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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner says he’ll fight year suspension 12.19.13 at 8:19 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: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Wild at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Bulls at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Iona at Dayton, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: UCLA vs. Duke, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College volleyball: NCAA semifinals, Wisconsin vs. Texas, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College volleyball: NCAA semifinals, Washington vs. Penn State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

‘€¢ Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but his agent promised he will “sue the living daylights out of the league” if the player is not given the opportunity to return.

Browner first tested positive in his rookie season of 2005 with the Broncos, and he was released the following year. He then was placed in Stage 3 of the substance-abuse program after missing tests at various points over the next five years. However, he wasn’t in the NFL at that time, as he moved on to the Canadian Football League. And he claims he did not have cell phone service and was staying with friends for at least part of that time, making him unaware that the league was trying to contact him. The league denied that appeal, saying there was written notification.

Browner returned to the NFL in 2011 with the Seahawks and passed multiple tests from 2011-13. When he failed another test this year, it triggered a year-long suspension because of his Stage 3 status.

The 29-year-old Browner, who becomes a free agent after the season, reportedly turned down a deal that would have reduced his suspension.

After the suspension was announced, Browner took to social media to show his appreciation to his fans and team:

I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years. I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12′€™s for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful. Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to. Go Hawks!!!

‘€¢ The Knicks added another lowlight-reel play in the clutch on Wednesday, although they managed to win anyhow, beating the lowly Bucks in two overtimes.

Leading by two points with 11 seconds left in overtime, the Knicks got an offensive rebound and Tyson Chandler passed it out to Andrea Bargnani outside the 3-point line. Instead of holding the ball or passing it to kill time and wait to get fouled, Bargnani immediately hoisted a trey that missed — while his teammates held up their hands in disbelief.

The Bucks got the rebound and tied the game on a John Henson follow, sending the game to a second overtime.

“It was a bad decision,” acknowledged Bargnani, who was one of the goats Monday for his lack of defense in a last-second loss to the Wizards. “I was being aggressive. I had a shot a few plays before that. It was a bad mistake.”

Said coach Mike Woodson: “You see a lot of things in this league. He shot it and couldn’t get it back.”

‘€¢ Southern Illinois basketball coach Barry Hinson delivered one of the most memorable postgame press conferences of the year on Tuesday night when he blasted his team for its play in a 73-65 loss at Murray State. On Wednesday, after video of the diatribe went viral, Hinson apologized to a player he singled out by name for his “absolutely awful” play but defended himself for the rest of his comments.

Hinson mixed in jokes with his criticism, calling his players “a bunch of mama’s boys.” Referring to his big men shooting 2-for-11, Hinson said: “My wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot-fake one time. But those guys aren’t listening. They’re uncoachable right now.”

Said Hinson Tuesday about the fallout from the comments: “If that ruffles your feathers, or ruffles somebody else’s feathers, then you know what, you’re going to have to deal with it. And here’s the other thing, I’m going to have to deal with it.”

Guard Marcus Fillyaw, the player mentioned by name, said he couldn’t argue with Hinson’s assessment of the 2-8 team.

“Everything he said he was true,” Fillyaw said. “Right now our team is playing soft. That’s a big part of our identity right now. ‘€¦ It wasn’t so much him calling me out personally. I was just as upset with my performance. His statement about me was accurate.”

Added Fillyaw: “It was embarrassing that the whole world knows now.”

SIU athletic director Mario Moccia said there was no disciplinary action for the second-year coach’s comments, although he reminded Hinson to avoid publicly criticizing individual players.

“He’s very passionate,” Moccia said. “That’s why we hired him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 19, 2001, the Red Sox traded catcher Scott Hatteberg to the Rockies for a player they did not tender a contract to, making him a free agent. Two years later, they signed the same player to a one-year deal and he played for the Sox’ 2004 World Series championship team. Who is he?

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NBA free agency update: Knicks reportedly acquiring Andrea Bargnani from Raptors; Dwight Howard sweepstakes heating up 07.01.13 at 10:20 am ET
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Andrea Bargnani reportedly is on the verge of being traded to the Knicks. (AP)

Andrea Bargnani reportedly is on the verge of being traded from the Raptors to the Knicks. (AP)

He’s tall, he’s injury-prone, he’s expensive, and soon he’s going to be a Knick — maybe.

The Knicks and Raptors are close to finalizing an agreement that would send 7-foot power forward Andrea Bargnani to New York, ESPN reported, in exchange for center Marcus Camby and small forward Steve Novak.

However, the NBA refused to approve the deal Sunday night, so in order to complete the trade under 2013-14 cap terms, the Knicks are expected to sign-and-trade at least one player they had at the end of the season as part of the deal, according to ESPN’s Jared Zwerling. Earl Barron and Quentin Richardson are two candidates.

Howard Beck of The New York Times reports the Knicks also will include their 2016 first-round draft pick, and USA Today indicates two second-round picks will also go the Raptors’ way.

In his seven seasons since joining Toronto for 2006-07, Bargnani has averaged 15.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, with those marks down to 12.7 and 3.7 in 2012-13. Tommy Beer of hoopsworld.com points out that Bargnani was the first 7-footer to average both 28 minutes and fewer than four rebounds per game in NBA history this season.

The native of Italy has missed 98 games the last two seasons, including the end of this season after suffering an avulsion sprain of his right elbow. He is also set to make $23 million before his contract expires in two years.

The teams cannot officially complete the trade until July 10.

The Knicks aren’t the only team — or individual — preparing deals to be finalized in a week and a half.

The Rockets are pulling out all the stops as they enter the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, according to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Besides Houston brass, a dinner meeting with the free agent also reportedly featured former Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, plus Yao Ming Skyping in from China. The AP reports the team cut guards Carlos Delfino and Aaron Brooks in an effort to open up some cap space.

Howard will visit with the Warriors and Hawks on Monday, then the Mavericks on Tuesday, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met informally with the 6-foot-11 Howard Saturday and Sunday in an effort to get a head start on his competition.

The Lakers are using billboards and newspaper ads to woo Howard, and Dallas is getting some help from the community: Fast-food chain Raising Cane’s is offering Howard free chicken fingers for the rest of his life if he signs with the Mavs.

The Clippers’ acquisition of Doc Rivers, meanwhile, appears to be paying off. ESPN reports that Chris Paul, reportedly one of the driving forces in Los Angeles trading for the coach, is expected to accept a five-year, $107 million extension from the Clippers, and that it is such a sure thing that Paul’s agent told other teams to not bother with offers.

Forward Andrei Kirilenko, who averaged similar numbers to Bargnani with the Timberwolves in 2012-13, is turning down $10 million and opting out of his contract in favor of testing free agency again. His 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game were his best totals since 2005-06.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lions’ Ndamukong Suh under fire for latest questionable play 11.23.12 at 7:59 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:
NBA: Thunder at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Northeastern vs. Belmont, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: West Virginia vs. Davidson, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh vs. Delaware, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Marist vs. Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Pacific vs. St. Mary’s, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Michigan, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Clemson vs. UTEP, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Drexel, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Missouri-Kansas City vs. Ohio State, 6 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Iowa State vs. Cincinnati, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke vs. VCU, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Oklahoma vs. Gonzaga, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oakland at Michigan State, 8:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oregon at UNLV, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Missouri vs. Louisville, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Rice vs. Drake, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton vs. Wisconsin, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgia Tech vs. California, midnight (ESPN2)
College football: Nebraska at Iowa, noon (ABC)
College football: Syracuse at Temple, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Ohio at Kent State, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Marshall at East Carolina, 2 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: LSU at Arkansas, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
College football: Utah at Colorado, 3 p.m. (FX)
College football: West Virginia at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
College football: Washington at Washington State, 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
College football: South Florida at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Arizona State at Arizona, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is mum about his latest controversial play. (AP)

♦ Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was suspended two games last year for stomping on the arm of Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in a Thanksgiving Day game, might face disciplinary action again this year after his foot landed in the midsection of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub during Detroit’s overtime loss Thursday.

On a first-quarter play, Suh was on the ground after being taken down by an offensive lineman when he extended his left foot and it landed below Schaub’s belt.

Suh let the locker room without speaking to reporters. Schaub, asked about the play, did his best to take the high road.

Said Schaub: “I really don’t have anything to say about that play or that person.”

Boomer Esiason, on CBS’ halftime show, had no doubt the kick was intentional.

“I would never shake this guy’s hand, because once again he has crossed the line,” Esiason said. “It’s obvious that it was on purpose.”

Added analyst Shannon Sharpe: “This was intentional. There’s a reason why he’s … voted dirtiest player in the NFL by his peers — because of plays like this.”

♦ Ravens running back Ray Rice took some heat for draping a Terrible Towel over his head while walking off the field Sunday night following a 13-10 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. However, Rice made it clear that he meant no disrespect.

“I actually asked a fan to trade like I’ve been trading jerseys with guys at the end of the game,” Rice told The Baltimore Sun. “So, I didn’t stomp it or do anything wrong. I actually walked out with it and I think I’m going to save it and put it in my basement to cherish the rivalry. It’s not like you get out there and do derogatory stuff and spit, no none of that stuff. If you think about it, where I’m at in my career, you cherish these rivalries, cherish the moments.

“I apologize to those who saw it as disrespectful. For me, I thought it was a pretty cool gesture, exchanging my gloves with a fan and walking out with it. Obviously, getting a victory there was cool. … To have something in your basement to know what the rivalry is all about is pretty cool. I’ve been exchanging jerseys with guys. My basement is getting pretty colorful down there with other teams’ stuff.”

Added Rice: “The other side, they don’t really like it, which I understand why like, ‘Nobody plays with the Terrible Towel,’ and I understand that. I respect this rivalry. I respect their organization. It’s not like you’re going to catch me on YouTube burning a Terrible Towel. I’ll keep it in my basement and when I get to grow up and my time is done you get to look back on these moments: ‘I got to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers.’ This has actually been the first year I’ve started to collect other teams’ stuff.”

♦ There weren’t many people watching, because it was the Bobcats vs. the Hornets, but at the end of Wednesday night’s game in Charlotte, Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani air-balled a shot with two seconds left and his team trailing by a point. On Thursday, the NBA acknowledged that a foul should have been called on Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that would have sent Bargnani to the free throw line.

The league did not indicate that any punishment would be due for officials Ed Malloy, John Goble and Violet Palmer.

♦ Former boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho is clinically brain dead following Tuesday night’s shooting in his home country of Puerto Rico. Family members initially disagreed whether to remove the 50-year-old from life support, although reports indicated the holdout family members agreed to pull the plug after two more days.

“We have done everything we could,” said Dr. Ernesto Torres, director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan. “We have to tell the people of Puerto Rico and the entire world that Macho Camacho has died, he is brain dead.”

Camacho won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight titles in the 1980s. He had a career record 79-6-3. He also had issues with drugs and alcohol and served a brief jail term in Mississippi for a 2005 burglary.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 23, 1977, the Red Sox signed which free agent pitcher?

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