|Jim Boeheim thinks LeBron James may be better than Michael Jordan||08.15.12 at 5:47 pm ET|
It’s only August and LeBron James is already having one of the best years a basketball player has ever had. In May, the 27-year-old won his third MVP award in four years. In June, he took home his first NBA title (and a finals MVP to go with it). And on Sunday, James topped it off with a gold medal in the Olympics.
He has been so great that Syracuse and USA assistant coach, Jim Boeheim believes James may even be better than, gulp, his Airness himself.
“[James] is a leader. He gets on the court, he tells people what to do … this guy can guard five [positions] … put him on anybody, he can guard him,” Boeheim told ESPN Radio Wednesday. “I always felt Michael Jordan was the best player I’ve ever seen … I didn’t think it was close … and I’m not so sure anymore … this guy is 6-9, 260 pounds and he’s getting better … I know we’ve had great, great players through the years. He’s like Magic Johnson with Michael Jordan-type skills as well.”
|Friday’s Olympics roundup: USA men’s basketball advances to gold medal match||08.10.12 at 8:42 pm ET|
The USA men’s basketball team defeated Argentina 109-83 to advance to Sunday’s gold-medal match against Spain.
Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant all recorded double-digit points for a USA team that shot 53.1 percent from the field. They also limited Argentina to 44.3 percent from the field.
James led the squad with eight field goals while Carmelo Anthony added another seven from the bench. Durant’s 19 points led the team.
Spain, led by Pau Gasol‘s 16 points, defeated Russia to earn the other berth in the gold-medal game. Russia was winning through two frames before Spain scored 26 points in the third, adding 21 in the fourth to win 67-59.
TRACK AND FIELD: AMERICAN WOMEN WIN 4×100 RELAY
The USA women’s 4×100 relay team took the gold medal with a 40.82 time, defeating Jamaica by a large margin. USA already had a sizeable lead by the time Carmelita Jeter took over the last leg, but she helped her team break the 27-year-old world record by .55 seconds.
In the 4×400 men’s relay, USA finished with the silver medal. By the start of the fourth leg USA was leading the Bahamas. The Bahamas overtook USA’s Angelo Taylor narrowly on the closing leg, winning the gold. Read the rest of this entry »
|Saturday’s Olympics roundup: Michael Phelps wins gold in final Olympics race||08.04.12 at 7:55 pm ET|
Swimmer Michael Phelps saved his best for last Saturday, helping the United States to first place in the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Phelps’ final race of his legendary Olympic career.
The team of Phelps, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian held off Japan (silver) and Australia (bronze) in 3 minutes, 29.35 seconds to claim the gold medal. It was Phelps’ fourth gold of these Games, pushing his career total to a record 18 golds and 22 medals overall. …
Missy Franklin also earned her fourth gold medal of the London Games as she helped the U.S. to victory in the women’s 4×100 medley relay. The team of Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt finished in a world-record-time of 3:52.05 to edge Australia and Japan.
BASKETBALL: U.S. ESCAPES AGAINST LITHUANIA
Two days after a record 83-point rout against Nigeria, the U.S. men’s basketball team received a scare against Lithuania but ultimately prevailed, 99-94, to stay undefeated in group play.
The Americans trailed with under six minutes left as the Lithuanians looked poised to complete a monumental upset. But just like he did so often in this year’s NBA playoffs with the Heat, LeBron James stepped up when it mattered the most, scoring nine of his 20 points in the final minutes to hold off Linas Kleiza (game-high 25 points) and Lithuania.
The U.S., which clinched a berth in the quarterfinals with the victory, is 4-0 to lead Group A and will play Argentina on Monday to conclude the group stage.
|LeBron James nearly loses finals MVP trophy||06.28.12 at 3:00 pm ET|
During the hysteria of winning his first NBA championship last week, LeBron James came to a stunning realization when he entered the Heat locker room for their celebration: he couldn’t find his finals MVP trophy.
From Lee Jenkins’ piece on James in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated:
[After] James retreated to the locker room, where teammates bathed him in a Budweiser–Dom Perignon cocktail, he caught a scare. He couldn’t find his finals MVP trophy.
“Where’s my trophy?” James hollered, rummaging through his locker. “I left it right here!” He rushed through the tunnel back to the court, where he had to give an interview, but the moment it ended he asked, “Have you seen my trophy? Who took my trophy?” On the way to the press conference, where the MVP trophy was waiting all along, he relaxed a bit. “It’s just an individual award, anyway,” he says. “It’s not the one that matters.” He took the Larry O’Brien trophy from the podium and cradled it like a third son, and when friends offered to help carry it down a hallway, he waved them off.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Hockey players unimpressed by cramping LeBron James||06.21.12 at 7:59 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Marlins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Rockies at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA finals: Thunder at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ LeBron James might have won over some fans for fighting through leg cramps in the final minutes to help the Heat defeat the Thunder in Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the NBA finals, but some hockey players were not impressed.
Tweeted Ducks center Nick Bonino: We get it Lebron, it doesn’t hurt when you’re running around but it looks unbearable when the cameras are close up during the timeouts.
Added Capitals minor leaguer Ryan Potulny: Lebron James is embarrassing himself and the NBA or actually all athletes.
Predators minor leaguer Scott Valentine tweeted with sarcasm: If Lebron somehow manages to pull off winning a ring after fighting through a thigh cramp.. it will be a story I tell my children’s children.
James, whose Heat look to close out the series Thursday night in Miami, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining and finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
“I had cramps. I had it before. It’s not a pleasant feeling,” he explained. “Basically, your body shuts down. Your legs shut down and there is nothing you can do about it.”
♦ A day after Rays manager Joe Maddon called out the Nationals for exposing Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta‘s excessive pine tar on his glove and getting him ejected — Maddon called the move “cowardly” — Washington manager Davey Johnson responded. Johnson insisted he was just following the rules when he asked the umpires to check Peralta’s glove, and he offered his opinion of Maddon.
“I didn’t know [Maddon] that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss, anyway,” Johnson said. “I understand where he’s coming from. His job as a manager is to protect the players. Striking out at who ever he thinks is causing your players any grievance. So I understand where he’s coming from. But he doesn’t know me from a hole in the hill. Or I him, for that matter. But I do know the rulebook, and I do try to follow it.”
Maddon, meanwhile, implied that the Nationals would have trouble attracting free agents because of Tuesday’s actions. Peralta pitched for Washington in 2010, so he apparently was sold out by a former teammate who tipped off Johnson.
Said Maddon: “To utilize information based on the fact that the guy had played here, I don’t know if that is a form of cheating or what, that is really underhanded I believe to use that kind of information.”
♦ Knicks guard J.R. Smith is going after the Chinese team he played with last season for more than $1 million that was withheld from his $2.8 million salary for missed practices. The team, Zhejiang Chouzhou, produced a four-page list of offenses, including Smith skipping team meetings and practices to travel around the country and Europe, and blamed Smith’s sister, Stephanie, for being the root of the problems. Stephanie was involved in some incidents in the stands at games, including one in which she allegedly choked a Chinese fan.
Smith claims that he did not miss as many practices as the team alleges, and he noted that he played in all 32 games and led the team in scoring (36.4 ppg).
FIBA will rule on the dispute, likely next week.
♦ Former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs made good on his promise to reward the New Jersey boy who sent him $3.36 in hopes of keeping him in New York. Jacobs, who signed as a free agent with the 49ers, took the boy out with his own son to a facility with inflatable bounce houses and gave him a $5 bill.
“He had some interest in there just for being a good kid,” Jacobs said. “He’s worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 21, 1916, which Red Sox hurler pitched the first no-hitter in Fenway Park history, a 2-0 victory over the Yankees that included three walks? Hint: The player shares a name with an outfielder from Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s.
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Thunder’s Serge Ibaka not impressed with LeBron James’ defense||06.19.12 at 8:00 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Marlins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Braves at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at White Sox, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA finals: Thunder at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ League MVP LeBron James received the most votes from the league’s coaches for the NBA All-Defensive team, but Thunder forward Serge Ibaka isn’t impressed with his performance in the finals.
“LeBron is not a good defender,” Ibaka said. “He can play defense for 2-3 minutes but not 48 minutes.”
Kevin Durant scored 36 points on 12-of-20 shooting in the Thunder’s Game 1 win when he was primarily being guarded by Shane Battier. Since James switched to him, Durant is still shooting well (23-of-41) but isn’t getting as many looks, averaging 28.5 points as the Heat have won the last two games. That didn’t convince Ibaka.
“LeBron can’t play [Kevin Durant] one-on-one,” Ibaka said. “They’re playing good defense like a team.”
♦ Adidas announced Monday it will stop selling its JS Roundhouse Mid sneakers after protests about its design. The sneaker includes a plastic chain that critics say evokes images of slavery or celebrates the criminal element of society. Adidas initially tried to defend the designer but eventually caved.
Said the company in a statement: “The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott‘s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
♦ In light of Lance Armstrong‘s latest problems, Real Clear Sports has a list of 10 championships stripped because of rules violations. No. 1 is USC football’s 2004 BCS championship. No. 2 is Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson‘s 100-meter title at the 1988 Olympics.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 19, 1970, which Red Sox pitcher had a no-hitter against the Yankees going into the ninth inning before surrendering four runs until Sparky Lyle came on in relief to finish off the 5-4 victory?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m very thankful. It’s been a hard five years.” – Roger Clemens, after being acquitted of all obstruction and perjury charges Monday
STAT OF THE DAY: 42 2/3 – Consecutive innings in which Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey has not allowed an earned run, following his second straight one-hitter Monday vs. the Orioles
‘NET RESULTS: Guillermo from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” attends media day at the NBA finals and annoys the players with questions about facial hair.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Sonny Siebert
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Paula Abdul turns 50 Tuesday.
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Referees continue to make key calls for Heat in NBA finals||06.18.12 at 7:27 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Braves at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MiLB: Pawtucket at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Heat have won the last two games in the NBA finals to take a 2-1 series lead, and both games featured controversial calls that benefited LeBron James and left the Thunder frustrated.
In the closing seconds of Thursday’s Game 2, James escaped a foul call despite clearly making contact with Kevin Durant as the Thunder star attempted a game-tying shot. In Sunday’s Game 3, James was the beneficiary of a generous foul call with 16 seconds left that allowed him to essentially put the game away with a free throw.
Durant, meanwhile, was whistled for a fourth foul that forced him to the bench in the third quarter, despite the fact that he never made contact with Dwyane Wade on the play. It was during the time when Durant was on the bench when Miami made the game-changing run and rallied from 10 points down to take the lead.
“I try not to concern myself with the officiating,” Durant said afterward. “They’re going to make their calls, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t change it. Just got to play through it. There’s going to be some calls they may miss. They’re human.”
♦ Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian, competing against Marin Cilic in the final of the Queens Club tournament in London on Sunday, vented his frustration after missing a shot by kicking a sign. Unfortunately, there was a line judge behind the sign, and the official’s knee took the brunt of the force. Nalbandian, who was winning in the second set, was disqualified.
Despite an ATP that states any violent action will result in an automatic default, the 10th-seeded Nalbandian questioned the ruling.
“Sometimes you get very frustrated on court and it’s tough to control that, and sometimes I do a mistake. So it’s very tough to end a final like that,” he said. “But sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP to play a lot of tournaments. They don’t do anything [for] us, and today I do a mistake and I have to pay like that.
“I agree I do a mistake but sometimes everybody do a mistake and I didn’t feel it had to end like that, especially in a final.”
♦ Russia’s soccer association was fined Sunday for the second time at the European Championship in Poland, this time a $37,800 penalty for “improper conduct” by fans during last Tuesday’s match against Poland. Russia previously was fined $150,000 after fans attacked stadium staff at the nation’s first match against the Czech Republic.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 18, 1953, the Red Sox scored 17 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 23-3 victory over the Tigers. Which Sox outfielder had three hits in the inning?
|LeBron James wishes Bulls’ Derrick Rose a fast recovery||05.30.12 at 12:10 pm ET|
LeBron James doesn’t have Derrick Rose‘s number, but that didn’t prevent the Heat forward from wishing the Chicago star the best on his path to recovery.
On Tuesday James used the media to deliver the message to Rose, who had surgery for a torn ACL he suffered on April 28 against the 76ers. James said he has never had a long conversation with Rose but enjoys the way the 23-year-old plays basketball.
“I don’t know what he’s going through,” James said. “I’ve never had that type of injury, knock on wood, so I can’t imagine what he’s going through. I just hope he comes back 100 percent, 110 percent, because I am a fan of his. I love the way he plays the game of basketball and what he brings to the game.”
James wasn’t the only Heat player who offered a wish for Rose’s speedy recover as Dwyane Wade did the same. Wade, who has dealt with his own injuries, said he wished Rose and his family well.
|Heat stars tired of Danny Granger’s antics||05.22.12 at 3:03 pm ET|
LeBron James called out Pacers forward Danny Granger for his behavior in the Eastern Conference semifinal series, saying that he thought Granger was trying to bait the Heat. James even called it “stupid.”
Granger has received a technical foul in each of the last three meetings between the teams, backing up his assertion that he wasn’t going to back down from the Heat. In Games 2 and 3, the Pacers star confronted James, and then in Game 4 Granger took issue with Dwyane Wade after Wade was fouled by Roy Hibbert.
James said that if Granger was seeking some sort of altercation, he wouldn’t get a reaction from the Heat.
“Nobody is fighting on the basketball court. Come on,” James said. “I’m not going to fight because I mean too much to our team and I can’t afford to be suspended for a game or do something stupid to get thrown out of a playoff game.”
Granger said that he is playing with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s the reason behind his actions.
“There’s a line and I’m tiptoeing it. That’s a product of the chip on my shoulder and we have on our shoulder as a team of not being respected,” he said. “That goes not just for this series, but all year. We had the fourth or fifth best record in the NBA and I think we only had one televised game.”
Wade also took issue with Granger’s confrontational mentality.
“I’m all for standing up for your guys, but certain things you just can’t keep doing,” Wade said. “My message to Granger was that you just can’t keep running up into people’s faces for altercations. We’re not fighting on this basketball court, so let’s not act like we’re going to fight. We can be physical and do all that, but certain things got to stop. Are you out here to play basketball or are you out here to be a tough guy?”
|Dwyane Wade, LeBron James recruit Peyton Manning||03.08.12 at 12:25 pm ET|
The Manning to Miami movement gained more support Thursday when two of the Miami Heat’s star players voiced their desire for Peyton Manning to take his talents to South Beach.
Heat star LeBron James knows about moving south from the Midwest in a spotlight, as he left the Cavaliers after the 2010 season and announced he would sign with the Heat in a live ESPN special, The Decision. James now wants Manning to do the same, as he told the media after Wednesday night’s win over the Hawks that Manning would fill a void for the Dolphins.
“I’m just sayin’,” James said. “Dolphins need a quarterback, and Peyton’s available. … I gave my pitch, my one and only pitch. We’ll see what happens. … I want Miami sports to be great: The U, the Dolphins, the Marlins, the Heat, of course.”
James’s teammate, Dwyane Wade, was also on board with the idea. On Wednesday night, Wade (@dwyanewade) tweeted: I’m just gonna put it out thr..peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let’s go.. marlins & heat style..All in.
Wade proceeded to reply to tweets suggesting other cities for Manning such as Baltimore and New York with a definitive: that’s OUT. An Illinois native, Wade responded to a tweet wondering about Chicago as a destination for Manning by saying he likes Jay Cutler as a quarterback and that the Bears have other problems.
James, Wade and the rest of the Dolphins fans may get a response from Manning soon. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Manning will make a decision on where he plans to play within a week. Schefter also reported Manning prefers to stay in the AFC, and one of the 12 teams to reach out to Manning was the Dolphins.
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