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Report: Nets closing in on deal to hire Lionel Hollins

07.02.14 at 11:59 am ET
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Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins

The Nets are wasting no time replacing Jason Kidd.

Brooklyn is closing in on a deal with Lionel Hollins to be its next coach, according to ESPN.com. The two sides are said to be finalizing a multiyear agreement worth north of $4 million annually.

Hollins led the Grizzlies to three straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2012-13, before being let go by the team due to philosophical differences with ownership.

Hollins reportedly met with the Nets on Monday and Tuesday after Kidd left to take over the Bucks earlier this week.

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Report: Bills LB Kiko Alonso tears ACL, expected to miss season

07.02.14 at 11:55 am ET
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Kiko Alonso

Kiko Alonso

Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL during a workout in Oregon and is expected to miss all of next season, according to an ESPN report.

The Bills said they learned of the injury Tuesday, but they did not specify when or how it occurred. ESPN reported a recovery period of 7-9 months is expected.

“We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it could be significant,” general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement Tuesday.

Alonso finished second in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting last season after recording 159 tackles.

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Cowboys acquire Rolando McClain, place Sean Lee on season-ending IR

07.02.14 at 11:10 am ET
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Rolando McClain‘s retirement may be short-lived.

The Cowboys acquired the rights to the former Ravens linebacker in exchange for a sixth-round pick, while Dallas, which placed Sean Lee on season-ending injured reserve, also will receive a seventh-round pick from Baltimore, the team announced Tuesday.

McClain, 25, was drafted by the Raiders eighth overall in 2010, but his career was shortened by off-field issues, including multiple arrests. McClain, who hasn’t played since 2012, retired in October 2013 but was expected to report to Baltimore’s offseason training program before retiring again in April.

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Psychologist: Oscar Pistorius traumatized, could be a suicide risk

07.02.14 at 11:06 am ET
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A psychologist’s report revealed Wednesday that Oscar Pistorius is severely traumatized after killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year and will be an increasing suicide risk unless he continues to get mental health care.

Defense lawyer Barry Roux read excerpts from this report to the judge overseeing the double-amputee Olympic runner’s murder trial. The report said Pistorius is suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and “his condition is likely to worsen” if he doesn’t continue to receive professional treatment.

The report was done during a 30-day observation period at a state psychiatric hospital. The report, compiled by three psychiatrists, determined Pistorius was not mentally ill when he fatally shot Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013. The report concluded that Pistorius did not have a history of “abnormal aggression or explosive violence.”

Medical expert Wayne Derman said Pistorius is an “anxious individual.” He testified that Pistorius is “hyper-vigilant” and often was restless.

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Report: Flyers’ Claude Giroux arrested following incident with Ottawa police officer

07.02.14 at 10:31 am ET
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Claude Giroux

Claude Giroux

Flyers star Claude Giroux was arrested Tuesday night for repeatedly grabbing the buttocks of a male police officer, according to a report by the Ottawa Sun.

Sources told the Sun Giroux spent the night in jail and alcohol is believed to be involved, although few details were immediately available.

Police told the Sun they cannot comment unless charges are made. The 26-year-old is expected to be released Wednesday without any criminal charges.

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NBA free agency roundup: Derrick Rose, Bulls, make strong pitch to Carmelo Anthony; Lance Stephenson reportedly turns down Pacers offer

07.02.14 at 10:22 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

The Bulls hosted Carmelo Anthony Tuesday in Chicago, and brought stars Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson along to make a hard sell on the free agent.

Anthony arrived at United Center on Tuesday afternoon with agent Leon Rose and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in a large limousine, and were welcomed by the Michael Jordan statue and a group of cheering fans. On a screen above the building entrance, a digital image of Anthony in a No. 7 Bulls jersey next to a championship trophy was shown.

It was a simple message that the Bulls are convinced Anthony can make them a title contender.

But the Bulls aren’t the only team courting Anthony. The Mavericks and Lakers reportedly are revolving their future plans around whether or not they can lure the Knicks free agent.

According to ESPN, the Mavericks are in discussions with Dirk Nowitzki on a new contract but are likely to hold off on finalizing the terms of the deal until after the team’s meeting with Anthony this week. The Lakers were among the first teams to reach out to Pau Gasol and have shown interest in retaining the forward, according to ESPN. But the team also has a meeting with Anthony on Thursday, which could determine whether or not Gasol returns to Los Angeles.

Lance Stephenson rejected the Pacers’ initial contract offer of five years, $44 million, according to ESPN. The guard, known for his controversial antics during the Eastern Conference finals, is said to believe he is worth more money.

The Lakers, Bulls and Hornets reportedly are interested in signing Stephenson.

– The Wizards reportedly agreed to a five-year, $60 million contract to retain center Marcin Gortat on Tuesday. The deal can’t be signed until July 10 under NBA free agency rules, but Gortat made it clear a deal was imminent on Twitter Tuesday night.

– The Associated Press reported that the Warriors have agreed to a three-year contract with Shaun Livingston worth about $16 million, while Jodie Meeks will sign a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Pistons.

– Australian media outlet Fairfax Media reported Wednesday that Spurs free agent point guard Patty Mills will miss up to seven months with a right shoulder injury.

The report said Mills, who will undergo surgery in the next few days to repair the rotator cuff in his shoulder, played through pain during the season and scans revealed wear and tear after the NBA Finals.

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Tommy Smyth on D&C: ‘I think the state of US soccer is very good’

07.02.14 at 9:36 am ET
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Tommy Smyth

Tommy Smyth

ESPN soccer analyst Tommy Smyth joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning to discuss the U.S. national team’s World Cup run. To hear to interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The United States lost to Belgium, 2-1, in extra time in Tuesday’s Round of 16 match, but the Americans are receiving much praise for making it this far in the tournament.

“I think the state of U.S. soccer is very good. You have to give it a top mark. The team did well,” Smyth said. “They held their heads high getting through to the next round of the World Cup, which, myself included, a lot of people didn’t expect them to do. It’s a program that looks like it’s in good shape.”

The U.S. team had its share of troubles defensively throughout the game, forcing goalkeeper Tim Howard to come up big with 16 saves. Those struggles caught up with the Americans when they gave up a pair of quick goals in extra time.

“I wasn’t particularly impressed with the way they played yesterday, and people are saying, ‘You’re very hard on the defense. You’re very hard on the back four.’ Well, maybe I am,” Smyth said. “But Tim Howard had to come up with the saves. It looked like he was hung out to dry at times. There was nobody out there to help him.

“So I wasn’t particularly impressed with the play, but they finished off on a high note.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lawyer for victims’ families heads to court to ask that Patriots withhold payment to Aaron Hernandez

07.02.14 at 7:49 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.

MLB: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Washington Mystics, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Phoenix Mercury, 10 pm. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2)


– A lawyer for the families of the two men allegedly killed by Aaron Hernandez in 2012 will appear in court Wednesday and ask a judge to prevent the Patriots from paying Hernandez a $3.2 million signing bonus.

The murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub took place a few weeks before Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots. One year later, Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd and subsequently released by the team.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Patriots have to pay Aaron Hernandez his contract bonus?

  • No, Hernandez is a criminal who should never get paid again (56%, 184 Votes)
  • They should have to pay, but the money should go directly to the victims' families (23%, 76 Votes)
  • Yes, it's a contractual obligation that should be fulfilled despite Hernandez's legal issues (21%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 329

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The Patriots have challenged Hernandez’s right to receive the bonus, but should they be forced to pay after an arbitration hearing, attorney William Kennedy wants a court order protecting the money — as well as the rest of Hernandez’s assets. The two families Kennedy represents are suing Hernandez for $6 million each.

“It’s really a motion to prevent any further payments to be made by the New England Patriots to Mr. Hernandez pending any further action of the court,” Kennedy said. “What we’re looking to do is preserve as much as we possibly can — any assets — for the satisfaction of the families of the two decedents.”

Meanwhile, a University of Florida 2014 calendar that features former Gators start has Hernandez pictured with July, and a Patriots calendar produced by the same company includes a picture of Hernandez as well.

Florida’s athletic department responded to criticism by noting that the calendars are produced by an independent company, Turner Licensing, and approval for the photos took place last spring, before Hernandez was first charged with murder in June.

“There are thousands of Gator products in the pipeline for approval at any given time and it’s not common practice to re-review them once they have already been approved,” Florida spokesman Daniel Apple said. “We have since notified the licensee that it is no longer approved.”

– Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith will not face charges for his behavior during an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in April, authorities announced Tuesday.

Smith, who was taken into custody April 13 after acting belligerent during a security screening and threatening that he had a bomb, still will have a hearing on July 30 to address the situation and explain himself. A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said Smith will then be admonished about the law and given suggestions how to avoid a similar situation.

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Despite Tim Howard’s incredible performance, USA falls to Belgium in extra time

07.01.14 at 6:32 pm ET
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The U.S. made things interesting, but ultimately Belgium advanced. (AP)

The U.S. made things interesting, but ultimately Belgium advanced. (AP)

Tim Howard put on a performance for the ages, and the United States made things interesting late in extra time, but ultimately Belgium’€™s total dominance was too much for the U.S. men’s soccer team. After controlling the ball all game only to see Howard make a tournament-high 12 saves in regulation alone (he wound up with 16 total) to keep the game scoreless, the Belgians finally broke through in the third minute of extra time to take a 1-0 lead. They added another goal 12 minutes later, and that was enough to withstand a late barrage from the Americans.

Romelu Lukaku started the chance that led to Belgium’s first goal with a nice run down the right side. He then centered for Kevin De Bruyne, who took the pass, evaded a couple U.S. defenders and beat Howard with a low, hard shot to the far side of the net. Lukaku made it 2-0 about 12 minutes later, and Belgium hung on to advance to the quarterfinals.

Give the Americans credit, though, as they refused to roll over. Just two minutes after Lukaku’€™s goal, Michael Bradley found 19-year-old Julian Green — seeing his first action of the tournament — on a great run into the box, and Green finished the chance with a beautiful flick to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Americans mounted another challenge a couple minutes later, as Clint Dempsey found Jermaine Jones in the box. Jones got his foot on the ball, but wound up knocking it just wide of the right post.

The U.S. challenged again off a free kick with seven minutes left on a beautiful setup. Bradley fed Jones, who then one-touched it through to Dempsey. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois came out to make a great save, though. That wound up being the closest the Americans would get.

The U.S. was looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. As it is, the Americans leave Brazil having reached the knockout round in consecutive World Cups for the first time ever. This also marks the second straight World Cup in which they’ve been knocked out in extra time. Read the rest of this entry »

Brad Feldman on MFB: Belgium injury problem ‘helps the U.S. big time’

07.01.14 at 1:50 pm ET
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Revolution play-by-play man Brad Feldman joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the World Cup. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The United States takes on Belgium Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Round of 16 in the World Cup. Belgium is largely considered the better team but comes in battling injuries to some key players.

“What they’ve done is they’ve had to move several defenders to wide positions,” Feldman said. “Although it’s not been all bad. Jan Vertonghen playing left back, he can really play anywhere across the back line. They do have injury concerns coming in and that helps the U.S. big time.

Vincent Kompany, their best defender, is probably going to play but with a groin strain. So whether it’s [Clint Dempsey] and [Jozy] Altidore or both, they can put pressure on Kompany, who’s very efficient and very strong, but you get him 1-v-1, stretch him, man.”

Feldman added: “Another thing Belgium is besides young and talented is very deep, and you saw that against South Korea when they already advanced, they played a lot of second-stringers who are name players.”

The U.S. is expected is have Altidore back after he suffered a hamstring injury in the World Cup opener against Ghana, although what his role will be in the match seems unclear to this point.

“I would say 15, 16 days is a very short turnaround for a hamstring, listening to the professionals,” Feldman said. “People think that would be a big ask. The closer we get to kickoff the more we keep hearing that [Jurgen Klinsmann] could be using this as a decoy to distract Belgium in terms of their preparation, that Altidore may be on the bench on the 18-man squad and not be used unless absolutely necessary. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Feldman, Middays with MFB, World Cup,