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1 hour ago

Golden State Warriors get 'good indicator' of potential as Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry click in win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Much of the conversation surrounding the Golden State Warriors heading into the season was about how they'd be a title contender once Klay Thompson returned. Instead, the Warriors hit a skid after Thompson's highly anticipated debut Jan. 9, experiencing some of the growing pains they'd skipped over at the start of the season. But on Thursday night, everything clicked for Golden State, particularly from beyond the arc, in a 124-115 over the Minnesota Timberwolves. "It's a really good indicator of what our team can look like with Klay back and everybody healthy, for the most part, in terms of our shooters," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "With these last couple of games, the spacing that we've had and the ball movement, we've gotten great shots." Thompson finished the night with 23 points and went 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Stephen Curry had a team-high 29 points and was 6-of-10 on 3-pointers. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole each added 19...
1 hour ago
4 hours ago

Los Angeles Lakers' Carmelo Anthony calls fans' taunting in loss to Sixers 'unacceptable'

PHILADELPHIA -- Carmelo Anthony took exception to some fans' taunting of him during the Los Angeles Lakers' 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, saying that the harassment was "unacceptable." The incidents caused referees and players from both teams to intervene during the game.  With 7 minutes, 1 second left in the fourth quarter, Anthony confronted a fan standing behind the row of courtside seats near center court at Wells Fargo Center. Anthony said afterward that the fan referred to him as "boy." Play was paused for several minutes while security personnel advanced to the spot of the confrontation and refs guided Anthony away from the incident. "Some things were said," Anthony said afterward. "Unacceptable. I'm cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team, I'm all for that. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, you just, that's what you're going to see. That's what you're going to get,...
4 hours ago
January 28

No. 25 Sooners stuffed in run game

NORMAN, Okla. -- No matter what's going wrong with his front line, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson doesn't plan on No. 25 Oklahoma becoming a finesse team. The Sooners' struggles on the offensive line were amplified last week when, on the same day Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford went out after re-injuring his right shoulder, the team wound up with minus-16 yards rushing against No. 3 Texas. Wilson said Tuesday that Oklahoma (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) shifted to short passes because it would have been too difficult to block the nation's best rush defense and one loading the line of scrimmage. The shift led to tailback DeMarco Murray setting new career-highs with eight catches for 116 yards. "Whether we abandon the run or not or we get in big sets or spread sets, the real deal is we need to keep playing more physical," Wilson said. The last time Oklahoma was held to negative yards on the ground came in 2002 against Alabama (minus-23 yards). Next up is Kansas...
January 28
January 27

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid pays New Orleans Pelicans rookie Jose Alvarado's fine after spat

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is listed as 7 feet tall, 280 pounds, and might be even bigger than those measurements. Meanwhile, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado might be generously listed as 6 feet tall, 179 pounds. But that size difference didn't stop the Pelicans' undrafted rookie from going at the MVP candidate when the two teams met up on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. With 4:45 left in the second quarter, an Embiid foul sent Pelicans veteran guard Garrett Temple to the ground. That's when Alvarado stepped up and went chest-to-chest with Embiid and the two exchanged words, drawing a double technical foul. On Thursday afternoon, Alvarado told reporters that Embiid said he'd cover the fine associated with the technical foul. Following the Sixers' 105-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, Embiid explained why. "I just like his energy. He plays hard. He competes. Even when he picked up the tech, he...
January 27
January 27

Chicago Bears hire Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus as head coach

The Chicago Bears have hired  Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their head coach, the team announced Thursday night.  Eberflus, 51, also was considered a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. He will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. "I couldn't be more excited to have Matt become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears," said Poles, whom the Bears hired Tuesday. "His experience, passion, character and attention to detail made him the right man for both the job and the culture we intend to establish here at Halas Hall. Throughout the search, Matt impressed me when detailing his vision and plan for our team. We look forward to getting to work and assembling a top-notch staff and roster that will help us consistently compete for championships." Chicago also interviewed ...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James, Kevin Durant named captains again for All-Star Game as starter pool announced

LeBron James and Kevin Durant again will be the captains of the two teams in this year's All-Star Game, as the NBA announced on Thursday night the starters for its annual midseason showcase to be held Feb. 20 in Cleveland.  James, who now has been a captain in each of the five years the NBA has used the current system to pick its teams, and Durant, who is one for a second straight year, earned the honor by finishing with more fan votes than anyone in their respective conferences.  James has now made 18 All-Star teams, tying Kobe Bryant for second place all time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).  Joining James as starters from the Western Conference are Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the backcourt, along with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and forward Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors in the frontcourt. From the East, Durant, a 12-time...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James, Kevin Durant named captains for All-Star Game as starter pool announced

LeBron James and Kevin Durant again will be the captains of the two teams in this year's All-Star Game, as the NBA on Thursday night announced the starters for its annual midseason showcase to be held Feb. 20 in Cleveland.  James, who has now been a captain in each of the five years the NBA has used this system to pick its teams, and Durant, who is one for a second straight year, earned the honor by finishing with more fan votes than anyone in their respective conferences. James has now made 18 All-Star teams, tying Kobe Bryant for second place all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).  Joining James as starters from the Western Conference are Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the backcourt, along with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and forward Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors in the frontcourt. From the East, Durant, a 12-time All-Star, is...
January 27
January 27

South Carolina leads projected No. 1 seeds in top-16 reveal for NCAA women's basketball tournament

South Carolina and Tennessee give the SEC two projected No. 1 seeds in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, and UConn, a No. 3 seed, is not slated to be in the region in Connecticut. Those were among the major takeaways from the NCAA women's selection committee's first "reveal" of the top 16 seeds, which was released Thursday and based on results through Wednesday. The NCAA will have subsequent reveals on Feb. 10 and Feb. 28. By the end of Thursday evening, though, two of the projected top 16 had been upset. Tennessee, which had been unbeaten in SEC play, lost 71-61 at Auburn, which got its first win over a top-five team since 1997. It was also Auburn's first league win this season; the Tigers had lost their last 23 SEC games. And in a night of upsets in the SEC, LSU -- projected as the No. 12 overall seed -- lost 90-76 to an Arkansas squad that hit 13 3-pointers. The women's tournament follows a so-called "geography curve," where top seeds are slotted into the...
January 27
January 27

Source: Dallas Cowboys' Mike McCarthy told he will return as head coach in 2022

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has been told that he will return in 2022, a source confirmed to ESPN's Ed Werder on Thursday. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has so far declined to commit to McCarthy's return publicly after Dallas' playoff exit with a wild-card round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. USA Today Sports first reported that McCarthy had been told he will return. With coach Sean Payton walking away from the  New Orleans Saints this week, it only intensified speculation regarding McCarthy's future given Jones' affinity for Payton, a former Dallas assistant under Bill Parcells. Payton said on Tuesday that he doesn't plan to coach another team in 2022. Since he's under contract for three more seasons, the Saints would have to agree to trade compensation if he wanted to coach another team. On Jan. 17, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that he was "very confident"...
January 27
January 27

Denver Broncos hire Nathaniel Hackett for first stint as head coach

The Denver Broncos agreed to terms with  Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their head coach, the team announced Thursday. "Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. "In addition to having a brilliant offensive mind, Nathaniel is an outstanding teacher and communicator with a strong vision for all three phases of our team." Hackett, who has worked with quarterbacks at all phases on the developmental curve, was scheduled to interview with the Jaguars on Thursday, but the Broncos stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done to prevent him from going to Jacksonville, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. It marks Hackett's first stint as a head coach, and he becomes Denver's fourth different coach since the start of the 2016 season. He replaces Vic Fangio, who was fired earlier...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James out for Los Angeles Lakers' game vs. Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA -- Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James won't play Thursday night against the 76ers due to left knee soreness, coach Frank Vogel said about 90 minutes before tipoff.  The coach said James woke up with some soreness in his left knee. The team had listed him as questionable earlier Thursday before he was ultimately ruled out.  Vogel says James is day-to-day, meaning his availability for Friday's matchup in Charlotte is in question.  James had played in 25 straight games for L.A. after missing 12 of the first 23 this season because of right ankle soreness, a suspension and a false positive result on a COVID-19 test. The Lakers are 5-7 (.417) without him in the lineup compared to 19-17 (.528) with him. Tuesday's win in Brooklyn, which improved L.A.'s record to 2-1 to start its six-game road trip, was the 18th straight game in which James scored 25 points or more. "I'm in one of the best zones offensively I've been in, in my career," the 19-year...
January 27
January 27

Sources: Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returning to Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas -- Having interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies of the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is returning to the Dallas Cowboys, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini on Thursday. A source told Schefter that Quinn withdrew his name from consideration from the Bears' job, which went to former Cowboys assistant and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to sources. Earlier Thursday, a source said the Broncos tabbed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach. Quinn became a sought-after candidate after helping turn around the Cowboys' defense in 2021, a year after it allowed a franchise-record 473 points. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points per game and led the NFL in takeaways with 34. Quinn helped develop rookie...
January 27
January 27

Evander Kane set to join Edmonton Oilers, sources say, as NHL clears winger after investigating potential COVID-19 violations

Evander Kane has reached a verbal agreement to sign with the Edmonton Oilers for the rest of the NHL season, sources told ESPN's Kevin Weekes on Thursday. A Kane-to-Edmonton agreement comes as the NHL on Thursday cleared the veteran winger of potential violations of COVID-19 protocols. Sources told Weekes that Kane's deal with the Oilers is for one year, carries a cap hit of $2.1 million, and has a no-movement clause. It includes a signing bonus of $625,000 and a base salary of $750,000. The cap hit is pro-rated since Kane is joining the team midway through the season. Kane has been training in Vancouver, British Columbia, and could be ready to play as soon as this weekend, his agent, Dan Milstein, told ESPN on Thursday morning. The Oilers open a three-game road trip in Montreal on Saturday.  On Thursday, the NHL released the findings of its investigation into Kane's cross-border travel while in the AHL. The league said it will not discipline the veteran winger after...
January 27
January 27

Portland Trail Blazers' Nassir Little likely done for season because of shoulder tear, sources say

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little -- one of the breakout young players in the league this season -- will likely be out for the rest of the season with a left shoulder labral tear, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The Blazers announced the injury without a timetable for his return, but the expectation is that Little's injury has ended what has been a productive season. Little, 21, suffered the injury in the Blazers' loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night. He has been a revelation in his third NBA season. The Blazers have gone 7-5 in January, with Little averaging 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds on 45.4% shooting, including 40% on 3-pointers, for the month. Little was the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, and he has emerged with another young Blazers guard -- Anfernee Simons -- to take major steps for the franchise this season. Portland has had several key injuries, including with guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
January 27
January 27

Soccer-Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 1 - halftime

Oct 20 - Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 1 - Champions League Group G halftime score: At Ibrox Scorers: Rangers: Ricardo Vilana own goal 2 Missed penalty: Steven Davis 38 Unirea Urziceni: Marius Ioan Bilasco 32 Referee: Eric Braamhaar (Netherlands) (Editing by Tom Pilcher)
January 27
January 27

Sources: Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte fight to proceed after step-aside deal for Anthony Joshua collapses

Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte will meet in the ring after all. There was an agreement in principle for both Whyte and Anthony Joshua to step aside and forego planned bouts with Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, respectively, in exchange for millions of dollars, but the deal fell apart after parties attempted to renegotiate at the 11th hour, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The proposed deal would have paved the way for Fury to fight Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship in June in Saudi Arabia, sources said. It's believed the $155 million site fee the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offered last year for a fight between Fury and Joshua was in play. Money from that package would have gone to both Whyte and Joshua. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is the WBC's mandatory challenger so he's owed an immediate title shot against Fury. The rights to that fight will now be auctioned off at Friday's purse bid, which has been postponed numerous times to allow time for a step-aside deal to be closed. It's...
January 27
January 27

ECHL player Jacob Panetta gets season ban for racist gesture

The ECHL has suspended former Jacksonville (Fla.) Icemen forward Jacob Panetta for the remainder of the 2021-22 season for what the league called "a racial gesture" toward South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban last Saturday. Panetta, 26, can ask for a reduction of that 38-game suspension and apply for reinstatement to the ECHL after March 17, "pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the National Hockey League's Player Inclusion Committee." The Icemen announced on Sunday that they had released Panetta after the ECHL's decision to suspend him indefinitely pending its investigation. The incident happened in overtime. South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan had collided with Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster, sparking a skirmish between the teams. According to Subban, he tried to engage Panetta in a fight. Panetta responded by taunting Subban, who is Black. "As soon as I began to turn my back, he started making monkey gestures...
January 27
January 27

ECHL player Jacob Panetta gets season ban for racial gesture

The ECHL has suspended former Jacksonville Icemen forward Jacob Panetta for the remainder of the 2021-22 season for what the league called "a racial gesture" toward South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban last Saturday. Panetta, 26, can ask for a reduction of that 38-game suspension and apply for reinstatement to the ECHL after March 17, "pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the National Hockey League's Player Inclusion Committee." The Icemen announced on Sunday that they had released Panetta following the ECHL's decision to suspend him indefinitely, pending its investigation. The incident happened in overtime. South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan had collided with Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster, sparking a skirmish between the teams. According to Subban, he tried to engage Panetta in a fight. Panetta responded by taunting Subban, who is Black. "As soon as I began to turn my back, he started making monkey...
January 27
January 27

Chicago Bears to hire Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus as head coach, sources say

The Chicago Bears will hire Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their head coach, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Eberflus, 51, also was considered a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. He will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. Chicago also interviewed Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell for the job. Eberflus has spent the past four seasons as the Colts' defensive coordinator under coach Frank Reich. His defenses finished in the top 10 in scoring three times, including being tied for ninth in 2021 at 21.5 points per game. Eberflus will inherit a Bears team that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense in 2021 but struggled offensively and endured instability at quarterback, where Andy Dalton...
January 27
January 27

Former Washington Football Team employees to share sexual harassment allegations with House committee

Former Washington Football Team employees will share their allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Feb. 3 in what is being called a "roundtable" discussion, the committee announced Thursday morning. Former employees who plan to participate include Emily Applegate, the team's former marketing coordinator and ticket sales representative; Melanie Coburn, a former cheerleader and former director of marketing; Rachel Engleson, a former intern who rose to director of marketing and client relations; Ana Nunez, former coordinator of business development and client services; and Brad Baker, a former video production manager. "Our clients look forward to sharing their experiences directly with the committee," Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former Washington employees, said in a statement. "Critical questions need to be asked and answered to WFT's pervasive culture of sexual harassment and...
January 27
January 27

Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano megafight set for April 30 at Madison Square Garden

The biggest fight in women's boxing history is officially on the schedule. The bout between undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor and seven-division world titlist Amanda Serrano -- ESPN's No. 1 and No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings -- has been scheduled for April 30 to headline a card in one of the most iconic boxing venues in the world, the main arena of Madison Square Garden. It is the first women's boxing match in history to headline at MSG. "I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible, but for this fight to headline at Madison Square Garden would truly be the pinnacle of the sport," Taylor told ESPN recently. "So much of boxing's history is linked to MSG, and I've been fortunate enough to fight there already on a couple of occasions. "It's such an iconic venue so to be part of the first ever women's fight to main event there would be truly special." This fight has been talked about for years -- and booked in the past before falling apart. Now, though, with a...
January 27
January 27

Sources: Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn staying put

FRISCO, Texas -- Having interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies of the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is returning to the Dallas Cowboys, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini on Thursday. A source told Schefter that Quinn withdrew his name from consideration from the Bears' job, which went to former Cowboys assistant and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to sources. Earlier Thursday, a source said the Broncos tabbed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach. Quinn became a sought-after candidate after helping turn around the Cowboys' defense in 2021, a year after it allowed a franchise-record 473 points. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points per game and led the NFL in takeaways with 34. Quinn helped develop rookie...
January 27
January 27

Sources - Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn staying in Dallas

The coaching carousel keeps spinning, but Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is jumping off -- sources telling ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini that he is staying in Dallas. Quinn had interviewed for the head coaching vacancies of the Bears, Broncos, Vikings and Giants.  He became a serious candidate after turning around the Cowboys defense in his first year in Dallas. The Cowboys allowed a franchise-record 473 points in 2020 but improved to seventh in the league in points per game (21.1) and led the NFL in takeaways (34) this season. Quinn's use of linebacker Micah Parsons helped the rookie become an All-Pro. Before heading to Dallas, Quinn was the head coach of the Falcons from 2015-20. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2016, but Atlanta blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead and lost to the Patriots. 
January 27
January 27

Former Washington employees to share sexual harassment allegations with House committee

Former Washington Football Team employees will share their allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Feb. 3 in what is being called a "roundtable" discussion, the committee announced Thursday morning. Former employees who plan to participate include Emily Applegate, the team's former marketing coordinator and ticket sales representative; Melanie Coburn, a cheerleader and former director of marketing; Rachel Engleson, a former intern who rose to director of marketing and client relations; Ana Nunez, former coordinator of business development and client services; and Brad Baker, a former video production manager. "Our clients look forward to sharing their experiences directly with the committee," Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former Washington employees, said in a statement. "Critical questions need to be asked and answered to WFT's pervasive culture of sexual harassment and retaliation, and...
January 27
January 27

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger retires after 18 seasons: 'I retire from football a truly grateful man'

PITTSBURGH -- After 18 seasons as the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement Thursday morning. In a video posted to his Twitter account, Roethlisberger announced what became obvious over the final weeks of the 2021 season. "The journey has been exhilarating, fueled by a spirit of competition," Roethlisberger said. "Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man." In a statement, Steelers president Art Rooney II said, "... we are forever grateful for all the success he has helped bring to the organization for the past 18 years. Ben will always be viewed as one of the all-time greats in our team history, and his determination, toughness and competitiveness will be remembered by everyone in the organization as well as Steeler Nation throughout the world." Roethlisberger, 39, finished a...
January 27
January 27

Denver Broncos to hire Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, sources say

The Denver Broncos are hiring Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their head coach, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Hackett, who has worked with quarterbacks at all phases on the developmental curve, was scheduled to interview with the Jaguars on Thursday, but the Broncos stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done to prevent him from going to Jacksonville, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. It will mark Hackett's first stint as a head coach, and he becomes Denver's fourth different coach since the start of the 2016 season. He replaces Vic Fangio, who was fired earlier this month after going 7-10 this past season -- the Broncos' fifth consecutive losing season. Hackett's hiring will bring immediate speculation about the Broncos trying to lure  Aaron Rodgers to Denver, perhaps along with his star receiver Davante Adams, who is set to hit free agency in March. Rodgers, who turned 38 last month in the midst...
January 27
January 27

UConn returns to practice

STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut's football team got back to work Tuesday, holding their first practice since the stabbing death of player Jasper Howard over the weekend. "It's definitely hard to move forward, with a loss like that," linebacker Lawrence Wilson said. "But as his mom and his parents said to us, Jasper would want us to win. So I think the team will practice hard for him." Police said Howard, a junior cornerback, was fatally stabbed during a fight outside a university-sanctioned dance early Sunday. Nobody has been charged with the stabbing, and UConn police said Tuesday there were no new developments in the investigation. Howard's stepfather, Henry Williams, said the family is confident that the killer will be brought to justice. Speaking to reporters, Williams also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and support the family has received from the Connecticut community. "We have a lot of pain," Williams said. "We still have hurt, but we can go on now...
January 27
January 26

Dana White says no disrespect to Francis Ngannou with postfight absence from Octagon

UFC president Dana White said his not putting the heavyweight title belt on Francis Ngannou after UFC 270 last weekend had nothing to do with "disrespect." White addressed the postfight situation in a fan Q&A on Wednesday night with interviewer Laura Sanko on ESPN+. White did not put the belt on Ngannou in the cage following Ngannou's successful title defense over Ciryl Gane on Saturday, as is customary. Instead, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard did the honors. White also did not attend the postfight news conference like he normally does. Many speculated that White didn't perform those functions because Ngannou and the UFC are embroiled in messy contract negotiations. On Wednesday, White said that was not the case, explaining he had something to deal with backstage and was unable to make it back to the Octagon in time. White did not go into detail about what he had to do that prevented him from returning for the main event. "For anybody that thinks I was showing any...
January 26
January 26

Sources: Brooklyn Nets to shun trade-deadline offers for James Harden

The Brooklyn Nets won't listen to trade-deadline overtures for All-NBA guard James Harden, a resolve rooted in Harden's repeated insistences to ownership and management that he is committed to staying and winning a championship with the franchise, sources told ESPN. Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks are buoyed not only by Harden's consistent internal stance but the shared public and private belief among superstars Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that the three make the Nets an unstoppable team when playing together. Once Durant returns to the lineup in February from a sprained MCL injury, the expectation is that the Nets will get an ample window to prove that again this season. Irving is still limited by a New York City mandate that prohibits unvaccinated players from performing at home. The Philadelphia 76ers' plans for a potential pursuit of Harden this summer have been no secret anywhere in the league, but the...
January 26
January 26

Statue of Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna placed at crash site on 2-year anniversary of deaths

A statue of the late Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna was placed on the site of their helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Wednesday, two years to the day of the tragic deaths of them and seven others. The statue was created by sculptor Dan Medina and showed Kobe, in his Lakers uniform and with his arm around Gianna, who is also wearing a uniform while holding a basketball by her side. The two are looking at each other with big smiles. Medina told NBC Los Angeles that he brought the 160-pound bronze statue to a hilltop in Calabasas at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, and that it will remain there temporarily. The statue has the names of the Bryants and the seven other victims in the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash -- John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and pilot Ara Zobayan -- inscribed on its base. The helicopter carrying all eight passengers was on its way to a girls' basketball tournament that...
January 26
January 26

Kansas City Chiefs fans, in nod to Bills Mafia, donate $255,017 to Buffalo children's hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Just days ago, the Kansas City Chiefs handed the Buffalo Bills one of the most heartbreaking losses in franchise history. Chiefs fans, inspired by the fundraising spirit of Bills Mafia, have decided to turn their team's big overtime win Sunday into a positive for the Buffalo community, raising $255,017 for Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo as of late Wednesday afternoon, per the hospital. Beginning Tuesday, donations in increments of $13 began being sent to the hospital from Chiefs fans in honor of the 13 seconds it took for the Kansas City offense to drive down the field to tie the divisional-round playoff game at the end of regulation. The Chiefs went on to win  42-36 on the first drive of overtime. The original idea from a Chiefs Kingdom Facebook group was to donate in $13 increments to quarterback Patrick Mahomes' charitable organization, the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation. That changed when Chiefs fans...
January 26
January 26

Chris Mack out as Louisville Cardinals men's basketball coach

Chris Mack is officially out as  Louisville men's basketball coach, it was announced Wednesday, and he said he isn't "bitter at all" at the outcome. The board of trustees and University of Louisville Athletic Association jointly approved Mack's separation agreement, interim athletic director Josh Heird announced. The contract that Mack signed in 2018 called for a $12 million buyout, but the two sides negotiated the buyout down to $4.8 million as part of the agreement, sources told ESPN. "It's a hard place," Mack told reporters Wednesday. "You've gotta win games." Associate head coach Mike Pegues has been named Louisville's interim coach for the rest of the season. Mack and Heird had numerous discussions throughout the season and recently, sources told ESPN, the sides agreed the place had become too toxic for Mack to continue. "Coaching transitions are always difficult, especially during the course of the season, but Chris and I agreed that it is in the best interests of...
January 26
January 26

Sources: Baltimore Ravens targeting Michigan Wolverines' Mike Macdonald to be new DC

The defensive coordinator who keyed Michigan's dramatic turnaround in 2021 is on the cusp of heading back to the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens have targeted Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, a former Ravens assistant, to be John Harbaugh's next defensive coordinator, sources told ESPN. A deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days, according to sources. Macdonald has been replaced on the road recruiting by a graduate assistant coach, Dylan Roney, in preparation for his departure. The Ravens haven't completed their interviews for the opening yet. On Thursday, John Harbaugh is scheduled to talk to Joe Cullen, the former Ravens defensive line coach who was the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator last season. In total, Harbaugh has spoken to about eight candidates. The Detroit Free Press first reported that the Ravens were targeting Macdonald. This comes after Macdonald stabilized a defense that keyed a one-year turnaround for Jim...
January 26
January 26

Chris Mack acknowledges he's out as Louisville Cardinals men's basketball coach

Chris Mack told reporters Wednesday that he isn't "bitter at all" following his expected departure as Louisville men's basketball coach. Mack spoke shortly before a joint meeting between the board of trustees and University of Louisville Athletic Association to approve his separation agreement. The contract Mack signed in 2018 called for a $12 million buyout, but the two sides negotiated a lower amount as part of the agreement, sources told ESPN. "It's a hard place," Mack said Wednesday. "You've gotta win games." Mack and interim athletic director Josh Heird had numerous discussions throughout the season and recently, sources told ESPN, the sides agreed the place had become too toxic for Mack to continue. Sources said both Mack and Heird were on the same page, in that it was time to go in a different direction. "It's been building. We all want the best for Louisville and I still do. That's not going to change," Mack said. "It's not really important when or any of that...
January 26
January 26

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to undergo knee surgery for MCL and ACL injuries

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will have to undergo knee surgery before he is able to train or compete again, his manager, Marquel Martin, told ESPN on Wednesday. Ngannou (17-3) unified the UFC heavyweight championship by defeating Ciryl Gane (10-1) by unanimous decision at UFC 270 last weekend in Anaheim, California. Immediately after, Ngannou revealed he went into the five-round bout with an injured knee. He suffered a torn MCL and damaged ACL during sparring sessions in the build-up to the fight. Ngannou, 35, underwent medical evaluation in Los Angeles on Monday. According to Martin, Ngannou plans to return to his native Cameroon soon and he and his team did not want the surgery to interfere with those plans. He will undergo a procedure to repair the ACL when he returns to the U.S., with an estimated recovery timeframe of nine months, Martin said. "I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis' heart and resilience," Martin told ESPN....
January 26
January 26

New York Giants won't trade for Deshaun Watson, seek to 'build an offense around' Daniel Jones

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants don't appear likely to make major changes at quarterback in 2022, and they definitely won't be in the market for Deshaun Watson. "We're not trading for Deshaun Watson," Giants co-owner John Mara said Wednesday after introducing Joe Schoen as the team's new general manager. "There are so many reasons why we wouldn't do that. Cap-wise, we couldn't afford [the acquisition], but more importantly, with the allegations that are out there right now, that is just not the right fit for us." Daniel Jones has been New York's starting quarterback for the past three seasons but has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play since being drafted No. 6 overall in 2019. Watson wants to be traded from the Houston Texans but didn't play this past season while facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. Schoen said Watson wasn't even a topic he addressed during the interview process, almost as...
January 26
January 26

Jamaica's 1st alpine skier gears up to compete in 2022 Winter Olympics

"Surreal is the one word I've been using," Benjamin Alexander said.
January 26
Jamaica's skier Benjamin Alexander poses for a photo during a training session at the Kolasin ski resort, Dec. 21, 2021.
January 26

Las Vegas Raiders CB Nate Hobbs pleads guilty to careless driving charge after DUI charge dropped

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge Wednesday after a DUI charge was dropped when it was determined he was under the legal limit, the Clark County (Nevada) District Attorney's office announced. Hobbs, 22, was arrested after 4 a.m. on Jan. 3, the morning after the Raiders' Week 17 win at the Indianapolis Colts, when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car in the exit lane of a parking garage for The Cromwell hotel near the Las Vegas Strip. "In the days following his arrest, a toxicological analysis of his blood revealed that Mr. Hobbs was under the legal limit for a DUI charge," the release read. Prosecutors said Hobbs' BAC was 0.07%, under the Nevada legal limit of 0.08%. Hobbs, through attorney Richard Schonfeld, submitted a written guilty plea to a misdemeanor of one count of Unlawful Manner of Driving -- Careless Driving and will pay a $685 fine, complete with a victim impact...
January 26
January 26

Kansas City Chiefs fans, in nod to Bills Mafia, donate $178,000 to Buffalo children's hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Just days ago, the Kansas City Chiefs handed the Buffalo Bills one of the most heartbreaking losses in franchise history. Chiefs fans, inspired by the fundraising spirit of Bills Mafia, have decided to turn their team's big overtime win Sunday into a positive for the Buffalo community, raising $255,017 for Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo as of late Wednesday afternoon, per the hospital. Beginning Tuesday, donations in increments of $13 began being sent to the hospital from Chiefs fans in honor of the 13 seconds it took for the Kansas City offense to drive down the field to tie the divisional-round playoff game at the end of regulation. The Chiefs went on to win  42-36 on the first drive of overtime. The original idea from a Chiefs Kingdom Facebook group was to donate in $13 increments to quarterback Patrick Mahomes' charitable organization, the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation. That changed when Chiefs fans...
January 26
January 26

Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks retires from NFL after recent injury-plagued seasons

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks announced his retirement Wednesday after 10 seasons in the NFL. Brooks, 32, has been hit hard by injuries in recent years. He tore his right Achilles tendon in a 2018 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. Brooks made a quick recovery to play every game in 2019 and earn his third Pro Bowl bid, but he suffered a left Achilles tear in the summer of 2020 and missed the entire season. Brooks also suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 of this past season. He said Wednesday that retirement was something he had been contemplating since last offseason. "After all of these injuries, I just realized, at what point do you listen to your body? I think my body was just telling me I had to make a decision, and I think at this point in time, I think it's the right decision," said Brooks, who plans to stay in the Philadelphia area and apply to business school at the University of...
January 26
January 26

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski would say no to returning for 2022 NFL season if forced to decide now

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, 32, said Wednesday that while he will need time to weigh a return for next season, if he had to made a decision right now, he would not return to play in the NFL in 2022. "If they're like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now. It's two days after the season. I'd be like, 'No, I'm not playing,'" an animated Gronkowski said to TMZ Sports. "You've got to give it some time, you've got to rest to see how everything goes, to see how everything plays out, how I feel. I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there then." Gronkowski, who played on a pair of one-year deals over the past two seasons, said Monday, during his final Bucs availability for the season, that he would need about three to five weeks to decompress and assess how he's feeling before making a decision. He echoed that in the interview, which...
January 26
January 26

Source: Minnesota Vikings hiring Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to be GM

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings are hiring Cleveland Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their new general manager, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter. Schefter reports that Adofo-Mensah is getting a four-year deal to replace Rick Spielman, who was fired at the conclusion of the 2021 season after a 16-year stint as the Vikings' general manager that produced a 132-123-2 record. Adofo-Mensah is the 10th person in franchise history to hold a general manager title and/or carry out the duties of the team's GM (current executive vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski was the top football executive from 2002 to 2005 without an official GM title). He comes to Minnesota after spending the 2020-21 seasons in Cleveland working under general manager Andrew Berry. Berry hired Adofo-Mensah from San Francisco in 2020 after he spent seven seasons as the 49ers' manager -- then director -- of football research and development. The...
January 26
January 26

Daniil Medvedev rallies from 2 sets down to reach Australian Open men's semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia -- He lost the first two sets, was low on confidence and was one point from a quarterfinal exit at the Australian Open, so Daniil Medvedev asked himself the question: What would Novak do? Fair question. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is a nine-time Australian Open champion who finished one win short of a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021. Modelling himself after the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Medvedev told himself late Wednesday to make Felix Auger-Aliassime fight for every point. More than one hour after saving a match point on his serve in the fourth set, the U.S. Open champion finished off a 6-7 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4 comeback victory almost a half-hour after midnight. "He was playing insane, like better than I have ever seen him play. It was unreal," Medvedev said. "So third set I had zero confidence in myself and in the outcome of the match." Medvedev mentioned his thoughts about Djokovic during his on-court TV interview and in...
January 26
January 26

Stefanos Tsitsipas cruises past Jannik Sinner for spot in Australian Open men's semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia --  Stefanos Tsitsipas maintained his perfect record in Grand Slam quarterfinals, beating No. 11-seeded Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday to reach the last four of the Australian Open. The 23-year-old, No. 4-ranked Tsitsipas improved to 5-0 at this stage of a major. It's the semifinals he's yet to master, winning just one -- at Roland Garros last year -- from four so far. He'll next player either Daniil Medvedev, who made his Grand Slam breakthrough when he won last year's US Open title, or No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime. No. 2 Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime were meeting later Wednesday in a night match. Tsitsipas didn't face a break point and converted all four he got on Sinner's serve in the match that lasted just over two hours, considerably less than his five-set fourth-round win over Taylor Fritz. The only real delay came from a weather disruption, when a late afternoon storm meant the roof over Rod Laver Arena had...
January 26
January 26

Australian Open to allow T-shirts supporting Peng Shuai

After immense international backlash, Tennis Australia has reversed course on its ban of spectators donning T-shirts in support of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai at the Australian Open.
January 26
After immense international backlash, Tennis Australia has reversed course on its ban of spectators donning T-shirts in support of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai at the Australian Open.
January 26

Iga Swiatek wins 3-hour match vs. Kaia Kanepi in afternoon heat to join Danielle Collins in Australian Open semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Iga Swiatek took three hours in the afternoon heat to beat 36-year-old Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 on Wednesday, with the payoff being a spot in the Australian Open semifinals against Danielle Collins. "This match was crazy,'' said the 20-year-old 2020 French Open winner. "First set I think my mistake was I had so many break points, I felt like I missed my chances. In the second set, I felt like she's playing so fast that I can't be tight. I had to finish my forehands.'' The temperature hit 97 degrees Fahrenheit on Day 10, continuing a week of hot days at the year's first Grand Slam tournament. Collins won the opening match on Rod Laver Arena before the heat peaked, swinging it in her favor with a key service break in the final game of the opening set on her way to a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Alize Cornet. No. 115-ranked Kanepi made her Grand Slam debut in 2006 but was playing in the quarterfinals in Australia for the first...
January 26
January 26

Danielle Collins beats Alize Cornet to reach Australian Open semifinals; Iga Swiatek outlasts Kaia Kanepi in 3 sets

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Danielle Collins joined fellow American Madison Keys in the Australian Open semifinals, while former French Open champion  Iga Swiatek rallied from a set down on Wednesday to secure her spot in the final four in her third trip to Melbourne Park. The seventh-seeded Swiatek, 20, beat 36-year-old Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in a match that took 3 hours with temperatures reaching 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Collins won the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, swinging it in her favor with a key service break in the final game of the opening set on her way to a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Alize Cornet. No. 115-ranked Kanepi made her Grand Slam debut in 2006 but was playing in the quarterfinals in Australia for the first time, completing a career set after making it to the last eight twice at each of the sport's three other major tournaments. She was coming off an upset, three-set win over No. 2-ranked Aryna Sabalenka and...
January 26
January 26

Danielle Collins beats Alize Cornet to reach Australian Open semifinals, where former French Open champ Iga Swiatek awaits

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Danielle Collins joined fellow American Madison Keys in the Australian Open semifinals, while former French Open champion  Iga Swiatek improved on her stellar record against players ranked outside the top 30 to reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time. Swiatek outlasted  Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to set up a semifinal meeting Thursday night against Collins, who swung Wednesday's quarterfinal match in her favor with a key service break in the final game of the opening set on her way to a 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal win over Alize Cornet. The 36-year-old Kanepi is ranked 115th but was playing in her seventh Grand Slam quarterfinal and was coming off an upset win over No. 2-ranked Aryna Sabalenka. Swiatek has 30 wins in 32 matches against those ranked outside the top 30 in majors and also improved her record to having reached the fourth round at her past six Grand Slam tournaments. Collins, 28,...
January 26
January 26

LA Clippers rally from 35 down to stun Washington Wizards in latest comeback win

Trailing by 35 points shortly before the half,  LA Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson joked that the Clips were "right where we want to be" against the Washington Wizards. Still, the Clippers could hardly believe what they had done when the buzzer sounded. Despite playing without the injured Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, LA tied the second-largest NBA comeback in the play-by-play era (since 1996-97) and stunned the Wizards 116-115 on Tuesday at Capital One Arena. The Clippers trailed 66-31 with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in the first half. Their 35-point comeback tied the Sacramento Kings' win over the Chicago Bulls in 2009, and it is second only to the Utah Jazz overcoming a 36-point deficit against the Denver Nuggets in 1996. The Clippers, though, are starting to become accustomed to improbable comebacks. They are the first team in the past 25 seasons to have erased a deficit of 24 or more points...
January 26
January 26

Antonio Brown says he'll pursue legal action against Tampa Bay Buccaneers over release

TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and his attorney, Sean Burstyn, said Tuesday they intend to pursue legal action against the team for releasing Brown after he said he was too injured to continue playing against the New York Jets earlier this month and claimed coach Bruce Arians ignored his pleas to not reenter the game. Appearing on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," Burstyn said they will pursue money for Brown's ankle surgery and money they feel he is owed by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. He also said they are looking into a possible civil lawsuit in the form of defamation for the Bucs claiming Brown had a spontaneous mental health episode. "Antonio was defamed by this spin that he had a mental health episode that makes him someone who's not reliable to do a good job on the field," Burstyn said. "So we're pursuing internally all of our rights under the CBA and considering them and maybe stepping...
January 26

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