Cowboys’ David Irving apologizes for PED use: ‘I thought I was hitting a second puberty’

David Irving said Monday he didn’t realize the fitness supplement he was taking contained a banned substance, but he took responsibility for violating the NFL’s PED policy.

In late June, the NFL hit the Cowboys defensive lineman with a four-game suspension he’ll serve to start the coming season. In a session with reporters Monday, Irving said he initially thought the league had made a mistake.

“I was pretty upset,” Irving said (via the DallasNews.com). “As soon as I got the letter I called right away, like, ‘What the [expletive]! This has to be a mistake.’ But it wasn’t. I made the mistake.”

“LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them,” James’ business partner Maverick Carter said, via ESPN. “We’re not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring, as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.”

James and Carter turned another investment into nearly $30 million when Beats by Dre sold to Apple for $3 billion in 2014. Surprisingly, James might be able to double his Beats by Dre profit as Blaze Pizza has a goal of opening 1,000 stores and $1 billion in sales by 2022.

“We don’t typically advocate for our clients to invest in food businesses,” James’ financial adviser Paul Wachter said. “The risk-reward equation is not generally that great, and there’s a lot of grinding and blocking and tackling and it takes a while for a concept to go global.”

With just over 200 stores created in four years, Blaze Pizza was recently valued at $250 million.
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Warriors’ JaVale McGee celebrates playoff berth by…becoming a sideline reporter

JaVale McGee is sick and tired of…being the interviewee.

So on Saturday following the Warriors playoff-clinching victory over the abysmal Brooklyn Nets, McGee turned the tables on CSN sideline reporter Ros Gold-Onwude.

It remains to be seen whether the Cavs’ reloading with former college stars will pay off, but we need to find ways to pass the time until the playoffs, so the composition of each team from a draft standpoint provides a relatively fascinating distraction.

Thanks to the frontloading, Cleveland ranks tied for second in the NBA when you look at the average draft slot of the players on each team’s roster (since there are 60 slots, an undrafted player counts as a 61 toward his team’s average for the sake of this exercise). The players on the Cavs’ roster have an average draft number (ADN) of 19, slightly dragged down by second-rounders Kay Felder, Kyle Korver, James Jones and DeAndre Liggins.

Limited Kids Yu Darvish Jersey Including Westbrook’s 47-point performance on Feb. 11, the Thunder have lost their last four when he’s scored 45 or more, a rare feat which last occurred in 1972-73 with Nathaniel Tiny Archibald and the Kings, according to ESPN.

Elite Mens Kris Versteeg Jersey Outside Victor Oladipo, who has been battling a back injury, Westbrook’s supporting cast was otherwise nonexistent Tuesday. Steven Adams attempted just one field goal, finishing with four points and just three rebounds. Enes Kanter (11) joined Oladipo (16) as the only Thunder players besides Westbrook to score in double figures.

The Trail Blazers enjoyed a balanced attack with seven players in double figures led by guards Damian Lillard (22) and C.J. McCollum (21).

those odds are too good for anyone to turn down.

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DeRozan has one of the best floaters in the NBA, too. According to NBA Savant, he’s attempted 189 floaters this season and made 91 of those opportunities. The list of players who have attempted at least 100 floaters is seven deep, including DeRozan, and McCollum (52.5 percent) is the only one who has a greater success rate than him. That means whichever option DeRozan chooses from when he has his back to the basket basically has a 50-50 chance of going in.

Even as the NBA moves away from midrange shots and post play, those odds are too good for anyone to turn down.

Let’s be clear about this. Any move the Cavs make happens with the Warriors in mind. Despite the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in free agency, the Cavs are still kings of the Eastern Conference until LeBron says otherwise. So the real question is: Does signing Rose close the gap on Golden State?
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No, it doesn’t. While Rose showed signs of his former self last season, his style of play doesn’t improve Cleveland’s chances to win a title — in fact, it hurts the Cavs in that specific matchup.

Rose has never been a consistent outside shooter, but with the Knicks, he essentially eliminated the threat of a 3-point shot altogether. He averaged less than one 3-point attempt per game for the 2016-17 season and hit at a 21.7 percent rate, the worst of his career. He shot 5 of 11 on corner 3-pointers (45.4 percent) but an abysmal 8 of 44 above the break (18.2 percent). Rose was also one of the worst Knicks players in spot-up situations, scoring 0.80 points per possession (19.7 percentile in the league).

LaVar Ball thinks his sons are worth $1 billion shoe deal

LaVar Ball never shies away from an opportunity to talk up his talented sons.
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The father of UCLA freshman star Lonzo Ball said last month that his son has the potential to be better than Stephen Curry, and now he has revealed that he’s seeking a lucrative packaged shoe deal involving his three boys.

The team will provide us with a better platform of developing our younger players and staff. It also will allow us the opportunity to widen the spectrum of fans that come in contact with our organization on a regional basis.

In addition, it will provide us with the opportunities to further promote the game of basketball and further our community support to the region. This will be a very significant addition for a city near us as it will add global exposure and bring professional basketball to their town.
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The D-League is the NBA’s official minor league, which was founded in 2001. There are 22 NBA teams currently with a D-League team and three more (Hawks, Grizzlies and Bucks) expected to launch teams next season.

Speaking of the Thunder, OKC has looked into adding Bulls forwards Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, per ESPN’s Marc Stein and Royce Young. Chicago has an interest in Thunder guard Cameron Payne, according to CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill. Less than an hour to go now.

Let’s not read too much into this, but Thunder forward Andre Roberson was seen walking out of team offices and hugging people during practice, according to Thunder Digest. Roberson says he doesn’t know anything about his future status with OKC at this time, per Fox 25 reporter Sam Gannon.

Lou Williams loving Rockets’ offense because ‘everybody eats’

Lou Williams went from flirting with the Western Conference cellar to a contender this week, and he couldn’t be happier.

The sweet-shooting guard was sent to Houston from the Lakers before Thursday’s trade deadline, and he enjoyed a fine debut scoring 27 points off the bench in a 129-99 win against the new-look Pelicans.

Williams praised his new teammates for allowing him to find a comfortable rhythm in the offense.

“It’s easy to play with these guys,” Williams said, via the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a very open style. Everybody eats. Everybody’s happy. It fits my style.”

James Harden had been criticized for his willingness to shoot, while sometimes seemingly forgetting he had other guys on his team. But this season’s move to point guard has seen the former shooting guard re-invent his career.

If Williams continues to find open looks, he could form a dynamic backcourt duo with Harden, one of the front-runners for league MVP.

Under D’Antoni, Harden has gone from averaging 7.5 assists per game to 11.2 assists per game. That’s a 49.3 percent increase over his previous career-high. Assuming D’Antoni could do the same for Wall, he’d go from averaging 10.7 assists per game to 15.9 assists per game.

That number is obviously insane. John Stockton holds the NBA record for the most assists per game in the regular season with 14.5. He then averaged 14.2 assists per game in the following season and 13.7 the season after that. Furthermore, the only other players in NBA history who have averaged at least 13.0 assists per game in a season are Magic Johnson, Kevin Porter and Isiah Thomas. And here we are talking about Wall blowing all of them out of the water by averaging 15.9 assists per game.
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Sonny Gray would already be a member of the Crew.

Whew. What a couple of years for the Mets. Just when the boys from Flushing look like they’re ready to challenge the Yankees for the crown of New York, injuries overcome the team. The Mets don’t have the best farm system in baseball, so trading deGrom for a hefty stack of prospects will help them regroup, and relatively quickly, if — and here’s a big if — Sandy Alderson knows how to sell.

Limited Mens Bill Russell Jersey Much has been made about Samardzija’s excellent peripherals (FIP, WHIP, K/9 and K/BB), but the fact is his ERA stood at 4.86 after he allowed seven runs in six innings to the Padres on July 16. The main reason? He has allowed 20 home runs in 19 starts. Houston, with its hitter-friendly home park, should be cautious about giving up long-term assets for a 32-year-old homer-prone starter who has three years and $54 million remaining on his contract after this season.

Calais Campbell Game Jersey If trades were done based on who you know, then Sonny Gray would already be a member of the Crew. Milwaukee pitching coach Derek Johnson coached Gray at Vanderbilt, and Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt was Gray’s batterymate in Oakland before the A’s waived Vogt in June. Alas, it’s more about who you’re willing to offer, and the still-rebuilding Brewers should be loath to weaken their farm system (think players like Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips and Luis Ortiz) even for Gray, who can’t become a free agent until after the 2019 season. Acquiring the older J.A. Happ would make more sense. The Blue Jays won’t need nearly as much for Happ, who is 34 and signed only through 2018.

If Sam Darnold stays at USC, he disrupts certain NFL teams’ scripts for 2017-18

Mens Brayden Schenn Jersey So many dominos could fall from one brief-but-stunning report this week. Sam Darnold — yes, that Sam Darnold — might not leave school next spring and enter the 2018 draft.
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The Jets would never admit it, nor would any other franchise. But a big domino just fell over in East Rutherford. And yes, that’s Cleveland where that other loud sound came from. They’re not the only ones, but they’re the largest.

On one of the last slow weeks remaining in another abbreviated NFL offseason, the Darnold report disrupted plans, speculations, plots and scripts for the upcoming year. A lot of what has been said and done in the league was based on the presumption that next year’s quarterback class is going to be top-notch. And the cream of next year’s quarterback crop was supposed to be one Sam Darnold, redshirt sophomore, Southern California.

Why he’s here: Long a respected person in the sport, Lovullo was considered an excellent hire by the Diamondbacks and he’s done nothing to change that perception. This is a franchise that had struggled through a couple of frustrating seasons (hopes of contending, but ending up with losing records), but Arizona has been outstanding this season under Lovullo’s watch. Maybe the same thing would have happened if Chip Hale was around for his third season, but who knows? What we do know is the Diamondbacks under Lovullo have been great, and in a hard-to-figure category like Midseason Manager of the Year, that’s enough.

Home Run Derby 2017: Aaron Judge wins title after dramatic first round

Aaron Judge left jaws dropped Monday while capturing the Home Run Derby crown in Miami.

The Yankees rookie, who leads MLB with 30 home runs this season, looked like he might have a short Derby experience when Marlins first baseman Justin Bour jacked 22 home runs against Judge in the first round.
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The Patriots quarterback posed with the Stanley Cup in a photo tweeted Friday, and touched it with his bare hands, sending some Penguins fans 鈥?and presumably Steelers fans 鈥?into a frenzy. Some Pittsburgh fans think the Patriots quarterback has now tainted the Penguins’ most recent Stanley Cup title.

Danielle Hunter Womens Jersey Brady led New England to a win over the Steelers in last season’s AFC championship game. It was the third time since Brady became the Patriots starting quarterback in 2001 his team beat the Steelers in the AFC title game.

The Bruins did win the Stanley Cup in 2011, so maybe Brady missed his opportunity with the Cup then. Brady has won five Super Bowls, so he’s hoisted the Lombardi Trophy plenty of times. But one just does not simply touch Lord Stanley’s Cup without earning the right.

Back when Millsap was drafted, he was known essentially as a heavy-footed, elite-rebounding, back-to-the-basket big who couldn’t score outside of seven feet. Now, he’s capable at all three levels, a great playmaker for others and one of the best defensive players in the NBA due to the versatile number of options he can guard. He’s one of six players to average 18 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and make at least one 3-pointer per game last season. The others are James Harden, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins.

Al Horford proves worth as Celtics take control of series

Al Horford couldn’t believe his luck. With 7:56 to play in the fourth quarter and the Celtics holding to a four-point lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference opening round, Horford was trying to keep up with Bulls center Robin Lopez out near halfcourt as Jimmy Butler attempted to inbound the ball. Butler made the pass to Lopez just as Lopez turned to cut inside, and the ball bounced innocently past the winking Celtics leprechaun logo.

Horford thought, “Don’t screw this up.”

He collected the ball just beyond the 3-point line, took one dribble and swept in for a dunk ahead of Butler’s pursuit. The locals erupted and momentum, which had been trickling toward Boston, rapidly swung the Celtics’ way. Horford’s dunk was part of a six-minute, 20-4 run that transformed a one-point deficit into a 15-point lead, which the Celtics were able to carry to a 108-97 win and a 3-2 series advantage Wednesday night.

The Cavs prioritized health over seed, choosing to sit their stars for key games in the final week of the regular season. They will see a Pacers team coming off a five-game winning streak to end the year. Something to note: LeBron James has made the NBA Finals all five times he has been a two seed.

Toronto locked up the No. 3 seed in the East early, so DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka didn’t play Wednesday night. Milwaukee wanted to have its squad at full strength as well, so coach Jason Kidd sat Giannis Antetokounmpo, Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell in a loss to the Celtics.

Much like the teams above, Washington and Atlanta were already comfortable in their spots before Wednesday, so the Wizards benched John Wall and Markieff Morris while the Hawks sat Dwight Howard, Dennis Schroder and Tim Hardaway Jr.falcons_004

Mike D’Antoni admits Carmelo Anthony forced him out as Knicks coach

Mike D’Antoni has taken the NBA by storm this season with his high-paced offensive system in Houston. James Harden has shined, and turned into a strong MVP candidate, and the Rockets are in the second round of the playoffs after finishing third in the Western Conference.

But several years before his success in Houston, D’Antoni was the coach of the Knicks where the team struggled to win games. There was a fun period with Linsanity where point guard Jeremy Lin was putting up absurd numbers every night, but it didn’t translate to wins.

Knicks president Phil Jackson has been in the news a lot lately for making controversial comments regarding Carmelo Anthony’s status with the team.

While Jackson said Anthony is better off somewhere else, he does not believe Porzingis is ready to step up as the team’s leader.
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No, I don’t think so. He’s 21 years old. That’s a big load for anybody to take on, Jackson said, via the New York Daily News. But he’s shown that he’s competitive. He’s shown that he’s competitive, he’s shown that he’s got a sense of desire to win, etcetera. So we’re really pleased with how he’s developed. I think he had some concern this year about physical. Not being able to stand up to all the games physically, Achilles tendon, back, etc.
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The 7-3 Porzingis averaged 4.8 3-point attempts per game this season, which was significantly more than his rookie season. Jackson would like to see him play in the post more often.