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Report: Wrestling legend Randy Savage dies in car accident

05.20.11 at 12:55 pm ET
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According to the TMZ website, wrestling legend Randy Savage died Friday morning after suffering a heart attack and then losing control of his car, which crashed into a tree. He was 58. Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, confirmed the information to the website along with Florida Highway Patrol.

Savage’s wife, Lynn, was a passenger in the vehicle but escaped with minor injuries.

Read More: Randy Savage, Rumor Mill,

UNC football faces more NCAA scrutiny

05.20.11 at 12:38 pm ET
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A University of North Carolina spokesman confirmed Thursday that NCAA officials visited campus this week to continue an “ongoing investigation” of illegal agent benefits.

The News Observer reports that the NCAA talked with defensive lineman Quinton Coples about an NFL draft party he attended this month. The investigators reportedly wanted to know how Coples paid for the trip.

The Tar Heels lost three players for the entire 2010 season for accepting illegal benefits on trips to Miami last May. All three players — Marvin Austin, Robert Quinn, and Greg Little — were NFL draft picks this past April.

Last season, Coples led the team with 10 sacks and was a first-team All-ACC selection.

Read More: Greg Little, Marvin Austin, Quinton Coples, Robert Quinn

Thunder’s Russell Westbrook fine with getting benched

05.20.11 at 11:32 am ET
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When Russell Westbrook was benched after a costly turnover and mindless foul in the Thunder’s Thursday night win over the Mavericks, the All-Star point guard did not look happy. Westbrook started shouting to himself as he trudged off the court, and continued yelling as he sat down. But after the game, the second-year player had a change of heart. Apparently, it wasn’t so hard to watch the entire fourth quarter from the sidelines.

“Not when we’re winning,” Westbrook said. “I’m good. I’m just sitting there hoping to get my name called.”

The Thunder were outscored by 10 points with Westbrook on the floor, and his replacement, Eric Maynor, hit 5-of-9 shots and committed no turnovers as Oklahoma City pulled away in the fourth.

“[Westbrook] is an incredible player. He’s out starting point guard,” coach Scott Brooks said. “But we weren’t getting things done, and it was his time to come out and I stayed with [Maynor].”

With the win, the Thunder tied up the Western Conference finals, 1-1.

Read More: Eric Maynor, Rumor Mill, Russell Westbrook, Scott Brooks

Report: Jerry West to join Warriors front office

05.20.11 at 10:15 am ET
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According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, Jerry West has agreed to join the Warriors front office in an advisory role. The Hall of Fame player was the Lakers general manager from 1982-2000 and then ran the Grizzlies from 2002-07 before moving into a consulting role.

He is expected to report to co-owner Joe Lacob, the New Bedford native and former Celtics minority owner who purchased the team a year ago along with Newton native Peter Guber.

Read More: Jerry West, Joe Lacob, Peter Guber, Rumor Mill

Lawyer: Mets owners ‘refuse’ to return $300 million from Bernie Madoff

05.20.11 at 10:01 am ET
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Mets owners Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and the Sterling Equities Inc. partners have $300 million from Bernie Madoff‘s ponzi scheme but will not return it, according to a lawyer involved in the $1 billion lawsuit against the owners.

David Sheehan, the lawyer liquidating Madoff’s estate, said the owners “refuse to return … other people’s money.” The statement was an attempt to convince a judge to continue hearing Irving Picard‘s billion dollar lawsuit against the Mets owners.

Picard claimed he has evidence proving the owners were “well aware” of Madoff’s scheme, which is a major factor in the lawsuit. Picard presented a note from one partner, Arthur Friedman, to Wilpon and Katz, that allegedly said they needed fraud insurance to protect their illegal investments with Madoff.

Read More: Arthur Friedman, Bernie Madoff, David Sheehan, Fred Wilpon

ESPN Radio host tells listeners he’s gay

05.20.11 at 8:44 am ET
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Jared Max, a 37-year-old sports radio reporter and current talk-show host on ESPN Radio New York, announced on the air Thursday morning that he is gay. The announcement comes on the heels of similar revelations from Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts and former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan.

Toward the end of his daily 5-6 a.m. show, Max acknowledged these two men, and then shared his own story.

“Are we ready to have our sports information delivered by someone who is gay?” He asked. “We’re going to find out. … I am gay. Yeah, Jared Max, the sports guy with one of the most familiar voices in New York sports, isn’t quite like the majority.

The New York Daily News reports that Max did not tell ESPN exactly what he would say, but network executives supported him through the process.

Read More: Jared Max, Rick Welts, Rumor Mill, Will Sheridan

NHL: Deal not done to move Thrashers to Winnipeg

05.20.11 at 8:41 am ET
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The NHL was abuzz Thursday night with talk of the Thrashers relocating to Winnipeg, but the party in Manitoba may have started a bit early.

Atlanta owners still are heavily engaged in talks with True North Sports and Entertainment in Winnipeg, but company spokesman Scott Brown has denied the reported move in The Canadian Press as “not true.”

The Thrashers could very well end up north of the border, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is not willing to confirm anything just yet.

“I can tell you with certainty that there is no deal for this team to move,” Bettman said. “Am I predicting that there will never be or that there won’t be at some point in time? No, I’m not saying there is or there isn’t.”

Thrashers part owner Bruce Levenson has announced his desire to keep the team in Atlanta, but he has come up empty in his two-year search for a buyer.

If a deal goes through, Winnipeg would get its first NHL team since losing the Jets to Phoenix in 1996.

Read More: Bruce Levenson, Gary Bettman, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Dodgers’ Andre Ethier apologizes for obscene gesture

05.20.11 at 7:34 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.

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

SATURDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Lightning, 1:30 p.m. (NBC)
MLB: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (FOX; WEEI)
MLS: Revolution at Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Cubs at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier apologized for making an obscene gesture at photographers during batting practice Monday. Ethier, who has been known to lose his cool, said he was annoyed with the constant coverage.

“If you’re going to stand there and take the same picture for 15 minutes, what’s the difference between the first and the 15th minute?” Ethier asked. “It just got kind of annoying. I guess I slipped up, and that temper you guys sometimes like to write about got ahead of me and I didn’t use my head and use the best judgment in that situation. I made a mistake of it and it’s unfortunate.”

‘™¦ In The Wall Street Journal, Matthew Futterman writes that June 1 is usually a good indicator of which teams will compete for a playoff spot in Major League Baseball. Despite conventional wisdom dictating “It’s a long season,” statistics show that about one-third of teams are out of it, with a few more needing to get hot quickly or else join the list.

‘™¦ NBC sports boss Dick Ebersol is parting ways with the network due to a contract dispute. In the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman writes that TV sports is losing a major personality.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 20, 1968, the Bruins traded center Skip Krake to the Kings for Los Angeles’ first-round draft pick in 1970. With the pick (third overall), the Bruins selected which player who went on to have a stellar NHL career (most of it spent for teams other than Boston)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andre Ethier, Dick Ebersol,

Dwyane Wade responds to Charles Barkley’s ‘whiny bunch’ comment

05.19.11 at 12:43 pm ET
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On Tuesday Charles Barkley called the Miami Heat a “whiny bunch” on a Chicago radio station. Before Wednesday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Dwyane Wade responded, “He’s not in our locker room. He’s not going to have any bearing on what we do in the game of basketball.”

“We don’t care what people have to say about us,” Wade said. “We’re coming out to win the game. And we understand what the word ‘bandwagon’ means.”

Read More: Charles Barkley, Dwyane Wade,

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,