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.
DeMarcus Cousins leaves the game with an apparent leg injury.
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.
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.
Ben Simmons powered the @sixers to a win to tie the series at 1-1!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Ibakapulled out something magical. He served his teammate penis pizza. Leonard’s response was the same thing you or I would say.
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.
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
Finally! After more than a year and half since the season seven finale, Game of Thrones is back for its final batch of explosive episodes.
With queer characters like Renly Baratheon, Ser Loras and Oberyn Martell (and even icons like Lady Olenna and Margaery Tyrell) long gone, the show’s queer relevance has disappointingly dipped just as its cultural relevance is hitting a fever pitch. A case can definitely be made that rebelling against societal expectations, defying gender norms and navigating relationships with family (by birth, adoption or choice) could be all be considered inherently queer themes, but, in the end, there are eyeballs from all across the Kinsey Scale still glued to Game of Thrones.
All that said, Winter is here, and we’re going to finish out the series we started recapping back in season five.
And what a start we had! The season eight finale packed so much into its super-sized runtime, there was hardly any time to digest all the reads, reunions and reveals. Let’s jet-set across Westeros and catch up.
Meanwhile, In Winterfell …
Everyone loves a parade, though the throngs of Dothraki and Unsullied marching through Winterfell isn’t receiving the warmest welcome. (And let’s be honest, if this was really a Daenerys Army Pride parade, there’d be at least one float sponsored by the Iron Bank.)
Folks are a bit skeptical of the Targaryen queen, despite their loyalty to Jon Snow and the Starks. Arya and Bran watch the procession, including a fun little shade session between Tyrion and Varys that felt like the Westerosi equivalent of Untucked.
Then, we get reunions aplenty. Jon sees Bran for the first time since leaving for the Night’s Watch. “You’re a man!” Jon exclaims seeing his little bro. “Almost …” Bran eerily replies. That’s so Raven!
Sansa catches up with her ex(still?)- husband Tyrion, whom she last saw at Joffrey’s wedding. “It had its moments,” Sansa says of the event, no doubt reliving Joffrey’s gruesome demise. Sansa, growing more shrewd by the day, essentially tells Tyrion he’s a big dumb dummy for thinking Cersei is going to send any army up to help them.
Arya sees The Hound, still alive, which must’ve been a surprise to her. She sees Gendry, now a sexy Sean Cody-type, which also must’ve been a surprise to her. She sees Jon, which is overall just sweet. Her and her step-brother/cousin talk about swords, but she’s got a shocking lack of follow-up questions about the whole coming back from the dead thing, and he really doesn’t dig too deep into whom exactly she may have used Needle on. There’ll be time for that after they defeat the Night King, I guess. (No, there won’t. Let’s be real, Jon and Arya are not very high on my list of characters most likely to survive.)
Varys, Tyrion and Ser Davos kiki about how totes adorbs Jon and Dany look. Maybe they should get married! Aw!
There is definitely some romance blooming. Dany invites Jon to hop aboard her big, hot dragon, which is not a euphemism, for a little flight around the North. Rhaegal — so named for Jon’s actual birth father — doesn’t eat Jon, which is a good sign. After a romantic flight, they touchdown beside a wintery waterfall and do a little smooching.
It’s all very tender and loving until you remember he’s her nephew. Yikes. These are not our Westerosi Ross and Rachel. They’re Rachel and Ross’ son, Ben! Even Drogon is looking on like “Ew, mom, gross!”
For now, Jon has a pretty full plate of things to worry about. His bannermen (and bannerwomen … bannerpersons?) are uneasy about trusting a Targaryen. They want to know why he would relinquish the crown they gave him. Plus, how are they supposed to feed an entire army of Unsullied and Dothraki. Those guys can EAT. Jon assures them he did what he had to do to keep everyone alive, and all this nonsense about thrones and crowns and titles is just details, details until they defeat the Night King.
Dany and Jorah go to thank Sam for all his awesome work curing Jorah of Greyscale. Sam is happy to help, but while he has the queen’s ear, perhaps this is a good time to ask for a pardon for overdue library fees on a few books he borrowed from the Citadel and also for stealing a Valyrian steel sword from his dad, Lord Tarly.
Tarly? Was that Tarly, you said? Dany is taken aback. See, Sam, funny story, ran into your dad with the Loot Train and, wouldn’t you know, he just would not bend the knee. So, and this is a funny story, really, Dany just had no other choice than to have her dragon burn him alive. Lol!
Now, Sam had a complicated with his dad anyway. Plus, he’s still got that (hot) brother Dickon!
Ooh … about that. Yikes. He also wouldn’t bend the knee, and, this is awkward, he got burned up too!
Elsewhere, Arya pays a visit to Gendry, the Tony Stark of Westeros, to ask him to craft her a weapon. What is it? What’s it for? Who knows!
Sam finds Jon Snow just chillin’ in the tombs. Maybe eager to spoil Dany’s good time, Sam spills the beans to Jon about his true parentage. He is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. That makes him legit half-Stark, half-Targaryen, and, since Lyanna and Rhaegar were married in secret, he has more of a claim to the throne than Daenerys.
This complicates things, obviously. First, he’s been making sexytimes with his aunt, which is a no-no. (It’s less of a no-no in Westeros, but still.) Sam posits to Jon that he was willing to forgo his claim to the crown to save everyone. Would Dany do the same? Jon obviously values justice, but is Dany in it for power? Revenge?
While everyone else is preparing for war or having sweet reunions, Bran has been sitting outside like a total creep, telling folks he was waiting for an old friend. Turns out, the friend he’s been waiting for was none other than Jaime Lannister.
Meanwhile, In King’s Landing …
Euron, the sexy pirate uncle of Yara and Theon, has brought Sexy Pete Holmes from the Golden Company mercenary army to Cersei. She’s a bit disappointed with the lack of elephants, but not enough to deny Euron’s request for a little thank you sex.
Things are getting horny all over King’s Landing. While Cersei is making sexytimes with Euron, Bronn is trying to get it on with a few of Westeros’ finest whores. In sidles Qyburn (someone needs to put a bell on him or something). He tells Bronn that Cersei wants him to murder Jaime and Tyrion using the crossbow Tyrion killed Tywin with. Poetic!
It’s obvious Theon wants to fight alongside Jon and the Starks, and Yara gives him her blessing to do so.
Meanwhile, in the Last Hearth …
In one of the Northern lands, our friends Tormund, Dolorous Edd, Beric Dondarrion and a few other survivors from the fallen Wall have made their way to a seemingly abandoned camp. The Night King has beat them there, and he left them a little present: a turned little boy is staked to the wall surrounded by mangled body parts. His artPOP could mean anything!
But in this case the message is clear: He’s gonna kill everybody.
What did you think of the premiere? Leave your wildest theories in the comments?
According to KCTV 5, Overland Park (Kan.) police were called to the home of Hill on March 5 and March 14. The first call was to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect, and the second was to investigate battery of a juvenile. The Kansas City Star reported that the incident was against Hill’s son, resulting in a broken arm.
Hill has not been charged with a crime and the Chiefs confirmed they are aware of the investigation.
“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs told the Star in a statement. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid hasn’t been a significant part of that process, though.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid says he has not been in touch with Tyreek Hill. He does not have a further statement on the matter.
“We’re just letting it take its course. Did I expect it to happen? I don’t know what happened. That’s what they’re trying to figure out.”
Reid didn’t speak about Hill again until the Chiefs began offseason workouts in the middle of April. Hill was in attendance, and Reid was vague once again.
“I know you’re going to potentially ask about Tyreek,” Reid said to reporters, via Arrowhead Pride. “Tyreek is here. I don’t have anything further to tell you from the statement we put out. There’s been no new news on it and so I’m going to leave it at that. I have had a chance to say hello to him. I have done that, and again, see him in the meeting.”
According to the Star, Overland Park police confirmed that Hill is under investigation for two incidents and a report was forwarded to the local prosecutor’s office
Hill, 25, was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery by strangulation in December 2014, following an incident in which he reportedly punched and choked his then-pregnant girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team before finishing his collegiate career at the University of West Alabama.
IT’S MUELLER TIME. But the redactions… “The report will be released to both Congress and the public, the spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said. Mr. Barr will send the report after lawyers from the Justice Department and the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, finish blacking out secret grand jury testimony, classified information, material related to continuing investigations and other sensitive information.”
OMAR DEATH THREATS. Trump campaign says it’s her fault: “I don’t think it’s the president that’s putting her in danger, I think it’s her ill-thought-out words that she used to describe the greatest terror attack on the history of United States soil which killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Make no mistake, no congressperson, no American should be threatened and no one is inciting violence. I think what they’re doing is showing outrage toward words that should have been better thought out.”
ESPIONAGE. Julian Assange used Ecuadorian embassy as center for spying, says Ecuador’s president: ‘Julian Assange repeatedly violated his asylum conditions and tried to use the Ecuadorian embassy in London as a “centre for spying”, Ecuador’s president has said in an interview with the Guardian. Lenín Moreno also said he had been given written undertakings from Britain that Assange’s fundamental rights would be respected and that he would not be sent anywhere to face the death penalty.’
WHAT THE HELL DO I KNOW? Trump offers Boeing some unsolicited advice.
JIM OBERGEFELL. Leaving D.C.: “But four years after he made his Washington entrée on a stage few have ever seen, Obergefell is now headed back to Ohio – reclaiming his roots and announcing a new act. He hopes to advance LGBTQ rights on the state level, while returning to a role of full-time uncle to 17 nieces, nephews, grandnephews and grandniece.”
LESSONS FROM DVF. On relationships: “… the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself. Then once you have a good relationship with yourself then every other relationship is a plus and not a must.”
THREAD OF THE DAY. Yale historian Timothy Snyder lays out 50 reasons to suspect Russia has corrupted Trump.
BOX OFFICE NEWS. Bohemian Rhapsody has made more than $900 million globally. “With $900.6M through Sunday, the highest-grossing music biopic in history is also Fox’s 4th biggest movie ever worldwide, behind Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Talk about a landslide for this $52M-budgeted foot-stomper — and a supersonic high note for Fox’s closing chapter.”
RUPAUL. The Drag Race magnate gets the Annie Leibovitz treatment for Vogue.
9TH CIRCUIT.Trump gets revenge on his most hated court, with the help of Mitch McConnell: ‘There are 29 judgeships on the court. When Trump took office, 18 were filled by the nominees of Democratic presidents, seven by Republicans’ and three seats were vacant. Four Trump nominees now sit on the bench, and three more nominees—Daniel Collins, Kenneth Lee, and Daniel Bress—are awaiting Senate votes. Assuming they are confirmed, the court will have 16 Democrat nominees and 12 Republican ones. So far, there’s nothing unusual here; this is how the system works. Except, Trump and McConnell have broken the system in three ways to push through extreme candidates…’
EXPLAINER OF THE DAY. The real reason Boeing’s 737 Max crashed.
ABBA VIDEO OF THE DAY. Kid flosses to “Mamma Mia” on the bagpipes.
SCARY TRAILER OF THE DAY. The Perfection.
NEW TUNE OF THE DAY. Manila Luzon and Cazwell “Hella Horny”.
Arthur: The Seattle Seahawks drafting delegation would like to first announce and make it clear our intent to trade down and acquire more picks, just as the Seahawks will 100 percent do on draft day. Not only will Pete Carroll and John Schneider trade down, they’ll do it twice and they’ll think about doing it a third time, at least. The Seahawks only have four 2019 draft selections, and they’ll be keen to make moves that not only give them an additional Day 2 pick (Seattle has no second-rounder thanks to the acquisition of Duane Brown in 2017), but they’ll want to try and squeeze sixth- and seventh-round picks from teams that have an abundance of those.
Anyway, I can’t trade down, so the Seahawks delegation selects one of the best players available and potentially a guy who Seattle could still get if it trades down.
Thanks to the elite nature of the defensive line class this year, it’s possible the Seahawks could still land Tillery later down the board. If not, there will be other options of similar caliber. Seattle has a huge decision to make on Jarran Reed, a pending free agent in 2020 who could get $80-$90 million on the market next year if he repeats or comes close to his 10.5-sack total performance again.
Even if the Seahawks are able to extend Reed before then, they don’t have a notable force next to him yet, unless 2018 undrafted free agent Poona Ford continues to build off of his solid finish to last season. And even if that happens, more high-quality defensive linemen is not a bad thing for a Carroll defense, or any for that matter. In a dream world, they’re stacking Reed, Ford, Frank Clark, and maybe Tillery or another rookie defensive lineman on that line next year, plus Jacob Martin, Rasheem Green, Cassius Marsh, and others, to vastly improve what they had in 2019, which was pretty much just Clark and Reed. The second option would be a receiver like Hakeem Butler or Parris Campbell, but I don’t think any fans would be too upset with Tillery here. Or later, for sure.
Analysis: A defensive lineman is the smart move for the Seahawks no matter where they end up picking the draft. The only issue here is the one they’re getting. Tillery is a good player, and he provides a versatility and athleticism up front. He’s sort of what Seattle probably hoped it had in Malik McDowell. He could really improve one of the NFL’s worst run defenses.
It would just be hard for me to argue taking Tillery over Christian Wilkins of Clemson. They’re different players, sure. But Wilkins is a superb talent, capable of playing the run and getting into the backfield. Clemson even played him some at end, so he can move around. It’s understandably why Jeffery Simmons of Mississippi State and Dexter Lawrence of Clemson get passed over. Wilkins is just in a different class of prospect.
The best remaining is starting to fill up with defensive tackles. Check back in starting tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET to see if one of them comes off the top remaining players list. Pick No. 22 will be here with Kyle Barber of Baltimore Beatdown making the Ravens’ pick.