|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Female kicker comes up short at NFL combine||03.04.13 at 8:05 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Heat at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Savannah State at UNC A&T, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Lightning at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Predators at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
World Baseball Classic: South Korea vs Australia, 5:30 a.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Australia vs. Netherlands, 11:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Brazil vs. China, 3 a.m. Tuesday (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Things did not go well Sunday for the first female to participate in an NFL regional combine tryout. Lauren Silberman came up embarrassingly short on two kickoffs before seeking medical assistance and then leaving in tears.
The 28-year-old Silberman, who said she is a former University of Wisconsin club soccer player, kicked the ball about 19 yards on her first try and a few yards less on her next.
Silberman did not take any warmup kicks before the event, which featured 38 kicking prospects hoping to attract the attention of an NFL team. She later explained that she injured her quadriceps earlier in the week and was hoping she could kick through it.
“I suffered a quad injury. I tried staying off it and waited for today. I didn’t even take kicks in warmup,” she said, according to New York’s CBS TV affiliate. “It’s pretty hard to know that you’d be in pain and wanted to work through it, and I certainly tried to, but I couldn’t do it today.”
Added Silberman: “I tried to work through the pain. The distance wasn’t there, but hopefully the scouts noticed my form.”
Silberman was not evaluated prior to the workout, signing up by paying a a $275 fee. She added to speculation that she was an unqualified publicity-seeker by being evasive when asked how far she kicked the ball in practices. “It’s hard to tell,” she said.
NFL regional combine director Stephen Austin offered no verification of Silberman’s ability.
“Our job is to evaluate talent and leave no stone unturned,” he said. “Until they get here, we don’t have any idea of how any of them are going to perform.”
♦ LeBron James said Sunday that he’s considering an offer of $1 million by Magic Johnson to participate in the dunk contest during All-Star Weekend.
“I don’t have a response yet,” James told ESPN’s Lisa Salter, adding: “Tell [Johnson] I’ll get back to him.”
James has never taken part in the dunk contest, although he said Sunday, “I think about it every year.” He recently received some criticism for saving his highlight-reel dunks for pregame warmups and said he considered changing his warmup routine because of it. However, he decided to continue it.
♦ Following a tweet from Randy Moss on Saturday night, there is speculation that the receiver will not return to the 49ers.
Tweeted Moss: Wished we could’ve finished the job!!thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers.
Moss, 36, ended his brief retirement in 2012 and recorded 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns in helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. He caught two passes for 41 yards in the Super Bowl loss to the Ravens.
The onetime Patriot has 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns in his 14-year career.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 4, 1984, which standout Red Sox catcher from the 1930s was chosen for the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee?
|Struggles continue for Dwight Howard, bickering Lakers||02.12.13 at 12:55 pm ET|
Dwight Howard‘s first season with the Lakers has been filled with controversy, injuries and disappointments. He has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury and now is claiming that opponents have been targeting the injury.
Howard has been playing through a torn labrum, trying to help the Lakers fight their way back into the playoff picture. There have been a couple of games recently when Howard has said that players were grabbing at his right shoulder. After losing to the Heat on Sunday, Howard mentioned the targeting.
“They got me early,” Howard said. “They would yank it back.”
Howard also claimed that some of the Bobcats players were doing the same thing in Friday’s game.
“It’s like a jolt,” Howard said. “Then it hurts the rest of the night.”
In another on-court display of frustration, Howard was involved in a heated argument with fellow first-year Laker Steve Nash during Sunday’s game. During an offensive possession, Nash was in trouble along the baseline under the basket and Howard was holding his arms in the air, calling for the ball. Nash took a few extra seconds, was pressured by the Heat’s Udonis Haslem, and threw a difficult pass to Howard that the center was unable to handle.
The two bickered with each other at center court after LeBron James was fouled finishing off a layup at the other end.
The Lakers are 24-28 and are 3½ games behind the Rockets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
|Nets’ Reggie Evans not impressed by LeBron James, Heat||01.31.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
Before Wednesday night’s game, Nets forward Reggie Evans provided LeBron James and the Heat with some bulletin board material, not that Miami needed any. The Heat defeated the Nets for the 13th consecutive time, 105-85, as James registered 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Earlier on Wednesday, Evans talked with the New York Daily News and attempted to devalue the Heat’s 2012 championship.
“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans said. “That was a lockout season.”
When James learned of the comments, he tweeted: Just keep throwing rocks at the throne, don’t matter cause nothing can break my zone.
Following the easy win, James continued with his response to the ineffective Evans (zero points, six rebounds).
“You can’t just come out and say something like that versus a champion,” James said. “No one knows what it takes unless you’ve done it. You can’t sit here and judge and talk about a team winning a championship unless you’ve done it. [Evans] hasn’t done it.”
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Notre Dame teammate says Manti Te’o was lying about dead girlfriend||01.17.13 at 8:08 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks vs. Pistons, at London, 3 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Clippers at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Heat at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Duquesne at UMass, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Michigan at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Detroit, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Florida at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Illinois, 8:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oregon State at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s at VCU, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: South Florida at Rutgers, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oregon at USC, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Providence at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey hasn’t even aired yet, and already it’s been surpassed by a more shocking story from the sports world. The Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax was exposed by Deadspin on Wednesday, and despite claims by Notre Dame and Te’o that he was duped, the facts do not make it look good for the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
At least one Notre Dame football player was willing to speak out about the situation, albeit anonymously. Former CSNNE anchor/reporter Jackie Pepper, who now runs her own website, published an interview with a Fighting Irish player who said Te’o was caught in a bad situation that he made worse.
“He lied, but the media blew it up,” the player said.
The player claimed other teammates knew that what Te’o was doing as well, although no one ever confronted him.
“We would never bring it up,” the player said. “But we would look at him when he would get all emotional during media about his girl.”
Asked if he thought Te’o was a good actor, the player said: “Very good.”
♦ Depending upon whom you believe, the USC football team either had a verbal spat or an all-out brawl in the locker room following the Trojans’ 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
The brouhaha started when some freshmen questioned the leadership from the team’s seniors, with at least one player calling out quarterback Matt Barkley for missing the game with a shoulder injury.
“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a locker room,” an unidentified player told the Los Angeles Daily News.
Barkley downplayed the incident in an interview with ESPN Radio.
“I would say tempers flared, yeah, but that’s football,” Barkley said. “It’s an emotional game, and when you end your season on a negative note like that, emotions are going to be high. Guys were expressing their opinions, for better or worse, but we had it under control. It was nothing to be alarmed about.”
Said freshman offensive tackle Zach Banner to the Daily News: “It’s going to be a whole new family atmosphere next season, and you can quote me on that. For the seniors, it’s terrible.”
♦ Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace, who returned to the NBA this season at the age of 38, is not expected to play again for a while — if at all — due to a stress reaction in his left foot. The 15-year veteran has been out since Dec. 15 and has yet to start running.
“He’ll be back — but when, I don’t know,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We’re gradually trying to get him back where he can run again so he can get back in a uniform. But when, we don’t know when yet.”
Wallace, who last played for the Celtics in 2009-10, is averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds over 14.6 minutes in 20 games.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 17, 1970, future Red Sox standout Fred Lynn was drafted by which MLB team, refusing to sign and instead choosing to play college ball at USC?
|Dwyane Wade’s benching one of many minor concerns for Heat||01.16.13 at 5:00 pm ET|
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.
|Top Stories of 2012, No. 5: Celtics burned by Heat in Eastern Conference finals||12.29.12 at 7:55 pm ET|
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.
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Cubs manager Dale Sveum shot by Robin Yount on hunting trip||12.05.12 at 7:58 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nuggets at Hawks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio at Memphis, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Michigan State, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at Villanova, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at La Salle, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: South Florida at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: USC at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Cubs manager Dale Sveum revealed Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings that he was shot in the right ear and back during a recent hunting trip with Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The former Brewers teammates were hunting quail in Arizona when Yount fired a shot and Sveum was hit by the spray pattern from a six-shot.
“The bird got up in front of him, and he lost track of where I was and pulled the trigger,” Sveum said. “I was just looking for birds myself. It was behind me, so I got drilled with pellets in the back one stuck in the ear.”
Sveum, who said there was a lot of blood involved but he wasn’t seriously injured, added that he started calling Yount “Dick Cheney” in reference to the former vice president who shot a friend while hunting.
“You don’t get hit very often,” Sveum said, adding: “It’s not that big a deal.”
♦ The Lakers squandered a 13-point lead with 10 minutes remaining and dropped a 107-105 decision to the Rockets on Tuesday night in Houston. Like the Magic did Sunday night, the Rockets fouled Dwight Howard repeatedly down the stretch, and Howard cooperated, missing 5-of-10 from the line in the last 3½ minutes (8-of-16 overall).
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni defended his decision to keep Howard in the game.
“If you take him out now, then you’ll be taking out a guy that’s going to be your franchise player all the time,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got other problems to worry about. We shouldn’t be talking about him. He’s doing a [heck] of a job and he’ll work through it and knock them down.”
Said Howard: “People are going to say whatever they want to say, but at the end of the day, go back and look at the game. The reason we lost was not my free throws. That didn’t lose us the game. Our defense was not there in the fourth quarter.”
The Lakers played with Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees), who has come under fire for his inability to acclimate to D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense. According to an ESPN report, general manager Mitch Kupchak told Gasol’s representatives that he will look to trade Gasol if the Spaniard cannot adjust to the new system.
The Wizards recorded just their second win of the season Tuesday night, and it came against the defending NBA champion Heat. With quarterback Robert Griffin III looking on, the Wizards pulled out a 105-101 victory.
Washington, which started the season 0-12 and has been without injured point guard John Wall all season, has defeated Miami three straight times, dating back to last season. But the Heat’s stars aren’t too concerned about the setback.
“Nah, man, there’s not no lesson. This ain’t a lesson for us. We just lost,” LeBron James said. “We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to be like, ‘Oh, let’s catch ourselves.’ It happens.”
Said Dwyane Wade: “You move on. You learn from it, but yo don’t become a good team by holding on to certain losses — or certain wins.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 5, 1982, in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, which Bruins player recorded a hat for the second consecutive day?
|LeBron James named SI’s Sportsman of the Year||12.03.12 at 10:06 am ET|
NBA MVP LeBron James was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the magazine announced Monday.
James, 27, won his first NBA championship in 2012, leading the Heat past the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals and then past the Thunder in the NBA finals. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the London Olympics.
He became just the second player ever to win an NBA title, an NBA MVP award and an Olympic gold medal in the same year (Michael Jordan, 1992).
James acknowledged that he needed to change some things following his infamous ESPN special in 2010 in which he announced his decision to leave the Cavaliers for the Heat.
“Did I think an award like this was possible two years ago? No, I did not,” James said in the SI cover story. “I thought I would be helping a lot of kids and raise $3 million by going on TV and saying, ‘Hey, I want to play for the Miami Heat.’ But it affected far more people than I imagined. I know it wasn’t on the level of an injury or an addiction, but it was something I had to recover from. I had to become a better person, a better player, a better father, a better friend, a better mentor and a better leader. I’ve changed, and I think people have started to understand who I really am.”
James is the first NBA player to be named SI’s Sportsman of the Year since Heat guard Dwyane Wade in 2006.
|Report: Lakers could be setting up for future run at LeBron James||10.19.12 at 1:54 pm ET|
An ESPN.com report Thursday suggested that the Lakers might be positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James after his contract with the Heat allows him to opt out at the end of the 2013-14 season.
James didn’t want to get into the discussion of his future following a preseason game against the Pistons on Thursday.
“I’m here, and this is what it’s all about,” James said. “I’m preparing for this season, preparing to defend our title and that’s it. This is where … I’m here now.”
Multiple NBA executives told ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst that they believed the Lakers would be able to add James, and would have the salary cap space to offer him a deal as long as Kobe Bryant sticks to his plan to retire when his contract ends after two more seasons.
In other Lakers news, Dwight Howard might take to the court as soon as this Sunday.
Howard reportedly has told teammates and friends that he’s hoping to play in the Lakers’ exhibition game against the Kings on Sunday.
Howard, who had surgery to repair a herniated disk in April, said he has to keep his nerves down when playing in front of the Los Angeles crowd.
“This is a new team, new city, and I think everybody is expecting a lot out of me, so I have to make sure I keep all that out of my mind when I play in front of the home crowd,” he said.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees GM denies trade talks involving Alex Rodriguez||10.18.12 at 7:55 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Yankees at Tigers, 4 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
MLB playoffs: Giants at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-AM)
NFL: Seahawks at 49ers, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Oregon at Arizona State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Celtics at Nets, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, mired in a batting slump and a controversy for allegedly flirting with two women behind the dugout during a recent playoff loss at Yankee Stadium, appears headed out of New York. The question is, who will take on the fading star and his megacontract?
Rodriguez, consigned to the bench after batting .087 this postseason, has a full no-trade clause but reportedly is resigned to the fact that he’s not wanted by the Pinstripes and would accept a trade.
On Wednesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied a rumor that there have been discussions with the Marlins about sending the 37-year-old to Miami and paying all of the remaining $114 million left on his contract.
“I have had no discussions with the Florida Marlins, certainly would never have any trade discussions under the circumstances,” Cashman said. “There are no discussions whatsoever. They are false.
“We are not down the line on any trade talks with any of our players, including Alex. And I haven’t engaged any general manager about trade discussions since the [Aug. 30] deadline. I’ve had no trade discussions, so false, 100 percent false.”
♦ Forbes magazine unveiled its list of the world’s most valuable sports brands. Nike, valued at $15.9 billion, tops the list of businesses, followed by ESPN ($11.5 billion) and adidas ($6.8 billion). The Super Bowl (worth $470 million) is the top event, followed by the Summer Olympics ($348 million) and soccer’s World Cup ($147 million).
The top athletes are golfer Tigers Woods ($38 million) and tennis star Roger Federer ($29 million), with a three-way tie for third between three-time NBA MVP LeBron James, golfer Phil Mickelson and soccer legend David Beckham ($26 million). The Yankees ($363 million) lead the ranking of top teams, followed by soccer clubs Manchester United ($293 million) and Real Madrid ($255 million). Five of the top 10 teams are from soccer.
Looking at regional sports networks, YES is No. 1, worth $600 million. NESN moved into the top 10 for the first time, ranking ninth at $500 million.
♦ Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, from Everett via Tilton School in New Hampshire, was cleared by the NCAA to play this season after an investigation into the school’s funding of unofficial visits. Coach John Calipari revealed the news Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN. Noel, a 6-foot-10, 228-pounder who has been compared to NBA No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis, is part of another heralded freshman class assembled by Calipari.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 18, 1994, the Red Sox named Kevin Kennedy as manager. Who did he succeed?
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