New York Jets Invite Kellen Winslow To Tryout At Minicamp (Report)

Kellen Winslow (Getty Images)

Kellen Winslow (Getty Images)

The Jets need help on offense and Kellen Winslow is an NFL football player currently in need of a job. It seems logical that both sides are looking at each other as a potential good fit. According to multiple reports, the Jets have invited Winslow to a tryout at their minicamp next week. Winslow played just one game last season for the New England Patriots.

Winslow has numbers worth taking a look at. He posted three straight seasons with at least 66 receptions and 730 yards with the Buccaneers from 2009-2011. He played his first four years in Cleveland after being selected with the No.6 overall pick in 2004 NFL draft out of Miami. Winslow could fill a void at tight end for the Jets, their starting tight end from the last four years, Dustin Keller, signed with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.

If Winslow can take advantage it could be big for his career and for a Jets offense that is in need of some spark.

NBA News: Bobcats Reportedly To Hire Lakers Assistant Steve Clifford As Next Head Coach

Steve Clifford (far left) is reportedly the next head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. (image credit: getty)

Steve Clifford (far left) is reportedly the next head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. (image credit: getty)

The Charlotte Bobcats and their team owner Michael Jordan have to get this right eventually. In what’s becoming an annual announcement around this time of year, Charlotte has reportedly hired a new head coach.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Bobcats have a deal in place with Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford to take over as the team’s head coach. Clifford would become the franchise’s fourth head coach since the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. He’d be replacing Mike Dunlap who went 21-61 in his one season with the team.

 Clifford has been on the radar of a handful of teams the last couple of seasons. He’s developed an impressive resume as an assistant coach with stints in Houston with Jeff Van Gundy and Orlando with Stan Van Gundy. He’s reportedly getting a three-year, $6 million contract from Charlotte.

NBA News: Petrie Reportedly Out As Kings GM

It’s out with the old and in with the new these days for the Sacramento Kings. The new owners of the team have informed Geoff Petrie that he will not be returning as general manager and the search for his replacement is underway, reports USA Today.

Petrie had a long tenure in Sacramento that included the team’s succesful stretch of eight straight playoff berths highlighted by a 2002 Western Conference finals appearance. However, the team has been on hard times lately and have gone the last seven seasons without a playoff berth. The NBA owners recently voted to keep the Kings in Sacramento with the team being sold to Indian software magnate Vivek Ranadive. Petrie’s contract is set to expire at the end of June.

I can’t fault Ranadive for wanting to have his own people in place to oversee his investment, that’s just business 101. This is one of those situations where cleaning house is going to play a vital role in how quickly the Kings can turn around the direction of the franchise. They were right to not waste anytime and start right at the top.

According to the report, Ranadive’s short list of potential candidates includes San Antonio Spurs president R.C. Buford, Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk, and Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace.

NBA Playoffs 2013: LeBron’s Post Game Too Much For Indiana To Keep Pace

 

LeBron James Goes To The Post On The Indiana Pacers.

LeBron James Goes To The Post On The Indiana Pacers.

It must be nice to coach the best basketball player on the planet. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has the luxury of knowing LeBron James is on the court for his team and in most cases these days everything is going to be alright. James is on a level all by himself these days and that’s bad news for opponents. Just in case we needed to be reminded, there was James in game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers showing us again why he’s simply unstoppable at times out there.

 Miami did get a big game from their old veteran and big-game player Udonis Haslem (17 points), and overall it was a solid all-around effort by the team in securing the 114-96 win and taking a 2-1 series lead over Indiana. However, it was the damage James caused with his play in the post that served as another eye-opener. It gets lost in the mix because of his overall talents, however at 6’8 240 pounds James is a dominant post-player whenever he decides to pull that weapon out of his arsenal.

 James took to the paint and when he wasn’t abusing Paul George down low, he was kicking the ball out to Chris Bosh, Haslem, and Ray Allen for the perimeter game to shoot down Indiana.It’s almost unfair at that point.

 James can beat you in so many ways and Indiana will have to figure out how to counter that post game if and when Miami turns to it again. I don’t see that happening and most likely Miami doesn’t either. Not when they have LeBron James and the other team doesn’t.

The Hot Corner: Matt Harvey Is Poised For Greatness With The N.Y. Mets

Matt Harvey  (image credit: Getty)

Matt Harvey (image credit: Getty)

Matt Harvey has been the one shining hope for the New York Mets and their 2013 season. While there hasn’t been much to look forward to these days when a Mets game is about to come on, Harvey has been the exception. He’s becoming more than just a building block for a team in the midst of a major rebuilding plan, he’s now the centerpiece. Harvey is only 24 years old, however he’s shown the poise and confidence of someone clearly ready to embrace the role of superstar athlete in New York City.

 The last time I remember this much buzz over anyone in a Mets uniform was back in 2004 when David Wright was called up from the minor leagues. It’s been a long time, however the Mets have appeared to have uncovered another cornerstone to their team’s future. The timing could not have been anymore better for the Mets because Wright can’t do it alone.

 The numbers so far this season tell it all as far as the impact Harvey is making for the Mets. Through 10 starts, Harvey has posted a 5-0 record with an impressive 1.93 earned run average. It might be too early to talk about the Cy Young award for Harvey, however it’s enough to put him in the conversation for a possible All-Star selection this summer and that would be great public relations for the Mets. This year’s All-Star’s game is hosted by the Mets at CitiField.

 Harvey’s emergence has turned into a nice story to follow in Queens for an 18-29 team that just isn’t that fun to watch these days otherwise. I like that Harvey wants the ball and the moment that comes with it when it’s his turn in the rotation. He’s young, however he’s showing that he understands fully the expectations that are beginning to grow with his every start. Sky is the limit now for this youngster and I’m among those intrigued at seeing how he continues to develop.

The Hot Corner: I’m Talkin’ Baseball

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The baseball season is long, it doesn’t take a fan of the sport to know this. I grew up in Brooklyn watching baseball, played the game as a teenager and dreamed of being the next big thing to hit the pro’s like most kids do. As I’ve gotten older, I acknowledge that it’s not as easy anymore to watch the Mets and Yankees for an entire 162 game regular season, however I always try because of my loyalty to the game and my love for sports.

Beginning this week on this blog, I will be writing a weekly post
entitled “The Hot Corner” that will focus on the hot topics in Major League Baseball throughout the previous week. It’ll mostly be a Monday morning week in review post, however there will be some exceptions made along the way to post during the week.

There is plenty to talk about already with my hometown Yankees and Mets and also all the money spent out west between the Angels and Dodgers with very little to show so far in the win column. How about the start Miguel Cabrea is off to this season in Detroit?

This is for my fellow baseball fans out there who take the time to read my blog. I can honestly say that it was baseball that started my love for sports. I only hope my love for the game will show throughout this weekly post.

Anthony R.
Baseball Fan Since 1986

Kobe Bryant Isn’t Retiring …”Not Yet”

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Kobe Bryant wanted to make it clear earlier this morning that retirement isn’t in the cards for the Los Angeles Lakers guard just yet.

The rumors of Bryant retiring began popping up on Twitter and various social sites after Bryant announced on his Facebook page this weekend that he’s planning a major announcement. What announcement turned out to be was Bryant and his wife Vanessa were partnering with non profit Sports Spectacular for a “great cause”.

The cause has been reported as bringing more awareness to homelessness.

Bryant took to Twitter afterwards to squash any retirement rumors:

Really?? Me. Retire?? Soon, but not yet Vino still has work to do #35 #OG #kbvff

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2013

Bryant is 35 years old and underwent surgery in April to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. He is expected to miss six to nine months.

Bryant has been clear since the injury of letting the world know he’s hungry to defy the odds and get back as soon as possible and resume his career. I applaud his announcement and think announcing it in that fashion was a great way to get the ball rolling on bringing more awareness to the issue of homelessness.

Two Teams In Texas Reportedly Has Dwight Howard “Intrigued”

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Dwight Howard will finally get his chance to test the free agent waters
this summer on his terms. The soon-to-be free agent center reportedly will give “strong consideration” to signing with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Howard is intrigued at the thought of joining the Rockets. They have a roster that includes James Harden and Omer Asik. Howard apparently likes the idea of joining forces with them. Harden is a young superstar on the rise and Asik is a young big man that Howard could form an imposing front court for years to come.

The Rockets were involved in trying to acquire Howard from the Orlando Magic before the Lakers eventually traded for him. The emphasis seems to be on Howard’s interest in Houston, however Dallas could be players this summer. Both teams would have to make a few roster moves in order to sign Howard.

The Lakers can offer Howard the most money based on the current collective bargaining agreement. Howard could stay with the Lakers and sign a 5-year, $118 million deal or he can opt to go elsewhere and get a 4-year, 87.6 million.

Howard has waited a long time for this moment. In 2012 he struggled with the pressure that comes with this type of decision and his image and personal brand is still recovering from that. While Howard might be intrigued with Houston or Dallas, how he handles the attention that will come his way this summer will be just as intriguing to watch.

The Knicks Must Get Stronger And Younger This Summer

Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

Summer vacation came earlier than expected for the New York Knicks thanks to Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, and the scrappy Indiana Pacers. The Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs after losing a grueling semifinal round series to the Pacers in six games. The loss sends the Knicks into the summer with major questions to be addressed. It wasn’t supposed to end this way, to this team, and definitely not in this round. Changes will have to be made and the challenge will be to make those changes while facing major salary cap restrictions.

 Last summer, the Knicks had a plan to get Carmelo Anthony the help he needed to take the next step towards a championship. They went with experience and brought in Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas. Playoff tested veterans who bring championship level knowledge to the table. In theory, the plan made sense. However, father time is undefeated and the Knicks were the latest to find out the hard way. None of those players where able to produce in the playoffs as the Knicks had hoped for and the final result was Anthony once again without a reliable second or third option to take away some of the burden when it mattered most.

 This isn’t to discredit anything the Pacers did in this series, they were the better team. However the series was a winnable one for the Knicks, they just failed to get it done.

Roy Hibbert's game-changing blocked shot of Carmelo Anthony in game 6 of the east semi-finals Knicks-Pacers series.

Roy Hibbert’s game-changing blocked shot of Carmelo Anthony in game 6 of the east semi-finals Knicks-Pacers series.

 Watching Indiana outplay the Knicks in this series, I saw where concerns must be addressed over the summer:

  • Indiana beat the Knicks up in the paint and dominated on rebounds. They are built-in the mold of the old school NBA teams who run their offense through their post game. Roy Hibbert looked more and more like a throwback center in the paint who is going to give perimeter teams like the Knicks major fits for years to come. Hibbert’s blocked shot of Anthony late in the 4th quarter of game 6 was a major turning point that sparked the Pacers towards the knockout win. The Knicks must address rebounding over the summer and getting tougher in the paint.

 

  • JR Smith deserved to win the NBA sixth man of the year award for how he played in the regular season. However, Smith’s inconsistency reared its head in the playoffs and his struggles played a major role as to why the Knicks are thinking about next year instead of getting ready to play Miami in the next round. Smith is up for a new contract this summer and it’s safe to say his value dropped considerably during the playoffs. I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith back as a Knick, however I don’t see him as the second scoring option behind Anthony. He is too erratic to be relied on as heavily as the Knicks did this season and it cost them in the end.

 

  • The core of  Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar’e Stoudemire is a flawed core to say the least. Anthony is the franchise player, however the question marks surrounding Chandler and Stoudemire must be looked at. Chandler’s an offensive liability whose specialty is defense and even that was inconsistent throughout the playoffs this year. He was badly outplayed by Hibbert in this series. It was enough for me to question his status here long-term. I don’t see the Knicks looking to trade Chandler, however if another team shows interest and if the price is right then it’s something that should be strongly considered. Stoudemire is a whole other case altogether.

 

    • It’s a fact that Stoudemire is making franchise-player type money with the Knicks, however the last two seasons have been anything but franchise-player like for him. Let’s assume the Knicks can’t trade Stoudemire and the $100 million left on his contract over the next two years. It would be a safe assumption for a player with bad knees, injury prone, and a contract that’s not insured. The Knicks can only hope that Stoudemire stays healthy next season and can give them the second scoring option that Anthony needs to have with him on the court. Before any of that the Knicks must first figure out what role they best see Stoudemire in and make sure both sides are on the same page with it. That’s just too much money clogging up the salary cap to go through what both sides have had to endure with each other lately.

 This team needs to address those issues as well as upgrading the point guard position.They need to get younger and more athletic. That won’t be easy to do with a salary cap as tight as the one this team will have heading into next season. Next season Indiana gets back arguably their best player in Danny Granger. Chicago will get back Derrick Rose and Brooklyn still needs a head coach, however they have the core of a team expected to contend. Let’s not forget Miami still has LeBron James. The competition in the east is only getting stronger.

JR Smith and the Knicks see their season come to a frustrating end in Indiana.

JR Smith and the Knicks see their season come to a frustrating end in Indiana.

 The stakes will be higher for the Knicks next season. It’s no longer about just making the playoffs. It now becomes more about what can this team do to reach the championship round. The challenge will be daunting and it starts this summer.

Around The NFL: Rolando McClain Walks Away From The Game At Age Of 23

 

Rolando McClain

Rolando McClain

Rolando McClain has announced his retirement from the NFL, the inside linebacker was recently signed by the Baltimore Ravens. McClain has had numerous legal issues throughout his short three-year career and appeared to be getting another chance to start a new chapter in Baltimore, however that apparently won’t be the case. When I think of retirement, I’d think of someone who’s played at least 10 years in the league. McClain is leaving the game at 23-years old and that makes me scratch my head.

 Is McClain retiring or is just simply quitting? It’s a valid question to be debated. It also brings light to the possibility that what McClain is dealing with has far more to do than just the game of football. A sudden decision as life-altering as this is an indication of someone who may need to get his life in order. I wish him the best and hope that if anything comes out of all of this for him, it’s that he finds peace of mind.