Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersRondo obliged the decision by scoring the first basket of the game, a reverse layup.Part of the decision might well be affected by health. The Lakers have been circumspect about rushing Lonzo Ball back to action after his offseason knee surgery. Walton said Thursday that the second-year point guard, who started all but two of his 52 games as a rookie, was still on a minutes restriction, although he wouldn’t acknowledge exactly how many it was.Josh Hart was also considered a candidate to start at shooting guard in place of Caldwell-Pope, but Walton opted for the veteran-heavy lineup he started with Thursday.“KCP gives us shooting – he’s a guy that can defend multiple positions, get up in (and) put some pressure on guys, and Rondo’s an elite point guard in this league,” Walton said early in the week. “Everyone on our team brings their own things to this table but I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of that group so far.”BLAZERS HONOR ALLENNo one sat in the best seat in the house on Thursday night. Blazers coach Terry Stotts offered some sentimental reflections of Allen pregame, saying he had changed a lot in 30 years of ownership from a sometimes fiery fan to a more composed manager by the time Stotts had become coach. But the thing that struck him the most was learning even more about his philanthropic causes.“I probably, when we honor him, will just be thinking about the impact on the lives that he’s had around the world beyond basketball,” Stotts said. “Just, it was a phenomenal life and it’s really hard to really wrap your mind around it.”Home openers are always emotional nights to begin with, Stotts acknowledged.“First of all, it would be enough if it was just Lakers,” Stotts said. “But now you throw LeBron in the mix, and the commissioner is going to be here and it’s national television and the passing of Paul Allen … I mean, it’s, you name it, it’s kind of involved.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions PORTLAND, Ore. — Even with just more than an hour left before tip-off, Luke Walton continued to play coy.The Lakers coach declined to give his starting lineup to the media, waiting just a little longer to see what the Trail Blazers had planned.“We’re still waiting to find out who Portland is starting,” he said, “and then we’ll make our decision.”The wait was not long, nor was the decision much of a surprise: The Lakers ended up starting Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the backcourt after a week of Walton hinting that the two had been playing with the starting group in practice. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers It was left empty, save for a Trail Blazers “Rip City” cap and a rose. It was one of the many ways the home team honored Paul Allen, the franchise owner who died on Monday after numerous battles with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 65.Related Articles
Month: August 2020
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSpectacular and adorable, Zion is a new phenomenon, the most hyped prospect of the social media era.LeBron James, now the king, literally, with 42 million Twitter followers, was a tad early, even as the most hyped high school player ever in 2003, three years before Twitter launched.Zion’s popularity drives press coverage and makes him the rarest of all phenomenons in NCAA basketball, a box office hit who sells out arenas … but guarantees nothing. Social media’s biggest hype before Zion was high-jumping Andrew Wiggins, who didn’t rock anyone’s world in college at Kansas and hasn’t in the NBA with Minnesota.Williams has issues. As fabulous as he is at this level, his 6-foot-7 listing in sneakers means he’s probably 6-5½. Not that he has needed it at Duke, but he doesn’t even have 15-foot range as a shooter, much less make 3-pointers (14 for 48, a 29 percent mark).Amazingly, an Eastern Conference GM told me he thinks Zion might have gone No. 5 in last spring’s draft behind NBA-ready prospects Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic and Jaren Jackson. Worse for the Knicks, Cavaliers, Bulls and everyone else tanking for Zion – none of whom has more than a 14 percent chance of drawing him in the revamped draft lottery odds – no other players are close this year. Overall, the GM calls this draft “the worst in decades.”Nevertheless, it’s also true that skill levels keep going up. More and more talented players keep arriving … even if some years, like this, you might have as good a chance of selecting a future star at No. 12 as you do at No. 3.In any year, some draftees will break out to the upside, such as Kyle Kuzma at No. 27. Some will surprise to the downside, such as Lonzo Ball at No. 2.Now, the top prospects, or as close as it gets this year:1. Zion Williamson, 6-7, 285, Fr., DukeWith all he has, he’s also an all-out, dive-on-the-floor guy, suggesting a great attitude, and amazingly quick for his size. If questions about his shooting won’t be answered soon, early indications look good.2. Ja Morant, 603, 175, Soph., Murray StateHe moved up when the other top prospects moved down. Great athlete, great length but only an entry-level 3-point shooter at 33.6 percent. He gets compared to Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, suggesting that he’s nice but not transcendent.3. R.J. Barrett, 6-7, 202, Fr., DukeSupposedly No. 1 before the season until Zion happened. He has good size and strength for his shooting guard position, but he isn’t explosive athletically. He has an Alpha Dog personality, relentlessly attacking the hoop. Admirers see James Harden but comparing prospects to all-time greats is Looney Tunes. Skeptics see someone closer to Tyreke Evans. He needs a good outside shot to be special, although he thinks he already has one, attempting 6.4 3-point shots per game while making only 31.4 percent.4. Cam Reddish, 6-8, 218, Fr., DukeWith the Dookies ranked Nos. 1-2-3 in their recruiting class, Reddish has become the after-thought, largely reduced to a spot-up shooter who, despite his prep reputation, is making only 33 percent from 3-point range. Pros say he’s better than he looks. He’s a good athlete who defends and can make plays.5. De’Andre Hunter, 6-7, 225, Soph., VirginiaAnother sophomore making a big jump with all the room opening up at the top. Physical small forward, averaging 15 points per game, shooting 53 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range.6. Romeo Langford, 6-7, 215, Fr., IndianaHe’s a scorer (16.7) but not an outside shooter (27.5 percent from 3-point range).7. Jaxson Hayes, 6-11, 220, Fr., TexasHe gets compared favorably to last season’s shot-blocking Longhorn, Mo Bamba, who bombed out in Orlando as the No. 6 pick amid questions about how badly he wants it. Hayes, a late comer, is considered a safer bet, at least as far as his attitude.8. Darius Garland, 6-2, 170, Fr., VirginiaHe was an impressive-looking point guard before a knee injury ended his college career after five games. He’s still projected to go in the top 10.9. Nassir Little, 6-6, 220, Fr., North CarolinaIf this class is disappointing, he could be the poster child. Despite his huge prep rep and NBA-ready body, he has done little, averaging 18 minutes and 9.3 points as a reserve. He’s still projected to go in the top 10. Defenders suggest he’s a victim of North Carolina’s depth, but you don’t see many, or any, wing players who haven’t shown more than he has ranked this high.10. Jarrett Culver, 6-5, 185, Soph., Texas TechHe’s making a big jump from role player as a freshman. He’s a combo guard averaging 19 points, but he’s yet another entry-level shooter at 34 percent on 3-point attempts. He’s a good but not great athlete.11. Sekou Doumbouya, 6-9, 180, Limoges, FranceThe top-ranked Euro in this class is athletic but raw. If U.S fans think Europeans can all bang down 3-pointers, he’s more of a developing power forward with no resemblance to last spring’s breakout star, Dallas’ Luka Doncic.12. Kevin Porter, 6-6, 185, Fr., USCPorter shot into the picture last spring when he tore up USA Basketball 18-and-under scrimmages, but he was up-and-down (and hurt) at USC with run-ins with the coaching staff. “In a draft like this,” the GM says, “a talented player can only fall so far.”13 Rui Hachimura, 6-8, 230, Jr., GonzagaHe’s a smallish college big man. He’s averaging 20 points with enough improvement as a shooter, making 47 percent of his 3-point shots, to give him a shot at moving outside at the next level14. Bol Bol, 7-2, 235, Fr., OregonWell, he’s certainly tall. He’s projected in the lottery but the modern game’s mixed expectations of young bigs makes it hard for more promising ones than him – like Bamba. He played nine games, averaging a good-but-not-awesome 2.7 blocked shots, but he shut it down after a leg injury and announced he would turn pro. This was his fifth school in five years after attending four high schools, including Mater Dei. Now to see if he makes it to year two in an NBA city. In the nick of time, at the height, or depth, of the NBA’s dog days, here comes the NCAA Tournament to let us all scout the future.Not that college basketball is an adjunct to the NBA … even if NBA people think it is, as when former Bulls great Scottie Pippen, speaking for the mercenary way, advised Duke phenom Zion Williamson to shut down his college career in February after spraining a knee.“If I was going to sit out,” Williamson said, “I wouldn’t have gone to college.”Happily for all except the Blue Devils’ opponents, Williamson returned for this week’s ACC Tournament, looking like his oversized-teddy-bear-dunking-on-your-head self as he made all 13 of his shots in a win over Syracuse, with hops no one has seen on such a killer whale since Charles Barkley. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
In any other year, it would be the time to shine.Bill Macdonald would be ambling through the tunnels of Staples Center and into the soft spotlight that drapes the Lakers’ center court. He would be shaking hands with players and coaches and producers and friends made through a decades-long broadcasting career. He would be setting up mics and camera lighting, preparing to be the sound of basketball’s biggest stage.Instead, Macdonald, the TV voice of Lakers broadcasts on Spectrum, ambles through the mostly empty streets of Newport Beach these days. Without gym access, he fills the hours with long strolls through the shuttered husk of Fashion Island, longing for a purple-and-gold heartbeat that he thinks should be thumping throughout Los Angeles.“We’ve been six years starved, and I have been loving this as much as anybody,” he said. “We understand what the deal is: The focus right now is on being good humans, being good citizens. But like anybody else, I’d love to have this season finish.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It’s incredibly disappointing not getting to cover a run like that,” said Mike Trudell, who works the sidelines for Spectrum. “With a team that has a chance to win a title, there’s a higher level of intrigue, and you feel that chance to be at your best. It’s definitely something that there’s a big gap of your heart and your brain, where you’re wanting to try to fill it.”The voices of the Lakers and Clippers are doing what much of America is doing: Staying home. While he’s filed written pieces in the interim, Trudell is playing two-on-one in his backyard against his twin 5 1/2-year-old sons who squabble over who gets to play as Kobe Bryant. Sieman has also found solace with family, racing through the Marvel movie catalog and enjoying lively dinners together that usually are rare in the spring.While John Ireland has maintained a daily radio show on ESPN that keeps him busy, he’s also tuned in for old games: He admitted he watched Game 7 of the 2010 Finals, the clincher over the Celtics, three times in its entirety since the quarantine began (“it’s my comfort food,” he said). He’s also been dragged into another pursuit by his color commentary partner, Mychal Thompson.“He’s been watching these stupid Lifetime and Hallmark movies,” Ireland said. “The plots are always the same, but he’s gotten me into it.”NBA families who would typically be in different pockets of the country have enjoyed unexpected together time. Thompson’s children, including Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, are in the area and able to visit regularly – “playing video games together like they’re back to 12 or 14 years of age” he said with a slight disapproving edge.With his first season as KLAC’s radio voice of the Clippers suspended, Noah Eagle is back on the East Coast with his parents — his father is renowned Nets broadcaster Ian Eagle — and is filling time with family dinners and move nights. Some sense of decorum is intact: Noah says he has competitions with his father on who has the better hairstyle for the day.“It’s a big adjustment for both of us, but moreso for him because he’s been in the business for a while,” he said. “He’s very routine-oriented, and just knows, ‘I have this very specific thing from here to here, then I get my time off.’ … We didn’t realize that we’d both be shifting our livelihoods this early in the year.”The Clippers and Lakers both played their final games on March 10, a day when many of the broadcasters assumed the NBA was headed for arenas without fans but still would be able to play. Macdonald said of the Lakers’ loss to the Nets, there was “no way we left the building that night thinking that was going to be the last game of the year.”Trudell experienced the suspension of the NBA season differently, calling perhaps the last professional basketball game in the country on the night of March 11, a G-League affair in El Segundo between the South Bay Lakers and Austin Spurs. The NBA season was suspended just as the teams were about to tip. The G League played on. Trudell soldiered on as well, cautioning fans after every break that play could be called off at any time.“It was just an odd, eerie sort of feeling,” he said.For some, it’s a time to critique their work. Both Sieman and Eagle are in their first year in their respective roles, and they’ve listened to old broadcasts with fresh ears which helps lend perspective to how they called games and how they followed the story lines at the time.Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Thompson doesn’t want to watch any old games at all: “It just frustrates me. We know what happened. Why would I want to watch it? It makes me more aware of what’s going on.”While the NBA season was a roller coaster for both L.A. squads even before the suspension, the broadcasters couldn’t help but be enchanted by special campaigns headlined by the league’s best players. The arrival of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George gave the Clippers one of their most exciting teams ever. The trade for Anthony Davis and the rejuvenation of LeBron James felt like a reawakening of the glory days.During some of the Lakers’ bigger wins – such as an early-season overtime game against Dallas, or the back-to-back victories against the Bucks and Clippers in March – Macdonald said he thought back to his predecessor, Chick Hearn.“Think back to Chick all the time, how much he would be loving this,” he said. “It’s like finally, this is where the Lakers belong.”While NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged Friday that the league doesn’t have enough information to target a date to return, broadcasters remain hopeful. Ireland said he walked away from the season believing the Lakers were the team to beat, and he clings to hope that they’ll be able to resume a chase for their 17th title.Sieman acknowledges that it’s not fun to imagine that he’s already called the last game of the 2019-20 season. But even so, he says, he believes the Clippers – who would return most of their key players next year – are built for long-term contention. From a personal standpoint, he frets the most about whether work will be the same: whether the broadcast crew will continue to fly on the team plane or sit in on shootarounds, which is where he picks up much of the insight he shares on TV.“The back part of the plane is pretty tight – I miss that camaraderie,” he said. “You start to think when we come back, we wouldn’t travel. I could be wrong, and I would love to be wrong.”The camaraderie these days is shared through texts and Facetime calls. Macdonald keeps in contact with Stu Lantz, based in San Diego. (“Everybody,” he said with practiced theatrical delivery, “I want to tell you Stu is doing fine.”) Ireland broadcasts his shows with Steve Mason through remote radio technology; he hasn’t set foot in the studio or physically seen his co-host for weeks. Eagle recently shaved his quarantine facial hair to record a promo for the Clippers – because even though the games have stopped, work continues.Even the small inconveniences now are missed. Thompson has long lamented his commute from Orange County, but swore: “I miss sitting in traffic on the 405 – I don’t think I’ll ever complain about traffic jams in LA again.”Eagle got advice from mentors before moving from Syracuse to Los Angeles that he should take his headset off and take a moment to appreciate where he is – in an NBA arena, calling pro games. It’s something he’s thought about during quarantine: While no one knows how the NBA will resume, where games will be played and even if the voices who call the action will be able to sit courtside, the day the NBA comes back will be one he’ll try to soak in.“I truly have pinched myself every day of this job. … You want to take a second to really look around and think that this is something most people dream of,” he said. “This is a case where distance really does make the heart grow fonder.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLakers announcers Bill Macdonald, left, and Stu Nance have not broadcast a game since the NBA suspended the season more than a month ago. (File photo: Orange County Register)Since the NBA season was suspended more than a month ago due to the COVID-19 outbreak, that sense of angst over an unresolved campaign has set in deeply with basketball fans in Southern California. That feeling is all the more poignant this weekend, when the postseason was set to start with the Lakers and Clippers among the title favorites – the broadcasters who would have been the narrators of the drama, as familiar to audiences as the sound of sneakers squeaking on hardwood, are feeling the sting.The Clippers’ Brian Sieman calls the Thursday and Friday before the playoffs begin his “favorite days of the year,” spent exhaustively researching the team’s first-round opponent, diving into stats and flipping through features to tailor his broadcast for the series. The absence of that private ritual was tough to stomach for the Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket broadcaster.“It’s a super bummer,” he said on Friday. “Today stinks.”Clippers play-by-play broadcaster Brian Sieman, shown with his sons Finnegan and Henry in 2017, switches from radio to TV this season, replacing longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler, who retired at the end of last season. It’s the kind of job Sieman has wanted since he was in elementary school. (Photo courtesy of Amy Sieman)The Lakers and Clippers owned the Western Conference this season, winning a combined 73 percent of their games and sitting at Nos. 1 and 2 in the standings, respectively. The crescendo of the season so far was arguably when they played each other in three smashmouth rivalry games, with the Clippers winning the first two and the Lakers winning the third just three days before the NBA’s hiatus began. For the Lakers, it was a long-awaited return to dominance after the longest playoff drought in franchise history. For the Clippers, it was perhaps their most serious contender ever. While the TV and radio voices have acknowledged that the need for public safety trumps their desire to return to competition, as some of the closest people to the campaigns, it’s hard not to feel a sense of loss.
The scout also noted Tebow’s recovery from a broken hand sustained last year and questioned whether or not it has inflicted long-term damage since he underwent surgery.“That to me is something that needs to be thought about,” the scout said. “I have seen players that have played a lot longer than he has and come down with that injury and take a while to regain the strength in that. He’s being pounded in with fastballs and I think that is probably one of the reasons why they are doing that and obviously he hasn’t responded.”Tebow, 31, entered Wednesday with a .158/.244/.222 slash line with one home run and 14 RBIs for the Triple-A Syracuse Mets. Alleged gunman, four others arrested in connection to David Ortiz shooting, authorities say New York, Chicago pro teams want to offer sports betting in stadiums, report says Red Sox legend David Ortiz is sitting up, taking steps after being shot “I just think he’s reached his top, his zenith, as far as Triple-A,” the scout said. “I don’t think he’s a major league player, but I think he works extremely hard and he will run into some fastballs, and when I saw him he was really getting tied up inside and just striking out a lot and not making contact.“I don’t think this is a show, because Tim Tebow is an athlete and athletes are athletes. He’s strong, he’s got strength and I am not going to take away the fact he is coming off a hamate. If he turns out to be an organizational Double-A or Triple-A player, he’s not the only one who would be that.” Related News He hit a new low last month when he was struck out by a position player who had never pitched in minors before.However, Mets assistant general manager Allard Baird hasn’t given up on Tebow.“I think the effort, the energy, all those things, I don’t think anybody can question,” Baird said. “He has struggled. I think he would be the first one to tell you that. We are trying to continue to work on approach, get him in a good position to hit, that’s an on-going thing.” It could be all downhill from here for Tim Tebow’s baseball career, according to one MLB scout.Speaking Wednesday to the New York Post, the unnamed scout suggested the outfielder and Heisman Trophy winner has run his course in his second sport, though he did praise the unwavering work ethic that has brought him this far.
Jordan Bone didn’t think he was getting drafted. Tennessee’s starting point guard was with a large group of family and friends on Thursday hoping to celebrate his selection. As the 2019 NBA Draft came to a close, Bone’s older brother, Josh Bone, can be seen on video talking to the disappointed crowd — until he was interrupted by an exclamation and an incredible reaction to Bone getting selected 57th overall by the Pelicans: Bone appeared to get swarmed by everyone in attendance at the draft party.Shortly after he was selected, the 6-3 point guard’s rights were acquired by the Pistons.Bone averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game during his junior season with the Volunteers. (WARNING: The video below contains profanity.)The emotion here is insane. Jordan Bone 57th pick in the draft🤞🏾 S/O to @1st_blackpope @JordanBone23 @UTKnoxville @espn pic.twitter.com/nfOqL9iohE— NextUpRecruits (@NextUpRecruits) June 21, 2019NBA DRAFT WINNERS & LOSERS:Pelicans, Grizzlies build bright futures; Suns, Wizards reach
I just finished crying! pic.twitter.com/KiXjIwQINU— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 30, 2019″In three years, the Brooklyn Nets have accomplished what we have been waiting for the New York Knicks to pull off for a half century and more specificlally in the last 20 years,” Smith said. MORE: Live updates from NBA free agencySmith added: “KD on the market, Kyrie on the market. Klay (Thompson). Kemba (Walker). Jimmy Butler. They can’t get somebody to come to Madison Square Garden.””I’m done with them right now!”@stephenasmith is NOT happy with the Knicks’ free agency decisions. pic.twitter.com/n530DuOf6w— ESPN (@espn) July 1, 2019Smith said he would try to get it together for “First Take” on Monday, but made no promises. Sunday’s speech alone should make the show a must-watch. Stephen A. Smith has had better days.The ESPN analyst unleashed a three-minute rant at his beloved New York Knicks over their inability to sign Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, who are both heading to New York City, but with the Brooklyn Nets.
Ezekiel Elliott not on Cowboys’ plane to training camp, report says Despite the #Cowboys extending an offer to RB Ezekiel Elliott, sources informed tell me his management team has yet to submit a counter offer. #ZekeWatch— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) July 27, 2019Elliott, who has spent his entire career with the Cowboys after being selected fourth overall in the 2016 draft, officially became a holdout Friday when he did not report for the opening of Cowboys’ training camp in Oxnard, California.He has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and reportedly is seeking a record-setting deal that would exceed Todd Gurley’s four-year, $57.5 million deal with the Rams. Related News The Cowboys said during the offseason that they are hopeful to reach a new deal and keep Elliott long-term, however, Dallas’ executives also have reiterated that it’ll take time to reach an agreement. Cowboys executive vice president and CEO Stephen Jones and coach Jason Garrett fielded questions Friday about their running back’s absence, insisting Dallas is focused on the players that showed up to training camp. “We are focused on the guys who are here … we’re not going to focus on the business of football,” Garrett said. The Cowboys are working to end Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout. Dallas has offered the 24-year-old running back a new contract, according to the NFL Network, which cited unidentified sources. The report adds Elliott and his team haven’t made a counter offer. Ezekiel Elliott contract: Cowboys star begins holdout, team proceeds with ‘business as usual’ Ezekiel Elliott contract: Cowboys star seeking record deal, report says Jones added: “It’s going to do no good to address this situation every day, but we will be working on [a contract] behind the scenes.”Elliott is set to earn a base salary of $3.9 million for 2019, and the team last month picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract that will pay him $9.1 million for 2020.He earned his second rushing title in three years with 1,434 yards on a league-high 304 carries with six touchdowns last season, while adding 77 receptions for 567 yards with three touchdowns.
Wondering how to tune in to the contest Friday? Below is everything you need to know about how to watch Steelers vs. Buccaneers.MORE: Watch the Steelers vs. Buccaneers live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)What channel is Steelers vs. Buccaneers on today?TV channel: NFL NetworkLive stream: fuboTVThe Steelers vs. Buccaneers game will be televised on NFL Network. You can also live stream the game on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial.What time does the Steelers vs. Buccaneers game start?Date: Friday, Aug. 9Start time: 7:30 p.m. ETKickoff between the Steelers and Bucs is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The game will be played at Heinz Field, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Steelers preseason schedule 2019DateOpponentTimeAugust 9vs. Buccaneers7:30 p.m. ETAugust 17vs. Chiefs7:30 p.m. ETAugust 25at Titans8:00 p.m. ETAugust 29at Panthers7:00 p.m. ET Buccaneers preseason schedule 2019DateOpponentTimeAugust 9at Steelers7:30 p.m. ETAugust 16vs. Dolphins7:30 p.m. ETAugust 23vs. Browns7:30 p.m. ETAugust 29at Cowboys8:00 p.m. ET The Steelers will host the Buccaneers on Friday, the second night of the Week 1 NFL preseason schedule.The Steelers are coming off a dramatic season in which Le’Veon Bell didn’t play a single down and Antonio Brown grew disgruntled, leading to Pittsburgh’s first playoff miss since 2013. Now that Bell and Brown are playing for different teams, the pressure is on a new supporting cast for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin, who is going into his 13th season with the team.On the other hand, the Bucs began last season strong, starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB after having to sideline Jameis Winson for the first three games. The high quickly came to an end, resulting in a five-win campaign and the firing of head coach Dirk Koetter after three seasons.The Bucs went on to hire Bruce Arians as Koetter’s replacement, convincing him to come out of his two-year retirement. Friday’s contest will be the first glimpse into Tampa’s new offense under Arians.
BiH goalkeeper and keeper of Stoke City Asmir Begović is set to follow boss Tony Pulis out of the club — and sign for Liverpool.The £15million-rated Begović has been watched by a string of clubs all season with Arsenal and Manchester United also keen on the Bosnian.But now he looks set to be the long-term replacement for the Kop’s Spanish keeper Pepe Reina.Begović, 25, gave an interview in Bosnia in which he claimed he would be joining Liverpool in July for pre-season training.He said: “I want to start preparing on July 10, with all the players of Liverpool.” Following the departure of veteran boss Pulis, 55, after seven years in charge of the Potters for a second spell, Begović seems to have decided the time is right for him to also move.Pulis made it clear last season that former Portsmouth shot stopper Begović did not have to be sold.But Stoke have a ready-made replacement with young England keeper Jack Butland, 20, ready to come in from Midlands rivals Birmingham.(The Sun)(photo: thinkfootball)
The BH national team player Edin Dzeko got injured during the match with Carpi, and according to the first prognoses one of the best strikers in the world is to stay out of the field for three to four weeks, which was also confirmed by Roma’s doctors. This means that Mesa Bazdarevic will not be able to count on Dzeko in the qualifying match against Wales on October 10th in Zenica.It was confirmed to the media that, despite of the injury, Dzeko will come to the gathering in Zenica and the BH doctoral team will take care of his health.Dzeko injured his knee, actually a ligament, which can recover in less than three weeks, according to Roma’s doctoral team. However, that will hardly happen until the meeting of B&H and Wales.(Source: nap.ba)