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Veteran Kings C Mike Richards assigned to AHL Manchester after clearing waivers

01.28.15 at 11:22 am ET
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Kings center Mike Richards, who was an important part of both of Los Angeles’ recent Cup wins, was placed on waivers Monday and cleared them on Tuesday after no NHL team claimed him.

Richards, who turns 30 next month, was assigned to Los Angeles’ AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, after posting less than desirable numbers for the past couple of years. This season, Richards has registered just five goals and 10 assists in 47 games.

Richards’ contract is worth $7 million this season and has a total 12-year, $69 million value that stretches to 2020.

Richards has played in 224 consecutive games for the Kings, but that streak will come to an end Wednesday night.

Read More: Los Angeles Kings, Mike Richards,

Martin Brodeur joins Blues front office after retiring

01.28.15 at 11:13 am ET
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With 22 years in the NHL under his belt, 42-year-old Martin Brodeur will retire and take a front office job with the Blues, the team announced Tuesday. Brodeur will make the official announcement at a Thursday press conference.

Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said he has assured Brodeur that the netminder’s club of 21 years also has a place for him when he’s ready to return. Lamoriello and Brodeur have been talking for the last few weeks, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the announcement was made.

After the Devils opted not to re-sign the veteran and decided to stick with Cory Schneider as their No. 1, Brodeur went to look for work elsewhere. He signed with the Blues as a free agent on Dec. 2 and registered a 3-3 record in five games started.

Brodeur finishes his career with a 691-397-176 record, giving him the regular-season NHL record for wins, games and minutes. In his tenure in the league, Brodeur has posted a 2.24 goals against average, .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts.

“It’s kind of sad to see a guy like him hang ‘em up,” Blues All-Star goalie Brian Elliott said. “I’m sure it’s a tough decision, but I was grateful to be on the same team with him if only for a little bit.”

His numbers in the postseason also earned him three Stanley Cups with the Devils, and he holds the record for starts with 204 and shutouts with 24. He’€™s also second in postseason wins with 113.

Brodeur compiled four Vezina Trophy wins and was named to the All-Star team 10 times in his career.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce pays tribute to injured Kobe Bryant

01.28.15 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Louisville at Boston College, 9 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: SMU at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at UCF, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Florida State, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Duke at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: East Carolina at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Chile vs. United States, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2), 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Things are going well for former Celtic Paul Pierce, who has become a veteran leader for a talented Wizards team. Not so much for Pierce’s longtime rival with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

Bryant is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his rotator cuff in a game over the weekend, and even before his injury his team was headed for another miserable season.

Although the two have butted heads in the past, Pierce lamented the loss of Bryant.

“It always saddens me, knowing that Kobe, who is one of my NBA brothers we lose [him] due to injury,” Pierce said before sitting out the Wizards’ 98-92 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles with a toe injury. “It always saddens me.”

Added Pierce: “A lot of fans around the league pay to watch Kobe, a lot of fans around the world. Regardless of how the Lakers are doing or not, he’s an icon. He’s a player who defined his generation. A lot of people that come out here to see him.”

Bryant recently said that he’s enjoyed his on-court verbal exchanges with Pierce, and Pierce agreed.

“It’s just fun. We’re one of the last two of our generation,” Pierce said. “That’s pretty much a lot of the things we talked about on the court, a little bit of a trash in there.

“But we also said there’s no more trash-talkers in the league today coming up. It’s a generation that’s passing by, and a lot of these guys are friends. I don’t think this new generation is as competitive as we were with the past guys.”

— Clippers forward Matt Barnes, whose temper has gotten him in trouble a number of times in the past, lashed out on Twitter at the owner of the Suns after being fined for an incident in Phoenix.

The NBA slapped Barnes with a $25,000 fine Tuesday for his conduct during Sunday’s game, when he directed inappropriate language toward a fan.

Barnes, who shot 1-for-9 in the Clippers’ 120-100 victory, acknowledged he swore, but he claims it was because Suns owner Robert Sarver provoked him.

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Read More: kobe bryant, Matt Barnes, Paul Pierce, Robert Allenby

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Lewis calls out Patriots again, questions ‘integrity of this game’

01.26.15 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Jazz, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Delaware State at NC Central, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Army at American, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Prairie View A&M at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ray Lewis is at it again, criticizing the Patriots and questioning their integrity.

Lewis, now an ESPN analyst after retiring from the Ravens, said during Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl pregame show that the Patriots should have an asterisk for their alleged role in Deflategate.

“Every time we talk about the Patriots, you have the Patriots fans … you get all the talk about the jealous of them and all that. I won two Super Bowls, I’ve been Defensive Player of the Year, I’ve been MVP of the Super Bowl, I’ve went to New England and won … so I’€™m not jealous of them at all,” Lewis said.

“But the integrity of this game. Marshawn Lynch … the league clearly said to him, ‘If you come out of the tunnel with those shoes on, we will not only suspend you for this game, but we will suspend you for the Super Bowl.’ Now we’€™re back at another place where we let a team go into an AFC championship, and if it’s proven that they played with deflated balls … because if it’€™s not cheating, then the Colts should have had the same option to play with the same balls. So we’€™re at a place now where we’€™re going to celebrate an organization once again, put an asterisk by it, because they went into a championship game.

“The integrity of this game! That’€™s not the way you go into games trying to win football games.”

Lewis was criticized earlier this month when he claimed that the tuck rule is “the only reason we know who Tom Brady is.” He later issued a “clarification” in which he praised Brady’s accomplishments and called him “one of the all-time greats.”

— After reportedly failing another drug test, troubled Browns receiver Josh Gordon could face a one-year suspension from the league.

“Clearly we are very disappointed to hear the latest report regarding Josh,” the Browns said in a statement Sunday. “At this point, due to the confidential nature of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, we have not been made aware by the league of a failed test. We are in the process of gathering more information and will provide further comment at the appropriate time.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Josh Gordon, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady

Thinking Out Loud: We’ll never get complete truth about Deflategate

01.23.15 at 12:49 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud . . . while wondering whatever happened to John Linehan …

— The NFL’s investigation into Deflategate against the Patriots? It’s the first league investigation of improperly deflated balls that didn’t involve use of PEDs. Just sayin’.

— I get the integrity/fair play/honesty part. But having covered the NFL for more than 30 years now, I also understand what people do to gain an edge. The Patriots push the envelope as much as any team or organization I’ve ever seen … maybe as much as I saw the Oklahoma Sooners push it in the 1970s and ‘€˜80s under Barry Switzer. They were real, straight-out-of-the-West outlaws. It doesn’t make it right, but few teams with a winning mentality want to be left behind.

— If there was a willful violation of the rules that occurred, that’s one thing. If someone within the Patriots organization purposely flaunted the rulebook, well, they’ll pay. It doesn’t mean the players are all cheaters, or the coaches, or the announcers or the fans. I don’t believe we’ll ever get the exact answer we’re looking for. In this case, it makes the current mob mentality of the media a real embarrassment … and a byproduct of the digital era of immediacy in which we currently live. We want answers, and we want them now … in 140 characters or less. The truth, and the search for the truth be damned.

— It seems that most in the national media throwing their darts toward New England have forgotten a few things along the way. The Colts, at one time, allegedly piped in crowd noise to their stadium for an advantage. There also were real strong thoughts on Indy purposely losing in 2011 to gain an advantage in the Andrew Luck derby. How does the old saying go? Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? Make note, NFL. Stupid is as stupid does.

— The national pundits have proven themselves to be nothing more than sanctimonious windbags this week, in reacting to this story. Forfeit the Super Bowl? Year-long suspensions? Over two pounds of air in a football? Yeah, let’s make this more important than PED use in the sport or domestic violence. Guys like Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith — who I have respected as reporters and columnists for a long time — are simply throwing these things out there for shock factor … to gain ratings and notoriety as the media helps stir this story into a big deal.

— And the former football players’ comments on all of this? It’s laughable. For instance, former Jacksonville QB Mark Brunell — who lost an AFC title game to NE in 1996 — said he “did not believe what Tom [Brady] had to say.” Why don’t you at least have the guts to call him a liar? Jerome Bettis, who also lost a couple of big ones to the Patriots as a Pittsburgh Steeler, and whose teams reportedly had rampant PED use throughout the roster: “I’m disappointed in you, Tom Brady.” Really, fellas? I’m disappointed in the four-letter network that gave you a voice.

— Get a clue. We don’t like it because it affects us. But it is a story because of Spygate. It is a story because of the tuck rule. It is a story even because of the 1982 Snow Plow Game. It is a story because the Patriots win — a lot — especially over the past 20 years. It’s a story because everyone loves to see the king fall on his crown, so to speak, whenever possible. Cheating? If I wanted to cheat, I’d do more than just deflate some footballs … and I think the same holds true for Bill Belichick. My guess is he knows exactly what other teams do during the course of a season — to his team and others — but he’s not a rat. Like former J-E-T-S coach Eric Mangini was a few years ago, and like some in other organizations are now.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Deflategate, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant out again with torn rotator cuff

01.23.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Nuggets, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: VCU at Saint Louis, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Manhattan at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Green Bay, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: All-Star Fantasy Draft, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Providence at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Soccer: FA Cup, Manchester United at Cambridge, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The hits keep on coming for the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. On Thursday the team announced that Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the second half of Wednesday’s loss to the Pelicans when he attempted a two-handed dunk.

Bryant, 36, headed home Thursday after an MRI revealed the tear.

Bryant remained in the game after suffering the injury despite struggling to do anything with his right arm. A righty, he managed to hit a 14-foot jumper with his left hand (video above).

He said after the game that it felt as if the shoulder “came out of the joint a little bit.”

“I felt fine when I went up, and didn’t feel too good when I came down,” he said.

The NBA’s highest-paid player at $23.5 million, Bryant is averaging 22.3 points per game, although he missed eight games over the past month to get some rest.

— The Bulls are struggling, but star guard Derrick Rose said it’s not the fault of coach Tom Thibodeau.

Fingers have been pointed at the former Celtics assistant as the team had lost six of its last eight games before Thursday’s 104-81 victory over the Spurs.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with Thibs at all,” Rose said. “The way that we’ve been playing doesn’t have anything to do with Thibs. He’s preparing us right. He’s doing everything and did everything possible to prepare us as a coach. It’s up to the players to give that effort.”

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Read More: Derrick Rose, Gregg Popovich, kobe bryant, Tom Thibodeau

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Andrew Luck top pick in Pro Bowl draft

01.22.15 at 8:31 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Florida at Temple, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alabama at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Coast Carolina at UNC-Asheville, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: George Washington at Fordham, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Maryland at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona at Stanford, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Washington at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 11 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Andrew Luck, fresh off his loss to the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game, was selected first overall by Team Carter in Wednesday’s Pro Bowl draft. It was the second straight year Luck was tabbed No. 1 overall for the game.

It’s nice, I guess,” Luck said of his selection. “The reality is that everybody is deserving of it. There’s a bunch of No. 1 picks in there, but it’s nice, I guess.”

Team Irvin has a decidedly Dallas flavor, as alumni captain Michael Irvin loaded up on players from his former club, including quarterback Tony Romo, running back DeMarco Murray, tight end Jason Witten and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick.

Romo and fellow Team Irvin QBs Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford will throw to the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham. Panthers linebacker (and former Boston College star) Luke Keuchly is one of the anchors of the defense.

Team Carter features QBs Drew Brees and Andy Dalton, running backs Jamaal Charles, Justin Forsett and Alfred Morris, and receivers A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson and Antonio Brown.

Defensively Team Carter has Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and cornerback Aqib Talib.

— The first meeting between the Bills and Jets next season should be interesting, with former Jets coach Rex Ryan now at the helm of the Bills. The talk already has begun, as a former Jets assistant now working for the Bills spoke candidly about Jets QB Geno Smith’s issues this past season.

David Lee, who was the Jets quarterbacks coach before moving to Buffalo with Ryan, assigned some blame for New York’s issues on the second-year signal caller.

“Rex and I talked about it, he had some inconsistency, and the up-and-down part is what killed us,” Lee said. He would get loose with the football. We played good enough defense over there to win both years, but his play, it’ll cost you, and it cost us.”

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Read More: Andrew Luck, David Lee, Geno Smith, Hope Solo

Report: Peyton Manning plans to return to Broncos, pending physical

01.21.15 at 2:01 pm ET
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According to a report in The Denver Post, Peyton Manning will return to the Broncos next season if he passes his annual physical examination.

Manning, 38, was noncommittal following his team’s loss to the Colts in the AFC divisional round on Jan. 11. Reportedly slowed by a leg injury, Manning struggled as the Broncos suffered the upset. Coach John Fox was fired shortly thereafter, replaced by Gary Kubiak.

Manning missed the entire 2011 season, his last as a member of the Colts, following neck surgery.

The Broncos need to know Manning’s status before March 10, when his $19 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Read More: Peyton Manning,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Twitterverse calls out Patriots after latest Deflategate news

01.21.15 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Avalanche, 10 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Merrimack at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
NBA: Thunder at Wizards, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UMass at St. Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Wake Forest, 7 pm. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Houston at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Memphis at Tulsa, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marquette at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton at Butler, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: SMU at Tulane, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Following Chris Mortensen’s report that 11 of the 12 game balls used by the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game were underinflated, the Twitterverse weighed in on the latest Deflategate news — and there weren’t many people giving the Pats the benefit of the doubt.

NFL legend Jerry Rice checked in quickly, tweeting: 11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying.

Bob Kravitz, the Indianapolis columnist who broke the story late Sunday night, called for Bill Belichick to face harsh punishment.

Wrote Kravitz: If morts report is on target, and I’m sure it is, belichick should be suspended from the Super Bowl. My opinion.

Added Kravitz: If bob kraft is a true man of integrity he will take it out of the leagues hands and fire belichick. Not holding my breath.

Colts punter Pat McAfee wondered if his team should step in if the Patriots are suspended. Wrote McAfee: If New England was to be DQ’d.. We’d be their replacements right??… I should probably lay off these strawberry marts.

Joked Panthers kicker Graham Gano: Looks like someone’s gonna be in trouble for not deflating that 12th ball…

However, Gano also appeared to provide a defense for the Patriots, noting in a series of tweets that the weather can affect the balls.

Wrote Gano: When checking the game balls, the refs check the psi indoors. This is frustrating bc the ball loses some pressure in cold weather. During our home playoff game this year I asked the official if he could check the psi outside again bc the ball felt flat and said he could not. I guess you can’t blame the official for that. Rules are rules. Maybe the league will make some changes this offseason. Sucks kicking a flat ball tho.

— The Ravens moved quickly to replace Gary Kubiak, tabbing Marc Trestman as their new offensive coordinator.

Trestman was fired last month after two seasons as head coach of the Bears. Chicago was a disappointing 5-11 this season.

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Read More: Deflategate, Graham Gano, Jerry Rice, Marc Trestman

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks apologize after comparing comeback to civil rights struggle

01.20.15 at 8:19 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Stars, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Penguins at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Boston College at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: LSU at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas State at Iowa State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Dayton at Davidson, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Tennessee at South Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at Air Force, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Seahawks tweet 1-20-15– The Seahawks were understandably emotional after Sunday’s overtime victory over the Packers, a game in which Seattle trailed by 16 points at the half and needed two late fourth-quarter scores, a successful onside kick and an overtime touchdown to advance to the Super Bowl.

However, the team acknowledged it took things too far afterward by referencing quotes from Martin Luther King on the day meant to honor the civil rights legend.

The team’s official Twitter account tweeted a photo of quarterback Russell Wilson on Monday with two King quotes: “We shall overcome,” and, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

The tweet was eventually deleted, and an apology followed: We apologize for judgment shown in a tweet sent earlier. We did not intend to compare football to the civil rights legacy of Dr. King.

Meanwhile, Wilson drew some criticism for his own tweet, in which he used the famous line from former NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano just months before he died of cancer: Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Wilson did not address the critics who assailed him for comparing a football game to battling cancer, but he retweeted a note from the group Strong Against Cancer that read: @DangeRussWilson In football, and in life. Thank you for inspiring the #StrongAgainstCenter team every day, Russell.

— The Cavaliers have had their issues this season, but after they knocked off the Bulls, 108-94, on Monday, it was Chicago’s turn to lament a lack of cohesiveness.

Guard Derrick Rose did not hold back when discussing his team’s performance. The Central Division-leading Bulls have lost six of their last eight games.

“We’ve got to give a better effort,” Rose said. “It seems like we’re not competing and it’s [expletive] irritating.”

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Read More: Derrick Rose, Jon Jones, Martin Luther King, Russell Wilson