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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Troubled 49ers LB Aldon Smith arrested after airport incident 04.14.14 at 8:04 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.

NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)


Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

– Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after being uncooperative with security and telling a TSA agent he had a bomb. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.

Smith, who took a leave of absence from the team last season to undergo treatment for substance abuse, was randomly selected for a second security screening when he allegedly became confrontational.

“The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding toward the gate area,” police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said in a statement.

At the gate, Smith again became confrontational and was taken into custody.

“We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment.”

Smith was arrested on Sept. 20 for DUI and marijuana possession. He also faces three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon after a party at his house turned violent in June 2012, five months after another DUI arrest.

Aldon Smith — 49ers Superstar Arrested at LAX … Allegedly Yelled ‘Bomb’ in Airport (short version)
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– The Knicks might have the inside track to sign free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, but the player’s comments over the weekend are raising questions about his desire to return to New York.

Anthony reportedly asked Bulls players what it’s like to play for coach Tom Thibodeau, and on Friday he was complimentary of the former Celtics assistant.

“Thibs is a great coach,” Anthony said (via the New York Post). “His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich‘€™s system. You put anybody in that system and it’€™s going to work. And that’€™s what they’€™ve been doing. They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done.”

The Knicks closed out the season by beating Thibodeau’s Bulls on Sunday, but missing the playoffs does not sit well with the veteran.

“It’s hard for me to accept,” he said. “It’s hard to kind of be happy in these times. It’s just a hard situation for me right now.”

– Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrienne Haslet-Davis expressed her disappointment with NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show allegedly broke a promise to her and said the names of the bombing suspects during her appearance, causing her to walk off the set in tears.

Following Friday’s taping of the show that aired Sunday, Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dancer who lost part of her left leg in the attacks, went on social media to express her dismay and disappointment.

“Your decision to back out on that promise you made and the horrific way you brought that decision to my attention just minutes prior to taping was not only a cowardice move but a dishonorable one as well,” she wrote on her website. “To say that I am hurt is an understatement, for you not only disrespected me, you disrespected the survivors of the bombing and the victims memories by blatantly disregarding this request and putting the value of a terrorist’s name, who put a city in turmoil and caused irrevocable damage physically and emotionally to people of this city, over Boston’s integrity, fortitude, and my personal well being.”

Host Brian Gregory tweeted an apology, but the official show response was less sympathetic.

“Adrianne Haslet-Davis is an inspiring survivor with an important story to share,” an NBC News spokesman said in a statement. “She was due to take part in a roundtable discussion for ‘Meet the Press’ with three other participants. She requested that the alleged bombers’€™ names not be used in the entire program, but given the nature of the discussion we couldn’€™t make that guarantee. We regret any distress caused by this miscommunication.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 14, 1967, in his major league debut, Red Sox left-hander Billy Rohr took a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Which Yankee broke it up with a two-out single?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘willing to do whatever’ to help Phil Jackson succeed with Knicks 03.18.14 at 7:55 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.

NHL: Bruins at Devils, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Raptors at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Albany vs. Mount St. Mary’s, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, N.C. State vs. Xavier, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Robert Morris at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Florida Gulf Coast at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, West Virginia at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Indiana State at Arkansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Georgia State at Clemson, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Davidson at Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Utah at Saint Mary’s, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Yankees, 1 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
MLB preseason: Athletics at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at Rangers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Galatasaray at Chelsea, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)


Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Phil Jackson is set to be introduced as Knicks president Tuesday, and star forward Carmelo Anthony says he’s “wiling to do whatever” is needed to get the team moving in the right direction.

Anthony, who becomes a free agent after this season, said Monday he had not spoken with Jackson but was looking forward to seeing if the Hall of Fame coach could work his magic in New York.

“The big picture, absolutely, for the big picture this is definitely more attractive,” Anthony said after Monday’s practice (via the New York Daily News).

“I’m willing to do whatever. As long as it’s going to put me in a situation to win, I’m willing to do whatever. I’m not sold or stuck on my play. What I’ve been able to do these past 10-11 years has gotten me to where I am right now.

“If Phil wants to come in and change that this late in my career, if it’s going to help me out to win a championship, I’m with it.”

Added Anthony: “As far as knowing what it takes to win, Phil is the best to ever do it. So for me to be able to have the opportunity and have him by my side, for him to teach me, you know, because I’€™m still willing to learn the game of basketball. … I haven’€™t won anything, and he’€™s won a lot. I can learn a lot from him and his system, things that he wants to incorporate here. I’€™m hoping and praying this all works.”

Meanwhile, rumors persist that Jackson will tab former Bulls guard Steve Kerr as Knicks coach. Kerr, now a TNT commentator after serving as general manager of the Suns from 2007-10, appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday and acknowledged he remained close to Jackson but chose his words carefully out of respect for current coach Mike Woodson.

“I’m perfectly happy doing what I’m doing, trust me,” Kerr said. “At some point in my life, if there’s a [coaching] opportunity that intrigues me, I might take it.”

– A federal lawsuit filed Monday charges that the NCAA and its five dominant conferences comprise an “unlawful cartel” that makes billions off athletes who are illegally restricted from earning their fair share.

The suit — the latest attempt by current and former athletes to cause dramatic changes in the NCAA’s oversight of college athletics — seeks monetary damages along with a declaration that the NCAA along with the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12 are violating antitrust laws.

“As a result of these illegal restrictions, market forces have been shoved aside and substantial damages have been inflicted upon a host of college athletes whose services have yielded riches only for others,” according to the court filing. “This class action is necessary to end the NCAA’s unlawful cartel, which is inconsistent with the most fundamental principles of antitrust law.”

The four defendants are Rutgers basketball player Johnathan “J.J.” Moore, Clemson football player Martin Jenkins, Texas-El Paso football player Kevin Perry and California football player William Tyndall.

– Fans of the Kontinental Hockey League club Barys Astana were ecstatic after their team won its first-ever playoff series last week, sweeping Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. When the team arrived home, a group of fans met the players at the airport. Some of them lifted up forward Talgat Zhailauov and tossed him in the air. However, they failed to catch him, and he fell to the ground.

Zhailauov, reportedly went to a hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was unclear if he would be able to play in the team’s second-round series this week.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 18, 1953, the National League owners approved the move of the Braves from Boston to Milwaukee. Who was the Braves owner?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Flyers chairman Ed Snider calls NHL’s Olympic break ‘ridiculous’ 02.07.14 at 8:00 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.

NBA: Kings at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Pacers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Manhattan at Canisius, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Detroit at Valparaiso, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marshall at Southern Mississippi, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Merrimack at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: Western Michigan at Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Maine at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Opening ceremony, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)


Ed Snider

Ed Snider

– As the NHL prepares to take two-plus weeks off so that its star players can compete in the Sochi Olympics, at least one high-level executive is speaking out against the break.

Flyers chairman Ed Snider voiced his disapproval after Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Avalanche.

“It’s ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Snider said. “I don’t care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn’t want to break up the league. I think it’s ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season. It screws up everything. ‘€¦ How can anybody be happy breaking up their season. No other league does it, why should we? There’s no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything I can only see negatives.”

Added Snider of the Olympics: “I hate them.”

However, reminded that the Flyers won the Stanley Cup reached the Stanley Cup finals during the last Olympic year (2010), Snider laughed.

“Maybe I like them,” he joked. “I forget about that.”

Snider also isn’t happy with Team Canada’s snub of Flyers forward Claude Giroux, who scored an empty-net goal Thursday, the same day Hockey Canada executive director Steve Yzerman chose Lightning forward Martin St. Louis to fill the roster spot vacated by the injured Steven Stamkos. Yzerman also is the Lightning’s general manager.

“It’s a farce,” Snider said. “[Giroux is] one of the best players in the game. It’s ridiculous. He’s better than half the guys on that team.

“Anybody that things Claude Giroux doesn’t belong on the Canadian team, they don’t know anything about hockey as far as I’m concerned. It’s politics, to a certain degree. He had to pick his own guy. His own guy is good, but Claude is better.”

– The Knicks continue to plod along, with a record of 19-30 in a woefully bad Eastern Conference, and it’s not sitting well with controversial owner James Dolan. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Dolan visited the locker room following Wednesday’s loss to the Trail Blazers and asked Carmelo Anthony if coach Mike Woodson should be fired.

Anthony, who scored 26 points Wednesday but missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, is said to be sensitive to the fact that he could be viewed as a “coach-killer.”

“There may be players that have a problem with Woody and want to blame him, but Carmelo isn’t one of them,” a person close to Anthony told the Daily News. “If Carmelo has tuned out Woody or doesn’t want him as a coach, why did he score 62 points two weeks ago? Why was he Player of the Month in January?”

On the other hand, Tyson Chandler has publicly questioned Woodson, and the center reportedly has grown close to team president Steve Mills.

Woodson, appearing on ESPN New York radio Thursday, acknowledged that it’s been a trying season.

“This year has been, for me, it’s been kind of a disaster from a coaching standpoint in trying to get players to compete and play at a high level,” he said. “That’s the frustrating part about it, because I know we’re better than what we’ve shown and we’ve still got a chance.”

The Nets are 12-4 in 2014 following Thursday’s 103-89 victory over the short-handed Spurs, improving their season record to 22-25, but TNT analyst Charles Barkley is not impressed.

“I don’t think they’re any good at all,” Barkley said on a conference call with reporters earlier Thursday. “Listen, you’ve only got two teams in the East, you’ve got the Heat and you’ve got the Pacers. I actually think probably the Washington Wizards are the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.

“I could get on here and lie to you, but listen, it’s the Heat and the Pacers. Nobody else is any good ‘€¦ or worth talking about, to be honest with you.”

Barkley offered little hope for a turnaround from point guard Deron Williams, who has not been the same since being traded from the Jazz in February 2011. A three-time All-Star in Utah, Williams has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since. He’s been slowed by ankle injuries this season and admitted Saturday that his confidence “is not my highest” after shooting 3-for-12 against the Pacers.

“Deron Williams has been hurt a lot the last couple of years. He’s never going to get back to Utah,” Barkley said of the 29-year-old. “His best days are behind him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 7, 1999, which Patriots defensive player was named co-MVP of the Pro Bowl after helping the AFC to a 23-10 victory?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: NHL will reassess Olympic participation if something ‘significant’ happens in Sochi 01.28.14 at 8:04 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.

NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Capitals at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Michigan State at Iowa, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: SMU at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Missouri at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kentucky at LSU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Virginia at Notre Dame, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: New Mexico at Utah State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Premier League, Everton at Liverpool, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


Zdeno Chara is one of five Bruins slated to play in the Olympics next month. (AP)

Zdeno Chara is one of five Bruins slated to play in the Sochi Olympics next month. (AP)

– NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press that the league will reassess the decision to send players to the Winter Olympics if it appears to be “an unreasonably dangerous situation” in Sochi.

Daly said he does not expect there to be a need to pull the players, but if something “significant” happens, the league will reevaluate.

In the past month there have been bombings in the region near Sochi, and terrorist groups have threatened to launch attacks during the Games. Russian authorities are looking for three potential female suicide bombers, one of whom is believed to be in Sochi.

“As of now, we do not doubt that all necessary steps are being taken by the Sochi Organizing Committee, the Russian government and the IOC to ensure the safety of the athletes and guests in Sochi,” Daly wrote Monday in an email to the AP. “Obviously, if something significant were to transpire between now and February 9 that causes us to question that conclusion, we will re-evaluate. I don’t expect that that will become necessary.”

The host country reportedly has assembled a security force of more than 50,000 police and soldiers, believed to be the largest every for an Olympics.

The NHL is sending 150 players to Sochi, including Bruins Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), Patrice Bergeron (Canada), David Krejci (Czech Republic), Loui Eriksson (Sweden) and Tuukka Rask (Finland).

Daly also said the league has not decided whether its players will participate in any future Olympics, noting the disruption it has on the league season.

– While Carmelo Anthony said his focus is on winning a championship and not where he will play next season, his wife said in a televised interview that she believes he will sign an extension to remain a member of the Knicks.

“I definitely think he will stay. I know that he wants to stay and I support him wherever he wants to go,” La La Anthony said on the interview show “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo. “Listen, I used to live in Denver with him. If I can live in Denver, I can live anywhere. I just want him to be happy.”

Anthony, 29, can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer, and he has said he intends to do that. There has been speculation that he would consider moving to Los Angeles, in part because his wife is a television personality who spends much of her time there.

“I get blamed for everything. No matter what happens, it’s my fault,” she said. “[There are] all these talks if he’s staying in New York or not, [that] I’m somehow the mastermind behind if he stays or not.”

Anthony, a seven-time All-Star, is averaging 27.2 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Knicks. He scored a team-record 62 points in a win over the Bobcats on Friday. However, the underachieving Knicks are just 17-27, one game out of a playoff berth.

“[Winning a championship is] the only thing I care about. Anything else is irrelevant to me as far as when it comes to basketball,” Anthony said after Monday’s practice. “A championship is the only thing that’s on my mind. That’s my motivating factor. Nothing else even motivates me anymore, just that.”

– Former major league pitcher Carlos Zambrano apologized for a “very embarrassing incident” over the weekend, when he ignited a bench-clearing brawl during the Venezuelan winter series final.

Zambrano became incensed after Navegantes del Magallanes teammate Ezequiel Carrera was hit by a pitch from Caribes de Anzoategui pitcher Mayckol Guaipe. Zambrano rushed out of the dugout and knocked over Guaipe, falling to the ground in the process. He narrowly avoided a punch to the face before order was restored shortly thereafter.

Zambrano, known best for his 11 years with the Cubs, last pitched in the majors in 2012 with the Marlins. He spent two months in the Phillies minor leagues last summer.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 28, 1967, the Red Sox used the No. 4 pick in the amateur draft on which New England player?

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Kobe Bryant says he will not recruit potential free agent Carmelo Anthony 01.27.14 at 10:33 am ET
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Despite his close friendship with Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant said he would not actively attempt to recruit the Knicks forward to the Lakers this summer.

“Well, everybody wants to play in Los Angeles,” Bryant said, according to ESPN.com. “I mean New York is a beautiful place, don’€™t get me wrong, but it is colder than [expletive] out here. You know, palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing.

“All jokes aside, I think that players, when that time comes, will have to make the best decision for them and their families. I try not to think about it too much. If he wants to call me for advice later as a friend, I will be more than happy to give it to him.”

Bryant made his comments after the Lakers fell to the Knicks 110-103 and two days after Anthony broke Bryant’€™s Madison Square Garden scoring record. Despite playing for a team that has jus a 16-27 record, Anthony scored 62 points on Friday.

If Anthony opts out of the last year of his contract with the Knicks, he will become a free agent on July 1. According to ESPN’€™s Larry Coon, the forward could get a five-year, $129.1 million contract if he stays with the Knicks, while he would max out at $95.8 million over four years if he went to a different team.

Despite his success on the court, Anthony has not won a championship since he was part of an NCAA title team at Syracuse. Bryant, who went through a seven-year drought without winning a title after picking up three in his first six seasons, said a ring-less career could have an impact on Anthony.

“It is hard from a psychological perspective as a player, you don’€™t want to get too frustrated about things that you can’€™t control,” Bryant said. “You have to find that balance.

“At the same time, it is important for the organization to understand the level of competiveness that you have, that you won’€™t tolerate having a team that is not in contention for an NBA championship, which is what I did. It rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but sometimes you got to kick down a few doors and piss some people off and trust that it will pay off in the long run. If you are willing to do that, more times than not, you will be OK.”

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony laughs off trade rumor involving Clippers’ Blake Griffin 01.06.14 at 8:07 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.

College football: BCS national championship, Auburn vs. Florida State, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Maryland at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Southern at Texas Southern, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)


Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

– A rumor making the rounds over the weekend was that the Knicks and Clippers were talking internally about the potential of a Carmelo Anthony-Blake Griffin trade.

A story from ESPN’s Chris Broussard said the Knicks were thinking about reaching out the Clippers, as Anthony is due to be a free agent at the end of the season, but no one on either team had any contact.

That didn’t sit well with Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who responded to inquiries Saturday by saying, “It’s just so stupid.”

Added Rivers: “My whole issue with any of that ‘€¦ is that that network [ESPN] to me reports a story that they created and then they do reports on it for the next two days, on a story that they created. But it’s stupid.”

Anthony was asked about the rumor and called it “silly and stupid,” noting that it’s long been speculated that he and Chris Paul would eventually be teammates.

“Coming up everybody talks about it,” Anthony said Sunday. “It started back with the USA team. You’d laugh and joke about it. It just so happens those three guys [with the Heat] did it. Everybody says they want to play with this guy or that guy.

“Me and Chris have been rumored to play together since he came into the NBA. There was always a trade rumor trying to get us together and it never happened.”

– Speaking of the Knicks, controversial guard J.R. Smith had an interesting defensive maneuver in Sunday night’s win over the Mavericks. During a free throw, Smith reached down and untied the shoelaces of Mavericks forward Shawn Marion.

Marion seemed surprised but did not react, waiting until the next stoppage in play to re-tie his laces.

Dennis Rodman announced his team of former NBA players that will play an exhibition game in North Korea on Wednesday. The team included former Celtics Kenny Anderson and Vin Baker, as well as former UConn star Cliff Robinson, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith.

Rodman traveled to North Korea before Christmas to help train the North Korean team as he pushes his “basketball diplomacy.”

“My previous travels have allowed me to feel the enthusiasm and warmth of fans,” Rodman said. “The positive memories and smiles on the faces of the children and families are a testament to the great efforts we have put into fulfilling our mission wherever we go voiding any politics. We are all looking forward to arriving in Pyongyang, meeting the citizens, visiting various charities and using the opportunity to develop new relationships that result in our annual return.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 6, 1989, which Patriots player was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Sabres pick up win on bizarre overtime ‘butt goal’ 12.24.13 at 8:11 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.

College football: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Boise State vs. Oregon State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)


– In one of the most bizarre game-winning goals in NHL history, the Sabres beat the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime Monday night when Buffalo’s Mark Pysyk took a shot that was deflected by Phoenix forward Martin Hanzal, and the puck flipped into the air and landed on the backside of goalie Mike Smith. Unaware that the puck had lodged partly inside his pants, Smith backed into the goal as the Sabres celebrated.

After some momentary confusion — the referee initially stood behind the net without signaling while the Sabres pointed to the puck and a Coyotes player coaxed Smith to nudge forward — the play went to a video review and was ruled to be a goal.

“A little unlucky for Smith there,” Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said. “I think he’ll be shaking his head for a while. It’s a little bit of a Christmas present for us and we’ll take it.”

Said Smith: “I didn’t feel it at all. I didn’t know what happened. I knew that puck went up in the air but had no idea where it went after that.”

– The struggling Knicks already were likely to be underdogs when they host the Thunder on Christmas Day, but now their challenge could be bigger, as they’re probably going to be shorthanded after losing two key players to injury Monday night.

Carmelo Anthony left the game against the Magic in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return. And point guard Raymond Felton, playing his first game since Dec. 11 due to a sore left hamstring, suffered a groin injury, saying he heard something “pop.”

“We can’t catch a break, man.” Felton said. “Just can’t catch a break.”

The Knicks were leading by 20 points when Anthony rolled his ankle. The Magic proceeded to embark on a furious rally and close to within a point before New York held on to win 103-98.

“After Melo went down, I don’t know if we hung our heads or what, but they made a hell of a run,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “We just kept fighting and grinding and withstood the run and really made some defensive stops down the stretch to help us secure the game.”

Said Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani: “Everything we do his connected to him. When he leaves, it changes everything.”

– A frustrating game in a frustrating season apparently got to Paul Pierce on Monday night, as the Nets swingman was ejected for clotheslining George Hill during a loss to the visiting Pacers. Pierce was 0-for-7 and Brooklyn was down by 19 points when he was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected.

Pierce, who went scoreless in a game for the first time since 1999 with the Celtics, and Kevin Garnett did not talk to the media after the game (or even before the game, at the morning shootaround), but coach Jason Kidd had some interesting things to say. Following the 103-86 loss, Kidd challenged his underachieving team, which sits at 9-18.

“I think it’s getting really close to just accepting losing,” Kidd said. “We kind of get comfortable with losing, and we have to make a stand with that because when things get tough, do we give in? Most of the time right now we do.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 24, 1960, the Celtics set an NBA record for most rebounds in a game during a 150-106 rout of the visiting Pistons. How many rebounds did the Celtics get: 87, 94, 101 or 109?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony, Knicks hit new low in loss to Wizards 12.17.13 at 8:08 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.

NHL: Flames at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Capitals at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Thunder at Nuggets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Yale at Providence, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Florida Gulf Coast at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Elon at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: North Florida at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Florida vs. Memphis, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri State at Louisville, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Wichita State at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Ball State at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Guangzhou Evergrande vs. Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


‘€¢ The Knicks’ incompetence was on full display Monday night at Madison Square Garden, as they gave away a game to the Wizards in a strange finish.

New York had a one-point lead and a foul to give when, with six seconds remaining, Wizards guards Bradley Beal blew past Beno Udrih — who received no defensive help — and scored a layup to give Washington a 102-101 lead.

“There was absolutely nobody there,” Beal said.

Udrih took the ball out of the basket and started gesturing toward teammate Andrea Bargnani, who apparently was supposed to protect the basket on the play. Despite having three timeouts, the Knicks then quickly inbounded the ball to Carmelo Anthony, who showed no urgency in dribbling the ball up the right side before launching an off-balance 3-pointer that had no chance.

“I probably should have taken a timeout at the end,” acknowledged coach Mike Woodson, adding: “Beno grabbed it and the ball was in Melo’s hands before I could even react, and I should have reacted a lot sooner once the ball went through the bucket. So, that is on me.”

Said Anthony: “If [Woodson] said it’€™s his fault, it’€™s his fault. There’€™s no need for me to talk about that or make excuses for it. He said that was his fault, he’€™ll take the blame, then he takes the blame.

“As players we’ve got to be smart enough to know as well — time, score and situation. In a situation like that we knew we had timeouts, we knew we had fouls to give at the end of the game. We can’€™t leave it on the coach to do it.”

The Knicks are just 4-9 at home and 7-17 overall.

“I couldn’t believe we lost the game tonight,” Anthony said. “We had a chance to walk away with this game. The way we lost the game ‘€¦ we weren’t supposed to lose the basketball.”

Adding to the Knicks’ woes, guard Pablo Prigioni will miss a couple of weeks with a broken toe.

‘€¢ Washington coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that he does not plan to resign, following reports that he wants out of a dysfunctional situation, but said he won’t know what’s in store until he meets with owner Daniel Snyder after the season.

“All we can do at the end of the season is communicate,” Shanahan said. “And I think we have that type of relationship where we can talk and be honest to each other.”

Looking toward next year, Shanahan said that Robert Griffin III would enter camp as the starting quarterback, but the team would welcome “legitimate competition” from Kirk Cousins, who is playing now that RGIII has been shut down for the season to protect his health. Cousins threw for 381 yards — more than RGIII’s most productive game in the NFL — and three touchdowns with two interceptions in Sunday’s 27-26 loss to the Falcons.

“The thing that you want on your football team is that you want competition, legitimate competition,” Shanahan said. “The better players you have, the more people compete. When you look behind your shoulder and you know that guy’s pretty good, it makes you work a little bit harder.”

‘€¢ Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito will remain suspended with pay for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, according to multiple reports.

The team would only say that the sides had agreed to “maintain his suspension” during the league’s investigation into the alleged harassment that forced Jonathan Martin to leave the team and seek treatment. Incognito was suspended Nov. 3. He filed a grievance Nov. 14 seeking to rejoin the team but withdrew it.

Incognito is in the final year of his contract with the team, earning a base salary of $3.5 million ($220,588 per game).

The Dolphins are 5-2 since the story broke (4-2 since Incognito was suspended) and kept alive their postseason hopes with Sunday’s 24-20 victory over the Patriots that improved them to 8-6.

“We are fighters,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Sunday. “We’ve been through a lot. Guys are tough and are able to handle anything that happens on the field.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 17, 1966, which Patriot rushed for 78 yards in a 38-28 road loss to the Jets, giving him 1,458 yards on the season?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Garnett preaches patience after Nets routed by last-place Knicks 12.06.13 at 8:09 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.

NBA: Nuggets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
College basketball: Arizona State at DePaul, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Fairfield at Quinnipiac, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: South Carolina at Oklahoma State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kentucky at Baylor, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: MAC championship, Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: New Hampshire at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: North Dakota at Western Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: UMass at Notre Dame, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: World Cup draw, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Women’s NCAA semifinal, Virginia Tech vs. Florida State, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Women’s NCAA semifinal, Virginia vs. UCLA, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)


• The Knicks won the battle for New York — also a matchup between the Atlantic Division’s bottom-feeders — on Thursday night, rolling to a 113-83 victory in Brooklyn in a game that showcased how bad the Nets are playing right now.

Kevin Garnett, who was the glue on defense for the Celtics the past few seasons, explained that there is some confusion among Nets players, especially after defense-minded assistant coach Lawrence Frank was demoted earlier in the week.

“Chemistry isn’t just snap, wave a magic wand and voila,” said Garnett, who was involved in a dust-up with Andrea Bargnani in the fourth quarter that led to the Knicks forward’s ejection. “We have a new system … changing the team on the fly.”

Jason Kidd admitted that the first month of his coaching tenure has not been memorable.

“The losses can sometimes take the fun away,” he said after his team fell to 5-14, only percentage points ahead of the 4-13 Knicks for last place in the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony denied a report that he’s already decided to flee New York when he becomes a free agent next offseason.

“I don’t think [any]body goes somewhere expecting to lose, but we’re going through it and I’m dealing with it,” Anthony said before Thursday’s game. “As far as me leaving and thinking about that, I’d be selfish to think about that at this point with us losing and going through the situation that we’re going through. I’d be selfish on my part, to my teammates and to the organization to even have that thought even coming across my mind.

“So, no, I’m not even thinking about that at this point.”

• The Bulls have ruled Derrick Rose out for the season after he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee last month, but the star guard isn’t ready to give up on the season.

“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I will be back playing,” Rose said Thursday about the possibility of returning for the playoffs. “If I’m healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I’ll be out there playing. But if it’s something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there’s no need.”

Rose also did not take kindly to a suggestion that the team move on from building around him, given that he just suffered his second major injury in three years.

“What can I say to that?” Rose responded, adding after a long pause: “You could be a fool if you want to. Dead serious. I know I’m going to be all right.”

• Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin had a second meeting with NFL special investigator Ted Wells on Thursday to discuss his alleged harsh treatment by teammates, according to an Associated Press report.

Wells is expected to have another meeting with some Dolphins players before filing his report.

Martin, who first was interviewed on Nov. 15 after leaving the team on Oct. 28, continues to stay with family in California while undergoing counseling for emotional issues. He was put on the reserve/non-football illness list by the Dolphins last week, ending his season.

Richie Incognito, who emerged as the main focus of the bullying accusations, remains suspended from the team.

Despite the turmoil that threatens to cost coach Joe Philbin his job, the Dolphins are 6-6 and challenging for a playoff berth headed into Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 6, 1976, the Red Sox traded a young Cecil Cooper to the Brewers to return which two former Sox players to Boston?

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony calls Knicks ‘laughingstock’ of league 12.05.13 at 8:09 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.

NHL: Bruins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Texans at Jaguars, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Louisville at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Knicks at Nets, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Heat at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: West Virginia at Missouri, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: LIU-Brooklyn at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Providence at Rhode Island, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Mississippi at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: High Point at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)


Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

• The Knicks and Nets, New York’s two underachieving NBA teams, meet up Thursday night in Brooklyn with a combined record of 8-26, and Knicks star Carmelo Anthony says it’s “a big game for us.”

The Knicks, losers of nine straight, head into the game with a 3-13 record, tied with the Bucks for fewest wins in the NBA.

“We are the laughingstock of the league,” Anthony said. “I mean, it’s nothing to hide. We are. … Do I like being laughed at? Hell, no. I don’t like that feeling.”

J.R. Smith backed his teammate, while noting that the New York-Brooklyn rivalry, hyped up before the season, has lost much of its luster due to the teams’ performance.

“Right now we do [stink]. I think everybody in this gym would agree,” Smith said. “There’s so much animosity between the two teams, but our record, for the team we have, isn’t really doing any justice. Right now we have to put the rivalry on hold and focus on each individual team as opposed to focusing on, “We don’t like them and they don’t like us.’ ”

Jason Kidd, the Nets coach who played for the Knicks last season, analyzed the matchup by saying, “We both stink.”

Responded Knicks coach Mike Woodson: “I somewhat agree, we do stink. … But [expletive], I can’t worry about Jason. I’ve got to worry about the New York Knicks. … I’m not going to throw in the towel.”

Said Anthony: “We do [stink]. He wasn’t lying about that. I mean, we do. For us, we’ve just got to figure it out and try to turn it around. Why not start [Thursday]?”

• Meanwhile, Lawrence Frank, demoted from top Nets assistant to glorified scout by Kidd, is not going away quietly. According to a report out of New York, Frank is hiring a high-powered attorney, apparently to negotiate a buyout from the team.

Kidd downplayed the fallout, saying: “It’s part of the job. He’s working. He’s giving his reports. … So, do I miss him? No. He’s doing his job and what I’ve asked him to do.”

Byron Scott, who coached Kidd with the Nets in the early 2000s with Frank as an assistant, knows both men well and said he isn’t shocked that the partnership did not last, as they are two “very strong-willed people who don’t back down.”

“It does surprise me a little that it happened so quickly,” Scott told the New York Post. “But it’s safe to say that I’m not [surprised] it happened at all because of the personalities involved.”

According to a report from Deadline.com, Heat star LeBron James will star in a movie with comedian Kevin Hart.

The movie, called “Ballers,” is about a man (Hart) who lives in the shadow of his brother (James), an NBA superstar, but gets a chance to prove himself at a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami.

The report indicates that James has been looking to star in a feature movie for a couple of years, and he’ll get his chance when the movie starts filming next summer.

Hart, who at 5-foot-3 is almost 1½ feet shorter than James, is a veteran of the celebrity game at All-Star Weekend.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 5, 1982, in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, which Bruins player recorded a hat for the second consecutive day?

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