Month: December 2016

The Clippers should at least get a crack at Golden State in the West finals

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Mbah a Moute might help. The Clippers have discussed pairing Paul with Raymond Felton and Austin Rivers in quicker lineups that might skitter through the Golden State labyrinth. It is hard to play Crawford against Golden State’s core groups, though he is adamant he can manage. “That’s always the question with me,” Crawford said. “I can look you dead in the eye and say I can do it.”

Even if he can’t, it’s unfathomable — without fathom! — that the solution to upsetting the Warriors involves extra heapings of Felton and the junior Rivers.

Three of their core four players — Paul, Griffin, and Redick — enter free agency this summer, assuming Paul and Griffin exercise early termination options. Paul and Redick are on the wrong side of the aging curve; Jordan and Griffin, bouncy types who rely to varying degrees on their athleticism, aren’t that far behind.

Rivers the president has left the cupboard nearly barren of young players and draft picks. If Paul or Griffin leaves, it is unclear how the Clippers can maintain a 55-win team. The Clippers present perhaps the best human drama of the 2016-17 season: can a great team heal its fractures, and find the best version of itself, before it’s too late?

Divided teams rarely survive the playoffs. The Clippers showed real mettle in outlasting San Antonio during their epic seven-game series two seasons ago, but they have quaked in other pressurized situations– including in their inexplicable collapse against a plainly inferior Houston team one round later. In frantic moments, great teams find calm — a collective trust, and a desire to win for each other.
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“With us,” Paul said, “it will all be about how we respond to adversity.”

Allen estimates that more than a dozen media outlets used his image to accompany the headlines

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When the Ponzi story broke in April 2015, Allen estimates that more than a dozen media outlets used his image to accompany the headlines. As a result, Allen paid lawyers “enough” to handle various cease-and-desist letters.

Reaction was swift and negative and directed at the wrong Will Allen after his picture was put in a story about a felon by the same name.

But when several outlets, including ESPN, featured a picture of Allen the former Steeler with its headline last week, on Nov. 21, Allen decided to sleep on the issue after saying a prayer — and then he took a few steps to correct it. He took to Twitter to highlight the misidentification and the damage done to his reputation. He posted several pictures of himself doing community work with the message, “This is who I am!! Not a criminal!!”

He also consulted a public relations expert on damage control. He called a few people he trusts for advice.

“As soon as I started talking, his eyes got big and he was like a different dude,” Chancellor says. “I had this huge weight off my shoulders, and so did he. It was like, ‘OK, we got Kam back. We got the brotherhood back. We got the team back.’ And ever since then it’s like we’ve all fit right into place.”

Over the past seven seasons, teammates have come to see Chancellor as the Seahawks’ soul.

His place is a locker in the absolute center of the room after a game on Monday night. Teammates are walking by on their way to the shower, and he’s congratulating each one for the win against Buffalo. “Boom!” he tells one linebacker. “We’re back,” he tells another. “LOB,” he says to Thomas.
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Players are lining up at his locker. He has friends and family visiting from Norfolk. The engagement ring is already in his pocket for that night’s proposal. In the coming days, Chancellor will rejoin the team and speak before another game, this one on the road against the Patriots. He will anchor the defense and bruise Tom Brady and lock down Rob Gronkowski on the decisive play of the game. He will say, afterward, that the upset on the road against New England both counts as revenge for one of the Seahawks’ trips to the Super Bowl and foreshadows another.