Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth (Yahoo Sports) - Down big, Jay Cutler kept his poise on the road while Colin Kaepernick struggled in prime time. Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns after much of Chicago's starting defense went down, and the Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut. Cutler threw three TD passes to Brandon Marshall, two in the wild fourth quarter, as Chicago erased a 13-point deficit and quieted the sellout crowd. Kyle Fuller made two late interceptions for the depleted Chicago secondary, and the first set up the go-ahead score. Dawson field goal helps 49ers add on against Bears (Yahoo Sports) - SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Frank Gore ran for an 8-yard touchdown after a long scoring scamper was negated by a holding penalty, and the San Francisco 49ers had a 20-7 lead against the Chicago Bears after three quarters in a sloppy, penalty-filled game Sunday night. Keuchel, Astros end Angels' 10-game win streak 6-1 (Yahoo Sports) - Dallas Keuchel got plenty of sleep, did extra cardio work and stayed constantly hydrated over the last few days to prepare for his start on a scorching afternoon. After all that work, not even the majors' most productive offense could keep Keuchel from a dominant victory for the Houston Astros. Keuchel took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and the Astros ended the Los Angeles Angels' 10-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory Sunday. Keuchel (11-9) faced the minimum 21 batters from the major league-leading Angels through seven innings on a rare 100-degree day at the Big A, overpowering a lineup that has scored a big league-best 728 runs. Kershaw earns 19th win, Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 (Yahoo Sports) - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly entered the eighth inning planning to take out Clayton Kershaw after the first batter. The left-hander retired Joe Panik on one pitch, and as Mattingly walked to the mound, he noticed Kershaw shaking his head and waving him back to the dugout. Kershaw struck out Buster Posey on three wicked sliders before getting Hunter Pence to fly out, and was done for real. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth to seal Kershaw's major league-leading 19th win, and the Dodgers moved three games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West with a 4-2 victory over the Giants on Sunday. Broncos fend off Chiefs 24-17 with goal-line stand (Yahoo Sports) - DENVER (AP) -- Terrance Knighton batted away Alex Smith's fourth-and-goal pass to Dwayne Bowe with 15 seconds left, preserving the Denver Broncos' 24-17 win over the scrappy Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Gates' 3 TD catches carry Bolts to 30-21 upset (Yahoo Sports) - SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers used an old, familiar combo - Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates - to upset the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. McIlroy misses out on £6m prize - Another injury for RG3; Redskins top Jaguars 41-10 (Yahoo Sports) - Robert Griffin III hobbled through the Washington Redskins' locker room on crutches, the kind of scene that has become so familiar. The franchise player was hurt again Sunday, dislocating his left ankle in the first quarter of a 41-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. ''Moments like this,'' Griffin said, ''you just have to keep the faith.'' X-rays and an MRI will offer more specifics, but the Redskins for now belong to Kirk Cousins, who looked more comfortable in new coach Jay Gruden's offense than Griffin ever did, Cousins completed his first 12 passes and finished 22 of 33 for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the woeful Jaguars. ''He's waited patiently, and now his time is going to come to really take this thing and run with it.'' This was truly a next-man-up game for the Redskins (1-1). Charles, Berry out with ankle injuries vs. Broncos (Yahoo Sports) - The Kansas City Chiefs have been hit hard by injuries for a second straight week, with All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry leaving the game against Denver because of ankle ailments Sunday. Charles was stopped on a run up the middle early in the first quarter and then hobbled to the bench. He was examined by the medical staff as Knile Davis replaced him in the backfield. Kansas City was trying to get Charles more involved in the offense this week after giving him just seven carries against Tennessee. Kinsler, Martinez HRs help Tigers beat Indians 6-4 (Yahoo Sports) - DETROIT (AP) -- Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Detroit Tigers opened a 1 1/2-game AL Central lead by beating the Cleveland Indians 6-4 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

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Team USA overcomes a slow start to rout Serbia, win gold medal at the FIBA World Cup [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 14, 2014, 9:12 pm]
Things could not have gone better for Team USA on Sunday. It just took a few minutes for everything to start getting better. Team USA downed Serbia by a 129-92 score to win the FIBA World Cup in Spain, earning the gold medal with stellar all around play, but not before starting slow against a game and confident Serbian squad. With just under four minutes gone in the first quarter, Team USA was reeling from foul trouble, unable to keep up with Serbia’s ball movement on offense, and facing a 15-7 deficit. There was still plenty of game left to play, but even the most experienced of international basketball observers were getting a little punchy: Team USA had better wake the bleep up!— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) September 14, 2014 It’s strange to point to pivotal first quarter plays as game-defining and eventually game-deciding, but that’s what tends to happen in an eventual 37-point blowout. With the eight point deficit ahead of him, James Harden sprang free for a lay-in and a foul, while tossing in a three-pointer on the next offensive possession. Kyrie Irving then scored five straight of his own as Team USA came back to build a lead. Those offensive plays were sandwiched around fantastic defense and a free throw from center DeMarcus Cousins, who was pushed into duty because of starting pivotman Anthony Davis’ two quick fouls. Cousins closed out hard on a pick and roll play from Serbian star Milos Teodosic, causing a turnover, and he cleanly blocked the shot of ex-Milwaukee Buck big man Miroslav Raduljica. Cousins would continue the stellar defensive play as the game moved along, earning a starting nod in the second half, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and a plus-31 mark on the night. The biggest worry with DeMarcus Cousins in his professional and now international career concerned his often-iffy pick and roll defense, and his attitude when things went pear-shaped. Baited all evening by both Serbian big men and guards, rarely getting a c

Charles Barkley on Adrian Peterson: 'Every black parent in the south' whips their children [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 14, 2014, 8:22 pm]
We’re not sure why CBS had Charles Barkley on their NFL preview show on Sunday morning to discuss football, but then again we’re not sure why CBS has Barkley on their college basketball coverage when he clearly watches next to no college basketball prior to the NCAA Tournament. It was a clear ratings grab by a network desperate to draw viewers and set Twitter on its ear, and if Barkley happened to say something outrageous along the way, then all the better. Well, it appears that CBS got what they wanted: Charles Barkley acting ridiculous and labeling an entire cross section of a race in the southern US as child abusers. Horrific child abusers, like Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson. After being asked by host Jim Rome if what Peterson did to his four-year old child was fine by him, Barkley went off on a pathetic brand of “us jocks gotta stick together”-defensive terms, while basically failing to disassociate southern African-Americans that don’t happen to beat their children with those that do. CBSSports.com has the disturbing transcript: Barkley: "I'm from the south. I understand Boomer's (Esiason) rage and anger ... but he's a white guy and I'm a black guy. I don't know where he's from (editor's note: Esiason grew up in Long Island), I'm from the south. Whipping -- we do that all the time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those circumstances." Rome: "It doesn't matter where you're from: Right is right and wrong is wrong." Barkley: "I don't believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the south. I think the question about whether Adrian Peterson went overboard -- Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances." Rome: "My thing is: I don't want to tell anybody how to raise their kids and I really don't want anybody telling me how to raise my kids. But let's make a distinction between 'child rearing' and 'chi

Get to know Serbia, Team USA's opponent for the FIBA World Cup final [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 13, 2014, 3:42 am]
It isn't the matchup many expected, but it looks intriguing nonetheless. On Sunday, Team USA will face Serbia in the gold-medal game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Madrid, set to air at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. With co-favorite Spain having gone out in the quarterfinals with a surprising loss to rivals France, the Serbs took the opportunity afforded to them and dispatched several impressive opponents in the knockout rounds on their way to the final. The Americans are understandably huge favorites, but Serbia boasts several stars and quality role players. It's not impossible to imagine a scenario in which they pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of international basketball. Before they get that chance, though, Serbia requires something of an introduction to fans unfamiliar with their stars, style, and performance up to this point. How did they get here? Who are their stars? And what could give them a chance against such an overwhelming favorite? Read on to find out. 1. Their path to the final wasn't easy — or predictable. It's not only surprising that Serbia is playing this game in place of Spain. In fact, Serbia wasn't even among the handful of teams that looked to have a chance to upset either favorite. If not for a 12-point victory over Italy in last summer's EuroBasket tournament, they might not have made the World Cup at all. In a normal year, that place would not have allowed them to grab one of Europe's six automatic qualifier births for this tournament. However, Spain was earmarked for the tournament already as hosts, which means that the continent was allowed an extra participant. If not for Spain's status, Serbia would have had to become one of FIBA's four wild-card choices. They may well have been one, but that process is open to all sorts of questionable activity. Serbia didn't exactly use their good fortune as a springboard to immediate success in the World Cup. Placed into the loaded Group A, Serbia went 2-3 in the preliminary rou

Miroslav Raduljica's crazy tip-in helps Serbia to wild win vs France, chance for FIBA gold (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 12, 2014, 11:23 pm]
Close games can often be decided by the smallest of plays and actions, from a fortuitous bounce in the fight for a loose ball to a shot rimming out when it looked halfway through the net. In Friday's FIBA World Cup of Basketball semifinal between Serbia and France, one lucky carom off the hand of big man Miroslav Raduljica ended up giving one side a chance to play for the gold medal. With roughly 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter and Serbia up 63-57 in the midst of a France run, Bogdan Bogdanovic fired a one-handed pass towards Raduljica in the paint. It wasn't particularly accurate, so the 7-0 center raised his right hand in a searching attempt to gain control of the ball. Instead, it ricocheted off his hand, off the glass, and through the hoop for two big points. Take a look: It could be argued that this lucky moment proved the difference in the game. While Serbia went on to win 90-85, France was within one possession late and looked on the verge of a shocking comeback. Down as many as 18 points in the game, France scored 39 points in the fourth quarter and might have pulled out the win if not for Raduljica's moment of luck and some strong offensive execution from Serbia in the final minutes. Perhaps the 26-year-old, who played 48 games last season for the woeful Milwaukee Bucks and looks suspiciously like former BDL editor and current TV personality Trey Kerby, should thank some sort of higher power. Raduljica's basket was the single most unbelievable play of the game, but it was a contest that deserves further discussion. Serbia jumped out to an early advantage, with star guard Milos Teodosic (24 points on 9-of-12 shooting) looking like a player who could give Team USA (or anyone) fits. Yet France did not go down easily — Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers scored a game-high 35 points (including 8-of-12 from deep). The fourth quarter was merely the most exciting period of the entire tournament. Serbia held on, but both teams showed they deserved t

The 10-man rotation, starring really cool video games that help us forget [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 12, 2014, 8:54 pm]
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C: YouTube. We don’t like to advertise such things here, but the trailer for a particular portion of NBA 2K15 looks pretty sweet. PF: Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Chris Vivlamore on the unending discord in the Atlanta Hawks’ front office. SF: Washington Post. Michael Lee on the unending discord in the Atlanta Hawks’ front office. Sensing something, here. SG: Sports Illustrated. Michael Rosenberg discusses why Danny Ferry, currently on a nonsense “indefinite leave of absence,” needs to be fired. PG: SB Nation. Seth Rosenthal points to the hypocrisy behind the “we all have skeletons in our closet”-nonsense. If you’re an adult and you don’t say stupid things, you won’t get in trouble for saying stupid things. It’s that stupidly simple. 6th: New York Times. Knicks owner James Dolan’s musical life really is like that scene in ‘Funny People’ where Adam Sandler’s character has to pay a group of musicians more money in order to hang around and jam with him. 7th: Deseret News. Andrei Kirilenko’s house in Salt Lake City was burglarized recently. Luckily, his family wasn’t home at the time, and the thieves focused on taking video games and comic books over more expensive paintings and the like. 8th: Bleacher Report: A very cool look at the terribly underrated, if quite oafish, 1994 Team USA outfit. 9th: Detroit Bad Boys. Has Stan Van Gundy already started making mistakes in Detroit? 10th: At the Hive. A very cool and thorough look at Rich Cho’s time spent manning the Charlotte franchise. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Danny Ferry takes an indefinite leave of absence with the Hawks as more documents emerge [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 12, 2014, 8:17 pm]
In the wake of ever-swirling revelations about the way Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry handled the free agent courtship of Luol Deng in July, the Hawks’ recently-promoted CEO Steve Koonin has accepted Ferry’s request to take a leave of absence from the team he has run since 2012. Here is part of the statement made by the Hawks on Friday afternoon: “This afternoon, Danny Ferry requested, and I have approved, taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately.  This has been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family and it is my hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing.  As a human being, manager and friend, I wish him well as he undergoes this process. While the issues related to race are deeply troubling, at the heart of this dispute is an unfortunate disagreement amongst owners. That said, we have taken several steps to address what we can do as an organization to be better and stronger, including working with a diversity consultant to examine us and to train us to ensure something like this never happens again, we are committed to hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, and we have and will continue to meet with community leaders in an ongoing way to ensure our values reflect the community in which we play and work.  The process of selling the team, which is to remain in Atlanta, is already underway. Effective immediately, our Head Coach, Mike Budenholzer, will assume oversight of the basketball operations department.  He will report directly to me. This move comes on the heels of yet another bombshell, following revelations of the meeting that Ferry called in order to detail Deng’s supposed background to a cadre of Hawk owners, and the release of the actual audio from that meeting. A document recently obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2 appears to

Two African-American NBA general managers come to Danny Ferry's defense [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 12, 2014, 6:34 pm]
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s release of Danny Ferry’s actual recorded words confirms what Adrian Wojnarowski already reported on Wednesday: Ferry was more than certainly the brains behind the needless and insulting comments about then-free agent forward Luol Deng, and the entire Atlanta Hawks franchise is in flux as a result. When I navel-gazed regarding Ferry’s future with the Hawks and the league he’s called home since returning stateside in 1990, I mentioned the absence of leadership as the most damning reason why Ferry should not continue with the team. To relay those thoughts and perceptions, be they his or the words of some witless scout, was so far off base that it still defies belief. It defies belief no matter how many times we’ve had to re-read or eventually hear the words that I won’t waste your time in relaying once again. What are worth relaying are the words of two of Ferry’s contemporaries in the general manager market. Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King have both known and have worked with Danny Ferry for years, and both spoke out on Thursday in regards to the thought process that leads to scouting reports like these, Ferry’s character as a person and professional, and his future. The Nigeria-born Ujiri, in an expertly-penned op-ed piece for The Globe and Mail, gets the first nod: R. C. Buford is the GM of the San Antonio Spurs. He was one of the first NBA executives to come to our Basketball Without Borders camps a decade ago. That same year, he adopted a young man from Cameroon. Wayne Embry is an adviser for our team. Forty years ago, he was the first African-American GM of an NBA team. Both of these men, whom I trust so much, are close to Danny. They have nothing but great things to say about him. The league is a small world. Other people I’ve spoken to who know Danny well say that he has never done anything they’ve seen to suggest he holds racist views. I spoke to Danny myself about this.

Team USA plays to its strengths, steamrolls over Lithuania to advance to the FIBA championship game [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 11, 2014, 9:21 pm]
The pattern works, apparently, so why give up on it? Team USA has turned this into a routine. The squad doesn’t exactly start off each game of the FIBA World Cup by playing poorly, but it usually needs the entirety of the first half in order to hash out the strengths of its opponent, before turning the jets on in the third quarter. This was ridiculously apparent on Thursday, when Team USA outscored Lithuania by a 33-14 mark, in a 10-minute quarter no less, to take a massive lead and eventually win 96-68. The semifinal victory allows Team USA the chance to play for the gold medal in Sunday’s championship game, taking on the winner of Friday’s Serbia/France pairing in the other semifinal matchup. All the hallmarks for coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team were in place. Lithuania never had a comfortable lead of any kind, but it did manage to stay at arm’s length for the bulk of the first half, entering the halftime break with just an eight-point deficit in a game Team USA was favored to win by 3 1/2 times as much. Team USA paired poor decision-making on offense with high-school-level mistakes on defense – and that isn’t even getting into the work of James Harden, as there wasn’t a member of the rotation who couldn’t be spotted screwing up on that end in the first half. Harden, though ... let’s just say that James Harden gave us several of the James Harden-esque plays on defense that he’s sadly become known for: Harden’s excuse in this instance was that he was already playing with two first-half fouls in an international setup that fouls you out with five infractions. Stephen Curry was also playing with two ticky-tack fouls at the same time, though, and one possession after this one he moved over to take an expertly placed charge call defensively. The international referees didn’t correctly call the charge, it should be noted, so Team USA was left with its sieve on the floor as social media cackled away. Each of the missteps, eventually, allowed for r

Danny Ferry's recent remarks have allowed us to look back at an alleged 2002 racial incident [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 11, 2014, 6:20 pm]
It’s a rumor at worst and a distressing anecdote at best. Chatter started to swirl on Twitter on Wednesday about an alleged in-game remark former San Antonio Spur Danny Ferry said to Portland Trail Blazer swingman Bonzi Wells in a 2002, and by the time Thursday’s wayback machine got to churning, the story was back. Former Sacramento Bee reporter Marty McNeal landed these tweets on Tuesday, which allowed others to start digging: Don't know that I trust Danny Ferry. I remember quoting Bonzi Wells saying Ferry called him the 'N-word'. Ferry didn't t return a phone call— Marty Mac (@MartyMacsWorld) September 9, 2014 Ferry then called after the story ran and denied using the word to Wells. That's what comes to mind when I hear about this Hawks situation— Marty Mac (@MartyMacsWorld) September 9, 2014 Here is McNeal’s report, not from 2002, but from a “why Bonzi Wells might be misunderstood”-type piece penned during Bonzi’s last great season in 2006, via Can’t Stop the Bleeding: Then there was an incident while with the Blazers when Wells spit on Ferry, now the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president of basketball operations. Wells’ agent, William Phillips said part of that story always gets omitted. “Ferry (allegedly) called him a (racist name),” Phillips said. “That part of it never gets reported. And Ferry becomes the president of basketball operations. Ferry did not return a phone call to The Bee. Dan Feldman at Pro Basketball Talk found this piece, from the Portland Tribune, detailing some of Wells’ finest work, which according to him led up to Ferry using that word: The most recent was during the game at San Antonio on Nov. 9 when Wells spit in Ferry’s face as the players walked to their respective benches during a fourth-quarter timeout. The NBA suspended him for a game because of the incident. Ferry told teammates that Wells had taunted him in games dating to last season, using an expletive preceding the word ‘honkie’ multiple

Paul George's ill-advised Twitter rant regarding Ray Rice's domestic violence [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 11, 2014, 1:24 pm]
It's been a difficult road for Paul George this summer, so perhaps he's not thinking clearly as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken right leg. Regardless, the Indiana Pacers forward unleashed an ill-advised Twitter rant concerning Ray Rice's domestic violence on Thursday. As you know, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice earlier this week when TMZ released video of the NFL All-Pro running back twice punching his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator. And as you should know, victim blaming is one of the primary obstacles advocates against domestic violence face in their attempts to curb the epidemic. That didn't stop George from falling into that trap on several occasions throughout his rant.   It's hard to even know where to start with this statement. As Zach Harper, master of all things Twitter, noted, George should have stopped after, "I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo." You could almost sense the "BUT" coming, and it did, shamefully. "If SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin" is Victim Blaming 101, another awful example of how misguided a portion of the public — and, in this case, professional athletes — is regarding domestic violence. And the "lol let that man play" is the moronic cherry on top of a tweet that surely sent the Pacers PR department scrambling. While this seemed like the sort of tweet someone ought to delete within moments of posting, the 24-year-old instead doubled down with a series of unfortunate comments. Like this one. Milk was a bad choice. Knocking the mother of your child unconscious is a reprehensible one, regardless of whether or not she laid a hand on you, especially when you already spit in her face, as Rice did. George essentially argues what Rice did to Janay Palmer wasn't domestic violence since a woman half his size made the first move. Which is beyond ridiculous. George's rant started innocently enough with him suggesting "let's act on this police violence like we acting on this Ray Rice case," a

Adam Silver says Danny Ferry does not deserve firing for racist comments about Luol Deng [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 11, 2014, 2:00 am]
The ongoing controversy regarding the racial attitudes of the Atlanta Hawks front office has compelled various statements and opinions, many of which state that general manager Danny Ferry should be relieved of his duties, or at least suggest that he's not long for the job. While the franchise's primary owner Bruce Levenson has already decided to sell his interest after the revelation of his own offensive remarks made in a 2012 email, the fate of Ferry has yet to be determined following the offseason conference call in which he referred to widely admired then-free agent Luol Deng as having "a little African in him" in claiming that his reputation is not entirely deserved. Even if Ferry was merely reading off a report — which is up for debate following the latest report on the conference call from Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski — Ferry showed extreme negligence and racial insensitivity. Such behavior is highly questionable coming from a man who decides matters of employment in a league with black players constituting a majority of the on-court workforce. When Donald Sterling was found to make similarly offensive comments, NBA commissioner Adam Silver acted swiftly to remove him from his position as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. In this case, however, Silver has opted to leave the final decision on Ferry to Hawks management. Beyond that, though, he doesn't consider Ferry's words to be a terminable offense. From Sam Amick for USA Today: Silver, who just arrived in Barcelona for FIBA World Cup, explained in detail how Ferry's respectable track record and the reality that he was relaying information from a scouting report in his June conference call with owners and basketball operations staffers factor into his decision. "The discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry's clearly inappropriate and unacceptable remarks," Silver sai

J.R. Smith says he'd still be untying opponent's shoelaces if the NBA hadn't started fining him [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 10:11 pm]
J.R. Smith isn’t entirely harmless, this is the man that acted as the tragic and pivotal factor in a car crash that killed his best friend in 2007, but if you’re not a fan of the New York Knicks you probably regard him as one of the NBA’s more tolerable oddities. A goofball that isn’t hurting your fandom, because he’s not hoisting 25-footers for your team. The tricky balance with Smith came to light last winter, when he was caught on tape untying the shoelaces of both Shawn Marion and then Greg Monroe in consecutive games, earning him a $50,000 fine for the second – and I use this term advisedly – “infraction.” No matter how innocuous, the NBA’s front office does not like being openly defied in front of high definition cameras for the second time in three days, and Smith cut out the shoelace-messin’ immediately after. In a talk with Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, however, Smith (and we use this word advisedly as well, because this is the NBA’s dead season) “revealed” that he’d still be untying the laces had the league not started levying fines. (Seriously, games need to get here quickly.) From Zwerling’s conversation, via Pro Basketball Talk: B/R: What do you think is the biggest misconception about you? JRS: People think I’m just some wild child, that I’m just somebody that bugs out all the time and doesn’t care. That’s the main thing that pisses me off the most. People who actually take the time to come [to my golf tournament] and get to know me, they know what I’m about. But some people don’t really care to come. B/R: Do you think that stems from your occasional antics, like when you got fined last season for untying your opponents’ shoelaces? JRS: I do care about the fines because it’s loss of money, but other than that, I like to have fun. I would do [the shoelace thing] again if there wasn’t a fine. But now that I’m in my 10th year in the NBA, I take the game more seriously than I did my first fi

Dominique Wilkins reportedly wants to buy the Atlanta Hawks, but will that change anything? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 7:53 pm]
The Atlanta Hawks, as Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported in great detail on Wednesday afternoon, are an abject mess. The majority owner has announced plans to sell the team in the days following a corporate seppuku that resulted from the release of misguided and inflammatory emails. The team’s general manager has been called on by those in and outside the organization to resign after it was revealed that he made shameful “scouting” statements about swingman Luol Deng. And the team’s most vocal minority owner has made no secret of his insistence that both leave the organization completely. The only feel-good story to pop out of this mess is a TMZ-sourced report that states that longtime Hawk All-Star and current broadcaster and team employee Dominique Wilkins would like to step up to the plate with a bid to buy the team. Seems obvious. Perhaps a little too obvious. We’ll let TMZ go from here: Multiple NBA sources tell us ... Dominique is "extremely interested" in becoming the next owner of the Hawks -- and has already been pre-approved for ownership by the NBA.  We're told Wilkins -- who has amassed his own small fortune over the years -- has partnered up with a "very well-known businessman" who believes Wilkins would be the best person to lead the Hawks back to NBA glory.  The problem here is that, in 2014, it takes more than a “small fortune” to come through with the needed capital to make a deal like this happen. The Sacramento Kings, working with an outdated arena in a tiny market and in the midst of a nearly decade-long playoff drought, recently sold for $535 million. The Milwaukee Bucks, working in a (literally) leaky and outdated arena, on their way toward compiling up the NBA’s worst record last season, still sold for $550 million. And in spite of absolutely no leverage, as the NBA was forcing its sale, the Los Angeles Clippers were recently sold for $2 billion. The Hawks won’t factor to secure Clipper-like money, not with t

Short shorts need an NBA champion, and Chris Douglas-Roberts is that hero [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 7:29 pm]
In the late 1980s, Michael Jordan's need for roomier Chicago Bulls garb to cover his lucky North Carolina shorts helped pave the way for the even baggier version popularized by Michigan's Fab Five in the early '90s, thus closing the book on the NBA's bare thighs chapter. But one American hero is hopping in his DeLorean in an attempt to bring short NBA shorts back to the future, and that man is newly signed Los Angeles Clippers wing Chris Douglas-Roberts. Told Clippers I'm wearing # 14 this yr & I need medium shorts. They said medium shorts? I said yea like Stockton. Gonna be a fun yr #LobCity— Memphis CDR (@RockstarCDR) September 9, 2014 Everyone from George Mikan to Charles Barkley wore short shorts for the first century of basketball's existence, but John Stockton was the NBA's Daisy Duke, wearing skimpy Utah Jazz Underoos well into the baggy bottoms boom as the last vestige of a bygone era.   Never fear, quadriceps buffs, for CDR is apparently serious about his bid to bring back the fad. Never felt the big shorts. Short shorts wavy man. Fools in big shorts hoopin look like Bone Collector out there @t_finleey— Memphis CDR (@RockstarCDR) September 9, 2014 Bone Collector, for the uninformed, essentially helped usher in the Capri pants era to streetball. As more questions concerning his passion for short shorts bombarded Douglas-Roberts on Twitter, we learned the Detroit native plans to show spandex a la Kenny "Sky" Walker and once wore jean shorts for three straight days. CDR even offered a preview on Instagram. Of course, Douglas-Roberts has yet to reach the potential many believed he had as the 10th overall out of Memphis in 2008, so he may rarely get the opportunity to show those short shorts from underneath his warmup pants at the end of his fifth NBA bench in six seasons.

Jeremy Lin poses as wax figure at Madame Tussauds, freaks fans out (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 5:57 pm]
We've not seen Jeremy Lin play basketball in earnest for the Lakers, but the recently acquired guard has already perfected the Los Angeles art of constantly creating media attention. Lin appeared in yet another viral video — this time posing as a wax figure in San Francisco's Madame Tussauds museum. The famed wax museum recently revealed a lipid Lin in its branch closest to the 26-year-old's roots as both a prep and NBA player — at Palo Alto High and on the Golden State Warriors, respectively. But fans who came to see his faux doppelganger were instead treated to the real thing scaring the daylights out of them. Ever since the Houston Rockets traded him to the Lakers along with a first-round pick in exchange for, well, not much, this summer has seemingly seen an endless string of shenanigans involving Lin. First, there was "Jeremy Lin Goes Hollywood," a YouTube video poking fun at his decline since the days of Linsanity. Then, there was a pair of Instagram videos featuring Lin posterizing his mom and smashing cake in her face. For the time being, Los Angeles seems like a fitting landing spot for Lin, a likable kid enjoying Hollywood's backyard, but the act may wear thin if his basketball skills don't match his comedic chops. Kobe Bryant has grown tired of far better players than Lin clowning around to the detriment of team success.

Carmelo Anthony thinks he inspired LeBron James' Cleveland homecoming [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 1:36 am]
When LeBron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his original NBA team and the franchise closest to his hometown of Akron, the reaction was largely positive. LeBron didn't only reverse the pain of 2010's widely criticized "The Decision" — he also expressed a seemingly genuine desire to give back to his home state and community. It reminded NBA fans that the sport isn't just about the business. Sometimes, a player can make a decision with a sizable interest in his own history and in leaving a legacy to others who might grow up in a similar situation. Yet James is not the first superstar to opt to play for his hometown team. In 2011, Carmelo Anthony, born in Brooklyn, orchestrated a trade to the New York Knicks, ostensibly the team he grew up watching. This summer, Anthony chose not to move elsewhere as a free agent in part because he is comfortable in the NYC environment. In fact, Anthony believes that his own success and hero's welcome in his hometown may have inspired LeBron to return to Cleveland. From Lisa Granatstein for Adweek, although much of the article takes the form of an interview with former New York Giants star and TV personality Michael Strahan (via SLAM): Strahan: [On being a pro athlete in New York] Not only on the court, but off the court, you’re the leader. Everything you do is more scrutinized. You have to be more careful than anybody else. And watching LeBron [James] go back to Cleveland, did that affect your decision on staying in New York, and did you learn anything from watching LeBron go back home? Anthony: No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around. I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. ... I’m pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love. With all due respect to Melo, it stands to reason that LeBron could

Carmelo Anthony thinks he inspired LeBron James's Cleveland homecoming [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 10, 2014, 1:36 am]
When LeBron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his original NBA team and the franchise closest to his hometown of Akron, the reaction was largely positive. LeBron didn't only reverse the pain of 2010's widely criticized "The Decision" — he also expressed a seemingly genuine desire to give back to his home state and community. It reminded NBA fans that the sport isn't just about the business. Sometimes, a player can make a decision with a sizable interest in his own history and in leaving a legacy to others who might grow up in a similar situation. Yet James is not the first superstar to opt to play for his hometown team. In 2011, Carmelo Anthony, born in Brooklyn, orchestrated a trade to the New York Knicks, ostensibly the team he grew up watching. This summer, Anthony chose not to move elsewhere as a free agent in part because he is comfortable in the NYC environment. In fact, Anthony believes that his own success and hero's welcome in his hometown may have inspired LeBron to return to Cleveland. From Lisa Granatstein for Adweek, although much of the article takes the form of an interview with former New York Giants star and TV personality Michael Strahan (via SLAM): Strahan: [On being a pro athlete in New York] Not only on the court, but off the court, you’re the leader. Everything you do is more scrutinized. You have to be more careful than anybody else. And watching LeBron [James] go back to Cleveland, did that affect your decision on staying in New York, and did you learn anything from watching LeBron go back home? Anthony: No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around. I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. ... I’m pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love. With all due respect to Melo, it stands to reason that LeBron could

Luol Deng responds to Danny Ferry's 'a little African in him' comments [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 9, 2014, 11:50 pm]
On Monday, Miami Heat forward Luol Deng was promptly thrown into the middle of a scandal in which he had no direct role. When Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry had made racist comments (or relayed them without much consternation) regarding Deng's African birth and upbringing, although "not in a bad way." When it turned out that those remarks were even worse than initially thought, Deng received more unrequested attention. The controversy still relates primarily to the racial attitudes of the Hawks, Ferry, and soon-to-be-ex-owner Bruce Levenson, as well as their general manager's employment status. Nevertheless, Deng has issued a statement in response to Ferry's remarks and their aftermath: The full statement from Luol Deng: pic.twitter.com/qw3qQfuFvy— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 9, 2014 It's a sincere, thoughtful statement from a man who has earned the respect of many people around the league, from media (our Kelly Dwyer is a particularly big fan) to teammates to employers to fans. Deng isn't without faults, because no one is, but he's generally thought to be one of the best people in the NBA. He earned the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award that he won after the 2013-14 season. The statement is entirely in keeping with what we know of Deng and his approach to the world. At the same time, referencing Deng's credentials and reputation is mostly unnecessary in this situation, because Ferry's comments failed to meet a level of respect that should be afforded to any person. It's not as if Deng shouldn't have felt the need to respond — it's natural for anyone to defend himself after being criticized in this manner — but it's not as if we should be especially upset at such racism simply because it was directed at a likable guy. No one deserves this kind of treatment. The turmoil surrounding the Hawks right now relates to the NBA, Deng, racial attitudes in pro sports, and many other adjacent issues. At its

Team USA rolls on, downing Slovenia in a blowout win after a dominant second half [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 9, 2014, 9:40 pm]
It’s a pat routine that, thankfully for Team USA and its fans, has played out to perfection in the years since its 2006 World Championship embarrassment. The squad starts slow, it questions its own offensive decisions and relies on defensive gambles to make an impact, and eventually overcomes its lacking opponent with superior execution, intelligence, quickness and athleticism. Team USA didn’t look like world-beaters in the first half of its eventual 119-76 win over Slovenia on Tuesday, but that hardly mattered in the long run. The team was literally too big to fail. The outcome was never in question, not even after coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the face of a game Slovenian opponent. The same bugaboos continued to haunt each of its players in what at times resembles a type of All-Star game. Team USA’s scorers doubted their shots early on, sometimes falling victim to Slovenia’s matchup zone, wondering if one high percentage look was more valuable than the one it decided against. That lack of confidence added to a slow offensive start, but Slovenia was unable to create distance between themselves and its opponents despite all those back-rimmed gifts. Slovenia’s Dragic brothers – Goran and Zoran – were the clear stars for their country on Tuesday, combining for 24 points on 27 shots alongside nine boards and four assists (all from Goran), but their feints and finishes weren’t enough to stand in the way of a withering offensive attack from Team USA. With Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried manning the paint, coach K’s squad stuck like glue to Slovenia’s perimeter attack, forcing the team into a 30 percent shooting night from behind the arc. Slovenia didn’t help its cause by missing nearly half of its free throws, and the squad’s 25 turnovers were the biggest reason behind the eventual blowout. Team USA, after that touchy start, went on to make 9-19 three-pointers of its own, working toward a 47 percent mark, and

The 10-man rotation, starring the Atlanta Hawks [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 9, 2014, 6:45 pm]
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C: TIME: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar defends Bruce Levenson’s business practices, if not his execution in trying to implement said practices. PF: COMPLEX. On the Nike Air Huarache, my 12th birthday gift and one of the most celebrated sneakers of all time. SF: Ball in Europe. Emmet Ryan’s affecting and expertly written take on covering the FIBA World Cup while dealing with internal issues. You should really read this. SG: Queen City Hoops. The city of Charlotte just tossed a whole heck of a lot of money at the Hornets’ arena. PG: Grantland. Zach Lowe intelligently takes on the prospects of the Atlanta Hawks. 6th: SB Nation. Tom Ziller on Danny Ferry’s uneasy future in Atlanta. 7th: Hardwood Paroxysm: Evans Clinchy discusses what remains a complicated situation, as we detail the work of NBA owners. 8th: Sports Illustrated. Michael McCann points out that the Bruce Levenson situation could affect the NBA’s ongoing dealings with former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 9th: Pro Basketball Talk. Danilo Gallinari is not satisfied with the medical treatment of his torn ACL. 10th: PROGRAMMING NOTE: Game 2 of the WNBA Finals is on ESPN tonight at 9 Eastern. It will feature two very good basketball teams playing entertaining basketball. Tune in. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops





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