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Raptors’ Masai Ujiri won’t be charged for shoving deputy

California prosecutors announced Tuesday that they won’t charge Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for shoving a sheriff’s deputy after the deciding game of the NBA Finals in Oakland in June.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office announced the decision Tuesday afternoon, when the Raptors were in Toronto receiving their championship rings for defeating the Golden State Warriors.

The DA’s office said it met with Ujiri and his attorneys on Monday and decided the matter was better handled “outside of the courtroom.”nike nfl jerseys for cheap

“I am extremely pleased with the decision,” Ujiri said in a statement issued through the team from Toronto, where the Raptors opened their regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“While these past months have been difficult waiting for a determination on this matter, I understand the nature of the process and am appreciative of the efforts of all involved,” Ujiri said. “I am happy that this is now behind me and I look forward to the task of bringing another Championship to the City of Toronto.”6

The Raptors had just won their first title after taking Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on June 13 when Ujiri went onto the court to join his celebrating team.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped him because Ujiri didn’t provide the proper on-court credential, leading to a shoving match that was partially captured on video.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Several bystanders intervened, and Ujiri got onto the court without displaying any credentials.

An attorney for the deputy contended that the deputy suffered a concussion. The sheriff’s office said only that he was placed on medical leave. The office filed a report of misdemeanor battery with the district attorney’s office.

An effort Tuesday to contact a spokesman for the sheriff’s office was unsuccessful. Messages to the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Alameda County seeking comment from the deputy weren’t immediately returned.

Ujiri attorney Robert Beles said his client is gratified and said the DA’s office conducted a thorough investigation.

“It was definitely the right conclusion,” he said, calling Ujiri “a decent human being and a good man.”

How investing $150K in Spencer Dinwiddie would actually work

At the end of the 2018 NBA offseason, Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie was hanging out in Los Angeles with Jeremy Adams, a close friend from their days at the University of Colorado. The two played basketball at Boulder, and they share an enthusiasm for the world of blockchain technology and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Dinwiddie had thoroughly enjoyed the process of developing his own shoe the previous year outside the sneaker industrial complex. He and Adams wondered: What other opportunities existed out there?

“With the shoe, we started exploring ways to try to take control of the brand,” Dinwiddie said.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

For years, Dinwiddie threw himself into the world of markets — both traditional sectors like financial services and newfangled corners of the ecosystem like cryptocurrency. These days, it’s normal to walk into an NBA practice facility and find a hard copy of a pitch deck lying around the locker room. But Dinwiddie isn’t just into investing; he is a guy with a more holistic interest in how money works. How is value transferred in an economy? How do you make markets more inclusive? What’s a cool way to bring liquidity to an illiquid, unrealized sector?4

On that last question, Dinwiddie realized the next step in his entrepreneurial journey was to create a financial instrument that would allow him and other athletes to fully maximize their upside. Why not just be the investment vehicle, allowing people who believe in that athlete to cash in when he makes good on his potential?

The idea of athletes or celebrities securitizing their talents has precedent. In 1997, musician David Bowie worked with an investment bank to sell “Bowie Bonds.” Investors were paid a fixed annual return of 7.9% over 10 years for bonds that were backed by Bowie’s intellectual property — in other words, his recordings and songs — and his rights to royalties. Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas took a long look at securitizing his contract in 1998, but the plan got hung up over skittishness about clauses in his deal that would nullify the contract for scenarios like a non-sports-related injury or player strike.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Dinwiddie plans to offer what he has named his Professional Athlete Investment Token (PAInT) as soon as this week. The offering has a minimum investment of $150,000, and it would be available only to accredited investors on a new platform that he hopes will eventually host dozens of athletes who follow his lead.

The NBA has taken issue with Dinwiddie’s efforts, and the two sides have been debating whether issuing a PAInT would violate the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Dinwiddie is hopeful that the measures he has taken over the past few weeks will persuade the league of its permissibility under the CBA.

Jets’ Darnold cleared, to start against Cowboys

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was cleared for contact and will start Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced.

Darnold, diagnosed four weeks ago with mononucleosis, had been dealing with an enlarged spleen — a residual effect of the illness. He said he felt well enough to play last week, but there was still some swelling in his spleen, the team said.

Darnold, speaking Monday afternoon in his weekly radio spot on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York, said: “I feel good. Energy is awesome. Just looking forward to playing this week, but have to wait for doctor’s orders.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

His return should provide an emotional boost for the reeling Jets (0-4), who have scored only two touchdowns on offense. The tension in the locker room prompted a players-only meeting on Monday. Players said they called the meeting in an attempt to remain unified.

Also returning is tight end Chris Herndon, who served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Herndon hasn’t yet been added to the roster; he has an exemption.5

The good news for Darnold is that he had two full days of practice last week. He and the team were so confident he’d be cleared that he worked exclusively with the starters on Wednesday and Thursday. Late Thursday, he was ruled out after an ultrasound and blood test.

Scrambling, the Jets had to start Luke Falk for the second straight week. He was manhandled in a 31-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He was sacked nine times and committed three turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Fearing a concussion, the Jets pulled Falk after his ninth sack. They inserted David Fales, their fourth quarterback of the season. Falk cleared concussion protocol, the team said, and is available this week.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Jets, off to their worst start since 2003, hope Darnold can galvanize a punchless and mistake-prone offense.

“It’s probably more than just Sam getting out there — we’ve got a lot of other things to clean up — but Sam is able to hide things sometimes for us,” Gase said. “If we make a mistake, he covers it up. We just need to do a better job as a group, making sure we’re all on the same page.”

Fantasy fallout: Goodbye Saquon Barkley, hello Daniel Jones

Normally you can’t accuse this column of any sort of East Coast bias. But the New York Giants changed that this week by becoming the center of the fantasy universe. For better and for worse.

We lost the consensus No. 1 draft pick, Saquon Barkley, to a high ankle sprain for an estimated 4-8 weeks. But we gained “Danny Dimes,” thanks to the surprisingly explosive debut of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones — which should also boost the value of tight end Evan Engram and receivers Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, according to ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan.

“Engram and Shepard, they’re like on Cloud 9 right now,” said Raanan, who said it’s no coincidence that both of them had 100-yard games in Jones’ debut — because not only does he throw the ball deep with accuracy, but he also keeps plays alive with his legs longer than previous QB Eli Manning did.5

Raanan had a great breakdown of how Jones’ mobility played such a big role in the Giants’ 32-31 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which he threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 28 yards and two more TDs.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Raanan stopped short of predicting Shepard will become a top-20 fantasy receiver, because he thinks Shepard and Tate could be somewhat interchangeable when Tate returns from a suspension in Week 5.

However, Raanan does believe that Jones himself can be a legitimate fantasy asset — especially when you throw in those bonus points he can provide in the running game.

“I mean, he’s done it pretty consistently,” Raanan said. “He completed 85% of his passes in the preseason. That’s really good no matter who you’re playing against. And he’s not throwing dink and dunks — he’s willing to throw it down the field. That’s probably the thing he does best. He averaged 9.8 air yards per attempt.

“And he’s gonna put up numbers because their defense is not very good. So they’re gonna have to score points.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Raanan did offer some notes of caution, though. For one thing, fumbling has been an Achilles’ heel for Jones, with three of them in the preseason and three of them already in limited regular-season action. And, of course, the Giants’ offense will lose some potency while Barkley is sidelined, especially when they face top defenses such as New England and Minnesota in Weeks 5-6.

As for replacing Barkley, Raanan said he thinks third-year RB Wayne Gallman is “their guy” and that he should see around 15 carries per game. He certainly won’t replace the production level of Barkley — and Raanan doesn’t think he will see nearly as much work in the passing game, some of which could go to fullback Elijhaa Penny. But Raanan said he’s a little higher on Gallman’s running ability than others seem to be and thinks he could have moderate success because the opportunity will be there.

James Conner, Steelers’ running game struggling to help ailing offense

The key to a successful offensive game plan for a first-time starting quarterback is generally simple enough.

Run the ball.

With quarterback Mason Rudolph starting for the first time, the Pittsburgh Steelers entered Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with the intention of leaning on third-year running back James Conner.

The 49ers loaded the box early and often with eight defenders, trying to force Rudolph to throw. Pittsburgh, however, couldn’t get anything going in the passing game, settling for short throws barely past the line of scrimmage. And with the 49ers’ stacked front, the Steelers couldn’t run the ball effectively, either, creating a lackluster offense in Rudolph’s starting debut.cheap nfl nike jersey

Conner ran the ball just once on the first two drives before opening up the third drive with back-to-back carries. He got the ball once more on the drive, one that ended in a punt just before halftime. That capped off a half in which he carried the ball seven times for 18 yards. His longest run went for just 5 yards.6

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Conner finally had a double-digit run, picking up 10 yards to open a drive that ended with Rudolph’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson.

It was the kind of run the Steelers needed from Conner all afternoon but got just once.

When his number was called again in the fourth quarter to milk the clock after the 49ers’ fifth turnover, Conner ran for 5 yards and then fumbled it away two plays later, giving the 49ers the ball just outside the red zone.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“That never happens to James,” Rudolph said of the fumble. “James is an unbelievable player. We were still being aggressive in that situation and mixed the run with the pass.”

Those were Conner’s final three carries of the afternoon, and the only three carries of the fourth quarter.

Conner finished the game with 45 yards on 13 carries — the most he’s had this season. But it’s a far cry from his standard a season ago.

Last season, he had only three games in which he carried the ball fewer than 13 times, and the Steelers went 1-2 in those games. The Steelers were 7-2-1 last year when Connor rushed at least 13 times.

Through three games this season, Conner is averaging an anemic 2.9 yards per carry. He has rushed just 34 times for 97 yards — far from his numbers through three games a season ago. In the 2018 three-game opening stretch, Conner rushed for 213 yards on 54 carries and scored three touchdowns. He has just one this season.

Curry commits to Olympics: ‘That is the plan’

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is committed to playing for Team USA in next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“That is the plan, for sure,” Curry said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “You know, obviously knock on wood, you don’t want any injuries or things like that to interfere.”

“Definitely wanna go,” Curry said. “I’ve never been on the Olympic team. I’ve been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Team USA recently finished seventh in the FIBA World Cup, the country’s worst finish ever. The roster was composed mostly of players put together at the last minute, after multiple high-profile players backed out of playing. The embarrassing finish for the proud basketball country prompted Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo to say that he would “remember” players who “didn’t show up.” Curry’s declaration figures to be the first signal that other American superstars will join the former MVP in trying to win a fourth straight Olympic gold medal for Team USA.5

Curry says he is confident that the Americans can still reign supreme when they put their best players on the floor.

“We’re still the best,” Curry said. “If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment’s been there, and I think it’ll be there next year.”

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard said during a trip to Sydney this week that he planned on being a part of Team USA’s gold medal try.

“I plan on being a part of that. I plan on playing,” Lillard told news.com.au.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Curry would join his head coach, Steve Kerr, on Team USA. Kerr is an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s Team USA staff.

Curry also is sorting through his new reality as a member of a Warriors squad that comes into the season after a massive roster reconstruction that started when Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of the free-agency period.

“At the end of the day, we live in an age where choice at the forefront, and K, you know, made a decision for himself and you can’t argue that,” Curry said. “I wish we could still play with K. He’s an unbelievable talent, unbelievable person. We accomplished a lot together. But — you know, things have changed a little bit. So you obviously wish him the best, obviously with his recovery first and foremost and things on and off the court. But we’re gonna have to battle down the road. So this should be a fun, new experience on that front, too.”

Curry acknowledged that he found out about Durant’s decision to sign with the Nets as he flew to New York to check in on his now former teammate.

White Sox shut down RHP Giolito with lat strain

The All-Star right-hander will miss the rest of the season with a mild lat strain. He was slated to pitch for the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday at Minnesota, but the team announced the injury after its 5-3 loss to the Twins in the series opener.

“If we were in the playoff hunt at this point, I’d be arguing as much as I could to go out there and pitch and compete,” Giolito said Monday. “I feel like with how I felt yesterday, I probably would have been able to get through it, but just understanding the situation, it’s probably for the best to shut it down.’‘cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The 25-year-old Giolito went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 29 starts this year. He also recorded the first three complete games of his career.

Even with Giolito’s performance, the White Sox are a distant third in the AL Central, with a 65-85 record.7

“Certainly an incredible season for Lucas, even though it’s a couple starts short of a full season,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Still one that, in my opinion, certainly merits Cy Young consideration, and I suspect he’ll receive some votes here once the votes are ultimately tabulated and something that he can obviously go into the offseason feeling proud about.”

Hahn said Giolito felt something Sunday when he went to throw a side session. An MRI on Monday revealed the lat strain, which Hahn said would typically require several weeks of recovery.

Ross Detwiler will start Tuesday in Giolito’s place.

Giolito was acquired in the December 2016 trade that sent Adam Eaton to Washington. He was selected by the Nationals in the first round of the 2012 draft.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“He’s doing ace-type stuff, and we’ll let time tell us as we continue to throw him out there and compete, what you guys will ultimately want to label him,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I see him as an ace-type guy.”

Tom Brady Says Antonio Brown Has ‘A Lot to Learn’ After Joining Patriots

Tom Brady is understandably excited about the New England Patriots’ signing of Antonio Brown, but he acknowledged there is work to be done for the seven-time Pro Bowler to get acclimated.

“There was a lot of positive emotion when it happened,” Brady told NBC Sports’ Peter King, “but you know, everybody says, ‘Whoa, this is what it can be, and what potential they have.’ But you know, the teams I’ve been on, they go to work.”

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“The NFL’s a competitive place. Lots of moving parts. Lots of adjustment, constantly. Week to week, a guy gets hurts, a guy gets picked up you don’t know, you’re constantly manipulating your team. We lost our right tackle [Marcus Cannon, with a shoulder injury] tonight for who knows how long. Like, oh s–t, that’s a big deal. Now we’ll add Antonio, and he’s got to … there’s a lot to learn. … The point is, it’s one thing to talk about; it’s another thing to go do it. Let’s go do it. That’s what my attitude is.”8

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said on the Sunday Night Football broadcast that Brady is already going all out to get his teammate acclimated to New England, offering to allow Brown to stay with him while he gets settled.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NBC’s Al Michaels that Brady is “a million percent in” on the Brown signing.

“Kraft also told me that when he broke the news to Tom Brady yesterday, Brady initially said, ‘I’m a hundred percent in.’ Two minutes later, Brady came back and said to Kraft, ‘I’m a thousand percent in.’ Then he came back two minutes later and said, ”I’m a million percent in,'” Michaels said on the broadcast.

Brady told reporters that he and Kraft had a “private conversation” and expressed excitement about adding “great football players.” King described Brady as not being “giddy, or overly bubbly” at the prospect of playing with Brown but would “describe him as pleased that the Patriots went out on a limb and invested millions” in the talented wideout.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

While many have questioned Brown’s antics in recent months, his on-field production isn’t a concern. He’s the first player in NFL history to post six straight 100-reception seasons; he also had 121 more receptions than any other receiver between 2013 and 2018.

Brown is the best receiver Brady has played with since Randy Moss from 2007 to 2010. Provided Brown is able to fit into the “Patriot way,” this should be a seamless fit that gives the Patriots their best receiving corps since their undefeated 2007 season.

Cubs’ rotation problems piling up, putting their playoff hopes at risk

It’s the key unit of the Cubs’ roster that is supposed to lead them to the postseason, but Chicago’s high-priced starting rotation is as big a crapshoot as any part of its game right now. On Friday night, against the Brewers, left-hander Cole Hamels continued a disturbing trend for this rotation when he took his team out of the game way too early for anyone’s liking — especially his.

“Sometimes, it’s a battle and you’d rather it be a battle against the other team as opposed to internally, against yourself,” Hamels said after a 7-1 defeat.

In the first inning, Hamels walked the leadoff batter before getting in and out of a bases-loaded jam. He settled down but not for long. Things fell apart in the third, as he gave up nine hits overall in 3⅓ innings, including a three-run home run to Christian Yelich. The Brewers never looked back, as the Cubs saw a short-lived 1-0 lead evaporate.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

At his best, Hamels can place his fastball where he wants it and then put hitters away with his changeup. But he is far from that pitcher right now. The Brewers went 7-for-8 against his fastball and chased almost nothing out of the zone — only 17% of his pitches to that area Friday, Hamels’ lowest number of the season. Even at less than ideal, the veteran usually keeps his team in the game. That’s not happening.5

“Time is ticking and this is why I’m here,” a frustrated Hamels said. “It’s to get the job done and to continue to put good games out there for this team to give them an opportunity to win, and I’m not doing so.”

Since a months-long stay on the injured list for an oblique injury, Hamels has been throwing batting practice. That was understandable for his first few starts back off the IL, but the time to shake off the rust should be well behind him. Over his past seven starts, he has given up a whopping 47 hits in 30⅓ innings while compiling a 7.12 ERA. His manager says Hamels is healthy, so this is about execution.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I thought he was throwing the ball well, then it all went south,” Joe Maddon said. “I didn’t see it coming. I thought he was in for a pretty good night.”

Hamels hasn’t had a good night in a long time, but the even bigger problem for the Cubs is that Hamels’ rotation mates are seemingly just as inconsistent. Kyle Hendricks can’t seem to pitch on the road. Jose Quintana has come back down to earth after a great stretch. Jon Lester is performing frequent escape-artist tricks; eventually, the traffic on the bases might catch up with him.

Which is why, on Saturday night, all eyes will be on Yu Darvish when he returns after skipping a start because of forearm stiffness. He has been excellent, but no one thought the Cubs would have to rely on him to lead the way at the most important time of the year. In March, a good season from Darvish was thought of as gravy. Now? He is as big a key as anyone on the team.

How the Boomers won a brutal chess game vs. Lithuania

Disregard an exhibition series against Team USA. Disregard a first-up, almost must-win game against Group rivals Canada. The test — the real test — for the Boomers’ medal credentials was always going to hinge on a confrontation with historical rivals, Lithuania.

Consider the stakes: actual tournament play, a grind-it-out style that would test the Australians, a surging opponent backed by a frenetic, roaring, travelling band of supporters (and their drums) and media alike. Both will travel to Nanjing — this was confirmed days ago — but the winner of this vaunted Group H clash would have more than just bragging rights within this storied rivalry.

“They’re great in their sets – they’ve got winks on blinks on counters,” said Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley, a few days ago. “They’ve got enough bigs to be a problem inside. They’ve got enough shooting. They’re just a very good basketball team — well organised, well disciplined, and they care a lot.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Obviously, got the bigs inside, big, physical bigs,” said Matthew Dellavedova. “But I think [they’re] a very even team — a lot of perimeter and wing scoring as well.”6

Boomers power forward David Barlow explained to ESPN that the level of detail has been astounding when it came to preparation for their bodies, their schemes, their opponents.

The Boomers have been fully aware of the potential permutations and competition mechanisms which have ensured that every game, every point, means so much in the this tournament.

Weaver described the challenges in-game adjustments, of reading and reacting to what Lithuania would throw at them, in the manner of a high-level chess game. To win, the Boomers would need to solve those puzzles deep in the trenches.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Shortcomings are amplified in the cauldron of a tournament, and within the company of elite competition. In Lithuania, the Boomers found a creditable puzzle to solve, as they survived a blistering second-half rally to win 87-82, and carry a precious one-game advantage into the second round of group play.

Allowing offensive rebounding, and the subsequent second-chance opportunities, was a sore spot for the Boomers against Senegal. The twin towers of Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas and the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis have been bulwarks in this tournament, bludgeoning their opponents on the glass. They would be an imposing frontline.

Lithuania averaged a staggering 15 o-boards (and 16 second-chance points) over their first two matches. A point of emphasis had to be to keep the likes of Valanciunas and Sabonis from beasting the offensive glass. In an amped up Aron Baynes, they met their beefy match, the Boomers centre barging his way to every defensive rebound available, setting the tone on the glass, particularly with Andrew Bogut plagued by foul trouble.