Posts Tagged ‘Praise’

So far, the playoffs have been Derrick Henry‘s domain.

After sharing the backfield with DeMarco Murray throughout the regular season, Henry had the rushing duties all to himself during the Tennessee Titans‘ opening-round victory over Kansas City. He’ll be the lead back again for Saturday’s divisional round game against the New England Patriots, with Murray ruled out due to injury.

The sophomore flourished in that role against the Chiefs, rushing 23 times for 156 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown.

And a franchise legend believes Henry has even more in him.

“He has the ability to lead the league in rushing. I think he has the ability to be the league MVP,” former Titans/Houston Oilers running back Eddie George told Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.

“The sky is the limit. We’re scratching the surface in what he can do. The more opportunities he gets, the better he gets.”

Henry has said he gets stronger the more carries he receives, but the Titans have largely been cautious about putting too much on his plate. However, he’s been getting all he can handle in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Murray has two years remaining on his contract, but he can be released after the season without the team incurring any dead money. With that in mind, Henry could be set to take over as the No. 1 runner moving forward.

And that may be all he needs to succeed.

“I have no question that Derrick can be a 1,500-to-1,800-yard type of running back when he gets the opportunities,” George said.

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Episode 30 of The Triple Threat Podcast featuring “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling is NOW available. In the following excerpt Shane, Chad and John discuss the upcoming and groundbreaking Women’s Royal Rumble match as well as Shane sharing recollections of his lone Royal Rumble appearance in 1991, the psychology behind a battle royal and what factors come in to play with that many superstars in the ring at once. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.

PLEASE CREDIT The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling FOR THIS TRANSCRIPTION

The huge announcement of the first Women’s Royal Rumble:

“I’ve said it before that I am not and haven’t been throughout my career a huge supporter of women’s wrestling and I haven’t paid that much attention to it. But I will say this that with as over as the (Total) Divas show has gotten it seems to be the more buzz-worthy part of WWE these days. I think it is completely in line and long overdue. Why not let the women have the same crack at it that the men had? If you are a WWE fan (which I am not) and if you are a fan of that than I don’t see why you wouldn’t demand to see who will come out on top of this match.”

“I think it is completely appropriate and long overdue but sadly I think it has more to do with identity politics and that women are out there making a lot of noise right now and getting a lot of traction so let’s go in that direction. Be that as it may and if that is the reason or if it is not the reason I think it is long overdue. They’ve been the more spoken about part of the WWE now for several years so why not give them equal footing.”

“If you look at the WWE from the last several years it is the ladies division that has gotten a lot more press and far more traction and far more buzz than the men’s division. We’ve seen the men’s division side of it decline to an incredibly low level and seems like every year it is declining and that the women’s shows still have some punch behind them. I hear far more buzz about the women wrestlers than I do the men wrestlers in the WWE which leads me to believe that it has more buzz behind it. If that is not true go attack me on social media about it. It seems that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it seems to me that is where the WWE has placed their assets and it is far more behind the women’s division than the men’s division.”

His appearance in the 1991 Royal Rumble:

(Laughing) “The orange tights were right after the Dynamic Dudes run and most of my gear was those bright pinks and oranges and yellows and greens so I continued to wear them there. But I do remember that Royal Rumble very well. The building was extraordinarily hot that night and I knew that I would have to go out and put in a substantial amount of time. Battle Royals are difficult to begin with but when you have a Battle Royal that is a very specific position of when you are going in and have a very specific idea of when you are going out, not everyone else in that ring is thinking what you are thinking. They are thinking of their long portion of that match and could give a sh*t less about yours so not only are you going out there and trying to shine (as we say in the business) and get yourself over but you are also trying to keep yourself from getting thrown out by one of these 900 pound monsters that were in the ring back then for the WWE.”

Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper putting him over on commentary:

“I wasn’t privy to what Gorilla (Monsoon) and Roddy (Piper) were saying about me obviously but to hear that they were putting me over and speaking kindly of me is pretty cool and I’ve never listened to the commentary and believe it or not I’ve never watched the match back. But it completely fits Gorilla who was a guy that I got a long very well with and Roddy Piper was a guy that I got a long very well with so it doesn’t surprise me that they said that. They also were probably privy to information that I wasn’t privy to at that point and that I was somebody that they were preparing to build.”

The psychology behind competing in a Royal Rumble match:

“Like I said you know your cue going in and you know your cue going out. Going out (to the ring) is the easy part because you are on deck and they’ll tell you that you are in five more spots, three more spots and one more spot and then say when you are ready to go and you’ve got to keep as a baby face especially some level of fire and that you are excited to be in this match. Going into that match as clearly one of the unknown guys when you are in the ring with the likes of The Road Warriors, The Nasty Boys and so many other of the WWF stars of that time you’ve got to go out there and make an impact. You can’t just go out there and float around and hide in a corner someplace. Secondly, you know you are going out in a very specific position as well. That is a lot more difficult because there is not someone standing there in the ring saying Shane you are next. You’ve got to be paying attention to what everyone is else is doing and knowing specifically who you follow and luckily for us back then and opposite of the way it is done today is that we were given the leeway and weren’t told what to do in the ring.”

“Everyone that was in the ring at that time were very much professionals and working on the same page. Even though they didn’t know specifically what time I was supposed to go out or what number, if someone did come over and grab me like Earthquake who could very easily throw me out anytime he wanted to all I had to say is not yet big man and we’d work it into something else. Everyone in the ring like I said was very professional and very supportive of helping me get through that. Everyone in the building was very well aware of how hot it was in the building because it was stifling hot and humid and to go that long in the ring took some doing because you aren’t just out there whistling Dixie you had to really focus on all those things. Just so many aspects you have to keep in your mind beyond what number you are going in because that is the easy part and now you have to pay attention to who you are following, how much time has gone, do you have to get out of there immediately after the guy in front of you is gone and do you have time to fill because the match has to fill out more time on the pay per view.”

“There are a lot of factors at work and luckily I had a ring filled with uber professionals that were all working towards the same common goal (thank God) but I also remember a lot of humor being in that match as well.”

Enzo Amore spoke with The Sun about Neville’s traveling schedule and in-ring abilities. You can read the highlights here:

Neville as a performer and his crazy travel schedule:

“Neville is one of my favorite pros in the business. He carried NXT with that title and was a tag-team champion there. Then he worked the 205 division with the hardest schedule in silence, he was working Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then Mondays and Tuesdays. When guys were catching red-eye flights from the west coast after RawNeville was driving on to the next town or taking an early morning flight. It’s the hardest schedule in pro wrestling because you are closing out 205 [Live] at the end of the week. I hope Neville comes back and we feud. I have never seen a guy work like he does.”

Who Neville is like in the ring:

“He might move better than anyone has ever moved in a ring – like the Dynamie Kid. I have seen him tear it up in matches that no one will ever see – absolute bangers – I would love to move around with him because that dude can dance.”

Enzo also discussed what kind of music other wrestlers listen to. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

 

Chris Paul lost a game Wednesday night for the first time this season, and even then, it came with the caveat that he couldn’t finish the contest due to an adductor injury.

Paul is thriving in his first season in Houston, and the Rockets are thriving along with him, racking up a 14-1 record in games he’s suited up for. And, after spending 12 campaigns as the chief offensive orchestrator in New Orleans and Los Angeles, the eight-time All-NBA point guard doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that he’s had to adapt his style, move off the ball, become a secondary playmaker, and take a backseat to James Harden in the Rockets’ offense. On the contrary, Paul says he’s thrilled with the developments.

He expressed as much to Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni after D’Antoni apologized for taxing Paul with 34 minutes of playing time in Monday’s win over the Utah Jazz.

“Thirty-four here is like 25 in L.A.,” Paul told D’Antoni, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “Not having to dribble the ball up every time – this is a breeze.”

It’s not a novel concept for Paul. As he pondered leaving the Clippers as a free agent this past offseason, he said he was tired of needing to handle the ball so frequently. Choosing the Rockets appeared to signal his desire for change.

“It’s neither here nor there at this point, but I was asking for a while to get the ball out of my hands,” he told Lowe.

The Rockets’ offense is fast, free-flowing, and improvisational, and Paul insists he doesn’t miss the more methodical set plays he used to quarterback with the Clippers.

“How many times have we run floppy this season?” he asked reporters rhetorically after the Jazz game, according to Lowe. “Ze-ro. Zero. We don’t even have floppy in the playbook.”

In all, Paul’s touches per game have come down from 86.2 per game to 69.1, his average number of dribbles per touch from 4.92 to 4.68, and his average time of possession per game from 7.6 minutes to 6.1.

The upshot? He’s scoring 1.61 points per possession on spot-ups (good for the 99.4th percentile in the league), and the Rockets have posted a 119.3 offensive rating with him on the floor. It probably won’t always be this easy, but for now it seems like a breeze, indeed.

The Greek Freak has a fan in the Black Mamba.

Kobe Bryant was recently asked to name a few players whom he’s a fan of, and gushed about only one.

Giannis (Antetokounmpo) is really, really fun to watch,” he told SLAM on Monday.

“The way he plays the game and the passion with which he plays, I love watching Giannis play.”

Bryant, 39, added that the Milwaukee Bucks phenom plays with the “same passion and the same mean streak” he did during his illustrious 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, who retired Nos. 8 and 24 in his honor later that night.

“He’s aggressive, he’s always attacking at both ends of the floor,” Bryant said of Antetokounmpo.

Before the 2017-18 season began, Bryant challenged the versatile Bucks star to win the Most Valuable Player award.

The 23-year-old is currently in the MVP conversation, but not considered a favorite. He leads the fifth-place Bucks with 29.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.5 blocks over a league-high 38 minutes per outing.

When Kobe Bryant was out winning five NBA championships during his 20-year run with the Los Angeles Lakers, he did so with current or future Basketball Hall-of-Fame big men working the paint in Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.

Never in his career did the Black Mamba have a superstar guard or wing to work off of, especially no one near the caliber of four-time Most Valuable Player LeBron James.

Talking with Geno Auriemma on his “Holding Court” podcast, Bryant said that if there were one player currently competing that he would have loved to have had by his side during his prime years, it would most definitely be The King.

“I think the player that would fit with me the most, I actually think would be LeBron. He’s a passer first, I’m a scorer, I’m a finisher. ‘Bron is a facilitator by nature and I’m a finisher by nature. Those two styles, I think complement each other extremely well,” Bryant said.

Bryant averaged a respectable 4.7 dimes over 1,346 appearances, with a career-best 6.3 in 2013-14. Still, his scoring prowess is what fans most remember him for, not his ability to move the rock.

James is contributing a career-high 9.1 assists in his 15th season in the Association. He’d still get his fair share of points alongside Bryant, while being the more willing of the two to feed the hot hand. Bryant is a pure scorer through and through, with James capable of playing all five positions and adjusting his own game accordingly.

The two icons of the sport never did have a defining head-to-head series in the playoffs, but it’s difficult to imagine the pair together at their respective peaks not utterly dominating the NBA.

Count Jay-Z among the fans of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The hip-hop mogul cited Silver’s leadership as one reason the NBA seems to provide more opportunities for players to be politically active than the NFL.

“It’s 12 people on a team. In football you have 53 people,” the rapper told the New York Times Magazine’s Dean Baquet. “So it’s harder to get 53 people thinking the same thing. It’s easier to have a conversation to get 12 people on the same page. Two, (the NBA has) a great commissioner who’s really open. And, you know, supports (the players).”

Silver’s stewardship of the NBA had an auspicious beginning in 2014 when he banned former Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after decades of racism allegations came to a head in a leaked audiotape. Last year, the league stripped Charlotte of the 2017 All-Star weekend in the wake of North Carolina’s exclusionary HB2 law – with the event since restored for 2019 after the state made legal amendments.

“You feel like, you know, when you have someone behind you that really believes in what’s right, it motivates you to do the right thing,” Jay-Z said. “I think those two factors show why (the NBA is) much further along.”

While no NBA player has attempted to kneel during the national anthem, as widely seen in the NFL, Silver is on record saying he expects players to stand – a requirement that’s been in the league rules for decades.

Jay-Z once owned a tiny 0.15 percent of the Brooklyn Nets – something that reportedly spawned an NBA rule requiring a minimum ownership stake of 1 percent. His wife, Beyonce, was rumored as a potential buyer for her hometownHouston Rockets prior to Tilman Fertitta’s purchase of the team in September.