Antonio Brown reveals issues with Ben Roethlisberger during a Q&A session on Twitter

The Steelers star receiver held a Q&A session on social media on Saturday with his first answer calling out Ben Roethlisberger for his “owner mentality”.

With Antonio Brown now willing to have a face-to-face meeting with Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, it would appear that he is also open to questions from fans in the form of a Q&A session he started on Twitter on Saturday as well.

Unsurprisingly, many of the responses involved questions about his relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and this was the first subject Brown chose to address from all of the inquiries he received.

While he would dispute any conflict between himself and the team’s star quarterback, his characterization of Roethlisberger as having an owners mentality is far from a compliment and it would appear that his frustration with Big Ben is at the heart of his problems with the Steelers.

Given that Brown has promised to answer nine more questions, it seems unlikely this is the last we have heard from the wide receiver about what has happened in Pittsburg to make him want to leave and fans should prepare themselves for another drama field weekend.

His second answer of the should be good news for the team he is trading for with Brown effectively denying he will want a new deal from his next team. This one I will believe when I see it (or don’t as they case may be).

While his third was rather confusing.

His fourth seemingly offering little chance he will remain in Pittsburgh next year.

The fifth appears to call out Mike Tomlin.

And the sixth an admission that he had not really meant what he had said earlier in the season when previously asked if he had an issue with Roethlisberger calling him out on his radio show.

As more answers are revealed, we will be sure to update this post.

NBA, FIBA announce plans for pro league in Africa

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The NBA is bringing a pro league to Africa.

The Basketball Africa League, a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA, was announced Saturday. The initial plan is for the 12-team league to begin play in January, and former President Barack Obama is among those who are expected to have direct involvement with the league’s operations.

It’s yet to be determined which existing club teams will be part of the league. Qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine those clubs, with teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia expected to be among those taking part. No nation will have more than two teams in the league.

“As we’ve been talking about this concept over the last several months, there’s been a tremendous reception from several of our NBA team owners,” Silver said.

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Media Day Notebook: Dirk appoints successor

Members of Team Giannis and Team LeBron talked to the media Saturday morning. Here are some highlights gleaned by writers.

Truthfully and officially, Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t announced that he’s retiring after this season, but the Mavericks’ legend is already appointing his successor in Dallas.

“He’s a guy who can get anything he wants almost whenever he wants,” said Nowitzki.

He’s talking of course about Luka Doncic, the front-runner for Rookie of the Year who has already taken over the Mavericks as a player and also a building block. For anyone who thinks Doncic might remind Nowitzki of his younger self, Dirk rejects that notion.

“He’s so much, much more prepared and better than I ever was as a rookie,” he said.

Nowitzki’s career actually began very humbly; he averaged only eight points and shot 40 percent, hardly the makings of a future all-time great. The next season he doubled

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All-Star starter Kemba Walker at home in Charlotte, hopes to stay

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Long after his playing days ended, his presence still seems everlasting and omnipresent, rising above the state that raised him and especially here in the city that worships him.

Michael Jordan remains the dominant basketball symbol in Charlotte, the jump man with legs that still soar and straddle, and that’s precisely the problem for the team he owns. Because the Hornets, mostly uninspiring on his watch, have long searched for a player compelling enough to put a different face on the franchise.

Well, for one day at least, someone else will rep the Hornets and hear the applause and win the crowd and in some ways become bigger than the boss. And when this happens, during the introductions of the starting lineup Sunday at the 68th NBA All-Star Game, right in the arena that Jordan Built, Kemba Walker will execute an expression that Jordan made famous and

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Anthony Davis plans to play in All-Star Game, finish season with New Orleans Pelicans

CHARLOTTE — The biggest surprise of the All-Star Game happened 24 hours before tipoff: Anthony Davis not only showed up prepared to play, he came prepared to answer questions.

No other play in Charlotte is more under siege than Davis, whose career remains in limbo following a messy attempt to force his way out of New Orleans, only to have the Pelicans reject all proposed deals at the trade deadline.

And then last Thursday, Davis injured his shoulder, which left his status for the All-Star Game in question. But he said Saturday “it’s my intent to play” through any lingering shoulder issues and also said the same about playing the rest of the season for the Pelicans.

At least that’s his intent. The Pelicans, after a management shakeup Friday caused by the Davis situation, might have a different stance when the season resumes Thursday.

Media Day availability: Anthony Davis

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Jaylen Samuels set to slim down before Year 2, following the Steelers’ plan

Jaylen Samuels is about to enter his second year in the NFL, and the team is going through the usual motions with their newest running back.

There is a good chance many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers would vote for Jaylen Samuels as the biggest offensive surprise of the 2018 season. It isn’t as if he wasn’t hyped up enough after being drafted as the team’s Swiss Army knife coming out of N.C. State, but not one saw him getting a starting opportunity as a rookie.

However, when James Conner went down with a high ankle sprain vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, it was Samuels who stood out. No performance was bigger than his 142 yard outing against the New England Patriots in Week 15, and he finished the season with 56 attempts, and 256 yards for a 4.6 yards per carry.

Not shabby for a running back who didn’t have a role entering the season, other than being the backup to both Conner and Stevan Ridley. By the season’s end, Samuels had proven he isn’t just going to be a quality backup in the future, but a reliable commodity if he is forced into action. Throw in the fact he is a tremendous receiving threat, collecting 26 receptions on 29 targets for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he is going to be a great one-two punch with Conner for the foreseeable future.

When sitting down with Missi Matthews of, Samuels talked a lot about his rookie season. How he didn’t know what to expect, how Ben Roethlisberger and Conner really helped him get acclimated, but what stood out the most to me was something he subtly said midway through the interview — how he is going to slim down this offseason.

NFL players have a tendency to believe they need to get bigger before entering the NFL. After all, with going against players who are already older, bigger and stronger, they feel the extra muscle/size will benefit them. What they don’t realize is speed, agility and endurance are equally important.

Look at the past three starting Steelers running backs, and you will see the same trend. Le’Veon Bell was told to drop weight after his rookie season, and had a huge sophomore season when he focused on conditioning over anything else. James Conner too was heavy coming out of Pitt, but a slimmer version dominated in 2018 before his injury in the last quarter of the season.

It now seems as if Samuels will be on the same path as his predecessors, and you have to wonder if Year 2 will be significantly different for Samuels, as it was for Conner and Bell.

You can check out the full interview with Matthews in the player below:

Jerald Hawkins hopes injury issues are behind him heading into final year under contract

With just five regular season appearances in three years with the Steelers, the young tackle will need to avoid ending another season on injured reserve if he hopes to remain with Pittsburgh in 2020.

Heading into 2019, there is perhaps no other position on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster with more depth and experience than offensive tackle. With both starters due to return and a number of promising young prospects with experience in reserve, the Steelers might well be set at tackle for some years to come.

However, if that future is to include 2016 fourth-round draft pick Jerald Hawkins, the upcoming season will need to end rather differently from him in 2019 than it did in two of his first three years in the NFL. Having missed both his rookie season and all of 2018 to injuries that saw him added to injured reserve each time, Hawkins faces something of a make or break year in his final season under contract.

Thankfully, the young tackle already appears to be fully healed from the torn quadriceps injury that ended his last season early, confirming with Chris Adamski of TribLive that he was completely recovered back in January.

“Oh yeah, most definitely, I was ready now, man. I would go out there right now, and I could. I am definitely, 100 percent, going to be going all over it (at OTAs).”

And while Hawkins has appeared in just five regular season games in three years in the NFL, he remains cautiously optimistic his injury issues are behind him.

“Honestly, man, this probably had to be my third injury I have had to actually sit out from playing football, so I believe it’s probably done with. It’s all out of the way. Three times and you’re done now, man. Had a little bad injury in college, and I had my two in the league so I pray I am done with that and I can just finally get on the field and honestly show them what I am all about.”

With names like Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor and Zach Banner competing for a place on the game day roster behind starters Alejandro Villanueva and Marcus Gilbert, the quality of depth the Steelers have at the tackle position is not lost on Hawkins either.

“You want to see that competition, and you want to see that depth on your team. If you’re here, there’s a reason for it.”

By all accounts, Hawkins stayed as involved with the team as much as could throughout this injury, with Adamski reporting he was a regular fixture at every practice earlier in the season. But, if Hawkins hopes to still be with Pittsburgh in 2020, he will need to be able to do more than just watch practice this season.

Duke vs. NC State odds, line: College basketball picks, predictions from advanced model on 99-67 roll

No. 2 Duke looks to continue its run atop the ACC, hosting NC State on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. The Blue Devils are 17-point favorites in the latest odds with the over-under for total points set at 159.5. Duke has been rolling since a loss to Syracuse earlier in ACC play, while NC State has bounced back from a three-game losing streak to pull off consecutive wins. Before you make any Duke vs. NC State picks, check out the college basketball predictions from SportsLine’s proven model. 

The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned more than $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered Week 15 of the 2018-19 college basketball season

2019 NBA All-Star Saturday odds, picks: 3-point contest predictions from dialed-in expert

The 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend has arrived and the Spectrum Center in Charlotte will host the action-packed festivities from Friday through Sunday. Of course, with the NBA continuing to shoot more 3-pointers than ever, the 3-Point Contest is always one of the more intriguing events of the weekend. The 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest, which begins at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, is loaded with NBA stars, including the Curry brothers, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Dirk Nowitzki. Stephen Curry is the 7-4 favorite in the latest 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest odds and little brother Seth Curry is also among the favorites at 7-1. However, before you make your 2019 3-Point Contest picks, be sure to check out the predictions from NBA expert Mike Barner.

Mike Barner is a respected NBA Fantasy expert, both season-long and DFS, whose work has

Week 2 AAF schedule, odds, how to watch: Stallions vs. Iron picks, top predictions from legendary expert

After his heaviest workload in more than six years, running back Trent Richardson leads the Birmingham Iron into their Week 2 clash Saturday against the visiting Salt Lake Stallions. Kickoff from Legion Field is at 2 p.m. ET. Richardson, the former No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft who’s now one of the biggest names in the AAF, rushed 23 times for 58 yards and two touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion in the Iron’s 26-0 stomping of Memphis. It was the most carries for Richardson since he rushed 29 times for 85 yards and a touchdown for the Colts in a 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in November 2012. Bookmakers list Birmingham as a 7-point favorite, with the over-under for total points sitting at 44.5 in the latest Stallions vs. Iron odds. Before you make any