From Comcast SportsNetNEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Three players fighting suspensions from the NFL's bounty investigation have told a federal judge they are comfortable with their representation by union lawyers and see no potential conflict of interest in the arrangement.The players written comments on Thursday came in response to an order a day earlier by U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, who lamented the failure of settlement talks and wrote that she was concerned there were competing agendas among lawyers on all sides in the dispute that were undermining the interests of the players.The judge asked whether it made more sense for New Orleans defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove to have separate lawyers, rather than the same lawyers representing the NFL Players Association.The NFLPA also filed a response in which it explained that it has been seeking to engage league lawyers in settlement talks, "and the NFL continued to refuse to do so, never making a single settlement offer to the Players."The union added that it also sees no conflict in representing the players, but will help them get their own attorneys if the court desires.The NFLPA, the three players, and Saints linebacker Jon Vilma, who has his own attorney, are claiming in their consolidated lawsuits that Commissioner Roger Goodell abused his authority and followed improper procedures in disciplining the players for a program that, according to NFL investigators, paid improper cash bonuses for tackles that injured opponents. The lawsuit seeks to have the punishment handed down by Goodell thrown out.Vilma was suspended the entire season, Hargrove for eight games, Smith for four games and Fujita three games.Earlier this week, the NFLPA asked for a temporary restraining order that would allow the three players it represents to rejoin their clubs while the case proceeds. Vilma made the same request in July, and Berrigan has yet to rule on either TRO request, but could potentially do so before the Saints and Browns open the regular season on Sunday.Meanwhile, Smith, who like other suspended players has been barred from practicing this week, issued a statement expressing his concern that the matter was not resolved already, with the Saints' opener against Washington only three days away."I am disappointed my playing status remains in limbo," Smith said. "Irreparable harm has already been levied on me and the players. We have been unfairly labeled and punished by this process. While we believe in mediation and settlement, the NFL has never expressed a genuine interest in a mediation process that would provide the players with a fair venue that could be trusted, nor made a settlement offer for us to professionally consider, at any time. That is why we have asked the court for just relief. It is my sincere hope to have this matter resolved as quickly as possible so I may return to my job, teammates and fans, as we take the field against the Redskins."When Berrigan ordered the players and the union to address her concerns about conflicts of interest regarding the players' legal representation, she also ordered the NFL to respond by Thursday to the union's request for a temporary restraining order on behalf of the three players it represents in the case.The league complied, stating that it opposes the NFLPA's TRO request for the same reason it opposed a similar request by Vilma.Those reasons included NFL arguments that Berrigan did not have jurisdiction over the matter because the league's labor agreement was collectively bargained. NFL attorneys also have argued that granting a restraining order would motivate more players to bring similar frivolous requests to the courts in an effort to delay punishment in subsequent disciplinary matters.
After dropping four straight games to the Cavs, including the NBA Finals, the Warriors came out firing Monday night at Oracle Arena. Golden State finished off Cleveland with a 126-91 rout.
Out of the gates, vengeance was felt in the building. The Warriors came out hitting on all cylinders, leading 78-49 at halftime.
Stephen Curry continued his recent resurgence, having his presence felt all over the floor. Curry ended with 20 points and 11 assists. Kevin Durant (21) and Klay Thompson (26) each tallied over 20 points as this scoring trio continues to grow. The three all scored at least 20 points in the same game for the 14th time this season.
Both Curry and Durant stayed on the bench for the whole fourth quarter.
Draymond Green came away with yet another triple-double while playing outstanding defense. Green notched 11 points to go with 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He also added five blocks.
Coming off the bench, Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 14 points while handing out five assists. Iguodala was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and made both of his free throw attempts.
LeBron James led the Cavs with 20 points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors improved to 35-6 on the season with the win.
OAKLAND -- Add a new conflict to the war between Draymond Green and Lebron James.
With 6:55 left in the second quarter of the Cavaliers-Warriors game at Oracle Arena on Monday, Green was assessed with a Flagrant Foul 1 after colliding with James, who was barreling toward the basket on a fast break.
Upon contact, James went down hard and remained face down for a few moments. Cleveland teammate Richard Jefferson confronted Green, with both men gesturing, though no actual blows were thrown.
The officiating crew, led by Ed Malloy, took several minutes to review the play and concluded that Green deserved a flagrant, while also slapping Green and Jefferson with double technical fouls for their mini-skirmish.
Though he outweighs Green by at least 20 pounds, James reacted to the collision with his head snapping back as the ball went flying out of his hands. He landed on his right side before turning face down to the floor.
Incensed at James’ reaction, Green mimicked a flop as he walked toward the Warriors bench.
This is the latest manifestation of the bad blood between Green and James, who were involved in a crucial play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals last season. That skirmish resulted in Green being suspended for Game 5.