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NBA lack of confidence in the players, but also need to continue their efforts.

LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off one of his worst seasons statistically and told Gregg Popovich he wanted a fresh start with a new team, the Spurs coach revealed Thursday.

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The 32-year-old big man averaged playoff career-lows in points (16.5), rebounds (7.4) and blocks (1.0) last season, but has turned it around thanks to offseason meetings with Popovich that convinced him to want to stay in San Antonio.

“We had some dinners and meetings and laughed,” Popovich said, via ESPN.com . “I was very candid with him. I told [Aldridge], ‘I’d be happy to trade you. You get me a talent like Kevin Durant, and I’ll drive you to the airport. I’ll pack your bags. And I will drive you there, get you on the plane, and get you seated.’

“He laughed you know, that kind of thing. I said, ‘But short of that, I’m your best buddy because you’re here for another year, and you ain’t going nowhere. Because we’re not gonna get for you talent-wise what we would want. So, let’s figure this thing out.’ And we did. That’s what we came to.”

Popovich said Aldridge bluntly told him before nike nba jersey china the season he wasn’t enjoying playing, lacked confidence and didn’t know if Popovich wanted him.

“It’s my 20-whatever year, and nobody’s ever said that,” Popovich said Thursday.

“As discussions went on, it became apparent to me that it really was me,” Popovich added. “He’d been playing in the league for nine years. I’m not going to turn him into some other player. I could do some things defensively or rebounding-wise. But on offense, I was going to move him everywhere. That was just silly on my part. Total overcoaching. So, we took care of it, and he’s been fantastic.”

Aldridge has averaged 25.3 points over his last eight games and after Monday’s 12 rebounds, he’s recorded four double-doubles in his last five games entering Thursday’s matchup with the Lakers.

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Despite missing Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs (28-14) remain a top-three team in the Western Conference.

Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters is reportedly expected to undergo season-ending surgery on his bothersome left ankle, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.

Nike Jazz #3 Ricky Rubio Navy NBA Swingman Icon Edition Jersey
Nike Jazz #3 Ricky Rubio Navy NBA Swingman Icon Edition Jersey

Waiters, who hasn’t played since Dec. 22, said last month he was aiming to delay surgery until the offseason after forgoing the option to have a procedure over the summer.

“Until I take care of it and do what I was supposed to do with it, even if I have a little sprain, it’s going to be severe,” Waiters said at the time, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com. “I didn’t even do anything when I twisted it. I just twisted it.”

Over 30 appearances this season, Waiters averaged 14.3 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from three after signing a four-year, $52 million contract in July.

Should Waiters proceed with the operation, as expected, it will mark the second straight season he’s appeared in fewer than 50 games.

The Heat should continue to lean on Wayne Ellington—who’s been one of this season’s most pleasant surprises—to play big minutes on the wing. To date, Ellington is averaging 10.7 points and knocking down 41 percent of his threes.

The NFL owners spent $ 100 million to support the player’s social cause.

NFL owners seem poised to donate nearly $100 million (including some contributions from players) over seven years to support the favorite social justice causes of the players. But in a perfect show of how incompetent they are, the owners will get nothing from the players in return. No promise to stop disrespecting the national anthem or any other meaningful concessions.

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Who taught these clowns to negotiate, Neville Chamberlain? Obviously, they are used to trying to buy their way out of problems. Can you even imagine the sum total spent bailing their pampered players out of legal beefs, domestic violence and sexual misconduct issues? It would likely dwarf even Congress and Hollywood. But do they really think this will solve their problem?

Now the owners have taught the players that disrupting the business that feeds them all will bring the players more satchels of cash to toss around to pet causes, in a frenzy of virtue signaling.

“That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.”

So the NFL owners look like they will cave in and hope, hopelessly, that this will buy them some good will. Sadly, it will simply embolden the modern-day Vikings and Raiders and Buccaneers to continue their blackmail, lest the looting of TV ratings commence again.

What the owners should have done is said quite simply and emphatically: “Stand for the anthem or sit for the game – period.”

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There would almost certainly have been a revolt if players got an ultimatum like that, and some of these ill-mannered millionaires would have continued to kneel or sit as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played.

So what? Let them sit out the game, and play their back ups. Most of these guys are too over-leveraged spending their newfound wealth to miss too many paychecks.

Even if you had to miss a week of football, you would not be giving away control of the league to a collection of grievance mongers. Better to have one fight on cheap nfl jerseys principle standing up for the national anthem and flag both literally and figuratively, then to set yourself up for a series of cringing capitulations week after week and year after year.

The victorious players will now see their ability to extract funds for any cause, even their own enrichment, to be greatly enhanced.

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Nike Cowboys #21 Ezekiel Elliott White Men’s Stitched NFL Vapor Untouchable Elite Jersey

The league has plenty of problems, including the massive liability caused by years of ignoring the damage done to player’s brains. Maybe they don’t think they have the standing to stand on principle right now. But by kneeling themselves, the owners have simply ensured that they will feed a social justice crowd that knows no compromise.

They would have been much better off to read to the end of that Kipling poem on Dane-geld and do the hard thing now:

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,

No matter how trifling the cost;

For the end of that game is oppression and shame,

And the nation that pays it is lost!”

There are only a few perks that go with being a Green Bay Packer stockholder, but one is voting each year for the board of directors of the team. If the owners pay this bribe without securing an enforceable agreement that the players will not disrespect the national anthem and flag, then I will lead a stockholders revolt and run for the Packers Board on a promise to do just that.

These wannabe social justice warriors have plenty of their own cash and plenty of time outside the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to pursue whatever causes they wish.

Americans should not stand for their disrespect, and I sure won’t.

Quarterback appeared dazed as he struggled to his feet.

The NFL continuously reminds anyone willing to listen that player safety is the league’s top priority, yet the actions of its officials represent that it isn’t a priority at all.

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Twenty-seven days after Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan received a suspension for a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, the league must explain why Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso wasn’t ejected for a similar hit Thursday night on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

With 3:13 remaining in the second quarter of a 40-0 victory, Flacco rolled to his right on 3rd-and-10. None of his receivers worked their way open, and the 6’6″, 245-pound signal-caller lumbered toward a first down. Alonso bore down on Flacco with the intent to stop him from converting a first down.

In the midst of one of his best performances of the season, Flacco was struck in the helmet by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso while sliding at the end of an impromptu run. Flacco’s helmet flew off his head, and the 10-year quarterback appeared dazed as he struggled to his feet.

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The play occurred with 3 minutes left in the second quarter. Alonso was flagged for unnecessary roughness, providing Baltimore with a first down that ultimately turned into a touchdown.

Flacco was initially placed in concussion protocol, and cheap nfl jerseys china and by halftime was ruled out.

He went 10 for 15 for 101 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin.

After losing four of five to fall under .500 for the first time this season, the Ravens put it all together with a showing that included a 63-yard interception return by C.J. Mosley and a 50-yard pick-six by Jimmy Smith.

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The Dolphins (4-3) came in with a three-game winning streak after rallying from 17- and 14-point deficits in the previous two weeks. There would be no comeback in this one, not against a swarming Baltimore defense that limited Miami to 196 yards.

Moore was making his first start of the season, for the injured Jay Cutler. Four days earlier, Moore engineered a victory over the Jets after Cutler left with fractured ribs.

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Nike Bills #50 Kiko Alonso Lights Out Black Men’s Stitched NFL Elite Jersey

In this one, Moore completed 25 of 44 passes for 176 yards. He received little backing from the running game, which generated only 45 yards against the 32nd-ranked rushing defense in the NFL.

Baltimore went up 7-0 when Maclin slipped behind Bobby McCain and Nate Allen to haul in Flacco’s perfect pass on the right sideline.

Justin Tucker added field goals of 55 and 48 yards in the second quarter. After Cody Parkey missed from 50 yards for the Dolphins — his first misfire in nine tries this season — Flacco began the drive that would end in the end zone without him.

The late hit by Alonso gave Baltimore a first down at the Miami 5. Three plays later, Ryan Mallett threw a 2-yard TD pass to Benjamin Coleman.

Mosley iced it with 14:15 left when he snared a poor throw by Moore near the line of scrimmage and turned it into his first career interception return for a touchdown.

As the Ravens were closing in another score, a few players exchanged shoves and punches before Chris Moore pounced on a fumble in the end zone.

Overseeing an offense focused on protecting a sizable lead, Mallett went 3 for 7 for 20 yards.