From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson was fined 25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for threatening Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in a Twitter post.Jackson posted the message after Ibaka and Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace got tied up during the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 114-108 victory on Friday night.The post has since been deleted, but multiple outlets reported it read: "Somebody tell serg Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That's a promise. He doin 2 much.""The recent public comments made by Stephen Jackson are absolutely unacceptable, cannot be tolerated and do not reflect the standards held by the San Antonio Spurs," Spurs general manager RC Buford said Sunday night in an emailed statement.The team said Jackson would be fined, but the punishment would "be imposed in consultation and coordination between the Spurs and the NBA."It was unclear if Jackson faced additional punishment from San Antonio in the wake of the NBA fine.Jackson apologized to Ibaka on Twitter on Sunday, calling his post "unprofessional and childish."Jackson has played for seven different teams in 13 seasons in the NBA. He is perhaps best known for his role in the Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004, which also involved World Peace -- then known as Ron Artest -- and resulted in a 30-game suspension for Jackson.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – When John Fox succeeded Marc Trestman as Bears coach early last year, at the top of his to-do list was changing what was a palpable losing culture that had come to hang over the organization and Halas Hall. That involved changes of personnel, practices and even to the point of placing an emphasis on winning preseason games, not simply treating them as evaluation exercises.
This year, attitude adjustment is the least of his concerns. Besides the improvements even amid a season that ended 6-10 but was within a pair of missed field goals of going past .500, the additions of critical players have brought with them exactly what Fox wants, beginning with inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, bringing a Super Bowl ring from the Denver Broncos.
“I’ve experienced a lot of new attitudes here the past few years,” said guard Kyle Long. “This is above and beyond my favorite attitude that we’ve adopted.
“People throw the word ‘culture’ around, [but] it’s just taking pride in what you’re doing. You don’t get paid to play. You get paid to win. I’ve heard John Fox say that a million times and I’m sure I’ll hear him say it 2 million times this year.”
Culture means nothing unless it translates into wins because of a collective mindset. Trevathan, linebacker Jerrell Freeman, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, offensive linemen Ted Larsen and Bobbie Massie – all came from going to the playoffs at least twice in the past four years, Freeman and Trevathan three times.
The change was particularly evident during offseason sessions when members of the defense worked at a practice level that initially irritated some on offense, with coaches even joining in the chirping.
“I’m all about attitude and hustle and just playing ball,” said Trevathan. “I don’t care what happened before. You can always make up for it, just go 100 miles per hour and have fun.
“This game is short. Your attitude carries over to the team. There’s a lot of time when a team’s down you put your head down. I hate that. Even if we’re down we’re going to fight until the end. That’s what it’s all about, having that band of brothers and that attitude and going to, I won’t say ‘war,’ but going out there and battling together.”
One word that surfaced from multiple players during offseason sessions was “hungry.” That was not something that was heard even as recent as last season despite the change in coaches. Without that as a starting attitude, mediocrity was not surprising in recent seasons.
“I think with this group the thing that kind of stands out is just how good a group a group of guys it is, and how important football is to them,” said quarterback Jay Cutler.
“I think you look at OTAs and you look at minicamp and you saw how competitive offense and defense and even special teams were. There weren’t any days where guys were laying off of it. Every single day, guys were getting after it trying to get better, and the competition level I felt was extremely high for being in OTAs and minicamp. Whether that’s gonna translate to wins, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”
The 2015 Bears training camp began with rookie wide receiver Kevin White hampered by what would eventually become a season-ending stress fracture of his leg. The 2016 Bears will have White back in uniform but they will start training camp without one of the linchpins of their defense, placing rush-linebacker Pernell McPhee on the physically unable to perform list after he had offseason surgery on his left knee and did not participate in on-field work through final OTA’s and minicamp.
Additionally, the Bears announced that recently signed guard Amini Silatolu, coming off ACL surgery surgery, will also open camp on PUP, along with wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who injured his foot during organized team activities last month.
McPhee, the primary free-agency signing by GM Ryan Pace last offseason, was third on the Bears with six sacks but played a decreasing percentage of defensive sacks as last season wore on. He was deactivated for the St. Louis and Washington games, returned but played no more than 27 snaps in any of the final three games.
The Bears worked to have him drop upwards of 10 pounds after playing last season at his then-customary mid-280s. That part of the program for McPhee was a success.
“He came in [at] a really good weight right now, really good shape right now,” Pace said. “We just got to acclimate himself into football activities so he’ll work with the trainers. … I know he’s been working hard over the summer so that’s very encouraging. And really in the OTAs, he wasn’t doing a lot of football stuff. He was doing stuff more on the side with our strength and conditioning coaches.”
McPhee is unlikely to play in preseason games although the Bears will not make that decision until closer to the start of games.
Jay Cutler spent his first seven seasons in Chicago with Matt Forte lined up behind him, but his eighth one will be a little bit different.
The 33-year-old quarterback reported to training camp in Bourbonnais on Wednesday knowing Forte isn't on his side anymore and knows it will take a collective effort to help ease the loss of a two-time Pro Bowler.
"You can't," Cutler responded when asked how you replace Forte. "Just his knowledge and him being here for so long and experience on the field, experience playing with me. Most times I didn't have to tell him something, I just look at him and he knew exactly what I was thinking, so you can't replace him.
"We've got a good group of young backs that we're going to develop and we're going to put as much time as we can into those guys, and they'll get there. It's a good group, it's a talented group, so we're still excited about what we have."
With the departure of Forte, Cutler knows he's become one of the most experienced players on the team, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
"I was looking at the roster weeks ago and I feel like there's been a major shift in experience, especially on the offensive side," Cutler said. "I'm at 11 (seasons in the NFL) and then you look down, there's a couple 9s, a couple 8s and then mostly it's five and under, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
"I think a new town, new guys in the building is new energy, new attitude, so I've embraced it, I've enjoyed it. I think the coaching staff has done a great job of getting all these young guys up to speed. It's a good group right now."
Check out the video of Cutler's interview from training camp above.