0 of 5 Elise Amendola/Associated Press As a rule of thumb, the New York Knicks never deserve the benefit of the doubt. They've done nothing to earn it over the past two decades. So, when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, it wasn't just fair but also necessary to question their logic. New York received quite the haul for Porzingis. No one's denying that. Dallas sent over Dennis Smith Jr., a 2017 top-10 pick with two years left on his rookie-scale contract; an unprotected 2021 first-round pick; a 2023 first-round pick with top-10 protection; and two expiring contracts in DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews. The Knicks also parted with Trey Burke and the money left on deals for Tim Hardaway Jr. (two years, $39.0 million) and Courtney Lee ($12.8 million). Completing this trade basically assured the Knicks of two superstar-contract slots over the summer. Pencil them in for the No. 1 pick, and they'll have about $68.6 million in cap space if they keep Smith, Kevin … [Read more...] about Which Free-Agent Duo Should the Knicks Actually Target?
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This was the footballing equivalent of two wrestlers wearing blindfolds, trying to fight each other with hands tied behind their backs and their feet chained together. It was a non-event, Newcastle becoming the first team this season to fail to score against Fulham in the Premier League. They did not even manage a shot on goal. It was dire, diabolical stuff, but a draw is not a disastrous result for either side. That was the problem. Fulham were happy to keep a clean sheet, Newcastle were relieved not to lose another home match. It sucked the ambition out of both sides. This was not entertainment it was an endurance test. When the final whistle was blown, it sparked boos from the home crowd, but in reality, it should have been cheered as it put an end to the misery. There are far better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon before Christmas. You know it has been a bad game of football when the only highlight is a player being accidently punched in the face by one of his team-mates, Fulham … [Read more...] about Newcastle and Fulham play out dreadful goalless draw that could not end soon enough
Everything you need to know about the showdown of NFC contenders by Jared Dubin @jadubin5 moments ago • 11 min read This week's edition of Sunday Night Football pits two NFC heavyweights against each other. For one of the two contenders, actually being a contender is not much of a surprise. The Los Angeles Rams were last year's surprise team, running off an 11-5 record on their way to winning the NFC West in the first year of the Sean McVay era. But after they lost in the first round of the playoffs, the Rams went out and had the most aggressive offseason of any team in the NFL. They traded for Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. They signed Ndamukong Suh. And so, they were widely expected to be one of the best teams in the NFC, which is exactly what they are.The Chicago Bears got some dark-horse buzz as a "this year's Rams" type. The comparison made sense on the surface. The Bears had a second-year quarterback who had been terrible … [Read more...] about Bears vs. Rams: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for ‘Sunday Night Football’
Fri., Dec. 7, 2018 We appear to have hit that point in the season where all you can do is sit back, enjoy the Maple Leafs run to the playoffs and second-guess coach Mike Babcock. Toronto’s a tough crowd. It really takes something to wow a Leaf fan. They’ve watched or participated in hockey all their lives. I firmly believe one of the reasons Scotiabank Arena can be so quiet at times is because everyone in there believes they can do a better job than: 1. The players, if they only got the chance; 2. The coach, because, you know, that’s easy; or 3. The GM, because, well, anyone can do that job as long as you’re in that old-boys club, which you would have been had you only gotten that chance. So with William Nylander under contract, and everyone just about healthy, all we can really do is complain that Kasperi Kapanen should be on Auston Matthews’ line, or that Mitch Marner is better than Matthews, or that Nylander got too much, or that Josh Leivo … [Read more...] about MAILBAG: Let the second-guessing of Mike Babcock begin
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's house had been burgled and his car stolen, but he was not going to let it spoil his evening. It was April 20, 2013, and AS Saint-Etienne's players were in Paris preparing to fly home after beating Rennes 1-0 in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. It was the club's first major honour since 1981, and the atmosphere was understandably joyous. Aubameyang did not want material concerns to poison his mood. But this was not a case of an obscenely wealthy footballer blithely writing off an expensive asset in the knowledge it could easily be replaced. Aubameyang has a real passion for cars, and the one that had been taken from outside his home in Fraisses, southwest of Saint-Etienne, was his pride and joy. The car was a soft-top Aston Martin DB9 Mansory in "crocodile-skin" green, customised with Aubameyang's squad number (No. 7) on the wheels and dashboard. He had lovingly shown it off in a video filmed for Saint-Etienne's YouTube channel earlier that … [Read more...] about Green Machine: The Story of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Saint-Etienne Rebirth