Byron Scott says Kobe’s retirement may be postponed
Although Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has insisted this will be his final season, his coach, Byron Scott, thinks otherwise. “He’s got a lot left in the tank. And I think if we put something together that excites him, we have a real good chance of saying, ‘Play another year, give it another shot.’” Bryant, 37, is closing in on Michael Jordan for the career record for points. That time is projected to come Friday at San Antonio. Most Kobe-watchers doubt he will want to play another season unless he sees his team returning to championship contention, which seems unlikely considering the 5-16 start this season.
NBA analysts Barkley, Smith argue about Ferguson
Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are friends, African-Americans and employees of TNT as NBA analysts, but they expressed differing views on the protesting of police and judicial action in Ferguson, Mo., regarding the killing of black teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman. Barkley referred to civilians burning buildings as “scumbags.” That prompted this retort from Smith: “It’s not that they are scumbags; their emotions won’t allow them to rationally think through their anger. I applaud that you have done a great job in your anger management in recent times . . . but not always. Mike Brown wasn’t about race relations, nor Trayvon Martin or even Hurricane Katrina for that matter. It’s about trust.”
Between the Lines: Although usually congenial, Barkley, a former NBA All-Star, once became so enraged at a fan that he spat on him.
Tiger has new swing, new coach, slimmer body, similar results
Tiger Woods has a healthy back and a rehabilitated swing. He’s playing golf without showing any winces or other signs of pain. Observers say most of his power and explosiveness have returned. Under the guidance of his new coach, Chris Como, he has developed a consistently smooth swing. He’s let up on his bodybuilding and has lost ten pounds, putting less strain on his back and surgical knees. “I just don’t have things slipping out of place anymore,” Woods said. Even so, he shot 77 in his first competitive round since August. Playing in his own Hero World Challenge at Windermere, Fla., he hit his first shot into someone’s backyard. Suffering from flu-like symptoms, he finished last in the 18-man field.
Cowboys failed to report Romo’s broken rib
Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo revealed on the Thursday Night Football telecast that he’s been playing with a broken rib, an injury the team did not report – apparently in violation of NFL rules. During the telecast of the Cowboys’ game at Chicago, color commentator Mike Mayock repeatedly commented that Romo was having trouble “driving the ball.” Mayock assumed the problem was back-related, but the unreported fractured rib could have been a factor. Although he threw several ugly floaters that open receivers could not catch, Romo finished with a fine stat line: 21 of 26 for 205 yards, 0 INT, 3 TDs, 1 sack.
Browns DC O’Neil warns Colts: beware of Dawg Pound
In advance of their trip to Cleveland for a game Sunday, two Indianapolis Colts who formerly played for the Browns, running back Trent Richardson and kick returner Josh Cribbs, promised to dive into the end zone seating – known as the Dawg Pound – if they scored a touchdown. “I know I have some true fans out there,” Richardson said, “and I know they still love me.” Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil was doubtful: “I think the Dawg Pound would have a response to that. They might end up playing the rest of the game with beer all over them.” That was the treatment Cincinnati’s Chad Johnson received in 2007 when he dived into the stands after scoring a touchdown in Cleveland. As it turned out, the ex-Browns did not get near the end zone, as the Colts struggled to win 25-24.
Kaepernick ‘a chump’ who shoves photographer
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick had his worst day in a disappointing season when his team lost 24-13 to the Oakland Raiders. He threw two interceptions and gained 174 yards on 33 passes. When he walked off the field at halftime he showed his frustration by shoving a photographer’s camera. When asked about the incident, he told the San Jose Mercury News: “If I put something real close to your face you’re going to try to move out of the way, too.” During the game he had a face-to-face confrontation with Oakland linebacker Sio Moore, who later sent out an Instagram with a picture of Kaepernick and the message, “There’s a difference between boys and men. . . Freakin’ chump.”
Janay says Ravens asked her to apologize for being hit
Ten months after Ray Rice punched out his soon-to-be wife in an Atlantic City elevator, the Baltimore Ravens can’t shake off the scandal. It took on new life when Janay Rice appeared on the Today show and said Ravens management prodded her to make her May 23 apology for “my role” in the incident. The team issued a release saying it did not ask Janay to apologize but merely gave “talking points” to her husband. But Terry O’Neil, president of the National Organization for Women, objected to this talking point: “We can do something going forward by admitting our mistakes and making sure we serve as an example of doing the right things.” O’Neil pointed out that the Ravens “held Ray and Janay out as a couple – a unit,” to create the impression that she shared responsibility for the attack. “Of course Janay would consider the talking points to be her script as well as Ray’s.”
Marvin Lewis calls Johnny Manziel ‘a midget’
As his Bengals were preparing to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, coach Marvin Lewis was asked in an interview with WLW-700 in Cincinnati if his staff would devise special defensive schemes to counter quarterback Johnny Manziel, making his first start in an NFL regular-season game. “No,” Lewis said, “you defend the offense, not the quarterback. Particularly a midget.” Coaches never like to see their players make derogatory comments about upcoming opponents, so it was surprising to hear Lewis minimize Manziel, who is a shade under 6 feet tall. An hour after the “midget” comment, Lewis apologized, saying, “It was a poor remark. I really didn’t mean anything by it.” He later issued another apology: “I’m aware my comment on local radio was offensive to people of short stature and to their families and friends.”
Mumps breaks out in NHL
Minnesota Wild All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter missed two games with mumps – the fifth player on the team to sit out games this season with the illness, which has now struck at least 10 NHL players. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin is one of four Anaheim Ducks to suffer from the viral infection that’s characterized by painful swelling in and near the salivary glands. “At first it was kind of funny,” Beauchemin told USA Today. “But after a couple of guys got it, it wasn’t funny anymore.” He called it “the worst thing I’ve ever had in my life.”