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Notre Dame honors former player

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The Notre Dame football team paid tribute to their former defensive lineman Louis Nix III, who was found dead Saturday morning in his hometown of Jacksonville after being reported missing earlier in the week. He was 29 years old.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of our own, Louis Nix III,” the Fighting Irish football team’s official Twitter account posted Sunday. “We send our deepest condolences and love to his family, friends and football brotherhood.

“Forever in our hearts, Big Lou.”

Nix, who played for Notre Dame from 2010 to 2013, was reported missing by his mother on Friday. She said he was last seen leaving his father’s house in Jacksonville on Tuesday and that they usually speak frequently, so she told WJAX-TV that his lack of communication was out of the ordinary.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday night they had “located” Nix but did not release any additional information. A few hours earlier, authorities pulled a vehicle out of a pond that closely matched the description of Nix’s vehicle.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly posted a video compilation of interviews with Nix as well as some of his memorable on-field moments, writing, “Louis Nix, ‘Irish Chocolate,’ we carry these memories until we see you again.”

After leaving Notre Dame following the 2013 season, Nix was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He later was claimed off waivers by the Giants in September 2015 but only made it as far as the team’s practice squad. Nix also played on the Washington Football Team’s practice squad, as well as the Jaguars’.

In December 2020, Nix was shot while putting air in his tires during a gas station robbery but survived. His mother said she did not believe the incident was related to his disappearance, however, she did say he had been hesitant to leave his house ever since.

Nix underwent surgery after the shooting and wrote on Twitter that the bullet ricocheted off his sternum and into his lung.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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