New Photos: JR Smith’s Limo Is Very, Very Smoky

Friday I published a photo currently featured as the background image (inset below) of Denver Nugget J.R. Smith’s Twitter account.

J.R. Smith South Beach Limo

(New, closer shot of Smith in limo)

Today I ran across a couple-three more photos of the same scene, which has been subject to much speculation on message boards and blogs since Smith first posted the background image in early October.

JR Smith Limo Photo: 18 Women

(Not shopped: Two different images as animated gif)

Though I can now officially confirm that the pics were taken during a trip by Smith with his brother Chris to South Beach in May, I have a feeling these new shots won’t do much to extinguish the already combustible conversation blazing about the NBA baller’s vacay. Read more…

More On Photo Of 18 Ladies In NBA Baller’s Limo

This photo of the inside of a limousine currently adorns the Twitter account of Denver Nugget J.R. Smith as its background image.

JR Smith Limo Photo: 18 Women

(How did Smith find them? Try his Twitter timeline sometime)

Smith put the image up the first week of October, and it’s just now starting to get some play around the web on various message boards and blogs.

So what’s the story behind the photo? Read more…

Week In Review: Brooks & Cecilia at the X-Games

Brooks gleams the cube, as he & SbB Girl Cecilia check out the X-Games.

Brooks and SbB Girl Cecilia At X Games

Percy Harvin regales U of Florida recruits with wild Gator tales of partying, pot smoking, and coach choking.

• Speaking of the SEC, does Matthew Stafford’s U of Georgia girlfriend have enhanced gazongas?

• Fresh off the LeBron Dunkgate comes the Tiger Woods Fartgate.

• Detroit Pistons rookie DaJuan Summers places a Twitter bet with porn star Valerie Luxe on who can get 4,000 followers the fastest.

Read more…

Pistons Rookie Places Twitter Bet With Porn Star

• Detroit Pistons rookie DaJuan Summers places a Twitter bet with porn star Valerie Luxe: Whoever gets 4,000 followers first wins either dinner & a massage, or a trip to the water park.

Valerie Luxe DaJuan Summers

• Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mark Schlereth gets into a Twitter war with Chad Ochocinco.

• But neither guy would want to mess with J.R. Smith, especially if the Nuggets player is Tweeting like he’s a member of the Bloods.

Roger Mayweather - Floyd Jr.’s uncle & trainer - is accused of attacking & trying to strangle a female boxer.

• Browns WR Braylon Edwards poses with a bunch of alcohol. So all those drops were due to the D.T.’s?

Read more…

J.R. Smith — Member Of Bloods, Or Bad Speller?

So the NBA is kind of touchy when it comes to their players referencing gangs — remember when the Celtics’ Paul Pierce was fined $25,000 for flashing a Piru Blood gang sign at the Hawks’ Al Horford in 2008? The Nuggets’ J.R. Smith may also be skating on fragile frozen water if anyone in the league office examines his Twitter account.

J.R. Smith

According to the DENVER POST, Smith’s Twitter is creating controversy due to the way he’s presenting some of his posts — spelling words with a “k” in place of a “c,” or removing the “c” altogether, which is commonly associated with the Bloods street gang. Because Smith has more than 15,000 followers, it’s creating some noise.

Read more…

Speed Read: End Of The Road For Chris Chelios?

In case you hadn’t noticed, and after these many years it’s okay if you hadn’t, Chris Chelios has been around forever. For-eh-vur. The 47-year-old has literally spent a majority of his life as a player in the NHL, breaking into the league with Montreal during the 1983-84 season. Yeah, back when “Jump” was the hot new sound from Van Halen. That’s how long dude’s been around.

Chris Chelios Weightlifting
(Of course he stuck around this long because of hard work. What did you expect? Prayer?)

And while injuries and the unrelenting assault of time on an aging man’s body have kept Chelios from the legendary Gordie Howe’s all-time record in games played and other marks of longetivity, Chelios is still a colossal freak of nature. Look no further than at (it bears repeating) the age of 47, Chelios is finally being released by the Detroit Red Wings. As the DETROIT NEWS reports, though, he still might not be done:

General manager Ken Holland met with Chelios Monday afternoon and, as expected, gave him the news Chelios will not be re-signed.

“It was kind of understood last summer, after Cheli signed, that the 2008-09 season would be the last one for Cheli as a Red Wing,” said Holland, noting the need for the Wings to bring in younger players. “He wants to play another season and I believe he can still play.”

Perhaps Chelios has a year or two left in him as a swan song in Chicago, or maybe he wants to see if he can hit 50 in an NHL uniform, a stunning accomplishment that really has zero bearing on the world at large. Don’t get us wrong, most guys don’t make it to 30 in the league, much less tack two more entire decades on the odometer, but at no point is Chelios ever going to be a catalyst for great things anymore.

Which is fine, of course. Guys stick around in professional athletics for a few years too many on a regular basis, and few (if any) have earned the privilege as much as Chelios. It’s just that at this point, the list of teams who might pick him up are those who really don’t even need the help to begin with.

Speaking of Chris Chelios (WARNING: this segue makes no sense), let’s talk about women fighting each other. You might remember last week where Cris “Cyborg” Santos choked out a reporter who foolishly questioned her ability to finish a submission move against a fighter, y’know, like how real men do. Well, being that Santos is going to fight SbB favorite Gina Carano in Carano’s post-EliteXC return to the Octagon, one display of lady-on-gentleman brutality can’t go unreturned before the fight, right? Right:

Nighty nighty, talker man. The question isn’t where are you, as Santos’ victim asked when he came back to Earth, but what are you: that would be lucky as hell, lucky that someone strong enough to turn the lights out with such ease also possesses the capacity for mercy, which is pretty much the only thing that has saved your brain’s regular functions.

If ladychoking is the next salvo fired in the War on Equality, then so be it, because strong women are clearly capable of winning that fight against weak men. And sure, a man can still probably choke out a woman, but anyone willing to make that case, even hypothetically, probably isn’t someone worth your time in conversation. Avoid accordingly.

Last, speaking of choking, let’s talk about USC. In the wake of Tim Floyd’s shame-splattered resignation and allegations of selective rule enforcement in the case of Reggie Bush, former Heisman hero and current athletic director Mike Garrett demands to be judged by his record and his legacy. For example, he hired Pete Carroll. Also, he hired, um… uh…

Pete Carroll USC Song Girls
(The Song Girls aren’t really hired, per se, so that doesn’t count. The white-haired guy in the middle does, though.)

Turns out, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, he doesn’t exactly have a track record of success to fall back on, despite his boasts. So while Carroll’s hire is to Garrett as the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln (seriously, Abe, what else did you accomplish, other than monopolizing the top hat?*), the rest of the resume seems to be, ahem, lacking. The worst hire, in retrospect, seems to be Floyd, who may have crippled the Trojans’ basketball program for years to come in order to secure one year of service from O.J. Mayo. And let’s hope that mistake doesn’t happen again…

Who’s the next big star from O.J. Mayo’s family?

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So above all else, Garrett’s resume suggests that success is but a random decision away, a call to be made by livestock choosing to address one of several piles of food, each festooned with a different logo. Blew it on that up-and-coming coach from Southwestern State back in 2003? Hey, what can you do; Ernie the Carnivorous Pheasant clearly indicated he was due by way of which chum pile he devoured, and in any case, we saved the $12 million a barely-competent would have demanded over those same six years.

Some extra links to consider while you keep the horse off the launchpad…

  • J.R. Smith and Eddy Curry were apparently webcasting online as they were pulled over for the all-too-common D.W.B., as INSIDE HOOPS reports. No charges were filed and no video seems to exist, which is precisely why you’re reading about it here and not blaring at the top of a morning post. [UPDATE: Smith’s unequivocally calling bullfeathers on the story, though it seems so oddly specific we’re not sure why they would make any of that up.]
  • OPPOSITE DAY: The worst GM in at least the last 30 years, Steve Phillips, is allowed to make assertions about baseball that go routinely unchallenged. This is like giving Karl Rove his own political column… oh wait.
  • A word to Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido: there are many, many opportunities for somebody to make self-deprecating jokes to the press. A recent DUI arrest and your mugshot, for example would probably not be the best opportunity to do so. Just something to keep in mind going forw–well, I see we’re too late.
  • Joakim Noah will join Mickael Pietrus and Jean-Shaquille L’Oneal (we made up the last one, of course, but not the first two) on the French national team for upcoming international play. Vince Carter was seem chuckling, sizing up Noah’s dimensions, and dialing his time machine back to 2000. It’s been a while since he abused a giant Frenchman, you see, and these desires just never seem to go away after you indulge them once.

  • Tony Hawk got to visit the White House, then skateboard through it. And you know what? You can do the exact same thing if you spend 20 years getting famous for being better at one thing than anyone else in the world, and no, we’re not talking about what you do three times a day whenever the wife’s not around. In that case, practice makes pervert. Now pull up your pants and keep reading.
  • No, University of Illinois, Ron Santo was not trying to get into med school (not as anything but a discount-level test dummy; get some toes, then we can talk full price).
  • Bet you don’t know who just beat out Jason Jennings for the franchise lead for most victories. Did you guess Aaron Cook? Well, you probably cheated.
  • Some eight-grader does a flip and throws the basketball in a hoop from almost a full court. This is actually less related to competitive basketball than dunk contests, which we didn’t even think was possible.

(What’s next, trying to shoot it out of a cannon into a hoop? What does this have to do with actual basketball? God, we’re old.)

*We’re addressing him in the first person because we have it on good authority that Abe Lincoln and other dead Presidents read SbB with astonishing regularity in the afterworld. Heaven has great wi-fi. Which seems appropriate, if you think about it; how good could heaven really be if the wireless sucked?

Speed Read: What’s Going On With A-Rod’s Hip?

So, here’s what we know: Alex Rodriguez is hurt. Beyond that, we know nothing. From what I hear, he could be out for anywhere from an hour to seven years. What’s really going on is so elusive that A-Rod’s brother was being used as the definitive source on his injury for the first half of Thursday. One SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE writer is saying that the “mystery” surrounding the injury is reminiscent of Barry Bonds‘ knee troubles in 2005.

Alex Rodriguez

Now, instead of surgery that would keep him out for 10 weeks (which was the brother’s story), Brian Cashman is saying that the Yankees are planning on taking a “conservative approach” to the injury, which involves a bunch of rest and rehab with the hopes that surgery won’t be necessary. But how long do you go with that? Cashman admitted that the surgery would probably keep A-Rod out for four months. But if they try this rehab thing for another few weeks, then are stuck with the surgery, suddenly he’s looking at no earlier than mid-to-late August for a return. But, as we all know, if A-Rod’s going to miss four months, it’s much better for all involved that it’s the last four.

NEWSDAY even says that the surgery A-Rod would likely undergo isn’t guaranteed to work:

Dr. Louis Romeo, director of the Joint Replacement Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center, said the surgery to treat an ailment of A-Rod’s type - probably a procedure called a hip arthroscopy - is not the most predictable procedure.

“It’s controversial because the results are not as predictable as you’d like them to be,” said Romeo, who is not involved in the Yankees third baseman’s treatment. “A knee replacement or a hip replacement, you can give someone a 90 percent success rate. Hip arthroscopy, depending on the underlying pathology, may not have as high a success rate.”

A-Rod guitar

(Yeah, I suppose you could go the Bernie Williams route, Alex)

The NCAA tournament bubble is much larger than usual (I mean, Northwestern is now in play, for crap’s sake), which makes every night crucial in college hoops. Last night, Providence took a hit by losing big at Villanova, and Arizona took a big step backward by losing to California at home (the Bears, meanwhile, probably have moved to “lock” status). Tennessee also solidified a likely bid by locking up the SEC East at South Carolina, which suddenly looks vulnerable.

Bruce Pearl Hotties

(I’m taking advantage of any excuse to run these pictures of Bruce Pearl)

Sean Avery made his return to ice last night in the Rangers’ win over the Islanders. Fortunately, Mike Comrie was recently traded away from the Islanders so Avery didn’t have a chance to get it any Hilary Duff-related blasts. Avery was actually well-behaved, and it seems as if he may be content to fly under the radar for the rest of the year. Mostly, Avery’s just glad to be back in New York so he can go to the Project Runway finale.

Sean Avery

Ichiro is apparently depressed about the 0-for-16 slump he’s in right now, and uttered this classic line in a REUTERS story about it:

“It’s depressing,” Suzuki told Japanese media on Friday. “After the game I got picked for a doping test — things are going from bad to worse.”

• Now that A-Rod may be out for a while, the Yankees need to find someone to play third base in the interim. Cody Ransom? Angel Berroa? The NEW YORK POST thinks the team might want to consider some outside options. Like Aaron Boone, apparently.

• FANIQ has the pictures from Anna Kournikova’s latest advertising shoot for K-Swiss. Didn’t she used to play a sport? Badminton or something?

Anna Kournikova

• Fuzzy math time! A lawmaker in North Carolina wants to completely ban athletics at schools where more than half of the students score below the 50th percentile on end-of-year tests for two straight years. But, don’t half the students by definition score below the 50th percentile? Isn’t that what “50th percentile” means? And don’t athletes already have minimum standards for playing?

• A dad at the Iowa state 5th-grade girl’s basketball tournament set some sort of record when he got tossed from a game by the ref just 30 seconds into the game, according to the DES MOINES REGISTER. And yes, I have the same question you do: there’s a state tournament for 5th grade girls?

• Remember last year, when Drake was one of the best stories in college basketball and ended up with a 5 seed, but then was heartbroken on a buzzer beater by Western Kentucky? Yeah, they never quite got over that. They lost to Indiana State in the first round of the MVC tournament last night and are likely not headed to the postseason.

• Some good news from COLONIAL HOOPS: It looks like one of the greatest names in the NBA, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, is going to sign with Toronto for the rest of the year. Pops just wrapped up a 10-day contract with the Spurs, after playing for their D-league team most of the year.

• The NBA shot of the night comes from the Nuggets’ J.R. Smith, who nailed a (nearly) half-court shot at the end of the first half against Portland. Unfortunately, it was all a big hoax perpetrated by one of his friends.

• Need more proof that we’re in a recession? The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL says Miller Park is implementing a $1 menu at their concession stands. You’re only going to get one peanut, but hey, it’s something.

• The University of Alabama has admitted to a number of NCAA violations…regarding the distribution of textbooks. So, athletes get too many textbooks and that’s a problem? Shouldn’t we be thrilled they’re bothering to get any? CBS SPORTSLINE has the horrifying details. Certainly, ‘Bama deserves the death penalty for this.

How much of the regular season is A-Rod going to miss with his hip injury?

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Speed Read: NCAA Bans Recruiting 8th Graders

Finally realizing that we might be headed for a day when future hoops stars are recruited out of the womb, the NCAA has passed legislation banning contact by coaches with players who have not yet reached high school. That means no more offering 13-year-olds a full ride, there, Billy Gillispie.

Billy Gillispie

(”Noooooooo! I already had the class of 2019 signed!”)

It also means that this Mr. Show skit, which was starting to look less far-fetched over time, won’t eventually reflect reality:

The WASHINGTON POST explains the new legislation:

Over the past few years, some college coaches have looked to gain recruiting advantages by working at basketball camps comprising elite seventh- and eighth-graders because there was no NCAA rule prohibiting it. But the NCAA will now designate boys’ basketball players as “prospects” beginning in the seventh grade, which will prevent college coaches from working at such camps.

This is bad news for seventh and eighth graders, who now have to do things like, you know, go to school and learn rather than worry about their college hoops prospects all the time.

Speaking of hoops, Luol Deng woke from his season-long slumber and led the Bulls to a 102-93 upset victory over the Cavs in Chicago, where it was approximately -293° last night. LeBron James made only eight of 28 shots and turned it over eight times for what he termed his worst performance of the season — but he also said he was sick.

Luol Deng

In New Jersey, yet another rookie had a breakout performance for the Trail Blazers, as Jerryd Bayless scored a career-high 23 in Portland’s 105-99 win over the Nets. Meanwhile, the Nets owners (remember when they were going to move to Brooklyn?) are exploring playing preseason games next year at the Devils’ new arena in Newark, but want the NHL franchise to guarantee regular-season-sized crowds to do it. How are the Devils responsible for that?

It’s official. The Dodgers paid Andruw Jones $12 million for each home run he hit, and he’s not going to be hitting any more in their uniform. After attempting to trade him, L.A. finally released Andruw after one insanely horrible season, and Jones agreed to accept the $22 million he’s owed over a period of six years. Which means your team will still be paying for him in 2014, Dodger fans. Two years ago, Jones looked like he had a chance to hit 700 home runs. Now, it looks like he might not get 700 more at-bats in his career.

So, as you read here yesterday, Mark Cuban confronted J.R. Smith on the court for allegedly throwing an elbow at a Dallas player during the Mavs-Nuggets game on Tuesday night. Cubes reported the incident to the league office and even sent back a pair of signed shoes Smith sent him as a peace offering, saying Smith needed to sell them to help pay for the fine that was coming.

Mark Cuban thinks he's awesome

Well, it appears the joke is on Cuban. The NBA has cleared Smith of any wrongdoing, and — and this is great — are now pursuing possible punishment against Cuban for going on the court. George Karl wasn’t amused with the owner’s antics on Tuesday:

“If you want to interact, interact with the league office and interact with your own players, but don’t mess with my players. There’s no room for it.

“If this was a normal fan, he would have been banned from the building and maybe not ever let back in the game,” Karl said. “When the game starts, he is a fan. After the game, he’s an owner, but during the game, he’s a fan.”

Ouch.

Mark Cuban mad

Barry Melrose told people he wanted the Lightning to lose every game this season after he got fired. Former Leafs coach Paul Maurice has upped the ante, saying he’d like to see his old club not win a game for 10 years, according to the TORONTO STAR.

• THE JOY OF SOX is giddy that the Red Sox have extended Kevin Youkilis‘ contract for a very reasonable price of $40 million for four years. It’s four more years of this, anyway:

Kevin Youkilis

• The Rangers have asked their Gold Glove-winning shortstop Michael Young to move to third base to make way for a rookie named Elvis. Young was not happy with this request, but now tells MLB.COM it’s all been worked out.

• There’s dismal, and then there’s Northwestern blowing a 14-point second-half lead at home to Purdue and losing its 1,452,918th Big 10 game of all time.

• Baseball finally fixed the rules to definitively say that a postseason game must be played to its completion regardless of weather, and also eliminated the coin flip as the way to determine who would host a one-game playoff. They’re doing this crazy thing now where the team that won the season series would host the game, rather than something completely freaking random (the Twins would’ve hosted the playoff against the White Sox last year, had this whole “merit” approach been in effect).

• PETA is doing this thing where they’re trying to get fish renamed “sea kittens” to make them seem cuter or something. Anyway, WPBF-TV says they sent a letter to Palm Beach Atlantic University asking the school to change its nickname from Sailfish to Sea Kittens. Which begs this question: Is Palm Beach Atlantic University the most high-profile school you can go after, PETA? I think they play in Division XIV.

PBAU Sailfish

• 90-year-old Atlanta sportswriter Furman Bisher somehow has managed to put together a blog. Bisher is so old that he once interviewed Shoeless Joe Jackson about the Black Sox scandal. At the bottom of this entry he pushes the bounds of taste about the new stampede of Japanese media coming to cover pitcher Kenshin Kawakami (ah, so? Really, Furman?)

• Yankees blogger Todd Drew passed away on Tuesday at the age of 41. Drew was a frequent contributor to BRONX BANTER, which memorialized him yesterday. Drew had his own blog called YANKEES FOR JUSTICE.

Drew Rosenhaus tells the DALLAS MORNING NEWS that he’s certain that Terrell Owens will still be with the Cowboys next year. And we all know what a great source Rosenhaus is about all things T.O.

• You think the A-Rod deal is out of control? EPL TALK is reporting that Manchester City (that’s soccer) is offering to pay £243 million (that’s more than $362 million) to acquire Brazilian midfielder Kaka from the Italian league’s AC Milan.

Should Mark Cuban be allowed to go on the court during games and interact with players?

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Mark Cuban And JR Smith Are New Best Frenemies

Let’s face it, there’s no owner in professional sports today like Mark Cuban. Nobody even close. The HMIC has a long, sordid, often stupid history of making a big deal out of, well, everything. But his relationship with David Stern has grown quite a bit more distant than its heyday of a few years ago; nowadays, Stern probably responds to all of Cuban’s communique with a memo like, “Well, that’s very interesting, and we’ll get right on it. Say, I noticed you still haven’t redeemed the coupon I sent you for that 7-month vacation in Siberia. Now’s as good a time as any, right? Sincerely, David. P.S. I hope a bear eats you.”

Mark Cuban Complaining
(”So if you guys see J.R., you tell him–hey! Chauncey! I’m right here! Someone please listen to me!”)

So Cuban probably needs a new outlet for attention, and sayyy, who’s that moody, heavily tattooed young man who’s menacing Dallas player Antoine Wright? Why, it’s Denver swingman J.R. Smith, and that’s an elbow he just threw! Let’s go confront him! How exciting! Indeed, during halftime of Tuesday’s Dallas-Denver tilt, Smith and Wright got into it, and Cuban responded by approaching Smith on the court and confronting him. Denver coach George Karl condemned Cuban’s as “barking” at his players, but according to Cuban’s emails with the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, cooler heads prevailed: Read more…