Jimmy Butler has proven himself to be a dynamic force on offense over his last few seasons in the NBA. His talent speaks for himself and if you were any of the 30 teams in the league, you would love to have him. While Butler is certainly a phenomenal asset to have, there have been incidents over the years that have some teams worried he could be more of a disruption than anything else. For instance, Butler was able to get himself out of Chicago and once he started playing with the Timberwolves, he quickly began arguing with his own teammates.
Once Butler got to Philadelphia, there was less chatter surrounding his antics and he was able to put together a solid campaign. Now, Butler is on the Miami Heat and will become the number one option on a team that just lost their best player in Dwyane Wade. Today, Butler took part in the team's preseason press conference and addressed his perceived reputation. "I'm not an asshole like everybody thinks that I am," he said according to Ira Winderman.
Butler will have to be a leader on this Heat squad that boasts some young rookies like Tyler Herro. The superstar small forward will be as determined as ever to prove his haters wrong and when it comes to the city of Miami, Butler fits in great.
Once he gets in his bag, the Heat may very well become one of the more intriguing teams in the league.
Antonio Brown Questions Prompt Bill Belichick To Walk Out On Media: Watch
Belichick wasn't having it.
The New England Patriots have quite the conundrum on their hands when it comes to Antonio Brown. After numerous bizarre altercations with the Oakland Raiders, Brown was able to get out of his contract and join a team that talent-wise, doesn't really need him. Regardless, Brown is now on the Patriots and will certainly make them one of the most stacked teams in the NFL. All of this could be put on hold though as Brown was recently accused of raping his former trainer.
Earlier today, the NFL announced they would be looking into the allegations and would act accordingly. The Patriots are taking these allegations very seriously as well and today, head coach Bill Belichick was tasked with addressing them. Belichick was fairly diplomatic when it came to the questions he was asked but after a while, he grew fed up with the media. In true Belichick fashion, he ended his press conference early as soon as he realized every question was about AB.
Brown was, in fact, at Patriots practice today and appeared to be sporting the #1 on his jersey. The Patriots will be taking on the Miami Dolphins next Sunday and it remains to be seen if Brown will be active for the match.
Raiders Coach Jon Gruden Reacts To Antonio Brown’s Release
Gruden is focused on Monday night’s game.
Jon Gruden just spoke to the press for the first time after the release of wide receiver Antonio Brown just hours ago. “We just have exhausted everything. We tried every way possible to make it work,” the Raiders coach said.
Gruden went on to express regret about not having the opportunity to coach Brown in a Raider uniform, saying “Very disappointing in my career as a coach. I really looked forward to coaching him but it’s not going to happen.”
He continued, “All I’m going to say, is that it is disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you that I am very proud of what we did as an organization to try. And I wish Antonio nothing but the best. And I’m sorry we never got a chance to see Antonio in the Silver & Black.”
His voice grew slightly agitated as he finished saying, “I’m not going to sit here and talk about it all day. We’ve got twelve rookies. We’ve got a lot to be excited about and I wish Antonio the very best.”
The press conference continued with Gruden being pressed about Brown. In response to another question, Gurden said, “Like I said, it’s time to move on. We’ve got to get ready for Monday night.”
Eric Reid Continues Criticism: "When Has Jay-Z Ever Taken A Knee?"
Eric Reid feels that Jay-Z has undermined his position.
After rubbishing Jay-Z’s new NFL deal on Twitter for much of the last week, Eric Reid doubled down, tripled down even, with most incisive commentary yet, following Friday evening’s preseason matchup against the Buffalo Bills. After enduring a lengthy bid on the sidelines for his part in the early anthem protests, Reid landed a spot on the Carolina Panthers last season which he has since been able to maintain leading up to the 2019 campaign.
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“For one, when has Jay-Z ever taken a knee to come out and tell us that we’re past kneeling?” Reid told the press. “Yes, he’s done a lot of great work, a lot of great social justice work.”
Curious to note: while Reid is taking a decisive position AGAINST Jigga’s deal, for political reasons, it does figure as a nuanced position no less. Reid did credit Jay-Z for his level engagement in other instances of social and political unrest. It would seem that Eric Reid was particularly irked by his suggestion that “we’ve moved past kneeling” as a collective whole.
“But for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine. Players Coalition 2.0, he got paid to take the bullets he’s taking now because we’re not having it.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo Would Trade His "MVP Award" For A FIBA Gold Medal
The Greek Freak has his sights set on World Cup Gold.
Giannis Antetokounmpo isn't taking the Greek National Team's upcoming FIBA World Cup campaign lightly. During a ceremony to unveil Greece's pre-selection roster, Giannis told the media he would trade it all away, including his 2019 MVP Award, just to see his National side through to victory.
“I would change the MVP title for the gold medal in China. I always feel something special when playing for the national team. When you are starting the tournament and listening to the national anthem, the emotions can’t be described, Giannis was quoted as saying in the presser, as per Ta Nea, a popular newspaper in Greece.
"The feeling of winning with the national team is incredible and I have said before that I will always be part of the team," he added. "As long as I am healthy like this summer." This past season, Giannis powered through an ankle injury to ensure that his team reached another level of proficiency. The Greek pivot will undoubtedly play it more cautious in years to come- especially with international duty looming on the horizon.
Two of Giannis' brothers (Kostas and Thanasis) were among those selected for Greece's pre-tournament roster. The Hellenic Basketball Federation currently sits ahead of Croatia, Australia, Brazil, and Russia at no. 8 in the FIBA World Rankings.
Steve Ballmer’s Energy Had Kawhi Leonard & Paul George In Stitches: Watch
Ballmer is too energetic for his own good.
Steve Ballmer is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and if you're familiar with the man, then you would know that he is easily one of the most energetic people on the planet. Ballmer can be seen going absolutely nuts at Clippers games which ends up being more entertaining than the game itself. Today, the Clippers had their introductory press conference for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard who seemed pretty excited about their new team. As you would imagine, Ballmer got to make his very own speech and he was as energetic as ever. He knows his team can win a championship with Kawhi and George and his energy certainly reflected that.
At the end of the clip above, the camera pans to Leonard and George who are laughing pretty hard at Ballmer's shenanigans. Leonard has always been known as a player who likes to keep a straight face but considering Ballmer's energy, he had no choice but to crack a smile. There's no reason for Leonard not to be happy though as he just signed a three-year, $103 million deal with the team. Meanwhile, his teammate George offers the Clippers even more opportunities to be great this season.
If there's one thing for certain, it's that Ballmer will be doing a lot of energetic celebrations throughout the year.
Anthony Davis On Lakers’ Title Chances: "I Would Put Our Roster Up Against Anybody"
AD wasn’t lacking in confidence during his formal introduction with the Lakers.
During a ceremonial press conference in which the Lakers’ bestowed the no. 3 to an excitable Anthony Davis, the perennial All-Star spoke of his team’s title hopes leading into next season. Within the realm of professional basketball, brash overconfidence can lend itself positively under the right circumstances. For a revamped Lakers’ short on success in recent times, said overconfidence might come in handy, especially if AD gets enough touches of the ball.
At a most opportune moment during the presser, Davis proclaimed that his new, the Los Angeles Lakers, were now a proverbial Apex predator in this new-look NBA..”I would put our roster up against anybody,” Davis said. “I feel like that in a seven-game series that we would come out victorious.”
And to be fair, you can’t fault him for making such a declaration. With Boogie Cousins signing on to form an imposing twin-tower tandem with AD, the Lakers have certainly improved in overall quality, despite losing much of their depth in the Pelicans’ trade. Soon thereafter, the affable Rob Pelinka joined Davis on stage in singing his praises.
“What we think about Anthony Davis is this: There’s no more complete basketball player in the game,” Pelinka said. “There is nothing he can’t do. He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend 1 through 5. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled.”
With all that said, where do you rank the Lakers on the NBA Ladder, now that they’ve added Danny Green, AD, Cousins, and retained Rajon Rondo going into next season? Moreover, who’s the better of the two LA franchises, hit us with your thoughts?
LeBron James’ Jersey Swap Blocked By Nike, Anthony Davis Accepts "Number 3"
LeBron James’ won’t be permitted to swap jerseys with Anthony Davis due to “surplus inventory.”
LeBron James gratuitously offered his new teammate Anthony Davis the no. 23 jersey in his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to insider conferring with ESPN, the holdup on the jersey swap comes down to a deadline set by Nike Inc.
NBA officials have confirmed: the Lakers would have had to notify the merchandiser of the request by March 15th; seeing as they didn’t – LBJ will have to wait until the next production deadline to re-adorn himself with the no. 6 made famous during his Championship run with the Miami Heat, 2011-2014.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
As per Yahoo Sports, the LeBron jersey for 2019-2020, has been up for pre-sale for a couple of weeks now, and Nike would prefer to maintain the status quo – rather than seek a re-confirmation notice with every patron listed in the buyer’s list. Not to mention, Nike has already poured out millions of dollars on LBJ inventory going into next season, so having the obsolete no. 23 wind up on a clearance rack, is the farthest thing on their minds.
As a result of the embargo, Anthony Davis will accept the no. 3 from the Los Angeles Lakers, the number he wore all throughout elementary school. LeBron will retain the no. 23, even though as of Friday he did submit a formal request to switch back to no. 6. Who’s to say LeBron won’t push his weight around to great effect. If he’s serious about following through with the request, despite the embargo, Nike will have to ask themselves: is it worth upsetting the King, should they swallow their losses/pride in the process? Hit us with your thoughts down below.
R. Kelly’s Publicist Run Up On By Joycelyn Savage’s Father During Press Conference
Timothy Savage interrupts Darryl Johnson and demands to know where his daughter is.
Imagine being R. Kelly's publicist right now. That man has a very, very, very difficult job. After the airing of Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime, the famed R&B singer became one of the most hated men in America. He has allegedly been holding girls against their will in his home and studio, using them for sex and capturing videos of several encounters. If what Kelly is being accused of is factual (and it's literally on video, so...) then he's a terrible person. The police arrested him late last night when he was out walking his dog and now, he's facing new charges pertaining to the sex crimes he reportedly committed. This morning, his publicist Darryl Johnson spoke to the media in a press conference when the father of one of Kelly's alleged victims, Joycelyn Savage, interrupted the address and begged to know where his daughter was.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
As reported by Complex, Timothy Savage can be seen on video rushing the stage where Kelly's publicist was speaking, insisting on knowing where his daughter Joycelyn was. "I don't wanna hear all that!" yelled Savage at the presser in Atlanta. "I wanna know where my daughter's at! Answer that question!"
During the same meeting, Johnson spoke about whether he's worried he could also face charges, insisting that he was "hired to do a job" and is not an enabler.
R. Kelly's latest arrest reportedly happened after a Homeland Security agent watched the popular docuseries about the singer's crimes, choosing to get involved further. Kelly's arraignment is currently scheduled for July 16.
Jon Jones Outlines His Terms For A Daniel Cormier Trilogy Fight
Jon Jones bypasses his UFC 239 opponent Thiago Santos to answer questions pertaining to Daniel Cormier.
Leading up to UFC 239, Jon Jones has made no attempt at complimenting his upcoming opponent, Brazilian jiu-jitsu/capoeira specialist Thiago Santos. In fact, during the weigh-ins, and the subsequent press conference, Jones was all-too-willing to look ahead and answer questions regarding a possible trilogy fight with his greatest rival, current Heavyweight titlist Daniel Cormier.
After Jones’ defeat of Alex Gustafsson in December 2018, the Light Heavyweight called out Cormier in challenging him to drop down in weight to reclaim what was formerly his. All posturing aside, everybody knows that Cormier’s days as a Light Heavy challenger are well behind him – his walk-around weight somewhere in the upper 200’s (in pounds). So, if Jones is going to clash with DC one last time, it’ll have to be within the weight delimitations of a Heavyweight bout.
With that said, Jon Jones told the press amassed before him this afternoon, that any trilogy fight with Daniel Cornier would be on his terms, given his spotless record. “I am interested in fighting Daniel Cormier,” Jones addressed the media. “I just want to do it under the right terms. One thing about the UFC is we always give the fans what they want to see, and if they want to see it bad enough, Hunter, and Ari, and Dana, they’ll hear about it enough.”
And yet, the sticking points don’t appear to be centered around creating even if not fair conditions for the fight. In reality, Jones, given his record and reputation feels he’s due the richer of the two contracts if ever the split purse goes to bidding. The new “reverent” Jon Jones did offer his longtime rival a modicum of respect for signing off for the day. Then again, he punctuated each sentence by clamoring about what the “presumptive” would do for legacy. The press conference must have been quite enthralling for his competitor Santos. UFC 239 goes live this Saturday, the main card beginning at 10 pm ET.