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4 hours ago

Zhou Guanyu, Alex Albon sent for medical checks after huge F1 collision at British GP

SILVERSTONE, England -- The British Grand Prix was suspended before the end of the first lap after two huge collisions involving multiple drivers on the pit straight resulted in Zhou Guanyu's Alfa Romeo ending up on the wrong side of the tyre barriers at Turn 1. Emergency crews were immediately in attendance, with Zhou and Williams driver Alex Albon being taken to the medical centre. Both were cleared of major injuries, but Albon will be transferred to Coventry Hospital for precautionary checks while Zhou was released from the medical centre during the race.  A replay showed Pierre Gasly being pinched between George Russell on one side and Zhou on the other, with contact between Gasly and Russell pitching the Mercedes of Russell into Zhou's Alfa Romeo. The energy of the second impact rolled Zhou's car, sending it upside down through the run-off area before it barrel-rolled over the barriers, only to be stopped by the catch fence in front of a grandstand. Albon was involved in...
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

First-base coach Mark Budzinski away from Toronto Blue Jays after eldest daughter's death

Toronto Blue Jays first-base coach Mark Budzinski will be away from the team after the death of his eldest daughter, Julia Budzinski, the team announced Sunday. "The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family," Ross Atkins, the Blue Jays' executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, said in a statement. "I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first. He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts." Julia Budzinski was 17 years old. The team said Budzinski will be away from the team to be with his wife, Monica, and children Josh and Lily.  The Blue Jays held a moment of silence before Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Mark Budzinski and manager Charlie Montoyo left in the third inning of the...
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

First base coach Mark Budzinski away from Toronto Blue Jays after eldest daughter's death

Toronto Blue Jays first-base coach Mark Budzinski will be away from the team after the death of his eldest daughter the team announced Sunday. "It is with deep sadness the Toronto Blue Jays mourn the loss of Julia Budzinski, eldest daughter of First Base Coach Mark 'Bud' Budzinski and his wife, Monica," Ross Atkins, the Blue Jays' executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, said in a statement. "The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family. I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first. He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts. "Mark will be away from the team to be with his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark and Monica, and their children Josh and Lily, at this time." The Blue Jays did not...
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

Guanyu Zhou, Alex Albon sent for medical checks after huge collision at British GP

SILVERSTONE, England -- The British Grand Prix was suspended before the end of the first lap after two huge collisions involving multiple drivers on the pit straight resulted in Guanyu Zhou's Alfa Romeo ending up on the wrong side of the tyre barriers at Turn 1. Emergency crews were immediately in attendance, with Zhou and Williams driver Alex Albon being taken to the medical centre for checks. Both drivers were conscious after the incident but further details of their condition were not immediately available. A replay showed Pierre Gasly being pinched between George Russell on one side and Zhou on the other, with contact between Gasly and Russell pitching the Mercedes of Russell into Zhou's Alfa Romeo. The energy of the second impact rolled Zhou's car, sending it upside down through the run-off area before it barrel rolled over the barriers only to be stopped by the catch fencing in front of a grandstand. Albon was involved in a separate incident just moments after when he hit...
4 hours ago
July 03

Roger Federer, out of tennis action for past year, says he hopes to play Wimbledon again

LONDON -- Roger Federer said he hopes for one more chance to win Wimbledon, addressing his future once again as he spoke Sunday as part of the Centre Court 100-year celebration. Asked by John McEnroe and Sue Barker, who were hosting the ceremony, whether he would ever come back to play Wimbledon, Federer answered: "I hope I can come back one more time." Federer's last competitive match was in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year, when he lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz. In mid-August, Federer announced he was having knee surgery and would be absent for "many months." Federer, 40, said last month that he intends to return to top-level tennis in 2023, and he is set to play in the Laver Cup at the end of September as he continues his comeback. News of the eight-time champion being at Wimbledon broke Sunday morning after he was spotted walking around the grounds. Federer was the last of the past champions to walk out onto the famous turf as part of...
July 03
July 03

Roger Federer, out of action for past year, says he hopes to play Wimbledon again

LONDON -- Roger Federer said he hopes for one more chance to win Wimbledon, addressing his future once again as he spoke Sunday as part of the Centre Court 100-year celebration. Asked by John McEnroe and Sue Barker, who were hosting the ceremony, whether he would ever come back to play Wimbledon, Federer answered: "I hope I can come back one more time." Federer's last competitive match was in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year, when he lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz. In mid-August, Federer announced he was having knee surgery and would be absent for "many months." Federer, 40, said last month that he intends to return to top-level tennis in 2023, and he is set to play in the Laver Cup at the end of September as he continues his comeback. News of the eight-time champion being at Wimbledon broke Sunday morning after he was spotted walking around the grounds. Federer was the last of the past champions to walk out onto the famous turf as part of...
July 03
July 03

Branden Grace wins first U.S.-based event for controversial LIV Golf tour, takes home $4,375,000

Branden Grace won LIV Golf's first stop on American soil, an event that drew critics and protesters because of the upstart series' funding by Saudi Arabia. Grace closed with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to finish at 13 under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The fledgling LIV series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, aims to challenge the PGA Tour. It has lured some players, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, with the promise of big signing bonuses, hefty prize purses and fewer events. Grace beat Mexico's Carlos Ortiz by 2 strokes. "Played flawless golf, played really, really well when I needed to do something special and came up and managed to pull it out," Grace said. "But just what a great day, it was amazing to come here, this new format, this new everything is amazing, and everybody here is having a blast." The 48-man field in Oregon competed for a $20...
July 03
July 03

Israel Adesanya outpoints Jared Cannonier to retain UFC middleweight title

LAS VEGAS -- In a clinical, albeit unspectacular, performance, Israel Adesanya outpointed Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision to retain his middleweight title in the main event of UFC 276 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45. Adesanya's superiority in striking was evident throughout the bout. Cannonier landed nothing of real significance, with Adesanya keeping him at a distance and picking his opponent apart with jabs and kicks to the body and legs. The crowd grew restless with the lack of thrilling action, especially in the fourth round, which was marked by boos and fans raising lit-up smartphones. But Cannonier did nothing to push Adesanya, a former champion kickboxer, into anything resembling a firefight. Adesanya, meanwhile, was content with safely landing strikes with his length from so far out that Cannonier could not counter them. Adesanya outstruck Cannonier 163-141 for the fight, including a 116-90 edge...
July 03
July 03

Alexander Volkanovski beats Max Holloway by unanimous decision to retain featherweight title at UFC 276

LAS VEGAS -- It's safe to say  Alexander Volkanovski has buried his rivalry with Max Holloway for good this time. Volkanovski (25-1) defended his featherweight championship for the fourth time Saturday night, defeating Holloway (23-7) via unanimous decision in their highly anticipated trilogy bout. All three judges scored the 145-pound title fight, which co-headlined UFC 276 inside T-Mobile Arena, a clean 50-45 sweep for the defending champ. Saturday's five-round contest was, by far, the most definitive result of the trilogy. The two first met at UFC 245 in December 2019 and again at UFC 251 in July 2020. Volkanovski won both by decision, but the fights were extremely close -- particularly the rematch. Immediately after the rematch, some in the sport still considered Holloway the true featherweight champion, but that sentiment is long, long gone after UFC 276. "Look, Max Holloway is an absolute beast," Volkanovski said. "That intensity he brought, that we both had...
July 03
July 02

Former Vanderbilt Commodores baseball star Kumar Rocker, draft-eligible again, had September shoulder surgery, sources say

Former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker underwent shoulder surgery in September, receiving what his agent called "a minor scope" on his right arm, sources familiar with the procedure told ESPN. Rocker, the 10th overall pick in the 2021 draft, did not sign with the New York Mets after the team balked at the condition of his pitching arm. Now 22 and again draft-eligible, Rocker has steadily climbed teams' boards over the past month after regularly hitting 98 mph with his fastball in a dominant five-game stint with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League. "We have a very clear understanding, after a minor scope, of Kumar's medically documented health, which has allowed him to perform at the highest levels," said Scott Boras, Rocker's agent. Rocker's medical information, including the procedure performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, was distributed to teams in recent days leading up to the July 17 draft, in which he is expected to again go in the first round. In a...
July 02
July 02

Branden Grace wins first U.S.-based event for controversial LIV Golf tour, takes home a total of $4,375,000

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. -- Branden Grace won LIV Golf's first stop on American soil, an event that drew critics and protesters alike because of the upstart series' funding by Saudi Arabia. Grace closed with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to finish at 13 under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The fledgling LIV series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, aims to challenge the PGA Tour. It has lured some players, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, with the promise of big signing bonuses, hefty prize purses and fewer events. Grace beat Mexico's Carlos Ortiz by 2 strokes. "Played flawless golf, played really, really well when I needed to do something special and came up and managed to pull it out," Grace said. "But just what a great day, it was amazing to come here, this new format, this new everything is amazing and everybody here is having a blast." The...
July 02
July 02

Donald Cerrone retires from MMA after loss at UFC 276: 'I don't love it anymore'

LAS VEGAS -- Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone decided it was finally time to ride off into the sunset. Cerrone (36-17) retired from mixed martial arts Saturday, immediately following a submission loss to 38-year-old  Jim Miller (35-16) at UFC 276. Before the bout, Cerrone, 39, said he intended to fight two more times beyond this weekend, but he opted to call it a career instead. "I don't love it anymore," Cerrone said. "I'm going to be a movie star, baby." Cerrone, who has dabbled in acting in recent years, is one of the most beloved fighters of the past decade. He was a fan favorite in the WEC from 2007 to 2010, when the promotion was dissolved into UFC. He has 23 wins in UFC, tied for second most all time. Fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cerrone was best known for his "anyone, anywhere, anytime" attitude toward fighting. He was one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster during his prime and was willing to fight any opponent the promotion booked against...
July 02
July 02

Nick Kyrgios topples No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in wild, outburst-filled Wimbledon match

WIMBLEDON, England --  Stefanos Tsitsipas labeled Nick Kyrgios as a "bully" after he was beaten by the Australian in a volatile "circus" of a third-round match at Wimbledon on Saturday. Kyrgios won 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7) to reach the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time since 2016, but not without three code violations being issued during the match -- one on Kyrgios for an audible obscenity and two on Tsitsipas for ball abuse, earning a point penalty. After the match, the fourth-seeded Tsitsipas said Kyrgios has "an evil side" and must have been "a bully at school" for the way he behaved throughout the match. "It's constant bullying; that's what he does," Tsitsipas said. "He bullies the opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I don't like bullies. I don't like people that put other people down. "He has some good traits in his character as well, but ... he also has a very evil side to him, which if it's exposed, it can really do...
July 02
July 02

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans agree to five-year designated maximum rookie extension that could be worth up to $231 million, agent says

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has agreed to a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could earn him as much as $231 million, CAA Sports co-head of basketball Austin Brown told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday. If Williamson makes the All-NBA team or wins MVP or Defensive Player of the Year next season, it would trigger supermax escalator clauses that could up the total value of the deal to $231 million. Though Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, missed the entire 2021-22 campaign with a broken right foot, he has proved to be a generational talent ever since he stepped on an NBA floor. During his rookie season, he averaged 22.5 points per game and shot 58.3% overall. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Williamson was the second rookie in NBA history to average 20 points while shooting at least 55% from the field, joining Shaquille O'Neal (1992-93). He also was the first teenager to score 20 points in 10...
July 02
July 02

Rafael Nadal reaches fourth round at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal, halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam, advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 27th-seeded Lorenzo Sonego on Saturday. The 22-time Grand Slam champion beat the Italian player on Centre Court. "It's been my best match at the championship so far, against the most difficult player I've faced at this level," Nadal told the crowd after the match. "I wish him all the best for the rest of the season. He has a great future here." A few points after Nadal visited the umpire following an incredible shot by Sonego, Nadal called him to the net after he was broken on serve to make it 4-4 in the third set, though it was unclear why. The two exchanged words. And then exchanged further words after Nadal served out the match. The two then took the discussion to the locker room. "First of all. I have to say I was wrong. I should not call him on the net," Nadal said after the match. "So I apologize for that. My mistake. After that, there...
July 02
July 02

Chicago Sky's Candace Parker, Las Vegas Aces' Jackie Young top two picks for WNBA All-Star game

All-Star captains A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces and Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm drafted their respective teams and finalized rosters Saturday for the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game on July 10 (1 p.m. ET, ABC) at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The Chicago Sky's Candace Parker was selected No. 1 overall by Wilson on the WNBA All-Star Team Selection Special and Stewart drafted Jackie Young of the Aces with the No. 2 pick. As the recipient of the most fan votes, Wilson was awarded the first pick of the first round, which comprised the remaining six All-Star starters, and Stewart made the first pick of the second round, which featured the 12 reserves. All-Star starters were decided by fans, current WNBA players and the media, while the reserves were chosen by the league's coaches. WNBA legends Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles, who are both retiring at the end of the 2022 season, were previously deemed starters and...
July 02
July 02

Mikaela Mayer-Alycia Baumgardner boxing title unification fight to be held at O2 Arena in London on Sept. 10, sources say

The Mikaela Mayer-Alycia Baumgardner title unification fight at 130 pounds will take place on the Claressa Shields-Savannah Marshall card at O2 Arena in London on Sept. 10, a source told ESPN. Mayer, the WBO and IBF champion, and Baumgardner, the WBC champion, agreed to the fight in May with a location unknown, but both fighters were open to having it take place in the United Kingdom, where Baumgardner's promoter, Matchroom, is based and where Mayer has continued to grow a following thanks to her commentary work with Sky Sports. Both fighters are making the biggest paydays of their careers for the fight, which will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks as well as Sky Sports. "To me, my biggest thing, women are now on the forefront, like, this is a huge time for women's boxing," Mayer told ESPN in May. "And I want to change the narrative. I want to be, I want us women to be the ones who give the fans the fights that they want and deserve. "Because that's an issue in boxing...
July 02
July 02

Mikaela Mayer-Alycia Baumgardner title unification fight to be held at O2 Arena in London on Sept. 10, sources say

The Mikaela Mayer-Alycia Baumgardner title unification fight at 130 pounds will take place on the Claressa Shields-Savannah Marshall card at O2 Arena in London on Sept. 10, a source told ESPN. Mayer, the WBO and IBF champion, and Baumgardner, the WBC champion, agreed to the fight in May with a location unknown, but both fighters were open to having it take place in the United Kingdom, where Baumgardner's promoter, Matchroom, is based and Mayer has continued to grow a following due to her commentary work with Sky Sports. Both fighters are making the biggest paydays of their careers for the fight, which will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks as well as Sky Sports. "To me, my biggest thing, women are now on the forefront, like this is a huge time for women's boxing," Mayer told ESPN in May. "And I want to change the narrative. I want to be, I want us women to be the ones who give the fans the fights that they want and deserve. "Because that's an issue in boxing right now....
July 02
July 02

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek loses at Wimbledon to end win streak at 37 matches

LONDON -- The women's draw at Wimbledon was torn apart Saturday as world No 1 Iga Swiatek was bounced 6-4, 6-2 by Alize Cornet of France in the third round, ending her 37-match winning streak. Swiatek had won six straight tournaments, including her second French Open title, but found Cornet, the world No. 37, to be too good as she suffered only her fourth defeat of the year. Swiatek's win streak was the longest since Martina Hingis also won 37 matches in a row in 1997. "I know I didn't play good tennis. I was pretty confused about my tactics,'' said Swiatek, who has never advanced past the fourth round at the All England Club. "For sure, it wasn't a good performance for me.'' It's the second time Cornet has caused a major shock at Wimbledon, having knocked out then-world No 1 Serena Williams at the same stage in 2014. "I have no words right now," said Cornet, who is playing in her 2nd consecutive major, which is tied for tops among women all-time. "It...
July 02
July 02

Cleveland Cavaliers, Darius Garland agree to five-year rookie extension worth up to $231M, agent says

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Darius Garland has agreed to a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie contract extension that could be worth as much as $231 million, his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, told ESPN on Saturday. Garland's deal is the richest in Cavaliers history and comes after a breakout third season that included him averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 assists per game, being named an All-Star for the first time and elevating the franchise into the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. He is one of the cornerstones of a promising Cavaliers core that includes All-Star center Jarrett Allen and emerging star Evan Mobley. The No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Garland helped the Cavaliers finish over .500 for the first time since LeBron James left in 2018. Garland needs to be voted onto one of the three All-NBA teams next season to earn the $231 million supermax escalator.
July 02
July 02

Amanda Anisimova ousts Coco Gauff in third round at Wimbledon

Teenager Coco Gauff is out of Wimbledon in the third round after a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 loss Saturday to fellow American  Amanda Anisimova on Centre Court. Gauff, 18, was the French Open runner-up and was seeded 11th at the All England Club. Anisimova, seeded 20th, has now reached the fourth round in three straight Grand Slam tournaments. "It was my first time playing on Centre Court," Anisimova said. "It's the most special day of my career." Anisimova started the match by losing the first three games, before the 20-year-old's forceful baseline game eventually began to hold sway. Anisimova took that opening set to a tiebreaker, which she then led 4-1, but Gauff grabbed the next half-dozen points.. She then lost the tiebreaker despite taking a 4-1 lead. "I think the worst thing for a tennis player is to lose 7-6 in the first set,'' Anisimova said. "I had the same experience at French Open. I think from experience it's really important to just bounce back and give...
July 02
July 02

BRIEF-Soccer-AC Milan's Oddo out injured for up to two months

ROME, Nov 27 - AC Milan full back Massimo Oddo is expected to miss up to two months after injuring his left thigh in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Olympique Marseille in the Champions League. "The player will be subjected to further checks next week, but the initial prognosis with a view to a return to playing is of between 40 and 60 days," read a statement on the Serie A club's website (www.acmilan.com). The former Italy international was expected to be a fringe member of Milan's squad when he returned from a loan stint at Bayern Munich in the close season but has instead been a regular starter. (Reporting by Paul Virgo; Editing by Alison Wildey To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com) ((alison.wildey@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 3321. Reuters Messaging: alison.wildey.reuters.com@reuters.net. For the new Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: http://blogs.reuters.com/sport/)) Please double click on the news links below: [SPO] for all sports...
July 02
July 01

Golden State Warriors keep Kevon Looney, add Donte DiVincenzo, sources say

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Golden State Warriors made a pair of key moves on Day 2 of free agency, agreeing to terms with center Kevon Looney and guard Donte DiVincenzo on Friday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Looney has agreed to stay with the Warriors on a three-year, $25.5 million deal, sources told Wojnarowski. DiVincenzo's deal is for two years and $9.3 million and includes a player option in the second year, sources said. Looney, 26, is coming off a breakout year with the 2022 NBA champion Warriors, who drafted him in the first round in 2015. After an injury-riddled career, Looney was an iron man, playing in all 82 regular-season games and all 22 playoff games. More important than playing every game, Looney proved to be the kind of center who can thrive in the Warriors' system, whether he is starting or coming off the bench. Throughout last season, and especially in the playoffs, Looney proved to be an elite rebounder -- a skill set Golden State...
July 01
July 01

Sources: Utah Jazz trading star center Rudy Gobert to Minnesota Timberwolves for four first-round picks

The Utah Jazz agreed to trade center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster deal that will pair him with fellow All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Timberwolves will send Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, No. 22 pick Walker Kessler and four first-round picks to the Jazz, sources said. Utah will acquire unprotected picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, sources said, in Danny Ainge's first franchise-altering deal since taking over as the Jazz's CEO midseason. The Jazz have now gathered a total of six first-round picks in a 24-hour span and plan to retool the roster around Donovan Mitchell, Utah's 25-year-old All-Star guard. Gobert, 30, has spent his entire nine-year career in Utah, developing from a lanky project who was drafted with the No. 27 pick in 2013 into a perennial...
July 01
July 01

Venus Williams pairs with Jamie Murray for mixed doubles win after 'last minute' Wimbledon entry

LONDON -- Venus Williams arrived at Wimbledon last week with no intentions of competing. But then she had a change of heart. "I had no plan to play," Williams said Friday. "I saw the grass and I got excited." Her coach reached out to Jamie Murray, a five-time major mixed doubles and two-time doubles champion, to see if he would play with Williams, and he agreed. On Friday night, in front of a packed crowd on No. 1 Court, the new pair defeated Alicja Rosolska and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2 in a first-round match that lasted 2 hours and 18 minutes. It was Williams' first match since August 2021. Both Venus and sister  Serena had fueled retirement speculation with their lack of play this season, but then Serena announced her return to competition earlier this month; she played in doubles at Eastbourne, and then lost in her Wimbledon opening-round singles match to Harmony Tan on Tuesday. Venus originally insisted she...
July 01
July 01

Bettors liking Los Angeles Lakers' title odds despite no big moves from the team

The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat saw their championship odds improve at sportsbooks when news broke Thursday that Kevin Durant was requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and reportedly eyeing those two contenders. Bettors, however, have been gravitating toward a team that hasn't made any significant moves to a roster that missed the playoffs last season -- the Los Angeles Lakers. In a 24-hour span, beginning Thursday afternoon, multiple sportsbooks reported receiving a surge of betting interest on the Lakers to win next season's championship. The Lakers' title odds moved from 22-1 to 10-1 at Caesars Sportsbook, where Los Angeles attracted 3.5 times more betting handle than any other team since Wednesday afternoon. Included in the rush of Lakers action was a $10,000 bet at 22-1 odds from a bettor in New York, according to Caesars. "People always think the Lakers will end up with everybody," Eric Fenstermaker, senior trading manager for...
July 01
July 01

Pac-12 'to explore all expansion options' after UCLA and USC announce exit to Big Ten in 2024

The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors on Friday morning authorized the conference "to explore all expansion options" following the decisions of USC and UCLA to join the Big Ten in 2024, according to a statement from the Pac-12. "The 10 university presidents and chancellors remain committed to a shared mission of academic and athletic excellence on behalf of our student-athletes," the statement said. One source in the conference told ESPN on Friday "it's wide open" as far as who the Pac-12 would consider inviting, but added the Big 12 and ACC are worth exploring. While there has been speculation about Oregon and Washington wanting to follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, there has been no official indication in the league of their intentions. "Everybody's playing it close to the vest," the source said. The Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted unanimously on Thursday to add USC and UCLA to the conference, starting on Aug. 2, 2024. A second source within the Pac-12 told ESPN on...
July 01
July 01

Golden State Warriors, Kevon Looney agree to three-year contract, sources say

SAN FRANCISCO -- Free-agent center Kevon Looney has agreed to stay with the Golden State Warriors on a three-year, $25.5 million deal, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. Looney, 27, is coming off a breakout year with the 2022 NBA champion Warriors, who drafted him in the first round in 2015. After an injury-riddled career, Looney was an iron man, playing in all 82 regular-season games and all 22 playoff games. More importantly than playing every game, Looney proved to be the kind of center who can thrive in the Warriors' system, whether he is starting or coming off the bench. Throughout last season, and especially in the playoffs, Looney proved to be an elite rebounder -- a skill set Golden State was desperate for. In the closeout game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference semifinals, Looney grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds in a career-high 35 minutes. Another highlight came in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the ...
July 01
July 01

Boston Celtics acquire Malcolm Brogdon in trade with Indiana Pacers, sources say

The Boston Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers on Friday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, delivering the kind of playmaking point guard whom president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Ime Udoka believed they needed to elevate the franchise as a championship contender. The Pacers are getting a 2023 first-round pick and five players from the Celtics in return, including center Daniel Theis and 2020 first-round pick Aaron Nesmith, sources told Wojnarowski. Neither team can announce the deal until next week, but Brogdon told ESPN's Marc Spears that he is happy to land in Boston.  "This Boston team is experienced and hungry to win a championship," said Brogdon, who added that Celtics stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, as well as Udoka, have all reached out to him since the trade was agreed to. "I'm excited to be a part of the Boston family and compete for that...
July 01
July 01

Sources: Atlanta Hawks trade Kevin Huerter to Sacramento Kings for Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless, future first-round pick

The Sacramento Kings reached a deal to acquire Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter for a 2024 protected first-round pick and two players on Friday, sources told ESPN. The Kings are sending Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless and a top-14 protected first-round pick in 2024 for Huerter, sources said. That pick can become a top-12 protected pick in 2025 or a top-10 protected pick in 2026, sources added. The Kings have upgraded with young wings in the draft, free agency and now trades, landing Huerter, free agent Malik Monk and drafting Keegan Murray with the No. 4 pick in the draft. Huerter and Monk will both be 24 next season, and fit into the timeline with the franchise's two best players, Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox. The Hawks start to replenish their draft stock after sending three future first-round picks in the deal to land Spurs All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. Huerter averaged over 12...
July 01
July 01

Baltimore Ravens' Jaylon Ferguson died from combined effects of fentanyl, cocaine, officials say

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, according to medical examiners on Friday. A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health said Ferguson's death on June 21 was ruled an accident. He was 26. Ferguson died after police responded to a home in the northern district of the city, where they found him unresponsive and being treated by medics. Baltimore Police said that there were no signs of trauma found and that no foul play was suspected. "Our priority is focused on the man Jaylon was and the positive impact he made on so many as a father, son, fiancé, friend and teammate," the Ravens said in a statement issued Friday. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while we continue to support his family and teammates, who are mourning the tragic loss of a loved one and will celebrate his life [Saturday]." Ferguson's funeral will be held Saturday in Bains,...
July 01
July 01

Israel Adesanya, Jared Cannonier make weight for UFC middleweight title bout at UFC 276

LAS VEGAS -- The top four fighters competing at UFC 276 all made weight successfully Friday morning here at the UFC Apex. Israel Adesanya weighed in at 183.5 pounds and Jared Cannonier was 184.5 pounds for their main event fight. Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against Cannonier on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. In the UFC 276 co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight title against the man he took the belt from, Max Holloway. Volkanovski and Holloway both weighed in Friday morning at 144.5 pounds. ESPN has Adesanya ranked No. 3 in the world on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At middleweight, Adesanya is ranked No. 1 and Cannonier is No. 3. Adesanya (22-1) is undefeated in the middleweight division. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident is coming off a unanimous decision win over Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in February. Adesanya, 32, has four successful middleweight title defenses after unifying the belt...
July 01
July 01

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers agree to four-year, $70M contract for return, agent says

Free-agent center Jusuf Nurkic has agreed to a four-year, $70 million deal to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. The Trail Blazers are also re-signing Drew Eubanks to a one-year contract, his agent, James Dunleavy of Excel Basketball, told Wojnarowski. Nurkic played 56 games last season for Portland, averaging 15.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, after ankle and wrist injuries limited him to a combined 45 games over the prior two seasons. A 27-year-old Bosnian big man, Nurkic has been an integral part of the Trail Blazers' repeated trips to the NBA playoffs since being traded to Portland by the Denver Nuggets in 2017. Now, Portland will be counting on him to continue in that role as the team begins to transition into a new era thanks to the emergence of promising young guard Anfernee Simons, who has supplanted CJ McCollum as franchise icon Damian...
July 01
July 01

Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine agree to 5-year, $215M max contract extension

The Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine have agreed to a five-year, $215 million max contract extension, Klutch Sports announced Friday. LaVine, 27, has blossomed into a two-time All-Star in Chicago, where he arrived in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017, and -- along with DeMar DeRozan -- was the cornerstone of Chicago's return to the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in five years this past season. That also marked the first time in LaVine's career that he had reached the postseason. Now, he and the Bulls will look to continue that success moving forward, thanks to the two sides sitting down and hammering out a maximum contract extension to keep LaVine in Chicago through his prime. Since coming to the Bulls in the Butler trade in 2017, LaVine has become a terrific offensive power at every level. He has averaged at least 23.7 points per game each of the past four seasons while being both a...
July 01
July 01

Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe among recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom

Gymnast Simone Biles and U.S. women's national team star Megan Rapinoe will be presented with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Joe Biden in a ceremony next week, the White House announced Friday. Biles is the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history, winning 32 Olympic and world championship medals. She is also an outspoken advocate on issues that are very personal to her, including athletes' mental health, children in foster care and sexual assault victims. Rapinoe, a two-time Women's World Cup winner and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQIA+ rights. They are among 17 people who will be honored at the White House ceremony. Also among those receiving the Medal of Freedom will be actor Denzel Washington, former U.S. Senator John McCain (posthumously), former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (posthumously) and Sandra Lindsay, the New York City nurse who...
July 01
July 01

New York Knicks keeping Mitchell Robinson after agreeing to four-year, $60M deal, agents say

Free-agent center Mitchell Robinson has agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract to stay with the New York Knicks, his agents, Thad Foucher and Joe Smith of Wasserman Basketball, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. A second-round pick in 2018, Robinson turned out to be the gem of that draft for the Knicks after first-round pick Kevin Knox failed to pan out. After injuries derailed his 2020-21 campaign, Robinson played in a career-high 72 games (62 starts) last season. He averaged 8.5 points per game while shooting 76.1% from the field on a heavy diet of dunks -- the highest in NBA history for a player with more than 250 shot attempts, according to Stathead.com data. Robinson, 24, is known primarily for his rim protection. He has averaged two blocks per game for his career while playing less than 24 minutes per game. He made $1.8 million last season, the final year of a four-year deal he signed with the Knicks after the draft. The Knicks also agreed to a deal with...
July 01
July 01

Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets reach 2-year deal worth more than $13 million, sources say

Bruce Brown has agreed to a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets worth more than $13 million, sources told ESPN's Malika Andrews on Friday. The agreement includes a player option for the second year of the deal, sources told ESPN. A second-round pick in 2018, Brown carved out a unique role on the Brooklyn Nets the past two seasons as a versatile defender who played like a big man on offense despite his 6-foot-4 frame. Brown, who turns 26 on Aug. 15, was used primarily as a screener and rim-roller for a talented Nets team that did not require his ballhandling skills. The role helped Brown shoot over 50% from the field the past two seasons. Brown improved as a 3-point shooter last season as well, hitting over 40% of his 3s on 1.3 attempts per game. He was one of Brooklyn's best players in its first-round series loss to the Boston Celtics, averaging 14 points while shooting nearly 57% from the field and 42.9% from 3.
July 01
July 01

Source: San Jose Sharks fire head coach Bob Boughner after missing playoffs again

The San Jose Sharks have fired head coach Bob Boughner and his staff, an NHL source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Boughner, 51, had been San Jose's coach for parts of three seasons, amassing a 67-85-23 record and failing to make the Stanley Cup playoffs each time. He previously coached the Florida Panthers for two seasons, taking over when Pete DeBoer was fired after 33 games in the 2019-20 season. Boughner had one more year on his contract at $1.5 million. Assistant coaches John Madden and John MacLean also were not retained. The decision comes as the Sharks have narrowed the field for their vacant general manager position. Multiple reports indicate that former Sharks players Ray Whitney and Mike Grier are among the finalists. Both would be first-time general managers. Boughner's firing comes late in the offseason for a coaching change. Eight NHL head-coaching jobs have been filled. There currently is only one other...
July 01
July 01

Cleveland Cavaliers reach three-year, $18M deal to bring back Ricky Rubio, sources say

Free-agent guard Ricky Rubio has agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his agents, Jeff Schwartz and Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Cavaliers have also agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent center Robin Lopez, sources told Wojnarowski. Rubio was enjoying a resurgence with the Cavaliers before an ACL tear in his left knee in December ended his season. Before the injury, Rubio was averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds. He was a mentor to Cavaliers All-Star guard Darius Garland, and his reunion in Cleveland with former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Kevin Love had helped the forward's comeback. The Cavaliers eventually used Rubio's expiring contract in the trade to acquire Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers. Rubio, 31, played an integral role in Cleveland's hot start last season, providing the bench with a steadying...
July 01
July 01

New York Yankees move ahead of Los Angeles Dodgers as World Series favorites

The New York Yankees, off to one of their best starts in franchise history, moved ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers this week and for the first time this season are favorites to win the World Series at sportsbooks around the nation. The Yankees enter July as the World Series favorites at +400 at Caesars Sportsbook, followed by the Dodgers at +450. It's the first time since July 24, 2020, that the Dodgers have not been World Series favorites during the regular season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Yankees began the season among the contenders at 12-1, but have gone on a torrid stretch the past two months. The Yankees went an MLB-best 22-6 (.786) in June, their best winning percentage in any calendar month since Sept. 1964, and own the best record in baseball at 56-21 (.727). It's the sixth time the Yankees have begun July with a winning percentage of .700 or greater. They won the World Series the previous five times. "The Yankees becoming the new...
July 01
July 01

Gary Payton II finalizing deal with Portland Trail Blazers; 3-year, $28M deal, sources say

Gary Payton II is finalizing a multi-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, his agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed to ESPN. Payton, who spent the past two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, is expected to join the Blazers on a three-year, $28 million deal, sources told ESPN's Marc J. Spears. The Warriors offered Payton the taxpayer mid-level exception, sources told Spears. Just as Payton has ties to the Bay Area -- with his father, Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton, being born in Oakland -- he also has a connection to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He grew up in Seattle while his father played for the Seattle Supersonics. Payton also attended and played at Oregon State for two years. After bouncing around the league since his rookie season in 2016-17, Payton finally found a fit in Golden State that allowed his game to flourish. Viewed as a point guard when he came out of college, Payton was used more as a forward, and sometimes even a center, with...
July 01
July 01

LIV Golf players write to DP World Tour to rescind sanctions

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among 16 LIV Golf players who have written to the DP World Tour asking it to rescind its fines and allow them to compete in next week's Scottish Open, according to a report. The British golfers were among the European tour's members who were banned from three upcoming DP World Tour events and fined £100,000 ($121,230) each after playing in the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series' opening event in London. "Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources and focus on appeals, injunctions and lawsuits, we would implore you ... to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions," the letter read, according to the Telegraph. The players called on the tour to "rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 p.m. on Friday". "If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs." On Friday, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley issued a...
July 01
July 01

LIV players write to DP World Tour to rescind sanctions

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among 16 LIV Golf players who have written to the DP World Tour asking it to rescind its fines and allow them to compete in next week's Scottish Open, according to a report. The Britons were among the European tour's members who were banned from three upcoming DP World Tour events and fined £100,000 ($121,230) each after playing in the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf's opening event in London. "Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources and focus on appeals, injunctions and lawsuits, we would implore you ... to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions," the letter read, according to the Telegraph. The players called on the tour to "rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 p.m. on Friday". "If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs." On Friday, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley issued a long statement which said...
July 01
July 01

Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

LAS VEGAS -- The UFC inducted MMA's version of "The Odd Couple" into its Hall of Fame on Thursday, as former titleholders Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov officially joined its Modern Wing. Cormier and Nurmagomedov were both in attendance on Thursday inside T-Mobile Arena. Cormier, 43, is a former two-weight champion in the UFC. Nurmagomedov, 33, is the former lightweight champion who retired with a 29-0 record. Each of the two stars announced his retirement from MMA in 2020. In addition to being two of the top fighters in the world, Cormier and Nurmagomedov were tied together by a comedic friendship that endeared itself to the sport's fans. Originally from Dagestan, Nurmagomedov moved the majority of his training camps in the UFC to American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, where he trained alongside Cormier. "Me and Khabib going in together, it's just a tremendous night," Cormier said. "This means everything to me." A former U.S. Olympic...
July 01
July 01

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker agree on 4-year, $224 million supermax extension

Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker has agreed on a four-year, $224 million supermax extension, his agents, Jessica Holtz and Melvin Booker of CAA Basketball, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Booker's deal, agreed to early Friday, begins in 2024-25 and brings his total contract value to six years and $295 million. Booker, 25, has become the face of the Suns franchise since being drafted 13th overall by Phoenix in the summer of 2015, including leading the Suns -- alongside future Hall of Famer Chris Paul -- to the NBA finals in 2021. Now, he is officially tethered to Phoenix through the 2027-28 season after agreeing to this four-year extension, which won't even begin until after his current contract expires following the 2023-24 season. Booker averaged 26.8 points, 5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this past season for Phoenix, making his third straight All-Star appearance and finishing fourth in the league's Most Valuable Player award voting. He was also named to the All-NBA...
July 01
July 01

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic agrees to five-year, $270 million supermax extension, agents say

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has agreed to the largest contract in NBA history -- a five-year, $270 million supermax extension, his agents, Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Friday.  Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player, is now secured to the Nuggets for a total of six seasons for $303 million.  The deal includes a player option and a trade kicker. The contract will kick in during the 2023-24 season at $46.6 million and climb every season until 2027-28, when Jokic is set to make $61.5 million. A second-round draft pick, Jokic has evolved into one of the improbable forces in the history of the game, a transformative offensive talent who has secured back-to-back league MVP awards. Jokic, 27, averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 74 games for the Nuggets last season, as he edged out Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid to win the league's top individual honor for a second straight season, becoming...
July 01
June 30

Agents: New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson agree to 4-year, $104M deal

Free-agent guard Jalen Brunson has agreed to a four-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks, his agents Aaron Mintz and Sam Rose of CAA Basketball told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The deal includes a player option on the final season. Brunson's representatives contacted the Dallas Mavericks, his former team, on Thursday afternoon to inform them of the guard's intentions to sign with the Knicks, sources said. A planned meeting was called off after the conversation.   Brunson's departure from Dallas to New York has been widely anticipated for days, as the Knicks made a more lucrative offer for him to play a larger role for a franchise with which he has deep family ties, including the recent addition of his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach. Knicks president Leon Rose, who made a series of trades since draft night to create enough cap space to sign Brunson, is a prominent former player agent whose first client was Rick...
June 30
June 30

Andre Drummond agrees to 2-year, $6.6 million deal with Chicago Bulls in NBA free agency, sources say

Free agent center Andre Drummond has agreed to a two-year, $6.6 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The second year is a player option. The 28-year-old big man had a strong second half for the Brooklyn Nets after being dealt just before the trade deadline as part of the package that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers. Nets players and coaches expressed an appreciation for how hard Drummond played down low as he averaged 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 24 regular-season games with Brooklyn. Drummond became a reliable presence on the floor with the Nets and a popular presence off it because of his easy-going personality. While Brooklyn had a variety of center options on the roster, including young big man Nic Claxton and veteran LaMarcus Aldridge, it was Drummond whom Nets coach Steve Nash usually trusted for heavier minutes down the stretch last season. ESPN's...
June 30
June 30

Agent: New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson agree to 4-year, $104M deal

Free-agent guard Jalen Brunson has agreed to a four-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks, his agents Aaron Mintz and Sam Rose of CAA Basketball told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The deal includes a player option on the final season. Brunson's representatives contacted the Dallas Mavericks, his former team, on Thursday afternoon to inform them of the guard's intentions to sign with the Knicks, sources said. A planned meeting was called off after the conversation.   Brunson's departure from Dallas to New York has been widely anticipated for days, as the Knicks made a more lucrative offer for him to play a larger role for a franchise with which he has deep family ties, including the recent addition of his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach. Knicks president Leon Rose, who made a series of trades since draft night to create enough cap space to sign Brunson, is a prominent former player agent whose first client was Rick Brunson. He...
June 30
June 30

Boston Bruins expected to bring on Jim Montgomery as new head coach, sources say

The Boston Bruins are set to name Jim Montgomery as their new head coach, sources told ESPN on Thursday, confirming multiple reports.  The appointment is expected to be made official Friday, the same day Montgomery's contract as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues expires. The 53-year-old Montgomery replaces Bruce Cassidy, who was fired by the Bruins on June 7 after six seasons behind the bench. Cassidy has since been named head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights. The Boston gig will be Montgomery's second NHL head-coaching job. He was hired by Dallas in May 2018 and immediately took the Stars back to the playoffs for the first time in three years. But Montgomery's tenure in Dallas didn't last long. On Dec. 10, 2019, he was fired by the Stars for "unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League." General manager Jim Nill said there was a "material act of...
June 30

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