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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- In a rare outburst, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen on
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- In a rare outburst, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen on Friday criticized the team for not paying his salary this season and threatened to skip the final two races of the season in protest. Rashaan Evans Jersey . Speaking after the second practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the former F1 champion said he had to be persuaded to race here and added that he is still upset about a tense exchange with a member of the technical staff at last weekends Indian GP. "Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you dont have the interests of the team (at heart) -- but you have been paid zero euro(s) the whole year," said Raikkonen, who is usually reluctant to speak to media. Raikkonen, who is joining Ferrari next season, added that he would consider skipping the United States GP and Brazilian GP if he does not receive his money. "For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving, but a big part of it is business. Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation," he said. "You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that ... it is not really my fault." Raikkonens comments came just hours after Lotus chairman Gerard Lopez has played down the rift between Raikkonen and trackside operations director Alan Permane last Sunday. In blunt terms, Raikkonen was told over the race radio by Permane not to hold up teammate Romain Grosjean. Raikkonen skipped media duties on Thursday, which fueled speculation about growing unrest, and the 34-year-old Finnish driver confirmed that he came close not to racing in Abu Dhabi. "I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having," Raikkonen said. "Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can." Although the argument with Permane was not the main factor in his decision to speak out, Raikkonen said it did upset him. "It is a part of it. It is true those things should not happen but they have happened," Raikkonen said. "(But) that is not really the issue. It is all the other stuff." The 2007 champion is also annoyed that his loyalty to the team has been questioned despite him racing without pay. "It doesnt put you in the best place," he said. "That is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now." Only hours earlier, Lopez insisted all was fine. "Recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship," Lopez said Friday. "It certainly wasnt the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen." Lopez did acknowledge, however, that the financial situation was poorly handled. "For a long time we had the opportunity to keep him in our hands, but we werent able to operate to the timeframe -- or make the offer -- that Ferrari were able to do," Lopez said. "For me this brought sadness, as its like a prodigal son leaving us." Lopez also praised the influence that Raikkonen has had on Grosjean -- the Frenchman who has hit form late into the season with three consecutive third-place finishes. "Had Romain been next to a more junior driver, or a less capable driver, we probably would still not know how good Romain is," Lopez said. "For Romain to be delivering the results he is doing so now, its really very much because he is driving next to probably one of the best Formula One drivers ever. Kimi has been a tremendous help." Lotus still has an outside shot at finishing second behind Red Bull in the constructors championship. Mercedes, with 313 points, and Ferrari, with 309, are in a stronger position while Lotus stands at 285. "The only reason were fighting for second is because of all the points that Kimi has scored," Lopez said. Raikkonen is third overall behind Fernando Alonso and recently-crowned world champion Sebastian Vettel. Blaine Gabbert Jersey . There are some early surprises in the race for the Hart Trophy, but two of the contenders are the leagues biggest stars over the past decade. There are many more players in contention for the awards than just the three that Ive named, and a good or bad week can easily alter the landscape, but through the first 20 or so games of the NHL season, this is how the awards races look to me. Luke Stocker Titans Jersey . The roster changes have been constant and continuous since late last year, but even with their 46-man roster set for the start of the season, the banged-up Bombers will be kicking off Week 1 with a handful of fresh faces and back-ups in the starting lineup. http://www.authenticfootballshoptitans.c...ns-jersey/ . New York secured second place in the Metropolitan Division when the Philadelphia Flyers lost at Tampa Bay later Thursday. The Rangers will face either the Flyers or Columbus in the opening round of the post-season. The Rangers struggled throughout against the lowly Sabres and goalie Matt Hackett, who played in just his seventh NHL game of the season.CLEVELAND - With just over a minute remaining in a three-point contest, Kyrie Irving, Clevelands lethal late-game weapon, barrelled into the lane as Kyle Lowry stood in his way, positioned above the restricted area. Mired in an offensive slump, Lowry - the NBAs leader in taking charges this season - did what he has learned to do best, standing his ground and drawing a crucial offensive foul on the Cavaliers all-star point guard. Fast forward 30 seconds to the Cavs next possession, with the home team still trailing by three, Spencer Hawes - one of the leagues best passing big men - threw an interception, intended for Tyler Zeller and picked off by DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors two best players, their two leading scorers, made the two most important plays of Tuesdays 99-93 win over Cleveland. That much is not unusual. Of note though is both of those plays came on the defensive end. "Those defensive plays are deflation plays for the opposition," said Lowry, who struggled with his shot, hitting just three of 15 attempts from the field and misfiring on all nine of his jumpers from three-point range. "Its definitely fun to step up for the team in those situations." Lowry didnt think twice when faced with a split-second decision, one hes made time and time again in high-pressure situations during his breakout campaign. "Those are winning plays," he said, asked about the art of drawing a charge, crediting the tutelage of former teammate Shane Battier, whom he called "one of the best charge takers" in the league. DeRozans steal was just as vital, if not more so, to the teams sixth win in the last seven games and second over Cleveland in a span of five days. "He was like a free safety out there," Lowry said, shortly before DeRozan - in conversation with the media - made yet another reference to Seahawks cornerback and fellow Compton-native Richard Sherman. "I kind of anticipated it, I read the play a little bit," said DeRozan, who also made his share of big offensive plays, scoring 16 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, adding six assists without turning the ball over. "They ran it earlier in the game. I knew they weree going to look for it and I just went for it. Dion Lewis Jersey. " Toronto, and DeRozan in particular, has come up short when faced with one final possession, one final shot in the past. Both guards heeded their coachs direction this time around. It didnt come down to a last-second heave. The Raptors won with timely defence. After enjoying a much-improved first quarter following a series of slow starts, the Raptors struggled on both ends of the floor during the meat of the game. Nothing was falling for Lowry - a 39 per cent three-point shooter on the season - and the team was accumulating sloppy turnovers at an uncharacteristically alarming rate for the second straight contest. Almost foreshadowing the nights eventual result, Casey was asked how to prevent his team from allowing its offence to dictate defensive effort prior to the game. "I havent discovered it yet in my 30 years of coaching," he responded. "Its the same in college, [in the] pros and its been that way for a long time. A lot of guys have to see the ball go through the basket to get themselves going on the other end, which you dont want, you preach against but I think its human nature." For at least one night, his team and his point guard bucked that trend. "That was one example of a guy not letting his offence dictate his defence," Casey said of Lowry, who also added nine assists, made all seven of his free-throw attempts and could have drawn a couple more charges if not for a pair of close calls that didnt go his way. "Thats how you have to play," Lowry added. "Youre not going to have great games all the time. Youre not going to shoot 10-for-12 every night or 20-for-30. Youre always going to have some sort of off game but you cant let that stop you from helping your team win a game." Terrence Ross bailed him out offensively, scoring what DeRozan called a "quiet 19 points", knocking down five of his eight shots from long distance. With the win, the Raptors climb seven games above the .500 mark for the first time in six years. It ensures theyll have a winning record for a third consecutive month, accomplishing that feat for the first time since 2007. 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