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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Magic Johnson defends himself following criticism from banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling 05.14.14 at 8:01 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 Twins, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Orioles, 12:35 (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Mets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Kings, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Nets at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa final, Sevilla vs. Benfica, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Magic Johnson responded to criticism from Donald Sterling by calling the suspended Clippers owner’s latest comments “disturbing” and “sad.”

In an earlier interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sterling said Johnson is not a good role model for children because he became HIV positive due to his irresponsible sexual behavior. He also questioned Johnson’s financial commitment to the African-American community.

“That’s his opinion if he things I’m not a role model,” Johnson told TMZ. “I know the things that I’ve done in urban America and for people.”

Johnson also sat down with Cooper and said Sterling is struggling with the fact that he “is not welcome back in the NBA.”

“He’s trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen,” Johnson told CNN. “The board of governors now have to do their job. Adam Silver, our commissioner of the NBA, did a wonderful job of banning him for life. Now the board of governors have got to do their job.”

Johnson said Sterling called him after the tape of Sterling’s racist comments — including specific mentions of Johnson — was released, but the owner never apologized to him.

“I’m tired of talking about Donald, it’s a shame, I wish I would had did something to deserve this,” Johnson told CNN. “[I take] a photo with a young lady and I have to answer all these questions.”

Shelly Sterling, meanwhile, said she thinks her husband is having mental issues.

“He’s not the man I know, or I knew,” she told NBC’s “Today” show. “There’s something wrong. I really think, personally, he has dementia.”

— The Clippers did their best to tune out the Sterling distraction in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, but they squandered a seven-point lead inside the final minute and dropped a controversial 105-104 decision to the Thunder on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

“We were robbed,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, referring to an out-of-bounds call with 11 seconds left that went in favor of the home team — and stood after a review.

“That could be a series-defining call,” Rivers said. “And that’s not right.”

On the ensuing play, Chris Paul was called for touching Russell Westbrook‘s elbow on a 3-point try. Westbrook hit all three from the line for a one-point advantage with 6.4 seconds left.

Paul then had the ball stripped from him in the closing seconds as he drove the lane.

“Probably the toughest thing I’ve been through, basketball-wise,” said Paul, who also had a key turnover down the stretch. “Everything that happened there at the end is on me. It was just bad basketball.”

The Clippers got a memo from the league after a bad call in their opening-round series against the Warriors admitting the officials erred. Rivers said he doesn’t want a similar note this time.

“No, I don’t need it,” he said. “I’ll release the memo. They blew the call. That’s the memo.”

— Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson apparently is not convinced his team is on a fast track back to respectability.

The Texans were among the league’s elite in 2012 but are coming off a disastrous 2013 season and have a new coach, Bill O’Brien. Johnson, the team’s longest-tenured player, has played on just three winning teams in his 11-year career in Houston, and he acknowledged that “over time it can become very frustrating.”

When he looks at the team’s roster of quarterbacks, Johnson sees an unimpressive list that includes Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates and fourth-round draft pick Tom Savage.

Speaking to reporters at a charity event Tuesday, Johnson said: “I just kind of wonder sometimes: ‘Is this still the place for me?’ ”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 14, 1981, the Celtics captured their 14th NBA title with a 102-91 victory over the Rockets in Game 6. Who was named finals MVP?

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Read More: Andre Johnson, Chris Paul, doc rivers, Donald Sterling
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling says Magic Johnson not a good example for kids, ‘should be ashamed of himself’ 05.13.14 at 7:40 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Twins, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB : Mets at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Wizards at Pacers, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Wild, 9 p.m. (CNBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

Donald Sterling apologized and insisted he is not a racist in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired Monday, but the suspended Clippers owner made more news with his ill-timed criticism of Magic Johnson.

Sterling both praised and criticized Johnson, saying the Lakers legend was a bad example for the children of Los Angeles because he became HIV-positive due to his irresponsible behavior.

“He acts so holy,” Sterling said. “He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him, I hope he could live and be well. I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children? You know, because he has money, he’€™s able to treat himself. But Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing. He didn’€™t do anything harmful to anybody and I respect him and I admire everything that he does. I’€™d like to help even more if he would offer me an opportunity to help. I like to help minorities.

“If I said anything wrong, I’€™m sorry. He’€™s a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’€™t think so. But I’€™ll say it, he’€™s great. But I don’€™t think he’€™s a good example for the children of Los Angeles.”

Added Sterling: “What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV. Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself.”

Johnson, who has expressed an interest in buying the Clippers — something that irked Sterling, who said Johnson initially expressed a desire to help him retain ownership of the team — took the high road, tweeting: I’d rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling’s interview.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not impressed with Sterling’s comments.

“I’ll stand by Magic every day of the year because I’ve known him for a long time,” Rivers said. “Having said that, I don’t know what’s going on out there. I tried not to get involved in that part of it right now. Whatever it is, that doesn’t sound like much of an apology to me.”

Johnny Manziel leads the post-NFL draft jersey sales, with Michael Sam in second place despite being drafted two days later. Top overall selection Jadeveon Clowney ranks third, followed by Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles.

“This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh-round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following draft weekend,” NFL spokeswoman Joanna Hunter told OutSports.com.

ESPN‘s Darren Rovell reports that Manziel has the top-selling jersey among all NFL players since April 1, and more Manziel jerseys were sold during draft weekend than those of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Tim Tebow during their draft weekends combined.

— One day after Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was fined $2,820.52 for squirting water at Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban from the bench, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was fined $5,000 for squirting Penguins forward Sidney Crosby during a scrum in front of the goal.

The incident took place as the second period ended. Lundqvist grabbed his water bottle, skated by Crosby while the Penguins star was on the ice tangling with a Ranger, and squirted him in the face.

Lundqvist and Thornton both received the maximum fine — which is based on a percentage of the player’s salary — the NHL can assess without a hearing.

The Rangers and Penguins meet in Game 7 of their series Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 13, 1991, which two former Celtics — teammates in Boston in the late 1970s — were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: doc rivers, Donald Sterling, Henrik Lundqvist, Johnny Manziel
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni quits, much to Magic Johnson’s delight 05.01.14 at 8:03 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:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, Game 1, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, Game 2, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mariners at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Hawks, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Benfica at Juventus, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lakers are looking for a coach after Mike D’Antoni resigned Wednesday after a 27-55 season, the Lakers’ worst in over a half-century, when he could not get a commitment from management to pick up his option for 2015-16.

D’Antoni, 62, was on the job less than two seasons, taking over for Mike Brown early in the 2012-13 campaign. He had one year remaining on his contract worth a reported $4 million plus the option year at the same amount.

“In order for Mike to have done his job, we felt that having the option year picked up would have changed the narrative,” D’Antoni’s agent, Warren LeGarie, told the Los Angeles Times. “They knew that Mike would have been the coach and there would have been a different reaction. It would have been difficult for him to do his job without it.”

Lakers veterans Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol openly questioned D’Antoni’s strategy during the season, which LeGarie appeared to reference in his comments.

“It was an impossible decision for Mike. He loved the guys on the team, the young guys. He clearly felt he had impacted their development and they had a real good buy-in on this. But clearly there wasn’€™t enough there to get us past some of the issues,” LeGarie said.

Magic Johnson did not hesitate in showing his pleasure that his former team will be headed in a new direction.

Tweeted Johnson: Happy days are here again! Mike D’Antoni resigns as the Lakers coach. I couldn’t be happier!

 

The Lakers issued a statement from general manager Mitch Kupchak that read: “Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons. On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”

— NBA owners on the advisory/finance committee will meet Thursday via a conference call to discuss how to proceed in the league’s attempt to remove Donald Sterling as owner of the Clippers following his racist comments.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor chairs the 10-member committee, which includes Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, Knicks boss James Dolan and Lakers executive Jeanie Buss.

Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday upon announcing Sterling’s suspension that he was confident he would have the three-fourths vote of league owners required to force Sterling to sell the team.

— One day after receiving a police citation for shoplifting a reported $32.72 worth of crab legs and crawfish from a Publix supermarket in Tallahassee, Fla., Florida State Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston apologized for his “mistake.” Winston, who was suspended from the Seminoles baseball team, insisted that he simply forgot to pay.

Winston, who is required to complete 20 hours of community service as part of the program that will clear his record, released a statement through his attorney, Tim Jansen, who also represented him in his sexual assault case in December.

“As reported in the news, [Tuesday] night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket,” the statement reads. “I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’€™m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.

“I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. Over the last year I’€™ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day. I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.

“I am grateful to be able to participate in the adult citation program where I will complete community service.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 1, 1977, goalie Gerry Cheevers and the Bruins blanked the Flyers, 3-0, to sweep the Stanley Cup semifinals in four games. Which Bruin scored two third-period goals (one an empty-netter)?

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Read More: Donald Sterling, Jameis Winston, Magic Johnson, Mike D'Antoni
Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather reportedly among those interested in buying Clippers 04.30.14 at 12:45 pm ET
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One day after NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned for life and must sell the team, reports emerged regarding possible candidates.

ESPN reports that Oprah Winfrey is considering partnering with music and film executive David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Geffen reportedly tried to purchase a controlling stake in the Clippers in 2010 but was not successful. Ellison has been a candidate to buy several other teams in recent years.

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. also expressed an interest in the Clippers, as did rapper/entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Magic Johnson, the subject of much speculation regarding his interest, said Sunday night that was focused on bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles.

Read More: Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Sean Combs
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson critical of Lakers front office 03.13.14 at 8:05 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: Coyotes at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Rangers at Wild, 8 p.m., 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Rockets at Bulls, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Rhode Island vs. UMass, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Florida State vs. Maryland, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Seton Hall, noon (FS1)
College basketball: St. Bonaventure vs. La Salle, noon (CSNNE)
College basketball: Illinois vs. Indiana, noon (BTN)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Houston vs. SMU, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Purdue vs. Ohio State, 2:25 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: St. John’s vs. Providence, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Dayton vs. Fordham, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Rutgers vs. Louisville, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: San Diego State vs. Utah State, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UNLV vs. Wyoming 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duquesne vs. Richmond, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Penn State vs. Minnesota, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: N.C. State vs. Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UCF vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton vs. DePaul, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Northwestern vs. Iowa, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Memphis vs. UConn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: New Mexico vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Marquette vs. Xavier, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona State vs. Stanford, 11:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Nevada vs. Boise State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Rockies at Athletics, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lakers are on a downward spiral, and Kobe Bryant is not happy with the way the front office is handling the situation. And he’s got Magic Johnson in his corner.

Bryant, speaking Wednesday after the team announced he would not play again this season as he recovers from a fractured knee, said he had no patience regarding the team’s reported plans to wait until 2015 to rebuild.

“Oh, yeah, let’s just play next year and let’s just suck again,” Bryant said sarcastically. “No Absolutely not. It’s my job to go out there on the court and perform, no excuses for it. Right? You’ve got to get things down.

“Same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court, it’s the same expectations I have for them up there.”

Bryant and Johnson both criticized the organization for passing over Phil Jackson last season and then allowing the coaching legend to join the Knicks front office this week. Bryant called out team executives (and siblings) Jim and Jeanie Buss and questioned the future of coach Mike D’Antoni.

“I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team,” he said. “What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play? It starts there.

“You’ve got to start with Jim. You’ve got to start with Jim and Jeanie and how that relationship plays out. It starts there and having a clear direction and clear authority.

“Then it goes down to the coaching staff. What’s Mike going to do? What do you want to do with Mike? It goes from there. It’s got to start from the top.”

While Bryant was talking, Johnson tweeted out his concern about the direction of the team.

“I love Jim & Jeanie Buss, but we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers,” Johnson wrote in a series of tweets. “Kobe Bryant is the face of the Lakers’ team. Who is the face of the Lakers’ organization? In signing Phil Jackson, [Knicks] Owner Jim Dolan & [team executive] Steve Mills are saying to the Knicks fans, they’re ready to win now!”

Blake Griffin continues to make highlights and enemies. The Clippers star, who has had numerous run-ins with opponents this season, had a dispute with veteran Warriors forward Jermaine O’Neal that carried over into the Staples Center hallway.

O’Neal, a onetime Celtic, received a technical foul with 8:55 left in the game after he walked toward the Clippers bench to yap at Griffin before being directed away by teammates and officials.

After the game, as Griffin was making his way to a postgame press conference following Los Angeles’ 111-98 win, O’Neal shared a few choice words with the young star. Griffin would not comment on the conversation, but the Los Angeles Times reported that he told O’Neal, “Why you going to walk up on me like that? Leave that ‘€¦ on the court.” A snarling O’Neal then quickly shook Griffin’s hand and walked away, saying, “Man, I’m a monster off the court.”

Said Griffin: “Man, get out of here with that.”

Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino is offering two fans a chance to attend spring training as his guest as part of a contest to raise money for the Shane Victorino Foundation, which benefits underprivileged children.

Fans who donate $1 or more by Monday via the new digital fundraising platform Fame4Good.com are entered into the contest. The winner and a guest will receive round-trip plane tickets, a two-night stay at a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fort Myers, Fla., and a visit with Victorino on the field prior to a game against the Rays on March 23.

“Partnering with Fame4Good allows me to shine a light on our foundation’€™s incredible efforts to support kids in need and it does so in a way that fans can have fun with and really get engaged,” Victorino said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the communities that have given so much to me and I look forward to meeting the lucky winner.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 13, 1971, who became the third player in Bruins history (and fifth in NHL history) to record 100 points in a season when he scored a goal in a 6-3 victory over the Canucks in Vancouver?

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Jermaine O'Neal, kobe bryant, Magic Johnson
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers coach Doc Rivers says surprising loss to Lakers ‘a good lesson for us’ 10.30.13 at 8:10 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:
World Series: Cardinals at Red Sox, 8:07 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nets at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Bruins at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Cincinnati at Memphis, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ There’s been a lot of talk about the Clippers taking over Los Angeles from the Lakers. It will have to wait at least a little while. Despite playing without the recuperating Kobe Bryant, and sitting starters Pau Gasol and Steve Nash in the fourth quarter, the Lakers spoiled the debut of new Clippers coach Doc Rivers with a 116-103 victory Tuesday night at Staples Center.

“We were not ready tonight,” said Rivers, who before the game talked about a championship parade route for his new team. “[The Lakers] have heard for probably the last two months how good [the Clippers] were going to be … so you knew that they were going to play like this was the world championship — with that type of energy. And I thought we never matched it. Everything they did was harder than us and more physical than us. They destroyed us on the glass and destroyed us in turnovers. So it was a good lesson for us.”

Xavier Henry scored a career-high 22 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter as the Lakers scored 41 points in the period and used a 28-8 run to pull away.

“We’re a deep team, and people don’t think we’re that good,” Henry said. “That always fuels us. People are saying we’re going to finish 12th or whatever, but we have a great group of guys who go out there and play hard. We’re young. We’re athletic. We get after it.”

Added Jodie Meeks, who scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter: “It’s not a bad thing to be the underdog sometimes. No expectations. We go out there and play hard. What’s the worst that can happen? We lose, and people say we’re no good?”

‘€¢ Meanwhile, prior to the game, Lakers legend (and former part-owner) Magic Johnson said he isn’t sure how the fans will respond to the team if the season plays out as expected.

“Laker fans are spoiled. I don’t know how they’re going to react now, because this is going to be a tough season,” Johnson said Tuesday in an interview on the “Max and Marcellus Show” on ESPNLA 710 radio. “This is going to be one of the roughest seasons that the Lakers have ever faced. You’re waiting on Kobe to see if he can get healthy. Nobody knows if he can be what he was. Then you’ve got Gasol — who I think is a premier big man — but he plays better when he has talent around him.

“You’ve got guys who are all on one-year contracts, and all were journeymen on other teams. Laker fans are not used to that. I don’t know if they’re going to buy into that. We’re going to see. If you want the Laker fans to really buy in and be involved, you’re going to have to win right away. I don’t see that happening. The West is tough this year.”

Johnson said he thinks Bryant can return to his “dominant” form, but he’s not sure there’s enough support on the roster.

“I’m hoping that they at least make the playoffs,” Johnson said. “But that’s going to be tough, especially without Kobe. We have to see what Kobe we’re going to get. Is he going to be that same Kobe or is he going to be hurt a little bit?”

Added Johnson: “Kobe can get 30 or 40,” Johnson said. “But you have to remember, you need at least three guys who can score. Right now I’m looking at that roster and going, ‘Who else is going to get you 15-20 a night besides Gasol and Kobe?’ ”

‘€¢ At The Atlantic, Ryan Roderberg conducted a study to determine if there’s any substance to accusations of referee bias in the NBA — specifically related to Heat executive Pat Riley, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Spurs center Tim Duncan.

His result? Whining by Riley and Cuban, and fallout from Duncan’s famous run-in with veteran official Joey Crawford in 2007, have yielded no apparent signs of bias.

Wrote Roderberg: “I found no systematic evidence of a referee’s personal animus negatively impacting the performance of the team in question.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 30, 1954, the Celtics lost to the Rochester Royals, 98-95, in a game that marked the debut of which two NBA rules that had a big effect on the way the game was played?

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Read More: doc rivers, Magic Johnson,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins faces assault charge stemming from incident outside nightclub 10.11.13 at 8:11 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:
MLB playoffs: Dodgers at Cardinals, 8:30 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-AM)
NBA preseason: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Cavaliers at Magic, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Islanders at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Western Michigan at Notre Dame, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Temple at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, Ireland at Germany, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, Montenegro at England, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, Panama at Mexico, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNews)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Thunder center Kendrick Perkins faces an assault charge stemming from an incident in July in which he allegedly punched a man and woman in an incident outside a Houston nightclub.

According to KHOU.com, the case initially was dismissed but was re-filed, leading to a misdemeanor assault charge for the former Celtic and his brother-in-law, Quincy Alpough. Perkins posted $1,000 bond Thursday morning.

Miketta Cotton told police she and her brother were leaving the club when their car and one in which Perkins was a passenger “backed into each other.” Tensions escalated, and Cotton’s brother, Ja’Keenan Cotton, told police that Perkins eventually got out of the car and punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground. Perkins then punched Miketta Cotton in the face with a closed fist, knocking her to the ground, she said.

A third person who was in the car with the Cottons, Catherine McGrue, said she was struck in the throat by Alpough, knocking her unconscious. All three victims said they then were kicked repeatedly by a group of people while on the ground.

“We were made aware of the allegations and take this matter seriously,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering more information and have no further comment at this time.”

In a previous incident, Perkins was arrested in 2011 in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct after a fight outside a bar, but those charges apparently were dropped.

Perkins, 28, averaged 4.2 points and six rebounds in 78 games last season in his second full season in Oklahoma City since being traded from the Celtics late in the 2010-11 season.

‘€¢ Heat forward Michael Beasley reportedly required medical treatment after punching himself in the head during Thursday night’s game against the Pistons, angry about making some mistakes in his first game of the preseason.

The oft-troubled Beasley, who signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with Miami in September after being released by the Suns following his arrest in August on marijuana charges, was running back on defense when he started hitting himself so hard that he left himself with a swollen eyebrow and needed treatment from the team’s trainer.

Beasley, who was drafted by the Heat No. 2 overall in the 2008 draft but saw his career derailed by myriad issues, said he was “just trying to teach myself to do everything hard.” The 24-year-old told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he was disappointed about getting a quick foul, missing a defensive rotation and then failing to come up with a blocked shot.

However, Beasley said that overall, the experience was a positive one.

“It was fun,” he said, after finishing with nine points and two rebounds in nine minutes. “I didn’t think I was going to play. It was the first time back. I’m trying to find my way.”

‘€¢ Magic Johnson announced Thursday that he will not return to the ESPN/ABC studio as an analyst due to his myriad commitments, including his ownership of the Dodgers and other business ventures.

“I love ESPN. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role,” Johnson said in a statement. “I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much.”

Johnson joined ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” crew in 2011.

“We appreciate Magic’s contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors,” ESPN executive vice president of production John Wildjack said in a statement. “We are in the process of determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season.”

The network also announced that longtime basketball analyst/sideline reporter Doris Burke (a Providence College Hall of Famer) will work one day per week on “NBA Countdown.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 11, 1967, the Impossible Dream Red Sox forced the World Series to the limit with an 8-4 victory over the Cardinals in Game 6. Which unheralded Sox rookie from New England started the game and pitched 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball but did not get the win?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Female kicker comes up short at NFL combine 03.04.13 at 8:05 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: 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. ‘€œIt’€™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?

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Read More: Lauren Silberman, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Randy Moss
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez homers on first pitch in Dominican debut 11.15.12 at 7:54 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:
NBA: Celtics at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Boston College vs. Baylor, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Providence vs. UMass, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma State vs. Akron, 10:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UNC-Asheville vs. Tennessee, 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: N.C. State vs. Penn State, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: St. John’s at Charleston, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama vs Oregon State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Purdue, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NFL: Dolphins at Bills, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: North Carolina at Virginia, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Manny Ramirez still is trying to get back into baseball, and the former Red Sox slugger made his case on Wednesday when he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Escogido Lions right-hander Daniel Cabrera in his debut for the Los Aguilas Eagles of the Dominican winter league.

A packed house estimated at 22,000 turned out to see Ramirez return to play in his home country for the first time since the winter of 1994-95, and the fans went wild when Ramirez drilled a fastball over the right-field fence to give his team a 1-0 lead.

“I’m not thinking about the big leagues now,” Ramirez, 40, said upon joining the team. “Right now, I’m thinking of helping the Eagles to win games and then, if any offer, then I’ll think of baseball.”

‘™¦ Magic Johnson spoke out against his old team Wednesday, saying the Lakers’ decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson was another error in judgment by executive vice president Jim Buss, son of longtime owner Jerry Buss.

“I love Dr. [Jerry] Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss,” Johnson said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” “He’s made two critical mistakes already. To me, they made two critical mistakes. First, hiring Mike Brown — he wasn’t the right coach. He’s a great coach but not the right coach for the Lakers. And I don’t feel Mike D’Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers. Especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there, who wanted to be the Laker coach. Jim Buss decided he didn’t want Phil Jackson, he wanted Mike D’Antoni. And that’s OK, but why didn’t you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row.”

Earlier in the day, Johnson ended two days of Twitter silence, writing:

The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach. My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

A day earlier, general manager Mitch Kupchak insisted the decision to go with D’Antoni over Jackson was a unanimous one between he and the Busses, insisting that D’Antoni is a better fit for this roster.

“Without going into great detail, some of our guys I don’t think would be very successful in the triangle [offense],” Kupchak said Tuesday. “Some of our newer players might take a long time to learn the triangle.”

‘™¦ The Texas A&M football team is coming off an upset of No. 1-ranked Alabama on Saturday, but the team’s excitement was tempered when freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson went missing Monday night. Johnson, who has 30 receptions for 339 yards and a touchdown in 10 games this season, was found safe Thursday morning, with more details expected later in the day.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 15, 1967, Carl Yastrzemski, winner of the American League’s Triple Crown, was named MVP. However, the vote was not unanimous. Which Twins player received one vote?

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Read More: Magic Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Mike D'Antoni, Phil Jackson
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Amar’e Stoudemire fined $50,000 for offensive tweet 06.27.12 at 6:52 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: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Twins, 1 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Indians at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at Rangers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship semifinals, Portugal vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire apologized Tuesday after he was fined $50,000 by the NBA for using a homosexual slur in a tweet to a fan who had criticized him.

“I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse.”

Stoudemire used an expletive and the slur Saturday when tweeting the fan, identified by the New York Daily News as Brian Ferrelli, who had tweeted that the All-Star “better come back a lot stronger and quicker to make up for this past season.” Stoudemire, who averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds, his lowest marks since his rookie season in 2002-03 with the Suns, tweeted back: [Expletive] you. I don’t have to do any thing [slur].

Ferrelli then posted a screen shot of the offensive tweet on the web. That was followed by Stoudemire tweeting an apology, which Ferrelli accepted.

‘™¦ Former Trail Blazers star Clyde Drexler spoke candidly about Magic Johnson for a book about the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. In “Dream Team” by Jack McCallum, Drexler said members of the team pitied Magic because they thought he would die after testing HIV positive, and he said Magic “couldn’t play much by that time. He couldn’t guard his shadow.”

“But you have to have to understand what was going on then. Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die,” Drexler said. “Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt. Magic came across like, ‘All this is my stuff.’ Really? Get outta here, dude. He was on the declining end of his career.”

Drexler also commented about Magic’s performance in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. Magic, named as a special 13th player to the West roster, was named MVP after finishing with 25 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Drexler also played very well, recording 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Said Drexler: “If we all knew Magic was going to live this long, I would’ve gotten the MVP of that game, and Magic probably wouldn’t have made the Olympic team.”

‘™¦ LaDainian Tomlinson, who retired this month after a stellar career at running back with the Chargers and Jets, had an interesting and honest response when asked if he would rather win a Super Bowl or be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

‘€œHall of Fame player without a ring, because you’€™ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good,” he said. “They draft you individually and you’€™ve got to back them up and make them right. I think at the end of the day, even though I didn’€™t win a Super Bowl ring, I felt like I backed them up for drafting me. I backed up the San Diego Chargers for picking me with the fifth pick.’€

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 27, which Red Sox player tied a major league record by recording three hits (single, double, triple) in one inning — the 14-run first inning of a 25-8 rout of the Marlins at Fenway?

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Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, Clyde Drexler, ladainian tomlinson, Magic Johnson