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2 hours ago

Attorney says client mistook Rams' Aaron Donald for attacker, apologizes

The attorney representing De'Vincent Spriggs, the man who accused Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald of assault earlier this week, is now offering an apology to Donald on behalf of his client. Attorney Todd J. Hollis told Pittsburgh television station KDKA on Friday evening that Spriggs mistook his attacker outside a Pittsburgh-area nightclub for Donald. The apology comes on the same day when an attorney hired by Donald refuted Spriggs' claim that Donald was involved in the assault. Casey White, Donald's attorney, told ESPN on Friday morning that Spriggs swung a bottle at Donald that grazed his head as he ducked, before other people surrounding Donald stepped in. "As he ducks, somebody from behind grabs him to stop him from interacting with this guy, Mr. Spriggs, so he holds Aaron back in a sense," White said. "At that point, that's when other people come to Aaron's aid and defend him by removing, so to speak, Mr. Spriggs from the area where he is...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

Vadim Nemkov defends Bellator light heavyweight title, books ticket to semifinals

Vadim Nemkov has clearly established himself as the man to beat in Bellator's light heavyweight tournament, following Friday night's convincing title defense over Phil Davis. Nemkov (14-3) is already Bellator's 205-pound champion, but with bigger names in the promotion's tournament, including Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Yoel Romero and Ryan Bader, it would be easy to overlook him. The 28-year-old Russian reminded the rest of the field of his talents on Friday, however, in a five-round decision over Davis. All three judges scored the championship bout, which headlined Bellator 257 inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, for Nemkov 48-47. The victory marks Nemkov's first defense of the light heavyweight title he won from Bader last August and advances him to the tournament semifinals, where he'll meet Johnson or Romero. "My plan was to outstrike him and defend his wrestling," Nemkov said via an interpreter. "I am pretty happy with my performance...
3 hours ago
April 16

Boston Celtics sign former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker

The Boston Celtics have signed former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker, the team announced Friday. At just 26 years old, Parker has played only a combined 41 games over the past two seasons -- including only three this season for the Sacramento Kings before getting waived last month. He has also played for four teams -- the Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls -- over the past three seasons. The Duke University product has averaged 14.8 points and shot almost 50% from the field for his career, but he has struggled to live up to his potential after suffering a pair of ACL tears in his right knee early in his career, including one just a couple of months into his rookie season in 2014. Whenever Parker is able to officially clear the NBA's health and safety protocols and join the team, he is likely to compete with Semi Ojeleye and Grant Williams for minutes behind Jayson Tatum as the team's...
April 16
April 16

Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger has hairline fracture in left fibula

A recent scan revealed that Cody Bellinger has a hairline fracture in his left fibula, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Friday. Bellinger has been out since April 5 with what was originally diagnosed as a bruised calf. Roberts said the latest development "hasn't really changed the course of his timetable" but didn't want to speculate on a potential return date. Earlier, Roberts told MLB Network that Bellinger might return in a week or two. "I can say comfortably that it's not a day-to-day thing," Roberts told reporters before the opener of a weekend series against the division-rival San Diego Padres. "We can kind of just put it on the backburner, let Cody do his rehab and join us hopefully soon." Bellinger sustained the injury when Oakland Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan stepped on his leg in a race to first base in the ninth inning of an eventual lopsided victory by the Dodgers. Bellinger limped off the field, but initial...
April 16
April 16

San Diego Padres activate star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder) off 10-day injured list

The San Diego Padres activated shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. on Friday, as expected, putting him in the No. 2 spot of the lineup for their highly anticipated matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Infielder Tucupita Marcano was optioned to the team's alternate site in order to make room on the active roster. Tatis had spent the past 10 days on the injured list recovering from a subluxation in his left shoulder, which he sustained while taking a violent swing on April 5. It was his third reported incident with that shoulder in a span of 23 days, an issue Tatis has admittedly been dealing with throughout his professional career. Subluxations, which occur when the shoulder essentially slips out of its position in the socket but doesn't fully dislocate, often lead to surgery. But there are also cases when players can manage the ailment for a prolonged period of time. The Padres are hopeful that Tatis can fall within the latter group. But...
April 16
April 16

Penn State Nittany Lions' Mac O'Keefe sets NCAA record for most career goals in men's lacrosse

Friday couldn't have gone much better for Penn State senior lacrosse star Mac O'Keefe. The attacker broke the NCAA's all-time goals record in the second period of the Nittany Lions' 14-13 overtime win over the Michigan Wolverines, part of a six-goal day, and scored the game-winning goal with three seconds left in the extra period. O'Keefe entered the game with 211 career goals, one behind the record. He tied former Duke star Justin Guterding quickly, scoring just 2 minutes, 10 seconds into the first period. He broke the record at the 7:33 mark of the second period. "I sort of blacked out in the moment, to be honest," O'Keefe said. "But, it was very special. It was very special. There has been a lot of build-up. I haven't tried to let it affect me too much but to do it now and after the game to reflect a little bit, and watch those videos from all those people congratulating me. It's really awesome and I like to share this moment with my family and all my teammates and move on...
April 16
April 16

Police report reveals no clear motive for shooting involving ex-NFL player Phillip Adams

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The police report on last week's mass shooting involving former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams revealed little motive to what led the Rock Hill native to kill six people and then himself. The report, released Friday from the York County Sheriff's office, listed six counts of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and burglary first degree. According to officer Kyle Merck's recount of what happened from one of the victims, who was still alive and alert at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds, a "black male'' emerged from the woods around the Marshall Road home wearing a black hoodie, camouflage pants and "opened fire.'' The victim, Robert Shook, one of two HVAC technicians working at the home, "then stated the suspect went into the house, then exited and went back through the woods the way he came.'' Shook, 38, died three days later. The others, found dead at the scene, were his partner, James Lewis, 38; homeowners Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; his...
April 16
April 16

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell exits game with ankle injury; X-rays negative, sources say

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell needed to be helped off the floor and into the locker room by teammates during the third quarter of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers due to a right ankle injury. He did not return. X-rays were negative on Mitchell's ankle, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Sources also told Wojnarowski Mitchell has a low ankle sprain, and there is early optimism it is not a major injury. Mitchell will receive an MRI later Friday, with further treatment and evaluation to follow. "Obviously we hope that it's nothing serious," coach Quin Snyder said, "but they're in the process of doing everything they can do to assess that." The injury occurred with 8:20 left in the quarter. Mitchell jumped to try to deflect a long outlet pass and came down awkwardly with his foot underneath Pacers guard Edmond Sumner. Mitchell immediately grabbed his lower leg in pain and needed help getting to the locker room, with teammate Royce O'Neale...
April 16
April 16

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell exits game with ankle injury, X-rays negative, sources say

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell needed to be helped off the floor and into the locker room by teammates during the third quarter of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers due to a right ankle injury. He did not return. X-rays were negative on Mitchell's ankle, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Sources also told Wojnarowski Mitchell has a low ankle sprain, and there is early optimism it is not a major injury. Mitchell will receive an MRI later Friday, with further treatment and evaluation to follow. The injury occurred with 8:20 left in the quarter. Mitchell jumped to try and deflect a long outlet pass and came down awkwardly with his foot underneath Pacers guard Edmond Sumner. Mitchell immediately grabbed his lower leg in pain and needed help getting to the locker room, with teammate Royce O'Neale and a trainer supporting as Mitchell struggled to put weight on his right leg. Mitchell exited with 22 points in 21 minutes against the Pacers....
April 16
April 16

Jimmy Boeheim transferring to Syracuse Orange basketball to join brother Buddy Boeheim, dad Jim Boeheim

The  Syracuse Orange's men's basketball program is getting a third Boeheim. Cornell transfer Jimmy Boeheim announced his commitment to the Orange on Friday; he will join his brother, Buddy, and will play for their father, Jim. "Back home to the place that made me fall in love with the game," Jimmy Boeheim wrote on Instagram. Boeheim, a 6-foot-8 forward, didn't play last season due to the Ivy League canceling winter sports. In 2019-20, he averaged 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, making 31 3-pointers in 21 games. He entered the transfer portal in the fall and will graduate from Cornell this spring. "It just feels right," Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "I can't wait. I'm really just counting down the days when I can get into the Melo Center. Just picturing my name on a locker there. My name on the back of a jersey. It's honestly surreal. I never expected this was going to happen. My plan was always to stay at Cornell, graduate and use my...
April 16
April 16

Jimmy Boeheim transferring to Syracuse Orange to join brother Buddy Boeheim, dad Jim Boeheim

Syracuse's men's basketball program is getting a third Boeheim. Cornell transfer Jimmy Boeheim announced his commitment to the Orange on Friday; he will join his brother, Buddy, and will play for their father, Jim. "Back home to the place that made me fall in love with the game," Jimmy Boeheim wrote on Instagram. Boeheim, a 6-foot-8 forward, didn't play last season due to the Ivy League canceling winter sports. In 2019-20, he averaged 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, making 31 3-pointers in 21 games. He entered the transfer portal in the fall and will graduate from Cornell this spring. "It just feels right," Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "I can't wait. I'm really just counting down the days when I can get into the Melo Center. Just picturing my name on a locker there. My name on the back of a jersey. It's honestly surreal. I never expected this was going to happen. My plan was always to stay at Cornell, graduate and use my eligibility up there....
April 16
April 16

Colorado Avalanche have three games postponed after third player enters COVID-19 protocols

The Colorado Avalanche will not play until at least Thursday after a third player was placed into the NHL's COVID-19 protocols Friday, the league announced. Three games are being postponed at this time: against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Sunday and against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. The NHL said in a statement that, pending test results, the Avalanche could reopen their facilities for practice Wednesday and play Thursday against the Blues. The Avalanche had canceled their Friday morning skate before the postponement announcement. They had canceled the skate two other times in the past week, on April 9 and Wednesday, but had played that night both times. Defenseman Bowen Byram and goaltender Philipp Grubauer were previously placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols.
April 16
April 16

Colorado Avalanche have three games postponed after third player enters COVID protocols

The Colorado Avalanche will not play until at least Thursday after a third player was placed into the NHL's COVID protocols Friday, the league announced. Three games are being postponed at this time: against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Sunday and against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. The NHL said in a statement that, pending test results, the Avalanche could reopen their facilities for practice Wednesday and play Thursday against the Blues. The Avalanche had canceled their Friday morning skate prior to the postponement announcement. They had canceled the skate two other times in the past week, on April 9 and Wednesday, but had played that night both times. Defenseman Bowen Byram and goaltender Philipp Grubauer were previously placed in the NHL's COVID protocols.
April 16
April 16

Arizona Coyotes to induct 9-year-old girl who died of cancer into team's ring of honor

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The  Arizona Coyotes will take an extraordinary step before Saturday's game against St. Louis by inducting Leighton Accardo into their ring of honor. Accardo, who left a deep imprint on the organization as a former member of the Arizona Kachinas youth hockey program, died of cancer on Nov. 24 at the age of 9. The inspirational girl with the tenacity of a hockey player will become the first person in NHL history who's not a former player, coach, general manager or broadcaster to be inducted into a team's ring of honor. Her name will join Wayne Gretzky, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen and Bobby Hull inside Gila River Arena. Accardo left a lasting impression on the organization. "She really left the impact on us, not just as someone who loved hockey, but as someone who really captured the spirit of resiliency and of grit and of overcoming adversity in the face of an incredible challenge,'' Coyotes President and...
April 16
April 16

Arizona Coyotes to make history by inducting inspirational girl into ring of honor

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The  Arizona Coyotes will take an extraordinary step before Saturday's game against St. Louis by inducting Leighton Accardo into their ring of honor. Leighton, who left a deep imprint on the organization as a former member of the Arizona Kachinas youth hockey program, died of cancer on Nov. 24 at the age of 9. The inspirational girl with the tenacity of a hockey player will become the first person in NHL history who's not a former player, coach, general manager or broadcaster to be inducted into a team's ring of honor. Her name will join Wayne Gretzky, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, and Bobby Hull inside Gila River Arena. Leighton left an imprint on the organization that runs deep. "She really left the impact on us, not just as someone who loved hockey, but as someone who really captured the spirit of resiliency and of grit and of overcoming adversity in the face of an incredible challenge,'' Coyotes...
April 16
April 16

Houston Texans GM Nick Caserio says team 'respectful of the legal process' surrounding Deshaun Watson

HOUSTON -- In his first news conference since the first lawsuit was filed against Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said that the team is "respectful of the legal process" and that he doesn't have "any comment" on the situation. In the past month, 23 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior have been filed against Watson. One of the lawsuits was dropped earlier in the week by a plaintiff "for now," according to court documents. "I know [Texans CEO] Cal [McNair] and ownership put a letter out a few weeks ago just relative to the organization's stance, relative to where we are," Caserio said. "So I don't have anything to add other than it's a legal process. We're respectful of the legal process and where that is. So we're focused on today. We're focused on getting ready for the offseason program and getting ready for the draft, so that's where our focus is." In a letter to Texans season-ticket holders on April 5, the...
April 16
April 16

Lawyer for Aaron Donald says video evidence refutes assault claim against Rams star

A lawyer representing Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald says there is video evidence refuting a claim by De'Vincent Spriggs that Donald physically assaulted him outside of a Pittsburgh-area nightclub. Casey White, an attorney hired by Donald to represent him following allegations levied against him Wednesday, told ESPN that Spriggs swung a bottle at Donald that grazed his head as he ducked, before other people surrounding Donald stepped in. "As he ducks, somebody from behind grabs him to stop him from interacting with this guy, Mr. Spriggs, so he holds Aaron back in a sense," White said. "At that point, that's when other people come to Aaron's aid and defend him by removing, so to speak, Mr. Spriggs from the area where he is punched and he is fighting; it's a mutual fight at this point between other individuals who Aaron does not really know." White said that they have obtained five witness accounts and that Donald eventually helped pull people away...
April 16
April 16

USC Trojans freshman center Evan Mobley declares for 2021 NBA draft

USC Trojans freshman Evan Mobley will enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he announced Friday. Mobley took to Twitter to announce his intentions by posting a 21-second NFT (nonfungible token) he digitally signed and is auctioning on the OpenSea blockchain-based marketplace -- believed to be a first in the sports world. "I'm headed to the league," Mobley wrote. "This has always been my dream and, through this NFT, I'm making my announcement that I'll officially be turning pro. This right here is the new "rookie card" - and it's 1-of-1. "I can't thank my fans enough. Your support has meant so much to me. I wanted to create this unique and meaningful token for the auction winner to continue to be part of my journey. I'll also be providing a signed jersey from my college days, a signed jersey from my first professional team as well as two tickets to a game during my rookie year + a special meet and greet after the...
April 16
April 16

Dwyane Wade buys ownership stake in Utah Jazz, wants hands-on role

Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade has purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz, joining majority owner and team governor Ryan Smith with plans to take an active role in the franchise and region. Wade, an eight-time All-NBA player with the Miami Heat, is the latest of several Hall of Fame-level players with NBA ownership stakes, including Grant Hill ( Atlanta Hawks), Shaquille O'Neal ( Sacramento Kings) and Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson previously had a 4% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. "This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA," Wade told ESPN. "I've seen Shaq do it in Sacramento. I've seen Grant Hill do it in Atlanta. I've seen Jordan do it in Charlotte. If this partnership is going to be anything like my relationship is with Ryan, there are going to be a lot of things that I'll want to be involved in. ... "Unfortunately, people in my community don't get this...
April 16
April 16

USC freshman center Evan Mobley declares for 2021 NBA draft

USC Trojans 7-footer Evan Mobley -- the No. 2 prospect in ESPN's top 100 -- has declared for the 2021 NBA draft via an NFT. "LEAGUE BOUND!" he said in a post on Twitter. "I've dreamed about turning pro since I was a kid. Come along for the journey." Mobley was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year this past season while averaging 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. Mobley led the Trojans to the NCAA tournament's Elite Eight, where they lost to eventual national runner-up Gonzaga.
April 16
April 16

Lawyer for Aaron Donald refutes assault claim against Los Angeles Rams star

A lawyer representing Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald says there is video evidence refuting a claim by De'Vincent Spriggs that Donald physically assaulted him outside of a Pittsburgh-area nightclub. Casey White, an attorney hired by Donald to represent him following allegations levied against him Wednesday, told ESPN that Spriggs swung a bottle at Donald that grazed his head as he ducked, before other people surrounding Donald stepped in. "As he ducks, somebody from behind grabs him to stop him from interacting from this guy, Mr. Spriggs, so he holds Aaron back in a sense," White said. "At that point, that's when other people come to Aaron's aid and defend him by removing, so to speak, Mr. Spriggs from the area where he is punched and he is fighting, it's a mutual fight at this point between other individuals who Aaron does not really know." White said that they have obtained five witness accounts and that Donald eventually helped pull people away...
April 16
April 16

Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch joins ownership group for USL's Oakland Roots

Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch has joined the ownership group of the Oakland Roots of the USL Championship. An Oakland native, Lynch, 34, was a prominent advocate for the city during his 12-year NFL career, primarily with the Seattle Seahawks. "Growing up in The Town, we always could count on the pro teams in this area but with most of those ones that I grew up with gone, I knew the minute I heard about the opportunity to join Oakland Roots, it wasn't just something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do," Lynch said in a statement. Lynch initially retired from the NFL after the 2015 season, but he returned to play for the Oakland Raiders in 2017 and 2018, before their move to Las Vegas. "From the start, we have tried to build an ownership group that was excited about more than just pro sports, but also about Oakland and our Purpose," Roots co-founder and CMO Edreece Arghandiwal said in a statement. "We couldn't be more proud to welcome someone who has long...
April 16
April 16

Duke Blue Devils strengthen frontcourt by adding Marquette Golden Eagles transfer Theo John

Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball transfer Theo John is going from a Coach K protégé to Coach K himself. John, who spent the past four seasons playing under former Duke star and assistant Steve Wojciechowski with the Golden Eagles, announced Friday that he had committed to Mike Krzyzewski and Duke. "After conversations with my family, I have decided that next year I will be attending Duke University for my final year of eligibility," John wrote on Twitter. "I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my basketball journey. Happy to be joining #TheBrotherHood." John, a 6-foot-9 senior center from Minneapolis, ends his Marquette career with the second most blocked shots in program history. He has started 87 games over the past three seasons, emerging as one of the best defensive players in the Big East. This past season, he averaged 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and shot 57.2% from the field. Duke badly needed some experience and...
April 16
April 16

Report: Complaints against New York Mets staffers not acted on; two more accused of inappropriate conduct

Multiple employees within the New York Mets organization say their complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior were not acted on, according to a report from The Athletic. The report also details allegations of inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment by David Newman -- the Mets' chief marketing, content and communications officer who was rehired by the team last year -- and former marketing staffer Joe DeVito. More than a dozen people, men and women, told The Athletic that Holly Lindvall, Mets senior vice president of human resources and diversity, was aware of complaints of harassing language and actions without action being taken against the perpetrators, complaints that included sexist comments by former owner Jeff Wilpon and former manager Mickey Callaway. The people told The Athletic they felt Lindvall would rather keep ownership happy than investigate their complaints. "It was clear that her interest was protecting ownership and executives and not...
April 16
April 16

Report: Complaints against New York Mets staffers dismissed; two more accused of inappropriate actions

Multiple employees within the New York Mets organization say their complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior were not acted on, according to a report from The Athletic. The report also details allegations of inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment by David Newman -- the Mets' chief marketing, content and communications officer who was rehired by the team last year -- and former marketing staffer Joe DeVito. More than a dozen people, men and women, told The Athletic that Holly Lindvall, Mets senior vice president of human resources and diversity, was aware of complaints of harassing language and actions without action being taken against the perpetrators, complaints that included sexist comments by former owner Jeff Wilpon and former manager Mickey Callaway. The people told The Athletic they felt Lindvall would rather keep ownership happy than investigate their complaints. "It was clear that her interest was protecting ownership and executives and not the...
April 16
April 16

Report: Complaints against Mets staffers dismissed; two more accused of inappropriate actions

Multiple employees within the New York Mets organization say their complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior were not acted on, according to a report from The Athletic. The report also details allegations of inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment by Mets chief marketing, content and communications officer David Newman -- who was rehired by the team last year -- and former marketing staffer Joe DeVito. More than a dozen people, men and women, told The Athletic that Mets senior vice president of human resources and diversity Holly Lindvall was aware of complaints of harassing language and actions without action being taken against the perpetrators, which included sexist comments by former owner Jeff Wilpon and former manager Mickey Callaway. The people told The Athletic they felt Lindvall would rather keep ownership happy than investigate their complaints. "It was clear that her interest was protecting ownership and executives and not the office as a...
April 16
April 16

Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open with highest NFL win totals ahead of 17-game regular season

Ahead of the NFL's first 17-game regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened with the highest win totals at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. Oddsmakers for William Hill opened the Chiefs at 12 and the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at 11.5. Kansas City won 14 games last season, while the Buccaneers won 11. The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers each opened with win totals of 11, followed by the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams at 10.5. Ten teams opened with double-digit win totals, including three teams in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers each opened at 10. Sportsbooks post the win totals and offer bettors prices on betting over or under the number. The price to bet over 12 wins on the Chiefs, for example, is -130, meaning a bettor would have to risk $130 to win $100. This year's win totals are out before the regular-season schedule has been...
April 16
April 16

Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open with highest win totals ahead of 17-game regular season

Ahead of the NFL's first 17-game regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened with the highest win totals at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. Oddsmakers for William Hill opened the Chiefs at 12 and the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at 11.5. Kansas City won 14 games last season, while the Buccaneers won 11. The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers each opened with win totals of 11, followed by the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams at 10.5. Ten teams opened with double-digit win totals, including three teams in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers each opened at 10. Sportsbooks post the win totals and offer bettors prices on betting over or under the number. The price to bet over 12 wins on the Chiefs, for example, is -130, meaning a bettor would have to risk $130 to win $100. This year's win totals are out before the regular-season schedule has been...
April 16
April 16

Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open with highest wins totals ahead of 17-game regular season

Ahead of the NFL's first 17-game regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened with the highest win totals at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. Oddsmakers for William Hill opened the Chiefs at 12, and the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at 11.5. Kansas City won 14 games last season, while the Buccaneers won 11. The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers each opened win totals of 11, followed by the Buffalo Bills (10.5) and Los Angeles Rams (10.5). Ten teams opened with double-digit win totals including three teams in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers each opened at 10. Sportsbooks post the win totals and offer bettors prices on betting over or under the number. The price to bet over 12 wins on the Chiefs, for example, is -130, meaning a bettor would have to risk $130 to win $100. This year's wins totals are out before the regular-season schedule has been...
April 16
April 15

Wide receiver Xavier Worthy decommits from Michigan Wolverines

Wide receiver Xavier Worthy, the No. 61-ranked prospect in the 2021 class, announced Thursday that he has asked for a release from the national letter of intent he signed with Michigan in December. Worthy a 6-foot-1, 165-pound receiver from Central East High School in Fresno, California, was the second-highest-ranked prospect in Michigan's class behind quarterback J.J. McCarthy. In his statement, Worthy said he had looked forward to starting his college football career at Michigan, "however; due to circumstances beyond my control, things did not go as planned ..." Worthy was considered one of the fastest recruits in the 2021 class, and Michigan held off a late effort from Alabama to sign him. He was supposed to enroll early in January, but that never happened, and Worthy now says he doesn't want to go into detail about what happened with Michigan until after he chooses a new school. Michigan also had wide receiver Giles Jackson enter the transfer portal two weeks ago. Jackson is...
April 15
April 15

Francis Ngannou will be in Kamaru Usman's corner for title defense against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261

Kamaru Usman was in the corner for Francis Ngannou when Ngannou won the UFC heavyweight title last month. Now, Ngannou will return the favor for his fellow champion friend. Ngannou will be a cornerman for Usman's welterweight title defense against Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 261 on April 24 in Jacksonville, Florida, Usman told ESPN on Thursday. Usman and Ngannou, both born in Africa, have become close friends over the past several years. Usman said his brother, Mohammed, will not be able to be in his corner as usual, because Mohammed will be in the PFL bubble ahead of his debut in that promotion next month. "Who better to replace someone like that than with the heavyweight champ himself, Francis Ngannou?" said Usman, who also will have head coach Trevor Wittman and Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Jorge Santiago in his corner. Usman said Ngannou's story inspires him. Ngannou migrated from Cameroon to France less than a decade ago and in doing so ended up...
April 15
April 15

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis cleared for full-contact practice, nearing return

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has been cleared for full-contact practice and his return to game action is imminent, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Thursday. It has been a while since Vogel has had a reason to smile when asked about the health of his players. However, Vogel broke out a grin when asked about Davis being reevaluated by L.A.'s medical staff two months after leaving the lineup with a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg. "Good news," Vogel said. Davis, 28, sat out Thursday's loss to the  Boston Celtics and is "unlikely" to play in the Lakers' upcoming two-game set against the Utah Jazz on Saturday and Monday, according to Vogel. The coach left the door slightly ajar, though, adding it is "not out of the question" for Davis to make his return against Utah. Vogel said with certainty that Davis will be eased into the workload he assumed before being sidelined Feb. 14 when he planted his foot wrong against the ...
April 15
April 15

Dallas Wings take Charli Collier, Awak Kuier with top two picks in 2021 WNBA draft

The Dallas Wings drafted Texas post player Charli Collier with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 WNBA draft on Thursday.  Collier is the first Longhorns player to be the WNBA's top pick and the second from the Big 12, following Baylor center Brittney Griner in 2013. The Wings took another post player, 6-foot-5 Awak Kuier of Finland, with the No. 2 pick. It's the first time in league history that a team had picks Nos. 1 and 2. The Wings acquired the top pick in a February trade after being awarded the second choice in the draft lottery. "Needless to say, we are thrilled with the results of the draft for our organization," Wings president and general manager Greg Bibb said. "We took another big step forward tonight with the progress of our team. Obviously with drafting Charli and Awak we got the two best players in the draft." The 6-foot-5 Collier averaged 19 points and 11.3 rebounds per game while shooting 51.1% from the field for the 21-10 Longhorns,...
April 15
April 15

Golden State Warriors say James Wiseman surgery a success, rookie expected back next season

Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman had surgery to fix the meniscus injury in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced Thursday. The Warriors called the surgery successful, but as coach Steve Kerr noted after Thursday's 119-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, the Warriors were "very disappointed" to learn that Wiseman needed a more intricate meniscus repair that will keep him out for months, not weeks. "This is a really tough blow for James," Kerr said. "I talked to him today, and he's in good spirits; he's always got a bright and sunny approach and attitude, but it's a tough blow to lose the last month of the season and then the summer as well. So we're going to do everything we can to help him in his rehab. The thing is, he's got a very positive repair, the surgeon felt great about it, our training staff feels great about it and long term we think he's going to be fine. But it's obviously a...
April 15
April 15

Canucks' game against Oilers on Friday postponed; return on hold

The NHL announced Thursday that the Vancouver Canucks' game against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday has been postponed. The league made the announcement one day after Vancouver forward  J.T. Miller delivered passionate remarks saying his team was being rushed back after a COVID-19 outbreak, adding that it is "dangerous to a lot of players." "What we're being asked to do is not going to be too safe, if you're asking me," Miller told reporters Wednesday. The league said in its statement that the decision to postpone Friday's game was made "to provide Club staff and Players with additional time for recovery and preparation following its recent COVID outbreak." It's still unclear whether Saturday's Canucks game, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, will still be played. After the Canucks hadn't played since March 24, the NHL originally scheduled them to play their final 19 games in 31 days, delaying the end of the North Division regular...
April 15
April 15

Fernando Tatis Jr. takes batting practice, San Diego Padres 'optimistic' for Friday return

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. took live batting practice in Pittsburgh on Thursday morning, and manager Jayce Tingler said the team is "optimistic" he'll be available for Friday's game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Friday marks the first day Tatis is eligible to be activated off the injured list since suffering a subluxation of his left shoulder during a violent swing on April 5, his third reported issue with that shoulder in a span of 23 days. Subluxations (in which the shoulder essentially slips out of its position in the socket but doesn't fully dislocate) often lead to surgery. But there are also cases in which players can manage the ailment for a prolonged period of time. Tingler cautioned that he still needs to meet with the Padres' medical department but added that Thursday was Tatis' "best day" in terms of hitting since suffering the injury. "We're optimistic that he has a good chance to be ready to play tomorrow," Tingler...
April 15
April 15

Source: Canucks' game against Oilers on Friday postponed; return on hold

The Vancouver Canucks' game against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday will be postponed, a source has confirmed to ESPN. The news comes one day after Vancouver forward  J.T. Miller delivered passionate remarks saying his team was being rushed back after a COVID outbreak, adding that it is "dangerous to a lot of players." "What we're being asked to do is not going to be too safe, if you're asking me," Miller told reporters Wednesday. Sportsnet first reported on Friday's postponement. It's still unclear whether Saturday's Canucks game, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, will still be played. After the Canucks hadn't played since March 24, the NHL originally scheduled them to play their final 19 games in 31 days, delaying the end of the North Division regular season. On Wednesday night, the NHLPA held a Zoom call with Canucks players to discuss their concerns, a source told ESPN. On Thursday, some players reported to the Canucks facility and...
April 15
April 15

Pass-rusher Aldon Smith signs with Seattle Seahawks

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith has signed with Seattle, the Seahawks announced Thursday. A source told ESPN it is a one-year deal. The 31-year-old Smith adds to what was already a deep collection of edge rushers in Seattle. The Seahawks re-signed Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa, added Kerry Hyder and return Jamal Adams,  L.J. Collier, Alton Robinson, Rasheem Green and Darrell Taylor. After being reinstated from an indefinite suspension that lasted from 2016 to 2019 for multiple off-field incidents and violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Smith joined the Cowboys in 2020 on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million based on certain incentives. The Seahawks had strong interest in Smith last offseason before he signed with Dallas, a source told ESPN. Smith was informed on March 24 that he would not be re-signed by the Cowboys, a source told ESPN. He...
April 15
April 15

Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine in health and safety protocol, expected to miss several games, sources say

Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine is expected to miss several games after entering into the NBA's health and safety protocol, sources told ESPN. The Bulls called off practice Thursday because of health and safety protocol concerns, the team said. Chicago's playoff hopes have been dampened lately, as the Bulls have dropped four straight games to fall to 22-32. The Bulls are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, holding the final spot in the play-in tournament. LaVine is averaging a career-high 27.5 points per game this season.
April 15
April 15

Michael Jordan to present the late Kobe Bryant at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the list of Hall of Famers scheduled to present the 2020 class of honorees -- led by Michael Jordan honoring Kobe Bryant. Jordan, who spoke at Bryant's memorial service in February 2020, will also introduce Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, making him the only Hall of Famer presenting multiple candidates during this year's induction ceremony. The connection between Jordan -- arguably the greatest player of all time -- and Bryant -- who did everything he could to emulate his idol -- was far deeper than anyone knew, though that only came to light when Jordan gave his heartfelt speech at the memorial service following Bryant's death in a helicopter crash. "At first, it was an aggravation," Jordan said of Bryant constantly peppering him with questions early in his career. "Then it became a passion. "As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother I could be." Bryant is far from the only big name in the 2020 class,...
April 15
April 15

South Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin accepts responsibility for 6-15 season

South Carolina's Frank Martin admits he did a bad job as men's basketball coach last season. He also believes his track record shows that he knows how to turn things around. "I did a poor job of leading this year," Martin said Thursday of the Gamecocks' 6-15 season, the worst showing in his 14 years of coaching at Kansas State and South Carolina. South Carolina never found its footing, and Martin acknowledged he couldn't help his players get in rhythm. "We've got work to do, man," he said. "What happened last year was unacceptable. I think I'm going to bet on myself that I'll figure this one out." The coronavirus pandemic certainly played a role. There were two program shutdowns over a stretch of 41 days in which the Gamecocks played just twice and did not have a complete team to practice because of medical protocols. Martin tested positive for COVID-19 twice since May, the second time a more serious illness during South Carolina's dormant period in January. Martin...
April 15
April 15

South Carolina coach Frank Martin accepts responsibility for 6-15 season

South Carolina's Frank Martin admits he did a bad job as men's basketball coach last season. He also believes his track record shows that he knows how to turn things around. "I did a poor job of leading this year," Martin said Thursday of the Gamecocks' 6-15 season, the worst showing in his 14 years of coaching at Kansas State and South Carolina. South Carolina never found its footing, and Martin acknowledged he couldn't help his players get in rhythm. "We've got work to do, man," he said. "What happened last year was unacceptable. I think I'm going to bet on myself that I'll figure this one out." The coronavirus pandemic certainly played a role. There were two program shutdowns over a stretch of 41 days in which the Gamecocks played just twice and did not have a complete team to practice because of medical protocols. Martin tested positive for COVID-19 twice since May, the second time a more serious illness during South Carolina's dormant period in January. Martin...
April 15
April 15

Ex-Nebraska football player found not guilty of sexual assault

Jurors in a Lancaster County, Nebraska, court found former Nebraska football player Katerian LeGrone not guilty of sexually assaulting a female student in 2019 after about a week of testimony. LeGrone, 21, and his former teammate Andre Hunt were charged with first-degree sexual assault after the woman reported the alleged Aug. 25, 2019, incident to the Lincoln Police Department. Both men were suspended indefinitely from the football team the next day, and as of that December, they were no longer on the roster. Officials at Nebraska who investigated the woman's Title IX sexual misconduct complaint found the two men responsible for assaulting her, and the university expelled them in April 2020. Both men are still listed as active in the NCAA transfer portal. The woman told jurors that she accepted Hunt's invitation to come to his apartment, which he shared with LeGrone, to hang out. She said as soon as she arrived, Hunt led her to the bedroom and initiated sex, which she said in...
April 15
April 15

USC given probation, fined for assistant coach's violations but avoids postseason ban

The NCAA on Thursday placed the USC men's basketball program on two years' probation as a result of former assistant coach Tony Bland accepting bribes to steer players to certain business managers and financial advisers once they turned pro. USC was fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget, and the NCAA accepted recruiting restrictions previously self-imposed by the university. Bland, one of four former assistant coaches charged in federal criminal cases involving bribery in college basketball, reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in December 2018. In June 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos sentenced Bland to 100 hours of community service and two years' probation. He was given a three-year show-cause order from the NCAA, during which any school employing him "must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply." USC athletic director Mike Bohn said the school is...
April 15
April 15

Hubert Davis turns to former North Carolina basketball players to fill out coaching staff

Hubert Davis' coaching staff at North Carolina has a familiar ring to it. For the first time in UNC men's basketball history, the head coach and the three top assistants are all former players for the Tar Heels. Davis, who replaced Roy Williams after the Hall of Famer announced his retirement April 1, on Thursday named Sean May, Brad Frederick and Jeff Lebo as his assistants. May, who was the Most Outstanding Player in the 2005 NCAA tournament, had been on Williams' staff for the last six seasons, and Frederick also has been a longtime assistant with the program. Lebo, who was a teammate of Davis' at UNC, had been the head coach at East Carolina from 2010 to '17. Jackie Manuel, another former North Carolina standout, is Davis' director of player and team development. "I wanted a staff that went to North Carolina and played at North Carolina," Davis said in a statement. "I think you have a great opportunity to do this job well if you've experienced it as a player. It's...
April 15
April 15

Aldon Smith reaches one-year deal with Seattle Seahawks, source says

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, a source told ESPN on Thursday. The 31-year-old Smith adds to what was already a deep collection of edge-rushers in Seattle. The Seahawks re-signed Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa, added Kerry Hyder and return L.J. Collier, Alton Robinson, Rasheem Green and Darrell Taylor. After being reinstated from an indefinite suspension that lasted from 2016 to 2019 for multiple off-field incidents and violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Smith joined the Cowboys in 2020 on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million based on certain incentives. The Seahawks had strong interest in Smith last offseason before he signed with Dallas, a source told ESPN. Smith was informed on March 24 that he would not be re-signed by the Cowboys, a source told ESPN. He started the 2020 season strong with a...
April 15
April 15

Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge abruptly retires due to health scare

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge announced on Twitter on Thursday that he is retiring from the NBA after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during his final appearance with the team.  "For 15 years I've put basketball first," Aldridge wrote. "And now, it is time to put my health and family first." Aldridge, 35, said he experienced the irregular heartbeat during the Nets' game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, after which his condition worsened. "The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital," Aldridge wrote. "Though I'm better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I've experienced." Aldridge had missed the Nets' past two games with what the team called a non-COVID-19 illness. Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team fully supports Aldridge's decision to retire. "We know this was not an easy decision for him, but after careful...
April 15
April 15

Brooklyn Nets forward LaMarcus Aldridge abruptly retires due to health scare

NEW YORK - Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge has announced on Thursday that he is retiring from the NBA after 15 seasons.  "For 15 years I've put basketball first," Aldridge wrote. "And now, it is time to put my health and family first." Aldridge said that he experienced an irregular heartbeat during the Nets game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. Afterward, Aldridge said the irregularities worsened. "The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital," Aldridge wrote. The team had listed Aldridge as out with a non-COVID illness for their last two games.
April 15
April 15

Nuggets star Jamal Murray 'devastated' after season-ending ACL injury, coach Michael Malone says

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Jamal Murray is "devastated" after being diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Speaking Wednesday for the first time since the Nuggets announced they will be without their star point guard indefinitely, Malone said the team could see Murray's anguish over the season-ending injury. "It's been an emotional 24, 36 hours," Malone said before the Nuggets routed the visiting  Miami Heat  123-106. "Jamal is devastated, understandably so. I think the team is also a little. We understand the importance of Jamal Murray. We are a better team when Jamal Murray is healthy. ... He is almost second in every major [statistical] category on the team behind  Nikola [Jokic]." In their first game without Murray, the Nuggets had six players score in double figures to halt a two-game slide. Carrying title aspirations that were bolstered by last month's trade for Aaron Gordon, the Nuggets now...
April 15
April 15

Red-hot Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry eyes teammate Klay Thompson's 3-point record

In the midst of one of the hottest streaks of his brilliant 12-year career, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry had to chuckle when asked if he would like the NBA single-game 3-point record back from his longtime teammate Klay Thompson. "Absolutely," Curry said after scoring 42 points during Wednesday's 147-109 win over the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The topic of Thompson's record 14 3-pointers -- a mark he  took from Curry in October 2018, after Curry made 13 3-pointers in November 2016 -- came into view Wednesday as Curry hit 11 in 29 minutes. Curry also made reference to a different milestone by Thompson -- his 37-point third quarter in January 2015. Curry scored 25 points and went 8-for-8 from the field in Wednesday's third quarter. "I was kind of joking with some of the guys tonight because I remember Chicago, and he did it in three quarters," Curry said of Thompson's record 14 treys. "His 37-point quarter was even crazier,...
April 15

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