Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge flat out admitted it last month: Boston does not have a championship roster.
With the March 25 trade deadline fast approaching, the Celtics, just 18-17 overall this season, will be calling multiple teams in the hopes of landing an impact player who fits alongside franchise cornerstones Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. They may need to lower their expectations a bit, though.
One of Boston’s top trade targets is Detroit forward Jerami Grant, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Grant is in the midst of a career year, averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game after signing a three-year, $60 million contract with the Pistons last offseason. ESPN’s Tim Bontemps recently reported that rival executives expect the Celtics to hunt for “a player who can play either forward spot and provide some scoring punch,” and Grant certainly fits the bill.
Grant’s relationship with [Pistons general manager Troy] Weaver is very strong. It’s a big reason why the 26-year-old left a winning situation in Denver to join the rebuilding Pistons. Grant is considered a franchise building block and embodies everything Detroit wants its culture to be about moving forward.
From all accounts, Grant will be in a Pistons uniform for as long as he wants to be.
Grant left the Nuggets for the Pistons because he wanted an expanded role and the opportunity to play for a Black GM in Weaver and Black head coach in Dwane Casey. He has rewarded Weaver’s trust by performing above and beyond all expectations, even if the Pistons aren’t winning a ton of games. Everyone in Detroit knew the team wasn’t in position to compete for a title this year.
At this point, there is simply nothing to indicate that the Pistons are willing to discuss Grant’s availability. Ainge and the Celtics may want him, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get him.
Cowherd, the sports-talk personality, took to the airwaves to once again (potentially sarcastically?) berate the quarterback for what he believes he saw.
Cowherd’s ridiculous take in full:
And on Twitter, Baker Mayfield announced, “I just saw a UFO driving down near Lake Travis. And to that I would say … I would prefer, of all the qualities of franchise quarterbacks, I want to know your arm. Are you good pre-snap? Are you mobile? The ability to see UFOs in the offseason is nowhere near my top-10 qualifications. Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady have never seen aliens. I would prefer my guys don’t talk about it. But in fairness, Aaron Rodgers also admits, he’s seen a UFO and he did win a Super Bowl.
Cowherd’s soliloquoy is eerily reminiscent of a satirical tweet sent by a Twitter user in response to Mayfield’s UFO tweet, in which the tweet takes the “voice” of Cowherd berating Mayfield for his close encounter.
“I just don’t like my franchise quarterback having alien encounters in the offseason. You know where you don’t have UFO sightings? The film room. Why do you think you don’t hear Tom Brady going X-Files? He’s watching tape. I mean, cmon Baker.” pic.twitter.com/aDQtivROyM
The similarities between Cowherd’s take and the tweet likely point to a hyper-awareness and online-ness of Cowherd and his shock-jock sports-talk brand — or an astounding, devastating lack of self-awareness. Either is completely possible.
Russini’s report comes after a month of budding drama between Wilson and the franchise. The genesis of the beef between Wilson and the ‘Hawks can be traced to the firing of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, with whom Wilson had a strong rapport.
Soon after, reports surfaced that Wilson was disappointed with the team’s inability to build a quality offensive line for him, leading to Wilson becoming one of the league’s most-sacked quarterbacks since his rookie season in 2012.
NFL insider Dov Kleiman shared more insight on the growing rift between Wilson and organization on Thursday, with Wilson viewing himself as a “top 5 quarterback of all time” and feeling that Seattle’s personnel and scheme decisions hold him back from his full potential.
The rift between Russell Wilson and the Seahawks is happening because Wilson believes he’s a top 5 QB all time and he also believes that he isn’t currently even viewed as a top 10 QB all time. He thinks Seattle is holding him back with certain decisions [personnel/scheme].
The issue between the two sides is because now after Caroll gave him full reign of the offense in 2020, Russell couldn’t maintain high level of success for even one full season [the second half of 2020 was a turnover-filled mess] so they no longer trust him to be the focal point.
Kleiman describes the situation in Seattle as a “Russell vs. Pete standoff” and that Wilson’s overall performance in 2020 after a strong start has lead to mistrust between player and organization.
While some pegged Wilson as potential trade asset for Seattle after the 2021 season, that timeline may be accelerated with recent drama, though Wilson’s contract could prove difficult to navigate. Seattle is reportedly disappointed with Wilson’s decision to air the organization’s dirty laundry out in the media, as well.
On Thursday, the Steelers announced that they have signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for the 2021, effectively restructuring the remaining money on Roethlisberger’s contract and ending a months-long odyssey of the two parties dancing around one another in contract discussions.
We have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021.
“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in a statement. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”
Earlier in the offseason, Steelers brass indicated they would have liked to keep Roethlisberger around, just at a cheaper number than his $40 million cap hit he was scheduled to take into the 2021 season.
With Pittsburgh up against the cap and several key free agents — including wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and linebacker Bud Dupree — the team needed some wiggle room, which the restructured quarterback contract has given them.
“We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said. “Our goal remains the same — to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Roethlisberger agreed to take a $5 million pay cut in the final year of his contract (2021), spreading his cash pay out into the 2022 season.
The move lowered Roethlisber’s 2021 cap hit by $15 million, down from the $41.2 million hit he was scheduled to account for in 2021. Roethlisberger was originally set to become a free agent following the 2021 season. Roethlisberger’s original cap number was the highest of any player in the league entering 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14M from $19M in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022, per source. It lowered the cap hit by over $15M, all so the team can make the right moves to be as competitive as possible this season.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that some of Roethlisberger’s money was converted into a signing bonus, with an out after the first season.
#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s new contract for 2021 utilizes a signing bonus, minimum base salary and voidable years to free up about $15 million of cap space, per source. Big Ben takes a $5M paycut, from $19M to $14M, giving the team much-needed breathing room.
Tua Tagovailoa, after being drafted No. 5 overall in 2020, had to wait his turn to start at quarterback for the Dolphins. But he thinks he was meant to sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for seven games — and will be a much-impoved second-year QB because of it.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” Tagovailoa told Sporting News. “Everything played out the way it’s supposed to play out. I got to learn a lot from Fitzpatrick — he’s a great guy. At the same time, I also got the opportunity to get in the game, get some playing time”
With Fitzpatrick heading into free agency, it’s unlikely that Miami brings back the well-traveled veteran to either back up or toggie with Tagovailoa. Even though it was only one season, Tagovailoa expects to keep benefiting from the strong relationship.
“It was big — very big — to have Ryan. A lot of the guys who have been very successful in the NFL, they’ve been mentored by guys before them. Ryan’s been in the league for 16 years. He knows the ins, the outs, the personnel, in terms of guys we’re playing against. He helped out in trying to simplify things. He was a great asset in helping me become a better football player.”
Tagovailoa won’t be the only second-year starting QB in the NFL from Alabama in 2021. He will be joined by the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts after Philadelphia traded Carson Wentz to Indianapolis. Tagovailoa, who succeeded Hurts as the Crimson Tide’s starter in 2018, hopes they can thrive and break out as pros together.
“It’s something pretty cool. Me and Jalen go way back at Alabama. Seeing him have the success there and later at Oklahoma, just seeing that growth and now he’s balling in the NFL, too,” Tagovailoa said. “I’m just really happy for him and wish him all the best.”
The Dolphins’ biggest immediate task is figuring out how to give Tagovailoa a stronger supporting cast for his sophomore season. They could use upgrades at both offensive tackle and wide receiver. When Miami picks first at No. 3 overall, former Alabama wideouts DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will be among the best players available.
Although Tagovailoa would love throwing to either Smith or Waddle again in the NFL, he has total trust in coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier hitting on the best fit for his current team.
“It would be a lot of run to reconnect with a former teammate. It helps them, too, already to have that connection prior to being drafted,” he said. “If we do end up getting one of them, cool. But that’s a decision that Coach Flores and Chris will have to make, and it’s a tough decision for them. I’m glad I’m not making that decision.”
Tagovailoa is well past the hip injury recovery that limited him before his selection by the Dolphins in the 2020 draft. He’s now taking advantage of having a full, close-to-normal year ahead as an NFL QB.
“It feels good because I never had an offseason. Now, to be able to focus on strength, speed and my accuracy — the things I need to get better with — it definitely helps me a lot.”
Tagovailoa talked to Sporting News representing Muscle Milk and their special “Tua Days” campaign. It’s not close to training camp yet, but the Dolphins’ promising passer is treating March like the heat of the preseason preparations.
“It’s always ‘Tua Days’ for me. It’s almost three-a-days. I wake up in the morning, have a workout session from 7 to 8:30 and then I have an on-field training session at 9. After I eat lunch, I then get my work in the film room.”
“Muscle Milk has been a big part of my regimen. That’s why I’ve been working with them, to reinforce recovery and everyday fitness. It’s a natural partnership with a product I’ve always had.”
Muscle Milk is partnering with Tagovailoa to promote the second “workout” as the time that matters most for recovery. Protein is essential for recovery when dealing with a grueling training schedule. That’s why Muscle Milk is promoting 20 percent off select products on Amazon through March 7 with the code 20TUADAYS so consumers can purchase Muscle Milk for their own “Tua Days” workouts.
There’s hardly anyone on this planet who does not crave for the divinely taste of pizza, irrespective of the toppings. If you crave for pizza every other day, we do not blame you! It’s a staple in a lot of western countries due to its irresistible taste, and we all know how hard it is to stop at just one slice, most of us reach out for the second and third slices as well. In fact, the secret ingredient in pizza, “glutamate,” stimulate our tastebuds to a great degree and we crave for more! Glutamate has a rich and savoury taste which can trigger the tastebuds and increase our cravings for this fast food. But as we all know, pizza is not exactly a weight-loss friendly food since it is high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat and can easily push us into calorie surplus, leading to weight gain. But hey, don’t worry, there are certain ways that you can indulge in pizza once a week, just remember to read through 12 Secrets for Eating Pizza Without Gaining Weight. Now that we have established about how amazingly tasty pizza is and how it’s totally okay to indulge in it once in a while (yes, even on a weight loss diet such as on Rati Beauty), there’s something else you should be worried about more – and it’s the box in which your delicious pizza comes packed in! The pizza box may actually sabotage your weight loss goals, surprised? Let’s find out how that can happen:
If the pizza box is made of recycled material, chances are high that toxic ingredients like dyes and other toxic ingredients would leach into the pizza when it is heated at a high temperature. Diisobutyl phthalate, which is a known endocrine disruptor and can lead to weight gain, is commonly found in recycled pizza boxes.
Summing up, we would advice you guys to bake your own pizza and if it’s not possible, avoid takeout boxes and food wrappers where there are high chances of certain obesogens getting into the food and thus interfering with hormonal function and also lowering metabolism, making it a bit difficult to drop extra pounds.
So, stay cheesy and say yes to healthy pizzas on weekends and “no” to boxes and wrappers.
Politicians lie. Statistics can lie. But ball? Ball don’t lie.
Seton Hall’s Bryce Aiken was perfect on free throws this season entering Wednesday night’s matchup vs. UConn, so, of course, he’d be feeling himself a bit at the line. In the second half of the game, Aiken went to the line for two free throws, and made a bold proclamation: “I ain’t never missin’ this.”
What is equally as poetic as the ball taking Aiken’s words personally is Aiken standing at the line and staring at the rim after the second missed shot. The whole sequence is just *chef’s kiss.*
Aiken had was a perfect 23 for 23 on free throws this season, missing nearly a month of time while dealing with ankle and knee injuries, returning to the court Wednesday night. In his college career, Aiken is a very good free throw shooter, averaging 85 percent from the charity stripe.
It just seemed to be a bad night at the office for Aiken, as those would be the only two free throws he would attempt.
Aiken, a redshirt senior, transferred from Harvard to play in his home-state school in the 2020-21 season. The Pirates are now 13-12 after losing to UConn on Wednesday night by a score of 69-58.
Is everyone ready for NBA All-Star weekend? Well, let’s call it All-Star night.
Instead of holding its typical All-Star events over multiple days, the league crammed everything into one evening. On Sunday, the best players from around the NBA will hit the floor at State Farm Arena in Atlanta with the skills competitions and All-Star Game all taking place over the course of a few hours.
Now that the participants for each event have been revealed, here’s a breakdown of this year’s All-Star festivities.
TNT’s All-Star broadcast kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the Skills Challenge and 3-point Contest. The Slam Dunk Contest will serve as the halftime entertainment for those watching the All-Star Game.
Sunday, March 7
NBA All-Star Tipoff Show
Skills Challenge and 3-point Contest
Slam Dunk Contest (halftime of All-Star Game)
NBA Slam Dunk Contest participants 2021
The Slam Dunk Contest features three players competing in two rounds. Each player attempts two dunks apiece in the first round, then the two highest scorers advance to the final round. The remaining players then perform one dunk each to determine a winner. First-round dunks will be scored on a scale of 6-10 by five judges, allowing for a minimum score of 30 and maximum score of 50. In the final round, judges will choose a winner by raising a card with the dunker’s name on it.
Led by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, five past #ATTSlamDunk champions will serve as the judges. Wilkins (1985 & 1990 champion) will be joined by Dee Brown (1991), Jason Richardson (2002 & 2003), Josh Smith (2005) and Spud Webb (1986). #NBAAllStarpic.twitter.com/af499yes5H
The six 3-point Contest participants will shoot at the typical five locations along the arc, with four racks of four regular balls (one point) and one money ball (two points), plus one special rack of five money balls. Players can choose their favorite spots for the money ball racks.
Two “MTN DEW Zones” will sit 6 feet behind the 3-point line. Each zone holds one green ball worth three points. With the addition of these zones, the NBA has increased the time limit from 60 seconds to 70 seconds and the maximum score from 34 points to 40 points.
The contest is separated by two rounds, with the three highest-scoring players from the first round advancing to the finals. The player with the highest score in the final round will be crowned the winner.
Here are the 2021 3-point Contest participants:
NBA Skills Challenge participants 2021
The Skills Challenge puts six players through an obstacle course that tests their dribbling, passing and shooting abilities. Players will compete against each other one-on-one over three rounds. The player who finishes each individual matchup in the fastest time advances to the next round, leading to a one-on-one final round for the Skills Challenge trophy.
Jim Crockett Jr., legendary wrestling promoter and titan in the grappling industry, has died at age 72.
Crockett is best known as the head of Jim Crockett Promotions, which he took over from his father in the 1970s. JCP’s role, played during wrestling’s territory days in the ’70s and ’80s, was titanic, helping grow the National Wrestling Alliance and serving three different terms as president of the NWA in the ’80s.
Crockett purchasing TBS TV time on Saturday nights from rival Vince McMahon helped Crockett-owned promotions grow beyond some regional boundaries, eventually paving the way for national expansion for the company. The company would later be renamed World Championship Wrestling (WCW) after the promotion’s sale to TV mogul Ted Turner.
TBS Saturdays in the ’80s were heavy on JCP programming, and the promotion would help catapult the careers of several wrestling icons, including Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat and Sting.
Wrestling figures mourned the loss of Crockett on Thursday:
R.I.P. Jim Crockett Jr.
Thank you for moving the pro wrestling business forward & expanding its reach.
AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of the legendary Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and NWA promoter Jim Crockett, Jr. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/rZN7k9e350
The NWA is saddened to learn that Jim Crockett Jr. has passed away. A 3x president of the NWA, Crockett was a titan in the wrestling industry who introduced countless legends to the world. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and fans.#RIPJimCrockettJrpic.twitter.com/IOpl74syNb
Rest in peace Jim Crockett Jr, sad to hear the passing of the most important promoters of all-time. I didn’t live through the majority of his glory in the mid-80’s, but the history speaks for itself. Helped shape an industry.
The Invincibles is the name given to the Arsenal team which won the 2003-04 Premier League. The reason for the nickname is that they went unbeaten in their 38 league matches. They won 26 games and drew 12.
Arsenal usually lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, though it could also be labelled a 4-2-3-1 due to the way Dennis Bergkamp dropped into the ‘No.10’ position between midfield and attack.
The team is mostly remembered for its attacking genius. Thierry Henry was at the peak of his powers and finished second in the Ballon d’Or voting in 2003 and fourth in 2004, and while Bergkamp was nearing the end of his career he had not lost his brilliant movement or vision.
Left winger Robert Pires provided a secondary source of goals, netting 14 in the league, while Patrick Vieira was both the heart and brain of the team from central midfield. On the right, Freddie Ljungberg was a ferocious box-to-box player who raised his game for the big occasion.
What is not mentioned as often – particularly when comparing the Invincibles to today’s Arsenal team – was that the Gunners were also outstanding defensively, conceding just 26 goals. Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure were a brilliant mix of athleticism and intelligence at centre-back, Jens Lehmann brought international class in goal and Ashley Cole and Lauren were a dynamic full-back pairing.
It was not just the quality of the personnel, however, but also the way they set up. Arsenal were more like Atletico Madrid than Barcelona, with both Gilberto Silva and Vieira tasked with shielding the defence and Cole and Lauren not allowing their desire to attack and overlap compromise their duties in their own half. Pires and Ljungberg did not hang around high up the field but were expected to track back and turn the ball over.
That commitment to defending made Arsenal an even better team going forward than their talent alone would suggest, because they were able to absorb pressure in their own half before launching lethal counter-attacks led by Henry.
Who was manager of the Invincibles?
Arsene Wenger was the manager of Arsenal during their ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003-04.
After the victory over Leicester City that completed Arsenal’s unbeaten season, the Guardian writer Kevin Mitchell labelled Wenger the most astute manager in the Premier League, and “probably all of football at the moment”.
Wenger had not only revolutionised Arsenal but the entire division, introducing new training, fitness and dieting regimes that forced managers across the country to follow suit and demand greater professionalism and discipline from their players. Gone were the days of victories being celebrated with fatty food and several pints of beer.
The Frenchman’s record of identifying players no one had heard of and moulding them into full internationals was also unmatched at that time. Toure was signed for £150,000 from an Ivorian club and converted from midfield and full-back into a central defender, while Ljungberg cost £3 million from Halmstads in Sweden.
Perhaps the most flattering compliment you can pay Wenger is that he was Sir Alex Ferguson’s first true equal.
His star fell since then and he bowed out on a low in 2018 leaving Arsenal in sixth place, but in his first decade in north London he was a brilliant combination of tactical nous and ruthlessness, assembling teams that played scintillating football and were not intimidated by anyone.
Who were the key players of the Invincibles?
Thierry Henry can lay legitimate claim to being the greatest player of the Premier League era. He is not the only star in the conversation and some may argue that Alan Shearer and Ryan Giggs did it for longer, but only Cristiano Ronaldo has hit the heights of Arsenal’s No.14 at his peak.
The Frenchman has been voted the Gunners’ greatest ever, anyway, and netted a career-best 30 league goals during the unbeaten campaign. Quite simply, everything Henry did was fast; whether it be running, shooting or passing, it was as if he could do and see things twice as quickly as everyone else around him.
As was the case with about half of Arsenal’s starting XI, Henry arrived at Arsenal with a much lesser profile than that which he left them with and had struggled on the left wing during a solitary season at Juventus. Wenger, who had coached him previously at Monaco, paid £11m to cut his stay in Italy short and made him a centre forward.
His partnership with Bergkamp was the perfect blend of speed, skill and intelligence. With the Dutchman’s tendency to drop into the hole and Henry’s fondness of pulling out on to the left flank, they were brilliant at finding space and left opposition centre-backs wondering whether to follow them and be dragged around the pitch or leave them unattended.
What results did the Invincibles achieve?
Aug 16, 03
Arsenal 2-1 Everton
Aug 24, 03
Middlesbrough 0-4 Arsenal
Henry, Gilberto, Wiltord (2)
Aug 27, 03
Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa
Aug 31, 03
Man City 1-2 Arsenal
Sep 13, 03
Arsenal 1-1 Portsmouth
Sep 21, 03
Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal
Sep 26, 03
Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle Utd
Henry (2), Gilberto
Oct 4, 03
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
Hyypia (og), Pires
Oct 18, 03
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Oct 26, 03
Charlton Athletic 1-1 Arsenal
Nov 1, 03
Leeds Utd 1-4 Arsenal
Henry (2), Pires, Gilberto
Nov 8, 03
Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham
Nov 22, 03
Birmingham City 0-3 Arsenal
Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Pires
Nov 30, 03
Arsenal 0-0 Fulham
Dec 6, 03
Leicester 1-1 Arsenal
Dec 14, 03
Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Dec 20, 03
Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Arsenal
Dec 26, 03
Arsenal 3-0 Wolves
Craddock (og), Henry (2)
Dec 29, 03
Southampton 0-1 Arsenal
Jan 7, 04
Everton 1-1 Arsenal
Jan 10, 04
Arsenal 4-1 Middlesbrough
Henry, Queudrue (og), Pires, Ljungberg
Jan 18, 04
Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal
Feb 1, 04
Arsenal 2-1 Man City
Tarnat (og), Henry
Feb 7, 04
Wolves 1-3 Arsenal
Bergkamp, Henry, Toure
Feb 10, 04
Arsenal 2-0 Southampton
Feb 21, 04
Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
Feb 28, 04
Arsenal 2-1 Charlton Athletic
Mar 13, 04
Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal
Mar 20, 04
Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
Mar 28, 04
Arsenal 1-1 Man Utd
Apr 9, 04
Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool
Henry (3), Pires
Apr 11, 04
Newcastle Utd 0-0 Arsenal
Apr 16, 04
Arsenal 5-0 Leeds Utd
Pires, Henry (4)
Apr 25, 04
Totteham 2-2 Arsenal
May 1, 04
Arsenal 0-0 Birmingham
May 4, 04
Portsmouth 1-1 Arsenal
May 9, 04
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal
May 15, 04
Arsenal 2-1 Leicester
What was the Invincibles squad?
Jose Antonio Reyes
*Includes all players to make at least one Premier League appearance.
What did the Premier League table look like for the Invincibles?
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