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Kyrie Irving won’t participate in on-court workouts at NBA draft combine

05.19.11 at 12:12 pm ET
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Former Duke star and potential No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving’s agent Jeffrey Wechsler says that Irving will not be participating in on-court tests and drills at the NBA combine.

Irving left Duke after his freshman season, where he only played in 11 games. He missed the majority of the season with a toe injury before returning for the NCAA Tournament. Irving averaged 17.5 points per game. According to Wechsler, Irving has been working out for two hours every day. He is focused on “getting in the best shape possible.”

Irving will be visiting individual teams before the draft, which will be held June 23.

Read More: Kyrie Irving, NBA Draft,

Richard Seymour paying for Raiders offseason workout

05.19.11 at 12:11 pm ET
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With the NFL owners locking out the players they can not work out at team facilities and also can’t have any contact with their coaches. Former Patriot Richard Seymour is taking matters into his own hands and is getting his Raiders teammates together for four-day workout and will be footing the entire bill.

The four-day work out will be taking place at Competitive Edge Sports in Duluth, GA. Quarterback Jason Campbell will be leading drills for the offense, and Seymour will lead the defense. Seymour sent an email to his teammates letting them know of the workout. The first sentence read, “Men, I hope everyone is well and is staying in shape because we are going to out-work everyone we face this season, and it starts right now in the offseason.’€

Read More: Jason Campbell, richard seymour,

Nationals GM: Bryce Harper won’t see majors in 2011

05.19.11 at 9:33 am ET
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According to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the team has no plans to call up last year’s top pick Bryce Harper, even when the rosters expand in September. “We feel that his development is not ready to play in the big leagues,” Rizzo said.

Harper is currently with the Nationals’ Single-A club in Hagerstown. The 18 year-old is batting .336, with nine home runs, 31 RBIs and six stolen bases. Harper was a catcher in high school, but the Nationals want him in the outfield.

“I think four out of six days he plays in right field and two days he plays in center,” Rizzo said. “I think that’s the breakdown of what we had. Center field is an important process just because it gives you the full landscape of seeing the bat off the ball and that type of thing. He adjusted well to both positions, and we’re going to introduce him to left field a little bit also.”

Read More: Bryce Harper, Todd Rizzo, Washington Nationals,

Kendrick Perkins on Tyson Chandler: ‘He don’t like me, I don’t like him’

05.19.11 at 9:28 am ET
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There is no love lost between the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins and Mavericks center Tyson Chandler. The two were whistled for double technicals just 70 seconds into Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.

“He don’t like me, I don’t like him and that’s pretty much how it’s been,” Perkins said. “Everybody always looks at me as kind of like a dirty player if you’re on the opposite team, but he’s just as dirty as anybody else.”

“Me and Tyson never got along. I’m serious,” Perkins said.

Chandler wasn’t as direct in his comments towards Perkins. When talking about Perkins, “I have nothing against him,” he said. “He won a championship with the Boston Celtics, and that’s where I’m trying to take my team. I’ve got respect for him, what he was able to accomplish. But all the chippy stuff, the after-the-ball stuff, that’s all nonsense and I’m not going to get involved with it.”

Perkins says the double technicals in Game 1 will not affect the way the two play the remainder of the series. “We’re not going to get tossed, but we’re going to play hard,” Perkins said. “I’m definitely going to play hard. I’m going to do whatever I need to do for my team to win. We both are going to come out here, we’re going to compete and we’ll go from there. We’re going to keep banging.”

Read More: kendrick perkins, Tyson Chandler,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ‘slighted’ without a statue in LA

05.19.11 at 7:41 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Lightning, 8 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not have a statue in front of the Staples Center, and he’s not happy about it. “I don’t understand [it],” he told the Sporting News. It’s either an oversight or they’re taking me for granted. I’m not going to try to read people’s minds, but it doesn’t make me happy. It’s definitely a slight. I feel slighted.”

The Lakers responded by saying Abdul-Jabbar is next in line to join the statues of former players Magic Johnson and Jerry West, but they wouldn’t give a timetable. That didn’t appease the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. “Rumor has it that I will be getting a statue,” he tweeted Wednesday. “A caveat for all my fans ‘€” don’t hold your breath. Lakers don’t care about me.”

‘™¦ Charles Barkley continues to make news for his comments on radio interviews. On Wednesday, he appeared on 106.7 The Fan in Washington and said he was not bothered by having gay teammates. “It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play,” he said.

Added Barkley: “Society discriminates against gay people. They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I’ve been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can’t be in for any form of discrimination at all.”

‘™¦ Timberwolves general manager David Kahn explained that he was joking when he implied that the NBA draft lottery was fixed. “I don’t believe in jinxes, curses [or] hocus pocus, and I certainly don’t think we were wronged,” Kahn said in a statement sent Wednesday to The Associated Press. “But I do believe in the power of story, and I joked last night that it’s a heck [of a] better story for a 14-year-old kid to beat out a couple of middle-aged executives standing together on a stage on national TV ‘€” and that our league seems to always have its own share of luck in being a part of these stories.”

‘™¦ The Dodgers and Giants played in Los Angeles Wednesday night for the first time since Giants fan Brian Stow was attacked outside the stadium. The Los Angeles Times looks at how things have changed since the incident.

‘™¦ According to a Suffolk University poll of 1,070 people, 32 percent blame NFL owners for the lockout, 19 percent blame the players and 30 percent are unsure who is more at fault. Only 6 percent said they would no longer watch the NFL if games are lost.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 19, 1986, which Red Sox player was hit by a pitch on the rear end in the bottom of the ninth inning to force home the winning run in an 8-7 victory over the Twins?

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Read More: Brian Stow, Charles Barkley, David Kahn, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Timberwolves GM David Kahn implies NBA lottery is fixed

05.18.11 at 2:00 pm ET
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The NBA draft lottery was held Tuesday night, and the Cavaliers will pick first in the June 23 draft. The Cavaliers had the second-worst record in the league. The Timberwolves had the worst record, so they had the best chance to get the No. 1 pick. When they didn’t get it, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn implied that the lottery is fixed.

Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert‘s 14-year-old son, Nick, was the team representative. Nick Gilbert is battling neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes the body’€™s nerves to grow potentially cancerous tumors.

Said Kahn: “This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines. Last year it was Abe Pollin‘€™s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done.”

Read More: Dan Gilbert, David Kahn, NBA Draft Lottery, Nick Gilbert

NBA officials, players to meet in June in hopes of avoiding lockout

05.18.11 at 1:42 pm ET
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In a similar situation to the NFL, the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of June, but officials from the NBA seem determined to not have a lockout situation like the NFL is dealing with now.

Before the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that the two sides have agreed to meet in early June in the city of the Western Conference champion (either Dallas or Oklahoma City) to try to come to an agreement on a new deal.

“Both sides are very aware what has happened in the NFL and the disruption to their business caused by the work stoppage. Both the owners and the union want to avoid that at all cost. We’re determined to make progress between now and the end of June,” Silver said.

The players seem to be set on a hard salary cap, while the league wants to try to create a system where the owners can make profits from their investments and all 32 teams have a chance to compete for a NBA championship. The owners are looking to cut players salaries by $750 million next season because projections indicate the league will lose $300 million this season.

It was also pointed out that with the Lakers being knocked out by the Mavericks it gives players association president Derek Fisher a chance to start participating in talks earlier than he would have if the Lakers had advanced.

The NBA has not had a work stoppage since 1998.

Read More: Adam Silver, Derek Fisher, Rumor Mill,

Brian Urlacher: Bears ‘best team in our conference’

05.18.11 at 1:33 pm ET
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Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Despite dropping last year’s NFC championship game, 21-14 to the Packers, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher believes Chicago is the team to beat, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

‘€œI think we’€™re the best team in our conference,’€ Urlacher said while visiting an elementary school in New Mexico as part of the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60 program last week. ‘€œI know we’€™re not the Super Bowl champs like the Green Bay Packers. ‘€¦ We want to be the best in our conference and to be there, we’€™ve got to go through Green Bay.’€

Before Urlacher or anyone else can worry about playing football, the NFL and the players must reach an agreement or there will be no 2011 season. Urlacher has maintained his regular preseason workout schedule despite not being allowed to use Chicago’s workout facilities.

Read More: Chicago Bears, NFL,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Charles Barkley calls Heat ‘a whiny bunch’

05.18.11 at 7:44 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley said he admired LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh but called the Heat “a whiny bunch” in reference to the players getting defensive about criticism. During an appearance on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on Chicago radio, Barkley said: “[They say] we don’t like the Miami Heat. First of all, that’s not true at all. Those guys are actually a whiny bunch. They said a couple of times this year, ‘Well the world is happy the Miami Heat [is losing].’ Please don’t flatter yourself. C’mon man.”

‘™¦ Speaking of whining, Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman called Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter a “whiner and excuse-maker” Monday after Carpenter complained about the condition of the mound and lingering smoke from fireworks in Cincinnati following the Reds’ three-game sweep. Brennaman, a member of the Hall of Fame, also said the Cardinals “might be the most disliked team in baseball.” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa responded Tuesday: “[Brennaman] earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame. And now he ought to keep earning that respect instead of abusing it.”

‘™¦ Twins legend Harmon Killebrew passed away Tuesday. In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Patrick Reusse writes that “Killer” put Minnesota on the baseball map in 1965.

‘™¦ Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard writes in his forthcoming autobiography “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring” that an unnamed “prominent Olympic coach” sexually abused him.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 18, 1976, Carl Yastrzemski played in his 2,293rd game with the Red Sox, surpassing which player for first place in team history for games played?

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Read More: Charles Barkley, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Harmon Killebrew

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Rush Limbaugh weighs in on Donovan McNabb controversy

05.17.11 at 7:55 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Lightning at Bruins, 8 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who left an NFL analyst job with ESPN in 2003 after saying that Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media was “very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” came to the defense of the Redskins quarterback this month. Boxer Bernard Hopkins had criticized McNabb for failing to win a title with the Eagles and implied McNabb wasn’t considered a true black man because he had a privileged upbringing.

Said Limbaugh on his radio show Friday: “This poor guy, he cannot catch a break. And it’s disgruntled African-Americans that are jumping down his case, about the way he was raised? It is horrible, it is distasteful. … His parents are out there having to defend the way they raised him, and all they tried to do was give him opportunity after opportunity, expose he and his brother to various things. It’s just amazing to watch this.”

Here’s the video of Limbaugh’s comments in 2003:

‘™¦ Royals reliever Vin Mazzaro allowed 14 runs in Monday’s 19-1 loss to the Indians. Joe Posnanski at Sports Illustrated recaps what he calls “the worst pitching performance in the history of baseball.”

‘™¦ Spurred by the success of 30-year-old Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 late bloomers in baseball history. No. 1 is Dazzy Vance, who pitched in the early 1900s. The only player on the list who played for the Red Sox is Dante Bichette (No. 8), who finished his career in Boston in 2000-01.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 17, 1995, who was fired as coach of the Bruins after three seasons and a 120-73-23 record (7-15 in the postseason)?

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Read More: Donovan McNabb, Jose Bautista, Rush Limbaugh, Vin Mazzaro