Warren Sapp says “pretty boy” LeBron not built for NFL

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Could LeBron James make it in the NFL?

It’s a moot question, but thanks to this interminable lockout we have time to dwell on moot questions. Pete Carroll told him to come try out and James did practice with a high school team.

LeBron is certainly athletic enough to be a tight end in the NFL — have the quarterback throw high at the back of the end zone and LeBron will get balls nobody else will. But, could he handle the contact? Could he get that tall frame down low and create leverage to block?

Warren Sapp doesn’t think so. As part of the NFL Network’s “No Huddle” show Sapp fell back on the Jordan rip on LeBron, reports the USA Today (via SLAM).

“How about LeBron do one-sixth of what (Michael) Jordan did, let’s see him go win a championship,” Sapp said. “Go do that. Go see if you can conquer your sport before you come over here because them boys on defense, we like pretty boys like that. We want to split them.”

Jalen Rose gave a better football analysis but basically agrees — James wouldn’t want the contact.

“The one thing about football — you can go up for the football — I don’t think his feet’ll hit the ground on the way down because they will take him out. I think that game is too physical, I think it’s too demanding, I think that it’s hard to block defensive ends — it’s more to that job of being a tight end than just running routes.”

Former Saints coach Jim Mora points out one reason defensive backs would like to play against LeBron — fewer fines.

“I know one thing, it’d be hard to get a hit to the head on him.”

2017 NBA playoffs have been historically uncompetitive

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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The NBA Finals so many wanted to see – Cavaliers-Warriors III – is here.

At least it will be.

Today is the first of six off days before the 2017, which begin June 1 in Oakland.

The lengthy delay is the product of an underwhelming postseason featuring few competitive series and numerous blowouts.

Golden State swept its way through the West, and Cleveland dropped only one game (to the Celtics in the conference finals) while winning the East. There have been only two Game 7s, but considering the magnitude, neither felt that compelling. Blake Griffin‘s injury undercut the Clippers against the Jazz, and Celtics over Wizards felt inevitable with home teams winning each game of the series. Between, there have been several lackluster games and series.

There have been just 74 playoff games this year – the fewest before the Finals since since the NBA instituted a best-of-seven first round in 2003:

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That’s 74 of a possible 98 games – 76%, the lowest since 1999 and seventh-lowest ever.

Even if the Finals go seven games, it will be the fewest games in a postseason since 2007. If the Finals go five or fewer games, it’ll be the shortest postseason in this playoff format.

And it hasn’t just been quantity. The quality of games has been lacking, too.

Though there were more blowouts last year by nearly any measure, the 2017 postseason’s average margin in pre-Finals games (13.5) is fifth-highest all-time and second-highest since 1959 (behind 2016, 14.2).

Combine the two factors, and these are the drabbest playoffs in nearly 50 years. Here’s each postseason plotted by average margin in pre-Finals games and percentage of possible games pre-Finals:

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This probably just confirms what you’ve seen: The 2017 playoffs have been in a rut.

We’re all counting on the Cavaliers and Warriors to salvage this postseason, but considering how deep the hole is, anything less than an epic Finals probably won’t cut it.

Kyrie Irving crosses over Avery Bradley, hits 3-pointer (video)

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Avery Bradley got around one screen then, thanks to Kyrie Irving‘s excellent ball-handling, lunged at another that wasn’t coming as Irving hit a 3-pointer.

LeBron James beautifully pass-fakes, makes layup in transition (video)

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LeBron James is a treasure.

Shaquille O’Neal’s big toe is seriously jacked up (PHOTO)

shaq o'neal
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Remember how we we all freaked out when we saw pictures of LeBron James‘ feet back in 2013?

You probably didn’t want to be reminded that it existed, but it does. Still. And apparently jacked up feet is the consequence of a lifetime of playing professional basketball. Once can only assume it has something to do with tight shoes and constant, hard changes of direction in said tight shoes.

We got yet another vision of what basketball shoes can do to feet on Thursday when TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal showed off his, er, little piggies.

Much to the horror of the Internet in general, it was Shaq’s right big toe that took social media by storm. Mostly because it’s not even close to pointing in the right direction.

I’m going to show you what it looks like. Be forewarned, it might just be NSFL.

Via Twitter:

Oh. Oh … why?

Social media reacted appropriately and proportionately:

Shaq did have issues with that toe during the course of his career, and at one point it was so bad that he had to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the toe in 2002.

That still doesn’t explain why it’s all over your TV and the Internet, but here we are. I am sorry.