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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jason Collins received warmly by Brooklyn crowd, expected to be re-signed

03.04.14 at 8:02 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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Lightning at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Heat at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Pelicans at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Florida State at Boston College, 9 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Florida at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Iowa State at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan at Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: South Florida at Houston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Marquette at Providence, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Alabama at Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Arizona State at Oregon, 11 p.m. (FS1)
MLB preseason: Astros at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Rangers at Angels, 3 p.m. (FS1)
MLB preseason: Orioles at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jason Collins, who was warmly received by the Brooklyn crowd during his home debut with the Nets on Monday night, will return to the team on a second 10-day contract after his current deal expires Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Collins, the league’s first openly gay player, then is expected to be signed for the remainder of the season after his second 10-day deal.

Late in Monday’s 96-80 victory over the Bulls, fans at the Barclays Center chanted Collins’ name. He checked in with 2:41 remaining and received a brief ovation.

“It was cool, Collins said. “It was a lot of fun going into the game, but the most important thing was that we got the win.”

Playing in Brooklyn, where Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Collins brushed off comparisons to the baseball legend.

“I’m just trying to be Jason Collins,” he said. “What Jackie Robinson did for the sport of baseball and our society [is] tremendous. But I am just trying to be Jason Collins.”

Collins’ jersey has been a best-seller since shortly after he signed on Feb. 23. He wears No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student from Wyoming who was tortured and killed in 1998.

“Honestly, I have been a little bit surprised,” Collins said. “But it is great to see all that support for the jersey and all that it stands for and why I chose the number. It is one of those pleasant surprises in life, and thank you to all the people who have gone out there and bought the jersey.”

– The U.S. Soccer team is scheduled to play Ukraine in an exhibition game Wednesday, and the game appears to be on despite the political violence ravaging the country. The match was moved out of Ukraine to Cyprus last week, but the head of Ukraine’s soccer federation said Monday that the team would not go following Russia’s intervention in the crisis over the weekend.

However, that appears to have changed, as U.S. Soccer released a statement Monday night saying: “The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled.”

Meanwhile, the referee slated to work the match had his car bombed in Cyprus on Friday. While Leontios Trattou was not in the car and escaped injury, Cyprus postponed all of its first-division matches over the weekend.

Ukraine did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

– Fox Sports announced Monday that Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci will join Joe Buck in the booth for the network’s Major League Baseball broadcasts, including the All-Star Game and World Series.

A vacancy opened when Tim McCarver retired after last season, and Fox decided on Reynolds and Verducci a couple of months ago, after having them do a practice broadcast together in St. Louis late last season.

“The people calling the World Series have a unique relationship with the game and a special responsibility to baseball,” Fox Sports president Eric Shanks said (via Sports Illustrated). “The broadcasting side of baseball is kind of placed on a mantle, and with someone doing it for 30 years like Tim, it was the biggest decision in my time here.”

Former Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler and 2014 Hall of Famer Frank Thomas will be part of the pregame show, hosted by Kevin Burkhardt.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 4, 1984, which standout Red Sox catcher from the 1930s was chosen for the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee?

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Report: Broncos QB Peyton Manning cleared after neck exam

03.03.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was cleared to play in 2014 after having an exam on his surgically repaired neck, according to multiple reports.

Broncos executive vice president John Elway confirmed the news to ESPN.

The exam was mandated by the five-year, $96 million contract Manning signed with Denver as a free agent in 2012. Manning, 37, missed the entire 2011 season while recovering from the surgery and then was released by the Colts.

Manning set NFL records by passing for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns this past season. He led the Broncos to a 13-3 record and a victory over the Patriots in the AFC championship game. The Broncos were routed by the Seahawks, 43-8, in the Super Bowl.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Dodgers’ Josh Beckett cautiously optimistic after impressive return to mound

03.03.14 at 7:54 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Pelicans at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Savannah State at N.C. Central, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: N.C. State at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas State at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Sabres at Stars, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Angels at Diamondbacks, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Josh Beckett is winless this season and worried about his future as he deals with a nerve issue in his right hand. (AP)

Josh Beckett got his comeback off to a good start with Sunday’s performance in spring training. (AP)

Josh Beckett made his return to the mound Sunday in Phoenix, starting for the Dodgers for the first time since last May, and showed signs that he can contribute to the team in the last year of his contract that will pay him $15.75 million in 2014.

The former Red Sox right-hander had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome — pressure on a nerve that was causing tingling and numbness in his fingers and making it difficult for him to grip the ball properly — and missed most of 2013. The recovery was not easy.

“For a while afterward, there was no way I could get comfortable, no position I could get myself into. It felt like there was a knife in my back at all times,” he said (via the Los Angeles Times).

On Sunday, Beckett overcame a bout with nervousness — “I didn’t sleep very well last night,” he said afterward — to pitch solid two innings against the Padres. He allowed no runs on one hit with three strikeouts, and his fastball topped out at 91 mph.

The 33-year-old said, “I’m glad it went well,” and indicated he “absolutely” plans to be ready by Opening Day. However, he admitted concern about a recurrence of the problems that plagued him a year ago.

“I just think the more times I get to face hitters trying to get hits off me and trying to put themselves in good situations, it’€™s going to benefit me mentally getting over whatever mental things I have going on,” Beckett said, adding: “There’€™s a part of me that can’t get that out of my head of, ‘When is this going to happen again?’ ”

– ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas is not impressed with how some coaches have been behaving on the sidelines.

Bilas did not hold back in criticizing Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim for overreacting to a call with 10 seconds left in a two-point game against Duke on Feb. 22 and getting ejected from the game, essentially ending his team’s chances to win. Bilas was disappointed that the ACC determined no further action was warranted.

“There needed to be something said by the authority there because the ACC has a book this thick on sportsmanship,” Bilas said. “Well, it’s clear that the sportsmanship guidelines only apply to the players, and that’s wrong.”

On Saturday, Kentucky’s John Calipari was ejected from his team’s loss at South Carolina, and Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin got into a heated exchange with veteran official Ted Valentine.

“I think there’€™s a lack of humility with the way referees are addressed, the way with they’€™re dealt with in games,” Bilas said. “We’€™ve got a unique problem. Coaches in the NBA behave better than coaches in college, who claim to be teachers and molders of young men. How can that possibly be?

“Everybody needs to take a look in the mirror here and fix our behavior, including in press conferences where we are questioning the officiating and we are denigrating the product to the public, and public confidence in the job the officials are doing.

“This is a social contract we have. The officials are the law of the court. When they make a decision, that decision stands. How coaches act is important. Not every coach acts inappropriately, but too many are doing it and I think we need to put a stop to it and I’€™ll tell you why: If we think that coach behavior influences the officials, then that’€™s a competitive advantage and we need to put a stop to it.

“If we don’€™t think it’€™s an influence, then it looks horrible and it erodes public confidence in officiating and we need to stop it. So tell me how we don’€™t need to stop it. We have to stop it. The coaches have to take the lead and police themselves.”

– Indians reliever Jon Axford has a future in Oscar analysis if he does not succeed in Cleveland this season. The closer predicted the winners of 18 Academy Awards and got every one of them correct.

Axford is not a one-hit wonder. Last year he went 14-for-15, and he was 22-of-28 over the previous two years combined.

Axford joked about closing in on a “perfect game” as the awards were handed out Sunday night, and then he tweeted after the show: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 for 18! #Oscars

 

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 3, 1985, which Celtic scored a team-record 56 points, hitting 22-of-28 shots in a 138-129 victory over the Pistons at the Boston Garden?

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Report: Richie Incognito receiving psychiatric care

02.28.14 at 12:44 pm ET
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Offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who said that he took a baseball bat to his own $300,000 Ferrarri and put dents in the hood, is undergoing treatment at a psychiatric care unit, according to a report at NFL.com.

 

Incognito, who previously has acknowledged issues with anger management and depression, reportedly checked into the facility Thursday night. He had been staying at his offseason home in Arizona after spending several weeks in hotels in Hawaii and Los Angeles while “multiple parties attempted to intervene,” the report indicates.

Earlier Thursday, Incognito talked to Fox 10 in Arizona about the damage to his car.

“Oh that was that was just me venting, that was self expression, that’s a piece of art,” Incognito said. “The happiest day of my life was when I got that car and now the second happiest day will be when I donate it to charity. The Ferrari is a story unto itself, the Ferrari is one entity, but I will tell you this the Ferrari is going to be for sale through my mission which is helping the brotherhood, whatever brotherhood it is.”

Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins midway through the 2013 season for his role in the bullying scandal that led to the departure of teammate Jonathan Martin. An independent investigator, in a report released earlier this month, determined that Incognito was largely at fault for the team’s locker room issues.

Incognito’s parents recently filed for divorce, and he reportedly has been providing financial support to the family.

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Arrest warrants issued for former Saints DB Darren Sharper in New Orleans

02.28.14 at 9:38 am ET
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Just over a month after he was arrested in Los Angeles, former Saints defensive back Darren Sharper has warrants out for his arrest in New Orleans. According to USA Today, Sharper allegedly raped two women in New Orleans last September and is suspected of raping a total of nine women in five states.

A source has told CNN that Sharper turned himself into police Thursday evening, hours after the warrants were obtained.

The New Orleans warrants also seek Sharper’€™s acquaintance Erik Nunez, whose LinkedIn account states that he is an “event coordinator/sales executive at Get Checked or Get out.” The health charity promotes breast-cancer awareness, and, since Sharper’€™s marketing agent runs the charity, Sharper has appeared as the star attendee at some of the group’€™s events.

Police in New Orleans were already investigating Sharper for one alleged rape in New Orleans from last September, and, last week, a Los Angeles prosecutor referenced a second alleged victim in Louisiana.

Sharper and Nunez both face two counts of aggravated rape in New Orleans.

“Last week, investigators learned that not one but two women were allegedly sexually assaulted by Sharper in the same apartment the night of September 23rd,” the New Orleans police said in a statement. “New information uncovered also indicates that Nunez also allegedly raped both women that night at the same location.”

According to the New Orleans police, additional arrests are possible as the investigation continues.

Last week, Sharper pleaded not guilty to charges in Los Angeles that he drugged two women and then raped them. Police suspect that Sharper did the same thing to two women in Arizona and Nevada and that he allegedly raped a highly intoxicated woman in Miami Beach, Fla.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Richie Incognito tells police he vandalized own car

02.28.14 at 8:01 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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB preseason: Twins at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
MLB preseason: Marlins at Cardinals, 1 p.m. (MLB)
NBA: Warriors at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iona at Manhattan, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Campbell at High Point, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Brown at Penn, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Canisius at Rider, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Northeastern at Boston University, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: North Dakota at St. Cloud State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito‘s $300,000 Ferrari was vandalized, and the controversial offensive lineman told police he’s the one responsible for it.

According to a police spokesman in Scottsdale, Ariz., officers went to Incognito’s home after being contacted by the gossip website TMZ and being given a photo of the car with dents in its hood. Incognito explained that he smashed the car with a baseball bat.

“Our patrol officers contacted Mr. Incognito at his residence to ascertain if he was in need of police assistance or report the damage to his car,” Sergeant Mark Clark said. “He told officers that he damaged his own car and did not wish [to file] a police report.”

Incognito, a 10-year veteran, was suspended midway through last season following news of his involvement in the Dolphins bullying scandal that led to the departure of fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin.

Incognito, who has admitted undergoing treatment for anger management issues, was cited in an NFL-commissioned investigative report for inappropriate behavior in the locker room and is awaiting further discipline from the league. The soon-to-be free agent has said he wants to play next season.

Cops: Richie Incognito Smashed Ferrari Himself
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– Ravens safety Matt Elam is hoping to open a sports merchandise store someday, so he decided to get some experience at the bottom level. Elam took a job this offseason as a part-time sales associate at a Finish Line store in a mall in Gainesville, Fla., working the floor and stocking shelves.

“I just need to get retail knowledge,” Elam said. “That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m getting that knowledge for when it’s time. ‘€¦ Everybody was surprised when I started. They were like, ‘Why? You’ve got enough money.’ But it’s not about the money. It’s just about me building.”

Elam, who played collegiately at the University of Florida, a few miles from the store, also is taking classes to finish his degree in anthropology.

As fans have started to realize he’s there, it’s created a buzz for the store.

“A lot of people have started recognizing me,” Elam said. “Kids will come in for pictures and fans will come in asking for pictures, autographs. People will be buying stuff just for me to sign it. It’s pretty exciting.”

– The ball Carlton Fisk hit off the left-field foul pole to end Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is going up for auction in April.

The ball, retrieved by Reds left fielder George Foster after it bounced back onto the field, was purchased for $113,273 in 1999 by Rick Elfman, a Red Sox fan who attended the game as a high schooler. Elfman now is parting with the keepsake, with Robert Edwards Auctions asking a minimum bid of $100,000.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 28, 1965, which Bruins defenseman’s playing career was ended when a skate severed a muscle in his leg during a 5-4 victory over the Blackhawks?

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Jason Collins Nets jerseys lead sales on NBA website

02.27.14 at 1:19 pm ET
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Nets forward Jason Collins‘ jersey is a hot seller. A league spokesman said four of the five top-selling jersey items Wednesday on NBAStore.com were Collins’: his home and road replica jerseys, a women’s replica road jersey and a men’s T-shirt with his number on it.

A LeBron James jersey item was the fifth-highest seller.

Collins wore No. 46 in his debut Sunday against the Lakers because his preferred No. 98 — which he wore with the Celtics last season and he has said is in tribute to Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming teenager who was killed in a gay hate crime in 1998 — was not ready.

After playing 11 minutes Sunday, Collins got in for seven garbage-time minutes in Wednesday’s 124-80 loss to the Trail Blazers, missing the only shot he took.

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Mike Trout gets $1M deal with Angels for 2014

02.27.14 at 10:14 am ET
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Mike Trout

Mike Trout

For the first time in his major league career, Angels star Mike Trout has a seven-figure contract.

The 22-year-old center fielder, who is heading into his third full season in the majors, agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with Los Angeles on Wednesday.

While the $1 million deal seems small in comparison to the nine-figure salary Trout is expected to net after this season, the agreement is historically high. No other player who is not yet arbitration eligible and is not from Japan or Cuba, has received more than $900,000 for a one-year contract. The only exceptions are players who received larger amounts because of the maximum cut rule.

Trout and the Angels are believed to be discussing an agreement that would keep the top-tier player with the team through 2020 for a deal in the $150 million range. The 2012 American League Rookie of the Year is eligible for arbitration after the coming season and could become a free agent after the 2017 season.

“I just go out there to play the game,” said Trout, who would not discuss a potential multi-year contract. “If the money is where it’s at, that’s where it’€™s going to be.”

Since Trout agreed to the deal now, the Angels do not have to add a long-term deal to their 2014 luxury tax payroll.

“It’€™s a landmark to do a $1 million with a two-plus player,” said Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto. “I think it’s fitting and Mike’s earned that and we’re glad to provide that for him.”

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Boston Marathon bans bags, unofficial runners

02.27.14 at 8:04 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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nets at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Arkansas at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Penn State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: VCU at Fordham, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duquesne at Saint Louis, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Green Bay at Oakland, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at Louisville, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Memphis at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgetown at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Pacific, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon State at USC, 11 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Blackhawks at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Red Wings at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB preseason: Red Sox vs. Northeastern/Boston College, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Napoli at Swansea, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Dnipropetrovsk at Tottenham, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

The men's lead pack races through Wellesley during Monday's 117th running of the Boston Marathon. (AP)

Following last year’s bombing at the finish line, runners will have more restrictions at the 2014 Boston Marathon. (AP)

– Boston Marathon organizers announced Wednesday that runners will not be allowed to have bags, backpacks, handbags or similar items anywhere close to the course this year, following the bombings at the finish line a year ago that killed three and injured hundreds. Runners also will not be allowed to wear costumes that cover the face or have bulky clothing that extends “beyond the perimeter of the body.”

“For the 2014 Boston Marathon, with an increased field size and for everyone’s safety, we will work with public safety officials to ensure that we preserve that exceptional race day experience that makes the Boston Marathon an icon in the world of sport while making race day safe and enjoyable for all,” the BAA said in a statement on its website.

Unregistered runners (often called “bandits”), who often jump into the race at the start or along the course, will be banned as well.

“For the safety of our participants, spectators and partners, public safety officials and the BAA strictly prohibit unofficial participation, and those in violation will be subject to interdiction,” the BAA said. “Those who are not officially registered in the Boston Marathon will not be allowed to participate. We ask official participants to discourage family and friends who are not officially registered participants from entering the course in any manner.

“We are aware that many people want to participate in some way in this year’s Boston Marathon as a display of support. But we ask that those who are not official participants to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves.”

The 188th Boston Marathon will be held April 21.

– Lakers forward Pau Gasol expressed his concern about his team’s offense following Tuesday’s 118-98 loss to the Pacers, and it didn’t sit well with coach Mike D’Antoni.

It isn’t that D’Antoni disagreed with Gasol’s assertion that there were “too many individual actions,” but he didn’t care for Gasol sharing his opinion with the media.

“I think it’€™s a product of people getting frustrated and losing and everybody on one-year contracts. The thing I just don’€™t appreciate, and I think every coach [too], you just keep it in house,” D’Antoni said Wednesday, via the Los Angeles Times. “It’€™s very easy just to come over and talk about your frustrations. We’€™ll try to work something out. But to go to you [media] guys and to do it in the papers, that’€™s disturbing. I just don’€™t think that’€™s the way to go. People should understand that we’€™re all trying to solve the same problems.”

Gasol also suggested that D’Antoni needed to demonstrate more discipline with the players, something D’Antoni questioned.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” D’Antoni said. “We should have had more ball movement [Tuesday] but I don’t know what that has to do with discipline. That has to do with guys trying too hard, guys not really understanding the system totally and not getting ingrained into it.

“I think in that aspect I can understand what he’s talking about, but I don’t know why he used that word.”

D’Antoni also noted that Gasol’s attention would be better placed on the other end of the court.

“The frustration always comes out on the offensive end where we’re OK. It never comes out on the defensive end where we don’t stop anybody,” D’Antoni said. “That’s where I get frustrated, because if you’re going to get upset about something, let’s get upset about points in the paint, second-chance points, not getting back on defense. Then we’re making progress.”

– Knicks point guard Raymond Felton returned to the team Wednesday, a day after appearing in court to face weapons charges following an incident with his wife.

“I want to start off by saying thank you to my teammates, thank you to the fans, to my family, to my friends, everybody for their support in this situation,” Felton told reporters. “This is not a distraction to this team. I’€™m focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates, and going down to Miami, focusing on this next game at task vs. the defending champs.

“As far as speaking on what’€™s going on off the court with me, there will be no comment speaking on that. If you’€™ve got any questions, anything dealing with that, speak with my lawyer. Other than that, I’€™m here to concentrate on this team, finish this season out with the New York Knicks. And see what happens, man. Trying to make it to the playoffs. We’€™re 5 1/2 games out, 25 games left, so I’€™m really focusing on that with these guys, with the team, and trying to make that happen.”

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Felton will play in Thursday night’s game against the Heat.

“The bottom line is Ray is a part of our team, and as his coach I’m going to support him and make sure he’s doing everything the right way from here on out, and to try to get him to just concentrate on basketball and practice and playing games,” Woodson said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 27, 1983, which Bruin recorded two goals and an assist in a 4-3 victory over the Whalers in Hartford and in the process became the sixth player to score 250 goals in a Bruins uniform?

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks PG Raymond Felton’s wife reportedly concerned for his safety

02.26.14 at 8:09 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Avalanche, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pelicans at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Boston College, 8 p.m. (MyTV; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: UConn at South Florida, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan at Purdue, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Rutgers at UCF, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: California at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Boise State at Fresno State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Nebraska at Illinois, 9 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Stanford at Arizona State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colorad State at UNLV, 11:05 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Chelsea at Galatasaray, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

NY Daily News 2-2-6-14– Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arraigned on weapons charges Tuesday for owning an armor-piercing firearm that he allegedly held in his hand during a fight with his wife, with whom he is going through a divorce after 19 months of marriage.

Ariane Raymondo-Felton took the gun to police a week-and-a-half after the Valentine’s Day incident that prompted her to file for divorce, reportedly afraid that her husband might harm himself.

“He never directly said he was going to kill himself,” a police source told the New York Daily News. “He never threatened her. But she was concerned about his state of mind, about the way he was acting.”

Felton, 29, is in the second year of his second stint with the Knicks. He has struggled on the court, leading to reports that the Knicks were trying to trade him prior to last Thursday’s trade deadline.

Plaxico Burress, the former Giants wide receiver who served 20 months in prison after accidentally shooting himself with an unlicensed gun at a nightclub in Manhattan in 2008, predicted that Felton will get through this situation.

“It’s just one of those things where I think the support system will come together and support him,” Burress told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” “I believe that the city of New York will support him.”

– A Washington lobbyist announced that he is preparing legislation that would ban gay players from the NFL, and Michael Sam has taken notice.

Jack Burkman, founder and president of Burkman Associates, claims he has political support for the bill, although his statement did not reveal any lawmakers’ names.

“We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said in his statement. “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”

Added Burkman: “If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it.”

Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year from Missouri who announced that he is gay as he prepares for the NFL draft, threw out an apparent “Back to the Future” reference while dismissing Burkman’s actions.

Tweeted Sam: Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room

– Meanwhile, golfer Steve Elkington turned some heads with a tweet Tuesday he said was meant to make fun of coverage about Sam. The PGA veteran tweeted: ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine’€¦. No one else expected to throw today.

After being blasted for his comment, Elkington deleted the tweet and explained that his issue was with the media, writing: I’m for Sam I’m against ESPN telling me he’s gay’€¦.

Added Elkington: It goes back to “a ball hit an oriental spectator”. There’s no oriental spectators. There just spectators..”like m Sam’€¦He’s just an athlete.

 

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 26, 1994, Patriots fans bought 5,968 season tickets, a team single-day record, following the previous day’s announcement that Robert Kraft had purchased the team from which man?

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