From Comcast SportsNetFLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Mario Balotelli insists he's not crazy, although he does acknowledge that he "can do strange things" from time to time. For example, Balotelli recently had to evacuate his house in England after fireworks were let off in his bathroom. And he has been questioned by Naples prosecutors over a visit with the Camorra crime syndicate, allegedly saying he saw bags of cocaine piled on a table. Speaking at Italy's training camp on Wednesday, the Manchester City striker was also asked about constantly ending up pictured on the gossip pages with an array of women. The media "tends to talk more about my private life than what I do on the pitch. It's normal but it bothers me," Balotelli said. "I'm not crazy, not at all -- even though I can do strange things." With Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi both out long-term because of injury, Italy is counting on Balotelli to lead its attack in friendlies at Poland on Friday and at home against Uruguay four days later. The 21-year-old Balotelli has scored five goals for Premier League leader City this season but is still yet to find the target in five appearances with Italy. "I always have pressure on me," Balotelli said. "I'm ready to take responsibility." The son of Ghanian immigrants, Balotelli often faced racial taunts when he played for Inter Milan despite being born and raised in Italy. "Racism is ignorance. I can only hope that certain things don't happen again," Balotelli said, adding that he doesn't miss Serie A at all. "Serie A has fallen. The Premiership is a great league and I'm playing for the best squad. I don't see my future in Italy."
The Chicago Bears 2019 season was a lesson in disappointment in almost every way possible, from the quarterback to the offensive line and even the vaunted pass rush. But no position underwhelmed more than tight end, and Adam Shaheen was a big reason why.
The former second-round pick of the 2017 NFL draft failed to make any impact whatsoever. And that's not hyperbole. He appeared in just eight games, registering nine catches for 74 yards and zero touchdowns. Believe it or not, his stat line was an improvement over 2018 when he had just five catches for 48 yards in six games.
Shaheen's career narrative has been defined by injury, and it continued last season. He was placed on injured reserve in late-November with an apparent foot injury, marking the second-straight season that his year came to an early end.
It's been a remarkably disappointing career for Shaheen so far, who was viewed as a Rob Gronkowski-lite coming out of Ashland University. His jump from the small-school ranks to the NFL was expected to include a steep learning curve, but after three forgettable seasons, it's safe to say Shaheen's failed in almost every way possible.
The Bears are expected to bring Shaheen back for 2020 and he'll likely be in a training-camp battle for a roster spot. Chicago is going to add more talent to the position via either free agency or the NFL Draft and it wouldn't be a surprise if Shaheen begins the offseason schedule last on the depth chart.
It's been an unfortunate outcome for a draft pick that seemed so promising in 2017. Instead of growing into a fixture in the Bears' lineup, Shaheen will be left to fight for his NFL future this summer.
Former Bull and Chicagoland native Dwyane Wade posted an emotional video Sunday reacting to the death of Kobe Bryant.
"I came in the league and I chased him," Wade said. "That's who I chased. I wanted to be respected by him, and once I reached that level, I knew I did something.
"Kobe, thank you, man. Thank you for all the memories — we've got a lot of good ones. These tears that we cry, we're going to miss you. And it's not leaving today, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now. We'll forever, forever miss you, man.
"You're a legend, you're an icon, you're a father, you're a husband, you're a son, you're a brother, you're a friend. Thank you for being my friend. I love you, brother."Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.