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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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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."


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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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Mike Ehrmann

Tiger Woods Wins The 2019 Masters

Sunday afternoon (April 14) Tiger Woods has won the Masters tournament, his first major win in 11 years. The win marks an official comeback for the athlete after more than a decade of scandals and career lows.

The 43-year-old golf pro walked up to the 18th hole as the crowd cheered, reminiscent of years prior when Woods dominated the sport.

After clinching the title, Tiger smiled and threw his fist in the air. He then hugged his son in the same place he once hugged his father after a Masters win.

WATCH: The moment Tiger Woods makes a historic 11-year comeback as he wins #TheMasters 2019 pic.twitter.com/YlqYRcSwyw

— The Speaker (@TweetTheSpeaker) April 14, 2019

Shortly after his win, Twitter erupted.

“Tiger Woods’ playing career is over. He will never win another major. It’s dead. Bury it.”

Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters: pic.twitter.com/8AmFPxJ6RV

— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) April 14, 2019


Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 14, 2019

However, Tiger's win was also met with mixed reviews by those who remember the player's past offenses, comments, and association.

nothing displays america’s collective ability to compartmentalize quite like a tiger woods victory. we don’t even really like this dude but this feels amazing.

— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) April 14, 2019

Caniblasian golfers winning today. This y’all mans? #TheMasters pic.twitter.com/TQniFveUPD

— Alvin aqua Blanco (@Aqua174) April 14, 2019

Trump gonna tweet congrats to Tiger and the whole TL gonna be like pic.twitter.com/PBIfrFvkuJ

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 14, 2019

This is Tiger Woods' fifth Masters and after the game, he briefly spoke about the importance of the moment 22 years after his first win.

“It’s come full circle,” Woods said after the win. “It’s a special feeling.”

Congrats to Tiger Woods.

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Allison Farrand

Students At Lebron James' "I Promise" School Exceed Test Score Expectations

It's been nearly a year since Lebron James opened the "I Promise" school in Akron, OH, and so far, the results and impact has been tremendous. According to a new report from The New York Times, the students' test scores have exceeded all expectations.

There are reportedly just 240 students in the inaugural third and fourth grade classes at the school, but their test scores in math and reading have shown a huge improvement. Before the school year started, the students' reading scores were in the one percentile. After taking the district-wide exams one year later, however, the third graders scored in the ninth percentile and the fourth graders in the 16th percentile.

The same improvement was reflected in their math scores. The third graders jumped from the one percentile to the 18th, while the fourth graders moved up from the second to the 30th percentile. Overall, test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, according to the Northwest Evaluation (NWEA).

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected," Lebron told The Times. "When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school... People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors."

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