Tomlinson to retire with the Chargers

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Tomlinson to retire with the Chargers

LaDainian Tomlinson's time in the NFL is up. One week away from his 33rd birthday, the free-agent running back has not found any suitors to play the 2012 season and he will now sign with the San Diego Chargers on a one-day contract to officially retire with the team that drafted him.

The Chargers will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday to announce Tomlinson's retirement.

It won't be a teary goodbye to LT here in New England. Over the course of his 11-year career -- nine with the Bolts and two with the Jets -- Tomlinson has been one of the Patriots' greatest rivals. Here's a rundown of how LT's relationship with the Pats has shaken out:

Patriots beat Tomlinson's Chargers in the 2007 Divisional round, 24-21. LT became so angry that he had to be restrained when he saw Patriots players dancing on the Chargers' midfield logo. The dance was done to mock then-Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman's "Lights Out" dance.

"I would never react in that way. I was very upset," Tomlinson said after the game. "That is disrespectful. They showed no class and maybe that comes from the head coach."

In 2008, New England beat LT and the Bolts, 21-12, to advance to their fourth Super Bowl in seven years. Tomlinson was injured for the game and carried the ball just twice. He famously hung on the sidelines wearing a parka and a helmet for most of the game.

In 2011, Tomlinson got some measure of redemption. He caught a touchdown from Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as New York came into Foxboro to win the Divisional Playoff game with the Pats, 28-21.

Tomlinson visited the Dan Patrick Show in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI and was asked if he still hates the Patriots.

"I don't hate them," Tomlinson said. "When we were between those lines, they were the team that always kept my teams from getting to where we wanted to go and win a championship."

Hypothetically, could he ever put aside the hate to sign a deal with the Patriots?

"I think that would be ... uh ... that would be ... obviously I would be tempted because Tom Brady's there and I would love to play with him," Tomlinson told Patrick. "I just think probably at this point it would be a stretch."

Tomlinson leaves the NFL as one of the greatest backs in the history of the game and very likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He's fifth all time in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns and he set the single-season record for rushing TDs with 28 in 2006.

The only thing missing from his long list of achievements in the league is a Super Bowl title. For that, in part, he has the Patriots to thank.

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games. 
 
“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
 
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
 
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer. 
 
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes. 
 
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
 
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand. 
 
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference. 
 
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists. 

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

The fact that the James Harden of the Houston Rockets went to the free throw line 18 times which was more than the entire Celtics roster (12 free throw attempts total) certainly fired up conspiracy theorists among Celtics Nation. 
 
But what seemed to draw the most ire was what appeared to be a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley late in the fourth quarter that was initially called a long two-pointer. 
 
And after it was reviewed by the good folks in Secaucus, N.J., they allowed the ruling to stand because there wasn’t enough proof in the many replay angles for them to overturn the original call. 
 
The missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the closing seconds stand out, obviously. 
 
But the 3-pointer that wasn’t a 3-pointer was one of the more talked-about topics in the Celtics locker room afterwards. 
 
“From the angle we saw, it was a three,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told reporters after the game. “We definitely thought it was.”
 
Said Jae Crowder: “I thought it was a three. Nothing we can do about it now.”
 
It was that kind of game for the Celtics, one in which plays that could go either way more often than not, went against them. 
 
And while Bradley’s questionable two-pointer certainly was a factor in the game’s outcome, as was the free throw discrepancy and the late-game misses, ultimately the blame for Monday’s loss falls upon the Celtics players who were still in position to win despite all those setbacks.

They simply didn't get it done, when it mattered.
 
Smart, who had 13 points off the Celtics bench, understands that fans like to blame the officials when a game ends like Monday’s loss to Houston. 
 
“Officials, they did their job,” Smart said. “You can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game. We made some costly plays down the stretch. Give credit to the Rockets. They made plays and executed down the stretch.”