OKC to vote on tax to fund $900M Thunder arena

Associated Press

Sep 26, 2023, 04:54 PM ET

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to set a Dec. 12 citywide vote on a proposed 1% sales tax for six years that would fund a new $900 million downtown arena and keep the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder in the city through at least 2050.

The council also voted 7-2 to approve a letter of intent with the Thunder’s ownership group that would require the group to contribute $50 million toward the arena’s cost. The deal also calls for $70 million in city funds from an existing sales tax approved by voters in 2019 for upgrades to the current Paycom Center.

“I commend the Council for authorizing me to sign this historic letter of intent, I thank the Thunder for their partnership and I congratulate all of OKC for getting to this point,” Mayor David Holt said in a statement.

Under the plan, the

Heat not offering Blazers biggest possible trade package for Damian Lillard

By | September 26, 2023

What’s the buzz on Twitter? Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
Jumped on NBA Today with @malika_andrews @ZachLowe_NBA @KendrickPerkins @Rjeff24
To talk about the 2 artificial deadlines Portland is facing:
Oct. 2- Media Day
With the 2nd youngest roster and 8 players 23 or younger, does Portland want a Lillard distraction entering camp?… – 4:04 PM Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
Lakers fans should be rooting for a Damian Lillard Raptors trade imo.
Getting OG Anunoby to Portland makes it likelier that Jerami Grant is dealt at the deadline. Jerami Grant is probably the best the Lakers could hope to do as far as a mid-season

Keep reading this article on HoopsHype - NBA.

NBA players who were paid like stars (but were not)

By | September 26, 2023

Throughout league history, there are always players who are not at that top tier who get paid in the upper echelon.

We delved into instances where mere role players or high-quality starters received star-like paychecks, landing in the Top 20 in salaries for at least one season. Such situations might arise due to the market dynamics of the time or simply miscalculations by their front offices.

Here is a list that includes 22 players, including Chandler Parsons, Sam Bowie, and media personality Jalen Rose.

Harrison Barnes

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Highest rank: No. 15 in

Keep reading this article on HoopsHype - NBA.

Nets expect Simmons to be full camp participant

Tim Bontemps, ESPNSep 26, 2023, 12:48 PM ET

When the Brooklyn Nets open training camp next week, Ben Simmons is expected to be a full participant.

That was the message from Nets coach Jacque Vaughn and general manager Sean Marks to reporters Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, where they said Simmons is fully participating in 5-on-5 workouts without any restrictions, and should be ready to go when the first practice of training camp gets underway in a week.

“Ben is playing 5-on-5 with no restrictions, so he should be ready for training camp,” Vaughn said. “Pretty simple that way which is good for me to say, and I think that fits into an exciting time for me to have this group together. No restrictions at the beginning of the year — get to form an identity together, get to form some relationships at the beginning of the year, a style of play, so really

OG James Daniels, WR Allen Robinson among those with ‘bumps and bruises’ ahead of Week 4

James Daniels #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands on the sidelines during the national anthem prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on August 11, 2023 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers head out for their second road game of the season in Week 4, this time down south for a Sunday afternoon showdown against the Houston Texans. HC Mike Tomlin provided several injury updates ahead of the game.

Among the injuries Tomlin acknowledged Tuesday was that of starting right guard James Daniels, being evaluated for a groin injury after Sunday’s game. Daniels had played 100% of snaps in Week 3, so hopefully, this note comes out of an abundance of caution. Daniels was previously listed on the Week 2 injury report with an unrelated ankle issue.

Among the other “bumps and brusies” Tomlin noted following Week 3 were WR Allen Robinson, who will likely limited early in the week with an ankle injury, as well as punter Pressley Harvin III, who is dealing with a hamstring injury coming off one of the better outings so far in his career.

The Steelers will hold their first team practice ahead of Week 4’s game against the Texans on Wednesday, which will provide a more complete look at the health of the team. For now, it doesn’t appear there’s much to be concerned with ahead of Week 4, but time will tell.

Mike Tomlin on Steelers’ lost mojo: ‘I didn’t mean it’

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a play in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Tomlin appeases the media with a buzzword.

After two weeks of disappointments on offense, Steelers HC Mike Tomlin did not hold back in his weekly press conference ahead of Week 3’s showdown against the Las Vegas Raiders.

“We have to get our mojo back, we have to get that mojo we had in the preseason, playing fast and fluid with confidence. Individually and collectively, we’ve lost that, to be blunt,” Tomlin said ahead of Week 3.

Brooke Pryor of ESPN followed up on that comment following a revitalized offensive outing against the Raiders, asking if he thinks one game is enough to say they’ve got it back. Tomlin’s response wasn’t what you might expect, though.

“I’ll be really transparent with you. I didn’t mean it last week when I said it. You guys asked me the question repeatedly in a bunch of different ways, and I’ve given you the same answer. So sometimes, I’ll just give you a colorful answer with a word like ‘mojo’ just so you guys can run with it, and we can all move on with our day.”

“I don’t subscribe to ‘mojo’ or intangible-like things, all of that BS. We’ve just got to work harder. We’ve got to put together better plans. The guys have to understand those plans and make subsequent plays,” Tomlin closed out.

So, there it is. No “mojo” for Mike Tomlin — just a buzzword to dangle in front of the media.

Are you buying it? Or is it a lot easier for Coach Tomlin to say he “didn’t mean it” after a bounce-back performance? Join our Behind The Steel Curtain community and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

If you think the Steelers’ offensive play calling looked wildly different in Week 3, that’s because it was

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers huddles with teammates during the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Acrisure Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

WARNING: Conspiracy theory alert. Proceed with caution.

Much to the joy of Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the offense finally showed some signs of life in Week 3’s Sunday Night Football showdown against the Raiders. After chants of “Fire [Matt] Canada!” echoed throughout Acrisure Stadium (well, as much as an open-air stadium can force an echo), fans demanded change.

And change, they got.

In Weeks 1 and 2, the offense posted 239 and 255 total net yards, respectively — both ranking bottom five in net yardage output for a single game dating back to 2021, when Matt Canada was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Watching the game, it was clear that there was a different vibe to the offense, top to bottom. The change wasn’t just in how second-year QB Kenny Pickett executed the plays, however. A big part of that was the type of plays that were being called.

Analyzing the Steelers’ playcalling data courtesy of PFF, you’ll note a significant uptick in run-pass options (RPO), play-action passes, and bootlegs in Week 3, compared to the previous two weeks. Dating back to 2022 (Canada’s first time calling for a quarterback other than Ben Roethlisberger), the Steelers called RPOs on 9.4% of plays, play action on 16.6% of plays, and bootlegs on 5.8% of plays.

It wasn’t just the play calling that was different, either. The team also introduced two new offensive personnel groupings. After strictly deploying 11, 12 and 13-man personnel groupings in Weeks 1 and 2, there were a couple of more wrinkles installed in this week’s game plan. The Steelers deployed 02 personnel (0 RBs, 2 TEs, 3 WRs) and 23 personnel (2 RBs, 3 TEs, 0 WRs) both for the first time this season, combining for three of the 62 offensive plays on the week.

It’s not the first time we’ve ever seen these personnel groupings under Canada, but it is worth pointing out how rarely we’ve seen them. In the 48 games Canada has coached as the offensive coordinator, we’ve seen 02 personnel deployed in just 11 total instances prior to Week 3 of the 2023 season and 23 personnel deployed in just 12 instances.

Heading into Week 3, there were reports that the Steelers wanted Canada to “take on a more prominent role” working with Pickett. There was no shortage of speculation as to what that might actually mean for Canada, but some of that speculation stated it might be a bit of a ruse on the Steelers part. Could this be their way of quietly transitioning Canada back toward a role as a quarterbacks coach?

The timing of that news, followed by a pretty significant shift in the type of offensive play calling is enough to make you wonder — was Matt Canada really calling the plays at all in Week 3? Hmm…

Join our Behind The Steel Curtain community, and speculate with us in the comments!

Terrible Towel Tales: Cam Heyward asks Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift for a ride

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Steelers news and commentary for Tuesday, September 26

Welcome to the Terrible Towel Tales, where we’ll highlight some of the latest stories permeating Steelers media for your reading pleasure every Monday through Saturday. In today’s news…

Pittsburgh Steelers Player Asks Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce for a Ride After Emergency Landing in Kansas City | Rania Aniftos, Billboard

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a scary incident on Monday morning (Sept. 25), but the team’s defensive end, Cam Heyward, kept the positivity by adding a bit of humor to the situation.

The NFL team was heading back home after winning their game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday (Sept. 24), but according to KDKA News, the plane landed in Kansas City due to an issue with the oil pressure failing in one of the engines. Thankfully, everyone on board is safe and eventually a replacement plane arrived to take the team back to Pittsburgh.

“Yo @taylorswift13 & @tkelce we might need a ride to Pittsburgh,” Heyward joked on X (formerly known as Twitter) after the incident, referring to Taylor Swift‘s headline making appearance at Travis Kelce‘s game with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chargers Poach WR from Steelers Practice Squad | Alan Saunders, Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers are losing a member of their practice squad, as the Los Angeles Chargers are signing away wide receiver Simi Fehoko.

Fehoko broke the news on his TikTok account, as he was on his way to Los Angeles on Monday night.

Najee Harris on Mike Tomlin’s message to Steelers: ‘Mike T just be talking s—’| Allison Koehler, Steelers Wire

In his weekly press conference on September 19, Mike Tomlin told Steelers media his team had lost their mojo and needed to rekindle it.

“Mike T just be talking s—,” Harris told Brooke Pryor about the comment. He took it as a challenge, and the Steelers responded with a win. They’re headed in the right direction, but consistency is what’s crucial here.

Police told Cavs' Altman he nearly caused wreck

Associated Press

Sep 20, 2023, 03:51 PM ET

CLEVELAND — Body camera footage of Cavaliers executive Koby Altman undergoing field sobriety tests shows him being told by officers that he nearly caused an accident last week before he was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

On Wednesday, the Cavaliers issued a new statement about their president of basketball operations, who was arrested Friday night near downtown Cleveland. Altman was first stopped by Ohio State Highway Patrol officers for a traffic violation before refusing a breath test and being taken into custody.

The team released a brief initial statement a day after Altman’s arrest. It followed up with more comment a day after the bodycam video emerged and Altman pleaded not guilty through his attorney in court.

“We hold our team members to a high standard of conduct and expect leaders at every level of our organization to represent the Cavaliers with integrity, professionalism and