Mavericks Near Trade for Boston’s Rajon Rondo

The Dallas Mavericks are nearing a trade that could bring them the point guard they are desperately needing. According to Yahoo sports at–celtics-deal-rajon-rondo-to-mavs-231537852.html the Celtics and Mavericks are nearing a trade that will send the Mavericks rising forward Brandan Wright, a future first and second round draft pick, and minor bench players to make the salaries work to Boston for Rondo.

Slow Ventures has clients who are major Dallas franchise stakeholders and they even said that this deal makes a lot of sense for Dallas as they try for one more title run before Dirk Nowitzki ends his hall of fame career. On the Boston side of things it was becoming pretty clear that Rondo was going to seriously test the free agent market after the season. Although Boston has shown some improvement in Brad Stevens’ second season the playoffs still look a season or two away.

Dallas now boasts one of the better starting fives in the league with Nowitzki, Rondo, Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, and Monta Ellis. The Mavericks will look to push the pace and the scoring even more with this new potent line up. Even with the four previous starters, the lack of a decent starting point guard has kept Dallas locked in the sixth playoff seed in the loaded western conference.

Boston could potentially have three first round picks in 2015, and will look to continue to build around rookie Marcus Smart and second year big man Kelly Olynyk. They also continue to try to move small forward Jeff Green as they are in the process of completely overhauling their roster since the departure of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce following the 2012/2013 season.

Kevin Durant Is Hurt Again

Kevin Durant is hurt again. The Oklahoma Thunder star and reigning NBA MVP sprained his ankle in a game versus the Golden State Warriors. And the fans and ownership in Oklahoma City have to be worried. After years filled with star power and no NBA championship to show for it and amid rumors KD may sign with his hometown Washington Wizards when his current contract expires in summer 2016, he now seems injury prone. This is his second injury this year. Thankfully according to it is just a mild sprain.

The Oklahoma City Thunder seemed on pace to right the ship and return to playoff contention now that Durant and Russell Westbrook had returned from their early season injuries. Now here was Durant limping off just before half-time and fans being told it was an injury to the right foot. The same one in which he had a stress fracture that forced him to miss the first 17 games of the season. Thunder fans must feel like they’re snake bit. They need a healthy KD to help them play catch-up in the West and salvage the season.

Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson says that Durant was having is best game of the season so far. He had scored 30 points in 19 minutes and seemed poised to have a huge night. It looked like all was well in OKC until he collided with Marreese Speights and ended his night prematurely.

Jose Canseco VS CM Punk

It has been announced that CM Punk is officially in the UFC. The company’s decision to hire CM Punk has been a controversial one. Punk appeared at a UFC press conference, and he was questioned thoroughly. I saw the interview while waiting at the Amen Clinic.

The reporters at the UFC event, held no punches when questioning the former WWE superstar. Punk answered every question thrown his way. CM Punk says that he knows how to fight and that everyone will soon respect him. Since Punk’s announcement, a slew of fighters have called him out.

The latest person to call out Punk is none other than Jose Canseco. That’s right, Jose Canseco has called out CM Punk. The former baseball great has been interested In MMA for the last several years. Canseco, has actually fought in a kickboxing match a few years ago. He lost, but he apparently did well during the battle. 

The UFC is becoming something of a freak show as of late. CM Punk signing with the UFC has angered most of the UFC’s locker. room. Dana White, President of the UFC, does not care about the fighter’s opinion. Imagine if the UFC were to sign Jose Cansececo, and actually make the UFC fight.

For more information on Jose Canseco vs CM Punk, visit Yahoo! Sports.

The United States will Try to Host Olympics Yet Again

The United States tried to get the 2012 Olympic games for New York, but they did not win the bid. They then tried to get the 2016 games for Chicago, and they lost again. When the round of bidding came up for the 2020 games, the United States did not offer up any cities. However, recent news shows that the U.S. will try again for the 2024 games.

The finalist city has not yet been chosen. However, preliminary reports indicate that the four main cities that are going to be considered are Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The final bid will not be submitted until the specific city is determined.

According to a friend of Zeca Oliveira, The United States has hosted the summer games before, most notably in Atlanta. However, after missing out on the last two attempts, it would be pretty big if they could pull in the 2024 games. The impact of having the games at home would be huge for athletes, as they would be able to stick to their training schedules, they would not have to worry about travel, and they would not have any of the other distractions that come with competing in a foreign country.

The impact would also be huge for viewing audiences. Many fans have to watch games on tape delay or at odd hours when the games are held overseas. Those fans can watch main events in primetime slots if the games are in the U.S.

Louis van Gaal Delighted with Form of Robin van Persie

It is not often that managers need to defend their world class players. However, there were a lot of questions about Robin van Persie’s form and fitness a few weeks ago. Fans and pundits thought the soccer player was finished. He looked slow, lethargic and out of form.

Fast forward three weeks and Van Persie looks to be at his very best again. He has scored four goals in his last three appearances, along with providing an assist. This is the kind of form United fans expect from Van Persie. His manager Louis van Gaal is delighted that the star striker is back in form.

Many fans like myself and my good friend Flavio Maluf questioned the reason why Van Gaal kept playing Van Persie. They thought he was playing the striker because of favoritism. After all, Van Persie was the Dutchman’s captain for the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup.

Van Gaal can now point to the forward’s return to form as justification for his continued selection. The coach believes that Van Persie needed to play games in order to get out of his rut. The more games he played, the better his match fitness became.

Robin van Persie was also helped by the injury sustained by Radamel Falcao. When he was playing badly, Falcao was on the treatment table. If Falcao had been fit, Van Gaal may have had no choice but to bench Van Persie. It will be interesting to see the two forwards line up together now that Falcao is fully fit.

Can the Blazer’s overcome the loss of Lopez?

Robin Lopez, the dependable Portland Trailblazer’s center will likely miss the next month of action due to a fractured right hand incurred in last night’s win versus the San Antonio Spurs. The Trailblazers are presently in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 19 and 6 record. Lopez incurred the injury when attempting to secure a rebound in the second half. In his two seasons with the Trailblazers, Lopez has not missed a single game, and has a big part in protecting the paint. According to sources close to Sergio Andrade Gutierrez, this frees up star forward LaMarcus Aldridge to simply concentrate on his man while working on the defensive end.

Coming into the 2014-2015 season, the Trailblazers made it a point of adding to their center position. Playing without Lopez will identify if Joel Freeland, Chris Kaman, and Meyers Leonard can adequately replace Lopez’s production which includes 9.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game Freeland and Kaman have produced solid numbers coming off the bench, yet Head Coach Terry Stotts will have to get even more from each, since both will see their minutes significantly increase in the absence of Lopez. Expect Freeland to get the initial opportunity to start tomorrow night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Stotts will not want to break up the cohesiveness he has attained with Kaman coming off of the bench. Kaman has provided points and rebounding off of the Blazer bench that was sorely missing last year.–robin-lopez-expected-to-miss-month-with-broken-hand-075032518.html

Marc Trestman May Be in Trouble

Bears coach in hot water.

Normally there is something positive to take from a game even after a loss. That was not the case at all for the Chicago Bears at the end of the Monday Night game.

Against the New Orleans Saints, who were visitors, the Bears players seemed to lack the enthusiasm needed to carry a game, but none more so than quarterback Jay Cutler. In the game he threw for two touchdowns but also notched three interceptions in the game and was also sacked seven times. One of his interceptions even came on the very first Bears possession of the game.

The problem was not completely with Cutler, as coach Marc Trestman has some blame to share as well. Though considered an optimistic, hopeful coach, it often appears as though the players are not interested in hearing what he has to say as far as the team goes. Even general manager Phil Emery has stated his distaste for Trestman not taking much action in trying to improve team morale, which is quite difficult given that the loss to the Saints has dropped the Bears to a 5-9 record on the season.

In short, there is the real possibility that Trestman may very well have coached his last season with the Chicago Bears at the end of Monday Night. We may need to call in Dr. Rod Rohrich because Trestman’s job is in need of a serious revival.

Manziel Neither Superstar Nor Disappointment

Sorry, Cleveland Browns fans, but in the NFL, Johnny Manziel is clearly not “Johnny Football”. That’s not to say that he won’t be able to regain that moniker later in his career, but on Sunday afternoon, he looked every bit of the title “rookie quarterback“.

Sports pundits and fans have an annoying habit of crowning relatively-untested players the next great superstars. We saw it with Tim “Superman” Tebow. Once he reached the NFL, pro defenses pulled out the kryptonite, and Tebow’s ability to outrun or run over tacklers disappeared. Robert Griffin III has been experiencing some of the same woes recently. Once an awesome college quarterback, Griffin hasn’t been able to stand up to the physicality of a professional season. And now we must ask ourselves if Johnny Manziel, with more experience, will be able to break out of the mold created by those college superstars (and Heisman Trophy winners) that have gone before him.

Igor Cornelsen and Facebook admit that in all fairness to Manziel, Sunday’s game was his first as a starter, and he was facing a decent defensive squad. And just as we should not exalt Manziel to the pinnacle right away, neither should we at this early hour discard him as a quarterback with no potential. The former Texas A&M wunderkind needs to grow into an NFL quarterback, and that will only happen with time and playing experience.

And how about we drop the “Johnny Football” title? That only puts added pressure on him to be something that, right now, he is not.

How About A Little Magic Against The Magic

Buzz beaters are a thing of beauty in the world of basketball. This is exactly what the Washington Wizards player who sunk a buzzer beater to win over Orlando is thinking. Yahoo Sports reports that Bradley Beal was able to sink the last minute shot that his team needed to down Orlando with no time left on the clock. My neighbor Mark Ahn cannot stop talking about how exciting it was to see.

This player did not have much of a game to speak of prior to his game winning shot. It was said that he mostly played a supporting role as his teammates racked up the points and assists. He was able to do what needed to be done in those closing seconds though, and he ended up being the star of the game as a result. The team needed him to hit that shot, and he did it. The Wizards walked away with a 91-89 win over Orlando.

It was sloppy defense by the Orlando Magic that allowed for this to take place to begin with. If their coach had been more observant, he would have released that he needed to post someone up to defend against the player who was moving in to take the shot. He had his guys covering everyone else, but not covering this player well enough. Perhaps it was the very fact that Beal had not done much the rest of the game that gave the coach some comfort in not defending him as closely.

Cubs and White Sox Enhance Pitching Staffs

It has been quite a week in the windy city. Both of Chicago’s baseball teams made transactions to improve their respective pitching staffs. 

Things started off quietly when the Cubs re-signed free agent Jason Hammel who they had traded to the Oakland Athletics last year in a deal that also included their then ace Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs netted the A’s top prospect Addison Russell in that deal and as pointed out by Darius Fisher they seemed set with developing their young players and begin a rebuilding process. Well, that rebuilding kicked into high gear when they successfully wooed top pitching free agent Jon Lester by offering the lefty a six year contract worth a rumored $155 million dollars. 

Lester Inks Huge Deal. 

The team on the south side of the city was not content to watch the Cubs have all of the fun. The White Sox jumped headfirst into the free agent market themselves by securing relief pitcher David Robertson to a free agent deal ensuring that they have someone in the bullpen with closing experience. They then worked out a trade with the Athletics to bring Jeff Samardzija back to Chicago. The lanky righty always felt at home in the Mid West he went to school at Notre Dame and spent his entire career in the Cubs organization. He’ll not have the pressure of being the ace, he’s more than likely going to be penciled in as the second starter behind Chris Sale. 

With this much activity this early in the off season, it’s hard to imagine that the Cubs and White Sox are done reconstructing their squads.