Hamlin Wins Daytona, Newman’s Horrific Crash, Mike Trout Weighs In On Astros Cheating

MOTORSPORTS

Denny Hamlin made history by winning his second straight Daytona 500 (third overall), edging out Ryan Blaney in a photo finish. There was no victory celebration, however, as the 62 running of the race will be remembered for Ryan Newman’s horrific crash. Newman was in the lead until Blaney nudged him on the final lap causing his car to spin out of control, hit the wall and flip in the air. NASCAR issued a statement two hours after the race saying Newman is in “serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening.” The crash comes nineteen years after racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. died on the final lap of the Daytona 500. According to Hamlin, however, “NASCAR is a safer sport now than it was then.”

BASEBALL

The Houston Astros cheating scandal is making news every day. Players and fans are not forgetting how the players and coaches of the Astros cheated their way to a 2017 World Series-winning season. And, they are not forgetting MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s weak punishment. Manfred suspended the team’s general manager and manager for a year (both have subsequently been fired), but none of the players received a punishment, which isn’t sitting well for the players and the fans.

One of the best players in the game (and not someone who makes a scene), Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout, recently excoriated the Astros for cheating and Major League Baseball for the weak punishments. Trout told ESPN, “It’s sad for baseball. It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys’ careers have been affected, a lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming — it would be pretty fun up there. I lost some respect for some guys… All the stuff coming out, it’s tough to see.”

 

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NBA All-Star Game Big Success With New Format, Kawhi Wins Kobe Bryant MVP, A-Rod Buying Mets?

BASKETBALL

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game had a new format, and judging by the social media comments after the game, it was a big success. The game featured the Elam Ending, which has the game ending when one team reaches a specific score.  The score agreed on was 157 which came by taking the points scored by the team leading after three quarters (Team Giannis’s 133 points) and adding 24 to honor Kobe Bryant’s retired Lakers jersey number. The game ended when Anthony Davis landed two free throws to give Team LeBron a 157-155 victory over Team Giannis. Kawhi Leonard won the newly renamed Kobe Bryant MVP Award. Both teams played hard in honor of Kobe, making for an exciting and entertaining evening. After the game, LeBron said, “You could definitely feel [Bryant’s] presence. So he was definitely here.”

BASEBALL

Former New York Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez is rumored to be considering buying a stake in the New York Mets. According to reports, Rodriguez would submit a bid as part of a larger group of investors. Rodriguez’s girlfriend and mega popstar Jennifer Lopez is also rumored to be interested in buying a sports franchise. No word yet on whether they’ll be pooling their money to go in on the Mets together, but a source close to Rodriguez told the New York Post, “{Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets. He and J-Lo have talked about him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins.” Rodriguez has an estimated net worth of $350 million, while Lopez’s estimated net worth is even higher at $400 million.

 

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Tristan Says LeBron Has Worst Diet Ever, Zion’s 32 Points, George Fined For Criticizing Officials

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According to the Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson, LeBron James “has the worst f-king diet ever.” Thompson told The Athletic LeBron eats desserts at every meal and “has like five french toast, drowns it in syrup with strawberries and bananas. Then he has like a four-egg omelette and then he goes and just f—ing dunks on somebody. It doesn’t make sense.” His regime is a big departure from other athletes like Tom Brady who sticks to a no processed foods and plant-based diet.

New Orleans Pelican Zion Williamson had another impressive performance Thursday night. Even with Zion’s 32 points (a new single-game scaring mark) against the Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC’s Danilo Gallinari and Chris Paul kept the team on top for a 123-118 win.

Paul George was fined $35,000 for criticizing officials after the LA Clippers loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. George’s offending comment was “There was some home-court cooking tonight to say the least. I mean it was 19 to 11. You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11.”

 

 

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Winston LASIK, Kaepernick Memoir, Snoop Dogg Apologizes

FOOTBALL

Tampay Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who was always seen on the sidelines squinting at the scoreboard, finally got LASIK eye surgery. Winston was the #1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft and is now an unrestricted free agent. Last season he became the first quarterback in the NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.  No word yet on whether the Buccaneers will re-sign Winston.

Colin Kaepernick is writing a memoir explaining what motivated him in 2016 to begin kneeling during the national anthem while he was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He said, “I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting, ‘Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight.”

BASKETBALL

Snoop Dogg apologized to Gayle King for attacking her on social media. During an interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, King brought up Kobe Bryant’s rape case from 2003 and asked if it complicated Kobe’s legacy. Snoop Dogg responded on social media by saying “King should ‘back off, b—-, before we come get you.” According to reports, King has been getting death threats after the rapper made the comments.

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Zion Scores 31 Points In Under 28 Minutes, Knicks Most Valuable Team In NBA

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Zion Williamson, the former #1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, is already making a big impact for his team, the New Orleans Pelicans. On Tuesday night he scored 31 points in just under 28 minutes in the Pelicans’ 138-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s the second time in his first 10 games he’s scored more points than minutes played. According to Elias Sports Bureau research “Zion Williamson is the first rookie since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77 to have a 30-point, five-rebound, five-assist game in fewer than 30 minutes.”

According to Forbes magazine, at an estimated $4.6 billion, the New York Knicks remain the most valuable team in the NBA. The LA Lakers ($4.4 billion), Golden State Warriors ($4.3 billion), Chicago Bulls ($3.2 billion) and the Boston Celtics (#3.1 billion) round out the top five.

 

 

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Rivers Gone From Chargers, XFL Debut But Kaepernick Too Expensive

FOOTBALL

The Los Angeles Chargers officially “mutually parted ways” with quarterback Philip Rivers. No word yet on where he’ll end up, but Rivers recently moved his large family to Florida, so it appears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the odds-on favorite. The 38-year old Rivers said that wherever he ends up, he’ll play for a maximum of 2 years.

The NFL season is over, but the newly revised XFL had its officially debut last weekend. The new League markets itself as  “fan-first, ultra-accessible, and true to the game”. The League consists of 8 teams playing in a ten-week regular season and two-week postseason. You’ll see some recognizable names on the field of players who for various reasons haven’t been able to find a spot in the NFL.  The one player you won’t see, however, is Colin Kaepernick. According to the Commissioner Oliver Luck when asked about Kaepernick , “I’m saying that we spoke with his representative, and the salary requirements that were broached in that conversation were exorbitant and certainly out of our range.”

 

 

 

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Irvin Says Brady For Prescott Being Discussed, Kobe Honored At Oscars, Duke/UNC Rivalry

FOOTBALL

In a shocking interview on Friday, former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin shared a “shocking” conversation he had during Super Bowl week involving the idea of the Cowboys trading quarterback Dak Prescott for the Patriots Tom Brady. Irvin said, “I am telling you right now, at the Super Bowl in Miami, some very significant people that I had conversations (with were) leaning in that same direction. It was shocking. I had a vodka cranberry in my hand and when they said it to me I put the drink down and said, ‘Let’s talk a little bit more about this.”

In other NFL news, former wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry won an Academy Award for his animated short film “Hair Love” which follows an African American father attempting to style his daughter’s hair for the first time. In accepting his award, Cherry dedicated his Oscar to Kobe Bryant. Spike Lee also honored Kobe wearing a gold and purple suit with Kobe’s jersey number, 24.

 

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On Saturday, Duke and North Carolina took their rivalry to a whole new level. North Carolina took the lead for most of the game, but the Blue Devils forced an overtime and that’s where the fun really began. The game ended with a no-call in Duke’s favor and a winning layup at the buzzer giving the No. 7th ranked Duke the 98-96 win over the Tar Heels.

 

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Giannis And LeBron Choose NBA All-Star Teams: Davis & Embiid Taken First

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Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James chose their teams for the NBA All-Star game next weekend. In a televised event on Thursday, LeBron (who was wearing a sweatshirt with a yellow heart with Kobe Bryant’s numbers 8 and 24, and a white heart with Kobe’s daughter’s #2) took LA Lakers teammate Anthony Davis. Giannis chose Joel Embiid with the #2 pick. Here’s the rest of the starting roster:

Team LeBron: Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, James Harden

Team Giannis: Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young

 

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Iguodala To Heat, Warriors Send Robinson, Burks To 76ers

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The Andre Iguodala saga seems to be over. The Memphis Grizzlies agreed to send Iguodala to the Miami Heat in a $30 million contract extension for 2-years. As part of the package, Justise Winslow will head to the Grizzlies

In other trade news, the Philadelphia 76ers will get Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. In exchange, the Warriors will get 2020, 2021, and 2022 second-round picks.

For more NBA trading news, click here.

 

 

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Dodgers Sign Mookie Betts, Cohen Deal For Mets In Jeopardy, 12 Year Old Star Of Super Bowl

BASEBALL

The LA Dodgers added some spark to their roster by signing superstar right-fielder and former MVP Mookie Betts. After a first-round exit in last year’s postseason, the Dodgers wanted to show they are serious by acquiring Betts from the Boston Red Sox. They also signed former Cy Young winner David Price and assumed the bulk of his $96 million salary. It’s been 32 years since the Dodgers won the World Series.

In other baseball news, hedge fund manager Steve Cohen’s deal to purchase the New York Mets might be in jeopardy. Cohen was slated to spend $2.6 billion to buy 80% of the team, but according to the New York Post, the negotiations have stalled.

FOOTBALL

Many fans were wondering who was the charismatic kid starring in the “NFL Next 100” and running on to the field to kick off Super Bowl LIV. He’s a 13-year old named MaxwellBuncheYoung who plays football in LA, broke the 10 year old world record for the 100-yard dash (12.4 seconds), and at the age of 11 was named the Sports Illustrated Kids “SportsKid of the Year” award. He’s already received a scholarship from the University of Illinois to play football after he graduates high school.

 

 

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