Alvin Gentry: ‘All we want is an equal opportunity to win the game’

For the second consecutive game, the coach opposing the Houston Rockets finished the night with an epic rant against the officials.

This time, it was New Orleans’ Alvin Gentry,nfl cheap jerseys who fired off against the referees following the Pelicans’ 107-101 home defeat.86

“The thing that bothers me more than anything, and I really don’t care, we try to play the right way, and we play our asses off,” Gentry said.

“All we want is an equal opportunity to win the game. Not have a situation where we are guessing on the biggest play of the game, where they call a 3-point foul from the corner. All of you take a look at the play, and if you think that’s a foul, if anybody out here thinks it’s a foul, then you tell me, and I’ll shut up, and I won’t say one more thing. You take a look at the play and tell me what you think when a guy comes up and winks and says, I got him.”

Gentry was referring to the foul called on Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday while James Harden was shooting a 3 from the corner in a seven-point game with 5:39 to play in the fourth quarter. The controversial call sent the arena into frenzy and eventually earned Gentry a technical foul for arguing, with which he also did not agree.

“When you get technical fouls called when you walk away from a guy, that’s not right,” Gentry said. “I walked away from him so I wouldn’t get a technical foul.”

Harden didn’t seem to agree with Gentry’s assessment of the play after the jerseys cheap china When asked about the play, he said. “He got a piece of me, enough of a piece to affect my shot. Good call.”

This was clearly a breaking point for the Pelicans head man, who went on to complain about his star player not getting the same type of calls as some of the guys of his caliber in the league.

Pau Gasol opens up on playing for Tom Thibodeau, Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs big man, who is almost certainly headed to the Hall of Fame when his career ends, is one of only two active NBA players to have played for two of the most unique characters in basketball today: Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Gasol and Philadelphia 76ers guard Marco Belinelli — who were Chicago Bulls teammates in 2014-15 — are the only active players left standing from a club that counts just five others as members: Nazr Mohammed, Kurt Thomas, Keith Bogans,cheap nfl authentic jerseys Malcolm Thomas and Rasual Butler.85

“How about that?” Gasol said with a smile when told of the group. “Fascinating list.”

So what’s it like playing for two of the most interesting men in basketball? Gasol, an interesting personality in his own right, shed some light on the experience as the Spurs get set to face off against the Timberwolves for the third and final time this season, with both teams needing a win in the ever-tightening Western Conference playoff race.

“They bring a certain passion to the game,” Gasol told ESPN. “Maybe in different ways, but you see that emotion from both coaches. They both care truly and are devoted to the game.”

The preparation both coaches put into their respective systems is also something that sets them apart, according to the 37-year-old Gasol. It’s a major reason why, during his chances at free agency after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, Gasol signed first with Thibodeau’s Bulls,cheap nfl jerseys from china then with Popovich’s Spurs.

“The conversations that I had with Thibs were positive. It seemed like we were going to be on the same page,” he said. “And when I decided to come to San Antonio, same deal. I knew Pop was an excellent coach, a guy that is at the top of the top, considered, I think, for most of us, the best coach that is out there today.”

Vikings restructure Latavius Murray’s contract entering next wave of free agency

With their biggest offseason priority in the fold after Kirk Cousins inked his three-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $84 million, the Minnesota Vikings can now shift their attention elsewhere and upgrade other positions.74

General manager Rick Spielman hinted that Minnesota wasn’t quite done in free agency, saying the Vikings will “potentially do one or two more things.” A move Thursday evening backed that up when the team restructured the contract of running back Latavius Murray,cheap nfl jerseys multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.

Given the planning by the Vikings’ front office as it relates to the salary cap, Spielman is confident the franchise will have flexibility to work with in coming seasons. Cousins’ 2018 salary comes with a $24 million cap hit, which left Minnesota with just over $26 million to use in free agency and with contract extensions before any restructuring took place.

Murray was at risk of being a cap casualty had he not agreed to a pay cut by 4 p.m. ET Friday, when $5.15 million of his 2018 salary would have become guaranteed; that would have been the sixth-highest cap hit among all running backs. The Vikings could have released Murray, whom they signed to a three-year, $15 million deal last offseason, and freed up about $5 million in cap space had he not restructured, but they worked to keep the 28-year-old in Minnesota’s backfield.

The timing of Murray’s restructuring coincides with the visit of Seattle defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to the Twin Cities. Richardson spent time at the Vikings’ facility in Eagan on Thursday before dining with coaches and nfl authentic jerseys The 3-technique spot is one Minnesota hopes to improve this offseason. The Vikings expressed interest in bringing back veteran DT Tom Johnson in a reduced role and are also considering options for reserve tackle Shamar Stephen. Finding interior D-line depth next to nose tackle Linval Joseph is a crucial priority in bolstering the Vikings’ pass rush.

UCLA seniors Jordin Canada and Monique Billings take aim at final NCAA tournament

The GBL Lady Rebels and the Corona Diamonds faced each other many weekends in local AAU tournaments across Southern California. This was way, way back — sometime around third grade.

Jordin Canada, then on the Rebels, and Monique Billings, then on the Diamonds, knew of each other.73

Little Canada would storm down court, dropping in layup after layup,authentic nfl jerseys cheap with few able to catch up. “It was basically how it is now,” Billings said with a laugh.

And there was young Billings. She’d stretch her arms out and call for the ball on the block. “She was super tall,” Canada said.

Neither knew that they’d wind up college teammates at UCLA. Now they are in their final season wearing blue and gold together, with one last shot in the NCAA tournament. The seniors lead the ninth-ranked Bruins (24-7) into the Big Dance after falling to UConn 86-71 in last season’s Sweet 16.

The road ahead won’t be easy. UCLA received a No. 3 seed in the Kansas City Regional, and will host the first and second rounds. The Bruins face 14th-seeded American, the Patriot League champ, on Saturday. If they win, a potential showdown with sixth-seeded Iowa and Megan Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer, awaits in the second round on Monday.

UCLA lost to sixth-ranked Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals on March 3, marking its third loss against the Ducks this season. Canada had 19 points, and Billings had 18.

Late in the first quarter,nfl jerseys for cheap Billings outstretched her arms in the passing lane and stole the ball. Canada instinctively ran down court. Billings gave the ball up to her point guard for the easy deuce. Billings clapped while both ran back on defense.

Torrey Smith to Panthers a bargain compared to other free-agent WR deals

The $5 million a year that wide receiver Torrey Smith will count against the salary cap seemed like a lot on Friday when the Carolina Panthers traded cheap nfl jerseys starting cornerback Daryl Worley to Philadelphia for him.

Particularly when you consider Smith hadn’t caught more than 36 passes in any of the past three seasons between San Francisco and Philadelphia.

It looks like a bargain now when you look at the deals top free-agent wide receivers who have accomplished less got in free agency.62

Chicago gave Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson, coming off an ACL injury, a three-year, $42 million deal. He has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns since being selected in the second round of the 2014 draft.

Kansas City gave Sammy Watkins a three-year, $48 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. The former Clemson star had 39 catches for 593 yards and eight touchdowns last season and has caught only 67 passes combined the past two seasons between Buffalo and the Los Angeles Rams.

Washington gave Paul Richardson a five-year deal that could be worth up to $40 million with $20 million guaranteed. Richardson had a career-best 44 catches last season at Seattle and has only 95 in four nfl jersey

Smith, 29, despite a down couple of seasons, has 302 career catches for 4,951 yards and 39 touchdowns in seven seasons between Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia. He also has a Super Bowl ring that he won last season with the Eagles.

He had 13 catches for 157 yards in Philadelphia’s three playoff wins, including five catches for 49 yards in the Super Bowl victory over New England.

So $5 million against the cap doesn’t sound so bad versus the average salaries between $8 million and $16 million a year that others received.

Malcolm Butler says Patriots never gave him reason for not playing in Super Bowl LII

Cornerback Malcolm Butler told the Boston Herald that he was never given a reason for why he didn’t play in Super Bowl LII, but he reiterated that he has no hard feelings toward his former team, the New England Patriots.

Butler, who agreed to a deal with the Titans this week, authentic nfl jerseys cheap hasn’t spoken with Patriots coach Bill Belichick since the Super Bowl, he told the Herald.61

“I never got a reason,” Butler told the newspaper on Wednesday. “I feel like this was the reason: I got kind of sick. I went to the hospital. They probably thought I was kind of late on the game plan. I wasn’t as locked in as I should be and could have been a matchup deal. It could have been anything.

“But Bill Belichick has been doing this for a very long time. He took a veteran out of Super Bowl XLIX [against the Seahawks] and put in a first-year rookie, and that turned out right, so you could never question his decision. It didn’t work out right [against the Eagles].nfl jerseys for cheap It didn’t work out the best for me or him or the New England Patriots. But I can say he won more than he lost, so it is what it is. I always have love for New England, Bill Belichick, Mr. Kraft, all those guys. Life just goes on.”

Butler was replaced in the starting lineup by Eric Rowe in Super Bowl LII. The Patriots primarily played a three-safety nickel package in the game, but when they added a sixth defensive back in their dime package, they initially had safety Jordan Richards on the field in the first half before tapping cornerback Johnson Bademosi for that role in the second half.

Adelaide United unfazed Marco Kurz-to-Sydney FC rumours grow

Adelaide United players have vowed to not get distracted by speculation their coach Marco Kurz is a target of A-League leaders Sydney FC.

Kurz has been touted as a potential replacement for Graham Arnold when he departs the Sky Blues at season’s end to become Socceroos boss.

But Adelaide midfielder Daniel Adlung says Reds cheap nfl jerseys from china players must focus on their bid to make the finals rather than the future of Kurz.

Adlung says the Sydney FC speculation isn’t a surprise given the German coach’s stellar first season at Adelaide.52
Kurz, a 48-year-old with coaching experience in the Bundesliga, has steered Adelaide to sixth spot in the A-League.

And while still scrapping to secure a finals slot, Kurz has won plaudits for his moulding a largely inexperienced squad and overcoming a spate of injuries.

Kurz’s United were beaten in the FFA Cup final by Sydney FC nfl cheap jerseys, who are on the hunt to replace Arnold when he departs at the end of June.

The Sky Blues hierarchy were also believed to have been further impressed by Kurz when United held the league pacesetters to a scoreless draw in January.

Adelaide’s team in that game featured 11 South Australian players — six of them under 20 years old.

The top challengers for the Predators, Lightning

Now that we’ve cleared the NHL trade deadline and the playoff picture is starting to take shape, it’s never too soon to start thinking about potential playoff matchups.

Unless something crazy happens, the postseason will begin with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators as the top seeds and the clear-cut favorites to represent their conferences in the Stanley Cup Final.13

While the Lightning and Predators are well stacked,authentic nfl jerseys cheap in years past it hasn’t paid to be the No. 1 seed. In fact, the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks are the last team to win their conference and reach the Cup Final.

There are a few possible explanations for the struggles of top seeds. There is a high degree of luck involved in a seven-game series. Sometimes injuries play a role. Teams can also be better than their overall record indicates, especially following deadline nfl jerseys But most often, it’s matchups that dictate whether a team moves on.

So will we see the Predators and Lightning buck the trend? Which teams could give them the toughest time? Let’s have a look.


Lakers leave an impression on LeBron in punishing rout of Cavaliers

When LeBron James’ name was called when the Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting lineup was introduced, Los Angeles Lakers fans greeted the superstar with a warm applause.

While this wasn’t anything close to erecting billboards around the Los Angeles area trying to lure James as one longtime Lakers season-ticket holder did last week, the Staples Center crowd clearly wanted James to know that they’d love to see him here again next season and preferably in a purple and gold No. 23 jersey.i

If this was James’ last trip to Los Angeles as a Cleveland Cavalier with a potential NBA-altering free-agency decision to make this summer, the Lakers took the opportunity to leave James with one final impression. The Lakers used a 22-3 run at the end of the third quarter to run away with a 127-113 victory over the Cavaliers.

With the win, the Lakers have now gone 7-2 after the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Cavs (38-28) have dropped down to No. 4 in the Eastern Conference standings, with the Indiana Pacers (39-28) moving a half-game ahead of them.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

James wowed the crowd with some flashy passing and scoring drives in the paint before finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes. But James didn’t have much help and he displayed some frustration after he had a pass deflected by former teammate Isaiah Thomas for a turnover that later resulted in a Julius Randle dunk for the Lakers. As the Cavaliers called timeout while down 115-94, James palmed the ball and motioned as if he wanted to throw it in frustration before cocking back. That was the last thing James did on the court before exiting for good with 6 minutes, 24 seconds left in the final frame.

Larry Nance Jr. — playing against his former team for the first time since he and Jordan Clarkson were traded to Cleveland for Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick — had 16 points. He was the only Cleveland starter outside James to score in double-figures.

“I have never played LeBron in L.A.,” said Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who finished with five points and seven assists. “Never played against JC and Larry, other than practice. It is going to be a lot of fun.”

The Lakers did have a lot of fun on Sunday night at James’ expense. Thomas, who shared hugs with several of his former Cavs teammates including J.R. Smith at half court before the game, got a little revenge against the Cavs who traded him away after he played only 15 games for the them following his hip surgery.

Thomas — who shot a few glares at good friend Floyd Mayweather Jr., seated near the Cavs’ bench, after making a couple of baskets — had what might have been his best all-around game for the Lakers with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Thomas had six points and two assists during the Lakers’ game-changing run.

Thomas said afterward that he had nothing to prove and that this was not a revenge game for him.

“No, I don’t need to show anybody,” Thomas said. “They know what I can do. I only played 15 games for them, so it’s really not about showing them what I can do. The world knows what I can do and what I bring to the table. I took it as another game and I just wanted to win and we did a helluva job as a team, beating that really good team over there.”

Randle, who had been slowed by an illness in the previous two games, had a career-high 36 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Randle is a key piece for the Lakers because they can clear up to $70 million in cap space this summer to pursue two max free agents by parting ways with Randle and stretching Luol Deng’s contract.

But Randle played on Sunday like a player who was determined to remind the Lakers what they have in the 23-year-old forward and show James at the same time how his game is blossoming. Randle has been on a tear since being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, but this was the best performance of his career.54

“It was something I always knew I could do,” Randle said “Just take time to continue to learn the game, continue to grow and develop as a player. As a person. Something I knew I could do. I’m not surprised, but it feels good I guess.”nfl jerseys for cheap

Clarkson, who finished 1-for-8 from the field with just four points and four assists, and Nance stopped by the Lakers’ locker room before the game to say hello to their old friends.

“Yeah, they stopped by [the locker room] on their way in — uninvited,” Lakers coach Luke Walton deadpanned before the game. “It was good to see them. It will be fun. It is going to be a great energy, great environment for tonight.”

Celebrities such as Mayweather, Adam Levine, Jason Sudeikis and Marlon Wayans joined Lakers fixture Jack Nicholson to get their glimpse of James’ only trip to Los Angeles to play the Lakers this season.

They might’ve come to see James but instead watched the Lakers make one big final impression on the free-agent-to-be.

Marcus Smart’s big game wasted, shorthanded Boston Celtics fall to Indiana Pacers, 99-97

BOSTON — By the end, the Boston Celtics were bruised, sick, concussed, and beaten up. They were missing three regular starters — four if you want

to include Gordon Hayward, who has been sidelined since opening night.

So they had plenty of excuses for dropping a double-digit halftime lead, failing to finish a fourth-quarter comeback,cheap nfl authentic jerseys  and wasting a mighty two-way

performance from Marcus Smart.

During what became a 99-97 defeat to the Indiana Pacers, the Celtics were missing Jaylen Brown (concussion) and Al Horford (illness) from the start,

then lost Kyrie Irving to more left knee soreness after halftime. The issue held him out of Tuesday night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls and could be

something Irving needs to deal with for a long time. Is that concerning? Yes. How much so we will find out over time. terry-rozierdarren-collison-df736b4d909bef8e

The Celtics entered Sunday night as one of the NBA’s hottest teams, with a 6-1 record since the All-Star break and the top-ranked offense during

that span. Even the lone loss in that stretch, a close one against the cheap authentic nfl jerseys great Houston Rockets, showed real promise.

But over a four-day span, the Celtics have now lost three starters. They still almost overcame the Pacers, but didn’t quite have enough. A mad final

sequence gave Terry Rozier a chance to force overtime at the final buzzer, but his fadeaway jumper fell short.

Where it went wrong

After Boston took a 50-40 halftime lead, Irving did not come out with his teammates to start the second half. Without Irving, the Celtics quickly

surrendered a double-digit lead, committed seven turnovers in the third quarter, and fell behind by nine points early in the fourth.

Victor Oladipo (27 points) got untracked after an uncharacteristically slow first half, and the Pacers, who shot just 37.8 cheap nfl jerseys from china  percent before halftime,

scored 34 points on 13-for-21 shooting in the third. Almost half their points during that stretch came from the paint, another 15 points came from

behind the 3-point arc (where they shot 5 for 7),nfl cheap jerseys  and the rest came from the free throw line. In other words, they were chewing up the Celtics