How would you announce your free-agent decision?

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Creative NBA free-agent announcements are becoming all the rage nowadays. LeBron James went from a televised special to a more subdued Sports Illustrated essay. Kevin Durant copied that style in his My Next Chapter article in The Players’ Tribune. Others have simply tweeted out the decision or made us wait 68 seconds in a lightly produced YouTube video.

Gordon Hayward is next up on that list. As Jazz, Celtics, and Heat fans wait for his July 4 announcement, we posed the following question to the world: How would you announce your highly anticipated free-agent decision?

This is what makes Gilbert’s refusal to give Griffin a raise so incredible.
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Jones was inspired by Kaepernick. A few weeks into the 2016 season, Jones, defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and linebacker Wesley Woodyard stood with their fists raised after the national anthem ended to bring awareness to racism in the country.

Casey said there have been many talks in the locker room on how to proceed with the protests affected the perception of racism in the country. Given the recent riots in Charlottesville, Va., Casey said there is still so much work left to do.

Did protesting really change much last year? I don’t really think so, Casey said. We gotta find a better way. Protesting on a Sunday doesn’t do itself justice because we did that last year and there was only more uproar, without much change.

As to what the better way is, the players indicated they aren’t sure. But the general consensus is that being afraid to talk about what is going on isn’t the answer.

The Charlottesville thing over the weekend with the riots really caught my eye. It’s very disgusting what’s definitely going on, Casey said. We can’t be afraid to voice our opinions about this.

Anquan Boldin retiring from NFL to focus on humanitarian work

It appears veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin is done playing football.

According to ESPN.com, Boldin left Bills camp Sunday and told the team, which he signed with just 13 days prior, he is retiring.

“Football in its purest form is what we all strive for as a nation. People from all different races, religions and backgrounds working together for one shared goal,” Boldin said, via ESPN.com. “The core values taught in football are sone of the most important you can learn in life. To always be there for the guy next to you and not let your fellow man down. You do whatever it takes to make sure your brother is OK.

However, Jospeh offered an update on Lynch’s injury after practice Monday, saying he is expected to miss “a couple games” because of a sprained right shoulder.

Lynch hurt his shoulder in Saturday’s preseason win over the Packers and was scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday to confirm there is no structural damage.

Joseph announced last Monday that Trevor Siemian will get the start under center for the season opener Sept. 11 against the Chargers. Joseph called his decision a “clear-cut” choice after Siemian started 14 games for Denver last year and outperformed Lynch during the preseason this year.

“Trevor, he was solid. He was Trevor,” Joseph said last week. “He made good decisions. His ball placement was on point tonight. He controlled the huddle. So I was pleased with Trevor.”

Lynch, 23, was Denver’s 26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in three games as a rookie last season and recorded 497 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
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LeBron James beatboxing with his daughter on IG is the best thing you’ll see today

LeBron James enjoyed the Fourth of July with his family. Since his free agency doesn’t come up until next year, he was seemingly pretty unbothered by all the NBA activity.

James posted this video on his Instagram story of him sitting at a table with his wife, Savannah, and daughter, Zhuri.

LeBron is actually a pretty good beatboxer! And Zhuri, well… she’s getting there. SSSSS is a good start.

Zhuri is LeBron and Savannah’s youngest, after LeBron Jr. and Bryce. We recently got another look into the James family home when LeBron shared a video of Bryce’s amazing sports-themed birthday party.

Elite Kids Jerome Brown Jersey The video also featured James annihilating a bunch of kids in basketball and a water balloon fight. Right now he might be better than his kids at everything, but one of these days Zhuri will drop some sick beats and Bryce will dunk on him.
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Growing up in Southern California, Watson played in the Say No Classic, one of the top college basketball summer leagues of its time. Phoenix, he said, has a Say No Classic team of 19- and 20-year-olds, and he knows developing that young core is their only job.

The Suns understand that losing is part of that process. McDonough calls it growing pains; Watson calls it the pursuit of excellence. Their challenge is developing an extreme confidence; make or miss, win or lose. They want their other young players to feel as empowered as Devin Booker was to score 70 points against a conference-leading Celtics team in only his second year.

I was never against New York adding Hardaway in the first place.

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This team is a decent mix of young and old players and should be a group of guys that can put egos aside and gel together rather quickly. The players we drafted also will allow Becky Hammon to play with rotations depending on opponent. A lot of these guys can play multiple positions and that is crucial in today’s NBA. The best part is that the Eastern Conference is currently depleted and it will give them some confidence that they can compete right away.

It’s not crazy that this team could sneak into the eighth spot in the East. It’s a conference that is totally up for grabs. But, much like the Knicks, our team’s success hinges on Tim Hardaway Jr.’s development. And that may be challenging.

Kristian: I’m a Knicks guy, through and through. So when I saw Tim Hardaway Jr., basking in the wet ink of his $71 million contract, I had to pull the trigger.
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In truth, I was never against New York adding Hardaway in the first place. Sure, $71 million is exorbitant, but when you’re gunning for a restricted free agent, you have to make an offer another team won’t match. Hardaway developed as a player on both ends of the floor in Atlanta and he returns to a Knicks team that no longer employs the guy who traded him.

He’s 25, can score in bunches, and hasn’t scratched the surface of his potential. That’s a guy I want on my team.

Whitney: I’m actually a Hardaway fan. I think he’s a fine player and in an expansion draft he’s a really great pickup. That said, it’s okay if you roast us for this contract. At least we didn’t take him first, right?

2017-18 Brooklyn Nets preview: They’ll be bad, but their fans don’t mind

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This is the first of Limited Upside’s 30 team previews leading up to next season. We’re bringing together representatives from all 30 SB Nation team sites and other team-specific experts from the SB Nation/Limited Upside community to gauge the temperature of the fanbase heading into the season. We’re going roughly from worst to first from last year, so the Nets are up first.

The Nets are going to be bad again, but fans are oddly in a good mood. Why? The team at least has a plan and doesn’t have to worry about winning right now.

We kick off our 30-team 2017-18 NBA preview with a look at the Nets with SBNation.com NBA reporter Kristian Winfield and Nets Daily ace writer Anthony Puccio.

Athletes are more than just athletes, Head said. They’re people with thoughts and feelings and beliefs. These protests should’ve shown people there are still issues in America and we don’t get to just leave it to lawmakers and leaders to say something is wrong. We all have a say. Athletes included. Students included. We all have a say.

Kaepernick’s protest was displayed on Sundays, but it was bolstered by philanthropy. Along with leading a rebuilding 49ers team, he managed to carry out a $1 million pledge to grassroots organizations.
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It started in San Jose with Silicon Valley De-Bug. Kaepernick gave $25,000 for projects the organization otherwise wouldn’t have.

Kaepernick did more than give money. He invited the organization to his first Know Your Rights Camp, where he set up chairs, interacted with kids, and sat in on every workshop. He also purchased backpacks and filled them with books. Each kid received a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

Red Sox owner wants Boston to rename street near Fenway tied to team’s racist history

Amid a wave of teams and cities reconsidering what various monuments mean in the modern world, and even more so the political climate we find ourselves in, the Red Sox are finally starting to take the steps necessary to rename Yawkey Way.

The fact that the Mets were able to pull it off is a feat. d’Arnaud didn’t see a play until the ninth inning, an infield popup similar to what he would see behind the plate. Joe Girardi praised Collins for his smarts, which was perhaps easier to do because the Yankees won anyway. However cool, this isn’t a completely unprecedented tactic: Collins told d’Arnaud pregame that he had to do something similar in the minors in 1976. There’s no indication that Collins was pumped about his start for revenge-related reasons, though. “I wanted to make a diving play down the line, to rob someone of a base hit like people do to me,” said d’Arnaud, who is now hashtag relatable.

This is all very Mets of the Mets, yes. But that is a beautiful, glorious thing. There are those (me) worried that as the season(s?) wears on, there will be less and less appreciation for just how absurd the Mets are. New York found the one wave in the ocean filled with the most insanity possible and are still riding it for all it’s worth. And I love them.

The Mets are really, truly incredible when they’re not endangering pitchers’ livelihoods. Do you even remember or care about how much Robert Gsellman does or does not care or that the Wilpons plan to hoard the money that they saved in trades this season? OK, maybe. But since most people invested in the Mets performance have tempered their expectations, it might be OK to say that the team’s absurdity is a little fun. And they might even be fun if they ever decide they want to pull it together and win again, too.nike_chargers_114

It’s preseason for NFL punters, too

The Falcons offense looks sharp, even though Matt Ryan only played one series. And Atlanta’s defense has held the Steelers to just three points in the first half. Special teams play for the Falcons, on the other hand, is not so special.

Punter Matt Bosher, who is usually quite good, isn’t having the best night. The first half ended on a blocked punt by Pittsburgh.

It should be noted that he was playing with the third team and against third teamers from the Saints. Questions about whether or not Kizer would start Cleveland’s next preseason game. Head coach Hue Jackson wasn’t ready to go that far.

Elite Kids Loui Eriksson Jersey I go back to work tomorrow, look at the tape and then make a decision where we are. It was one week. I never told you guys this was the way it was going to be from here on in. […] We’ll see where we are for next week, Jackson said after the game, via Cleveland.com.

Kizer wasn’t the only rookie quarterback to show out this week. Deshaun Watson outplayed Tom Savage in the Texans’ loss to the Panthers on Wednesday, and Mitchell Trubisky ran circles around Mike Glennon in the Bears’ loss to the Broncos Thursday.
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But Trubisky was drafted second overall, and the Texans traded up with the Browns to snag Watson with the 12th overall pick. Kizer was drafted by Cleveland in the second round of the 2017 draft, and his play tonight suggests that the Browns made a good choice.

Benjamin underachieved a bit last season as he fought through a knee injury. Based on this touchdown, he looks healthy now — and fast. The Lions won the first game handily, beating the Colts in Indianapolis with a final score of 24-10. The Colts defense got off to a good start as linebacker John Simon intercepted Matthew Stafford on the Lions’ first possession. But beyond that, the Indianapolis defense just looked outmatched, and the offense didn’t get into the end zone for the first time until there was, seriously, just one second remaining in the game.

Whether the Mets trade him or not, Curtis Granderson has ‘made peace’ with possible retirement

The Mets are officially soliciting offers for both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, although current reports say they would rather trade Granderson right now and extend a qualifying offer to Bruce in the offseason.

On the one hand, it’s not hard to see where Morrison is coming from on this one. He is having an outstanding season and has been one of the premier home run hitters in a year where seemingly everyone is hitting home runs in every at bat. His 24 home runs are already a career-high and tied for the second most in baseball after Judge’s 27. Objectively speaking, Morrison has been one of the best home run hitters in baseball this season.

Houston is currently leading the AL West by a full 15.5 games over Seattle, and it could widen that lead by beating the Mariners tonight and tomorrow at home. Even if that lead shrinks slightly over the next eight weeks, the Astros would still be in marvelous shape heading into the playoffs and would have Correa back at least close to full strength by the time the postseason actually kicks off.

Game Mens Jake Butt Jersey Gray is in his first year of arbitration, making $3.575 million this year for Oakland. The former All-Star has an ERA of 4.00 in 13 starts so far this year, but the underlying numbers are better with a 3.59 FIP, 8.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. In 2015, he finished third in the voting for AL Cy Young after posting a 2.73 ERA and 143 ERA+, throwing three complete games. The 27-year-old won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season.

Game Mens Bob Uecker Jersey Now, the debate over the next few weeks: how much should the Brewers give up in a deal if they’re looking to make the most out of their unexpected run this year? With Keon Broxton playing well, does that mean sending Lewis Brinson or Brett Phillips or Corey Ray somewhere else? Are they willing to part with 6 years of Josh Hader for two or three of someone like Gray or Quintana?

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott not panicking about Ezekiel Elliott suspension

Dak Prescott spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday after the Cowboys learned of running back Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension Friday.

What he said can be summed up pretty succinctly in one quote, “It’s not a panic here.”

Prescott won the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award despite the fact Elliott led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards as a rookie himself in 2016. The Mississippi State graduate threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first season as the Cowboys signal caller and looked incredibly comfortable from the very beginning.

The Seahawks can’t complain too much here, as they’ll be well favored in those bookend interconference home games. That New York trip is long, but Seattle typically does well there and will be well rested for the latest matchup.

Yes, it’s true, Seattle doesn’t get its toughest game of the regular season until the penultimate one at Dallas. The Seahawks’ schedule is soft in the middle, and only moderately challenging at the beginning and end.

That might be the floor for how high the Seahawks can fly in 2017 based on a schedule that doesn’t seem to have many traps beyond the trips to Green Bay and Dallas. Playing in the NFC West and drawing the AFC South, too, is a dream to pad the neccesary record to finish first in a tough conference.

The 23-year-old won a national championship with Alabama in 2015 and was a the team’s defensive leader on a roster that made it to the CFP title game in 2016.

Although Pastorini was a disappointment for the Oilers as that team’s No. 3 overall pick in 1971, his worst time came as a starter for the Rams 10 years later. It was only five starts, but it was too bad to ignore: a win, two touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 14 sacks, a 42.1 completion percentage and an almost non-existent 22.9 passer rating.dolphins_026

I’ve been thinking about staying over the rubber better and getting over my front side

The nature of such mechanical changes are often difficult to catch with the naked eye. Even slowing down the video and doing a side-by-side comparison can be specious, when you’re talking about isolating two pitches out of hundreds. But Hendricks can feel what has been different this season.

Game Youth Jakub Kindl Jersey I’ve been thinking about staying over the rubber better and getting over my front side, he said. But things have been changing. I’m such a routine-oriented guy that going on the DL and then coming off, my mechanics have been a little off. They’ve been changing game to game a little bit, my stride has been a little long at times, and my arm slot gets too high on me sometimes. But just trying to shorten up my stride, stay over the rubber better, and get my arm angle down.

Need to know: The Dodgers have a rotation headed by Clayton Kershaw and filled out with solid starters Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda, so they don’t HAVE to trade for Gray. But with a World Series-or-bust approach to 2017, you can’t really keep the Dodgers out of the conversation for any available players. Remember, they’re connected to Orioles closer Zach Britton even though they have Kenley Jansen, one of the best closers in baseball. If the Dodgers’ front office decides Gray is the final piece, they’ll do everything possible to land him before the trade deadline. Kershaw’s back injury could force that decision.

Game Youth Jason Chimera Jersey Need to know: Yes, they just landed young, club-controlled elite starter Jose Quintana. But it’s not possible to have too many young, club-controlled elite starters, and within hours of the Quintana trade, reports came out that the Cubs were still interested in Gray. To land him, though, it would probably take at least one player off the big-league roster (maybe Ian Happ?), because the White Sox got the only two Cubs prospects off Baseball America’s midseason Top 100.