Sports News

Latest Sports Headlines

January 19

UConn's Geno Auriemma passes Pat Summitt for 2nd on Division I women's basketball wins list

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma got his 1,099th career victory Tuesday as the Huskies defeated Butler 103-35 in Storrs, Connecticut. It moved him past the late Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was 1,098-208 from 1974 to 2012, and into second place for wins in Division I women's basketball. Leading the victory list is Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, who has 1,105 wins. "I wish she was still with us coaching," Auriemma said of Summitt, the winner of eight NCAA titles. She died in 2016 from the effects of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. "And I wish I had to work a lot harder to catch her. I didn't think I would be coaching long enough to be in this position. That certainly wasn't my goal. There have been times when I have felt like it doesn't matter to me. "It still doesn't, whether I get to a certain number or don't. But having accomplished a milestone like this, it's more of an opportunity to reflect on almost four decades of coming here every day and doing the...
January 19
January 19

George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays agree to 6-year, $150M deal, sources say

Outfielder George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a six-year, $150 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Passan on Tuesday. Springer is headed to the Blue Jays' spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, for a physical. If all goes according to plan, Toronto will get the star it has been looking for all winter. The contract would be the largest given out by the Blue Jays in franchise history. Their only other contract that topped $100 million was a $126 million extension given to Vernon Wells in 2006. Springer, the spark plug for the Houston Astros' offense in the leadoff spot for the past four seasons, was one of the most coveted free agents on the market this offseason. He hit a team-high 14 home runs last season and added another four in the postseason, as the Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.  While several of his teammates struggled offensively this past season...
January 19
January 19

Atlanta Dream close to being sold; Kelly Loeffler to have no association with team, sources say

The Atlanta Dream are close to being sold, a WNBA spokesperson confirmed to ESPN. "As it relates to the Atlanta Dream, we understand a sale of the franchise is close to being finalized," the league said in a statement. "Once the sale negotiation is concluded, additional information will be provided." Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that up to five bidders have expressed interest in buying the team, with Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), currently a co-owner, expected to have no association with the franchise after the sale. The franchise has been at the center of turmoil since Loeffler wrote a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert objecting to the league's embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement during the 2020 season. Players around the league initially called on Loeffler to sell her share of the team (49%) but when she refused, they instead publicly endorsed her opponent in her senatorial race, the Rev. Raphael Warnock. Warnock defeated Loeffler in the Jan. 5 runoff and will...
January 19
January 19

Caris LeVert says trade to Indiana Pacers 'could've possibly saved me' after mass found on kidney

New Indiana Pacers wing Caris LeVert roamed the practice facility sidelines on Tuesday for the first time as a member of the squad -- and after a recent MRI revealed a small mass on his left kidney. Though LeVert is out indefinitely, he sees the situation as something bigger than basketball. "I didn't have any symptoms. I was playing in games. I hadn't missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy," LeVert said. "So, in a way, this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body; so I'm definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could've possibly saved me in the long run." LeVert, 26, was included in the four-team deal that also sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets and former Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets. Before it was finalized Saturday, however, a team physical and medical tests revealed the mass. "To me, the most...
January 19
January 19

New York Mets' Sandy Alderson says Jared Porter hiring 'a wake-up call,' vows to do better in vetting process

New York Mets president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he will look for ways to ensure the team does a better job vetting potential hires in the wake of the firing of general manager Jared Porter for explicit, unsolicited texts and images he sent to a reporter in 2016. The text history between Porter, then with the  Chicago Cubs, and the female foreign correspondent, was reported by ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan on Monday night. The Mets fired Porter on Tuesday morning after just a month on the job. "This is a wake-up call," Alderson said later Tuesday. "It clearly suggests something like this can be out there in connection with almost anyone. We have do to our best to make sure we know about that information, but there are limits to what we can actually get. "I don't think this reflects a fundamental flaw in the process. I think this is a very unfortunate circumstance that we wish we knew about, but didn't." ESPN's report...
January 19
January 19

NHL pulling faulty pucks with tracking tech

The NHL announced that it will stop using pucks with imbedded tracking technology for the foreseeable future due to complaints about their performance during the start of the 2021 season. The change is effective beginning with Tuesday night's games. The NHL reviewed the first supply of tracking pucks that it has been using and determined that they did not receive "the same precise finishing treatments during the offseason manufacturing process as were used during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs." One NHL player told ESPN on Tuesday that the pucks were "terrible" and "don't slide," adding that players had voiced their displeasure with them. The league said a new supply of the pucks will be available soon and will "undergo appropriate quality control testing" before being used in games. In the interim, the league said it will use official game pucks from the 2019-20 season. It will also continue to use optical player tracking, which is the other half of the two-pronged tracking...
January 19
January 19

Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton dies at 75

Don Sutton, the longtime Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander who won over 300 games in his Hall of Fame career, died Monday night, his son Daron  announced on social media. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Don Sutton died of cancer at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 75. "Saddened to share that my dad passed away in his sleep last night," Daron Sutton wrote on Twitter. "He worked as hard as anyone I've ever known and he treated those he encountered with great respect...and he took me to work a lot. For all these things, I am very grateful. Rest In Peace." Sutton's career began and ended with the Dodgers, with whom he spent 16 of his 23 seasons -- spanning from 1966 to 1980 and including a final tour in 1988. He was a four-time All-Star with a career 324-256 mark and a 3.26 ERA. His 324 wins rank 14th in major league history. "Today we lost a great ballplayer, a great broadcaster and, most importantly, a great person," Dodgers...
January 19
January 19

Tiger Woods has procedure to alleviate nerve pain in lower back, to miss 2 events

Tiger Woods has undergone a microdiscectomy to alleviate nerve pain in his lower back and will not compete in next week's Farmers Insurance Open or the Genesis Invitational next month. An announcement came via Woods' Twitter account that he had "recently undergone a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching his nerve after experiencing discomfort following the PNC Championship." The statement did not say when the procedure took place, but Woods' friend Notah Begay said Tuesday night on Golf Channel that the golfer was hitting balls earlier. "I just exchanged text messages with him 15 minutes ago,'' Begay said. "And he was hitting golf balls.'' Begay went on to say that Woods wasn't "ripping drivers'' but that he was taking easy swings. Rory McIlroy, speaking Wednesday at a news conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Championship, said that the procedure took place Dec. 23. "Obviously pretty close with him. So yeah, I think in his...
January 19
January 19

Sarah Thomas to become first woman to officiate at Super Bowl

Sarah Thomas will next month become the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday. Thomas will serve as a down judge on referee Carl Cheffers' crew at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida. Thomas joined the NFL in 2015 as its first female on-field official. The league assembles its Super Bowl officiating crew based on eligibility -- a minimum of five years of experience is required -- as well as in-season performance. She has worked a total of four postseason games in six seasons with the league. In a statement, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said: "Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official. Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor." Cheffers will be working his second Super Bowl in five seasons, having also served as crew chief for Super Bowl LI. Four other members of the...
January 19
January 19

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes clears steps, still in protocol, sources say

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL's concussion protocol, and it's too early to say that he definitely will play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Mahomes cleared certain steps Monday, "some big steps," sources told Schefter, but the reigning Super Bowl MVP still must go through other steps to clear the concussion protocol in the coming days. There is hope and optimism, considering he is expected to practice Wednesday, a source told Schefter. Players are allowed to practice in a limited fashion while still in the protocol, which includes five steps players need to clear before being removed. Additionally, Mahomes is dealing with a toe issue. However, coach Andy Reid said Monday that he doesn't think that injury will be a problem. "Yeah, I think he'll be OK there for right now with the toe part," Reid told reporters Monday. "I think we'll be all right there." Reid said...
January 19
January 19

Kyrie Irving rejoins Brooklyn Nets, says he 'just needed a pause'

NEW YORK -- Kyrie Irving rejoined the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday after two weeks away from the team. "I'm back, I'm happy to be back," Irving told reporters. "And we got some great pieces and we just move on and I let my actions and my game speak for itself like I planned on doing. Just needed a pause." Irving practiced with the team Tuesday and coach Steve Nash said that he "expects" Irving will play on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving had missed the team's past seven games -- five for personal reasons and two while conditioning. Irving said that he "had a lot of family and personal stuff going on. So, just want to leave it at that." During the time away for personal reasons, the league fined Irving $50,000 for violating health and safety protocols and attending what appeared to be a family birthday party. He also lost more than $800,000 in salary for the two games he missed while in quarantine. Irving declined to answer whether or not he...
January 19
January 19

Adam Silver says NBA is discussing COVID-19 vaccination of players as PSA

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the league has discussed having players receive COVID-19 vaccines to educate and influence the public regarding their safety and effectiveness. "There have been discussions. It's something we're particularly focused on," Silver said at a virtual conference hosted by Sportico. "In the African American community, there's been enormously disparate impact from COVID ... but now, somewhat perversely, there's been enormous resistance [to vaccinations] in the African American community for understandable historical reasons. ... If that resistance continues, it would be very much a double whammy to the Black community, because the only way out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated." Some public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health, have said that leaders with large platforms such as ministers, entertainers and athletes can set an example by getting the vaccine. "Several public health...
January 19
January 19

NBA talking about using COVID-19 vaccination of players as PSA

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the league has discussed having players receive COVID-19 vaccines to educate and influence the public regarding their safety and effectiveness. "There have been discussions. It's something we're particularly focused on," Silver said at a virtual conference hosted by Sportico. "In the African American community, there's been enormously disparate impact from COVID ... but now, somewhat perversely, there's been enormous resistance [to vaccinations] in the African American community for understandable historical reasons. ... If that resistance continues, it would be very much a double whammy to the Black community, because the only way out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated." Some public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health, have said that leaders with large platforms such as ministers, entertainers and athletes can set an example by getting the vaccine. "Several public health...
January 19
January 19

Delonte West working at drug rehab center he attended, source says

Delonte West is now working at the drug rehabilitation center in Florida that he attended after  Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban helped the former homeless NBA player get his life back on track, a source confirmed to ESPN. West was treated at the Rebound therapy center in Florida. Cuban picked West up at a gas station last September after pictures circulated of him panhandling at an intersection in Dallas. Cuban also helped West to reconnect with his mother. Cuban is among several people involved in the NBA who in recent years have been attempting to help West, who publicly discussed his diagnosis of bipolar disorder during his NBA career.  West, 37, averaged 9.7 points and 3.6 assists per game over eight NBA seasons while playing for Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Mavericks. He last played in 2011-12, with Dallas. The news of West's employment was first reported by The Athletic. ESPN's Tim MacMahon contributed to...
January 19
January 19

New York Mets GM Jared Porter fired for sending explicit texts, images to reporter

The New York Mets fired general manager Jared Porter on Tuesday, a day after ESPN reported that he sent explicit unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016 while working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office. Owner Steve Cohen tweeted Tuesday that the Mets "have terminated Jared Porter this morning," less than 12 hours after ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan reported that Porter sent graphic uninvited text messages and images to the reporter. "In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it," Cohen tweeted. "There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior." Mets president Sandy Alderson, who hired Porter last month, confirmed Porter's firing in a statement. "The New York Mets have terminated General Manager Jared Porter, effective immediately," Alderson said. "Jared's actions, as reflected by events disclosed last night, failed to meet the Mets' standards for professionalism and personal...
January 19
January 19

New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas likely to have multiple surgeries on ankle

METAIRIE, La. --  New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas is likely to have surgeries on the torn deltoid and other injured ligaments in his ankle that plagued him all season, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday. The expectation is that Thomas would be recovered in time for summer OTAs under a normal offseason calendar, the source said. Thomas first suffered the high ankle injury in the final minutes of Week 1 and missed a total of nine games in the regular season. But the source said he knew it was likely Drew Brees' last season and didn't want to miss out on trying to win a Super Bowl with him. Thomas often wouldn't practice all week, yet would still play in games, at much less than 100% and with pain medication, the source said. The coaches told him that, even as injured as he was, they were much better off with him than without him. Thomas went on injured reserve from Weeks 15-17 to try to get as healthy as he could for the playoffs. He...
January 19
January 19

Sources: Washington Football Team expected to make Marty Hurney GM

The Washington Football Team is expected to make Marty Hurney its new general manager, sources confirmed to ESPN. The move, which was first reported by the NFL Network, provides another familiar face for coach Ron Rivera. Hurney spent parts of five seasons with Rivera in Carolina, having been fired twice. He hired Rivera in 2011 and spent one more year there before being ousted. He returned in 2017 as an interim general manager and remained in that job until he was fired in December, in part because his "old-school" methods clashed with owner David Tepper's desire to find someone more aligned with an analytics- and data-driven approach. Rivera will still have power on the football side in the organization, having been hired to provide a "coach-centric" model, according to owner Dan Snyder. But Washington wanted to add a person to its front office to take some of the administrative burden off Rivera. Hurney handled the salary cap in Carolina, among other duties....
January 19
January 19

Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum to miss at least four weeks with small fracture in left foot

Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum will miss at least the next four weeks after additional testing revealed a small fracture in his left foot and a midfoot sprain, the team announced Monday night. McCollum left the Blazers' 112-106 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at halftime with what the team called a left foot sprain. It was unclear when he was hurt, but it appeared the Hawks' Clint Capela stepped on McCollum's foot following a layup in the opening quarter. After that game, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said X-rays ruled out a more serious injury. Earlier Monday, Stotts had told reporters that McCollum's sprained left foot would be reevaluated in a week. But the Blazers, in a statement late Monday night, said further imaging showed "a small hairline fracture to the lateral cuneiform" in McCollum's left foot. The team said McCollum will wear a walking boot and be reevaluated in four weeks. McCollum is averaging a career-best 26.7...
January 19
January 19

Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum to miss at least 4 weeks with small fracture in left foot

Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum will miss at least the next four weeks after additional testing revealed a small fracture in his left foot and a midfoot sprain, the team announced Monday night. McCollum left the Blazers' 112-106 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at halftime with what the team called a left foot sprain. It was unclear when he was hurt, but it appeared the Hawks' Clint Capela stepped on McCollum's foot following a layup in the opening quarter. After that game, coach Terry Stotts said X-rays ruled out a more serious injury. Earlier Monday, Stotts had told reporters that McCollum's sprained left foot would be reevaluated in a week But the Blazers, in a statement late Monday night, said further imaging showed "a small hairline fracture to the lateral cuneiform" in McCollum's left foot. The team said McCollum will wear a walking boot and be reevaluated in four weeks. McCollum is averaging a career-best 26.7 points...
January 19
January 19

New York Mets GM Jared Porter acknowledges sending explicit images to female reporter when he worked for Chicago Cubs

New York Mets general manager Jared Porter sent explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016, culminating with a picture of an erect, naked penis, according to a copy of the text history obtained by ESPN. The woman, a foreign correspondent who had moved to the United States to cover Major League Baseball, said at one point she ignored more than 60 messages from Porter before he sent the final lewd photo. The text relationship started casually before Porter, then the  Chicago Cubs director of professional scouting, began complimenting her appearance, inviting her to meet him in various cities and asking why she was ignoring him. And the texts show she had stopped responding to Porter after he sent a photo of pants featuring a bulge in the groin area. Porter continued texting her anyway, sending dozens of messages despite the lack of a response. On Aug. 11, 2016, a day after asking her to meet him at a hotel in Los Angeles, Porter sent the woman 17...
January 19
January 19

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden cites maturity as reason he, Kevin Durant off to historic start

NEW YORK --  Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden are jelling at an impressive pace -- and the history books back that up. On Monday night, they became the first duo to score 30-plus points in each of their first two games with a franchise as the Nets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 125-123. Durant had 30 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, while Harden put up 34 points, 6 rebounds and 12 assists.  That came on the heels of Harden's 30-point triple-double performance on Saturday against the visiting  Orlando Magic in his Nets debut, a game in which Durant scored 42.  Since Harden's arrival in Brooklyn, Nets coaches and management have repeatedly said they would lean on the previous chemistry that Harden and Durant had built during their tenure with the  Oklahoma City Thunder. After all, Harden hasn't yet had a single practice session with Brooklyn.  Harden said their maturity has further aided their on-court...
January 19
January 19

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden cites maturity as reason for early chemistry with Kevin Durant

NEW YORK --  Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden are jelling at an impressive pace -- and the history books back that up. On Monday, they became the first duo to score 30-plus points in each of their first two games with a franchise as the Nets defeated the Bucks 125-123. Durant had 30 points, 9 rebounds and six assists in Monday's game, while Harden put up 34 points, 6 rebounds and 12 assists.  That comes on the heels of Harden's 30-point triple-double performance on Saturday night in his Nets debut against the Magic. Since Harden's arrival in Brooklyn, Nets coaches and management have repeatedly said that they would lean on the previous chemistry that Harden and Durant had built during their tenure in Oklahoma City together. After all, Harden hasn't yet had a single practice session with the team. Harden said that their maturity has further aided their on-court synergy. "We were young in Oklahoma City," Harden said. "We are grown men now....
January 19
January 19

Victor Oladipo debuts for Houston Rockets, says 'better days are ahead' for team

Guard Victor Oladipo exuded optimism about the Houston Rockets after his franchise debut, presenting quite a contrast to James Harden's final comments as a member of the franchise. "I know that better days are ahead for the Houston Rockets, and I'm looking forward to being a part of those special days," Oladipo said after his 32-point, nine-assist performance in a 125-120 road loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. It was the second-highest-scoring debut in franchise history, behind Harden's 37-point performance in the 2012-13 season opener. Oladipo, a two-time All-Star for the Indiana Pacers whose career was interrupted by a ruptured quadriceps tendon suffered in January 2019, was acquired by the Rockets in last week's four-team blockbuster trade that sent Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Harden was aware that a deal was likely near when he declared that the Rockets "just aren't good enough" and could not be "fixed"...
January 19
January 18

NY Mets GM acknowledges sending unsolicited, explicit images while working for Cubs

New York Mets general manager Jared Porter sent explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016, culminating with a picture of an erect, naked penis, according to a copy of the text history obtained by ESPN. The woman, a foreign correspondent who had moved to the United States to cover Major League Baseball, said at one point she ignored more than 60 messages from Porter before he sent the final lewd photo. The text relationship started casually before Porter, then the Chicago Cubs director of professional scouting, began complimenting her appearance, inviting her to meet him in various cities and asking why she was ignoring him. And the texts show she had stopped responding to Porter after he sent a photo of pants featuring a bulge in the groin area. Porter continued texting her anyway, sending dozens of messages despite the lack of a response. On Aug. 11, 2016, a day after asking her to meet him at a hotel in Los Angeles, Porter sent the woman 17 pictures....
January 18
January 18

Baltimore Ravens to release veteran RB Mark Ingram, sources say

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A year after leading Lamar Jackson's MVP campaign with the mantra "Big Truss," running back Mark Ingram will be released by the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ingram, 31, was a healthy scratch for four of the Ravens' final five contests this season, including both playoff games. The Ravens will create $5 million in salary-cap room by releasing the 10-year veteran. A Pro Bowl player in 2019, Ingram didn't have the same explosiveness this campaign, and he was slowly phased out of the Ravens' game plan, finishing with a career-low 72 carries. Baltimore ended up with the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL by relying on rookie J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Ingram said his goodbye to the Ravens via social media on Monday, calling the team "a first class organization." Ingram posted on Twitter: "I love the real ones in flock nation that supported me and showed luv! My blood brothers, whats...
January 18
January 18

Sources: Jon Lester, Washington Nationals agree to 1-year deal

Veteran left-hander  Jon Lester and the Washington Nationals are in agreement on a one-year deal, pending a physical, sources familiar with the contract told ESPN. Lester rejoins Dave Martinez, the current Nationals manager and former Cubs bench coach when they won the 2016 World Series for their first title in 108 years. Martinez has now added two players from his time with the Cubs; left fielder Kyle Schwarber was signed as a free agent last week. While no longer an ace of a staff, Lester brings a great postseason résumé with him to Washington and can fit nicely behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in the rotation. Toward the end of a successful six-year run with the Cubs, Lester's numbers began to go south. But every time he was counted out, he showed he could adjust and produce. That includes in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he started out hot, then took about a five-game dip, before...
January 18
January 18

NFL changes 2021 scouting combine format because of COVID-19 pandemic

The NFL's coaches, scouts and personnel executives will not descend on Indianapolis in February for the annual scouting combine, as the league has altered the event to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The combine, which has been held in Indianapolis since 1987, will be modified because of COVID-19 precautions. In a memo obtained by ESPN that was sent Monday to team executives, athletic trainers, team physicians and head coaches, the NFL outlined the format for this year's run-up to the draft. Routinely, around 330 of the draft's top prospects are invited to the combine each year, an event whose official name is the National Invitational Camp. The prospects are put through on-field workouts, a battery of psychological testing, in-person interviews with individual teams and an extensive medical exam. This year, all on-field workouts will be conducted at on-campus pro days, and Monday's memo outlines that the league will try to have as much uniformity in the on-field drills as...
January 18
January 18

Sources: Jon Lester, Washington Nationals agree to 1-year deal with mutual option

Left-handed starter Jon Lester and the Washington Nationals are in agreement on a one-year deal with a mutual option, pending a physical, sources familiar with the contract told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Lester rejoins his bench coach from Chicago, as Nationals manager Davey Martinez has now added two players from his time with the  Cubs. Left fielder Kyle Schwarber was signed as a free agent last week. While no longer an ace of a staff, Lester brings a great postseason résumé with him to Washington and can fit nicely behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in the rotation. Toward the end of a successful six-year run with the Cubs, Lester's numbers began to go south. But every time he was counted out, he showed he could adjust and produce. That includes in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he started out hot, then took about a five-game dip, before fixing his mechanics. He finished with a deceptive 5.16...
January 18
January 18

San Diego Padres to acquire Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove in 3-team deal, sources say

The San Diego Padres are in agreement on a deal to acquire right-hander Joe Musgrove from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Monday. The trade for Musgrove is pending medical reviews, per sources, and will be sending a large package of prospects back to the Pirates. Hudson Head, a well-regarded center fielder, is expected to be among the group heading to Pittsburgh. The trade also involves the New York Mets. The Padres are sending left-hander Joey Lucchesi to New York, according to multiple reports. Meanwhile, Mets prospect catcher Endy Rodriguez is headed to the Pirates, a source told ESPN's Kiley McDaniel. Musgrove will be the third starting pitcher acquired via trade by the Padres this offseason. San Diego picked up left-hander Blake Snell and right-hander Yu Darvish in separate blockbuster trades last month with the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs, respectively. Musgrove, 28, was...
January 18
January 18

NFL changes 2021 scouting combine format due to COVID-19 pandemic

The NFL's coaches, scouts and personnel executives will not descend on Indianapolis in February for the annual scouting combine, as the league has altered the event to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The combine, which has been held in Indianapolis since 1987, will be modified due to COVID-19 precautions. In a memo obtained by ESPN that was sent Monday to team executives, athletic trainers, team physicians and head coaches, the NFL outlined the format for this year's run-up to the draft. Routinely, around 330 of the draft's top prospects are invited to the combine each year, an event whose official name is the National Invitational Camp. The prospects are put through on-field workouts, a battery of psychological testing, in-person interviews with individual teams and an extensive medical exam. This year, all on-field workouts will be conducted at on-campus pro days, and Monday's memo outlines that the league will try to have as much uniformity in the on-field drills as...
January 18
January 18

San Diego Padres to acquire Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove, sources say

The San Diego Padres are in agreement on a deal to acquire right-hander Joe Musgrove from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources tell ESPN's Jeff Passan. The trade for Musgrove is pending medical reviews, per sources, and will be sending a large package of prospects back to the Pirates. Hudson Head, a well-regarded center fielder, is expected to be among the group heading to Pittsburgh. The trade also involves the New York Mets. The Padres are sending left-hander  Joey Lucchesi to the Mets, according to multiple reports. Meanwhile, Mets prospect catcher Endy Rodriguez is headed to the Pirates, a source told ESPN's Kiley McDaniel. Musgrove, 28, was 1-5 with a 3.86 ERA in eight starts for the Pirates in the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Musgrove, the team's Opening Day starter in 2020, is set to make $4.45 million in 2021 after he and the Pirates agreed to a contract last Friday to avoid arbitration. He is 29-38 with a 4.33 ERA over...
January 18
January 18

Tennessee firing football coach Jeremy Pruitt after internal investigation

Tennessee is firing football head coach Jeremy Pruitt following a weekslong investigation into potential recruiting violations within the program. In a notice of intent to terminate letter sent to Pruitt by Tennessee officials on Monday, the university concluded that "the conduct by at least two assistant coaches and several recruiting staff members are likely to lead to an NCAA finding of Level I and/or Level II violations of one or more Governing Athletic Rules. The University also has concluded that these likely findings were the result of either your material neglect or lack of reasonable preventive compliance measures." A copy of the letter, which was obtained by ESPN, states Pruitt is being suspended with pay before the university intends to officially terminate his contract at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The school said in a statement it also has issued termination letters to assistant coaches Brian Niedermeyer and Shelton Felton, four members of the on-campus football recruiting...
January 18
January 18

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving bought house for family of George Floyd, former NBA player Stephen Jackson says

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving bought a house for the family of George Floyd, according to former NBA player Stephen Jackson. Jackson, who was a close friend of the late Floyd, revealed on " The Rematch" podcast that Irving, along with other celebrities, had reached out to help Floyd's family. "Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne's manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney," Jackson said. Sources told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that Irving gave them the money for the house about five or six months ago. Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis in May while in police custody after a white officer kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than seven minutes. His death sparked a wave of protests across the country. Irving has been active off the court on social justice matters. In July he committed $1.5 million to supplement the income of WNBA players who chose not to play the 2020 season in their bubble, whether because...
January 18
January 18

Tennessee to fire football coach Jeremy Pruitt after internal investigation

Tennessee has notified head football coach Jeremy Pruitt that he will be fired, following a weekslong investigation into potential recruiting violations in the program. In a notice of intent to terminate letter sent to Pruitt by Tennessee officials on Monday, the university has concluded that "the conduct by at least two assistant coaches and several recruiting staff members are likely to lead to an NCAA finding of Level I and/or Level II violations of one or more Governing Athletic Rules. The University also has concluded that these likely findings were the result of either your material neglect or lack of reasonable preventive compliance measures." A copy of the letter was obtained by ESPN. It states that Pruitt is being suspended with pay and the university intends to terminate his contract at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The letter stated that UT concluded that the NCAA "will likely find that you failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and/or monitor...
January 18
January 18

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid says before the concussion protocol, Patrick Mahomes might have returned

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday he didn't know whether Patrick Mahomes would clear the NFL's concussion protocol in time to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. But Reid indicated Mahomes might have felt well enough to have returned to Sunday's divisional-round game against the  Cleveland Browns. After taking a hit and being knocked to the ground, Mahomes got up and momentarily staggered. He then headed for a brief exam in the sideline medical tent before bounding quickly down a set of steps and then running up the Arrowhead Stadium tunnel to the Chiefs' locker room. "There was a chance back in the day that Patrick comes back in [the game],'' Reid said. "You saw him run up the tunnel. By the time he got to that point, he was feeling pretty good. But there's a certain protocol you have to follow and that takes it out of the trainer's hand and the player's hand and the doctor's hand.'' Mahomes was replaced in the third...
January 18
January 18

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving to miss seventh consecutive game

NEW YORK -- Kyrie Irving will not play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, marking the seventh consecutive game he will miss as he continues to ramp up his on-court activity. As Irving inches closer to returning to game action, his debut alongside James Harden and Kevin Durant could come on the Nets' upcoming two-game road trip. The Nets are scheduled to play the Cavaliers on Jan. 20 and 22. Irving has played in Cleveland just once since his trade from the Cavs to the Celtics in 2017 -- on opening night of the 2017-18 season. Irving, who had been listed as questionable on Sunday night's injury report, has not played in a game since Jan. 5. For the first five games of his absence, Irving was listed as being out for personal reasons. While Irving was away from the team, footage of Irving dancing and standing next to his sister while she blew out candles at a family birthday party began circulating on social media. The league's COVID-19...
January 18
January 18

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson urges fans not to protest on his behalf

HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on Monday asked fans who planned what was initially called a protest on his behalf to cancel the event "for the sake of public safety." "Although I am humbled I ask that whoever is organizing the march cancel for the sake of public safety," Watson said in a tweet. "Covid is spreading at a high rate & I don't want any fans to unnecessarily expose themselves to infection." The protest appeared to be related to Watson's unhappiness with the team after the process it used to hire general manager Nick Caserio. The event was organized on Saturday night by a Texans fan who tweeted, "I'm off Monday, I'm down to protest in front of NRG. If we get enough people to do these things change could happen." The gathering, first marketed as a protest but later changed to a "rally," wound up being a small group showing its support for Watson. The plan was for fans to eat at Lefty's, the cheesesteak franchise of which Watson is...
January 18
January 18

Duke Blue Devils fall out of AP men's basketball Top 25; Gonzaga Bulldogs, Baylor Bears remain 1-2

Duke is unranked in The Associated Press men's basketball poll, falling from the Top 25 for the first time since Feb. 8, 2016. The Blue Devils dropped to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the ACC after losing to Virginia Tech. Their streak of 91 consecutive weeks in the Top 25 was second only to Kansas, which extended its record to 229 weeks. Gonzaga is now No. 2 at 87 weeks. Gonzaga and Baylor maintained their grip on the top two spots, while Villanova remained No. 3. The Bulldogs again racked up all but the two first-place votes that went to the Bears, while the Wildcats remained firmly behind the preseason top two despite not playing a game since Dec. 23. They had a pair of COVID-19 pauses broken up by a single day, including one involving coach Jay Wright, effectively sidelining them for a month. "Everyone has dealt with this," said Wright, whose team finally gets back on the court Tuesday night against Seton Hall. "It's not just the days you are out. It's getting the...
January 18
January 18

Sources: Tennessee fires football coach Jeremy Pruitt after internal investigation

Tennessee has fired head football coach Jeremy Pruitt after a weeks-long investigation into potential recruiting violations in the program, sources told ESPN on Monday. An official announcement is expected later Monday, and it wasn't immediately clear whether Pruitt will be paid any of the more than $12 million he is owed under the terms of his contract. Additionally, athletic director Phillip Fulmer, a Hall of Fame coach, plans to retire after leading the athletic department for more than three years, sources said. The Volunteers turned to Fulmer after removing John Currie from the AD role in December 2017. Fulmer coached the Volunteers from 1992 to 2008, going 152-52 overall and leading Tennessee to the 1998 national title. He had been working as a special adviser for community, athletics and university relations before taking over as AD. Pruitt's exit comes on the heels of Tennessee launching an in-house investigation dating back to November into alleged recruiting...
January 18
January 18

Oklahoma State University basketball coach surprises walk-on with scholarship

Dee Mitchell was surprised with a scholarship while working his shift at Walmart as teammates watched over Zoom.
January 18
Dee Mitchell was surprised with a scholarship while working his shift at Walmart as teammates watched over Zoom.
January 18

Ohio State QB Justin Fields declares for NFL draft

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is headed to the NFL draft after two seasons with the Buckeyes, he announced Monday. Fields made the announcement on Twitter, writing, "My path to The Ohio State University was not a direct one, but I could not have asked for a better final destination." Fields played his freshman season at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State in January 2019. Soon after, he received a waiver to be immediately eligible for the 2019 season, in which he put up record-setting numbers for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Fields as the No. 3 overall prospect for the 2021 draft, behind Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. In two seasons at Ohio State, Fields had 5,373 passing yards with 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions, to go along with 867 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Fields is set to become the second Ohio State...
January 18
January 18

Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers look to trade or waive Kevin Porter Jr. after outburst

The Cleveland Cavaliers are planning to trade or waive 2019 first-round pick Kevin Porter Jr., sources confirmed to ESPN. Porter hasn't played and has largely been away from the team this season for what has been termed personal reasons. He was working his way back and attended his first game Friday night when the Cavs beat the New York Knicks. That night, however, he had a screaming match with team officials after his locker was moved to an auxiliary area to accommodate new teammate Taurean Prince, who arrived from the Brooklyn Nets with Jarrett Allen in a trade last week. After the episode, Porter was told to clean out his locker and other members of the roster were informed he'd no longer be on the team, sources said. The Athletic first reported the incident with Porter. The team picked up an option in Porter's contract last month; he has one year at $1.7 million left on his deal. The Cavs have been protective when...
January 18
January 18

With Olympics postponed, marathoner gives birth

Tuliamuk plans to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
January 18
Aliphine Tiliamuk reacts as she crosses the finish line to win the Women's U.S. Olympic marathon team trials on Feb. 29, 2020, in Atlanta.
January 18

Tennis players on lockdown keeping fit in hotel rooms

The players are keeping fit in hotel rooms as they prepare for the Australian Open.
January 18
The players are keeping fit in hotel rooms as they prepare for the Australian Open.
January 18

LA Clippers hail much-improved chemistry: 'Guys are buying in'

LOS ANGELES -- The LA Clippers have blown big leads, have had key players in and out of the lineup and have even suffered a 51-point loss this season. But unlike during last season's collapse in the playoffs, the Clippers said their chemistry and energy is vastly improved. Without Serge Ibaka and Lou Williams, the Clippers won a season-high fourth straight game on Sunday, a 129-96 rout of the Indiana Pacers -- and some veterans are crediting a new attitude. "I feel like our energy is way better this season," Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. said after scoring 20 points off the bench. "Think guys are buying in." "We kind of felt let down last year," Morris later added. "And the first thing we did before we got together was we let that s--- go. It's a new season; it's a new team." Last season, the Clippers had difficulty forming chemistry, with  Paul George and Kawhi Leonard easing their way into the campaign due...
January 18
January 18

Pondering retirement again, New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees has 'no regrets' about coming back this season

NEW ORLEANS --  Drew Brees was still on the Superdome field nearly two hours after what was probably his final game in the  New Orleans Saints' historic home building. Brees, who is widely expected to retire after 20 seasons, did not officially announce his intentions after a disappointing 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday. But he made sure to soak it all in. Brees and his wife, Brittany, spent time playing with their four children -- some football and some gymnastics. He also chatted with longtime friend and rival Tom Brady. After the two all-time great quarterbacks shared a hug, Brady even threw a pass to one of Brees' kids, before ultimately moving on to the NFC Championship Game.    Brees, who turned 42 on Friday, was hoping to reach his fourth NFC title game and his second Super Bowl this year. Instead, he threw three interceptions in a playoff game for the first time...
January 18
January 18

Pondering retirement again, Drew Brees has 'no regrets' about coming back this season

NEW ORLEANS --  Drew Brees was still on the Superdome field nearly two hours after what was probably his final game in the  New Orleans Saints' historic home building. Brees, who is widely expected to retire after 20 seasons, did not officially announce his intentions after a disappointing 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday. But he made sure to soak it all in. Brees and his wife, Brittany, spent time playing with their four children -- some football and some gymnastics. He also spent time chatting with longtime friend and rival Tom Brady. After the two all-time great quarterbacks shared a hug, Brady even threw a pass to one of Brees' kids before moving on to the NFC Championship Game.    Brees, who turned 42 on Friday, was hoping to reach his fourth NFC title game and his second Super Bowl this year. Instead, he threw three interceptions in a playoff game for the first time in his...
January 18
January 17

Defense stars as Tampa Bay Buccaneers reach conference championship in Tom Brady's first season in NFC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed quarterback Tom Brady in the offseason for moments like this: to go head-to-head with a New Orleans Saints team that has had an unrelenting grip on the NFC South; to get the Bucs back to the postseason for the first time in 13 years; and to become the first team in NFL history to host a hometown Super Bowl. The Bucs are one step away from completing that trilogy. In the second stop of a playoff odyssey that began with a wild-card game on the road -- a first in Brady's 21-year career -- Tampa Bay defeated New Orleans 30-20 on Sunday night.  Up next: Lambeau Field, against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. It will be Brady's 14th conference title game and the Bucs' fourth -- after most recently defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 on the road en route to winning Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season. "Just so proud of everyone, the whole organization," said Brady,...
January 17
January 17

Los Angeles Chargers hire Rams' Brandon Staley as coach

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms with Brandon Staley to become their next head coach, the team announced Sunday night. He will be formally introduced at a news conference on Thursday.  Staley served the past season as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator, developing the top-ranked defense in the NFL behind star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Staley's unit propelled the Rams to a 10-6 season and a wild-card playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks before the team exited the postseason with a loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. In his first year as an NFL coordinator, Staley's defense ranked No. 1 in efficiency, yards allowed per game and points allowed per game. With the Chargers, Staley replaces coach Anthony Lynn, who was fired after four seasons and a 33-31 record. The Chargers are coming off a 7-9 season that resulted in a third-place finish in the AFC...
January 17
January 17

Tom Brady takes Tampa Bay Buccaneers to conference championship in first season in NFC

The Buccaneers signed quarterback Tom Brady this offseason for moments like this: to go head-to-head with a New Orleans Saints team that has had an unrelenting grip on the NFC South, to get Tampa Bay back to the postseason for the first time in 13 years, and to become the first team in NFL history to host a hometown Super Bowl. The Bucs are one step away from completing that trilogy. In the second stop of a playoff odyssey that began with a wild-card game on the road -- a first in Brady's 21-year career -- Tampa Bay defeated New Orleans 30-20 on Sunday night. The Saints had swept the Bucs in the regular season, outscoring them by 46 points in two games. Up next: Lambeau Field, against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. It will be Brady's 14th conference title game and the Bucs' fourth, after most recently defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 on the road en route to winning Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002...
January 17

Suggested Interests