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Friday’s Morning Mashup: NBA stars voice support after league pulls All-Star Game from Charlotte 07.22.16 at 8:18 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: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, United States vs. Argentina, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, United States vs. Costa Rica, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

— Hornets owner Michael Jordan and some of the league’s star players expressed disappointment but understanding after the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte due to the state’s HB2 law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

The league made its announcement Thursday, stating: “While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”

Jordan said he’s hopeful the game will be returned to his state in three years, assuming there is progress on changing the law.

“We understand the NBA’s decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so,” Jordan said in a statement. “With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019.”

Warriors star Steph Curry, who grew up in Charlotte while his father, Dell, played for the Hornets, said the game would have meant a lot to the city.

“We support [the decision],” he told ESPN, “but at the end of the day, I love Charlotte. I love the city.”

Tweeted Kevin Durant: I recognize this was a tough decision for the NBA but I respect the choice. Discrimination of any kind cannot be allowed.

North Carolina’s Republican-led government passed the law in March. As part of it, workers are allowed to use state law to sue over employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion and other factors, but sexual orientation and gender identity were excluded. The law also overruled a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use restrooms related to their gender identity.

Already, a number of entertainers have canceled events in North Carolina, and Albany had to cancel a basketball game scheduled next season at Duke as New York imposed a travel ban to the state.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued a statement reacting to the NBA’s decision and criticizing those who have taken a public stance against the law.

“The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present,” he said in a statement.

Multiple lawsuits related to the law have been filed in federal court, and they’re expected to go to trial this fall.

— Greg Hardy, a free agent since playing last season for the Cowboys, had a workout with the Jaguars on Thursday. A team spokesman confirmed the workout but did not indicate if the team would pursue a contract with the defensive end.

According to Pro Football Talk, Jacksonville will not sign Hardy now but wanted to learn more about him in case a need arises later. The Jaguars have a young and unproven rotation at pass rusher.

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Read More: Greg Hardy, Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Steph Curry
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NFL legend Mike Ditka passes on RNC despite support of Donald Trump, calls Deflategate ‘overblown’ 07.21.16 at 8:27 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:
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, noon (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at White Sox, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Athletics, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Liberty, 11 a.m. (NBA TV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Mike Ditka (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Mike Ditka downplayed the Deflategate controversy. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

— Mike Ditka won’t be appearing at the Republican National Convention, but the ESPN NFL analyst isn’t hiding his support for Donald Trump.

The 76-year-old Ditka, who describes himself as “ultra-ultra conservative,” said he passed on an offer to speak at the RNC in Cleveland.

“I support Trump all the way, I really do. I just don’t think that’s where I belong, in Cleveland right now, I really don’t,” the former Bears coach told the Sporting News.

Ditka, who last year called Barack Obama the worst president in history, is aware that other analysts have run afoul of ESPN by speaking out on political issues (hello, Curt Schilling), but he said he has no plans to hide his opinions.

“I’m not going to change,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll say something that will probably aggravate people. That doesn’t work either, today, you know that?”

As for critics of America, he stated: “If you don’t like the way that our democracy was set up, haul your ass out of the country. Go somewhere else.”

Touching on Deflategate, Ditka said the issue is not worth the attention it’s been getting.

“I think it’s overblown, but that’s only my opinion,” he said. “I don’t think the New England Patriots or Tom Brady have to cheat to win. That’s only my opinion. You can spin it any way you want to and say, ‘Well, you can’t doctor the ball.’ … When I was playing, we played in the cold at Wrigley Field. Balls have kind of a wax on them when they’re new. We had a solvent solution. We had all the ball boys and managers scrub all the wax off of them. When we played with a ball at Wrigley Field, it didn’t have that shiny look. We took it all off. That was so you could grip it. It was only common sense. I mean, it was below-zero weather sometimes. You had this shiny stuff on it. That’s not conducive to good football, whether kicking it, throwing it or catching it. I could remember we did that. I can honestly say that. That’s when I was a player.”

— Four years after Linsanity gripped New York, Jeremy Lin was introduced Wednesday as one of five new members of the Nets, and the Harvard product looked back with mostly fondness on his breakthrough in the NBA.

“When it first started, I’m not going to lie, it was cool, and then it became a burden,” he told reporters in Brooklyn. “I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into. One, two, three, four years later, every year I embrace it more. Every year I’m more appreciative, every year I love it more.”

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Read More: Jeremy Lin, Mike Ditka,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Ryan Fitzpatrick’s stalemate with Jets shows no signs of ending 07.20.16 at 8:20 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:
MLB: Giants at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Astros at Athletics, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Sun at Wings, 12:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Stars at Storm, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

— Ryan Fitzpatrick’s stalemate with the Jets has shown no signs of ending. If anything, recent signs appear to indicate the chasm is growing wider with the start of training camp just one week away.

The Jets’ most recent offer (at least via reports) was a three-year, $24 million deal, but with only one year at $12 million guaranteed, which is a concern for the 33-year-old Harvard product who is coming off his best season (passing for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns).

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there have been no discussions for the last few weeks. Tweeted Fowler on Tuesday night: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets have time to close gap, but I’m told as of now both sides haven’t talked in over a month.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, one of Fitzpatrick’s biggest supporters, said over the weekend that Fitzpatrick has stopped returning his texts.

“I don’t know what’s going on. To be honest, me and Fitz talk every day, all the time, but I texted him the last two weeks three times and there’s no response,” Marshall said on Michael Rapaport’s “IAM RAPAPORT” podcast. “The only thing that he can do to make this right is to say he was on vacation, ‘I was out of the country.’ It’s not like him. It’s scaring me right now. It’s scaring me that my guy hasn’t texted me back.”

Lastly, according to NJ.com, the lease on Fitzpatrick’s rented home in Chatham, New Jersey, has been made available ($9,500 per month for the eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom house). However, Fitzpatrick appears to still be living in the home for the time being.

— Browns running back Isaiah Crowell made amends for his recent anti-police social media post by attending the weekend funeral of one of the five police officers slain in Dallas.

Crowell — who had posted an illustration of a policeman having his throat slashed in response to the shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota (he quickly deleted the post but not before it made its way around the web) — accepted an invitation from Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation president Sgt. Demetrick Pennie to attend the funeral for Patrick Zamarripa on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Read More: Isaiah Crowell, Ryan Fitzpatrick,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: ‘Truly sorry’ Johnny Manziel promises fans, ‘I’ll be back’ 07.19.16 at 8:12 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:
MLB: Giants at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Cubs, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: White Sox at Mariners, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Sparks at Fever, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

— Johnny Manziel finally responded to a wave of criticism for wasting his football potential, promising fans, “I’ll be back,” despite remaining unsigned since being cut by the Browns earlier this year.

The hard-partying Manziel, whose immature behavior and legal problems have overshadowed his performance on the field since he won the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M as a redshirt freshman in 2012, sent a message to fans of his alma mater after someone posted a video of one of Manziel’s touchdowns from his final season at the school in 2013.

Wrote Manziel: chills* I love A&M with all my heart I’m truly sorry. I’ll do whatever I can to make it right.I’m an AGGIE for life.

Later Monday, Manziel put up a post on Instagram with the caption: You all write about a day in my life and what goes on…here it is. No secrets, no hiding, I”m not what you read about. I’ll be back… In time. It can’t end like this…it won’t. I love you all even though your comments suck.

Last month the NFL announced that Manziel was suspended four games, reportedly for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The 23-year-old quarterback also is likely to face further discipline related to his domestic abuse case in Texas, for which he has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Two agents have dropped Manziel since the season ended when he did not adhere to their demands that he seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. His family also expressed concern for his well-being.

— The former scouting director of the Cardinals apologized in federal court after being sentenced to 46 months in prison for hacking into the Astros’ player personnel database and email system in 2013.

Christopher Correa, who pleased guilty in January, also was ordered to pay $279,038 in restitution.

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Read More: Christopher Correa, Johnny Manziel,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: NFL reportedly finalizing plan to insert computer chips in footballs 07.18.16 at 7:44 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:
MLB: Mets at Cubs, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League championship, Timberwolves vs. Bulls, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The NFL reportedly is close to finalizing a plan to insert computer chips into game balls used in the upcoming preseason and in Thursday night games. And no, this has nothing to do with Deflategate.

The chips could help determine where the ball should be placed when a ball carrier is ruled down. They also would provide data on how close kicked balls come to the uprights, helping the league determine how much of a difference it would make if the uprights were moved closer together.

There was a small reduction in conversion rates on extra points last season after the league pushed back the spot so that it’s a 33-yard kick. But field goal rates continue to be exceptionally high, with last season’s 84.5 percent rate the second highest in league history.

According to an ESPN report, the league sent chip-equipped footballs to some veteran quarterbacks for them to test out and ensure they did not feel or travel through the air differently than the current balls used in games. Then the league contacted all 32 teams to inform them of the plan to used the technology.

— MMA fighter Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos is recovering in England after suffering a fractured skull during his loss to Michael Page on Saturday night.

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Read More: Demba Ba, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: UFC sold for reported $4 billion in most expensive sports transaction in history 07.11.16 at 7:19 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:
MLB: All-Star Home Run Derby, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Nets vs. Hawks, 4:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Raptors vs. Mavericks, 6:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Heat vs. Nuggets, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Kings vs. Pelicans, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Warriors vs. Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Rumors have been circulating for months that New England native Dana White and his UFC co-owners were looking to sell the mixed martial arts franchise, so Sunday night’s news that they reached an agreement with a group headed by the talent agency WME-IMG is not a complete surprise. The price, however, is turning some heads.

According to multiple reports, UFC was sold for $4 billion — the most expensive sports transaction in history — to WME-IMG, Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital.

WME co-CEO Ari Emanuel confirmed the deal in an internal email Monday morning.

“We’ve been honored to have UFC and a number of its athletes as clients and couldn’t be happier to take our relationship to this next level as the organization’s owner and operating partner,” he wrote (via ESPN.com).

Brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta bought UFC in 2000 for $2 million. They reportedly will retain a minority interest. White, the UFC president (and a minority owner) said Monday he expects that his role with the company will remain the same, adding that this deal with help grow mixed martial arts.

“Sport is going to the next level,” he said.

— The Nets have been busy in the past week, attempting to add some promising free agents to one of the league’s weakest rosters. Unfortunately for Brooklyn — but fortunately for the Celtics, who can swap first-round draft picks next year — their two most recent targets won’t be heading to New York.

The Trail Blazers and Heat reportedly decided to match the Nets’ offers for Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson, meaning those restricted free agents will be returning to their original teams.

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Read More: Dana White, UFC,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Local, national athletes react with dismay to ambush of police officers in Dallas 07.08.16 at 8:47 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: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Mavericks vs. Hornets, 8 a.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Pistons, 10 a.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Clippers vs. Knicks, noon (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Thunder vs. Heat, 2 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Pacers, 4 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Bucks vs. Cavaliers, 6 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Hawks vs. Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Kings vs. Raptors, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Lakers vs. Pelicans, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Track and field: U.S. Olympic trials, 6 p.m. (NBCSN), 8 p.m. (NBC)
Gymnastics: U.S. Olympic trials, 9 p.m. (NBC)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Five police officers were killed and seven more injured when snipers opened fire during a protest in Dallas on Thursday following the deaths of two black men earlier in the week, and athletes around the nation reacted with dismay.

New Patriots defensive end Chris Long, who spent the past seven seasons playing in St. Louis, tweeted:

Praying for those Dallas PO’s
Respecting, appreciating good ppl in uniform
Being angry about an unjust murder by a PO
NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

Added Long: All violence in this country sucks. Whoever perpetrates it. intellectually dishonest people will continue to justify it. So sad. Rant over

Cavaliers star LeBron James commented on an article about Philando Castile, the Minnesota man shot by a policeman while in his car, writing: Sickens me and I shed multiple tears about it all.

Later in the evening, as details emerged from Dallas, he wrote: We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer. #StoptheViolence

Former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders urged Dallas to show restraint.

Tweeted Sanders: Dallas let’s wake up this ain’t us! We’re better than this. We’re hurting,upset,confused,sad,frustrated,tired & fed up but this ain’t right!

Wrote former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck: Eye for an eye truly means that we all soon will be blind. Hate + more hate = HATE. I CHOOSE TO LOVE EVEN THOSE THAT HATE ME.

Tweeted Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: Dallas,we mourn those who lost their lives protecting us and stand together, united, to cherish those we live and work next to #DallasStrong

— Rajon Rondo is saying all the right things as he joins the Bulls, although it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to avoid the issues with teammates and coaches that have plagued his career.

Rondo was introduced to the media Thursday after agreeing to a reported two-year, $28 million deal earlier in the week, and he said he understands he’s not the No. 1 star in Chicago, which features Jimmy Butler and former Heat star Dwyane Wade.

“Jimmy’s the youngest, he’s the engine here,” Rondo told reporters. “It’ll be Jimmy, Wade, and then it will be a pecking order.”

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Read More: Chris Long, deion sanders, LeBron James, rajon rondo
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Dwyane Wade pays tribute to Miami after leaving Heat to join Bulls 07.07.16 at 8:25 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:
MLB: Angels at Rays, noon (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Utah Summer League, Celtics vs. Spurs, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Utah Summer League, 76ers vs. Jazz, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Mavericks vs. Magic, 1 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Clippers vs. Magic, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Pistons vs. Heat, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: European Championship semifinals, Germany vs. France, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Track and field: U.S. Olympic trials, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

— Dwyane Wade wrote a farewell letter to Miami after deciding to leave the Heat — his home for 13 seasons — and join the Bulls.

The Heat’s all-time leader in games, points, assists and steals, Wade agreed to a reported two-year deal worth $47 million with Chicago.

“I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships,” the 34-year-old Wade wrote in his letter released Wednesday. “I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community.”

Wade had flirted with joining his hometown team before. He reportedly was not happy with what he felt was a lack of respect from the Heat, who made a last-ditch effort to retain him Wednesday after prioritizing re-signing Hassan Whiteside and failing to land Kevin Durant.

Wade had a rough upbringing up in the Chicago suburb of Robbins, Illinois, before going on to become a 12-time NBA All-Star.

“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade wrote in his letter. “My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”

In Chicago, Wade will share the backcourt with Jimmy Butler and new acquisition Rajon Rondo. Wade and Rondo previously had some run-ins when Rondo played for the Celtics. To clear cap space for Wade, the Bulls sent forward Mike Dunleavy to the Cavaliers and guard Jose Calderon to the Lakers.

The Heat, meanwhile, lost another member of their Big Three two years after LeBron James returned home to Cleveland. Chris Bosh, who continues to deal with health issues, is the only Heat player who appeared in the 2014 NBA Finals still under contract with the team.

Tweeted Heat owner Mickey Arison: Thank you @DwyaneWade for a great 13 yrs!. You’ve had a tremendous impact on our community and our organization. We wish you all the best.

— Pete Rose filed suit Wednesday against former MLB investigator John M. Dowd, saying the lawyer defamed him last year when he implied in a radio interview that Rose had sex with underage girls during his playing career.

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, John M. Dowd, Jon Jones, Pete Rose
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 6 years, with parole possible after 3 07.06.16 at 8:29 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:
MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Marlins at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Knicks, 1 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Mavericks vs. Hornets, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Pacers vs. Thunder, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: New York City FC at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
Soccer: European Championship semifinals, Portugal vs. Wales, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to prison for shooting his girlfriend and killing her. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison for shooting his girlfriend and killing her. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

— Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison — well below South Africa’s minimum sentence of 15 years for murder — and will be eligible for parole after three years, in a decision announced Wednesday morning at a courtroom in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius was calm as the decision was announced, embracing family members before being led away.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said there were “substantial and compelling circumstances” that caused her to give the double-amputee Olympic runner a reduced sentence, citing the fact that he tried to help girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after shooting her multiple times through a bathroom door in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. Masipa also noted that Pistorius is a “good candidate for rehabilitation” who is not likely to re-offend.

A Pistorius spokesman said the 29-year-old would not appeal the decision. “The family accepts the judgment,” Anneliese Burgess said.

Prosecutors have the option to appeal in an attempt to get a longer sentence.

Pistorius, who claims he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot her, was acquitted of murder by Masipa in 2014 after a seven-month trial, convicted only of manslaughter and serving one year in prison. His conviction was upgraded to murder last year by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal.

— Jaguars running back Denard Robinson was not injured in a single-car accident over the weekend, despite being discovered asleep in his car partially submerged in a pond, according to reports out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Robinson apparently fell asleep at the wheel around 4:20 a.m. Sunday morning and his car crashed into a retention pond. A police officer helped a woman out of the car and woke up Robinson.

Authorities said Robinson was not impaired and should not face a DUI charge.

Robinson tweeted Tuesday that he was grateful to God. Wrote Robinson: I should not have been driving that late or when I was that tired, but again, I’m just glad that everyone was safe. God Bless.

— A group that includes 212 former Penn State football players petitioned the school to bring back a statue of disgraced former coach Joe Paterno. The statue was taken down in 2012 during the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case, shortly before Paterno’s death from lung cancer.

The group delivered a letter to Penn State president Eric Barron and the school’s board of trustees on Tuesday, demanding the statue be returned and the administration apologize to Paterno’s widow, Sue.

“This a common act of decency, which is both warranted and long overdue,” the letter reads.

While victims’ advocates criticized the request, the school responded by repeating that “there will be a time and place to acknowledged Joe Paterno’s many contributions,” but any communication between the president and the Paterno family would be private.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 6, 1966, the Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Yankees. Which Red Sox pitcher won both games, and which Sox closer saved both games?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There’s nothing positive to put out. I’m tired of this. It’s not me. I’ve got to get better.” — Red Sox pitcher David Price, who allowed a home run on the first pitch of the game and went on to suffer the loss in Tuesday’s 7-2 setback vs. the Rangers

STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Red Sox players who were named to the American League All-Star team on Tuesday

‘NET RESULTS: Reds speedster Billy Hamilton races home from second base on a passed ball as Cubs pitcher John Lackey fails to cover the plate.

A fan at the Rays game catches a foul ball in his hat, but another fan grabs the hat and takes the ball before returning the cap to the unhappy man.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Don McMahon got the wins and John Wyatt earned the saves

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Bill Haley was born on this day in 1925.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jaylen Brown shows flashes in Celtics summer league debut; 76ers’ Ben Simmons helped off with leg cramps 07.05.16 at 8:24 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:
MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Orioles at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Utah Summer League, Celtics vs. Jazz, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Utah Summer League, 76ers vs. Spurs, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Heat, 1 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Clippers vs. Knicks, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Pistons vs. Pacers, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Sky at Lynx, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in last month’s NBA draft, could not finish his summer league debut against the Celtics in Salt Lake City, as he was helped off the court with leg cramps in the fourth quarter. Celtics top pick Jaylen Brown, meanwhile, showed flashes of why the C’s took him third overall.

Simmons will be held out of Tuesday’s game against the Spurs, but he played down the issue.

“It’s been about four months since I played, that’s the main reason,” Simmons said. “More fluids. It’s just an adjustment. The game’s a lot harder, a lot quicker. It’s just one of those things you have to stay on.

“That’s the worst I’ve ever cramped up. I’m definitely going to stay on that.”

Sixers summer league coach Billy Lange said the team will be cautious with the new face of the franchise.

“We might have been able to put him back in, but on July 4, we didn’t need to create those fireworks,” Lange said. “We’ve got a long summer league schedule ahead of us.”

In just under 24 minutes, Simmons recorded 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists with one turnover. He hit just 2-of-9 shots from the field but all six of his free throws in his team’s 102-94 loss.

He started the game being guarded by Brown and guarding him in return. Brown finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. He hit 2-of-7 from the field, making a 3-pointer for his first basket, and made 11-of-17 free throw attempts — going to the line eight more times than any other player in the game as he used his explosiveness to get to the rim.

“Just trying to get to the basket, draw some fouls, make the open reads,” Brown said. “Just getting used to getting up and down, playing with professionals. Just getting my feet wet, and next game will be better.”

Said Celtics guard Terry Rozier: “We need a guy who can play above the rim like that. He was drawing oohs and ahhs. He impressed me, too.”

Rozier led the Celtics with 18 points and five assists, while R.J. Hunter scored 17 points.

— The Knicks continue to fill out their roster with injury risks, agreeing to a deal with point guard Brandon Jennings, reportedly a one-year pact for $5 million.

Jennings, 26, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in January 2015 and missed a year of action. He shot 37 percent in the 48 games he played last season after his return — 23 games for the Pistons, then the remaining 25 with the Magic after a trade.

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