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Former Harvard star Jeremy Lin headed to D-League

12.28.10 at 7:20 am ET
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Former Harvard men’s basketball star Jeremy Lin has hit a road bump in his young NBA career. According to reports, the Warriors are sending the rookie guard to their NBA Development League team in Reno in order to get Lin some playing time. Lin has played in 17 of the Warriors’ first 19 games, averaging 1.9 points per game.

“I’m just going to get some playing time, some experience and continue to develop,” Lin told the San Jose Mercury News. “There is no substitute for playing in actual games. Obviously, I’d love to stay with the team, but I’m going to be able to get a lot of playing time. It’s not the end of the world, and I can learn and grow a lot as a player.”

Read More: Jeremy Lin, Rumor Mill,

LeBron James backs away from contraction talk

12.28.10 at 1:28 am ET
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In an attempt to clarify remarks that the NBA had become “watered down” since the early 1980s by expansion, Heat star LeBron James said that he was not implying that the Timberwolves or Nets should be contracted.

“[I] didn’t say let’s abandon the Nets and not let them move to Brooklyn, or let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota. I never said that. Never said that, all right,” James told reporters on Monday.

James had suggested last week that the NBA would be more interesting with players such as Timberwolves center Kevin Love or Nets players Brook Lopez and Devin Harris on other teams.

“Just imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team,” James told reporters. “Or, looking at some of the teams that’s not that great, you take Brook Lopez or Devin Harris off these teams that’s not that good right now and add them to a team that could be really good. I’m not saying let’s take New Jersey, let’s take Minnesota out of the league. But, hey, you guys are not stupid. I’m not stupid. I know what would be great for the league.”
Read More: brook lopez, contraction, devin harris, Kevin Love

Garrett Wittels, owner of 56-game hit streak, charged with rape

12.27.10 at 3:25 pm ET
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The Miami Herald is reporting that Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and two other men were charged with the rape of two 17-year-old girls in the Bahamas. The incident reportedly took place on Dec. 20 at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Paradise Island. Wittels and the two men were released on $10,000 bond after a court hearing Thursday.

Wittels is the owner of the second-longest hit streak in NCAA history, having hit safely in 56 straight games through FIU’s 2010 season. The 20-year-old enters the ’11 season (which starts on Feb. 18) two games shy of Robin Ventura’s record, set in 1987.

When contacted by the Miami Herald, Michael Wittels, the father of Garrett, said, “Anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time. He’s not doing well, obviously. He’s blown away. He’s devastated that someone would accuse him of this.” The elder Wittels insisted to the newspaper that his son would be vindicated.

To read the complete report, click here.

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Seton Hall basketball star recovering after being shot in robbery

12.27.10 at 8:03 am ET
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Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell was recovering at home Sunday after being shot Christmas night by someone who tried to rob him, according to a school official. Hazell was shot under his right arm, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, school athletics spokesman Matt Sweeney said.

Hazell, a preseason honorable mention All-American, played only three games this season before injuring his wrist. He had wrist surgery Dec. 2.

Read More: Jeremy Hazell, Rumor Mill,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Barack Obama reportedly commends Eagles for giving Michael Vick second chance

12.27.10 at 7:21 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY MONDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ According to Peter King of NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated, President Barack Obama called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to congratulate and commend him for giving Michael Vick a second chance. Obama reportedly told Lurie that Vick’s success gives other ex-prisoners hope for the future once they are rehabilitated.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Vikings-Eagles game was postponed to Tuesday night due to the snowstorm that rocked the East Coast. In the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Tom Powers calls it an NFL-led conspiracy to bow to television interests and protect Vick.

‘™¦ The Panthers clinched the NFL’s worst record Sunday. In The Charlotte Observer, Darin Gantt writes that Carolina fans finally can celebrate something this season: the No. 1 draft pick.

‘™¦ Here are the top 10 most-watched sports videos of 2010.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 27, 1956, which Celtic missed a free throw to end his NBA-record streak at 55? The record lasted 19 years until it was broken by Calvin Murphy of the Rockets.

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Read More: Barack Obama, Jeffrey Lurie, michael vick,

Niners fire Mike Singletary after loss

12.27.10 at 6:47 am ET
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The 49ers fired coach Mike Singletary on Sunday night, after the Niners returned from a 25-17 loss in St. Louis that dropped their record to 5-10 and eliminated them from playoff contention. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was promoted to interim coach for the final game this season against Arizona.

“I want to thank Mike Singletary for the passion and effort that he brought to this organization,” team president and CEO Jed York said in a statement. “He is a tremendous person for whom I will always have great respect.”

Singletary, 52, has an 18-22 record in two-plus seasons. The 49ers started this season 0-5 and made a late run at a playoff berth in the weak NFC West.

“One of the greatest experiences of my life was having the opportunity to coach the San Francisco 49ers,” Singletary said in a statement. “What made it so special were the players. They were some of the most outstanding men I have ever been around in my life. The coaches were truly professionals. I wish the 49ers nothing but the best. I am thankful to the York family for having given me the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. I am indebted to them for that. I am also thankful for the faithful fans, I am just sorry I couldn’t give them more.”

Read More: Jim Tomsula, Mike Singletary, Rumor Mill,

Top stories of 2010, No. 5: Patriots’ Randy Moss saga

12.27.10 at 6:41 am ET
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For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. The countdown continues with No. 5: The Randy Moss saga.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form
No. 9: Patriots’ playoff meltdown vs. Ravens
No. 8: Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath
No. 7: Red Sox derailed by injuries
No. 6: Bruins’ playoff collapse vs. Flyers

Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.

The Patriots began the 2010 season with what many fans and analysts considered to be the best offense in all of football, topped off with star quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss. The two teamed up to form the best quarterback-receiver duo in 2007, Moss’€™ first year with the Patriots. Brady highlighted the year with a single-season-record 50 touchdown passes, and 23 of them were to Moss. It was an incredible run that set the bar high in the eyes of New England fans for future seasons.

So, at the beginning of the 2010 season, when contract discussions surrounding Moss’€™ future with the team took over training camp and the first few preseason weeks, many began to wonder what the receiver known for his outspoken and attention-seeking ways would do. There were games toward the end of the 2009 season when Moss was accused of taking certain plays off, including ones in which he was targeted by Brady. When the 2010 season began, Brady and starting offensive tackle Logan Mankins were the two players drawing the most concern about contract extensions, leaving Moss to feel left in the dark.

The Patriots opened the season at Gillette Stadium against the Bengals, a game that featured three of the most controversial receivers in the league on the field at the same time in Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Moss. And after the Patriots handed the Bengals a 38-24 loss, it was, surprisingly, the New England receiver who stole the postgame show.

‘€œIf you got a boss, you would like to feel appreciated,’€ Moss said in a press conference following the Patriots’€™ win. ‘€œThis is the last year of my contract, and there hasn’€™t been anything discussed. There hasn’€™t been anything said; not a letter, not nothing. I’€™m not saying that I want to stay here, but I love playing here. If the future of my job lets me go to another team, then that’€™s what it’€™s going to be.’€

The comments stunned players, coaches and fans alike. Why had Moss chosen to bring his contract situation up now? Thus began the downward spiral of Randy Moss’€™ days as a Patriot.

In Week 2, the Patriots traveled to the new Meadowlands to face the Jets, their division rivals who received league-wide attention in the offseason for their big mouths and even bigger egos, as demonstrated by “Hard Knocks,” the HBO reality show. After jumping out to a nice lead (helped by a touchdown on a fantastic catch by Moss), Brady and the Patriots surrendered to the Jets in the second half, eventually dropping a 28-18 contest. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez could do no wrong in the second half, while Brady struggled to find any receivers, especially Moss, who was thrown to a number of times. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie shut down the veteran receiver, filling in nicely for the injured Darrelle Revis.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Randy Moss, Tom Brady

Report: Donovan McNabb will ask for release from Washington Redskins

12.26.10 at 11:50 am ET
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According to ESPN.com, Washington Redskins‘ quarterback Donovan McNabb will be asking for his release following the season. According to the report, the Redskins, who surrendered second- and fourth-round picks for McNabb in a trade with Philadelphia, wouldn’t likely initially grant the quarterback his release, instead looking for some value in a trade. To read the full report click here.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Top stories of 2010, No. 6: Bruins’ playoff collapse vs. Flyers

12.26.10 at 10:41 am ET
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For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’€™s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 6: The Bruins’€™ historic playoff collapse against the Flyers.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form
No. 9: Patriots’ playoff meltdown vs. Ravens
No. 8: Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath
No. 7: Red Sox derailed by injuries

Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’€™s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.

In 2010 the Bruins did not take a traditional path to the playoffs. There was the 10-game losing streak, a record-breaking home losing streak, a shortage of offense (the B’€™s ranked second-worst in the league in total goals scored in regular season), and just a general sense of dejection surrounding the so-called Big Bad Bruins. But you’€™ve got to give the guys credit for defying their critics down the stretch. The B’€™s won four of their final five games, gathering points in all of them, to not just secure a playoff spot, but also jump up to the sixth seed.

‘€œI knew we had it in here but we just had to bring it out,’€ forward Mark Recchi said back in April. ‘€œI never had any doubts about the guys. You know, I just know what is in here. That was the frustrating part, because you know what is in here and you know we can get it through a couple more notches and we just weren’€™t doing it consistently. We would do it some nights, but it wasn’€™t a consistent thing and that was our problem all year.’€

Things came together at the right time for the Bruins, and they knocked off their first-round playoff opponent, the Sabres, in six games. Suddenly the Bruins found themselves hosting an Eastern Conference semifinal series against Philadelphia.

‘€œI think that was probably a good thing for us where we hit some adversity like that where we hit such a low,’€ forward Milan Lucic said. ‘€œI mean, for us to overcome that and end up where we are now we found a way to come together and do that. It is what helps a lot of teams ‘€” to be successful is to go through some adversity and with everyone pegging us out, the media was all over us, the fans were all over us to just walk up to bat and do some good, it was just a good thing for us to see and pull through and stick up for each other.’€

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Read More: marc savard, Mark Recchi, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask

Michael Vick on MVP: ‘I would take … myself’

12.25.10 at 11:29 am ET
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Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, considered by many to be a co-favorite for NFL MVP along with Tom Brady, was asked after practice Friday who he would select if he had a vote.

“You put me on the spot,” he said, before smiling and saying: “I would take … myself.”

Brady leads the NFL with a 109.9 passer rating. Vick is third at 103.6. He also has rushed for 613 yards and eight touchdowns.

Vick spent Christmas in 2007 and 2008 in a Kansas penitentiary serving an 18-month sentence related to an illegal dogfighting ring.

“I’m just blessed to be here,” Vick said. “I spent two Christmases in Kansas, and that was by far the toughest thing I’ve had to do. Each and every year I reflect on that, and I think it will always make the holiday season more gratifying.

“[I’m] just thankful for a lot, thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given, thankful for the blessings, and hopefully they’ll continue to come.”

Read More: michael vick, Rumor Mill, Tom Brady,