Category Archives: Sports

WWE Royal Rumble 2019: Reactions & Review

Here’s my final thoughts on Raw and SmackDown Live’s WWE Royal Rumble 2019!

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable (c) vs. Rezar & Scott Dawson

Reactions: This randomly announced matchup gave off old Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament vibes. It featured a championship duo taking on a makeshift tag team in a bout that was wrestled in a very old school manner. It wasn’t flashy by any means – it was simply proficient and nothing more. Kind of confused at the end result, however (wouldn’t it have made more sense for the heels to win so both their respective teams could have gotten a tag team title shot at a later date?). This was…well, a match that was just there to fill time for the Kickoff Show.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Rusev (c) (with Lana) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE United States Championship)

Reactions: Like I mentioned in my preview piece for this event, Rusev and Nakamura have developed an underrated rivalry against one other. This unique pairing have also produced a number of good to great matches thanks to their ever evolving chemistry. This match rests firmly in the good category. There were a few extra elements added to this meeting that helped set it apart from its predecessors. I enjoyed watching both men switch up their usual Kinshasa into a Superkick counter exchange, plus Lana’s inclusion during the finish was slightly interesting. The title change genuinely surprised me, which gave this championship encounter a bit more life than originally expected.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami (Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)

Reactions: 205 Live’s premier athletes know how to kick off…well, the Kickoff Show! This multi-man contest was packed with innovative move exchanges, intense action, and the hard hitting offense we’re used to seeing from the Cruiserweight roster. There were a few rough spots and bouts of miscommunication at several points throughout, but a majority of the bout was an inspired sprint worth witnessing. The closing stretch provided plenty of extra entertainment to the match as a whole (all those vicious kicks were quite the sight to see!). I definitely enjoyed what I saw from all four men here.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Reactions: I expected a quality encounter between these two ladies and that’s exactly what I got. Asuka brought her stiff strikes and tight submission game to the dance against Becky’s suplex expertise and extra tough demeanor. This match started out with your usual grappling work that led into a strike exchange. Afterwards, both women tore into each other with a slew of of their signature maneuvers.
After Asuka drove Becky into the outside ring mat, we entered into an even more brutal portion of this title match. The submission sequences that made up the finish of this encounter ended up being the best part of it all. We even got a rare Cattle Mutilation submission sighting! Asuka’s back on top and its matches like this one that will keep her in that prime position.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) (c) vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

Reactions: Imagine my surprise when I found myself on the edge of my seat by the finishing moments of this surprisingly good tag match. While the starting and middle sections were a bit plodding, Shane did enough of his daredevil routine to liven them up a bit. After Cesaro countered his Coast to Coast into a Big Swing, me and the live crowd came alive. I really need to stop under-appreciating Shane O’Mac – his punches still look horrendous, but he clearly knows how to put on a spirited performance. The drama built to a fever pitch and the outcome was quite the shocker. I enjoyed this way more than I expected to.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

Reactions: Going into this one, it was easy to see that Ronda and Sasha would put on a match befitting of their marquee storyline development. This beef quickly grew heated, which gave it the extra push it needed to garner even more attention. With such hate brewing between both Raw competitors, this title match had all the workings to morph into a quality matchup. Thankfully, we got that very scenario here.
Sasha was more inspired than usual against an always game Ronda. Both ladies pushed each other to the limit – Sasha used her strong grapple work to work over the champion, while Ronda did more of the same as she looked to prove she could wrestle just as good as her opponent. As the match wore on, we bore witness to some brutal submissions and a few maneuvers fueled by hate. Watching “The Boss” I was used to seeing in NXT was certainly the highlight of this standout bout. And judging by the post-match interaction between both women, it looks like this feud isn’t quite over yet. A rematch is something I’m very much looking forward to now!
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

2019 Women’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Woman Royal Rumble Match for a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 35)

Reactions: The second Women’s Royal Rumble had a lot to live up to after 2018’s first incarnation of the match. While this edition of the now annual battle royal didn’t surpass the first one, it still turned in a good performance. The added presence of several NXT and NXT UK Superstars made up for the absence of past Women’s entrants (I still hope we get a Jazz appearance someday). There were some interesting storylines dispersed throughout this Women’s Royal Rumble – the stable shenanigans of The Riott Squad, Lacey Evans’ main roster in-ring debut, Nikki Cross’ madness, and the amazing saves by Naomi and Kacy Catanzaro were certainly among those big moments.

There was definitely a lull in the action felt near the early portions of this Women’s Royal Rumble. But as the match continued, it got a bit better as more NXT and NXT UK talent hit the ring. Lacey, Ember, Natalya, Bayley, Alexa, Nia, Charlotte, and Becky rekindled old rivalries and looked the strongest. The hot finishing stretch between Charlotte and Becky was wonderfully told and made for a satisfying conclusion. The first Women’s Royal Rumble still stands tall as the best. But this second installment was still worth watching right up to its crazy conclusion.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Read More From Heavy
WWE Royal Rumble 2019: The Female Entrants You Need to Know

Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship)

Reactions: Was it just me or did something feel decidedly off about this match? I loved it when it took place at last year’s TLC PPV, but this rematch was sadly a step below it. The champ and the challenger didn’t slack on their in-ring work, though – Daniel and AJ performed like the technical, high-flying wizards they’ve always been. But for some reason, this one didn’t connect with me like their previous PPV meeting.
A lot of the action was more of a repeat of a familiar formula from both men – extended limb work from Daniel followed by a strong comeback sequence by AJ. Which is then followed up by a series of back and forth counters and some unique move exchanges. The longer run time, slightly disinterested crowd, and deflating interference finish knocked a few points off of this bout’s final score. It still managed to be good, though. But I have to say this – I’m perfectly content with not seeing another match between these two for a while, which is something I never thought I’d say…
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship)

Reactions: While a bit short, this Universal Championship match stayed awesome all the way throughout. Once Finn planted Brock with a running dropkick as soon as the bell rang, I knew what we were in for – a knockdown, title match worthy brawl. Brock works best with opponents that are smaller than him, so it came as no surprise to see him gelling so well with Finn. To say that this match turned out better than another Braun vs. Brock match is an understatement.
The Suplex City routine didn’t run too long this time around since Brock sold the hell out of his injured ribs. This change in formula added more to the match and gave Finn more of a fighting chance. Finn’s fast-paced comeback made me and the live crowd come unglued! It truly looked as if we were going to crown a new Universal Champion on this evening. But that moment never came to pass. Even though I was let down by the ending, this title match ultimately delivered.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a World Championship Match at WrestleMania 35)

Reactions: The best type of Rumble is a fun Rumble. The 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble was jam-packed with an amazing array of fun moments. There’s just too many to speak of, but I’m still going to try and list my favorite ones:
– Elias and Jeff Jarrett’s opening segment
– Kofi Kingston’s clever methods of saving himself from elimination (as usual)
– the quick elimination of No Way Jose
– Titus O’Neil and Curt Hawkins’ “under the ring” exchange
– Nia Jax’s unexpected inclusion

Along with all of those wholly entertaining events, there was a ton of hot action thrown in for for good measure. Seth, Drew, Braun, Andrade, Joe, Rollins, and a whole bunch of other Superstars kept this match alive with a quickened pace. That pace was magnified due to the fine work by damn near everyone involved. Props goes out to the NXT and NXT UK talents who put in good performances as well. The final four section of this year’s Men’s Royal Rumble was one of the most exciting ones yet. Seth picking up the win after being decimated by Bobby was the perfect way to solidify his big win. I loved each and every minute of this Royal Rumble!
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Read More From Heavy
WWE Royal Rumble 2019: The Male Entrants You Need to Know

Match of the Night
The Men’s Royal Rumble Match!

Final Verdict
The 2019 Royal Rumble event was pretty worthwhile. The marquee match that (deservedly so) received the main event spot stole the show. The Universal Championship match, the two Women’s title bouts, and the Cruiserweight Fatal Four-Way match were definite standouts. Even the SD Tag Team Championship match added a bit of extra value to the show. The WWE Championship match was a bit of a disappointment, plus the random Kickoff Show tag match was a waste of time. Even with those blemishes, the 2019 Royal Rumble was still a good time.

Final Score: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Click here to see if our 2019 Royal Rumble predictions came true!
Check out any and all WWE related action figures, books, DVDs, Blu-Rays and other types of merchandise right here.


LeBron James Reacts to Carmelo Anthony’s Standing Ovation at MSG

Carmelo Anthony was in attendance Sunday night at Madison Square Garden for the Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks game. While he was there to watch close friend Dwyane Wade in one of his final two games in the arena, the Knicks made sure to give Anthony some love as well.
Not only was there a video played of Carmelo’s 62-point performance, but he was shown on the jumbotron after the memorable moment in history. As you can see in the video posted by ESPN’s Ian Begley, the former Knicks star received a huge ovation from the fanbase.

Here’s the reception Carmelo Anthony received at Madison Square Garden when he was shown on the Jumbotron during Knicks-Heat: pic.twitter.com/v0LUDiKeaW
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 28, 2019

Later in the evening, current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had a message about both the video and Anthony, tweeting that it was well-deserved for his friend.

Well deserved!!! 👏🏾🙏🏾‼️‼️‼️‼️@carmeloanthony https://t.co/awReCCl6ZF
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 28, 2019

Anthony was recently traded from the Houston Rockets to the Chicago Bulls. He played just 10 games for the Rockets prior to the team opting to go in another direction. It’s expected that he will either be traded or waived before the upcoming deadline.

Carmelo Anthony’s Run With Knicks
Anthony, who’s 34 years old, was traded to the Knicks during the 2010-11 season from the Denver Nuggets. He spent seven seasons with the team, playing in 412 games and averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Over the impressive stretch, Anthony shot 44.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knicks made the NBA playoffs in each of Anthony’s first three seasons, with the best year coming in 2012-13. New York went 54-28 that season before losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That stretch also marked arguably the best of Anthony’s tenure with the team, as he averaged 28.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Latest on Carmelo Anthony-Lakers Rumors
While the Bulls are expected to part ways with Anthony soon, it’s led to plenty of speculation that he could wind up with James on the Lakers. Although there have been various reports and rumors pointing to both sides of that, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski sounded off on it shortly after Anthony’s trade to Chicago.
As he reported, the Lakers have interest in Anthony but don’t want to waive a guaranteed contract.

Sources: The Lakers maintain interest in Anthony, but do not want to waive a guaranteed player to create a roster spot for him, league sources tell ESPN. If a roster spot eventually opens with LA, yes, the Lakers are a possible destination for Anthony.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

This isn’t all that surprising, as the Lakers remain focused on landing a second superstar to pair with James. The focus has primarily been on Anthony Davis, and the bulk of the team’s current guaranteed contracts have at least some amount of trade value and upside, making them tough to part with.
On the opposite side of the argument, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports stated on the Nate Duncan podcast that the interest in Anthony may be more from James than the front office (per Clutch Points).
“Well, LeBron James is over there,” Haynes said on the Nate Duncan podcast. “And he’s made it quite clear that he would like to play with Carmelo Anthony. So if we’re going off of the past, LeBron typically has a strong voice and teams usually operate in a manner that’s going to appease him. So I will say that he definitely has interest.
“I don’t know necessarily that the Lakers brass is all that interested in bringing Carmelo Anthony on board.”
It’s an interesting situation and one that will be worth monitoring over the coming weeks. The Lakers could use depth at this point, specifically due to the injuries which have impacted the roster. Beyond that, if the team did swing a deal at the trade deadline, it could potentially open a roster spot for Anthony.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Patrick Mahomes Silences Doubters With Post-Pro Bowl Message

In one of the least surprising moments from the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named one of the MVPs. After a season in which Mahomes threw for 50 touchdowns and was arguably the best player in the league, adding another accomplishment to the season was almost expected.
Regardless, it was a strong performance and after the game, Mahomes took note of an interesting photo posted by the Chicago Bears Twitter account. It featured the Chiefs signal-caller with Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. The three players were all selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, and Mahomes responded with a few words for those who doubted the strength of their quarterback class.

They said we had a bad Qb draft class! 2 years later… @Mtrubisky10 @deshaunwatson https://t.co/qaasy0XrOd
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes5) January 27, 2019

It’s hard to argue with Mahomes’ point here, as the three quarterbacks all impressed this season and each of their teams made it to the playoffs. Even beyond that, the Chiefs (12-4), Bears (12-4) and Texans (11-5) all won their divisions as well.

Patrick Mahomes’ Pro Bowl Performance
Although the Pro Bowl isn’t exactly the place to dive too far into stats, Mahomes finished the game by completing 7-of-14 passes for 156 yards (most of the game) along with one touchdown. Watson was a close second in passing, throwing for 128 yards with one score as well, but did throw an interception.
The AFC ran away with this game behind the play of the quarterbacks, winning 26-7 while the only touchdown on the NFC side came when Dak Prescott linked up with Austin Hooper in the fourth quarter. AFC quarterbacks also racked up 362 passing yards compared to just 101 for their opponent.

Patrick Mahomes Wraps 2018 Season With MVP Resume
While the Chiefs quarterback took home the hardware at the Pro Bowl, he deserves to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award for the full season also. Mahomes completed 66 percent of his passes for 5,097 yards and the aforementioned 50 touchdowns. Of the 580 passes he threw, only 12 of them were intercepted.
For good measure, Mahomes tacked on 272 rushing yards and two additional scores, but his impressive first season as a starter was impressive beyond just personal numbers. The Chiefs had a great regular season and were an overtime loss away from playing in the Super Bowl. Their season ended in unfortunate fashion in the AFC Championship Game when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots picked up an overtime victory.
In the loss, Mahomes and the Chiefs didn’t even get the opportunity to score thanks to Brady’s impressive drive to end the game. It’s a safe bet that we’ll see plenty more of the 23-year-old quarterback in the playoffs moving forward in his career.
READ NEXT: Jared Goff Dating Model & Actress Christen Harper?


Blake Griffin Trade Talk: Lakers, Knicks Headline Top Packages

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the chatter around potential deals is only going to continue heating up. While a few big names have already been linked as trade candidates, there have been a handful of additional players mentioned recently. One specifically that jumps out is Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, although his scenario is a bit different than the others.
As Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson reported on Twitter, he believes Griffin has privately stated he wants to be moved. Robinson proceeds to cite the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat as possible options.

If Blake Griffin is moved, look for New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets & Miami Heat as his preferred destinations. https://t.co/PSX9TEJZqP
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) January 27, 2019

Although it’s unknown what stage this whole situation is at and whether the Pistons would actually move Griffin, who was acquired last season, it’s an interesting topic. Even without knowing an overwhelming amount on this trade chatter, there are still a few teams who can put together strong deals for the Pistons star.
Let’s check out a few potential trades that could make sense for both sides if Detroit does decide to put Griffin on the table as a candidate to be moved. We’ll start off with the Los Angeles Lakers and a major hypothetical on their approach moving forward.
*Note: All trades created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine and are only for enjoyment purposes.

Lakers Acquire Second Star in Blake Griffin
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into this trade, specifically the fact that it would mean the Lakers trading two potential pieces of a deal for Anthony Davis. This deal stems from The Athletic’s Bill Oram reporting that Magic Johnson and company would consider a “blockbuster that lands the Lakers a second superstar.”
“The second is obviously the priority, even if it means parting with some combination of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Ideally, the Lakers would be able to land a second star in free agency and keep the core intact. However, with Anthony Davis unlikely to become available by the deadline, that particular dilemma may be a moot point this season.”
It’s an interesting scenario, and to be clear, I have no idea if Los Angeles would decide to avoid the risk of losing out on Davis during the offseason by acquiring Griffin instead. While the current Pistons star isn’t quite the caliber of player Davis is, he’s currently playing the best basketball of his career and would help right the ship immediately.
Personally, I think the Lakers are more likely to wait for Davis and make the push during the upcoming offseason, even with the risk. But if not, this deal for Griffin also provides outside shooting with Reggie Bullock.

Knicks Begin Building for the Future
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Knicks also second 2020 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick to Pistons
The New York Knicks are expected to be big players in free agency, and if they plan to make a run at someone like Kevin Durant, it could be helpful to have Griffin in town. There have been rumblings the Knicks want to move Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, so it’s tough to envision a better deal that accomplishes that than this one.
Draft picks would almost certainly have to be included here, and a 2020 protected first-rounder along with a second-round pick in the likely “double draft” in 2022 could get it done. The big aspects of this deal on the Pistons side are how the team feels about Hardaway and whether they believe Ntilikina has the upside to become their point guard of the future.

Luka Doncic Gets New Star Teammate With Mavericks
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Mavericks send protected first-round pick to Pistons
The Dallas Mavericks would be quite a fit for Griffin, and I’m not going to put it past Mark Cuban to figure out how to make this deal happen. What’s interesting is that it would reunite Griffin and former Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan. That may or may not be a good thing, but regardless, Jordan is only under contract through this season.
In this scenario, Dallas moves Wesley Matthews’ contract and finds a perfect home for Dennis Smith Jr., who needs a fresh start. Smith could be the best part of this deal for the Pistons, although Harrison Barnes would be a solid addition as well. As Detroit searches for their potential point guard of the future, this is a low-risk, inexpensive opportunity to see what the former first-round pick in Smith can provide.
READ NEXT: Anthony Davis Trade Talk: Nets May Push Lakers, Celtics for Star?


Farmers Insurance Open Purse: How Much Prize Money Does the Winner Make?

Category : Breaking News , Golf , PGA Tour , Sports

Justin Rose, the winner of the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, will take home a $1.278 million prize out of a total purse of $7.1 million. The tournament, held at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, featured a field that includes many of the top 30 players in the world, including Rose, who held a solid lead heading into Sunday’s final round, along with Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Adam Scott.
The second place finisher, Scott, will take home $766,800, while the Hideki Matsuyama and Talor Gooch will receive a check for $482,800 for their third-place finish. The Farmers Insurance Open is one of the first marquee events of the 2019 PGA Tour season. The San Diego PGA Tour spot was previously known as the San Diego Open and began in 1952. Farmers Insurance took over as the sponsor of the tournament in 2010.
The Farmers Insurance Open is organized by The Century Club of San Diego and community and youth programs in the San Diego area.
Rose held a solid lead heading into Sunday and was able to hold off the charges by Scott, Matsuyama and Gooch. Rose finished at 21-under, with Scott at 19-under and Matsuyama and Gooch at 16-under. Day, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy finished tied for fifth at 14-under par
After the third round on Saturday, Rose told reporters, “I expect Jon and Adam to come out and play well tomorrow, as well as the chasing pack. But one of those guys is capable of something in the mid-60s. Obviously, if I go out and shoot 68, then that’s a great round of golf. But a 68 on the South course isn’t anyone’s to lose. You have to go out and get it. I think it’s going to take a good round of golf tomorrow to get this done.”
Scott praised Rose’s play during the early season tournament.
“As good as I’m playing, I feel like I’m a long way behind,” Scott told reporters, according to ESPN. “It’s almost all up to him tomorrow. So that’s no pressure on me. But this is not a course I can go out and just fire at pins. It’s too easy to make big errors. I’ll just have to chip away and see if he can do the same.”
Scott added, “He’s just playing too good. He’s the No. 1 player in the world, he’s played well for over two years. He’s feeling it. He wants to take advantage of all of his good golf and that’s why he’s running away with this thing.”
The Farmers Insurance Open was won by Jason Day in 2018. He took home $1.242 million after topping Alex Noren and Ryan Palmer in a playoff.
The PGA Tour will head to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open next week, with another $7.1 million purse and $1.278 million top prize on the line. The tournament begins February 3. The fieldwill include Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar, Rahm and Matsuyama.
Here is what the top 50 will be paid this year at the Farmers Insurance Open:

Farmers Insurance Open 2019 Purse

PLACE
PRIZE MONEY

1st
$1,278,000

2nd
$766,800

3rd
$482,800

4th
$340,800

5th
$284,000

6th
$255,600

7th
$237,850

8th
$220,100

9th
$205,900

10th
$191,700

11th
$177,500

12th
$163,300

13th
$149,100

14th
$134,900

15th
$127,800

16th
$120,700

17th
$113,600

18th
$106,500

19th
$99,400

20th
$92,300

21st
$85,200

22nd
$79,520

23rd
$73,840

24th
$68,160

25th
$62,480

26th
$56,800

27th
$54,670

28th
$52,540

29th
$50,410

30th
$48,280

31st
$46,150

32nd
$44,020

33rd
$41,890

34th
$40,115

35th
$38,340

36th
$36,565

37th
$34,790

38th
$33,370

39th
$31,950

40th
$30,530

41st
$29,110

42nd
$27,690

43rd
$26,270

44th
$24,850

45th
$23,430

46th
$22,010

47th
$20,590

48th
$19,454

49th
$18,460

50th
$17,892

 


Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns; Latest on Kyle Kuzma Injury

The Los Angeles Lakers will play at least one more game without LeBron James when they host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. It seems they also may be without another go-to offensive weapon as well in forward Kyle Kuzma. With the Lakers playing the final few home games before a road stretch ahead of the All-Star break, they’ll look to snap a three-game losing skid against a struggling Suns group.
After falling in overtime against the Houston Rockets last Saturday, the team has since dropped games against the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves, moving to 25-24 on the year. LeBron’s absence has been nearly impossible to overcome, and since the Christmas Day injury, the Lakers have posted a 5-10 record as they await the return of their star forward.
Before diving into the roster and starting lineup for the date with Devin Booker and company, let’s check out the latest on Kuzma’s injury which may hold him out Sunday.

Latest on Kyle Kuzma’s Injury
It seems Kuzma’s injury may not sideline him long, but there’s a chance he could sit this game out. The Lakers revealed that Kuzma missed practice on Saturday due to a hip strain and is currently listed as questionable.
Beyond that, Mike Trudell of the team’s official website revealed head coach Luke Walton said Kuzma “didn’t look right” against the Timberwolves. He was limited in that game and the injury has apparently been nagging him as of late.

Luke Walton said Kyle Kuzma, who’s been dealing with a sore hip, “didn’t look right” physically, and that Kuzma “truly loves to compete but wasn’t able to do what he wanted to.” Already down LeBron and Lonzo, it didn’t help to have Kuzma limited, though Minnesota was beat up too.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2019

If Kuzma is unable to go, it’ll be interesting to monitor how Walton and the coaching staff opt to approach the starting lineup. Fortunately, the Suns play a fairly small lineup so they may be able to get away with going even smaller than they have as of late.
UPDATE: Kuzma has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns

Position
Expected Starter
Backup

Center
Ivica Zubac
JaVale McGee
Tyson Chandler

Power Forward
Kyle Kuzma (Q)
Michael Beasley
Moritz Wagner

Small Forward
Brandon Ingram
Lance Stephenson

Shooting Guard
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Josh Hart
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Point Guard
Rajon Rondo

There’s a chance Michael Beasley or Moritz Wagner could start, but the option to re-insert Josh Hart in the lineup with Brandon Ingram at the forward spots is more realistic. The Suns are likely going to start Josh Jackson at the four here, so putting Ingram against him defensively makes sense.
The obvious hope is that Kuzma can play, but with an upcoming stretch of six-straight games against possible playoff teams, it may be wise for the Lakers to give him the night off. After this game, Los Angeles will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
READ NEXT: 3 Lakers Trades for Anthony Davis Involving Brandon Ingram


Patrick Mahomes Girlfriend, Brittany Matthews, Cheers Him on at Pro Bowl

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Mahomes Crew, missing Jack❤️ #probowl2019 #chiefskingdom
A post shared by Brittany Matthews (@brittanylynne8) on Jan 25, 2019 at 10:26am PST

Patrick Mahomes would have preferred to be playing next Sunday, but the Chiefs quarterback seems to be in good spirits with his girlfriend, Brittany Matthews, by his side at the Pro Bowl. Mahomes is playing with the AFC squad in Orlando, and Matthews is there cheering him on along with his mother, Randi Martin. Matthews has been posting photos on Instagram throughout Pro Bowl week.
“Mahomes Crew, missing Jack❤️ #probowl2019 #chiefskingdom,” Matthews posted referring to Mahomes’ brother, Jackson Mahomes.
After the Chiefs overtime loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship, Matthews posted a video of her embracing Mahomes after the difficult loss.
“You’re the best in my eyes and that will never change ❤️💛 #MVP,” Matthews posted.
Here’s a look at the Instagram video Matthews posted after the game.

View this post on Instagram

You’re the best in my eyes and that will never change ❤️💛 #MVP
A post shared by Brittany Matthews (@brittanylynne8) on Jan 21, 2019 at 9:36am PST

Tom Brady Offered Patrick Mahomes Words of Encouragement After AFC Championship

Tom Brady just quietly approached a security guard waiting outside the Chiefs’ locker room — and asked if he could see Patrick Mahomes. Brady was escorted into a room where he spoke briefly with him. A very clear display of respect from one incredible quarterback to another.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 21, 2019

Matthews is not the only one who tried to encourage Mahomes. In the midst of celebrating another Super Bowl appearance, Brady made it a point to find Mahomes after the AFC Championship. During an ESPN interview, Mahomes detailed what Brady said to him after the game (via Kansas City Star).
I think it was a little bit of both. It was such a great game with so many emotions where it was going back and forth at the end. He just came up to me and was kind of giving me, saying, ‘Good game,’ and everything like that.
I mean, he was in my place. He was young. He got to win the Super Bowl in his first year with you (Bruschi) and everybody and so he understands that, I mean, time it flies by and ‘make sure to put in the work. ‘And I think he saw that I’ve put in the work to be in those situations.

Brittany Matthews Runs a Personal Training Business

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If you got into the gym today and you were apart of chiefs kingdom yesterday, I applaud you👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Me…not so much but here’s a lovely few lower body exercises for yaaa🤩🍑 8-12 reps 3-4 sets Save it for your next leg day and of course share with me how you love it☺️ Outfit: @lululemon Shoes: @adidas
A post shared by Brittany Matthews (@brittanylynne8) on Jan 21, 2019 at 5:11pm PST

Matthews runs a personal training business in the Kansas City area. She admitted that she did not make it to the gym right after the Chiefs loss to the Patriots, but still offered a few workout tips for those that did.
“If you got into the gym today and you were apart of chiefs kingdom yesterday, I applaud you👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Me…not so much but here’s a lovely few lower body exercises for yaaa🤩🍑 8-12 reps 3-4 sets. Save it for your next leg day and of course share with me how you love it☺️ Outfit: @lululemon Shoes: @adidas,” Matthews posted.
Matthews asked for some gym recommendations in the Orlando area. Later in the week, she posted a photo from the gym noting how excited she was to see the sun.
“Just growing the gunsss💪🏼💪🏼. Save for a later and definitely give these a go💯. 8-12 reps 3-4 sets •••••Guys, I have never been so happy to see the sun here in Orlando🤩☀️,” Matthews noted.
Mahomes and Matthews are hoping they are making a trip to the Super Bowl rather than the Pro Bowl next year.

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LeBron James Injury Update: Will Lakers Star Return vs. Sixers?

The much-anticipated return of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James may be near. Or, maybe we should hold off on the excitement just a bit at this moment. It’s tough to gauge exactly what the outlook of the future Hall-of-Famer is when it comes to his groin injury. But one thing that’s certain is that he won’t suit up for Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
While James is trending in the right direction, he took a huge step forward in his recovery on Saturday. As the Lakers revealed (with pictures, which was a nice bonus), LeBron returned to full contact defensive drills during the most recent practice.

LeBron James returned to full contact defensive drills for the first time since his injury, but won't play Sunday against the Suns. pic.twitter.com/e8y9z8kbI8
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2019

The importance of this can’t be understated, as there were talks that James had done some non-contact work prior, but the fact he’s in the mix at practice points to a return being near. There is yet to be a return date set, but the outlook improves with this news and we’re going to take a look forward at when he could realistically suit up.

Will LeBron James Return vs. Philadelphia 76ers?
For the first time since LeBron’s injury, there is a real reason to believe he may return in an upcoming game. There are currently eight games remaining (including Sunday) before the All-Star break, and there have been no signs pointing to James missing the festivities that weekend. In turn, expecting him to get back in the lineup sooner than later makes sense, but doing so against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday would be beneficial for a few reasons.
The Lakers are obviously being cautious with James, which is the right move, and even when he returns it’ll almost certainly be with a minutes restriction. Tuesday’s game against the Sixers marks the team’s final “home” game (they play the Los Angeles Clippers two days later) before the All-Star break. After the Clippers matchup, they have five-straight games away from home, and it’s a stretch where the star will desperately be needed.
This run includes dates with the Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Sixers, and Atlanta Hawks. While playing the Sixers in Los Angeles on Tuesday will be a tough matchup, giving James one game at home to log some minutes before this stretch could be key.

Hopeful of James’ Return for Tough Stretch
With the Lakers sitting at 25-24 currently, facing the first four teams listed on that road stretch, as well as the Sixers and Clippers prior to it, could leave them in a tough spot. James returning won’t completely keep that from happening, but it’s a starting point, even if he’s only able to play on a minutes restriction.
The Athletic’s Bill Oram cited that many had circled the game against the Suns as a possible return date for James. With that being the case, signs do point to him suiting up soon, and Tuesday is a decent spot to keep an eye on.
If you assume the Lakers defeat the Suns and move to 26-24 with five games they could easily lose waiting ahead, the idea of going into the break at 28-29 or 29-28 is far less than ideal. Even with their star back in a restricted fashion, it would at least give Los Angeles a chance to push a few of the top-tier teams that lie ahead.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Rockets Trade Talk: Enes Kanter, Robin Lopez Deals to Bolster Depth

The Houston Rockets are slowly but surely working towards getting healthy once again. With Eric Gordon recently returning from injury and Chris Paul set to return Sunday, it essentially covers the backcourt depth. But the Rockets could use an extra body in the frontcourt, even with the signing/emergence of Kenneth Faried.
The injury to center Clint Capela will leave him out through the All-Star break more than likely, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed in mid-January that he had suffered a thumb injury. Unfortunately, it proved to be worse than originally thought, as Capela’s MRI showed ligament damage.
At this point, the addition of Faried could be enough to hold the Rockets over until Capela’s return, but adding another legitimate center to the mix makes sense. The key is that Houston almost certainly won’t want to give much up in a potential trade. Fortunately, two options in New York Knicks center Enes Kanter and Chicago Bulls big man Robin Lopez could come at a low cost to the team.
Let’s look at two potential deals, one for both players, which wouldn’t leave the Rockets shorthanded and will allow them to bolster their frontcourt prior to the homestretch of the year.
*All trades courtesy of ESPN NBA Trade Machine.

Robin Lopez Finally Gets Moved
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Note: Houston adds a second-round draft pick.
The Chicago Bulls seem to have little interest in buying out Lopez, although that may happen if the deadline gets closer and no deal happens. But instead of risking watching Lopez go elsewhere, the Rockets could offer up Brandon Knight for contract reasons and a second-round pick to make the deal happen.
The worst-case scenario for Houston is if they wait out the Bulls release of the big man and then he chooses to head to another team. With that said, the options are all on the table for the Bulls, but a deal with the Rockets makes sense for Lopez as an opportunity to see a solid workload and contend for a title.

Enes Kanter Traded to Rockets

*Note: Deal includes a second-round pick from Houston.
Things between the New York Knicks and Enes Kanter have taken an ugly turn. The big man can’t seem to find his way onto the floor at this point, even with starter Luke Kornet sidelined due to injury. And after a recent game, Kanter essentially asked for a trade out of town, as The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov revealed.
“What they’re doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve better.”

“You either play me or let me play.” Kanter said, according to Vorkunov.
I can’t envision a world where the Knicks opt not to deal Kanter before the deadline. The problem is since head coach David Fizdale won’t play him and it’s known the team wants to trade him, Kanter’s value isn’t all that high. Plus, he’s on an expiring deal, so it makes little sense for the Knicks to stick him on the bench for the rest of the year.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Super Bowl Atlanta 2019: What Free Events & Concerts Are Today Sunday, Jan. 27?

Category : Atlanta , Football , NFL , Sports , Super Bowl

Super Bowl 2019 week has hit Atlanta and is headlined by a series of free concerts throughout the week. What Super Bowl festivities are going on today Sunday, January 27th? Famed producer Jermaine Dupri helped organize a full week of free concerts at Super Bowl Live in downtown Atlanta.
The shows are free to the public and take place at Centennial Olympic Park. Fans will want to use the entrance by the Ferris wheel to enter the festivities after going through security. Entry to the events is free but expect to pay a little more than normal for parking in the downtown Atlanta area.
Sunday’s schedule has a country theme and the hours for Super Bowl Live (where the free concerts are taking place) are from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern. Today’s performances include REMakes, Jake Michael, Lyn Avenue and Seckond Chaynce. Super Bowl Live also features a number of interactive exhibits for fans of all ages.
Free concerts will also take place at Centennial Olympic Park on Monday, January 28th; Thursday, January 31st; Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd.
The NFL Super Bowl Experience will run every day through Saturday, February 2nd at the Georgia World Congress Center. Unlike Super Bowl Live, you must have a paid ticket to enter the event. Tickets on most days are $40 for adults and $10 for kids. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday have the least expensive tickets at $20 for adults and free entry for kids. Kids are considered children ages 12 and under (with a maximum of three kids per adult) and children ages two and under are free on any day. Click here for ticket availability on the day you are interested in attending.
The Patriots and Rams are scheduled to arrive in Atlanta today. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Patriots will arrive at 4:25 p.m. while the Rams touch down at 7:40 p.m. This is closed to the public but fans can watch via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution live stream.
Here’s a look at today’s schedule of Super Bowl events in Atlanta.

Super Bowl Atlanta Events: Schedule for Sunday, January 27

PERFORMER
LOCATION
TIME (ET)

Gospel Brunch, Players Gospel Choir
Centennial Park
1:30-1:50 p.m.

REMakes
Centennial Park
2:30-3:15 p.m.

Jake Michael
Centennial Park
4:00-4:25 p.m.

Lyn Avenue
Centennial Park
5:00-5:30 p.m.

Seckond Chaynce
Centennial Park
6:00-6:45 p.m.

NFL Super Bowl Experience
World Congress Center
10 a.m.-8 p.m.

What Is the Super Bowl Experience & Super Bowl Live?
Both Super Bowl Live and the Super Bowl Experience are taking place in downtown Atlanta. What is the difference between the two events? Super Bowl Live is where the free concerts will be taking place at Centennial Olympic Park along with a few exhibits from NFL sponsors.
Super Bowl Experience requires a paid ticket and takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center also in downtown Atlanta. This features more football-related activities and games. Here’s how the NFL describes the Super Bowl Experience.
Super Bowl Experience Driven by Hyundai is the NFL’s interactive theme park celebrating Super Bowl LIII from Saturday, January 26 – Saturday, February 2 in Georgia World Congress Center (Building B). At the Super Bowl Experience, you can participate in immersive exhibits and interactive games, take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, collect free NFL player and Legend autographs, get an up-close look at the collection of all 52 Super Bowl rings and more!