Sports News

Latest Sports Headlines

2 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

The Boston Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers on Friday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, delivering the kind of playmaking point guard whom president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Ime Udoka believed they needed to elevate the franchise as a championship contender. The Pacers are getting a 2023 first-round pick and five players from the Celtics in return, including center Daniel Theis and 2021 first-round pick Aaron Nesmith, sources told Wojnarowski. Stevens specifically identified playmaking as an issue in his postseason sit-down with reporters following the Celtics' loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. "I think we need a little bit more playmaking," Stevens said earlier this month. "I think that's real. ... We have to make sure that we continue to play with pace. When we are at our best, we play with pace. "... But there's no question, in this league, the more guys...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIV Golf players write to DP World Tour to rescind sanctions

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

LIV players write to DP World Tour to rescind sanctions

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

Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia 76ers, P.J. Tucker near 3-year, $33.2M deal, agent says

The  Philadelphia 76ers and free-agent forward P.J. Tucker are finalizing a three-year deal worth $33.2 million, his agent told The Athletic. The Sixers also agreed to deals with free-agent guards Danuel House and Trevelin Queen, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. House's deal is for two years and $8.5 million, sources said. After winning a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, Tucker joined another Eastern Conference contender in the Heat, helping them to the best record in the conference last season. Tucker, 37, especially shined in the playoffs, where he knocked down 45% of his 3-pointers while playing 28 minutes per game in Miami's run to the conference finals. Despite his age, Tucker again proved to be exceptionally durable after playing 71 games in the regular season and then all 18 of Miami's playoff games. Heat team president Pat Riley called Tucker a "cornerstone" player during his news conference after Miami's season ended in a...
June 30
June 30

USC, UCLA moving from Pac-12 to Big Ten in 2024

USC and UCLA, two of the Pac-12's flagship programs, were notified Thursday night that their application to join the Big Ten has been accepted. The schools will begin play in the conference in 2024. The Big Ten said in a statement that the vote was unanimous when conference presidents and chancellors met on the addition of the two schools on Thursday evening. "The unanimous vote today signifies the deep respect and welcoming culture our entire conference has for the University of Southern California, under the leadership of President Carol Folt, and the University of California, Los Angeles, under the leadership of Chancellor Gene Block," Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said. UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond wrote in a text to ESPN: "College athletics is changing, and UCLA has always led in times of change. For the sake of our student-athletes, and for preserving the legacy of Bruin excellence, we cannot afford to stand still." USC athletic director Mike Bohn called the...
June 30
June 30

Freddie Freeman's former agent: Atlanta Braves furthering 'false narrative' on negotiations

Agent Casey Close accused the Atlanta Braves of perpetuating a "false narrative" regarding the departure of first baseman Freddie Freeman from the organization, saying in a statement to ESPN that he "will not stand by" as allegations about his role in Freeman joining the Los Angeles Dodgers continue in the wake of the months-long fallout from the move. Questions surrounding Close's part in Freeman leaving Atlanta for the Dodgers came to a head Wednesday, when radio host Doug Gottlieb accused Close in a tweet of withholding the Braves' final offer from Freeman. In a previous statement, Close called that "a wholly inaccurate characterization" and said Excel Sports is "evaluating all legal options to address the reckless publication of inaccurate information." In a follow-up statement Thursday, Close said: "I will not stand by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman's departure from Atlanta are mischaracterized. Since March, the Braves have fostered a...
June 30
June 30

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons agrees to 4-year, $100 million deal, agent says

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons has agreed on a four-year, $100 million contract extension, his agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports + WME Sports told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Simons, who turned 23 on June 8, averaged career-highs of 17.3 points and 29.5 minutes per game in 57 games -- including 30 starts -- for Portland this past season. He took over as the team's primary ballhandler down the stretch after franchise mainstay CJ McCollum was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and superstar guard Damian Lillard was shut down for the season following abdominal surgery. Across those 30 games Simons started, he averaged 22 points per game and shot 45 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from 3-point range -- while averaging just under 10 3-pointers attempted per night. One of the youngest players in the 2018 NBA draft, Simons was the No. 24 overall selection out of IMG Academy, having been taken just a couple of weeks after turning 19. He...
June 30
June 30

Bradley Beal heading back to Washington Wizards as NBA free agency opens, agent says

All-Star guard Bradley Beal has agreed to a five-year, $251 million maximum contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, his agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski as NBA free agency opened Thursday.   Beal, who has played his entire 10-year career with the Wizards, has now committed himself to the franchise for the duration of his prime. Beal, who turned 29 earlier this week, averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 40 games for Washington last season before undergoing season-ending wrist surgery in February. That was preceded by two seasons in which Beal averaged at least 30 points per game -- including 31.3 points per game across 60 games during the 2020-21 season. The No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Beal is in the top five in a host of all-time statistical categories for the Wizards -- including making, and attempting, the most 3-pointers in team history. Now, he'll get a chance to take aim at virtually...
June 30
June 30

Memphis Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr. has foot surgery, out 4-6 months

Memphis Grizzlies power forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. underwent surgery Wednesday to address a stress fracture in his right foot, the team announced. Jackson is expected to be sidelined approximately four to six months and make a full recovery, according to the team. The 22-year-old Jackson's career has been detoured by injuries, but he is coming off the most productive season of his four-year career. He averaged career-bests of 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and a league-leading 2.3 blocks for the Grizzlies, who tied a franchise record with 56 regular-season wins to earn the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Jackson's first two seasons ended early because of knee injuries, including a meniscus tear suffered in the Orlando bubble that required surgery to repair. Jackson missed most of the 2020-21 season while recovering from the operation, playing only 11 regular-season games and the playoffs. Jackson stayed healthy in 2021-22, playing in 78 games and earning...
June 30
June 30

Source: Deshaun Watson's disciplinary hearing over after three days, no timetable for ruling

Deshaun Watson's hearing before the NFL and NFL Players Association's jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, has finished after three days, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano on Thursday. Watson's hearing began Tuesday morning and ended Thursday evening. Watson has been accused in civil lawsuits by 25 women of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. The NFL has been pushing for a suspension of at least a year, according to Graziano, who reported that both sides engaged in multiple attempts to reach a settlement while the hearing was still happening, but remain unable to agree. According to Graziano, Robinson asked for post-hearing briefs, which will be due the week of July 11. There is no set timeline for Robinson's decision. A source told Graziano that Robinson is expected "to take her time." If either the union or league appeals the decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee "will issue a written...
June 30
June 30

Kevin Durant requests trade from Brookyn Nets

In a decision that could transform the NBA for years to come, franchise star Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, his business manager Rich Kleiman told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Nets general manager Sean Marks is working with Durant and Kleiman on finding a trade, Kleiman told ESPN.  Not only is it incredibly rare for a player of Durant's caliber to be moved in a deal, but what makes him all the more valuable as a trade chip is that he signed a four-year contract extension that kicks in this week -- meaning that a team that acquires Durant will know they'll have him through 2026. The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are among the teams Durant has on his wish list for a potential trade, sources told Wojnarowski. However, the Nets are not tied to honoring any of Durant's preferred destinations and plan to make a deal that allows them the greatest return of assets, sources told Wojnarowski. To that point, more than half...
June 30
June 30

Sources: Dallas Mavericks informed Jalen Brunson intends to sign with New York Knicks

The Dallas Mavericks have been informed that guard Jalen Brunson intends to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency, sources told ESPN. A meeting with the Mavs scheduled to be held soon after the opening of free agency on Thursday evening was canceled in the afternoon, sources confirmed, as Brunson had made up his mind to commit to the Knicks. Brunson headed into his meeting with the Knicks with a five-year, $106 million-plus offer from the Mavericks, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. New York is expected to offer Brunson a four-year contract in the range of $110 million, sources said. NBA reporter Marc Stein first reported that the meeting with Dallas had been called off.   Brunson's departure from Dallas to New York has been widely anticipated for days, as the Knicks made a more lucrative offer to play a larger role for a franchise that has deep family ties, including the recent addition of his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant...
June 30
June 30

USC, UCLA planning move from Pac-12 to Big Ten as early as 2024, sources say

USC and UCLA, two of the Pac-12's flagship programs, are planning to leave the conference for the Big Ten as early as 2024, and a move is considered imminent, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. There is still a formal notification process, as the two schools have to let the Pac-12 know their intentions to leave. USC and UCLA also have to formally apply to the Big Ten. According to a source, that process is underway. Big Ten presidents and chancellors will meet to vote on the addition of USC and UCLA on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, sources told ESPN. Multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday that the move is expected to happen. A source called the next steps "formalities," and an announcement could come within the next 24 hours. A source said that the exploration of finances and what it would take to make the move has been going on for weeks. While finances are playing a big role in the move, competitiveness, brand and the overall landscape of the future of the sport have played a...
June 30
June 30

Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas advance to third round at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal made it through to the third round of Wimbledon for the 11th time after getting past Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday. The second-seeded Nadal looked far from his best at times, but he won on Centre Court in a match that finished under the roof after a rain delay during the fourth set. It was Nadal's 307th Grand Slam match win, taking him past Martina Navratilova in fourth place on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer (369), Serena Williams (365) and Novak Djokovic (330). "Yeah, not the best start honestly," Nadal said of Thursday's victory. "I finished playing well. The fourth set has been the level of tennis for me, important improvement. The rest of the things, I have room to improve." Nadal is looking for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title, and third Wimbledon trophy. In other men's matches, former French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fourth seed, set up a showdown with fellow...
June 30
June 30

WWE signs social media influencer Logan Paul to multi-event deal, sources tell ESPN

Social media influencer Logan Paul has signed a deal with WWE, the organization announced on Thursday. The pact is a multi-event deal, sources told ESPN, that will push into 2023. Paul will compete in the ring at multiple WWE premium live events (formerly called pay-per-views by the company) and will make TV appearances in between based on storylines. Paul appeared at WrestleMania 37 in April 2021 alongside WWE superstar Sami Zayn before he made his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 38 this year in a tag-team match with The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominik Mysterio. The Miz and Paul were victorious, and afterward, The Miz turned on Paul. On Monday's edition of Raw, The Miz called out Paul, seemingly setting the stage for a singles match at SummerSlam later this month in Nashville. Logan Paul is the older brother of Jake Paul, a fellow YouTube star. The younger Paul has found success in boxing, with multiple pay-per-view headline appearances. Most recently, Jake Paul scored...
June 30
June 30

WWE signs social-media influencer, boxer Logan Paul to multi-event deal, sources tell ESPN

Social-media influencer Logan Paul has signed a deal with WWE, the organization announced on Thursday. The pact is a multi-event deal, sources tell ESPN, that will push into 2023. Paul will compete in the ring at multiple WWE premium live events (formerly called pay-per-views by the company) and will make TV appearances in between based on storylines. Paul appeared at WrestleMania 37 in April 2021 alongside WWE superstar Sami Zayn before he made his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 38 this year in a tag-team match with The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominik Mysterio. The Miz and Paul were victorious, and afterward, The Miz turned on Paul. On Monday's edition of Raw, The Miz called out Paul, seemingly setting the stage for a singles match at SummerSlam later this month in Nashville. Logan Paul is the older brother of Jake Paul, a fellow YouTube star. The younger Paul has found success in boxing, with multiple pay-per-view headline appearances. Most-recently, Jake Paul scored...
June 30
June 30

Source: USC, UCLA considering move from Pac-12 to Big Ten as early as 2024

USC and UCLA, two of the Pac-12's flagship programs, are considering leaving the conference for the Big Ten as early as 2024, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. There is still a formal notification process, as the two schools have to let the Pac-12 know their intentions to leave. USC and UCLA also have to formally apply to the Big Ten. According to a source, that process is underway. The San Jose Mercury News first reported the news. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff was not immediately available for comment.
June 30
June 30

Lewis Hamilton on Nelson Piquet slur: We need to stop giving old F1 voices a platform

SILVERSTONE, England -- Lewis Hamilton said "old voices" from Formula One such as Nelson Piquet's are irrelevant to what the sport wants to achieve in the future and should not be given a platform to promote discriminatory opinions. Three-time champion Piquet has been banned from the F1 paddock after he used a racial slur to describe Hamilton in a 2021 podcast that gained media attention this week. Hamilton said the 69-year-old Brazilian former driver is part of an era and generation F1 is trying to move away from. "I've been on the receiving end of racism, criticism, negativity and archaic narratives, for a long, long time, and undertones of discrimination," Hamilton said ahead of the British Grand Prix, which he is looking to win for a record-extending ninth time Sunday. "So there's nothing really particularly new for me. I think it's more about the bigger picture. I'm not really sure, I don't know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform. "They're...
June 30
June 30

Harmony Tan, Katie Boulter earn upset wins to reach third round at Wimbledon

Harmony Tan, ranked No. 115 in the world, and Katie Boulter, who is 118th, continue to make names for themselves with upset victories at Wimbledon, while top-ranked Iga Swiatek stayed the course by extending her winning streak to 37 matches Thursday. France's Tan, who ousted seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in a first-round match that lasted more than three hours on Tuesday, rolled into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 32nd-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo on Thursday. Boulter, a British wild-card entry, rallied to eliminate sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who reached the Wimbledon final last year, with a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory on Centre Court. The road for Tan or Boulder will end in the fourth round, when they are scheduled to face each other. "There will be maybe some public [support] for her, but I'm prepared for that,'' Tan said of her next match against Boulter, "because when I play Serena, there is a lot...
June 30
June 30

Charlotte Hornets' Miles Bridges arrested in Los Angeles on eve of free agency

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon and booked on a felony domestic violence warrant, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. The LAPD did not release details on the charges, but it confirmed to ESPN that Bridges was released later Wednesday on $130,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 20. "The Charlotte Hornets are aware of the situation involving Miles Bridges," the team said in a statement Thursday. "We are in the process of gathering additional information. We will have no further comment at this time." Bridges, the Hornets' leading scorer last season, is set to become a restricted free agent and could command a max contract in the coming weeks. The news comes on the eve of NBA free agency, which begins Thursday night with teams able to speak with free agents. Bridges, 24, averaged career highs with 20.2 points and 7.0 rebounds last season in what amounted to a breakout...
June 30
June 30

Tamara Korpatsch clears air with Harmony Tan over late withdrawal from doubles tennis match at Wimbledon

LONDON -- A day after Harmony Tan's would-be partner Tamara Korpatsch publicly expressed her outrage over Tan's last-minute decision to withdraw from doubles, peace has been restored between the pair. In a follow-up post on her Instagram story on Thursday, Korpatsch said the two had spoken and cleared the air. "She made me clear about her injury now and we already apologized to each other," Korpatsch wrote. "As a fact I will delete my previous post regarding this situation. And I will ask not to write bad comments to her, don't want that she gets insults!" Tan withdrew from doubles, in which she and Korpatsch were to play their first-round match on Wednesday, following her marathon three-set victory over Serena Williams on Tuesday night, citing a thigh injury. Korpatsch claimed Tan texted her an hour before their match was set to begin. "I didn't deserve that," Korpatsch said on Wednesday. "She asked me before the tournament if we wanna play doubles and I...
June 30
June 30

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson casts doubts on LIV golfers' hopes for 2023 event

United States Ryder Cup team captain Zach Johnson has warned American golfers on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf International Series that they may not be picked for next year's matches in Italy. A total of 17 players were suspended by the PGA Tour ahead of LIV's inaugural event in St. Albans, England, earlier this month. Some players, including two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, chose to resign their membership from the tour, meaning they are no longer eligible to compete in tour events or the Presidents Cup. Further players, including Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, have since joined LIV Golf, which will host its first event in the U.S. in Portland, Oregon, starting Thursday. Speaking at a news conference ahead of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, Zach Johnson was asked about the challenge of making captain's picks for the 2023 Ryder Cup. "So what I know is this: In order to play on the Ryder Cup team whether you're top-six or...
June 30
June 30

Tamara Korpatsch clears air with Harmony Tan over late withdrawal from doubles match

LONDON -- A day after Harmony Tan's would-be partner Tamara Korpatsch publicly expressed her outrage over Tan's last-minute decision to withdraw from doubles, peace has been restored between the pair. In a follow-up post on her Instagram story on Thursday, Korpatsch said the two had spoken and cleared the air. "She made me clear about her injury now and we already apologized to each other," Korpatsch wrote. "As a fact I will delete my previous post regarding this situation. And I will ask not to write bad comments to her, don't want that she gets insults!" Tan made the decision to withdraw from doubles, in which she and Korpatsch were to play their first-round match on Wednesday, following her marathon three-set victory over Serena Williams on Tuesday night, citing a thigh injury. Korpatsch claimed Tan texted her an hour before their match was to begin. "I didn't deserve that," Korpatsch said on Wednesday. "She asked me before the tournament if we wanna...
June 30
June 30

Kemba Walker, Detroit Pistons finalizing contract buyout, sources say

Four-time All-Star guard Kemba Walker and the Detroit Pistons are finalizing a contract buyout, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. Once Walker clears waivers, he'll join free agency. The Pistons acquired Walker from the New York Knicks last week as part of a three-team trade that included the Milwaukee Bucks and saw Detroit also acquire the draft rights to Jalen Duren. Walker, 32, is on an expiring $9.2 million salary for this coming season. In February, the Knicks and Walker agreed that the four-time All-Star would be sidelined for the remainder of the season to allow him to work out in preparation for 2022-23. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau dropped Walker from the Knicks' playing rotation in mid-November, and Walker also battled knee soreness in January. Walker averaged 11.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in 37 games last season.
June 30
June 30

Seattle Storm's Sue Bird becomes winningest player in WNBA history with 324th career victory

With the Storm pulling away late Wednesday to defeat the WNBA-leading Las Vegas Aces 88-78, Seattle point guard Sue Bird notched her 324th career victory and became the winningest player in league history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Bird, who announced earlier this month that this will be her final WNBA season, surpassed retired point guard Lindsay Whalen (323). Bird and Whalen are the lone two players in league history to play in at least 300 wins. Rebekkah Brunson and Swin Cash, the latter of whom played four seasons in Seattle with Bird, are tied for third at 294. Because all of those players split their careers among multiple teams, Bird has an even bigger lead over Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury (279) for most wins with a single WNBA franchise. "That's amazing," said Storm coach Noelle Quinn, who played with Bird before retiring and joining the team's coaching staff. "She would probably say it's because she's...
June 30
June 29

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel makes 'surreal' MLB debut at age 30, pitches scoreless 9th for Philadelphia Phillies

Former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel, a month shy of his 31st birthday, made his major debut Wednesday night and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the host  Philadelphia Phillies. At 30 years and 349 days, Appel -- whose baseball career included a three-season absence from the sport -- is the oldest former top overall pick from the June draft (since 1965) at the time of his MLB debut. The right-hander allowed one hit and recorded a strikeout as the Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves 4-1. "It's pretty surreal,'' Appel said.  Appel was picked No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros in 2013 and was part of a trade to Philadelphia in 2015. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Appel left baseball in 2018 before coming back to the Phillies organization in 2021. Appel has spent the past two seasons pitching in Double- and Triple-A for the Phillies. He has a 5-0 record and 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Lehigh Valley this season, and earned a promotion...
June 29
June 29

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel makes MLB debut at age 30, pitches scoreless 9th for Philadelphia Phillies

Former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel, a month shy of his 31st birthday, made his major debut Wednesday night and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Philadelphia Phillies. At 30 years and 349 days, Appel -- whose baseball career included a three-season absence from the sport -- is the oldest ever former top overall pick from the June draft (since 1965) at the time of his MLB debut. The right-hander allowed one hit and recorded a strikeout as the Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves 4-1. Appel was picked No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros in 2013 and was part of a trade to Philadelphia in 2015. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Appel left baseball in 2018 before coming back to the Phillies organization in 2021. Appel has spent the past two seasons pitching in Double- and Triple-A for the Phillies. He has a 5-0 record and 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Lehigh Valley this season, and earned a promotion to the majors last Saturday. One of the most...
June 29
June 29

James Harden declines option with Philadelphia 76ers as sides look to work out new deal, sources say

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden has declined his $47.3 million option and will become a free agent, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday. Harden keeps real the possibility of negotiating a new deal with Philly that would deliver the Sixers roster-building flexibility in free agency -- including use of the full $10.5 million exception. In Harden's conversations with the team since the end of the season, he has shared extensively his desire to help the organization reshape the roster toward championship contention, sources told ESPN. The opt-out could go a long way in reshaping the Sixers' bench, including that full midlevel exception, the $4.1 million biennial exception and sign-and-trade deals. Teams may begin negotiating deals with free agents starting at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. However, those players cannot officially sign until 12:01 p.m. ET on July 6. Harden, 32, averaged 22.0 points and 10.3 assists across 65 games with the Brooklyn Nets and...
June 29
June 29

Patty Mills declines option with Brooklyn Nets, becomes free agent, sources say

Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills has declined his $6.2 million option and will become a free agent, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday. Mills, who'll attract significant interest around the league, hasn't ruled out a return to the Nets, sources told ESPN. Teams may begin negotiating deals with free agents starting at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. However, those players cannot officially sign until 12:01 p.m. ET on July 6. Mills, 33, joined the Nets last season after playing the last 10 years with the San Antonio Spurs. One of the league's premier sharpshooters, Mills stepped up for the Nets in the absence of the injured Joe Harris, starting 48 games for Brooklyn. He came off the bench in their first-round loss to the Boston Celtics, playing 18 minutes per game in the series. Mills had another strong shooting campaign, canning 40% of his 3-pointers on 7 attempts per game in the regular season. Despite never playing starter-level minutes,...
June 29

Suggested Interests