Kobe Bryant has some new ink to show off.

The Lakers legend Friday shared a video on his Instagram account of himself getting some work done on his right forearm.

Bryant, who has three girls with longtime wife Vanessa, had the names Bianka Bella, Giana Maria-Onore and Natalia Diamante tattooed on his arm to commemorate his daughters.

All that Collins does is just wreck opposing competition. Over Collins’ final 15 games of the season, he averaged 22.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 66 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. Oh, and he did it against ACC competition that included Miami, Syracuse, Duke (twice), Notre Dame, Louisville and Virginia Tech.

The worry spots here are with his passing — as he’ll occasionally get some tunnel vision — and defense, where he’ll get lost both when pulled out on the perimeter and in rotation on the interior. But Collins is just a beast of a player as well as a strong athlete at 6-foot-11.

“It’s hard to double when it’s off ball, especially when you’ve got good guys like Amir, Al and Jonas that set really good screens for you,” Thomas said. “Once I’m running around it’s tough to catch me and guys are just getting me open. I’ve got the easy part of making the play.”

One of the Celtics’ go-to plays when Thomas doesn’t have the ball in his hands is a double screen on the perimeter. As you can see in the following video, Patrick Beverley gets caught up in Smart’s off-ball screen, leaving James Harden to switch onto Thomas once he receives the hand-off from Crowder. Harden wants nothing to do with guarding Thomas, and Thomas takes advantage by sinking a smooth hook shot over Trevor Ariza when he gets into the paint.steelers_001

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In the final seconds, it was Thomas trying to bring the Celtics back, making a layup off a drive with 7.5 seconds to play, cutting the deficit to two points. But Thomas was not fist-pumping, not imploring a late rally despite the glimmer of hope. Instead, his upper lip stiffened. He walked, stoic and silent, toward the bench.

Who could blame him? On the floor, the Celtics were looking at a difficult loss, and Butler soon made two game-sealing free throws. As time wound down, Thomas knew he was just seconds away from being plunged back into reality. This game would be over, and Thomas again would be surrounded by a much more significant loss off the floor.

But the Celtics were lacking rhythm and offensive cohesion for most of their postseason opener against the Bulls, and Chicago had the defense and rebounding to stifle Thomas and the top-seeded Celtics. The Bulls won 106-102.

For Thomas, the day was bigger than basketball, bigger than the postseason. Early Saturday, his 22-year-old sister, Chyna Thomas, died in a car accident on Interstate 5 in Washington state. But still, Thomas suited up for the Celtics on Sunday and, individually, he did not disappoint. More telling, the Celtics floundered without him on the floor — Thomas was plus-12 for the game.

They’ll need to summon that defensive mindset against the Wizards, who stormed the Hawks in the fast break in their series. Washington averaged 25.2 points per game out of transition, most of any team in the playoffs, and their efficiency — 1.15 points per possession — was well above their season average. The Wizards were a good running team in the regular season (20.3 points per game in transition, fourth in the NBA), but they’ve been exceptional in the playoffs.falcons_137

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Pete Rose may be blackballed by Major League Baseball, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still popular. It also doesn’t mean his memorabilia isn’t extremely popular.

Just how valuable is his memorabilia? The ball he hit to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record sold Saturday for $403,657.20 in an auction on Lelands.com. That is not a typo.

The opening bid for the ball started off at $50,000. It had been up for auction since May 23.

It sold at the same Lelands auction in which Charlie Sheen auctioned off his Babe Ruth memorabilia.

Ballard was left with a pretty smelly pile by predecessor Ryan Grigson, and he might already be regretting not staying put in Kansas City for the purge there later. He has a lot of damage to undo, in drafting and free agency. And he’s got to make a coaching decision, since Jim Irsay kept Chuck Pagano in place while making his oddly late move on Grigson.

Beane and Sean McDermott have history with the Panthers, and putting him in place with McDermott instead of Doug Whaley should at least clean up the lines of communication. He’s a blank slate for the Bills for now, since they oddly made the change after the draft and, of course, free agency. There’s talent on paper, which has tended to be on the inactive list more than on the field.

“And the amount of tuition he has to pay off? It’s so expensive. Ninety percent of Americans can’t afford it, and take 30 years to pay it off. … There are brilliant people doing all the right things that walk out of school with all that debt and what kind of head start are they getting? I’m fortunate to be able to change that for him.”

Well done, Logan.
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The fourth Jet on this list, Mangold’s free agent status is the most surprising on the list. He missed eight games last year but had made three straight Pro Bowls before that.

Teams often view center as a cheap position, which could be a hang-up for a player used to earning bigger money. But it’s hard not to see Mangold playing somewhere for $2 million-$3 million this season.

The Chiefs are still going to be seeing Jamaal Charles at Arrowhead Stadium but it’s going only going to be once a season.

Broncos general manager John Elway announced Tuesday that Denver has signed the longtime Kansas City running back. According to multiple reports, Charles got a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million.

Charles, 30, was released by the Chiefs in February after another injury-plauged season. His productivity had decreased over the last two years, largely because of the torn ACL he suffered in October 2015. He didn’t seem to fully recover from the injury, and didn’t take the field until Week 5 of the 2016 season.

He played in only three games until he suffered a setback in his knee that required surgery on his meniscus. Once again, Charles missed the end of the season.cubs_1635

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The Jacksonville Jaguars earned their first win of the season in Week 10 with a road victory over the Tennessee Titans, but that doesn’t have oddsmakers convinced they can make it two consecutive, as the Arizona Cardinals are road favorites in Week 11.
Jake Gardiner Authentic Jersey
Kids Pharoh Cooper Jersey On SB Nation’s six-member panel of NFL experts, only one person, Ryan Van Bibber, was willing to pick the Raiders to win straight-up. Ditto CBS Sports, where eight of nine picked the Giants. At ESPN, the Giants had a clean sweep as of press time, with six experts yet to make a selection in the game.

Unless the Raiders fix their secondary in a hurry, Eli Manning and a deep wide receiver corps could have their way in the passing game. In particular, rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden will need to step up, according to Raiders blog Silver And Black Pride, after getting roasted by Foles and Co. Fail to do so, and the Giants will score a third straight win after starting the season 0-6.

Arizona earned back-to-back wins at home, defeating both the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans with a bye week in between. At 5-4, the Cardinals will enter EverBank Field on Sunday as touchdown favorites, as most sportsbooks have the line at seven points in favor of the road team, according to OddsShark.

It was only about 10 weeks earlier that Tolzien had been released by the San Francisco 49ers, and now he’s filling the shoes of perhaps the best current quarterback in the NFL.

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Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Wednesday that “there’s absolutely nothing new” in the ongoing “will they, won’t they” saga between the league and the Olympics to be held next year in South Korea. As you might expect, players are still pretty intent on going.

Asked about the news on Thursday, Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek told CSN Philly that the NHL refusing to go is “absolutely ridiculous.”

“We have it once every four years. I read something that [NHL deputy commissioner] Bill Daly said ‘we’re not going.’ Nobody wants you to go.

“The players want to go. Why you’re saying you’re not going? You’re not part of the players association. … Nobody wants you there. They want the players.”
Voracek also pointed out that the league would have a tough time keeping its stars from leaving to play for their countries:

The Broncos get high marks on Cutler’s wish list because they’re a team built to win, thanks to a ferocious defense and a cache of talented wide receivers. A deal between the two almost certainly won’t happen because:

The Texans should be the top spot on any free-agent quarterback’s wish list this spring. Houston has a strong enough defense to carry the club to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, as proved in 2016, and has a plug-and-play offense just waiting for a competent passer. The franchise bet $72 million that Brock Osweiler would be that guy last spring, but one awful year later, Houston sent him packing to Cleveland.

Cutler would play behind an offensive line with similar sack rate numbers as the one he left behind in Chicago. He’d have a receiving corps headlined by All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins and flanked by second-year speedster Will Fuller. The Texans also have a talented rushing attack led by Lamar Miller. The tools are in place for a playoff run in Houston; the Texans are just missing the final, and most important, piece of the puzzle.

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The broken right fibula sustained by Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota got lost in the shuffle a bit nationally, especially with the dominant Oakland Raiders losing Derek Carr to a broken leg around the same time.

But Mariota, and the Titans’ brass, want everyone to know that he’s going to be fine and that their playoff push last year was just the beginning.

During a season-ticket holder event Wednesday, Mariota offered the following via video statement:

To that end, Winston has begun recruiting free agent speedster DeSean Jackson.

“I texted Derek two days ago and asked how he was doing, checking in, and he said ‘I’m almost 100 percent,'” Penn said.

Derek Carr’s brother, NFL Network analyst David, also was on the show and added: “I tell you guys he’s 100 percent but you don’t believe me, you have to ask Donald (laughs). He’s going to be great. He’s good. Walking around already, stretching it out. He can’t do a lot for the bone, but he’s going to be back. He’ll get a whole full offseason in, and that’s going to be the best part.”

While the news should not be surprising given that, back in late December NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Carr could be a longshot to play in the Super Bowl if the Raiders made it that far, Oakland must be pleased with the fact that everything is on schedule. Carr, who threw for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions while leading the Raiders to a 12-3 record in games he started, will have extraordinarily high expectations on his shoulders next season. With the Chiefs getting a year older and the Broncos still trying to discover themselves post-Peyton Manning, the division will again be for the taking.

Having a full offseason program goes a long way toward helping Carr realize those expectations.

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With that in consideration, the Gamecocks were able to get to 6-6 in the regular season and earn a bowl bid in Muschamp’s first year. Now, this isn’t Florida, and Muschamp’s expectations may not be much higher than that, if we’re being realistic. That goes double if the SEC East powers return to prominence. Three consecutive 11-win seasons in Columbia probably aren’t going to happen again.

Speaking of Florida, this isn’t the first time Muschamp’s been involved in roster status discussions.

It didn’t end well at Florida, but a theme of Muschamp’s early tenure at UF was reminding everyone that he walked into a roster situation in Gainesville that was pretty solid. Muschamp credited Urban Meyer with leaving him a stacked deck.

“At the end of the day, they’re Florida’s players. They’re not my players, either. I really think Urban and them did a great job recruiting. We have really talented players here.”

Muschamp would build on that with two top-five recruiting classes, so on its face it would appear that Muschamp left the roster stacked when he was fired from Florida. At least that’s what he wanted you to think in his farewell press conference.

With an expensive Mike Leake. This is the first time they had the benefit of an entire offseason to fix the hole left by the broken pitcher. Maybe that wasn’t a good thing.

They won 100 games, which is, again, mighty impressive for a team that lost its best freaking pitcher. It’s worth noting that Wainwright came back and pitched 5? scoreless innings in the NLDS.

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New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Spiller is now expected to miss the remainder of the preseason, but the team does expect him back for the regular season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13.

Spiller did limited work in training camp earlier in the week, missed a scrimmage on Friday and did not participate in the team’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. Spiller joined the Saints this season after five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, who took him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Indianapolis, led by Andrew Luck, has become one of the AFC’s elite teams, with only the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos seemingly standing in the way of a potential Super Bowl run. Have they done enough to make it over the hump and snag Luck’s first Lombardi Trophy?

These are questions that won’t be answered in Sunday’s preseason contest between the two teams, admittedly. But it is the first look we’ll get at the both of them, as the final two teams to get their preseasons underway. They’re going to meet in the only game on Sunday.

For Philadelphia, we won’t get to see starting quarterback Sam Bradford, as he’s still not quite recovered from the ACL injury he sustained last season. Instead, Mark Sanchez will make the start for the Eagles, and we’ll likely get a good dose of Tim Tebow for that game. We’ll probably have to wait to see DeMarco Murray’s first action as an Eagle, but Ryan Mathews should at least get a series or two.

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