DeMarcus Cousins exits Game 2 with non-contact quad injury

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Please be OK, Boogie.

DeMarcus Cousins exited Game 2 of the Warriors playoff matchup against the Clippers in the first quarter with a left quad injury. He will not return to the game and will receive an MRI on his injury on Monday.

Cousins’ injury was non-contact, usually a sign of a grim diagnosis. He was chasing a loose ball before his left leg buckled beneath him. Even more grim is the fact that this is an injury to the same leg that Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in last season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

If it’s a re-injury, this could be devastating news. After making a recovery from an injury deemed one of the worst possible diagnoses in basketball, Cousins may be out yet again.

A good sign? Cousins left the court under his own power. He had a noticeable limp, but Boogie refused assistance to the locker room. We will update this post as more information becomes available on the situation.

More than anything, we hope Cousins is OK.


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Aggressive Ben Simmons makes the Sixers all kinds of scary

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If Philly gets Game 2 Ben Simmons for the entire playoffs, watch out. They’re a completely different team.

On Philadelphia’s very first possession of Game 2 against the Nets, Ben Simmons put his head down and attacked the rim. His opening layup attempt didn’t go in, but it made a statement. This was not going to be like Game 1, when Simmons dribbled toward the paint then reversed course, allowing the Nets to shock the 76ers with a 111-102 series-altering victory in Philly.

This time, he dribbled toward the paint, then stepped on the gas. Aggression from Simmons was not be an issue the second go-round. Instead, it was a strength. After missing the first layup, Simmons made the next. Then he attacked again, resulting in free throws, before exploiting a mismatch on the low block.

Simmons was far from timid in Game 2, where the Sixers led by as many as 32 in a convincing 145-123 victory over the Nets. He finished with a triple double of 18 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals. He was every bit as good as his fans envisioned.

This was the Ben Simmons the Sixers need to realize their playoff hopes. This was the player the Sixers have been looking for all season, and was exactly the player Simmons was not in Game 1.

The first quarter was a clinic for Simmons, one of the most gifted young players in the NBA whose lack of a perimeter jumper has been his Achilles heel. Philly’s prince scored or assisted on 13 of his team’s first 20 points.

Philly blew this game wide open in the third quarter, when they scored an unheard-of 51 points. Simmons only scored two points in little more than seven minutes in the period, but he also had five assists and zero turnovers.

It’s no accident Game 2 went differently than Game 1. When Simmons is aggressive, the game opens up for everyone on the floor. When Simmons is timid, the floor shrinks.

Simmons is the 76ers’ barometer

You only have to tune in to talk show radio for five minutes to hear a host bashing Simmons’ game. He can’t shoot, they’ll say. His game is killing the Sixers.

The truth is when Simmons doesn’t play like himself, it hurts everybody on the court. In today’s NBA, it’s difficult to play more than one non-shooter on the floor. It hurts twice as much when that non-shooter is your primary ball handler and isn’t making himself a threat in other way.

That’s why the key for Simmons is getting downhill. When he gets open in transition, he’s a handful to stop. Simmons is one of the most gifted athletes on an NBA roster, but he has to actually play like it to take advantage.

When Simmons is aggressive, and aggressive early on, it sets the tone for the rest of the team. Brooklyn didn’t respect him in Game 1, sagging completely back and walling the paint off inside of five or so feet. This time around, Simmons attacked like there was no wall. If there was, he burst right through it.

Philadelphia relies heavily on Joel Embiid, and for good reason: he’s the most dominant player at his position, a talent who pushed The Process into a win-now posture. But Simmons is the second head of Philly’s two-pronged attack,

In Game 2, Simmons showed why. It’s still early, and the Nets will make their changes, but Ben Simmons was powerful when the Sixers needed him to be. If he can play that hard on a consistent basis, maybe the 76ers will be just fine after all.


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Just pay Russell Wilson already

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Franchise quarterbacks are worth so much more than they get. No matter what Russell Wilson’s contract costs, he’s worth it.

The Seattle Seahawks will probably have Russell Wilson at quarterback for at least three more seasons, whether he gets the mega extension he is reportedly aiming for or not.

According to NBC’s Peter King, Wilson and his agent Mark Rodgers told the Seahawks they won’t negotiate again if a contract isn’t reached on April 15. At this point, that appears unlikely. Either way, the franchise tag can provide Seattle with at least a few more seasons of Wilson.

The cleanest way for the Seahawks to handle the situation would be to give him a contract extension. It’d make their franchise quarterback happy and preemptively dodge years of drama and questions about Wilson’s contract

Wilson is reportedly asking for a lot. King says the quarterback’s contract “would likely include devices to adjust future years of the deal based on how high the cap goes up year to year.” That’d be a stipulation no NFL player has ever had in a contract before.

The danger for the Seahawks is that they could set a precedent that cuts across the entire NFL. More star players could demand flexible contracts like Wilson, ushering in a new era of player leverage.

Is Russell Wilson worth that? Yup.

It’s basically impossible to overpay a real franchise quarterback

Wilson isn’t just a good player — he’s a five-time Pro Bowler who hasn’t been far from the NFL MVP award in the last two seasons. He’s never had a losing season, never had a passer rating below 92, and never had a year with fewer than 3,000 passing yards.

The Seahawks made the playoffs in 2018 with a 10-6 record in what should’ve been a rebuilding year, largely because Wilson carried the team on his back.

How much is a player of that caliber worth on the open market? It’s hard to know considering the only passers that ever become free agents are typically journeymen starters and backups.

The notable exception in recent years was Kirk Cousins, who received a three-year, $84 million deal from the Vikings in 2018. The $28 million average was a record at the time and the fact that it was fully guaranteed is still an unprecedented facet of his contract.

And that was for someone who probably wouldn’t crack many top 10 quarterback lists.

The obvious reason for the pricy investments at quarterback is because it’s the most important position in football, by a significant margin.

A statistical study by the University of Missouri a few years ago found that losing a quarterback for four games due to injury or suspension would drop a team’s win total by an average of 1.3 games. Losing any other position didn’t negatively affect a win total by even half that margin.

That’s based on the average quarterback. Imagine how many wins that model would show Wilson — an offensive dynamo who can threaten defenses with both his arm and legs — is worth. In the grand scheme, most quarterbacks are probably underpaid relative to what they offer a football team.

So if giving Wilson 17 or so percent of the team’s annual salary cap annually is what it takes to secure him, it’s not an outrageous price for the Seahawks to pay. That’d amount to about $32 million in 2018 — just behind Aaron Rodgers’ $33.5 million average — but likely jump to around $34 million in 2019, given the salary cap’s consistent rise.

That’s a more than fair price tag for the impact that Wilson provides.

Building a winning roster AND paying up for a QB is doable

Having a quarterback on a rookie salary is one of the best bargains in sports, and can allow a team to try to stack a roster. It’s why the Rams’ bold 2018 offseason was possible, but it doesn’t mean Los Angeles has to disappear from contention when it gives Jared Goff an extension.

Tom Brady has been praised during the New England Patriots’ prolific dynasty for his willingness to accept less than the record-breaking amounts he clearly deserves. It’s not like he’s surviving on scraps — Brady has still made over $212 million in his career, and stands to make $15 million more in 2019.

But Business Insider estimated in January that Brady could’ve been ready to eclipse the $300 million mark in 2019 if he aimed to maximize his NFL earnings.

Maybe his relatively modest contracts are the reason why the Patriots have had sustained success for nearly two decades now. That’s not quite it, though.

The Patriots are never in salary cap trouble. Even if Brady counted $32 million against the team’s cap in 2018 instead of $22 million — the Patriots wouldn’t have needed to trim the roster elsewhere to make room.

New England’s consistent success is a testament to the team’s ability to consistently reload with talent around an MVP-level quarterback. That’s a difficult model to follow, mostly because finding Super Bowl talent isn’t easy. But it’s far from impossible, even if one player is eating, say, 17 percent of the salary cap. That still leaves 83 percent of a $188.2 million salary cap — or $156.2 million — to build a winning roster.

If the Seahawks can’t find a way to acquire talent and win with that amount, it’s on them — not Wilson.

Maybe it’s wise for Seattle to avoid opening Pandora’s box with a contract that fluctuates based on the salary cap. But no matter what Wilson ends up getting, building a Super Bowl-winning roster with him at quarterback is still absolutely an achievable goal. It’s way easier than trying to find another Russell Wilson.


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This Gay Men’s Chorus bought a building for 9.6 mil. How it raised the $$ will warm your heart.

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When the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus announced their purchase of a building in San Francisco’s Mission District at 170 Valencia Street, the organization took their first step towards establishing an LGBTQ arts center, the first of its kind in America.


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (196 sites): “calls for Comey’s resignation” – Google News: Adam Schiff Says ‘Individual 1’ Donald Trump Should Be Prosecuted—And He’s Not Giving Up – Newsweek

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Adam Schiff Says ‘Individual 1’ Donald Trump Should Be Prosecuted—And He’s Not Giving Up  Newsweek

Adam Schiff was angry. It was late March, and Attorney General William Barr had just released his summary of the special counsel’s Russiagate report, deflating …

“calls for Comey’s resignation” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (196 sites)


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Serge Ibaka cooked ‘Penis Pizza’ for Kawhi Leonard. Oh nah.

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Just got off the phone with Chief. This ain’t it.

In the latest episode of his YouTube series “How Hungry Are You?,” Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka brought All-NBA teammate Kawhi Leonard onto the show. On a previous episode, he made the Raptors’ bench mob eat lamb brain.

But an All-NBA player has and All-NBA appetite, so Ibaka pulled out something magical. He served his teammate penis pizza. Leonard’s response was the same thing you or I would say.

“Oh nah,” he says. [Skip to the 16:49 mark of the video below.] “That’s out. That’s out for me, bro.”


Here’s the thing, though. The pizza itself — minus the, uh, protein — actually looks pretty good. Aside from a glaring need for a little more tomato sauce, and the order of operations (sauce, then cheese, then toppings; not sauce, then toppings, then cheese), this is some halfway solid pizza-making technique here.


Where this whole thing takes a hard left is… the penis. Apparently, Ibaka says, it’s beef penis, which is a joke in itself. I couldn’t even imagine trying to cook this. I’m having enough difficulty writing about it. It doesn’t even look appetizing. My man just seasons it with salt and boils it… Like, what?


Leonard tries a couple different ways to get out of this. He says he’s vegetarian and/or vegan.

“I can’t kill cows,” he jokes. “I’m not with that.”

“I don’t think I’m hungry anymore, bro,” he continues later.

This exchange is hilarious. Leonard says the actually pizza tastes good, but the protein itself wasn’t… tender.

“It wasn’t tender. Not at all,” he says.

Ibaka’s response: “It’s a penis. What were you expecting?”

Here’s the entire episode, and it’s not just the pizza. The meal comes at the end of a pretty insightful interview which (almost) includes Kawhi’s celebrity crush, what he thinks about the city of Toronto and his answer to Ibaka’s question about unrestricted free agency. Hint: Leonard doesn’t know what he wants to do yet.

The only thing both Leonard and Ibaka know is that neither of them will be eating beef penis pizza ever again.

Oh nah. That’s out, bro.


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“Trump Investigations” – Google News: Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt – The New York Times

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Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt  The New York Times WASHINGTON — The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has opened an investigation into ethics complaints against the agency’s newly installed secretary, … “Trump Investigations” – Google News

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