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1 hour ago

Source: Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam expected to remain in protocol through All-Star break

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is expected to remain in the league's health and safety protocol through the All-Star break, missing the final three games of the first half, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Siakam sat out Friday's victory over Houston in the protocol. The Raptors were without Siakam and six coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse, on Friday night because of health and safety protocols. Siakam will miss games vs. the  Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics in the coming week. Raptors assistant Sergio Scariolo slid over into the head coach's chair, leading the team to a 122-111 win over the Rockets in Tampa, Florida. Siakam is averaging 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season.
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2 hours ago

Source: Former champion Regis Prograis to face Ivan Redkach on April 17

Former junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis will be featured on a unique boxing card. Prograis will face Ivan Redkach on the undercard of the Jake Paul- Ben Askren event on April 17 that will be produced by Triller, a source confirmed to ESPN on Saturday. The recent development comes on the heels of Triller's winning $6 million bid to promote Teofimo Lopez's IBF welterweight title defense against George Kambosos. Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) won the WBA's 140-pound belt in April 2019 when he stopped Kiryl Relikh. He suffered his first career loss six months later when he dropped a majority decision to Josh Taylor in the finale of a World Boxing Super Series Tournament. Redkach (23-5, 18 KOs) hasn't been in the ring since he lost a unanimous decision against Danny Garcia in January 2020. The Prograis-Redkach bout, which was first reported by The Athletic, gives Triller another notable fight on its platform. The business made its big splash last year when it...
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February 27

Jeremy Lin says he's 'not naming or shaming anyone' in wake of claim he was called 'coronavirus' on court

A day after a league official told ESPN's Marc J. Spears that the G League is investigating a claim made by Jeremy Lin that he was called "coronavirus" during a game, Lin tweeted that he's "not naming or shaming anyone." "I know this will disappoint some of you but I'm not naming or shaming anyone," Lin tweeted Saturday. "What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down? It doesn't make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism." In a Facebook post Thursday, Lin, the former NBA guard now playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League, spoke out about the racism he believes the Asian American community continues to deal with and offered examples that he said he has experienced. "Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," he wrote. Lin didn't specify when he was called that, and it was unclear if the incident occurred in the G League bubble in Orlando, Florida,...
February 27
February 27

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: No way I'll ever 'stick to sports'

LeBron James on Friday dismissed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's criticism of his social activism and said the AC Milan star's comments were hypocritical. Ibrahimovic, whose time playing for his former team, the LA Galaxy, coincided with James' first season with the Lakers, criticized James on Thursday in an interview with UEFA for Discovery+ in Sweden, saying it was a "mistake" and "doesn't look good" when James and other "famous" people get involved in politics. "He was the same guy who said when he was back in Sweden ... because his last name wasn't a certain last name, that he felt there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch," James said. "I speak from a very educated mind, so I'm kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework." Several years ago, Ibrahimovic said he was subject to "undercover racism" in his native Sweden because his Bosnian roots gave him a surname that doesn't sound traditionally Swedish. "I am not Andersson or...
February 27
February 27

Boston Celtics back on winning track thanks to Kemba Walker's big night

BOSTON -- The Celtics -- already mired in a three-game losing streak, and having lost eight of their past 11 games -- found themselves down 18-4 five minutes into Friday night's game against the Indiana Pacers. It was the kind of performance that, had fans been allowed into TD Garden, would've been met with a hearty round of boos. But rather than resigning himself, and his team, to another ugly loss in a stretch full of them, Kemba Walker put the Celtics on his back. And on a night when the team's young All-Stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, weren't effective, it was Walker who scored 32 points and made six assists to carry Boston to a desperately needed 118-112 victory over the Pacers. "I don't think we win the game without his will," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I think that no matter how everyone is playing, when that thing was 18-4, he was the loudest voice. He willed us back into that thing. And now, we're back on our...
February 27
February 26

Oklahoma City Thunder change jerseys at half after mix-up with Atlanta Hawks

Despite leading the Atlanta Hawks by eight points going into the halftime break Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder made a drastic second-half adjustment: They completely changed uniforms. Because of a breakdown in the uniform selection and approval process, the Thunder and Hawks played the first half wearing extremely similar colors, the Hawks in their red "icon" uniforms and the Thunder in their orange "statement" alternates. On television, the combination was especially bad. "It looked weird at first, but it didn't have too much effect once I got going in the first half," Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. "It wasn't much to it, but I think it made it a little easier for our peripherals and stuff like that in the second half. But other than that, it was cool." The league requested the jersey change, a Thunder spokesperson said. The Hawks had only their red "icon" jerseys on their road trip, so the Thunder made the change to white for the...
February 26
February 26

Oklahoma City Thunder change jerseys at half due to mixup with Atlanta Hawks

Despite leading the Atlanta Hawks by eight points going into the halftime break on Friday, the Oklahoma City Thunder made a drastic second-half adjustment: They completely changed uniforms. Because of a breakdown in the uniform selection and approval process, the Thunder and Hawks played the first half wearing extremely similar colors, the Hawks in their red "icon" uniforms and the Thunder in their orange "statement" alternates. On television, the combination was especially bad. The league requested the jersey change, a Thunder spokesperson said. The Hawks had only their red "icon" jerseys on their road trip, so the Thunder made the change to white for the second half. With teams having multiple combinations and alternates to wear, and no longer observing the traditional standard of home white and road color, the uniform-selection process is done before the season for the entire schedule using an input system called LockerVision. The home team picks first, then...
February 26
February 26

G League looking into claim made by Jeremy Lin that he was called 'coronavirus' on court

The G League is investigating a claim made by Jeremy Lin that he was called "coronavirus" during a game, a league official told ESPN's Marc J. Spears on Friday. In a Facebook post Thursday, Lin, the former NBA guard now playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League, spoke out about the racism he believes the Asian American community continues to deal with and offered examples that he said he has experienced.  "Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," he wrote. Lin didn't specify when he was called that, and it was unclear if the incident occurred in the G League bubble in Orlando, Florida, where Lin currently is playing as a member of Santa Cruz, the Warriors' affiliate. On Friday night, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said he'd like to see the NBA investigate Lin's claim. "I just saw the Facebook post just now," Kerr said. "Really powerful. I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism...
February 26
February 26

Elijah Millsap expresses concerns about probe into allegation against Utah Jazz executive

MIAMI -- Former Utah guard Elijah Millsap said Friday that he has not yet heard from any investigators regarding his allegation that Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey made a bigoted comment to him during an end-of-season meeting in 2015. Millsap also expressed doubt that a fair investigation could take place regarding his claim that Lindsey, who then was the team's general manager and now is an executive vice president, threatened to cut his "Black ass" and send him home. Millsap made the allegation in a tweet on Wednesday. The Jazz responded Thursday, saying in a statement they would bring in outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation along with the NBA.    "Obviously, I know my truth," Millsap said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Some outside counsel or somebody, all they can do is just try to stir it up and make [me] look as if I'm lying. I did it basically to free myself from the torture of holding things in, to free myself, not to make...
February 26
February 26

Tiger Woods 'in good spirits' after follow-up procedures for leg injuries

Tiger Woods is "recovering and in good spirits" after undergoing follow-up procedures on his leg injuries Friday morning, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account. Woods had his procedures at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was transferred Wednesday night following the single-vehicle crash the day before that left him with serious injuries to his right leg. "Tiger and his family want to thank you all for the wonderful support and messages they have received over the past few days," the statement read. "We will not have any further updates at this time. Thank you for your continued privacy." Woods, 45, was moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which is located about 18 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, "for continuing orthopedic care and recovery," according to Dr. Anish Mahajan. On Tuesday, Mahajan said Woods suffered multiple "open fractures" to his lower right leg and had a rod placed in his tibia and screws and pins inserted in...
February 26
February 26

Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam, coach Nick Nurse, 5 assistants out for Friday's game due to protocols

Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam, head coach Nick Nurse and five assistant coaches were unavailable for Toronto's game against the Houston Rockets on Friday night in Tampa, Florida, due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, the team announced. Veteran assistant Sergio Scariolo, who has coached at multiple high-level European clubs -- including Real Madrid -- and has been the Spanish national team's coach for more than a decade, coached the team in Nurse's absence. "Obviously we have had him here for a few years and the experience he brings, not only what he's done in the NBA but as an international head coach, whether it was in Europe or as a national team head coach," general manager Bobby Webster said of Scariolo's experience before Friday's game. "Designating Sergio was not a difficult decision for us."   The Raptors, who have rebounded from a 2-8 start to get back into the playoff picture in the East and within a game of .500 entering Friday night's...
February 26
February 26

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant out through All-Star break with left hamstring strain

Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant will remain out until after the All-Star break due to a left hamstring strain he suffered earlier this month, the team announced Friday. "Well, it sucks to not have Kevin," Nets coach Steve Nash said. "He's an amazing, amazing basketball player. And, anytime you have the Lamborghini in the garage, it's meant to be on the road. So, we're all disappointed." Earlier this week, Nash said that Durant would be back for one of the team's games prior to the All-Star Break. But after Durant underwent a follow-up MRI on his injured left hamstring, which he hurt in a game against the Golden State Warriors, Nash said the injury required more patience before he could return. "I just think the second round of imaging when there was less bleeding, it was more clear to just be cautious," Nash said. "We'll monitor him appropriately and make sure we get him back playing at the level he was playing at when he went out. "Part of it is Mother...
February 26
February 26

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant out through All-Star break

The Brooklyn Nets announced Friday afternoon that star forward Kevin Durant will remain out until after the All-Star break due to a left hamstring strain he suffered earlier this month,  The team said in a release Friday that, after a follow-up MRI, Durant "will require an additional recovery period" that will keep him out through the All-Star break. which includes next month's All-Star Game in Atlanta.  "While we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has been playing this season once he returns," the statement said. Earlier this week, Nets coach Steve Nash had said he expected Durant to come back before the All-Star Break. "We're just trying to monitor and be cautious," Nash said before the Nets beat the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. "We definitely have kind of slowed things down in that respect: not putting any pressure on him, not trying to rush him back in any capacity...
February 26
February 26

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, 5 assistants out for Friday's game due to protocols

The Raptors announced Friday that head coach Nick Nurse, as well as five assistant coaches, would be unavailable for Toronto's game in Tampa, Florida, on Friday night against the Houston Rockets due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. The Raptors, who have rebounded from a 2-8 start to get back into the playoff picture in the East and within a game of .500 entering Friday night's game, said the coaches will continue to work remotely but gave no indication as to who would coach the team in Nurse's absence. General manager Bobby Webster was scheduled to speak with the media and provide an update on the situation later Friday afternoon. Toronto was already down an assistant coach after Chris Finch was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves to replace Ryan Saunders as their head coach Monday. Another assistant, Sergio Scariolo, was already in quarantine after returning to the United States after serving in his other role as head coach of the Spanish national...
February 26
February 26

Court documents detail deceased coach John Geddert's alleged abuse

Investigators say that former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert sexually assaulted a 14-year-old and routinely abused his gymnasts physically and verbally, leading multiple gymnasts to attempt suicide, according to court documents obtained by ESPN. Geddert was charged with 24 felonies Thursday morning, including multiple counts of human trafficking and sexual assault. Hours later, he was found dead in his car at an interstate highway rest stop. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed that his death was by suicide. Geddert was 63. Geddert coached the 2012 Olympic team to a gold medal in London and worked closely with disgraced national team doctor Larry Nassar for more than a quarter century. Among the charges against Geddert was a claim that he lied to police about his knowledge of Nassar's serial sexual abuse, much of which took place in the gym that Geddert owned, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club. When the news broke of Geddert's suicide, the gymnastics community reacted...
February 26
February 26

Atlanta Dream sold to group that includes former star Renee Montgomery

The WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to Larry Gottesdiener, Chairman of industry-leading national real estate firm Northland, on Friday. The three-member investor group is comprised of former Dream star Renee Montgomery, Northland President and Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Abair, and Gottesdiener. Montgomery will be the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA team. Montgomery sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues and recently announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons. "My Dream has come true," Montgomery said in a statement. "Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the team is an opportunity that I take very seriously. I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!"
February 26
February 26

Pandemic changes NBA draft rules for seniors

In a shift from years past, the NBA league office will require college seniors to petition the league for inclusion on the NBA early-entry list in order to become draft-eligible in 2021. Last October, due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, the NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility to winter athletes, meaning every senior in college basketball is eligible to return for an additional season in 2021-22. While the NBA is requiring players to opt in to the draft, the NFL took the opposite stance last month, requiring graduating college seniors (who played four years) to opt out by March 1 if they intend to return to college for their additional year of eligibility. The NBA's move is expected to result in a record-breaking number of players on the draft's early-entry list, which last year had 163 college underclassmen. Garth Glissman, vice president of basketball operations for the NBA, told ESPN that this was the right approach for NBA teams and for college basketball...
February 26
February 26

Atlanta Braves extend contract of manager Brian Snitker

The Atlanta Braves have extended the contract of manager Brian Snitker through the 2023 season with a club option for 2024, it was announced Friday. "I am thrilled that Brian will continue to lead our club on the field and in the clubhouse," Braves president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos said in a statement. "Three consecutive division titles speak to the impact of Brian and his staff, and we are pleased that he will continue to guide our club through 2023." Snitker, 65, who is in his 45th season with the organization, has a 353-317 record as a manager, a position he took over full time in October 2016. He guided the Braves to a 35-25 record during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, winning the National League East for the third consecutive season. He is the only manager in franchise history to take the Braves to the postseason in three of his first four seasons.
February 26
February 26

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving happy to push discussion for Kobe Bryant as NBA's logo

NEW YORK -- One day after posting on social media that he would like to see the NBA logo changed from Jerry West's silhouette to Kobe Bryant's, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving reaffirmed his stance and said he is OK if he's a leader of the conversation. "We want to set a standard and precedent, like this is excellence," Irving said Thursday, after the Nets defeated the Orlando Magic 129-92. "Kobe Bryant. Logo. Yes. Needs to happen. I don't care what anyone says." In an Instagram post Wednesday, Irving put up a photo of a modified NBA logo with Bryant swapped in as the figure in the middle with this caption: "Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE." Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant's widow, shared Irving's post to her Instagram story with the caption, "Love this. @KyrieIrving." Irving said Thursday night, "I want that to be something in history that is changed forever, that our generation was part of that change. And if that...
February 26
February 25

Tiger Woods transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles

Tiger Woods has been transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles following the single-vehicle crash Tuesday that left him with serious leg injuries, according to a statement released Thursday. Dr. Anish Mahajan said Woods, 45, was moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which is located about 18 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, "for continuing orthopedic care and recovery."  Woods was transferred on Wednesday night, two sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Cedars-Sinai is approximately 21 miles north of Harbor-UCLA. On Tuesday, Mahajan said Woods sustained multiple "open fractures" to his lower right leg and had a rod placed in his tibia and screws and pins inserted in his foot and ankle during emergency surgery. Two separate sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Woods sustained an injury to his talus bone, which connects the bottom of the lower leg to the top of the foot. The bone is a pivot point for motion. Sources say that screws were likely...
February 25
February 25

NBA investigating bigotry allegation against Utah Jazz vice president Dennis Lindsey

The Utah Jazz are cooperating with an NBA investigation into former guard Elijah Millsap's allegation that executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey made bigoted comments during a 2015 end-of-season meeting, the team announced Thursday.  The probe will include the sharing of detailed notes taken in the April 2015 meeting that was attended by Millsap and three Jazz officials, sources said. "The Jazz organization has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind," the team said in a statement. "We take these matters seriously. We have proactively engaged outside counsel to work in coordination with the NBA to thoroughly investigate this matter. We seek a comprehensive and unbiased review of the situation." Utah officials, including Lindsey, encouraged the league office's opening of a review of Millsap's allegation, which was lodged on social media Wednesday night.  While making a series of posts to Twitter about how bigotry "is still...
February 25
February 25

Sources: NBA investigating bigotry allegation against Utah Jazz vice president Dennis Lindsey

The Utah Jazz are cooperating with an NBA investigation into former guard Elijah Millsap's allegation that executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey made bigoted comments during a 2015 end-of-season meeting, sources told ESPN. The probe will include the sharing of detailed notes taken in the April 2015 meeting that was attended by Millsap and three Jazz officials, sources said. The Jazz have retained outside counsel to assist the league in its review of the matter, sources said. Utah officials, including Lindsey, encouraged the league office's opening of a review of Millsap's allegation, which was lodged on social media Wednesday night.  While making a series of posts to Twitter about how bigotry "is still very well present" and is a problem that needs to be addressed, Millsap alleged that Lindsey "made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder 'if you say one more word, I'll cut your Black ass and send you...
February 25
February 25

Minnesota Timberwolves' Malik Beasley suspended 12 games after guilty plea

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley has been suspended for 12 games without pay in the wake of pleading guilty to a felony count of threats of violence as a result of an incident in September, the NBA said Thursday. "As an organization, we fully support today's decision by the NBA," Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement issued shortly after the suspension was announced. "As we work together with Malik to advance his development as a player and a person, we look forward to seeing his growth." Beasley's suspension will begin Saturday, when the Timberwolves are in Washington to play the Wizards. He will be eligible to return to the court on March 27, when Minnesota hosts the Houston Rockets. The suspension will cost the guard $1.1 million. Beasley agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors earlier this month that saw felony drug charges against him get dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. As a result, Beasley was...
February 25
February 25

Sources: Bronny James undergoes knee surgery after tearing meniscus

Bronny James suffered a torn meniscus in his knee at a practice earlier this month and had surgery to repair it, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. James, the son of the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, told followers on Twitch this week that he had suffered a knee injury. James is a sophomore at Sierra Canyon School, which hasn't played any official games this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has plans to play a spring basketball season. James, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and plays guard, averaged 4.1 points in 15 minutes a game as a freshman for the national power. He played in all 34 games. LeBron James and partner Maverick Carter are producing a docuseries on Sierra Canyon's 2019-20 season, "Top Class," featuring Bronny and his teammates. It premieres this week on Amazon. The Los Angeles Daily News first reported that Bronny James required surgery for the injury.
February 25
February 25

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper says NL East is a 'juggernaut of a division'

If Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper is to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017, he knows his team will have to earn it by getting through a stacked NL East. "I think this is the best division in baseball; I don't think that's even a question," the 28-year-old star said in a videoconference call on Thursday. "We have five teams ... that are really good. I think this is going to be a juggernaut of a division." The Phillies finished in third place last season, four games under .500, as Harper played with a bad back, which at times prevented him from throwing a baseball. After an offseason of rehab, the pain is gone and he's ready to lead the Phillies, though there were times this winter he had doubts about what the club's roster would look like. "We were kind of sitting there, figuring out what we wanted to do as an organization," Harper said. Then Dave Dombrowski was hired as team president and everything changed. Harper knew the...
February 25
February 25

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown exploring trade possibility, source says

Representatives for  Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown have started exploring trade possibilities as he eyes a full-time role at left tackle, a source told ESPN on Thursday. The Ravens are aware of those plans, the source said, as they value the three-year starter and Pro Bowler but are open to discussions about his future. Baltimore drafted Brown in 2018 to play right tackle opposite left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was signed to a five-year, $98.75 million extension in October. When Stanley suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle in Week 8 of last season, Brown acquitted himself well at left tackle over the final 10 regular-season and playoff games, posting a solid 76.4 Pro Football Focus grade on his way to a second consecutive Pro Bowl. Brown made clear his feelings in late September with a simple tweet: "I'm a LEFT tackle." The 6-foot-8 Brown is a former third-round pick set to hit free agency in 2022. The Ravens are known to be...
February 25
February 25

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert kills himself after felony charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault

Former USA Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert died by suicide Thursday, hours after he was charged with two dozen crimes stemming from allegations that he physically, emotionally and sexually abused gymnasts under his care. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed that Geddert took his own life Thursday afternoon, calling his death "a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."  Michigan state police confirmed that Geddert's body was found at an interstate highway rest stop at 3:24 p.m. ET. Geddert, 63, was scheduled to be arraigned at 2:15 p.m. in Eaton County, Michigan, on Thursday. "We had no indication that Geddert intended to flee or hurt himself or others. We had been in contact with his attorney and were assured of his cooperation," Nessel spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney said. Michigan state officials charged Geddert with 24 felonies: 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of...
February 25
February 25

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert kills himself after felony charges

Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert died by suicide Thursday, hours after he was charged with two dozen crimes stemming from allegations that physically, emotionally and sexually abused gymnasts under his care. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed that Geddert took his own life Thursday afternoon, calling his death "a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."  Geddert was scheduled to be arraigned in Eaton County, Michigan, on Thursday afternoon. Michigan state officials charged Geddert with 24 felonies: 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer. A lawyer from the Michigan's attorney general's office also said Thursday that Geddert knew Larry Nassar was sexually abusing patients at the gym where both men worked and lied to police about it during a 2016 investigation into Nassar. The remainder of the charges against...
February 25
February 25

Deshaun Watson met with Houston Texans coach David Culley, still wants to be traded, sources say

Quarterback Deshaun Watson met with new Houston Texans coach David Culley last Friday, according to sources, and informed Culley that he has no intention of suiting up for the team again. Upset over the way the organization has operated in recent years, Watson has asked the Texans to trade him and has had very little contact with the team since the season ended. The conversation with Culley is believed to have been the first between the two. Culley said in his introductory news conference that he expected Watson to be on the team in 2021. But according to the sources, Watson's message to Culley in Friday's meeting was that nothing has changed on his end and he still would like to be traded. So far, the Texans have told interested teams that they don't intend to trade Watson, who just last summer signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension that runs through 2025. Trading Watson would cost the Texans $21.6 million in dead money against this year's...
February 25
February 25

Ex-USA Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert faces 24 felony charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault

LANSING, Mich. -- Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert physically, emotionally and sexually abused athletes, according to criminal charges filed in Michigan on Thursday that could carry up to a life sentence for the gold-medal-winning coach who worked closely for decades with disgraced Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. Geddert was charged with 24 felonies by Michigan state officials: 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer. A lawyer from the Michigan attorney general's office also said Thursday that Geddert knew Nassar was sexually abusing his patients and lied to police about it during a 2016 investigation of Nassar. The remainder of the charges against Geddert are all tied to his own behavior with gymnasts he coached at gyms he owned in Michigan. Law enforcement started investigating Geddert in February 2018 in the wake of complaints raised...
February 25
February 25

NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith tells agents to 'collude' on offers to ensure teams not limiting salaries with reduced cap, source says

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told NFL player agents Thursday that they should work together during the upcoming free-agency period to ensure that teams aren't taking advantage of the reduced 2021 salary cap to limit player salaries, a source who was on the videoconference told ESPN. Speaking on the videoconference, which replaced the annual all-agent seminar the NFLPA holds each year at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, Smith told the agents that the union expects this year's cap to be pretty close to the $180 million "floor" negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA, and that the 2022 and 2023 caps could be affected as well by the pandemic-related revenue losses that resulted in this year's cap reduction, the source said. Because of that, Smith said, agents this year should push back on teams trying to cut players for cap reasons and should consult with one another and with the NFLPA's cap department on the offers they're receiving from teams for free-agent players. The...
February 25
February 25

Former USA Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert faces 24 felony charges

LANSING, Mich. -- Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert physically, emotionally and sexually abused athletes, according to criminal charges filed in Michigan Thursday that could carry up to a life sentence for the gold-medal-winning coach who worked closely for decades with disgraced Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. Geddert was charged with 24 felonies by Michigan state officials: 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer. A lawyer from the Michigan attorney general's office also said Thursday that Geddert knew Nassar was sexually abusing his patients and lied to police about it during a 2016 investigation of Nassar. The remainder of the charges against Geddert are all tied to his own behavior with gymnasts he coached at gyms he owned in Michigan. Law enforcement started investigating Geddert in February 2018 in the wake of complaints raised...
February 25
February 25

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh says staff overhaul not due to a disconnect

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh on Thursday said he did not sense a disconnect among his staff or with players last season, but he cited his desire to make "improvements to everything" for hiring six new assistants, including defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. "I didn't find any kind of disconnect, but wanted to be strong in all areas, making improvements to everything," Harbaugh said Thursday following Michigan's first two spring workouts. "I would describe it as that. I didn't feel there was a disconnect, no." Harbaugh completed the staff overhaul Monday by hiring quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss, who worked for him at Stanford before spending the past 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens under Harbaugh's brother, John. Jim Harbaugh said he will work alongside Weiss and directly coach Michigan's quarterbacks in 2021. Macdonald also came from the Ravens, where he coached linebackers and defensive backs over the past four seasons. The Wolverines went 2-4 last season --...
February 25
February 25

QB Russell Wilson hasn't demanded trade from Seattle Seahawks, agent says

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, his agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday. Rodgers said Wilson has told the Seahawks that he wants to play in Seattle, but if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears. Wilson, 32, expressed frustration after the season over all the hits he has taken and stated his desire for more say in the team's personnel decisions. Those frank comments were out of the norm for Wilson, who had never publicly aired any grievances over his first nine seasons in the NFL. Sources involved have maintained to ESPN that Seattle has not approached Wilson with a potential deal in place and a trade is unlikely. But other teams are noticing tension that has brewed for years, which The Athletic outlined in a report on Thursday. Multiple league execs believe Wilson will be...
February 25
February 25

Former USA Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert faces 24 charges

LANSING, Mich. -- John Geddert, the former USA gymnastics coach who led the women's team to gold at the 2012 London Olympics, has been charged with multiple felonies, including human trafficking and sexual assault, according to court documents. The charges include 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer. Geddert's charges stem from an investigation that started in February 2018 in the wake of complaints raised about his coaching style during the sentencing hearing for disgraced doctor Larry Nassar. Court documents say the sexual assault charges come from an incident in 2012 when Geddert allegedly digitally penetrated a girl who was between the ages of 13 and 16. Geddert previously owned Twistars USA Gymnastics in Dimondale, Michigan, just outside of Lansing, where dozens of women say they were sexually assaulted by Nassar under the guise of...
February 25
February 25

Danny Ainge not blaming stars Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum for Boston Celtics' 'major funk'

When you think of teams with multiple All-Stars, you think of dominance -- the Jazz, the Lakers, the Nets. The Celtics have two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but after Wednesday night's blowout loss to the Hawks, Boston is in last place in the Atlantic Division.  Team president Danny Ainge isn't ready to throw his star tandem under the bus, however. "I wish I had answers for you. I don't," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday. "I do believe in my players. I like them all individually. I think they have good futures. I just think right now our team is in a major funk." Funk might not be a strong enough word to describe Wednesday's game. Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Mavericks, the Celtics were down 13 after one quarter and 23 at the half. They allowed the most 3-pointers in team history.  Brown had 17 points for the Celtics and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Tatum was held to 13 points on 4-of-20 shooting and was...
February 25
February 25

Danny Ainge not blaming stars Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum for Boston Celtics' collapse

When you think of teams with multiple All-Stars, you think of dominance -- the Jazz, the Lakers, the Nets. The Celtics have two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but after Wednesday night's blowout loss to the Hawks, Boston is in last place in the Atlantic Division.  Team president Danny Ainge isn't ready to throw his star tandem under the bus, however. "I wish I had answers for you. I don't," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub Thursday. "I do believe in my players. I like them all individually. I think they have good futures. I just think right now our team is in a major funk." Funk might not be a strong enough word to describe Wednesday's game. Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Mavericks, the Celtics were down 13 after one quarter and 23 at the half. They allowed the most 3-pointers in team history.  Brown had 17 points for the Celtics and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Tatum was held to 13 points on 4-of-20 shooting and was just...
February 25
February 25

Michigan Wolverines, Northwestern Wildcats football to play for George Jewett Trophy

Michigan and Northwestern will begin playing this season for the George Jewett Trophy, a new football rivalry trophy that honors the first Black player in Big Ten history, who competed for both teams in the 1890s. The Jewett Trophy becomes the first rivalry trophy in the FBS named for a former Black player. Jewett played fullback and halfback at Michigan in 1890 and 1892, then played two more seasons for Northwestern while completing his medical degree. He was Michigan's leading scorer, rusher and kicker during his career at the school and also stood out on defense. "This is a historic moment in major college football history," Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "We are proud to partner with our peer institution, Northwestern, to recognize and honor an African American pioneer in George Jewett. George achieved at a high level as an athlete and doctor. His hard work and effort led to success not only for himself, but for those who would follow a...
February 25
February 25

Utah Jazz vice president Dennis Lindsey denies bigotry allegation by ex-player Elijah Millsap

Utah Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey on Wednesday denied allegations of making bigoted comments during an exit interview for former player Elijah Millsap in 2015. While issuing a series of posts Wednesday on Twitter about how bigotry "is still very well present" and is a problem that needs to be addressed, Millsap alleged that Lindsey "made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder 'if you say one more word, I'll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana.'" In a statement to the Deseret News about the allegation, Lindsey said: "I categorically deny making that statement." Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Wednesday said he has no recollection of that conversation. "I can't fathom Dennis saying something like that," Snyder told reporters after Wednesday's game. Millsap averaged 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 67 games over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. He is the younger brother of Paul Millsap, who...
February 25
February 25

UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo to again fight Brandon Moreno on June 12, sources say

The UFC flyweight title rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno is scheduled for June 12, sources told ESPN on Thursday. A location for the event, which is expected to be UFC 263, isn't set yet. In December, Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Moreno (18-5-2) fought to an exhilarating draw that was considered one of the best bouts of 2020. The fight capped off a memorable year for Figueiredo, the UFC's flyweight champion, who went 3-0-1 last year and was considered the consensus male fighter of the year. He won the flyweight title in July when he defeated Joseph Benavidez. Both Figueiredo and Moreno are unbeaten in their past six fights.
February 25
February 25

Sources: Free agent J.J. Watt has offers from multiple NFL teams

Free-agent defensive lineman J.J. Watt has received contract offers from multiple teams, league sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini. Multiple sources told Russini that the most lucrative offer Watt currently has on the table is believed to be worth between $15 million and $16 million. The Browns are among the teams interested in Watt, according to ESPN and multiple reports, but it was not clear as of Thursday morning whether Cleveland has submitted an offer to the five-time Pro Bowler. Cleveland.com reported last week that Watt had some mutual interest in signing with the Browns. The Texans released Watt earlier this month, ending the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year's decade-long run in Houston. At the time of his release, sources told ESPN that approximately a dozen teams -- including the Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills -- had already expressed interest in Watt. Watt, who turns 32 next month,...
February 25
February 25

Markieff Morris on Los Angeles Lakers' skid: 'We need these challenging times'

As if the Los Angeles Lakers weren't already struggling enough, down two starters heading into Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz, a blowout 114-89 loss only highlighted the rut the defending champions are in. With Anthony Davis (right leg) and Dennis Schroder (health and safety protocols) sidelined, the Jazz jumped all over the Lakers. They led by as many as 29 points in handing L.A. its fourth loss in a row and fifth in its past six games since Davis aggravated his tendinosis and suffered a calf strain a week and a half ago. Utah has won 15 straight at home. "They're playing like the best team in the league right now," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of Utah, which shot 22-for-48 from 3 in the rout. And the Lakers, still third in the Western Conference standings at 22-11, aren't playing anywhere near as well as their record would suggest. L.A. kept pace with Utah in the first quarter at Vivint Arena, trailing 24-23 after one, before...
February 25
February 25

Annika Sorenstam says she's 'thrilled' to participate in this week's Gainbridge LPGA

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam smiled and began shaking her head before she heard the rest of the question, already aware what others might think about one of the LPGA Tour's most dominant players returning to competition after 12 years. She is among the 120 players in the field this week for the Gainbridge LPGA. Next week she goes back to being a wife, mother and businesswoman. "This is not a comeback. It's an appearance. And I'm just thrilled about that," Sorenstam said Wednesday at Lake Nona, her home course for 21 years and a big reason she decided to play for the first time since she retired in 2008. Her appearance is no less amazing. Sorenstam turned 50 in October. She announced her retirement when she was 37 and was coming off consecutive victories of what turned out to be the last of her 72 victories on the LPGA Tour. Her youngest child, 9-year-old Will, has the golf bug and that brings Sorenstam out to the course more often. She has played with her father in the PNC...
February 25
February 24

Clemson Tigers' Justin Foster retires from football, citing issues with asthma, COVID-19

Clemson defensive end Justin Foster announced his retirement Wednesday, saying that a combination of asthma, allergies and COVID-19 have made it impossible for him to return to the field. "The decision came after months of recovery and treatment, which required asking a lot of difficult questions about my future," Foster, a senior, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "While I still have a way to go, I feel confident I will fully recover." Head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday that Foster is feeling far better than he was after initially testing positive in August 2020. However, Foster said he is "not in a position now nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field." "He had a very tough fall," Swinney said of Foster, who missed all of the 2020 season while dealing with COVID-19 symptoms. "He's always had challenges with [asthma and allergies], but when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back." Foster is the second member of Clemson's 2020...
February 24
February 24

Clemson's Justin Foster retires, citing issues with asthma, COVID-19

Clemson defensive end Justin Foster announced his retirement Wednesday, saying that a combination of asthma, allergies and COVID-19 have made it impossible to return to the field. "The decision came after months of recovery and treatment, which required asking a lot of difficult questions about my future," Foster, a senior, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "While I still have a way to go, I feel confident I will fully recover." Head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday that Foster is feeling far better than he was after initially testing positive in August 2020, but Foster said he was "not in a position now nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field." "He had a very tough fall," Swinney said of Foster, who missed all of the 2020 season while dealing with COVID-19 symptoms. "He's always had challenges with [asthma and allergies] but when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back." Foster is the second member of Clemson's 2020 defensive line to...
February 24
February 24

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker replaces injured Los Angeles Laker Anthony Davis in NBA All-Star Game

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was selected Wednesday to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis in the NBA All-Star Game. Commissioner Adam Silver chose Booker to take Davis' spot a day after Booker was snubbed by the league's head coaches for a reserve spot in the March 7 game in Atlanta. Booker received a big ovation from the home crowd Wednesday night when the sixth-year guard was announced as a two-time All-Star during the starting lineup introductions. Coach Monty Williams said pregame that the honor was well deserved. "The situation at the time was a bit weird for us when Devin didn't get the call, but we're grateful for what has transpired over the last few hours and we're just happy for Book,'' Williams said. After Booker was snubbed Tuesday night, there was a chorus of disbelief from some of the league's top players, including LeBron James. "Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our...
February 24
February 24

Throwing live batting practice, an optimistic Shohei Ohtani tops out at 97 mph for Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani said he topped out at 97 mph while throwing live batting practice on Wednesday, an encouraging development that further supports the enthusiasm voiced by prominent members of the Los Angeles Angels throughout the offseason. Ohtani, the two-way player from Japan who hasn't pitched regularly since the start of the 2018 season, threw against infielders Jared Walsh and Luis Rengifo at the team's spring training complex in Tempe, Arizona, and stated through an interpreter that his right elbow feels "much better compared to last year." The session came 24 hours after Ohtani hit in live batting practice, which falls in line with the Angels' plan not to be so restrictive with his usage. Ohtani, 26, made his highly anticipated return from Tommy John surgery during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, but he lasted two starts -- recording only five outs -- before straining the flexor pronator mass near his surgically repaired elbow, limiting him to only...
February 24
February 24

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker replaces injured Los Angeles Laker Anthony Davis in All-Star Game

NEW YORK -- Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was selected Wednesday to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis in the NBA All-Star Game. Commissioner Adam Silver chose Booker to take Davis' spot a day after Booker was snubbed by the league's head coaches for a reserve spot in the March 7 game in Atlanta. "Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that,'' Lakers star and Western Conference captain  LeBron James tweeted after Booker was left out Tuesday. Davis, voted in as a reserve, is sidelined by a strained right calf. Booker received his second straight All-Star selection, both as an injury replacement. He's averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and shooting a career-high 50.1% from the field. Booker and fellow All-Star Chris Paul have helped Phoenix to a 20-10 record, fourth-best in the NBA. The Suns last had two All-Stars in 2009-10 with Steve Nash and Amare...
February 24
February 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be 'elated' to extend Tom Brady's contract beyond 2021

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Wednesday that he and coach Bruce Arians would be "elated" if they could get a deal done with quarterback Tom Brady to keep him in Tampa beyond his two-year contract, which will end after the 2021 season. Licht said Tuesday on "The Rich Eisen Show" that signing Brady to an extension is a possibility, but he declined to discuss the specifics of any conversations with Brady's agent, Don Yee, when asked Wednesday during the Bucs' combine and free-agency Zoom conference. "Bruce and I both have a great relationship with Tom, and I have a good relationship with his agent," Licht said. "We thought Tom played incredibly well this year, along with the entire team. We would love to have Tom play here -- I can speak for Bruce -- I think as long as he continues to want to play. If that comes to fruition at some point, we'd be elated. But I'd like to keep those conversations private right now." Brady, 43, is set to earn $25 million...
February 24
February 24

New York Yankees' Domingo German apologizes for domestic violence as teammates react

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German publicly apologized Wednesday for his actions that resulted in a suspension under baseball's domestic violence policy, and while his teammates called his face-to-face comments to them the previous day an important first step, they acknowledged some may "look at him differently now." German began his videoconference with reporters Wednesday by reading a statement that said in part: "I want to take this opportunity before answering questions to sincerely apologize to the Steinbrenner family, my teammates, the front office and those around me who love me. I have made mistakes of which I am not proud of, and for that I want to apologize." German addressed the entire team Tuesday, the Yankees' first full-squad workout day, in two separate groups because of COVID-19 protocols, manager Aaron Boone said. Boone called the meetings, which he said lasted around a half hour, "impactful" and "a good step." First baseman ...
February 24

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