No, this isn’t an Onion headline. Yes, the Cavaliers have only played five games (with a 2-3 record). No, we shouldn’t really take anything seriously yet.
But, this NBA.com report from Sam Smith is something to at least tuck away:
It’s not going to get as much discussion during the season, but one of the biggest issues for the Cavs is that both LeBron James and Kevin Love own opt outs after this season. LeBron James basically cannot afford to go anywhere after his return to Cleveland. But watch out for Love. Indications are he will seriously consider the opt out and has his eyes on a return to Los Angeles, where he attended college and where the Lakers long have had him on their free agent wish list.
We would have to guess the Cavs got some sort of assurance from Love that he would re-sign before giving up so many assets (they couldn’t get that in writing because that would be illegal, right)?
It’s probably a speculative, throwaway note from Smith, where the only way we’ll remember it is if he’s right. Still, imagine Love getting unhappy enough with his role in Cleveland to ditch out after a year. If anything, the notion of this will make Cavs fans sweat for a while, just as Wolves fans did for years.
As I wrote in today’s newspaper, the Vikings are still waiting for the NFL to make a decision on Adrian Peterson before revealing their intentions regarding the embattled running back, and both the NFL and the NFLPA are digging their heels in as to whether he should be reinstated by now.
This morning, the Vikings released a statement that said they “respect and understand the league’s process” when it comes to reviewing Peterson under the personal conduct policy. Head coach Mike Zimmer said this afternoon that the NFL has not given the Vikings a timetable for a decision.
Asked if Peterson will be allowed to join the Vikings if the NFL chooses to reinstate him, Zimmer said he wasn’t “going to deal with hypotheticals” and would only worry about what he can control.
“When those decisions are made [by the NFL], we can make decisions,” he said. “Until then, really our hands are tied. There’s nothing we can do about it other than what I’ve said all along. We love the kid. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. And we support him. We want him to get through this for him, for him. Then we’ll worry about all the other things we have to deal with at the time.”
Zimmer chuckled when asked if Peterson’s potential return would be a distraction for the Vikings.
“More than the distractions we’ve had this season?” he asked. “This team has been pretty resilient in everything we’ve done to this point. We’re going to continue to prepare, just like we always have, and continue to work. When it comes time to make those decisions, then we’ll make them.”
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph appears to remain on track for his return on Sunday against the Bears. The Vikings won’t release a practice report on Monday, but Rudolph participated throughout the open portion to the media.
Rudolph participated with the tight ends then worked with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at the start of practice. He was limited to individual drills during the team’s only practice during the bye week on Tuesday.
“He ran routes and did more than individual,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “He did stuff. We’re hopeful, but we’ll see as the week goes on.”
It was difficult to gage how Rudolph looked in such a limited amount of time, but here are a few clips from practice:
Kyle Rudolph working with the tight ends at practice. #Vikings https://t.co/vW6HpHcpGF
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterStrib) November 10, 2014
Another look at Kyle Rudolph, this time working with Teddy Bridgewater. #Vikings https://t.co/vzqAE0Y3Ei
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterStrib) November 10, 2014
“It’s always great to see Rudy back out there,” Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings said. “Big, friendly giant; smiling guy, another face that you can lean to and smile and have fun with. He’s definitely made a lot of plays for this team and for us, and we’re excited to have him back.”
Rudolph missed the last six games recovering from sports hernia surgery. He suffered the injury during Week 3 against the Saints, and the Vikings declined to place Rudolph on the injured reserve list with a designation to return. It turned out to be a wise decision with the Vikings likely getting Rudolph back on the field faster than the eight-week designation.
We enjoyed some chicken wings with a large group of pre-storm revelers Sunday. The official idea was a chicken wing “crawl,” akin to a pub crawl, although we only made it to two places.
Still, our heart and desire could not be questioned. We cannot say the same for one of the two football teams involved in the Sunday night game around which our gathering was built.
The Bears are awful. You can say it with stats (80 points allowed in the first halves of their last two games). You can see it just by watching blown coverages and listless Jay Cutler dropbacks. And you can read about it. Oh, can you read about it. Here are a couple of samples:
From the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom: I started writing this at the end of the first quarter, hoping to get it posted by hafltime because I wanted the Bears to fire Marc Trestman before the start of the third quarter. Geez, it was 42-0, Packers, at halftime, so how much worse could it be if the coach had been whacked after two quarters? … Trestman deserves it. Bears fans deserves to see him whacked. What happened on Sunday night in front of God and NBC was a pathetic excuse for preparation and execution by a coach who has become a disaster at preparing his team to execute. The Bears organization, however, deserves to see Trestman stay because those wonks are too stupid to know how awful this is.
Per ESPNChicago’s Jon Greenberg: If Virginia McCaskey sent me a telegram asking for my advice on how to fix the Chicago Bears, this is what I’d write back to her: Fire everyone you can. Cut the rest. Sell the team. Sure, that’s harsh advice for the proud matriarch of Papa Bear’s franchise.
But after another blowout loss for a completely listless squad, it’s an idealistic checklist of what the Bears need to do in the next couple of months to right this sinking ship. Fire coach Marc Trestman and his staff and general manager Phil Emery. Get the new guys to blow up the roster. Convince the McCaskey family to sell the franchise to someone with a couple of billion dollars and a clue. Or you know, just keep practicing hard and praying for good results. Whatever works.
I don’t want to overreact in the wake of a nationally televised 55-14 debacle to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field, but what else is there to say about a team that is not just bad, but awful in every phase of the game?
So you have a team falling apart at every seam heading home after back-to-back road drubbings to face … the Vikings.
For Minnesota’s sake, we would hope the Bears don’t fire Trestman yet — and that any semblance of a slow start Sunday will turn the Soldier Field faithful into full booing mode. A win for the Vikings, remember, would draw them even at 5-5 with three consecutive home games to follow. Before the season started, this game seemed like a probable loss. Now the Vikings might be able to knock the Bears over with a feather to get back to even.
Stop us if you’ve heard these tales of woe before:
*The Timberwolves, after a promising stretch of games, suffered a setback at the worst time and are now scrambling in search of their next victory.
*The Wild, full of optimism after some impressive early performances, are stuck in a rut because of a key injury, a few underachieving players and inconsistent goaltending.
*The Vikings, during a bye week and riding an otherwise high on a two-game winning streak, continue to dominate headlines for off-field news.
Ricky Rubio, Zach Parise and Adrian Peterson are a good first few heads for a Mount Rushmore of recent local sports troubles. Those who have followed Gophers football closely for, say, the past half-century know that the team was a prime candidate this weekend to fill that fourth spot.
A once-promising season appeared from the outside to be derailed two weeks ago with a terrible loss at Illinois. Next on the docket was rival Iowa, which had been gaining momentum this season and then used a charmed first drive to take an early 7-0 lead on the Gophers.
Everything was about to implode, and the familiar storyline was going to play out … except, of course, that Minnesota scored the next 51 points in a blowout victory, not only flipping its own script and regaining momentum but also salvaging a piece of positive news out of an otherwise depressing little local run.
The Gophers possess the Little Brown Jug and Floyd of Rosedale for the first time since 1967. They have already won two of their three big rivalry games (with Wisconsin yet to come), something they had not accomplished since 1990.
The season can already be labeled a modest success for those reasons. One more win in the next three would push this Gophers season into “very good” territory while two more would make it the best season in more than a generation.
For now, Minnesota fans will be content to relish a 37-point win over a rival and some positive energy to get them through a cold, snowy week.