Monthly Archives: August 2017

LeBron James flew to New York for star-studded pickups.

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James took a private jet from Akron, Ohio, to New York on Tuesday morning to participate in high-profile pickup games that featured Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, among others.

The games took place at Life Time Athletic at Sky, where Anthony spends the bulk of his offseason training.

James played for approximately two hours, a source said. Then he flew back to Ohio to attend his annual LeBron James Family Foundation function at Cedar Point amusement park.

“He just has a love for basketball,” a source close to James said, adding that the Cavs star plans to partake in some pickup games in Los Angeles in the near future.

Another source said Durant traveled from the Washington, D.C., area to take part in Tuesday’s games.

Kyle and his teammates battle to the locker room.

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The Chicago Bears sent left guard Kyle Long back to the locker room early Monday after he was involved in multiple skirmishes with both offensive and defensive players.

“There’s a certain standard we have and it’s something we weren’t very pleased with,” Bears coach John Fox said. “I haven’t had a chance to visit with him yet, but it’s something that we’ll handle it internally.”

Long got into it with teammates in team and individual drills before the Bears instructed him to leave. Monday’s practice — Chicago’s final one in Bourbonnais — was closed to the public but open to the media and select season-ticket holders.

Fox didn’t want to speculate about Long’s motives behind the outbursts.

“I really can’t answer that at this point, I’m sure obviously there was some frustration, again that’s not how we operate,” Fox said. “I didn’t really see everything, just know that there was a disturbance and we don’t need that. That’s why he left the field.”

The Bears have slowly increased Long’s team reps in practice as the three-time Pro Bowler works back from a right ankle injury suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last November. Long underwent surgery to repair the ligament damage to the ankle, but opted not to surgically fix a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Chicago is in the process of moving Long from right to left guard — the third position change of his five-year career. Long lined up at right tackle during the 2015 season.

Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. share criticism and support each other

 

Friends for some time, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) exchange jerseys after a game at Pittsburgh on December 4, 2016.

Friends for some time, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) exchange jerseys after a game at Pittsburgh on December 4, 2016.

LATROBE, Pa. — Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. might sit out Friday’s Steelers-Giants preseason game at MetLife

Stadium, but Brown expects Beckham to push him in the NFL receiver hierarchy this season.

Brown, 29, who’s close with Beckham, 24, knows both players are up to the challenge.
“Everybody’s coming …That’s what makes the game competitive and amazing,” Brown told ESPN. “A guy like Odell Beckham is a

game-changing guy, trying to unlock the codes. One of my close friends. I always tell him, keep coming.”

Brown says he and Beckham are constantly critiquing each other’s games, including sharing personal videos of their

offseason receiving work — “little stuff, sending clips so we can see each other,” he said.

Brown has a personal videographer who often films his workouts, which usually make their way onto social media platforms.

Beckham, Julio Jones and Brown are widely considered the game’s three best receivers. Brown is aiming for a fifth

consecutive 100-catch season, which hasn’t been done in NFL history.
“If you want to be the best, you have to strive to be the best and sponge off everything,” said Brown of the learning

process with Beckham.

Brown added he can’t detail the notes he shares with Beckham, but that “we share information” on how receivers best get

open.

Both players understand that criticism comes with the job of a high-profile star, Brown said. Beckham has faced scrutiny

for his impatience during games, while Brown navigated an ill-advised Facebook Live locker-room post after a playoff win in

Kansas City.

Brown calls Beckham a “mature guy” who doesn’t need advice on how to handle himself. For now, Brown is busy working on

route combinations with Ben Roethlisberger, whom Brown calls “a general.”

“You’ve got to stay tuned. We’re working on some good stuff,” said Brown of his work with Roethlisberger. “He’s a warrior,

he’s a general. Grateful to play with him.”

Cowboys Tyrone Crawford is in practice by ankle injury

OXNARD, California — Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field Tuesday night with a right ankle injury suffered in practice.

Crawford was injured while chasing down Ezekiel Elliott on a run, when their legs became tangled and Elliott inadvertently stepped on the defensive lineman’s right ankle. Crawford grabbed for his lower leg and was tended to immediately.

He was in obvious pain as he left the field. A source said the hope is the ankle is not broken, but Crawford was taken to a local hospital for X-rays. After practice, teammates said a quick prayer for Crawford.

“When you have a guy like that — not only is he a great football player, but he’s a leader and there’s a void there and you are going to need somebody to step up,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “The sense of urgency for everybody has to go through the roof right now. … If there’s a way to come back, he’ll find a way.”

Defensive line is among the Cowboys’ biggest questions entering the season and the team can ill afford to lose Crawford, who has been a starter at different spots along the line since 2015. The Cowboys already will be without David Irving and Damontre Moore to start the season because of suspensions, and do not have a ton of experienced depth to begin with.

Dallas drafted Taco Charlton in the first round in the spring. He has been working at both left and right defensive end throughout camp. If Crawford, who has been bothered the past two years by shoulder injuries that required postseason surgeries, misses extended time, Charlton will need to become a bigger part of the Cowboys’ defensive line rotation.

“Hopefully nothing is bad,” Charlton said. “I’d hate to lose our leader on the defensive line. But at the end of the day, the next man has to step up and do their job.”