Kurt Helin

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This year’s Christmas Day jerseys look like last year’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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We liked the NBA’s Christmas Day games jerseys from Adidas last year — clean designs with the team’s name in script across the front.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That was apparently the motto this year as UniWatch leaked the new designs and they look familiar.

I like the look.

This is the final season of Adidas as the NBA’s uniform manufacturer, it goes to Nike starting next season. With that, expect a new design and some new touches for the Christmas Day and All-Star Games in 2018.

But this season, at least Adidas is leaving with a nice touch.

LeBron James on Donald Trump: “That’s not locker room talk. That’s trash talk.”

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Add LeBron James to the long list of athletes who have stepped forward to say what Donald Trump called locker room talk is anything but.

While the Republican presidential nominee apologized for graphic, lewd, wildly inappropriate comments from a hot mic on Access Hollywood 11 years ago, he tried to move past the incident calling it “locker room talk.” When asked about that Wednesday, LeBron shot the idea down.

“We don’t disrespect women in no shape or fashion in our locker room. That never comes up… What goes on in our locker room is sporting events that happened the night before, about family, about strategies that we may have that night, about a highlight that made it happen— if it was a home run in the bottom of the ninth or it was an alley-oop dunk from a player the night before— that’s what happens in our locker room. What that guy was saying, I don’t know what that is. That’s trash talk.””

Yes, LeBron did endorse Hillary Clinton.

That doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Locker rooms are not the most wholesome, tolerant of environments, but the vast majority of athletes in all sports I’ve encountered seem to grasp the line where sexual assault would start — and Trump’s comments crossed those lines. I’ve never heard those kinds of comments in a locker room before.

But as with so much of this election, people will believe what they want to believe about a candidate and convince themselves they are right (and that most people agree with them). The whole election just has me sad for America.

Rumor: Celtics have real interest in Gordon Hayward in free agency next summer

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There are some big names on the free agent radar next summer — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, and the list goes on and on — but the guy front offices not only like and think they might land is someone off a lot of fans’ radar:

Gordon Hayward.

Utah’s star wing is a borderline All-NBA level player expected to be at the heart of a breakout Jazz team (once he recovers from the broken finger that will sideline him around six weeks). Among the teams with an eye on him, his old college coach from Butler who has built a quality team in Boston — Brad Stevens. From the brilliant Zach Lowe of ESPN.

There is probably more buzz surrounding Hayward’s impending free agency than about Paul, Griffin, Kyle Lowry and other starrier names. Hayward is 26, in the meat of his prime, killing it at the thinnest position in the league. Utah waited for Charlotte to max him out last time around, and Hayward has a long memory. The Jazz have a ton of guys to pay, and if they down enough beers (just kidding, it’s Utah!), they might convince themselves they have the wing depth to withstand Hayward bolting. His beloved college coach runs a rising team with an easy roadmap to max cap space — and real interest in Hayward, per several league sources.

But if Utah makes a leap, the smart money is on Hayward sticking. The Jazz can offer a winning young core, an extra fifth season, and if the new CBA breaks right for them, a little more cash than home teams can dangle under the current deal.

Utah was ready to make the leap a year ago, but injuries derailed that plan. This year should be different because adding veterans that fit the system — George Hill, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw — should help keep the Jazz afloat until Hayward returns.

If Hayward decides to look around next summer, there will be a long line of teams outside his door. And not just guys from Boston. He will have plenty of options.

Judge refuses to declare mistrial in Derrick Rose civil rape case, does reprimand plaintiff’s attorneys

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The judge was not happy.

However, with a jury empaneled and the trial well underway, he was not going to dismiss the entire case.

The judge in the Derrick Rose $21.5 million civil rape trial taking place in Los Angeles announced he would not declare a mistrial. However, he did reprimand the plaintiff’s attorney’s for not producing several texts between the now Knicks’ point guard Rose and the woman from that night, and he will allow the defense to recall the accuser back to the stand for more cross-examination if they want.

Here are the details, via the Los Angeles Times:

A federal judge in Los Angeles decided Wednesday against declaring a mistrial in the lawsuit accusing NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends of raping the basketball player’s former girlfriend in 2013.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald faulted the woman’s legal team for not having provided the defense sooner with three text messages she sent to Rose around the time of the alleged assault, but the judge said the failure was not serious enough to call an end to the civil court trial….

Fitzgerald ruled that the woman could be questioned again by Rose’s attorneys and that jurors would be told of the plaintiff’s error.

The texts from the night in question have been used by both sides to try to bolster their case to the jury.

One of the texts in question could be viewed as favorable to Rose and the defense, Rose’s attorneys believe it shows consent to the multi-person sexual encounter (which is at the heart of the case — Rose and his co-defendants say the encounter was consensual, the accuser says she was drugged by the trio and in could not have consented in that condition).

This was the bottom line for the judge.

Dunking, dishing, Russell Westbrook put on a show in exhibition game

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We already showed you how Russell Westbrook got shut down by a rim during an exhibition game in Dallas Tuesday.

But also — like he will every night this season — Westbrook put up some serious highlights.

Any night the guys at SportsCenter think the news cycle is slow this winter, they can just count on Westbrook (and James Harden in Mike D’Antoni’s system) to fill the hour.