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IT40 People in the media for 02/24/2019

#2 Ja Rule Rule – Milwaukee Bucks halftime show – 2/23/19


Twitter took shots after Ja Rule's Bucks halftime show. Giannis took shots during it.


Well, it wasn't as disastrous as the Fyre Festival — but then again, few things are.

Rapper Ja Rule, one of the masterminds (to use the term extremely generously) behind the infamous music fest debacle in the Bahamas, was trending on Twitter Saturday night after his Milwaukee Bucks halftime show failed to "Mesmerize" the crowd.

Sporting a Ray Allen Bucks jersey, Ja Rule was booked for the team's " '90s Night" — even though everyone, Ja Rule included, would argue he's not a '90s artist.

"They said this is '90s night, so they brought out a 2000s artist," Ja Rule, who had his biggest hits in the early aughts, told the Milwaukee crowd at Fiserv Forum with a laugh. "But my album came out in '99 so I guess that counts."

It got more awkward from there. A few moments later, Ja Rule yelled out an "Are we ready?" rallying cry that seemingly failed to "Fyre" up the crowd. "I guess not," Ja Rule replied.

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Kevin O'Connor


Ja Rule had the greatest halftime performance ever ???

1,361 people are talking about this

To make matters worse, Giannis Antetokounmpo and some other Bucks players took to the court to fire off practice shots before Ja Rule's show was even over.

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Malika Andrews


There’s a good 3.5 minutes left of halftime, Ja Rule is mid-song and Giannis is already out shooting.

4,180 people are talking about this

Ja Rule's been subjected to a lot of ridicule after both Netflix and Hulu dropped heavily hyped Fyre Festival documentaries last month, so Twitter was eager to mock him once again.

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Ja Rule: “This is 90’s night but they brought out a 2000’s artist hahahahaha”


3,247 people are talking about this

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Big Bad Wolf@DashGetEm

Ja rule: Are you readaaaay..


Ja rule: .. I guess not

43 people are talking about this

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Cameron Grant@coolghost101

Ja Rule looking at the Internet.

160 people are talking about this

A couple of them referenced Ja Rule's ongoing nemesis 50 Cent.

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Not So Rudeboy@austin_j64

50 Cent watching the Ja Rule halftime show

2,172 people are talking about this

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BEAST TO MY BEAUTY ???@Scotty_Jo_Yung

50 leaving the Bucks game after seeing Ja Rule's 90s night performance.

40 people are talking about this

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"Ja Rule"
"Are we ready?"
"I guess not"

lol? even the players were shooting hoops while ja rule performed? erm? can you get off my god damn court?

50 cent be watching ja rule perform like?

53 people are talking about this

And you just know someone had to bring up the famous Fyre Festival cheese sandwiches.

Josiah Johnson


Ja Rule’s halftime performance be like

808 people are talking about this

Even the Minnesota Timberwolves, who played the Bucks Saturday, took a shot on their official Twitter account.



We too were hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!

2,220 people are talking about this

Ja Rule had a pretty hilarious (and possibly delusional) response to the team, tweeting, "You just jinx yourself talking to the GOD this way ... Your CURSED Now!!!"

Ja Rule


You just jinx yourself talking to the GOD this way... your CURSED NOW!!! You won’t win a championship for the next 30 years... AND KAT IS LEAVING!!! Apologize and I’ll lift the CURSE!!! ? kiss of death...



We too were hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!

View image on Twitter
1,957 people are talking about this

A couple of Ja Rule defenders at the game posted their own videos suggesting the reaction wasn't as tepid as the one viral clip would suggest — although these videos show the crowd definitely wasn't ecstatic either.



Ja Rule just did the @bucks 90s night halftime show and well... ?

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Listen to the crowd yall! Complex muted the crowd for retweets they Lame. And here i am defending Ja rule wtf goin on lmao pic.twitter.com/MPvzbPfM9M

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975 people are talking about this

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1,007 people are talking about this

As for Giannis and the Bucks doing practice shots while Ja Rule was still performing, the rapper suggested on Twitter that this was common practice at NBA halftime shows.

Ja Rule


Y’all act like this is not normal at halftime shows... y’all mad corny for this post!!!

Bleacher Report NBA


Giannis came out early to get up shots during Ja Rule’s halftime show ?

(via @julian_andrews)

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249 people are talking about this

Ja Rule also said the "I guess not" comment wasn't about the crowd, but was because his DJ was having technical issues.

"(The music) didn't come on when it was supposed to but I rocked that (expletive)," Ja Rule said on Twitter. "My win streak continues."

That's debatable, but the Bucks' win streak continued Saturday. The top-ranked team in the NBA beat the Timberwolves, 140-128.

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#3 Paul Pogba • Manchester United F.C. • Gary Neville • Manchester • José Mourinho • Ole Gunnar Solskjær • Liverpool F.C. ??? @manchesterunited @unicef_uk #united4unicef

Can Pogba be trusted by Man Utd long term? Neville expects transfer push at some stage

10:08 2/24/19


Getty Images
The former Red Devils defender believes the Frenchman and his agent will seek a switch elsewhere if current standards at Old Trafford are maintained

Paul Pogba has seen his long-term future at Manchester United questioned by Gary Neville, with the World Cup winner expected to push for a move elsewhere at some stage.

The France international was acquired by the Red Devils in a record-breaking deal during the summer of 2016.

He was returned to Old Trafford from Juventus, with Jose Mourinho moving to bring a former academy graduate back to familiar surroundings.

The Portuguese was unable to bring the best out of a World Cup-winning midfielder, but has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer succeed where he failed.

Pogba has been a talismanic presence under the Norwegian, but is now seeing a return to form spark further questions of his future.

A move was mooted while frustrated under Mourinho, but Neville believes a deal could also be sought by the 25-year-old and his representatives if his current form is maintained and his value continues to increase.

The former United defender told Sky Sports: “To be balanced on Pogba, for two years, £95 million, he gave the club nowhere near enough in terms of performance levels and his contribution.

“In the last two or three months he's playing like the player - to be fair - that they bought for £95 million, and he's an outstanding player when he plays like he is doing at the moment.

“But in the back of my mind the problems that we were witnessing in the first two years will emanate again at some point.

“I think that his agent will be into him and he'll want his next move away, he'll want his next pay off and that's my problem with it and that's the issue I have with it. His commitment to the club has got to be long term and it has got to be at the level that Manchester United paid £95 million for him.

“He's been brilliant, he's been outstanding, but this is only three months of football in the two-and-a-half years from the three seasons so let's keep it in balance.

“If he's playing like this in two years all of us will be sat here saying wonderful, fantastic things. My personal view is that his agent will be into him in the next transfer window, or two or three, and saying 'come on, we need to get over there now, we need to get over to there'.

“That's my worry with him; can he be trusted in the long term?”

Pogba’s current contract with United is due to run until the summer of 2021.

The Red Devils have a 12-month option in that agreement which will likely be triggered if no extension is agreed before that point.

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#4 Steven Gerrard • Liverpool F.C. • Dirk Kuyt • Rangers F.C. • Feyenoord • Premier League ?❤️?

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A post shared by Steven Gerrard (@stevengerrard) on

What Rangers boss Steven Gerrard told ex-Liverpool team-mate in private chat

RANGERS boss Steven Gerrard told former team-mate Dirk Kuyt he was 'absolutely determined' to leave his role as Liverpool Under-18s boss.

PUBLISHED: 09:22, Sun, Feb 24, 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17, Sun, Feb 24, 2019

Steven Gerrard: Dirk Kuyt is an incredible human being

Gerrard signed a four-year deal to become Rangers manager in May last year after quitting the youth role with his boyhood club.

Kuyt, who is expected to be named as Feyenoord's new boss at the end of the season after a successful stint in charge of the Rotterdam club's youth team, says that was allpart of Gerrard's long-term plan.

And he revealed it was Gerrard's decision to take the plunge in Scotland with Rangers last year that has convinced him to give coaching a crack.


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#5 Aymeric Laporte • Manchester City F.C. • Pep Guardiola • Premier League Aymeric Laporte signs a contract extension! ? The 24-years-old Frenchman joined in January 2018 and made 9 league appearances. This year he’s made 36 appearances in all competitions, appearing in every single Premier League game to date. I’m glad he stays here longer! ??

Laporte signs two-year contract extension with Man City

Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte in action. (Reuters pic)

BENGALURU: Manchester City centre back Aymeric Laporte has signed a two-year contract extension to extend his stay with the Premier League champions until the end of the 2024-25 season, the club said on Friday.

Laporte, 24, moved to City in January last year from La Liga side Athletic Bilbao for what was then a club-record fee of 57 million pounds (US$74.40 million).

“I could not be happier to commit my long-term future to Manchester City. Since the day I arrived here, I have been made to feel welcome by Pep and all the players,” Laporte told City’s website.

“This club offers me everything I need to improve my game. I’ve already made great strides and I want to continue getting better and better. I want to win silverware and I feel City is the best place to fulfil all my ambitions.”

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#6 Cameron Bancroft • Cricket • David Warner • Australia national cricket team • 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal • Ball tampering • Batsman !!!!!!! ?? Back with a bang!!!!!!! 138* in his first Sheffield Shield game after his return! Welcome back to Shield Cricket!.#CameronBancroft #WhatALegend #SheffieldShield #LoveHim Pics credits to – @cricketcomau and @waca_cricket.

Bancroft smacks unbeaten 138 on red ball return

Cameron Bancroft made a fine comeback to red ball cricket as he struck an unbeaten 138 for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield on Sunday.

Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft celebrates after getting to his century against New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield clash on Sunday.   -  TWITTER @WACA_CRICKET

Cameron Bancroft made an emphatic statement to Australian selectors Sunday by carrying his bat in an unbeaten 138 on his red ball return after a ball-tampering ban, while downplaying any rift with David Warner.

The 26-year-old opener completed his nine-month suspension for cheating in late December and has since played Twenty20 cricket for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

But his outing for Western Australia against New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield in Sydney was his maiden first-class match since the infamous 'sandpapergate' in Cape Town almost a year ago that rocked the game.

Bancroft was a measure of concentration and discipline as he played the anchor role to be 73 not out overnight and completed his patient ton on Sunday, smashing eight fours and three sixes in his 358-ball innings as his team collapsed around him. It helped steer Western Australia to 279 all out.

With the Ashes series against England looming this year, it was a timely knock with Australia struggling over the summer to find a consistent Test opener.

The Aussies tried Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, and Joe Burns to varying degrees of success ahead of the return of regular opener Warner and former Test skipper Steve Smith.

The pair are eligible to play again in late March after their one-year bans for the same ball-tampering incident expire.

In an explosive interview during the Boxing Day Test against India in December, Bancroft alleged it was Warner who asked him to alter the ball in South Africa.

Some pundits suggested he had thrown Warner “under the bus” and that their relationship was now untenable.

But Bancroft insisted they spoke regularly and had been supporting each other. “Yeah, I've spoken to Dave... I think all of us, including Dave, have been really challenged through this period of time,” he told broadcaster ABC on Saturday evening.

“I know that all three of us have really stuck by each other and looked after each other well. I guess moving forward there will be great lessons for all of us, including Dave.

“That's something we've all shared with each other and something I've certainly shared with Dave when we've communicated throughout this entire journey.”

Despite being criticised for the timing of his Boxing Day interview, Bancroft -- who will play for Durham in the English summer to further his Ashes chances -- said he had no regrets.

“There were some really powerful lessons I learned through my journey that I wanted others to connect and to share with,” he said.

“If other people were triggered by that, I guess that's their battle to face.

“But if I was able to touch people through some parts of my journey, and to help them I guess break through (in) their lives, that was my sole intention for that,” Bancroft said.

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#7 Joe Hart • Burnley F.C. • Tom Heaton • Sean Dyche • MLS • Manchester City F.C. • Manchester United F.C. • Goalkeeper Is it fair to say Joe Hart’s top-flight career over? ❌ Click bio link to read about it #sport #sports #sportsblog #blog #joehart #football #soccer #burnley #burnleyfootball #burnleyfc

Burnley goalkeeper Hart attracting MLS interest


Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart is attracting MLS interest.

The Sun says Columbus Crew need a keeper because Hart's old team Manchester City are signing Zack Steffen from them.

But Steffen, 23, is staying put until the summer so there is no immediate need for a replacement.

Hart, 31, could be open to a move across the Atlantic, on loan or permanently, as his Turf Moor chances are limited after being dropped for Tom Heaton.

Burnley are likely to let him go if his wages are covered as they have Arsenal target Nick Pope to compete with Heaton for the rest of the year.


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#8 Callum Hudson-Odoi • Chelsea F.C. • Maurizio Sarri • EFL Cup • FC Bayern Munich • Ruud Gullit ?⚽️

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A post shared by Callum Hudson-Odoi (@calteck10) on

Callum Hudson-Odoi as talented as Kylian Mbappé, claims Olivier Giroud

The Chelsea striker expects great things from the youngster who reminds him of his World Cup-winning teammate

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud spent his summer playing alongside Kylian Mbappé in the French national that ended up winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Giroud made headlines by completing the rare feat of not scoring a single goal as the starting center forward on the winning team (not even a shot on target!), but thanks in part to his partnership with Mbappé (and Antoine Griezmann), Les Blues were able to beat all who stood before them to lift international football’s greatest prize for the second time in their history.

After the summer and back at Chelsea, Giroud eventually found his goalscoring boots, especially in the Europa League, including in both legs of Chelsea’s Round of 32 triumph over Malmö FF. In the second leg, on Thursday, Giroud started alongside young Callum Hudson-Odoi and had some lovely words for him in the post-match interviews after they both got on the scoresheet in Chelsea’s 3-0 win.

In the interview with BT Sport, Giroud called the youngster “very humble”. But in his interview with French television, Giroud went far above that.

“Callum is one of the [great] hopes of English football; he is only 18 years old. I saw him start a little over a year ago when I arrived in Chelsea when he was just 17 years old, and he is a very talented player, a bit like Kylian (Mbappé). They were a bit of the same age when they started to blaze, now it’s true he needs play time to progress.”

The power void that will be left behind by the stars of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo slowly fading away will eventually filled by the likes of Mbappé.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia FinalPhoto by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Can Hudson-Odoi join that new elite? Many think he has the talent to do so, including Giroud.

“He is very talented, now it’s up to him to continue working and to give himself the means. To picture it, I would say that he is a rough diamond that must be polished. Of course Kylian is ahead, he has proved a lot more at his age so it is not comparable [but] there are good reasons for hope about [Callum].

There is certainly plenty of hope for Callum, there’s no problem there, but we all know he also needs playing time, trust, and faith — just like Mbappé, now 20, got in Monaco when he was 18. Giroud knows it’s not an easy situation, but has no doubt about Hudson-Odoi shining through eventually.

“There is a lot of competition in his job: Eden, who is our best player and who plays every game, Willian, Pedro... So there is a lot of competition. But I think that by training with these kind of players everyday, he learns a lot and I think he will go very high, like Kylian.”

-Olivier Giroud; source: beIN Sport via Le10 Sport (translated)

Whether those heights will be hit in Chelsea blue, Bayern red, or some other color and team is the big question of course. But with Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban expected to come into effect after the summer (after the appeals process runs its course), keeping Hudson-Odoi has become an even bigger priority.

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#9 Ian McKinley • Italy national rugby union team • Goggles • Six Nations Championship • Leinster Rugby • Guinness PRO14 New Project for @isc_italiansportconsulting & @ianmck7 ? Grazie @mcfit_ @mcfit_it ?#isc #iscteam #iscathletes #scnf #ianmckinley #Repost @mcfit_it with @get_repost・・・S.C.N.F., ovvero: “Second Chance Never Forget”. Quattro parole che hanno un valore enorme per @ianmck7 , giocatore della nazionale italiana di rugby, campione nello sport come nella vita. #ProudToBeMcFIT #campioni #rugby #treviso #repost #regram

Who is Ian McKinley, and why does Italy rugby ace wear goggles?

ITALY are hoping for a successful Six Nations campaign – and there's a new star in their ranks.

Fly-half Ian McKinley made his debut for the Azzurri late in 2017, but his road to international rugby was a long one – as he prepares to face his home country.

Who is Ian McKinley, and why does Italy rugby ace wear goggles?Reuters2 McKinley made his debut for Italy in late 2017
Who is Ian McKinley?

BORN in Dublin in 1989, McKinley began his career in rugby at Landsdowne before taking up pro forms with Leinster.

But after just six games for the five-time Pro14 champions, he was forced to retire from rugby union after losing the sight in his left eye after being caught by a stray boot.

After retirement, he headed to Italy to work as a coach, before eventually getting back playing the sport thanks to the help of protective goggles.

Since 2013 he has played for third division side Leonorso Udine, Viadana, Zebre and currently is on the books at Benetton.

As McKinley had never featured for the senior Ireland before his initial retirement, he qualifies for Italy having spent more than three years in their league system.

He made his debut for the Azzurri in November 2017, coming on as a sub against Fiji.

Who is Ian McKinley, and why does Italy rugby ace wear goggles?Reuters2 The fly-half is hoping to help Italy to a successful Six Nations campaign
Why does Italy rugby star wear goggles?

THE goggles worn by McKinley help protect his right eye from injury.

On his comeback, he told the Guardian how an opponent twice gouged at his good eye, prompting him to take up the protective eyewear.

He said: "I don’t want that to be the main point but [the gouging incident is] actually the reason I wear the goggles. I think it’s important that people know that.

"I’m happy when people refer to me as Ian McKinley, they don’t refer to me as ‘the goggle guy’ because maybe that’s what it was like at the start."


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#10 Martin Truex Jr. • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series • Kyle Busch • Atlanta Motor Speedway • NASCAR In Colorado for a 5hr energy commercial shoot today. I took a break and caught a trout. #giant

Martin Truex Jr.: With new rules, we've seen the last of a 'Big Three'


February 24, 2019 3:07am ESTFebruary 24, 2019 3:07am ESTNASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kevin HarvickThe 2017 Cup champion says it's unlikely that NASCAR will see a repeat of what he, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch accomplished in 2018: a combined 20 wins in 36 points races.

Martin Truex Jr.(Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga. — As the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series gets into full swing, the concept of a "Big Three" might be defunct.

At least that's what Martin Truex Jr. thinks.

Last season, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick won eight races each, and Truex added four as the so-called "Big Three" grabbed the trophies in 20 of the 36 points races in NASCAR's premier series.

All three drivers qualified for the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, only to lose the title to late bloomer Joey Logano.

With a new higher-downforce, lower-horsepower competition package in place for the 2019 season, however, Truex doubts that any three drivers will combine to win more than half the races.

"Unfortunately, yeah, I believe that's correct," Truex said with a wry smile during a media session Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, host venue for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (2 p.m. ET; Fox, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

"Again, it's all speculation. I don't know until we get going. You're still going to have teams figure it out better than others. Whether we're one of those, we'll have to wait and see."

Not only are the new rules designed to keep the cars closer together, but Truex expects the package to accentuate the unique characteristics that distinguish one track from the next.

Consequently, what works at one intermediate speedway — Las Vegas, for example — may not be an optimal solution at Texas or Chicagoland.

"Oh, yeah, it'll be different everywhere," predicted Truex, who won eight races during his 2017 championship season. "The package is going to look a little different depending on the track we're at and what we're able to do with it.

"Here (at Atlanta) it's so worn out and so rough and bumpy, it's hard to . . . in order to get through the corners, you kind have to have some air on your car. Next week (at Las Vegas), we'll definitely be drafting — at least that's what everyone is kind of thinking."

The first test of the new package comes Sunday, and to Truex, it's still a vast unknown.

"Nobody has any idea about anything," he said. "I think pretty much all teams had more questions going into practice (Friday) than any time I can remember in the sport, maybe back to when we first ran the Car of Tomorrow (in 2007).

"It was just there were so many questions and so many different ways you can do this. There's so many different options to set the car up aero-wise and different things. A lot of questions and only an hour and 20 minutes of practice, so still a lot to learn.

"We go to Phoenix (a one-mile flat track on March 10), and it's going to be totally different again with more horsepower, so, yeah, we're going to learn a lot through the first five races with the different race tracks and then try to figure it out and go from there."

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