|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: New NBA players’ union president Chris Paul says organization needs ‘rebuild’||08.22.13 at 7:35 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Diamondbacks at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League World Series: Mexico vs. Panama, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League World Series: Washington vs. Connecticut, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Lions, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Panthers at Ravens, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
• Six-time All-Star Chris Paul was elected president of the NBA players’ association Wednesday and said the union needs a “rebuild” following the firing of executive director Billy Hunter six months ago.
Paul replaces Derek Fisher, who was accused by Hunter of conspiring with NBA officials during the 2011 lockout. He gives the union a star turn for the first time since Patrick Ewing was the top representative in 2001, and he said he understands the job won’t be easy.
“It was something I saw as a challenge, something I knew I’d be able to handle,” Paul said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity, a lot of responsibility comes with this position but I’m very fortunate to have an outstanding committee of guys. The past couple of days have been outstanding, the dialogue we’ve had as an executive committee also with the players that have come in town, it was amazing.”
Paul, who served as vice president the last four years, said naming a replacement for Hunter might take a little more time.
“We definitely discussed [hiring an executive director], but there’s no rush,” Paul said. “For us, it’s all about getting our house in order and making sure that everything moves right in that direction.”
Roger Mason Jr., who played for the Hornets last season, was elected first vice president, while Bobcats forward Anthony Tolliver and Lakers guard Steve Blake were named vice presidents.
“We want to make sure that nothing remotely close that has gone on in the union in the past 12 months or so will ever happen again,” Tolliver said. “It’s a huge job. It’s a huge responsibility. I’m glad to be a part of that.”
• Jeremy Lin, speaking to a crowd about 20,000 at a youth conference in Taiwan, talked about how difficult last season was as he placed unrealistic expectations upon himself in his first season with the Rockets.
“I became so obsessed with becoming a great basketball player … trying to be Linsanity, being this phenomenon that took the NBA by storm,” the former Harvard star said. “The coaches were losing faith in me; basketball fans were making fun of me. … I was supposed to be joyful and free, but what I experienced was the opposite. I had no joy, and I felt no freedom.”
Lin, who signed a three-year, $25 million contract last offseason after his NBA breakthrough with the Knicks, averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per game and struggled with injuries that forced him to miss two games during the team’s first-round playoff loss to the Thunder.
“The one thing I learned was how empty fame and worldly success really are. … The desire for success never stopped,” Lin said. “If the voice that you listen to the most isn’t God’s voice, then eventually you will experience that emptiness, confusion and misery that I felt when I listened to the voice of Linsanity.”
• New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio found himself involved a controversy this week when The New York Times published a story about his “deep devotion” for the Red Sox.
The Democrat was raised in Cambridge and said, “I have my loyalty to the team of my youth.”
Current mayor Michael Bloomberg, who grew up in Medford, also had an allegiance to the Red Sox when he took office in 2001. However, Bloomberg, admittedly not much of a sports fan, claimed to have switched his support to the Yankees.
That doesn’t seem likely for de Blasio.
“The team that I grew up with was constantly the underdog but managed to prevail,” he said. “I don’t know any better lesson in life.”
Added de Blasio: “Everyone I knew was a Red Sox fan. Living up there in 1967 — the Impossible Dream season — that moment was incredibly compelling. I just naturally gravitated to the team. 1975 was arguably the greatest World Series of all time.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 22, 1993, which veteran outfielder, acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Tigers, hit a home run in his first at-bat for the Red Sox as part of a 3-for-6 day in a 3-2 loss to the Indians?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jeremy Lin celebrates Harvard’s upset win||03.22.13 at 8:04 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Pistons at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Albany vs. Duke, 12:15 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Mississippi vs. Wisconsin, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Temple vs. NC State, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Pacific vs. Miami, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Cincinnati vs. Creighton, 2:45 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, La Salle vs. Kansas State, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, James Madison vs. Indiana, 4:10 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Colorado vs. Illinois, 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, FGCU vs. Georgetown, 6:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Iona vs Ohio State, 7:15 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Villanova vs. North Carolina, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Northwestern State vs. Florida, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Oklahoma vs. San Diego State, 9:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Iowa State vs Notre Dame, 9:45 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Western Kentucky vs. Kansas, 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Minnesota vs. UCLA, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT tournament, Arizona State at Baylor, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT tournament, Stony Brook at Iowa, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Penguins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Red Wings at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinal, Providence vs. Lowell, 5 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinal, Boston University vs. Boston College, 8 p.m. (NESN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at Brewers, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB preseason: Royals at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Harvard’s upset of New Mexico late Thursday night might have messed up most of America’s NCAA tournament brackets, but those with Harvard ties were celebrating the win.
The school’s only current NBA alumnus, Rockets guard Jeremy Lin, posted a message and photo on Facebook, writing: YYYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!! HARVARD winssss!!! hahahahhah i told you…. #threepointgoggles
Tweeted the Harvard Lampoon: America, we are sorry for messing up your brackets and also your financial system and everything else
Not all Harvard alumni were believers. President Barack Obama predicted a New Mexico win, even though he attended Harvard Law School and is close friends with the father of Crimson sophomore walk-on guard Alex Nesbitt.
Said Nesbitt in the days leading up to the game: “If we were to pull off an upset, [the president] would know about it and be excited for sure.”
♦ The Royce White saga continues, as the would-be Rockets rookie tweeted that he’s leaving his D-League team and returning to Houston in order to prepare for next season. White, who battles anxiety disorder, has yet to play for the Rockets this season.
Tweeted White: Have been advised by our team physician it is most logical I be in Houston the remainder of the season. Thank @rgvvipers for having me.
Added White: Working out in Houston to transition to next year has been medically deemed the healthiest option. I’m excited to get to work.
The Rockets, who reportedly did not take part in White’s decision, said only that White is still on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers roster.
Following negative feedback, White tweeted later: Don’t understand the uproar because I’m working out in Houston… Lol relax ppl Showing you’re too high strung over sports.
♦ Lakers center Dwight Howard turned up at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday, working the Delta Airlines check-in counter and taking boarding passes for a flight to Hawaii. Accompanied by the Laker Girls, he also ran a trivia contest.
“I am part of Delta, the team. They are the official airline for the Laker Girls and the Lakers,” Howard said. “This is a great experience for me to come out and enjoy L.A.”
It provided a rare lighthearted moment in what has mostly been a rough season for Howard, due to be a free agent this offseason. He had little to say regarding his future Thursday, only joking: “Will I re-sign with Delta? That’s a good one.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 22, 1995, the Celtics raised a number to the rafters in honor of which player?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan down more than 100 pounds||07.20.12 at 7:59 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Giants at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (WGN)
Golf: British Open, 4:30 a.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Rangers at Angels, 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 7 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Summer League: Celtics vs. Bucks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Revolution at Sporting KC, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (TBS)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 2:05 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Rangers at Angels, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NBA Summer League: Celtics vs. Clippers, 6 p.m. (NBA TV)
Golf: British Open, 6 a.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan went public Thursday about his weight loss, saying that he wanted to reach a milestone before commenting. Ryan, who underwent Lap-Band surgery in 2010, said he has lost 106 pounds — including 50 since the end of last season — and is down to 242. His waist went from 48 inches to 38.
“I wanted to break that 100-pound barrier before I really said, ‘All right, guys, this is what it is,’ ” said Ryan, who was not paid to have the surgery but has since been hired by the company to talk about his experience.
Ryan, 49, said it was a wakeup call when he checked his weight before the 2009 AFC championship game.
“I thought, ‘Let me get on the scale,’ I’m thinking I’m going to be 300 or 310, around that range. I’m 348 pounds,” he recalled. “I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I couldn’t believe it. I swear to you, I turned around to look to see if there was somebody behind me. But it was just me.”
Ryan said that in addition to eating substantially less, he walks between 45 minutes and an hour each day and wants to start running soon.
“I wasn’t walking because I felt so uncomfortable doing anything,” he said, adding: “Finally, I lost enough where I was like, ‘I’m going to start walking. I’m going to start moving.’ ”
♦ The departure of Jeremy Lin to the Rockets has hit Knicks fans hard, but recently acquired point guard Raymond Felton let them know they shouldn’t be concerned. Felton, who averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 assists for the Knicks in the first half of the 2010-11 season before being traded to the Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony deal, said he thinks he’ll be an upgrade.
“I am a competitor. I am a point guard just like he is, so do I think I am better? Of course I am going to say that,” Felton said in a television interview during the Knicks’ Summer League game in Las Vegas on Thursday. “I think I am better than any point guard. That’s the way I am supposed to think. But at the same time, it’s nothing personal between me and Jeremy. But people are going to make it about that, [and] I am fine with that.”
As for his team, Felton has high expectations.
“Good enough for the finals,” he said. “This is a contending team, without a doubt.”
♦ One of Roger Clemens‘ most bizarre moments on the field occurred during the 2000 World Series, when he threw a splintered bat at Mets catcher Mike Piazza. On Wednesday night, Piazza and his wife, Alicia Rickter, were leaving a Southern California restaurant when a TMZ reporter asked Rickter if her husband agreed with an assertion that Clemens’ outburst was fueled by his alleged steroid use.
“Yes! He does think that,” she said.
Piazza did his best to downplay the situation, calling Clemens a “great pitcher” when asked if the seven-time Cy Young Award-winner’s career has been tarnished.
“The only time I’ve ever known him is hitting against him,” Piazza said. “It’s really tough for me to say, ’cause I never played with him, just against him. I mean, look, he was a great pitcher. His record speaks for itself.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 20, 1958, which Tigers hurler recorded the fourth (and most recent) no-hitter by an opposing pitcher at Fenway Park when he won the first game of a doubleheader, 3-0?
|Report: Knicks will not match offer sheet for Jeremy Lin||07.17.12 at 5:06 pm ET|
“Linsanity” appears have shifted to from the Big Apple to Space City, as Jeremy Lin will reportedly play next season with the Rockets according to New York Times NBA writer Howard Beck. The Knicks, who had until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday to match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet to Lin, have reportedly elected not to match.
The ultimate cost of the deal down the road dissuaded the Knicks from matching, as the deal would have resulted in serious luxury tax penalties. The Rockets’ offer includes a third-year balloon payment of $14.9 million, which would have cost the Knicks $35 million or more in luxury tax penalties had New York matched the offer sheet.
There had been hints that the Knicks would not match the offer for Lin, as the team acquired Raymond Felton earlier in the week and had previously acquired Jason Kidd. However, there had still been a chance that the Knicks held on to all three guards.
Lin, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 26.9 minutes per game in his 35 appearances last season with New York, had captured the hearts of New York with his surprise explosion onto the NBA scene last year.
Now that the Harvard grad has joined the Rockets, it makes it more difficult for Houston to acquire Dwight Howard as it will not have much more cap space to make a deal for a player of his salary.
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks veterans have issues with Jeremy Lin’s contract||07.16.12 at 8:03 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Angels at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: Exhibition, U.S. vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ With reports leaking out from New York that the Knicks might change course and let Jeremy Lin go to the Rockets, Carmelo Anthony called Lin’s renegotiated offer from Houston — which includes a $14.9 million salary in the third year of the three-year deal — “ridiculous.”
The way the contract is structured makes it difficult for New York to match, and the Knicks appear prepared to instead go with a point guard rotation of Raymond Felton (reportedly headed East in a sign-and-trade with the Trail Blazers) and Jason Kidd (who was arrested Sunday morning for DWI only days after signing a free agent deal).
Knicks coach Mike Woodson insisted last week that the team would match the Rockets’ offer to Lin, but that was before Houston altered it to ensure that the Knicks would have to go well over the salary cap to keep the former Harvard star.
“I can’t talk about it,” Woodson said Sunday.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith made it clear that the team’s veterans would have some issues with Lin receiving All-Star money after having yet to prove himself over a full season.
“Without a doubt,” Smith told SI.com. “I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”
♦ Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is at it again, and this time he’s chosen a high-profile subject for his latest controversy: Nationals rookie Bryce Harper. During Sunday’s game, Guillen complained to the umpire that Harper used too much pine tar on his bat. When Harper used new lumber in his second at-bat, Guillen started riding Harper from the dugout because he claims Harper did something “unprofessional” toward the manager, although he wouldn’t say what the offense was.
“Something happened there the inning before and I didn’t like it and I was talking to the umpire about it,” explained Guillen, who said that during his razzing of Harper, “I was just telling [Harper] how he cut he was.”
Responded Nationals manager Davey Johnson: “Ozzie had complained that the pine tar was too high up on Harper’s bat. So we changed it. Then he was still chirping about. It got on the umpire’s nerves. It got on my nerves. He was trying to intimidate my player, I guess. That’s not going to bother our player. He does what he has to do.”
Harper, who has done a good job of staying out of trouble after some incidents in the minors, took the high road.
“He battles for his team, and that’s the type of manager Ozzie is,” Harper said. “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
♦ It was a strange stage in the Tour de France on Sunday, as at least 30 riders got punctures in their tires when they rode over tacks and small nails someone tossed on the course. Overall leader Bradley Wiggins was ahead of the incident, but he encouraged the lead pack to slow down and let defending champion Cadel Evans catch up after Evans lost time getting a replacement wheel.
Two days earlier, Wiggins was hit on the arm by a flare waved by a spectator and received minor burns.
“We’re out there, quite vulnerable at times, very close to the public on climbs,” Wiggins said. “We’re just the riders at the end of the day and we’re there to be shot at, literally.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 16, 1958, which Red Sox starter improved to 9-0 with a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Athletics, making his 12th consecutive victory dating back to the previous season?
|Knicks coach Mike Woodson: Jeremy Lin ‘absolutely’ will return||07.12.12 at 4:07 pm ET|
Jeremy Lin will be back in New York in a Knicks uniform next season if coach Mike Woodson has anything to say about it.
Woodson said on Wednesday that the point guard will “absolutely” return next season and will even enter training camp as the starter over recently signed veteran Jason Kidd.
“Jeremy Lin has always been a big part of what we we’re trying to do as we move forward with our franchise,” Woodson said.
Last week, Lin agreed to an offer sheet from the Rockets for a four-year deal worth $28 million, but the Knicks have said they would match the offer and Woodson has said they “never once” blinked at matching it.
|Jeremy Lin denies being upset with Knicks||07.11.12 at 3:28 pm ET|
Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin took to twitter Wednesday to deny a New York Daily News report stating that he was unhappy with the team. Lin tweeted the following on Wednesday:
Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true.
According to the report, Lin was upset that the team didn’t appear as interested in his services as the Rockets when Houston made him a three-year, $19 million offer last week.
The Knicks matched that in order to retain Lin, but Mitch Lawrence writes that the team is concerned that the Harvard product has “turned a little frosty towards the organization because he feels slighted that New York didn’t offer him a contract first.”
“He was surprised that the Knicks didn’t make the first move,’’ a league source told Lawrence. “They know they’ve got to mend some fences with him because he believes what the Rockets have told him, that the Knicks weren’t as interested as they are.’’
When the Rockets offered Knicks standout Jeremy Lin a four-year deal, they did more than place over $19 million on the table. They created doubt in Lin’s mind that the Knicks were very interested in bringing him back.
The New York Daily News reported Lin is unhappy because the Knicks didn’t offer him a deal before the Rockets.
“He was surprised that the Knicks didn’t make the first move,’’ a league source told the Post. “They know they’ve got to mend some fences with him because he believes what the Rockets have told him, that the Knicks weren’t as interested as they are.’’
As an restricted free agent, Lin can receive offers from other teams like the Rockets, but the Knicks have three days to match the offer.
“What he has to learn is that it’s not personal,’’ said the source. “The Knicks merely played by the rules.’
Last season the 23-year-old played in 35 games with the Knicks, averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting 44.6 percent from the field.
|NBA free agency roundup: Knicks reportedly will match Rockets’ offer to Jeremy Lin||07.06.12 at 10:35 am ET|
It was another wild day in NBA free agency. Here’s what happened late Thursday and early Friday.
• Jeremy Lin reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth more than $30 million with the Rockets. Because Lin is a restricted free agent, the Knicks have the option match the offer, and the New York Post reports that they plan to do exactly that.
The 23-year-old point guard burst onto the scene last year, averaging 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 35 games before he had season-ending surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Before signing with the Knicks, Lin was cut from training camp with the Rockets.
The Rockets no longer have either of the point guards that were ahead of Lin in training camp last year, as backup Goran Dragic agreed with the Suns and starter Kyle Lowry was traded to the Raptors, but more on that later.
• The Knicks have a possible replacement for Lin, as they agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract with Jason Kidd.
Kidd, 39, helped the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title and averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists in 28.7 minutes last season.
It was believed that Kidd would return to the Mavericks, especially after the team failed to sign Deron Williams. But after the Knicks missed out on acquiring Steve Nash, they called Kidd’s name.
|NBA free agency roundup from Wednesday night: Lakers get Steve Nash||07.05.12 at 9:35 am ET|
Here’s the roundup from a action-packed Wednesday night and Thursday morning in NBA free agency:
♦ The most exciting news from the NBA Wednesday night was the Lakers’ sign-and-trade acquisition of perennial all-pro point guard Steve Nash.
Phoenix received four draft picks in exchange for the 38-year-old — first-round picks in 2013 and 2015 and second-round picks in 2013 and 2014. Per ESPN sources, Nash will receive a three-year deal worth $25 million. The cap space that allowed L.A. to sign the former Suns guard came from the trade exception the Lakers received when they dealt Lamar Odom to the Mavericks in December.
The Lakers reportedly will not re-sign point guard Ramon Sessions, who opted out of the final year of his deal worth $4.55 million.
♦ On the heels of the Nash trade, Phoenix reached an agreement with Rockets point guard Goran Dragic, as reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
The verbal agreement is reportedly worth $34 million over four years, with a player option in the fourth year. Dragic, 26, was traded to the Rockets by the Suns last year along with Kyle Lowry.
- Mike on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- depo on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Jeter_Cheats on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Chris on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Herb on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- the truth on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- shutiggyupdotcom on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Otis on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Sicko on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- BillyB on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners