Posts Tagged ‘Bring Your “A” Game Sports Talk Radio’

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Although Dwyane Wade was not part of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ run of three straight NBA Finals appearances, he’s here for the run at a fourth. And he’s observed some familiar struggles.
Wade referenced the 2013-14 Miami Heat team — the last of the Big Three coalitions — when discussing the current Cavs’ plight. Where that might scare some northeast Ohioans given that team’s fate, he provided some contrast as well.

“That last year in Miami when we went to the Finals, I don’t know how we made it,” Wade said Thursday, via ESPN. “As a team, we were kind of like this. It was worse, because it wasn’t new guys; it was guys who had been around each other four years in a row. Your jokes weren’t funny anymore to other guys, when you walked in it wasn’t a big smile any more. Guys were just over you. It’s like being in a bad marriage.”
LeBron James and Wade led the Heat to their fourth straight Finals appearance, but the San Antonio Spurs dominated the top-heavy team on what turned out to be its last legs. James left for Cleveland a month later, taking his unprecedented finals-qualifying talents (excepting the 1960s Boston Celtics in an eight-team NBA for much of that span) to his hometown and using a collection of new teammates as sidekicks.
Several sidekicks remain from all three finals teams — like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert — but the Cavs are breaking in plenty of new players this season. And they’ve lost four in a row to plummet to 3-5. Only two East teams are worse.


The Cavs are not averse to drama during the James-2.0 stretch, but they are entering some oddly key regular-season games in November. James’ final Heat team started 4-3 before reeling off 10 straight wins. Wade didn’t guarantee that, but the 35-year-old guard believes the Cavs are better than what they’ve shown.
“With the new guys here, you’ve got guys that have never been [to the Finals], guys who are hungry,” Wade said. “Obviously, Isaiah (Thomas) is one of them, who’s out. [And there’s] Derrick (Rose) and guys who have never been. Hopefully we can eventually pull from that and everybody wants to see the other guys succeed and get to that pinnacle they got to.
“… We have to continue to understand that we’re going to get out of this together and this is going to be a distant memory at one point, but right now we’re in it. We have to figure it out, and I think we will.”

Attempting to win back support after a sexist comment this week, the always fashion-conscious Carolina quarterback Cam Newton made a noteworthy clothing choice on the Panthers’ team flight to Detroit today.


Newton wore a hat pin showing the woman from the World War II “We Can Do It!” poster celebrating women working in factories to aid the war effort. (The woman in the poster is often referred to as Rosie the Riveter, although Rosie the Riveter was a separate cultural icon of World War II who only became conflated with the “We Can Do It!” poster decades later.) The “We Can Do It!” woman has become a symbol of feminism and women’s empowerment.

After mocking a female reporter’s question this week and losing a sponsor as a result, Newton is attempting to rehabilitate his image. He previously issued a video apology.

The Panthers made a point of tweeting an image of Newton boarding the team flight, with the hat pin clearly visible


The Chicago Bears will reportedly be without linebacker Danny Trevathan for only one game.On Tuesday, Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network reported Trevathan’s suspension was reduced from two games to one. Trevathan was punished for his head-to-head hit on Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams during Chicago’s 35-14 loss last Thursday.  

NFL vice president of football communications Michael Signora tweeted news of the two-game suspension when it was initially handed out.

According to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune, Trevathan missed Tuesday’s practice because he was going through the appeals process. Appeals officer and former NFL linebacker Derrick Brooks reduced the suspension, which will cost Trevathan $117,647 of his 2017 salary while he misses Monday’s contest against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I was just trying to make a play,” Trevathan said, per Kane. “It wasn’t intentional. I was just trying to hustle to the ball and do my job. Unfortunately, he wound up hurt. I’m sorry about that.”


The hit came on a 3rd-and-goal for the Packers, and Adams was going to fall well short of the end zone thanks to other Bears defenders when Trevathan unleashed his hit. Adams was taken off on a stretcher, and the Packers announced he was taken to the hospital for testing.

Trevathan was not ejected from the game, but he was penalized.

He played just nine games for the Bears last year and has 29 tackles through the first four contests this season. Chicago is already without the injured Jerrell Freeman at linebacker, and having a shorthanded defense against the Vikings will put even more pressure on rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky after the Bears confirmed he will make his first career start.

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The Chicago Bears have made a quarterback change and have decided to go with rookie Mitchell Trubisky starting with next Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano.The quarterback change comes after Mike Glennon turned over the ball four times (three in the first half) in Chicago’s ugly 35-14 loss last Thursday night at Green Bay.

The Bears traded up to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft to select Trubisky, who impressed in the preseason passing for 364 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 106.2 passer rating.

Trubisky will become the third quarterback selected in the 2017 draft to start this season, joining the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns’ DeShone Kizer.

Watson (selected 12th overall) has thrived since becoming the Texans’ starting quarterback, nearly orchestrating an upset of the New England Patriots in Week 3 and tying an NFL rookie record with five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in Houston’s 57-14 Week 4 rout of the Tennessee Titans. Kizer (picked in the second round, No. 52 overall) has struggled, throwing an NFL-worst eight interceptions as the Browns have started 0-4.

Trubisky won Chicago’s primary backup job in Week 1, beating out veteran Mark Sanchez, who has been inactive the first four weeks. But there have been questions about Trubisky’s readiness to start at quarterback in the NFL after starting just 13 games at the University of North Carolina.


The Bears signed Glennon in free agency, paying a hefty price — he will earn $16 million guaranteed in 2017.
Glennon also struggled in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, turning the ball over three times (all in the first half) in Chicago’s 29-7 loss.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Glennon is the only Bears player in the past 40 seasons to have three turnovers in a half twice within the first four games of a season.

The Bears have lost three of four games with Glennon at quarterback.


The Justice Department unsealed indictments Tuesday morning charging basketball coaches at four Division I schools with accepting bribes to steer athletes toward the professional services of several business managers, financial advisers, and representatives of a major international sportswear company.The assistant coaches named in the indictments are Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Chuck Person of Auburn, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona and Tony Bland of Southern California. The coaches are charged with accepting bribes in exchange for steering athletes toward using the services of business executives including Jim Gatto, a marketing director at Adidas and Munish Sood, chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital.

A news conference is scheduled for noon in New York City.

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​The complaint alleges that Jim Gatto, the head of sports marketing at Adidas, paid recruits to sign with Adidas-sponsored schools and then sign with Adidas once they turned professional. He was assisted in this scheme by Merl Code, another Adidas employee, according to the complaint. The payments were brokered by three men: Christian Dawkins, a business manager; Munish Sood, a financial adviser; and Jonathan Brand Augustine, who runs an Adidas-sponsored AAU basketball team. The payments were made with the promise that the players sign agreements with Dawkins and Sood once they turned professional.

The men agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of one recruit and $150,000 to the family of another recruit, the complaint alleges. The schools were not named, though one was described as “a public research university located in Kentucky” with approximately 22,640 students. The other school was described as “a private research university located in Florida” with approximately 16,000 students.

The alleged conspirators are accused in the indictment of paying one recruit, described as an all-American, $100,000 to attend the university in Kentucky, with the payments designed to be concealed from both the school and the NCAA. The scheme was set in motion in May, after the player announced that he was looking at other schools. In June, after the alleged bribery scheme kicked in, the player announced his intention to attend the school in Kentucky, a decision that was regarded as a surprise. The payments were made at the request of “at least one coach” on that school’s staff, according to the charging documents. Via tapped cellphone conversations heard by the FBI, the defendants also are accused of money laundering in an attempt to cover up the source of the payments.

The charging documents also allege that the defendants and an unnamed assistant coach from the Kentucky school devised a plan to pay another recruit, this one from the high school class of 2019, at a meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room that was surreptitiously videotaped by the FBI. The assistant coach from the Kentucky school was recorded as saying the scheme would have to be “low key” because the program already was on NCAA probation. The coach also was recorded giving Augustine, the AAU official, an envelope containing $12,700 in cash, which Dawkins said “will take care of July, of August.” The scheme was patterned after the one used for the other recruit, according to the charging document.

In July, the alleged conspirators set forth a plan to pay $150,000 to a recruit from the class of 2018 to attend the Florida school, according to phone conversations overheard on further FBI wiretaps.

Person, the associate head coach at Auburn, is accused of accepting $91,500 from an unnamed financial adviser who was cooperating as an informant with the FBI. He was allegedly given the payments in exchange for his help in steering Auburn’s basketball players toward services provided by the FBI’s informant and a man named Rashan Michel, a former NCAA and NBA referee who owns an Atlanta clothing store that specializes in bespoke suits and counts numerous NBA and NFL athletes as clients. (Michel also was named as a defendant.)

The three men together met with a player on Auburn’s basketball team at a Manhattan hotel room on Dec. 12 — the same day the Tigers played a game at Madison Square Garden against Boston College — with the purpose of steering the player toward the informant and Michel once he turned professional, according to charging documents.

Person also attempted to convince the player’s mother to work with the financial adviser who was secretly cooperating with the FBI, stating that the adviser “would bring you guys some money” during the player’s time at Auburn and telling her, falsely, that the adviser handled both his money and that of Charles Barkley, who attended Auburn in the 1980s before a successful pro career.

The FBI also alleges that Person attempted to steer another Auburn player and his family toward another financial adviser located in Alabama, with the hope that the player would be jointly represented by that person and the FBI’s informant (thus ensuring that Person would be paid twice). The unnamed adviser declined to make payments to the player’s family, so Person attempted to work out an arrangement between the family and the FBI’s informant.

According to the charging documents, Person became involved in the scheme because he “needed money