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NBA roundup: Bulls cut Carlos Boozer; Erik Spoelstra, Heat ‘don’t have any regrets’ over LeBron James’ decision 07.16.14 at 11:14 am ET
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The Bulls used the amnesty clause Tuesday to cut forward Carlos Boozer after four seasons with the team.

Chicago also waived forward Lou Amundson and guards Ronnie Brewer and Mike James as the Bulls try to clear salary-cap space for the signing of Pau Gasol and 2011 draft pick Nikola Mirotic.

Boozer went to Chicago in a sign-and-trade deal with the Jazz in July 2010. He averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in 280 games with the Bulls.

Boozer had one year left on a five-year deal worth around $75 million. The amnesty clause allows the Bulls to release a player during the current labor deal and have 100 percent of his salary taken off the cap. Boozer is still owed the money, however.

“Carlos epitomized professionalism in everything he did for the Bulls both on the court, and in the community, during his time here in Chicago,” general manager Gar Forman said in a release. “Over the last four seasons, Carlos’ productivity helped elevate our team to another level. I have nothing but respect for Carlos, and certainly wish him the best as he moves forward.”

— Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke Tuesday for the first time since LeBron James decided to leave Miami to rejoin the Cavaliers. Although he said he was surprised by James’ decision, Spoelstra showed no animosity toward the superstar.

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra told reporters after the Heat’s summer league game in Las Vegas. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

Spoelstra won two titles with James during a four-year run that included four-straight NBA Finals appearances.

— At least the Heat will have two-thirds of their “Big Three” back next season.

Less than a week after James’ decision and Chris Bosh returned to Miami, Dwyane Wade signed a two-year deal with the Heat on Tuesday designed to give Wade and the team some flexibility in the coming years.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carlos Boozer, Dwyane Wade, Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Dwyane Wade insists Heat ‘have no reason not to be proud’ after being routed out of NBA Finals 06.16.14 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-AM)
MLB: Mets at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College baseball: World Series, Texas vs. Louisville, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: World Series, UC Irvine vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
World Cup soccer: Ghana vs, United States, 6 p.m. (ESPN, Univision; WEEI-AM)
World Cup soccer: Germany vs. Portugal, noon (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
World Cup soccer: Iran vs. Nigeria, 3 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Heading into Sunday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Heat star LeBron James looked at a 3-1 series deficit no team had ever overcome in Finals history and said, “Why not us?”

The answer came swiftly: Because the Heat’s supporting cast was not up to the challenge.

San Antonio roared back from an early 16-point deficit and routed the Heat for the third straight game, 104-87, clinching its fifth title and denying the Heat a three-peat.

“They played exquisite basketball this series and in particular these last three games and they are the better team. There’s no other way to say it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

James recorded 31 points and 10 rebounds, including 17 points in the first quarter. Miami raced out to a 22-6 lead but was trailing by halftime, 47-40.

Ray Allen started in place of the slumping Mario Chalmers and scored five points on 1-of-8 shooting with four turnovers.

Chris Bosh — who before the game insisted, “We’re not going down. We’re going to win this game” — finished with 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He was 0-for-5 on 3-pointers.

Dwyane Wade shot 4-for-12 and finished with 11 points and three turnovers. He shot 7-for-25 in the last two games as the Heat’s fourth consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals ended badly.

“We’d love to be 4-for-4,” Wade said, “but we have no reason not be proud of each other.”

Said James: “We went to four straight Finals in four years. We’€™re not discrediting what we were able to accomplish in these four years. We lost one, we won two, and we lost another one. [We will] take 50 percent in four years in championships any day. Obviously, you want to win all of them, but that’€™s just the nature of the game. You win some,  you lose some. You’€™ve just got to come back the next year and be better as an individual, as a team, and go from there.”

The Spurs, meanwhile, celebrated their first title since 2007 and made amends for last season’s collapse vs. the Heat in the Finals.

“It makes last year OK,” Tim Duncan said.

— Mets starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tried to play with a “severe upset stomach” Sunday — delaying the start of the game before taking the mound — but he lasted just one inning before leaving the game.

Matsuzaka, who is not aware of what he might have eaten that caused his issues, said he’s hoping to pitch in relief Monday.

“I’m fine physically,” he said through his translator (via the New York Daily News). “I’d definitely like to help the bullpen.”

Manager Terry Collins might take the former Red Sox hurler up on that offer.

“We’re going to talk about possibly [Monday] if he’s feeling good,” Collins said. “If he feels all right [Monday] we could use him for a couple of innings.”

— Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate and friend Jerry Brown, was released from jail Sunday, one month before his six-month sentence was to end.

Brent, 26, had been sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation. He had faced up to 20 years in prison.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, asked for leniency for Brent, saying at the trial, “You can’t go on in life holding a grudge.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 16, 1978, which Red Sox player announced he was quitting the team, directing his anger at manager Don Zimmer and general manager Haywood Sullivan, only to return the following day?

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Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dwyane Wade, Josh Brent, LeBron James
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling nixes deal, says he’ll sue NBA ‘to protect my rights’ 06.10.14 at 7:56 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: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Reds, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Finals: Spurs at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-AM)

AROUND THE WEB:

— One day after NBA commissioner Adam Silver voiced optimism that the Donald Sterling saga was nearing its conclusion, Sterling’s lawyer said he has decided to contest the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer and will sue the NBA for $1 billion.

“We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit,” attorney Maxwell Blecher said.

Sterling agreed to the sale last week, but he reportedly changed his mind when he realized that the league would not revoke his lifetime ban.

The lawsuit accuses the NBA of violating Sterling’s constitutional rights after banning the owner and fining him $2.5 million following the release of a secret audiotape on which Sterling made racist comments. Sterling has called the tape “illegal,” as he did not consent to it. He again apologized for his comments and insisted they were said out of anger and jealousy and were not meant to be public.

Said Sterling in a statement: “I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights. While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled. I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team.”

Sterling’s wife, acting as sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, negotiated the $2 billion deal with Ballmer. As part of the deal, Shelly Sterling agreed to indemnify the NBA against all lawsuits.

— A $5,000 fine won’t mean much for a player who makes millions, but perhaps the humiliation will shame Dwyane Wade into stopping his flopping ways.

The Heat guard was fined by the NBA Monday for embellishing during Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili took a swipe at the ball and Wade acted as though he had been smacked in the face. The official bought Wade’s acting job, whistling Ginobili for a foul. It was costly for San Antonio, as Ginobili had to leave the game because it was his third foul and it was only the second quarter. Additionally, Wade was given two free throws and he made them both. Miami went on to win by two points.

“He took a swipe and he hit me,” Wade claimed Monday, before the fine was announced. “It was a late call by the ref, but he called it.”

This marks the fifth time this postseason a player has been assessed a fine for flopping.

— The Jaguars are replacing 9,500 end zone seats and installing a two-level party deck, featuring two pools and 16 furnished cabanas, in an effort to find a creative way to get fans into the stadium.

Each of the four poolside cabanas on the lower level will rent for $12,500 per game, which includes 50 tickets and unlimited refreshments. The upper cabanas go for $3,000 per game, and that includes 20 tickets but no pool access. Individual tickets can be purchased as well, for $250 (lower level) or $150.

A team executive told ESPN that 65 percent of the cabanas have been sold for the upcoming season.

“We’re targeting businesses who want to entertain some of their clients or even their own employees.” senior vice president of sales Chad Johnson said. “What we’ve built here you can’t get anywhere else.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 10, 1970, pitcher Jim Lonborg was put on the 21-day disabled list and the Red Sox made the rare move of activating a coach to the roster. Which coach-turned-player went on to hit .343 in 38 games that season, while making appearances at all three outfield positions, first base, third base and even catcher?

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Read More: Donald Sterling, Dwyane Wade,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees fans irate after Mariano Rivera bobbleheads arrive late 09.25.13 at 8:17 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: Red Sox at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Cardinals, 1:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL preseason: Penguins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ The Yankees were blanked by the Rays, 7-0, on Tuesday night, putting them on the brink of elimination from the playoff race, but that’s not what had the New York crowd upset.

Fans poured into Yankee Stadium expecting to receive a Mariano Rivera bobblehead doll in honor of the legendary reliever who is retiring after the season, but the figurines did not arrive at the park in time due to transportation problems. The first 18,000 fans instead were given vouchers to redeem when the collectibles showed up.

In the third inning, the bobbleheads finally were ready for distribution, and fans proceeded to wait for more than an hour in line to get theirs. Some fans were still in line at the end of the game. Incensing some in the park, fans in the most expensive seats had their bobbleheads delivered to them.

“It’s a disgrace that this is how the Yankees treat their fans,” Dennis Houston of Queens told the New York Post, after waiting line through the end of the game and beyond.

Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo tried to take a positive approach.

“It’s a testament to so many people in the organization that we accomplished what we did, given the hand that we were dealt,” he said.

‘€¢ NBA stars Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade star in a Gatorade commercial in which both players have nightmares about losing a one-on-one battle against each other. On Tuesday, their real-life rivalry became more interesting after Wade took offense at a slight from the Thunder star.

Asked about Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 NBA players of 2014, Durant (ranked second behind LeBron James) said he would move up former teammate James Harden from No. 11 into the top 10. Asked which player he would displace to include Harden, Durant replied: “Dwyane Wade.”

Wade, whose Heat beat the Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals and repeated as champs this year, posted his response via a handwritten letter he photographed and posted on Instagram. The letter read: Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the Top 10’€¦ Note to self* Make him respect your place in history’€¦ again’€¦

Tweeted Durant: “Show me don’t tweet me..

 

‘€¢ Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson is expected to miss at least a month after breaking both bones in his left forearm in an early morning car accident Tuesday caused by a falling box of pizza. According to Michigan State Police (via The Detroit News), Burleson crashed his GMC Yukon SUV into a center median wall around 2:25 a.m. after being distracted by pizza falling off his front seat. Police also said there was no probable cause to suspect Burleson was intoxicated.

Burleson, who has a team-high 19 receptions through three games, was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday morning.

“Anytime you’€™re in a highway accident, there’€™s potential for worse than broken bones,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “I think he was fortunate in this case, and we were fortunate in this case, that it wasn’€™t more than that.

“I think we’€™ve all dealt with some sort of distraction driving before. I’€™ve cured myself of texting and driving. I did it for about two months. Now I got that SYNC thing with the Fords. I never even touch my cell phone in the car, but the thing I probably need to cure myself of is eating and driving. There’€™s too many times I leave the office real late at night, and you grab something and I’€™ve had it happen, drop it on your lap or do something else. That’€™s stuff we all need to learn from. So yeah, we were lucky in that case. We’€™ll miss him for the time he’€™s out. We’€™ll see how long that’€™ll be, but we know it’€™s not a career-ender, it’€™s not a season-ender, at least at this point.”

‘€¢ NBA veteran Lamar Odom emerged from hiding — reportedly he’s been getting help for his substance-abuse problem — to take a shot at his father. Joe Odom got the ball rolling when he gave an interview to Radar Online and expressed his dissatisfaction with his son’s wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, and her family, especially Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner.

“I blame Kris in particular, she’s been through a lot of stuff herself,” said Joe Odom, a former heroin addict who abandoned his family when Lamar was very young. “She’s no Cinderella. I can’t really say if the Kardashians are doing drugs, but my son would never use hard drugs. I can’t pinpoint right now who’s giving it to him, but I’m going to investigate. The Kardashians haven’t been a good influence on my son.”

Lamar responded with a Twitter diatribe in which he took his father to task, noting that Joe “was absent ALL of my life due to his own demons.”

Wrote Lamar: He is my downfall! His own demons may be the ONLY thing he gave 2 me. He disrespecting the ONLY FAMILY that has loved me without expecting anything in return. They are the ONLY ones that have been here consistently 4 me during this dark time. Only person 2 blame is myself. Say what you want about me but leave the ones who have done nothing but protect and love me out of this! This goes out to everyone!

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 25, 1965, the legendary Satchel Paige pitched three shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics against the Red Sox. The 59-year-old former Negro Leagues star, who was making his first major league appearance since 1953, allowed only one hit — a first-inning double to which Sox player?

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Lamar Odom, Mariano Rivera
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez’s Yankees teammates promise support if he’s suspended 07.23.13 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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Diamondbacks, 9:30 p.m. (WGN)
WNBA: New York Liberty at Indiana Fever, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ With Ryan Braun‘s season-ending suspension in the books, the expectation is that Alex Rodriguez‘s day of reckoning is coming soon.

His Yankees teammates voiced support for him Monday, but they also expressed a desire for cheaters to be punished.

“If he’€™s admitted that he did something wrong, he knows what the league is going to do,” Mariano Rivera said, via the New York Daily News. “It’€™s not rocket science here.

“The good thing about this is we’€™re cleaning the game. That’€™s the way it should be. This is a message for whoever tries to do this again; he’€™s going to get caught. You know that if you do something like that, you’€™re going to get caught and you’€™re going to pay the consequences. Simple as that. If you did it and you don’€™t get caught, then good luck. But if you get caught — and 99.9 percent of the time you’€™re going to get caught — you know you’€™re going to pay the consequences.”

Added Rivera: “I have to support him. He’€™s my teammate. He’€™s my brother. I’€™m not saying he did or didn’€™t do it, but if it happens. I can’€™t throw him in the street. He’€™s still my brother.”

Said Andy Pettitte: “We’€™re going to back him up; we’€™re his teammates, there’€™s no doubt. But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I’€™ll still back him up. I’€™m still going to love him because I built the relationship with him. He’€™s a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him.”

Manager Joe Girardi has lost patience with those who are cheating the game.

“I think I’€™m tired of steroids. I’€™m tired of that. Just do things the right way; bottom line. Everyone should do things the right way, but that’€™s not the world we live in,” Girardi said in reference to Braun. “You get tired of talking about it. There’€™s a lot of guys that are doing it the right way and I respect those guys.

“You don’€™t accept a deal unless you were guilty. It’€™s disappointing. It’€™s just another black eye for our game. I know this game is very resilient and there have been a lot of scandals over the years, but you get tired of it.”

‘™¦ Cornerback Eric Wright, traded from the Buccaneers to the 49ers last week for a conditional draft prick in 2014, failed his physical with San Francisco, nullifying the trade. Wright then was released by Tampa Bay.

Wright, who was arrested in 2012 on felony DUI charges and suspended four games last year for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor charge.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh declined to discuss the reason for Wright’s failed physical.

“We don’t ever talk about that,” Harbaugh said Monday. “The information is he didn’t pass his physical, he’s not on the team.”

‘™¦ Heat star Dwyane Wade reached a settlement with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, who made news last week when she protested outside a Chicago courthouse with a sign criticizing Wade for a lack of a support and implying she was homeless.

“Ms. Funches has made a mockery of homelessness which is a serious and personal issue for Mr. Wade as his mother was homeless for a period of time when he was a child,” Wade’s attorney, James B. Pritikin, said in a statement, adding that Wade has been providing $25,000 in monthly support..

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wade — who filed from divorce from Funches, the mother of his two sons, in 2007 — will pay Funches $5 million, and there is a non-disparage agreement . Funches’ lawyer claims his client did not agree to the agreement, but the judge determined otherwise.

Wade won a court battle in 2011 that gave him full custody of his children. Funches was arrested last year on misdemeanor charges of attempted child abduction, unlawful visitation interference and obstruction of a peace officer after an incident related to visitation. According to the Sun-Times, all the charges except obstruction of a peace officer were dismissed, and she faces a court date in September.

“The safety and well-being of his children are [Wade's] main priority,” Pritikin said. “Due to Ms. Funches’ current unstable mental state, her visitation will be determined by the court. Mr. Wade continues to hope that one day he will have a civil relationship with his ex-wife for the sake of their sons.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 23, 2002, which Red Sox player hit three two-run home runs in a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays and tied a major league record with five home runs in two games?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Dwyane Wade, Eric Wright, Joe Girardi
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Heat players split about disloyal fans heading into Game 7 06.20.13 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA Finals: Spurs at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers , 7:08 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 8:05 p.m. (WGN)
College baseball: World Series, North Carolina vs. NC State, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. South Korea, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ A number of Heat fans left Tuesday night’s Game 6 in Miami when it appeared the home team was going to lose to the Spurs. When the Heat made their dramatic comeback — tying the game and forcing overtime on Ray Allen‘s 3-pointer with five seconds remaining and eventually winning — some fans tried to return but were not allowed back inside AmericanAirlines Arena.

Heat forward Chris Bosh had little sympathy for those unfaithful fans.

“For all those guys who left, make sure they don’t come to Game 7,” Bosh said before Wednesday’s practice. “We only want the guys who are going to stay in the building for the whole game. You never give up. People gave up on us and they can stay where they are and watch the game at home.”

Dwyane Wade was a little more forgiving.

“It’s hard to be a fan,” he said. “I get nervous and frustrated when I watch my son play in his games. But you’d rather be in this moment than not be in this moment. I heard about what happened with some of our fans the other night. But it’s OK. I welcome them back with open arms.”

Game 7 is Thursday night in Miami, and LeBron James is calling it “one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game of my life.”

Said James: “I understand the moment for me. I’m going to have butterflies. I’ll be nervous. That’s how it should be. The moment is going to be grand.”

‘™¦ Tennis star Serena Williams apologized Wednesday and implied she was misquoted when she said that the 16-year-old female victim in the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.”

Two Steubenville high school football players were convicted in March of raping the drunken teen.

“I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article,” Williams said in a statement released through her agent. “What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.”

‘™¦ Tony Romo has been criticized for failing to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title, but one team legend who had more success has faith in him.

“I think Tony Romo is a championship quarterback,” Roger Staubach said in an interview with Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan. “He can take a team to a championship. He can’€™t do it by himself, but I really believe he can do it. I just see what he does on the field, the plays he makes, the throws he makes, the sense that he has to move in the pocket so I’€™m pulling really hard for Tony because I really believe he is one heck of a quarterback, and that’€™s a feeling from somebody that I didn’€™t say that about any other quarterbacks except for Troy Aikman. I think Tony is the right quarterback, and we’€™re lucky to have Tony Romo.”

Staubach is convinced the Cowboys, 8-8 last season, aren’t far away from a Super Bowl berth.

“Dallas will have a shot at it,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 20, 1980, the Angels routed the Red Sox, 20-2. Which unlikely Angels infielder led the onslaught with three home runs and a double?

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Read More: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Roger Staubach
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James fouls out in Heat’s Game 4 loss to Pacers 05.29.13 at 7:50 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: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: White Sox at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mets at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Red Wings at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Belgium, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Heat star LeBron James fouled out in the final minute of Tuesday’s 99-92 loss to the Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals that evened the series. It was just the fifth disqualification of his career (with the previous one coming last postseason against the Celtics). Not surprisingly, James expressed displeasure with some of the call that went against him.

“I believe I was straight up and down on Paul George‘s drive, on the and-one,” he said. “They reversed a call with [Roy] Hibbert, called a foul on me on that one. And at the end of the third they called a push-off on David West.

“It was a couple of calls that I didn’t feel like were fouls, personal fouls on me. That’s how the game goes sometimes.”

On James’ final foul call, with the Heat trailing by four points and 56 seconds remaining, he stuck out his leg trying to set a pick to free up Dwyane Wade and tripped Lance Stephenson as Wade dribbled the ball the other direction.

“I was going to set a screen and I felt like I was stationary — and D-Wade rejected the pick and roll,” James said. “Lance actually ran into me.”

James and his teammates will get no sympathy from Pacers fans, who at one point Tuesday chanted, “Beat the floppers.”

‘™¦ Ten members of Congress — including co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus Tom Cole (Oklahoma) and Betty McCollum (Minnesota) — became the latest public figures to call for the Redskins to change their name. The representatives announced Tuesday that they have sent letters to team owner Dan Snyder, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the other 31 NFL teams and FedEx (a Redskins sponsor) noting that the name is offensive to many Native Americans.

“In this day and age, it is imperative that you uphold your moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs,” the letter read.

The name is facing a legal challenge from a group that seeks to have the team lose its trademark protection. Snyder has said he will not change the name.

‘™¦ Nike announced Tuesday that it is ending production of Livestrong apparel and gear after this year, after helping to raise about $100 million over the partnership with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong‘s charity.

“We expected changes like this,” Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said, referring to Armstrong’s admission in January that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs after years of denial. “Could there be fallout? Of course. We remain enormously confident. ‘€¦ We are in strong fiscal shape.”

Armstrong, who founded Livestrong in 1997 after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, stepped down from the board in October.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 29, 1984, the Red Sox held their first official number retirement ceremony, honoring two men: Ted Williams (No. 9) and who else?

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Lance Armstrong, LeBron James, Livestrong
Dwyane Wade’s benching one of many minor concerns for Heat 01.16.13 at 5:00 pm ET
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As Dwyane Wade sat on the bench and watched his teammates attempt a fourth-quarter comeback against the Jazz on Monday, some saw it as an example of the greater malaise that’s settled over the Heat recently (though they’re still 24-12 and in first place in the conference).

Wade’s benching — if it can be called that, given that it only lasted for one quarter — came after a recent dip in his offensive production, and hasn’t caused much of an uproar in and of itself. The same goes for the Heat’s 1-3 record so far on their Western road trip, in which they’ve beaten only the Kings and lost to the Pacers, Trail Blazers and Jazz.

However, comments and actions from Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh before and during the trip have raised some eyebrows. Despite the fact that the Heat have some of the most talented players in the game, James said after a two-point loss to Portland last Thursday, “We’re not the most talented bunch. We’re not the greatest team. So we can’t afford to just pick and choose when we want to turn it on and off.”

Meanwhile, Bosh is averaging the fewest rebounds of his career yet still campaigned this week on Twitter for fans to vote him into the All-Star Game.

Wade didn’t say anything particularly controversial about sitting out the end of the Jazz game, and neither did Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. The incident seems to be just one more facet of the Heat’s internal troubles, minor problems that only will become more detrimental if they’re allowed to drag on.

Read More: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Miami Heat
Top Stories of 2012, No. 5: Celtics burned by Heat in Eastern Conference finals 12.29.12 at 7:55 pm ET
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Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 5: the Celtics‘ loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical

The Celtics were one victory away from advancing to the NBA finals. But what stood in the way, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, turned out to be more than the Big Three and the rest of the Celtics could handle.

A 101-88 defeat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals put an abrupt end to a playoff run that looked like it had legs after a comeback season from the Celtics, who were under .500 at the All-Star break of a lockout-shortened season.

The C’€™s battled injury issues all season. Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox had season-ending heart ailments. Jermaine O’Neal had his season end early, and Avery Bradley missed the Heat series. Even as the playoffs began, a sprained MCL slowed down Paul Pierce and bone spurs kept Ray Allen off the floor.

After finishing first in the Atlantic Division at 39-27, the Celtics took down the Hawks in six games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to get by the 76ers in a seven-game series and line things up for a big series with the Heat.

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Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Brandon Bass, Chris Bosh, doc rivers
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Heat’s Dwyane Wade suspended, denies dirty play 12.28.12 at 7:50 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: Nuggets at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Providence at Brown, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Baylor at Gonzaga, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Jacksonville at Indiana, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Missouri at UCLA, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Independence Bowl, Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Russell Athletic Bowl, Rutgers vs Virginia Tech, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Meineke Car Care Bowl, Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ A couple of Boston sports antagonists were in the news Thursday, one receiving a suspension and the other escaping punishment on an apparent technicality.

The NBA suspended Heat guard Dwyane Wade one game for his kick to the groin area of Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions during Wednesday night’s game in Charlotte. Wade, who in the past has been accused of dirty play by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, flailed his left leg upon being fouled, but he continues to insist it was an accident.

Tweeted Wade Thursday: I’m far from being a dirty player, + my intent was never 2 kick Ramon Sessions. I just reacted to the contact that I got from him. More than anything, I think of my boys watchin me be4 retaliating 2ward any player.

Sessions didn’t buy Wade’s explanation, saying after the game: “I thought he did it on purpose.”

Meanwhile, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted two words Thursday in reference to his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy: I won.

Sherman had claimed that there were issues with the collection of his urine sample on Sept. 17 that involved a leaky cup.

“I know what the truth is and anybody else who knows anything knows what the truth is. The truth has been told today,” Sherman told reporters. “People can say what they want, there are always naysayers. I have great teammates and great coaches and great fans and that’s all I care about.”

Sherman — who famously taunted Tom Brady after Seattle’s 24-23 victory over the Patriots on Oct. 14 — received support and criticism following his announcement. Apparently, New England fans touched a nerve, as Sherman later tweeted: Pats fans enjoy ur day ;).

‘™¦ Tim Tebow once again was bypassed by Jets coach Rex Ryan, as Mark Sanchez was tabbed to start Sunday’s season finale against the Bills when Greg McElroy was ruled out due to post-concussion issues.

“I’€™m going to start Mark Sanchez,” Ryan said Thursday. “The reason I’€™m starting Mark is we have two practices and one walk-through to get ready for Buffalo. Mark has had success earlier in the season against Buffalo. He’€™s very familiar with them. That’€™s the reason I’€™m going with Mark.”

McElroy suffered his concussion in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Chargers. He was sacked 11 times but did not acknowledge his condition to the coaches until Thursday morning. A “stunned” Ryan then called Sanchez and Tebow together to announce his plans.

“Obviously, Tim’s not happy with that as you’d expect,” Ryan said.

Said Tebow: “I understand. I told coach I definitely understand. Obviously, you’€™re a competitor, you want to play, but I understood his decision. I just let him know, just like always, I’€™ll do whatever I can to help the team.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 28, 1963, which Red Sox infielder was named Comeback Player of the Year?

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Mark Sanchez, Richard Sherman, Tim Tebow