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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Aroldis Chapman ‘very lucky’ to only need metal plate in head after taking liner to face

03.21.14 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.

NHL: Bruins at Avalanche, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Notre Dame vs. UMass-Lowell, 5 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
College hockey: Denver vs. Western Michigan, 5 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: UNH vs. Providence, 8 p.m. (NESN Plus, NBCSN)
College hockey: Miami (Ohio) vs. North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
NBA: Celtics at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Pacers, 7 p.m. (WGN)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Tennessee vs. UMass, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Mercer vs. Duke, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Nebraska vs. Baylor, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Stanford vs. New Mexico, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Weber State vs. Arizona, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Creighton, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Eastern Kentucky vs. Kansas, 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Oklahoma State vs. Gonzaga, 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, George Washington vs. Memphis, 6:55 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Cal Poly vs. Wichita State, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Providence vs. North Carolina, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Stephen F. Austin vs. VCU, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Coastal Carolina vs. Virginia, 9:25 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Kansas State vs. Kentucky, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, N.C. Central vs. Iowa State, 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Tulsa vs. UCLA, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Robert Morris at Belmont, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Pirates at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)


Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman

– Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman is expected back on the mound in 6-8 weeks after having a 2 1/2-hour operation Thursday to repair a broken bone above his left eye suffered when he was hit in the face by a line drive in Wednesday’s spring training game against the Royals in Surprise, Ariz.

Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremcheck said Chapman was “a very lucky guy” for escaping further injury. The doctor said Chapman had a mild concussion but no other brain injury or damage to his eye.

Chapman will have a metal plate inserted in the bone above his left eyebrow and it will remain there permanently.

Some Reds visited Chapman in the hospital and said he is in good spirits.

“He was talking to me and we joked a lot,” catcher (and fellow Cuban) Brayan Pena said. “He just wanted to make sure for me to tell everybody that he appreciate so much the fans’ prayers, especially our teammates, our coaching staff, everybody around, how much support and how much love he received and got from all of us.”

Added Pena: “He was talking a lot about some Cuban jokes and that’s good because that means his memory is still working pretty good.”

– In less-serious injury news, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez pulled himself from Thursday’s exhibition game in Australia because of back tightness he blamed on sightseeing.

“I need to rest, get off my feet,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve done a lot of walking around the city. I’ll be good. I’m positive I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Gonzalez started the game despite feeling discomfort as he warmed up, hoping he would feel better. After batting in the fourth inning, however, he was done for the night.

“It actually got tighter,” he explained. “I swung at a pitch in the second at-bat and it didn’t feel good. I finished the at-bat because I didn’t want to take myself out of the game in the middle of the at-bat.”

– Overall, Jason Collins has been well received as the first openly gay athlete in major professional sports since joining the Nets last month. The team is 10-3 since he joined, and the veteran center was signed for the rest of the season last week.

However, he said he has not been welcomed by everyone, as one opposing player showed a lack of respect.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins told the New York Daily News. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself — just being professional.”

Collins noted that the team’s success helps prove that his situation has not been a distraction.

“Not just for myself, but I think for everyone. This shows that ‘distraction’ is B.S. That it’s about the team, it’s about the sport,” Collins said. “I hope this shows all players that you can still have your life off the court and not have to hide anything. And still have your life on the court or on the field or on the ice, I guess, in hockey. That’s a credit to my teammates and the entire Nets organization — from ownership to coaching to teammates to everyone.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 21, 1991, the Bruins peppered Quebec Nordiques goalie Ron Tugnutt with 73 shots — 10 short of the NHL record set by the B’s in 1941 — in a 3-3 tie. Which Bruin set an NHL record with 19 shots in the game?

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Report: Antonio Cromartie has 1-year deal with Cardinals

03.20.14 at 1:50 pm ET
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Former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cardinals, according to a report from ESPN.

The 6-foot-2 Cromartie joins Patrick Peterson to form one of the best defensive secondaries in the league.

The Jets released Cromartie after his fourth season in New York rather than pay him a $5 million roster bonus and take a $14.98 million cap hit in the final year of his deal. Cromartie was slowed by a hip injury this past season, although he played in the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

Cromartie, 29, has said that he is now healthy and wants to play eight more years.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Providence basketball team vows that sexual-assault accusation won’t be a distraction on eve of NCAAs

03.20.14 at 8:08 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.

MLB preseason: Yankees at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Braves at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Angels at Royals, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Giants at Padres, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Harvard vs. Cincinnati, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Dayton vs. Ohio State, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, American vs. Wisconsin, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Pittsburgh vs. Colorado, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Western Michigan vs. Syracuse, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, BYU vs. Oregon, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Albany vs. Florida, 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Delaware vs. Michigan State, 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Saint Joseph’s vs. UConn, 6:55 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Wofford vs. Michigan, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, N.C. State vs. Saint Louis, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Milwaukee vs. Villanova, 9:25 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Arizona State vs. Texas, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Manhattan vs. Louisville, 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, New Mexico State vs. San Diego State, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
NHL: Penguins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Benfica vs. Tottenham, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Porto at Napoli, 4 p.m. (FS1)


Ed Cooley

Ed Cooley

– There’s excitement at Providence College as the Friars prepare for Friday’s NCAA tournament opener against North Carolina after winning the Big East tournament on Saturday for the first time in 20 years, but the news out of Rhode Island Wednesday was not positive.

Police confirmed to the media that they are investigating after a female student filed a complaint two weeks ago alleging that two freshmen basketball players sexually assaulted her in November. A defense lawyer revealed that the accusations named Rodney Bullock and Brandon Austin, who were suspended from playing in games in the fall for “not upholding their responsibilities as student-athletes.” The school announced in December that neither player would be allowed to play this season. Austin now is at the University of Oregon. Bullock has remained with the Friars and accompanied the team to San Antonio for the NCAAs.

“The school did an exhaustive review, interviewed all the parties including the two male students, who voluntarily participated in the process,” Bullock’s lawyer Bill Lynch said. “There was never a finding against either of the students that there was a sexual assault.”

Lynch said his client would cooperate if contacted by police “100 percent voluntarily.” He also questioned the timing of the complaint.

“Suddenly, a feel before Providence is playing in the NCAA tournament, there’s a complaint filed? I’m getting too old to believe in coincidences,” he said.

Coach Ed Cooley said the team doesn’t plan to let the news be a distraction.

“We have faced adversity all year. This is just another bump,” he said (via the Providence Journal). “It’s old news and we’re going to move on from there. I don’t think it’s going to bother our guys at all.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino claims he isn’t upset that his team received a 4 seed for the NCAA tournament despite his prediction of a 1 seed. However, he is unhappy that the Cardinals open the tournament with a game against Manhattan and his former player and assistant coach, Steve Masiello.

“I think the pairings sometimes lack common sense,” Pitino said Wednesday. “I don’t think they would put somewhere down the road Duke-North Carolina, so ‘€¦ the matchups don’t make sense to me. I’m OK with the seedings. I’m not OK with the matchups.

“But the selection committee is very fair, very honorable, very honest people, so I can’t protest too much because they’re doing the best job that they can do. Maybe they’re a bunch of soccer ADs, I don’t know.”

Masiello, who was a ball boy for the Knicks when Pitino coached them, played for Pitino at Kentucky in 1996-97 then was an assistant at Louisville from 2005-11. He has modeled his Manhattan program to be like Louisville. That’s part of the reason why Pitino is disappointed.

“We press like him, we trap like him, his offensive sets are just like ours,” Pitino said. “That’s why I don’t like the game. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t like it. I don’t know why they would do it. I just don’t like the game at all for either one of us. We won the national championship and obviously we’re more heralded, but this is anybody’s game. This is not a 1-16.”

Said Masiello: “To see them come up and then see us come up against them, it takes a little fun out of it. It’s just, that’s not fun for me going against someone that I have to now try to beat, and almost in my mind, think negatively about. It’s hard for me to do that.”

Sam Tageson, a Californian teenager who has a life-threatening heart condition, signed a one-day contract with the Sharks and participated in warmups before Tuesday’s game as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“No way to top today,” Tageson told the San Jose Mercury News after practicing with the team in the morning, before taking the ice prior to the start of the game and standing on the blue line for the national anthem.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 20, 1957, the movie “Fear Strikes Out” made its premiere. Which Red Sox player was profiled in the film?

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Reds P Aroldis Chapman suffers broken bones in face after being hit by line drive

03.20.14 at 7:40 am ET
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Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman suffered broken bones in his face after being hit by a line drive during Wednesday’s spring training game against the Royals in Surprise, Ariz.

“Not good,” first-year Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He left the field on a stretcher, took a line drive just above his left eye is what it looks like — a contusion, a laceration, and certainly needs to be taken to the hospital and checked.”

Chapman’s pitch to Salvador Perez was clocked at 99 mph. The ball caromed into the third base dugout after hitting Chapman, who fell to the ground and flailed his legs.

“It was an absolute bullet that Sal hit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It’s just a real sickening feeling for everybody.”

Chapman, a 26-year-old left-hander, was conscious and talking as he left the field following the incident. The game was called at that point, with two outs in the sixth inning.

“Players were rattled,” crew chief Chris Guccione said. “The staff was rattled. The umpires were rattled. We figured it was best, along with both teams in agreement, that the game should end.”

Said Price: “You can’t find it in your heart to go out there and play.”

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President Obama picks Michigan State to win NCAA tournament, predicts Harvard upset

03.19.14 at 10:09 am ET
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President Barack Obama unveiled his NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN for the sixth straight year, and the nation’s boss is predicting Michigan State will defeat Louisville in the title game.

Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach,” Obama told ESPN’s Andy Katz as he wrote in his selections at the White House. “I’ve got Michigan State going all the way. … He knows how to motivate folks and he knows how to coach. My pick: Michigan State. Bring it home for me. It’s been a while since I’ve won my pool.”

Obama’s Final Four also includes No. 1 seeds Florida and Arizona.

“I know these are not imaginative picks, but I think they’re the right ones,” he said.

Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School, predicts the 12th-seeded Crimson will open with an upset for the second straight season, knocking off fifth-seeded Cincinnati.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks owner James Dolan ‘by no means an expert in basketball,’ will defer to Phil Jackson

03.19.14 at 8:11 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.

NBA: Heat at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Cal Poly vs. Texas Southern, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Iowa vs. Tennessee, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Illinois at Boston University, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Vermont at Georgia, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, UC Irvine at SMU, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, LSU at San Francisco, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Blues at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Pirates at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Rays at Orioles, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Angels at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at Rockies, 9:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Olympiakos at Manchester United, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)


Phil Jackson is taking control of the Knicks, and owner James Dolan (left) says he's happy to stay out of the way. (AP)

Phil Jackson is taking control of the Knicks, and owner James Dolan (left) says he’s happy to stay out of the way. (AP)

– The Knicks introduced new president Phil Jackson to great fanfare Tuesday with controversial owner James Dolan saying he is “willingly and gratefully” ceding authority to allow Jackson the space to fix the team.

Making a rare media appearance, Dolan acknowledged what New York fans have known for years: he’s no whiz when it comes to running a basketball team. Although he admittedly has meddled in basketball decisions in the past, he said he’s prepared to defer to those who are more qualified.

“The two gentlemen to my left [Jackson and general manager Steve Mills] are the experts in basketball. I am by no means an expert in basketball,” Dolan said. “I’m a fan, but my expertise lies in managing companies and new businesses. So I think I’m a little out of my element when it comes to the team.”

The 68-year-old Jackson, who signed a five-year deal worth a reported $60 million, said he plans to focus on “the kind of culture that’s built” and improve the experience for the players.

“The organization has suffered in the past few years from things I think have just been created, by press, by lack of continuity, by lack of solidarity,” Jackson said.

Jackson has won 13 NBA titles — two as a player with the Knicks and the rest as a coach with the Bulls and Lakers — and he said leading New York to a title would the perfect way to go out.

Said Jackson: “This would be the pinnacle, a capstone, on the remarkable career that I’ve had.”

– Former Pistons standout Ben Wallace was sentenced to a year in jail — but only ordered to serve two days of the sentence — for leaving the scene of a car accident last month.

An SUV registered to Wallace crashed into a fence outside a Virginia home last month, taking out a 20-foot section of the fence.

“It was dark, but it’€™s clear from here I saw one person trying to fight to get out of the car,” homeowner Silverio Acosta told WTVR-TV. Acosta said he saw the man smash pieces of wood against the fence after exiting the car “because he was angry.”

Wallace, who pleaded guilty to drunken driving and weapon possession charges related to an incident in the Detroit area three years ago, pleased no contest Tuesday.

– No 16 seed has ever knocked off a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, although there have been two one-point games (Georgetown’s escape vs. Princeton, and Oklahoma’s victory over East Tennessee State, both in 1989) and an overtime contest (Michigan State over Murray State in 1990).

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how such an upset can happen, noting that teams that came close were able to slow down the game and/or use a solid zone defense.

Three No. 15 seeds have knocked off No. 2 seeds in the last two years, but the 16 seeds are 0-116 since the tournament expanded in 1985, despite teams from smaller leagues closing the gap on the power conferences.

Said TNT analyst Charles Barkley: “It’s going to happen at some point soon.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 19, 1972, which Bruins player scored two power-play goals in a 7-3 victory over the visiting Minnesota North Stars and in the process set an NHL single-season record with 27 power-play goals (he finished the season with 28)?

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Bruce Pearl returns to college basketball as Auburn coach

03.18.14 at 11:42 am ET
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Bruce Pearl, fired as Tennessee coach in 2011 after lying to NCAA investigators and committing other violations, is back in the SEC after accepting the job at Auburn.

Pearl, who had been working as an ESPN analyst the past two seasons, spent six seasons at Tennessee, compiling a 145-61 record and taking the volunteers to the NCAA tournament every year. But he was given a three-year show cause by the NCAA, which expires in August, for being untruthful to investigators who were questioning him about his recruitment of guard Aaron Craft (now an Ohio State senior). When it was discovered that he had committed other violations, Pearl was fired by Tennessee shortly after the 2010-11 season ended.

“I’m humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love,” the 54-year-old Pearl said in a story on Auburn‘s website. “I don’t know how long it will take, but it’s time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy.”

Pearl, a Sharon native and Boston College alumnus, replaces former UMass player Tony Barbee, who was fired last week after going 49-75 in four seasons with the Tigers.

“From the moment I met Coach Pearl and heard his vision for our basketball program, it was clear he’s the right man at the right time for Auburn,” athletic director Jay Jacobs said on the school’s website.

“Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program. We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl’s leadership. I know he agrees with me — it’s time to win.”

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NFL roundup: Giants sign former Broncos Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trindon Holliday

03.18.14 at 9:03 am ET
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Within the span of just a few hours, the Giants signed two former members of the Broncos on Monday.

First, the Giants picked up cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in an effort to improve their secondary. The move came after a week where the Giants re-signed five players and agreed to deals with running back Rashad Jennings, guard Geoff Schwarts and linebacker Jameel McClain.

“The main thing, bringing in guys from Kansas City, Seattle, you can see what they’€™re doing, trying to bring guys that are going to come in and lead by example,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “That’€™s always a plus.”

Rodgers-Cromartie, who is entering his seventh NFL season, was a first-round selection in 2008 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009. In 13 starts with Denver last season, Rodgers-Cromartie had 31 tackles, a team-high 15 passes defensed and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.

Later Monday evening, the Giants and return specialist Trindon Holliday then agreed to a one-year deal, according to ESPN.com.

The 5-foot-5 Holliday had 1,046 yards with two touchdowns, one of which came against the Giants in Week 2, last season.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘willing to do whatever’ to help Phil Jackson succeed with Knicks

03.18.14 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.

NHL: Bruins at Devils, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Raptors at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Albany vs. Mount St. Mary’s, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, N.C. State vs. Xavier, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Robert Morris at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Florida Gulf Coast at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, West Virginia at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Indiana State at Arkansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Georgia State at Clemson, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Davidson at Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Utah at Saint Mary’s, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Yankees, 1 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
MLB preseason: Athletics at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at Rangers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Galatasaray at Chelsea, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)


Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Phil Jackson is set to be introduced as Knicks president Tuesday, and star forward Carmelo Anthony says he’s “wiling to do whatever” is needed to get the team moving in the right direction.

Anthony, who becomes a free agent after this season, said Monday he had not spoken with Jackson but was looking forward to seeing if the Hall of Fame coach could work his magic in New York.

“The big picture, absolutely, for the big picture this is definitely more attractive,” Anthony said after Monday’s practice (via the New York Daily News).

“I’m willing to do whatever. As long as it’s going to put me in a situation to win, I’m willing to do whatever. I’m not sold or stuck on my play. What I’ve been able to do these past 10-11 years has gotten me to where I am right now.

“If Phil wants to come in and change that this late in my career, if it’s going to help me out to win a championship, I’m with it.”

Added Anthony: “As far as knowing what it takes to win, Phil is the best to ever do it. So for me to be able to have the opportunity and have him by my side, for him to teach me, you know, because I’€™m still willing to learn the game of basketball. … I haven’€™t won anything, and he’€™s won a lot. I can learn a lot from him and his system, things that he wants to incorporate here. I’€™m hoping and praying this all works.”

Meanwhile, rumors persist that Jackson will tab former Bulls guard Steve Kerr as Knicks coach. Kerr, now a TNT commentator after serving as general manager of the Suns from 2007-10, appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday and acknowledged he remained close to Jackson but chose his words carefully out of respect for current coach Mike Woodson.

“I’m perfectly happy doing what I’m doing, trust me,” Kerr said. “At some point in my life, if there’s a [coaching] opportunity that intrigues me, I might take it.”

– A federal lawsuit filed Monday charges that the NCAA and its five dominant conferences comprise an “unlawful cartel” that makes billions off athletes who are illegally restricted from earning their fair share.

The suit — the latest attempt by current and former athletes to cause dramatic changes in the NCAA’s oversight of college athletics — seeks monetary damages along with a declaration that the NCAA along with the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12 are violating antitrust laws.

“As a result of these illegal restrictions, market forces have been shoved aside and substantial damages have been inflicted upon a host of college athletes whose services have yielded riches only for others,” according to the court filing. “This class action is necessary to end the NCAA’s unlawful cartel, which is inconsistent with the most fundamental principles of antitrust law.”

The four defendants are Rutgers basketball player Johnathan “J.J.” Moore, Clemson football player Martin Jenkins, Texas-El Paso football player Kevin Perry and California football player William Tyndall.

– Fans of the Kontinental Hockey League club Barys Astana were ecstatic after their team won its first-ever playoff series last week, sweeping Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. When the team arrived home, a group of fans met the players at the airport. Some of them lifted up forward Talgat Zhailauov and tossed him in the air. However, they failed to catch him, and he fell to the ground.

Zhailauov, reportedly went to a hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was unclear if he would be able to play in the team’s second-round series this week.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 18, 1953, the National League owners approved the move of the Braves from Boston to Milwaukee. Who was the Braves owner?

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Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested for DWI

03.17.14 at 8:36 am ET
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Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night.

Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night.

After authorities stopped him for suspicion of drunken driving Sunday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested in Carmel, a northern suburb of Indianapolis, according to Hamilton Country Sheriff’s Department Deputy Bryant Orem.

Although some details of the arrest were not immediately available, the Associated Press reports that Irsay was held on preliminary charges of possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.

“He’s told people that he hasn’t drank in 15 years, and I’ve never seen him drink, but they got him for possession of a controlled substance,” Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz said on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning. “I would bet the house that it’s pain-killers or some kind of drug like that, and this sadly comes as no great surprise to anybody who’s been around the Colts for the past couple of years.

“There was a kind of sad inevitability about this happening.”

Kravtiz added that Irsay has lost a significant amount of weight over the past two years — something Irsay attributed to his recovery from surgery on both his hip and his back.

“He was stooped over like an 80-year-old man during the course of the season,” Kravtiz said. “He said he lost the weight on doctor’s orders in order to keep some of the strain off his back and off of his hip, but there were times when he had difficulty … saying what he wanted to say. He just seemed addled at times.”

According to the New York Daily News, Irsay spent a month in rehab in 2002 for pain-killer addiction.

“What I’ll be curious about is how Roger Goodell deals with it when the smoke clears … and I think you do hold your front office people and your owners to a  higher standard, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he gets popped in some way, shape or form by Roger Goodell,” Kravtiz said. “I think that he probably should, but what needs to happen here is Jim needs to do a public mea culpa — I reached out to him already — and go get some help.

“Addiction is a life-long struggle, and … just adding two and two again, it wounds like the demons are biting him in the ass again.”

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