Curran: For Krafts, why is a casino worth the gamble?

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Curran: For Krafts, why is a casino worth the gamble?

FOXBORO -- Maybe Robert Kraft and Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn can round up enough Foxboro supportand get the OK to put a gambling emporium across the street from Gillette. And maybe the language of the deal and all the winks, nods and nudges convince the NFL to say with a straight face that Kraft and the Patriots don't have a stake in a gambling operation even if it's pretty plain they do. If that all comes to pass, good for the Krafts, I guess. But why do it in the first place?
To me, it would feel like Kraft was mortgaging his legacy and reputation just for the chance to build a Route 1 Empire. In the past decade, Robert Kraft earned his place as one of the most respected and beloved NFL owners. The model franchise he bought and built, the beautiful facility he financed, the leadership he gave during the NFL's growth period, his leadership in brokering labor peace -- no owner has done more. He may wind up in the Hall of Fame. And, just as important, he's the most revered local owner of my lifetime (Walter Brown was pretty loved too but I'm not quite that old). But if he asks the NFL and his fellow owners to let him have his way, he'll be using his reputation and stature as currency to buy their approval. And that just doesn't feel right. Look at it this way. I drive up Route 1 in 2018 and turn left into Wynn's casino instead of turning right into Kraft's NFL stadium. I pay to park and then play a 10 hand of blackjack which I (surprise!) lose. The cash I spent goes to the casino. Which has to pay The Kraft Group its monthly rent for the land it's leasing. How can that be spun as an NFL owner not having a financial stake in a gambling operation? I have nothing against gambling, casinos or fun. If they build it, I will go. But in the coming months, as The Kraft Grouptries make a case that an NFL team isn't marrying up with casino gambling, I'm not going to buy into whatever pretzel logic is put forth. The Krafts are unbelievably innovative and forward-thinking. And when it comes to business, they see the big picture clearly. But are they blind to the fact that people don't like to be played for fools? Who's kidding who? The reputation and respect the Krafts have was hard-earned and well-deserved. Not sure I see the upside in trying to trade on that. Just because you might be able to do something, doesn't mean you should.

Report: Pacers decide not to trade Paul George

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Report: Pacers decide not to trade Paul George

Well, so much for that . . . 

Of couse, is this is true, the breakdown of talks isn't such a bad thing:

More to come . . . 

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor after missing the Celtics' past 16 games, but it's unclear if he'll travel to Toronto for Friday night's game.

Boston Celtics, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors, A. Sherrod Blakely 
 
WALTHAM, Mass. – Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor briefly at the first gathering of the Celtics since the All-Star break.
 
Now returning to the floor in an actual game? That remains a bit up in the air.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, adding that his status for the Friday night game at Toronto remains unclear.
 
“Avery practiced about a third of the practice today which was about what our medical staff determined was the appropriate progression,” Stevens said. “He [Bradley] told me afterwards he felt really good.”
 
As far as his availability for Friday, Stevens said he did not have an update and was not told by the medical staff whether Bradley would be traveling with the team to Toronto when they leave later this afternoon.
 
Bradley is dealing with a right Achilles' injury that has kept him sidelined for the past 16 games and 20 of the past 21.
 
The news is much better when it comes to the health of Jaylen Brown.
 
Brown missed the past three games, but said he was feeling better and would be traveling with the team to Toronto.
 
“I’m looking to play in Toronto,” he said.
 
The return of Brown can only help a Celtics team that’s looking to pick up where they left off prior to the break.
 
Boston’s ascension to the No. 2 spot in the East has been fueled by wins in 11 of the past 13 games.
 
Despite that success, Stevens knows all too well that a roster change of some sort could go down at any minute prior to today’s 3 p.m . trade deadline.
 
“When you’re in position where you’re playing at a pretty good level, you don’t anticipate much change,” Stevens said. “But certainly there could be small things; there may not be. At the end of the day, my job is to try and focus on the 15 guys that are here.”