|Bulls, Raptors discuss swapping Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani||02.08.13 at 10:31 am ET|
The Bulls and Raptors have discussed a trade that would send Carlos Boozer to Toronto in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, according to an ESPN report that credits sources familiar with the discussions.
There are a few logistical stumbling blocks. The Raptors might have to get into luxury tax territory to take on Boozer’s contract (he makes $15 million this year, $15.3 million next year and $16.8 million the following year).
Bargnani is making $10 million this year, which adds to his appeal over Boozer for Chicago. However, he also has two years left on his contract and has had a disappointing season to date.
The Bulls apparently are hoping Bargnani can help them out in the realm of 3-point shooting, while the Raptors, who were rumored to be trying to trade for the Lakers’ Paul Gasol before he was injured this week, could be aiming to upgrade their front line.
After Toronto traded for Rudy Gay last week, team president Bryan Colangelo said the Raptors would be ready to continue upgrading and take on the luxury tax for the “right transaction.”
|Report: Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told Dwight Howard he will not be traded||02.06.13 at 2:43 pm ET|
Despite numerous rumors to the contrary, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told Dwight Howard that he will not be traded before the Feb. 21 deadline, according to league sources.
Sources also told ESPN.com that Howard, who will be a free agent after the end of the season, is unsure of his offseason plans and has no concrete intentions to leave in free agency or request a trade.
According to the ESPN report, the Lakers are “very confident” Howard will remain with the team this summer. They can offer him a longer contract than every other team — five years compared to four — and can offer him about $118 million over that span compared to about $88 million for other teams.
Howard has said that his only concerns at the moment are getting to the playoffs and winning a championship. The Lakers are 23-26 and in 10th place in the Western Conference.
|Manti Te’o deletes Twitter account||at 11:30 am ET|
Manti Te’o‘s Twitter account, through which he communicated with the person pretending to be his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, has been deleted.
Te’o's handle, @MTeo_5, disappeared from Twitter during the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday, and a source told ESPN.com that Te’o will be off the social networking site for an indefinite period of time to prepare for the NFL draft. The draft combine begins Feb. 20.
Te’o dropped from No. 6 to No. 12 in the latest version of ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper‘s big board, which Kiper attributed to positional value, rather than the increasingly bizarre girlfriend hoax that has surrounded Te’o over the last month.
According to ESPN.com, Te’o's potential marketing deals have also taken a hit, and the previous promotional deals that had been discussed for him are now not at the same prices as before the hoax was revealed.
The Saints are planning to hire former Cowboys assistant coach Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, according to an ESPN report that credits league sources.
Ryan, who was fired as Cowboys defensive coordinator on Jan. 8, said at the time, “I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.” Dallas owner Jerry Jones had said that he would make significant changes to the Cowboys after they finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Ryan spoke with the St. Louis Rams earlier in the offseason, but they eventually decided not to hire him. Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” that Ryan will interview with the Saints at the end of the week.
Federal investigators are conducting an active criminal investigation of Lance Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation, ABC News reported.
Last year, the U.S. attorney for Southern California unexpectedly dropped a two-year investigation of Armstrong for crimes reportedly including drug distribution, fraud and conspiracy. At the time, sources said that agents had recommended an indictment of Armstrong and were unsure of why the case was dropped.
According to the ABC report, the federal investigators’ concern now is not Armstrong’s drug use, but his alleged efforts to conceal that drug use by threatening and interfering with potential witnesses.
Armstrong confessed to lying and using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. To end his lifetime ban from competition, though, he would have to confess under oath before investigators by Feb. 6.
|Brewers OF Ryan Braun says he consulted Anthony Bosch only for appeal of positive PED test||at 8:32 am ET|
Ryan Braun said in a statement Tuesday that he consulted Anthony Bosch, the founder of the Miami-based anti-aging clinic that allegedly provided PEDs to several baseball players, during his appeal of his positive PED test result in 2011.
Braun’s name is in the records of Bosch’s clinic, Biogenesis of America LLC, under the heading “Moneys owed,” along with Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, among others.
But Braun said that’s only due to a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s role in the appeal. The appeal was upheld by an arbitration panel when there were questions over how Braun’s sample, which had tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, had been handled.
“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant,” Braun said in his statement. “More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.”
David Cornwell, who led Braun’s defense team in the appeal last winter, also issued a statement on Tuesday saying that Bosch’s role in the process was minor.
“I was not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun’s case. Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan’s case,” Cornwell said. “I found Bosch’s value to be negligible and I followed my prior practice of relying on Aegis [Sciences Corporation] in the preparation of Ryan’s winning defense.”
Braun led the National League in home runs, slugging percentage and runs last year after being named NL MVP in 2011, the year he tested positive for elevated testosterone levels.
“I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch,” Braun said. “I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”
|Ronaiah Tuiasosopo tells Dr. Phil he was molested as a child||02.01.13 at 10:51 am ET|
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil McGraw that the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax he allegedly created had “everything to do” with trying to escape from his real life because he had been molested as a child.
In the interview, the second part of which aired Friday, Tuiasosopo told McGraw he was molested repeatedly by a family friend beginning when he was 12. He did not identify that alleged family friend by name and didn’t say whether he had told the police about his claim.
Tuiasosopo said that creating Lennay Kekua, Te’o's ‘girlfriend,’ validated him and allowed him to live in an alternate world and have a different identity. He also apologized to Te’o during the portion of the interview that aired Friday.
|Ray Lewis again denies PED use, calls Sports Illustrated report a ‘funny’ story||01.30.13 at 2:12 pm ET|
Ray Lewis called Mitch Ross, the co-owner of Sports With Alternatives to Steroids who said he gave Lewis performance-enhancing drugs, a “coward” with “no credibility” on Wednesday.
Lewis, in New Orleans for Sunday’s Super Bowl, also said he was “agitated” over the Sports Illustrated report that he used treatments including deer-antler spray, which contains a substance (IGF-1) banned by the NFL, to recover from a triceps injury earlier this season.
“Our world is a very secret society,” Lewis said of the NFL. “We try to protect our world as much as we can. When you let cowards come in and do things like that, to try to disturb something, I’ve said it before and I’ve said a million times, the reason why I’m smiling is because it’s so funny of a story.
“I’ve never, ever took what he says I was supposed to do. It’s just sad that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big where the dreams are really real. I don’t need it, my teammates don’t need it, the 49ers don’t need it. Nobody needs it because it just really shows you that people really plan things and try to attack people from the outside. It’s just very foolish. The guy has no credibility. He’s been sued four or five times over this same B.S. I just truly believe he doesn’t have the privilege for me to speak about it ever again.”
Lewis missed 10 games with the triceps injury and reportedly used a number of SWATS treatments, including the deer-antler spray, to speed his recovery. Ross told ESPN Radio last week that Lewis “used every product I had” and is only denying it because he may be “scared of [Roger] Goodell.”
However, a professor at Johns Hopkins University told The Baltimore Sun that, despite SWATS’ claims, there isn’t an acceptable scientific way that IGF-1 can be delivered orally.
“If there were, a lot of people would be happy that they don’t need to get shots anymore,” Dr. Roberto Salvatori told the Sun. “It’s just simply not possible for it to come from a spray.”
Despite his demeanor at the press conference, Lewis maintained, that he wasn’t angry about the report — in fact, that he’s never angry — because he is “too blessed to be stressed.”
“You can use a different word,” he said. “You can use the word agitated, because I’m here to win the Super Bowl. I’m not here to entertain somebody that doesn’t affect that one way or another. The word agitated is probably better.”
Last week, reports surfaced that the person Manti Te’o spoke with on the phone for all those months was Ronaiah Tuiasosopo‘s cousin, Tino Tuiasosopo. Now, though, Ronaiah has confessed to Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview that will air Thursday that he himself was the one on the phone with Te’o, pretending to be Lennay Kekua.
“There were many times when Manti and Lennay have broken up,” Tuiasosopo said, “but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or Lennay’s life or in this case my life.”
Tuiasosopo also told McGraw that, for him, the relationship became a romantic one, and that Te’o had no idea it was him on the other end of the phone.
“Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love,” McGraw told NBC. “I asked him straight up, ‘Was this a romantic relationship with you?’ And he says yes. I said, ‘Are you then therefore gay?’ And he said, ‘When you put it that way, yes.’ And then he caught himself and said, ‘I am confused.’ ”
Many who think Te’o was in on the hoax have theorized that he did it to cover up being gay himself. When Katie Couric asked him if he was in their interview last week, though, he denied it.
“No, far from it,” he said, then repeated it with emphasis. “Far from it.”
|Judge rules NCAA can’t stop players from pursuing TV revenue||at 11:28 am ET|
A federal court judge ruled Tuesday that the NCAA can’t prevent football and men’s basketball players from pursuing a portion of their teams’ live broadcast revenues.
The NCAA had objected to the advancement of an antitrust lawsuit led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. The players wanted to amend that lawsuit last year to claim a share of all televised game revenues, not just revenue from rebroadcasts, and the NCAA moved to block that change.
The dismissal of that NCAA motion means that players could potentially gain a much greater share of revenue than previously possible if their lawsuit is successful. Since NCAA athletes aren’t treated as employees, they don’t have an organizing body to negotiate a share of revenue for themselves. The players involved in the suit are seeking to change their status through the means of class-action.
“Now the [NCAA and its co-defendants] are facing potential liability that’s based on the billions of dollars in revenue instead of tens or hundreds of millions,” said Michael Hausfeld, interim lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “It’s a more accurate context for what the players deserve.”
In a statement, NCAA general counsel Donald Remy took the opposite view, saying he sees the ruling as a partial victory for the NCAA.
“Although our motion to strike was denied, the judge has signaled skepticism on plaintiff’s class-certification motion and recognized the plaintiffs’ radical change in their theory of the case,” Remy said. “This is a step in the right direction toward allowing the NCAA to further demonstrate why this case is wrong on the law and that plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that this case satisfies the criteria for class litigation.”
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