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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jason Collins receives warm welcome in Nets debut 02.24.14 at 7:47 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Jazz, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Mavericks at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Syracuse at Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at TCU, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)


Jason Collins played for the Nets in Sunday night’s win over the Lakers, becoming the first openly gay player in one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States, after signing a 10-day contract earlier in the day.

Collins received a brief but warm round of applause from the crowd at Los Angeles’ Staples Center when he checked in during the second quarter. He played a total of 10 1/2 minutes, recording two rebounds and five fouls.

“I know that I can play in the NBA and it felt good to be out there tonight,” Collins said after the game. “Conditioning-wise, I felt good. I don’t think I got tired. It was a lot of fun to get back out on the court and set screens, hard fouls. Didn’t take any charges tonight — that’ll change. I’ll get in position next time. As far as basketball timing, it’s going to take at least a couple of practices.”

Teammate Paul Pierce, who had 25 points and seven rebounds to help the Nets end an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers, offered support for the 12-year veteran. Pierce also played alongside Collins on the Celtics last season.

“In the society we live in, you know this was going to happen eventually,” Pierce said. “He is a guy who’s going to be able to open the door for so many athletes — not only in America but around the world — to feel comfortable to come out and not feel embarrassed and feel like they’re welcomed in the sports world. It isn’t about race, gender or sexuality. It’s about being a part of a team and caring for one another. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver also expressed support for Collins.

“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team,” Silver said in a statement. “Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”

— The debate continues about the charge call in Saturday night’s showdown between Syracuse and Duke, with even veteran officials unsure of whether the call was correct after watching slow-motion replays.

One thing no one is debating: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim did not handle the situation well, storming onto the court and swearing at referee Tony Greene, leading to his ejection and effectively ending his team’s chances of winning. Syracuse was trailing by just two points with 10 seconds left when Boeheim lost his cool.

“I just thought that was the worst call of the year, that’s all,” Boeheim said after the game. “I just hate to see the game decided on that call.”

The ACC announced Sunday that Boeheim would not receive further punishment.

— The Knicks continue to underwhelm, and the people of New York aren’t happy about it.

One fan, a 19-year-old who is the son of a New York City police officer, allegedly tweeted death threats against Knicks owner James Dolan, leading to his arrest for harassment, according to the New York Daily News.

Police told the Daily News that Johnny Giamella tweeted, “James Dolan, it’s officially time to die,” and, “Death to James Dolan.” He also posted pictures of himself holding a gun.

Dolan’s security chief saw the tweets and notified police.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest‘s opinionated brother, Daniel, sent out a series of tweets blasting the organization after learning that the team was in the process of buying out Ron’s contract. Daniel called Dolan “the worst owner in sports,” and also wrote, “Mike Woodson is trash as a coach.”

Added Daniel: “Ron wanted to be a Knick his entire career and his dream became a nightmare. Knicks need an overhaul. Top to bottom.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 24, 1917, which Red Sox legend was sold to the Indians?

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Read More: James Dolan, Jason Collins, Jim Boeheium, Ron Artest
Metta World Peace signs with Knicks, who lose J.R. Smith to knee surgery for 3-4 months 07.16.13 at 9:21 am ET
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Tell the world: World Peace is coming home.

After four seasons with the Lakers, and one day after becoming a free agent, forward Metta World Peace met with Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson on Monday, and by the end of the conversation he agreed to a two-year, $3.2 million deal. World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, grew up in the Queens section of New York City and played for St. John’s for two seasons in the late 1990s.

The second year of the deal is a player option, according to multiple reports.

“The team is amazing, the players. I’m excited to play and hustle,” World Peace told reporters. “I don’t think I’m a missing piece [to a puzzle]. … I’m more honored to be playing with these players.”

World Peace’s final season in Los Angeles was arguably his most productive. He put up 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while also seeing his playing time increase to 33.7 minutes. In 14 seasons with five teams, World Peace averages 14.1 points and 4.7 boards.

In addition to what the Knicks pay him, 6-foot-7 World Peace will also make the $7.7 million that he was due to make with the Lakers before his old team waived him last week.

The news comes the same day that the team announced guard J.R. Smith, the Sixth Man of the Year for 2012-13, will miss 3-4 months following patella tendon and arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Smith signed a four-year, $24.7 million contract last week.

Read More: J.R. Smith, Metta World Peace, Ron Artest,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers waive Metta World Peace under amnesty provision 07.12.13 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 4 p.m. (WGN)
NBA Summer League: Orlando, Pistons vs. Heat, 8 a.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Orlando, Pacers vs. Jazz, 10 a.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Orlando, Rockets vs. Thunder, noon (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Orlando, Magic vs. Celtics, 2 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Las Vegas, Knicks vs. Pelicans, 4 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Las Vegas, Hawks vs. Clippers, 6 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Las Vegas, Cavaliers vs. Lakers, 8 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Las Vegas, Bobcats vs. Spurs, 10 p.m. (NBA)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti, 7 p.m. (FSC)
Soccer: Exhibition, Guadalajara vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Honduras vs. El Salvador, 9:30 p.m. (FSC)
Softball: World Cup, United States vs. Australia, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ The Lakers parted ways with the controversial Metta World Peace on Thursday, waiving the 33-year-old under the NBA’s amnesty provision to save about $15 million in luxury tax. The team still must pay him his $7.7 salary next season.

World Peace joined the Lakers in 2009, when he was known as Ron Artest, and helped Los Angeles knock off the Celtics in the 2010 NBA finals. His performance diminished this past season, especially after he tore knee cartilage in March. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 75 games.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him.”

World Peace has played for five teams in his 14-year career. He has been suspended numerous times — most famously for 86 games for his part in a brawl with fans in Detroit when he played for the Pacers — but he also won the league’s citizenship award in 2011.

His father, Ron Artest Sr., told the New York Post on Tuesday that World Peace was hoping to “stay with the Lakers for a couple of more years, but if not, he wants to finish his career in New York if he can,” as he is a native of Queens.

‘™¦ The Cubs’ plan to install Wrigley Field’s first-ever Jumbotron video board along with a sign above the outfield wall moved forward Thursday, as the city’s landmarks commission approved the plan. The full City Council next must OK the deal, which is expected despite the objections of the local alderman, who has expressed concerns about how the changes will affect neighbors and rooftop businesses.

The plan allows the team to install a 5,700-square-foot Jumbotron in left field and a 650-square-foot- sign in right.

“The Cubs often point to large signs at Fenway and U.S. Cellular [White Sox]. Those signs back up to expressways, not people’s homes,” Alderman Tom Tunney said, adding, “From blocks and blocks away, the light from the proposed ‘€¦ Jumbotron will flicker in living rooms and bedrooms throughout the ward.”

Wrigley Field turns 100 next year. The park did not have lights until 1988.

‘™¦ Major League Soccer has continued its campaign to eliminate a vulgar chant by home fans when the opposing goalie kicks the ball, but it’s not being well-received in New York. When the Red Bulls front office reached out to three supporters groups and offered them $500 for every game they went without chanting “You suck a–hole,” one group responded with an angry statement.

“From this day forth GSU won’€™t accept a single penny from the [front office] or Redbull. This of course will result in a lot of friction between us and the [front office]. But we stand strong together. This is our club, our city, our family. We will not be censored, we will not be bought,’€™’€™ Garden State Ultras spokesman Christopher Vidaic announced.

“As we all know the FO is on the lookout for ‘€˜inappropriate’€™ language and behavior. We say [forget] them! We will not be censored.”

Empire Supporters Club member Mike Vallo told the New York Post that the chant isn’t the real issue, it’s the perception of the groups selling out by taking the money.

“No one really cares about the chant. It’€™s the act of taking money to change our songbook and the extreme exaggeration of the negative consequences of a chant containing a word I’€™ve heard about 30 times today walking around the city,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 12, 1997, Roger Clemens made his return to Fenway Park as a visitor for the first time, leading the Blue Jays to a 3-1 victory by striking out 16 Red Sox in eight innings and allowing just one run on four hits. Which Boston pitcher was the hard-luck loser, striking out 13 Jays in seven innings but allowing three runs on five hits?

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Read More: Major League Soccer, Metta World Peace, Ron Artest, Wrigley Field
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ Ron Artest guarantees 2012 title, credits Chad Ochocinco as inspiration for name change 09.02.11 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Lakers guard Ron Artest continues to make headlines while the NBA is stuck in a lockout. In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Artest guaranteed the Lakers will win the 2012 NBA title. “Win it all,” he said he asked how his team will do. “Win the whole thing. That’s a guarantee.”

Artest, recently named to the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars,” wasn’t as confident about being successful on the dance floor. “That’s going to be a problem,” he acknowledged.

Artest also said that new Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco inspired him to change his name to Metta World Peace. “When Ocho did it, I was like, ‘That’s kind of dope,’ I want to change my name,” Artest said.

Artest’s petition to change his name was put on hold due to unpaid parking tickets. Said Artest: “I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life. There’s so much fine print. I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”

‘™¦ Former ESPN writer Bruce Feldman left the company for CBS and finally is speaking about his situation with the sports media giant after being silenced for his involvement with former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Feldman said ESPN was well aware he was writing “Swing Your Sword” with Leach, who is suing ESPN. Yet, ESPN still chose to limit Feldman’s workload and keep him from attending events related to his job covering college football. After being offered a one-year contract extension instead of the three years he expected, Feldman departed for CBS. “There’s more to the sports world than ESPN,” Feldman said, adding that he could no longer trust his former employers.

Replied ESPN in a statement: “We have significant disagreements with his account. Beyond that, we aren’t commenting.”

‘™¦ The Louisville (Ohio) High School football team was penalized for excessive celebration because two players pointed toward the sky after a go-ahead touchdown with 1:15 remaining in their game against Walsh Jesuit this week. The players were paying tribute to a 16-year-old teammate who died the previous week in a car accident. Following the penalty, assessed on the kickoff, Walsh Jesuit took advantage of the better field position and was able to get into position to kick a 29-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. “We have good kids here,” Louisville coach John DeMarco said. “It wasn’t taunting or anything like that, it was celebrating one of their friends.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 2, 2001, with Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina one strike away from a perfect game, which Red Sox pinch-hitter singled to center field?

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Read More: Bruce Feldman, Chad Ochocinco, John DeMarco, Metta World Peace
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Giants employee accused of embezzling $1.5M 08.31.11 at 7:05 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ A former payroll manager for the defending World Series champion Giants was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $1.5 million from the team’s salary and expense payments. Robin O’Connor, who was fired July 6, allegedly started taking the money beginning in June of last year. Her scheme unfolded when she forged a letter from a team human resources manager in an attempt to explain her boost in income while in the process of applying for a loan to buy a property in San Diego. O’Connor, a 41-year-old married mother of two who had a salary of $80,000, apparently admitted to at least some of the thefts after being confronted by Giants management.

‘™¦ In The Wall Street Journal, Reed Albergotti looks at another consequence of the NFL’s new kickoff rules: It makes it more difficult for teams to identify players who have the combination of ability and fearlessness needed to succeed in the league. He uses former Patriot Rodney Harrison and controversial Steelers linebacker James Harrison as examples of players who turned heads with their play on special teams and earned their way into the starting lineup.

‘™¦ Lakers guard Ron Artest said he will donate the $125,000 (plus any additional winnings) he’s receiving for his apperance on “Dancing With the Stars” to cancer research. Artest originally had said he wasn’t considering the show because of a lack of dancing skill, but his 8-year-old daughter convinced him otherwise. “She said, ‘Daddy, you can do it,’ ” Artest recalled. “It’s going to be fun.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 31, 2002, which Red Sox player committed an error for the first time in 250 games, ending his American League-record fielding streak at 592 chances?

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Read More: James Harrison, Robin O'Connor, Rodney Harrison, Ron Artest
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jeremy Shockey saves choking Panthers teammate 08.30.11 at 7:23 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Tight end Jeremy Shockey has not avoided controversy during his NFL career, but on Monday he showed his better side. When fellow Panthers tight end Ben Hartstock could not breathe because he was choking on a piece of pork tenderloin, Shockey stepped in and dislodged the meat, the National Football Post reported.

“[Hartstock] started to go to the bathroom, and I don’t know if he collapsed, but he couldn’t breathe,” said Hartstock’s agent, Mike McCartney. “Some new guy came and tried to give him the Heimlich. It didn’t work. Then Shockey hit him in the back pretty hard and out came the meat. The Panthers told me it was pretty scary.

“Ben told me, ‘Shockey came over and gave me the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life.’ He was in good spirits and he’s real thankful for Shockey.”

‘™¦ U.S. women’s soccer team goalie Hope Solo, building on her newfound celebrity after the team’s World Cup runner-up finish, will compete on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” this fall. Solo and Lakers guard Ron Artest are the two athletes who were named to the Season 13 cast, announced Monday. They’ll join actor David Arquette, Sonny & Cher offspring Chaz Bono, legal analyst Nancy Grace, model Elisabetta Canalis, reality TV personalities Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian, talk show host/actress Ricki Lake, singer/actress Chynna Phillips, war veteran/actor J.R. Martinez, and fashion analyst Carson Kressley.

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 shorelines for college football this season, while Stewart Mandel at Sports Illustrated makes his bowl predictions. Mandel has Alabama and Oklahoma in the BCS title game, and Boston College playing Navy in the Military Bowl.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 30, 1997, Nomar Garciaparra‘s American League rookie-record hitting streak came to an end against the Braves at how many games?

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Read More: Hope Solo, Jeremy Shockey, Mike McCartney, Ron Artest
Report: Ron Artest to Join ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 08.28.11 at 3:02 pm ET
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With the lockout seeming more and more likely to derail the upcoming NBA season, the Lakers’ Ron Artest will trade his basketball sneakers for dancing shoes. Terez Owens reported Sunday that ABC will name Artest as part of the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars” season during Monday’s cast announcement.

By the time the season airs, Artest likely will have changed his name to Metta World Peace.

Read More: Dancing With the Stars, Los Angeles Lakers, Ron Artest, Rumor Mill
Ron Artest denied name change because of traffic warrants 08.26.11 at 1:33 pm ET
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Lakers guard Ron Artest will not be able to change his name to Metta World Peace as expected Friday. The delay, according to a Los Angeles court official, is because “Ron has to clear outstanding traffic warrants.”

Artest will next appear in court Sept. 16.

Read More: broderick turner, Metta World Peace, Ron Artest, Rumor Mill
Shaq says he’d like to fight Danny Ainge in MMA 08.12.11 at 11:38 am ET
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In an interview with Inside MMA on Friday, Shaquille O’Neal listed Danny Ainge among the five former players he would like to face in a hypothetical mixed martial fight.

“Danny Aigne one time bit [Wayne] “Tree” Rollins‘ finger almost off in a match,” O’Neal said. “That’s not a move you can do in MMA but … the grit, the ferocity, the tenacity.”

The other four players named were Xavier McDaniel, Charles Oakley, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley. All five played in the 1980s and 90s.

Of the current NBA players, O’Neal said,”Ron Artest, you know you could probably put in there. But other than that, I’m not sure.”

Read More: Charles Barkley, Charles Oakley, Danny Ainge, Karl Malone
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ron Artest ‘definitely’ going to play in England, appear on soap opera at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLS: Revolution at Crew, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 4:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Lakers guard Ron Artest told The Los Angeles Times Thursday that he is “definitely going to play for the [Chesire] Jets” of the British Basketball League. Although the Jets can only pay him about $2,500 per month, Artest was lured with a promise that he will get to appear in a television soap opera and perform his music. “When they told me I had the opportunity and asked if I wanted to do a soap opera, I said, ‘Of course, man.’ I’m not going to run away. When I was a kid, I wanted to be on TV. Why would I run away from being on TV?” Artest is expected to join the team in late November, missing the first two months of the season partly because he first promised to play in some exhibition games for a team in Finland.

‘™¦ Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire, also is a politician in his homeland, recently elected to lead the Right Cause party. He has set some lofty goals. “I think I am capable of doing the tasks of the prime minister,” he said Thursday in Moscow. The prime minister (the country’s second-highest post, currently held by Vladimir Putin) is appointed by Russia’s president (Dmitry Medvedev). Prokhorov added that he needed to be in agreement with leadership in order to fulfill such a task. “I could not be a prime minister under an agenda which I don’t believe in,” he said.

‘™¦ The New York City area has had three new sports stadiums erected in the past few years. According to Grantland’s Peter Richmond, it’s 0-for-3. Richmond writes that America seems unwilling to take design risks. Said designer Carlos Zapata: “The baseball stadiums are the ones that are a total shame. They are looking backward.”

‘™¦ Florida Atlantic football coach Howard Schnellenberger, who coached the University of Miami to its first national championship in 1983, announced this will be his final season of coaching. In The Miami Herald, Greg Cote looks back at the 77-year-old Schnellenberger’s storied history.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 12, 1986, which Red Sox pitcher pinch hit and singled in a 6-5 loss to the Royals?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We had good guys, by and large, [but he] walked in the locker room and vomited on it.” ‘€” Former Vikings coach Brad Childress, talking about Randy Moss

STAT OF THE DAY: 47 ‘€” Points scored by the Patriots in Thursday’s rout of the Jaguars, the most points they have ever scored in a preseason game

‘NET RESULTS: Impressive goal from Irish soccer player Paddy McCourt.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler is 62 Friday.

Read More: Howard Schnellenberger, Mikhail Prokhorov, Ron Artest,