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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Becky Hammon coaches Spurs to Las Vegas Summer League title

07.21.15 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Dream at Sky, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
WNBA: Mercury at Sparks, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Fiorentina vs. Paris, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, LA Galaxy vs. Barcelona, 11 p.m. (FS1)


— Becky Hammon’s first foray into being a head coach of an NBA team ended with a championship, as the Spurs beat the Suns, 93-90, in the Las Vegas Summer League title game Monday night.

The first female coach of an NBA summer league team, Hammon guided the Spurs to an opening loss and then six straight victories — including a buzzer-beating win over the Celtics in the quarterfinals — en route to the championship.

“You never know what your journey has in store,” Hammon told Sports Illustrated. “You just work hard and keep your nose to the grind. You do things the right way, you treat people the right way, and good things happen. . . . I’m just thankful that [Gregg Popovich] trusted me with the guys in that locker room, and that those guys trusted me back.”

Jonathon Simmons, who scored 23 points and was named MVP, was highly complimentary of Hammon, who became the first woman to serve as a full-time NBA assistant coach last season after retiring from a playing career in the WNBA.

“It’s amazing. It was a humbling experience. For all of us,” Simmons told NBATV. “I really love her and I’ve only known her a couple of days. She’s a real cool coach. She’s a player’s coach. That’s something we all like.”

— Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter became the latest NFL player to be arrested this offseason, as the 24-year-old was charged with felony assault by stabbing, cutting or wounding for his role in a bar fight earlier this month in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

According to reports out of Virginia Beach, a large brawl broke out at the Sandbar Raw Bar on July 3. One person was taken to the hospital, although the extent of the individual’s injuries was not clear.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Becky Hammon, Justin Hunter,

Video: English prankster throws money at Sepp Blatter during FIFA press conference

07.20.15 at 10:35 am ET
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In case FIFA president Sepp Blatter has not been embarrassed enough following accusations of rampant corruption in his organization, an English comedian made sure the embattled Blatter was publicly shamed.

Lee Nelson (who also uses the alias Jason Bent, and whose real name is Simon Brodkin) walked onstage during Monday’s FIFA press conference in Zurich and placed a stack of fake dollar bills next to Blatter, who immediately gestured for assistance from security. As he was escorted offstage, Nelson then threw another wad of fake money in the air, raining it down on an uncomfortable Blatter.

Said Nelson, “Sepp, this is for North Korea in 2026. … Cheers, Sepp — it’s all there.”

Blatter then walked to the podium and announced there would be a delay while the stage was cleaned.

When he returned later, Blatter said FIFA will appoint an 11-person task force that will propose reforms intended to clean up world soccer’s governing body. It also was decided that FIFA also will hold an election to replace Blatter on Feb. 26.

Read More: Sepp Blatter,

Heading into union meeting, NBA players question Adam Silver’s claim that teams are losing money

07.20.15 at 9:12 am ET
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According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, “a significant number” of teams are losing money. However, players were hard-pressed to agree with Silver at Sunday’s NBA Players Awards show in Las Vegas, citing a need for proof before they believe him.

“I’ve got to see that for myself,” said Chris Paul, president of the players’ union. “This is probably one of the first years I didn’t really pay too much attention. … But we have a number of things we want to talk about, obviously some a little more important than others.”

For Paul and the rest of the union, they have specific issues they want to address during Monday’s meeting. They did not disclose their agenda at the Players Awards, but did voice their suspicion over Silver’s comments on teams’ worth.

“I can’t agree with that,” Nazr Mohammed said about Silver’s claim. “I think the league is as healthy as it’s ever been. Teams are worth more than they’ve ever been. The Clippers just went for $2 billion. I think it’s hard to say that especially when you networks willing to give us the type of money they are to watch our games.”

According to Paul and players’ union executive director Michelle Roberts, LeBron James will be directly involved in discussions with the commissioner, a huge boost for younger players coming up on their first collective bargaining decision.

“Obviously me and ‘Bron talk about it every day,” Paul said. “He’s the face of our league. His opinion matters. Our players listen when he talks. It’ll be great to have him in there. One thing about ‘Bron, too, is when he commits to something he’s always passionate about it, so I know his voice will be heard.”

NBA players and owners will have the chance to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2017, a decision that could result in another lockout like the one seen in 2011. While the players prepare for the discussions Monday, they hope for productive talks that don’t stall the process before more intense negotiations next offseason.

“I’ve been around long enough and I know there’s a lot of posturing that goes on during this process,” Mohammed said. “There’s going to be things said that can be supported by numbers, but sometimes the numbers don’t always give out the real facts. Hopefully they’re going to let us see their books and we’ll see exactly what they mean by that.”

Read More: Adam Silver, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Michelle Roberts

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Pro surfer fights off shark during competition

07.20.15 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Angels, 5:05 p.m., 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


— A three-time world surfing champion fought off a shark during a competition off the coast of South Africa on Sunday, leading to the cancellation of the World Surf League event.

Australian Mick Fanning was sitting on his board during the J-Bay Open when the shark attacked from behind, knocking him into the water. While underwater, Fanning said, he punched the shark in the back and was able to escape without injury as rescue boats quickly raced to the scene and got him to safety.

“I just can’t believe it,” Fanning said. “I’m just tripping. … To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked.”

Fanning said he never saw the shark approach, but he soon realized what was happening.

“All of the sudden, I just had this instinct that something was behind me,” the 34-year-old said. “And then all of the sudden, I felt like I started getting pulled underwater. Then the [shark] came up, and I was on my board and it was like right there, and I saw the whole thing thrashing around.

“I was getting dragged under by my leg wrap, and then I felt like it kicked me off, but it was still there, and I was still attached to my board. I felt like it was dragging me underwater, and then my leg wrap broke, and I started swimming and screaming.”

— Troubled point guard Ty Lawson will have a new home, as the Nuggets reportedly agreed to send him along with a 2017 second-round draft pick to the Rockets for a protected 2016 first-round pick and four non-guaranteed contracts, including point guard Pablo Prigioni.

According to ESPN, in addition to Prigioni the Nuggets will receive Kostas Papanikolaou, Joey Dorsey and Nick Johnson.

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Read More: Michael Platini, Mick Fanning, Sepp Blatter, Ty Lawson

Thinking Out Loud: Why should Tom Brady accept a suspension if he’s not guilty?

07.17.15 at 8:47 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Ray Fosse?

— Tick, tick, tock. Still nothing from NFL czar Roger Goodell on the Tom Brady decision, even though we had multiple reports this week saying the ruling would come today — or tomorrow — or by the end of the week. It was none of the above. Trying to predict when news will happen, just so you can say “I’m first!” only creates foolishness, and erodes credibility. Competition causes reasonable people to act unreasonably.

— We did, however, learn that Brady’s legal team and the NFLPA will take the matter to federal court should a suspension of any length be at hand. Can’t say I’m surprised. If you’re not guilty, why accept a plea bargain?

— We’ve maintained in this corner that Brady would fight his four-game suspension to the bitter end. Sure, it would be best to move this along and get it behind us all, but the NFL’s resistance to logic only adds fuel to the competitive fire in Foxboro. So let the tick, tick, tock keep on ticking. The explosion to come could be entertaining.

— I’m not big into awards shows, and the ESPYs have pretty much run their course for me since their inception in 1993. It was cool when it started, even cooler to be a small part of it by interviewing some of the stars on the radio after the show had completed, but in later years it has become passé with athletes mostly trying to outdo other athletes for recognition. The show this year, on Wednesday night, was a bit different.

— Yes, there was the surreal spectacle that was Caitlyn Jenner. Say whatever you want about her, and you’d probably be right. Bravery, however, was at least a small part of her appearance. And for the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Devon Still, whose daughter Leah continues to fight pediatric cancer? If anyone deserves good will, he deserves to have his prayers answered and have a healthy daughter. He’s well-spoken and proud. And seems to be a great dad, too.

— Play of the Year? Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-handed catch? Please. How about an amazing play that actually counted for something — like Malcolm Butler’s goal-line pick in the Super Bowl? It will only go down as the single most memorable play in championship history. But not Play of the Year. Stupid is as stupid does.

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Read More: Roger Goodell, Tom Brady,

Patriots, Red Sox rank among Forbes’ most valuable franchises

07.17.15 at 1:20 pm ET
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The Patriots rank as the seventh-most valuable sports franchise in the world, according to Forbes’ annual rankings.

The Pats are valued at $2.6 billion, the second-most valuable team in the NFL (behind only the Cowboys).

New England sports are well-represented at the top of the list, as the Red Sox are rated as the 12th-most valuable franchise at $2.1 billion. The standing puts the Sox third in baseball, behind the Yankees and Dodgers.

For the third year in a row, Spanish soccer club Real Madrid tops the list, this year with a value of $3.26 billion. The Cowboys and Yankees are tied for second at $3.2 billion. Real Madrid‘s domestic rival FC Barcelona comes in fourth with a $3.16 billion value. English soccer club Manchester United rounds out the top five, at $3.1 billion.

The Lakers are tied with Patriots for sixth, followed by the Knicks ($2.5 billion). The Dodgers and Redskins ($2.4 billion) are tied for ninth.

The average value of the Forbes top 50 is $1.75 billion, marking a 31 percent increase from 2014. A year ago, there were 10 baseball and basketball teams represented, while this year’s list contained 22.

Read More: Forbes,

Brandon Marshall: Jets ‘will be my last team’

07.17.15 at 10:00 am ET
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Receiver Brandon Marshall said on Twitter on Thursday that the Jets will be his last NFL team.

While answering questions from Twitter followers, Marshall was asked which team he will end his career with and how many years he has left in the league. Marshall replied, “After Jets I’m done.”

The wideout has three years and $26 million remaining on his contract. Last season, he had 61 catches for 721 yards and eight touchdowns with the Bears.

Marshall played his first four seasons with the Broncos before moving on to the Dolphins. He lasted two years in Miami and subsequently spent three in Chicago before being traded to the Jets in March.

Read More: Brandon Marshall,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pedro Martinez says Manny Ramirez must ‘carry the consequences’ of PED use

07.17.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Club America vs. Manchester United, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Pedro Martinez, headed for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame next weekend, said Thursday that “probably 60 percent” of major leaguers were using performance-enhancing drugs in the early 2000s, and he acknowledged it likely will prevent fellow Red Sox great Manny Ramirez from joining him in Cooperstown.

“It’s unfortunate for the Dominican Republic, it’s unfortunate for his career and actually for himself,” Martinez said of Ramirez during a conference call. “Because Manny probably loves the game more than anybody else that you can think of.”

Added Martinez: “Manny has a great attitude. He’s very well-liked by a lot of people. He’s a great teammate. He has so many things going in his favor, but he’s going to have to carry the consequences that many more have had to carry. I don’t condone anybody doing anything bad as far as cheating the game.”

Martinez, who went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA for the Red Sox from 1998 to 2004, said he has no regrets about pitching during the steroid era.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said. “There’s no crying.”

Martinez, who will be inducted with former Braves pitcher John Smoltz (who briefly pitched for the Red Sox in the final year of his career), is the first Dominican player to be so honored since Giants pitcher Juan Marichal in 1983.

“The people will see a most unique Hall of Fame induction,” Martinez said. “I’m really excited about the response of the Dominican people. They’ve waited 33 years to see one of their players inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Martinez also will be honored by the Red Sox by having his No. 45 retired.

“As excited as I am about being in the Hall of Fame, I’€™m really excited about my number being retired, extremely humble and proud,” he said. “It doesn’€™t happen very often, to actually have a number retired forever in the big leagues.”

— Colin Cowherd is the latest big-name personality to part ways with ESPN, with the network announcing Thursday that the host of the “The Herd” midway show on ESPN Radio since 2004 would not be re-signed. Multiple reports indicate he is likely to resurface at Fox Sports.

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Read More: Colin Cowherd, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Injured Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul in limbo as deadline passes with no new deal

07.16.15 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Cycling: Tour de France, 6 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


— While major deals were handed out to the likes of Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline for NFL players with franchise tags, there was notable silence from the Giants and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pierre-Paul’s status remains in limbo after he lost his right index finger and severely injured his right thumb in a fireworks accident July 4. Although the team reportedly has not rescinded its $14.8 million franchise tag offer, there is no long-term deal.

The team reportedly already had been leaning toward letting Pierre-Paul play under the franchise tag in 2015 and then negotiating a new contract after the season. Following Pierre-Paul’s injury and the uncertainty about when he’ll be able to return, it apparently made the decision easy.

Pierre-Paul has not signed the franchise tender, which is worth $14.8 million, so he is not on the team’s official roster. He reportedly plans to hold off signing the tender until he’s sure he can pass the team’s physical, which would mean the team could not place him on the non-football injury (NFI) list. If Pierre-Paul goes on the NFI list, he would be required to miss at least the first six games, for which he would not be paid.

On the other hand, until he signs the tender he cannot participate in any team activities, including working with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to learn the team’s new defense. Pierre-Paul had skipped the team’s offseason workouts and practices in the spring.

The sides are expected to work toward a settlement that would allow Pierre-Paul to receive a guaranteed deal worth less than the franchise number that would avoid the NFI list.

Pierre-Paul, 26, had 12 1/2 sacks last season. He has 42 sacks in his five-year career.

— According to reports out of Switzerland, former FIFA executive Jeffrey Webb was extradited to the United States to face charges of bribery.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice announced that an unnamed individual was handed over to three U.S. police officers Wednesday to be accompanied on a flight to New York, where he is expected to appear in court Thursday or Friday. A number of media outlets reported that it is Webb, who had served as president of the Central and North American soccer federation (CONCACAF).

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Read More: Jason Pierre-Paul, Kenneth Webb,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Bills place OL coach Aaron Kromer on paid leave after weekend arrest

07.15.15 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WNBA: Stars at Liberty, 11 a.m. (NBATV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


Aaron Kromer

Aaron Kromer

— The Bills placed offensive line coach Aaron Kromer on paid administrative leave following his arrest over the weekend for allegedly punching a boy in the face in a dispute over beach chairs in Florida.

“We have been in regular discussions with the league office and have decided to place Aaron on indefinite paid administrative leave in accordance with the league’s personal conduct policy while we continue to work our way through the investigative process with the league,” Bills president Russ Brandon said in a statement Tuesday.

According to TMZ, Kromer’s 21-year-old son, Zach, was charged with battery for his part in the incident.

Kromer stands accused of pushing one of the boys down, punching him in the face, then telling him he would kill his family if he revealed what happened.

— Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was arrested for DUI for the second time this year when he was stopped in Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

Lawson allegedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on a Hollywood highway around 2 a.m. when he was pulled over and displayed several signs of intoxication.

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Read More: Aaron Kromer, DaMarcus Beasley, Jozy Altidore, Ty Lawson