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Titans rookie Taylor Lewan to go on trial in October in fan-punching case

07.18.14 at 9:36 am ET
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Taylor Lewan

Taylor Lewan

Titans rookie offensive tackle Taylor Lewan will go on trial in October on charges he punched an Ohio State fan after a game last season.

The former Michigan star is charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery. He allegedly hit the fan after OSU’s Nov. 30 win over Lewan’s Wolverines last season.

Lewan was told during a pretrial hearing Thursday to return to Ann Arbor District Court for jury selection Oct. 27, with the trial potentially beginning the next morning.

The Titans don’t have a game that week, meaning it may not affect Lewan and the team as significantly.

The No. 11 overall draft pick, Lewan is one of three players drafted this year who has yet to sign a contract.

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NBA roundup: Lakers win bid for Carlos Boozer

07.18.14 at 9:32 am ET
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Just days after being waived by the Bulls via amnesty clause, Carlos Boozer has a new home.

Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer

Boozer will join the Lakers this season after the team made the highest bid for the veteran forward, adding him to a frontcourt that includes No. 7 overall pick Julius Randle.

According to the NBA’s modified waiver rules, teams below the salary cap had to bid at least the veteran minimum of $1.4 million. Los Angeles didn’t release specifics of the bid. But ESPN reported the bid was for $3.25 million.

“Carlos is an established veteran and a proven All-Star, who will be a welcome addition to our team,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season.”

– The Mavericks have re-signed guard Devin Harris, the team announced Thursday.

The Mavs didn’t release the terms of the contract. But according to ESPN, Harris’ deal is worth $16.5 million over four years.

Harris, 31, averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 assists in just 40 regular-season games last year after battling a toe injury in the first half of the season.

Eric Bledsoe and the Suns appear to be far apart on a new deal.

Bledsoe, who averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds in a career year last season, wants a maximum deal from the Suns, who, according to ESPN,  have offered the point a four-year, $48 million contract.

A max contract would pay Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, $80 million over five seasons, a far cry from Phoenix’s reported offer.

The Suns added Isaiah Thomas via sign-and-trade and drafted point guard Tyler Ennis this offseason, meaning the Suns may be ready to move on from Bledsoe.

The Bucks, Rockets and Kings are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old Bledsoe.

Read More: Carlos Boozer, devin harris, Eric Bledsoe,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James voted most popular athlete in America for first time

07.18.14 at 7:53 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:
MLB: Royals at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

LeBron James, whose return to Cleveland has been the feel-good story of the summer, was named the most popular male athlete in America in a Harris Poll of 2,241 people. It’s the first time James finished No. 1. He was second to retired NBA star Michael Jordan last year.

In 2011, the first poll after his infamous “Decision” to go to Miami as a free agent, James fell out of the top 10.

Following James and Jordan in the current poll is Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning and, in a tie for fifth, Kobe Bryant and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The only local representative in the top 10 is Tom Brady at No. 7.

James’ best scores came in the 18-36 and 49-67 age brackets, while Jordan was tops among ages 37-48.

MASHUP POLL: Which of these athletes -- all Boston rivals who finished in the top five of this Harris Poll -- do you view most favorably?

  • Michael Jordan (50%, 69 Votes)
  • Derek Jeter (26%, 36 Votes)
  • Peyton Manning (16%, 22 Votes)
  • LeBron James (8%, 11 Votes)
  • Kobe Bryant (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 138

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The most popular female athlete is Serena Williams, followed by Danica Patrick, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Mia Hamm.

– Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady‘s brief second career as a baseball pitcher has come to an end. The 35-year-old announced his retirement after striking out a batter to end his 1 1/3-inning stint in the independent Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday.

McGrady, who had a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings over four appearances with the Sugar Land Skeeters this season, “got a little emotional” as he walked off the mound to applause from his teammates following his first strikeout of the season. He took the baseball as a keepsake.

“That is definitely going in the trophy case,” he told CBS Houston. “I told some of the guys that I am going to get strikeout before I stop playing. I got it in the second inning. Than you Jesus.”

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Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics earn spots in Forbes’ 50 most valuable sports teams of 2014

07.17.14 at 3:29 pm ET
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Three Boston-area teams have found their way on Forbes’€™ annual ranking of the 50 most valuable sports teams of 2014.

The Patriots and Red Sox established themselves near the top of the list, as the Patriots ranked eighth ($1.8 billion) while the Red Sox were listed at 11th ($1.5 billion). The Celtics ranked 45th at $875 million.

The Patriots are the second-most valuable NFL team, trailing the Cowboys ($2.3 billion), while the Red Sox are rank third amongst MLB franchises behind the Yankees ($2.5 billion) and Dodgers ($2 billion).

While North American teams constitute a majority of the list, European soccer reigns at the top, as Real Madrid ($3.44 billion), FC Barcelona ($3.2 billion) and Manchester United ($2.81 billion) hold the top three spots on the ranking. This is the second straight year in which Real Madrid, which boasts players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, has earned the title as most valuable sports team.

Forbes, which has ranked sports teams since 1998, reported that the average value of a team in the ranking was $1.34 billion — an 8 percent increase from last year. Thirty-eight of the 50 teams are valued at at least $1 billion, while only 33 were valued at the same rate last year.

While there were no sports teams valued at $2 billion three years ago, there are now six teams at or above that value this year.

The Yankees are the most valuable non-soccer team in the world, ranking fourth on the list. The team’€™s value should only continue to increase going forward, as programming rights fees for Yankees broadcasts are expected to jump from $105 million to $350 million a year by 2042.

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Read More: celtics, Forbes, patriots, red sox

NBA roundup: Josh Smith trade rumors resurface; Rodney Stuckey signs with Indiana; James Jones joins LeBron James in Cleveland

07.17.14 at 10:51 am ET
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Josh Smith‘€™s tenure in the Motor City might only last one season.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

The versatile forward has been at the center of recent trade talks that could ship the former Hawk to the Kings, according to ESPN.com.

Talks between both parties started last month before tailing off due to a lack of progress and the start of the league’€™s free agency window. Sacramento, which reportedly offered Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry in the original deal for Smith, reportedly is looking for a third team to complete the deal.

If the trade is completed, Smith will join an impressive Kings frontcourt that already includes DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Another potential factor in the deal could be Smith’€™s close relationship with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who has also been linked to trade rumors with the Kings.

– It didn’€™t take long for the Pacers to find a replacement for Lance Stephenson.

Just a day after Stephenson agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with the Hornets, Indiana signed guard Rodney Stuckey to a one-year deal, according to The Associated Press.

Stuckey, who played for the Pistons for the last seven years, was made expendable after Detroit added Jodie Meeks and D.J. Augustin to its backcourt this offseason. Last season, Stuckey averaged 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

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Read More: James Jones, Josh Smith, LeBron James, Rodney Stuckey

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: CBS Sports boss says announcers won’t be forced to use Redskins name

07.17.14 at 8:05 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:
MiLB: Buffalo Bisons at Pawtucket Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Redskins might still be called the Redskins when the season starts, but CBS announcers have the option of refusing to use the nickname.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, said he does not tell his on-air talent what to say in situations such as this.

“We haven’t talked to them yet. Generally speaking, we do not tell our announcers what to say or not say,” McManus said. “Up to this point, it has not been a big issue for us. Last year, it was simmering; now it’s reaching a hotter level. But we probably will not end up dictating to our announcers whether they say Redskins or don’t say Redskins. We leave that up to them and our production team.

“There are times when something becomes important enough that we talk to them, and between now and the start of football season we’ll decide what is the right thing to do.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Mark McGwire forgive Jose Canseco?

View Results

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McManus’ comments come the same week U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his disapproval. A longtime Washington resident, Holder made his position clear in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think the name ought to be changed,” Holder said. “I think it is an offensive name. And the Redskins, that organization is a great one. It’s a team with a stories history that has huge amounts of support in Washington, D.C. And I think in the 21st century they could increase their fan base, increase their level of support, if they did something that is, from my perspective that, so obviously right.”

– Texas Tech freshman defensive back Nigel Bethel II, who was dismissed from the team last month after punching a female basketball player during a pickup game, will return to the team but sit out the first three games of the season.

Bethel punched Amber Battle in the face, breaking her jaw. Despite video of the incident, a Lubbock County grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict Bethel for aggravated assault, and in fact requested that his scholarship be reinstated.

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Read More: Nigel Bethel, Redskins, Reggie Bullock, Sean McManus

Former Lions WR Titus Young arrested on another felony charge

07.16.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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Titus Young

Titus Young

The troubled personal life of Titus Young continues to get worse.

The former Lions receiver was arrested once again last week for battery with serious bodily injury and is in custody in a Los Angeles correctional facility. Young also faces four misdemeanor counts of battery of school, park or hospital property.

Young’s July 9 arrest came one day before he was set to make a pretrial hearing in Newport Beach, California, where he is facing four felonies and seven other criminal charges.

Young, 24, has reportedly been receiving treatment. His father, Richard, has said Young has a mental disorder.

Young was a second-round draft pick by the Lions out of Boise State in 2011. He caught 48 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. He was cut in 2013 after clashes with his coaches during his second season.

Read More: Titus Young,

Panthers DE Greg Hardy found guilty of domestic assault

07.16.14 at 11:16 am ET
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Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty Tuesday of assaulting a female and communicating threats.

Hardy was sentenced to 18 months’ probation by Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorn-Tin after hearing nearly 11 hours of testimony. A 60-day jail sentence was suspended.

Chris Fialko, Hardy’s attorney, said he’ll appeal the ruling and Hardy has asked for a jury trial in superior court, putting the terms of the probation on hold. Hardy can travel with the team to training camp and compete in games.

“We have just learned of the verdict and are respectful of the process. We do not have a comment at this time,” the Panthers said in a statement.

Read More: Greg Hardy,

NBA roundup: Bulls cut Carlos Boozer; Erik Spoelstra, Heat ‘don’t have any regrets’ over LeBron James’ decision

07.16.14 at 11:14 am ET
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The Bulls used the amnesty clause Tuesday to cut forward Carlos Boozer after four seasons with the team.

Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer

Chicago also waived forward Lou Amundson and guards Ronnie Brewer and Mike James as the Bulls try to clear salary-cap space for the signing of Pau Gasol and 2011 draft pick Nikola Mirotic.

Boozer went to Chicago in a sign-and-trade deal with the Jazz in July 2010. He averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in 280 games with the Bulls.

Boozer had one year left on a five-year deal worth around $75 million. The amnesty clause allows the Bulls to release a player during the current labor deal and have 100 percent of his salary taken off the cap. Boozer is still owed the money, however.

“Carlos epitomized professionalism in everything he did for the Bulls both on the court, and in the community, during his time here in Chicago,” general manager Gar Forman said in a release. “Over the last four seasons, Carlos’ productivity helped elevate our team to another level. I have nothing but respect for Carlos, and certainly wish him the best as he moves forward.”

– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke Tuesday for the first time since LeBron James decided to leave Miami to rejoin the Cavaliers. Although he said he was surprised by James’ decision, Spoelstra showed no animosity toward the superstar.

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra told reporters after the Heat’s summer league game in Las Vegas. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

Spoelstra won two titles with James during a four-year run that included four-straight NBA Finals appearances.

– At least the Heat will have two-thirds of their “Big Three” back next season.

Less than a week after James’ decision and Chris Bosh returned to Miami, Dwyane Wade signed a two-year deal with the Heat on Tuesday designed to give Wade and the team some flexibility in the coming years.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carlos Boozer, Dwyane Wade, Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James

Former MLB player Luke Scott fired from Korean team after confrontation with coach

07.16.14 at 9:11 am ET
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Luke Scott, who tormented the Red Sox on and off the field as a member of the Orioles and Rays, was fired from his Korean Baseball League team Wednesday after showing “disrespectful” behavior toward his coach.

According to reports out of Korea, Scott, who was playing for SK Wyverns, had been placed on reserve due to plantar fasciitis and was not pleased with how the team was managing his injury. After an argument with coach Lee Man-soon in which Scott called the coach a “liar” and “coward,” Scott told reporters the team did not respect his way of handling his physical condition.

Scott, 36, had a .267 batting average and six home runs in 33 games for Wyverns, and he was on the injury list three times.

The dispute raised questions about the cultural differences between Korea and the United States. Lotte Giants pitcher Shane Youman, another former major leaguer, said players should be allowed to speak their minds, although he avoided directly commenting on the Scott incident.

“I’m all for players expressing their feelings towards certain situations if they believe they have a right to. Not just foreign players, but Korean players as well,” Youman said (via the Korea Times). “Baseball has such a long season. Players and coaches are around each other all the time. Things will not always go smoothly. There may be arguments, or mix-ups here and there. At the end of the day, we all know who has the authority, but we are all men, and should be treated and respected as men.”

Scott played nine seasons in the majors, including three seasons with the Orioles (2008-11) followed by two with the Rays. He was best known in Boston for saying Fenway Park should be replaced and calling Red Sox fans “vulgar” troublemakers. He has been in the middle of multiple brouhahas with the team.

Read More: Luke Scott,