Like Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ray Allen before him, LeBron James is dipping his toes in the world of acting. This summer, he has a prominent role in the new Judd Apatow film "The Trainwreck," where he will star alongside comedy giants Bill Hader and Amy Schumer.

That taste of the big screen has James looking ahead to future roles. James is hopeful that in the future, he'll be able to take on more diverse parts and become a more accomplished film star.

That includes starring in comedies, action-adventure movies, and, yes, even superhero films.

"I always talked about it as a kid, and even as an adult," James told Rachel Nichols. "I was like, 'Wow, you know, I always wanted to be the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And then when I got older, the Bad Boys movies, I was like, 'I would love to do an action movie.'

"Either be, like, a cop or something, or be, like, Batman. Hopefully I can do some more things. Maybe, we'll see."

He may be wet behind the ears still in terms of being a film star, but LeBron could probably do just as well as other actors to step into the world of superhero movies.

After all, Val Kilmer was Batman long ago. Halle Berry made a terrible Catwoman movie. He'd have to try pretty hard to set a new low in the genre.

You can watch the full interview here:


LeBron James talks basketball, Batman and Bed Bath & Beyond as he and the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals.

Posted by Rachel Nichols on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For most people, a hole-in-one is a euphoric thing, a ticket to 15 minutes of fame. For Brian Butler, it's something more like a sucker punch.

The Boston College golfer was participating in a one-day professional golf tournament when he sunk a hole-in-one to his own surprise. The ace came at the 18th hole of a new par-3 course in Rhode Island, from a distance of 158 yards.

The accomplishment garnered him a $10,000 prize from the tournament's organizers. But Butler was then faced with a decision to make.

The senior-to-be would make himself ineligible to play at the college level if he accepted the money. So, to satisfy NCAA rules, he opted to give the money back.

"I'm not going to give up my last year of college golf for $10,000," Brian Butler said to Golfweek. It's a smart move going by the simple math: $10,000 isn't even half of the value of his golf scholarship, which he would have lost.

Still, every man has his price. Butler was playing in the pro tournament with full awareness that a great performance could earn him a ticket into a tournament qualifier. Should a hole-in-one happen at the qualifier, that $10,000 prize becomes $1 million. Would have forced him to reconsider?

"That," he said, "would probably be a different story."

Butler's 3-over 57 did earn him one of two spots in the main event, which offers a purse of $102,000. Only $25,000 of that goes to the winner, though, so even a win is likely to be turned down in favor of one more season at Boston College.

But only because the NCAA is forcing him to choose.

You know what, though, it could be worse -- much worse. You could be the guy who missed a $1 million hole-in-one by one single inch:

Kerri Walsh Jennings is a three-time gold medalist in Olympic beach volleyball. Most consider Walsh Jennings and her former partner, Misty May-Treanor, the best team of all time. Walsh Jennings is preparing to make another run at gold in 2016 with new partner April Scott. Walsh Jennings has the challenge of training while being the mom of three: Joey (almost 6), Sundance (almost 5) and Scout (just turned 2).

***

ThePostGame: Talk a little about what you're doing with Tempur-Pedic.
KERRI WALSH JENNINGS: I'm really part of this partnership simply because it’s so authentic. Their message is something that I absolutely aspire to live by and that's promoting the importance of sleep. With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s also celebrating the moms out there and expressing our gratitude for all those sleepless nights. We're hoping to remedy that with a mattress by Tempur-Pedic. I'm just really proud to be with them because as an athlete, my life is I'm an athlete and a mommy. I'm trying to be the best on and off the court. A good night’s sleep is absolutely imperative to what I’m doing. Body, mind and spirit. I don't run very well when I don't have a good night's sleep. And so I'm really proud of this partnership. We’re promoting the importance of those moments of sleep that you can get with Tempur-Pedic.

TPG: I know Tempur-Pedic has put together a video promotion. What are they doing with that?
WALSH JENNINGS: The video is amazing and hopefully you can check it out at tempurpedic.com. I have seen it a couple times and I cry every time. They surprise the moms. They come in saying that they will be interviewed for a quiz show and they flip the show and it comes out the family members talking about how great they are as mothers and how they are appreciated. And at the end of it each mom is gifted with a Tempur-Pedic bed. The raw emotion and the appreciation of the mothers who are recognized for their love and their hard work and their sacrifice. It's really wonderful. The message at the end that the gift of sleep is such a beautiful gift. It's the gift of wellness and health at the end of the day and I think it really resonates with everybody.

TPG: Transitioning to you, how do you balance taking care of your kids and training and preparing for the next Olympics?
WALSH JENNINGS: I want this with all my heart. My heart is in it as a mommy. Obviously, being a mother is my hardest battle and I love it with all my heart. It inspires me. Combine that with the love I have for my career, which I've had since I was 10 years old. I love the game of volleyball. I'm truly living a blessed life. I'm surrounded by amazing partners, Tempur-Pedic being one of them, who have helped me chase my dreams and support my dreams. My husband is the ultimate team player and partner in that we are both chasing these huge dreams, we're doing together alongside our kids. Our support system outside of our family is beautiful as well. It’s just really wonderful and we only aspire for balance. I feel like if your heart is taken care of, your body is taken care of, your mind is at ease, you'll be to handle the obstacles that come at you in life. I feel like I'm so rich in those areas.

TPG: With three young kids, how many sleepless nights have you had over the last few years?
WALSH JENNINGS: I can't even begin to tell you. The saga of my sleepless nights. It's mostly just interrupted sleeps, but that's why it’s so important to have an amazing mattress and that’s why I’m such a big advocate for the Tempur-Pedic. If you have a beautiful bed that's going to help you get a good night’s sleep, even it’s a solid four hours, that’s really important. My life as a mommy is absolutely full of interrupted nights of sleep and short nights of sleep. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. This partnership with Tempur-Pedic has allowed the sleep I do get to be great.

TPG: What is your ideal Mother's Day?
WALSH JENNINGS: In all honesty, I would love to sleep in. It's my ultimate guilty pleasure. Nine o'clock would be a dream. Anything after that, I just want to be with my family. I travel so much for my job, I'm away from home too much and I can't bring my kids with my everywhere. I just want to come with me and enjoy our little community and just hang out. And I definitely want to reach out to my mom. Tempur-Pedic is actually gifting my mother a Tempur-Flex mattress so on Sunday I can give her a call and talk with her and see her face. Hopefully it'll be a re-creation of the videos that Tempur-Pedic made so I can see some happy tears and some love to my mom.

TPG: How has your mom helped you grow to the person you are today?
WALSH JENNINGS: My mom is literally my hero. I'm surrounded by such inspiring, empowered people and my mom is at the top of the list. She’s like an angel on Earth. … She’s my ultimate role model, but like so many moms out there, and crazed parents, she certainly doesn’t get enough sleep, so this is a gift that I'm really glad to give to her. A gift a sleep. I can’t begin to say enough. Yesterday, this is how rad she is. She threw the first pitch out at the San Francisco Giants ballpark. She’s still an athlete and still having so much fun with her life and taking care of her family. That sums up my mom.

TPG: What did your mom teach you about having kids of your own?
WALSH JENNINGS: She showed me the way. My mom is the ultimate role model in that she is one of the examples of how to be a great person, how to be a great mommy. She has and always will be my biggest advocate, my biggest fan and biggest supporter. Her faith in me is infinite. She’s also my toughest critic. She is always there for me and she’s very consistent with her love and her discipline and all these things. Everything that is required to be a parent, she was that. I'm 36 years old right now and she still cares for me like I'm a little girl and I definitely hope to do that for my kids.

TPG: Are you hoping to see your kids succeed in sports, or volleyball in general?
WALSH JENNINGS: Yeah, our oldest, Joey, just started taking volleyball lessons and it's the cutest thing in the world, which makes me really proud that our boy is getting into it as well. But ultimately, we absolutely want them to play sports and be on a team because you learn so much through sports with teamwork and all that. If that doesn't suit them, to be in a band or to be in some type of club where they are interacting with each other and being challenged. I think that’s the most important thing. I can't wait to see where their interests take them.

TPG: You played with teammates who have had children. Do they deal with the same struggles? Do you talk about it and help each other?
WALSH JENNINGS: Yeah. I feel like the challenges that I face as a parent are so similar and so universal to all the parents out there. It's the work, it’s the stress, it’s the worry about paying for your kids' school and are they in the right school and eating well enough? I feel like it's a universal thing. And so girls are really good at commiserating. We're good at talking to each other and leaning on each other. My girlfriends have some of the same parental strategies as me. My husband has definitely been the biggest [supporter] for me, aside from my parents, in raising our kids and doing good on the same page and doing it right.

TPG: What would you tell any mom, Olympic athlete or not, that is going through the struggle of raising kids?
WALSH JENNINGS: I would say take a deep breath and always focus on the positive. I feel like if you bring gratitude to any situation then that situation becomes manageable. In all honesty, even if this weren't about my partnership with Tempur-Pedic, I'd say take care of yourself and get good sleep. I feel like when you get a good night’s sleep you're fortified to the day’s challenges and the challenges of raising your kids. It's a simple thing in our control. There's really no excuse for not taking the bull by the horns in terms of sleep. At least get quality sleep when you’re getting it. That doesn’t necessarily mean quantity, but quality. And Tempur-Pedic is the best way to go with that.

TPG: How excited are you for 2016?
WALSH JENNINGS: I don't have the words. The Olympic qualifying season is here and has begun. I love this time where you're aspiring to become an Olympian and after that you're aspiring to be a gold medal hopeful. I'm having some much fun. [April Scott] and I have amazing coaches and trainers and amazing support systems so we're going for gold and we have a long road ahead of us. We’re excited about the challenges and we’re excited to make our dreams come true.

If you assumed the San Antonio Spurs would be moping at home after losing in the first round of the playoffs, guess again. Just days after a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Clippers, the team was back in action -- playing paintball.

According to a photo tweeted out Wednesday, the Spurs are managing to take their loss in stride. Almost the entire team got together for a paintball outing in Texas.


According to @ricardoza, who posted the photo, the entire team attended the paintball fest except for Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli and Kawhi Leonard.

This isn't the first time the Spurs have gone paintballing -- Tim Duncan is an avid fan of the sport, and his interest has clearly spread across the team -- he has invited the team out for paintballing on at least one prior occasion. Here's past Spurs teammate Michael Finley describing Duncan's invitation from years earlier (according to Project Spurs):

"He invited the whole team out for paintball once, but I had never played. I called him to ask him what we have to wear. He said long pants and a long-sleeve shirt 'so it can protect you from the paint.' But he showed up in a tank top, shorts and knee pads.

When I asked him why, he said: 'Well, I'm not gonna get hit.'"

The Spurs in general have maintained great off-court camaraderie over the years, hosting parties and other events that you'd expect from a junior-high YMCA team much more than an NBA club. Feel a little sorry for them going out in the first round, but don't feel too sad -- they're doing just fine.

The Seattle Mariners had been one of the few Major League Baseball teams maintaining a presence in Venezuela. But this year, the club has vacated its presence: The academy it was running in the South American club has been abandoned.

The Mariners are hardly setting any trends, though. For years, MLB teams have been pulling out of Venezuela. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, increased crime, political and economic turmoil, and heightened risk for anyone doing business in the country -- not to mention the safety of those individuals -- has triggered an exodus among baseball teams.

At its peak, Venezuela had more than 20 MLB teams maintaining a constant presence in the country, running academies and developing prospects. Now, that number has dwindled to just four teams: The Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies.

It's saying something when MLB teams decide the rewards of working in Venezuela aren't worth the considerable risk. Venezuelan talent has a huge presence in Major League Baseball: 65 players from the South American country began the 2015 season on MLB rosters, second only to the Dominican Republic in terms of the talent making the jump to the U.S.

Shutting down operations in Venezuela means that teams will have a much harder time finding that talent. Without academies to nurture promising athletes, Venezuela's baseball exports are poised to suffer a sharp decline.

That will hurt MLB's on-field product, but maybe not as much as it would seem. The loosening restrictions between the United States and Cuba could provide an influx of previously inaccessible baseball talent. Cuban prospects could effectively take the place of Venezuelan players, helping Major League Baseball maintain its caliber of play.

But the transition will not be smooth, and it will undoubtedly mean that possible MLB stars will be missed. Venezuela has produced numerous stars in MLB, including 2014 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera.

Even so, MLB teams are wary of the situation. Last year, political unrest and protest resulted in 40 deaths in the country, and prompted Venezuelan players playing in MLB to call for peace. But such violence is far from isolated in the country. Meanwhile, anyone with connections to money is at risk of being robbed or kidnapped and held for ransom. The situation is so dire that many Venezuelan MLB players no longer go back home over the offseason.

Until the situation resolves itself, Venezuela's MLB pipeline could soon run dry.

"Those academies helped us to be here," said Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who came through the Twins’ Venezuela academy. "Now, it's very hard for all those kids who want to play this sport. The doors are closing for their dreams."

As the 27th pick in the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, Byron Jones became the newest member of America's Team. Perhaps that's fitting because he has already worked for America's Government.

In the summer of 2013 summer, before starting his redshirt junior season as a defensive back at Connecticut, Jones interned in Hartford for Connecticut's House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (his AAU basketball coach) and in Washington for U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

"It was an eye-opening experience," Jones told Mass Live after the internship. "I went to hearings, briefings, took notes on behalf of the congresswoman. I gave tours of the U.S. Capitol.

"It was fascinating."

The internship was no joke. After the Newtown shooting tragically took over Connecticut politics, a delegation from the city went to Washington to argue for gun control legislation. Esty tabbed Jones as the delegation's escort.

"He has real presence and maturity and a combination of good humor and a calming presence, which is very important in a congressional office," Esty said. "He managed things with maturity and grace, and I was very impressed with his knowledge, intelligence and his people skills."

Fast-forward to Thursday night when Jones put on a Cowboys hat and got a congratulatory tweet from Esty.



It might have been a cringe-worthy sight for many in Washington, but Jones was understandably excited about heading to Dallas.

"When you understand the history that those guys have down there, can't wait to be a part of it for sure," said Jones, who was born in New Britain, Conn., and went to St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, right around the corner from ESPN.

Of course, the Cowboys are more about business than politics. In recent years, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have dealt with considerable off-the-field problems with players such as Dez Bryant, Joseph Randle and Josh Brent.

Jones, on the other hand, showed why he is an economics major when asked what he'll be buying with his new contract.

"I'll probably go buy some candy," Jones said. "I'm a big candy person. I don't really drink, but I'll eat some candy now. Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, whatever it may be."

Whether he chooses business or politics after his NFL career, he will need to find an interesting line of work to keep up with his brother. The oldest, Nathan, is an engineer in Connecticut, and two others are in the military.

"One is a deep sea diver for the Navy," Jones said. "He's in Bahrain, right next to Saudi Arabia, and my Marine, he's down in North Africa at the moment, but I was able to talk to them before I went up on the stage, so it was nice."

Nathan was able to make it to Chicago for the draft. So did his parents, who have been married 31 years. "[They're] a great example of what it's like to be a man, what it's like to be an adult," Jones said.

Also in Jones' entourage Thursday night were the two individuals who housed him during his tenure in Washington. Jones arrived in their basement two years ago, and this week, they made it to the Auditorium Theatre Green Room.

"The first time I met them was when I went down to Virginia to see them and they took me right in and took care of me," Jones said.

After a disastrous first pitch Monday, Tom Brady has returned to his natural position on the baseball diamond.

The New England Patriots quarterback threw out the first pitch at Boston's home opener, and he couldn't get over the plate at Fenway Park. David Ortiz still managed to catch it, but seeing as he is a superstar quarterback hailed for his golden arm, Brady understandably took some flack for his inaccuracy.


In his defense, Brady was a catcher during his high school days.



In a recent post on Facebook, where he has established himself as one of the funniest and most clever pros, Brady took a dig at his poor performance:


Going to stick to catcher and leave the throwing to the football field...

Posted by Tom Brady on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brady was much more accurate on the gridiron than on the mound, and the 37-year-old threw just nine interceptions in 2014. Only Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith and Russell Wilson had fewer than that.

More than two years before winning a national championship and installing himself as a part of Buckeye lore, Cardale Jones had some thoughts on going to school: Namely, that he shouldn't be forced to go to classes when he's clearly there to play football.

Jones obviously understood the NCAA system in all of its intricacies, which define Jones' value as a football player to be far exceeding his value as a student. So why attend class? Well, to keep up the charade, but also because that's the entire point of going to college.

Also, people get very mad when you make a great point about the double-standards of college athletics, even if you did so accidentally. At any rate, Jones decided to apologize for his previous statements.




According to the school's athletics website, Jones is an African-American studies major. After rising from the third-string in preseason to starter by the end of the year, and leading Ohio State to a national championship in the first year of the College Football Playoff, Jones briefly considered declaring for the NFL draft.

Ultimately, he decided he had more improvements to make in his game before jumping to the pros. In other words: He's back at Ohio State to prep himself for the NFL, but sure, he'll play along with the academic stuff if it keeps everyone's pants on.

Still, his reformed thinking on the value of education didn't stop Jones from insisting that economics, like talent, can't be taught:


So what you're saying is, school really is pointless.

Thanks to therapy started during her team-mandated 30-day suspension from soccer, Hope Solo now says she has a better grasp on her anger issues and better tools to cope with her struggles.

The star goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's National Team wrote a blog post on her personal website titled, "A Promising Start," that details her struggles and growth since she and her husband, Jerramy Stevens, were pulled over by police while driving a team vehicle.

Stevens, who was behind the wheel, was booked for a DUI, while police reports detailed Solo's rude comments and threats slung at police officers.

Solo describes how, after rejoining the team following a 30-day suspension, she emailed her teammates to discuss how she had handled that time off, as well as to apologize for her behavior.

"I told them that for the first time in my life, I'd been seeing a therapist and dealing with a lot of my issues, and finally addressing all the pain and anger that was inside of me," Solo writes. "Twice a week, I also worked with an Eastern medicine healer in Seattle who had incredible experience helping some of the greatest athletes perform at the highest levels. He really helped me see things in a different light.

"I wanted them to know that I hadn’t just taken 30 days off. Ultimately, I wanted to be a better person and teammate, and that’s what I’d been focused on."

She also acknowledged the change and adjustments the entire team was facing, as well as Solo herself. A new coach, new teammates and new outside pressures to perform were taking a toll on the team. Solo said that this, combined with her own personal strife that included a court case for a domestic violence charge, had her spending many nights in tears before her suspension.

Upon returning, she vowed to help the team reach its goals and win a World Cup this summer -- no matter the adversity or the challenges. Her teammates were on board.

"I think it was something that needed to be said, and it was awesome to see everybody’s responses back," Solo writes. "Some were a little bit more sentimental about it, and other people were like, 'Hell yeah, let’s do this.'"

Some NFL players spend their offseason working out. Others travel around the world. Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has done both while also getting an article published in a math journal.

Urschel, the Ravens' 2014 fifth-round pick who graduated from Penn State with 4.0 GPA, also happens to be a brilliant mathematician. This week he and several co-authors published a piece titled "A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians" in the Journal of Computational Mathematics. You can read the full piece here.

If that title left you wanting more, here's the summary of the paper:

"In this paper, we develop a cascadic multigrid algorithm for fast computation of the Fiedler vector of a graph Laplacian, namely, the eigenvector corresponding to the second smallest eigenvalue. This vector has been found to have applications in fields such as graph partitioning and graph drawing. The algorithm is a purely algebraic approach based on a heavy edge coarsening scheme and pointwise smoothing for refinement. To gain theoretical insight, we also consider the related cascadic multigrid method in the geometric setting for elliptic eigenvalue problems and show its uniform convergence under certain assumptions. Numerical tests are presented for computing the Fiedler vector of several practical graphs, and numerical results show the efficiency and optimality of our proposed cascadic multigrid algorithm."

Memorizing a playbook must have been a piece of cake a this guy whose Twitter handle is @mathmeetsfball.

When he's not protecting Joe Flacco, the 23-year-old Urschel enjoys digging into extremely complicated mathematical models. In a recent article for The Players' Tribune, Urschel discussed his varied interests.

"I am a mathematical researcher in my spare time, continuing to do research in the areas of numerical linear algebra, multigrid methods, spectral graph theory and machine learning. I’m also an avid chess player, and I have aspirations of eventually being a titled player one day."

Urschel somehow found the time to compete in a chess tournament earlier this month:


While at Penn State, Urschel helped teach a math class:

There must be something about brilliant offensive linemen and the Baltimore Ravens. Before Urschel arrived, Harvard graduate Matt Birk manned the line for Baltimore.

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