The Raiders took their left tackle of the future, Kolton Miller, with the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft. Their left tackle of the present wasn’t pleased.
Donald Penn, the 35-year-old who has manned the left tackle spot in Oakland the last four years, called coach Jon Gruden and demanded to know why they would use their first-round pick on a player whose likely role will be to replace Penn some day.
He’s the best basketball player we’ve ever seen, James said that night. If you see 23, you think about Michael Jordan. You see guys flying through the air, you think about Michael Jordan. You see game-winning shots, you think about Michael Jordan. You see fly kicks, you think about Michael Jordan. He did so much, it has to be recognized, and not just by putting him in the Hall of Fame.
A few weeks later, James filed paperwork to change his number for the following season. When he signed with the Heat and switched to No. 6, there were some conspiracy theories that James knew he’d be going to Miami and that’s why he brought up the number change. James denied that was true, noting he would’ve had to change his number if he signed in Chicago, where it is also retired for Jordan.
The NFL is in a very different situation than the NBA, Silver said. Twenty-five percent of our league is comprised of players who aren’t American. So it’s hard to say in the case of the NBA it’s about patriotism, when a quarter of Authentic Zach Randolph Jersey our players aren’t even American. But we’ve collectively viewed it as a moment of unity in our arenas.
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That’s kind of a weird explanation, frankly. The more accurate truth is that, in the aftermath of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refusing to stand for the anthem more than 20 years ago, the NBA swooped in and negotiated an agreement with the NBA Players Association to make standing mandatory. End of problem.
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Which is precisely what the NFL should have done. But the NFL doesn’t enjoy the kind of relationship with the NFL Players Association that would be conducive to a quick and easy win-win outcome, and the league surely didn’t want to get squeezed into making a concession to players in order to make the problem go away in August 2016.