Monthly Archives: December 2016


Irving, James and Kevin Durant for Nike and Stephen Curry for Under Armour

Kyrie Irving is just 24 years old, but he is self-aware enough to recognize the fundamental flaw to his basketball existence.

“I’m naturally an Alpha,” Irving told ESPN.com in a wide-ranging interview during a preview event for his new Nike sneaker, the Kyrie 3, on a gray Sunday afternoon in late November. “I know I am. I know I am. I have that type of personality but I also understood coming to this team, I couldn’t be all of what I envision myself being in terms of taking control.”

About half of those players with signature shoes — Irving, James and Kevin Durant for Nike and Stephen Curry for Under Armour — will be rocking their kicks when the Cavs host the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch Christmas Day.

Irving will be wearing the Kyrie 3, which has hints of the two that came before it from the “H&H” and “JBY” on the tongue — standing for Irving’s personal mottos of “hungry and humble” and “just be you” — which were introduced on the Kyrie 1, to the spiral design on the ankle reminiscent of the Kyrie 2.

Adams has seen his free throw shooting regress after a hot start from the line and Bazemore’s continual poor shooting and lack of production in the other categories warrant a significant drop. Oladipo continues to be out of the lineup with a sprained right wrist, which has cost him the past eight games, while Hood — a player who has to score a lot to be a top 100 player in fantasy — simply hasn’t produced (10.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.9 APG in his past seven games) as well as he did earlier in the season.

Robert Covington (101), Justise Winslow (118) and Nick Young (119) are the key newcomers to the list.

This meant that for the Cubs to win this World Series, they were going to have to do what no team had ever done — blow a lead that late in a winner-take-all World Series game and then find the strength to come back and win. But of course, we now know that’s exactly what they did … with the timely assistance of a go-ahead run that was scored by a man (Albert Almora) who hadn’t crossed home plate during the entire postseason.

So that led us to what had to be the strangest but truest final out of any World Series Game 7 ever. The man on the mound — Mike Montgomery — had never saved a game. The man at the plate — Michael Martinez — hadn’t gotten a hit in more than seven weeks. And the catcher behind the dish — Miguel Montero — hadn’t caught a pitch in over two weeks. But you know how you could tell it was all meant to be? Somehow or other, they all had the same initials (MM) — because, well, of course they did.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t eliminated, but a lot has to happen for them to get in

Rebecca Carter and her six children, shown with the Rams’ Tavon Austin and Robert Quinn, are living under one roof for the first time. Ric Tapia/Rams
In the kitchen was everything she could need, from a refrigerator to a slow cooker to even a stand mixer. She turned the corner and saw a new dining table holding a gift basket. The rooms all had beds, and the bathrooms were fully decorated. In the living room was a sectional couch and a coffee table. And in the corner was a Christmas tree with presents spilling out from underneath.

The kids got clothes, school supplies, toys and gaming systems. The four boys received bicycles. The oldest girl, Dynah, was gifted a tablet to help fulfill her dream of becoming a pediatrician. Mom received a laptop, printer, clothes and makeup. She wants to go back to school for cosmetology.

“A new beginning,” Carter said of what all this represented. “A new start. No more worrying. No more stress. No more depression. It’s over. I’m with my family. We’re all together, and I’m happy.”

Surging: Washington might have cost itself a playoff berth with its home loss Monday night to Carolina, but it rebounded nicely Saturday and still is in the race. If Detroit loses at Dallas on Monday and Washington beats the Giants in Week 17, it will have a better record than the Packers-Lions loser.

Slipping: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t eliminated, but a lot has to happen for them to get in. It’s possible that they could get in with a win, a Washington loss and a Green Bay loss, but some strength-of-schedule type tiebreakers that currently favor the Packers would have to switch in Tampa Bay’s favor, and that might not be possible.

Worth noting: The Minnesota Vikings (7-8) started the season 5-0 but were eliminated from playoff contention with Saturday’s loss in Green Bay. They traded their first-round pick to the Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford after Teddy Bridgewater got hurt, and now they face an early and uncertain offseason.