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Gary Payton adds latest fuel to the LeBron James watch

Gary Payton adds latest fuel to the LeBron James watch

The LeBron James buzz won't slow down until the decision of where he will play basketball next season is made.

So let the speculation continue.

It boiled a bit more Monday when an interview published of Hall of Famer Gary Payton telling BlackSportsOnline.com's Sheena Davis that James' son, LeBron James Jr., is committed to Sierra Canyon School, an institution in Chatsworth, California, that enrolls pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Which means James to the Lakers, right? Who knows.

LeBron James Jr. is 13 years old and his highlight reels are already going viral on YouTube. The sons of former NBA players Scottie Pippen and Kenyon Martin play for Sierra Canyon's high school varsity team.

Here is some of what Payton had to say (and you can get more on this story here, via USA TODAY):

His son just committed to Sierra Canyon, which is in the valley of L.A., that's where his son is going to go to school.

A son at that age, you don't want to be away from him for that period of time.

I think he wants to be around his son a lot, see his son play, so that's going to play a key factor, too.

He's been saying this for the last year or so: his family is going to dictate where he goes and his last days in basketball, so that might be a stepping point for him, to go to L.A. But we don't know, we've got to wait.

And there's been nothing confirmed or announced about where James' son will be attending school. 

As you can remember, rumors swirled in late February that James was checking out private schools in the Philadelphia area during the NBA All-Star break.

Very little came from it.

But not only do we have a LeBron James watch, it seems like we now have one for LeBron James Jr., as well.

More on LeBron mania

• Embiid makes epic sales pitch to LeBron

• Wentz, Ertz taking LeBron recruitment very seriously

• Sixers' championship odds come with King-sized factor

Simmons says he could play with LeBron

What's really going on with Michael Bennett and the Eagles?

usa_michael_bennett.jpg
USA Today Images

What's really going on with Michael Bennett and the Eagles?

A commentator’s seemingly innocuous remark about Michael Bennett’s role with the Eagles quietly became a subplot this week after the defensive end refused to speak to reporters.

Is the three-time Pro Bowl selection “none too happy” being a “backup” in Philadelphia, as NBC’s Cris Collinsworth indicated during the Eagles’ nationally televised opener? Only Bennett can say for sure, and he reportedly declined the opportunity when approached by team employees, while coaches denied knowledge of any issue when questioned.

But did Bennett’s actions betray the company line one week later when he appeared to take issue with being removed from a game? Good thing pictures are worth 1,000 words because the 10th-year veteran had nothing to add, essentially telling the media “no comment,” which naturally only adds to the mystery.

So what are we to believe exactly?

For starters — see what we did there, Michael? — let’s revisit March after Bennett was traded to the Eagles from the Seahawks.

“I think a great defensive line is about the rotation,” Bennett said.

“I’m comfortable with taking less plays, man.

“Just taking snaps off, being able to have a [longer] career, it’s something that every player wishes and dreams about. And this organization, when you think about play snaps and counts and keeping guys fresh for the moments that count.

“Because at the end of the day, it’s not about September or October or November; it’s about January and February.”

Bennett understood the situation he was walking into and not only seemed OK but also enthusiastic. As recently as training camp, there was no sign of distress.

“Obviously I care [about starting]," Bennett said to NJ.com. “But at the same time, I am not going to make it the most important thing to me. The most important thing for me is just getting in the game and playing as high as I can.”

Still fine. From July to September, with only two games in the books, how did we get to “none too happy?”

It’s entirely plausible Collinsworth’s anecdote was blown out of proportion. Bennett averaged eight sacks per season over the previous six. Yeah, the guy wants to play, and rightfully believes he should. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s requesting a trade, either. Perhaps this is considered the coloring aspect of the color commentator job.

Furthermore, Bennett’s refusal to speak to the media may be the result of people twisting his words, not to hide his discontent. Wouldn’t be the first time somebody played that card in Philadelphia.

The controversy's very premise has flaws. While Bennett happened to finish fourth in snaps among Eagles ends against the Buccaneers in Week 2, he was just one snap behind Brandon Graham for most in the opener — hardly reason to complain.

And Bennett’s interaction with a coach on the sideline last week — does anybody have a transcript? Otherwise, we might not want to put words in another person's mouth.

Then again, maybe Bennett was pissed. He played the fewest snaps of Eagles defensive ends against the Bucs, yet led the group in quarterback hits and matched Derek Barnett with a tackle for loss.

All of which suggests if there is anything to these rumors, maybe the best answer is simultaneously the easiest — the Eagles need to put Bennett on the field more.

More on the Eagles

You have to see this terrible Phillie Phanatic costume

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Mascotcosplay.com

You have to see this terrible Phillie Phanatic costume

October is rapidly approaching, which of course, includes the wonderful holiday of Halloween.

If you’re looking for that perfect costume that absolutely does not even slightly resemble your character, look no further.

Behold, this company is advertising a Phillie Phanatic costume for the low price of $399.99 that literally looks nothing like the most beloved mascot in all of Major League Baseball.

We have many questions about what exactly went into the design of the costume, which is actually on sale, but you can see it for yourself right here and below:

So if you’ve got $399.99 to spare and are looking to dress up as the Phanatic, we do not recommend buying this one.

More on the Phillies