Archive for the 'Basketball' Category

Globetrotter Fred “Curly” Neal, Curry’s Interview With Fauci Attracts 50K Views, Manning Crashes Online Course

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Fred “Curly” Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters passed away on Thursday at the age of 77.  Neal joined the Globetrotters in 1963 and played for the team for 22 years, appearing in more than 6,000 games. He was nicknamed Curly (ironically as his head was shaved), and along with teammate Meadowlark Lemon, was one of the most recognizable and revered players. In 2008, Madison Square Garden retired Neal’s No. 22, and North Carolina Sports inducted him into their Hall of Fame. In 2016, Neal told USA Today, “Being a Globetrotter, especially during that time, was as much a responsibility as it was a job. We weren’t just entertainers. I truly believe that we helped ease many of the tensions that pulled at the country. It didn’t matter if you were black, white or whatever — laughing and enjoying our games made those barriers disappear.”

Stephen Curry’s interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Instagram Live attracted 50,000 viewers including former President Barack Obama and pop star Justin Bieber. If you missed the interview, you can watch the full 28-minute episode here.

FOOTBALL

Peyton Manning crashed an online lecture at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee in order to send a message of encouragement to the students. Professor John Haas surprised the class by introducing Manning as Mr. Thompson and scolding him for being late for class. Manning appeared on the screen explaining he’s been out of school since 1996. Watch the students’ faces as they finally realize who is on the screen with them.

 

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NBA Suspends Games After Gobert Tests Positive, CBA Tells Players To Return Or Be Banned, March Madness No Fans

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Wednesday in the NBA felt surreal. The League met in the morning to discuss whether teams should play in arenas without fans. Then Wednesday night at the beginning of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game, the NBA was forced to suspend the season until further notice. Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert (who mocked the hype around the Coronavirus a few days earlier by touching microphones around him) found out he tested positive for COVID-19 just prior to the start of the game. Gobert wasn’t in the arena, but the game was immediately postponed. The NBA then announced they would indefinitely suspend the season.

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) doesn’t understand the environment. They’ve issued a memo demanding American players return to China to finish out the season. In the memo, they state that those players who refuse to return will be banned for a lifetime from the CBA.

March Madness will be very quiet this year. The NCAA announced the men’s and women’s tournament would be played without fans in the arena.

 

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LeBron James Plays For Fans, Nebraska Recruits 2 Football Players For Basketball Tournament, Gronk To WWE?

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A few days ago LeBron James announced he plays for his fans so if the NBA restricts fans from attending games due to the Coronavirus, he “ain’t playing”. He said, “I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.” On Tuesday, James changed his stance and said, “But at the same time you got to listen to the people that’s keeping a track on what’s going on. If they feel like it’s best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that, then we all listen to it.”

Nebraska will enter the Big Ten Tournament as the #14 seed but had to borrow two football players, Brant Banks and Noah Vedral, to replace two guards who are suspended. Both Banks and Vedral played high school basketball but came to Nebraska for football. If Nebraska does well, this story will be the talk of the tournament.

WWE

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is reportedly “deep in talks” with World Wrestling Entertainment. After winning three Super Bowls with the Patriots and five Pro-Bowl selections, Gronkowski retired from the NFL last spring due to pain and injuries.  According to the report, Gronk could appear on WWE SmackDown as early as March 20th.

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Coronavirus Sports Update, Yeshiva U Gets Greeting From Kraft & Lasry For NCAA Run, Brady’s 199 Productions

CORONAVIRUS

In a sports-related coronavirus update, the Italian government suspended all sporting events across the country including Serie A football (the country’s premier soccer league). Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer announced they will close locker rooms and clubhouses to the media and non-essential personnel. And, in Santa Clara, health officials announced a ban on events with more than 1,000 people which will affect the San Jose Sharks hockey games scheduled in the month of March. 

BASKETBALL

Yeshiva University is on an exciting run. The team beat Penn State Harrisburg on Saturday night to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in the school’s history.  In honor of Y.U.’s winning streak, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry sent video messages congratulating the team. If the team makes it to the Final Four, Lasry even offered to fly the team to Milwaukee to meet the Bucks.

OTHER

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told Deadline he was launching 199 Productions, “a global multi-platform content company to develop original premium content including documentaries, feature films, and television shows.” Brady wrote on Instagram, “I’m excited to announce to the world the official launch of 199 Productions. When I was the 199th draft pick in 2000, I knew I needed to work hard every day to prove myself. Launching a production company is no different and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to partner with (the Russo Brothers), (AGBO Films) and (Gotham Chopra) on our first project ‘Unseen Football.’ I believe in the essence of teamwork, and I have no doubt, our 199 Productions team and partners will create inspiring content to share with the world. Stay tuned.. exciting times are ahead, both on and off the field.”

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Spike Lee & Knicks Scuffle, Players Avoid High-Fives, Princeton Upset Over Lynch As Graduation Speaker, March Madness W/No Fans?

BASKETBALL

The New York Knicks and their biggest long-time celebrity fan Spike Lee are engaged in a bit of a scuffle. The issue developed after Lee was told he wasn’t allowed to use the “employee” entrance to the arena. Video circulated showing Lee yelling at the security team. The next morning, Lee told ESPN’s First Take, “I’m coming back next year, but I’m done for the season.” This incident is not only a  PR nightmare for the Knicks as Spike Lee is synonymous with the franchise, but financially, Lee has spent approximately $10 million over the last 30 years on season tickets.

In order to avoid spreading the coronavirus, the NBA told players to avoid high-fiving fans and avoid handling a stranger’s items for autographs.

OTHER

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been selected as the “Class Day” speaker for Princeton’s graduation this year, but a group of students from the school wrote an op-ed in the school newspaper expressing their disappointment. They claim their main objection is they weren’t consulted on the process for selecting graduation speakers, but they also cited the quote from Lynch before Super Bowl XLIX where he stated, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” as a potential reason why he wouldn’t be a good, motivating communicator.

NCAA BASKETBALL

An advocacy group is urging the NCAA to consider holding its March Madness tournament with no fans as a way of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. NCAA Chief Operating Officer did not dismiss the suggestion and told Bloomberg News, “We’ve contingency planned for all circumstances.”

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LeBron’s Season High 40 Pts, Heaps Praise On Zion, Wake Forest Stuns Duke

BASKETBALL

After scoring a season-high 40 points against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers’ LeBron James heaped praise on rookie phenomenon Zion Williamson saying,  “He’s playing exceptional basketball. I think every game he’s going to get better and better, just having that experience. I think today’s game is a perfect fit for his game.“ Williamson contributed 29 points in the Pelicans in the 118-109 loss. LeBron is notorious for his unhealthy eating habits and didn’t disappoint when he was seen eating RedVines on the bench after the game.

In NCAA news, Wake Forest stunned the crowd in a double-overtime win over the #7th ranked Duke Blue Devils. Wake Forest’s Brandon Childress tied the game with a 3-pointer in regulation, then made six of his last 10 shots, scoring 13 points in two overtime periods. At the end of the game, the team carried Childress around the court on their shoulders. The win marked Wake Forest’s first victory over Duke in six years. Demon Deacons 113, Blue Devils 101

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Ionescu Becomes 1st Player Reach 2K Points, 1K Assists, 1K Rebounds, Bumgarner Aka Saunders On Rodeo Circuit

BASKETBALL

On Monday night, just a few hours after speaking at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service, Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu became the first player to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds. No player in NCAA Division 1 history, man or woman, has ever achieved this feat.

BASEBALL

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been using an alias, Mason Saunders, to compete in the professional rodeo circuit. There’s a provision in every professional baseball player’s contract that prohibits players from “engaging in any sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury”. It’s unclear if the Diamondbacks, who signed Bumgarner to an $85 million contract, will allow him to continue.

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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.

 

BASKETBALL

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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Iconic Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Passes Away, Alabama & Oregon Prevail In Weekend Bowl Games

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Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away on January 1st after suffering a brain hemorrhage a month ago while dining at a restaurant in NY. Stern served as the commissioner from 1984-2014 and is credited with growing professional basketball into a global powerhouse. Current commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement saying, “For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals — preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.

“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand — making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.” David Stern was 77 years old.

In one of the anticipated weekend Bowl games, Alabama prevailed 35-16 over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. Alabama QB Mac Jones (who took over for an injured Tua Tagovailoa) threw for three touchdowns, while Jerry Jeudy ran over 200 yards, the first Alabama player to achieve that feat in a bowl game.

In the Rose Bowl, Oregon pulled out a 28-27 victory over Wisconsin thanks in part to UW’s four turnovers, three fumbles and one interception. The win marks Oregon’s third consecutive Rose Bowl victory.

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Duke Loses To SFA, Ohio State Tops Rankings

BASKETBALL

In one of the biggest upsets in the history of college basketball, #1 ranked Duke lost to unranked Stephen F. Austin on a last-second layup. Before the loss, Duke had won 150 consecutive nonconference home games, and for the first time since 1983, Duke lost to an unranked mid-major team. SFA 85, Duke 83

FOOTBALL

In more college news, the new College Football Playoff rankings were announced Tuesday night, and Ohio State claims the #1 spot over LSU. Clemson and Georgia round out the top 4, while Alabama held on at #5. There are still a few big games left that could disrupt the rankings including an important Ohio State vs Michigan matchup on Saturday.

 

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