NFL Draft Thursday Night, ESPN Lays Off 100

FOOTBALL

Finally after weeks of mock drafts, the excitement begins tonight in Philadelphia. The Cleveland Browns have the first pick in the NFL draft and Miles Garrett (DE from Texas A&M) or potentially Mitchell Trubisky (QB, North Carolina) could go #1. The San Francisco 49ers have the #2 pick, and rounding out the top five is the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. Tune in to ESPN 8:00 pm. ET to follow live.

Speaking of ESPN, on Wednesday afternoon, a number of ESPN longtime journalists and on-air personalties were laid off.  Reports estimated 100 or so employees were fired including former NFL QB Trent Dilfer, NFL reporter Ed Werder, Jayson Stark and one of my favorites, Danny Kanell. ESPN (owned by Disney) has lost millions of subscribers in the last few years and blamed higher NFL and NBA programming costs. Good luck to everyone in your next chapter.

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Westbrook Posts 47 But Thunder Fall, Spurs/Jazz Up In Series,

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Russell Westbrook posted 47 points, but it wasn’t enough for his OKC Thunder to stay alive vs the Houston Rockets. Westbrook’s rival James Harden scored 34 points, but unlike Westbrook had help from the rest of the team to propel the Rockets to a 105-99 win. With the win, the Rockets win the series and head to the second round of the Western Conference. Houston will now play the winner of the San Antonio Spurs/Memphis Grizzlies series (Spurs up 3-2 with their win on Tuesday).

The Utah Jazz hit their shots in their 4th quarter giving them a big win over the Los Angeles Clippers and putting them up 3-2 in the series. Utah 96, Los Angeles 92.

BASEBALL

It’s not a done-deal yet, but a group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter has reached an agreement with the owner of the Miami Marlins to purchase the team. The agreement still needs to get approval from Major League Baseball and 75% of all Major League Teams.

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Warriors Sweep Series, Raptors Take 3-2 Lead, Hawks Pull Even, Peterson To Sign With Saints, Earnhardt Jr Retires

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The Golden State Warriors swept the first round of the playoffs with a big win over the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night. The game was never close as the Warriors posted 45 points in just the first quarter. The temail tied a record for most points scored in a first quarter of a playoff game (and the only team to score that many points on the road). With the win, the Warriors advance to round two and depending on when the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers series is over will either start the next round on April 30th or May 2nd. Kevin Durant made was back from injury and made an impact in just the first few minutes of play. The true star, however, was Steph Curry who shot 37 point in only 30 minutes of play. Warriors 128, Trailblazers 103.

The Toronto Raptors took a 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks thanks to a big game from the Raptors’ Norman Powell.  Raptors 118, Bucks 93.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Dwight Howard finally showed up for the series and had a big game Monday night to help his team pull to 2-2 tie with the Washington Wizards. The story of the game was seeing 35 year old Jose Calderon making a significant contribution to the team (and getting the honor of sitting next to Howard at the post-game press conference. Hawks 111, Wizards 101.

For a recap of all the games, click here.

FOOTBALL

Former Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson announced he will sign a 2 year deal (which is actually a one year deal with a one year option) with the New Orleans Saints. Peterson played 10 years with the Vikings and is ranked #16th in NFL history for rushing yards. The Vikings will play the Saints on Monday night football the first week of the season.

NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced he will retire following the 2017 season. Earnhardt Jr won the Daytona 500 twice and was one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR history. He is the son of one of the founding fathers of NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt, who died tragically in 2001 in a crash on the final lap of the Daytona.

 

 

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LeBron Leads Cavs To Series Win, Rest Of First Round Games

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With his historic 21st consecutive first round playoff win, LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a first series sweep of the Indiana Pacers. In a 106-102 win, James recorded his 43rd 33 point, 10 rebound game. Cavs are now headed to the 2nd round of the Eastern Conference.

To round out the Eastern Conference first round, the Bulls/Celtics series is tied 2-2 with game 5 on Wednesday, and the Milwaukee Bucks/Toronto Raptors series is tied 2-2 with game 5 on Monday. The Washington Wizards are up 2-1 over the Atlanta Hawks with game 4 on Monday.

In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors are up 3-0 and could wrap up the series with a win over the Portland Trailblazers on Monday. The rest of the Conference games are played on Tuesday with the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies tied at 2-2, the Houston Rockets up 3-1 over the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers tied 2-2 with the Utah Jazz.

For the full schedule, click here.

 

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Cavs Historic Comeback In Game 3, Bucks & Grizzlies Win, Tiger’s 4th Back Surgery

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The Cleveland Cavaliers made playoff history by coming back from a 25 point deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers. LeBron James made it happen with a triple double of 41 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. LeBron keeps setting records, and with the win he moved ahead of Kobe Bryant in the NBA’s playoff scoring list. After the game he said, “I just don’t settle for being not as great as I can be. The only thing that matters is (winning) — that’s what I’m here for.” The Cavs now lead the series 3-0. Cleveland 119, Indiana 114.

In other playoff news, the Milwaukee Bucks won big at home against the Toronto Raptors giving them a 2-1 series lead. Milwaukee 104, Toronto 77.

After Grizzlies’ coach David Fizdale’s complaint about the refs in game 2 favoring the San Antonio Spurs, he received a $30,000 fine. His team and the fans fed off  his intensity and came back strong to take game 3. Memphis 105, San Antonio 94.

GOLF

Tiger Woods went under the knife again to alleviate spasms and pain. The procedure was Tiger’s 4th back surgery. He has not played in a major tournament since 2015, and it’s unclear if he’ll be healthy enough to compete again.

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Gronk Pops In On Press Briefing At White House, Westbrooks Historic But Failed Night, Warriors & Wizards Up 2-0

FOOTBALL

 New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski made a cameo at Sean Spicer’s Wednesday press briefing while the Team was visiting the White House. He popped his head in and asked Spicer if he needed any help. Spicer laughed and replied, “I think I got this but thank you. Maybe. All right, thanks man. I’ll see you in a minute.” Then added, “that was cool”.

BASKETBALL

It should have been a great night for OKC’s Russell Westbrook. He made history with the highest scoring triple double in playoff history with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, but the Rockets came on strong in the 4th and Westbrook went cold. The Thunder is now down 0-2 in the series. Rockets 115, Thunder 111.

The Golden State Warriors were without Kevin Durant Wednesday night but still managed to pull out a game 2 win at home against the Portland Trailblazers. Coach Kerr hasn’t decided if KD will play on Saturday when the series heads to Portland for game 3. Warriors 110, Trailblazers 81.

Rounding out the night, the Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks to go up 2-0 in the series.

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Aaron Hernandez Dead In Prison Cell, #8 Bulls 2-0 Lead Over #1 Celtics, Clippers & Raptors Even Series

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Former Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez was found dead after hanging himself in his prison cell. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder, and days ago was acquitted of a separate double murder. Hernandez was 27 years old. He took his life on the same day his former teammates will be visiting the White House after their championship win.

BASKETBALL

The 8th seeded Chicago Bulls, thanks to Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo, pulled out to a 2-0 lead over the top seeded Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for the Celtics, the series now heads to Chicago.  If the Bulls can pull out the series win, it will be the first time in 5 years an 8th seed beat a #1 seed. Bulls 111, Celtics 97.

Without star defender Rudy Gobert (who injured his knee just 17 seconds into the first game), the Los Angeles Clippers were able to stay aggressive offensively and power over the Utah Jazz. The Clippers never fell behind the entire game leading them to even out the series. Clippers 99, Jazz 91.

Kyle Lowry came back from a disappointing game 1 to lead his Toronto Raptors to a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and tie the series. Lowry had only 4 points in game one, but posted 22 points Tuesday night including a game-defining basket with less than 10 seconds to play. Raptors 106, Bucks 100.

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Cavs And Spurs Take 2-0 Lead, Fizdale Goes On Rant, Marathon Stories

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The Cleveland Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers in the first round series with a big game from Kyrie Irving (37 points), Kevin Love (27 points), and LeBron James (25 points). Paul George and the Pacers came back strong in the 4th quarter, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the win. Cavs 117, Pacers 111.

In the other playoff game Monday night, Kawhi Leonard posted 37 points for the San Antonio Spurs to take a 2-0 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies first year coach David Fizdale blamed the referees for the team’s loss in his post-game press conference. In reference to the refs giving out more free-throws to the Spurs, he said, “that’s unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game. And they did not even give us a chance. Take that for data!” Spurs 96, Grizzlies 82.

More playoff games tonight and tomorrow!

MARATHON

There were many great stories from the Boston Marathon on Monday. Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya won the women’s and men’s top prizes taking home $150,000 each. The Americans had a great showing as well taking 2nd in the men’s division and 3rd place in the women’s division.  At 70 years old, Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to ever run a marathon, returned to the race 50 years after her infamous debut. Switzer registered for the marathon in 1967 under the name K.V. Switzer. When an official noticed she was a woman, he tried to knock her off the course. Switzer’s debut was historic, but it still took another 5 years for women to officially enter the race.

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Westbrook’s Friend Is Spalding Not Harden, Emotional Night For Isaiah, Draymond’s 4th Q, Manning’s Memorabilia

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The first games of the first round of playoffs did not disappoint!

Houston’s James Harden had 37 points in a route of OKC.  Harden looked like he was he was on a mission for MVP of the league as he outscored fellow MVP favorite Russell Westbrook by 15 points. Harden and Westbrook are good friends off the court, but during the playoffs, Westbrook said he won’t communicate with Harden. His philosophy is,“When I’m on the floor, I only have one friend and it’s the basketball. I’ve been like that since I was a little kid. My dad taught me that when I was younger. When you get on the floor, you have one friend — and your friend is Spalding.”  Rockets 118, Thunder 87.

The Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics in an emotional game for Celtic’s point guard Isaiah Thomas.  Thomas’s sister tragically died on Saturday in a car crash, and even though completely distraught Thomas played on Sunday and scored 33 points. Players from around the League poured out their sympathy for Thomas and expressed their awe in how Thomas focused his energy on the court to support his team. The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler said,”He’s a helluva player. It just goes to show the type of player and man he is to go out there and battle through what he was going through for his organization and team.” Bulls 106, Celtics 102.

The Golden State Warriors were neck and neck with the Portland Trailblazers until the 4th quarter when Draymond Green put on a show. Warriors 121, Trailblazers 109.

The Cleveland Cavaliers barely topped the Indiana Pacers with a 109-108 win. The Pacers’ Paul George looked upset at the end as he wanted to shoot the ball on the last play to try and give his team the win.

 

For the rest of the playoff picture, click here.

FOOTBALL

New York Giants QB Eli Manning is in hot water for allegedly selling non-game used memorabilia to collectors through dealer Steiner Sports. One email from Manning stated he has “two helmets that can pass as game used.” Manning has a stellar reputation on and off the field, so if this story is true, Manning’s reputation will take a big hit.

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NBA Postseason Rankings Set, Carmelo Meets With Jackson, Marshawn’s Airport Fiasco

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The NBA regular season ended Wednesday night the and the playoff seeds are set. The Boston Celtics secured the #1 seed while the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the #2 seed in the East. The Golden State Warriors had the #1 seed wrapped up in the West for awhile now with the San Antonia Spurs grabbing the #2 seed. The post-season begins this weekend. For more on the matchups, click here.

Now that the New York Knicks season is over, rumors continue to fly on whether the organization will trade Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has two years left on his $124 million 5 year contract. Carmelo will meet with coach Phil Jackson to discuss options, but admitted it was “hard to trust” Jackson because he was openly critical of him this season. He said, “If somebody was talking bad about you indirectly at your job, what would you do? You would feel a certain way. You would want that person to come straightforward with you.”

FOOTBALL

Everyone knows of the United Airlines fiasco this past week, but Marshawn Lynch had his own airport pr disaster when he slapped a phone out of a teenagers hand trying to get an autograph from him. To make matters even worse, he walked back to the teenagers and spit at them. For a guy trying to end his retirement and get hired by a new team (the Oakland Raiders), disrespecting fans is not exactly the best way to ingratiate yourself to management.

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