LeBron Passes Wilt for 5th All Time Scoring

Los Angeles Raiders star LeBron James moved into 5th place on the NBA all-time scoring list passing Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.

Entering Wednesday’s game with the Portland Trailblazers LeBron James needed 39 points needed to move ahead of Wilt and achieved that with a free throw in the fourth quarter.

The next rung on the scoring ladder is significant as should he reach 32,293 point he will surpass Michael Jordan for 4th place.

All Time NBA Scoring Top 5

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar     38,387
  2. Karl Malone                      36,928
  3. Kobe Bryant                      33,643
  4. Michael Jordan                32,292
  5. LeBron James                   31,420

Assuming he continues his 25 point per game average James has plenty of time left this season to pass Jordan.

Steelers’ Bell Fails to Report

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’veon Bell continued his holdout and failed to report to the Steelers by the 4pm deadline on Tuesday and is now ineligible to play in 2018.

Bell will now miss out on $14.5 million dollars in salary having refused to sing his one-year deal in exchange for a deal that will provide him longer term security.

Bell will now be considered a third-year franchise player in 2019 regardless of whether he signed the Steelers’ tender or not and under the NFL collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the franchise tag will go up to $25 million dollars.

Given that Bell sat out so long it didn’t make much sense to play in 2018 and his performance wouldn’t have increased his trade value much over the course of the final six games. He would have, however decreased his value should he have gotten injured.

Another team can now sign Bell safe in the knowledge that he is still among the NFL’s elite offensive layers. Since the deadline has passed Bell’s future now lies outside of Pittsburgh.

As for the Steelers, James Conner has filled in admirably for Bell who has enjoyed a breakout season with 771 yards rushing, 10 TDs and added 39 receptions for 387 yards and one TD.

Warriors Suspend Green After Jam with Durant

Draymond Green was suspended for Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks after he and Kevin Durant got into an altercation during Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green and Durant exchanged words after Green lost the ball just before the end of regulation in Monday night’s game.

Green reportedly challenged Durant about his upcoming free agency which has been simmering under the surface for can called Durant a few unflattering names after which it was decided that the Warriors would sit green to cool off.

While the 121-116 overtime loss to the Clippers shouldn’t worry a team that has started 11-3, infighting could be a greater concern.

Durant is in his third season with the Warriors and is still about of an outsider in the core of Steph Curry, Green and Klay Thompson. The Warriors has the talent to weather any storm and win a championship even if they don’t have the best chemistry but they could be in trouble if things get too hostile.

Chiefs-Rams MNF Game Moved From Mexico City

The Monday Night Football game between two of the NFL’s top teams that had been scheduled to be played in Mexico City has been moved to Los Angeles.

Following a determination that the playing surface at Estadio Azteca was not up to NFL standards for stability and consistency and will not be ready by game time on Monday.

Instead the game between the Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) and the Los Angeles Rams (9-1) will be moved to the LA Coliseum.

The NFL has played regular season games in Mexico City each of the last two seasons.

The NFL requires the home teams, in this case the Rams, to keep their stadiums open in case of an emergency.

This will be the first Monday Night Football game the Rams have hosted at the LA Coliseum since November of 1979.

NFL Coaching Hot Seat

Ten weeks into the 2018 season and there are a few coaches that may survive and few that should be contacting real estate agents in their cities.

Hot- Matt Patricia, Lions

While he’ll probably get a first-year pass in Detroit, Patricia will have lambs to sacrifice to save his job as offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will likely be shown the door and special teams coach Joe Marciano was whacked last week. Shoddy offensive line play and a shaky defense, supposedly his specialty, has looked to suffer from lack of communication and effort.

Hotter- Marvin Lewis, Bengals

The NFL’s longest tenured head coach has done just enough in recent years to avoid firing and while he’s dealt with injuries on offense there’s no reason his defense should get worn out at home like they did against New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints weren’t forced to punt once on Sunday and their defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was fired Monday morning. At 5-4 and games remaining with the Browns and Raiders the Bengals may get to .500 and it’s hard to believe that Bengals ownership will settle for much more of the same.

Even Hotter- Adam Gase, Dolphins

 He can point to early season wins and injuries as reasons why the Dolphins’ season has begun to list and take on water for Gase to keep his job. During their loss in Green Bay the Packers kept setting the Dolphins up in good field position only to have them fail to cross the goal line. The Brock Osweiler lead offense has not scored a touchdown in nine quarters. The Dolphins defense quit on Gase against a team that looks for reasons to have Aaron Rodger throw giving up 145 yards to Aaron Lewis. The Dolphins have a relatively weak schedule down the stretch and may end up at .500. If they can get Ryan Tannehill back after their bye week will it save Gase?  The Dolphins have an irate fan base that has seen all they care to from Gase, the supposed offensive guru.

The Hottest- Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers

The coach who staged the palace coup against Lovie Smith is now on the verge of being ousted himself. Koetter took the play calling duties away from up and coming offensive coordinator star Todd Monken and under his play calling lost 16-3 to the Redskins on Sunday. They went 0-5 in Red Zone opportunities and Ryan Fitzpatrick had a fumble and interception and missed a pair of field goals, problem that Koetter has never been able to solve. Koetter has the hottest seat in the NFL right except for Todd Bowles.

Incinerated- Todd Bowles, Jets

The dismal 2-7 Buffalo Bills came into Met Life Stadium and stole the Jets’ lunch money and pantsed them to the tune of a 41-10 beating. Poorly disciplined and unmotivated the Jets are among the worst teams in the league with no upside other that a few bright moments from rookie QB Sam Darnold who sat out Sunday’s mess with a foot injury. Seeing Bowles fired this week would come as no surprise to no one.

Dodgers Offered Puig for Harper

In their pursuit of Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper the Dodgers made one trade offer that was never consummated.

While it’s unclear when the Dodgers made their offer, they did offer outfielder Yasiel Puig for the 26-year-old Nationals slugger. The Dodgers were among many teams interested in Harper prior to the July 31st trade deadline.

No trade for Harper was completed and the Nationals chose to ride out the season with Harper despite not making the playoffs.

The Nationals had put Harper on waivers in August and the Dodgers were the first to claim him but no deals were ever reached and the Nats pulled Harper from waivers and kept him in order to receive a first round compensatory pick when they ultimately lose him in free agency.

While Harper would have provided a boost to the Dodgers offense, Puig had a solid 2018 season and provided a crucial 3 run homer in the sixth inning of game 7 against Milwaukee in the NLCS that elevated the Dodgers to their second consecutive World Series.

Antonio Brown Cited for Reckless Driving

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been cited for reckless driving after been clocked at more than 100 mph in his Porsche.

A police officer on patrol for a bank robbery suspect saw Brown’s Porsche travelling at a high rate of spend and gave pursuit.

“We are aware of the situation but we are gathering more information and will have no further comment at this time.”, the Steelers said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

This came as the Steelers prepared for a crucial interconference showdown with the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Antonio Brown leads the Steelers with nine touchdowns and is second on the team in receptions with 51 catches for 594 yards.

The Match: Tiger Vs Phil

We are only days away from the high stakes pay per view throw down between Tiger Woods and Phil Mikelson at the Shadow Creek Country Club in North Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday November 23rd.

The two golf heavyweights will square off for an 18-hole match that will earn the winner and his entourage a cool $9 million dollars.

The two men, who have dominated professional golf over the last 20 years will donate a portion of their winnings to charity.

While Tiger is longer and more consistent off the tee despite a myriad of surgeries, and more accurate with his irons, Phil has a better short game and is one of the best on the Tour at keeping little score form turning into big scores and Phil is better on the greens when putting for par.

Tiger still holds an advantage when it comes to the mental edge and even if pressed Phil will likely tell you that Tiger is better right now.

A big purse and a pay-per-view audience will make it tough on both golfers but as we sit today Tiger Woods should will this one round match in a close one.

No Harper Hometown Discount for Nats

The Washington Nationals offered free agent outfielder Bryce Harper a 10 year, $300 million dollar contract.

The Nationals knew he wouldn’t accept the offer and did it as a “fall back” for Harper who is said to be seeking a deal larger than the 13-year $325 million dollar deal that current New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton got from the Miami Marlins in 2014.

An anonymous MLB general manager has told ESPN that Harper could receive a deal of more than $400 million dollars.

The 26-year-old Harper is coming off his sixth All Star nod in seven seasons and hit .249 with 34 home runs and100 RBI in 2018. Since coming into the league in 2012 the former Nationals first round draft pick Harper has hit .279 with 184 home runs and 521 RBI.

He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012 and won the NL MVP in 2015.

The Nationals, with Harper have been to the post season in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 never advancing beyond the league divisional series.

$400 million, a lot of dough to pay a guy with no playoff series wins during his tenure with the team.

Dez Bryant Negotiating with Saints

Former Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant worked out for the New Orleans Saints who are looking for a veteran receiver to take them through the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

While the Saints liked what they saw from Bryant sources are cautious as he has come close to signing with teams in the past since he was released by the Cowboys in April. However, signs point to Bryant signing with the Saints as negotiations are ongoing.

Bryant was among three receivers brought into camp for workouts this week. The Saints need to replace Ted Ginn, Jr who was placed on injured reserve in October.

In his prime Bryant was one of the league’s top play makers and while no longer in his prime the Saints hope that teaming with Drew Brees can help him tap into some of his former dominance.

Thomas Bitter About Trade from Denver

Demaryius Thomas spent the first eight plus seasons of his NFL career in Denver and his trade to the Houston Texans has left him “hurt”.

Thomas was a 2010 first round draft pick and the Broncos’ longest tenured player and claims to have been told by Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway that the trade rumors surrounding him were “all fake” before being told by his agent that Elway was seeking a fifth-round draft pick for him.

He also claims to have been voted to be a team captain by the players but never named one by Vance Joseph and that there were claims by Joseph and other coaches that Thomas was to blame for the struggles on offense this season.

Despite his time in Denver ending on a sour note he says he has fond memories of his time in Denver which includes five Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl title.

Dodgers in Win Now Mode, Set Sights on Harper

The Los Angeles Dodgers, fresh off the World Series have gone into full win now mode. The Dodgers gave Clayton Kershaw a 3-year, $93 million-dollar extension despite his post season hiccups and injury problems.

Their next target, Washington Nationals free agent outfielder, Bryce Harper. Harper hit 34 homeruns, had 100 RBI as the Nats missed the playoffs, he has the brash personality that would make him perfect for LA.

Harper is repped by super-agent Scott Boras and will certainly look to surpass the record $325 million-dollar deal Giancarlo Stanton got from the Miami Marlins in 2014.

Harper is a six-time All-Star who won NL MVP honors in 2015 and just turned 26 years old.

LA has to go big and in this year’s free agent market it doesn’t get any bigger than Bryce Harper.

JaMarcus Russell Blank Tape Controversy

Colossal first round QB draft bust has made headlines again showing the level of his incompetence and laziness.

Russell, the NFL gift that keeps on giving, was 7-18 in his tenure as a starter with the Oakland Raiders was caught up in a sting by Raider coaches who doubted he was studying film, gave Russell blank tapes to take home to study opponents’ defenses.

The next day Raider coaches asked Russell what he learned from the tapes, Russell would reply that he had learned all the blitz sets of that week’s opponent.

Clearly Russell had never opened the tape to watch the blank tape.

Russell is out of the league living off the fat salary and signing bonus he got from the Raiders, expect that to run out and see JaMarcus’ sob story return to the headlines.

Jason Garrett is the Cowboys’ Biggest Problem

He’s the second longest tenured coach in the NFL and the head coach of one of the NFL’s most recognized franchises and brands and he should be fired, post haste.

Jason Garrett has been the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach since 2008 taking over from Wade Phillips. Since then he has compiled a 70-58 record has one playoff victory and if the Cowboys continue their current 3-5 path they will finish under .500 six of his nine seasons.

The Cowboys were beaten at AT&T Stadium on Monday night by the Tennessee Titans 28-14, the worst loss after a bye week the Cowboys have suffered since 2004.

Dak Prescott continues to frustrate the Cowboys and their fans. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot took the league by storm in 2016 and has regressed in their progress since with Elliot being suspended for the majority of the 2017 season and Prescott failing to put the team on his shoulders and elevate a receiving corps that has struggled mightily since the release of Dez Bryant.

The offensive line, once the gold standard of NFL O-lines, has suffered through injury and inconsistent play.

The Cowboys’ schedule gets tougher in the remaining weeks of November and into December with three of the next five games against division opponents and playoff contenders.

Another sub .500 season without playoffs await the Cowboys and there will almost certainly be a complete overhaul of the coaching staff and the roster.

One thing that will remain the same is owner Jerry Jones who also serves as the team’s general manager. Ownership brings job security.

In the Brady-Rodgers Matchup, Belichick is the Real GOAT

The game was supposed to be a matchup of the two best quarterbacks, but it turned out to be about the singular best coach in the game.

The matchup was a bit boring with the Patriots winning 31-17 at Foxborough Sunday night although it did feature a total dismantling of Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy.

It’s unfair to expect McCarthy to outmatch Bill Belichick as other than Tom Coughlin in two Super Bowls and Doug Pedersen in last year’s Super Bowl no other coaches have flat out outcoached Belichick.

The problem for Aaron Rodger that he was working in a bland conservative offense of McCarthy’s design Tom Brady was without tight end Rob Gronkowski and leading rusher Sony Michel was running and offense that was in overdrive from the opening kick taking their first possession right down the field for a quick touchdown.

During the game the Patriots ran a flea flicker for a big gain and wide receiver screen pass that broke the game open early in the fourth quarter after the Packers fumbled while driving for a go ahead score.

Patriots running back James White left the game with a back injury and the Pats running game didn’t miss a beat with wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson filling in with a solid performance. Meanwhile, as the Packers’ injuries mounted their chances of winning the game deteriorated.

The Packers have become a team that relies too much on Aaron Rodgers to pull out miracle wins while Bill Belichick and his offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels scheme their receivers open.

No matter how good Brady and Rodgers may be if Belichick is involved he will always overshadow any matchup between the two future Hall of Famers.

Rams Dream Team Defense Can’t Get Off the Field

The Los Angeles Rams went all in this off season on their defense, signing high priced free agents and making defensive tackle Aaron Donald the league’s highest priced defensive player and their defense may be what keeps them from reaching the Super Bowl.

The New Orleans Saints put 35 points on this defense in the first half of Sunday’s game and Drew Brees had plenty of time to throw for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns and registered no sacks. When the Rams tied the game at 35 in the fourth quarter the defense gave up 10 unanswered points to give the Saints the win.

This defense not only fell flat against the Saints, which many teams do, but gave up 27 points to the Packers at home and needed a special teams gaffe by the Packers to bail them out. The Rams defense has also given up an average of 27 points to four potential NFC playoff teams in the last 6 weeks. The Rams defense has only created 3 takeaways in the last 4 games.

The Rams free agent signings of Ndamukong Suh, Agib Talib, Marcus Peters have a combined 12 Pro Bowls among them and last week traded for linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr and along with Aaron Donald were thought to be a defensive “Dream Team”.

That concept never works in the NFL. The Rams defense has become their Achilles’ Heel and Sunday was the first time it cost them a game. When a team has the talent that Rams have and your offense scores 35 points you should win the game.

The Rams were 8-0 going into Sunday’s game with the Saints so winning covers up a lot of stink. Now that they have been knocked off their upcoming opponents will look to the Saints game as to how to beat them.

The Rams defense is not giving their offense with much margin for error requiring them to score on every possession and if things don’t improve the Rams defense will provide the league with the latest nightmarish finish for the latest inception of the “Dream Team”.

Rams and Saints Live Up to Expectations

The battle between two of the most powerful offenses on the NFL did not disappoint as the game came right down to the wire in New Orleans.

After the New Orleans Saints jumped out out to a 35-17 lead at half time the undefeated Los Angeles Rams stormed back with 18 unanswered points to tie the game at 35 in the fourth quarter.

The Saints regained the lead with a 54-yard field goal by Wil Lutz and then a 72 yard Drew Brees to Michael Thomas touchdown pass gave the Saints a 10 point lead they would not relinquish as they beat the previously undefeated Rams 45-35.

Drew Brees passed for 346 yards and 4 touchdowns and Michael Thomas had a franchise record 211 yards receiving and held Todd Gurley to 68 yards rushing.  For the Rams, Jared Goff had 391 yards passing and 3 touchdowns and one pick.

Ravens Harbaugh on Hot Seat Following Loss to Steelers

The Baltimore Ravens started the 2018 season at 4-2 and have since lost 3 straight to fall below .500.

The Ravens futility in the last few weeks have led many to speculate that head coach John Harbaugh may be on his way out. While it’s unlikely the Ravens would fire Harbaugh in mid-season, Sunday’s 23-16 home loss to their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers could be the type of loss that could inspire change.

As the Ravens head into their bye week they are now below .500 for the fourth consecutive season at the mid-way mark. The Ravens have suffered a significant number of injuries along  the offensive line, losing both starting tackles and the bye week is coming at the right time for the Ravens.

Since winning the Super Bowl following the 2012 season the Ravens have played .500 football and made the playoffs once during that stretch.

Harbaugh has been the head coach of the Ravens since 2008 and has complied a career record of 105-71 including winning Super Bowl XLVII (47).

Browns Head Coaching Wish List

The Cleveland Browns are seeking a long term answer to their head coaching woes and have a wish list of high profile candidates.

Question remains, who really wants this job?

Reports are that the Browns GM John Dorsey has a short list of 3 candidates, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, University of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

The common thread among them is that they are all offensive minded coaches and the Browns will need a coach in that phase of the game to develop 2018 number one overall draft pick Baker Mayfield.

Riley has a rapport with Mayfield from their 3 years together at Oklahoma where Riley was the head coach and Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy at quarterback in 2017.

McDaniels has been a hot head coaching commodity in recent years despite his first stint as a head coach in Denver ended after one and half seasons from 2009-10 and returned to the Patriots in 2012. He turned down the head coaching position with the Indianapolis Colts following the 2017 season.

John DeFillipo is in his first season as Vikings offensive coordinator.

There has also been speculation that it may be time for Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy to move on should the Packers miss the playoffs. The Browns parted ways on October 30th  with head coach Hue Jackson after posting 3-36-1 record in two plus season as the Browns head including going 0-16 in 2017

Ravens DC Says Steelers Better Without Bell

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale threw some shade on Steelers’ holdout running back Le’Veon Bell saying the Steelers are better without the superstar back.

“There are lots of stats since 2015 that show that they’re better without him, maybe that’s why he’s riding a jet ski in Miami right now,” Martindale said.

In games without Bell in the lineup since 2015 the Steelers average 29 points per game, 413 yards per game of total offense and a much better red zone soring percentage of 68.1% compared to 23.9 points, 369 yards per game and a red zone scoring percentage of 51.9% with Bell in the lineup. Their winning percentage however is slightly better with Bell in the lineup at .697 against .690.

Bell, who has yet to sign the one-year contract tender due by November 13th to allow him to play in the 2018 season, has scored 42 touchdowns and racked up 7,996 total yards since coming out of Michigan State in 2013.

SF Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey Dead at 80

San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey died Wednesday at the age of 80 following a number of health-related issues.

McCovey played 19 of his 22 MLB seasons with the Giants and was named to 6 All Star teams, was the Rookie of the year in 1959 and was named NL MVP in 1969. The Alabama native hit 521 home runs currently 20th in MLB history and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.

Durkin Out at Maryland Amid Protests

Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin has been fired one day after he was reinstated by the university following a suspension over the death of a player during off season conditioning back in May.

Offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed of heatstroke on May 29th and ultimately died on June 13th. Durkin was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay while an investigation was conducted.

The decision to reinstate Durkin was met with protests from Maryland players who honor McNair prior to every home game by gathering around a field graphic of his jersey number 79.

At least six parents of Maryland players have spoken out against Durkin and the University for having failed to protect their children.

Offensive lineman Ellis McKennie was quoted as saying, “a group of people don’t have the courage to hold anyone responsible for his death. If only they had the courage Jordan did.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also expressed his concern over the decision to reinstate Durkin as well as the Maryland Student Government Organization.

An ESPN report revealed a toxic coaching culture under Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, who Durkin had hired. The program was beset by a “coaching environment based on intimidation and fear and extreme verbal abuse of players”. Durkin wasn’t fired for cause therefore he will receive a buyout of his contract. The Terrapins have posted a 5-3 record in 2018 under interim head coach Matt Canada.

Aaron Hernandez High on Synthetic Weed Prior to Suicide

Reports have surfaced that former New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez was abusing a synthetic form of marijuana called K2 in prison prior to his suicide in April of 2017.

Hernandez’ suicide took his family and prison officials by surprise as he had just been acquitted of a involvement in a double murder and was optimistic that his conviction of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd would be overturned.

K2 is much more toxic that marijuana and can cause hallucinations and other effects. It is a preferred drug by prison inmates as it is far less detectable in drug test than marijuana and has been easy to smuggle into prison.

The report is surprising as he was tested at autopsy for “all forms of synthetic caniboids” and came back negative. However, K2 remains very difficult for even top labs to detect due to the everchanging characteristics of the substance.

The Hernandez case has drawn so much attention as he was the first active NFL player to be charged with three homicides in addition to being a star player on one of the league’s top teams.

His autopsy showed Hernandez to be suffering from advanced CTE for someone his age which can affect mood, judgment and impulse control.

Investigations continue into any role negligence by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections may have played in the death of Hernandez.

Price to Remain in Boston

Boston Red Sox lefty David Price silenced his critics with a dominant performance in the post season but has decided to remain with the Red Sox and not test the free agent market to see if that performance can pay off for him.

Price has had an icy relationship with fans and media since signing a $217 million-dollar deal, but winning cures all as Price has decided to honor the remaining 4 years on his current contract.

At 33, Price will earn $127 million dollars over the final 4 years of his contract and made the smart play as its unlikely teams would’ve have invested that type of money in him long-term given his age.

Did Jerry Jones Get Fleeced in Cooper Deal?

Following major trades of veteran receivers Golden Tate and Demaryius Randall Twitter was on fire with comparisons of what the Dallas Cowboys gave up to acquire Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders and what was given up to by the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans respectively.

The Cowboys gave up a first round draft pick to Oakland for the former first round draft pick who has shown moments of greatness and yet has been beset by inconsistency and drops.

The Eagles gave up a third-round pick to Detroit for Golden Tate and the Texans gave up a fourth round pick to Denver and a swap of 7th round picks for Demaryius Randall. Both have not only been more productive this season but over their careers as well despite Tate and Randall being veteran players.

League insiders and Cowboy haters have been critical of Jerry Jones and the deal he made to get Cooper. It remains to be seen if Cooper can provide the spark the Dallas offense needs to attract coverage to their passing game and allow for more running room for Ezekiel Elliot who has been bottled up this season by teams stacking defenders within 7 yards of the ball and not respecting their current corps of average receivers.