Dale Earnhardt Jr. could contribute to NBC’s NFL coverage, report says

When Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series racing career ends at the conclusion of the 2017 season, he’ll head to a media role — a move many expected.

Few, on the other hand, have imagined Earnhardt becoming part of NBC’s NFL coverage.

Sports Business Daily reported Monday that NASCAR’s most popular driver has signed a multiyear on-air deal with NBCUniversal, effective beginning in January. Included in SBD’s report: “It is possible that Earnhardt, a noted Redskins fan, could be worked into the (network’s) NFL or even Olympics coverage.”

A federal judge blocked part of President Trump’s immigration order Saturday night, ordering that refugees detained at U.S. airports not be returned to their home countries. Yet the ruling did not allow them to enter the U.S., either.

Two active NBA players, Los Angeles Lakers veteran Luol Deng and Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker, originally hail from what is now South Sudan, which is not on the list of affected countries. However, they were born in Sudan. There has been some concern about possible problems wtih Deng or Maker, for example, returning from a trip to play the Raptors in Canada.

Maker’s family fled his home country when he was 5. He lived in Australia as a youth, is an Australian citizen and holds a passport from that country. Deng’s family fled the Sudanese civil war for Egypt when he was 5, and he has lived in the U.S. for 17 years.

Beyond those two players, the NBA is also eyeing several Sudanese players attending U.S. high schools or colleges who might one day play in the league.

“The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world,” Bass told The Vertical .t_rangers_001-115x115

Celtics downplay capturing East’s top seed (but it matters)

The Celtics insisted that there was no celebration Sunday night, after a win over Miami moved Boston into a tie for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Mostly (we celebrated) the win, it was a big game for us, forward Jae Crowder said. We knew those guys would come in and play hard. Pretty much celebrating the win more than the seeding.

Mark Duper Womens Jersey Surely, they watched Monday night as the Cavaliers were picked apart by the Spurs, which pushed the Celtics into the top seed in the East. But even that was unlikely to move Boston off its professed lack of concern about postseason seeding.
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We hear it, but that wasn’t our focus, guard Marcus Smart said. Our focus was to come in and get another game, get that momentum going before we start the playoffs.

I did not have a beef with LeBron. He had a beef with me, Barkley said during a press conference previewing Turner/CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament.

The public donnybrook between the reigning NBA champion and league’s top TV analyst started when Barkley said on TNT’s Inside the NBA that the 32-year old James was acting whiny and inappropriate by demanding Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert upgrade the roster for another run at a title.

There’s a chance he misses the rest of the season including the playoffs, Sherman added.

With the tweaks to the Warriors’ odds, the prices on other Western Conference contenders moved in the other direction. The Spurs, currently the No. 2 seed in the conference, were adjusted from 8/1 to 7/1. The Rockets moved from 25/1 to 20/1, the Clippers from 30/1 to 20/1, and the Jazz from 80/1 to 50/1.

They followed a seven-game winning streak in late January and early February with a six-game losing streak

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Before the season began, the Pacers looked to be about a .500 team. With three weeks to go in the season, they’re a game above .500. This is just what they are, and perhaps will remain for the foreseeable future.

They followed a seven-game winning streak in late January and early February with a six-game losing streak, and in their 14 games since the All-Star break, they’re a flat 7-7. They can score enough, especially at home where they are 25-10, to beat bad-to-mediocre teams, but they don’t defend enough to win tough games. They’re 2-9 against the East’s Top 4, their potential first-round playoff foes. Their last such win came on December 19.
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The one question about Williams’ fit in Houston revolves around his defense. Williams has never been known as a good defender, and the Rockets are in the middle of the pack this season in defensive efficiency. They’d benefit from having another wing defender going into the playoffs, but it’s just as important they acquired someone who can take some of the load off Harden’s shoulders. It’s not like the Rockets were relying as much on Brewer’s defense at this stage of his career, either.

If they were, Williams’ shortcomings would be a far bigger deal.

Hassan Whiteside had a monster game while helping the Heat to a 113-95 home win over the Pacers. Whiteside scored 22 points with 17 rebounds. Dion Waiters added 22 points and Goran Dragic had 21 points and four assists.

Bulls guard Dwyane Wade flirted with a triple-double by scoring 20 points with 10 assists and nine rebounds in a 117-99 win over the Cavaliers with LeBron James (illness) and Kevin Love (knee) out of the game. Chicago’s Jimmy Butler did complete a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Dwyane Wade to have MRI exam on injured right elbow

Bulls guard Dwyane Wade will undergo an MRI exam Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s 98-91 loss to the Grizzlies with a sprained right elbow.

I knew it was something a little bit more just because of what I heard, Wade told reporters after the game (via NBA Australia). I tried to play through it a little bit until the pain started getting a little bit more excruciating.

Game Kids John Hannah Jersey So, with the Pacers’ turnover Wednesday night, they recorded their 13th backcourt violation of the season, setting an embarassing NBA record. It should be mentioned that these stats only go back 21 years, so it’s possible a team had more prior to when people kept track of this information.

A few backcourt violations in a season is understandable. Maybe you make a pass that your teammate wasn’t looking for, or you don’t pay attention to where your feet are on the court. It happens. But setting the NBA record for it points to a larger issue.

Duron Harmon Game Jersey There’s still a chance the Bulls can tie the Pacers’ record, or Indiana could just keep committing silly turnovers.

Those Paul George talks are progressing quickly. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says on SportsCenter some NBA executives do expect George to be traded. Rival teams have also told ESPN’s Marc Stein the Celtics do have a realistic shot at acquiring George before the deadline. But before Boston fans get too excited, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski says there hasn’t been significant traction for potential deals involving George or Bulls star Jimmy Butler. This could go right up to the finish line.

Nerlens Noel was pulled from practice after learning he had been traded to the Mavericks. Joel Embiid made sure Noel knew he was appreciated on his way out.

Gordon Hayward cares not for Giannis Antetokounmpo, dunks all over him

The Bucks have a player named Giannis Antetokounmpo. You may have heard of him. He has really long arms and is really good at playing basketball.

Gordon Hayward doesn’t care. Gordon Hayward does what he wants.

While Antetokounmpo is the one who has dazzled with some great rim-rockers this season, the Jazz forward Hayward decided to put Antetokounmpo on a poster of his own.

The best part of the video is probably Hayward pulling a Derek Zoolander and delivering the icy, Blue Steel gaze at Antetokounmpo after the finish.

The Jazz and Hayward are becoming an increasingly fun team to watch, and that dunk helped secure a 109-95 Utah victory over Milwaukee.

The closest we’ve come to seeing Durant in that role was during his MVP season when he went through a 26-game stretch without Westbrook. His numbers in those games: 35.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game on 52.7 percent shooting from the field and 39.9 percent from the 3-point line. To put it into perspective how ridiculous that is, the only player in NBA history who has averaged 30.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field over the course of a season is Michael Jordan.

It isn’t crazy to think Durant would’ve joined Jordan as the only players to put up those numbers if he was in the same situation as Harden. It’s not the triple-double Westbrook and James would likely average, but it’s equally as impressive.
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All eyes are are on a quality group of starting pitchers

The Chris Carter experiment was an utter failure; the Yankees designated him for assignment twice this season. Cashman said in his interview with YES that Greg Bird is set to visit a doctor Monday and the team will know more about his status for the remainder of season after that. Still, Cashman said the team is a buyer heading into the trade deadline and is focusing on reinforcing first base and the pitching staff.

All eyes are are on a quality group of starting pitchers: the A’s Sonny Gray, the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole and the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.

Earlier reports said Verlander could hit the trade market in the coming weeks. In order for that to happen, Verlander must waive his 10-and-5 rights. The Cubs and Tigers have been engaging in talks, according to reports, but the Cubs seemingly are not willing to take on Verlander’s contract.
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The Cubs and White Sox made for strange bedfellows on July 13, culminating in a trade that sent highly sought-after left-hander Jose Quintana to the North Side. The White Sox received a king’s ransom in the deal, further bolstering their farm system.
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On the opposite side of the spectrum, what will the Royals do? With some key players — Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar — eyeing free agency after the season, could the 2015 World Series champs blow it all up and go back to Square 1?

On the other hand, those struggles lowered the return value the Pirates could command on the trade market, and the only thing worse than trading McCutchen at all would have been trading McCutchen in an exchange that made Pirates fans say, That’s all we got in return?

Browns QB battle: Rising DeShone Kizer can, should pass ‘safer’ Cody Kessler

Limited Youth A. J. Cann Jersey Kizer is no stranger to the heat of a highly competitive preseason environment given his battles just to get on the field in South Bend. As the preseason pressure is dialed up, Kizer should respond well. Kelly not given him much of an endorsement likely also has accelerated Kizer’s dedication to pleasing Jackson.

The Browns won’t begin to get out of their rut by sticking with Kessler from the get-go. Throwing Kizer into the fire is developing into a much better plan.

He can and should be the man for Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh.

The idea that the NFL bubble might be bursting after all these years 鈥?or is at least leaking 鈥?has to scare everybody in the sport, but, obviously, would scare the owners the most. The big bubble is television, and no matter how many other revenue streams the league uncovers in the next few years, TV is still the big cash cow, which means ad money 鈥?which means no one can ignore or shrug off the recent negative signs.

C.J. Anderson Jersey If that’s really a problem, they’re not going to give an inch to the players. History says they’ll try to take more, in fact.

And the players really sound as if they’re in no mood to take a step back. As much as major segments of the public smirk at them about their envy of their NBA counterparts, the players really are wondering why their careers are so fragile, their health put at the most risk, and their sport the most lucrative by light-years 鈥?but their salaries, guarantees and freedom are dwarfed by those in any other sport.

MLB trade rumors: Angels, Blue Jays, Royals reportedly interested in Dee Gordon

Authentic Cornelius Lucas Jersey The Marlins’ playoff hopes are fading quick, which means they could soon start selling some of their star players.
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The July 31 trade deadline is fast-approaching, and Miami (41-46) is currently 10 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the National League East, and nine games behind the Rockies for the final wild card spot.

Despite their poor playoff standing, Miami possesses a number of intriguing pieces. Contenders have been keeping an eye on who hits the trading block in the coming weeks, and some may have already reached out to the Marlins.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Angels, Blue Jays and Royals have all inquired on the availability of Dee Gordon.

I never want to play football thinking about money. I think that you get in trouble doing that. 鈥?If I’m gonna build my life [based] on money, shame on me. That’s not where I draw my security from, never should be.

We want to win, that’s all that matters. Stats good, stats bad; let’s just win. And usually the good stats help you win, but I’ll trade stats for wins any day. So hopefully we can put a lot of wins up this year and do something special.

I’m just taking it in stride, enjoying the summer break, and my agent will handle it and we’ll see where it goes from here. You know, at the end of the day, the Lord’s in control of my life, and I’m gonna submit to Him. And He’s gonna lead me through whatever He wants to lead me through, mountaintop experience and valley experience.

My agent will get it handled, whatever he feels is best. You know, the team knows what they’re doing, and it’ll all work out. Whatever happens, it’ll be just fine. And the good news is I’m with Washington this season regardless and can’t wait to get started.

MLB trade rumors: Angels, Blue Jays, Royals reportedly interested in Dee Gordon

The Marlins’ playoff hopes are fading quick, which means they could soon start selling some of their star players.

The July 31 trade deadline is fast-approaching, and Miami (41-46) is currently 10 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the National League East, and nine games behind the Rockies for the final wild card spot.

Despite their poor playoff standing, Miami possesses a number of intriguing pieces. Contenders have been keeping an eye on who hits the trading block in the coming weeks, and some may have already reached out to the Marlins.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Angels, Blue Jays and Royals have all inquired on the availability of Dee Gordon.

I never want to play football thinking about money. I think that you get in trouble doing that. 鈥?If I’m gonna build my life [based] on money, shame on me. That’s not where I draw my security from, never should be.

Game Womens Joe Namath Jersey We want to win, that’s all that matters. Stats good, stats bad; let’s just win. And usually the good stats help you win, but I’ll trade stats for wins any day. So hopefully we can put a lot of wins up this year and do something special.

I’m just taking it in stride, enjoying the summer break, and my agent will handle it and we’ll see where it goes from here. You know, at the end of the day, the Lord’s in control of my life, and I’m gonna submit to Him. And He’s gonna lead me through whatever He wants to lead me through, mountaintop experience and valley experience.
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My agent will get it handled, whatever he feels is best. You know, the team knows what they’re doing, and it’ll all work out. Whatever happens, it’ll be just fine. And the good news is I’m with Washington this season regardless and can’t wait to get started.

NBA playoffs 2017: Behind Paul Millsap’s ‘winning play,’ Hawks even series with Wizards

An improbable bucket with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter by Paul Millsap punctuated the Hawks’ 111-101 victory over the Wizards in Game 4 of their first-round series.

Millsap grabbed an offensive rebound and immediately lost his balance after contact from Marcin Gortat. He caught the ball in the middle of the paint and ended up outside of the lane, hurling the ball toward the basket as he tumbled to the floor.

“For all the kids out there you gotta practice that play,” Millsap said with a wry smile. “It was just a hustle play. I practice fall-away shots. There’s a place for those. I’m trying to work for boards, and I felt the contact, so I threw it up.”

MORE: NBA playoff scores | Tuesday’s schedule

The Hawks led 97-93 at the time and the Wizards, behind a standout performance by Bradley Beal (32 points on 11-of-23 shooting), were streaking. Mr. MMA himself Markieff Morris had just scored a bucket to bring the Wizards within four.

On the ensuing possession, Millsap snatched the most important of his nine rebounds, and the putback gave him the biggest bucket of his 19 points, plus the free throw to put Atlanta up by seven. While Millsap tried to downplay the moment, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer credited Millsap’s finish as a major key to victory.

“It was a huge play,” Budenholzer said. “But that’s also what Paul does, even when he’s not shooting well, he always finds a way. We call those winning plays.”

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