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May 24

Herschel Walker wins Georgia's Republican Senate primary

Former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker won Georgia's GOP Senate primary on Tuesday. Walker defeated five fellow Republicans: Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, former Trump administration official and Navy veteran Latham Saddler, retired brigadier general Jon McColumn, contractor and Air Force veteran Kelvin King and former state Rep. Josh Clark. Walker is a political newcomer but has nearly unmatched name recognition in Georgia from his days as a college football running back. He led the University of Georgia football team to a national title during the 1980 season and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. Former President Donald Trump, a close friend of Walker's, backed his run. Walker's electability was questioned due to business dealings and his history of violence against women. Walker has been open about his long struggle with mental illness and acknowledged violent urges. He won the primary despite skipping debates with his Republican opponents...
May 24
May 24

Sources: Pittsburgh Steelers expected to promote Omar Khan to take over as GM

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to name Omar Khan as their next general manager, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. After interviewing more than a dozen candidates for the general manager position, the Steelers selected Khan, who has been with the organization for more than two decades. He started with the Steelers as a football operations coordinator in 2001 and was promoted to director of football administration in 2011. He spent the past six seasons as the vice president of football and business administration. In that role, he was responsible for managing the Steelers' salary cap. Khan was considered a favorite during the exhaustive search that also included interviews with Brandon Hunt, the Steelers' director of pro scouting. Outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert announced he was stepping down following the 2021 season, but he left open the possibility to stay on in an advisory role after more than two decades with the Steelers. The Steelers,...
May 24
May 24

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas guard Luka Doncic named to All-NBA first team

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dallas guard Luka Doncic highlighted the league's All-NBA team announced on Tuesday night. Jokic, the 2021-22 NBA MVP, was not the leading vote getter for the team. That honor went to Antetokounmpo who received all 100 votes for the first team at one of the forward spots. Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who finished second in the MVP voting, split votes as the first-team center. Both players were eligible at forward, and some voters opted to put both players on the first team that way. Embiid made the second team at the center spot. Antetokounmpo was the only unanimous selection, and he becomes the first player over the last 50 years to be a unanimous selection to the All-NBA first team in four consecutive seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Doncic picked up his third first-team nod prior to turning 24,...
May 24
May 24

Warriors' Steve Kerr delivers impassioned plea for gun control after Texas school shooting: 'We can't get numb to this'

DALLAS -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not want to talk about basketball in his pregame news conference heading into Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Basketball, he said, didn't matter. "Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed, 400 miles from here. And a teacher," Kerr said, referring to the mass shooting that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, earlier Tuesday. The death toll has since risen to at least 19 children and two adults, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. The 18-year-old suspect, a student at Uvalde High School who entered the elementary school with a handgun and possibly a rifle, is also dead, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded, but the school district's police chief, Pete Arredondo, said there were "several injuries.'' "When are we going to do something?" Kerr yelled,...
May 24
May 24

New York Jets QB Zach Wilson, now at 221 pounds, says he feels like 'better athlete with more weight on'

The New York Jets expect to see a bigger and better Zach Wilson in 2022. He already has checked the "bigger" box. After finishing last season at 208 pounds, the second-year quarterback reported to OTA practices this week at 221 pounds -- a designed weight gain that occurred with the help of a nutritionist and a chef. And some serious will power. "I do have a sweet tooth pretty bad, so that's been a challenge," Wilson told reporters Tuesday after the Jets' first open practice. Listed at 6-foot-2, Wilson has eliminated cookies, cakes and other sugary temptations from his carefully scripted diet. He said the keys are proportion management and eating at the right time, resulting in what he called "good weight." "I feel better for sure," he said. "The energy, the ability to have that stamina throughout the whole practice, is better. In the long run, once we get into a game when we actually get hit and tackled, having more size on me will help." One of Wilson's best...
May 24
May 24

Tim Anderson addresses Josh Donaldson incident, 'could care less about the suspension'

CHICAGO -- White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson says there was no inside joke between he and New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson regarding Donaldson calling Anderson "Jackie" over the weekend, in reference to Jackie Robinson. Anderson, speaking publicly on Tuesday for the first time since Major League Baseball punished Donaldson with a one-game suspension, said the two haven't had a relationship since the first time he called him Jackie, back in 2019. "He did say that, and I told him we never have to talk again," Anderson recalled. "I don't speak to you, you don't speak to me, if that's how you want to refer to me. I know, he knew exactly what he was doing because I already told him." Anderson claims while Donaldson played for the Minnesota Twins, the two had no contact, but that changed after a hard slide into third base by the shortstop in a game in Chicago between the two teams. The two players had words that night and then again...
May 24
May 24

NFL discussing future of Pro Bowl, including possible elimination of the tackle game

ATLANTA -- NFL owners are discussing the future of the Pro Bowl at this week's league meetings. The league has spoken to players and NFL teams and is now exploring alternatives to the weeklong Pro Bowl celebration, which could include the elimination of the traditional tackle game, commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Tuesday. No vote is needed to approve a change. The NFL, while exploring this with players and television partners, hopes to have a decision this summer. Goodell says the NFL will consider turning the Pro Bowl into a celebration of players rather than playing an actual game. "I think the conclusion [of discussions] was that the game itself doesn't work," Goodell said Tuesday. "And we need to find another way to celebrate our players." The annual all-star game, broadcast on ESPN, has suffered in recent years because of players backing out and the lack of competition due to injury concerns. The NFL has played a traditional Pro Bowl game in some fashion since 1938....
May 24
May 24

Chicago Bulls' Zach Lavine has successful left knee surgery; full recovery expected

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The team announced the surgery was successful and that LaVine is expected to make a full recovery. LaVine, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, managed discomfort in his knee for most of the second half of the season after he landed awkwardly grabbing a rebound against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 14. LaVine flew to Los Angeles just before the All-Star break to visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed LaVine's ACL surgery in 2017 and Tuesday's procedure. He received a platelet-rich plasma therapy and a cortisone shot, and had fluid drained from his left knee, to continue playing the rest of the season. He missed 13 of the team's final 43 games for maintenance on his knee. "I have to go into the offseason and figure out how to get back to 100 percent, I played this year not at 100 percent. [I will] figure out the best plan,...
May 24
May 24

Tyreek Hill 'very confident in my quarterback' as Miami Dolphins WR bonds with Tua Tagovailoa

MIAMI -- Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill has only caught passes from Tua Tagovailoa for a month, but already has high praise for his new quarterback. Hill told reporters during his introductory news conference in March that he knew Tua was "one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL," and expanded on that statement after Tuesday's OTA practice. "At first, I thought it was going to be something crazy -- the ball going all over the place, but Tua actually has probably one of the prettiest balls I've ever caught in my life," Hill said. "It's very catchable. Tua is a very accurate quarterback. That's all I'm going to say." Miami traded five draft picks, including first and second-round picks in the 2022 draft, to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Hill back in March, before immediately signing him to the most lucrative contract in NFL history for a wide receiver -- a four-year, $120 million extension with $72 million...
May 24
May 24

Carolina Panthers' Sam Darnold says he's confident he can be one of the NFL's best quarterbacks

A 17-32 record as an NFL starter and the threat of being replaced during the offseason first by Deshaun Watson and now possibly by third-round pick Matt Corral hasn't made Carolina Panthers starter Sam Darnold any less confident in his abilities. "As long as I know what we're doing, what the defense is doing, I'm confident I can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league," Darnold said Tuesday, the first time he has spoken to reporters since offseason workouts began. Coach Matt Rhule, who hasn't ruled out bringing in a veteran at some point, went so far as to say Darnold is practicing with an "edge" he hasn't seen before. "What Sam has been through this offseason has been very hard," Rhule said. "Your back's against the wall. Everyone's kind of questioning whether you can do this or not. We've seen a guy who has shown up who has a little more edge to him. He's very, very focused." But going from focused to one of the best quarterbacks in the...
May 24
May 24

Two women suing Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson appalled by QB's $230M guaranteed contract

Two women who have accused Deshaun Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct condemned the Cleveland Browns for giving the quarterback an NFL-record $230 million guaranteed contract after trading for him. "It's just like a big 'screw you,'" Ashley Solis said of the contract in an interview on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," which aired Tuesday. "That's what it feels like. That we don't care. He can run and throw, and that's what we care about." Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to pursue criminal charges, and Watson has denied all wrongdoing. The NFL is investigating whether Watson violated its code of conduct policy; the league interviewed Watson in person last week as part of its investigation. At the NFL's spring meeting in Atlanta, commissioner Roger Goodell said he thinks the league is nearing the end of its investigation but...
May 24
May 24

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says loss at French Open will be 'good memory' even as he ends career

PARIS -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bid an emotional farewell to tennis in a special presentation on Court Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros after losing his first-round match Tuesday at the French Open to Casper Ruud. Tsonga, 37, announced last week that he would bow out after this year's tournament, bringing an end to a career that saw him reach the 2008 Australian Open final and 18 career titles. Tsonga faced Ruud, the No. 8 seed, in the first round, and despite a valiant performance, injury led to an abrupt end to his hopes as he lost 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (0). In front of a packed stadium, France's Tsonga got off to a brilliant start, winning the first set in the tiebreak but dropping the next two. After a resurgence in the fourth, he broke Ruud to give himself a chance to serve for the set at 6-5. But he injured his shoulder winning the break point on the forehand, and when he went to serve for the set, he found he couldn't lift his arm properly. That left him...
May 24
May 24

Tennessee Titans' Ryan Tannehill vows he'll be 'great teammate' to Malik Willis, feels mentor comments blown out of proportion

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill feels his comments about it not being his job to mentor 2022 third-round NFL draft pick Malik Willis have been blown out of proportion. "I meant no disrespect to Malik or anything like that," Tannehill said Tuesday. "We've been in constant communication since he was drafted. I'm disappointed in how things got spun and twisted a little bit. I pride myself on being a great teammate my whole career, going back to when I was a kid playing youth sports." When asked about mentoring Willis earlier this month, Tannehill said that he understood the dynamics of a competitive quarterback room but that it isn't his job to mentor the rookie quarterback. Titans coach Mike Vrabel added that Tannehill's "job is to make sure the team is prepared to win games." Tannehill said Tuesday that he reached out to Willis as soon as his comments made headlines. Tannehill made it clear that he and Willis will compete, but he emphasized that he is...
May 24
May 24

Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. out for Game 4 with left foot soreness

DALLAS -- The Golden State Warriors will try to eliminate the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night without veteran forward Otto Porter Jr. The Warriors ruled out one of their valued subs because of left foot soreness at the morning shootaround before Game 4. Golden State leads the Western Conference finals 3-0. "He's still sore," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We got to make the wise decision here. This gives him a couple of days to prepare for a possible Game 5, and we just don't want to take a chance of harming his future availability." If Dallas can stay alive by winning Game 4 on Tuesday, there will be a Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday. However, if the Warriors can sweep the Mavericks, they and Porter will have over a week off before the NBA Finals are scheduled to start on June 2. Porter left Game 3 midway through the second quarter and was later ruled out because of the soreness. X-rays were negative. The team listed him as questionable on Monday...
May 24
May 24

Louisville hires Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and grandfather of No. 1 basketball recruit D.J. Wagner, as director of player development

Louisville has hired Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and the grandfather of the No. 1 recruit in the country, as the program's director of player development and alumni relations. He is the grandfather of No. 1-ranked rising senior  D.J. Wagner, who is currently uncommitted but is the subject of an intense recruiting battle between Louisville and Kentucky. Kentucky coach John Calipari coached D.J. Wagner's father, Dajuan Wagner, at Memphis, and new Louisville coach Kenny Payne played with Milt Wagner on Louisville's 1986 national championship team. "It's an honor for me to return to my alma mater and work alongside my brother Kenny Payne," Wagner said in a statement. "Louisville is my second home and I've always wanted to return here to work with this historic program that I contributed my blood, sweat and tears for as a student-athlete. I'm thrilled to be here with a terrific staff and help this program achieve at the highest level." Calipari also...
May 24
May 24

Louisville hires Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and grandfather of nation's No. 1 basketball recruit, as director of player development

Louisville has hired Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and the grandfather of the No. 1 recruit in the country, as the program's director of player development and alumni relations. He is the grandfather of No. 1-ranked rising senior  D.J. Wagner, who is currently uncommitted but is the subject of an intense recruiting battle between Louisville and Kentucky. Kentucky coach John Calipari coached D.J. Wagner's father, Dajuan Wagner, at Memphis, and new Louisville coach Kenny Payne played with Milt Wagner on Louisville's 1986 national championship team. "It's an honor for me to return to my alma mater and work alongside my brother Kenny Payne," Wagner said in a statement. "Louisville is my second home and I've always wanted to return here to work with this historic program that I contributed my blood, sweat and tears for as a student-athlete. I'm thrilled to be here with a terrific staff and help this program achieve at the highest level." Calipari also...
May 24
May 24

Amid NIL drama, Alabama lands ESPN 300 QB Eli Holstein, former Texas A&M commit

As the Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher saga continues, Saban struck a blow Tuesday with Eli Holstein's commitment to Alabama. Holstein, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback out of Zachary High School in Zachary, Louisiana, is No. 59 on the ESPN 300. Holstein originally committed to Fisher and Texas A&M in June 2021 but decommitted from the Aggies in March. While Arch Manning remains the top uncommitted quarterback in the 300 (No. 1), Holstein was the third-ranked available signal-caller prior to committing to Alabama. He becomes the fourth ESPN 300 recruit for the Tide, joining cornerback Jahlil Hurley, safety Elliot Washington and defensive end Yhonzae Pierre.
May 24
May 24

CB Kyle Fuller returns home, agrees to one-year contract with Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens reached a one-year deal with cornerback Kyle Fuller on Tuesday, bringing home the Baltimore native while continuing to upgrade their secondary. Fuller provides experienced depth behind Pro Bowl cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, both of whom are coming off season-ending injuries. Last season, Baltimore allowed the most passing yards (4,986) and gave up a franchise-worst 31 touchdown passes. Before adding Fuller, the top backups behind Humphrey and Peters were rookie fourth-round picks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams. Fuller, 30, had a bit of a roller-coaster year with the Denver Broncos in 2021 but exited the season believing he still had plenty of quality football left in him. He had signed a prove-it, one-year $9.5 million deal a year ago after he was released by the Chicago Bears. He opened the season as one of the team's starters at cornerback, but he struggled almost...
May 24
May 24

QB Aaron Rodgers not at start of Green Bay Packers' OTAs, but coach Matt LaFleur not concerned

Aaron Rodgers has not been with the Green Bay Packers this week for the start of organized team activities, and coach Matt LaFleur said he was not concerned. LaFleur left open the possibility that Rodgers would participate in some of the OTAs, but stressed that it was voluntary and was Rodgers' choice whether to attend. "I talked to him for a while last night which was great -- just to kind of update him on just where we are and go over a few, like we do every offseason," LaFleur said. "There's always tweaks to what you're doing. But no, he's in great spirits and it was a great conversation. But I wouldn't anticipate seeing him at least this week." Rodgers is expected for the June 7-9 mandatory minicamp; he had previously said on The Pat McAfee Show that he would attend that session but also might come to Green Bay for a few of the OTAs. "Aaron doesn't need reps at this time of the year," Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements said last week. "Obviously it'd be nice to...
May 24
May 24

Louisville hires Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and grandfather of nation's No. 1 recruit, as director of player development

Louisville has hired Milt Wagner, former Cardinals star and the grandfather of the No. 1 recruit in the country, as the program's director of player development and alumni relations. He is the grandfather of No. 1-ranked rising senior  D.J. Wagner, who is currently uncommitted but is the subject of an intense recruiting battle between Louisville and Kentucky. Kentucky coach John Calipari coached D.J. Wagner's father, Dajuan Wagner, at Memphis, while new Louisville coach Kenny Payne played with Milt Wagner on Louisville's 1986 national championship team. "It's an honor for me to return to my alma mater and work alongside my brother Kenny Payne," Wagner said in a statement. "Louisville is my second home and I've always wanted to return here to work with this historic program that I contributed my blood, sweat and tears for as a student-athlete. I'm thrilled to be here with a terrific staff and help this program achieve at the highest level." Calipari also...
May 24
May 24

Source: NFL discussing future of Pro Bowl, including possible elimination of the tackle game

ATLANTA -- NFL owners are discussing the future of the Pro Bowl at this week's league meetings, a source confirmed to ESPN after multiple media outlets reported the news. The league has spoken to players and NFL teams and is now exploring alternatives to the weeklong Pro Bowl celebration, which could include the elimination of the traditional tackle game, the source said. No vote is needed to approve a change. The NFL, while exploring this with players and television partners, hopes to have a decision this summer. The annual all-star game, broadcast on ESPN, has suffered in recent years because of players backing out and the lack of competition due to injury concerns. The NFL has played a traditional Pro Bowl game in some fashion since 1938. Festivities surround the game, including dodgeball, throwing competitions and skills challenges in the past.
May 24
May 24

NFL scouting combine to remain in Indianapolis in 2023, 2024

The NFL scouting combine will remain in Indianapolis in 2023 and 2024, the league announced Tuesday from its spring meeting. This marked the first time that the combine host was put up to a bid, a process that the NFL has used for the Super Bowl and the NFL draft. Proposals were due to the NFL by April, and Indianapolis was awarded the event for the next two years. "After close review by our internal team, the Fan Engagement & Major Events Advisory Committee, and the National Invitational Camp staff, Indianapolis remains the best city to host and grow the NFL Combine in 2023 and 2024," Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president of club business and league events, said in a statement. "Indy's vision brings together its long legacy of successfully hosting the Combine and executing the evaluation process, with an exciting focus on innovating and further growing the event from a fan and media perspective." Dallas and Los Angeles were the other cities that submitted bids to...
May 24
May 24

Las Vegas Aces tie WNBA record with 18 3-pointers

The Las Vegas Aces tied a WNBA single-game record with 18 made 3-pointers in Monday's 104-76 win over the Los Angeles Sparks in Vegas. The Aces shot 47.4% from 3 overall, hitting 7 for 8 from deep to jump out to a 39-19 first-quarter lead from which L.A. never recovered. Vegas went on to make 11 of its first 12 3s of the game before cooling off slightly in the latter 25 minutes. "We shot the ball well. They caught us on a night," first-year head coach Becky Hammon said. "If we can bottle that, that would be great."   The Mystics and the  Seattle Storm previously hit 18 3s in a game on Aug. 18, 2019, and Aug. 12, 2020, respectively. With the victory, the Aces improved to a league-best 7-1 while the Sparks lost their fifth straight game, dropping to 2-5. Seven Vegas players connected from deep, including 2020 MVP  A'ja Wilson, whose pair of 3s got Vegas on the board to start the game. Guards Kelsey Plum (5 for 8) and Chelsea...
May 24
May 24

MLB suspends New York Yankees' Josh Donaldson for one game over comments to Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson

Major League Baseball has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game for "inappropriate comments" made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday.  Donaldson, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, is appealing the punishment, MLB announced on Monday. He will be eligible to play for the Yankees until the appeal process is completed. Shortly before the suspension was announced, the Yankees said Donaldson had been put on the COVID-19 injured list. "MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident," Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations, said in a statement. "There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson's remark was a...
May 24
May 24

Boston Celtics' 'sense of urgency' from start to finish propels Game 4 blowout of Miami Heat to even East finals

BOSTON -- When things have gone poorly for the  Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, it has been when they've lost focus and allowed Miami to speed them up and turn them over, leading to fast-break points -- the one consistent way the  Heat have scored in this series. That was the formula Miami used to fuel its victories in Games 1 and 3. And so, heading into Game 4, Boston knew that in order to even this series at two wins apiece, it would have to avoid falling into those same bad habits once again. Mission accomplished. The Celtics were utterly dominant at both ends from start to finish on Monday night. Boston scored the first eight points and never looked back, cruising to a wire-to-wire 102-82 victory in front of a sellout crowd at TD Garden to send this series back to the shores of Biscayne Bay for Game 5 on Wednesday, with both teams two wins away from a trip to the NBA Finals. "Urgency," said  Jayson Tatum, who led all scorers...
May 24
May 24

Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri records hat trick in Game 4 to push St. Louis Blues to brink of elimination

Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, who over the previous 48 hours was the subject of racist attacks and threats following his injurious collision with Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, recorded his first career playoff hat trick in Colorado's 6-3 Game 4 road win on Monday night, pushing St. Louis to the brink of elimination. "Unfortunately, I've been dealing with that a long time. That's sad to say, but I'm getting good at putting in the rearview mirror. It's a big deal. I try to act like it's not. Just try to keep moving forward," Kadri told TNT in a postgame interview. "I know those messages I got don't reflect every single fan in St. Louis. But for those that hate, that one's for them." There was increased police presence both at the Avalanche's team hotel in St. Louis and around the players' entrance to the ice at Enterprise Center after local law enforcement was called in to investigate the threats made toward Kadri, which came in the aftermath...
May 24
May 24

Nebraska Cornhuskers football suspending red balloon tradition due to helium shortage

Nebraska will suspend its tradition of releasing red balloons after the first touchdown of home games due to a global helium shortage, athletic director Trev Alberts announced on his radio show Monday. Alberts said Nebraska will not hand out red balloons before home games at Memorial Stadium this fall. The tradition of releasing the balloons after Nebraska's first touchdown at home began in the 1960s. The helium shortage and supply-chain issues stem in part from sanctions against Russia, one of the world's top helium suppliers, following its invasion of Ukraine. "Acquiring helium in today's day and age, some of the production of it is really challenged, and it's been hard to get," Alberts said. "So we've been asked by the university, the helium that we are getting as a university, we need to use for medical purposes at [University of Nebraska Medical Center] in Omaha. And so we are this year not going to be providing the red balloons for the first time at Memorial...
May 24
May 23

Top-seeded Florida Panthers' season ends after sweep by Tampa Bay Lightning

The Florida Panthers have been swept out of the NHL postseason, falling 2-0 to host the  Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Monday. Florida was the NHL's top-seeded team entering the playoffs, having earned the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy title on the strength of a 122-point campaign. The Panthers are now the first Presidents' Trophy winners to be swept from a playoff series since the 2019 Lightning were ousted by Columbus in the first round. "It's a tough pill to swallow," Panthers defenseman  Aaron Ekblad said. "Getting swept is tough. It hurts. It stings. There's no doubt about it." Game 4 was a scoreless affair most of the way, until left winger Patrick Maroon tipped a point blast from Zach Bogosian past Sergei Bobrovsky in the third period. Ondrej Palat added an empty-netter in the final minute to seal Florida's fate. The Panthers built their historic regular season on...
May 23
May 23

Novak Djokovic laments All England Club's 'lose-lose situation' to ban Russian, Belarusian players at Wimbledon, but backs ATP

Following his first-round win at the French Open on Monday, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic told reporters he disagreed with the All England Club's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon this year. Djokovic added that he understood the ATP's subsequent decision to not award ranking points at the event. "On a personal level, of course, without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points I'm going to drop in this year [at] Australia and Wimbledon. So, of course, on a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that," said Djokovic, who is the two-time defending champion at the All England Club. "But I have been speaking with management and the president of [the] ATP and some of the council members actually in the last few days. "I think collectively I'm glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men's tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that, you know, when there is a mistake happening, and there was...
May 23
May 23

Stephen Curry says this is best stretch of basketball by current version of Golden State Warriors

DALLAS -- One win away from returning to the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry says this is the best stretch of basketball this current Golden State Warriors team has played. Having won four straight games dating back to Game 6 of the last round against Memphis, the Warriors look to complete a sweep of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 on Tuesday. "For sure," Curry said on Monday when asked if this is the best this team has played so far. "Because it is obviously magnified by the moment. You can look at other stretches where we probably played better offensively and better defensively in spurts. But to put it all together and for it to lead to wins at this stage, that is really all that matters." The Warriors opened this season winning 18 of their first 20 games and started off 41-13 before some key injuries slowed them down. But they're finding a way to win when it matters most in this postseason, including the first three games of this Western Conference finals by...
May 23
May 23

Novak Djokovic laments Wimbledon's 'lose-lose situation' to ban Russian, Belarusian players, but backs ATP

Following his first-round win at the French Open on Monday, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic told reporters he disagreed with Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the upcoming tournament. Djokovic added that he understood the ATP's subsequent decision to not award ranking points at the event. "On a personal level, of course, without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points I'm going to drop in this year [at] Australia and Wimbledon. So, of course, on a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that," said Djokovic, who is the two-time defending champion at the All England Club. "But I have been speaking with management and the president of [the] ATP and some of the council members actually in the last few days. "I think collectively I'm glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men's tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that, you know, when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the...
May 23
May 23

New England Patriots QB Mac Jones' offseason conditioning evident to teammates: 'He's in the best shape of his life'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. --  New England Patriots teammates see a new and improved Mac Jones as the quarterback enters his second season with the team. "He's in the best shape of his life," receiver Kendrick Bourne said Monday. "He looks really good. His stomach is gone. "When you're a rookie, you just don't know it until you go through it for a year. So he's definitely a lot more in shape than he ever was, just dominating in conditioning. It's dope to see." Jones, the 2021 first-round draft pick from  Alabama who started every game in his rookie NFL season, told reporters that has been a big part of his offseason plan. "I just cleaned up my diet," the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Jones said after Monday's practice. "I've learned more this offseason than I probably ever have about nutrition, sleep, wellness, all that stuff. "At the same time, I need to be able to maintain my weight and be able to take hits. There's a fine balance for every player. I've...
May 23
May 23

Novak Djokovic opens French Open title defense with straight-sets victory in first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months

Novak Djokovic's first Grand Slam match in 7½ months went about as well as possible. The No. 1-seeded Djokovic opened his title defense at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Yoshihito Nishioka. He improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros. About the only uncomfortable moment for Djokovic might have been when some spectators booed after he let out some yells upon winning points in the second set. The match was played Monday night with the retractable roof at Court Philippe Chatrier shut because of rain. Djokovic, who turned 35 on Sunday, is pursuing a third title in Paris and a 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal for the men's record. He hadn't played in a major tournament since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final last September, ending Djokovic's bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a man since 1969. Djokovic could not compete...
May 23
May 23

Novak Djokovic opens French Open title defense with straight sets victory in first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months

Novak Djokovic's first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months went about as well as possible. The No. 1-seeded Djokovic opened his title defense at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Yoshihito Nishioka. He improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros. About the only uncomfortable moment for Djokovic might have been when some spectators booed after he let out some yells after winning points in the second set. The match was played Monday night with the retractable roof at Court Philippe Chatrier shut because of rain. Djokovic, who turned 35 on Sunday, is pursuing a third title in Paris and a 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal for the men's record. He hadn't played in a major tournament since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final last September, ending Djokovic's bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a man since 1969. Djokovic could not...
May 23
May 23

MLB suspends New York Yankees Josh Donaldson for one game over comments to Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson

Major League Baseball has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game for "inappropriate comments" made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday.  Donaldson, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, is appealing the punishment, MLB announced on Monday. He will be eligible to play for the Yankees until the appeal process is completed. Shortly before the suspension was announced, the Yankees said Donaldson had been put on the COVID-19 injured list. "MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident," Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations, said in a statement. "There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson's remark was a...
May 23
May 23

MLB suspends New York Yankees Josh Donaldson for one game for comments to Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson

Major League Baseball has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game for "inappropriate comments" made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday.  Donaldson, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, is appealing the punishment, MLB announced. He will be eligible to play for the Yankees until the appeal process is completed. Shortly before the suspension was announced, the Yankees said Donaldson had been put on the COVID-19 injured list. "MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident. There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson's remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline," Michael Hill,...
May 23
May 23

PGA Championship winner and former Alabama Crimson Tide golfer Justin Thomas takes jab at Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, a former Alabama star and big Crimson Tide football fan, couldn't help but weigh in on the Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher feud after winning a second Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday. Thomas, who rallied from a 7-shot deficit in the final round at Southern Hills Country Club to win his second major championship, was asked if he would follow Saban's 24-hour celebration rule. "Yeah, I got a 24-hour rule," Thomas told Sirius XM. "I'm not sure what Jimbo Fisher's rule is, but I guess he's gotta win something first before he figures out his rules." Saban, whose teams have won six national championships at Alabama, caused a firestorm last week when he told a group of people in Birmingham, Alabama, that Texas A&M "bought every player" in its vaunted 2022 recruiting class. The Aggies signed five five-star prospects in the 2022 ESPN 300, with 20 of them ranked in the top 150. In a fiery news conference the next day, Fisher denied...
May 23
May 23

Dwayne Haskins was legally drunk at time of death, according to toxicology report

Dwayne Haskins was legally drunk when he was struck by a dump truck on I-595 in Florida and killed on April 9, according to a toxicology report released by the office of the Broward County Medical Examiner on Monday. According to the toxicology report, two separate samples taken from Haskins' body had alcohol levels of .20 and .24, both of which are above the legal limit in Florida of .08. According to the report, Haskins also tested positive for ketamine and norketamine, drugs that are used by medical professionals as anesthetics but that also have been known to be used recreationally. The medical examiner ruled Haskins' cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of his death as an accident. The medical examiner's investigation report stated that when Haskins' car was found on the side of the highway, a "female companion" was in the vehicle and told the Florida Highway Patrol that Haskins had left the vehicle to try to find gas. The woman's relationship to...
May 23
May 23

QB Nick Foles signs with Indianapolis Colts, reunites with Frank Reich

Quarterback Nick Foles signed with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, reuniting him with coach Frank Reich, who was his offensive coordinator with the Eagles in 2017 when he led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl title. The team did not disclose terms, but a source told ESPN that Foles received a two-year contract, confirming a report by NFL Network.  The Colts released quarterback James Morgan in a corresponding move.  The Eagles showed interest in a potential reunion with Foles before he agreed to the deal with the Colts, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. As the Eagles received trade interest on Gardner Minshew, they discussed Foles but ultimately decided they would stick with their current quarterback room, which includes Minshew and undrafted free agent Carson Strong behind starter Jalen Hurts, the source said. In Indianapolis, Foles will back up starter Matt Ryan, whom the Colts acquired in a trade from the ...
May 23
May 23

Sources: Minnesota Timberwolves hire executive Tim Connelly to 5-year deal worth over $40M that includes ownership equity

Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has agreed to a five-year deal worth over $40 million that includes ownership equity to oversee the Minnesota Timberwolves' basketball operations, sources told ESPN. The Wolves announced the hiring on Monday but did not release terms of the agreement.  The deal makes Connelly one of the NBA's highest-compensated executives and transforms a Timberwolves franchise that has struggled to find stability in its leadership structure. Connelly has discussed the job extensively with Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in the past week and met with majority owner Glen Taylor on Saturday in Minnesota, and his representative, Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, finalized terms on the massive deal Monday, sources said. "My family and I couldn't be more excited to join the Timberwolves organization," Connelly said in a statement. "I appreciate Glen, Becky, Marc and Alex's confidence in me to lead this...
May 23
May 23

Rafael Nadal eases into French Open second round with 106th career win at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal chalked up yet another record at Roland Garros on Monday as he won his 106th French Open match. The 13-time champion cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 first-round win over Jordan Thompson of Australia, wrapping up the victory in just over two hours. Nadal's win-loss record at Roland Garros in Paris now stands at 106-3, better than any man has managed at any of the four Grand Slam events. Novak Djokovic (twice) and Robin Soderling are the only men to beat him at the French Open. The Spanish player's victory was also his 299th in Grand Slams, a record beaten only by Roger Federer and Djokovic. "It's incredible for me to play here on Court Philippe Chatrier another time," Nadal said. "I'm very happy with my victory today. Always happy to win the first round and happy to win in three sets." Nadal will meet Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the second round.
May 23
May 23

Canelo Alvarez plans next fight to be against Gennadiy Golovkin for third time instead of Dmitry Bivol rematch

Turns out, it's status quo for Canelo Alvarez despite an unexpected defeat against Dmitry Bivol. Boxing's top star indicated at the post-fight news conference that he would exercise his rematch clause for a return bout with Bivol in September, but on Monday, he reversed course. "We already had that contract [with Gennadiy Golovkin], that agreement, so we have to continue what we started, and I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol," Alvarez said Monday at his golf invitational in Naucalpan, Mexico. "Unfortunately, we lost, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try again. "The important thing here is perseverance and we're going to do it again. What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days ... we are going to announce the fight." When Alvarez signed a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing in February, it included a Sept. 17 fight with GGG. Alvarez was a 4-1 favorite...
May 23
May 23

Source: Washington Commanders spend $100 million on land in Virginia for possible stadium

ASHBURN, Va., -- The Washington Commanders paid more than $100 million for land in Virginia, a possible next step in building a new stadium, as well as numerous retail shops, restaurants and apartments. According to a source with knowledge of the purchase, the Commanders paid a little more than $100 million for approximately 200 acres. The deal was completed late last week, but has not yet been filed with Prince William County, the site of the land. One source called it the team's preferred site for a new stadium, but other options remain open. There's a chance the franchise will buy another 65 to 70 acres at a site that is approximately 23 miles from Washington, D.C., and would be right off an exit on I-95 in Woodbridge, Virginia. It would be approximately 80 miles from Richmond. The Commanders like this site because of how it can be developed. According to a source, their plans include a 60,000-seat domed stadium -- so it can be used throughout the year -- as well as: the...
May 23
May 23

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro to sit out Game 4 of Eastern Conference finals vs. Boston Celtics; Jimmy Butler looks to play

BOSTON -- Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro will not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics because of a left groin strain. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made the announcement after Monday's shootaround and said that Herro would be "day-to-day" moving forward. "We just had to be responsible and take the decision out of his hands," Spoelstra said. "He really wants to be out there tonight. The trainers and Dr. [Harlan] Selesnick don't think that's the best idea just because of the intensity and everything, but we'll see. He's young, we'll treat him day-to-day, and we'll see what happens from here." With Herro out of Monday's game, veteran Victor Oladipo figures to get even more minutes in the short term. Oladipo played well defensively in Saturday's 109-103 Game 3 win, scoring five points and collecting four steals in 20 minutes. "Obviously, we feel like our depth is one of our biggest strengths," Spoelstra said. "So we have...
May 23
May 23

Source: Nick Foles agrees to two-year contract with Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback Nick Foles has agreed to a two-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts, reuniting him with coach Frank Reich, who was his offensive coordinator with the Eagles in 2017 when he led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl title, a source confirmed to ESPN on Monday. The Eagles showed interest in a potential reunion with Foles before he agreed to the deal with the Colts, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. As the Eagles received trade interest on Gardner Minshew, they discussed Foles but ultimately decided they would stick with their current quarterback room, which includes Minshew and undrafted free agent Carson Strong behind starter Jalen Hurts, the source said. In Indianapolis, Foles will back up starter Matt Ryan, whom the Colts acquired in a trade from the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.  The news of Foles' agreement with the Colts was first reported by NFL Network. Other quarterbacks on the Colts' depth chart...
May 23
May 23

Naomi Osaka suffers first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova in French Open, not '100 percent sure' she'll play Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka's return to the French Open ended in the first round on Monday, and the four-time Grand Slam winner said she is leaning toward not playing at Wimbledon. After she lost her opening match to Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4 at Roland Garros on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Osaka was asked about whether the collective decision to remove ranking points from Wimbledon would influence her decision on whether to compete at the next Grand Slam on the circuit. "I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to go there [to Wimbledon]," Osaka said. "I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass court, but, like at the same time for me, it's kind of like -- I don't want to say pointless, no pun intended, but I'm the type of player that gets motivated by, like, seeing my ranking go up or like, you know, stuff like that. So I think the intention was really good, but the execution is kind of all over the place." When later asked more on what her thoughts were ahead of Wimbledon, she...
May 23
May 23

Sources: Kyler Murray to skip Arizona Cardinals' OTAs this week

Quarterback Kyler Murray will not be at the Arizona Cardinals' organized activities this week, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. All continues to remain quiet on his contract front, for now, the sources said. Attendance for organized team activities is voluntary. The Cardinals will have a mandatory minicamp June 14-16. The Cardinals exercised the fifth-year option on Murray's contract last month, guaranteeing him a salary of about $29 million in 2023. Murray, however, has been seeking a long-term contract extension. In February, Murray's agent, Erik Burkhardt, posted a letter on Twitter that explained how a detailed contract proposal was sent to the team. Last month, general manager Steve Keim said there was "zero chance" he would trade Murray and noted that other third-year quarterbacks who have signed extensions, such as Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, received their deals in the summer. "Nothing has changed in terms of him being our...
May 23
May 23

Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher defends Aggies' recruiting, rips 'complete lies'

Jimbo Fisher doubled down on his defense of Texas A&M recruiting in an interview with a San Antonio TV station, saying just one of the 11 early enrollees in the Aggies' No. 1 recruiting class has an NIL deal. Fisher fumed last week when Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to an Alabama business group saying, "A&M bought every player on their team -- made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn't buy one player, all right?" The Aggies coach responded by calling a news conference on Thursday morning and ripping Saban, saying "We never bought anybody," calling Saban "despicable" and saying "Some people think they're God." On Sunday night, KSAT aired an interview with Fisher that it recorded on Friday when the coach visited the city to speak to an alumni club. "I just researched this," Fisher said in the interview. "Of the 11 guys we have in place that came early? One guy has an NIL deal. So all these stories you're hearing are complete...
May 23
May 23

Defending French Open champ Barbora Krejcikova ousted in first round by 97th-ranked Diane Parry

PARIS -- Barbora Krejcikova arrived at the French Open as the defending champion in singles and doubles. She also was coming off a three-month absence from the WTA Tour because of an injured right elbow, so even her own expectations were modest. Krejcikova was right to be apprehensive -- and on Monday, she became only the third woman in the professional era to exit in the first round at Roland Garros a year after earning the trophy. The second-seeded Krejcikova got off to a terrific start before everything fell apart in a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 loss to Diane Parry, a 19-year-old from France who is ranked 97th and entered the day with a 1-5 career record in Grand Slam matches. Parry received raucous backing from spectators shouting for her at Court Philippe Chatrier, where the noise echoed under the retractable roof pulled shut because of rain. "It's a dream for me. It was always a dream to play on this court, with the French crowd to support me. They clearly pushed me to...
May 23
May 23

Gabe Kapler says struggling San Francisco Giants remain 'in good shape' despite Brandon Belt injury

The reeling San Francisco Giants were swept at home by the San Diego Padres this past weekend and lost another key player to injury, but manager Gabe Kapler is optimistic that the defending National League West champs are still "in good shape." The Giants announced Sunday that first baseman Brandon Belt, who hit a team-leading 29 home runs during San Francisco's 107-win season in 2021, has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation. Belt and Kapler both indicated that the 12-year veteran won't be sidelined for a long period, but the injury marks the latest obstacle in a rough stretch for the Giants (22-18), who have lost four straight games and 13 of their last 22. The Giants are 7-13 this season against teams with winning records and have lost their last five games against the division rival  Dodgers and Padres, who swept a series in San Francisco for the first time since 2016. Kapler, however, said before Sunday's 10-1...
May 23

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