Corey Maggette working to build a life after basketball


You graduate from high school, go to what is essentially an unpaid internship for a year or more (or a significantly exploitive situation in which you work for free, but let’s not get into that), and then immediately go to work. Your field has a set of skills that do not translate to any other field, position, or industry, but compensates you at an unbelievable rate. 

This career has a finite timeframe, no more than twenty years, if you’re lucky. After that, you’re tossed out as you find yourself unable to fit into one of the musical chairs left over. Your bones won’t help you get into those seats fast enough anymore. 

So what do you do? 

You go learn. 

ESPN New York spoke with , who is getting a crash course in life after basketball. 

It all started in early June, when Maggette traveled to Treviso, Italy, with assistant GM George David for the 11th annual adidas Eurocamp, a three-day showcase of Europe’s best youth basketball players. While getting the rare opportunity to shadow David as he evaluated talent, Maggette also wanted to build relationships with the many other NBA GMs and team presidents in attendance.

“I gained different perspectives on how these guys think, and it kind of gives you an idea of things that you want to be about whenled.Contrary to local reports, Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, speaking on El Chiringuito, revealed Zidane and Modric are eager to continue to work together.”Zidane wants to stick with Modric and Modric wants to stay in Madrid,” said Inda. “He you’re finished,” Maggette told

“I was actually able to sit in on [Davisign Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.Morientes admits he has big concerns about Real’s midfield.He told Efe: “I was excited when they talked about Eriksen. I like the kind of player I’ve seen with Tottenham. They have talked about many playersd’s] interview process with the players. It was kind of cool because as an active player those players actually knew who I was, and I kind of gave them a raw deal speech of what the NBA is really about.”

From there, Maggette traveled to Las Vegas in mid-July during the NBA Summer League, where the players’ association hosted a leadership program. In addition to Maggette, a few other current players, including , , and , met with several former ballers to discuss personal development off the court.

A few weeks later, Maggette took the initiative to attend the NBA’s newly-launched “Corporate Crossover” program, where he, along with 14 foals.Although he’s only played two first-team matches, Tierney has already become a firm fans’ favourite.He told the club’s website, “I just give 100 per cent. “That is all I can do. It is the only goal I set for myself and I would be doing my family rmer players, including Willie Burton, Ronald Dupree, Bo Kimble and Kerry Kittles, heard from many different NBA department heads about their roles and getting in the door to work for the league. Maggette was the only active player present.

Kevin Carr, VP of player development, said potential salaries would not be inflated for any player, regardless of how much they made in the league. Carr said the program doesn’t put the players on a pedestal just because they have competed professionally, but rather it teaches them to be grounded and understand the real-life process of getting a 9-to-5 job.

via .

It’s difficult for anyone below the upper class to understand why Maggette would need a job in the first place. According to to Basketball Reference, Maggette has earned $89 million in his basketball playing career. Where does $89 million go that he would need a job? 

Well, first, the article never specifies that he does. I wouldn’t handle retirement at age 33 well, would you? Second, you’d be shocked at how many people implicitly have their hands in players’ pockets. Much of it is voluntary, but much of it is also necessary for protection and insurance. 

Regardless, Maggette is a young man with a lot of earning years in front of him. He’s looking to set himself up in the best way possible. That said, don’t be suprised if he winds up on a roster. He’s still viable. 

The big takeaway here should also be the number of ways that the league tries to help its former players. The NBA is often criticized for not doing enough to help players adjust to life with the money they make, to integrate with the professional culture they live for years, and not enough to help them adjust to life after. But there are classes available from the time they’re rookies and every year after. There are programs and resources and advisors. There are team level entities and league wide personnel and local business connections and everything in between. 

Maybe the league doesn’t do enough. But it cannot be said it does nothing. 

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Magic reach agreement to re-sign free agent Jameer Nelson


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Jameer Nelson suffered the slings and arrows of the Dwightmare last summer, and entered unrestricted free agency. Howard continously talked about wanting to play with other point guards, despite Nelson having been his sidekick for Orlando’s run to the Finals and all the success they had together. You would have thought he’d want a change of scenery, to start fresh, and that the team would want to head in a different direction as well. 

Yeah, not so much. 

The that the have agreed to terms with Nelson to bring the point guard back on a three-year deal. the deal soon after on Twitter. 

This could be interpreted as a sign new GM Rob Hennigan is making a statement that this is not ‘s team, but Howard likely wouldn’t object to Nelson returning. He may not have thEverton boss Carlo Ancelotti has responded to rumours Manchester City are considering a summer bid for defender Mason Holgate.”It is a rumour,” said the Italian. “I can say Mason Holgate is an important part of the future of Everton and there is no possibility he can go to another club. Zero possibility.”e best relationship with Nelson after the last year, and may want an upgrade to play with, but he’s not going to outright revolt at Nelson being around, the blow after 0-0 draw wit Aston Villa,Norwich’s injury woes continued as Godfrey was forced off shortly after the break.”We have to wait and see what the outcome is [with Ben Godfrey],” Farke said. “He had hernia surgery 10 days ago and he only had on s to stay at Arsenal for 22 years.The Frenchman was in charge of the Gunners from 1996 to 2018, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup’s during that time.”No regret,” Wenger told beIN Sports. “Regret is that maybe I sacrificed a little two are friends.

For the Magic, it’s yet another curious decision. Why re-sign a player in need of a change of scenery for multiple years at likely a mid-range price when you could be facing a rebuild? Why stick with the same model that’s been suffering the past few years? Why commit money long-term without knowing what your priorities will be or what your roster will look like in six months?

But Nelson is a quality starting point guard, and will keep the ship stable. If Howard is traded, the Magic won’t be completely terrible. Which is the point, and also, maybe, the trouble. 

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Nuggets finally enter season with a little stability … for about 45 seconds


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George Karl characterized the Nuggets on media day as having had the best September that he’s had since he took over as coach. Everyone, as usual, is upbeat like they are at the beginning of training camp, before the injuries, the tough stretches, the grind sets in during those winter months. But maybe the biggest factor that’s different in Denver this season is that, for the first time in three years, they could make it at least through four months of playing time without a significant shift in their roster. 

In 2011, they traded Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to appease Anthony’s request and end the drama. They swapped Raymond Felton at the draft, acquiring and a pick that became . They added and . They moved Nene at the trade deadline for , and in the offseason landed for Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington. 

The locker room has been written in pencil, not ink, for two years. 

But even with the addition of Iguodala costing the lrmer club West Ham over their departure from Upton Park.The Hammers left the Boleyn Ground in 2016 to move to the London Stadium in Stratford to increase capacity and raise the profile of the club, but many supporters have expressed regret about the oss of their best shooter in Afflalo and one of their locker room leaders in Al Harrington, the Nuggets will have more stability this season than in year’s past, in part because they finally get a full training camp and normal nonlockout schedule to get adjusted. 

“It’s going to help, it’s going to be big,” point guard said this week. “When the Melo trade happened, we didn’t know who was going to go, who was going to be back.

“We know who our core is going to be for the next couple of years, so we’ve gotten to know each other a lot more than we did then, and now we just go forward. I think it’s better for us mentally just to have more stability as a team.”

Lawson cited getting to know things like to never bounce pass to center JaVale McGee (“always throw it to the rim”) and understand more of where players like the ball. 

So with a team that was good enough for the sixth seed last season, and with what Karl called a “defensive stopper” in All-Star Iguodala, and with the development of McGee,  and Jordan Hamilton, the Nuggets should have a solid core and boss Jurgen Klopp has laughed off Alisson’s uncharacteristic howler in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Lyon.The Brazilian allowed a routine cross to drop out of his hands and into the path of Moussa Dembele, with the goalkeeper bringing him down in the boxwon’t have to feel like things could come apart at any minute. 

Well, for a little while, anyway. 

There are three huge pieces of business awaiting next summer for the Nuggets.

First, Lawson is up for an extension. On media day, both sides expressed optimism about a deal getting done, but Lawson’s extension . Specifics of the negotiations are unknown, but you have to wonder if part of the question comes down to whether the Nuggets want to use the “Designated Player” clause of the CBA, which allows them to extend Lawson for five years inr Alex Golovin.Puel revealed he was considering the Russia international when in charge of the Foxes.He told Sport-Express: “I watched Golovin for a long time when I was the head coach of Leicester. “I saw him as a very interesting player, I really wstead of four.

Lawson reportedly is pursuing the max, which hamstrings the Nuggets trying to determine if the flashes of brilliance that he has shown will develop into consistent greatness. 

The second question involves Iguodala, who has a player option for 2013-14. From the moment that he stepped foot in Denver, he and general manager Masai Ujiri have spoken of wanting to establish a long-term commitment. Iguodala genuinely seems to have little interest in pursuing free agency, but it raises the question inherent in the : Why sign an extension, which would be at most four years, when a player can pursue a five-year max contract by entering free agency and then re-signing? 

The third piece of business and the biggest question for the team’s stability comes from the man who has created the roster and caused much of the uncertainty in his efforts to remake the team. Ujiri himself is in a contract year. On Monday, owner and president Josh Kroenke eluded questions about a potential extension for Ujiri saying only that conversations have been “comfortable.” Ujiri went on record as saying he’d be around as long as Kroenke would have him, but the question lingers whether the Nuggets will be willing to put the money forth to keep Ujiri, especially after a seven-figure salary was reportedly waiting from the Sixers. (Kroenke denied reports that the Nuggets had granted permission for the Sixers to interview Ujiri.) 

So, you know, finally some stability on the Nuggets! … Except for their two best players and their GM whom many consider a genius. No biggie. 

Finally, despite the need for the team to have just a little bit of time to try to work together, Ujiri said Monday regarding whether the Nuggets have enough three-point shooting something that echoes his general approach and which lingers over all teams, but especially this team over the past two seasons. 

“We’ll take a look at it,” Ujiri said, “and if we need to adjust, we will.”

You gotta wonder if anyone who joins the Nuggets should even unpack. 

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Hawks claim forward Gustavo Ayon off waivers


The waived forward after trading for him . 

But he’s already found a new home as of Florin Andone.The Romania international striker is on a season-long deal from Brighton – and has impressed.However, a knee suffered by Andone has Gala now in contact with the Seagulls about ripping up the deal, reports Fotmac.A final decision wilthe have picked him up off the waiver wire. 

“Gustavo has a high basketball IQ and is a hard-nosed player,” Hawks GM Danny Ferry said in a release. “He gives us quality depth at the power forward and center positions.”

Ayon, a minimum-salary 6-foot-10 big man, has value as an energy forward, a player that can rebound and score a little inside the paint. The Hawks just watched center sign with the Bucks, so they needed a little extra frontcourt depth behind and . There’s also first-round pick Lucas Noguiera — who still needs have his Spanish contract bought out — but he’s a raw rookie and having er League title with Liverpool is a regret that will stay with him for life.The Reds came close in 2014 before Gerrard’s famous slip allowed Chelsea to win at Anfield, with Manchester City eventually surpassing Brendan Rodgers’ side.”We missed a fantAyon as insurance will help. 

“I am very excited to join the Ata has urged calm going into their clash with Juventus.Only two points separate these teams at the top of Serie A as they meet this weekend. “It is a top level match, just like the one in Barcelona,” director Marotta told RSI after a 2-1 Champions Llanta Hawks,” Ayon said in a release. “I had a great conversation with Coach Budenholzer and can’t wait to get to the city, meet my teammates and get to work. Vamos Hawks!”

The Hawks also recently signed , so they’ve been able to piece together a decent frontcourt despite losing in free agency. 

Ayon, the third Mexican-born player ever in the , averaged 3.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 55 games with the Bucks and Magic last season. 

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Video: Paul Pierce invites Jonas Valanciunas to his poster


has shown his age a bit more the past two seasons. He has a harder time exploding to the rim, a harder time finishning over a loan deal for Islam SlimaEric Abidal is fighting for his job at Barcelona today.The sports director is set to meet with president Josep Maria Bartomeu amid claims he is facing the sack. Abidal was expected to review the January market with Bartomeu, with initial suggestions ni.Inter are turning to the Algeria international after being informed that Chelsea were removing Olivier Giroud from their transfer list.Slimani is currently on-loan with AS Monaco, but both parties are willing ting, his initial burst is much slower, his elevation a lot lower. 

But don’t tell that to , who was on the business end of a posterization from Pierce on Saturday. GET OUT THE WAYester United striker Romelu Lukaku is hoping for offers from the LaLiga to arrive.Lukaku wants to play in Spain over Italy, despite interest from Inter Milan, says AS.The ex-Everton man is reportedly open to a move to the San Siro, and is grateful to, ROOK! 

This is the second poster Valanciunas has found himself on after earlier this month. It’s a bi-product of the youngster contesting at the rim, and in truth, it’s a good sign. You want your franchise center contesting at the rim.

But still. 

He .


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Hornets’ Eric Gordon out 4-6 weeks with knee injury, will not have surgery


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told Yahoo Sports on Friday he will miss 4-6 weeks to “strengthen and rehabilitate” his injured knee, but will not need surgery after receiving a prognosis Thursday from a specialist in Chicago. 

“The doctor could tell I was going through a lot of pain,” Gordon said. “But I know I can strengthen it during the four- Max Meyer feels stronger after a first season in England.Meyer arrived last year from Schalke.He told the club’s website: “Last season was my first season in a new country and league, and I think the second year will be even better. I hope so: more to six-week time period and return. This was a big break. I’ve been dealing with this injury for a year. To hear that news was good to me because I thoughwas happy with Lewis Cook in defeat to Newcastle United.With Jefferson Lerma suspended, Cook stepped in and completed 90 minutes of the 2-1 loss at St James’ Park alongside Philip Billing. Howe told the Daily Echo: “I thought Cookie did well. He had t it would be possibly worse.”

(via )

Controversy erupted this week when Hornets coachn Sanson.Sanson is the subject of an offer from West Ham this week, but a move to Wolves could yet happen, says Le 10 Sport.Key to Wolves’ plans is super agent Jorge Mendes, who is close to the Premier League club.Mendes takes care of new OM coach An Monty Williams told reporters Gordon was still feeling pain and could not play despite tests having shown no structural damage to his right knee after having arthroscopic sugery in February. Gordon himself gave a series of conflicting, vague statements Wednesday concerning the injury and wasn’t ruling out missing the entire season.

that the injury was not related to his reluctance to re-sign with in free agency and his acceptance of a four-year, $58-million offer sheet from Phoenix, which the Hornets matched in restricted free agency. 

Gordon being out four to six weeks is still pretty bad for the Hornets, who desperately need the offensive boost despite a strong showing in a season-opening loss to San Antonio. They’ll struggle to stay above water until his return — and given the ambiguous and frankly, at times, confusing nature of the injury. 

But they also haven’t lost him for the year, and if he can work through the pain and get back on the floor, this at-once scary story might turn out OK after all. 

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Rumor: Cavaliers interested in adding Luis Scola off amnesty wire


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The in off the amnesty wire. The are the other team with immediate interest, and have about $4 million left in cap space after landing , also off the amnesty wire. So the Cavaliers would be looking at having to put in a bid somewhere north of what ty face an anxious wait to learn the extent of Fabian Delph’s injury.The England player, signed from Manchester City last month, was forced off after just four minutes of Everton’s pre-season clash with Werder Bremen on Saturday.Delph was starting hishe Mavericks have, call it $5 million to be safe, or $15 million over three years off of Scola’s $21 million total in order to land the versatile forward. 

Scola would either fill in next to , giving two veteran bid a new contract.It was announced on Tuesday that De Rossi, 35, will leave at the end of the season.“I want to play and there’s a minimal difference of opinion between us, but I don’t have a grudge with anyone,” he said at his press conference.“Igs to work with and create space, or would slot in for Varejao in the event of a trade. The Cavs could also go with either , who the organization has debated internally can play the 5, or Tyler Zeller at the 5. It would be an awkward fit if Scola attempted to play center, having neither the height, length, nor athleticism to combat the fives in this league, even in an where everyone is going smallball. 

Scola does have an excellent miyear-old has put pen to paper, having impressed with the under-18s in recent weeks.He garnered his first start for Barry Lewtas’ team and scored two goals, and has continued to showcase his talent at that level this term.The news of his new deal was d-range game to complement Irving, and would help the Cavaliers with a veteran presence, something missing after the departure of .

The as part of their attempts to land . 

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VIDEO: Kobe passes Wilt for fourth place in career scoring


passed Wilt Chamberlain to move into  during the ‘ 103-98 victory at Sacramento on Saturday night. Herey’s European Super Cup final against Liverpool.The Blues must bounce back from Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.Speaking to the club’s website, Azpilicueta urged the squad to learn from the loss.He said: “Chelsea always fights’s video: 

In a continuing trend, it’s mostly about Bryant’s longevity that put him here. Bear in mind that Chamberlain reegend Robbie Fowler doesn’t want Rangers boss Steven Gerrard returning to Anfield anytime soon.Fowler would like to see his old Kop team-mate in the Anfield dugout in the future, but not until current manager Jurgen Klopp has had a long reign at the ached his 31,419 points in 14 seasons; Bryant is in his 17th. Chamberlain boasts four of the top five all-time highest scoring seasons in history (Michael Jordan holds the third highest, Bryant the seventh highest). 

Bryant continues his climb and every indication leans toward the possibility that Bryant will eventually pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time career points leader. He would have to play several more seasons. But considering his performance in his 17th season, you have to think he can pull it off if he decides he wants to. 

Bryant has leaped a literal and figurative giant in the league’s history. Chamberlain’s career averages were 30 point chief Said Ouaali announced on Thursday that the 16 year-old forward would be leaving this summer.While Ouaali failed to mention his destination, Voetbalzone says United are expected to snap up Hoogewerf.“Last week, Dillon indicated that he will ls and 23 rebounds (!) per game shooting 54 percent in a markedly weaker league. Bryant, of course, says he just wants the championships. 

“I just want No. 6, man,” Bryant said, referring to his championship count, when asked where he wanted to finish on the all-time scoring list when he retires. “I’m not asking for too much, man. Just give me a sixth ring, damn it.”

via .

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OUTLOOK: Jonas Valanciunas


Toronto could have one of the bigger Fantasy sleepers on their hands in entering his second season. Not too many people may have noticed, but Valanciunas quietly put together a solid rookie year over 62 games and 24 minutes per night. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks and shot almost 56 percent from the field. The 21-year-old, who is listed at 6-foot-11 and 231 pounds, looks to have bulked up over the offseason and has generally shown a major improvement heading into the 2013-14 regular season for the . Valanciunas will be the team’s starter at center and will take on an St James’ Park.Owen joined Newcastle for a then record £16.5million in 2005 but endured an injury-disrupted spell before departing in 2009 and in his new book admits he regrets the move.Allardyce said: “I’ve read a few snippets and it wasn’t a surpeven larger scoring role. He has the ability to drop close to 15 points per game with solid rebounding, blocks and percentages and that makes him a quality option at the thin center position in season.Messi says no game can beian Delph insists he wasn’t driven out of Manchester City.The England midfielder says he was his choice to join Everton earlier this month.“I wasn’t told to leave, I could have stayed there,” said Delph, who won two Premier League titles with City taken for granted by the top clubs.”It is not just this year; you can notice it for several years now,” Messi said.”Everything is more even – anyone beats anyone.”It is difficult to play as an away team because the Ambitious drafters who see Valanciunas taking another step forward in his sophomore season can begin taking him in the early-middle rounds. 

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Spurs have a new streak now, and it’s the wrong kind


(Getty Images) OKLAHOMA CITY — The started a new streak Saturday. The wrong kind though. After winning 20 straight and going nearly 50 days without a loss the Spurs have now dropped consecutive games, letting the Thunder not only back into the series, but almost losing control of it.Yeah, thderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany is interested in signing veteran defender Ashley Williams.Kompany is eyeing the veteran to bolster his struggling side, according to reports.The former Manchester City captain has overseen just one win this seaey still have homecourt advantage in a best-of-three. Yeah, they’re veterans with championship experience and lots of leadership. Yeah, they have one of the top coaching minds ever. There’s good reason to think they’ll be fine. But if momentum were tangible, the Thunder would be holding it with both hands right now. More on Spurs-ThunderRelated links | VideoThe series has flipped. It’s 2-2 wi have provided an update on the condition of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.The French international suffered a serious injury against Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.Lloris made a mistake that led to his side conceding the first goal in a 3-0 losth the proceedings heading south to San Antonio, and the Thunder carrying a renewed sense of confidence. The series looks completely different now than it did four days ago. Instead of talking about how the superior Spurs know how to beat the young Thunder, it’s looking more like OKC should’ve taken one of those games in San Antonio because maybe they’re actually better.  The Thunder whipped the Spurs by 20 in Game 3, then held a 15-point lead in the second of half Game 4 before the Spurs finally found something the final 18 minutes of the game, which would seem to build what little momentum there could be heading to Game 5.”We shouldn’t get any credit for playing hard,” said . “It’s the Western Conference finals, you’re supposed to play hard. I mean if you’re scared, go to church. Tomorrow is Sunday. It’s the Western Conference Finals and you have to be ready to play.”With the prospect that the Thunder could have an opportunity to bring a closeout game back to their rabid home crowd with a win Monday in San Antonio, it would seem that Game 5d Roy Keane says Marcus Rashford says he should use Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling as a role model.Speaking after England’s win over Bulgaria, Keane was discussing Rashford’s inconsistent form, and suggested he could do worse than copy Ster would have a new level of importance. But Gregg Popovich wasn’t in the mood to hear that.”Every game in the series is important,” he remarked in a very Pop manner, which I think you know what that means. has a different mindset.”Game 5 is always huge in every series when teams are 2-2,” he said. “Game 5 most of the time is decisive, so it’s going to be a very important one.”Something has changed and it’s hard to put a finger on it. A lot has been made of Thunder adjustments such as switching to , but it seems like it’s more than that. The Spurs went from a basketball dream of ball movement, sharing and team play to a group of guys that looked really old and slow. Parker went for just 12 in Game 4. Ginobili was a non-factor. The Spurs bench didn’t contribute much. Whether the Thunder have figured something out or it’s just the home team doing their job, that’s to be determined. “We earned ourselves the possibility of having homecourt advantage, and hopefully we’ll use it,” Ginobili said. “We played a bad Game 3. Today was a little better. But it’s just part of the past. Both teams took care of business at home. Hopefully we keep that trend.”The dirty little secret about Game 4 is that the Spurs played their game. The hit 50 percent of their shots. They limited turnovers, giving it away only 10 times. They hit 11 of 23 from 3. They did the things they’ve been doing the past two months. They just couldn’t stop the Thunder and by extension, . It’s put the Spurs in a strange position, one that many didn’t foresee a few days ago. They’re the team knocked against the ropes, the group looking to regain some footing in the series. They went from seemingly invincible to the team needing to make adjustments. It’s a best-of-3 series and the Spurs hold homecourt, but it doesn’t feel like they necessarily have the upper hand. But then again, keep this note in mind when thinking about the Spurs’ losing streak: The last time they lost two consecutive games, they then won 20 straight and didn’t lose for nearly 50 days. So that’s something.

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ah reports Liverpool have offered €15m to Trabzons


center on the torn plantar fascia tissue in his left foot Cakir.Sabah reports Liverpool have offered €15m to Trabzonspor for Cakir.They say that Liverpool were looking to sign Cakir in January, but his club rejected the offer.It’s claimed Trabzonspor’s hierarchy decided to turn down the bid as they want as long as possible in hopes of making progress through rehab, the Houston Chronicle reports. Camby has been unable to practice this preseason and could miss two months of the season of he opts for surgery.

“Minimal progress, so still evaluating and rehabbing,” Camby said. “I definitely want to get out there as soon as possible, so I’m doing all the precautionary steps the training staff wants me to do. It’s just a wait-and-see approach right now. Surgery has always been the last resort. I think we pretty much have done everyrnemouth have loaned forward Mikael Ndjoli to Gillingham for the entire 2019-20 season.The 20-year-old, who came through the Brentford academy, has yet to make a senior appearance for the Cherries.However, he played 31 games during a loan spell with thing else. ush is stunned by Real Madrid fans’ treatment of Gareth Bale.Bale is expected to leave Real this summer.”When I look at his record at Real, he has an incredible record and I don’t know what happens there,” Rush told BBC Sport. “At the end of the day,We’ll give it a little more time before we make that decision.”

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VIDEO: Blake Griffin causes Rudy Gobert to pump fake a block


You have to respect the awareness of big man . The rookie center is still just in his first pres0 Champions League rout of Galatasaray.Rodrygo Goes struck a hat-trick and Karim Benzema a brace in the win.Zidane enthused about Rodrygo: “He is only eighteen years old. We are so pleased with him. When he getfrom Quique Setien’s debut as Barcelona coach to a guard of honour for Real Madrid and a new signing made by Sevilla.BARCELONA KICKOFF SETIEN ERA WITH WINQuique Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in an unexpected managerial change at Barcelona this wees a chance to play he always does welleason run, but he’s already learning to get out of the way of massive dunks by power forward .

As Griffin was receiving a pocket pass from while he rolled on the business end of a pick-and-roll, Gobert was coming over to protect the rim. This is what centers with never-ending wingspans are supposed to do. He quickly recognized he was about to get Mozgov’d by Griffin and managed to duck out oley Barnes and Chris Wood – both celebrating signing new contracts this week – were on target, along with a Roberto own goal.“People soon forget you know. We had one bad performance last weekend, when we were miles off,” mused Dyche.“The playerf the way in mid-air. It looks like he pump faked his block attempt on the dunk. 

That’s a veteran move from the rookie.


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VIDEO: Celtics honor victims and responders of Boston Marathon


The Boston Celtics commemorated the victims and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing be his future.Marca says Cazorla’s contract with Villarreal comes to an end in the summer but he hady has a future at Leicester City.The Frenchman has not started since Rodgers becager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tough preseason regime.United signed off for preseason 2019 with Saturday’s 2-2 draw against AC Milan in Cardiff. Pereira was given a start by Solskjaer in a three man midfield alongside Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic. Ime manager in February and has been linked with a move away this summer.But Rodgers insists Mendy has proven his worth.”I really like him,” said Rodgers.”I think he hass yet to make a decision on his future.The next few weeks will serve as a period to contemplate whether he wants to stay at the club or embark on a new afore Game 3 against the Knicks on Friday night. In an emotional scene, the team honored those who responded in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The game was the first that the team had hosted since two explosions killed three people and injured hundreds on April 15. The Celtics also honored the heroes of the aftermath after the first quarter. 

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USA cruises to win over Dominican Republic but an injury, trash talk steal headlines


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LAS VEGAS — It’s not often a 54-point USA Basketball blowout victory would be relegated to second billing, let alone third. But Thursday was no ordinary day for the program.

On the court, things went just as planned. USA dominated the Dominican Republic 113-59 in its first pre-Olympics exhibition game, using merciless on-ball pressure defense to get out in transition time and time again. USA was led by 24 points and 10 rebounds — including five rsenal boss Unai Emery admits returning to Valencia is a special moment for him.The Gunners take a 3-1 lead to Valencia tonight for the second-leg of their Europa League semifinal.And former Los Che coach Emery says: “Yes, it’s very special, to com3-pointers — in 22 minutes from a very focused Kevin Durant. Player of the game honors went to Andre Iguodala, who was all over the court on both ends, on his way to 18 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals on 7-of-9 shooting in 20 minutes off the bench.

But even as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and company were rolling up the easy victory in front of a rowdy, patriotic crowd in the Thomas & Mack Center, one of their teammates, Blake Griffin, was receiving bad news that wound up being the day’s biggest headline. Griffin, it was confirmed by the Los Angeles Clippers, in his left knee that will require arthroscopic surgery that will force him to miss the 2012 London Olympics.

Griffin by New Orleans Hornets big man Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 , although USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo said during his postgame comments that the roster switch likely wouldn’t become official until Sunday. Davis scored nine points and grabbed one rebound in nine minutes of action.

“[Griffin] has to officially withdraw and then we’re free to make an official replacement on our roster,” Colangelo said. “In the interim, Anthony Davis will be with us. He is an alternate and that worked out and created a great opportunity to get some minutes in tonight. That was great to see.”

While Griffin’s injury and withdrawal from the team were unwelcome news, Bryant set the post-game “mixed zone” media crowd into laughter with his ongoing banter with the 1992 team. , Bryant suggested the 2012 team could beat the undefeated, Barcelona gold medal winning squad that starred Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Jordan said Thursday that the idea made him laugh. Asked about Jordan’s response, Bryant turned his confidence and profanity to full blast.

“So what? He knows I’m a bad mother[expletive],” Bryant said. “I’m not really tripping.”

The rest of Bryant’s thoughts on the hypothetical match-up are .

Asidfielder Mason Mount says his goal in their draw against Leicester City was credit to the club’s academy.Mount opened his Chelsea account with a fine finish against Leicester at the Bridge, and he sees that goal as a culmination of the collective woide from Bryant’s declaration of excellence, USA was very calm and by-the-book in its post-game approach. Some of the seriousness can be explained by the long road ahead. On Friday, USA travels to Washington D.C. where it will continue its pre-Olympics exhibition tour with a Monday exhibition against Brazil. From there, a visit to Manchester, England, and then on to Barcelona, Spain, before settling in for Olympics group play on July 29. 

Add it all up, and Thursday’s exhibition was the first of 10 games USA will play over the next 25 days, and that’s before the elimination rounds begin.

So what did they show in their debut? Here were three things worth noting from USA’s dominating performance.

The United States started the first half with a lineup of Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. The first substitution was Kevin Durant for Chandler, giving USA a very versatile, potent offensive attack. 

USA switched things up during the second half, starting Deron Williams, Bryant, James, Anthony and Durant, in part because Paul’s minutes were limited due to an injury suffered to his right wrist and thumb during training this week.

USA coach Mike Krzyzewski clearly enjoyed the versatility of the smaller lineups, and going small had no negative impact defensively or on the glass. USA was plus-10 rebounding and was able to defend Al Horford, one of the ‘s better centers, even when Chandler wasn’t on the court.

Was this the beginning of a global revenge tour for the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar? Durant simply couldn’t miss on Thursday night, dropping in five of his six 3-point attempts, making the international 3-point line look like an effortless mid-range jumebrated its launch in London on Wednesday with special guest Mauricio Pochettino.The event also welcomed LaLiga president Javier Tebas who officially announced the channel’s launch in front of 100 members of the media.LaLigaTV is a dedicated 24/7 chaper time and again. Remember, Durant’s Thunder lost in the NBA Finals only weeks before USA camp opened, so the loss is obviously still lingering. He simply looked like a man on a mission from the moment he stepped onto the court, shooting without a second thought and making a number of nifty moves to send the Dominican defenders reeling.

While starting designation really doesn’t mean all that much in this setting, Durant really should be starting. 

There’s no question these days as to who the best player in the world is: James established his supremacy during an MVP 2011-12 season and a sensational 2012 playoffs that culiminated in his first championship ring and a Finals MVP trophy. On and off the court, James, now entering his prime, is the central force and personality on this team. For all intents and purposes, this is his team, with Kobe Bryant playing the elder statesman role.

But James played only 17 minutes on Thursday, scoring 7 points on 2-of-5 shooting with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Of course, USA didn’t need him for a second more than he played; indeed, they would have rolled had he sat out entirely. But Krzyzewski made it clear throughout the week of training that James would sit out 5-on-5 action to help him rest and get caught up energy-wise from the enormous burden he carried during the lockout-shortened, condensed season.

James, for his part, has said he’s healthy but he’s certainly not complaining about any time off. On Thursday, he was one of Team USA’s most vocal bench cheerleaders, getting especially animated when Russell Westbrook got off the Dominican Republic’s point guards on the perimeter and when Andre Iguodala rose to throw down a dunk in transition. 

Most likely, Krzyzewski will continue to lean heavily on his bench during the pre-Olympics exhibitions, saving his stars’ legs for the all-important showdowns against the likes of France, Argentina and, most of all, Spain.

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Nightly Grades 12.4.12: Blake Griffin carries the Clips


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Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

It’s been a dirty little secret early this season that Blake Griffin hasn’t played all that great. He’s hitting that mid-range jumper more, but his averages were all down across the board and he wasn’t really dominating games at all. But against the excellent interior focused Jazz bigs, Griffin played huge, scoring 30 with 11 rebounds. He started looking l is open to a permanent move to Ipswich Town.His Blues deal expires this summer.The left-back is spending ited for two young guns.El Desmarque says Real Madrid are set for a big push in the transfer market and are targeting Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland – both also on United’s radar.Sancho has had a meteoric rise in the game ever since his move to Boruthe campaign at Portman Road and has bagged three goals so far this term including a stunning free-kick against Tranmere Rovers.”Everton were atike the star he is. Beating the Cavaliers is nothing to get too pumped about, but did you know the Pistons have won five straight home games? They’re still 6-13 overall and definitely aren’t good by any stretch, but there are signs of life with this team, which no one thought was the case when they started 0-8. In all truth, they played a nice game against the Blazers. But this is a loss that stings a young team. Dropping on in overtime, at home, after having a double-digit fourth quarter lead really hurts. Not that the Bobcats are headed for the postseason or anything, but this is the kind of game that they’ll certainly learn from. Young teams go through these kinds of games where they don’t close, don’t finish. In the long run, this might be good for Charlotte. The Jazz have been moderately decent this season, but have slipped as of late. And itier League will investigate Everton’s accounts after it announced a company part-owned by Alisher Usmanov paid £30m to secure an option on the naming rights of their new stadium, Sky Sports News can confirm.The Daily Mail reports the league will loo appeared they were about to put together a positive performance in Los Angeles to get back on track. Instead, they were outscored 32-21 in the fourth, blowing an 83-73 lead heading into the final quarter. These are the type of losses that can deflate you entirely. They got blown out by the New Orleans Hornets, who are without Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. The Bucks are pretty much the most infuriating, frustrating team this season. Are they good? Average? Terrible? It really just depends on the night.

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