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3 hours ago

San Francisco 49ers' Trent Williams (ankle) questionable for NFC title game but adamant he'll play

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For the third straight day, San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams did not participate in practice Friday as he continues to recover from a right ankle injury. Williams, who suffered the ankle sprain in the second half of last week's win against the Green Bay Packers, is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams. If that sounds familiar, it's because it is. Williams had an elbow sprain leading into the Niners' Jan. 9 game against the Rams. Despite midweek optimism from Williams and coach Kyle Shanahan, Williams was unable to play in that contest. But that experience has not changed Williams' and Shanahan's positive outlook this time around. "It's gonna be like it was three weeks ago," Shanahan said Friday. "I feel the same way as I did at the beginning of the week. He came out for walk-through today and Trent is adamant that he's going. He was last time, too --...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Philadelphia 76ers fan who taunted Lakers' Carmelo Anthony banned indefinitely

The fan who taunted Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony during the Philadelphia 76ers' game against L.A. on Thursday has been banned indefinitely from Sixers games and all future events at Wells Fargo Center, a 76ers spokesperson told ESPN on Friday. Anthony confronted the fan standing behind the row of courtside seats near center court midway through the fourth quarter of Philadelphia's 105-87 win over the Lakers after Anthony said the fan repeatedly referred to him as "boy." The fan was summarily ejected after the incident caused game action to pause for several minutes while the referees attempted to restore order and guide Anthony away from him. An investigation conducted in the 24 hours since the game found that the individual, who was not identified by the team, was a repeat violator of the Sixers' fan code of conduct, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN. He had previously been warned and disciplined for those offenses. The...
4 hours ago
January 28

New York Rangers raise Henrik Lundqvist's No. 30 to rafters: 'This is home'

New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist had his No. 30 raised to the rafters in Madison Square Garden on Friday night, with a raucous crowd on hand to honor "The King." "I'm so happy I get an opportunity to say thank you to all the amazing fans in here that have supported me throughout my career," Lundqvist told the crowd during the ceremony. "It's been an amazing experience and it has given me so much joy. When I reflect on my time in New York, I keep coming back to one feeling, and that's gratitude." Lundqvist's number is the 11th retired by the Rangers. Among the special guests in attendance were Lundqvist's family, as well as former NHL players Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter, all of whom have had their numbers retired by the team. Lundqvist's No. 30 was highlighted on a lighted display on the ice, as well as on the backs of current Rangers players as they prepared for their game against the Minnesota Wild. Rangers fans made the...
January 28
January 28

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, Anthony Davis to sit out vs. Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE -- The Los Angeles Lakers will be without LeBron James and Anthony Davis for Friday's game against the Hornets, coach Frank Vogel said before the game. James is missing his second straight game with soreness in his left knee. Davis, who returned earlier this week from a 17-game absence because of a sprained MCL in his left knee, is out with a sore right wrist after banging it on the rim during a dunk in a loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.  The Lakers, 2-2 on their six-game road trip, finish things off Sunday in Atlanta. Vogel said Davis and James were both considered day-to-day heading into the Hawks game. Davis already had X-rays on his wrist which came back negative. Vogel was asked about the severity of James' injury and said, "There's some swelling in there that they want to just get on top of. And that's all it is." L.A. started DeAndre Jordan at center and Wayne Ellington in the front court with the two stars...
January 28
January 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, once 50-1, now betting favorite to win MVP

Less than 2 weeks after being a 50-1 longshot to win NBA MVP, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid is now the favorite (+260) at Caesars Sportsbook. Embiid, listed at 50-1 on January 16, is in the midst of a 16-game stretch in which he is averaging 34 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Sixers big man vaulted former MVPs Stephen Curry (+300) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+325) in the last few days. Denver Nuggets All-NBA big man and last season's MVP Nikola Jokic has the fourth-best odds at +400 while Memphis Grizzlies rising star Ja Morant is fifth at +1400. Starting with preseason favorite Luka Doncic, Embiid is the fifth different player to be the favorite in the season's first three months.  Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant became the favorite on January 16, just before suffering a knee injury and starting a shift in the MVP odds that has seen Curry and Giannis each hold the top spot this month. As of...
January 28
January 28

New York Giants hire Brian Daboll as next head coach

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have hired former  Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their new head coach, the team announced on Friday.  Daboll replaces Joe Judge, who went 10-23 and was fired after two seasons. He was the third consecutive Giants coach to be fired after two seasons or less, following Ben McAdoo (13-15) and Pat Shurmur (9-23), as the once-proud franchise has stumbled through one of the worst 10-year stretches in its history.   Now it's Daboll's turn to try to stop the trend. New York cleaned house this offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman retired following the conclusion of the season. Former Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen was hired in his place. Daboll was one of five finalists for the job along with former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Bills assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and...
January 28
January 28

New Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett 'excited' to get to work fixing team's offensive struggles

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Amped up and ready to start the hunt for touchdowns, Nathaniel Hackett was formally introduced Friday as the Denver Broncos' 18th head coach in franchise history. Hackett, who'd been the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator for the past three seasons, called his hiring "a dream." The 42-year-old arrives as the Broncos have had one of the league's most unreliable and inconsistent offenses over six consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance. "Any offense that you have, it has to be maneuverable, has to be adjustable for who you have on our team,'' Hackett said. "... You want to make the defense cover the entire field and you've got to take shots down the field. Let's face it: That's what the people in the stands love. I remember watching John Elway ... this is really where this system kind of evolved from and was created." Broncos general manager George Paton was quick to shoot down the early theory that Hackett had been hired to give...
January 28
January 28

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden 'ready to go' after missing NBA game with hamstring injury

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, who missed one game with left hamstring tightness, is "ready to go" against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, coach Steve Nash said Friday. Harden was a late scratch against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday because of the hamstring injury. The Nets, who come into Saturday's game having lost three straight, are counting on Harden to provide offensive stability over the next few weeks as the group tries to continue to weave Kyrie Irving back into the lineup -- while still playing without star Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss several more weeks because of a sprained MCL in his left knee. Nash said Irving "needs the time" on the upcoming five-game road trip to keep building up his rhythm after not playing NBA basketball for almost three months. Irving, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, is not currently allowed to play in home games because of a New York City...
January 28
January 28

Promoter Frank Warren secures rights to Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte title bout with $41M bid

For the first time since September 2019, Tyson Fury will fight someone other than Deontay Wilder. Fury's co-promoter, Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions, won the rights to the WBC heavyweight title fight between Fury and Dillian Whyte with a commitment of $41,025,000 at Friday's purse bid. Fury, the champion, will earn $29,538,000. Whyte, the WBC's longtime No. 1 contender, will make $7,384,500. A bonus of $4,102,500 will go to the winner, 10% of the winning bid, per WBC rules.  The only other bidder was Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing with a bid of $32,222,222. The fight is being targeted for April 23 in the U.K., sources told ESPN. Top Rank, which co-promotes Fury alongside Warren, will co-promote the event. Fury-Whyte will be an ESPN pay-per-view in the U.S., per sources, and a BT Sport pay-per-view in the U.K. "I can't wait to punch Dillian Whyte's face right in, mate," Fury, ESPN's No. 1 heavyweight, said in an Instagram video Thursday. "I'm going to give him the best...
January 28
January 28

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow prepared for loud crowd in AFC title game against Kansas City Chiefs

CINCINNATI -- Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow knows that his ears will probably be ringing on Sunday. One of the loudest stadiums in the NFL has been a main topic of conversation as Cincinnati prepares for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the  Kansas City Chiefs. Burrow said it's par for the course this deep in the postseason. "It's always going to be a topic when you're playing on the road in the playoffs," Burrow said. "It was loud last week. We handled it OK. We had a couple of mistakes. "But I think we've had a good week of practice within that noise. I think we're going to be more well prepared for it." All week, the Bengals have prepared for the expected decibel levels at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. Cincinnati piped in artificial crowd noise for practices inside Paul Brown Stadium that could be heard from blocks away. During a Monday Night Football game in 2014, the crowd for Kansas City's win over the New England Patriots set a...
January 28
January 28

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden 'ready to go' after missing game with hamstring injury

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, who missed one game with left hamstring tightness, is "ready to go" against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, coach Steve Nash said Friday. Harden was a late scratch against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday because of the hamstring injury. The Nets, who come into Saturday's game having lost three straight, are counting on Harden to provide offensive stability over the next few weeks as the group tries to continue to weave Kyrie Irving back into the lineup -- while still playing without star Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss several more weeks because of a sprained MCL in his left knee. Nash said Irving "needs the time" on the upcoming five-game road trip to keep building up his rhythm after not playing NBA basketball for almost three months. Irving, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, is not currently allowed to play in home games because of a New York City...
January 28
January 28

Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert stepping down after 2022 NFL draft, could stay with team in new role

PITTSBURGH -- Longtime Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert will step down after the 2022 NFL draft in April, team owner Art Rooney II said Friday. "We have left the door open, Kevin and I, to possibly have him fill an ongoing role after the draft," Rooney said. "We will be conducting a search for a new GM starting immediately. Probably won't make a hire until after the draft. We will be interviewing people. We've already interviewed two of our in-house candidates: Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt." Colbert's imminent departure will leave coach Mike Tomlin as the lone standing member of the longtime nucleus of the Steelers. Tomlin signed a three-year extension with the team last year, and Rooney said Friday that Tomlin's role will not expand or change under a new general manager. "I don't expect to make dramatic changes in terms of those responsibilities, coach versus GM," Rooney said. "I think it's worked well, and we're not really trying to make a big change there." Rooney...
January 28
January 28

Sacramento Kings pull out of pursuit for Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, sources say

The Sacramento Kings -- one of the most aggressive teams in the trade market and once an eager suitor for Philadelphia's Ben Simmons -- have ended their pursuit of a deal with the 76ers and turned elsewhere in trade talks, sources told ESPN on Friday. Inside of two weeks until the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline, the Kings believe the asking price is too steep and that a pathway to a trade agreement with the Sixers doesn't exist, sources said. The Kings, who have lost five straight and sit 13th in the Western Conference, are determined to reshape their roster and remain engaged on other fronts, sources said. Sacramento has several players who could potentially be traded, including forward Harrison Barnes, guard Buddy Hield and center Richaun Holmes. The Kings' roster represented one of the Sixers' best options for a Simmons deal ahead of the trade deadline. Losing them in the marketplace somewhat diminishes the chances of an in-season...
January 28
January 28

Jerry Jones says he believes Dan Quinn turned down NFL head-coaching job to stay with Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones on Friday said Mike McCarthy's future as head coach was never in question and that he and McCarthy worked together to make sure defensive coordinator Dan Quinn would remain with the team. "The idea of Mike twisting in the wind wasn't the case at all," Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "We were trying to keep Dan Quinn and maintain continuity on the coaching staff." Jones said he believes Quinn turned down a head-coaching opportunity to sign an extension with the Cowboys "for years to come." Quinn was initially signed through 2023. He is still getting paid by the Atlanta Falcons; he was the head coach in Atlanta from 2015 to 2020. Jones said Quinn is the third coordinator the owner has gotten to turn down a head-coaching opportunity to remain with the Cowboys. Jones said Sean Payton walked away from a chance to coach the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and that Jason Garrett had opportunities from the...
January 28
January 28

Jerry Jones says he believes Dan Quinn turned down NFL head coaching job to stay with Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones on Friday said Mike McCarthy's future as head coach was never in question and that he and McCarthy worked together to make sure defensive coordinator Dan Quinn would remain with the team. "The idea of Mike twisting in the wind wasn't the case at all," Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "We were trying to keep Dan Quinn and maintain continuity on the coaching staff." Jones said he believes Quinn turned down a head coaching opportunity to sign an extension with the Cowboys "for years to come." Quinn was initially signed through 2023. He is still getting paid by the Atlanta Falcons, where he was the head coach from 2015 to 2020. Jones said Quinn is the third coordinator that the owner has gotten to turn down a head coaching opportunity to remain with the Cowboys. Jones said Sean Payton walked away from a chance to coach the Oakland Raiders in 2004, and that Jason Garrett had opportunities from...
January 28
January 28

Jerry Jones says Dan Quinn turned down head coaching job to stay with Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones on Friday said Mike McCarthy's future as head coach was never in question and that he and McCarthy worked together to make sure defensive coordinator Dan Quinn would remain with the team. "The idea of Mike twisting in the wind wasn't the case at all," Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "We were trying to keep Dan Quinn and maintain continuity on the coaching staff." Jones said he believes Quinn turned down a head coaching opportunity to sign an extension with the Cowboys "for years to come." Quinn was initially signed through 2023. He is still getting paid by the Atlanta Falcons, where he was the head coach from 2015 to 2020. Jones said Quinn is the third coordinator that the owner has gotten to turn down a head coaching opportunity to remain with the Cowboys. Jones said Sean Payton walked away from a chance to coach the Oakland Raiders in 2004, and that Jason Garrett had opportunities from...
January 28
January 28

Ex-NBAer and current North Carolina A&T golfer J.R. Smith signs with agency for NIL opportunities

In a first for a high-profile ex-professional athlete, North Carolina A&T freshman golfer J.R. Smith -- a retired 16-year NBA guard -- has signed with Excel Sports for NIL representation, agent Lance Young told ESPN. Smith, 36, is beginning his second semester for the Aggies, and his emergence as perhaps the most well-known Division I golfer has inspired significant endorsement possibilities that could earn him well into the six figures under the NCAA's new name, image and likeness legislation. There's significant NIL interest among golfing equipment and clothing manufacturers and video game companies, Young told ESPN. Smith has expressed a desire to become a bridge to the sport of golf for underrepresented minority groups, and his matriculation as a full-time undergraduate at N.C. A&T -- an HBCU in Greensboro, North Carolina -- has captured significant attention. Smith has a considerable social media following, too, including 6 million followers on Instagram. Smith earned...
January 28
January 28

Golden State Warriors get 'good indicator' of potential as Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry click in win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Much of the conversation surrounding the Golden State Warriors heading into the season was about how they'd be a title contender once Klay Thompson returned. Instead, the Warriors hit a skid after Thompson's highly anticipated debut Jan. 9, experiencing some of the growing pains they'd skipped over at the start of the season. But on Thursday night, everything clicked for Golden State, particularly from beyond the arc, in a 124-115 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. "It's a really good indicator of what our team can look like with Klay back and everybody healthy, for the most part, in terms of our shooters," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "With these last couple of games, the spacing that we've had and the ball movement, we've gotten great shots." Thompson finished the night with 23 points and went 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Stephen Curry had a team-high 29 points and was 6-of-10 on 3-pointers. Andrew Wiggins and ...
January 28
January 28

Los Angeles Lakers' Carmelo Anthony calls fans' taunting in loss to Sixers 'unacceptable'

PHILADELPHIA -- Carmelo Anthony took exception to some fans' taunting of him during the Los Angeles Lakers' 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, saying that the harassment was "unacceptable." The incidents caused referees and players from both teams to intervene during the game.  With 7 minutes, 1 second left in the fourth quarter, Anthony confronted a fan standing behind the row of courtside seats near center court at the Wells Fargo Center. Anthony said afterward that the fan referred to him as "boy." Play was paused for several minutes while security personnel advanced to the spot of the confrontation and refs guided Anthony away from the incident. "Some things were said," Anthony said afterward. "Unacceptable. I'm cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team, I'm all for that. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, you just, that's what you're going to see. That's what you're going to...
January 28
January 28

No. 25 Sooners stuffed in run game

NORMAN, Okla. -- No matter what's going wrong with his front line, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson doesn't plan on No. 25 Oklahoma becoming a finesse team. The Sooners' struggles on the offensive line were amplified last week when, on the same day Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford went out after re-injuring his right shoulder, the team wound up with minus-16 yards rushing against No. 3 Texas. Wilson said Tuesday that Oklahoma (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) shifted to short passes because it would have been too difficult to block the nation's best rush defense and one loading the line of scrimmage. The shift led to tailback DeMarco Murray setting new career-highs with eight catches for 116 yards. "Whether we abandon the run or not or we get in big sets or spread sets, the real deal is we need to keep playing more physical," Wilson said. The last time Oklahoma was held to negative yards on the ground came in 2002 against Alabama (minus-23 yards). Next up is Kansas...
January 28
January 27

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid pays New Orleans Pelicans rookie Jose Alvarado's fine after spat

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is listed as 7 feet tall, 280 pounds, and might be even bigger than those measurements. Meanwhile, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado might be generously listed as 6 feet tall, 179 pounds. But that size difference didn't stop the Pelicans' undrafted rookie from going at the MVP candidate when the two teams met up on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. With 4:45 left in the second quarter, an Embiid foul sent Pelicans veteran guard Garrett Temple to the ground. That's when Alvarado stepped up and went chest-to-chest with Embiid and the two exchanged words, drawing a double technical foul. On Thursday afternoon, Alvarado told reporters that Embiid said he'd cover the fine associated with the technical foul. Following the Sixers' 105-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, Embiid explained why. "I just like his energy. He plays hard. He competes. Even when he picked up the tech, he...
January 27
January 27

Chicago Bears hire Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus as head coach

The Chicago Bears have hired  Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their head coach, the team announced Thursday night.  Eberflus, 51, also was considered a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. He will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. "I couldn't be more excited to have Matt become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears," said Poles, whom the Bears hired Tuesday. "His experience, passion, character and attention to detail made him the right man for both the job and the culture we intend to establish here at Halas Hall. Throughout the search, Matt impressed me when detailing his vision and plan for our team. We look forward to getting to work and assembling a top-notch staff and roster that will help us consistently compete for championships." Chicago also interviewed ...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James, Kevin Durant named captains again for All-Star Game as starter pool announced

LeBron James and Kevin Durant again will be the captains of the two teams in this year's All-Star Game, as the NBA announced on Thursday night the starters for its annual midseason showcase to be held Feb. 20 in Cleveland.  James, who now has been a captain in each of the five years the NBA has used the current system to pick its teams, and Durant, who is one for a second straight year, earned the honor by finishing with more fan votes than anyone in their respective conferences.  James has now made 18 All-Star teams, tying Kobe Bryant for second place all time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).  Joining James as starters from the Western Conference are Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the backcourt, along with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and forward Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors in the frontcourt. From the East, Durant, a 12-time...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James, Kevin Durant named captains for All-Star Game as starter pool announced

LeBron James and Kevin Durant again will be the captains of the two teams in this year's All-Star Game, as the NBA on Thursday night announced the starters for its annual midseason showcase to be held Feb. 20 in Cleveland.  James, who has now been a captain in each of the five years the NBA has used this system to pick its teams, and Durant, who is one for a second straight year, earned the honor by finishing with more fan votes than anyone in their respective conferences. James has now made 18 All-Star teams, tying Kobe Bryant for second place all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).  Joining James as starters from the Western Conference are Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the backcourt, along with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and forward Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors in the frontcourt. From the East, Durant, a 12-time All-Star, is...
January 27
January 27

South Carolina leads projected No. 1 seeds in top-16 reveal for NCAA women's basketball tournament

South Carolina and Tennessee give the SEC two projected No. 1 seeds in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, and UConn, a No. 3 seed, is not slated to be in the region in Connecticut. Those were among the major takeaways from the NCAA women's selection committee's first "reveal" of the top 16 seeds, which was released Thursday and based on results through Wednesday. The NCAA will have subsequent reveals on Feb. 10 and Feb. 28. By the end of Thursday evening, though, two of the projected top 16 had been upset. Tennessee, which had been unbeaten in SEC play, lost 71-61 at Auburn, which got its first win over a top-five team since 1997. It was also Auburn's first league win this season; the Tigers had lost their last 23 SEC games. And in a night of upsets in the SEC, LSU -- projected as the No. 12 overall seed -- lost 90-76 to an Arkansas squad that hit 13 3-pointers. The women's tournament follows a so-called "geography curve," where top seeds are slotted into the...
January 27
January 27

Source: Dallas Cowboys' Mike McCarthy told he will return as head coach in 2022

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has been told that he will return in 2022, a source confirmed to ESPN's Ed Werder on Thursday. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has so far declined to commit to McCarthy's return publicly after Dallas' playoff exit with a wild-card round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. USA Today Sports first reported that McCarthy had been told he will return. With coach Sean Payton walking away from the  New Orleans Saints this week, it only intensified speculation regarding McCarthy's future given Jones' affinity for Payton, a former Dallas assistant under Bill Parcells. Payton said on Tuesday that he doesn't plan to coach another team in 2022. Since he's under contract for three more seasons, the Saints would have to agree to trade compensation if he wanted to coach another team. On Jan. 17, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that he was "very confident"...
January 27
January 27

Denver Broncos hire Nathaniel Hackett for first stint as head coach

The Denver Broncos agreed to terms with  Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their head coach, the team announced Thursday. "Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. "In addition to having a brilliant offensive mind, Nathaniel is an outstanding teacher and communicator with a strong vision for all three phases of our team." Hackett, who has worked with quarterbacks at all phases on the developmental curve, was scheduled to interview with the Jaguars on Thursday, but the Broncos stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done to prevent him from going to Jacksonville, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. It marks Hackett's first stint as a head coach, and he becomes Denver's fourth different coach since the start of the 2016 season. He replaces Vic Fangio, who was fired earlier...
January 27
January 27

LeBron James out for Los Angeles Lakers' game vs. Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA -- Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James won't play Thursday night against the 76ers due to left knee soreness, coach Frank Vogel said about 90 minutes before tipoff.  The coach said James woke up with some soreness in his left knee. The team had listed him as questionable earlier Thursday before he was ultimately ruled out.  Vogel says James is day-to-day, meaning his availability for Friday's matchup in Charlotte is in question.  James had played in 25 straight games for L.A. after missing 12 of the first 23 this season because of right ankle soreness, a suspension and a false positive result on a COVID-19 test. The Lakers are 5-7 (.417) without him in the lineup compared to 19-17 (.528) with him. Tuesday's win in Brooklyn, which improved L.A.'s record to 2-1 to start its six-game road trip, was the 18th straight game in which James scored 25 points or more. "I'm in one of the best zones offensively I've been in, in my career," the 19-year...
January 27
January 27

Sources: Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returning to Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas -- Having interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies of the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is returning to the Dallas Cowboys, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini on Thursday. A source told Schefter that Quinn withdrew his name from consideration from the Bears' job, which went to former Cowboys assistant and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to sources. Earlier Thursday, a source said the Broncos tabbed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach. Quinn became a sought-after candidate after helping turn around the Cowboys' defense in 2021, a year after it allowed a franchise-record 473 points. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points per game and led the NFL in takeaways with 34. Quinn helped develop rookie...
January 27
January 27

Evander Kane set to join Edmonton Oilers, sources say, as NHL clears winger after investigating potential COVID-19 violations

Evander Kane has reached a verbal agreement to sign with the Edmonton Oilers for the rest of the NHL season, sources told ESPN's Kevin Weekes on Thursday. A Kane-to-Edmonton agreement comes as the NHL on Thursday cleared the veteran winger of potential violations of COVID-19 protocols. Sources told Weekes that Kane's deal with the Oilers is for one year, carries a cap hit of $2.1 million, and has a no-movement clause. It includes a signing bonus of $625,000 and a base salary of $750,000. The cap hit is pro-rated since Kane is joining the team midway through the season. Kane has been training in Vancouver, British Columbia, and could be ready to play as soon as this weekend, his agent, Dan Milstein, told ESPN on Thursday morning. The Oilers open a three-game road trip in Montreal on Saturday.  On Thursday, the NHL released the findings of its investigation into Kane's cross-border travel while in the AHL. The league said it will not discipline the veteran winger after...
January 27
January 27

Portland Trail Blazers' Nassir Little likely done for season because of shoulder tear, sources say

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little -- one of the breakout young players in the league this season -- will likely be out for the rest of the season with a left shoulder labral tear, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The Blazers announced the injury without a timetable for his return, but the expectation is that Little's injury has ended what has been a productive season. Little, 21, suffered the injury in the Blazers' loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night. He has been a revelation in his third NBA season. The Blazers have gone 7-5 in January, with Little averaging 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds on 45.4% shooting, including 40% on 3-pointers, for the month. Little was the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, and he has emerged with another young Blazers guard -- Anfernee Simons -- to take major steps for the franchise this season. Portland has had several key injuries, including with guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
January 27
January 27

Soccer-Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 1 - halftime

Oct 20 - Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 1 - Champions League Group G halftime score: At Ibrox Scorers: Rangers: Ricardo Vilana own goal 2 Missed penalty: Steven Davis 38 Unirea Urziceni: Marius Ioan Bilasco 32 Referee: Eric Braamhaar (Netherlands) (Editing by Tom Pilcher)
January 27
January 27

Sources: Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte fight to proceed after step-aside deal for Anthony Joshua collapses

Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte will meet in the ring after all. There was an agreement in principle for both Whyte and Anthony Joshua to step aside and forego planned bouts with Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, respectively, in exchange for millions of dollars, but the deal fell apart after parties attempted to renegotiate at the 11th hour, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The proposed deal would have paved the way for Fury to fight Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship in June in Saudi Arabia, sources said. It's believed the $155 million site fee the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offered last year for a fight between Fury and Joshua was in play. Money from that package would have gone to both Whyte and Joshua. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is the WBC's mandatory challenger so he's owed an immediate title shot against Fury. The rights to that fight will now be auctioned off at Friday's purse bid, which has been postponed numerous times to allow time for a step-aside deal to be closed. It's...
January 27
January 27

ECHL player Jacob Panetta gets season ban for racist gesture

The ECHL has suspended former Jacksonville (Fla.) Icemen forward Jacob Panetta for the remainder of the 2021-22 season for what the league called "a racial gesture" toward South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban last Saturday. Panetta, 26, can ask for a reduction of that 38-game suspension and apply for reinstatement to the ECHL after March 17, "pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the National Hockey League's Player Inclusion Committee." The Icemen announced on Sunday that they had released Panetta after the ECHL's decision to suspend him indefinitely pending its investigation. The incident happened in overtime. South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan had collided with Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster, sparking a skirmish between the teams. According to Subban, he tried to engage Panetta in a fight. Panetta responded by taunting Subban, who is Black. "As soon as I began to turn my back, he started making monkey gestures...
January 27
January 27

ECHL player Jacob Panetta gets season ban for racial gesture

The ECHL has suspended former Jacksonville Icemen forward Jacob Panetta for the remainder of the 2021-22 season for what the league called "a racial gesture" toward South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban last Saturday. Panetta, 26, can ask for a reduction of that 38-game suspension and apply for reinstatement to the ECHL after March 17, "pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the National Hockey League's Player Inclusion Committee." The Icemen announced on Sunday that they had released Panetta following the ECHL's decision to suspend him indefinitely, pending its investigation. The incident happened in overtime. South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan had collided with Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster, sparking a skirmish between the teams. According to Subban, he tried to engage Panetta in a fight. Panetta responded by taunting Subban, who is Black. "As soon as I began to turn my back, he started making monkey...
January 27
January 27

Chicago Bears to hire Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus as head coach, sources say

The Chicago Bears will hire Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their head coach, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Eberflus, 51, also was considered a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. He will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. Chicago also interviewed Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell for the job. Eberflus has spent the past four seasons as the Colts' defensive coordinator under coach Frank Reich. His defenses finished in the top 10 in scoring three times, including being tied for ninth in 2021 at 21.5 points per game. Eberflus will inherit a Bears team that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense in 2021 but struggled offensively and endured instability at quarterback, where Andy Dalton...
January 27
January 27

Former Washington Football Team employees to share sexual harassment allegations with House committee

Former Washington Football Team employees will share their allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Feb. 3 in what is being called a "roundtable" discussion, the committee announced Thursday morning. Former employees who plan to participate include Emily Applegate, the team's former marketing coordinator and ticket sales representative; Melanie Coburn, a former cheerleader and former director of marketing; Rachel Engleson, a former intern who rose to director of marketing and client relations; Ana Nunez, former coordinator of business development and client services; and Brad Baker, a former video production manager. "Our clients look forward to sharing their experiences directly with the committee," Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former Washington employees, said in a statement. "Critical questions need to be asked and answered to WFT's pervasive culture of sexual harassment and...
January 27
January 27

Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano megafight set for April 30 at Madison Square Garden

The biggest fight in women's boxing history is officially on the schedule. The bout between undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor and seven-division world titlist Amanda Serrano -- ESPN's No. 1 and No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings -- has been scheduled for April 30 to headline a card in one of the most iconic boxing venues in the world, the main arena of Madison Square Garden. It is the first women's boxing match in history to headline at MSG. "I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible, but for this fight to headline at Madison Square Garden would truly be the pinnacle of the sport," Taylor told ESPN recently. "So much of boxing's history is linked to MSG, and I've been fortunate enough to fight there already on a couple of occasions. "It's such an iconic venue so to be part of the first ever women's fight to main event there would be truly special." This fight has been talked about for years -- and booked in the past before falling apart. Now, though, with a...
January 27
January 27

Sources: Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn staying put

FRISCO, Texas -- Having interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies of the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is returning to the Dallas Cowboys, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini on Thursday. A source told Schefter that Quinn withdrew his name from consideration from the Bears' job, which went to former Cowboys assistant and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to sources. Earlier Thursday, a source said the Broncos tabbed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach. Quinn became a sought-after candidate after helping turn around the Cowboys' defense in 2021, a year after it allowed a franchise-record 473 points. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points per game and led the NFL in takeaways with 34. Quinn helped develop rookie...
January 27
January 27

Sources - Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn staying in Dallas

The coaching carousel keeps spinning, but Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is jumping off -- sources telling ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini that he is staying in Dallas. Quinn had interviewed for the head coaching vacancies of the Bears, Broncos, Vikings and Giants.  He became a serious candidate after turning around the Cowboys defense in his first year in Dallas. The Cowboys allowed a franchise-record 473 points in 2020 but improved to seventh in the league in points per game (21.1) and led the NFL in takeaways (34) this season. Quinn's use of linebacker Micah Parsons helped the rookie become an All-Pro. Before heading to Dallas, Quinn was the head coach of the Falcons from 2015-20. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2016, but Atlanta blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead and lost to the Patriots. 
January 27
January 27

Former Washington employees to share sexual harassment allegations with House committee

Former Washington Football Team employees will share their allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Feb. 3 in what is being called a "roundtable" discussion, the committee announced Thursday morning. Former employees who plan to participate include Emily Applegate, the team's former marketing coordinator and ticket sales representative; Melanie Coburn, a cheerleader and former director of marketing; Rachel Engleson, a former intern who rose to director of marketing and client relations; Ana Nunez, former coordinator of business development and client services; and Brad Baker, a former video production manager. "Our clients look forward to sharing their experiences directly with the committee," Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former Washington employees, said in a statement. "Critical questions need to be asked and answered to WFT's pervasive culture of sexual harassment and retaliation, and...
January 27
January 27

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger retires after 18 seasons: 'I retire from football a truly grateful man'

PITTSBURGH -- After 18 seasons as the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement Thursday morning. In a video posted to his Twitter account, Roethlisberger announced what became obvious over the final weeks of the 2021 season. "The journey has been exhilarating, fueled by a spirit of competition," Roethlisberger said. "Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man." In a statement, Steelers president Art Rooney II said, "... we are forever grateful for all the success he has helped bring to the organization for the past 18 years. Ben will always be viewed as one of the all-time greats in our team history, and his determination, toughness and competitiveness will be remembered by everyone in the organization as well as Steeler Nation throughout the world." Roethlisberger, 39, finished a...
January 27
January 27

Denver Broncos to hire Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, sources say

The Denver Broncos are hiring Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their head coach, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Hackett, who has worked with quarterbacks at all phases on the developmental curve, was scheduled to interview with the Jaguars on Thursday, but the Broncos stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done to prevent him from going to Jacksonville, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. It will mark Hackett's first stint as a head coach, and he becomes Denver's fourth different coach since the start of the 2016 season. He replaces Vic Fangio, who was fired earlier this month after going 7-10 this past season -- the Broncos' fifth consecutive losing season. Hackett's hiring will bring immediate speculation about the Broncos trying to lure  Aaron Rodgers to Denver, perhaps along with his star receiver Davante Adams, who is set to hit free agency in March. Rodgers, who turned 38 last month in the midst...
January 27
January 27

UConn returns to practice

STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut's football team got back to work Tuesday, holding their first practice since the stabbing death of player Jasper Howard over the weekend. "It's definitely hard to move forward, with a loss like that," linebacker Lawrence Wilson said. "But as his mom and his parents said to us, Jasper would want us to win. So I think the team will practice hard for him." Police said Howard, a junior cornerback, was fatally stabbed during a fight outside a university-sanctioned dance early Sunday. Nobody has been charged with the stabbing, and UConn police said Tuesday there were no new developments in the investigation. Howard's stepfather, Henry Williams, said the family is confident that the killer will be brought to justice. Speaking to reporters, Williams also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and support the family has received from the Connecticut community. "We have a lot of pain," Williams said. "We still have hurt, but we can go on now...
January 27
January 26

Dana White says no disrespect to Francis Ngannou with postfight absence from Octagon

UFC president Dana White said his not putting the heavyweight title belt on Francis Ngannou after UFC 270 last weekend had nothing to do with "disrespect." White addressed the postfight situation in a fan Q&A on Wednesday night with interviewer Laura Sanko on ESPN+. White did not put the belt on Ngannou in the cage following Ngannou's successful title defense over Ciryl Gane on Saturday, as is customary. Instead, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard did the honors. White also did not attend the postfight news conference like he normally does. Many speculated that White didn't perform those functions because Ngannou and the UFC are embroiled in messy contract negotiations. On Wednesday, White said that was not the case, explaining he had something to deal with backstage and was unable to make it back to the Octagon in time. White did not go into detail about what he had to do that prevented him from returning for the main event. "For anybody that thinks I was showing any...
January 26
January 26

Sources: Brooklyn Nets to shun trade-deadline offers for James Harden

The Brooklyn Nets won't listen to trade-deadline overtures for All-NBA guard James Harden, a resolve rooted in Harden's repeated insistences to ownership and management that he is committed to staying and winning a championship with the franchise, sources told ESPN. Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks are buoyed not only by Harden's consistent internal stance but the shared public and private belief among superstars Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that the three make the Nets an unstoppable team when playing together. Once Durant returns to the lineup in February from a sprained MCL injury, the expectation is that the Nets will get an ample window to prove that again this season. Irving is still limited by a New York City mandate that prohibits unvaccinated players from performing at home. The Philadelphia 76ers' plans for a potential pursuit of Harden this summer have been no secret anywhere in the league, but the...
January 26
January 26

Statue of Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna placed at crash site on 2-year anniversary of deaths

A statue of the late Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna was placed on the site of their helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Wednesday, two years to the day of the tragic deaths of them and seven others. The statue was created by sculptor Dan Medina and showed Kobe, in his Lakers uniform and with his arm around Gianna, who is also wearing a uniform while holding a basketball by her side. The two are looking at each other with big smiles. Medina told NBC Los Angeles that he brought the 160-pound bronze statue to a hilltop in Calabasas at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, and that it will remain there temporarily. The statue has the names of the Bryants and the seven other victims in the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash -- John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and pilot Ara Zobayan -- inscribed on its base. The helicopter carrying all eight passengers was on its way to a girls' basketball tournament that...
January 26
January 26

Kansas City Chiefs fans, in nod to Bills Mafia, donate $255,017 to Buffalo children's hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Just days ago, the Kansas City Chiefs handed the Buffalo Bills one of the most heartbreaking losses in franchise history. Chiefs fans, inspired by the fundraising spirit of Bills Mafia, have decided to turn their team's big overtime win Sunday into a positive for the Buffalo community, raising $255,017 for Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo as of late Wednesday afternoon, per the hospital. Beginning Tuesday, donations in increments of $13 began being sent to the hospital from Chiefs fans in honor of the 13 seconds it took for the Kansas City offense to drive down the field to tie the divisional-round playoff game at the end of regulation. The Chiefs went on to win  42-36 on the first drive of overtime. The original idea from a Chiefs Kingdom Facebook group was to donate in $13 increments to quarterback Patrick Mahomes' charitable organization, the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation. That changed when Chiefs fans...
January 26
January 26

Chris Mack out as Louisville Cardinals men's basketball coach

Chris Mack is officially out as  Louisville men's basketball coach, it was announced Wednesday, and he said he isn't "bitter at all" at the outcome. The board of trustees and University of Louisville Athletic Association jointly approved Mack's separation agreement, interim athletic director Josh Heird announced. The contract that Mack signed in 2018 called for a $12 million buyout, but the two sides negotiated the buyout down to $4.8 million as part of the agreement, sources told ESPN. "It's a hard place," Mack told reporters Wednesday. "You've gotta win games." Associate head coach Mike Pegues has been named Louisville's interim coach for the rest of the season. Mack and Heird had numerous discussions throughout the season and recently, sources told ESPN, the sides agreed the place had become too toxic for Mack to continue. "Coaching transitions are always difficult, especially during the course of the season, but Chris and I agreed that it is in the best interests of...
January 26
January 26

Sources: Baltimore Ravens targeting Michigan Wolverines' Mike Macdonald to be new DC

The defensive coordinator who keyed Michigan's dramatic turnaround in 2021 is on the cusp of heading back to the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens have targeted Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, a former Ravens assistant, to be John Harbaugh's next defensive coordinator, sources told ESPN. A deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days, according to sources. Macdonald has been replaced on the road recruiting by a graduate assistant coach, Dylan Roney, in preparation for his departure. The Ravens haven't completed their interviews for the opening yet. On Thursday, John Harbaugh is scheduled to talk to Joe Cullen, the former Ravens defensive line coach who was the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator last season. In total, Harbaugh has spoken to about eight candidates. The Detroit Free Press first reported that the Ravens were targeting Macdonald. This comes after Macdonald stabilized a defense that keyed a one-year turnaround for Jim...
January 26

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