Jonathan Warner

Sabrina Ionescu among top 10 of Yahoo! Sports athletes under 25

Sabrina Ionescu among top 10 of Yahoo! Sports athletes under 25

It is safe to say that Sabrina Ionescu is one of the most popular young sports figures in the world right now.

The 22-year-old has accomplished a lot in such a short period of time-- and to think, she hasn’t even started her professional career yet.

Ionescu is just months removed from finishing up her historic collegiate career and was drafted by the New York Liberty No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft.

Her accomplishments and clout have made her among the top athletes under 25 years of age.

The article ranked the 25 best athletes under 25, placing Ionescu at No. 6 ahead of famous young football and basketball stars like Christian McCaffrey, Saquan Barkley, and Ja Morant and Trae Young.

Cassandra Negley, a writer for Yahoo Sports, wrote about how impactful Ionescu will continue to be when she begins her career in the WNBA.

While she won’t be piling up triple-doubles like she did in college, and she won’t have the numbers that she did there, either, she will dazzle in a Liberty system built to allow her to shine. No. 1 draft picks typically go on to prolific professional careers and she will be no different.

The top-5 have not yet been revealed, but Ionescu is the highest-rated female in the field so far!

Ionescu has a lot of expectations to live up to, with finishing her collegiate career as the all-time leader in triple-doubles, as well as the first to ever score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and dish out 1,000 assists 

After being drafted by the New York Liberty as the first overall pick last month, she signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

Being in the top 10 of a stacked list of athletes is just another item on the list of that Ionescu continues to check off.

The future is bright for Ionescu, we will just have to wait and see what records she will break in the WNBA.

Be sure to get caught up with your favorite teams by downloading the latest podcast from NBCSNW.

DK Metcalf is superhuman, shows off another insane physical feat

DK Metcalf is superhuman, shows off another insane physical feat

We can all agree that Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf isn’t human, right?

The 6’4", 229 lb rookie sensation is gearing up to show out for his sophomore season for the city of Seattle by staying busy with workouts during this Covid-19 shutdown.

We have all seen him workout with current, and former teammates in recent weeks to get ready for the season.

But with this latest workout post from the rising star, one question is brought up, is the man even human at this point?

DK looks to jump onto a stack of boxes that look like they must be about six feet in height.

Remember folks, Metcalf slipped all the way into the 2nd round. The Seahawks easily stole the draft with that pick and looks to continue to the success going into year two.

The Metcalf and Wilson connection is only going to get stronger as Metcalf continues to improve year after year.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro. 

Never underestimate Russell Wilson-- ever

Never underestimate Russell Wilson-- ever

Russell Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, so why do people keep doubting him? 

He's Super Bowl winner, seven-time Pro Bowler, and has led the NFL in passer rating and passing touchdowns at various points in his career.

How can you argue against that?

All of those are high-level achievements, and yet, Wilson has never received a single MVP vote in his career.

Not one.

Wilson is in his eighth season in his career, and for a lack of a better term, is still being slept on.

Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told Will Brinson of CBS Sports that despite no MVP votes so far, he is the wrong guy to doubt. It is only going to motivate him even more.

I know one thing, I’m thrilled and excited about 2020 because I think the chatter about the MVP votes will motivate him. He is ready to work. He’s always ready to work, but he’s the wrong guy to doubt. He’s the wrong guy to say, ‘Nah, he can’t do that.’ He will carry a grudge and he will work his ass off to make it go.

Wilson even made a believer of Schottenheimer when he first got to Seattle back in 2018. 

It just took him to actually see him in action to realize how good he actually is.

“When I got here,” Schottenheimer said, “and I saw his ability to throw the football, not just down the field, but accurately. We call it ball placement. He's able to put the ball exactly where you want it. Not just to where the guy can catch it, but I mean exactly where you want it and I was quite honestly blown away. I was surprised. 

Wilson is currently one of the betting favorites this year to win the MVP. 

If Wilson can bring the Seahawks back to the top of the NFC this year, look to see more than enough votes for the star quarterback and the recognition he deserves.

And if not, then Wilson will continue to prove the doubters wrong. Gladly. 

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Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro. 

Russell Wilson proves Dak Prescott isn't worth as much as he thinks

Russell Wilson proves Dak Prescott isn't worth as much as he thinks

When the conversation of “Elite” quarterbacks comes up, a few names pop into my head.

Patrick Mahomes, who just won a Super Bowl, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and one Russell Wilson who certainly deserves to be named in that list.

He is technically now the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. 

I would say that is a solid list so far, right?

Well, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, or at least Cowboys fans, believe Prescott is in the “elite” discussion.

With a contract negotiation still going with the Cowboys, one asks the question; Is Dak a top-five quarterback and does he deserve to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL surpassing Russell Wilson?

The answer is no.

Now look, no one can really determine how much a franchise quarterback will make in the few years. Right now, no one knows exactly how big the salary cap will be.

The NFL will be negotiating new broadcast deals in 2021 and 2022. The expectation is the salary cap will grow. 

A whole lot. 

Prescott's agent is smart and is trying to bake it into the latter half of his client's new deal.

The expectation right now is that Prescott will eventually sign a new deal at some point, just depends on how long and how much for both parties.

But there is one concerning stat that separates quarterbacks like Wilson and Brady from Prescott.

He stumbles against elite competition.

In his rookie season in 2016, Prescott was exceptional against teams with an above-.500 record. In the four years since, however, Prescott has been not as stellar against the better squads in the league.

Since then, his touchdown-to-interception ratio is 25-25 and his record as a starter is 6-17. Last year, he had an 8/8 TD/INT ratio and the Cowboys went 1-6 against teams with an above-.500 record.

It is great that Prescott can beat teams that are below .500 ( has a career record of 29-5) but against tougher competition, Prescott is not the guy to lead the team. 

Cowboys fans think he deserves to pay more than Russell Wilson.

Come on.

If we look at Wilson’s numbers against elite competition, you know he has always been up for the challenge.

Wilson has a career record of 26-21 against winning teams, with having a 11/4 ratio and a 4-4 record against above .500 teams last year.

His record all-time against teams who are 8+ games over .500? He is 6-0.

Oh and let’s not forget, in his second year in the NFL he brought a Super Bowl to Seattle.

When the pressure is on to get a win for your team, statistical speaking, Wilson is your guy.

Granted, Prescott is still only 26 years old and has time to develop. But with the weapons surrounding him such as Elliot and Cooper, and an offensive line that is one of the best in the league, can the Cowboys relay on him long term to get the job done?

That question still remains.

Most likely, the Cowboys will pay the man his money ( likely making him the highest-paid QB) based on the new TV contracts on the way.

But to categorize him as “elite” or even in the same realm of quarterback talent as say a Russell Wilson is laughable.

The Cowboys have to gamble at this moment on whether or not he is the man for the job. And if your team still has those questions in the air, how can they even call you an elite quarterback?

It is safe to say that you never have to worry about that when Wilson takes the field.

He has the numbers to prove it.

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Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro. 

Dame D.O.L.L.A. announces release date for upcoming new single

Dame D.O.L.L.A. announces release date for upcoming new single

Without basketball, Damian Lillard has been at home, trying to stay in basketball shape and recording some new music.

Earlier this year, Lillard aka Dame D.O.L.L.A. announced that he'd be dropping a single and now we have a date. 

Carmelo Anthony and Damian Lillard had an impromptu Instagram live session earlier this week and while talking about life during quarantine, Lillard dropped the news.

You know I have to drop the single on June 12th, with a visual, you feel me?

Well there it is, folks. New Dame D.O.L.L.A. music will be on the way soon to hold us over!

His last album, Big D.O.L.L.A, received love from his peers and fans when it dropped last October.

Lillard is certainly at the forefront of athletes who can play ball and rap at a high level. 

Expect Dame D.O.L.L.A. to give us an album rollout here soon once he drops his new single.

D.O.L.L.A. season in approaching.

Circle your calendars...

What Carmelo Anthony learned about Michael Jordan after watching "The Last Dance"

What Carmelo Anthony learned about Michael Jordan after watching "The Last Dance"

Sundays may be less exciting after the conclusion of "The Last Dance," which featured Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty.

The discussion surrounding MJ, whether or not he's actually the greatest of all time, came with some hot takes and deeper reflection into the person that is a six-time NBA champion.

That reflection included Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, who already has an existing relationship with Jordan. Recently, Anthony shared one of his biggest takeaways from what he learned about Jordan after watching the doumentary series.

MJ is actually human, just like the rest of us.

“I realized he was human,” Melo said during an Instagram live session. “He was a human being, at the end of the day. No matter how big of a star you are, who you are, there is still something that can bring you back down. It can humble you.”

Anthony takes note of the fact that Jordan was the biggest and best thing in the world during the 90s and for him to take a step back from basketball really showed him that he is just like everyone else when things get too crazy in your life. 

For him to have that moment of vulnerability where he says ok you know what, enough is enough like this has really affected me I need to really go get my mind right now I’m losing my love for it. Let me take a step away from it, let me do something else,  let me get my spark back and then come back. That showed me, at the end of the day, he is human.

Anthony and Jordan can somewhat relate to one another in that matter. Before the Blazers added Melo to the roster, Melo was considering retirement as a possibility of no other team decided to offer him something.

As great as Jordan is, every athlete can take away the fact that even the great ones need to take a step away to get that spark back.

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung is being rewarded for his consistency on the field.

The former Oregon Ducks safety has agreed to a two-year extension through 2023, according to Field Yates. 

Originally drafted by the Patriots in 2009 and spending all but one season with New England, Chung has been a late bloomer professionally. Chung has found his stride.

He has enjoyed three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LIII) since returning to the Patriots after a brief stint in Philadelphia and has only missed one regular-season game.

Chung has also been recognized for being able to stay on the field. During his Oregon days, Chung currently holds the record for starting more games than any other defensive player in program history (51 straight game).

He might not pop off the screen as a player with a lot of Pro Bowl selections or crazy defensive stats season after season, but that never matters at the end of the end when you help your team get to the Super Bowl practically every year.

Chung has been the backbone of this long run of excellent defense the Patriots are now accustomed to the season after season and now is being rewarded for what he has brought to the table for the Patriots.

 

Portland will have to wait - Big 3 officially cancels the 2020 season

Portland will have to wait - Big 3 officially cancels the 2020 season

Maybe next year, Portland.

The Big 3 has officially announced that they will cancel the 2020 season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

With most sporting events beginning play with no fans in the stands, the man in charge of the Big 3 (Ice Cube) decided it was best to wait it out until next season with fans in participation.

We tried everything in our power to give our fans a nice 2020 season, but with a long list of obstacles, we decided to shift our focus to having a great 2021 season with our fans in the stands.

Back in February, the Big 3 released its schedule for the 2020 season, and the city of Portland was on the list as an important day in the Big 3 season.

It is the day the playoffs were supposed to start.

The Big 3 is in its fourth year and would have made its way into Portland for the first time since being created.

Not many other sporting events come to Portland in the summer, and with baseball's Portland Diamond Project on hiatus, the people of Portland were more than ready to have the Big 3 stop by in August.

Don’t get to bummed out, because the league is looking to resume once again during the summer of 2021.

Will the schedule be the same as this year’s once the season gets going again? No one has those answers yet, but let’s hope we see Portland when the 2021 season gets released early next year.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

The Eagles have an interest in Jadeveon Clowney, but only if it involves less money

The Eagles have an interest in Jadeveon Clowney, but only if it involves less money

The Philadelphia Eagles could be one of the many rumored landing spots for free-agent defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney.

The catch? He needs to take a lot less money.

According to the NFL insider Adam Caplan, the Eagles would consider signing Clowney to the team, if he just took about $10 million or less for what he is asking.

"They're not interested in the player," Caplan told New Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. "Unless he's willing to take a one-year deal at a significantly reduced price -- probably under $10 million or no more than $10 million, I don't even think they make the call. And even then, they're done ... bringing guys in with an injury history."

In the beginning stages of his free agency, Clowney was seeking north of around $2p million per season on a long-term contract. The price dropped to around $17 million per year, and still, Clowney and his free agency run at the market has been relatively quiet. 

Clowney was traded to the Seahawks last September and played in 13 games. He registered 31 tackles, three sacks, an interception four forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries and a pair of defensive touchdowns.

Obviously battling injuries most of last season with a sports hernia, Clowney believes he should be considered one of the top defensive lineman in the league. However, there just seems to be a disconnect between what he thinks vs. how teams view him and his recent play.

The Eagles have very limited salary cap space beyond 2020. The Eagles, for now, seem a little out of reach to signing the veteran defensive end. Unless something changes.

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Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Stanford coach David Shaw.

Justin Herbert reminds his Chargers QB coach of a former No. 1 pick

Justin Herbert reminds his Chargers QB coach of a former No. 1 pick

Justin Herbert and new quarterback coach Pep Hamilton haven’t met in person yet, but the coach is seeing some similarities of what he has dealt with in the past.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton and Herbert have been communicating by phone and online video conferences.

Even with just meeting virtually so far, Hamilton seems to already have a good feel for his new young quarterback and what he is all about. 

He wants to really understand and digest the conceptual reasoning behind different plays and what the defense is doing.

Herbert is a smart guy, but Hamilton doesn’t want to overload the rookie quarterback with too much. As he has learned over the years with past quarterbacks he has worked with.

Such as when he worked with Andrew Luck as a rookie with the Colts, As he told Jim Trotter of NFL Network, that it is important to set certain limits for the new rookie.

“One of the things I learned from that experience was, sometimes you have to protect young quarterbacks from themselves.”

Luck, in the early stages of his career, had a tendency of taking off and taking hits.

 With Herbert, he knows the short-term lessons will be teaching the first-rounder to narrow his focus, telling him often: “When you see a little, you see a lot. And when you see a lot, you don’t see anything.”

Herbert has been in the shotgun for most of his entire career over at Oregon, so the mechanics of working under center again will take time for Herbert to fully grasp.

Once the quarantine is over, Hamilton can really help Herbert with what he really needs to work on.

Hamilton already knows Herbert has the physical capabilities to get the job done, like another quarterback he has worked with in the past.

“We already know he can really throw the football. I haven’t coached a quarterback that just had the natural release and spin on the ball that Justin has since Vinny Testaverde — a tall, linear guy, a long-levered guy who really just has a great release and can make all the throws.”

The Chargers and Herbert just finished virtual minicamp, so coach Hamilton already has a good feel of how Herbert’s learning style, now it is just a matter of time before they decide when to give Herbert the starting job over Tyrod Taylor

The starting job is Herberts’ if he can take it.

Listen to Geoff Schwartz on the latest episode of the Talkin' Ducks podcast here.