Pedro insists Kepa substitution row did not split Chelsea dressing room

The incident with Kepa was widely viewed as undermining Sarri’s authority and several reports this week claimed members of the Chelsea squad had sided with their goalkeeper over their head coach.

But speaking to ESPN after the Spurs win, Pedro insisted: “There has been a lot of talk this week and that always destabilises [things] a little, but the truth is that in the dressing room we are together, as a great team.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“We have not given much importance to everything that has been talked about and in the end that is the most important thing. We are focused on doing well in every game to get the three points, because from here to the end of the season they will be all finals and we will try to fight to be in the top four.

“This was a great match for us to gain confidence and stay there [in the fight for the top four].6

“We have all talked to each other in the dressing room. We’ve also talked to Willy and we’ve talked to the coach. The truth is that we have solved all the problems and I think it has been a [small] incident rather than a serious problem.

“It always serves to learn. We are with Kepa, with Willy and with the manager. This is the path that we have to follow. Now we need to get ready very well for the match against Fulham because it is another final.”

Kepa’s moment of public insubordination at Wembley overshadowed an improved performance from Chelsea even in defeat on penalties to City, and they built on the positives on their return to Premier League action against Spurs.

Asked if Wednesday’s win could be a turning point in a difficult season, Pedro replied: “I think so. We have played very well in the last two games, we were more solid, more compact and we created more chances.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“Against City we already played a great game. It was a pity that we did not have luck in front of goal. Today we did have that and this is the way to go.

“We have to keep playing like this against the top teams and against any team every week to try not to drop points and be in the top [four], because now it is our main goal.”

England women’s Jordan Nobbs part of World Cup preparations despite long-term injury

England vice-captain Jordan Nobbs will still play a part in the squad’s preparations for this summer’s World Cup in France despite injury ruling her out of the tournament.

Arsenal midfielder Nobbs suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in November and will not be available for the SheBelievesCup — a tournament which includes hosts United States, Japan and Brazil — which starts on Feb. 27.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

However the assistant to England women’s head coach Phil Neville, Bev Priestman, said they are still including the 26-year-old in decisions because of her leadership qualities, despite her not travelling to the U.S.5

“She’s still part of our captains’ group, so instead of her not being involved at all, she contributes,” Priestman said. “It’s a leadership group of players that we use as a sort of two-way conduit between the players and the staff, making sure the environment gets the best out of them.

“She’s certainly still a big part of this team.If we have meet-up days in England, commercial days where she can be in and around the team, we get her in. The girls love having her around and she’s been in and around the environment because we see her as part of this team moving forward.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“It would be short-sighted to move on without Jordan with [the Women’s Euros in England in] 2021, [Tokyo Olympics] 2020 in mind.”

Manchester City midfielder Jill Scott has withdrawn from the U.S. tournament in order to work on her fitness, and Priestman said the absence of the duo will present a “big opportunity” for others, including Brisbane Roar forward Chioma Ubogagu.

Where Lakers and Celtics can look for inspiration

Even with a disappointing loss Monday in Detroit where officiating upset them, the Pacers are 8-2 in February. They’re back in third place in the East. They’re second in defensive rating in the league for the month (speaking of teams you probably haven’t been paying attention to, the Orlando Magic are first).

Coach Nate McMillan has sold his team on role definition, which is hard enough with your average NBA squad. Considering McMillan has six key players who will be free agents this summer and another, Domantas Sabonis, playing for an extension, that’s a stacked deck that he has been able to manage.cheap nike nfl jersey

McMillan, president Kevin Pritchard and GM Chad Buchanan have an open-door policy when discussing free agency internally. If a player wants to talk about it, management is unafraid. They run a business, and in Indiana it’s not a bottomless money business, but they’ve tried to be transparent when the topic arises.6

Whether that’s a secret to success or not, the Pacers don’t play like a team full of guys worried about their next paycheck. They happily play an egalitarian offense that spreads it around with seemingly minimal ego or agenda issues. They’ve had at least five double-figure scorers 52 times in 61 games, the highest number in the league. They’ve had seven players in double figures 12 times; they’re 11-1 in those games.

They have veterans who are leaders, Thaddeus Young especially according to those around the team, and players who seem to be agreeable to platooning — particularly their point guards and big men — depending on matchups. And if they aren’t, it hasn’t become public.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Their March schedule is brutal and they might not hang on to the No. 3 seed until the wire. But their professionalism during some challenges has been exemplary. And frankly, it could be an example to some of their peers out there.

Namely, one of the teams that’s eating their dust at the moment is Boston. The Celtics have been anything but together for so much of this season. A root has been Kyrie Irving and some of his younger teammates, who have grated on one another as they’ve looked to work toward opposite purposes repeatedly during the season.

Spurs frustrated after loss to Nets concludes 1-7 Rodeo Road Trip

How do Spurs players feel after the worst “Rodeo Road Trip” in franchise history?cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Guys are not happy, [they’re] frustrated, want to win and want to do the things to win,” LaMarcus Aldridge said after San Antonio’s 101-85 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. “So it’s on us, no one’s going to save us. We’ve got to figure it out ourselves.”

Monday’s loss left the Spurs at 1-7 on their annual Rodeo Road Trip — the worst mark in the 17-year history of the extended stretch of away games scheduled to make room for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo at the Spurs’ home arena. It also left the club on shaky footing in the Western Conference playoff race.5

The Spurs (33-29) enter play Tuesday in eighth place in the conference, a game ahead of the Sacramento Kings. San Antonio’s streak of 21 consecutive playoff appearances — tied for the second-longest in NBA history — is in jeopardy entering the season’s final 20 games.cheap nike nfl jersey

“We show spurts when we can play and beat anybody in this league, but then we go out there and lose to a team that is one of the worst teams in the league like [Sunday night against the New York Knicks] — the roller-coaster ride of it is so high and so low,” DeMar DeRozan said after scoring 23 points in the loss. “We’ve got to find that balance and really level off these last 20 games.”

The Spurs have been one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams over the course of the road trip, particularly on Sunday, when they allowed 130 points in a loss to the Knicks. But San Antonio held Brooklyn to a respectable 101 points on Monday night. The problem was on the other end of the floor, where the Spurs missed 20 of 24 3-point attempts and finished with their lowest point total of the season.

“That [kind of] poor shooting is always going to be a problem,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But I’m actually pleased with the game … because we held a good team to 101 points, and if we continue to do that, we’ll be in good shape.”

Aaron Hicks signs 7-year extension with Yankees

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman estimated that he and Hicks’ representatives began discussing the extension in December. Within the past few days, the conversations picked up.

Cashman’s message to Hicks once the deal was complete? “I’m betting on you.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“He has more gas in his tank, he has more mountains to climb,” Cashman said. “We’re excited by a player who came here that wasn’t a finished product and had a lot of upside. We engaged him on a lot of levels about the talent that we thought he possessed.”

A .236 career hitter, Hicks was traded to the Yankees from Minnesota after the 2015 season.6

After scuffling to a .217 batting average his first season in pinstripes and struggling to stay healthy his second year in the Bronx, Hicks had a career year in 2018. He set career highs in games played (137), homers (27), RBIs (79), runs scored (90) and WAR (4.7).
“I want to win a World Series,” Hicks said then. “I’m tired of losing. We’ve come so close, but I’m tired of saying we came close.”

Hicks echoed those sentiments Monday when he said he believes the Yankees are constructed well enough to contend for nike nfl jerseys cheap chinachampionships throughout the entirety of his new contract.

Other Yankees feel the same way now that Hicks and the recently re-signed Luis Severino are locked into their long-term future.

“[Hicks] is a big part of this team and a big part of our success. … I always love playing by him,” Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said. “To hear he got seven years, we’ll be playing together for a long time.”

Yankees’ Troy Tulowitzki ‘a little pumped up’ after homering against Blue Jays

And if he wasn’t sure his actions were enough, Tulowitzki did his share of talking after the Yankees’ 3-0 win.

“That was the team that basically told me I couldn’t play anymore,” Tulowitzki said. “You guys know the story. You know what happened. So yeah. No doubt about it. It was definitely extra, extra special.”

Tulowitzki called the solo shot “the biggest spring training home run I’ve ever hit.”

The intense, raw emotion he spoke with was on display when he rounded the bases, too. Tulowitzki could be seen shouting loudly as he ran the bases, and he did the same when he came back to the dugout, where he was greeted with high fives and hard pats on the back by teammates.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“Oh, I’ve been thinking about that at-bat for a long, long time,” Tulowitzki said. “So yeah, I got a little pumped up there. But anybody who tells you you’re done, you’re going to have a little extra fire.”5

Following two injury-plagued seasons, the Blue Jays released Tulowitzki, 34, in December. They continue, however, to pay him $38 million over the next three seasons. Although he’s with the Yankees on a league-minimum $555,000 deal, Tulowitzki is still getting paid more by Toronto than any other player currently on the Blue Jays’ roster.

His injury troubles began in 2017, when an ankle sprain cost him much of the second half of that season. Last spring, his heels were the problem. Tulowitzki was forced into having surgery on both to fix bone spur problems. Ultimately, it cost him the entire 2018 season. As a result, Tulowitzki hasn’t played in a regular-season game since July 28, 2017.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“All the rehab that I was doing and all the hours that I put in trying to come back from my surgery, there were a lot of people that said, ‘Forget about it,'” Tulowitzki said. “There were people who said I’d never make it back on a baseball field again.”

Just after he was cut last December, Tulowitzki held workouts that drew interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees, who flew back to where he was training in California to look at him a second time. After that workout, they decided to give him a chance to be their regular shortstop until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery.

Mark Glowinski, Indianapolis Colts reach 3-year, $18M extension

The Indianapolis Colts kept Mark Glowinski from becoming a free agent, signing the guard to a contract extension Tuesday. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the three-year deal is worth $18 million.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Glowinski, who was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, started nine of the 11 games in which he saw action for the Colts in 2018. He became the starting right guard in early October after Matt Slauson sustained a season-ending back injury.6

With Glowinski re-signed, all five starters on the Colts’ offensive line are under contract for the 2019 season. He was the team’s only regular starter not signed through next season.

The Colts’ offensive line allowed just 18 sacks this season — fewest in the NFL. Quarterback Andrew Luck went 239 pass attempts this season without being sacked — the third-longest stretch in NFL history.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Indianapolis’ offense ranked seventh in yards per game (386.2) and sixth in passing yards (278.8).

Colts name former OL coach Howard Mudd as senior offensive assistant

Colts coach Frank Reich is doing his best to make sure his offensive line doesn’t have a drop-off next season.

The Colts have hired longtime offensive line coach Howard Mudd as a senior offensive assistant, the team announced Thursday. Mudd will work with newly hired offensive line coach Chris Strausser and assistant line coach Klayton Adams.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Reich surprised many when he parted ways with Dave DeGuglielmo last month after the Colts’ line gave up an NFL-low 18 sacks and was arguably the league’s best overall unit last season.5

Mudd, who has more than 40 years of NFL experience as a coach, will provide added experience for Strausser, who spent the past two seasons in Denver, first as the offensive tackles coach in 2017 and then assistant offensive line coach last season.

Mudd spent 12 seasons as Indianapolis’ offensive line coach from 1998 to 2009, when the group consistently was ranked as one of the NFL‘s best. During that timespan, with Peyton Manning as quarterback, the Colts gave up more than 23 sacks in a season just once. They gave up 15 sacks or less in a season five times.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

That’s all good news for quarterback Andrew Luck and a starting offensive line that’s currently under contract for next season.

The Colts also announced Thursday that Marcus Brady has been promoted from assistant quarterbacks coach to quarterbacks coach.

Hamidou Diallo wins dunk contest; Jayson Tatum best in skills challenge

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo knew he’d have to make an impression to win the slam dunk contest. So he decided to find a way to make the biggest one possible: by dunking over the biggest person in the building.

Wearing a Superman shirt underneath his teal Thunder jersey, Diallo threw down a slam after jumping over 7-foot-1 Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and then hung on the rim by his elbow to steal the show and come away as the winner of this year’s competition.

Diallo’s dunk was one of the few highlights of a competition that featured some compelling slams — including New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. dunking over rapper J. Cole while wearing Cole’s high school jersey, and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins jumping over an airplane prop — but also lengthy delays because a few contestants required multiple tries in order to complete their dunks.

Two players — Smith and Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges — failed to convert one of their attempts.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Smith’s failed attempt came on his first dunk in the final round, but he earned a 50 on his second dunk of the final, jumping over Dwyane Wade while getting an alley-oop from Stephen Curry.6

Diallo needed at least a 43 on his second dunk of the final to win the title. After pulling rapper Quavo out of the crowd and having him hold the ball over his head, Diallo leaped over him, took the ball out of his hands and slammed it home to score a 45.

As it turns out, Diallo had actually planned on dunking over Wade, his childhood idol, but when Smith used Wade for his dunk, Diallo switched to Quavo.

“It was great,” Diallo said of winning the competition. “Dennis stole my third dunk. I was going to use D-Wade last. That was my favorite player growing up. But it all worked out.”

The dunk contest was boring enough that the skills challenge — typically the least interesting event of the night — was arguably more compelling.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

That was thanks to the theatrics of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who fell behind in each of his three rounds — first to Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, then to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, and finally to Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young — but rallied to win each and start the night off with a victory.

Candid Anthony Davis says Celtics part of trade list

That was just one of several jaw-dropping moments during Davis’ 24-minute meeting with the media Saturday. He discussed not only the possibility of playing for the Celtics but also why he would be interested in joining the New York Knicks, the firing of Pelicans general manager Dell Demps on Friday afternoon and why he asked for a trade out of New Orleans in the first place.

“I’m just keeping it real, to be honest,” Davis said with a smile, when asked why he was being so forthright about his future. “I knew that’s all you guys wanted to talk about. I just stated how I feel, stated my intentions, and we’ll go on from there.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The most significant of those stated intentions, however, was Davis’ willingness to go to Boston. With young forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and a plethora of draft picks — most notably a protected first-rounder from the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies that could become unprotected in 2021 — the Celtics have enough to beat any other team’s realistic offer for Davis.

The one thing that could have stopped them, however, was being unsure of Davis’ willingness to stick around after he can become a free agent in 2020. That, in theory, could have opened the door to Davis’ top destination, the Los Angeles Lakers, where he could play alongside LeBron James and instantly return the Lakers to championship contention. New Orleans, however, was underwhelmed by the Lakers’ collection of young players (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball) and draft picks, and negotiations became both public and acrimonious on both sides.5

Davis, though, was happy to talk about his future in mid-February. When the Celtics came back up in the wake of him saying they were on his list, Davis repeated a variation of the same phrase — “I never said Boston was not on my list” — three times. He subsequently went on NBA TV and declared that “all 29 teams” were on his list, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported before the trade deadline was initially two teams — the Lakers and Knicks — before later expanding to the LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

“Market [size] doesn’t matter to me,” Davis said. “I just want to win. Big market, small market, it doesn’t matter. My focus is on winning at this point in my career. And wherever that may be, it could be a big market or a small market, I just want to win.”

Davis was asked why he would be interested in playing for the Knicks, who are on his list while sporting the NBA’s second-worst record at 11-47.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“It’s a great franchise,” Davis said. “Playing obviously at the Garden, the city … but also Milwaukee is on that list, too. It doesn’t matter about big market, small market; it’s about winning for me.