Bam Adebayo delivered a jaw-dropping, sensational, “you-had-to-see-to-believe” block in the closing seconds of the Miami Heat’s win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
And shortly after the Heat held on to capture Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, NBA legend Magic Johnson issued a bold statement on Twitter.
Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal, offered his perspective late Tuesday night.
No Magic…How soon u fget…Bams block ISNT the best block in NBA playoff histry…U obviously fgot about Brons run down block on Iguadola IN THE FINALS…THAT was waaaay BIGGER…Better…I’m STILL not over that block…Changed the game…Changed Histry
— Mychal Thompson (@champagnennuts) September 16, 2020
Mychal of course is referring to LeBron James’ chase-down block on Andre Iguodala with the score tied and about 1:50 remaining in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
So even though the Warriors responded by winning back-to-back NBA titles in 2017 and 2018, Mychal still is not over LeBron’s iconic play?
We aren’t going to speculate much, but we will ask: Does this mean Klay Thompson’s father would have preferred the Warriors to win the 2016 title and consequently not land Kevin Durant in free agency?
RELATED: Is Clippers’ 3-1 choke to Nuggets worse than Warriors in 2016?
It certainly makes you wonder what his true feelings are.
No further questions your honor.
Actually, let’s close this by leaving Warriors fans with video of a happy memory:
Much better, right?
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Jimmy Butler weighs in on why Heat has been good fit compared to Sixers
Butler weighs in on why Heat has been good fit compared to Sixers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
On the eve before the NBA Finals where the Heat and Lakers will face off, a huge topic of discussion has been Jimmy Butler’s journey throughout the league, and most importantly, where he is now.
Since his time in Philadelphia came to an end, the way he worked with the Sixers in comparison to the Heat, has never strayed too far from being a focal point … and that’s been the case since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Butler has continually expressed throughout his first year with the Heat that he enjoys how things are run in Miami. He’s been able to be true to himself and has also become the best version of himself as a player.
Simply put, Butler has been firing from all cylinders since joining the young club, which always ignites the question of why things didn’t work out with the Sixers when they had such a talented team.
“I just get to be me here,” Butler said to the media Tuesday night. “I get to call it how I see it, nobody takes it personally. I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to control me. As it was said — people was trying to do over there. I have no hard feelings towards any of those players, anybody in that organization.
“I’m glad to be where I am. As you can tell, it’s worked out. That’s where I’ll leave it.
“I knew what we could do here, we added some key pieces in the middle of the year and we are where we are, so I don’t really look back at it too much. I gotta stay focused on the right now and the group that I have.”
The next step in Butler’s journey starts Wednesday night, 9 p.m. EST when Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins.
Will NFL season continue as scheduled? Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak is test
Between the big touchdowns and highlight-reel catches — not to mention regular updates from the NFL with actual numbers about how well its COVID-19 testing was going — it was easy to lose touch with reality.
Football is back, baby! Who cares that we’re in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century — we got this!
If that describes you, don’t feel bad because I’m guilty of it, too. I’ve watched so much football the last three weeks I have overworked and underpaid high school football coaches telling me I need to do a better job finding a work-life balance.
But 9:19 a.m. CT Tuesday, a wake-up call disguised as an email from the Tennessee Titans hit my inbox:
“Out of the abundance of caution, the organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to the Covid-19 virus. Several tests have come back positive and are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information tomorrow.”
Eight members of the Titans’ organization tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the team they narrowly beat Sunday — the Minnesota Vikings — may have been exposed to it, too.
The NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak was officially underway.
And really, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Without a verifiable NBA- or NHL-like bubble, this was always a possibility, maybe even a likelihood.
Now, we get to see how equipped the league is to contain the spread. We’ll also get a sense whether the NFL, which boasts far more players and team employees (and thus, far more risk) than any other American sports league, will actually be able to pull off a full season in the midst of a pandemic … or whether it’s always been a pipe dream.
Decision to play rests on COVID-19 test results
Players and front office types across the league are watching what happens in Minnesota and Tennessee closely. They’re using the moment as a clear reminder to everyone in their organizations about the importance of following the protocols the league has established to mitigate possible risk and exposure.
“I think there will always be a concern, especially when we get into the cold and flu season and families are staying indoors more,” one executive told Sports Grind Entertainment in response to Tuesday’s developments. “But the testing is working; we just need to stay focused on the protocols.”
The league’s protocols in handling Tuesday’s developments were obvious and necessary, as both teams were sent home from the team facilities, while the individuals who tested positive have been isolated. Contact tracing investigations have already begun as they seek to narrow down who the affected individuals have come into contact with.
As such, the next 24 to 48 hours will be critical. Both teams will continue to undergo regular testing, and we know that it takes three to seven days for those who are infected to test positive for the virus. So while the Vikings are currently sitting on zero positive tests, there’s a danger that the number could rise this week as they undergo more testing.
If that comes to be, the NFL will then have a decision to make.
First, league officials will have to decide whether it is still safe for both teams to play Sunday (or possibly Monday) and risk further spread. If the answer is no, they will have to reschedule the game. From a football standpoint, in my view, that isn’t that big of a deal. The schedule is flexible enough that the league can easily play it later, either by adding an extra week to the schedule to shuffling games around or whatever.
NFL’s priority is to complete every scheduled game
In the event additional positive tests emerge, the NFL will make a decision that helps it achieve the only two things it cares about this season.
The first is doing whatever is necessary to play every scheduled game, all so it can fulfill television contracts and ensure that everybody — from the players to the teams — gets paid a significant chunk of what they’re supposed to make. TV contracts account for the bulk of league revenue, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep that going.
The second priority is making sure no team employee gets critically sick. If that happened, it could rightfully complicate the ability to do the former.
Some are already raising concerns about how the schedule could be affected by a postponement or how the Titans could get begin to play Sunday or Monday with only one day of on-field practice work (which seems like the best-case scenario at the moment). However, the key thing to remember here is … none of that truly matters to the NFL right now.
Don’t get me wrong: Is it fair for Tennessee to have to face a blitz-heavy Pittsburgh team with little on-field work (all while the Steelers get to practice as normal)? Of course not. But this was always going to be a year where you can throw competitive balance out the window. These guys are just trying to finish the season while averting a disaster.
Besides, we have no idea whether the Titans’ game against the Steelers or the Vikings’ game against the Texans will even be played this week.
But one thing we do know is this: The Titans played Sunday with infected players, which means we’ll get a sense for how easily the virus can transmit during a football game, something we don’t actually know yet. It will prove to be instructional, though we can already conclude that the fact the virus spread so quickly among the Titans as a significant reason why the NFL has been fining coaches for not wearing their masks on gameday.
When you’re up against COVID-19, after all, every little bit helps.
So here’s to fans, players, coaches and team executives not taking the pro football we’ve already seen this year and what we hope to get over the coming months for granted.
Tuesday’s happenings are a wake-up call that the league’s ability to finish the season — something millions certainly want — is depending on it.
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Chiefs unanimous No. 1 in the AP Pro32 poll
NEW YORK (AP) — Patrick Mahomes showed once again that the defending Super Bowl champs are the class of the NFL.
In a matchup of the past two regular-season Most Valuable Players, Mahomes got the better of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
Mahomes threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns and added a rushing TD in the Chiefs’ 34-20 victory over the Ravens in the highly anticipated matchup.
That victory kept the Chiefs on top in the latest AP Pro32 poll. And this week, it’s unanimous: Kansas City received all 12 first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
”The Chiefs imposed their will against the Ravens on Monday night, proving they remain the best team in the NFL,” said Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
”Maybe they left a question about that following their overtime win over the Chargers in Week 2. There is no doubt now.”
The Ravens fell two spots into a tie for fourth with the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills.
Russell Wilson, another QB off to an outstanding start, and the Seattle Seahawks climbed a spot to reach No. 2 in the poll.
”With a record 14 touchdown passes through the first three weeks of the season, Russell Wilson has been the definition of an MVP so far,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.
”The only downside of his performance is that he’s almost required to play this well for his team to win, as the Seattle defense has given up nearly 500 yards per game.”
And the Green Bay Packers also gained a spot to reach No. 3. The Packers will look to stay unbeaten when they close out Week 4 by hosting the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
”Aaron Rodgers is off to a spectacular start, and the Packers get out of the gate at 3-0, looking very much like an early Super Bowl contender,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.
The Pittsburgh Steelers remained at No. 6 and are scheduled to face the Tennessee Titans, who moved up three spots to No. 8, in the only matchup of 3-0 teams.
But Sunday’s game could be in doubt after the Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL said three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.
The New England Patriots gained a spot to No. 7 and will head to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Rams slipped two spots to No. 9 after their comeback fell just short in Buffalo in a 35-32 loss.
And Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers round out the top 10; they jumped five places after beating the winless Denver Broncos.
”Brady & (coach Bruce) Arians still figuring out all their options on offense, but the defense is rock solid,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.
The Broncos, who are ranked No. 30, will open Week 4 when they head to the Meadowlands on Thursday night to face the New York Jets, who remain last at No. 32.
”What’s even more cringe-worthy than watching the league’s worst team is seeing (quarterback) Sam Darnold’s regression in a pivotal third NFL season,” said Alex Marvez of Sirius XM.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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