Why Did LeBron James Play Defense With Hands Behind Back Vs. Rockets?

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers got all sorts of frustrated Thursday night in Houston.
The Rockets are known as one of the best foul-drawing teams in the NBA and it clearly got under the skin of the new-look Lake Show.
To avoid getting whistled for a reach-in, James decided to take matters into his own hands, or lack thereof.
During LA’s 126-111 loss, James and other Lakers played defense with their hands behind their backs in order to make a point to the referees.

This is the correct way to play defense against the Rockets. *LeBron… good D over there.* pic.twitter.com/qVz2oodZuo
— (17-11) (@nvtemom) December 14, 2018

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“Just trying to defend without fouling,” James said after the game, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “That’s a point of emphasis any time you play Houston. They got guys that can sell calls really good — Chris (Paul) and James (Harden) — so you got to try to keep your hands out of the cookie jar.”
Houston actually was called for more fouls than the Lakers were Thursday, but the Rockets got more chances at the free-throw line. Last season’s MVP James Harden went 18-for-19 at the charity stripe while Chris Paul went 5-for-6.
Lakers’ second-year point guard Lonzo Ball shared the King’s frustration.
“You can’t touch them,” Ball said, according to McMenamin. “They were calling it tight today, so I was just trying to get my hands out of there. … It’s very tough staying in front of (Harden) with your hands like that.”
In fairness to Ball, it’s hard to cover Harden even with the use of your hands.

Jabari Parker Almost Signed With Los Angeles Lakers This Summer

The Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls expirement doesn’t seem to be working.
The Chicago native signed a two-year, $40 million deal with the hometown Bulls over the summer and was hoping to revitalize his career.
Parker, 23, is averaging 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 2018. Signing with the Bulls was a step in the right direction after a rash of injuries during his four years with the Milwaukee Bucks, the team that picked him second overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.
With great expectation, bore frustration.
Before this season’s opener, Parker was relegated to the role of the team’s sixth man.
He was not happy.
But get this: While a return to Chicago was great! He had other offers.
Speaking at the 77 Project during Chicago Ideas Festival, at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago, Parker told sports reporter, Cam Smith that the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings showed interest in him this summer.

Los Angeles, Sacramento Kings Brooklyn Nets & Sacramento Kings did have interest in Jabari Parker this offseason, according to Parker while speaking to attendees of The 77 Project at the Daley Center in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/WBjCqJ2831
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) October 19, 2018

You can check out the conversation through We Are Regal Radio’s Josh Hicks via the embed linke below:

Live discussion between ⁦@camronsmith⁩ and ⁦@JabariParker⁩ for The 77 Project via ⁦@chicagoideas⁩ https://t.co/kHfQn2ubZR
— Josh Hicks (@jhicks042) October 19, 2018

Per Regal Radio’s Josh Hicks:
If he did not chose the Bulls, who would have possibly been the next best suitor for the South Side native? It would have pretty much come down to what motivated the departing Milwaukee Buck most at the time. It would seem that the Bulls wound up offering Parker the most of what he’d like to have in his second NBA stop but there was a lot to tempt him in his other options.
If Parker’s mindset was to win or be part of a winning culture, he should’ve heavily considered the Lakers or Heat. The legendary Lakers franchise is the talk of the league since LeBron James made his transition from the Eastern Conference to the West.
If Parker joined the Lakers, he would thrive in a winning culture and in the pick and roll with James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball running the show as primary ball handlers, he would bring additional versatility within the big man lineup, especially as an offensive stretch-four mismatch, while also being an electric force by running the fast break next to James. He would have been a great addition to the Showtime that President of Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have been striving to implement.
The problem is, he would most likely have to take a lot less money  in LA than in his current deal to come off the bench due to the progression and high prioritized emphasis on Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, and with him believing he is a starter-caliber player, it would be hard to see him take that offer.
The Miami Heat is a team that already had a nice mixture of young talent led by Josh Richardson, Justice Winslow and Bam Adebayo to pair with the veteran leadership of Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and future hall of famer Dwyane Wade in his last go-around with the team he’s most associated with.
 
Parker expressed being happy to join the Bulls in October and spoke candidly about how Derrick Rose inspired him in life.

Derrick Rose’ resurgence doesn’t surprise Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker. “When you’re somebody, you just don’t lose it,” Parker told me this afternoon. “You always are going to be the person that you are….. pic.twitter.com/3hfDfhu1UL
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) October 20, 2018

Jabari Parker and I discussed that at length via the Scoop B Radio Podcast back in October.

Chicago Bulls’ Jabari Parker and I discussed Chicago’s own, Derrick Rose, earlier today!
He thinks the world of him!
Look for that Monday!
📸 – @jhicks042 pic.twitter.com/LmTz6WIjRi
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) October 20, 2018

Since then, the Bulls have gotten healthy, made coaching moves and more; which has made Parker the odd man out.
Chicago will reportedly pull Parker out of their regular rotation moving forward, per ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Per ESPN’s Malika Andrews:
In the meantime, The Bulls have engaged in trade talks with “several teams” regarding forward Jabari Parker, according to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson.

Bulls have engaged in talks with several teams regarding Jabari Parker, per sources. There’s considerable interest in Parker the player. Finding right fit financially is next.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 14, 2018

Tomorrow NBA teams can begin trading players that they signed in the offseason. Parker fits that criteria.
What will happen? Stay tuned! 

Tom Brady, Patriots Not Going To Worry About Pursuit Of No. 1 Seed

The prospects of the New England Patriots obtaining the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs appeared grim following their last-second loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 14.
But things changed in a hurry after the Los Angeles Chargers stormed back from 14 points down to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on “Thursday Night Football.” The loss dropped the Chiefs to 11-3, just one game ahead of New England in the loss column. The Chargers now also sit at 11-3.
While the Patriots, who visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, now have a path to the top seed in the conference, quarterback Tom Brady isn’t going to focus too much on the Patriots’ potential playoff seed.

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“I think we just worry about honestly what we can control and that’s it,” Brady said Friday, via ProFootballTalk. “It’s just us playing and whatever happens, happens. Coach (Bill Belichick) has always said it’s not where we play, it’s how we play. We’ve just got to take care of business on our end. This is a big one, this is a tough one and we’re going to have to play really well.”
New England can wrap up its 10th consecutive AFC East title Sunday, but that relies on the Pats playing better away from Foxboro where they have been a dreadful 3-4 in 2018.
In order for the Patriots to get the No. 1 seed and secure home-field throughout the AFC playoffs, the Chiefs and Chargers both would have to lose one more game and New England would need to win its remaining three games. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but Brady and Co. will have to take care of business in the Steel City before they can even begin to think about hosting an AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium.

Mick Mulvaney’s Politics: Is He Liberal or Conservative?

Mick Mulvaney has been tapped to be acting Chief of Staff for Trump, per a tweet by the President on Friday evening. Mulvaney is a staunch conservative from South Carolina.
Prior to this position, Mulvaney was leading the Office of Management and Budget since 2017. According to Fox News, Mulvaney is considered a “hardline convservative not known for a penchant for compromise.”
Here’s what you need to know:

Mulvaney Was Elected to the House of Representatives in 2010; He Was the First Republican to Represent South Carolina’s 5th District Since 1883

I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018

For the earlier parts of his career, Mulvaney was a lawyer who ran his family real estate business. His political journey began when he ran for South Carolina’s 5th District and won in 2010, becoming the first Republican to hold the seat since 1883.

Mulvaney Has Called Himself a ‘Right-Wing Nutjob’ in the Past

#MAGAnomics is a simple formula, you just have to believe in capitalism, hard work and our people. You must believe in America. We certainly do. https://t.co/wrErZiRTFs
— Mick Mulvaney (@MickMulvaneyOMB) April 5, 2018

According to Politico, Mulvaney said in 2017, “I don’t think anyone in this administration is more of a right-wing conservative than I am.”
Politico further relays that when Mulvaney met Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic advisor, he introduced himself by saying, “Hi, I’m a right-wing nutjob!”

How Red Sox Players Feel About Joe Kelly Joining Dodgers In Free Agency

The Boston Red Sox’s bullpen is going to look a little different in the 2019 Major League Baseball season.
While it’s becoming increasingly unlikely the Red Sox re-sign Craig Kimbrel, Boston officially lost out on the Joe Kelly sweepstakes Thursday when the right-hander agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was a near certainty Kelly was going to receive a big payday after his dazzling performance in the 2018 playoffs. Kelly was particularly sharp in the World Series against the Dodgers, tossing a combined six scoreless innings in which he only allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts over five games.

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Given his opportunity to cash in on the open market, with his hometown team no less, Kelly’s now-former Red Sox teammates had no bad blood about the flamethrower taking his talents west.
“All of the reactions were good,” Joe Kelly said on Rob Bradford’s “Bradfo Sho” podcast. “Brock (Holt) and his wife FaceTimed me and my wife at like seven in the morning, and he was like ‘Dang, you’re super, duper, duper rich!’ and I just started laughing. I’m obviously so close with those guys and everything was positive from those guys. They understand what’s the best for my family, career. It’s all been positive and great.”
It won’t be too long before Red Sox players and fans alike are reunited with Kelly, as Boston will welcome Los Angeles to Fenway Park for a weekend series in mid-July.

Pokemon Go Holiday 2018 Dates and Bonuses

Niantic announced a brand new holiday event for Pokemon Go, offering a variety of in-game awards for a limited time.
Different bonuses will be in effect from December 18th to January 2nd. Here’s the full breakdown for Pokemon Go Holiday 2018:
Dec. 18 – Jan. 2: Ice-type Pokemon are more common in the wild. Holiday hat Pikachu is available to catch. Smoochum, Azurill, Munchlax and more can be hatched from 7 km Eggs. Players can earn a free single-use Egg Incubator one per day by spinning the Photo Disc at a PokeStop.
Dec. 18 – Dec. 22: Earn double Candy from catching and transferring Pokemon.
Dec. 22 – Dec. 26: Earn double Stardust from catching Pokemon.
Dec. 26 – Dec. 30: Earn double XP from catching Pokemon.
Dec. 30 – Jan. 2: Egg Incubators have double the hatching rate.
 
In addition, you’ll be able to get new outfits and accessories themed after Delibird from the in-game Style Shop starting December 18.
In other news, players are able to challenge the Legendary Pokemon Lugia and Ho-Oh in Raid Battles from now until December 17th at 1 p.m. PST, according to Niantic. There’s even a chance of catching their shiny forms.
For more Pokemon Go news, guides and more, check out Heavy.
See also:

How to Get the Mystery Box for Meltan in Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go Field Research List for December 2018
How to Connect PokeBall Plus & Other FAQs

WATCH: George Papadopoulos Says He’s Running for Congress in 2020

NEW: George Papadopoulos, the Trump adviser jailed over Russia meddling probe, wants to run for Congress in 2020.
He tells me he is looking at seats in Orange County (Nixon’s birthplace) and is already taking to donors.
Full interview: https://t.co/bUmOuO6uyE pic.twitter.com/6roXm6RccU
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) December 14, 2018

George Papadopoulos just got out of jail after serving time for lying to federal investigators. Now, the former Trump adviser has something new to say. Papadopoulos has confirmed that he is running for Congress, somewhere in Southern California and probably in Orange County. Papadopoulos made the announcement in an interview with the Daily Telegraph and later confirmed it on Twitter.
Papadopoulos spent just 12 days in federal prison in Oxford, Wisconsin this month. He was released from jail on December 7 and will now be on “supervised release” for 12 months. The former Trump aide also has to do 200 hours of community service and pay a fine of $9,500. Papadopoulos went to jail after admitting that he had lied to federal investigators about his relationship with people connected to Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
In spite of his sentence, Papadopoulos and his wife, Simona Mangiante, have maintained a high profile, doing the talk show circuit and taking advantage of social media. Papapdopoulos also wrote a book, Deep State Target, about “the attempted sabotage of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by American and international intelligence services.”
Now, Papadopoulos says he’s going to run for Congress — and win.

Papadopoulos Says He Always Intended to Run for Office & That’s Why He Went to Work for Trump
In the Telegraph interview, Papadopoulos — wearing a dark suit and standing in front of palm trees — says that his “end game” was always to run for political office. He says that’s the reason he went to work for the Trump campaign in the first place. “Things took a different direction,” Papadopoulos says, smiling wryly. But, he says, “My end game remains the same. I do want to run for Congress. I’m planning on running for Congress in 2020. And now that Los Angeles is home, I just have to find a little Republican enclave in this part of the world, in this part of the country, and run there. And I have some support already.”
Later in the day, Papadopoulos tweeted, “It is true. I will be running for Congress in 2020, and I will win. Stay tuned.”

NBA Rumors: Bulls’ Jabari Parker Draws Trade Interest From Several Teams

Jabari Parker might not be bench-ridden for long.
A number of teams are speaking to the Chicago Bulls about a potential trade for the 23-year-old forward, the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson reported Friday, citing sources.

Bulls have engaged in talks with several teams regarding Jabari Parker, per sources. There’s considerable interest in Parker the player. Finding right fit financially is next.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 14, 2018

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Parker joined his hometown Bulls last offseason on a two-year $40 million contract with the expectation he’d be their sixth man, but things haven’t gone to plan. The Bulls fired coach Fred Hoiberg on Dec. 1 and promoted Jim Boylen as his replacement.
Boylen has decided to drop Parker from his regular rotation, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported Thursday, citing sources. Parker said in response he expects his role will diminish temporarily, but that might not be the case.
Parker’s averages of 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game are second on the team but his playing style doesn’t fit Boylen’s desired structure. An exit via trade seems more likely to happen than him returning to prominence with the Bulls. Chicago’s and the NBA’s other cap-ologists just need to be creative enough to make it happen.

Here’s What ESPN Suggests Red Sox Do Next After MLB Winter Meetings

The Boston Red Sox made a sizable splash before the Major League Baseball winter meetings, re-signing postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year contract.
The waters were much calmer once president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski descended upon Las Vegas, though, as the biggest development from a Red Sox standpoint was the departure of reliever Joe Kelly, who agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Of course, it’s quite possible Dombrowski laid the groundwork for future moves while at the winter meetings. After all, closer Craig Kimbrel remains a free agent, and Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts all were mentioned in trade rumors. There’s also a chance the Red Sox could explore locking up Chris Sale, who, like Porcello and Bogaerts, is set to hit free agency next offseason.
So, what should the Red Sox do coming out of the winter meetings?
ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle offered a suggestion in a piece published Thursday about what each MLB team needs to address moving forward for 2019.

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In his section about the Red Sox, Doolittle provided this quote from Boston manager Alex Cora at the winter meetings: “With the guys that we have right now, I’m good with it.”
Here’s what Doolittle then wrote:
The move: Cora was speaking about his bullpen, a couple of days before Joe Kelly signed with the Dodgers. It’s probable Cora made that statement knowing that Kelly’s return to Boston was unlikely. The Red Sox’s roster is pretty complete, yet some additional bullpen arms couldn’t hurt, especially if closer Craig Kimbrel finds his riches elsewhere. If Boston is looking to moderate its spending in this area, a couple of bounce-back candidates who might be good values are Hunter Strickland and Greg Holland. A lefty such as Tony Sipp or Luis Avilan couldn’t hurt, either.
It’s hard to argue with Doolittle’s assessment. Boston’s World Series-winning roster remains mostly intact, giving the Red Sox a legitimate chance to repeat as champions in 2019. But the bullpen certainly could use reinforcements, especially if Kimbrel joins Kelly in leaving town.

The Grim Details of Nicki Minaj’s Boyfriend’s Sexual Assault Case Have Surfaced

Weeks ago, Nicki Minaj appeared on social media with a brand new mystery man that had her fans and the general public wondering if this was a new love interest of hers. Last weekend, Minaj celebrated her birthday with close friends, family, and anonymous male counterpart and revealed via social media that this man who has since then been identified as Kenny Petty as her latest love interest.
Unfortunately, for the privacy of Minaj’s and Petty’s new and budding relationship, it was discovered that Petty not only served prison time for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in 1994, he also went to prison on manslaughter charges in the shooting death of a young man named Lamont Robinson a decade later. Now, with the general public is aware of Kenneth Petty’s dark past, further details of Petty’s sexual assault case and trial have surfaced courtesy of The Blast.
Kenneth Petty’s Sexual Assault/Rape Case: The Dark Details

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the unidentified 16-year-old young woman detailed her terrifying experience in which she described allegedly being abducted and forcibly raped by a young Kenneth Petty.
In her statement, the victim affirmed that she was walking down a public street on September 16, 1994, in Queens, New York when she was approached from behind by Petty who placed ‘a hard circular object’ against her back as the unknown object made a clicking sound. The young woman assumed that Petty was in possession of a firearm and stated that Petty told her to ‘keep walking.’
Fearing for life, the victim followed Petty’s demands and walked to a nearby residence where the two entered. Once Petty and the teenage girl were in an enclosed room, the victim claimed that ‘[Petty] laid his weight on top of her, pinched her sides. and squeezed her neck causing her to sustain bruises and pain.’ The young woman then stated that Petty forced his genitals inside into her vagina.
According to the statement, the young woman attempted to escape from her attacker until he brandished a knife and held it to her stomach stating, ‘she could not leave.’ Fortunately, the victim was able to escape after she struck Petty with a plastic bottle and fled to safety.
The unknown victim reported her assault to the authorities almost instantaneously and police arrived to Petty’s residence where he asked law enforcement officials ‘what am I being arrested for?’ and claiming ‘I didn’t do anything.’ When asked about the young woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Petty, he stated that he had not seen her that day but had previously recognized her at the bus stop before, conversed with her, and even slept with her in the prior to her accusations.
Kenny Petty’s Sexual Assault Charges & Consequences
According to records obtained by The Blast, Kenneth Petty was charged with a total of five crimes. The following crimes include rape in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, assault in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Petty eventually took a plea deal and was convicted of rape in the first degree and served a total of four years in a New York state prison. Kenny Petty is currently a registered sex offender and required to provide law enforcement with updated location information as well as photos for public safety.
Nicki Minaj Continues to Flaunt Her New Man in Kenny Petty

As you can see, it doesn’t appear to bother Nicki that her new boyfriend’s heinous criminal record has become public knowledge. Matter of fact, Minaj has been publicly defending Petty’s past stating that he was young and dumb at the time of this alleged assault.
With that said, if Nicki Minaj is happy and Petty has served his time for his actions and is completely rehabilitated, who are we to judge as spectators of another couple’s love? We just hope, Minaj doesn’t find herself in danger due to someone else’s actions.
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