Sizing up Rondo's competition in the skills challenge


Sizing up Rondo's competition in the skills challenge

On Friday Rajon Rondo was named to the Taco Bell Skills Challenge in place of the injured defending champion, Stephen Curry (strained tendon, right foot). Rondo will join a field including Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), John Wall (Washington Wizards), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).

Contestants will participate in timed obstacle courses including dribbling, passing, and shooting stations while following NBA basic ball-handling rules. The top two players with the fastest first-round times will compete in the final round.

See how Rondos competition compares to him this season in assists, turnovers, assist-to-turnover ratio, and field goal percentage.

Rajon Rondo - 9.5 assists per game, 3.7 turnovers per game, 2.56 assiststurnovers, 48.5 field goal shooting

Kyrie Irving - 5.1 assists per game, 3.1 turnovers per game, 1.66 assiststurnovers, 47.6 field goal shooting

Tony Parker - 8.1 assists per game, 2.6 turnovers per game, 3.13 assiststurnovers, 45.6 field goal shooting

John Wall - 7.6 assists per game, 4.2 turnovers per game, 1.83 assiststurnovers, 42.6 field goal shooting

Russell Westbrook - 5.5 assists per game, 4.2 turnovers per game, 1.32 assiststurnovers, 47.0 field goal shooting

Deron Williams - 8.2 assists per game, 4.2 turnovers per game, 1.96 assiststurnovers, 41.3 field goal shooting

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will take place Saturday, February 25 at 8:30pm EST.

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It hasn’t been difficult to spot Claude Julien randomly at Fenway Park on a nice summer night in Boston over the past ten years. The Bruins coach doesn’t hide his affection for the Old Towne Team. 

So, Julien didn’t waste much time before sharing his thoughts on the final season for David Ortiz and the celebration of his Hall of Fame-worthy career that’s going on at the Fens this weekend.

It might have been a chore when the rest of the Team Canada coaching staff was watching the Toronto Blue Jackets during the World Cup of Hockey, but Julien never strayed too far away from his Red Stockings.

“He’s finishing in style, and you don’t see that very often,” said Claude Julien of Big Papi, who was sitting with numbers of .316 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI that border on the ridiculous at 40 years old. 

“A lot of times when people retire the game has caught up to them big time. Not him. He doesn’t seem to have missed a beat here. I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled this year, and what he’s done. If I’m correct he just hit the home run last night for the game-winner.

“But as you know I was in Blue Jays land for about two weeks, so I had to keep a low profile. They were watching the Blue Jays and I’m Canadian too...but I was watching the Red Sox. So, it was healthy competition for our [World Cup] coaching staff.”

The most intriguing part about all is that the best is still yet to come for Ortiz in his farewell tour as he gets one more chance to clutch up in the postseason. It'll give Julien more to marvel at over the next few weeks while showing again why Big Papi will go down as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. 


Report: Ex-Raiders FB Marcel Reece works out for Patriots


Report: Ex-Raiders FB Marcel Reece works out for Patriots

Fullback Marcel Reece, cut by the Oakland Raiders earlier this week, was one of five players who worked out Friday for the Patriots, ESPN's Mike Reiss reported

Reece, a seven-year NFL veteran, all with the Raiders, was suspended last December for the final game of the 2015 season and the first three games of this season for violating the NFL performance enhancing drug policy. 

Reiss reported that guards Jake Bernstein and Chase Farris, center Robert Kugler and tight end Greg Scruggs also worked out for the Patriots on Friday.

More on Reece from