players. Veteran players other than quarterbacks or injured players may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.

A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who report to camp, or join the club’s roster, or receive medical clearance to practice during the three-day acclimation period are required to complete as much of the acclimation period as remains. Players who report to camp, or join the club’s roster, or receive medical clearance to practice after the three-day acclimation period has ended may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

Blossomgame would have been a top-40 pick had he come out last year, but instead slips to the Spurs here at No. 59. Not a bad landing spot for him. If he can get with Chip Engelland and learn to shoot, he’ll have a chance as a rotation player.

He’s a big, athletic dude with long arms that can Cheap Ireland Football Jerseys kind of Cheap Jerseys Borntrade shoot it. He needs a lot of work, but there’s an outline of a player here.

Pope Francis: NFL values promote a ‘culture of encounter’

Pope Francis hosted a delegation of Pro Football Hall of Fame members and officials Wednesday at the Vatican, saying the NFL’s values promote a “culture of encounter” that is needed in the world.

Among the Hall of Fame members on the visit were Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who will be inducted at Canton this August, former Steelers great Franco Harris and legendary 49ers cornerback Ronnie Lott.

“Just to have an opportunity to shake his hand, to really feel his presence in person was one of the most memorable moments of my life,” Curtis Martin said, in a Hall of Fame tweet.

“I saw the same thing when you had to go through what you endured,” Johnson Cheap Jerseys AUStralia said during the NBA Awards Show. He said when he went to the hospital to visit Sager, he left “fired up.”

“I know we’ve tried to encouage you and all you’ve done is encourage us,” Johnson said.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added in a video tribute: “I think of Monty and I think of Craig Sager and I can’t think of two better examples of courage.”

Upon accepting the award, Williams said, “When this situation came about, all I could think of was taking care of my kids and I couldn’t do that if I didn’t have the support of my NBA family.”

Howard was one of the few bright spots for the Bears last season. The fifth-round draft pick finished the season second in the league with 1,313 rushing yards, and he added six touchdowns. No Cheap Jerseys Basketball matter whether Mike Glennon or Mitchell Trubisky ends up starting at quarterback, the Bears need Howard to keep up that level of production.

The biggest factor for Howard going into 2017 is the departure of running backs coach Stan Drayton, who left the Bears to join Tom Herman’s staff at the University of Texas.

NL Central-leading Brewers get Ryan Braun, Jonathan Villar back from DL

The Brewers activated Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar from the disabled list Tuesday.

OF Ryan Braun and 2B Jonathan Villar reinstated from the 10-day DL. INF/OF Nick Franklin designated for assignment. 40-man roster is at 39.

Braun has been out since May 25 due to a calf strain. He has played just 30 games this season.

Villar had been struggling even before hitting the shelf (back). The speedy infielder, who nabbed 62 bases last year, currently holds a woeful .213/.283/.342 slash line with six home runs and 14 stolen bases.

This pick goes to the Jazz, who will send Trey Lyles and the No. 24 overall pick back to Denver. It’s a somewhat steep price to pay, but it makes sense for the Jazz to do it for Mitchell given some of the uncertainty in their backcourt. He’ll immediately increase their athleticism levels, and he’s also a high-character, high-level kid to add to that locker room.

In a vacuum, I had Adebayo at No. 22 on my board. But this is a perfect fit schematically for what Miami likes to do, and it makes a ton of sense for the Heat to select the Kentucky product here. He moves exceedingly well on the perimeter due to his quickness/athleticism. He’ll be able to blitz pick-and-rolls defensively, and hopefully add some skill offensively. The key for him will be rebounding, as he’d Cheap Jerseys And Sunglasses occasionally get beaten on the defensive glass this year.

The Kings can really use some size and shooting skill on the wing, and Jackson is a great fit, especially when you consider they moved back to take a perfect player for them and gained assets to do it. De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Jackson is a great triumvirate to build around on the Cheap Jerseys Basketball perimeter, with star power as well as role players.

Derek Carr gets $25 million a year, immediately trolls Russell Wilson

No one’s going to let Russell Wilson forget that pass. What pass? This pass.

Ok, so we’re not letting him forget either, but we aren’t getting paid $125 million over the next five years either. We’ll let Derek Carr have that one.

He can have it, but he can also have a little fun too, and he had a little fun with Russell Wilson in his press conference Friday with the Raiders bringing up a pass. What pass? That pass.

Ok Derek. You made us laugh. Now you better go and back it up and he’ll certainly get the chance as Tom Brady is still in New England and the Raiders hope to be a Super Bowl contender very soon.

Denver selected Louisville shooting guard Donovan Mitchell with the No. 13 pick, but he didn’t have a chance to get too comfy in that Nuggets hat. Denver traded Mitchell to the Jazz in exchange for Trey Lyles and the No. 24 pick (Tyler Lydon).

With three first-round picks, the Blazers packaged two of them Cheap Jerseys And Sunglasses in a deal to move up in the draft. Portland sent the 15th and 20th picks (Justin Jackson and Harry Giles, respectively) to Sacramento for the rights to the No. 10 overall pick (Zach Collins).

Prescott and Elliott enjoy themselves on the field, and it shows. Elliott gave us some of the most entertaining celebration dances last season, including a memorable jump into a giant Cheap Jerseys Baseball Salvation Army bucket:

Their rapport is obvious off the field, too. Last year, they entertained us with an epic prank war that started with Elliott shooting straw wrappers at Prescott during an interview. But then Prescott got his revenge by filling Elliott’s locker with M&M’s. Zeke also roasted his quarterback about his shoe choices, though Dak finally won Elliott’s respect for wearing a pair of Yeezy’s.

NBA playoffs 2017: Cavs vs. Warriors III features unprecedented levels of success

The Warriors didn’t top their NBA regular-season record of 73 wins from last season. The Cavs didn’t even capture the No. 1 seed in their own conference this year. But it has been clear all season long Cleveland and Golden State are the top two teams in the league and they’ve shown why in the postseason.

For the first time in NBA history, two teams will play for the Larry O’Brien trophy in three consecutive seasons. The championship series will feature 11 players who have been named NBA All-Stars as well as three players who have won seven of the past eight MVP awards (four-time MVP LeBron James, two-time MVP Stephen Curry, 2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant).

One thing Curry doesn’t regret, though, is how he played Kyrie Irving on the critical 3-pointer that sealed the deal and gave Cleveland its first major pro sports championship since 1964.

“You could tell that’s a shot he’s worked on,” Curry told ESPN. “I was right there. Tried not to foul. I stayed in front and contested. He just made an amazing shot. You have to give him credit. There’s nothing I’d do differently on that play.”

Whether you blame Curry’s subpar performance on health, the Cavs’ defense, poor Cheap Jerseys And Snapbacks play or a combination of all three, it’s clear he’s shaken off the NBA Finals slump in this year’s playoffs. He’s averaging 28.6 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. Most importantly, the Warriors are 12-0 heading into Game 1 on Thursday night against the Cavs and look as good as they have all season.

Curry has a shot at redemption. Based on what we’ve seen Cheap Jerseys Baseball this postseason, it’s clear he’s focused on not throwing that opportunity out of bounds.