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3 hours ago

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper out indefinitely after suffering broken left thumb

SAN DIEGO -- Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper has a broken left thumb after being hit by a 97 mph fastball from Blake Snell in the fourth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres. The Phillies announced that the reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely. He will undergo further evaluation in the next few days. "I've never had a hand injury like this," said Harper, who was wearing a splint on the injured thumb. "Never broken anything in my life. This is new to me, so I'm just gonna go day by day, see kind of where we're at, and see the specialist in Philly. And if I do need to see another specialist somewhere, then I will." Harper checked his swing as the pitch from Snell rode inside and high before hitting him on the outside of the left hand. Harper immediately fell to the ground and was in visible pain as he held the hand while on his knees for several minutes with Phillies head trainer Paul Buchheit attending to...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Mateusz Gamrot edges Arman Tsarukyan in back-and-forth UFC lightweight brawl

If Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot was a look into the future of the UFC lightweight division, then that future looks awfully bright. Gamrot beat Tsarukyan by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. But the result could have gone either way, and both men -- two of the top up-and-coming fighters at 155 pounds in the world -- performed at an incredibly high level. "This was very tough fight," Gamrot said in his postfight interview. "Arman is high-level guy, from the new generation. I wish the best for Arman. I hope we train in the future." Tsarukyan was ESPN's No. 10-ranked lightweight coming in, while Gamrot was unranked, though that is likely to change. Afterward, Gamrot called out former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who is coming off a title fight loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 last month. "Justin Gaethje is the most brutal guy in the division," Gamrot...
3 hours ago
June 26

Panini Flawless Triple Logoman LeBron James card sells for $2.4 million including buyer's premium

The basketball card that rapper and NBA superfan Drake spent at least $200,000 trying to find -- the 2020-21 Panini Flawless Triple Logoman LeBron James card, numbered one-of-one -- sold at auction Saturday night with collectibles marketplace Goldin for $2.4 million, including buyer's premium. Logoman cards -- featuring the NBA logo cut from a player's jersey -- are some of the most sought-after modern cards in the hobby. Panini's 2020-21 Flawless release (10-card Hobby boxes are currently selling for roughly $15,000) includes five Triple Logoman cards, all numbered one-of-one: a Draymond Green/ Stephen Curry/ Klay Thompson, Anthony Edwards/ LaMelo Ball/ Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum/ Luka Doncic/ Zion Williamson and Giannis Antetokounmpo/ Kevin Durant/Stephen Curry. The fifth card is the LeBron James version that just sold, embedded with NBA logo patches from "game-worn/used" James...
June 26
June 26

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper leaves game with apparent right hand injury

SAN DIEGO -- Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper left with an apparent injury to his right hand after being hit by a 97 mph fastball from Blake Snell in the fourth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres. The nature and extent of the injury were not immediately known. Harper, serving as the Phillies' designated hitter, was replaced by Johan Camargo. Harper checked his swing and the pitch rode inside and high toward his right shoulder. The ball appeared to hit him on the outside of the right hand. Harper immediately crumbled to the ground and was in visible pain as he held the hand while on his knees for several minutes with the Phillies' trainer attending to him. As Harper was halfway to Philadelphia's dugout, he started yelling at Snell and motioning with his injured hand toward the Padres' starting pitcher. Snell eventually shouted something back at Harper. Many of the fans at Petco Park started to boo Harper after...
June 26
June 26

Ole Miss' Jack Dougherty unlikely hero vs. Oklahoma, puts Rebels 1 win from Men's College World Series title

OMAHA, Neb. -- Ole Miss, one of the last four teams invited to the NCAA baseball tournament, is now only one win away from being the last team standing. Mississippi defeated Oklahoma 10-3 in the first contest of the best-of-three Men's College World Series finals on Saturday, powered to the victory by an unlikely arm: relief pitcher Jack Dougherty. A sophomore out of Collierville, Tennessee, Dougherty was forced into service as a starter because the team's two aces had been used up in Mississippi's march to this championship series. "Coach [Mike Bianco] grabbed me before the game and said, 'Just be you,'" Dougherty said after the game. "'Go out, attack with your fastball, get ahead in counts, and just pitch like you pitch, and you'll be successful.'" The righty responded with his longest outing of the season: five innings of perfect baseball before leaving the mound in the sixth with a 4-1 lead and the bases loaded with no outs. His relief came by way of freshman...
June 26
June 26

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper leaves game early with apparent right hand injury

SAN DIEGO -- Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper left with an apparent injury to his right hand after being hit by a 97-mph fastball from Blake Snell in the fourth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres. The nature and extent of the injury were not immediately known. Harper, serving as the Phillies' designated hitter, was replaced by Johan Camargo. Harper checked his swing and the pitch rode inside and high toward his shoulder. The ball appeared to hit him on the outside of the right hand. Harper immediately crumbled to the ground and was in visible pain as he held his hand while on his knees for several minutes with the Phillies' trainer attending to him. As Harper was halfway to Philadelphia's dugout, he started yelling at Snell and motioning with his injured hand toward the Padres starting pitcher. Snell eventually shouted something back at Harper. Many of the fans at Petco Park fans started to boo Harper after...
June 26
June 26

Ashley Sanchez steps up as USWNT learns to win without Catarina Macario

Catarina Macario was meant to be the focal point of the United States women's national soccer team's generational transition. That plan, however, had to be put on hold after the 22-year-old tore her left ACL in May in Lyon's final match of the season. On Saturday, ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers, the Americans got their first look at life without Macario -- and a preview of what much of qualifying will look like against lower-ranked opposition. The U.S. slogged through a scoreless first half against Colombia at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, before scoring three times in a much better second 45 minutes to win 3-0. Washington Spirit striker Ashley Hatch started in the No. 9 role on Saturday ahead of Alex Morgan, who leads the National Women's Soccer League with 11 goals in 10 regular-season games (17 goals in 17 games in all competitions). Hatch is a seasoned poacher who won the NWSL Golden Boot last season, and she is the most traditional...
June 26
June 25

Source: Tina Charles' split with Phoenix Mercury in making for most of season

Former MVP Tina Charles and the Phoenix Mercury have parted ways in a surprising development for last season's WNBA runner-up team. The Mercury announced Saturday that the franchise and Charles had agreed to terms on an immediate contract divorce. "After discussions with Tina and her agent, it was best for both parties to go our separate ways at this time," Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said. "Due to circumstances both in and out of our control, our season has not gone according to our plan, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement." Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard declined to discuss the reasons behind the separation but said it was "best for both parties" and that the team is "ready to move forward." A source told ESPN that Charles' divorce from the Mercury had been in the making for most of the season. She had been unhappy with her role in the offense, which included a desire for more shots, for some time. Charles expected to be used in a...
June 25
June 25

Ole Miss one win from first Men's College World Series title after 10-3 win over Oklahoma in finals opener

OMAHA, Neb. -- Ole Miss, one of the last four teams invited to the NCAA baseball tournament, is now only one win away from being the last team standing. Mississippi defeated Oklahoma 10-3 in the first contest of the best-of-three Men's College World Series finals, powered to the victory by an unlikely arm: relief pitcher Jack Dougherty. The sophomore out of Collierville, Tennessee, was forced into service as a starter because the team's 1-2 aces had been used up in Mississippi's march to this championship series. The righty responded with his longest outing of the season: five innings of perfect baseball before leaving the mound in the sixth with a 4-1 lead and the bases loaded with no outs. His relief came by way of a freshman right-hander Mason Nichols, who struck out five of the seven batters he faced in two innings of work and surrendered only one run, charged to Dougherty. A trio Ole Miss pitchers -- Dougherty, Nichols and sophomore Josh Mallitz -- enjoyed an...
June 25
June 25

In Gee Chun shoots 3-over 75, sees lead shrink to 3 strokes at Women's PGA Championship

BETHESDA, Md. -- In Gee Chun shot a 3-over 75 on Saturday to take a 3-stroke lead into the final round of the Women's PGA Championship. On a day when Congressional Country Club gave the leaders plenty of trouble, Chun was holding her own until she made a double bogey on the par-5 16th hole. The two-time major champion from South Korea led by 5 shots after the first round and 6 at the halfway point, but that 36-hole advantage has been cut in half. She had an 8-under 208 total. Lydia Ko (76) and Jennifer Kupcho (74) -- Chun's playing partners -- had their own problems, but Lexi Thompson and Hye-Jin Choi both shot 70 and were tied for second with Sei Young Kim (71) at 5 under. Chun bogeyed Nos. 1 and 11 but birdied 2 and 12. She had a 5-shot lead when she had to play her third shot on the 16th. That shot put her in even more trouble, in an area with tall grass and some thick trees. She took an unplayable lie and went back to the previous spot to re-hit. Chun hit an 8-iron and sent...
June 25
June 25

Cristian Javier, Houston Astros bullpen combine for no-hitter vs. New York Yankees

NEW YORK -- Like most pitchers,  Houston Astros pitcher Cristian Javier grew up dreaming of one day throwing a no-hitter. While he still has yet to toss a complete game in 84 professional starts, the 25-year-old starter was part of one for the first time as a big leaguer on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. Javier,  Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for the first no-hitter against the New York Yankees in 19 years, shutting down the best team in baseball for a 3-0 victory at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. "I feel really happy, really proud right now for this moment that God has given me,'' Javier said on the field just after the game, via an interpreter. Moments later, in Houston's clubhouse, he was handed the game ball by teammate  Justin Verlander, who threw the Astros' last no-hitter in 2019, to raucous applause that could be heard in the hallway outside. Javier (5-3), who set career highs with 13 strikeouts on 115...
June 25
June 25

Sources: Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson's NFL disciplinary hearing scheduled for Tuesday

Deshaun Watson's hearing before the NFL and the NFL Players Association's jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, is scheduled to begin Tuesday, league sources told ESPN on Saturday. Robinson will listen as the NFL expects to push for a "lengthy" suspension for Watson while the NFLPA defends the Cleveland Browns quarterback, who has been accused of harassing, assaulting or touching 26 women during massage appointments when he was with the Houston Texans. However, the NFL is likely to base its proposed discipline on only a fraction of those women's testimony, per one source, as the league was unable to speak with a number of women who interacted with Watson. Watson was at one point facing 24 civil lawsuits that accused him of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions. He has agreed to settle 20 of those suits. Robinson has no track record of ruling on any cases involving NFL players, though one source said her decision could...
June 25
June 25

Phoenix Mercury, former WNBA MVP Tina Charles part after 18 games

Former MVP Tina Charles and the Phoenix Mercury have parted ways in a surprising development for last season's WNBA runner-up team. The Mercury announced Saturday that the franchise and Charles had agreed to terms on an immediate contract divorce. "After discussions with Tina and her agent, it was best for both parties to go our separate ways at this time," Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said. "Due to circumstances both in and out of our control, our season has not gone according to our plan, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement." Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard declined to discuss the reasons behind the separation but said it was "best for both parties" and that the team is "ready to move forward." Charles will have to clear waivers, which she is expected to do because no team appears to have the salary-cap space to pick up her pre-divorce contract. Once she is cleared, she can become an unrestricted free agent and sign with a team that...
June 25
June 25

Layden Blocker, No. 28 recruit in 2023 ESPN 100 college basketball rankings, commits to Arkansas Razorbacks

Guard Layden Blocker, the No. 28 recruit in the ESPN 100 for 2023, on Saturday announced his commitment to Arkansas, becoming the Razorbacks' first commitment in the class. Blocker visited the Fayetteville campus in early June and Arkansas, and was considered the heavy favorite entering the weekend. "They have a winning culture in basketball and other sports," Blocker told ESPN. "Coach Muss has coached in the NBA and he has an NBA style of play. He is a cool guy off the court. He's intense on the court. My goal is to play in the NBA." Blocker becomes the 12th ESPN 100 prospect to commit to Arkansas since Eric Musselman's first full recruiting class in 2020. The Razorbacks signed six ESPN 100 prospects -- including three five-stars -- in the 2022 class, finishing with the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. "When I attended their practices, it was intense with high energy," Blocker said. "I liked the atmosphere. On my visit they had an in-depth breakdown of my...
June 25
June 25

Pacers 86, Clippers 73

INDIANAPOLIS -- Troy Murphy didn't need to say a word to his Indiana Pacers teammates. He let his play in the fourth quarter speak volumes. After struggling from the field through three quarters, Murphy scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth to help the Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 86-73 on Wednesday night and snap their four-game losing streak. Murphy's effort was especially important for the short-handed Pacers (6-7). Indiana played without All-Star swingman Danny Granger, who missed the game with a sprained ligament in his left knee. "I'm not a real big rah-rah type guy," said Murphy, who also grabbed 11 rebounds. "I just let my play do the talking. That's the way I've always been." Without Granger, the NBA's eighth-leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, the Pacers needed a combined effort on the offensive end. Dahntay Jones had 18 points, Luther Head scored 14 and Brandon Rush added 13. "It's harder for an opposing team to scout where...
June 25
June 25

San Francisco 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo to soon begin throwing after offseason shoulder surgery, source says

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's timetable for throwing remains on schedule after offseason shoulder surgery, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Saturday. The expectation has been Garoppolo, who had the procedure on his right shoulder in March, will throw over the next few weeks after he's been cleared, and that plan remains in place. Once this happens and Garoppolo can pass a physical, the trade market for him could heat up. Trey Lance has worked as the 49ers' starting quarterback during the offseason program while Garoppolo, who has been the Niners' starter since late in the 2017 season, has spent most of his offseason rehabbing in Southern California. Garoppolo was excused from the team's mandatory minicamp in early June after not taking part in the team's offseason conditioning program. Veteran Nate Sudfeld has been the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Lance in OTAs with rookie Brock Purdy in the No. 3 spot. Garoppolo is...
June 25
June 25

Rafael Nadal enters Wimbledon on good footing after procedure to relieve pain

LONDON -- Rafael Nadal on Saturday said the procedure he had on his chronic foot injury after Roland Garros has meant he is largely pain-free, but he is unsure how long the treatment will be effective. "The feeling and overall feelings are positive, no, because I am in a positive way in terms of pain, and that's the main thing," Nadal said. Nadal has been suffering with Muller-Weiss syndrome, a rare condition which causes chronic pain in his left foot. He numbed the injury at Roland Garros by injecting the nerve to allow him to play. The injury causes him to be in pain when walking, let alone playing. After Roland Garros, Nadal underwent a radiofrequency nerve ablation, which targets the specific nerve leading to the painful area of his foot. At the time, Nadal said the success of that procedure would dictate whether he was going to play at Wimbledon, as he was not willing to again undergo daily injections. If the procedure didn't work, Nadal said he then would have...
June 25
June 25

Serena Williams looks for better Wimbledon finish than last year's injury-induced exit

LONDON -- Serena Williams said she was motivated to play this year's Wimbledon to ensure her final memories of the championship were not retiring injured as she was forced to do in last year's first round. Williams, 40, has not played a competitive singles match since last year's first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. There she suffered a torn hamstring after slipping on Centre Court during the first set and had to withdraw injured. She originally hoped to return in time for the US Open but ended up having a prolonged spell away from the sport. But on June 14 she announced she'd play at this year's Wimbledon and made her comeback to competitive tennis last week when she played doubles with Ons Jabeur in Eastbourne. Williams opens her Wimbledon championship against Harmony Tan and said a large motivating factor for her competing here was to form fresh memories of the place after suffering the heartbreak of retiring last year. "Yeah, it...
June 25
June 25

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel, 30, gets big league call-up from Philadelphia Phillies

Mark Appel, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick whose baseball career included a three-season absence from the sport, is getting his first major league call-up Saturday at the age of 30. The Philadelphia Phillies are bringing in the right-handed Appel from Triple-A Lehigh Valley because reliever Connor Brogdon is on the COVID-19 injured list, interim manager Rob Thomson told reporters Friday night. "Completely overwhelmed. I have so many thoughts I want to share but can't find the words, so I'll just say this: I'm thankful," Appel tweeted Saturday morning. "Today, I get to play a game I love as a Major League Baseball player." 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. He rejoined the Phillies' organization in 2021 after announcing in February 2018 that he was stepping away from baseball following injuries to his labrum and rotator cuff...
June 25
June 25

Aaron Judge settles with New York Yankees ahead of arbitration hearing, says there were no talks of long-term deal this week

NEW YORK --  Aaron Judge arrived at the players' association office in Manhattan for his salary arbitration hearing, set for noon Friday. "I don't know who picked that, but kind of bad timing," he said. "We were logged in, ready to go. All dressed up." His hearing never started. By 12:45 p.m., the star outfielder and the New York Yankees agreed to a $19 million, one-year contract, according to multiple reports confirmed by ESPN, a deal that leaves the slugger on track to become a free agent after the World Series. Judge's deal was struck exactly between the $21 million he asked for and the $17 million the Yankees offered when figures were exchanged on March 22. Judge can make an additional $500,000 in award bonuses: $250,000 for MVP and $250,000 for World Series MVP. "I was happy we were able to agree on a number and settle this thing and not have to go into court there," Judge said after Friday night's 3-1 loss to Houston. "If I would have went in that room, I...
June 25
June 25

Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat plays hero again in Game 5 win over Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- If the Tampa Bay Lightning need a clutch goal in the third period during the Stanley Cup playoffs, Ondrej Palat is the one scoring it. Palat tallied the game-winning goal at 13:38 of the third period Friday night, allowing the Lightning to avoid elimination with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final and send the series back to Tampa. "He keeps doing it," winger  Pat Maroon said. "He's a gamer. He plays the right way every night. He gets to those dirty areas, and he gets rewarded. He's a star in this league. He's an elite player in this league. He shows up in big-time moments." The goal was Palat's 11th of the playoffs, with seven coming in the third period of games. That included two game-winning goals against the New York Rangers, an empty-net goal that clinched the sweep of the Florida Panthers and his heroics to keep the Lightning's Stanley Cup three-peat chances alive in...
June 25
June 25

Key tripping call that flipped Game 5 'a tough one', says Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

DENVER -- Colorado coach Jared Bednar wasn't happy about a controversial penalty call in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday that helped determine the Avalanche's fate in a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Bednar's team led the series 3-1 entering Game 5 with a chance to hoist the Cup on home ice. The Lightning earned a victory in part because of a tripping infraction levied against Cale Makar in the second period, leading to a 4-on-3 power-play goal from Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov. That wound up being the difference in Friday's outcome, which didn't sit well with Bednar. "I didn't love that call, just because I don't think there was any intent there," Bednar said. "I don't even think he was checking that guy [ Ondrej Palat]. Looked to me like he kind of tripped over his stick. It's a tough one. They got their only power play goal on that one. So that hurt, stung a little bit. But it is what it is. You gotta roll with the punches."   Makar...
June 25
June 24

Robert Dillingham, No. 5 recruit in 2023 basketball class, commits to Kentucky Wildcats

Top-five recruit Robert Dillingham committed to Kentucky on Friday, giving the Wildcats their second top-30 guard in the 2023 class. Dillingham originally committed to NC State last December but reopened his recruitment in March. He chose Kentucky over a final four that also included Auburn, Louisville and USC. John Calipari has now brought in 15 five-star point guards since taking over at Kentucky in 2009. He landed a five-star at the position in all but two recruiting classes during that span, and also landed two five-star point guards in 2018. "If you put in the work at Kentucky and Coach Cal thinks you are good enough to make it, then it will happen for you," Dillingham told ESPN. "When I visited Kentucky, it was incredible. They explained everything. The basketball, academics, strength and conditioning, NIL." On the topic of name, image and likeness, Dillingham said: "Coach Cal explained how it works and said, 'It's not the reason you come here, but it's...
June 24
June 24

Emotional Freddie Freeman gets ring, ovations in return to Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman walked into the interview room at Truist Park on Friday afternoon and couldn't contain his emotions. He took a deep breath, turned away from the cameras, crossed his hands above his head and walked out. "Gimme a second," he said. "Hold on." A few minutes later, Freeman returned and did his best to navigate an emotionally charged interview that marked his return to the place he still adores. Through quivered speech, shaky hands and welling eyes, Freeman -- a lifelong member of the Atlanta Braves until signing a six-year, $162 million free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 17 -- did his best to express what this city and those fans and that team still mean to him. "I always told you guys how much I love the Braves, this city," Freeman said. "I thought I loved this city and this organization a lot, but I think you can tell how much I truly do love this organization and this city. I don't even know how I'm gonna get...
June 24
June 24

Steve Clifford agrees to return as Charlotte Hornets coach

Steve Clifford has agreed on a deal to become the Charlotte Hornets' coach, returning for a second run on the job, the team announced Friday. Clifford, who led the franchise to two playoff appearances in a five-year run that ended in 2018, returns in the wake of Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson changing his mind about accepting the Charlotte job and deciding instead to stay with the Warriors. Clifford always had a strong working relationship with Hornets owner Michael Jordan and fit the profile of what Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak wanted for this developing, young roster: a coach who could improve them defensively and transform them into a playoff team. Clifford is well-regarded among his coaching peers and respected for maximizing the talent on his rosters in both Charlotte and Orlando. "We believe that his previous experience and coaching philosophy make him the best coach for our team," Kupchak said in a release. "Steve has a proven...
June 24
June 24

Canelo Alvarez on trilogy bout with rival Gennadiy Golovkin: 'It's personal for me'

LOS ANGELES -- Canelo Alvarez said his upcoming matchup with rival Gennadiy Golovkin is "personal" and it would be "sweet" if he got to send Golovkin into retirement. Alvarez said Friday during a news conference in Hollywood that he does not like Golovkin and believes "GGG," who is beloved by fans, is phony. The two will meet for the third time Sept. 17 in Las Vegas. Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a draw in 2017, and Alvarez won the rematch in 2018. Both of those fights were very close decisions and Alvarez has taken umbrage with the fact that Golovkin has intimated that Alvarez has been avoiding a third fight for the past four years. "He always pretends to be a nice guy, like in front of people," Alvarez said. "He's an a--hole, that's what he is. He's an a--hole. It is what it is. I don't pretend to be nice. This is the way I am. I don't pretend to be another person. He's always pretending in front of you and people, 'Oh, I'm a nice guy.' He's not." Meanwhile, Golovkin said...
June 24
June 24

Robert Dillingham, No. 5 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Kentucky

Top-five recruit Robert Dillingham committed to Kentucky on Friday, giving the Wildcats their second top-30 guard in the 2023 class. Dillingham originally committed to NC State last December but reopened his recruitment in March. He chose Kentucky over a final four that also included Auburn, Louisville and USC. John Calipari has now brought in 15 five-star point guards since taking over at Kentucky in 2009. He landed a five-star at the position in all but two recruiting classes during that span, and also landed two five-star point guards in 2018. "If you put in the work at Kentucky and Coach Cal thinks you are good enough to make it, then it will happen for you," Dillingham told ESPN. "When I visited Kentucky, it was incredible. They explained everything. The basketball, academics, strength and conditioning, NIL." On the topic of name, image and likeness, Dillingham said: "Coach Cal explained how it works and said, 'It's not the reason you come here, but it's definitely...
June 24
June 24

Steve Clifford agrees to return as Charlotte Hornets coach, sources say

Steve Clifford has agreed on a deal to become the Charlotte Hornets' coach, returning for a second run on the job, sources told ESPN on Friday. Clifford, who led the franchise to two playoff appearances in a five-year run that ended in 2018, returns in the wake of Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson changing his mind about accepting the Charlotte job and deciding instead to stay with the Warriors. Clifford always had a strong working relationship with Hornets owner Michael Jordan and fit the profile of what Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak wanted for this developing, young roster: a coach who could improve them defensively and transform them into a playoff team. Clifford is well-regarded among his coaching peers and respected for maximizing the talent on his rosters in both Charlotte and Orlando. Clifford met with ownership and management in recent days and momentum quickly gathered on his candidacy to return, sources said. The Hornets also...
June 24
June 24

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper says Lightning have 'no more mulligans' ahead of Game 5 vs. Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- The Tampa Bay Lightning know their quest for a Stanley Cup three-peat is one loss to the Colorado Avalanche away from ending. "There are no tomorrows now. Like, this is it, and so there's no more mulligans. We've got to pull this one out," coach Jon Cooper said ahead of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday in Denver. The Lightning's overtime loss in Game 4 gave the Avalanche their 3-1 series lead and the chance to close out the series on home ice. Tampa Bay got the better of play for most of that 3-2 loss, but Colorado took over the game in overtime. The Lightning looked fatigued and beat up, as a handful of players battle injuries. Forward Alex Killorn said the team draws energy from being in the NHL's final playoff round. "You don't know how many times, if ever, you're going to be in this situation again. So guys are banged up, guys are bruised and maybe after this is all said and done, mentally we can tell you how draining it was. But...
June 24
June 24

WNBA players' union decries overturning of Roe v. Wade

The Women's National Basketball Players Association reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a woman's constitutional right to an abortion by focusing on voting rights and urging people to "vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do." In a statement, the WNBPA said, "This decision shows a branch of government that is so out of touch with the country and any sense of human dignity." "We must recognize that when we cast a ballot it is to elect officials and to connect the dots to policies and legislation that align with our values," the WNBPA said. The Supreme Court on Friday voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step, and it was supported by the court's conservative majority. Alito, in the final opinion, wrote that the original 1973...
June 24
June 24

Chicago Blackhawks expected to hire Montreal Canadiens assistant Luke Richardson as coach, source confirms

Luke Richardson is expected to become the new head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, an NHL source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Richardson would replace interim coach Derek King, who went 27-33-10 after taking over for Jeremy Colliton 12 games into the season. Richardson, an assistant coach for the Montreal Canadiens, was offered the head-coaching job this week, sources said. The Blackhawks are waiting on some contract details to be finalized, and the expectation is that Richardson will be formally announced as the coach next week. Daily Faceoff first reported on Richardson's expected hiring. Richardson, 53, has been an assistant coach on the Canadiens' bench for four seasons, working with three different head coaches. Before that, he was the head coach of the AHL Binghamton Senators, the top affiliate for the Ottawa Senators, from 2012 to 2016 and worked as an assistant for Ottawa and the New York Islanders. In the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs,...
June 24
June 24

Coach Jared Bednar wants his Colorado Avalanche to play with 'passion' in Game 5 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

DENVER -- Colorado has a chance to clinch its first Stanley Cup since 2001 with a victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday, and the Avalanche are managing their emotions accordingly. Instead of shying away from the naturally occurring nerves, coach Jared Bednar is encouraging his players to use those as fuel to be at their best come puck drop. "You always hear about controlled emotion. I'm kind of the opposite with our team," Bednar said on Friday. "Besides running around and getting out of our game plan, I want us to use our energy and nervous energy and emotion to go play the game with passion, play hard and stay on our toes and getting after it. That's my message to our team, has been all year. I want to harness that. I want our team to get on the attack." The Avalanche took a 2-0 lead over Tampa Bay in the Cup finals with a pair of strong performances at home. A 6-2 drubbing by the Lightning in Game 3 was Colorado's most...
June 24
June 24

WNBA players union decries overturning of Roe v. Wade

The WNBA Players Association reacted to the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn a woman's constitutional right to an abortion by focusing on voting rights and urging people to "vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do." In a statement, the WNBPA said, "This decision shows a branch of government that is so out of touch with the country and any sense of human dignity." "We must recognize that when we cast a ballot it is to elect officials and to connect the dots to policies and legislation that align with our values," the WNBPA said. The Supreme Court on Friday voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step, and was supported by the court's conservative majority. Alito, who wrote the final opinion, wrote that the original 1972...
June 24
June 24

Sources: Aaron Judge settles with New York Yankees on $19M deal plus incentives to avoid arbitration

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees avoided their scheduled arbitration hearing Friday by agreeing to a deal that leaves the slugger on track to become a free agent after the World Series. The sides agreed to a one-year, $19 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN. Judge can make an additional $250,000 by winning an MVP Award and $250,000 for World Series MVP, according to multiple reports confirmed by ESPN. Hours after Judge agreed to the deal, New York was greeted with loud ovations by just its third home sellout crowd this season as the Yankees hosted the Houston Astros. Judge went 0-for-4 as the major-league-best Yankees (52-19) lost to the Astros 3-1; it was just their fourth defeat in their last 23 games overall. "I knew it would work out one way or another," Judge said of reaching a settlement. "I really wasn't too concerned about what it was going to be. Just happy we were able to agree on a number, settle this thing, and not go into court...
June 24
June 24

T.O. fulfills vow by showing he's still got it

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Terrell Owens has been called "a clown" on national television and rendered nearly irrelevant as part of an anemic offense. So when the Bills receiver stopped after making a catch in practice last month and spoke, it seemed like more of a joke than a vow. "I'm bound to have a breakout game one of these days," Owens said, with a wink to a group of reporters standing within earshot along the sideline. Turns out, he was serious. And correct. All that was missing was an "I told you so," as Owens stepped to the microphone Wednesday to conduct his weekly post-practice news conference on the heels of a nine-catch, 197-yard outing in an 18-15 loss to Jacksonville. "I knew if I just kept plugging away, remaining positive and keeping my faith and believing in my abilities, yeah, I knew the opportunities would eventually come," Owens said, referring to the third-most prolific performance of his 14-year career. And he made sure to give his critics something else to...
June 24
June 24

Sources: Aaron Judge settles with New York Yankees, avoids arbitration

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees have settled on a contract for the 2022 season, avoiding arbitration, sources confirmed to ESPN. On the eve of this season, Judge turned down a $213.5 million contract offer from the Yankees, choosing instead to leave open the possibility that he could become a free agent this fall. Sources told ESPN's Buster Olney the Yankees offered to settle at the midpoint -- $19 million. But Judge declined, and instead aimed for an arbitration victory that officials in both management and the union believe will alter the financial landscape for players in the immediate future. Judge and the Yankees agreeing to the settlement was first reported by the New York Post. Judge, 30, has been paid at a prorated salary based on the Yankees' $17 million offer. This year Judge is on pace to become the first player in more than two decades to reach 60 homers, have an OPS of over 1.000 this year while being the likely front-runner for the AL MVP. When Judge...
June 24
June 24

Kansas City Royals C Salvador Perez to have surgery to repair thumb ligament

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez needs surgery on his left thumb and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. The surgery will be to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb, and his IL move is retroactive to Tuesday. The team said Perez is expected to return this season. He missed nine games earlier this season when he went on the IL with a left thumb sprain, but returned in late May. Perez on Tuesday left the team's extra-inning win over the Los Angeles Angels in the third inning due to his thumb injury. Perez is batting a career-low .211 with a team-high 11 home runs. Last season, Perez tied for the major league lead with 48 homers and drove in 121 runs.
June 24
June 24

Chicago Bears LB Matt Adams charged with misdemeanor firearm possession

CHICAGO -- Bears linebacker Matt Adams was arrested Thursday night and charged with misdemeanor firearm possession and cited for having a high-capacity magazine and metal-piercing bullets, according to Chicago police. Adams was arrested at approximately 6:46 p.m. in the 200 block of North Garland Court in Chicago. According to a summary of charges, police searched Adams' vehicle and found him to be in possession of high-capacity magazines within the city limits of Chicago, which is a municipal code violation. Authorities also said they recovered a weapon. "Earlier this morning, we were made aware of an incident involving the arrest of Bears linebacker Matthew Adams," the team said in a statement. "We are in the process of gathering more information. We will refrain from making any further comment at this time." Adams is in his first season with the Bears after spending the past four with Indianapolis, where he played under Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who was...
June 24
June 24

Chicago Bears LB Matt Adams arrested for misdemeanor firearm possession

CHICAGO -- Bears linebacker Matt Adams was arrested Thursday night and charged with misdemeanor firearm possession and cited for having a high-capacity magazine and metal-piercing bullets, according to Chicago police. Adams was arrested at approximately 6:46 p.m. in the 200 block of N. Garland Court in Chicago. According to a summary of charges, police searched Adams' vehicle and found him to be in possession of high-capacity magazines within the city limits of Chicago, which is a municipal code violation. Authorities also said they recovered a weapon. Adams is in his first season with the Bears after spending the last four with Indianapolis, where he played under Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who was the Colts' defensive coordinator.
June 24
June 24

New Orleans Saints sign LB Demario Davis to one-year extension, sources say

The New Orleans Saints have signed standout linebacker Demario Davis to a one-year extension through 2024, league sources told ESPN's Field Yates on Friday. Under the new deal, Davis can earn an additional $18 million over the next three seasons, sources said, as the Saints beefed up the existing two years on his contract as well. Davis can earn $2 million in incentives in each of the next three seasons and has a $10 million salary and $2 million roster bonus during the 2024 league year. Davis had his 2023 base salary reduced by $250,000, while the Saints added a 2023 workout bonus for the same amount and fully guaranteed $1 million of his $8.25 million base salary for that year, sources said. The deal provides Davis with additional security, as his contract had been asked about during the Saints' minicamp last week. Since arriving in New Orleans in 2018, Davis has emerged as one of the Saints' best and most respected players. He has been named an All-Pro in each...
June 24
June 24

Sources: Aaron Judge declines $19M settlement offer from New York Yankees, seeks arbitration victory

Aaron Judge is betting big on himself, again -- this time by going to an arbitration hearing with the  New York Yankees that starts at noon Friday rather than agreeing to a settlement. On the eve of this season, Judge turned down a $213.5 million contract offer from the Yankees, choosing instead to leave open the possibility that he could become a free agent this fall. Now, in the midst of the best season of his career and with the arbitration case looming, Judge has taken a similar approach with his 2022 salary. According to sources, the Yankees offered to settle at the midpoint -- $19 million. But Judge declined, and is instead aiming for an arbitration victory that officials in both management and the union believe will alter the financial landscape for players in the immediate future. Arbitration cases are typically adjudicated during the offseason, with players and teams proposing salaries in January and taking those numbers into a hearing in February. But the sport's...
June 24
June 24

North Carolina-Indiana men's basketball game highlights ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Potential preseason No. 1 North Carolina's trip to Big Ten favorite Indiana highlights the 24th annual 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the event's schedule announced Friday morning. The Tar Heels bring back four starters from the team that made a run to the national championship game before falling to Kansas, and they add Northwestern transfer Pete Nance, one of the top players in the portal. Indiana also welcomes back four starters from an NCAA tournament team, and Mike Woodson signed two five-star recruits to bring into the fold. North Carolina is No. 1 in ESPN's latest Way-Too-Early Top 25, while Indiana is No. 14 and the highest-ranked Big Ten team. The other marquee matchup on the schedule is Ohio State's trip to Duke, a rematch of last season's Challenge game -- but it will be Jon Scheyer on the Blue Devils' sideline this time around, with the first-year head coach replacing Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has the nation's No....
June 24
June 24

Sources: Five-star recruit Matas Buzelis chooses G League Ignite over college

Five-star recruit Matas Buzelis -- the No. 11 player in ESPN's Top 100 for the Class of 2023 -- has committed to the G League Ignite for the 2023-24 season, sources told ESPN on Friday. Buzelis, a skilled 6-foot-10 forward, will bypass college basketball and sign into the NBA's professional pathway program once he graduates from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas next spring, sources said. Buzelis, an Illinois native who starred for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire last season, had narrowed his college choices to Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida State and Wake Forest. The G League Ignite program is based out of Northern California and constructed to prepare young players ahead of NBA draft eligibility. Former NBA guard Jason Hart is beginning his second season as the program's coach, and several recent players, including the No. 8 pick Dyson Daniels ( New Orleans) and No. 24 pick MarJon Beauchamp ( ...
June 24
June 24

Mikaylah Williams, No. 1 women's basketball recruit in Class of 2023, commits to LSU

Mikaylah Williams, the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023, according to ESPN HoopGurlz, has committed to Kim Mulkey's LSU program, she announced Friday. Williams, a 6-foot-1 guard from Bossier City, Louisiana, chose LSU over Ole Miss, Baylor, Duke and Texas A&M. "In order to take my game to the next level and to continue to learn and grow as a young woman, there's only one place where I've wanted to be. Home," Williams said in her video announcement. "I've decided I'll be attending the Louisiana State University." Williams won gold with Team USA in the 2021 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, where she was MVP, and recently earned a spot on the U.S. team for the FIBA U17 World Cup, which will compete July 9-17 in Hungary. She was named the Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year in March after averaging 22.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals as a junior at Parkway High. With Mulkey in her second season in Baton...
June 24
June 24

North Carolina-Indiana game highlights men's ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Potential preseason No. 1 North Carolina's trip to Big Ten favorite Indiana highlights the 24th annual 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, whose schedule was announced Friday morning. The Tar Heels bring back four starters from the team that made a run to the national championship game before falling to Kansas, and they also add Northwestern transfer Pete Nance, one of the top players in the portal. Indiana also welcomes back four starters from an NCAA tournament team, and Mike Woodson signed two five-star recruits to bring into the fold. North Carolina is No. 1 in ESPN's latest Way-Too-Early Top 25, while Indiana is No. 14 and the highest-ranked Big Ten team. The other marquee matchup on the schedule is Ohio State's trip to Duke, a rematch of last season's Challenge game -- but it will be Jon Scheyer on the Blue Devils' sideline this time around, with the first-year head coach replacing Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has the nation's No....
June 24
June 24

Serena Williams handed 113th-ranked Harmony Tan in Wimbledon first round; Rafael Nadal given tough draw

Serena Williams' eagerly awaited return at Wimbledon will begin in the first round against France's Harmony Tan as the 23-times Grand Slam champion resumes singles action after a year out. The 40-year-old American player avoided the big names in Friday's draw and will get the chance to ease into the tournament against world No. 113 Tan as she targets an eighth singles title at the All England Club. Williams, notionally ranked down at 1,204 and therefore a wild card next week, has not played a singles match since retiring injured and in tears in the first round a year ago against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. If she survives her opener against Tan, Williams could face Spanish 32-seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round with a possible third round against last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova. Men's top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, chasing a 21st Grand Slam title after a troubled year, will open his campaign against South...
June 24
June 24

Chicago Sky's Candace Parker predicts more frequent triple-doubles as WNBA evolves

Chicago Sky star  Candace Parker had an historic feat Thursday on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, recording a WNBA record third career triple-double, but she said afterward she believes her achievement will be passed soon. Parker's second triple-double came earlier this season, on May 22 at  Washington, and her first was in 2017. Parker had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists Thursday in her return to Los Angeles, where she played the first 13 seasons of her career, as the Sky beat the  Sparks 82-59. Parker believes players such as  New York's  Sabrina Ionescu, who got her second WNBA triple-double on June 12, and Sky teammate  Courtney Vandersloot, who also has two triple-doubles in her career, represent what's ahead regarding triple-doubles in the league. Ionescu had 26 triple-doubles in her college career at Oregon. "I think the game is changing," Parker said. "I think we're gonna very soon see this on a nightly basis. We're...
June 24
June 24

Serena Williams handed 113th-ranked Harmony Tan in Wimbledon 1st round; Rafael Nadal given tough draw

Serena Williams' eagerly-awaited return at Wimbledon will begin in the first round against France's Harmony Tan as the 23-times Grand Slam champion resumes singles action after a year out. The 40-year-old American avoided the big names in Friday's draw and will get the chance to ease into the tournament against world No. 113 Tan as she targets an eighth singles title at the All England Club. Williams, notionally ranked down at 1,204 and therefore a wildcard next week, has not played a singles match since retiring injured and in tears in the first round a year ago against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. If she survives her opener against Tan, Williams could face Spanish 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round with a possible third round against last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova. Men's top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, chasing a 21st Grand Slam title after a troubled year, will open his campaign against South Korea's ...
June 24
June 24

LIV golfers to be banned from Scottish Open, report says

The DP World Tour will announce on Friday that golfers participating in the LIV Golf Invitational Series won't be allowed to play at the Scottish Open, according to The Telegraph. The $8 million event will be held July 7-10 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, one week before the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews. The report comes one day after the R&A announced that players involved in the LIV Golf Invitational Series will be allowed to compete at the Open Championship. For the first time, the tournament at the Renaissance Club will be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, after the game's two traditional powerhouses signed a "strategic alliance" 20 months ago in the response to the LIV threat. Brooks Koepka, who officially joined the LIV tour earlier this week, had previously been announced as part of the Scottish Open field. The PGA Tour has decided to suspend any of its players who play in LIV tour events.
June 24
June 23

Detroit Pistons acquire veteran Kemba Walker from New York Knicks as part of 3-team trade

The Pistons acquired veteran guard  Kemba Walker from the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade involving the Charlotte Hornets that also saw Detroit acquire the draft rights to  Jalen Duren on Thursday night. Walker and the Pistons are expected to discuss a contract buyout that will allow him to become a free agent, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Knicks made the first trade of the NBA draft, sending the draft rights to Ousmane Dieng, the No. 11 overall pick, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for three future conditional first-round picks from the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Pistons. New York then traded the Nuggets first-rounder they received from Oklahoma City, plus four second-round picks, to the Hornets for the rights to Duren, the Memphis center who was picked No. 13 by Charlotte. New York then traded Duren and Walker to the Pistons for a 2025 conditional Milwaukee Bucks...
June 23

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