Posts Tagged ‘Work Ethic’

Lonzo Ball‘s unorthodox shooting form and weak percentages during his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers drew a great deal of criticism.

The 20-year-old point guard is at least self aware of his shortcomings as a shooter, which is why he took it upon himself to try and improve that facet of his game by reworking his form over the summer.

“”We didn’t want to bother him [his shot],” said team president Magic Johnson on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think he decided to do that on his own.

“And, man, it is beautiful.”

Johnson said that Ball now brings the ball more in front of him and does the same with his follow through. Where he sets and releases his shot hasn’t changed.

“I think his shot looks incredible,” added general manager Rob Pelinka. “He was here every day. He was one of the most committed guys this offseason. … The way he’s shooting the ball looks a lot more fluid now.

“One of the things about his college metrics is he was an outstanding 3-point shooter. With this team, with so many different ball handlers, I think that’s a strength for him. If he pushes it ahead to someone and runs and fills a spot, and he’s a catch-and-shoot player, he’s going to have the ability, I think, to be a good shooter.”

Ball converted 41.2 percent of his 3-pointers during his lone season at UCLA, with that number dropping to just 30.5 percent during his first season in the NBA. The second overall pick of the 2017 draft shot 36 percent overall across 52 outings, including 33.5 percent on the catch-and-shoot and 31.7 percent on pullup shots.

Of the 154 players in the Association who played 1,700 or more total minutes, Ball ranked 153rd in true shooting percentage at 44.4 percent.

He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in July and will be ready for the start of Lakers training camp, although he’ll initially be held out of five-on-five drills.

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Although Baker Mayfield has shown a willingness to learn from veteran Tyrod Taylor, he wants to make one thing clear: he’s not preparing to be a backup ahead of his rookie season.

Mayfield was selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft and has praised Taylor several times throughout the summer. However, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is preparing to battle Taylor until the very end.

“I would never get my mind right to be a backup,” Mayfield said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “That’s the second that I would be complacent. That’s the second that I’d stop working. You’ve always got to keep working like you’re going to be the best and that’s the same thing Tyrod (Taylor) has done his whole life. It doesn’t matter the position you’re in. If you’re not going to work hard then you’re not doing it right.”

Taylor is taking the vast majority of first-team reps in practice but Mayfield isn’t deterred.

“They’re doing everything they think is right and I believe in that and I believe in them, so when it comes down to the stuff that they’re saying, that’s not going to change my work ethic and if it does, then something’s wrong.”

Taylor was acquired by the Browns in March from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a third-round pick after leading his former club to their first playoff appearance this century. Browns head coach Hue Jackson reiterated that Taylor will be the starter this fall, but Mayfield is determined to make this one of the NFL’s most interesting training camp storylines.

Tommy Dreamer faced Eddie Edwards at Slammiversary this past Sunday. The Innovator Of Violence recently took part in a media call where he discussed his company House Of Hardcore. Impact Wrestling’s Global Force Network includes a lot of content, but Dreamer explained why HOH will not be made available there. He already has an exclusive deal with Twitch so this makes it an impossibility. He then proceeded to praise the service Twitch offers and its huge viewership potential as well.

“I’m already on Twitch [with House Of Hardcore] so I have my own streaming service,” Dreamer said. “I think it’s a wonderful idea for Impact Wrestling [to offer multiple promotions on the GFN]. They have offered me to do that but I have an exclusive with Twitch where I am getting paid for my content already. So that’s why I didn’t do it.

“I’ve looked at the wrestling business and a lot of times the wrestling business will repeat itself. I don’t want for bad history to repeat itself in the sense of I don’t want the territories to get swallowed up just like they did in the 80’s. When I say territories there are some really good independent companies that are out there running consistent shows.

“If Impact was putting crappy quality on their app then you get what you get what you pay for. I think they’re putting out nicely produced shows so it’s all about content. That’s what Hulu wants and Netflix […] they just want content and wrestling has such an amazing fan base that it’s the content that’s watched. You know its funny most people don’t know what Twitch is… Impact has a Twitch channel. Twitch has more subscribers than the WWE Network. It’s just getting the word out there.”

Dreamer has influenced a generation of hardcore wrestlers after him. As he approaches his 30th anniversary in the pro wrestling business, Dreamer mentioned a couple people in Impact Wrestling who could carry on his legacy.

“The word hardcore has been bastardized by WWE. People think about blood, or tables, or chairs. To me, hardcore is a work ethic. You know it became hardcore was WWE’s version was early ECW and in ECW we did every single thing we could to put on a great performance for the fans.

“In Impact, I want to say every single wrestler could be hardcore. Becuase everybody goes out there an busts their butts to entertain the fans. No matter what situation they have been in.”

He listed names like Sami Callihan and Pentagon Jr as two guys who could carry on his legacy of hardcore wrestling. Dreamer also praised the current Impact Wrestling roster and pointed a spotlight on some people who he feels have an especially bright future.

“I am a huge fan of LAX. I think they have such amazing talent. Brian Cage, he’s another guy although he’s a pain in my ass at my House Of Hardcore shows. I wanna say the biggest impact I feel to come out of the [Knockouts Division] is Tessa Blanchard.

“[Blanchard] is money and she is signed a long-term deal with Impact Wrestling. I have never heard such a buzz about anyone in the industry.”

NXT brought another spectacular TakeOver event to the table and left fans blown away with the level of storytelling and in-ring action. The only issue is WWE’s main roster is going to have to follow that incredible set of performances the next night at Money In The Bank. Drew McIntyre might not be booked in a match at Money In The Bank but he certainly has a word of warning for anyone on the Raw roster who is willing to listen.

Ever since Drew McIntyre’s return on Raw he’s been sticking with Dolph Ziggler and reminding the Raw Superstars that they need to step it up a notch, especially if they happen to be in a tag team. McIntyre is a former NXT Champion as well and was obviously watching as his old brand tore the house down several times over at NXT TakeOver: Chicago.

Now McIntyre’s agenda to wake up the members of the main roster that might be a tad lazy is even stronger after seeing such a fantastic showing from WWE’s developmental territory. After all, WWE’s main roster is going to have to step up their game in a big way if they are expected to compete at all with what NXT delivered in Chicago on Saturday night.

McIntyre said he suggested the Raw roster checks out NXT TakeOver: Chicago and ask themselves if they’re working hard enough to deserve their spot on the roster. Only time will tell if his words hit home, but apparently, there could be some guys taking up space on WWE’s Red Team and it’s Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre’s job to hunt them down and make sure they either step up their game or get out of the way.

Josh Ho-Sang doesn’t understand why he was demoted.

The 22-year-old, who has appeared in 43 games with the New York Islanders over the past two campaigns, is mystified as to why he has been left to mire in the minors.

“I love those guys, I want to make that clear,” Ho-Sang told Arthur Staple of The Athletic. “I know they’re working hard. But I got sent down for defense and what are they in goals against in the NHL? I only played (22) games up there this year. I don’t think it’s my fault. They really painted it like it was my fault at the beginning of the year and I didn’t like that.”

After beginning the season with the Islanders, Ho-Sang played just six games before he was assigned to the minors. He then returned in November, this time for a one-month stretch before his future was once against cast in doubt. Ho-Sang has not played an NHL game since Dec. 14.

As part of his assignment to the minors, Ho-Sang was instructed to further develop his game away from the puck.

“I do have things I need to work on down here, my game is far from perfect. It can constantly improve. But I do think a lot of the stuff was unwarranted, especially in terms of the rope that other people were given,” he continued. “I understand I have a history and that might be a factor. I don’t know. But it’s frustrating to me.

“Look, if you’re going to send me down because of defense, it’d be nice to see other people be held accountable. That’s all.”

As Ho-Sang alluded, it’s not the first time he has caused a stir in the organization. In 2015, he was cut on the first day of training camp after arriving late. Ho-Sang was dismissed, but not before he was made to run the stairs of Nassau Coliseum for three hours before he was delivered the bad news.

“Enough with the bull—-. It’s time to grow up,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said at the time.

It may have been the first sign that Snow’s patience with the talented but frustrating prospect was growing thin. After all, it was only a year earlier that Snow staunchly defended his selection of Ho-Sang, drafted with the 28th pick in 2014, when he said he “probably has the most talent of anyone in that entire draft” and that he’d have little trouble fitting into the Islanders organization because “they s— on me too.”

After keeping pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning for much of the season as the league’s most offensively dynamic club, the Islanders went off the rails in the second half, as their wealth of offensive talents could no longer make up for the team’s back-end deficiencies. Would a Ho-Sang recall have helped the team’s fortunes?

Ho-Sang, for one, thinks so.

“I feel like I’ve played games of substance and I’ve done well. More importantly, the team’s done well with me there,” he said. “If you’re going to tell me that I’m bad defensively, I do this, I do that, but you win more than you lose with me in the lineup.”

Becky Lynch recently spoke with The Phoenix New Times to promote tonight’s WWE SmackDown tapings. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Have the wrestlers in the woman’s division had to work harder to prove yourselves? Maybe twice as hard as the male superstars.

“I think so, yeah. You know what I mean? I think when you’re trying to overcome something and prove something, you always have to work harder and you always have to give that 110 percent. And I think the greatest thing about that is that’s the drive from all of us. So nobody rests on their laurels and nobody becomes complacent because everybody’s trying to be the best.

“But everybody’s trying to be that first woman to main-event WrestleManina. And any time you’ve got healthy competition, it always pushed you harder and I think that was the greatest thing with the Four Horsewomen. What we did is we came together while at NXT at the same time and we have a common goal and a common vision and that’s to strive to be the best and change things and change the way things work and I think that was what coached us all so much. We always just wanted to outdo each other.”

What’s your opinion about the WWE bringing in Ronda Rousey?

“So I think there’s a lot of good aspects, and I think that Ronda Rousey has obviously proven that she’s a superstar. Like, a colossal superstar. Before her, there were no women in the UFC. That’s remarkable. And she was an Olympian, and she brings in pay-per-view buys. There’s no doubt that she’s amazing.

“I’m curious to see what she can do in a wrestling ring, because it’s a different kettle of fish. And, obviously, with UFC and with such an incredible history and being so accomplished in judo, she’s going to take up everything so easily. So it’s just going to be a matter of seeing how she does in this business. I know she’s a huge wrestling fan so that’s always great, too. I think you learn better and you learn faster when you’re a fan because you know what it’s supposed to be and you’re able to emulate your heroes and stuff like that.”

Do you want to face off against her in a match?

“Of course, I would love to. There’s nobody that I wouldn’t want to either fight or wrestle. Any girl who comes in the door, I want to have a match with them and bring the best out of them and make a good, compelling story for our audience. There’s nobody I wouldn’t want to fight.”

Becky also talked more about the women’s revolution, being involved in the first women’s Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches, if women should headline this year’s WrestleMania and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Source: Phoenix New Times

Ronda Rousey made her WWE debut at Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV in Philadelphia following the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match, which closed the show and was won by Asuka. Rousey interrupted a post-match segment with Asuka, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.

Rousey came out and tried to shake Asuka’s hand but Asuka slapped her hand away. She also took a look at the titles before leaving the ring and shaking the hand of special guest commentator Stephanie McMahon. As the PPV went off the air, Rousey pointed at the WrestleMania 34 sign. Rousey is expected to receive a high profile match at WWE’s biggest show of the year, reportedly in a mixed tag match against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Along with Lana, Natalya made an appearance on The Trend with Rebecca Granetand was asked if she thought Ronda Rousey should be given a top spot in the WWE, despite being new to the company. Ultimately, Natalya said Rousey is looking to bring more eyes to the WWE women’s division.

“We all do have different ways we could go about getting to WWE,” Natalya said. “Some of us have different backgrounds, I’ve been around wrestling my entire life, since I was a little girl, since I was born. Not everybody has that background. Not everybody was born into a wrestling dynasty. Lana’s journey is different, Ronda’s journey is going to be different and I think it’s situational.”

“With Ronda, yes, she absolutely does has to prove herself, but I know Ronda personally, I’m friends with her. Ronda has expressed that she more than anything wants to prove herself and she really wants to bring even more attention to the women of WWE, and I think it’s going to be incredible for all of us.”