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Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Frank Vogel, Roy Hibbert, and LeBron James: Who Is To Blame For Pacers Loss?

LeBron James submitted an MVP effort last night in Miami, hitting a game-winning layup in overtime to overcome a very tough Pacers team and protect home court advantage. James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for yet another playoff triple-double, the ninth of his career. Among active players, that puts him just one behindRajon Rondo and Jason Kidd. But the final two of his 30 points were the most crucial, and they came with Indiana big man and shot blocker extraordinaire Roy Hibbert sitting on the bench. Pacers coach Frank Vogel elected to bench Hibbert to counter Miami's small lineup, and when James slashed to the hoop for the uncontested game winner, the camera cut to a defeated Hibbert, hanging his head and smirking. ESPN's Bill Simmons may have said it best.

It's silly to second guess coaches after the fact, but it's also incredibly satisfying. Most people, put in that position, would keep Hibbert in the game. Of course, most people would not be able to get within 100 feet of an NBA bench unless someone hooked them up with courtside seats. Coaching is incredibly difficult as it is, and magnifying small decisions like this can drive coaches crazy. The thing is, most coaches place way too much value on their own ability. Yankees coach Joe Girardi famously manages from a binder filled with matchup breakdowns and statistics. Patriots coach Bill Belicheck goes for it on fourth down and fails. Even legendary Lakers/Bulls coach Phil Jackson stubbornly runs his Triangle offense, sometimes irrespective of the personnel on his team. To ascend to a high position, you need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. But just because someone has put you in charge of a team doesn't make you a genius. A real genius recognizes that they can only affect a situation so much, and that over thinking is the first step toward a mistake. Take Vogel's counterpart last night, Erik Spoelstra. He's done a fantastic job of coaching the Miami Heat because he was able to convince superstars to play defense and rely on ball movement. It's a testament to his coaching ability that he was able to identify the assets of his players and exploit them. Vogel was trying to play chess on the last play, and got cute. Taking Hibbert out was a mistake, but the best player in the league also completely punked one of the best defenders in the league, Paul George, simply by virtue of how scary he is to defend. George overplayed James completely, and his momentum was so away from the basket he could barely catch up to the freight train that is LeBron driving to the hoop.

Is George to blame? Is Vogel? Should Hibbert have demanded to stay in the game, like he said afterwards? When you're going against LeBron James, it's no one's fault. Lex Luther probably doesn't fret too much when he gets defeated by Superman time and again, because... well, it's freakin' Superman. No amount of coaching or planning can stop that. Maybe Vogel has some kryptonite handy? That might be a better coaching move in Game 2. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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Lachlan Cunnigham

Former Boxer Sues Jay-Z's Roc Nation Over Severe Brain Damage

Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports are reportedly being sued by former boxer, Daniel Franco, for the severe brain damage he suffered as a result of being pressured into competing in three fights within 79 days, TMZ reports.

Franco reportedly inked a deal with the sports division of the multifaceted company in 2015. It wasn't until 2017 that Franco ran into some medical issues. The athlete claims he came down with the flu before a big match and was unable to train for three weeks as a result. Franco said he told Roc Nation that he needed to postpone or cancel the match, but the label allegedly pressured him into keeping his schedule.

Unfortunately, Franco lost in the third round. As opposed to taking time off to recover from his loss, Roc Nation reportedly booked him to fight another match only 50 days later. The company then booked a third fight a month later.

Franco says he suffered two skull fractures and a brain bleed before he even stepped into the ring for his third fight. Despite his unsatisfactory bill of health, he fought in the third match, lost, and suffered more brain damage in the process.

Franco said he was later diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and briefly fell into a coma. Doctors were forced to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure from the wound.

Franco awoke from his coma two weeks later, but he claims he still has severe neurological and cognitive issues and is required to wear a helmet at all times. Franco claims Roc Nation is liable because the company never took the proper steps to make sure he was medically fit to fight.

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John Gibbins

Kellen Winslow II Keeps Straight Face During Rape Trial

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II reportedly showed no emotion Monday (May 20) during the opening statements of his rape trial. The 35-year-old was said to be stoic when prosecutors said he “took what he wanted” from several women, including a 17-year-old who accused him of rape while he was a student at The University of Miami.

Winslow's father, a former San Diego Charger, sat inside the Southern California courtroom behind his son as a show of support.

Winslow was arrested in 2018 after authorities found evidence linking him to the break-ins of two elderly women in north San Diego's Encinitas neighborhood. However, the charges were dismissed by a judge during a preliminary hearing.

After posting bail, Winslow was arrested for allegedly raping two women. On March 17, a 54-year-old hitchhiker said Winslow offered her a ride and when she accepted, he attacked her in the parking lot of a shopping center. The New England Patriots' tight end supposedly threatened to kill the woman if she screamed, so she remained silent.

“She was too scared to scream,” Owens told jurors.

The woman reported the attack to authorities four days later but refused to be examined. She instead gave investigators Winslow's blood-stained paints she says he wore. DNA testing found Winslow's semen on the pants.

Owens said in May of that same year, Winslow befriended a 59-year-old homeless woman and sodomized her.

Winslow's attorney, Brian Watkins, told that jury that while his client repeatedly cheated on his wife, it doesn't mean he assaulted the several women accusing him of rape.

“It’s wrong. It’s immoral, but it is not illegal,” Watkins said.

Watkins contends the women who have accused Winslow are preying on him due to the media coverage of his rape allegations.

When Winslow was out on a $2 million bail, a 77-year-old woman accused the former New York Jet of exposing himself to her at a gym twice and masturbated in front of her. He has been held in jail without bail, since.

Winslow pled not guilty to 12 charges, and if found guilty, he could face life in prison.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Deontay Wilder Makes Sinister Remarks Ahead Of Bout With Dominic Breazeale

Drenched in sweat and surrounded by reporters and cameras, Deontay Wilder made sinister remarks Tuesday (May 14) ahead of his bout with Dominic Breazeale, which centered the WBC heavyweight champion in steep controversy.

"[Breazeale's] life is on the line for this fight and I do mean his life,” Wilder said. “I am still trying to get me a body on my record."

Last December, Wilder earned the title in a controversial draw against Tyson Fury, but prior to their bout in the ring, Wilder, 33, said he wants "a wants a body on his record," which resulted in backlash as the sport has already had several injuries and deaths in and outside of the ring.

Ahead of Saturday's matchup with Breazeale, Wilder doubled down on his desire and asserted boxing is a sport which makes it legal.

"Dominic Breazeale asked for this. I didn't go seek him. He [sought] me. So if it comes it comes. This is a brutal sport. This is not a gentleman sport," Wilder said. "We don't ask to hit each other in the face but we do anyway, and you can ask any doctor around the world, he will tell you, your head is not meant to be hit."

"On this particular time, we have bad blood against each other. This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It's legal. So why not use my right to do so?"

Wednesday afternoon (May 15) Wilder began to trend on social media with many demonstrating a plethora of emotions

https://twitter.com/RealLifeKaz/status/1128691722081513472

https://twitter.com/FineAssTwin/status/1128684584810569728

I've been inspired and touched by Deontay Wilder's story about how He got into boxing to help pay for His daughter's medical bills and He genuinely might be a really nice guy, but it's so fucking hard to see when he's spouting shite like this. Get fucked pic.twitter.com/hgF4G8D2l1

— Jay Brown (@JayJagsBrown) May 15, 2019

Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale go at it Saturday, (May 18) Let's hope both men leave the arena in one piece.

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