US WOMENS SOCCER FILE SUIT, MLB SPRING TRAINING UPDATE, MANAGERS ON THE HOT SEAT

MB SPORTS DAILY

March 8th, 2019

Welcome back, have a great Friday!

On This Day In Sports

  • 1900 NL decides to go with 8 teams They exclude Baltimore, Cleveland, Louisville & Washington (in 1953 Boston Braves move to Milwaukee)
  • 1930 Babe Ruth signs 2-year contract for $160,000 with NY Yankee GM Ed Barrow, wrongly predicts “No one will ever be paid more than Ruth”
  • 1936 The first stock car race is held in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

  1. Players for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Have Filed a Federal Gender Discrimination Lawsuit 

USWNT

Photo: Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Three months before beginning their defense of their Women’s World Cup title, American players escalated their legal dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal treatment and pay.
  • The 28 members of the current women’s player pool filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on International Women’s Day.
  • The lawsuit claims that from March 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016, when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired, players on the women’s team could make a maximum salary of $72,000, plus bonuses for winning non-tournament games as well as World Cup appearances and victories, and for Olympic placement.
  • “We believe it is our duty to be the role models that we’ve set out to be and fight to what we know we legally deserve,” forward Christen Press told The Associated Press. “And hopefully in that way it inspires women everywhere.”

    2. Major League Baseball Spring Training Interesting News

Taylor_Trammell_BillMitchell.jpgTaylor_Trammell_BillMitchell.jpgTaylor_Trammell_BillMitchell.jpg

Photo: Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

  • When Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is placed back onto the Angels’ active roster this season, it will be as a designated hitter. Pitching, which Ohtani hasn’t done since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October, is off the table until 2020.
  • Astros manager AJ Hinch called Justin Verlander into his office Friday to inform him he would start on Opening Day for the 11th time in his career.
  • Only 13 pitchers got to 200 innings last year, the lowest full-season number in baseball history. Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Aaron Nola, Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole and Patrick Corbin. There were new names like Miles Mikolas, Mike Clevinger and Kyle Freeland, and reliable top-end starters like Zack Greinke.
  • The Texas Rangers are building a new facility at their spring training complex in Arizona that will include housing for as many as 180 players and staff. Jon Daniels, president of baseball operations and general manager, said Friday that the dormitory complex in Arizona and a new academy in the Dominican Republic will provide the Rangers with some of the top player development facilities in baseball.
  • We’re just three short weeks from Opening Day, as all 30 teams will be in action March 28, the earliest Opening Day in league history. Between now and then, teams will have to whittle their current camp rosters down to 25 players. For some teams, that task is as simple as deciding who fills the final seat on the bench or the final spot in the bullpen. For others, there are several roster spots open and numerous moving parts to be sorted out. A lot can change with the inevitable injuries and roster shuffling that will take place over the next few weeks, but we’ve taken our best shot at predicting the Opening Day rosters for all 30 teams. See all teams here from JOEL REUTER | Bleacher Report

    3.  Managers That Must Win Or Find Other Employment

 

Photo: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

  • Nick Francona was fired by Gabe Kapler and the Dodgers four years ago. He hasn’t forgotten it; and won’t let baseball forget it either. Read More Here By Jon Wertheim | SI.com
  • Gabe Kapler with, his somewhat unorthodox strategic preferences. Kapler will also have to get of to a great start,  with all additions to the roster and a pretty good finish the second have of the season, Kapler will need a convincing second season as the Phillies manager to keep the fans from total revolt
  • The Kansas City Royals are probably going to struggle again in 2019. It was only in 2015 World Series the Royals won a World Series. Ned Yost is still the Royals manager, but they’ve brought him back on a one-year deal.  If things go south early see a mid season change.
  • Bryce Harper’s departure won’t alleviate the pressure on Dave Martinez. The Washington Nationals expected more than an 82-80 record and no playoffs in Martinez’s first season. With a good core group still around and the additions of Patrick Corbin, Brian Dozier, Yan Gomes, and Trevor Rosenthal this offseason, Martinez will have to show winning tendencies or he could be out quickly.
  • With Manny Machado on board, it’s almost certain that Andy Green and the Padres have to show at least some modest improvement for his position to be considered secure. Green hasn’t had a lot of talent to work with in his first three years leading the Padres and still is a few years away. A good season could reward him to stick around to see the youth come through.

 

 

NCAA BASKETBALL SCANDAL, TROUBLE AT SANTA ANITA PARK, WOMEN IN THE NFL

MB SPORTS SHOW DAILY

March 6th, 2019

Have a Great Wednesday!

On this day: 1922 Babe Ruth signs 3 year contract with NY Yankees at $52,000 a year

  1. Finally Someone is sentenced in NCAA basketball scandal.

Image: Christian Dawkins

Photo: Business manager Christian Dawkins arrives to court in New York on March 5, 2019, Seth Wenig / AP

  • Former Adidas executive James Gatto was sentenced to nine months in prison Tuesday for his role in college basketball’s federal fraud scandal. Co-defendants Merl Code, an Adidas consultant, and basketball middleman Christian Dawkins, each received six months. All were the men who conspired to pay families so top college basketball recruits would go to Adidas-sponsored schools.
  • Manhattan U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said he had to balance the need for a stern message with the realization that others who did similar crimes were not prosecuted in a widespread college basketball recruiting scandal that has tainted two dozen schools.
  • None of the men made extra money from their illegal actions, Assistant US Attorney Edward Diskant said, “there is no question each of these defendants were acting for personal and competitive advantage.”

    2. 21 Horses Die at Santa Anita Racetrack Causing Cancelled Races

  • Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, said Tuesday that racing won’t be held this weekend. Very troubling that 21 horses died at the track over the last 10 weeks.
  • Santa Anita Park with palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop in Arcadia, Calif.
  • Dennis Moore, the former track superintendent at Santa Anita who earlier in the day had been retained to examine and monitor the surface, will do an extensive inspection of the track. Moore, the track superintendent at Los Alamitos and Del Mar, voluntarily stepped down as Santa Anita track superintendent at the end of 2018.
  • A 4-year-old filly, under the tutelage of the Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, suffered a catastrophic spill during Tuesday morning workouts on the main track. McAnally suggested that the effect of the heavy rains on the track could be a factor in the horse deaths.
  • On Saturday, March 2, two days after the track had reopened following an evaluation by University of Kentucky racing surface consultant Mick Peterson, 4-year-old filly Eskenforadrink suffered a catastrophic injury in a $16,000 claiming race. She was euthanized after being examined by veterinarians.
  • Two major races were scheduled: the San Felipe for 3-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls and the Santa Anita Handicap for older horses.

    3. Bruce Arians Plans to Create a Full Time Position For a Women

a man wearing a hat and glasses: Bruce Arians wants to open female coaching position

Photo: by Michael Hickey/Getty Images Bruce Arians wants to open female coaching position

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians plans on creating a full-time coaching position designated for a woman. He shared that information at the Women’s Career in Football Forum while at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Arians did not share an exact timeline, the coach said this season could be a possibility.
  • Arians in 2015 hired Dr. Jen Welter as an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals. Welter was an intern, she wasn’t a full-time coach. In 2016 the Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as the first full-time assistant coach in the NFL.

    4. MLB MLBPA are nearing rule changes

Rob Manfred wearing a suit and tie holding a sign posing for the camera

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

  • Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have spent the winter negotiating over rules changes. a new deal may only be a day or two away from completion.
  • Some of the items the league would like to implement: single trade deadline of July 31st, three-batter minimum per pitcher (by 2020), 26-man roster (by 2020) and 28-man September roster (with 13 and 14-pitcher limits), 15-day injured list and 15-day minimum optional assignment, further limitations on mound visits, position-player pitching, and time between innings.
  • The league has announced a new deal with the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol. The MLBPA has ratified the pact, which will govern the movement of players from Mexico’s top league to MLB organizations.

 

 

BRYCE HARPER SIGNS 13 YEAR $330 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL WITH THE PHILLIES

Photo: Sporting News Bryce Harper has secured the bag, signing a 13-year, $330 million deal with the former NL East rival Phillies Joe Rivera | The Sporting News Harper’s 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies will keep him in the National League East David Schoenfield | ESPN Why Would You Make Bryce Harper the Highest Paid … Read moreBRYCE HARPER SIGNS 13 YEAR $330 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL WITH THE PHILLIES

ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE TURNING INTO A VIABLE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION

One reality of any football season on any level is that it flies by ridiculously quickly. Whether it’s 16 games in the NFL, 12 in college football or less in high schools, all you have to do is blink your eyes and find yourself saying, “Where did the season go?” That’s especially true in The … Read moreALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE TURNING INTO A VIABLE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION ROUND UP ZION, DURANT, ANTHONY TOWNS

Zion-Williamson-Luke-Maye-022019-getty-ftr

Newark Star-Ledger reports as the NBA season comes down the stretch, Madison Square Garden won’t be preparing for playoff basketball.

Instead, a look ahead to the NBA Draft lottery and 2019 NBA Draft will dominate conversation in New York and around a franchise that desperately needs luck (both in the draft and free agency) this coming summer.

If the Knicks do land the top choice, two Duke freshman could be there for the choosing: Athletic freak Zion Williamson and smooth forward R.J. Barrett.

Dime Magazine reports in the latest 2019 NBA mock draft from Tankathon, Williamson (despite a scary knee injury in the recent Duke vs. North Carolina game) went No. 1 in simulations. Barrett, the less-heralded Blue Devil, went No. 2.

While the Duke Blue Devils got relatively good news when the diagnosis on Zion Williamson’s knee injury came in, the superstar freshman reportedly won’t be able to take the floor the next time the team suits up.

Williamson was ruled day-to-day with a knee sprain that he suffered in the opening minute of Duke’s loss to North Carolina, and according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the injury is expected to hold him out for this weekend’s showdown with Syracuse.

Marcus Smart would enjoy basketball a lot more if modern NBA players hooped the way it was done in the ’60s and ’70s. Smart says the League today is too “cute” and lacks the type of physical play he thrives on. The 24-year-old Celtics fan favorite re-upped in Boston on a four-year, $52 million extension last summer. Continue Reading By 

Karl Anthony Towns

The Minnesota Timberwolves may be without Karl-Anthony Towns in their first game back from the All-Star break on Friday, as the big man was involved in a car accident the day prior. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio

Cyrus Saatsaz | Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Cyrus Saatsaz | Wikimedia Commons

The New York Rangers held their 25th anniversary celebration for their legendary 1993-1994 championship team. When the 1993 season started, the Rangers were an organization and fan base that was experiencing a 54-year Stanley Cup drought stretching back to 1940.

When analyzing how this team was built, it’s clear that it was based around a few things. Among them was young talent in goaltender Mike Richter, drafted in 1985 by the Rangers, as well as defenseman Brian Leetch, selected ninth overall by the team in the 1986 draft.

However, the biggest acquisition was Mark Messier, when he was traded to the Rangers from the Edmonton Oilers in 1991. Before this, Messier was a five-time Stanley Cup champion in Edmonton and a league MVP, as he was a key player along with Wayne Gretzky. Even when Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, two years later, Messier captained the last of those championship teams. Continue Reading By Sean McCarthy-Coyle

Damian Lillard, J. Cole, Blazers

The NBA loves itself some J. Cole. The seven-time Grammy-nominated rapper frequently mixes in basketball references to his songs, whether about his own playing days as a teenager in North Carolina or name-dropping some of the game’s biggest stars. Asked on Friday who was his favorite rapper during a takeover his team’s Twitter account, Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard answered simply and succinctly. Continue Reading By 

shaq bang lil jon

Photo: GETTY IMAGE

You’d think someone like Shaquille O’Neal would be content with being one of the most dominant basketball players of all time, but if you’ve ever felt the urge to buy car insurance because he told you to, you know he’s a man of many talents.

In the early 90s, Shaq burst onto the scene in a big way and immediately established himself as a force to be reckoned with—but I’m not talking about his performance on the court.

In 1993, the world was treated to Shaq Diesel, a rap album filled with some surprisingly hot tracks that actually managed to land on the charts. Continue Reading By 

Photo: USA Today

Finally, we’ve arrived. The stretch run of the 2018-19 NBA season is here, and with it come the games that will define the campaign and change the landscape of the upcoming postseason.

The final 20-plus games of the year are going to be thrilling to watch unfold, as teams will be fighting and jockeying for position, with some hoping to earn a spot that will allow them to host a playoff series or two, and others just hoping to qualify for the playoffs, period.

Obviously, some organizations lucked out in having the toughest part of their schedule early in the year, when they were as close to full health as possible. Others, however, have the misfortune of facing a buzzsaw to close the season, one that could knock them out of postseason contention altogether. Continue Reading By 

Photo: Basketball Insider

The day after the trade deadline passed, LeBron James had some interesting things to say about the arms race that was going down between the Eastern Conference titans.

“They know they ain’t gotta go through Cleveland anymore,” James said. “Everybody in the East thinks they can get to the Finals because they ain’t gotta go through me.”

It’s notable that the Lakers are currently toeing the line between making the playoffs and playing the lottery odds. That does, however, beg the question: What if LeBron stayed in Cleveland?

Now if that had happened, then a lot of things would probably be different for the Cavaliers right now. There’s no telling if they would have kept the pick the Nets owed them, or if they would be playing Kyle Korver, George Hill, and J.R. Smith right now.

It would have added another intriguing wrinkle to what has been the tightest formerly-five-currently-four-man race going on at the top of the Eastern Conference in quite some time. Whether you agree that Cleveland would still be the frontrunner in the East with James, there doesn’t really appear to be a clear-cut favorite to represent the East anymore. Plenty of fans and analysts would give their takes on who stands out among the pack, but there’s no consensus pick. Continue Reading By 

Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Taurean Prince finished the 2017-18 season with an offensive fury. In his last 17 games during that campaign, he averaged 19.9 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor and 39.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. A massive leap from his previous statistics, there were plenty of questions as to what to make of it. It was certainly a small sample size. Also, there were not a ton of good offensive players on the roster with whom he would need to compete to earn scoring opportunities. However, many observers took some optimism about the future of the then second-year wing. “Would Prince enter the 2018-19 season as the team’s best player?” was a frequently debated question as the roster was reformed over the offseason. Continue Reading By 

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I never looked that happy walking up to one of these when I owned it. Worst effing car I ever had. I’d gotten it second- (or third- or eighth-) hand. It had a few… idiosyncracies. Like:

  • It was ugly. Like a giant sat on an AMC Pacer. Girls were NOT impressed when you pulled up next to them in this car. Smooth.
  • It smelled like cat pee when the Colorado weather was warmer than 80 degrees.
  • None of my friends could drive it, as the stick configuration was upside down of EVERY OTHER CAR ON THE PLANET, and having first be down-and-to-the-left seemed to be tantamount to nuclear fusion.
  • The backseat had existed once, but someone had done something pretty drastic back there an owner or two back, and now it was suitable for non-flat storage.
  • The stereo had a short in the dash. When the music stopped, I could get it going again by punching the top of the dash as hard as I could. It had happened often enough it had developed a soft spot. Continue Reading By  

The Rockets will sign former first-round pick Terrence Jones and rookie guard Chris Chiozza to 10-day contracts to bring them up to the required roster size of 14 players, a person with knowledge of the agreements said on Thursday. Both had been playing in the G League and will be assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Houston Chronicle

After being injured in his last game before participating in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, Rodions Kurucs sat for Thursday’s 113-99 loss to the Trail Blazers. Considering the Nets are 24-17 when Kurucs plays and a gaudy 18-11 when he starts, but now are just 6-13 when he doesn’t get on the court, his absence was conspicuous — and more than a little curious. NY Post

Portland’s Enes Kanter, who had been persona non grata at the Garden and stuck on the Knicks’ bench, had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and nine boards in his Blazers debut. “The last time I got a win, I think it was almost two months. Winning feels good again,” said Kanter, who was used in just three of his last dozen games for the Knicks and hadn’t won since Jan. 4. “I’m just happy to go out there again, going out there and playing with my teammates. I’m trying to make everyone better.” NY Post

For the first time in his life tonight, DeRozan will play a road game in Toronto. He still isn’t quite sure how to feel about that. “At some point, I know it’s going to hit me,” DeRozan said Thursday night during a free-wheeling 25-minute, standing-room only news conference at the Spurs’ hotel. So much has happened since July 18, when DeRozan was traded to the Spurs in a summertime blockbuster that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Great White North. Express News

With Clint Capela back in the starting lineup after missing 15 games following thumb surgery, the Rockets went from not having enough centers to not having enough playing time for the centers they have. That allowed them to experiment with a lineup they had not used this season, with Kenneth Faried playing at power forward where the Rockets had been looking at options for a backup for P.J. Tucker. Houston Chronicle

NBA WEEKEND DOESN’T DISAPPOINT, SPRING TRAINING, NHL NEWS

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Photo: Getty Image

As usual, the NBA trade deadline provided all kinds of entertainment for both casual and die-hard fans of the league. There was plenty of actual player movement in addition to the (still ongoing) Anthony Davis saga and teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks strengthened their rosters with an eye toward legitimate title contention. In fact, much has been made of the wildly intriguing race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, with four teams jockeying for position and the prospect of an all-out brawl for a Finals spot in May. Continue Reading By 

In Stephen Curry‘s homecoming, Kevin Durant stole the show. Durant scored a team-high 31 points for Team LeBron, helping to lead his team of All-Stars back from a 20-point deficit in a 178-164 win over Team Giannis and winning All-Star MVP for the second time in his career. Continue Reading By Dave McMenamin

Trae Young, Hawks

NBA TV held a discussion with some of the top rookies of this season, but Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young wasn’t invited. Continue Reading By  

Jalen Rose, LeBron James, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers may or may not reach the postseason this 2018-19 season. Despite signing superstar forward LeBron James over the summer, the slumping Western Conference franchise has been forced to play most of this season without “King James” due to a groin injury. Continue Reading By 

60 Pairs Of Sneakers Players Wore During NBA All-Star Weekend Events

Photo: Getty Image

NBA All-Star Weekend is pretty much the mecca for sneakerheads as so many of the league’s superstars break out extra special kicks, many that we’ve never seen before, and in several cases will never see again. Continue Reading By 

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The hot stove is heating up with rumors of teams making offers to the biggest free agents on the market.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unsigned, and with spring training underway and the regular season beginning in about four weeks, teams are still struggling to set their rosters as there are still quality free agents still waiting to ink deals.

Here are all the latest rumors and news around baseball: Continue Reading By SCOOBY AXSON

Craig Kimbrel

Photo: sporting news

For Red Sox fans hoping the team will have a change of heart and bring back ace closer Craig Kimbrel, team chairman Tom Werner put some long odds on that Monday.

“I think it’s extremely unlikely,” Werner said (via MLB.com). Continue Reading By Arthur Weinstein

Stars might put fans in the seats, but baseball is a sport that rewards the most complete clubs. That’s what makes Spring Training more than a series of exhibitions; big league jobs are on the line, and they could end up having a major impact on the season-end standings.

The next five weeks will see lots of shuffling on Major League rosters. Here are the most intriguing positional battles on each of the 30 MLB clubs. Continue Reading By MLB.com

Photo: (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

 Even on a day when Commissioner Rob Manfred broke a bit of news — spring training games will soon begin in Florida and Arizona with a 20-second pitch clock, as a possible precursor to implementing the pace-saving devices in the regular season — he could not escape the predominant story line of Major League Baseball’s offseason: the continued unemployment of some of the sport’s highest-profile free agents with the first exhibition games just days away. Continue Reading By Dave Sheinin

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Photo: (David Zalubowski/AP)

There was only one thing Jake Gardiner wanted to do with the only night his Toronto Maple Leafs would spend in this city all season long. Drop in on old friend Tyler Bozak.

“Check out his house and say hi to his kids,” said Gardiner, of how he intended to cap a busy Monday that included practice in Glendale, Ariz., and a two-plus-hour team flight to St. Louis. Continue Reading By 

Photo: EA Sports

After a 44-year wait for their first Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals finally hoisted the coveted trophy and celebrated throughout the summer with parties and keg-stands. This season, the Caps have returned with very much the same team, managing to re-sign pivotal defenseman John Carlsson and ready to embark on the franchise’s first ever defense of the Cup. The team is strong in all areas, boasting many of the best players in the game. Continue Reading By Ben Chopping

Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Ryan Miller is one of the best goaltenders in Buffalo Sabres history; there’s no doubt about that. But on Sunday, Miller also solidified his place in NHL history, become the winningest US-born goaltender in the league’s history as the Anaheim Ducks powered to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Continue Reading By 

Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for daily fantasy sports players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued — either in the short or long term — for one reason or another. Continue Reading By Victoria Matiash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICKING EACH MLB TEAM’S MOUNT RUSHMORE, NBA, NHL, NFL NEWS

Photo: GETTY IMAGE

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Zion Williamson is the biggest name in college basketball and LeBron James is the biggest name in the NBA. When the two stars are associated in any way, news is sure to follow and that is what transpired on Saturday when James made a quick trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to see Williamson and his Duke teammates face off against the Virginia Cavaliers in an intriguing battle of a top-five teams. Continue Reading By 

The New Orleans Pelicans parted ways with general manager Dell Demps on Friday morning (Feb. 15), according to an ESPN report. ESPN said the Pelicans are considering director of player personnel David Booth and special advisor Danny Ferry for the interim role.

Demps had been the general manager of the team since July 2010 when the team was still the New Orleans Hornets. In Demps’ first eight seasons, the Pelicans went to the playoffs just three times – 2011, 2015 and 2018. New Orleans was bounced in the first round the first two times and made it to the Western Conference semifinals last season. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Anthony Davis was spotted leaving the Smoothie King Arena on Thursday night after he suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that may have indirectly contributed to general manager Dell Demps losing his job. Continue Reading By  Steve DelVecchio

Photo: New Balance

Kawhi Leonard is embracing his time in Toronto, but the NBA All-Star will show off his latest signature shoe in Charlotte this weekend. Leonard has hooked up with New Balance to create a brand new basketball shoe, the OMN1S.

New Balance showed off a sneak preview of the show and a whopping six colorways, though they say it’s up to Kawhi to decide which version of the OMN1S we see on the floor first. Continue Reading By 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers, NBA

Photo From Clutch Points

If NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the commissioner of the league, the landscape would be very different.

Abdul-Jabbar told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he does not think any player under 21 should be allowed to play in the NBA and that they should first have to go through the G-League: Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Colin Kaepernick

Photo: Getty Images

The collusion grievances filed by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid against the NFL have been resolved.

Attorney Mark Geragos and the NFL released a joint statement announcing the development on Friday afternoon. Due to a confidentiality agreement, there’s no word on the terms of a settlement that comes after several months of discussions between the league and counsel for the two players.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The case was moving toward final appearances in front of an arbitrator in the near future. One would imagine that there was a financial piece to the settlement to keep that from happening, but the confidentiality agreement means neither side will be revealing what it took to bring the case to an end. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

The NFL has two years remaining before the current collective bargaining agreement is up, and it appears the league could be headed for a sticking point.

Players have had rumblings of the idea this season, particularly with how markets have expanded in other sports. And now, the NFL Players Association president is preparing those players for a potential lockout for the 2021 season. Continue Reading By Nate Atkins 

Le'Veon Bell

Photo: Getty Images

The Steelers don’t have to let Le’Veon Bell walk without getting anything for him.

There is a complicated avenue they can take with the disgruntled running back that will add yet another chapter to this saga. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

Antonio Brown may have given a sign on Friday that he is open to smoothing things over with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his social media activity still says otherwise.

When Brown essentially abandoned the Steelers during the final week of the regular season, a report claimed he had an ugly altercation with Ben Roethlisberger before he left the team. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the relationship between Brown and Roethlisberger is strained, perhaps Brown “liking” two tweets about the sexual assault allegations against Big Ben will be. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Photo: ABE FOX/Associated Press

There can only be four.

Them’s the rules when it comes to faces of United States presidents carved into Mount Rushmore. Likewise, it was our rule for choosing the four faces that would best represent each of Major League Baseball’s 30 franchises.

An undertaking as large as this required some ground rules:

      • Players Only: With respect to the dozens upon dozens of influential owners, executives, scouts and broadcasters who have left their mark, there are no baseball legends quite like baseball players.
      • Franchise, Not City: A player need not have played in an organization’s current home in order to be counted among said organization’s all-time greats.
      • Statistics Matter: This should probably go without saying, but the more a player produced for a given team, the better.
      • So Does Legacy: We also considered players’ championships, accolades and other achievements. Good guys were also welcome, though not at the expense of important historical significance.
      • And Era: Special commendations for post-integration (1947) for post-expansion (starting in 1961) players, and virtually no commendations to the stars of the 1800s.
      • One Player, One Team: A single player can’t be on more than one team’s Mount Rushmore.

That about does it, so let’s get to work carving 120 different faces into 30 different mountains. Continue Reading By ZACHARY D. RYMER

The Red Sox are all Xander Bogaerts knows. And it’s not just his near six years of Major League service time.

Bogaerts has been under the employ of the franchise since Aug. 23, 2009, when he signed as an international free agent out of Aruba at the age of 16. He went from a boy to a man with the Red Sox, and from a prospect to a star who will soon collect his second World Series ring. It’s hard for him to picture putting on another uniform. Continue Reading By Ian Browne

It is Feb. 15, which means we’re 105 days into the baseball free agency period. Superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents.

As teams report for spring training, the hot stove remains relatively cold but in the meantime, we’ll be here to round up all the notable rumors and news around baseball. As always, our free-agent tracker is a great way to catch up on what’s already happened on that front.

Let’s round up the activity for Friday here. Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Jack Hughes.

Photo: Detroit Free Press

With the Detroit Red Wings on the verge of missing the postseason for the third straight season, it’s time to devote our attention to June’s 2019 NHL draft, and more specifically the draft lottery.

Center Jack Hughes, the younger brother of Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick. He plays for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Finland forward Kaapo Kakko is the No. 2 prospect. Continue Reading By 

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 10 days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET, and the buzz is picking up. Will Micheal Ferland be moved as a potential rental or will Carolina Hurricanes keep the forward to help their push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs? With defenseman Andrej Sekera close to returning from a conditioning assignment, what will the Edmonton Oilers do to make room for him?

Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings: Continue Reading By Tom Gulitti

The Anaheim Ducks may want four-years on Jakob Silfverberg, he wants at least five.

Photo: NHL Rumors

Scouting the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday

John Hoven: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was at the Ducks-Canucks game on Wednesday.

Michael Augello: Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet that Dubas could have been looking at Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour who has another year left on his deal at $3.38 million. He’ll be an RFA who has arbitration rights.

Silfverberg could be looking around five years and $6 million per
Jonathan Davis: Sense from talking to sources at the Ducks-Canucks game, the Ducks may not want to go more than four years for on a Jakob Silfverberg extension. Silfverberg is looking for at least a five-year deal.

Jonathan Davis: A five-year deal would take Silfverberg till he’s 34-years old. It would also be in the $6 million per year range. Wouldn’t be a surprise if Ducks traded him at the deadline, but that could change if they are able to move out some extra salary cap space.

A High asking price for Puljujarvi

Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey: Darren Dreger was on TSN 1260 talking about Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi playing a limited role in the NHL while the Oilers farm team is on a roll.

Management needs to trust their coaching staff to find out what they have long-term with Puljujarvi. They still don’t know what they have him. If the coaching staff comes back and says he may not be more than a third liner, then it may be time to move him.

“There is a trade market for Jesse Puljujarvi, but my understanding is that the Oilers just want too much – the ask on him is way too high. I don’t even know what that is. I can take a guess at it when you start talking about either a top prospect or a first-round pick obviously plus something given where he was drafted.

“But I don’t get the sense that Puljujarvi has much, if any, interest in going to Bakersfield and playing in the American Hockey League. Doesn’t have a choice organizationally, so if the Oilers want to take a tough stand on him then so be it.

“But I think it’s time that they actually seriously consider their trade options.” By Mark Easson

Auston Matthews knows about contract hell, and his negotiation with the Toronto Maple Leafs wasn’t it.

“I went through a contract thing when I was going to Switzerland that was a debacle. Much more stressful than this,” he said.

Matthews and his family made the decision to have him bring his talents to the Zurich Lions in 2015. It would be a year of professional seasoning for the consensus choice for first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. But the hoops he had to jump through to play there would have intimidated a Westminster show dog: earning “specialist status” to enter and work in the country, and then needing to take his GED exam to have graduated high school and be eligible for the season. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

The Bruins are perpetually seeking solutions for their secondary scoring issues behind the Patrice Bergeron line. Last season they took a swing with a pending unrestricted free agent in Rick Nash … and whiffed, as Nash had 3 goals and 2 assists in 12 playoff games with a minus-7 in what would be his last NHL season due to concussion complications. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEATING UP TOWARD CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT TIME

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Photo: (Getty Images)

The most amazing thing about Tuesday night’s college basketball action, even more incredible than Duke’s comeback from a 23-point deficit, was that everyone watching on television got the identical picture of doom for “the Commonwealth’s” two top-25 teams.

A television camera affixed to the top of the goal at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena showed everyone how LSU center Kavell Bigby-Williams scored the game-winning tip-in to beat the No. 5 Wildcats by knocking the ball into the goal as it rested on the rim from teammate Skylar Mays’ original attempt at the decisive basket. Bigby-Williams’ goal was not a legal play, but neither was it reviewable under NCAA basketball’s instant-replay rules. Continue Reading By Mike DeCourcy

Welcome to Volume II of The Bilas Index, the most dependable and trusted metric of hoop quality and capability in the known universe. Every conceivable bit of basketball information has been input into the gray matter inside The Bilastrator’s skull, and the output is simply magnificent and not subject to question or reasonable debate. The Bilas Index is the final word on all things basketball, and anyone with a functioning brain knows it. To be clear, The Bilas Index is not some weekly poll voted on by media, coaches or fans. It is not subject to current whim or which way the wind might be blowing. It is a clear-eyed evaluation of the 68 best teams in the country, irrespective of home wins, road wins, quads, calves or pecs. This gift from on high is not parsed by a group of well-fed and well-compensated college administrators pretending to be basketball-literate. It is culled from the most savvy and informed mind the game has ever known, and therefore, it is the most powerful basketball evaluation tool ever invented. Continue Reading By Jay Bilas

It’s easy to labor in obscurity in Buies Creek, North Carolina — until your game starts being connected to college hoops icons. Folks, meet Chris Clemons.

Campbell’s star scorer, the 5-9 guard from Raleigh had a season-high 48 points Wednesday to give him 2,978 for his career, moving him past Kansas star Danny Manning (2,951) and Cincinnati Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (2,973) into ninth place in men’s Division I career scoring. The Camels defeated visiting Hampton, 87-84, in Buies Creek.
Rick Barnes will take you to his favorite lunch spot, but not until this tour ends. Continue Reading By Bob Hille

He’s the head coach of the No. 1-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, but he also might as well be a Knoxville Chamber of Commerce rep as he weaves past a statue of Pat Summitt, steers down Phillip Fulmer Way and rolls toward Tee Martin Drive in a super-sized SUV that hogs the streets of Tennessee’s campus during the school’s winter break.

“You gotta see this,” he says as he ignores the GPS directions to the restaurant, and charts his own course.

Barnes speaks of Knoxville as if he’s a proud, longtime resident of this growing city. Continue Reading By Myron Medcalf

Wednesday was not a great night for many bubble teams, although NC State picked up a decent win.

Auburn and Lipscomb are among a handful of bubble teams that lost a chance to help themselves.

Seton Hall defeated Georgetown 90-75 in a game featuring two teams on the bubble and has done a better job of defending its home floor lately. This is the third straight win at home for the Pirates. Things are about to get tougher because three of their next four are on the road. Georgetown’s slim chances just got a lot slimmer. Here’s how the rest of bubble teams in action Wednesday fared:Continue Reading By 

Photo: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cal basketball team may have blown its best opportunity to produce a conference win in 2018-19 with a 75-67 overtime loss to UCLA Wednesday night. The defeat was the 13th straight for the Golden Bears, one which dropped them to 5-19 on the season and 0-12 in the much-maligned Pac-12.

It’s also a defeat which allows us to ask the question: Is Cal the worst power conference team in the history of college basketball?

On the surface this seems like a hyperbolic overreaction to something happening in the present. Do a little digging, however, and Wyking Jones’ team is putting together a pretty compelling case. Continue Reading By Mike Rutherford

By the end of this week, there will be just one month until Selection Sunday—the day that will determine the postseason fate for so many March hopefuls. With three-quarters of the regular season already in the books, we have a good idea of who this year’s top contenders are and who the favorites are in each conference race and tournament. But even if we think we know how things will play out in this final month, there’s bound to be at least one or two major surprises in store. Between now and March 17, will happen that few will see coming? We asked our staff to each make one bold prediction for the days leading up to (and including) Selection Sunday. Continue Reading By THE SI STAFF

Duke forward Zion Williamson dunks in a game against St. John's.

Duke forward Zion Williamson dunks in a game against St. John’s. PHOTO: ROB KINNAN/REUTERS

If you follow college basketball only casually until the NCAA tournament begins, there’s a good chance that the only thing you know about the 2018-19 season is the existence of a very large Duke freshman named Zion. But with the regular season winding down, fans are starting to wonder whether their teams will attract an invitation to March Madness.

Figuring out how your team rates will be different this year. RPI, the metric the NCAA has used since 1981 to gauge the strength of teams, has been replaced by a new, more sophisticated measure called NET. Continue Reading By Laine Higgins

 

 

NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL NEWS & NOTES

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Photo: sporting news

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The New York Yankees have offered Manny Machado $220 million over seven-to-eight years, according to former MLB general manager Jim Duquette.

Via Astros beat writer Chandler Rome, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow confirmed that the team had an agreement in principle to trade for Bryce Harper at last season’s deadline. 12 Up

“Jacob deGrom isn’t ruling out putting a restriction on his innings if he enters the season without a new contract. New York Post

“The Mets are “on the verge of blowing up their stadium renovation deal” with St. Lucie and looking for a new Spring Training home, reports Keona Gardner of the TC Palm.

“In one of the least surprising moves of the offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays have, more or less, announced they plan to keep top prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. at Triple-A to start the season. Hardball Talk

“Gary Sanchez appreciates the support. Fans in the Bronx may have been calling for the 26-year-old catcher to be dealt all winter, but he returns to Yankee spring training knowing that his manager believes in him. New York Daily News

“The Twins are nearing the completion of a new contract with right fielder Max Kepler, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. MLB Trade Rumors

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer won his arbitration case against the team this week for the second consecutive year, but the hearing apparently got a lot more personal this time around. Larry Brown Sports

Shortstop Jorge Polanco and the Minnesota Twins are finalizing a contract extension that will cover seven years and guarantee around $25 million. ESPN

The Cubs wasted little time filling an open spot on their 40-man roster Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno. Cedeno, 32, posted a 2.43 ERA in 48 appearances with the White Sox and Brewers last season. Chicago Tribune

Canadian reliever John Axford is close to signing a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sportsnet

The Royals signed left-handed reliever Jake Diekman on Wednesday to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2020 worth a guaranteed $2.75 million. Diekman, 32, will make $2.25 million in base salary this season and could earn performance bonuses for games and games finished. Kansas City Star

 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Photo: Getty Image

Houston Rockets star James Harden put himself in rare company on Wednesday night, scoring at least 30 points in his 31st consecutive game. He is now tied with Wilt Chamberlain (1962) for the second-longest such streak in NBA history.

“Ethan Strauss of The Athletic — who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters — said during his podcast Thursday that “There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York — if we’re just completely real about.” SNY TV

After two tumultuous seasons in Philadelphia, Markelle Fultz, once thought to be the final piece of The Process alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, was shipped off to Orlando at the trade deadline. Dime Magazine

Carmelo Anthony may be a backup plan for the backup plan. As the Lakers wade through the buyout market, they already have whiffed on Enes Kanter and now may be hoping to land Markieff Morris, according to ESPN.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t considering a switch to the NFL to become that league’s commissioner, according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, Bleacher Report

Agent Zero is back. Former Washington Wizards star guard Gilbert Arenas is taking his talents to the BIG3 league this summer. The Score

New Balance has been out of the basketball kicks game for a while but has landed a big fish as it relaunches its hardcourt division. Kawhi Leonard will be the new face of New Balance Hoops. Sportsnaut

Celtics reportedly accuse Rich Paul of creating a story that Kyrie Irving was leaving to impact Anthony Davis trade. BroBible

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

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Photo: sporting news

The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers have been in talks about a potential trade involving goaltender Cam Talbot, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The Score

After breaking into NHL as undrafted free agent, Chris Kunitz set to join exclusive 1,000-game club. NBC Sports Chicago

For all the talk of an Artemi Panarin trade, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun cautions that the Columbus Blue Jackets keeping the star forward as an “own rental” is a very real possibility. Pro Hockey Rumors

A seven-game winning streak and building confidence have center Ryan O’Reilly hoping the Blues don’t mess with their chemistry before the trade deadline. “I don’t expect really anything big to happen here, and that’s good,” O’Reilly told NHL.com

An encouraging note for Ducks fans, especially during a stretch without much good news in Anaheim, is that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that term is the only thing separating the team and winger Jakob Silfverberg from agreeing to a contract extension.. Yardbarker

The Toronto Maple Leafs will not part ways with defensive prospects Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin in exchange for a rental player, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

One Instagram post wasn’t enough for Tom Brady to show his love for Alex Guerrero. After shouting out his personal trainer and business partner in an Instagram story the day after Super Bowl LIII, the New England Patriots quarterback used Instagram on Wednesday. NBC Sports Boston

On the surface, the Antonio Brown contract can easily be traded. He’s due to make less than $39 million over the next three years, an annual average of less than $13 million. In theory, this makes his contract somewhat easier to trade. Pro Football Talk

Latavius Murray has quietly been one of the most reliable running backs in the league and was just that with the Minnesota Vikings the last two seasons, which now sees him on the verge of hitting free agency. 247 Sports

Pete Thamel reports that Florida DC Todd Grantham will stay at the school, despite interest from the Bengals. Harrison Tenzer first reported the news.  Other names recently linked to the Bengals include Rams DBs coach Aubrey.

The Chargers announced that they have elected to not exercise DT Corey Liuget‘s contract option, making him a free agent.  Chargers GM Tom Telesco said in a statement that the “door is certainly not closed” on Liuget possibly. NFL Trade Rumors

The Broncos do not intend to re-work Joe Flacco‘s contract after agreeing to acquire him from the Ravens earlier today, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link)

A weak wide receiver market will see a veteran join the ranks. NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo reported Thursday morning on Good Morning Football that the San Francisco 49ers will not pick up the contract option on receiver Pierre Garcon. NFL.com

The Oakland Raiders this past season had a terrible showing. They went 4-12 on the season and had absolutely no depth in their front seven. Their defense allowed 29.2 points every game. Pro-Football Focus had them ranked last in every single defensive ranking. Clutch Points

The Philadelphia Eagles have five days until deciding to put the franchise tag on any one of their players, one of which being quarterback Nick Foles. If the Eagles do franchise Foles, their intent would be to trade him in hopes of getting back a draft pick. 247 Sports

 

 

 

AROUND THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

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The Cleveland Browns announced that they signed Hunt to a one-year deal on Monday, worth just a bit more than the league minimum, with some incentives sprinkled in. This move reunited Hunt with John Dorsey — the general manager that initially drafted him. Continue Ready By 

Where the addition could alter roles is in the passing game, with Hunt potentially supplanting pass-catching back Duke Johnson. At this point, Browns general manager John Dorsey isn’t indicating he’s moving on from the chess-piece running back he gave a new three-year contract extension to last offseason. From Kevin Patra

Antonio Brown has officially requested a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday. The news of Brown’s trade request comes right after the Pro Bowl wide receiver tweeted a farewell to the Steelers and their fans, saying it is “time to move on and forward.” Continue Reading By ESPN

The NFL combine will be televised on broadcast TV for the first time. ABC will present a two-hour special on March 2 from Indianapolis that will feature drills by quarterbacks and wide receivers.

The combine workouts run from March 1-4 and also will be televised by NFL Network. ABC will team with ESPN to televise all three days of the draft, April 25-27 from Nashville, Tennessee. AP

Kyler Murray announced Monday he’s committed to becoming an NFL quarterback, but the A’s aren’t ready to give up their pursuit of the star, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

According to Rosenthal, the team still wants to offer Murray a contract above his now-forfeited $4.66 million signing bonus. The contract wouldn’t be limited like the NFL’s rookie wage scale. Continue Reading By CHARLOTTE CARROLL

Former Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, a projected first-round pick in the NFL draft, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during training.

The Buccaneers have released defensive end Vinny Curry, the first major roster cut under new head coach Bruce Arians.

Redskins brass has played coy with the status of Alex Smith next season, but one Washington player expects the starting quarterback to sit out the 2019 campaign and perhaps even longer.

Eric Reid is staying in Carolina. The Panthers on Monday announced that they have signed the veteran safety to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2021 season.

The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday signed free-agent offensive lineman Spencer Long to a three-year contract, the team announced.

A football legend is calling it quits after 51 years in and around the National Football League. Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas informed the Chiefs on Tuesday that he is retiring from coaching.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent tweeted on Tuesday that the meeting will “set the stage” for the rest of the offseason by reviewing “player health and safety, pace of play, rules, technology and more.”

A year ago at this time, NFL general managers and coaches were preparing for what we all knew would be an unprecedented offseason of quarterback movement. It was going to be wild and wacky, and, if you recall, Washington and Kansas City had already agreed to a trade involving a playoff quarterback before the Super Bowl was even played. Continue Reading By 

The start of the 2018 season for Julian Edelman was a career low, but it ended on a huge high. The Patriots receiver missed the first four weeks of the season after he was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. Five months later, he was named Super Bowl MVP after the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl 53. Continue Reading By Gabrielle McMillen

Matthew Stafford was not particularly good in 2018, as he threw for fewer than 4,000 yards for the first time since an injury-shortened 2010 campaign, and he tossed just 21 TDs against 11 interceptions. His pedestrian numbers, when coupled with the Lions’ disappointing 2018 season, have led to plenty of speculation that Detroit could be looking for a new QB sooner rather than later. From Rory Parks

Matt Bryant is interested in returning to the Buccaneers, and the 17-year veteran’s former team is “definitely” interested in bringing Bryant back From Vaughn McClure.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has answered Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ letter that was sent after the Saints’ NFC championship loss to the Rams.

The letter penned to Goodell expressed disappointment with the outcome of the game, including the no-call that could have resulted in the Saints winning the game. Continue Reading By ALEXIS MANSANAREZ