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Johnny Manziel says he accepted $33K to sign autographs while at Texas A&M

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Johnny Manziel says he accepted $33K to sign autographs while at Texas A&M

Johnny Manziel on Thursday admitted to accepting up to $33,000 for signing autographs during his redshirt freshman year at Texas A&M — after he had already won the Heisman Trophy.

The former Texas A&M quarterback, in an interview with Barstool Sports, said he accepted deals from two different men to sign thousands of autographs. Manziel was in Miami at the time for the 2013 BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.

“This guy comes up behind me and was like, ‘Yo, how would you want to make three grand?’ I turn around, I’m like, ‘F— yeah, bro’. I got like 65 bucks in my bank account. I’m waiting on that beginning of the month January stipend check,” Manziel told Barstool. “So I take this guy’s number down, we’re doing it all sneaky, we don’t want to get caught. We’re trying to to learn from everybody else who got caught.”

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Manziel said he went to the man’s condo, where he was paid $3,000 to sign 10,000 autographs — 30 cents per autograph. While there, Manziel said another man approached him to tell him he was being ripped off, offering him the number of someone who would pay him $30,000.

“I’m like, ‘F— yeah man.’ I’m making ($3,000) then ($30,000),” Manziel said. “So this guy is pretty much like, ‘All right, go to this room at the Fontainebleau. All the stuff will be in there laid out, and when you’re done, just send me a picture of all of it, I’ll give you the code to the safe and the money will be in there.'”

Manziel said he wasn’t worried about the NCAA repealing the stats from his 2012 Heisman campaign, or Texas A&M’s 9-4 record, adding that he hadn’t accepted any money prior to winning college football’s most prestigious individual award. The NCAA generally has a four-year statute of limitations, meaning Manziel’s admission will not result in any punishment for A&M.

Here’s the full video of Manziel explaining the situation (warning: explicit language used):

At the time, the NCAA investigated that Manziel had been paid for signing up to 4,400 autographs, including in South Florida. The organization found that, while Manziel did violate name image and likeness rules at the time, he didn’t receive money from the signings. He was suspended for the first half of the Aggies’ season opener vs. Rice, which they won 52-31.

Manziel in 2012 became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman, throwing for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also added 1,410 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. The next year, he passed for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, rushing for 759 yards and nine scores.

Manziel entered the 2014 NFL Draft following his redshirt sophomore season, becoming the 22nd overall pick to the Cleveland Browns, where he was paid legally for playing. Even so:

“I got to make somewhat of a decent living in college,” Manziel said.

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Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers

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Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton's game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers

Deandre Ayton was the hero for the Suns in their Game 2 win over the Clippers.

With less than a second left on the clock, the Suns were down one point and had just 0.9 seconds to get a shot off. Jae Crowder inbounded the ball on the baseline under the Suns’ basket and found Ayton cutting to the hoop.

Ayton threw it down. The play took just 0.2 seconds off the clock and sealed the 104-103 win for the Suns.

Here’s a look at the amazing finish.

Ayton and Crowder deserve a bulk of the credit, but Devin Booker had an impact on the finish as well. His physical screen on Ivica Zubac — who is seven inches taller and 35 pounds heavier than Booker — gave Ayton just enough space to get open off the cut and throw down the dunk.

And Booker put his body on the line despite playing with a bloodied nose that required stitches after an inadvertent hit from Patrick Beverley earlier in the game.

The Suns’ finish thrilled Phoenix fans as well as the team’s star point guard Chris Paul, who missed his second straight game in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He took time to celebrate the victory on Twitter and praised coach Monty Williams for his “big-time play call.”

Indeed, it was a nice play call, and Williams made sure Ayton was prepared to dunk immediately after catching the ball.

“DA — if he throws it, you gotta try to dunk it,” Williams said. “Okay?”

Ayton was ready and obliged. As a result of his make, NBA Twitter erupted and celebrated the exciting end to yet another tightly-contested playoff battle. 

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How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn’t apply on Deandre Ayton’s dunk

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How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn't apply on Deandre Ayton's dunk

Back in December 2017, the Suns and Grizzlies found themselves in a down-to-the-wire contest. Phoenix had the ball with just 0.6 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 97.

So what did then-Suns coach Jay Triano do? He unveiled a play that he had kept in his back pocket for years.

MORE: Chris Paul reacts to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk

While standing on the sideline near the Grizzlies’ bench, Dragan Bender threw a pass toward Tyson Chandler that floated directly above the rim, giving Chandler the opportunity to slam it through the bottom of the net. Wait, you can do that?

“You cannot goaltend a ball that isn’t going to count,” Triano told reporters after the game.

More than three years later, Triano’s words were once again ringing throughout Phoenix Suns Arena. Coach Monty Williams drew up a similar play on Tuesday night, and his players executed it perfectly to give the Suns a stunning 104-103 win over the Clippers and a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Look at this beauty:

OK, let’s break down what NBA TV’s Matt Winer called “The Valley Oop.” (Great work, Matt).

First, notice the positioning of DeMarcus Cousins. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue made a smart move by putting Cousins on Jae Crowder in order to make an inbound pass more difficult, but Cousins is squared up to Crowder, opening up the passing lane Crowder needs.

As for the action in the paint, Devin Booker sets a terrific screen on Ivica Zubac, allowing Deandre Ayton to break free. Could Nicolas Batum have bumped Ayton and recovered? Possibly, but he is understandably concerned with leaving Booker.

(NBA)

Once Ayton gets a step on Zubac running toward the basket, it’s on Crowder to put the ball in a spot in which Ayton can score. As you can see from the angle below, Crowder just narrowly avoids the backboard. The placement here is simply incredible.

“That’s definitely Jae’s game-winner,” Ayton said after the game.

deandre ayton suns play
(NBA)

Now, you may still be asking, “But why isn’t that a goaltending violation?”

As the NBA explained in its Last Two Minute Report from that December 2017 game, “Goaltending rules do not apply because (Chandler) makes contact with the ball off of a throw-in and not a live ball that has already legally been touched on the playing court.” Scott Foster, who served as the crew chief on Tuesday, offered the same explanation when asked about Ayton’s dunk.

Sometimes less than a second can be all the time in the world. Just ask any Suns fan.

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Clippers’ Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns

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Clippers' Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns

The box score from Tuesday’s Suns-Clippers game — a pivotal Game 2 win for Phoenix in the Western Conference finals — will show Paul George had a decent game.

Twenty-six points, on 10-of-23 shooting; six assists; six rebounds; and 5-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. He also scored his team’s last six points, all within the last minute, to help the Clippers to a 103-102 lead with just 8.2 seconds remaining.

The only stats that ultimately mattered in the Clippers’ 104-103 loss, however, were the final two free throws George — a career 84.7-percent free throw shooter — missed. They ultimately allowed Phoenix a chance at an unbelievable comeback victory, which may prove costly even as the series heads back to LA.

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Had George sunk both of those shots, the Suns would have needed a 3-pointer just to send the game to overtime. Had he sunk even one shot, they would have needed a 2-pointer. But he missed both, allowing the Suns to win on an inbound dunk with less than a second remaining:

Credit to Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and the Suns. That play will go down as one of the top plays in NBA playoffs history. But every heartbreaking loss needs a goat, and no one fits the bill better than “Playoff P,” who could have secured a win for his team with the simplest of basketball scoring plays.

Here’s the bright side for the Clippers, if there is one: They have already overcome 2-0 deficits in each of their first two series against the Mavericks and Jazz, respectively. That’s likely a cold comfort as George and Co. head back to LA, however. The scathing Twitter comments aimed at George likely won’t do anything to help, either:

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