Category Archives: Sports News

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Russell Westbrook Is All-Star MVP, West Beats East In Star Studded Night

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Summary: Highlights from Sunday’s All Star basketball game in New York.

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It was the first time the NBA All Star game was hosted in New York since 1998, a rare occurrence for the league which typically prefers to keep it’s events in the warm South and West. Tons of celebrities and basketball lovers alike turned out at Madison Square Gardens for the event none the less, many of them opting to bundle up in the face of the blizzards and freezing temperatures currently hitting the city.

It was all about the stars that night both on and off the court with Russell Westbrook taking home the title of All Star MVP after scoring an incredible 41 points during the game. He was just one point shy of matching the All Star record of 42 points in the game, currently held by Wilt Chamberlain. The game as a whole however smashed the previous record for points scored with the Western Conference beating the East 163-158 in the highest scoring All Star game of all time. The combined 321 points surpassed the 318 scored last season, and the 48 3-pointers smashed last year’s record of 30.

 

Other on court stars included Lebron James who scored 30 points and James Harden who scored 29 points while giving 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Kyle Korver scored seven 3-pointers for the East, while Washington’s John Wall scored 19.

 

As for the stars off the court, Christina Aguilera kicked off the show with the Rockettes by singing some New York inspired tunes while Queen Latifah sang the national anthem. During the national anthem past president Bill Clinton was shown in the audience on screens which caused the crowd to erupt in applause. Ariana Grande gave a stellar half time performance while the crowd included other famous singers such as Beyonce and Jay Z, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill, Rihanna and others.

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Kings Contract Karl

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Summary: NBA Franchise the Sacramento Kings have hired former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl as their new head coach.

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On Thursday Yahoo Sports reported that the Sacramento Kings and George Karl reached an agreement on a four-year deal valued at almost $15 million for him to become  the team’s head coach.

 

Karl is expected to make his debut with the team in their game against the Boston Celtics on February 20.

 

At 63, Karl has a pretty impressive track record as a coach with 1,131 victories under his belt from his time as the head coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Warriors, Seattle Sonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Nuggets. Only nine NBA head coaches have amassed 1,000 or more victories and he is one of them.

 

The last team he coached was the Nuggets who made the postseason all nine years under his leadership. During his tenure with them he even won the title of NBA Coach of the Year. He was however fired following the team’s first-round playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors and has not coached since.

 

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Jerry Tarkanian Passes at age 84

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Summary: Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian died Wednesday at age 84. His son Danny Tarkanian confirms the news to USA TODAY Sports and talks memorial plans.

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Hall of Fame Inductee Jerry Tarkanian stands with his son Danny Tarkanian (R), and President Mark Rocha (L) next to his bust at the Hutto Peterson Gym Hall

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Former University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, died Wednesday at age 84, his son Danny Tarkanian confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. Tarkanian is remembered for leading the Runnin’ Rebels to four Final Fours and the 1990 NCAA men’s basketball championship, for developing the “amoeba” defense style and for taking on the student athletes that no other schools wanted and creating winning teams with them. In spite of being an innovator in the sport and coaching some of the strongest teams in college basketball history, his career did not officially receive the recognition it deserved due to being plagued by hostility from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He notoriously received a $2.5 million settlement from them over the skirmishes about his adherence to the rules in 1998 after filing a lawsuit which they didn’t want to go to court.

“To me, he’s the greatest man I’ve ever met,” Danny Tarkanian told USA Today Sports by phone Wednesday. “I mean that not only about what he did in his profession but also what kind of family man he was. He was great with the media, was great with the players and, other than one or two other coaches, he was great with the coaches. He got along with everyone. I will miss him every day of my life.”

In 31 years, Tarkanian coached three Division I programs and never had a losing record. Despite his accomplishments, entrance into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame eluded him until 2013, presumably due to his battles with the NCAA. At the time of his induction, his health had already been in decline – he suffered a mild heart attack in March 2012 – and family and friends were grateful he had been admitted to the Hall of Fame before his passing.

Danny Tarkanian said the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas will host a celebration to honor his father March 1.

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Legendary UNC Coach Dean Smith Dies At 83

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Summary: Dean Smith, the coach who helped start the careers of basketball legends such as Michael Jordan died on Saturday at age 83. He is remembered for his contributions to the community, desegregation initiatives and bar raising career as the head coach at the University of North Carolina.

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Dean Smith, legendary UNC head coach and Basketball Hall Of Famer, died “peacefully” on the evening of Saturday, February 7 at age 83. Fox Sports reported that he died at his Chapel Hill home surrounded by his wife and five children.

 

Roy Williams, the current Tar Heels coach and Smith’s assistant for 10 years, said his mentor was the “greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people.”

 

“I’d like to say on behalf of all our players and coaches, past and present, that Dean Smith was the perfect picture of what a college basketball coach should have been,” Williams said in a statement. “We love him and we will miss him.”

 

In 1997 Smith retired from his 36 year tenure as the head coach of the basketball team of the University of North Carolina due to health problems. In 2010 his family revealed that he had a “progressive neurocognitive disorder” (condition that was causing him to lose memory).

 

Smith is remembered for his efforts at desegregation. At the urging of his pastor, he recruited black athletes to his basketball team, and in 1967 made Charlie Scott the school’s first black scholarship athlete and one of the first in the segregated South. He later went on to coach 25 future NBA first round picks including Michael Jordan and 2 of the sport’s most successful coaches – Larry Brown and Roy Williams.

 

As a result of his efforts both as a record setting head coach and as a person in his community, in November 2013 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He was unable to travel to accept it however due to deteriorating health. In a statement Sunday, President Barack Obama said Smith “pushed forward” the civil rights movement with Scott’s recruitment as well as helping integrate a restaurant and a neighborhood in Chapel Hill.

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Tiger Woods Scores Career Worst At Phoenix Open

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Summary: Tiger Woods has missed the cut yet again on the PGA Tour as he shot a career-worst 82 on Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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As Fox Sports reported: “Woods hit wedges fat and thin, but never close. He hit a tee shot in the water and another into a desert bush. And when he missed a 10-foot par putt on his final hole at the TPC Scottsdale, he had an 11-over 82 and was headed home.”

 

Woods earned his worst score as a professional, at TPC Scottsdale in the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday. He matched his career worst score of 44 points in 9 holes.

 

When he stepped up to the podium to talk to reporters he tried aiming for a bit of comic relief instead, telling reporters: “I’m just doing this so I don’t get fined.”

 

He has started 2015 with a failure by not making the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. For the second time in his professional career, Woods failed to break 80 and ended his round in last place of 132 players on the field. The missed cut was the 13th time worldwide that he failed to qualify for the final 36 holes and the first time he has done so in back-to-back official tournaments.
When speaking to reporters who asked him how he felt about his loss said: “We all have days like this. Unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, a public setting. We all have days like this. We take the good with the bad, and the thing is even on bad days like this, just keep fighting, because on the good days you’ve got to keep fighting, as well.”

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Marshawn Lynch Gives Only One Answer To Every Reporter At Super Bowl Media Day

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Summary: Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch appears at the Super Bowl Media day for no longer than the NFL minimum of 5 minutes and only tells reporters “I’m here so I won’t get fined” for the entire duration.

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Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch created quite the spectacle during his appearance at the Super Bowl XLIX Media Day. When Lynch got seated at the podium he announced to the press that he was only there to avoid being fined.

 

ESPN reported that a source from the league informed them that Lynch was threatened with a $500,000 fine if he failed to make himself available for the mandatory media day. So he appeared. For the entire 5 minute duration of his appearance, Lynch answered every question from the nearly 200 members of the media present with a variation of the words “I’m just here so I won’t get fined”.

 

At the end of his time on the podium, he yelled “time” and proceeded to leave. Five minutes is the minimum amount of time required by the league for his appearance at the media day. In accordance with the NFL’s media policy, Lynch may face similar fines if he does not attend league-mandated sessions Wednesday and Thursday at the resort hotel the Seahawks are using for their team headquarters this week.

 

Lynch was recently fined $20,000 for making an “obscene gesture” during Seattle’s game against the Green Bay Packers. While the NFL has not specified what exactly the gesture was, it is widely considered to be the moment when Lynch grabbed his crotch after scoring a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game.

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Hope Solo May Not Play With The U.S. National Team In The World Cup Following Suspension

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Summary: Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team was suspended from team activities for a month recently. The suspension puts into question her participation in the upcoming World Cup as it falls in the time period leading up to it.

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U.S. women’s national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo received a month-long suspension from team activities last Friday as a consequence of an incident in Manhattan Beach, California last Monday. According to reports by TMZ, Solo’s husband, Jerramy Stevens was arrested on suspicion of DUI while driving a U.S. Soccer van.

Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president said he discussed the matter with U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn and U.S. women’s national team coach Jill Ellis last week before the federation issued its suspension.

Gulati told reporters during a press conference: “There are a number of things that Hope is being asked to do in that 30 days. We’re not going to get into the specifics of that. We’ll evaluate where things stand at the end of that period and then make a decision going forward.”

Ellis explained the circumstances at another time stating that Solo was in the middle of training camp in Carson, California during the incident. Therefore: “this situation warranted a consequence. We thought it was reasonable,” Ellis said.

While her absence would leave a considerable void for the team to fill, Gulati did not rule out Solo missing the World Cup for one reason or another. He did however tell the press that while she may not get the opportunity to play in the World Cup, he wanted to see her fulfill the terms of her suspension and return to the team at some juncture.

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Kobe To Have Surgery Wednesday, Coach Says His Season Is Probably Over

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Summary: Kobe Bryant is slated to undergo surgery on Wednesday for his torn rotator cuff. Rehabilitation is expected to take months ruling out his participation in the rest of the season.

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On Monday Kobe Bryant met with Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic to determine the extent of his injury from the Los Angeles Lakers game in  New Orleans last week. In the end, it was decided that Bryant will have surgery on Wednesday to repair his torn right rotator cuff. Surgery typically requires several months of physical rehabilitation, therefore it appears that this will be the end of his 19th season with the Lakers.
The Lakers are expected to announce a timetable for Bryant’s post surgery recovery however coach Byron Scott anticipates losing his star player for the rest of the year. When approached by reporters on Monday after practice he told them: “Kobe is probably not going to play” in answer to questions about whether he is expected to return this season. He also went on to say “We all know how tough he is. He’s a trooper, so we pray for him that his return will be sooner rather than later.”

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Kobe Bryant Tears Rotator Cuff

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Summary: NBA star Kobe Bryant has suffered yet another disabling injury, this time to his right rotator cuff and may miss the NBA All-Star Game next month as a result.

 

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On Thursday the Lakers announced that star player Kobe Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the team’s last game in New Orleans on Wedensday. Bryant reportedly injured his right shoulder in the second half of the game when he drove the baseline for a two-handed dunk.

 

After an MRI exam was conducted in San Antonio on Thursday, results showed the tear. Bryant then headed home to L.A. while the Lakers prepared to play the Spurs on Friday. On Friday the team is also expected to release an update on his condition.

 

Byron Scott, Lakers head coach and Kobe’s teammates have refused to speculate on the severity of Bryant’s injury, however sport’s journalists have commented that many rotator cuff injuries require surgery and several months of rehabilitation. Bryant has come to be known for a high pain threshold and his ability to play through injury, but the Lakers have already had to limit his playing time to preserve his health for the 16-time NBA champion club.
On Thursday Bryant was also voted into a starting spot in the NBA All-Star game. Due to this injury however he may miss the February 15 match for the second year in a row due to injury. Bryant is a 17-time All-Star selection though his career has only lasted for 19 years. He is also a four time All-Star game MVP and the leading scorer in the history of the event.

Patriots Head Coach Shocked At Ball Tampering Allegations

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Summary: Bill Belichick, the infamous head coach of the New England Patriots denies deflating the balls before his team’s game against the Colts.

 

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On Tuesday, ESPN reported that The New England Patriots used “deflated” footballs in their match against the Indianapolis Colts which gave them a perceived advantage which resulted in their 45-7 victory. The claims were reportedly investigated by the NFL who found 11 of the 12 balls allotted to the Patriots to be 2 pounds per square inch lighter than the NFL regulation weight. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke out on the allegations on Thursday, denying that he had any knowledge of the situation, including how the footballs got deflated, and how it may have happened.

 

Belichick told new sources: “In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player (or) staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject that I have ever brought up. To me, the footballs are approved by the league … pregame, and we play with what’s out there.”

 

His sentiments have been supported by statements made by former and current NFL players such as former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann who did a live test in an interview with USA Today Sports where he did a catch and grip test with a legal football and a “deflated” football. After the test he said: “I wanted to physically handle the footballs and see if I could tell a difference in them and I couldn’t.”

 

Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams “I’ve never heard of this before…When it’s cold, the football is going to be harder to catch no matter what the pressure is. But I don’t know that I ever would have noticed it, if it was one pound or two pounds more or less.”

 

Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green also chimed in on the scandal saying: “We’re talking about a millimeter, which is very insignificant in the scheme of things. To use the term deflated is an over-exaggeration. It’s not truly deflated. The only reason this is a story is because it’s about this coach who is known for these kinds of things in the past. Otherwise, it would be a non-story.”

 

Bill Belichick is one of the most successful head coaches in NFL history, having won three Super Bowls and 211 games but his name and his team’s name were smeared by scandal in 2007 when he was fined for illicitly videotaping a New York Jets practice to record the opposing team’s signals. In the case of the “Deflate-gate” scandal, as some media houses have taken to calling it, he has insisted that he has no explanation for how the footballs his team used last Sunday might have gotten deflated. He has assured the public however than in future the Patriot’s game balls will be inflated at high-enough levels “to account for any possible change during the game.”

 

As some sports journalists have pointed out, the biggest logical problem with the issue of the balls being intentionally deflated by the purpose of an unfair advantage is that before half-time when the “deflated” ball was in use, the Patriots only managed a 17-7 point lead over the Colts. When the referee came and exchanged that ball with one of a legal weight, that is when the Patriots truly crushed the Colts scoring 28 points while they got in a grand total of 0.