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Paul Pierce: ‘Little disappointed’ not to be playing for Nets

10.23.14 at 11:34 am ET
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After spending his first 15 seasons in the NBA with the Celtics, Paul Pierce now will be playing for his second team in as many years.

When the Nets didn’t re-sign him this past offseason, Pierce signed with the Wizards. Planning on re-signing with the Nets, Pierce realized that things were starting to go the other direction when coach Jason Kidd took the same job with the Bucks.

“I definitely didn’t see all that coming,” Pierce told reporters following a morning shootaround at the Garden before a preseason game with the Knicks on Wednesday, per the New York Daily News. “I think it all started probably with Jason leaving, it’s kind of like a domino from there. I was a little disappointed, because I thought I was going to come back there and Jason was one of the main reasons I came to Brooklyn, him and Kevin [Garnett].”

Pierce, 37, said he didn’t see any of this coming.

“It just happened so fast,” Pierce said. “I had a chance to talk to [Kidd] and he has his reasons, the way things went down. But like I said, the business — you’ve got to understand the business aspect of it. He moved on. The Nets moved on and people went their different directions. You see that a lot in this business.”

“I understand it’s a business,” he added. “I was a little surprised, but you’ve got to be ready for the business side of it and understand that part. So it didn’t shock me. No hard feelings, I understand their situation, they understand mine, and both parties moved on.”

Read More: Paul Pierce,

Report: Roger Goodell told to testify in Ray Rice suspension appeal

10.23.14 at 11:12 am ET
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Former Ravens running back Ray Rice will be appealing his indefinite suspension from the NFL, and according to an Associated Press report, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be forced to testify.

The commissioner was unsure he would actually testify, saying he would leave the decision to former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, who is hearing the appeal.

“We will continue to respect Judge Jones’ confidentiality order regarding this proceeding,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to the AP.

NFL lawyers have argued Goodell shouldn’t have to testify and instead there should be testimony from Jeff Pash, the NFL’s general counsel, and Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s vice president for labor policy — both of whom were present when Rice met with Goodell to hear his side of the story from Rice’s incident when he hit his then-fiancee in an elevator.

Goodell originally suspended the running back for two games, but then after the video was released publicly the suspension was made indefinite. Goodell has said Rice’s description was “ambiguous,” while Rice’s side has said he gave exact details.

The AP also says the hearing will be held Nov. 5 and 6.

Read More: Ray Rice, Roger Goodell,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NHL players voice support for Ottawa after attack at Parliament building

10.23.14 at 8:09 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:
NHL: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Chargers at Broncos, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: UConn at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Miami at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Everton at Lille, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Tripoli at Tottenham, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

NHL players and teams expressed their thoughts and support for Ottawa after Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the Parliament building in Canada’s capital.

Wednesday night’s game between the Senators and Maple Leafs in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata was postponed following the shooting, which left a soldier and the suspect dead.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by today’s tragic events on Parliament Hill and in downtown Ottawa,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims as well as with all members of Parliament and staff who have had to manage through today’s difficult circumstances.

“Hockey is certainly secondary to these types of tragic events and we know our fans stand alongside us with the league’s decision to postpone tonight’s game.”

The Maple Leafs were staying at a hotel near where the violence took place. According to reports, a man walked up to a soldier standing guard at a war memorial and shot him dead, then walked inside Parliament, where more shots were fired before he was killed.

Tweeted Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul at the time: Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of.

Said the Maple Leafs in a statement: “We have been witness today to some terrible events but are thankful to those brave men and women for their tireless service in protecting everyone’s safety.”

The Senators, who were supposed to play the Bruins on the day of the Boston Marathon attacks in April 2013 (that game was postponed), next play at home Saturday against the Devils.

Tweeted Senators defenseman Chris Phillips: Heartfelt thanks to all first responders for putting their safety on the line for ours. OttawaStrong.

Before Wednesday’s Penguins-Flyers game in Pittsburgh, fans sang the Canadian national anthem out of respect.

— Jets coach Rex Ryan is enduring a miserable season at 1-6, but he definitely hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

Ryan walked in on the New York media’s conference call with Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Tuesday, en route to his daily press conference, and he decided to pose as a reporter and ask Watkins a question in advance of the teams’ game Sunday.

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Read More: Bryan Stow, Darrelle Revis, Rex Ryan, Sammy Watkins

Kobe Bryant not worried about critical ESPN article: ‘It’s not the first one’

10.22.14 at 11:11 am ET
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Lakers star Kobe Bryant has faced enough criticism through his years that he’€™s used to it by now.

After a recent article in ESPN The Magazine said Bryant’€™s play over the last few years is a big factor in Los Angeles’€™ decline, the 19-year veteran just let it slide. Bryant said that so many different stories always come out that it’€™s impossible to dwell on just one.

“It’s not the first one and it won’t be the last one,” Bryant said Tuesday night after a preseason loss to the Suns. “One thing I’ve come to understand over the years is that you’ll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it’s the end of the world and it seems like everybody’s taking shots at you. But time goes by and then you look back on it and it was just a Monday.”

A year after the team finished seventh in the Western Conference and barely clinched a playoff spot, the 2013-14 Lakers missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2005. Times have been difficult for Los Angeles in recent years, and the critics have been tougher on the team and Bryant in particular.

Bryant said he isn’t concerned with the magazine article, instead looking toward winning and getting back into form.

“Stay focused on the bigger picture and things are never as bleak as they seem at the time,” Bryant said. “I just kind of roll with it.”

Read More: kobe bryant,

Judge to rule if Roger Goodell should speak during Ray Rice proceedings

10.22.14 at 10:59 am ET
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An arbiter in the Ray Rice case is closing in on a decision if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should have to testify is the running back’€™s hearing.

The proceedings, which are set for Nov. 5 and 6 according to some close to the case, will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones. She will have the final say if Rice’€™s suspension should be rescinded. Union officials believe having Goodell is a key part of the process, saying he should be included in the hearing.

The union is appealing the NFL’€™s suspension of Rice, indicating it punishes him two times for the same crime. Earlier this year, Goodell suspended Rice for two games for hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator.

Once a video inside of the elevator became public in early September, Goodell changed the suspension from two games to an indefinite suspension, citing the league’€™s personal conduct policy. Following the suspension, the Ravens released Rice from his contract.

Read More: Ray Rice, Roger Goodell,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: After being cut by Cowboys, Michael Sam wants to ‘prove that I can play every Sunday’

10.22.14 at 8:07 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:
World Series: Giants at Royals, 8 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-FM)
NBA preseason: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Cavaliers at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Suns at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Flyers at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Real Madrid at Liverpool, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Openly gay linebacker/defensive end Michael Sam expressed his appreciation for his opportunity with the Cowboys after the team released him from its practice squad Tuesday.

Sam had been on Dallas’ practice squad for seven weeks after being released at the end of the preseason by the Rams, who had drafted him in the seventh round.

“I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support,” Sam wrote in a series of tweets. “While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”

The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri, Sam had three sacks in the preseason but has not yet found his way onto a 53-man roster.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Patriots consider signing Michael Sam?

  • Yes, they need help with the pass rush and he can help (50%, 117 Votes)
  • No, he's not good enough to be worth the distraction (50%, 116 Votes)

Total Voters: 233

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After initially making headlines when he returned to his home state to join the Cowboys, Sam has not appeared in the news much since.

“Comes to work every day and practices hard,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said last week. “One of 10 practice roster guys that we have, so he’s working on his skills, trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other things. Playing offense, defense, playing the kicking game. That’s what a lot of those guys do.”

— The Panthers were sure Luke Keuchly’s ejection from Sunday’s game was wrong, and now the league has backed up the team.

The NFL on Tuesday told Panthers coach Ron Rivera that Keuchly should not have been ejected and will not be fined for making inadvertent contact with an official. Rivera had said there was “zero chance” Keuchly would be fined.

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Read More: Luke Keuchly, Michael Sam,

Video: Croatian boxer brutally attacks referee

10.21.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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There was a shocking scene at the European Youth Boxing Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, as light heavyweight Vido Loncar attacked the referee after losing his bout.

As the referee called the fighters together, Loncar, furious that the referee had stopped the fight, unleashed a hard right directly to the official’s face, knocking him to the canvas.

As stunned Lithuanian opponent Algirdas Baniulis scampered away, Loncar continued to hit the fallen official until two men from outside the ring reached through the ropes and grabbed the fighter, dragging him out of the ring.

Read More: Vido Loncar,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius begins serving 5-year prison sentence

10.21.14 at 7:25 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:
World Series: Giants at Royals, 8 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-AM)
NHL: Sharks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Flyers at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA preseason: Rockets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA preseason: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College football: Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at CSKA Moskva, noon (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Ajax at Barcelona, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Women’s CONCACAF, Mexico vs. Jamaica, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius began serving his five-year prison sentence Tuesday, immediately after being sentenced by a judge in South Africa for the negligent killing of his girlfriend last February.

Judge Thokozile Masipa cited Pistorius’ “gross negligence” for shooting Reeva Steenkamp multiple times through a bathroom door in his home. He had claimed he thought she was a burglar.

Masipa also sentenced Pistorius to three years in prison for firing a gun in a restaurant a few weeks before Steenkamp’s death, although that sentence was suspended.

According to South African legal experts, Pistorius’ five-year term in the maximum he can serve; he will be eligible for house arrest in less than a year.

Pistorius, who had been very emotional throughout the trial, stood during the judge’s announcement before being escorted down a flight of stairs to a police van.

MASHUP POLL: Are you satisfied with Oscar Pistorius' five-year prison sentence?

  • No, he should be in prison far longer (91%, 183 Votes)
  • Yes, at least he's serving some time behind bars (9%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 202

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Masipa found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide last month but acquitted him of murder. In announcing the sentence Tuesday, she said: “The following is what I consider is a sentence that is fair and just both to society and the accused.”

The prosecution expressed disappointment in the culpable homicide conviction but did not have an immediate decision about whether or not to appeal the sentence.

Said prosecution spokesman Nathi Mncube: “We are satisfied with the fact that he will be serving some time in prison. … It’s not only about vengeance, but it is about making sure that there is a fair and just process.”

— New Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin met the New York media Monday, following reports that he was shipped out of Seattle in part because he wasn’t getting along with his teammates.

“I’m definitely not a perfect person,” Harvin acknowledged after his first practice with his new team. “I have a lot of things that I wish I could have done a little differently. But I’m moving forward. I’m learning from those lessons.

“I’m happy to be here right now and looking to make the most out of it.”

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Read More: John Idzik, Oscar Pistorius, Percy Harvin, Slava Voynov

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Bears OL Kyle Long calls Chicago fans’ booing ‘unacceptable’

10.20.14 at 7:31 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:
NFL: Texans at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United at West Bromwich, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Women’s CONCACAF, United States vs. Haiti, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Bears, who travel to Foxboro to play the Patriots next weekend, had some issues in the locker room after Sunday’s 27-14 loss to the visiting Dolphins, with controversial wide receiver Brandon Marshall reportedly in the middle of things. When the players weren’t sniping at each other, there was some criticism of their home fans.

The Soldier Field crowd booed the Bears after they fell behind 14-0 at halftime, a reaction offensive lineman Kyle Long deemed inappropriate.

“I don’t know if ‘upset’ is the word I would use,” Long said. “As somebody that is blood, sweat and tears in this locker room like the other guys, the coaches, the trainers, the staff and the equipment guys, to be getting booed at home when you’re walking off the field down two possessions is unacceptable — especially when there is not a lot of noise being made on third down [when Miami had the ball], period.”

MASHUP POLL: Were Bears fans out of line to boo their team?

  • No, when a team doesn't perform it deserves to hear it from the crowd (77%, 207 Votes)
  • Yes, true fans lift up their team, not tear it down (23%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 270

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Tight end Marcellus Bennett was more understanding, especially considering Chicago now is 0-3 at home.

“If I go see a bad movie, I boo,” Bennett said. “It’s an entertainment business. We are all entertainers. If you go to a bad show, most people boo. I think they had the right to do that. If I want to boo at fans, I can boo at fans, or whoever it may be. They pay for their tickets, and the show wasn’t up to their liking.

“If I go to a movie, I walk out if I don’t like the movie. Like ‘Transformers 3′ — it was terrible. I didn’t stay for the whole film and walked out.”

Serena Williams on Sunday voiced support the Women’s Tennis Association’s one-year ban of Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpischev for insulting comments about the Williams sisters.

Tarpischev, who also was fined $25,000, had appeared on a Russian television talk show and referred to the Williams sisters as “brothers” and added, “It’s scary when you really look at them.”

He later said that he had no “malicious intent” and that his quotes on the “humorous show” were taken out of context. He said of the suspension: “I can’t comment. I don’t understand it.”

Said Williams on Sunday: “I think the WTA did a great job of taking [the] initiative and taking immediate action to his comments. I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying.”

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Read More: Brian Kelly, Kyle Long, notre dame, Serena Williams

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Despite close loss to Patriots, Jets coach Rex Ryan gets buried by NY media

10.17.14 at 8:22 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:
College football: Fresno State at Boise State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Temple at Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NBA preseason: Mavericks at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Jazz at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at Timbers, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Women’s CONCACAF final, United States vs. Guatemala, 9 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

NY Daily News 10-17-14– Many people will look at Thursday night’s game and say the underdog Jets put up a valiant effort before coming up short on the final play — a blocked field goal that allowed the Patriots to escape with a 27-25 victory.

In New York, it’s another loss in a miserable season, and the calls for Rex Ryan‘s job are growing louder.

In the New York Daily News, beat write Manish Mehta (who discussed Ryan’s future on Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday), wrote a faux obituary in his column.

Wrote Mehta: Rex Ryan‘€™s Jets, 6, of New York/New Jersey passed away Thursday night after more than a month-long battle with shaky quarterback play, embarrassing secondary issues and inferior talent.

Official time of death: 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The team is survived by untold thousands, who have endured more than four decades without a championship and wandered down a painful path for too long. The death blow was delivered by a familiar nemesis in the most heartbreaking manner on a night when Ryan’€™s Jets deserved to live for another day.

Brian Costello of the New York Post also wrote about Ryan as the soon-to-be-former Jets coach, noting: Rex Ryan‘s time with the Jets will be defined by how close he came, but ultimately failed, to overtaking the Patriots.

MASHUP POLL: Did Rex Ryan buy himself more time with Thursday's narrow loss?

  • Yes, he showed he still can coach by taking a less-talented team and nearly knocking off the Patriots (54%, 357 Votes)
  • No, bottom line is they're 1-6 and he should not return next season (46%, 304 Votes)

Total Voters: 661

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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith told Middays with MFB on Thursday that Ryan has been “sabotaged” by general manager John Idzik, a theory that Mehta apparently supports but doesn’t believe will save the coach.

Wrote Mehta: Ryan weaved magic to win eight games last season with a dearth of talent to avoid the ax, but he’€™ll need divine intervention to escape what appears to be the end of a six-year road filled with spine-tingling highs and unfathomable lows.

— Clippers star Blake Griffin wrote a first-person article for The Players Tribune in which he shares his thoughts and some anecdotes about former owner Donald Sterling, comparing him to a “weird uncle” and indicating Sterling was way off the mark when he insisted his players “love” him.

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Donald Sterling, Rex Ryan, Stephen Garcia