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How Isaiah Thomas will honor Kobe Bryant as he makes NBA return with Pelicans

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How Isaiah Thomas will honor Kobe Bryant as he makes NBA return with Pelicans

Isaiah Thomas is bringing a “Mamba Mentality” to New Orleans.

The Pelicans announced Saturday that they had signed Thomas to a 10-day contract, giving the veteran guard a chance to be part of an NBA rotation for the first time in more than a year. Thomas last played in an NBA game on Feb. 3, 2020, as a member of the Wizards. He averaged 12.2 points and 3.7 assists in 40 games that season.

MORE: Kobe’s 81-point game was only a part of his greatest scoring run

In joining the Pelicans, Thomas is hoping to not only revitalize his professional career, but also to honor one of his basketball heroes. The two-time All-Star plans to wear the No. 24 as a tribute to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. (Thomas had previously worn Nos. 0, 3, 4, 7 and 22.)

Thomas has credited Bryant for inspiring and helping him throughout his career, most notably during the 2017 NBA playoffs. Bryant broke down film with Thomas at the time despite the fact that Thomas was playing for the rival Celtics.

“We’d be on FaceTime watching film together on speakerphone,” Thomas said of his chats with Bryant (via NBA.com). “He would tell me what he sees, what I can do and what I can do better to be able to get my team a win. That was throughout the whole playoffs. That was special to me, because to be able to have Kobe Bryant talk to you and help you out is amazing, especially for me. That was my favorite player growing up. . . .

“It was crazy, because I never even thought about basketball like that. And then when I started to think like that, I would see it before it happened in the game and I would think, ‘Damn, Kobe really just told me that last night.'”

After a highly productive run in Boston, Thomas struggled to recover from a hip injury, making brief stops in Cleveland, Los Angeles (with the Lakers) and Denver before landing in Washington. He showed NBA teams that he still had something left in the tank when he played for Team USA last month in FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games.

“The world knows I’ve got what it takes. So, it’s just about showing that I’m healthy,” Thomas said after scoring 19 points in a win over the Bahamas. “My skill didn’t go anywhere, it was just about getting a hundred percent healthy, which I am right now.”

Kobe would certainly appreciate the self-confidence.

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Anthony Edwards has no idea who Alex Rodriguez, potential Timberwolves owner, is

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Anthony Edwards has no idea who Alex Rodriguez, potential Timberwolves owner, is

Anthony Edwards, meet Alex Rodriguez: Your potential future boss. Oh, and only one of the most singularly talented, charismatic and controversial MLB players this millennium.

As Rodriguez and e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore continue to finalize a deal with current Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to take over the Minnesota franchise, reporters began asking current players their thoughts on their potential new boss.

But Edwards, the rookie out of Georgia, has no idea who Rodriguez is, as this exceptionally funny video showcases:

MORE: Rodriguez, Marc Lore negotiating deal to buy Timberwolves

Hey, at least he’s honest. And the explanation that he simply doesn’t watch baseball — as if only MLB fans know Rodriguez — is pure comedy. It’s not as if Edwards doesn’t understand the sport of baseball, either. In the video below, he describes how he was talented enough as a multi-athlete star to play in MLB had he decided to take that career route:

To be fair, Edwards, 19, wasn’t even born yet when Rodriguez began his MLB career in 1994 with the Seattle Mariners. And he was just 15 years old when Rodriguez hung up the cleats for the final time after the 2016 season.

Still, you’d think he would have at least heard of someone who was a 14-time All-Star selection, three-time AL MVP, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, among other accolades. And that’s to say nothing of his controversial PED use, which cost Rodriguez the entirety of the 2014 season due to suspension.

Look at it this way: If Rodriguez ends up gaining ownership of the Timberwolves, Edwards will have plenty of future opportunities to learn more about his new boss.

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Aaron Rodgers has perfect response for ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants who whiff on Packers question

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Aaron Rodgers has perfect response for 'Jeopardy!' contestants who whiff on Packers question

Who are the Green Bay Packers?

Only one of the most historic franchises in the history of the NFL, owner of 13 championships and four Super Bowl victories and the current team of “Jeopardy!” guest host Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and a question on Tuesday’s episode.

MORE: ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant leaves guest host Aaron Rodgers laughing with troll-tastic response

Unfortunately, all three contestants whiffed on the question after Rodgers’ introduction: “In the 1960s, these Midwesterners earned five NFL championship trophies.” Rodgers, of course, referred to Vince Lombardi’s Packers, who won titles in 1961, ’62, ’65, ’66 and ’67 — the latter two Super Bowl victories.

To make matters worse, one of the contestants then managed to correctly guess the Boston Celtics as the team to win the NBA title every year from 1959-66.

At the very least, it afforded viewers the opportunity to watch Rodgers show off his comedic chops. He clearly has picked up a few tricks from his discount double check and State Farm ad appearances. It certainly will do nothing to curb his enthusiasm for hosting the show full-time — while also serving as quarterback for the Packers.

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Jake Paul accused of sexual assault by TikTok star

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Jake Paul accused of sexual assault by TikTok star

YouTube personality-turned-boxer Jake Paul has been accused of sexual assault.

Paul’s accuser, Jasmine Paradise, posted a 20-minute YouTube video on Friday in which she claimed Paul sexually assaulted her at his Team 10 house in Los Angeles. Paradise is a TikTok star with more than 525,000 followers.

In the video, Paradise focused on events she said occurred in June and July 2019; she said she met Paul at his home in July of that year after visiting his house several times with friends starting in June. In the video, Paradise said she and Paul had several awkward encounters at first, but that one night he pulled her into a corner of his studio area and began kissing her. She said she “was fine with that. I did think he was cute.”

Afterward, however, Paradise said Paul took her into his room and began to show frustration at her reluctance to have sex with him. She said he forced her to have oral sex after she told him “No” several times.

“Sex is very special and very important to me,” Paradise said in the video. “But I haven’t had sex with that many people. Normally, everybody respects me when I don’t want to do sexual things, so I thought that it was fine if I went in his room. I thought it would be fine to kiss him, because I thought he would stop if I didn’t want to do anything else.

“He didn’t ask for consent or anything. He knew I didn’t want to do anything with him because he said, ‘If nothing is gonna happen, what’s the point?’ Then he shoves himself in me.

“That’s not okay. On no level at all is that okay.”

Paradise also posted several text conversations between her and Paul, as well as photos and videos of her at his Team 10 house, as proof of her allegations in the video.

Daniel E. Gardenswartz, Paul’s lawyer, said his client “categorically denied” Paradise’s claims in a statement (via the New York Post).

“Our client is aware of the recent allegation against him. While others have already begun to debunk the claim alleged against him, our client categorically denies the allegation and has every intention of aggressively disproving it and pursuing legal action against those responsible for the defamation of his character.”

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