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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant angry at Hawks after ankle injury

03.14.13 at 8:01 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:
NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Captals at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Mavericks at Spurs, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Knicks at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Boston College vs. Georgia Tech, noon (ESPNU, MyTV; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: A-10 tournament, UMass vs. George Washington, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: A-10 tournament, Charlotte vs. Richmond, noon (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Cincinnati vs. Georgetown, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Big Ten tournament, Minnesota vs. Illinois, noon (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big 12 tournament, Iowa State vs. Oklahoma, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: C-USA tournament, UAB vs. Southern Mississippi, 1 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Virginia Tech vs. NC State, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: A-10 tournament, Dayton vs. Butler, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big Ten tournament, Penn State vs. Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big 12 tournament, Texas Tech vs. Kansas, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: C-USA tournament, Houston vs. UTEP, 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: A-10 tournament, Saint Joseph’s vs. Xavier, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big Ten tournament, Nebraska vs. Purdue, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Wake Forest vs. Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Villanova vs. Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: C-USA tournament, Tulane vs. Memphis, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Clemson vs. Florida State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big Ten tournament, Northwestern vs. Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: C-USA tournament, Tulsa vs. East Carolina, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Pac-12 tournament, Washington vs. Oregon, 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Braves at Cardinals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Dominican Republic vs. United States, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Lakers star Kobe Bryant suffered a severely sprained left ankle during Wednesday night’s 96-92 loss to the Hawks, and he’s not happy about how it happened. Bryant was shooting a potential game-tying shot (he missed) when he came down on the foot of defender Dahntay Jones and fell to the court.

Although X-rays were negative, Bryant said it’s the worst sprain he’s had in his 16-year career, and he criticized Jones for sliding his foot underneath him.

“First and foremost, the officials really need to protect shooters,” said Bryant, who is out indefinitely. “You just can’t go into shooters. That’s a dangerous play.”

Added Bryant: “I can’t get my mind past the fact that I have to wait a year to get revenge. It’s just a very, very dangerous play, especially when I’m fading away.”

Responded Jones, via Twitter: Tape doesn’t lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man.

♦ The Knicks visit the Trail Blazers on Thursday night, which means Knicks guard Raymond Felton returns to the city he called home a year ago. Felton admitted he was out of shape last season and he was not a fan favorite in Portland, but he said, “I really don’t care” about the reception he’ll receive from the fans.

There are some people in Portland, however, Felton does not want to see, and he warned that their paths should not cross.

“I’m not going to put it on the fans,” he said. “Some of the fans there were great. I made a lot of good friends there. I met a lot of good, real Portland Trail Blazers fans there. I’m not going to talk junk about the fans there. Certain people there I don’t want to see and better not come near me.”

Asked specifically who he was referring to, Felton said: “Just whoever, I’m not going to say who.”

Chris Wright became the first NBA player known to have multiple sclerosis when he signed a 10-day contract to join the Mavericks after an All-Star season in the D-League. Wright, a former Georgetown star who went undrafted in 2011, was diagnosed with MS while playing in Turkey last season, after his foot gave out while he was running sprints at the end of a March practice and he had more issues that night. He was told by Turkish doctors that his basketball career was over.

“The doctors told me that, but I didn’t think so,” said the 23-year-old. “I knew it’d be a process, and when I got back, it’d be a good story.”

Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: “It shows determination and an element of resourcefulness, which I think is a very important quality on any NBA team, to have as many resourceful guys as you can. I know he’s very pleased to have this opportunity. And it’s going to give inspiration to others that may have similar conditions.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 14, 1944, which Bruin recorded two assists in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Blackhawks and set an NHL single-season scoring record with 75 points?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Anytime you can take a player from a team you have to compete against, it helps, especially the caliber of Wes Welker. New England is there year in and year out and that’s a team we have to beat to get where we want to get.” – Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway, on his team’s acquisition of the free agent receiver

STAT OF THE DAY: 15 — Kevin Garnett‘s rank on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, as he moved past Jerry West during Wednesday night’s win over the Raptors, the same night Celtics teammate Paul Pierce moved past Charles Barkley into 20th place

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): The Heat won their 20th consecutive game Wednesday night, but Sixers guard Jrue Holiday had the play of the night, weaving through the Miami defense and dunking over LeBron James.

From the Michigan high school basketball playoffs, Hudsonville’s Cody Stuive catches a 75-foot inbounds pass from Brent Hibbits and hits a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to force overtime against Forest Hills in a game Hudsonville went on to win.

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon takes a wild test drive while in disguise, as part of a Pepsi commercial.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Herb Cain

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Phil Phillips was born on this day in 1926.

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