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2 hours ago

Dirk Nowitzki rejoins Dallas Mavericks as special adviser

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has rejoined the franchise as a special adviser who will assist in the hiring process of a new general manager and coach and consult on other front-office decisions, the team announced Friday. "Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special advisor and I am happy to support my Mavs," Nowitzki said in a statement. "Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were both mentors and played huge roles in my career and the success of this franchise, and I am going to miss them. It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward." Nowitzki's return comes as the Mavericks head in a new direction after Carlisle resigned Thursday following 13 years as Mavericks coach. That decision was revealed one day after the departure of Nelson following 24 seasons with the franchise. Nowitzki, who scored a franchise-record 31,560 points in his 21-year career spent entirely with the Mavericks, has not been involved with...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

Boston Celtics trading Kemba Walker, 2021 first-rounder to Oklahoma City Thunder

Two weeks after replacing Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens made a seismic first move in his new role. Boston is sending All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, the 16th pick in this year's NBA draft and a 2025 second-round selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick, the teams announced Friday. It is unusual for any trade to happen before next week's NBA combine, let alone one this significant. But Stevens has a long-standing relationship with Thunder general manager Sam Presti, and the deal accomplished key objectives for both franchises. "Kemba is a true professional and a great teammate and player," Stevens said in a statement. "I want to thank him for his tremendous impact, and the positive contribution he's made both to the Celtics and the City of Boston." The Celtics get significant financial flexibility as Stevens tries to...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Boston Celtics trading Kemba Walker, 2021 first-rounder to Oklahoma City Thunder, sources say

Two weeks after replacing Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens made a seismic first move in his new role. Boston agreed to send All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, the 16th pick in this year's NBA draft and a 2025 second-round selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. It is unusual for any trade to happen before next week's NBA combine, let alone one this significant. But Stevens has a long-standing relationship with Thunder general manager Sam Presti, and the deal accomplished key objectives for both franchises. The Celtics get significant financial flexibility as Stevens tries to retool the roster around young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Walker is owed roughly $73 million over the next two years, while Horford is owed $53 million -- $41 million guaranteed -- over...
4 hours ago
June 18

Soccer-Brazilian championship results and standings

Aug 20 - Results and standings from the Brazilian championship matches on Thursday Atletico Mineiro 2 Avai 2 Flamengo 1 Cruzeiro 2 Nautico 2 Goias 0 Wednesday, August 19 Barueri 2 Sport 1 Botafogo 1 Santo Andre 2 Coritiba 1 Palmeiras 0 Internacional 1 Corinthians 2 Santos 1 Gremio 0 Sao Paulo 1 Fluminense 0 Vitoria 2 Atletico Paranaense 1 Standings P W D L F A Pts 1 Palmeiras 20 10 7 3 31 18 37 2 Sao Paulo 20 10 6 4 29 21 36 3 Goias 20 10 5 5 37 28 35 4 Internacional 18 10 3 5 32 22 33 ------------------------- 5 Atletico Mineiro 19 9 6 4 34 24 33 6 Corinthians 20 9 4 7 25 24 31 7 Barueri 20 8 7 5 40 29 31 8 Avai 20 8 7 5 30 24 31 9 Gremio 20 8 4 8 33 23 28 10...
June 18
June 18

Giannis Antetokounmpo shuns 3s, goes on attack as Milwaukee Bucks force Game 7

With his team's season on the line, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo entered Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals with a clear goal in mind: to attack every chance he could. After so much of this series has been dominated by chatter about his wayward jump shot, Antetokounmpo ensured Milwaukee would survive and force a Game 7 on Saturday night in Brooklyn by relentlessly forcing his way to the rim. The result? Milwaukee cruised to a 104-89 victory, while Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, 17 rebounds and three assists in 41 minutes -- all while not taking a single 3-point shot. "That was just how it went," Antetokounmpo said. "I didn't shoot a 3 tonight, but I'm just trying to be aggressive. Get downhill, make the right play, I think there was maybe one or two plays I was open at the 3-point line and maybe could have shot it. "But what I know is that I enjoy the game when I'm aggressive, and I can get downhill and I can get my teammates...
June 18
June 17

Bryson DeChambeau has some 'fun,' videobombs Brooks Koepka during U.S. Open interview

SAN DIEGO -- The USGA wouldn't pair Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, but DeChambeau still found a way to needle his rival Thursday. After Koepka finished his opening round on the South Course at Torrey Pines, DeChambeau was walking to the No. 1 hole to tee off as part of the afternoon wave of players. DeChambeau noticed that Koepka was being interviewed by the Golf Channel's Todd Lewis, so he decided to videobomb it. DeChambeau jumped and waved his left arm over a fence behind where Koepka was standing. His stunt was captured on camera. After his round ended late Thursday, DeChambeau said he was only trying to have fun with Koepka, who earlier this week told reporters of their relationship: "We just don't like each other." "Heck, yeah, absolutely," DeChambeau said. "Again, it's one of those things people are thinking I was doing something, I wasn't doing anything at the PGA Championship. I saw an opportunity and I just...
June 17
June 17

Motorcycle daredevil dies in crash practicing for world record jump

Harvill, 28, was planning to jump 351 feet on his motorcycle.
June 17
Alex Harvill poses before an motorcycle event at the Talladega, Ala.
June 17

Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tyler Zombro grateful for support since struck by liner

Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Tyler Zombro, who underwent major brain surgery after being struck in the head by a line drive during a Triple-A game June 3, posted a series of tweets Thursday expressing gratitude for the support and care he received during his recovery. In his tweets, Zombro also shared photos of his post-surgery recovery at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.  Zombro, a 26-year-old reliever for the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, had spent five days in the intensive care unit and two more in the hospital before being discharged on June 9. He remains in Durham with his family and is continuing with outpatient and occupational therapy. The incident occurred in the eighth inning of a game against the Norfolk Tides in Durham. Zombro was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Brett Cumberland and immediately fell to the ground. His feet appeared to be shaking as an athletic trainer rushed to him. Zombro was...
June 17
June 17

Phil Mickelson distracted by spectators who kept their cell phones on at U.S. Open

SAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson's quest to complete the career Grand Slam was not aided Thursday by the numerous instances in which he was distracted by spectators who did not switch their cell phones to off during the first round of the U.S. Open. Mickelson was visibly and audibly irritated during one instance on the 13th hole -- his fourth -- in which he three times backed off a shot from just off the fairway to ask that a cell phone be switched to off. The third time resulted in a police officer being summoned, and while Mickelson did not use it as an excuse, he pushed his approach well left into a bush and had to take a penalty stroke. Mickelson, who turned 51 on Wednesday, managed just one birdie in a round of 4-over-par 75 that left him eight shots back of clubhouse leader Russell Henley. "It's part of professional golf,'' Mickelson said. "You have to learn to deal with it. I don't understand why you just can't turn that little button on the side into silent. I...
June 17
June 17

Arizona Diamondbacks fall to San Francisco Giants, set modern-era record with 23rd straight road loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Occasionally, the Arizona Diamondbacks' players glanced up at the Oracle Park scoreboard in center field. It told a most familiar, gloomy story. The Diamondbacks made dubious history, setting a modern-era (since 1900) major league record with their 23rd straight road loss, getting trounced by the San Francisco Giants 10-3 on Thursday. "It's nothing we're proud of," manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's been an extended period of time. It weighs on you. It's heavy." The dejected D-backs trudged off the field and quietly made their way back to the visiting clubhouse following the final out, breaking a tie with the 1963 Mets and 1943 Philadelphia Athletics for road futility. Held to just a lone single, hit by pitcher Zac Gallen, through six innings, Arizona fell behind 6-0. The Diamondbacks went feebly, helpless to stop this runaway train of despair that began nearly two months ago. "Obviously, the mood is unhappy," Gallen said. "Guys are...
June 17
June 17

Phil Mickelson distracted by spectators who kept their cell phone cameras on at U.S. Open

SAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson's quest to complete the career Grand Slam was not aided Thursday by the numerous instances in which he was distracted by spectators who did not switch their cell phone cameras off during the first round of the U.S. Open. Mickelson was visibly and audibly irritated during one instance on the 13th hole -- his fourth -- in which he three times backed off a shot from just off the fairway to ask that a cell camera be switched off. The third time resulted in a police officer being summoned, and while Mickelson did not use it as an excuse, he pushed his approach well left into a bush and had to take a penalty stroke. Mickelson, who turned 51 on Wednesday, managed just one birdie in a round of 4-over-par 75 that left him eight shots back of clubhouse leader Russell Henley. "It's part of professional golf," Mickelson said. "You have to learn to deal with it. I don't understand why you just can't turn that little button on the side into silent. I...
June 17
June 17

Rick Carlisle won't return as Dallas Mavericks coach after 13 seasons

Rick Carlisle resigned as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, ending his 13-year tenure one day after the departure of longtime president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, removing two of the key figures from the franchise's 2010-11 championship team. "After a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks," Carlisle told ESPN in a written statement. "This was solely my decision. My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city." Carlisle, 61, said it had been an "honor to work alongside" several members of the Mavs organization, specifically naming Cuban, Nelson, CEO Cynt Marshall, vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley, assistant general manager Keith Grant and the co-stars of the 2010-11 championship team, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. "Dallas will always be home, but I am...
June 17
June 17

Green Bay Packers 'have one plan' regardless of who plays quarterback, Matt LaFleur says

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When the Green Bay Packers return for training camp next month, it will be with one approach. It doesn't matter whether it's Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love at quarterback. "We'll have one plan," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Thursday in his last scheduled news conference before training camp. "We've kind of pretty much laid that out. Just going to fine-tune some things over the next few weeks in terms of the logistics of our schedule and whatnot. We've got what we feel is a pretty good blueprint in terms of how to get our guys ready to play. Obviously, it is a little bit different this year in terms of the number of preseason games and then you compare it to last year, so you're kind of leaning back on the 2019 season. We feel confident with what we'll have in place with the guys. We'll look forward to getting them back July 27." The Packers don't know if Rodgers will end his holdout and return to the team after an offseason in which he...
June 17
June 17

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley on league's new COVID-19 protocols: NFLPA 'a joke'

BUFFALO, N.Y. --  Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley is not happy with the NFL and NFLPA's newly agreed-to COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason, and he aired his concerns Thursday on Twitter. The latest COVID-19 policy heavily restricts unvaccinated players while allowing vaccinated players to return to near normalcy. Beasley, 32, placed equal blame on the NFL for prioritizing money over its players' freedom and the NFLPA for not supporting the players it represents. "This is crazy. Did we vote on this?" he wrote in response to the list of protocols. "I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together. Vaccinated players can go out the hotel and bring covid back in to where I am. So what does it matter if I stay in the hotel now? 100 percent immune with vaccination? No. "The players association is a joke. Call it something different. It's not for the players," he added. "Everyone gives me the 98 percent of people...
June 17
June 17

Jacob deGrom's MRI clean; New York Mets taking 'day-by-day approach'

An MRI performed on New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom's right shoulder came back clean, manager Luis Rojas said Thursday. The results were examined by two doctors. "We had an MRI taken on him and ran it through two doctors just to have a second opinion, as well, and both doctors had the same prognosis from the imaging: It just shows as a normal shoulder a pitcher would have and there's no concern," Rojas said, adding that deGrom played catch Thursday. Rojas said that the team plans to take "a day-by-day approach" with deGrom and that there are no plans right now to place him on the injured list. The Mets also aren't sure when he'll make his next start. "I don't see how it would change today, doing an IL stint," Rojas said. "It's going to be a normal shoulder in 10 days. I'm less concerned [because] he's playing catch today." DeGrom left Wednesday night's start against the Chicago Cubs with shoulder soreness. It marked the third time he has left a...
June 17
June 17

Jacob deGrom's MRI clean; New York Mets taking it 'day by day'

An MRI performed on New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom's right shoulder came back clean, manager Luis Rojas said Thursday. The results were examined by two doctors. "We had an MRI taken on him and ran it through two doctors just to have a second opinion, as well, and both doctors had the same prognosis from the imaging: It just shows as a normal shoulder a pitcher would have and there's no concern,'' Rojas said, adding that deGrom played catch on Thursday. Rojas said the team plans to take it "day by day" with deGrom, and there are no plans right now to place him on the injured list. They also aren't sure when he'll make his next start. "I don't see how it would change today, doing an IL stint," Rojas said. "It's going to be a normal shoulder in 10 days. I'm less concerned (because) he's playing catch today." DeGrom left Wednesday night's start against the Chicago Cubs with shoulder soreness. It marked the third time he has left a start thanks to injury this...
June 17
June 17

Jacob deGrom's MRI clean, New York Mets taking it 'day-by-day'

An MRI performed on New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom's right shoulder came back clean, manager Luis Rojas said Thursday. The results were examined by two different doctors, Rojas said. "It just showed a normal shoulder that a pitcher would have and there's no concern," Rojas said, adding that deGrom played catch on Thursday. Rojas said the team plans to take it "day-by-day" with deGrom and there are no plans right now to place him on the injured list. DeGrom left Wednesday night's start against the Chicago Cubs with shoulder soreness. It marked the third time he has left a start due to injury this season, including last Friday against the San Diego Padres with elbow soreness and on May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks after five innings with right side tightness. Rojas said Thursday that none of his injuries are connected. DeGrom, 32, struck out eight of the nine batters he faced over three innings, and he drove in a run with an RBI...
June 17
June 17

Justin Fields buys into Chicago Bears' plan to start Andy Dalton at QB to begin season

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Justin Fields has bought into the Chicago Bears' plan. Fields, drafted 11th overall by the Bears this year, said on Thursday that he embraces the developmental timeline set for him by the organization. Head coach Matt Nagy said earlier in the week that -- barring an injury or something else unforeseen -- veteran Andy Dalton would open the regular season as Chicago's starting quarterback. "If I don't believe in it, it's not going to work out," Fields said on Thursday. "My job is strictly [to] get better and be the best quarterback I can be and hope my team wins. That's what I'm going to do whether it's starting, whether it's sitting, I'm going to do whatever is going to help us win." Nagy announced at the beginning of the offseason program that Dalton is No. 1 on the Bears' quarterback depth chart followed by Fields and veteran Nick Foles. The coach has not wavered on that despite enormous public pressure to play Fields...
June 17
June 17

Sportsbook installs Alabama, Clemson with highest college football win totals at 11.5

Alabama and Clemson are breaking in new quarterbacks this season, but oddsmakers don't expect the Crimson Tide or the Tigers to suffer any significant drop-off. Alabama and Clemson topped the college football season win totals released Thursday by Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, each opening at 11.5. Ohio State and Oklahoma are next at 11, followed by Georgia at 10.5. North Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati each opened at 10, rounding out the teams with double-digit win totals at Caesars/William Hill. The sportsbook posted win totals for each FBS team, allowing bettors to wager on whether teams will win over or under the number during the 12-game regular season at varying prices. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence went No. 1 in the NFL draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was taken later in the first round by the New England Patriots. D.J....
June 17
June 17

World No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon to take 'personal time with friends and family'

Naomi Osaka, ranked No. 2 in the world in women's tennis, has withdrawn from Wimbledon, according to a statement released by her agent on Thursday. "Naomi won't be playing Wimbledon this year," the statement read. "She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans." Wimbledon organizers had been in contact with Osaka and others about the tournament's media operations this year, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday. Osaka, 23, withdrew from the French Open before the second round in the wake of the controversy caused by her decision to skip mandatory postmatch news conferences at the tournament. She revealed that she had been dealing with anxiety and depression since bursting into the limelight by winning the US Open in 2018, the first of her four Grand Slam titles. Osaka had also pulled out of next week's Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court...
June 17
June 17

Luka Doncic says 'it was tough for me' to see Donnie Nelson's exit from Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic expressed disappointment with the departure of Donnie Nelson, the team's longtime president of basketball operations. The Mavs announced Wednesday that Nelson and the team "mutually agreed to part ways," but sources told ESPN that owner Mark Cuban fired Nelson on Sunday. "It was kind of tough to me," Doncic said during a Thursday media availability for the Slovenian national team. "I really like Donnie. I know him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough for me seeing that, but I'm not the one making decisions there." Nelson earned a reputation as an international scouting pioneer during his 36 years in the NBA, including the last 24 years with the Mavs, who played in two NBA Finals and won one title under him. His two most impactful acquisitions were the draft-day trades for Dirk Nowitzki in 1998 and Doncic in 2018. Doncic, 22, has been a first-team All-NBA selection the last two seasons. As a result, he...
June 17
June 17

Andy Reid on Le'Veon Bell: 'I'm pulling for him in the future'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid declined to get in a war of words with running back Le'Veon Bell, saying, "I'm pulling for him in the future." "I really enjoyed my time with him here," Reid said Thursday as the Chiefs concluded their offseason practice. "I appreciated the way he handled things and did his business. He had some productive downs for us. But I'm pulling for him in the future. That's how I roll. People say things. They say stuff. I move on and wish him the best." Bell, who joined the Chiefs during last season but played little, recently wrote on Instagram that he would retire before playing for Reid again. He later explained on his Twitter account that his feelings stemmed from a comment that Reid made to him, though he didn't elaborate. Bell's contract expired at the end of last season, and he has yet to sign with another team. Bell, 29, played in nine games with the Chiefs, starting two, and rushed for 254...
June 17
June 17

Rod Brind'Amour signs 3-year extension with Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour has signed a three-year contract extension with the team, general manager Don Waddell announced Thursday. "I thought we were on the same page," Brind'Amour said. "It was just a matter of time, really. He knew I wanted to be a part of this, and I knew he wanted me to be a part of it, too. So we figured it out." Brind'Amour finished the last year of his contract with the team this season. The Hurricanes were first in the Central Division and were eliminated in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brind'Amour is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. He has gone 120-66-20 in three seasons with Carolina and reached the playoffs in all three seasons. With his contract up, there was heavy speculation that Brind'Amour could leave the franchise, where he spent 10 years of his 20-year NHL career as a player, winning the Stanley Cup as Hurricanes captain in 2006. The New York Rangers and the...
June 17
June 17

Dwayne Haskins says his goal is to prove to Pittsburgh Steelers that he loves football

PITTSBURGH -- Speaking for the first time since his release from Washington, former first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins said he has one primary goal as he attempts to reboot his career with the Steelers. "I just wanted to prove to the coaching staff and my teammates how much I love football," Haskins said Thursday. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here and showing them that my mind is in the right place and I'm willing to work to be able to show my talents and be able to work and earn a spot here." Haskins landed in Pittsburgh a month after his in-season release from the team that drafted him No. 15 overall in 2019. Haskins signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Steelers in January after he passed through waivers unclaimed. Haskins' brief tenure in Washington was tumultuous as he collected fines for violating COVID-19 protocols, took criticism for his lack of in-season work ethic and was benched after four games -- and again later in the season...
June 17
June 17

Devin Booker rewards Phoenix Suns fan involved in altercation with Nuggets fans in Denver

Devin Booker found his man. Booker, the Phoenix Suns' All-Star guard, tweeted Monday that he wanted to know the identity of the Suns fan who was recorded punching a Denver Nuggets fan several times in the closing minutes of the Suns' Game 3 win in Denver on Friday -- and then declaring "Suns in 4!" as the Denver supporter and his friend retreated. It didn't take long for Booker's representatives at CAA to find Nick McKellar, a lifelong Suns fan who now lives in Denver. Booker and the Suns are going to send McKellar a signed Booker jersey and provide him tickets to a conference finals game, both Booker's reps at CAA and McKellar told ESPN. Cellphone recordings that quickly went viral showed one Nuggets fan moving to walk out of Ball Arena in Denver before turning to swing at McKellar. In several media appearances, McKellar has said he was exchanging good-natured trash talk with surrounding Denver fans for much of the game -- and that he fought back only to defend...
June 17
June 17

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden 22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years

The last time the NFL played a game, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were on opposite sidelines in Super Bowl LV. Now, before the 2021 season kicks off, those quarterbacks will be together again -- on the latest Madden cover. Mahomes and Brady are sharing the cover of Madden 22, the EA Sports video game that has become part of the NFL culture. It's the first time two players are on the game's front in more than a decade. "Whenever you first get on the cover, that's a special moment," Mahomes told ESPN. "So to be on it again, twice, with an all-time great like Tom Brady, it's a special moment that I'm glad that I'm able to do so soon after I had done it the first time. "I'll be able to have it for the rest of my life and be able to show my kids and my kids' kids that I was on it two times." Mahomes was first on the cover of Madden 20. Brady's first cover -- despite all his years in the NFL as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game -- came in...
June 17
June 17

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden '22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years

The last time the NFL played a game, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were on opposite sidelines in Super Bowl LV. Now, before the 2021 season kicks off, those quarterbacks will be together again -- on the latest Madden cover. Mahomes and Brady are sharing the cover of Madden '22, the EA Sports video game that has become part of the NFL culture. It's the first time two players are on the game's front in more than a decade. "Whenever you first get on the cover, that's a special moment," Mahomes told ESPN. "So to be on it again, twice, with an all-time great like Tom Brady, it's a special moment that I'm glad that I'm able to do so soon after I had done it the first time. "I'll be able to have it for the rest of my life and be able to show my kids and my kids' kids that I was on it two times." Mahomes was first on the cover of Madden '20. Brady's first cover -- despite all his years in the NFL as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game -- came in Madden '18....
June 17
June 17

Wimbledon organizers contact Naomi Osaka, begin consultation on media engagements

Wimbledon organizers have been in contact with women's world No. 2  Naomi Osaka and other players about the tournament's media operations this year, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday. Osaka, 23,  withdrew from the French Open before the second round in the wake of the controversy caused by her decision to skip mandatory postmatch news conferences at the tournament. She revealed that she had been dealing with anxiety and depression since bursting into the limelight by winning the US Open in 2018, the first of her four Grand Slam titles. "We have spoken to her [Osaka's] team in the last few weeks," Bolton told the BBC. "So yes, we're certainly remaining engaged with Naomi's team, as we are with all players. "We have started a consultation. Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space." On Wednesday, tournament director Jamie Baker said he...
June 17
June 17

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden '22 front as EA doubles cover athletes for first time in 12 years

The last time the NFL played a game, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were on opposite sidelines in Super Bowl LV. Now, before the 2021 season kicks off, those quarterbacks will be together again -- on the latest Madden cover. Mahomes and Brady are sharing the cover of Madden '22, the EA Sports video game that has become part of the NFL culture, in the first time two players are on the game's front in over a decade. "Whenever you first get on the cover, that's a special moment," Mahomes told ESPN. "So to be on it again, twice, with an all-time great like Tom Brady, it's a special moment that I'm glad that I'm able to do so soon after I had done it the first time. "I'll be able to have it for the rest of my life and be able to show my kids and my kids' kids that I was on it two times." Mahomes was first on the cover of Madden '20. Brady's first cover -- despite all his years in the NFL as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game -- came in Madden '18. Now,...
June 17
June 17

Sources: Max Holloway withdraws from Yair Rodriguez bout because of undisclosed injury

Max Holloway has suffered an undisclosed injury and has pulled out of his July 17 bout against  Yair Rodriguez, sources told ESPN, postponing one of this summer's most anticipated fights. The fight between the former UFC 145-pound champion Holloway (22-6) and Rodríguez (13-2) was likely to determine the next challenger for the featherweight title after champion Alexander Volkanovski defends his belt against Brian Ortega later this year. Volkanovski and Ortega are currently the coaches for this season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Fighters such as Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze have shown interest in replacing Holloway, but it is still unknown how long Holloway will be sidelined. Rodríguez hasn't fought in nearly two years, with his last bout coming in October 2019 against Jeremy Stephens. Holloway opened his 2021 UFC schedule with a stellar performance against Calvin Kattar. UFC is expected to determine a new main event for...
June 17
June 17

Wimbledon organizers contact Osaka, begin consultation on media engagements

Wimbledon organizers have been in contact with women's world No. 2  Naomi Osaka and other players about the tournament's media operations this year, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday. Osaka, 23,  withdrew from the French Open before the second round in the wake of the controversy caused by her decision to skip mandatory postmatch news conferences at the tournament. She revealed that she had been dealing with anxiety and depression since bursting into the limelight by winning the US Open in 2018, the first of her four Grand Slam titles. "We have spoken to her [Osaka's] team in the last few weeks," Bolton told the BBC. "So yes, we're certainly remaining engaged with Naomi's team, as we are with all players. "We have started a consultation. Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space." On Wednesday, tournament director Jamie Baker said he...
June 17
June 17

Wimbledon organisers contact Osaka, begin consultation on media engagements

Wimbledon organisers have been in contact with women's world No. 2  Naomi Osaka and other players about the tournament's media operations this year, chief executive Sally Bolton said on Thursday. Four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open before the second round in the wake of the controversy caused by her decision to skip mandatory post-match news conferences at the tournament. She revealed that she had been suffering bouts of anxiety and depression since bursting into the limelight by winning the U.S. Open in 2018, the first of her four Grand Slams. "We have spoken to her [Osaka's] team in the last few weeks," Bolton told the BBC. "So yes, we're certainly remaining engaged with Naomi's team, as we are with all players. "We have started a consultation. Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space." Earlier on Wednesday, tournament director ...
June 17
June 17

Rafael Nadal, after 'listening to my body,' won't play at Wimbledon, Olympic Games

Rafael Nadal said Thursday he will not play in this year's Wimbledon or at the Olympic Games, taking one of the biggest stars of tennis out of two of the sport's biggest events in 2021. In a series of tweets, the 20-time Grand Slam champion wrote that he was "listening to my body" in order to "prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy." This will be the third time since 2005 that Nadal has not played at the All England Club. He also missed Wimbledon in 2009 and 2016. Nadal, 35, cited the short timeline between the French Open and Wimbledon as part of his decision. Nadal, a 13-time champion at Roland Garros, was eliminated in the semifinals last Friday by Novak Djokovic. The main draw at Wimbledon begins June 28. "The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn't make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season," Nadal wrote. "They have been two months of great effort and the decision I...
June 17
June 17

LA Clippers' Paul George delivers in Game 5 win with Kawhi Leonard sidelined

With Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely with a sprained knee, Paul George channeled his old mindset of being the franchise leader in Indiana and produced arguably his finest game and moment as a member of the  LA Clippers on Wednesday night. Playing in front of a hostile crowd that has taunted his every move, George delivered a superstar performance with 37 points, a playoff career-high 16 rebounds and five assists in leading the Clippers to a 119-111 win over the Utah Jazz in a pivotal Game 5 before 18,007 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. The Clippers took a 3-2 series lead and can clinch on Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. "It was no secret," George said of what he had to do without Leonard. "I knew I had to be big tonight and got to be big going forward." Afterward, George was asked if this is what "Playoff P" -- the nickname he coined for himself to much criticism before Oklahoma City faced Utah in the 2018...
June 17
June 17

Arizona Diamondbacks tie MLB modern-era record with 22nd straight road loss

The Arizona Diamondbacks' unfathomable road struggles reached near-unprecedented heights on Wednesday night in a 13-7 loss to the host San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. The D-backs have now lost 22 consecutive road games, tying the 1963 New York Mets and the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics for the longest road losing streak since 1900. Overall, the D-backs have lost 13 in a row, 27 of their past 29 and 36 of their past 41. They were 15-3 on May 2, and now they're 20-49, owners of the worst record in the majors. They now have lost 13 straight two times over the course of the past month, becoming the first team with multiple 13-game losing streaks through an entire season since the 1962 Mets. That Mets team lost 120 games, still a modern-era record. "Look, this is obviously nothing that we ever expected, nothing that we're proud of," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "We can't reverse anything that's happened over the past 40-plus days, and we gotta...
June 17
June 17

Arizona Diamondbacks tie MLB record with 22nd straight road loss

The Arizona Diamondbacks' unfathomable road struggles reached near-unprecedented heights on Wednesday night in a 13-7 loss to the host San Francisco Giants from Oracle Park. The D-backs have lost 22 consecutive road games, tying the 1963 New York Mets and the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics for the longest road losing streak since 1900. Overall, the D-backs have lost 13 in a row, 27 of their past 29 and 36 of their past 41. They were 15-3 on May 2, and now they're 20-49, owners of the worst record in the majors. The D-backs have lost 13 straight two times over the course of the past month, becoming the first team with multiple 13-game losing streaks through an entire season since the 1962 Mets. That Mets team lost 120 games, still a modern-era record. Arizona's last road win was way back on April 25, when Madison Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings in the second game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves. Now Bumgarner is one of four...
June 17
June 17

Atlanta Hawks erase 26-point deficit to defeat Philadelphia 76ers, take 3-2 series lead

The Atlanta Hawks had been here before. In fact, they didn't even have to go back that far to remember the same situation, either. In Game 5 of their series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, Atlanta was staring at a 26-point deficit as it tried to get the advantage in the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup. On Monday, Atlanta trailed by as many as 18 before storming back to win. So why couldn't the Hawks do it again? "There's no quit," Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said after his team's 109-106 win in Philadelphia. "We always talk about playing a 48-minute game. It's a long game. And it took all 48 minutes tonight to get it done." And as they did in Game 4, the Hawks stormed back for an improbable comeback and took a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 scheduled for Friday at home. Just how improbable was the victory? According to ESPN Stats & Information research: Philadelphia became the only team to lose back-to-back...
June 17
June 17

Robert Nkemdiche happy to have opportunity to play football again with Seattle Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. -- Robert Nkemdiche let out a howl and pumped an arm in celebration after one of his turns in a drill Wednesday. After another, he did a running hurdle, then shouted something inaudible back at his fellow defensive linemen. The 2016 first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals is getting a chance to resurrect his career with the Seattle Seahawks after a year away from football, and he's enjoying it. That much has been clear from the first two practices of Seattle's mandatory minicamp. "Being out here with these guys and competing and playing football, smelling the grass, all this, it's what I missed," he said. "This is the fun stuff." In June 2019, Nkemdiche was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant after he was pulled over for speeding on his way to a Cardinals practice. He arrived to training camp later that summer out of shape, according to coach Kliff Kingsbury, and was waived with a failed-physical designation before the...
June 17
June 17

New York Yankees' Gerrit Cole struggles with grip, tells MLB 'just talk to us'

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Gerrit Cole called out Major League Baseball in its attempt to regulate foreign substances after struggling to keep a firm hold of the baseball during his start against the  Toronto Blue Jays on a cold, windy Wednesday night at Sahlen Field. "It's so hard to grip the ball," a frustrated Cole said after the  New York Yankees' 3-2 win. "For Pete's sake, it's part of the reason why almost every player on the field has had something, regardless if they're a pitcher or not, to help them control the ball." Cole added: "We are aligned in a lot of areas with the commissioner's office on this. ... Please, just talk to us, please just work with us. I know you have the hammer here. But we've been living in a gray area for so long. I would just hate to see players get hurt. I would hate to see balls start flying at people's head. I had a really tough time gripping the baseball tonight, especially early when it was windy. I don't really care to be...
June 17
June 16

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom exits with shoulder soreness, 'confident that this is nothing'

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom will get an MRI on his right shoulder on Thursday after leaving Wednesday's start against the visiting Chicago Cubs because of soreness. "I felt good warming up, felt really good in the first and second innings, then there in the third my shoulder was sore," deGrom said after the Mets' 6-3 win. "This is getting old. I want to be out there competing instead of coming out of these games with these little [things]." DeGrom, 32, struck out eight of the nine batters he faced over three innings, and he drove in a run with an RBI single in the second inning. The right-hander threw 51 pitches and was replaced by Sean Reid-Foley in the top of the fourth. In his previous start on Friday, deGrom left against the San Diego Padres after six innings with flexor tendinitis in his right arm. He was also pulled on May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks after five innings with right side tightness, later missing two...
June 16
June 16

Rory McIlroy says green-reading books should be banned

SAN DIEGO -- The PGA Tour is close to banning green-reading books before next season, but four-time major champion Rory McIlroy isn't sure that's enough to even the playing field on the greens. Speaking the day before the start of the 121st U.S. Open on the South Course at Torrey Pines, McIlroy wouldn't confirm whether the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council voted to outlaw the books, which provide golfers and their caddies detailed information about course-green slopes. But he did say that he and most other players are in favor of eliminating them. "Look, everything that's talked about in those meetings is somewhat confidential, but what I can say [is that] I use a greens book, and I'd like to get rid of them," McIlroy said Wednesday. "I think everyone is in the same boat, most guys on tour are in the same boat, that if it's going to be available to us and it helps us, people are going to use it. But I think for the greater good of the game, I'd like to see them be outlawed...
June 16
June 16

Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball voted NBA's Rookie of the Year despite missing 21 games

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball was named the NBA's Rookie of the Year, capping a stellar first season that came on the heels of him spanning the globe to begin his professional career. Ball topped finalists Anthony Edwards from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Tyrese Haliburton from the Sacramento Kings to win the award, which was determined by a global panel of 100 writers and broadcasters who cover the league. The NBA announced the results Wednesday night. Ball briefly played in Lithuania and Australia before being taken third overall in the 2020 draft by the Hornets, with his potential as an NBA player still a bit of an enigma. Any doubts, however, proved to be unfounded, as Ball averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game for Charlotte this season, shooting 35.2% from 3-point range and immediately contributing to winning basketball in a way rookies rarely do. Despite missing 21 games with a fractured...
June 16
June 16

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom exits start early with shoulder soreness

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom left his Wednesday start against the visiting  Chicago Cubs because of right shoulder soreness after pitching three perfect innings. DeGrom, 32, struck out eight of the nine batters he faced while driving in a run with an RBI single in the second inning. The right-hander threw 51 pitches and was replaced by Sean Reid-Foley. The Mets won 6-3. In his previous start last Friday, deGrom left against the San Diego Padres after six innings with flexor tendinitis in his right arm. DeGrom was also pulled on May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks after five innings with right side tightness, later missing two starts. On May 4, he was scratched from a start because of the same ailment. DeGrom's three shutout innings lowered his ERA to 0.54 -- he has given up only four earned runs -- while his RBI gave him six on the season. He has 111 strikeouts in 67 innings.
June 16
June 16

Vince Wilfork's son charged with stealing $300,000 of dad's jewelry, including New England Patriots Super Bowl rings

The son of former NFL defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was arrested last month and charged with stealing more than $300,000 of his father's jewelry, including two New England Patriots Super Bowl championship rings, according to a police complaint released by the Galveston (Texas) County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday. Police allege that Wilfork's son, D'Aundre Holmes-Wilfork, 23, sold the rings and other jewelry after stealing them. Wilfork, who played for the Patriots from 2004 to 2014 before finishing his career with the Houston Texans from 2015 to 2016, had contacted police on May 10. He said his two Super Bowl rings were missing, along with two AFC championship rings and a 2001  Miami Hurricanes national championship ring, among other items, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Holmes-Wilfork was arrested May 22. According to the police complaint, Wilfork told authorities that he did not report the jewelry missing or stolen immediately...
June 16
June 16

Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson resigned to possibly playing NFL season on one-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson sounded resigned to possibly playing the 2021 NFL season on a one-year deal in advance of the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to receive long-term contracts. "I don't have any [contract] updates or nothing like that," Robinson said on a Tuesday Zoom call. "That's not in my control, if I don't [get a long-term deal]. That being a possibility [of playing on the one-year franchise tag], then I mean, that is what it is and I'm comfortable with that. Obviously, that's a possibility. That's fine, it is what it is. As I said before, my main focus now is continuing to be better and get better." The Bears placed the $17.98 franchise tag tender on Robinson after the two sides were unable to agree to an extension last year. The veteran receiver led the team with 102 catches for 1,250 yards in 2020. Robinson, 27, skipped the Bears' voluntary offseason workout program but reported to this week's...
June 16
June 16

NCAA says softball committee 'soliciting feedback' on WCWS scheduling adjustments, overall experience

After facing criticism over inequities between the collegiate softball and baseball tournaments, the NCAA said in a statement to ESPN on Wednesday that the softball committee is "soliciting feedback" on scheduling adjustments to the Women's College World Series and reviewing the overall WCWS experience for student-athletes. During the recently completed WCWS in Oklahoma City, Florida State and Oklahoma State played an elimination game that ended at 2:18 a.m. local time, thanks in large part to the event's tightly packed-in schedule. The softball tournament does not have any off days between games and operates on a more compact schedule than the College World Series for the men, set to begin Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska. After the teams played well into the night, coaches decried the schedule. Several coaches, including Florida State's Lonni Alameda, said during the WCWS that they would like to see more days added to the schedule to avoid the same late-night situation happening in...
June 16
June 16

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James says he predicted rash of injuries after quick turnaround to start season

As the competitive balance of the NBA playoffs is being compromised by a rash of injuries -- with player health affecting just about every second-round series -- Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says he saw this coming. Before James offered his best wishes to Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers -- it was announced Wednesday that Leonard would be sidelined because of a right knee injury -- he published a series of tweets reflecting on the objections he voiced when the league fast-tracked the 2020-21 season to begin just 71 days after the Lakers were crowned champions in October. Leonard, who has been ruled out for Game 5 of the Clippers' Western Conference semifinal series with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, will be the eighth All-Star to miss a playoff game this year, which is the most in league history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. The Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul, who could miss the start of the Western...
June 16
June 16

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving out, James Harden available for Game 6 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

NEW YORK -- On the heels of playing 46 minutes in his first game in 10 days, Nets star guard James Harden is available to play in Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. Meanwhile, All-Star guard Kyrie Irving remains sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Irving will not travel to Milwaukee with the team, Nets coach Steve Nash said Wednesday. Instead, he will continue to get treatment in Brooklyn. He has not yet advanced to doing any on-court work, Nash said. Harden injured his hamstring in Game 1 of the Nets' conference semifinal series against the Bucks on June 5. He was out for over a week with what the team was calling hamstring tightness. Irving sprained his ankle in Game 4 against the Bucks. The organization is preparing for the possibility that Irving won't return this series, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
June 16
June 16

Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball voted Rookie of the Year, sources say

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball is the NBA's Rookie of the Year, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, capping a stellar first season that came on the heels of him spanning the globe to begin his professional career. Ball, who was announced as a finalist for the award alongside Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards last month, briefly played in Lithuania and Australia before being taken third overall in the 2020 draft by the Hornets, with his potential as an NBA player still a bit of an enigma. Any doubts, however, proved to be unfounded, as Ball averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game for Charlotte this season, shooting 35.2% from 3-point range and immediately contributing to winning basketball in a way rookies rarely do. Haliburton fell to 12th in the draft, where the Iowa State product was happily scooped up by the Kings. He quickly proved...
June 16
June 16

Donnie Nelson out as Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations after 24 seasons with franchise

Longtime Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations and general manager Donnie Nelson is out after 24 seasons with the franchise, the team announced Wednesday. Nelson's departure comes after internal friction due to the increasing decision-making influence of Mavericks director of quantitative research and development Haralabos Voulgaris, sources told ESPN. Voulgaris, a former professional gambler hired by the Mavs in 2018, has reported directly to owner Mark Cuban and communicated directly with coach Rick Carlisle despite Nelson's objections, sources said. The decision for Nelson to leave the franchise was made Sunday, sources said. Nelson, 58, worked for the Mavericks for 24 seasons, serving as an assistant general manager and assistant coach before being promoted to president of basketball operations. He remained Cuban's top basketball executive for years after the acrimonious departure of his father, Don, the Mavs' head coach and general manager from 1997 to...
June 16

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