Archive for the 'Basketball' Category

Zimmerman & Desmond Opting Out Of MLB Season, Tim Tebow On Mets Roster, Emoni Bates Commits To Michigan State

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball finally agreed on a 60-game season, but many players have announced they will opt-out for the year due to Coronavirus concerns and social unrest issues. Among the players opting-out are Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman who stated he won’t play because of his newborn baby and his mother (who has multiple sclerosis), and Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond who cited concerns for his family’s health as well as racism, sexism, homophobia, labor wars, and cheating scandals.

In other baseball news, the New York Mets are offering up a spot on their roster to minor league outfielder (and former NFL quarterback) Tim Tebow.

BASKETBALL

The #1 high school basketball recruit in the country for the class of 2022, Emoni Bates, committed to Michigan State. Bates had scholarship offers from Duke, Michigan, Florida State, Georgia, DePaul, and Kentucky but chose Michigan State for their loyalty. Michigan State recruited him in 7th grade, while Duke extended an offer to him in 8th grade. As a sophomore, Bates became the youngest player to become the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Other superstars winning this award include Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, Bradley Beal, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Jayston Tatum, RJ Barrett, and James Wiseman.

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Baseball Will Return, FBI Says Noose Not Hate Crime, NFL Allows Cities To Determine Fans, No Bradley For Lakers

BASEBALL

The Major League Baseball Players Union officially approved the imposed 60-game season, so it looks like we’ll have a baseball season after all. July 1st will mark the start of “spring” training with opening day on July 24th.

NASCAR

The FBI announced there was no hate crime against Bubba Wallace at Talladega over the weekend where a noose was found in Wallace’s garage. The investigators reported the noose had been in the garage since last October where it was used as a garage door pull. In addition, the report claimed that no one could have known Wallace would be assigned to that particular garage. Wallace commented on the report saying,  “The image that I have, that I have seen, of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage loop. I’ve been racing all of my life, we’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that have never had garage pulls like that… It was a noose. Whether it was tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. It wasn’t directed at me, but someone tied a noose. It is a noose.”

FOOTBALL

According to reports, the NFL might allow individual teams and cities to determine how many fans will be allowed in the stadium. The NFL appears determined to allow fans to avoid losing billions in revenue. It’s estimated that the NFL could lose $3 billion if the season is played in empty stadiums.

BASKETBALL

The Los Angeles Lakers Avery Bradley announced he will not play when the NBA season resumes at Disney World. According to ESPN, Bradley is concerned about his family’s health particularly his six-year-old son who has a history of respiratory illnesses.

For those players reporting to Orlando, the NBA will have ring data monitors (called Oura rings) which can potentially access COVID-19 through heart rate and heart rate variability.

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WNBA Returns, Roger Goodell Encouraging Teams To Sign Kaepernick, MLB Drama Continues, Harris/Blitzer Stake In Steelers

BASKETBALL

According to reports, the WNBA will have a 22-game regular season starting in late July and with games held at the IMG Academy in Florida. Players are set to earn 100% of their salaries even though they will only play 22 games instead of the full 36-game schedule.

FOOTBALL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN that he “supports and encourages” teams to sign the 32-year old former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016 when he became famous for kneeling during the national anthem in a sign of protest against racial injustice and police brutality. In the interview, Goodell said, “Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision. But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.” He went on to say, “If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us. … I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change.”

BASEBALL

The drama in the negotiations about Major League Baseball returning continues. On Monday, just five days after guaranteeing the baseball season would happen, commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “not confident” there would be a season at all.

OTHER

Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76er and New Jersey Devils, acquired a stake of less than 5% in the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise has recently been valued at $2.8 billion. It’s also been reported the duo is exploring a bid for the New York Mets.

 

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MLB Could Start In July, Marketing Agency Accuses Zion, Family And Duke Of Violations

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball approved a proposal to start the season in early July and will feature an expected 82-game regular season. Commissioner Rob Manfred will present the plan to the players, and then the League and the Players Association will negotiate. The negotiations could get tense, as the owners would like a plan that includes a 50-50 revenue split with the players. MLB is the only uncapped team sport in the U.S., so this plan would essentially simulate a salary cap. For more information on the new plan, click here.

BASKETBALL

New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson’s former marketing agency, Prime Sports Marketing, filed a civil lawsuit against Zion claiming he and his family received gifts from Nike and Adidas before he enrolled at Duke to influence him to play at the University. Prime Sports Marketing signed Zion after his first year at Duke but then was dropped for another agency in Zion’s second season. Zion is now being asked to admit his mother and father “demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence you to attend Duke University to play basketball.” It is still unclear whether Zion, his family, and Duke are at fault or if Prime Sports Marketing is just bitter about losing out on such a profitable player.

 

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Lakers Return PPP Funds, Ball Brothers Sign With Rock Nation, Peloton’s Largest Streamed Class

BASKETBALL

The LA Lakers received one of the taxpayer-backed loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The program is meant to give companies taxpayer-backed, forgivable loans if they keep their employees during this crisis. The disbursement of funds, however, has been uneven. The Lakers explained they would be returning the money (as many other well-off companies and institutions have done) and said, “Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”

LaMelo, Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball are planning to sign with Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z’s Sports Management company. According to LaMelo Ball’s manager Jermaine Jackson, “This was a family decision. This is now an extended family. They put together a beautiful game plan with Jay-Z. The basketball game is about to change. They are going to create something totally new.”

OTHER

Peloton stock is up 60% since the Coronavirus sent everyone into quarantine. Last week, the company reported its largest streamed class with more than 23,000 cyclers.

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Conley Jr. Wins HORSE, Green To Developmental G-League, Shaq’s Kids Commit To LSU, Von Miller Has Coronavirus

BASKETBALL

In case you didn’t watch the riveting action Thursday night, here are the results of the NBA’s first-ever televised HORSE challenge. Utah Jazz point Mike Conley Jr. easily outshot Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine for the title. As part of the challenge, the title sponsor, State Farm, donated more than $200,000 in support of coronavirus response efforts.

The #3 prospect in the NCAA recruiting class, Jalen Green, announced he will skip college to pursue a pro career. Green will join the NBA’s developmental G-League. The program is unaffiliated with an NBA franchise but designed to attract elite players with the sole purpose of getting them ready for the NBA. Green joins Isaiah Todd (the #13 prospect) who de-committed from Michigan earlier this week.

NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal can watch two of his children playing for his alma mater next year. Amirah O’Neal and Shareef O’Neal committed to playing basketball at LSU. Shareef announced in February he was transferring from UCLA to LSU, while Amirah recently posted on Instagram “I never imagined myself saying this, but I am excited to say that I have decided to commit to being a student-athlete at LSU alongside my brother Shareef. I am sooooo grateful to spend my next four years as a Tiger.”

FOOTBALL

Von Miller’s agent, Joby Branion, confirmed the Denver Broncos Pro Bowl linebacker has tested positive for COVID-19.  Von Miller, who has asthma, said his girlfriend caught the symptoms when she determined his cough didn’t sound normal. He added, “I’m still new to this. I’m not sure what’s going on but I tell ya what, I’m in good spirits. I’m still Von. I’m not feeling sick or hurting or anything like that.” Von Miller is the second known NFL player to contract the virus.

 

 

 

 

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HORSE Challenge Semifinals, NBA Working On Season Beginning, Mark Cuban Might Run For President

BASKETBALL

The NBA hosted the first-ever skype HORSE Challenge Sunday night featuring current and former NBA and WNBA players. Chauncey Billups and Mike Conley Jr. advanced to the semis by beating Trae Young and Tamika Catchings respectively, while Zach LaVine defeated Paul Pierce and Allie Quigley defeated Chris Paul to also advance to the next round. The final four pits Billups against Conley Jr and LaVine vs Quigley. The semifinals and finals will air on April 16th starting at 9:00 pm on ESPN.

The NBA is working on how to salvage the season. According to reports, the league’s executives and medical personnel are discussing possible “protocols” to get players out on the court and ready for games. One scenario is a 25-day program enabling players to get back to work and in game-shape. There would be 11 days of individual workouts while practicing social distancing then 14 days of training camp. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said they won’t be able to make any decisions until May.

In other NBA news, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Fox News host, Chris Wallace, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running for President this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rakuten Monkeys Have Robot Mannequins, Gundy Insists We Power Through, UFC249 Canceled, HORSE Competition On Sunday

BASEBALL

The Chinese Professional Baseball League has gotten creative announcing that the Rakuten Monkeys will have robot mannequins instead of fans in the stadium seats when their season opens on Saturday, April 11th.

FOOTBALL

In college football, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy insisted programs try and “power through the pandemic” and wants his program back by May 1st saying it was time “to run money through the state of Oklahoma.” He went on to say, “From what I read, the healthy people can fight this, the antibodies make it better.”

ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP

Dana White announced he’s canceling UFC 249 which was scheduled for next weekend at Tachi Palace, a casino on Native American tribal land. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, as well as Disney and ESPN, urged White to cancel the event. White still insists the private island “Fight Island” is still a possibility for future fights.

BASKETBALL

Kudos to the NBA for trying to keep us all entertained. The League announced they are airing a “HORSE” competition with current and former NBA players and WNBA players. The game will be a single-elimination contest held remotely. The contest begins on Sunday, April 12th at 7 p.m. ET with NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), 2020 NBA All-Star Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) and Basketball Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings headlining the event. For more information on the tournament, click here.

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LaMelo To Buy Australian NBL Team, Kobe’s Towel Sells At Auction For Over 33K

BASKETBALL

LaMelo Ball, the 18-year old younger brother of Lonzo Ball, is not only a top prospect in the 2020 NBA draft but also intends to buy the National Basketball League’s Illawarra Hawks. LaMelo played 12 games for the Australian team last season and according to Ball’s manager, Jermaine Jackson, Ball heard the team was struggling financially and wanted to help out. According to Jackson, “When high school kids hear LaMelo owns the team, they will want to come. They’ll know they will be taken care of. We’re going to put the organization on steroids, building it into a program that guys want to play for. I’m in touch with several former NBA GMs that want to go there to help out and high-level coaches that won every championship you can imagine.”

In other basketball news, a towel Kobe Bryant used to drape over his shoulders while making a speech following his final career game sold at auction for $33,077.16.  According to CNN, David Kohler (who has the largest collection of Lakers memorabilia) won the bid.

 

 

 

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

BASKETBALL

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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