Or that his teammates didn’t want him to pass?

“It was like I was forced to,” Kobe says. “By the crowd and mostly by teammates.”
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What was more ridiculous? That his 60 points was twice as many as any Hall of Famer has scored in his last regular-season game. That, at age 37, he was five years older than anyone else who has scored 60 points? That no one has taken 50 shots in an NBA game in 49 years?

Or that his teammates didn’t want him to pass?

“I challenged him to score 50 points and that motherfucker got 60,” O’Neal said as he stood on the court long after Kobe had left it, trying to process his final brazen act.

“It would have taken me four months to get 50 shots on any of the teams I played for,” Horace Grant said. “And that motherfucker took 50 in one night.”

Beat the top-ranked team in the league — in the Game of the Season so far — and you quickly vault to No. 1 in ESPN.com’s weekly NBA Power Rankings.

It took your faithful Committee (of One) mere seconds to compute that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be moving back into the top spot after their memorable comeback Sunday from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to topple the mighty Golden State Warriors.

” I do think about how we could have won more championships together-all the time. I think about that one we lost to Detroit [in 2004]. That would have been awesome. ”
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“He passed Michael [Jordan], which is unbelievable in itself. He’s the highest-scoring guard that ever played the game. The greatest-scoring guard. That’s his legacy.”

“It’s just like me and him having dinner on his birthday,” Chopra said. “I’m like, ‘We didn’t have to do this on your birthday.'” Kobe shrugged and said he’s just not that into celebrating it.

They ended up talking for hours. First about Michael Jackson, one of Kobe’s closest mentors, whom Chopra’s father, Deepak, had been a spiritual adviser to. Then about Chopra’s love for the Boston Celtics. The connection was instant.

Carr has struggled in the past few weeks, but with six 300-yard passing games

The Raiders, though, haven’t played well at home this season. They are 2-5 at the Coliseum and 4-3 on the road, and haven’t won at the friendly confines since Nov. 1 against the Jets. Their only other win at home came against the Ravens back in Week 2. Still, with the threat of relocation looming, the Raiders could be inspired to play their best football in front the famed “Black Hole” and the rest of their fan base.

After being eliminated from postseason contention following Sunday’s loss to the Packers, finishing off their home slate with a bang is pretty much all that is left to play for in Oakland. This will be the 13th straight playoff-less season for the Raiders, a streak that began after their Super Bowl run in 2002. The only team with a longer active drought of missing the postseason is the Buffalo Bills, who haven’t had a playoff appearance since 1999.

Johnson is playing well this year, though not at the elite level he enjoyed prior to 2014. He finished the 2012 season with almost 2,000 receiving yards and he notched 1,492 yards in 2013. However, he played in just 13 games in 2014 and had 1,077 yards.

Game Womens T. J. Oshie USA Jersey He is slightly behind that pace this season, with 71 receptions for 981 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games. He is still the team’s leading receiver, ahead of Golden Tate, who is also having a down year. Tate has 675 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Theo Riddick and tight end Eric Ebron are next on the stat sheet in receiving yardage.

Game Youth Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jersey Monday’s game has no playoff implications for either team, but with jobs potentially on the line for players and the coaching staff, everyone in Detroit will be happy to see Johnson active.

The Galloways say there’s still work to be done,

“I know how it is to start school with your three shorts and your four shirts,” Sabrina said. “It’s like, ‘If I don’t have that, my goodness. What am I gonna do?'”

But the Galloways think the aftermath of the flood ultimately brought out the best in their community.
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Frank White Authentic Jersey “Baton Rouge is a city that’s very resilient,” Sabrina says. “It’s unfortunate that we had to see both sides, with the police officers getting killed as well as an unarmed black man getting killed again. It’s a trying time, but with the flood happening and seeing the city unify over tragedy made a big circle. It’s coming together. There’s a brighter future.”

The Smith injury, if it’s serious and causes him to miss significant time, is problematic. James, Love and Kyrie Irving are all playing at such a high level, it’s hard to imagine them doing even more as the season progresses.

Smith was someone you could point to and say, “Well, he isn’t playing anywhere near the level he’s capable of (just 8.6 points on 33.7 percent shooting so far), so when he gets it together, he can help Cleveland get better as the year goes on.”

It’s hard to imagine LeBron James shouldering more of the load for the 20-6 Cavaliers — his 39.4 minutes per game in December is the most he’s played in this month since he was 22.

Throw in Griffin’s real desire to add another wing defender by playoff time — think of the role Dahntay Jones played last spring, only younger — and his plate is full.

Giants’ Janoris Jenkins leaves game with back injury

The New York Giants lost top cornerback Janoris Jenkins to a back injury in Sunday’s 17-6 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Jenkins was hurt when he collided with Lions tight end Eric Ebron in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Ebron was attempting to catch a third-down pass when Jenkins came from the side and delivered a hit.

Giants CB Janoris Jenkins left the game after he injured his back in a collision in the first half.

Jenkins was helped off the field by a trainer. Coach Ben McAdoo said after the game that Jenkins took a knee to the back and is being evaluated.

The Packers hold the distinction of playing in the coldest game in NFL history — the famous Ice Bowl of 1967 against the Dallas Cowboys when the temperature reached minus-13 degrees at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.

The Packers have additionally hosted games with temperatures at minus-1 (2008 playoff game against the New York Giants), 0 degrees (1993 versus the Los Angeles Raiders), 2 degrees (1990 against the Detroit Lions) and 3 degrees (1997 NFC Championship Game versus the Carolina Panthers).

“I think, really, anywhere for 10 and below is difficult to handle it, but not a huge change,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “We practice outside in these conditions, so we’re used to the elements and how it affects the football. We’ve done a good job over the years of taking care of the football in these types of games.
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“Wind is a big concern at any temperature. The biggest difficulty when trying to throw the football is a wind over 20 miles an hour because that definitely changes the trajectories that you want to put on balls, whether you’re downwind or throwing into the wind, and a crosswind obviously throws a whole other curveball into the situation. It’s about being efficient in this type of temperatures, and you deal with the wind as it comes and you make the proper adjustments.”
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A verdict many applaud is still a total loss for New Orleans

Will Smith’s killer was convicted. Joe McKnight’s alleged killer will go on trial. There are no winners, just grief, in New Orleans.
When the cops arrived, they found Hayes waiting on them, magazine out of his Ruger, telling officers that he was the shooter. He cried in despair and said his life was over. Fuller talked about the randomness of it all, describing the last free day of Hayes’ life, when he took care of his dogs and went to the barber shop.

“What if Cardell had taken another way home?” he asked.

Authentic Youth Levine Toilolo Jersey “We want to re-evaluate what commercial pods should look like,” Goodell said. “Commercial breaks have been 2 minutes and 20 seconds for our entire history. Well, what happens if we try shorter breaks and put them in different places. It might be better for us, our fans, our television partners and even the advertisers. And it’s not just a media exercise, it’s about making it feel right to the fans in the stadium, as well.”

Goodell says the average time spent for instant replay — approximately 15 minutes per game — also could be lessened soon.

As for the notion that games aren’t competitive enough, Goodell says the facts don’t back up that assertion.
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“We’re having our most competitive season since the early 1930s,” Goodell said.

The league says the average margin of victory through Week 14 is 9.83 points per game, which would be the lowest for a full season since 1932 (9.13). Some 69.2 percent of all games played this season have been within seven points in the fourth quarter (144 of 208), which would be the highest percentage for a full season since 1935 (71.7 percent), according to the league.

Addressing those who say the decline in ratings is a product of too much football, Goodell says he doesn’t see an issue with the quantity of games, including Thursday Night Football.

49ers CEO Jed York promises he won’t tweet so much anymore, seriously

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York found a clear spot amidst the falling Santa Clara ash to address the media Monday, and took the opportunity to swear he won’t tweet so much anymore, honest.

“You know, as much as I¡¯d like to share how I feel about the team, it¡¯s not helpful for our club for me to talk about how I feel when we win, how I feel when we lose,” York said. “It¡¯s ultimately a distraction.”

The Panthers earned a 38-10 win on Sunday to improve to 15-1 and lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the team will be without Tillman for the postseason. The team is already without Bene Benwikere, who is on injured reserve after fracturing his leg, and will rely on Robert McClain as a starter opposite Josh Norman, with Cortland Finnegan playing in the slot.
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Tillman earned two trips to the Pro Bowl during his time with the Bears and is seventh in NFL history in interceptions returned for touchdowns with eight.

Alejandro Villanueva Youth Jersey With his 35th birthday coming in February, Tillman is already one of the oldest defensive players in the NFL, and an ACL tear could mean the end of his career.

Manning finished the regular season with just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions, but managed to lead the Broncos to a 7-2 record as a starter. He has an 11-13 record in the playoffs with 38 touchdowns and 24 interceptions and won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2006 season.

The Broncos will play at home in the Divisional round of the playoffs against the lowest seed to advance from the Wild Card round, which will be the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs or Pittsburgh Steelers.

How do the Cubs create enough depth to accomplish their goals?

Rondon pitched in five games over the course of seven days in late July before going down with the injury, which effectively reduced the importance of his role on the team. But all parties say the 28-year-old is 100 percent and ready for 2017. The Cubs’ plan is to back off their main bullpen guys and rotate others evenly to maintain sharpness for what could be another long season. Plus, they¡¯ve already committed to an eight-man bullpen to start next season.

¡°We have to be cognizant we rode these guys pretty hard,¡± Epstein said. ¡°Joe¡¯s managerial style is to go to those guys and to match up and use guys a lot. We played seven months last year. We want to play seven months again, so if you look at it, not all our guys made it through the year last year.¡±

How do the Cubs create enough depth to accomplish their goals? Epstein revealed several strategies associated with deepening the rotation as well as the bullpen.

It came as no surprise that Fowler turned down his mutual option with Chicago. He made $13 million in 2016, returning to the Cubs for one year only after exploring the free-agent market last winter and finding it unsatisfactory.

Fowler was due a big payday after having a career-high .393 on-base percentage and hitting 13 home runs for the Cubs last season, including a blast in Game 7 of the World Series.
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He also was credited with playing better defense in 2016, after he and the team agreed he should play deeper. The result was a plus-1 in defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs. In 2015, Fowler was minus-12.

Fowler’s biggest contributions came at the top of the order, where Cubs manager Joe Maddon used to say to him, “You go, we go.” Fowler’s first-inning on-base percentage in 2016 was .479. He was the ignition to the Cubs’ offense throughout his two years with the team.
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The move comes after the Cubs signed Jason Heyward and John Lackey away from the Cardinals last offseason.

Adrian Peterson plans to return this season, if the Vikings make the playoffs

Adrian Peterson appears on track to play again this season.

He¡¯s been performing well in practice and is getting close to a return after injuring his knee in Week 2 and being placed on injured reserve.

Game Kids Terrelle Pryor Jersey Adrian Peterson just spoke in #Vikings locker room. Asked if he’ll return in 2016, the running back said, “That’s something I envision.”

There¡¯s just one tiny problem: Peterson said he won¡¯t try to play if Minnesota is eliminated from playoff contention.

Peterson added he would not return if #Vikings are eliminated from the playoff race. Says he’ll play it by ear.

After starting out the season as one of the best teams in the league, they¡¯ve lost six of their last seven games and have scored more than 25 points just once in that span. Minnesota boasts the NFL¡¯s second-worst offense overall and the worst rushing offense in the league.

Mens Chris Doleman Jersey Despite that, there¡¯s still hope for the Vikings (6-6) to not only make the playoffs, but possibly win the NFC North, though the Lions have a two-game lead at the moment. And it would certainly help if they could jump start a unit averaging less than 300 yards per game.

Kansas City also suffered a difficult loss, as linebacker Derrick Johnson left the game with a left Achilles injury. Oakland¡¯s lone touchdown came on the series after Johnson left the field.

One factor that works against the Raiders is their propensity toward penalties. On Thursday, the Raiders surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for penalties this season after adding 82 yards on 10 flags against the Chiefs. Oakland has been penalized 122 times for 1,014 yards this season.

The Raiders had a +3 turnover advantage in the game, but they still couldn¡¯t capitalize. They also held a slight advantage in time of possession with 31:45. They fall to 10-3.

The win gives Kansas City, also 10-3, the top spot in a tight AFC West race, thanks to a head-to-head win percentage tiebreaker.

They called back William Gay¡¯s TD, but can¡¯t call back his amazing dance

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William Gay capped off a great defensive performance for the Steelers by running a fumble in for a touchdown. The referees called the touchdown back because his teammate, who initially picked the ball up, was marked down.

But William Gay doesn’t care. It was a great dancing opportunity nevertheless. Never stop dancing.

Why they won’t make the Super Bowl: Because Brian Hoyer is the quarterback and Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown just went on injured reserve.

Prediction: Houston gets knocked out in the first round by the similarly built, but more potent Chiefs.
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Why they’ll make the Super Bowl: If Justin Houston is back and healthy after missing the last five games, the Chiefs will trot out a vicious defense. Plus, you can make argument that they have the third-best quarterback among these AFC teams. As much fun as it is to poke at Smith’s love of checkdowns, he’s thrown for a career-high 3,486 yards this season, along with 20 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

Why they won’t make the Super Bowl: They can’t play from behind and Andy Reid still treats basic clock management like advanced calculus. Even though he was solid this season, Smith can’t match bullets with Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger.

Prediction: The Chiefs take out the Texans in the first round, and maybe even make it all the way to the AFC Championship — but most likely, they’ll be dealt a loss in the Divisional round.

Hue Jackson named Browns head coach

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The Cleveland Browns have officially named Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as their next head coach, per a team release on Wednesday afternoon.

Womens Corey Linsley Jersey Jackson had a second interview with the Browns on Tuesday, but also drew interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans and New York Giants. He was scheduled to fly to New York to meet with the Giants, but a deal with the Browns was reached before his departure.

Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated was told by Jackson that the Browns “made [him] feel comfortable” in a second interview and that’s why he choose Cleveland as his landing spot.

In announcing his hire, the Browns emphasized Jackson’s leadership, previous head-coaching experience and ability to connect with his players as reasons why the team is confident that he will be able to turn around the franchise.

Gotta say, it was really, really hard watching Bennett on film this week after reading recent comments by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik as to why the team let him walk instead of re-signing him in 2013. Rarely is someone willing to share an assessment so wrong this many years later that defies parody, but here we are.

I do like the comment about it being an “organizational decision,” because I’ve always maintained them letting Bennett walk was more of a reflection on ex-Bucs head coach Greg Schiano not understanding how to deal with grown men who have opinions, even his most talented players.

I think Bennett was out of there after he stated, correctly, to the media that the staff had called a stupid blitz at the end of the Washington game at home that season, which pretty much cost the Bucs the game. Even considering how we could’ve locked that kid down for super cheap long before he even reached free agency still gives me the vapors.

The Vikings kicked the field goal and life goes on, but they didn’t score another point all game because of the missed field goal at the end. You will see Avril’s name on the stat sheet for the sack there, but not Bennett, who was the bringer of devastation on that play.

Had they scored a touchdown there … I mean, 10 points ended up winning the game … I’m just saying!