Maddon defends not using Davis: ‘I really just needed him for the save’

Following the Chicago Cubs‘ crushing walk-off defeat at the hands of Justin Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers, manager Joe Maddon explained why he sent John Lackey out to pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning instead of closer Wade Davis.

“I really just needed him for the save tonight,” Maddon told reporters, according to ASAP Sports.

“He had limited pitches. It was one inning only, and in these circumstances you don’t get him up and then don’t get him in. So if we had caught the lead, he would have pitched. That’s it.”

Maddon revealed that Davis was limited to only one inning Sunday because of his pitch totals from Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals three days earlier. He tossed 2 1/3 innings (44 pitches) to secure the save and the series for the Cubs.

Lackey, meanwhile, made an appearance Saturday, throwing a scoreless 1 2/3 innings on 27 pitches. Entering Game 2, the 38-year-old had never pitched in back-to-back outings. With one on and two out, he gave up a walk before Turner homered to give the Dodgers a 4-1 win and a 2-0 series lead.

“I’m just betting on his experience right there as much as anything. I know that he went out there and tried to make the pitches that he wanted to make. I know that the crowd would not affect him, and it didn’t,” Maddon said, when asked why he decided to use Lackey.

“Just the first walk he just kept trying to get (Chris) Taylor to chase. Once he got to two strikes and he didn’t chase, to the hitter’s credit. Then I didn’t see the last pitch to Turner, but obviously it was pretty good. But I really thought that John would not be affected by the moment.”

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MLB | theScore

McCollum: NBA ‘didn’t have to suspend me’ using inconsistently enforced rule

After initially expressing remorse, C.J. McCollum aired out his frustrations over the punishment he received from the NBA.

The Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard was suspended without pay for Wednesday’s season opener because he left the bench to hold back a teammate during a preseason altercation.

McCollum, who’ll lose $ 165,000 as a result, vented about the severity of the penalty.

“They could have suspended me for the preseason game,” he said Sunday, as quoted by OregonLive’s Joe Freeman. “They could have fined me more money and allowed me to play in the regular-season game. It’s the intent and it’s usually up to them, it’s to their discretion. So they had a choice. They didn’t have to suspend me.”

McCollum added he believes the rule about leaving the bench isn’t enforced consistently across the league.

“I think it’s interesting that … there’s a rule in place, but it hasn’t always been enforced,” McCollum said, pointing to an incident during the 2014 playoffs when Paul George and Rasual Butler, both Pacers at the time, stepped on the court during an altercation but got off scot-free.

The 2016 Most Improved Player – whose only previous crime was breaking too many ankles – sarcastically added:

“I should have known that they were going to suspend me. It cost me a lot of money and the first game of the season. But I should have known better with my history of violence on the court that I would be suspended.”

Though McCollum resolved to learn from the fiasco, he doesn't think it was fair at all.

“I’m getting a harsher punishment than the people actually involved in the event,” he said. “And I’m losing money. And I’m not playing. Would that bother you?”

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NBA | theScore

U.S. Admits To Using Radioactive Munitions In Syria

Despite vowing not to use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in its military action in Syria, the U.S. government has now admitted that it has fired thousands of the deadly rounds into Syrian territory. As Foreign Policy Magazine reports: “U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 […]
World Truth.TV

UK Grocery Store Becomes World’s First To Allow Customers To Pay With Scan Of Veins In Finger Using FingoPay

Customers at the Costcutter store, at Brunel University in London, can now pay using their unique vein pattern to identify themselves. The firm behind the technology, Sthaler, has said it is in “serious talks” with other major UK supermarkets to adopt hi-tech finger vein scanners at pay points across thousands of stores.   It works by using […]
World Truth.TV

Teacher Suspended After Using Kodak Black Raps For Student Assignment

A middle school teacher in DeKalb County, Georgia has been suspended after clearly not thinking through an assignment he gave to his students. The unnamed teacher employed the use of Kodak Black lyrics with his sixth-grade class, which naturally angered parents who were shocked by the decision.

WSB-TV reports:

A middle school teacher is out of the classroom after a controversial assignment for kids, including rap lyrics with racial slurs.

Channel 2’s Carl Willis talked to a child and her mother Tuesday night who said she just had to act.

The Wright family told Willis that their child’s lessons are an important part of her education as they guide their youngest child, Kalani, through her transition into middle school.

But mother, Crishana Wright, said one assignment that came home had no place in the classroom.

“It was really against everything I try to teach them, you know?” Wright told Willis.

The lyrics in question are from A Boogie With Tha Hoodie’s buzzing single “Drowning” which features Kodak Black, featuring lines such as, “Just bought a brand new chain from Avianne/N*gga with attitude but I ain’t from Compton/Lil Kodak b*tch I’m Polo’d down like Carlton/Sniper Gang I put a n*gga on a carton.”

The music teacher hoped to use the lyrics for “Drowning” and have the class turn them into something positive. It was an ambitious and perhaps a worthy goal but definitely not appropriate for children.

The teacher has been removed from his duties and options are apparently being evaluated to move forward. The teacher has since apologized for his actions as well.

Photo: Instagram/Kodak Black

The post Teacher Suspended After Using Kodak Black Raps For Student Assignment appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

Hip-Hop Wired

Has Kevin Durant been defending himself using fake Twitter accounts?

Kevin Durant has been riding a wave all summer long after capturing his first NBA championship and Finals MVP in June. This time, however, he seems to have flown too close to the sun.

Late Sunday night, screenshots emerged purporting to show since-deleted tweets made by Durant's verified Twitter account – tweets that ripped his former Thunder teammates and coach Billy Donovan.

As the internet is largely still a lawless frontier where wild speculation runs rampant, social media users have been quick to analyze the implications of Durant's cryptic activity.

The most popular hypothesis is that Durant controls multiple social media accounts, which he uses to respond to his critics and reaffirm his positions on current NBA issues. In this case, Durant may have believed he was tweeting using one of his anonymous “secret accounts,” when he was actually tweeting from his main account. That would explain the odd third-person phrasing in his tweets.

As was the case when NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed he had his own secret account, the internet collectively raced to unearth Durant's social media handles. The denizens of NBA Reddit were quick to point out that Instragram user "quiresultan," a private account who's followed by the likes of Draymond Green and Andre Roberson, had been tagged as Durant in a picture posted by Durant's brother, Tony.

For those keeping score at home, the “quiresultan” account has since been renamed “shanghainoon12345.”

As of noon Monday, Durant had yet to address the deleted tweets, or the rumors about his secret accounts.

Even though the NBA season is now under a month from tip-off, “Petty Season” continues to chug along at full strength.

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NBA | theScore

Kailyn Lowry: Using Plastic Surgery to Lose Baby Weight?!

Kailyn Lowry, as we all know, gave birth to a precious little baby boy nearly a month ago.

It must be such a special time for her, right?

From what we’ve seen on her social media, she’s really been loving becoming a mother for the third time — we’ve seen all sorts of sweet baby snuggles, and it’s been lovely.

But while Kailyn is obviously super focused on her children right now, she’s also  an individual with certain wants and expectations, you know?

And so, like many women who have just given birth, she’s reportedly been putting quite a bit of thought into snapping back to her pre-baby body.

As a source explains to Hollywood Life, she “can’t wait” for that snap back, and “she’s really excited about getting back in the gym.”

Which is true — earlier this week she tweeted that next week, she’d be all cleared to start working out again.

“She feels like this time around it’s going to be a lot easier to lose the weight because she knows so much more about nutrition than she did before.”

At the moment, and probably for the foreseeable future, she’s breastfeeding little Baby Lo, “so she doesn’t want to do anything crazy and go on some crash diet.”

However, “she is planning to get on a good meal plan that will give her exactly what she needs for her and her baby to be the healthiest!”

The Kailyn insider adds that “At first she’s just going to focus on moving her body again,” and “she’s actually looking forward to working out again, which is something she never thought she’d say.”

Relatable AF.

But since she’s had a little bit of plastic surgery before, would she be willing to get some more to help her bounce back?

“Kailyn is planning to get her body back the all-natural way,” the source says, “but never say never when it comes to surgery.”

“She had such a great experience with Dr. Miami and doesn’t regret her surgeries at all.”

Right now, “her goal is to do it all on her own, but there are certain things, like getting a perfect stomach, that are borderline impossible after three kids.”

“She’s going to see what she can do all on her own, but if she can’t get to a place she’s happy with then she’s definitely open to getting a little help.”

And honestly, more power to her.

Gossip is fun, and so is all that shade-throwing the kids enjoy so much, but in reality, Kailyn can do whatever she likes with her own body.

Obviously, right?

And if a little bit of surgical tweaking makes her feel better about herself, then good for her.

We’re sure Dr. Miami is waiting for her with open arms.

The Hollywood Gossip

Distressed Hurricane Harvey Survivor Goes Off On CNN Reporter For Using Victims’ Pain For Ratings In The Middle Of Crisis [Video]

CNN correspondent Rosa Flores asked a woman by the name of Danielle about her experience protecting her children in the flood waters just moments after she arrived at the shelter. To provide context, this was after waiting for 36 hours for help from emergency services which never came, forcing this woman to wade through 4-feet of contaminated flood runoff to a nearby gas station to hail a cab to the help center.

SMH. This mother has been through the ringer with her two kids, and clearly wasn’t feeling being asked about her situation before having a chance to get her family settled in. Her frustration is pretty understandable.



Gwen Stefani: Using Alternative Medicine to Get Pregnant at 47?!

You know what they say: another day, another story about how Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton want nothing more in the whole entire universe than to have a baby together!

Seriously, it’s like every time you turn around there’s another rumor about Gwen and Blake and their family planning.

It’s honestly a little overwhelming.

Just in the past month, we’ve heard that Gwen “feels like Blake is her true soul mate and there’s nothing she’d love more than to have a baby with him.”

Ideally they’d have twins — more bang for your buck, you know.

And if Gwen did succeed in getting pregnant with those twins, she’d holler at Beyonce for some advice!

We’ve also heard that the lovebirds are doing nothing to prevent a pregnancy, and that if they did manage to conceive, no one around them would be surprised.

Again, those are all little updates from just the past month.

But although all the whispers and rumors are very exciting, there’s still one very important thing to remember.

Gwen is 47 years old.

While it’s possible for her to conceive, and while women older than her have given birth to healthy, lovely babies, the fact is that it’s going to be more difficult to have a baby at her age.

And if she is able to get pregnant, there are certain risks for women of “advanced maternal age.”

So it’s a good thing Gwen is thinking ahead!

According to a source who spoke to Hollywood Life, “Gwen would love to get pregnant, things with Blake are so perfect, having a baby with him would be icing on the cake.”

Nothing we haven’t heard before!

“She’s a big believer in alternative medicine,’ the source continued, “so she wants to do it in the most natural way possible.”

“She’s been getting acupuncture and working with a Chinese herbalist to increase her fertility.”

In addition to that, “She’s been monitoring all her hormone levels and they’re really balanced.”

“She’s also doing hypnosis because she knows there’s a huge mind-body connection and she’s got a good friend that swears that helped her get pregnant in her 40’s.”

And on top of the hypnosis, acupuncture, and trips to the Chinese herbalist, “All of Gwen’s friends are supporting her on this journey, they’ll send her articles about other women that have gotten pregnant at her age to encourage her.”

“Gwen knows it’s not the norm to get pregnant at her age,” the source admits, “but she’s never been average.”

“If anyone can make this happen it’s her.”

Really though, it’s not a matter of “making this happen” — it’s a matter of whether or not her body is capable of conceiving.

But it is important to remember that Gwen had her youngest son when she was 43, and while four years could mean a world of difference when it comes to reproductive stuff, that’s still impressive.

We just hope that if Gwen and Blake really do want a baby together this badly, they’re able to do it, naturally or through adoption or whatever works for them.

The Hollywood Gossip

Building the perfect player using traits from non-All-Stars

Building the perfect NBA player using All-Stars would be simple.

What if LeBron James had Stephen Curry's range? Could anyone stop Kevin Durant with John Wall's speed? DeMarcus Cousins with Chris Paul's maniacal focus would be unguardable. Giannis Antetokounmpo combined with Kyrie Irving's handle and jump shot is a nightmare to imagine.

It's easy to play this game using All-Stars because they're already mostly perfect, with just one or two flaws. Building a superstar out of everyday rotation players, however, is a much tougher challenge.

Frame: Kristaps Porzingis

Porzinigis is called The Unicorn for a reason. He's a 7-foot-3 center who moves with the fluidity of a guard, his absurd length makes him a tough hurdle at the rim, and his mobility allows him to limit penetration on the perimeter.

The same dynamics apply on offense. Porzingis' height allows him to shoot over most defenders, and he has the wheels to drive past almost anybody with enough size to contest his shot.

Athleticism: Zach LaVine

This one needs no explanation. LaVine is the most electric dunker the league has seen since Vince Carter.

Defense: Rudy Gobert

It's almost unfair to draw from the All-NBA talents of Gobert, who was worthy of an All-Star selection but was simply squeezed out due to the overabundance of talent in the West last season.

Gobert is the best rim-protector in the league, and nobody is particularly close. The Stifle Tower is the very definition of a defensive anchor capable of erasing any mistakes made on the perimeter by walling off the basket.

Shooting: C.J. McCollum

Specialists like J.J. Redick and Patty Mills might be better spot-up shooters, but they need other teammates to create for them, or to come off screens at the very least. They can't get their own shot.

McCollum is prolific in every scenario. He made 41.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes while also nailing 43.1 percent of pull-up treys last season. And he's just as deadly in the mid-range, where he can attack off a screen and rise calmly for an elbow jumper as the defense backpedals.

Handle: Jamal Crawford

Crawford is still cooking defenders on the regular as he heads into his 18th season. The ageless wonder has shown zero signs of decline because everything he creates comes out of pure skill.

There isn't a single dribble move that Crawford doesn't have in his arsenal. He can handle with either hand, string together multiple crossovers, change directions on the fly, switch between his legs, and use his signature behind-the-back hesitation move to make defenders look foolish.

Playmaking: Ricky Rubio

Rubio is quietly one of the league’s most enchanting and electric players, but he struggles because the modern game demands scoring above all else from the lead guard. Rubio can’t finish, but he’s easily a top-five distributor.

The Spaniard is simply a genius with the basketball. Whether it's going behind the back, spinning full-court alley-oops, or just making the correct hit-ahead passes to advance the play, Rubio always puts it on a platter.

Go-to move: Mike Conley’s floater

Conley is another classic point guard who tries to distribute before looking for his own shot, even though he can create quality offense whenever he wants with his patented floater.

Not only does he have excellent timing and touch, but the ambidextrous Conley can launch his floater with either hand. The old-school move makes him an impossibly slippery scoring threat whenever he gets into the lane.

Mentality: Patrick Beverley

Playing hard is a talent, and nobody plays harder than Beverley, who approaches every game like he's on a 10-day contract. The Los Angeles Clippers guard is an absolute nightmare on defense, and is sure to hassle (and even occasionally injure) opponents as he gives everything he's got. He never takes a possession off and doesn't back down from any challenge.

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NBA | theScore