College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘LeBron James’
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Local, national athletes react with dismay to ambush of police officers in Dallas 07.08.16 at 8:47 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Friday’s Morning Mashup: Local, national athletes react with dismay to ambush of police officers in Dallas

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:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Mavericks vs. Hornets, 8 a.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Pistons, 10 a.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Clippers vs. Knicks, noon (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Thunder vs. Heat, 2 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Orlando Summer League, Magic vs. Pacers, 4 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Bucks vs. Cavaliers, 6 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Hawks vs. Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Kings vs. Raptors, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Las Vegas Summer League, Lakers vs. Pelicans, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Track and field: U.S. Olympic trials, 6 p.m. (NBCSN), 8 p.m. (NBC)
Gymnastics: U.S. Olympic trials, 9 p.m. (NBC)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Five police officers were killed and seven more injured when snipers opened fire during a protest in Dallas on Thursday following the deaths of two black men earlier in the week, and athletes around the nation reacted with dismay.

New Patriots defensive end Chris Long, who spent the past seven seasons playing in St. Louis, tweeted:

Praying for those Dallas PO’s
Respecting, appreciating good ppl in uniform
Being angry about an unjust murder by a PO
NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

Added Long: All violence in this country sucks. Whoever perpetrates it. intellectually dishonest people will continue to justify it. So sad. Rant over

Cavaliers star LeBron James commented on an article about Philando Castile, the Minnesota man shot by a policeman while in his car, writing: Sickens me and I shed multiple tears about it all.

Later in the evening, as details emerged from Dallas, he wrote: We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer. #StoptheViolence

Former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders urged Dallas to show restraint.

Tweeted Sanders: Dallas let’s wake up this ain’t us! We’re better than this. We’re hurting,upset,confused,sad,frustrated,tired & fed up but this ain’t right!

Wrote former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck: Eye for an eye truly means that we all soon will be blind. Hate + more hate = HATE. I CHOOSE TO LOVE EVEN THOSE THAT HATE ME.

Tweeted Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: Dallas,we mourn those who lost their lives protecting us and stand together, united, to cherish those we live and work next to #DallasStrong

— Rajon Rondo is saying all the right things as he joins the Bulls, although it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to avoid the issues with teammates and coaches that have plagued his career.

Rondo was introduced to the media Thursday after agreeing to a reported two-year, $28 million deal earlier in the week, and he said he understands he’s not the No. 1 star in Chicago, which features Jimmy Butler and former Heat star Dwyane Wade.

“Jimmy’s the youngest, he’s the engine here,” Rondo told reporters. “It’ll be Jimmy, Wade, and then it will be a pecking order.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chris Long, deion sanders, LeBron James, rajon rondo
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James lashes out at critics after being welcomed home to Cleveland as champion 06.21.16 at 7:46 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James lashes out at critics after being welcomed home to Cleveland as champion

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: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: World Series, Texas Tech vs. Florida, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: World Series, TCU vs. Coastal Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Lynx at Sparks, 3:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Mercury at Wings, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Copa America semifinals, United States vs. Argentina, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship, Northern Ireland vs. Germany, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Ukraine vs. Poland, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: European Championship, Croatia vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Czech Republic vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

LeBron James

LeBron James

— LeBron James was welcomed back to Cleveland with his Cavaliers teammates Monday after they ended the city’s 52-year championship drought with an NBA title. After arriving home, James took a shot at critics who said he would not be able to seal the deal.

James, the NBA Finals MVP after his triple double in Sunday’s Game 7, posted an image on Instagram of him holding the Larry O’Brien trophy with the note:

They said u lost a step, wasn’t explosive as once was, the best days was in the [rear] view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don’t have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won’t work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won’t work, love your teammates to much, there’s no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc…. But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir

James, who limits his social media presence during the postseason, also told ESPN that he had an issue with some people close to him who questioned his desire to leave the Heat two years ago in an effort to bring Cleveland a title.

“When I decided to leave Miami — I’m not going to name any names, I can’t do that — but there were some people that I trusted and built relationships with in those four years [who] told me I was making the biggest mistake of my career,” James said.

“And that [expletive] hurt me. And I know it was an emotional time that they told me that because I was leaving. They just told me it was the biggest mistake I was making in my career. And that right there was my motivation.”

A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 was on hand to greet the Cavaliers when their plane landed at Hopkins International Airport around 12:40 p.m. James exited the plane with the trophy, wearing a shirt that read “Ultimate Warrior.”

Hundreds of fans camped outside James’ home in Akron as well, and he greeted them and made a few remarks.

— The prosecutor’s office in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, declined to pursue charges against two Alabama football players, claiming there was insufficient evidence. But it’s what the prosecutor said in a television interview that raised some eyebrows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: LeBron James,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Sports world reacts to Orlando tragedy 06.13.16 at 8:14 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Monday’s Morning Mashup: Sports world reacts to Orlando tragedy

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 Finals: Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. (ABC)
MLB: Cubs at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Copa America, Mexico vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Copa America, Uruguay vs. Jamaica, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA, Spain vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA, Ireland vs. Sweden, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA, Belgium vs. Italy, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— LeBron James took time out from his spat with the Warriors to express his condolences to the families of the victims in the Orlando mass shooting, one of many in the sports world to weigh in on the tragedy.

“It’s another hit for us as Americans and what we have to deal with in our world today,” James said. “It definitely puts things in perspective on basketball for myself; it’s just a small matter of what reality really is. My prayers to all the lost ones and all the ones that are recovering from this morning’s tragedy in Orlando.”

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who started his career in Orlando, checked in on Twitter: My thoughts & prayers go out to my Orlando LGBT community brothers and sisters during this senseless act of violence. Love is Love!

Tweeted current Magic forward Aaron Gordon: Pray for those directly effected by shootings! Give them the courage to act out of compassion in order to stop a cyclical trend of violence.

The Magic organization tweeted a photo of the Orlando skyline with the hashtag PrayForOrlando. Wrote the team: We mourn those that we lost today. And we are inspired by how our community has banded together.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt termed the shooting “madness,” while Heat guard Dwyane Wade called the situation “just awful.”

A moment of silence was held before a number of events Sunday, including Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in San Jose.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft, posted his thoughts on Instagram, writing: Let this hateful act of terror on the #LGBTQ community be a wake up call for America. Men and women of all races, ages, and sexual orientation are being slaughtered because of hate crimes. How many more must die from a hate crime? We need to create awareness for ALL to show that hate is not the foundation of our nation. Friends DO NOT let this coward put fear into your hearts!!! Let us all come together stronger than ever and let the world know that we will not be terrorized or bullied by the actions of hateful bigots. We are here to stay and fight not only for equality, but for our very existence. To the victims love ones of this terrible crime I and the entire #LGBTQ community in the world stands with you and mourns with you.

— Following an emergency meeting of UEFA, the Europen soccer governing body warned England and Russia that its teams could be expelled from the European Championship in France if their fans continue their streak of violence.

Russian fans attacked their English counterparts after their first match in Group B in Marseille. According to authorities, four of the many wounded suffered serious injuries, including one who was in serious but stable condition, and 15 people were arrested.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Controversial CB Brandon Browner returns to Seahawks 04.18.16 at 8:28 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Monday’s Morning Mashup: Controversial CB Brandon Browner returns to Seahawks

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: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Raptors, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Mavericks at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Capitals at Flyers, 7 pm. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Stars at Wild, 8:30 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Road racing: Boston Marathon, 8:30 a.m. (WBZ-TV, NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

— Cornerback Brandon Browner, who had a rough season with the Saints in 2015 after parting ways with the Patriots, is looking forward to a chance to resurrect his career with the Seahawks.

The Seahawks announced Sunday that Browner agreed to a one-year deal to return to Seattle, where he was a part of a Super Bowl championship team before moving on to the Patriots.

His agent said Browner was so excited about the situation that he planned to fly directly from his brother’s wedding in Maui, Hawaii, to get to Seattle in time to sign his contract and join the team’s offseason conditioning program that starts Monday.

“I’ve never heard him happier,” agent Peter Schaffer said. “I really haven’t.”

Browner initially joined the Seahawks in 2011 after a four-year stint in the CFL. He was a key part of the heralded Seattle defense that dominated the league in 2013, although he missed the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory over the Broncos with an injury.

After helping the Patriots beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl the following year, Browner was cut by New England and latched on with the Saints, where his trend of drawing penalties worsened. He also was part of a defense that allowed an NFL record 45 touchdown passes. He said he played the season with a torn knee ligament but expects to be healthy for 2016.

— In-game interviews generally offer little to no insight or entertainment value, but occasionally there’s one worth remembering. Such was the case during Sunday’s Pistons-Cavaliers playoff game, when Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy took a shot at the officials for allegedly protecting LeBron James.

“A couple of calls have upset our guys,” Van Gundy told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters after the first quarter. “They’ve got to understand, LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him. He gets to do what he wants. They’ve got to understand that.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Browner, LeBron James, Luke Walton, Stan Van Gundy
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Patriot Albert Haynesworth says he ‘almost died’ from brain aneurysms 03.04.16 at 8:19 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Patriot Albert Haynesworth says he ‘almost died’ from brain aneurysms

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: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Wizards at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Hawks at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ball State at Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Kent State at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Austin Peay at Belmont, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Morehead State at Tennessee-Martin, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Albert Haynesworth's time in New England was short and unforgettable. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Albert Haynesworth’s time in New England was short and unforgettable. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

— Controversial former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who briefly played for the Patriots in 2011, said he had brain aneurysms in November 2014 that nearly killed him, forcing him to spend 11 days in intensive care in a Florida hospital.

“Nobody really knows: I almost died,” he told Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone on Thursday. “I had two brain aneurysms that were nearly rupturing. I went and talked to my doctor in Florida, and he was like, ‘Man, your blood pressure is through the roof. I’m going to admit you.’ They did a lot of tests and found the aneurysm that was rupturing at that point.”

Haynesworth, who spent most of his 10-year NFL career with the Titans after starring at the University of Tennessee, also said he’s been having issues with his memory.

“I’ve been OK. It’s really hard to remember, and I’m not saying that just because of the concussion thing,” he said, referring to the league’s issues with CTE. “A lot of things, I just can’t remember. I don’t feel as sharp as I used to as far as problem-solving and answering questions and things.

“It sounds crazy, but sometimes, writing my own name, I kind of forget the signature of how I normally write. Or sending long texts, my words get backwards. It’s crazy, but hopefully as time goes on, I get better.”

Haynesworth, 34, said no one is saying for sure that his brain issues are related to his football career.

“They can’t say. They said I could have had it, but they said football definitely didn’t help. I don’t really know. I have no idea. I’m not a doctor,” Haynesworth said. “I don’t want to blame it on football, and I don’t want to say, ‘Hey, it didn’t have anything to do with it.’ ”

Haynesworth, who was a flop after leaving Tennessee to sign a seven-year, $100 million free agent contract with Washington in 2009, was acquired by the Patriots before the 2011 season in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. He played sparingly in six games and was released in early November, days after a sideline confrontation with a Patriots assistant coach.

— With the Cavaliers having consecutive off days this week, LeBron James chose to fly to Miami and work out with former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade. James is not concerned that his trip raised some eyebrows, especially considering the teams could meet in the postseason.

“I don’t care,” James said after Thursday’s practice, adding: “What do I go there for? Go there ’cause I want to. I would love to go to L.A., but I’ll take 2 1/2[-hour flight] over 4 1/2. I’ve got a house in L.A., but it makes more sense for me to go south than go west. But I go because I want to.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, LeBron James, Oscar Pistorius, Von Miller
Monday’s Morning Mashup: SI’s Peter King calls for NFL to admit mistakes on Deflategate, return Patriots’ draft picks 02.22.16 at 8:01 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Monday’s Morning Mashup: SI’s Peter King calls for NFL to admit mistakes on Deflategate, return Patriots’ draft picks

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:
NHL: Blue Jackets at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Sharks at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Warriors at Hawks, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Suns at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Virginia at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas at Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State at West Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Coppin State at Norfolk State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: FA Cup, Manchester United at Shrewsbury, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— This time last year, the national media was coming down hard on the Patriots for Deflategate. A year later, it’s a different story.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, calls for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to admit he erred and return the two draft picks he took from the Patriots as punishment for the alleged scheme to deflate footballs.

Writes King: Based on the weight of the evidence from the past 13 months, and that weight being circumstantial and not convincing, there’s one conclusion I’ve reached entering the 2016 draft season: Roger Goodell needs to give back the picks.

Whatever happens in the appeal of the case — which isn’t centered on the Patriots’ guilt or innocence but rather on a point of labor law in the judge’s decision — Goodell needs to realize he acted without nearly enough scientific evidence against the Patriots. The NFL has some significant circumstantial evidence in the case, the kind that should have prompted a strongly worded letter and $250,000 fine. Instead, Goodell killed an ant with a sledgehammer.

King notes that the lack of  a “smoking gun,” combined with referee Walt Anderson’s failure to maintain proper oversight of the footballs plus the flaws in the Wells Report, should be enough to reduce the penalties.

Concludes King: The Patriots deserved to be slapped for Deflategate, not crushed. In fact, I’d propose giving back the draft picks but keeping in place the $1 million fine. These were reactionary, overblown sanctions. With time to reflect, they look even worse than when they were levied last May.

— Former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle continues to run afoul of the law, earning another stint in jail Sunday on suspicion of aggravated battery, possession of drugs and criminal damage to property.

The 24-year-old was arrested Sunday morning in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Deflategate, Joseph Randle, LeBron James, Roger Goodell
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pat Riley defends LeBron James; David Blatt reportedly lost respect of Cavaliers veterans 01.29.16 at 8:00 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pat Riley defends LeBron James; David Blatt reportedly lost respect of Cavaliers veterans

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: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Lakers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: VCU at Davidson, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Manhattan at Iona, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kent State at Ohio, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— LeBron James has been taking heat as a coach-killer since the conference-leading Cavaliers fired David Blatt last week, but his former team’s boss indicated that description is not accurate — at least not as far as he knows. Amid a report that a Heat minority owner said James asked for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to be fired a few years ago, Heat president Pat Riley said that request was never made.

“Not from him to me, ever,” Riley said Thursday. “So a lot of stuff is following him out the door. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s just the nature of it. But as far as that goes, no, he never, ever walked in and said anything.”

James, who left the Heat two year ago to return to the Cavaliers, has staunchly denied every requesting a coach be removed at any point in his career. However, his actions made it clear he preferred Tyronn Lue, the assistant coach who was promoted to replace David Blatt last week.

Apparently James was not alone in lacking respect for Blatt. ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s TrueHoop podcast that all the team’s veterans felt the same way.

“I’ve never seen a coach dynamic with a team like I saw with David Blatt,” Windhorst said (via ProBasketballTalk’s Dan Feldman), adding: “I saw a guy who completely was unable to get even a modicum of respect from a majority of his players.

“And I also saw star players and veteran players — not just LeBron, OK. We know LeBron had issues with him. But basically any player that had any sort of veteran status in the league, more than Joe Harris and Matthew Dellavedova — all the veterans didn’t like him, either. He wasn’t able to win over about anybody.”

Blast, the Framingham native who had a very successful career coaching in Israel and Russia, reportedly wants to continue coaching in the NBA.

— The Cowboys apparently are leaning toward parting ways with defensive end Greg Hardy. As if he wasn’t enough of a handful with his sordid past and his confrontations with teammates and coaches, his focus during the season reportedly was not always on the field.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, Hardy’s condition and attendance were negatively affected by his partying ways.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Blatt, Greg Hardy, LeBron James, Pat Riley
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Panthers’ Cam Newton says he’s ‘an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people’ 01.28.16 at 8:12 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Panthers’ Cam Newton says he’s ‘an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people’

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: Knicks at Raptors, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Bulls at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Cincinnati at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Robert Morris at Mount St. Mary’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UAB at Western Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Michigan State at Northwestern, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oregon at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Richmond at George Washington, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Southeast Missouri State at SIUE, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at UCLA, 10 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Loyola Marymount at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While there’s been a lot of talk about the Super Bowl quarterbacks, in New England the focus has been on Peyton Manning, who helped the Broncos knock off the Patriots in the AFC championship game in what might be his final season. That changed Wednesday, when Panthers star Cam Newton declared, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

Newton has been called out for his on-field celebrations during his team’s 17-1 season, but he apparently believes there’s a racial undertone to the criticism.

The likely league MVP, Newton said he has not changed his approach, and the only difference is he’s in the spotlight this season due to his individual and team success, leading some to judge him without knowing him.

“I said that prior to me being in this situation,” Newton said of being misunderstood. “But when I said it then it was like, ‘Oh, he is immature,’ or, ‘Oh, he’s young, and this, that and the third.’ I felt a certain type of way then and I feel a certain type of way now — nothing has pretty much changed. They talk about maturity. They talk about skill set. … The only thing that has changed [about me] is that we’re winning now.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera defended Newton for enjoying himself after touchdowns.

“I think some people believe you should be stoic when you play this game,” Rivera said. “But a lot of people disagree and think you should have fun. This is a kids’ game. I know there is a lot of money involved, but at the end of the day it’s about entertainment. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, don’t play the game — it’s that simple.”

Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman noted that the 6-foot-5, 245-pound QB wins in an “unconventional way,” and that might leave some fans unsettled.

“Some people can’t accept that,” Tillman said. “He is setting a precedent as far as for how quarterbacks are now — and how they may become. He’s in a league of his own. He has created his own category for winning.”

— Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was contrite after decking an official from behind during Wednesday’s game against the Predators, insisting it was an accident.

Wideman, an 11-year veteran who played for the Bruins from 2007 to 2010, looked to be in pain as he was skating to the bench after taking a hit from Predators forward Miikka Salomaki. Wideman then appeared to be surprised to see linesman Don Henderson in front of him along the boards, and he cross-checked the official from behind, then continued on to the bench.

“I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and my neck and I was just trying to get off the ice,” Wideman said. “And I was kind of keeled over and at the last second, I looked up and I saw him and I couldn’t avoid it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cam Newton, David Blatt, Dennis Wideman, LeBron James
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James’ marketing company parts ways with Johnny Manziel after latest issues 01.07.16 at 8:13 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James’ marketing company parts ways with Johnny Manziel after latest issues

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: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Bryant at Wagner, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Michigan at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Illinois at Michigan State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alabama at Mississippi, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Old Dominion at Louisiana Tech, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Santa Clara at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Flyers at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

— Hours after LeBron James expressed concern for Johnny Manziel, the NBA star on Wednesday ended his company’s marketing agreement with the troubled Browns quarterback.

LRMR, the company run by James and his friends Maverick Carter, Rich Paul and Randy Mims, had been handling Manziel’s endorsement deals since the former Heisman Trophy winner was drafted two years ago. However, Manziel has had frequent off-field issues, including his reported visit to Las Vegas on Saturday and his absence from the team’s facility the following morning when he was supposed to meet with trainers after suffering a concussion the previous weekend.

On Wednesday morning, prior to the Cavaliers‘ game in Washington, James said he was not fully aware of Manziel’s latest issues, but he said the 23-year-old would be better off focusing on his personal issues.

“I’ve heard a little bit of it and it’s just a distraction for not only himself but for everyone that’s around him, including family, people that represent him, the people around him,” James said. “He’ll figure it out at some point — we all hope.”

Manziel spent 10 weeks last offseason in a rehab facility that specializes in alcohol and substance abuse, but his problems continued throughout the season.

“I will continue to support and advise him as a friend,” said Carter, James’ longtime adviser. “However, because Johnny needs to focus on personal growth, the next phase of his career and because LRMR continues to expand beyond marketing, we made the mutual decision that it was best to terminate our business relationship.”

— The Buccaneers surprisingly parted ways with coach Lovie Smith despite his improvement from two wins last season to six this year.

Smith was 8-24 in two years, and the Bucs decided to move on after failing to qualify for the playoffs for the eighth straight time. Working against Smith was the fact that the team lost five of its last six games to finish last in the NFC South for the fifth consecutive year.

“This decision was difficult on a variety of levels,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. “I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Calvin Johnson, Johnny Manziel, LeBron James, Lovie Smith
Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James injures PGA golfer’s wife on fall into courtside seats 12.18.15 at 7:44 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James injures PGA golfer’s wife on fall into courtside seats

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:
NHL: Bruins at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Incarnate Word at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Mississippi at Memphis, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College football: Div. 3 championship, St. Thomas (Minn.) vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS semifinal, Richmond at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The wife of PGA Tour golfer Jason Day was taken to a hospital after LeBron James fell into her while chasing a loose ball during Thursday night’s game against the Thunder.

Ellie Day, who gave birth to the couple’s second child last month, was seated courtside next to the visitors bench with her husband when the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James reached for a ball and crashed into her, knocking her seat over backward and landing on her. The game was delayed as Day received medical attention before being taken away on a stretcher. She was treated at a nearby hospital and released early Friday morning.

“It wasn’t anything out of the usual besides the injury,” James said. “But to me, obviously her health is very important, and hopefully she’s doing well. The guys told us she’s doing great now. So, but you know, I was going for a loose ball. Just trying to keep the possession going, and I hate that that was the end result of it.”

Tweeted James later: Ellie Day I hope you’re doing okay! My apologies! Hope u guys come back to another game soon. Love LJ!

Ellie Day is a former Ohio State golfer, and the family has a home near Columbus. Her husband, a native of Australia, has attended a few Cavs games this season. Shortly before the accident, Jason Day took part in a promotion in which he golfed foam basketballs into the crowd.

Despite the scare, James said he has no objection to fans sitting so close.

“I think it’s a great experience for our fans,” James said. “I mean, that doesn’t happen much. It’s unfortunate it happened tonight, but that doesn’t happen much. Our fans are why our game is so great. Sitting courtside, it’s all part of the game. It’s pretty cool. If I was a fan, which I am a fan of the game, but, I would love to sit courtside and watch games.”

— Meanwhile, Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert is sidelined after suffering a groin injury in Tuesday night’s game against the Celtics, but that didn’t stop him from helping his fiancee deliver the couple’s daughter Wednesday.

Teyana Taylor went into labor Wednesday morning, and by the time she realized it she could feel the baby’s head, she explained on her Instagram account. Taylor said Shumpert played the role of doctor, helping with the delivery and then using the cord from a pair of headphones to tie off the umbilical cord while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: FIFA, Iman Shumpert, Jason Day, LeBron James