Fireworks coming to Safeco Field in 2013


(US Presswire)

The have called Safeco Field home for 14 seasons now, but for the first time since the building opened, the club will have postgame fireworks dispse Mourinho has apologised to Eric Dier after dragging the midfielder in the first-half of Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Olympiakos.Spurs were stunned when Ruben Semedo made it 2-0 for the visitors after Youssef El-Arabi’s early opener.Mourinho sprung into lays in 2013. reports the M’s are teaming up with Pyro Spectaculars — the company that puts together the New Year’s Eve display at the Space Needle — to provide fireworks displays following games on June 28 (Cubs) and Aug. 9 (Brewers). Both games are on a Friday.

“Fireworks have a long tradition in Major League Baseball and we’re excited to bring that to Safeco Field,” said Marinlans for Manchester United’s preseason.Former Red Devils striker Saha revealed Solskjaer will focus heavily on the fitness of his players, as he wants his team to outrun their opponents next season.”The main thing we talked about was the foundation oers marketing director Kevin Martinez. “Hopefully it becomes a new summer tradition here in Seattle.”

The City of Seattle has limited the team’s fireworks ability through the years because of concerns over traffic safety on nearby Interstate 5, so the Mariners and Pyro Spectaculars worked with the fire department to develop a safe and acceptable show. The two fireworks nights are part of a special events schedule that includes Ken Griffey Jr.’s induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Aug. 10. The full promotion schedule can be found on the .

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is confident Antoine Griezmann won’t be moving this summer.The attacker is again being linked with Barcelona.But Simeone says: “Griezmann is our captain, he is important, I am not worried at all.”He has everything to continue growing. But I am not in his body, so he will see.”He has two more years on his contract.” on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

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Report: Cardinals interested in Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera


The have “real interest” in shortstop should the make him available, to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss.

The Cardinals have signed for $7 million next season, but the 35-year-old’s health is in question while dealing with a bum elbow.

Cabrera hit .270/.338/.423 with 16 home runs and nine stolen bases in 616 platenjoying success with Leicester City and Chelsea over the past four years, the Frenchman said his personality had not changed y in the transfer market.Moore is an avid believer in integrating players from the youth setup into the first team.And he knows it is something that manager Jurgen Klopp wants to do as well.Moore thinks that unearthing gems in such a way can save hunmuch since his arrival in the Premier League.”I am not a superstar or an ego,” he told the New York Times. “I am just the sam apto leave this month.Manchester United and Chelsea are being linked with the young midfielder in both the French and English press.However, Soumare admits his ultimate goal is to play for Real Madrid and says he doesn’t plan to leave in January.He tolpearances in 2012, his sixth in the majors. His two-year, $16.5-million contract extension signed in April will begin in 2013.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow .

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Yankees make qualifying offers to Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher


The Yankees have made qualifying offers of $13.3 million to right-hander , reliever and ouays Wesley can handle his social media critics.Smith has advised him to ignore the haters, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Norwich.Asked if the 22-year-old was aware of the criticism directed his way, Smith said: “What Premier League player now hasn’t gotfielder . However, according to insider Jon Heyman, Soriano and Swisher are unlikely to accept the offer. 

The team did not make a qualifying offer to catcher .

For the Yankees, making the offer of one-year, $13.3 million guarantees the team a sandwich draft pick between the first and second no complaints about the commitment of his players after their 0-0 draw with Sassuolo.Rafael Leao hit the post twice on the day.Pioli said, “We could’ve had more pace and movement in the first half, but in the second we had about 9-10 shots on goal,rounds if those players sign elsewhere, as Dayn Perry explained earlier this week how the new free-agent compensation system works.

Soriano had a $14 million option for 2014, but he got a $1.5 million buyout when he opted out of it. With the idea that a $13.3 million qualifying option was coming, Soriano may have used the new system to get more money, even if his salary for 2013 is less than what he would have gotten. As for Swisher, he made $9 million last season, the final year of a five-year extension he signed with the A’s in 2007.

Kuroda, though, has the best chance of accepting his offer. Kuroda will be 38 in February and is coming off a successful season in . In his firstn.“I’m ready to go,” he told the club’s website. “I want to get my head down and make my mark here, which is something I need to do for my career.“The gaffer (Mark Warburton) knows exactly what I’m about. He sees me as a perfect fit for his tea season with the Yankees, Kuroda went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA. He signed a one-year deal worth $10 million last season and is reportedly open to a one-year deal for 2013.

Martin made $7.5 million last season and hit just .211/.311/.403 last season, but as he’s still likely to be in demand this offseason — just not at $13.3 million.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

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NBA suspends DeMarcus Cousins for season finale after 16th tech


The NBA suspended forward Monday after he picked up his 16th technical in a loss Sunday. A susper seemed all but certain to join Valencia, following a collapse in negotiations with the Hammers.The two clubs could not agree on a payment plan for Gomez’s £45m release clause.However, Sky Sportssays West Ham are keen to resurrect the deal.The Urugnsion is mandatory following a player’s 16th tech. From the NBA: 

The Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins has received a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

on April 13, at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins will serve his suspension in the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday, April 16, when Sacramento hosts the .

The move actually could have playoff repercussions. The play the Suns Monday with their magic number one. If the Suns win Monday, they can sneak into the playoffs with a Grizzlies loss to Dallas West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini insists midfielder Declan Rice is fully committed to the cause.Rice has been linked with their next opponents Manchester United.”It is important that he continues with what he is doing so far,” Pellegrini said.”He always listens, improves when he makas assured Arsenal fans he’s not considering a move away.It was reported earlier this week by The Times, that Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG have both made moves for the Gabon striker.Aubameyang then sparked panic among Arsenal fans when he ces mistakes. “His value will depend what happens this season but his mind is not thinking about that.”Wednesday and a Phoenix win Wednesday vs… Sacramento. 

It’s a shame Cousins won’t be available for the final home game for Kings fans. Not like they have a lot to be excited about past this point. Cousins showed genuine progress this season in both attiude and performance. His defensive effort has been much improved specifically, but he still has to learn to cut out the stuff that earns him these technicals, whether he’s unfairly targeted or not. 

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ning his anklmidfielder James Maddison.Theams hope


guard will play Wednesday against the Nets, just two days after spraining his anklmidfielder James Maddison.Theams hopes to see action for Southampton today against friendly opponents SCR Altach.The Daily Echo says Adams is expected to pull on a Saints shirt for the first time in the game in Austria on-weigh-5m-offer-Arsenal-Cedric-Soares.html” target=”_blank”>Daily Mail says Arsenal are ready to firm up their interest in Soares with a late move for the Southampton defender.The Gunners have turned their attentions to the versatile Soares, who haand will be aiming to show what he can do.Though Hasenhuttl Guardian says Manchester United will face competition from Arsenal to sign Maddison.United have made the 24-year-old their priority target although the Foxes are unwilling to sell.Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wants to lure e against the Jazz. Hardaway was cleared to play a few hours before tipoff, and will likely come off the bench in his usual role.  

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Draft Options: What can the Orlando Magic do with the No. 4 pick?


From now until the NBA Draft on June 26, we’ll be looking at the options of the teams picking based on their likely menu of choices, draft or trade. We continue today with the , and the fourth overall pick. A talented team that showed real flashes of progress last year, another top-five pick could send the Magic in the direction of the playoffs next season if everything goes right.

For the sake of discussion, I’m capping Joel Embiid’s possible fall at No. 5. If he does fall, it’s because he has a medical red flag, so he could fall way further. But let’s pretend for a minute that the back leaves the Cavs, , and Sixers skiddish and so Embiid is available. I’m not making the same possibility for Andrew Wiggins. He’s going No. 1 or No. 2, no lower than No.3.

If he slips and you’re willing to take the risk on the back, you can take him … but things get complicated. The Magic have . Embiid’s ceiling is considerably higher than Vucevic’s, but Vucevic right now is a starting caliber center who’s getting better with every game. You can’t really effectively pair the two together, neither can play the high in the high-low game. You can draft Embiid and trade Vucevic; you’ll get strong offers but you lose leverage a bit when it becomes clear you have to make room for Embiid. And the kind of young, fast, athletic team doesn’t really vibe with Embiid. Do you really want walking the ball up and throwing post entry passes?

That said, if he’s there, and your doctors feel confident they can make it work with him, best player is best player, and that’s where the Magic are.

Parker falling here is not outlandish, based on both Dante Exum and Noah Vonleh’s rising stock. Parker fits well here on multiple levels. He can play next to Vucevic at power forward, and can combine with as combo 3-4’s. He provides another ball handler to go with Victor Oladipo, so your need to find another point guard or combo guard is mitigated to a degree.

Parker’s also a high-character guy with a great work ethic. He needs strength training and development, something the Magic have been very good at under Jacque Vaughn. If Parker slips here, he might be a no-brainer.

This is considered the most likely scenario. The Magic are said to be wowed by the Aussie youngster, and while Victor Oladipo answered every question I had last year about his ability to run point guard, they could still use another ball handler. You stick Exum and Oladipo in a modern two-combo-guard lineup and their length and athleticism take care of the rest, along with an incredible skillset. Exum would draw comparisons to Penny Hardaway and give them a true star to build around.

One problem? Exum is represented by Rob Pelinka, ‘s agent. Exum has a soft spot in his heart for the . Do you want to draft a guy with that kind of background, after losing two former franchise stars to LA? This is a serious concern for me if I’m the Magic. You effectively don’t have to worry about it for another eight years (no one leaves off their rookie deal who’s a star), but eventually, this could be an issue. It’s something to think about.

This would be tempting. The Magic have and Tobias Harris at power forward, but Vonleh’s upside is a step above. Pairing him with Vucevic sets up a pretty substantial frontcourt of the future, and two Indiana guys on the team could play together pretty well, you would think. Vonleh needs time to adapt and a strong development structure, and the Magic seem to have that. He wouldn’t have to be the man right off the bat and his ability to stretch the floor could be huge.

But if the Magic we of another trophy ahead of the final of the Supercopa de Espana.Real will meet city rivals Atletico Madrid in Jeddah.Asked how he felt heading into his ninth final as Real Madrid coach, Zidane doesn’t feel it will be too different to any other one ant to move forward with their rebuild and make sure to take a legitimate step forward next season, Vonleh may not be the guy. He’s not an alpha dog and is a few seasons away. This all depends on where the Magic front office and ownership t Ghezzal in an attempt to sign Dennis Praet from Sampdoria.The Belgian midfielder is a long term target for Leicester, but they are struggling to agree a fee with the Italian club.Underperforming star Ghezzal is a possible makeweight in a cash plus phink they are in their rebuild.

Count me in for this plan. Randle pairs beautifully with Vucevic, and their skills complement each other perfectly. Vucevic is big with a long wingspan, Randle has T-Rex arms but can bully to the rim. Randle works in the pick and pop with Oladipo and can run the floor with the Magic’s young guns. Tobias Harris provides coverage for longer stretch fours defensively and Randle gives the Magic a guy with a ruthless approach to scoring. His mentality and approach is needed on the Magic, and he makes them better right away.

This is a pretty tremendous fit.

Smart is a big top-10 wild card. Some guys love him for his strength, his skillset, his toughness, and shot making ability. Others are concerned about whether he’ll evolve into a gunner in the and if he can work in the flow of an offense. Both his strengths and weaknesses could be exacerbated on Orlando. Without a solid hierarchy, Smart could freelance too much and not trust Oladipo enough. But he could also take the pressure off Oladipo on-ball and make plays for Orlando.

Defensively, that’s where this idea is gold. Pair Smart’s strength and basketball intelligence with Oladipo’s length and skill, and you have a shutdown backcourt for the next eight years. It’s a tantalizing prospect, but it still seems like a reach.

Speed, skill, versatility, an instant weapon in the pick and roll and a long-term weapon with his natural abridge, 29, has a raft of offers on the table after being allowed to come off contract with the Reds last month.However, a move to Trabzonspor is firming as the most likely choice.Sturridge’s uncle and agent Dean Sturridge, along with Mum Grace, are tilities, upside and defensive skill. The Matrix Reloaded fits well with Tobias Harris and can play in smallball lineups effectively with Vucevic. He and Oladipo would be devastating in the pick and roll, and combine with Vucevic to provide potential lockdown defenders at all three levels of the defense.

It’s a bit of a reach but it also provides the best combination of upside and immediate impact of any frontcourt player they can draft.

The Magic still need a top-four caliber player, so this seems unlikely, but if it’s only a spot or two, you could see them justifying his. IF Exum is off the board and they’re not set on Jabari Parker or if Embiid’s back comes back with a medical red flag, it might make sense for the Magic to move down a spot. The trick would be finding someone who really wants that spot. One thing to consider:

If the Lakers find themselves desperate for Exum, this would be a great opportunity for the Magic to fleece them. Talk big about drafting Exum, then offer the No.4 for the No. 7 and a future first. Then, worst case scenario, you get Marcus Smart or Doug McDermott and another pick down the line. Orlando would have to sour on the top picks in this draft, but it does present an interesting opportunity to pick up multiple long-term assets.

The Magic actually have the horses to do this. The Cavs’ No. 1 pick is out of their range. But if the Sixers or Bucks decide they would rather have Exum or Vonleh, the Magic can offer Nicholson, Harris, , or even Vucevic along with the fourth pick to move up. They are one of the few teams with legitimate young prospects to offer. Which means they can also consider …

There’s no reason to do this, and doing it essentially means that they are trying to skip steps to accelerate the rebuilding process, and that almost always ends in disaster. Ask the Cavs. But if they want to, they can package Vucevic, the No.4, and Arron Afflalo and basically offer a stud prospect, a top-four pick, and a near-All-Star last season. That’s going to turn some heads. It’s not a bad option for the Wolves with Kevin Love, if the Magic just really want to rent him for a year and then watch him walk out the door. Or they can offer that package for Al Horford, which would be good but too much to surrender for him.

There’s talk they would be open to a major move with Golden State to get David Lee. This sounds like a smokescreen from Golden State, but that pick is just low enough to have great value without demanding a king’s ransom for it. Orlando can get crazy if it wants to.

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Report: Cavs, John Calipari discussed 7-year, $60 million-plus deal


that Cleveland was offering “closer to 80 million range over 10 years.” , while the offer was for seven years and $60 million-plus, “there was talk of transition to president-only.” 

Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who , discussed a seven-year, $60 million-plus deal with the , . The proposed arrangement would have made him the president and head coach, with him having final say over roster moves over general manager David Griffin.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had been persistent in his pursuit and kept returning to Calipari in an effort to deliver full control of basketball operations, sources said.

Gilbert and Calipari had discussed a package in the range of $8 million-plus a year, sources said, and it wasn’t until midweek that Calipari finally rejected Cleveland and fully committed to his seven-year, $52 million eLeighton Baines will not be joining Rangers this summer, according to reports.The 34-year-old is out of contract with Everton and there is uncertainty where he will land this summer.The Daily Record says that destination will not be Ibrox.The Glasgow giants are targeting a left-back this summer, but manager Steven Gerrard does not want to sign his old Merseyside rival.xtension at Kentucky.

There is a “strong belief” around Calipari that he would have wound up in Cleveland if Wildcats guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison had decided to turn pro, according to Yahoo Sports. The two sides had reportedly “gone deep” in negotiations. 

Immediate reaction: wow. That’s a whole lot of money for someone who hasn’t been around the since 2000, and whose late-90s tenurerick Cutrone.The Italian has struggled since joining from AC Milan this past summer, scoring twice in 19 appearances.He said: “We try (to help them adapt), we try, we have a department at the club that takes care of whatever they might need.”In terms as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets was disappointing, to put it mildly. His reputation has completely changed since then, as he has become perhaps the most powerful, influential figure in college basketball.

This isn’t just asking him to coach the team, though. It is asking him to run the franchise. That’s a tall order, and he just doesn’t have the NBA experience of someone like Stan Van Gundy in Detroit. Calipari would have been a splashy hire, andUdinese striker Rodrigo De Paul says he’s happy where he is.De Paul is expected to leave for a bigger club this summer.“In Udine I’m fine,” he said. “It’s true, in the last few transfer windows, and also in January, something had been in an advanced state, but then for different reasons nothing become concrete.“Now I’m thinking only of Udinese and the national team. In June we will see.” it could have been partially motivated by his relationship with . Giving him this much control would have been a huge, huge risk.

Cleveland has reportedly tried to lure Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Florida’s Billy Donovan from the college ranks, as well. The Cavs have interviewed Alvin Gentry, , Lionel Hollins and Adrian Griffin for their vacant head-coaching position.

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Kevin Durant endorses Derek Fisher as Knicks coach


said Tuesday that guard would be great for the as coach. 

When asked Tuesday by The Post if he felt Fisher had the attributes to be a solid coach, Durant said, “Without a doubt. He’s a smart guy, smart mind. He’s a great motivator, great speaker and can really relate to a lot of guys and demands that respect from everybody. He’s a great locker-room guy. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.’’

via .

I mean, what else is Durant going firmed Barcelona’s interest.Farinez is seen as a replacement for departing reserve keeper Jasper Cillessen at Barca.Father Luis Farinez confirmed that there has been contact with Barcelona.”I can confirm that there has been contact with Barcelona andto say? He’s a teammate that Durant lobbied for when he was a free agent three years ago. Durant loves him and has openly been petitioning him to play another season with the Thunder. But Fisher says he’s done, that this is his last sival Joao Pedro.Ts confident Willy Caballero can replace Kepa Arrizabalaga as the club’s number one goalkeeper.Kepa was replaced by Caballero in the starting line-up for Saturday’s draw with Leicester City, the Argentine’s first start in the Premier League this seasohe Brazilian met manager Pearson and the Hornets’ squad on Thursday morning after completing a much-anticipated move from Fluminense which was agreed in October 2018.”Hopefully he will have a positive impact,” Pearson told the club weason. And the Knicks allow him to transition smoothly to coach with Phil Jackson as mentor, and make a lot of money. 

This would make a lot of sense if the Knicks decide to go this route. Happiest about this would have to be fans. Fisher’s been killing them for years. 

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Heat’s Chris Andersen inactive, Ray Allen active for Game 5


big man is inactive for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the on Wednesday night due to a left thigh contusion, and guard Ray Allen will be available after battling a sore hip, . Andersen , and both missed shootaround.

Andersen has been effective for the Heat during the playoffs, shooting 63 percent from the field and providing sound defense oxis Sanchez wants to leave Manchester United.The Sun claims Sanchez is “desperate” to leave after falling down the ranks at Old Trafford this season.Alexis will return to Carrington early from holiday in order to get himself fit enough for a move awan the pick and roll and at the rim. His absence means Miami will go small, though, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. hasn’t s not having to sell his best players at Liverpool.Klopp stands on the verge of ending the club’s 30-year wait for a top-flight title, with the Reds following up last season’s Champions League success with a near flawless Premier League campaign in 20cored a single point in the series, but the Heat have played extremely well with him on the floor in the last two games.

Miami has to hope that Allen is close to 100 percent, as his shooting and baaccording to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, while speaking on El Chiringuito. He revealed: “The relationship between Griezmann and Messi is null, non-existent. “Messi says that Griezmann covers his space on the pitch, it is also a tactical issllhandling have been crucial in this series. He told Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick that he felt good enough to play:

Ray Allen just told me he’s fine. Wasn’t worried about it once he got in some pregame shooting.

— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick)

Game 5 begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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iday, em’s Inter Miami.Hart, third choice at Burnl


guard was spotted shooting 3-pointers after the team’s shootaround Friday, em’s Inter Miami.Hart, third choice at Burnley, has had an unhappy time since Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ditched him in 2015 saying he was not good enough with his feet.The 32-year-old, who has 75 England caps, has been an unused sub in each oster United too soon in his career.Ting director Leonardo has announced they’re prepared to sell Neymar.After revealing that PSG had been in “superficial” talks with Barcelona over Neymar, Leonardo seemed to admit that the player had asked to leave when asked the question.”It’s clear fhe Dutchman struggled with the Red Devils but has showed his class since joining Lyon in 2017. He told the Mirror: “My mental state is different. I was 21 back then when I was with United and now I am 25 so obvias he continues to recover from a strained biceps. According to The Plain Dealer, he is , and could be cleared to return to basketball activity.

The Cavaliers have just seven games remaining after Monday, so it is not clear how much Irving  will be able to play down the stretch even if he is cleared. Irving has missed six games as a result of this injury. 

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Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard tweets Frank Vogel is safe with Pacers


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With the in a two month-plus slide and potentially in danger of losing an opening-round playoff series to the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, there were reports Wednesday that coach Frank Vogel could be coaching for re Leroy Sane to a new deal.Sky Sports says City are holding talks with Sane over a new deal.The Germany winger has been linked with a move away from City after struggling to agree on new terms.But the club are in talks with the player again and are his own job security with the organization. The Pacers dropped Game 1 to the Hawks and have looked shaky since the All-Star break, after looking so dominant for more than half the season.

Pacers Southampton winger Josh Sims is set to return to New York Red Bulls.Sky Sports says SIms is close to sealing a return to New York Red Bulls.The Southampton winger is close to completing another loan move to the MLS side after spending the first half of the season with them.The 22-year-old has made 27 appearances for Southampton since making his debut in 2016.general manager Kevin Pritchard tweeted out Thursday morning that Vogel’s job is safe, after speaking to Larry Bird about his “sources.”

Larry Bird just told me his sources say Frank Vogel’s job is safe.

— Kevin Pritchard (@PacersKev)

It would be completely reactionary to fire Vogel after a bad two-month stretch when his coaching, developing, and preparation helped turned the Pacers from a solid team that can make the playoffs every season to a legitimate threat to the Miami Heat in the East. Whether or not they’re still that threat to the Heat as of right now, Vogel’s work in turning this team around has to have more clout than the past two months.

But we’ve seen crazier coaching firings in the past and Vogel certainly wouldn’t be thero Gary Neville says it’s time for Anthony Martial to start realising his potential.The Frenchman will be tasked with leading United’s attack this season alongside Marcus Rashford.”Martial has not realised his potential on the left side for three orat unrealistic. Assuming the Pacers can regain their form and replicate the dominant second half they showed in a Game 2 victory over the Hawks, they can probably get their confidence and execution back up to make a deep run in the playoffs. Regardless of what happens, it looks like Vogel will coach this team next season.

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PHOTO: LeBron James already has Johnny Manziel Browns jersey


Cowboys passed on Johnny Manziel with the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. Apparently it did’t take him too long get over it though because by Friday, he was already wearing a Manziel Browns jersey.

The picture in the tweet below was taken on Miami’s team plane. The play at Brooklyn on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs. 

LeBron James in a Browns Manziel jersey —

— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNAlex Telles’ contract.A Bola says Porto have told Chelsea they must pay £40m for left-back Telles as Frank Lampard looks to shore up his side’s leaky back line.The 27-year-old Brazilian has been a key target for the Blues, who have made several atteYScott)

The big question here has to be: Is LeBron wearing the jersey Manziel received at the draft? There’d really be no other reason for James to have a No. 1 jersey made since Manziel will likely be wearing No. 2 in Cleveland. 

If LeBron is wearing Manziel’s draft jersey, it’s possible he got it from Maverick Carter. Carter is a friend of James and the man who masterminded ‘The Decision.’ He also happens to be Manziel’s . 

On the other hand, maybe the city of Cleveland would be better off if LeBron and Manziel  together and never talk to each other again. 

EXCLUSIVE: LeBron as not shut trdy.England coach Gareth Southgate raised the prospect of Vardy ending his international retirement yesterday.But Rodgers said, “It is something we spoke briefly on when I came in. That would be with the player. Jamie made the decision on it to prolohe door on Mesut Ozil.Ozil has featured against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and Watford in the Premier League, but other than that he has been a notable absentee.“This year started difficult for him. He worked well in pre-seasalready telling Manziel how to leave Cleveland.

— SportsNation (@SportsNation)

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Nets-Heat Game 1: The tactical problem of Brooklyn post-ups


The Nets swept the Heat in the regular season. 

Big whoop. Call me when that has ever consistently mattered across series, particularly against the Triad in Miami. Go ask Chicago how all that regular season success has worked out. 

But when I started looking at the dynamics of the exact things that Brooklyn has used to success, and looked at how they used those things vs. Miami, there are concerning matchup problems for the Heat. Against Toronto, Brooklyn essentially hammered the Raptors in the post. With no viable wing option to defend him, the Nets sent a double, and the adept Brooklyn passing rotations created open three after open three. If they stayed home, Joe Johnson murdered them with post scoring. 

But vs. the Heat, that won’t be such an advantage, right? The Heat are so much more athletic, it’ll be fine, right? 

Well, if it is, it’ll be because the Heat changed their coverage dramatically. Because the initial results were not good. Not good at all. 

The common thought process is that LeBrmoved on loan in January with option to buy and makes it clear he has decided his future already.“I hope to play in the Champions League with Sevilla and to win something. I could stay here and I hope it does happen,” Suso told AS.“In my time at on will resume his battle with Paul Pierce. The savvy veteran is a huge cog in the Nets’ offense and when he’s going, the Nets are going. That leaves the following options to defend him: Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Rashard Lewis. 

Against Miami, Johnson averaged a 1.077 points per possession mark in the post, well above his season mark of .955. The problems he presents are the result of his combination of skill, speed and strength. It’s not just keeping him from powering the ball in in the post, or about staying with him on the spin move. It’s about keeping him out of his comfort spots, preventing him from finding the sweet spaces where he can easily score. 

Watch how Ray Allen struggles with Johnson’s bulk: 

Johnson creates separation easily with his shoulder vs. Allen, who doesn’t have the length to recover. 

Here’s Rashard Lewis, a bigger cover, who struggles with Johnson’s speed. 

And Wade would seem to be the ideal matchup target, but Johnson has size on him and Wade’s not the spry chicken he was years ago.

There are different approaches the Heat can take to respond to Allen. The easiest of course is the double. But you have to be selective and careful in how you midfielder as new club captain.Emery announced the decision today.The manager explained: “First, he is mature and he has experience and we are all living all the time under pressure, under criticism as coaches, as players, as a club,” our head coa deploy. Watch what happens when the Heat try and swarm Johnson here:

Battier might be the best option in single coverage. Battier only saw one possession of post defense in the regular season. That might be the best option if the Heat don’t want to commit the nuclear option: James. James can shut down Johnson but you risk a. foul trouble and b. taking away James’ a 2018.The Frenchman spent 22 years at the club before making way for Unai Emery.”Of course I still follow Arsenal,” Bischoff, who spent the 2008/09 with Arsenal, told Goal.”Every week I watch Arsenal and see how they do. But now [under Unai Emery] isbility to play free safety, not to mention the risk of Pierce getting hot. Either way, these options are not terrific.

It’s not just Johnson that causess trouble, and really Johnson is the matchup that forces the adjustment to open what the Nets really want: open threes. Watch what happens with Andray Blatche on this possession as the Nets’ perimeter passing becomes nearly precognizant.

The regular season results don’t matter when the Heat and Nets tip off their second-round series Tuesday. But the matchups that make this more favorable for Brooklyn than most of the Heat’s opponents are very real. Will the Heat front, risking the flash to the middle which could slice open multiple wounds for the Heat? Will their closeouts and interruptions of passing lanes when the Nets attempt to reverse court with the ball be quicker, leading to the turnovers that Brooklyn avoided in the regular season? These are the things that will decide this series defensively for Miami. It’s the biggest key to the series, in all honesty.

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Thunder-Spurs Game 1: Did anything work for the Thunder?


So, that didn’t go great for Oklahoma City in Game 1. The Thunder were blown out by the in theZou Feddal.Los Che have permission to make an emergency signing after Ezequiel Garay was ruled out for the remainder of the season with knee injury.ABC says after failing to reach agreement with Betis over a loan deal for Feddal, they’ve returned wit opening game of the Western Conference Finals, . It was their first game without , .

But he’s gone, and despite what , he’s not coming back.

“You know, we’re a no-excuse team,” Scott Brooks said. “Serge is out. He’s not coming back. We have to play better. We have to play better.”

So how do they do that? For starters, what can they take from Game 1 as proof they can?

The ‘s approach without Ibaka boils down to two approaches: going small and ultra big. They don’t have n his knee rehab to Dubai.Rudiger has reported positive news regarding his recovery from the knee injury which saw his season end in April.Rudiger, who is currently in Dubai, took to Instagram on Friday to share videos of himself on an exercise bike another viable stretch four option (sorry, ). Brooks opted to start with and . And in the first quarter, it was a disaster. That unit was outscored by 11 in seven minutes. So a total disaster?

Well, OK, not really. See, in the third quarter, the Thunder crawled all the way back to take the lead, with that exact same unit, outscoring the Spurs by four, and by .31 points per 100 possessions. That was what got them back into the game, and it was never seen again. From there, the Spurs broke the game open again and never looked back.

Overall, that lineup got trounced? So should they go with the small United assistant boss Steve McClaren insists Paul Pogba would walk into the Liverpool team.McClaren has spoken in depth about Pogba’s qualities and how the United midfielder would easily get into the Liverpool side – amid controversial talk of combiball approach? Nope. That lineup featuring and with was worse. The only one that really succeeded was the completely insane lineup of Westbrook-Fisher-Jackson-Butler-Durant. But let’s forget overall success and look at how they won. The big lineup held the Spurs to a 105 offensive efficiency. For comparison? The Spurs rocked a 125 mark for the whole night.

The lesson? The Thunder got blitzed out of the gate by going big, but once they settled down, and this is important, they played the way they need to to beat San Antonio. They’re never going to outscore San Antonio in a shootout. They have to manufacture a defensive presence without Ibaka.

They figured that out in Game 1. Kind of. Whether that holds will determine whether Oklahoma City can keep up in this series. They also don’t have any margin for error. They have to find solutions before the hole gets too big to climb out of.

Data provided by .com.

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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is helping fund an HGH study



Back in October at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting,  owner Mark Cuban broached the topic of whether or not human growth hormone should be included on the NBA’s list of banned substances. With advancements in medical technology and injury recovery methods, coupled with the rash of high profile injuries in the NBA possibly diluting the overall product significantly, it’s a topic worth exploring for a league looking to protect the product on the court.

Cuban told reporters beforeealed.The Gunners have been linked with Fekir, who was set to move to Liverpool last summer before the deal fell through. L’Equipe says Arsenal have made their interest known – but have also made it clear they cannot afford to sign him while Ozil is Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers that he had made a significant contribution financially to fund a potential university study on the possible benefits of using HGH in the recovery process with cerh Andriy Shevchenko insists he’s not heard from AC Milan.Shevchenko has been linked with Marco Giampaolo’s job at Milan.”I love Milan, but the club has not contacted me and on a professional level I’m not thinking about Milan right now,” Sheva told Ltain injuries. :

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is putting his money where his mouth on studying the potential benefits of human growth hormone use for athletes recovering from injuries.

Cuban said Thursday he has made a significant financial commitment to fund a potential university study on the issue.

“It’ll be a two-year study that applies HGH to injuries preoperative to postoperative injury recovery,” Cuban said before the Mavs-Los Angeles Clippers game at Staples Center.

“So if you’re able to retain more musclew club.Giroud is struggling for minutes this season at Chelsea – a situation Deschamps is unhappy with.L’Equipe says Deschamps has warned the veteran he risks losing his place in the France squad unless he is playing regularly.And he has encouraged e going into an operation because you’re working out and HGH helps your muscle. And you’re able to regain it faster, then we cut the recovery time.

“And it’ll be geared around one type of injury that has hundreds of thousands of examples a year. So we’ll be able to do a placebo environment without hurting anybody, right? So here’s the way we do it now. And here’s how we do it with HGH. So hopefully it will accelerate recovery.

HGH has been a term used with quite a negative stigma for a long time in sports, primarily due to the and Major League Baseball. It’s a banned substance because it essentially has the potential to enhance the body and performance of a player in a similar way to steroids, which are also banned. By allowing HGH into the injury recovery process, it would be a big breakthrough in the medical field for professional sports while possibly also opening up a big can of regulated worms. 

Clearly, there would have to be more than just this study to prove to pro sports leagues that HGH is an acceptable form of rehab when it comes to injuries, but it could open the door and at least start the conversation from turning such a taboo substance in pro sports into something much more widely accepted. 

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