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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Wizards G John Wall emotional about 6-year-old’s death following win over Celtics 12.09.14 at 8:06 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:
NHL: Kings at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Wichita State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Missouri-Kansas City at Iowa State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: IUPUI at Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Indiana vs. Louisville, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Eastern Michigan at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Dakota at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Basel at Liverpool, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— After leading the Wizards to a 133-132 double-overtime victory over the Celtics, Washington guard John Wall struggled to keep his composure as he talked about dedicating the game to Damiyah “Miyah” Telemaque-Nelson, a 6-year-old who died Monday after losing her battle with cancer.

Wall, who finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds and scored his team’s final 10 points as the Wizards rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second OT, met Miyah last March and became close to her as she was being treated for Burkitt’s lymphoma. A moment of silence was held before the game, and Wall wrote “RIP Miyah” on his sneakers.

“This was an emotional game for me,” Wall said in an on-court interview with CSN Washington right after the game. “This is for Miyah, one of my close friends that I lost, that I met last year. It’s just tough for me, to see a little kid that fights so hard for cancer and can’t beat it. This game’s for her. All my jersey, my shorts, I’m going to give it to her family.

“It’s a tough day for me. I really cried today.”

Asked if Miyah really touched his heart, Wall could not respond, bending over while he cried.

Wrote Wall on Twitter later: If you were blessed to meet and get to know Miyah you know how special of a little girl she was. I’m saddened by the news but I know that she’s in a better place. Keep her family in your prayers. I’ll definitely miss my buddy. Rest In Peace Miyah.

LeBron James followed through on his suggestion that he would wear an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt, donning the Eric Garner protest shirt during pregame warmups before his Cavaliers played the Nets in Brooklyn. He was joined by teammate Kyrie Irving and four Nets, including Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams.

“It was a message to the family. That I’m sorry for their loss, sorry to his wife. That’s what it’s about,” James said of the New York City man who died July 17 after police placed him in a chokehold. “I think everybody else gets caught up in everything else besides who’s really feeling it, and that’s the family. That’s what it’s about.”

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Read More: Derrick Rose, Eric Berry, John Wall, LeBron James
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lions RB Reggie Bush, other NFL players wear ‘I can’t breathe’ shirts 12.08.14 at 7:46 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:
NBA: Celtics at Wizards, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nuggets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Kennesaw State at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: IUPUI-Fort Wayne at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UC Santa Barbara at SMU, 8 pm. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Brown at Providence, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: North Dakota at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NFL: Falcons at Packers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United at Southampton, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— One week after a handful of Rams players gained national attention by making the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture before their game, Lions running back Reggie Bush went through pregame warmups wearing a shirt with the words “I can’t breathe” written on it — a reference to the last words of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after being placed in a chokehold by police.

“I’ve always been the kid who is reserved and stays out of stuff like that, but I just felt like these last couple weeks, I’ve been really upset about what’s happening from a police standpoint,” Bush said after the game (via MLive.com). “I don’t know all the details or facts with the Ferguson issue, or the Eric Garner issue, but I know there’s some form of injustice that’s going on. And it really affected me.”

Bush, the son of a longtime San Diego police officer, was one of at least three NFL to wear a shirt with Garner’s words Sunday. The night before, NBA star Derrick Rose wore a similar shirt in pregame warmups before his Bulls played Saturday night. And Washington defensive tackle Chris Baker did the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture after a sack Sunday.

Bush has the support of his coach, Jim Caldwell.

“I grew up in the ’60s, where everybody was socially conscious,” Caldwell said. “I believe in it. I would be a hypocrite if I stood up here and told you any differently. More than likely, some of those protests that Dr. King and some of the others took part in, non-violent protests, is the reason why I am standing here in front of you today. So absolutely, no question about it. I don’t mind it.”

— Meanwhile, LeBron James indicated Sunday he is interested in wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt before one of his team’s upcoming games. His next game is Monday in Brooklyn against the Nets. However, Britain’s Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton are scheduled to attend that game, and James said is looking forward to appearing before the Royal Couple.

“It’s an honor,” James said Sunday. “It’s a huge honor. The stuff that you read about, people like them are only in books growing up. And to hear that they’re coming to town to see me play and they want to see me do what I do best, it’s a huge honor.”

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Read More: Eric Garner, Geno Smith, LeBron James, Prince William
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Regretful Adrian Peterson takes ‘full responsibility,’ promises not to use switch again 11.21.14 at 8:31 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: Celtics at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Cavaliers at Wizards, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Boston College vs. West Virginia, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas A&M vs. Charleston, noon (ESPNU)
College basketball: Dayton vs. UConn, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Akron vs. Miami, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Seton Hall vs. Nevada, 4 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa vs. Syracuse, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: LSU vs. Old Dominion, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas vs. California, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Charlotte vs. South Carolina, 7 pm. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UNLV vs. Stanford, 7 p.m. (Tru)
College basketball: Loyola (Ill.) at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Marshall at Louisville, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple vs. Due, 9:30 p.m. (Tru)
NHL: Bruins at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Boston College at UMass, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: UMass-Lowell at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Texas-El Paso at Rice, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College football: San Jose State at Utah State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Air Force at San Diego State, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Two days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Adrian Peterson had “shown no meaningful remorse” for his child abuse incident, Peterson changed course, telling USA Today that he will no longer use a switch to discipline his kids again.

Peterson hit his 4-year-old, leaving marks that last for weeks, but he insisted he was regretful for the pain he caused.

“No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing what I had left on his leg,” Peterson said. “No one knows that Dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that, ‘I didn’t mean to do this to you,’ and how sorry I was.

“I love my son. I love my kids, my family. Like I said after I took the misdemeanor plea, I take full responsibility for my actions. I regret the situation. I love my son more than any one of you could even imagine.”

Peterson has been lumped in with former Ravens running back Ray Rice, who knocked out his then-fiancee with a punch to the face in a hotel elevator, but he said that’s not a fair comparison.

“I take full responsibility, because I spanked my child, and no matter what my intentions were, I end up leaving those marks on his legs,” Peterson said. “That’s the bottom line.

“That’s not what I tried to do, but that’s what ended up happening. Don’t put me in the same [category as Rice].”

Peterson has six children with six women, and he says he tries to maintain a relationship with all of them.

“You can look down on me and say, ‘You have six kids. You should not be at this, you should not be at that,’ ” Peterson said. “This is the cards I’ve been dealt based off my decisions. I make the best of it by spending time with my kids, any and every opportunity that I have.”

Peterson said he hopes to talk to Goodell and would like to return to the Vikings, although he knows not everyone in Minnesota will be welcoming.

“I know who loves me. The coaches and the players, it’s not going to be a problem. I’ve felt so much support from those guys. The organization, I know there’s people in the organization that support me and there’s people that I know internally that has not been supporting me,” said Peterson, adding, “Maybe it’s best for me to get a fresh start somewhere else.”

“I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there,” he said. “But if there’s word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it. I would feel good knowing that I’ve given everything I had in me.”

Paul Pierce and LeBron James are set to renew acquaintances Friday night in Washington as the Wizards host the Cavaliers, but Pierce downplayed the intensity of their rivalry.

“I think a lot of it is really misunderstood,” the former Celtics star said Thursday. “If I see LeBron walking down the street, it’s not going to be no fistfight. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. It’s like fighting for the same girl. How am I going to be cool with that guy? I’ve got total respect for him as a person. It’s just the thing we go through on the court.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Jack Johnson, LeBron James, Paul Pierce
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Angry relative calls ‘evil’ Alex Rodriguez ‘the devil’ 11.07.14 at 8:16 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: Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Grizzlies at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Capitals at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Boston University at Boston College, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Fordham at Bucknell, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Memphis at Tulane, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Utah State at Wyoming, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

NY Daily News 11-7-14– The New York media’s assault on Alex Rodriguez‘s character continued Friday, with the New York Daily News quoting the wife of A-Rod‘s cousin/alleged PED mule as saying the Yankees player is “the devil.”

Carmen Sucart, wife of Yuri Sucart, ripped Rodriguez for accusing Yuri of trying to extort him. Rodriguez reportedly admitted his widespread use of PEDs after publicly denying it while Major League Baseball was in the process of suspending him for the 2014 season, and now he’s apparently trying to cover himself by shifting the blame to others.

“He is the devil,” Carmen told the New York Daily News. “He is evil.”

Carmen said A-Rod visited the house where the Sucarts were living — owned by Rodriguez — in 2012 and offered $50,000 and an apartment if the Sucarts would sign a confidentiality agreement. Carmen said she declined the offer.

“He was not angry,” Carmen recalled of the visit. “He was arrogant. You know what he did? He peed outside on my wall, next to the pool. He didn’t ask for the bathroom. He go outside and he just pee right there. He came over, took his thing out and went right there.”

Shortly after that meeting, the Sucarts hired a Miami attorney, who sent a letter to Rodriguez asking for a cash settlement. According to court filings, Rodriguez agreed to a deal in June 2013, giving the Sucarts a $700,000 payment and then three other payments totaling $200,000.

However, Carmen Sucart said Rodriguez later threatened he was going to “destroy” the family.

“Alex is so poor, the only thing he has is money,” Carmen said. “He sleeps with his money, he will die with his money.”

Yuri Sucart, 52, is facing seven federal charges accusing him of distributing PEDs. His trial is scheduled to begin in February.

His wife said Yuri is in poor health, having undergone surgeries on his heart and legs since his August arrest and two-week stint in jail.

LeBron James has a message for Cavaliers fans panicking over the team’s 1-3 start: “Relax.”

James on Thursday referenced a tweet from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after his team’s slow start this season, writing: In the words of the great @AaronRodgers12 ‘Relax.’

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Read More: alex rodriguez, John Idzik, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Adrian Peterson gets court date, eager to defend himself 10.09.14 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Avalanche at Wild, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
NFL: Colts at Texans, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: BYU at Central Florida, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Hampton at North Carolina A&T, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Euro 2016 qualifier, Slovakia vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Honduras, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, eager to go to trial as soon as possible on child abuse charges, will head to court Dec. 1, as a Texas judge set the tentative trial date Wednesday

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said his client is “chomping at the bit” to get the chance to explain his decision to punish his 4-year-old son by whipping him with a tree branch and leaving marks that lasted for more than a week. Peterson, who said he was disciplined the same way when he was growing up, faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of causing injury to a child.

Peterson, who is on paid leave from the Vikings while the charges are pending, did not speak during his court appearance.

“He just keeps getting hammered without the ability to respond,” Hardin told Judge Kelly Case. “This is the place to resolve all those allegations.”

MASHUP POLL: Do you think Adrian Peterson be convicted of abusing his son?

  • Yes, anyone can see that he went way too far and deserves to be punished (63%, 66 Votes)
  • No, there will be support for him as a parent who has the right to discipline his child (37%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 105

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Added Hardin after the hearing: “This is a case about parenting decisions and whether something unfortunate happened when a parenting decision was made by a man who believes strongly and loves his children very much.”

Peterson will not have contact with the child until the case is resolved.

— Heat forward Chris Bosh said Wednesday that he has not spoken to LeBron James since James’ decision to return to Cleveland.

Bosh’s Heat play James’ Cavaliers on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, and Bosh responded with hesitation when asked if he was looking forward to seeing his former teammate.

“Yeah … I don’t know,” Bosh said, adding: “I’m in the mode where I’m trying to lead my team, help these guys out around here. … If guys aren’t in this locker room, I don’t have much time for them — if any.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Chris Bosh, LeBron James,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Love ‘committed long term’ to winning titles with Cavaliers 08.27.14 at 7:16 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 Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Pirates, 12:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Albine Christian at Georgia State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Besiktas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Love was introduced by the Cavaliers on Tuesday, and the All-Star forward promised he would be dedicated to his new home.

“I’m committed to this team, committed long term to the end goal and that’s to win championships,” he said.

Love has yet to play in the postseason, after his first spending six seasons with the perennially rebuilding Timberwolves.

The 25-year-old now will team with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the team that immediately becomes the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

Love said James started recruiting him — or at least buttering him up — when they were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.

“Sitting next to me, a locker really close to me and he would always tell me how good he thought I was,” Love said. “For me I would just kind of brush it off and shake it off because I was standoffish because I didn’t know him well.”

Eventually Love started to come around and realize, “One day maybe I could play with LeBron James.”

That became a reality this summer, after the Timberwolves realized they needed to get something in return for a player who made it clear he would leave next offseason as a free agent.

That created some hard feelings in Minnesota, and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor questioned Love’s fit in Cleveland.

“I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him because I think he’s going to be the third player on the team,” Taylor said. “I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get blame if they don’t do well.

“He’s around a couple guys that are awful good. I’m not saying Kevin isn’t good. I think where maybe he got away with some stuff not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure that’s how it’s going to work in Cleveland. I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense — and he’s foul prone.”

— Washington safety Brandon Meriweather has appealed his two-game suspension from the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith in Saturday’s preseason game.

A six-time offender of the player safety rules, Meriweather was suspended for two games last season as well but had the penalty reduced to one game on appeal.

First-year Washington coach Jay Gruden questioned the penality, saying Meriweather and Smith lowered their heads at the same time on the incomplete pass, while acknowledging Meriweather’s spotty record.

“Unfortunately, for Brandon, he’s got a history of these types of events,” Gruden said. “Whether or not it was significant enough to warrant a suspension is what they decided. ‘€¦ He tried to lower his target, I thought. I thought it was a legitimate football play, but the NFL didn’t see it that way.”

Smith said in a tweet that he does not think Meriweather should be suspended.

— After a story on the USC website hailed safety Josh Shaw as a hero for jumping off a second-floor balcony and dragging himself to a pool to rescue his 7-year-old nephew from the water, the school is investigating, prompted by tips calling the story into doubt.

“We’re looking at it,” coach Steve Sarkisian said after Tuesday’s practice. “Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we’ll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk or across our phones, and see where we can go from there.”

Shaw, who was selected as a team captain Saturday shortly before the incident, suffered two high ankle sprains and is out indefinitely.

“Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us,” Sarkisian said. “He’s given me no reason not to believe what he has told us that occurred, but we do need to know. I think it’s important to know in the direction we’re headed.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 27, 1967, in another memorable game during the Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox held off the White Sox, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader after which Sox right fielder threw out Ken Berry at home in the ninth inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in a team statement, on the trade of offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers

STAT OF THE DAY: $99 million – Transfer fee paid by Manchester United — a British record amount — for Real Madrid midfielder Angel Di Maria

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): With the Royals trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Alex Gordon delivers a two-run home run to beat the Twins.

Old friend Jonny Gomes makes a diving catch for the Athletics against the Astros.

During Tuesday night’s game in Toronto, a young Red Sox fan nabs a foul ball but gives it away to a younger Blue Jays fan.

An Astros fan invited to throw out the first pitch has a little trouble with her delivery, slamming the ball into into the ground and off to the side.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jose Tartabull

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Edward Patten, who was a member of Gladys Knight & the Pips, was born on this day in 1939. He’s the one in the middle.

Read More: Brandon Meriweather, Josh Shaw, Kevin Love, LeBron James
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Police have not ruled out charges for Tony Stewart after death of driver in sprint-car race 08.11.14 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Braves, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Authorities in Upstate New York said they do not have enough evidence to charge NASCAR driver Tony Stewart but have not ruled out criminal charges after he hit and killed a fellow driver during a sprint-car race in Canandaigua on Saturday night.

Stewart backed out of Sunday’s NASCAR race at Watkins Glen one day after the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr.

“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.,” Stewart said in a statement. “It’s a very emotional time for all involved. … My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Ward had stepped out of his car after his car was knocked into the wall by Stewart’s and attempted to confront the NASCAR veteran. Ward, wearing a black firesuit and black helmet on the dimly lit track, was hit by Stewart’s car, which was traveling an estimated 35-40 mph, and knocked backward onto the track.

MASHUP POLL: Should Tony Stewart faces charges for the death of fellow race-car driver Kevin Ward Jr.?

  • No, there is not enough evidence that he did anything wrong (64%, 217 Votes)
  • Yes, he was at the very least negligent for not slowing down and avoiding Ward (36%, 122 Votes)

Total Voters: 339

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There has been speculation that Stewart, known for his temper, was attempting to scare Ward and lost control of his car.

Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer who was a friend of Ward’s, was watching the race from the Turn 1 grandstands.

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars,” Graves told the Sporting News. “When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit the throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”

Stewart, 43, was questioned by authorities, who described him as “visibly shaken” but cooperative. Investigators worked to reconstruct the crash and asked for spectators to turn over photos and videos of the situation.

— NBA No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins not only is OK with his pending trade from the Cavaliers to the Timberwolves, he would prefer it — at least according to his former college coach.

Kansas’ Bill Self claims Wiggins said he would be better off in a situation where he is being relied upon to lead the way, rather than playing second fiddle to the likes of LeBron James.

“When all this stuff started, I talked to Andrew and he Andrew told me, ‘I hope I get traded,’ ” Self said. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, ‘Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.’ ”

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Read More: Andrew Wiggins, Bill Self, LeBron James, Linval Joseph
ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard for LeBron James billboard 08.08.14 at 9:42 am ET
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ESPN suspended Dan Le Batard for two days after the television and radio host paid for billboards in Akron, Ohio, that read, “You’re Welcome, LeBron. Love, Miami” and featured the two championship rings LeBron James won with the Heat.

The billboards appeared to be mocking James’ first-person essay in Sports Illustrated announcing his return to the Cavaliers. James’ letter thanked many people, but not Miami fans, which inspired a response from Le Batard.

ESPN released a statement about the suspension Thursday.

“Dan LeBatard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday,” the statement read. “His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’€™s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”

Read More: Dan Le Batard, LeBron James,
Kevin Durant calls LeBron James’ announcement to return to Cleveland ‘classy’ 07.30.14 at 8:54 pm ET
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LeBron James was showered with praise for the way he handled his announcement in a Sports Illustrated essay that he was returning to the Cavaliers.

Now James officially has Kevin Durant‘s approval.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said after a training camp session with USA Basketball on Tuesday. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them, instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

James’ homecoming inspired reporters to ask Durant if he’ll consider a similar return home — Durant is from Seat Pleasant, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. — when he hits free agency in two years.

“I’m going to do what’s best for me,” Durant said. “It’s hard to talk about that right now when I’ve got two years left in Oklahoma City. I’m just going to focus on that. I’m not going to make a decision based on what anybody else does. I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City too.”

Durant is has become close friends with James over the years. The two were Olympic teammates and even trained together in Akron, Ohio, during the 2011 lockout. Durant has two years remaining on a five-year, $86 million extension he signed with the Thunder in 2010.

Read More: Kevin Durant, LeBron James,
Report: Bulls making late push for Kevin Love; Cavs set to sign Andrew Wiggins to contract 07.23.14 at 9:53 am ET
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The Bulls are back in the mix for Kevin Love.

According to ESPN.com, Chicago is making a late push to try to get into discussions with the Timberwolves for the All-Star forward. But the Cavaliers continue to remain confident in their chances to outbid any other team.

Cleveland reportedly is willing to offer No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick for Love.

The Cavaliers continued to juggle the finances Tuesday when they sent the guaranteed contract of guard Carrick Felix, a future second-round pick and cash to the Jazz for guard John Lucas III and forwards Erik Murphy and Malcolm Thomas. The trade gives the Cavs more flexibility and trade assets to make a future move that could be related to acquiring Love. The combined salaries of Lucas, Thomas and Murphy total more than $3 million.

A trade for Love may have to wait, however.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavs, preventing any potential trade involving the team’s top pick for 30 days.

Meanwhile, LeBron James had cupcakes delivered to his neighbors to apologize for the traffic jams caused by his return.

“Dear Friend,” read a card that came with the cupcakes. “We know things have been hectic in our neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos. We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.”

Read More: Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Love, LeBron James,