DeSean Jackson basically admits to knowing and spending time with gang members but denies affiliation

DeSean Jackson basically admits to knowing and spending time with gang members but denies affiliation

DeSean Jackson appeared on Friday night's SportsCenter in a sit down interview with Stephen A. Smith that clarified a few questions but left us wondering more.

I don't think Smith did a particularly good job with DeSean, but he did get him to admit that he knows gang members and the response given when asked if he hangs out with them was perhaps the biggest nugget to come out of the whole thing:

Asked if he hangs out with gang members, Jackson said, "Not if they're doing negative things." He added that gangs were products of the environment in which he grew up and that he witnessed "things" on a daily basis.

"Do I know people who are involved? Yes," he said. "I'm definitely aware of and know certain gang members.

"But as far as being affiliated, never have been in one. I've always felt I've been a product of my environment, but I've always felt I've wanted to do things the right way."

Then they got into a discussion on the semantics of gang signs, which didn't appear to make a whole lot of sense to me. Jackson admitted he uses some sort of signage on occasion but again denied it was gang related, instead saying it was something he and people he grew up with do to relate to their roots; more of a cultural thing.

I don't think this interview really changed much of the perception of DeSean but it does clarify that he knew gang members and probably hung out with them in the past -- from the sounds of it, probably pretty recently too.

As for the Eagles? They didn't even give DeSean a legit reason for his release? Jackson made it seem like all Chip Kelly told him over the phone was that they'd chosen to go in a new direction. DeSean said his relationship with Chip was good but that Andy Reid was something of a father figure.

I don't think DeSean Jackson is a bad person underneath it all, but he did admit to being late to meetings and missing at least one during his time with the Eagles. Not exactly a fire-able offense. He hasn't always surrounded himself with the best people. At least we know he admitted to that now.

This interview didn't make me feel more one way or the other about the bizarre situation. How about you?

More at ESPN.com

Guess how Dave Spadaro felt about Zach Ertz not blocking for Carson Wentz

Guess how Dave Spadaro felt about Zach Ertz not blocking for Carson Wentz

Eagles fans were pretty livid earlier in the week when they saw Zach Ertz do what he could to avoid making a block for Carson Wentz.

Ertz, for his part, defended himself.

“I understand all the criticism and stuff,” Ertz said on Wednesday. “I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play. I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past. 

"I understand how it looks on the film, but I’m not going to get into the minute details of what I saw on the play and what I didn’t see on the play and how it impacted the play and vice versa. I’m focused on getting better. I know I’m far from a finished product as a tight end. I’m looking forward to this week against the Redskins.”

Dave Spadaro was a guest on Philly Sports Talk this week and was also asked about the play. Guess what he had to say? You can watch the video above.

 

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

NEW ORLEANS -- Of all the players Joel Embiid could be compared to, a similarity between a 7-foot-2, 270-something-pound center and a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard wouldn’t seem like a match.

That’s exactly what Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry sees, however, when looking at Embiid and reigning MVP Steph Curry.

“He’s different than anybody that’s been in this league in a long, long time,” Gentry said Thursday before the Sixers win over the Pelicans. “He’s a tremendous talent, he really is. I’ve never seen a guy that size, and with that kind of strength, that’s got such a soft touch. He shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry. It’s so soft when it leaves his hand.”

Curry is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three. Embiid is 45.8 percent from the floor is 44.2 percent from long range.

Embiid flashed a big smile and paused to react when hearing of Gentry’s praise. He had been feeling hard on himself after going 0 for 5 beyond the arc against the Pelicans (see story).

“Steph is probably one of the best shooters in the league right now," Embiid said. "So that compliment means a lot."