March Madness Canceled, Cuban & Love Financial Support To Workers Displaced

CORONAVIRUS

A day after the NBA and NHL suspended their seasons, the NCAA completely canceled its men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournament. March Madness has become one of the biggest sporting events in the U.S, captivating the nation with great competition and cinderella stories.

In the NBA, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he “reached out to the folks at the arena and the folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to financially support people who are unable to come to work.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love also stepped up and pledged $100,000 to aid arena workers displaced by the league’s suspension of games. He told ESPN, “My hope is that others will step up!!”

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

BASKETBALL

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?

BASKETBALL

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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Rams Leak New Logo, NBA’s Memo On Coronavirus, LeBron’s Big Weekend, WTA Tour Canceled

FOOTBALL

The Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 2016 and are expected to unveil their new logo prior to the NFL draft in April. Over twitter, the team appeared to “leak” their new design, and the reaction hasn’t been positive. One of the criticisms is the team’s ram horn looks like a lightning bolt (which is unfortunate as the Rams share a city and stadium with the Chargers whose logo is a lightning bolt).

BASKETBALL

The NBA sent a memo to teams preparing them for what to expect if the coronavirus continues to spread. The league advised the teams to prepare for the possibility of playing without fans in the arena. They also sent a memo advising teams to have contingency plans in place by March 10th to include an on-call infectious disease specialist.

LA Lakers’ LeBron James had a solid weekend with 38 points in a win over Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks and 28 points in a win over the team’s cross-town rivals the LA Clippers.

TENNIS

In other coronavirus news, an ATP and WTA Tour was shut down, making it the first major sports event in the U.S. to be canceled.

 

 

 

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Curry’s Return, Joey Chestnut Sets McDonald’s Big Mac Record, Quinnen Arrested At LGA For Gun Possession

BASKETBALL

Stephen Curry made his return to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night against the Toronto Raptors. With limited playing minutes, Curry finished with 23 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds. The Warriors lost 121-113, but the team felt a renewed energy with Curry on the Court.  With the win, the Raptors clinched a playoff berth.

COMPETITIVE EATING

In the world of competitive eating, Joey Chestnut is synonymous with Nathan’s hot-dog eating contest. He’s famous for winning the competition for the last 12 of 13 times. Chestnut has expanded his eating horizons and has eaten a record 413 Hooters chicken wings in 12 hours and recently set the world record for eating 32 McDonald’s Big Mac sandwiches in one sitting. He consumed the double-patty burgers in 38 minutes and 15 seconds.

FOOTBALL

New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was arrested Thursday evening at LaGuardia Aiport for criminal possession of a weapon. Williams was drafted #3 by the Jets in 2019 after a spectacular season at Alabama where he was awarded the Outland Trophy (given to the nation’s best interior lineman).  Williams had a permit for the gun, but the weapon was licensed in Alabama, which makes it illegal in New York.

 

 

 

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Curry Is Back, Shaq’s Hairline, Brady’s Future

BASKETBALL

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is back. He is set to rejoin the team for Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Curry has missed 58 games while recovering from a broken hand suffered on October 30th.

Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade’s friendly wager over Monday night’s game between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks went viral. When O’Neal lost the bet he was forced to reveal his true hairline on TV.

FOOTBALL

There continues to be constant speculation on quarterback Tom Brady’s future. The Boston Herald recently reported Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had a phone conversation that “didn’t go well.” According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, however, the conversation was “business as usual”. The 42-year-old Brady is set to become a free agent on March 18th.

 

 

 

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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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Embiid Only Missing A Week, Twitter Loves Burrow’s Small Hands

BASKETBALL

The Philadelphia 76ers got some good news on Thursday when they heard their star Center Joel Embiid had structural damage to his shoulder and will only miss a week.

FOOTBALL

The twitter universe went wild this week after ESPN reported quarterback and potential #1 pick in the NFL draft Joe Burrow had small hands. The NFL Combine is a week-long “tryout” where college football players are on display performing physical and mental tests. Apparently, the scouts also measure parts of your body. Burrow’s hand measured in at 9 inches, but according to reports, that is subpar for a quarterback (the average non-athlete hand measures around 8.5). Thankfully, Burrow has a sense of humor and wrote on twitter, “Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.” Other twitter followers posted small hand memes and jokes. My favorite was a picture of Kristen Wiig’s Dooneese.

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Embiid’s Sprained Shoulder, Tebow To Play For Philippines

BASKETBALL

The Philadelphia 76ers season has taken another tough turn. Their star player Joel Embiid (who leads the team in scoring and rebounding) went down with a sprained shoulder on Wednesday night in the team’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Embiid will have an MRI on Thursday to assess the injury. The Sixers are already suffering from the loss of Ben Simmons, who is slated to miss another 2 weeks due to a back issue.

BASEBALL

World Baseball Classic announced Mets minor league outfielder (and former Heisman Trophy winner) Tim Tebow will play for the Philippines in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. Tebow’s parents were Baptist missionaries in the Philippines when Tebow was born. He moved back to the U.S. when he was 3 years old. The WBC has expanded to 20 teams with 16 automatic bids and 4 qualifiers. The Philippines have yet to qualify for the tournament, but maybe Tebow will be the spark they need to make it happen this year.

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