Ravens rookie Chuck Clark races, beats Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings

Chuck Clark, the Ravens’ sixth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, is getting ready for his first NFL training camp. The defensive back can bring with him some confidence because, several months ago, he challenged and defeated an Olympic medalist in a foot race.

Clark last winter trained at TEST Football Academy in Martinsville, N.J., the same facility that has produced Joe Flacco, Patrick Peterson, Duron Harmon, Brian Hoyer and dozens of current and former NFL players. It was there Clark worked with Ato Boldon, a four-time Olympic medalist who took the gold medal in the 200 meters at the 1997 World Championships.

Bolden, who regularly works with football players on their form for the 40-yard dash, also works with Natasha Hastings, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 4 x 400 meter relay as well as multiple other titles both national and worldwide.

Another big 4-3 decision for the Niners lies at middle linebacker. Beyond the fact that they would like Reuben Foster and NaVorro Bowman to be healthy enough to be starting options, the question is who’s trusted more alone inside, the natural rookie first-rounder or the stalwart All-Pro slowed by injuries. The other is bound to kick out to the strong side because of his coverage ability.

The trick is the trickle-down effect. Watching previous incarnations of the Seahawks’ scheme, there’s been room for more specialized, 3-4-like Cheap Germany Soccer Jerseys outside roles, or the LEO and OTTO, to flank the Cheap Giants Jerseys SAM (strongside) and WILL (weakside).

Watch: Enes Kanter smashes chair, fractures forearm

Thunder center Enes Kanter is a passionate guy. Just ask one of the chairs on the team’s bench.

Kanter took a wild swing at a chair during the second quarter of Thursday’s 109-98 win over the Mavericks. He did not return to the game, and coach Billy Donovan confirmed after the game that he fractured a bone in his forearm.

There is no timetable for his return.

Kanter had four points and four rebounds in nine minutes of action before assaulting the chair.

The Thunder can ill-afford to lose arguably their second-best scorer with playoff seeding on the line.

Ball is going to have his believers and his detractors come draft time. On one hand, the kid is just a winner, a Stu Feiner-level winner. He positively affects teams with his elite basketball IQ, and he has the best vision of any prospect in the draft. He plays with tremendous pace, and his jump shot has proven solid when he gets his feet under him. He’s not a guy who consistently probes the defense; rather, he just keeps the ball moving toward the basket in a way that helps his team.

However, it’s questionable just how strong of an athlete he is, his Cheap Football Jerseys defense is rough at the point of attack and his jump shooting off the Cheap Game Jerseys dribble and on the move might scare off some decision-makers. He’s a complicated prospect that will have a wide prism, with some likely having him as high as No. 2, and others as low as No. 8 or so. System will also matter, as he’ll likely be most successful in an uptempo scheme.

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors: Knicks tried to get Kevin Love from Cavs

The Knicks wanted to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Cavs, according to ESPN.com.

The report claims New York was trying to ship Anthony in a one-on-one player swap involving Kevin Love. The Cavs apparently weren’t interested in the deal at all, and so talks came a stop. Both players are All-Star forwards, but Love is four years younger at 28.

There’s also this bit from Marc Stein of ESPN: Cleveland is not prepared to surrender Love to get Anthony after the role Love played in helping the Cavaliers win the first championship in franchise history in June.

There was never any love lost for this city, Howard said Thursday, via ESPN.com. It’s just the business of basketball. I’m in a great place. This team is in a great place, but if I do get a couple of boos, I will respect it and I understand it and you got to move forward.

Howard, who never really clicked with James Harden while with the Rockets, stood up for his tenure with the team.

I thought, besides the last season, I thought Cheap Fishing Jerseys we had some successful seasons, Howard said. Went to the West finals, which hasn’t been done since Cheap European Soccer Jerseys Hakeem Olajuwon. I thought we had some success.

I know it didn’t end the way we all wanted it to end — that’s the NBA and you have to move forward. Houston is having a great year, this year and our team is also having a great season, and it will be great if both teams ended up in the finals.

Both Atlanta and the Rockets are in good postseason standing in their respective conferences, so this should be a competitive matchup.

Poll reveals NFL ratings fell over national anthem protests

A recent poll by J.D. Power revealed that the dip in NFL ratings last season was largely due to players kneeling during the national anthem, the Associated Press reported.

According to the survey, 9,200 people who went to either a football, basketball or hockey game were asked if they watched fewer games broadcasted and to give their reasoning.

Twenty six percent of people who tuned out of watching football said it was because players knelt during the anthem.

It’s worth noting only 12 percent of those surveyed said they stopped watching NFL coverage, which equates to roughly 1,100 people.

When a team switches from an established 3-4 to a Seahawks-inspired 4-3, as the 49ers are under new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, pass-rushing linemen Cheap Hats And Jerseys become big needs. So it was a no-brainer for Lynch to use the No. 3 overall pick on Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, a Michael Bennett-like outside-inside Cheap High Quality Jerseys freak.

Saleh knows he can play Thomas at either end or tackle and get production. The other somewhat known quantity is former Dolphin Earl Mitchell, signed as stopgap at 4-3 nose, albeit a fading, older one. The two Oregon Ducks drafted as 3-4 first-rounders by the previous front office, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, are more wild cards. With their massive frames, they are both suited to stay outside, but it’s unclear whether their explosiveness will translate well as such scheme-specific picks. Buckner is the better bet to build on a strong rookie season and find a higher level of production.

Lynch and Saleh will need make do with this group and re-evaluate in the short term. Solid depth in the rotation, a key for Seattle, is also lacking. Thomas is a can’t-miss, but the rest of the starting line options feel more bust than boom.

Lonzo Ball (calf) hopes to play in Summer League final

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, who left Sunday’s summer league semifinal win over the Mavericks with tightness in his right calf, hopes to play in Monday’s championship in Las Vegas.

The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft says he’ll receive treatment leading up to the title game against the Trail Blazers, the Lakers’ fifth game in six nights.

“I don’t know, I’ve played in a lot of big games man,” James said. “I don’t … I’m the last person to ask about a big game in the regular season. I’m sorry.”

He continued: “Taking nothing from them, they’ve been playing Cheap Dream Team Jerseys some great ball, but like I said, I’m not one to get caught up in regular-season big games. I’m sorry. I’ve been to six straight [NBA] Finals, man. I’m the last person to ask about a regular-season game, dude. Sorry.”

Whether James is hyped or not, he realizes this is an Cheap Denver Broncos Jerseys important game. After some recent struggles, the Cavs are finally playing well again as they are riding a three-game winning streak, their first since late February.

This could also be James just playing with the Celtics considering Isaiah Thomas made similar comments earlier in the day.

“It’s just another game,” Thomas said. “I think we’ve got to treat it like that. I mean, being No. 1 in the standings, you don’t feel different. I don’t, at least. I’m treating it like another game.”

Kings’ Buddy Hield brings March magic to NBA at expense of Clippers

Buddy Hield must have been inspired by all the March madness in the air.

The Kings guard scored 11 points in the last five Cheap Bruins Jerseys minutes of Sunday’s 98-97 win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. On this date last year, Hield scored 37 points to lead Oklahoma to the Final Four.

Hield scored just 15 points with seven rebounds in the game. Sacramento fans won’t mind, though, because he saved his best and most heroic form for last.

The goggles didn’t last long, though. James ditched them with 3:37 remaining in the first quarter after missing a 3-pointer. He played just fine after that, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. In the end, though, the Cavs didn’t have an answer for John Wall (37 points, 11 assists) and Bradley Beal (27 points, six assists) as the Wizards handed the Cavs a 127-115 defeat.

Washington’s victory moved the Celtics within a half-game of the Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are 2 1/2 games Cheap Custom Hockey Jerseys behind. After looking virtually unbeatable earlier in the season, the Cavs are just 7-9 in their last 16 games.

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is 37, and he almost shot his age Saturday, coming off the bench to score a season-high 28 points to spark the Clippers’ 108-95 win over the Jazz.

Ollie has been talked about as a potential NBA coach for a few years now — he was mentioned for the Thunder job, as well as the Lakers job last year — but he’s not done himself many favors after a rough season (16-17) with the Huskies, which included season-opening losses to Wagner and Northeastern.

Still, there are reasons Ollie managed to play in the NBA until he was 37 despite a career scoring average of 3.8 points: He is smart, disciplined and a good influence on young players. He’s also a very good Xs and Os coach, so despite the poor showing this year, Ollie will continue to attract attention from the league.

Stephen Curry gets dissed, praised on his 29th birthday

Since Tuesday is Stephen Curry’s 29th birthday, it begs the question: What do you get the man who already has two NBA MVP awards and a world championship trophy?

Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd celebrated Curry’s birthday by basically calling him overrated. On his Tuesday show, “The Herd,” Cowherd conceded that Curry is a “really, really good basketball player (but) we have massively overvalued him as a franchise star.”

Schroder: “I don’t understand coach’s decision. Maybe I’m too competitive, I don’t know. I’m just trying to be competitive, trying to win games. But I don’t get that one.”

Budenholzer: “Just a coach’s decision. We need to learn to play together and stay together for 48 minutes.”

Howard: “Listen, we’re a team. It’s OK if we have conversations. It’s not always conflict when you have a conversation with your coach or a team meeting. That’s what you’re supposed to do. So, by him wanting to have a meeting and talk, it’s great. It’s great for our team. It’s great for each other. We’re all open to it.”
Atlanta ended up losing a close game to Golden State, 119-111. Schroder was the team’s leading scorer at the time of his ejection, and may have had a large impact in the final half if he played. But Budenholzer obviously felt he needed to send a message to the team instead.

Bennett’s stock is fairly high at the moment, even NBA Jerseys Cheap with the Cavaliers’ disastrous second-round loss to Florida (65-39 was New Nike NFL Jerseys the unsightly score). His ability to drill discipline into his players, particularly with the pack-line defense his father championed at Wisconsin, is impressive, and he has shown the ability to get the most out of individual players.

WNBA star Sue Bird comes out as gay, dating USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe

Sue Bird came out as gay to ESPNW Thursday, and also said she is dating U.S soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

In a lengthy interview, the Seattle Storm forward said she never hid her sexuality, but also said she never felt the need to broadcast it to the entire world.

“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. … These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird said. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret. That was never the case for me.”

Bird, 36, is the oldest active WNBA player. She has spent 15 years in the league, where she has been an All-Star 10 times and has won two titles. Despite being one of the most prominent women in the league, she said she has always been shy when it comes to her personal life.

Thomas and Crowder led the way for Boston on the offensive end as well. Thomas dropped 31 points and dished five assists, while Crowder had 17 points at 10 rebounds.

Thomas was engaged all night long in a classic point US Cheap Jerseys US Cheap Jerseysguard duel with Kyrie Irving, who dazzled with 28 points of his own.

Deron Williams scored four points in 24 minutes in his first game for the Cavaliers since being acquired this week.

The playoff-type atmosphere at TD Garden was exemplified by the sports luminaries sitting courtside. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was there, and so was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who was paid a visit by James in the fourth quarter

James said of the encounter, “I definitely slowed up because Victor Cruz Cheap Jerseys I knew it was him. I’m not taking no legend out.”

This was the third meeting of the season between Boston and Cleveland, with the Cavs winning the first two. Note that Kevin Love, who had 56 points and 23 rebounds between those two Cavaliers wins, is still sidelined, but he and J.R. Smith are both expected to return soon for Cleveland.

Bengals are betting on speed in 2017

The Cincinnati Bengals could go in one of two directions this season. They could show last year’s 6-9-1 finish was an aberration, or they could turn the losing into a trend.

In 2015, the Cincinnati Bengals set a franchise record with an 8-0 start to the season. They went on to finish 12-4, made the playoffs, and had eight players voted to the Pro Bowl. Just a year later, down an offensive coordinator (Hue Jackson) and a few key weapons (wideouts Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu), the Bengals sputtered Cheap Stitched Jerseys on offense. Their scoring declined from 26.2 points per game to 20.3, and they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

To paraphrase: “We’ve been through a lot,” Fisher would remind the press after each game. Usually, “we don’t make excuses” was thrown in there, too.

The Rams struggled to win last season for a lot of reasons. The move was just one small part of that mix, but not enough to paper over four prior years of poor roster building — thanks to a long list of squandered possibilities from trading the second pick in the 2012 NFL draft to Washington for a bundle of draft picks.

This show picks up in the fifth year since Fisher and general manager Les Snead have run the team. It’s a squad without much talent to speak of on offense. The defense, which features a budding superstar in defensive tackle Aaron Donald, is the better unit, but it too was in a down year in 2016. That was in part due to the team’s failure to lock down cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who would’ve provided the show its most compelling player by far.

How the Rams devolved into a four-win team is mostly left up to the viewer to decide. The cameras failed to catch whatever conversation on the subject that might have happened between players and the team’s leadership.

Jimmer Fredette’s 361-Mazer is the high-performance hoops shoe you need to know about

Nike, adidas and Under Armour dominate the basketball sneaker market worldwide, but there’s still plenty of money to be made in the industry, especially in China, a land inhabited by an estimated 1.3 billion people, 300 million of whom hoop. Li-Ning (Dwyane Wade, Evan Turner, Glen Robinson III), Peak (Dwight Howard, Tony Parker, Lou Williams, George Hill) and ANTA (Klay Thompson, Rajon Rondo, Chandler Parsons) are Cheap San Francisco Giants Jerseys the three most popular domestic brands in the most populated country in the world.

Where they stand: The division title is probably beyond their reach because the Astros seem to be running away with it. But they’re in the thick of the Wild Card race thanks in large part to a dangerous offense that ranks near the top of the league in most categories. Their starting pitching hasn’t held up its end of the bargain, though, and Seattle has struggled to find consistency on the mound.

All the while, the franchise churns on with more winning seasons and playoff berths (now at 22 division titles and 29 playoff berths to go along with the six Lombardi Trophies over the last 45 years). And with the talent and solid organization firmly in place, the Steelers should win another AFC North title and contend for the Super Bowl once again in 2017.

Along with the Steelers’ on-field success, I respect them for being a great contributor to community causes in the Western Pennsylvania area. And for being a team that looks out for the NFL as a league, whether it’s agreeing to leave the NFC and join the AFC as part of the 1970 merger, taking a lead role in helping to settle CBA negotiations, as Dan Rooney often did, or being active on league committees. (Art II is on four, including one of the most important, the Chairmen’s Committee.)