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1 hour ago

Nike signs sister soccer players to company's first high school name, image and likeness deal

Nike signed its first high school athletes to a name, image and likeness deal as soccer players, and sisters, Alyssa and Gisele Thompson were signed by the brand. Alyssa is a junior and Gisele a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake high school in Los Angeles, and both inked an undisclosed agreement only days after Nike announced deals with UCLA soccer player Reilyn Turner and Stanford golfer Rachel Heck. The Thompsons posted on Instagram showing a trip to Nike on Saturday that resulted in their NIL deal. Both sisters are committed to play soccer at Stanford and are members of the U.S. national team youth system for soccer. The NCAA approved a policy to allow college student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness that began on July 1, 2021. Since then, athletes have been able to secure agreements similar to the one Nike gave the Thompsons. High school athletes have to abide by state laws and rules formed by their high school associations. Because the Thompson sisters...
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2 hours ago

Tiger Woods to be paired with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy for first two rounds of PGA Championship

TULSA, Okla. -- Tiger Woods' quest for a fifth PGA Championship victory will start Thursday on the back nine of Southern Hills Country Club. Woods, a 15-time major champion, will play in a featured group with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth in the first two rounds. The threesome will tee off on No. 10 at 9:11 a.m. ET in Thursday's first round and on No. 1 at 2:36 p.m. Friday in the second. Other featured groups include Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa, the top three players in the Official World Golf Ranking. They will tee off on No. 1 at 2:36 p.m. ET on Thursday and on No. 10 at 9:11 a.m. Friday.  Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas will tee off on No. 1 at 2:14 p.m. ET on Thursday and on No. 10 at 8:49 a.m. Friday. Woods, 46, last won the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in 2007. Another victory would give him 83 victories in his PGA Tour career, which would break his tie with ...
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Phil Mickelson's absence from PGA Championship 'sad' and 'unfortunate,' says world No. 7-ranked Rory McIlroy, other top golfers

TULSA, Okla. --  Rory McIlroy described  Phil Mickelson's absence from the 2022 PGA Championship as "unfortunate" and "sad" Tuesday morning at Southern Hills Country Club and said he wished the defending champion had made a different decision and come to the championship. "This should be a celebration, right?" McIlroy said. "He won a major championship at 50 years old. It was possibly his last big, big moment in the game of golf. I think he should be here this week and celebrating what a monumental achievement he achieved last year." McIlroy paused as he weighed how his words would be received. "It's unfortunate," he said. "It's sad. Yeah, I don't know what else I can say." "It's the elephant in the room, obviously," said Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America. "Look, no one was more excited than us last year when Phil had his epic win, right? It's amazing. He's done something nobody else has ever done and win a major at 50. It was one of the great moments in...
3 hours ago
May 17

Soccer-Netherlands 0 Paraguay 0 - international friendly result

Nov 18 - Netherlands 0 Paraguay 0 - international friendly result. At Abe Lenstra Stadium, Heerenveen. Halftime 0-0; Attendance: 25,000 Referee: Vladimir Hrinak (Slovakia) (Editing by Neil Maidment; to query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)
May 17
May 17

Toronto Maple Leafs' Mitchell Marner victim of carjacking

Maple Leafs star Mitchell Marner was the victim of a carjacking in Toronto, the team confirmed Tuesday. The Maple Leafs said Marner will have no additional comment on the matter as police continue to investigate.  Police said suspects took a black Range Rover at gunpoint at 7:45 p.m., Monday, according to multiple reports. Tuesday is exit interview day for the Maple Leafs, and while Marner is not expected to speak, his teammates said that he's doing well. "I'm just happy he's OK and he wasn't hurt," Auston Matthews said. "I don't really know much more than you guys do but it's great to see him here today. I can't imagine that's a fun experience to go through. We're all just glad he's OK." Added Jason Spezza: "It's scary; that's [real] life. That's not hockey. That's scary. That stuff is jarring. So happy to see that he's OK." Marner, who grew up outside of Toronto, had a career-high 97 points this season and contributed two goals and six assists in the...
May 17
May 17

Georgia Bulldogs football commit Marcus Washington Jr. reclassifies to skip senior year, join 2022 class

Cornerback Marcus Washington Jr., one of Georgia's top committed players in the Class of 2023, is skipping his senior year of high school and joining the Bulldogs' incoming freshman class. Washington, ranked the No. 84 prospect and No. 10 cornerback in the 2023 ESPN 300, will enroll at Georgia in a few weeks. He announced his decision on Twitter. Washington, from Grovetown, Georgia, is the son of former Bulldogs linebacker Marcus Washington, who played for former coach Mark Richt from 2005 to 2009. Georgia has to rebuild its secondary after losing starting safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Derion Kendrick to the NFL draft. Four other defensive backs --  Lovasea Carroll (South Carolina), Latavious Brini (Arkansas), Jalen Kimber (Florida) and Ameer Speed (Michigan State) -- left via the transfer portal. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said building depth in the secondary was one of his concerns coming out of spring...
May 17
May 17

Georgia Bulldogs commit Marcus Washington Jr. reclassifies to skip senior year, join 2022 class

Cornerback Marcus Washington Jr., one of Georgia's top committed players in the Class of 2023, is skipping his senior year of high school and joining the Bulldogs' incoming freshman class. Washington Jr., ranked the No. 84 prospect and No. 10 cornerback in the 2023 ESPN 300, will enroll at Georgia in a few weeks. He announced his decision on Twitter. Washington Jr., from Grovetown, Georgia, is the son of former Bulldogs linebacker Marcus Washington, who played for former coach Mark Richt from 2005 to 2009. Georgia is having to rebuild its secondary after losing starting safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Derion Kendrick to the NFL draft. Four other defensive backs --  Lovasea Carroll (South Carolina), Latavious Brini (Arkansas), Jalen Kimber (Florida) and Ameer Speed (Michigan State) -- left via the transfer portal. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said building depth in the secondary was one of his concerns coming out of spring...
May 17
May 16

Houston Astros veteran Jake Odorizzi exits start on stretcher with lower left leg discomfort

BOSTON -- Houston Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi fell running to cover first base in the fifth inning of Monday night's 6-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox and was taken off the Fenway Park field on a stretcher. The Astros said he had "left lower leg discomfort,'' and manager Dusty Baker said Odorizzi would get an MRI. The pitcher was on crutches, in a boot and in good spirits after the game, Baker said. "He's probably doing better than it looked like on the mound,'' Baker said. Odorizzi, who entered the game with a 15⅔ inning shutout streak, appeared to twist his left leg awkwardly on the delivery to Kike Hernandez. When he turned to cover first base, he took a step and then sprawled out, face down, on the grass. He remained there after the out was recorded, and Astros staff rushed to tend to him. He was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off to an outfield exit. Astros teammates hovered around the infield as the stretcher arrived. The...
May 16
May 16

Houston Astros veteran Jake Odorizzi stretchered off against Boston Red Sox

BOSTON -- Houston Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi fell running to cover first base in the fifth inning Monday night against the Boston Red Sox and was taken off the Fenway Park field on a stretcher. Odorizzi, who entered the game with a 15 2/3 inning shutout streak, appeared to twist his left leg awkwardly on the delivery to Kike Hernandez. When he turned to cover first base, he took a step and then sprawled out, face down, on the grass. He remained there after the out was recorded, and Astros staff rushed to tend to him. He was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off to an outfield exit. Astros teammates hovered around the infield as the stretcher arrived. The 32-year-old veteran entered the game with a 3-2 record this season to go along with a 3.38 ERA and 17 strikeouts. The Red Sox led 2-1 when he left. The game was tied at 2-2 in the sixth inning when it was delayed by rain. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
May 16
May 16

Woman granted emergency protective order against Rajon Rondo, alleges Cleveland Cavaliers point guard threatened her with gun

The NBA on Monday said it's in the process of gathering more information after veteran point guard Rajon Rondo allegedly threatened a woman with a gun at her house last week. The woman filed for an emergency protective order against Rondo on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN's Baxter Holmes. The order was granted later that day.  Her allegations were made in the request for the EPO. In it, she alleged that Rondo and a child were playing video games Wednesday when she asked the child to separate laundry. Rondo reacted angrily, according to the woman, ripping the game console out of the wall and smashing several items in the house, leaving the boy and another child there upset. The woman alleges that Rondo said to her "you're dead" before leaving the house, only to return shortly thereafter, this time with a gun and demanding to see one of the children. The woman said she grew scared of the situation, so she brought the child downstairs,...
May 16
May 16

Houston Astros veteran Jake Odorizzi collapses running to cover first base, leaves start

BOSTON -- Houston Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi collapsed running to cover first base in the fifth inning Monday night against the Boston Red Sox and was taken off the Fenway Park field on a stretcher. Odorizzi, who entered the game with a 15 2/3 inning shutout streak, appeared to twist his left leg awkwardly on the delivery to Kike Hernandez. When he turned to cover first base, he took a step and then sprawled out, face down, on the grass. He remained there after the out was recorded, and Astros staff rushed to tend to him. He was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off to an outfield exit. Astros teammates hovered around the infield as the stretcher arrived. The 32-year-old veteran entered the game with a 3-2 record this season to go along with a 3.38 ERA and 17 strikeouts. The Red Sox led 2-1 when he left. The game was tied at 2-2 in the sixth inning when it was delayed by rain. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
May 16
May 16

Judge denies Christian Dawkins new trial he requested after FBI agent pleaded guilty to gambling government money

A federal judge Monday denied a request for a new trial from former aspiring sports business manager Christian Dawkins, who was among those convicted in the college basketball bribery case. Dawkins' attorney Steven Haney had requested a new trial in February after a former FBI agent admitted to gambling with $13,500 in government money at a Las Vegas casino at the time of a key sting operation in the investigation. Haney argued at the time that ex-FBI agent Scott Carpenter's admission of wrongdoing compromised Dawkins' case and should prompt a new trial. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos wrote in his order that the FBI agent's guilty plea and details surrounding his crimes were not "newly discovered" evidence. "The only thing that is new is that Carpenter has only recently pleaded guilty to the very conduct of which the defendants had been made aware prior to trial," Ramos wrote. During Dawkins' trial, judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New...
May 16
May 16

New York Yankees' Nestor Cortes deactivates account after old tweets surface

BALTIMORE --  New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes said he deactivated his Twitter account after screenshots surfaced Sunday of tweets from a decade ago that included racial slurs. Cortes appeared to be quoting rap lyrics in at least some of the tweets, and he did not seem to be using the words to demean anyone directly. "I felt like it wasn't the right message that I wanted to send out, when I was 17 years old," Cortes said before Monday's game against Baltimore. "Those happened 10 years ago. I deactivated my Twitter to clean stuff up. "It's not acceptable," he added. "I think I could have managed myself and said stuff differently. But I'm here today to say that I'm going to work on it and fix it." Cortes, 27, has been one of the best pitchers in the majors this season, sporting a 1.35 ERA after seven starts.  The Associated Press contributed to this story. 
May 16
May 16

Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart questionable for Game 1 against Miami Heat with midfoot sprain

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat with a right midfoot sprain, coach Ime Udoka said Monday. Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Smart had an MRI on the foot Monday that came back clean, and that Smart will test the foot Tuesday. "He took a pretty bad fall, got bent up. He has a midfoot sprain, and it's pretty tender and sore right now," Udoka said during a teleconference with the media Monday afternoon ahead of the team's flight to Miami for Game 1 Tuesday night. "We'll get him round the clock treatment and right now he'll be listed as questionable." Smart appeared to suffer the injury when he fell over Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo during Boston's 109-81 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday. Center Robert Williams III, meanwhile, didn't play in Sunday's win. Udoka said before the game both that Williams...
May 16
May 16

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expects 'throwback series' against Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference finals

MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra knows exactly what kind of games he expects to see as his proud Heat squad prepares for an Eastern Conference finals showdown with the Boston Celtics. "Pat's [Riley] probably is going to enjoy this," Spoelstra said after Monday's practice. "This is like a throwback series. If both teams are really on top of their games, this should be a series where neither team is scoring 130 points. Both teams hang their hats on rock-solid team defense, and making multiple efforts and being disciplined to schemes. So it will be a lot of plays and things in the margins. That's what you expect. Really, we were the two best teams in the East most of the season and it's fitting that we're moving into the conference finals." The Heat speak with a great deal of respect while discussing the challenges the Celtics pose in this series. Heat players and coaches see a lot of similarities between themselves and the Celtics group that just finished off the defending NBA...
May 16
May 16

Patriots offensive assistant Joe Judge says he's working with Mac Jones, quarterbacks

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The specifics of former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge's role as a New England Patriots offensive assistant became clearer Monday, as he told reporters that he's working with Mac Jones and the quarterbacks. It's a key position on Bill Belichick's staff, given Jones' promise and the departure of longtime, innovative offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to become the Las Vegas Raiders head coach. Meanwhile, former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia -- who spent the 2021 season as a senior advisor to Belichick in New England -- said he is working with the offensive line. Belichick had previously identified Judge and Patricia as two leading coaches on offense, but had not publicly specified their roles, or if they would replace McDaniels as the playcaller on game day. Judge was asked if he would call plays in 2022 and said: "Look, I'll tell you directly and honestly right now, nothing has been declared or decided...
May 16
May 16

Tiger Woods says repaired right leg will 'keep getting stronger' as he prepares for upcoming PGA Championship

TULSA, Okla. -- As Tiger Woods prepares to try to win his fifth PGA Championship this week, he said his surgically repaired right leg is stronger than it was at the Masters five weeks ago, when he struggled to climb the sloping hills of Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most demanding walks in golf. Woods, 46, played his second nine-hole practice round at Southern Hills Country Club on Monday, after playing the front nine on Sunday. His last victory in the PGA Championship occurred at Southern Hills in 2007. "It's only going to keep getting stronger," Woods told reporters Sunday. "The more I use it, the more strength it gains. Am I ever going to have full mobility? No. Never again. But I'll be able to get stronger. It's going to ache, but that's the way it's going to be." Woods, a 15-time major champion, flew to Tulsa in late April for a practice round. Southern Hills underwent an $11 million renovation by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018. Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava,...
May 16
May 16

Cain Velasquez denied bail for second time in attempted murder case

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was denied bail again Monday in his attempted murder case at a motion hearing in Santa Clara (California) County, per the court. Judge Shelyna Brown decided against allowing Velasquez bail for a second time, citing Velasquez's "reckless disregard for human life." Brown first denied Velasquez bail March 7, when she referred to Velasquez's actions as "extreme recklessness." The retired UFC great has been in custody since a Feb. 28 arrest. Velasquez has a plea hearing scheduled for June 10. Velasquez's attorney, Mark Geragos, said there could be a pretrial probable cause hearing in the case in June or July, following the plea hearing. Velasquez is being charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges. He could face 20 or more years of jail time if convicted. Velasquez, 39, allegedly chased down a man -- Harry Eugene Goularte, who is being charged with molesting a young relative of Velasquez -- and shot a gun into...
May 16
May 16

Tiger Woods says repaired right knee will 'keep getting stronger' as he prepares for upcoming PGA Championship

TULSA, Okla. -- As Tiger Woods prepares to try to win his fifth PGA Championship this week, he said his surgically repaired right leg is stronger than it was at the Masters five weeks ago, when he struggled to climb the sloping hills of Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most demanding walks in golf. Woods, 46, played his second nine-hole practice round at Southern Hills Country Club on Monday, after playing the front nine on Sunday. His last victory in the PGA Championship occurred at Southern Hills in 2007. "It's only going to keep getting stronger," Woods told reporters Sunday. "The more I use it, the more strength it gains. Am I ever going to have full mobility? No. Never again. But I'll be able to get stronger. It's going to ache, but that's the way it's going to be." Woods, a 15-time major champion, flew to Tulsa in late April for a practice round. Southern Hills underwent an $11 million renovation by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018. Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava,...
May 16
May 16

Sources: Deshaun Watson to meet with NFL, also will bring Cleveland Browns offensive teammates to Bahamas to bond

BEREA, Ohio -- NFL officials are scheduled to meet with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson this week, a source confirmed to ESPN. The meeting will take place in Texas, according to multiple reports. The NFL has been investigating Watson to determine if he violated its code of conduct. Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict Watson on criminal charges, and Watson has denied all wrongdoing. Watson, meanwhile, will be hosting several of his teammates in the Bahamas this weekend to work out and bond before the start of the team's organized team activities, another source confirmed to ESPN. CBS Sports first reported the details of the NFL meeting and Bahamas trip. Watson signed a $230 million, fully guaranteed contract with the Browns earlier this offseason after the team acquired him in a trade with the Houston...
May 16
May 16

Vegas Golden Knights fire coach Peter DeBoer after missing playoffs for first time

The Vegas Golden Knights have fired coach Peter DeBoer after failing to make the playoffs for the first time in their short history. "We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons," Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a statement. "Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we've witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL. After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season." DeBoer was the second coach hired by Vegas, in 2019-20, after coach Gerard Gallant was behind the bench for the team's first two seasons in the NHL. DeBoer had a record of 98-50-12 in his three seasons in Vegas, leading the Golden Knights to the conference finals in 2020 and the playoffs' penultimate round in 2021 but failing to make the Stanley Cup...
May 16
May 16

Vegas Golden Knights fire Peter DeBoer after missing playoffs for first time

The Vegas Golden Knights have fired head coach Peter DeBoer after failing to make the playoffs for the first time in their short history. "We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons," said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon in a statement. "Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we've witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL. After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season." DeBoer was the second coach hired by Vegas in 2019-20, after coach Gerard Gallant was behind the bench for the team's first two seasons in the NHL. DeBoer had a record of 98-50-12 in his three seasons in Vegas, leading the Golden Knights to the conference final in 2020 and the playoffs' penultimate round in 2021, but failing to make the...
May 16
May 16

Williams, Stewart questionable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are questionable for Thursday's game against Miami with lingering injuries. Williams skipped practice Wednesday with a sore left knee, but coach John Fox said they were "resting" him. Stewart practiced in full after sitting out Tuesday with a sore Achilles' tendon. Defensive tackle Damione Lewis is questionable with a sore shoulder, but practiced Wednesday. The biggest concern for Carolina is defensive end Charles Johnson, who is doubtful after missing his second straight practice with a strained pectoral muscle. Johnson plays mostly on passing downs. Fullback Brad Hoover and safety Charles Godfrey are also doubtful, but aren't expected to play because of ankle injuries.
May 16
May 16

Sources: Deshaun Watson to meet with NFL, also will bring Cleveland Browns offense to Bahamas to bond

BEREA, Ohio -- NFL officials are scheduled to meet with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson this week, a source confirmed to ESPN. The NFL has been investigating Watson to determine if he violated its code of conduct policy. Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict Watson on criminal charges, and Watson has denied all wrongdoing. Watson, meanwhile, will be hosting several of his teammates in the Bahamas this weekend to work out and bond before the start of the team's organized team activities, another source confirmed to ESPN. CBS Sports first reported the details of the NFL meeting and Bahamas trip. Watson signed a $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns earlier this offseason after the team acquired him in a trade with the Houston Texans. It's unclear how many teammates will be traveling with Watson...
May 16
May 16

Source: Deshaun Watson to bring Browns' offense to Bahamas to bond, work out before OTAs

BEREA, Ohio -- New Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be hosting several of his teammates in the Bahamas this weekend to work out and bond before the start of the team's organized team activities, a source confirmed to ESPN. CBS Sports first reported the details of the trip. Watson signed a $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns earlier this offseason after the team landed him in a trade with the Houston Texans. It's unclear how many teammates will be traveling with Watson to the Bahamas, but once source said it would largely be his "offensive weapons." The NFL is investigating Watson to determine if he violated its code of conduct policy. Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. Watson has denied all wrongdoing. The Browns are set to begin OTAs on May 24.
May 16
May 16

Jack Nicklaus says Saudi Arabian organizers offered him more than $100 million to be face of LIV Golf Invitational Series

TULSA, Okla. -- If the Saudi Arabian organizers of the LIV Golf Invitational Series had their way, Jack Nicklaus -- not Greg Norman -- would have been the face of their new breakaway circuit. In a story published on the Fire Pit Collective website on Monday, Nicklaus said he twice turned down offers to lead the Saudi Arabians' efforts to start a new golf league that hopes to challenge the PGA Tour. "I was offered something in excess of $100 million by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg is doing," Nicklaus said. "I turned it down. Once verbally, once in writing. I said, 'Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.'" Nicklaus, 82, was among the players who split from the PGA of America and hired Joe Dey as the tour's first commissioner in 1968. He won 73 times on tour, including a record 18 major championships. The LIV Golf Invitational Series is scheduled to stage its first event at Centurion Club outside London from...
May 16
May 16

New York Islanders name Lane Lambert head coach, replacing Barry Trotz

The New York Islanders on Monday hired longtime Barry Trotz assistant and right-hand man Lane Lambert to succeed Trotz as coach. General manager Lou Lamoriello announced Lambert as Trotz's replacement a week after firing the Stanley Cup-winning coach, who had one year left on his contract. It's Lambert's first head-coaching job in the NHL. Trotz was fired last week after the Islanders missed the playoffs for the first time in his four seasons behind the bench, a disappointing turn of events chalked up in large part to opening with a 13-game road trip and getting hit with a string of injuries and coronavirus absences. Lamoriello declined to say why he fired Trotz other than he felt the team needed a new voice. He and Lambert are expected to address reporters later Monday. Lambert, 57, has worked on Trotz's staff the past 11 years with Nashville, Washington and New York. He has a Stanley Cup ring from the Capitals' title run in 2018, after which Trotz resigned and...
May 16
May 16

Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander finalizing four-year, $84M extension

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It was never a question of if the Green Bay Packers were going to sign All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander to a contract extension. It was only a matter of when and for how much. It happened on Monday, and it included a defensive-back-record signing bonus of $30 million as part of a four-year, $84 million contract, Alexander's agent, John Thornton, told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Alexander's new deal averages $21 million per year, also a new mark for defensive backs. Alexander had previously been tied to the Packers for only this season on the fifth-year option to his rookie contract. That would have paid him $13.294 million for 2022, and the entire total would have counted on this year's salary cap. With the signing bonus prorated and a lower base salary of $1.076 million, the Packers will create significant additional salary-cap space. Before this deal, they had about $11 million in cap space. Exactly how much cap space was created won't be known...
May 16
May 16

Legendary WWE wrestler Ric 'The Nature Boy' Flair to step in ring one final time in July, according to sources

"The Nature Boy" will make the walk one final time. Ric Flair, one of the most well-known and revered professional wrestlers in history, will perform in one last match July 31, sources told ESPN on Monday. Flair, 73, will step into the ring at the Nashville Fairgrounds on an independent card that will stream live on FITE TV. Flair, a two-time WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time world champion, has not wrestled in a match since Sept. 12, 2011, a bout for Impact Wrestling against longtime rival Sting. His last WWE match was in 2008 at WrestleMania XXIV against Shawn Michaels. Flair's opponent for July 31 remains unclear. It's also unknown whether it will be a singles or tag team match. "I'm going to walk that aisle one last time to prove once and for all that to be the Man, you've got to beat the Man," Flair said in a statement to ESPN. Flair's final match will take place the day after WWE SummerSlam, which also is in Nashville. The event will take place immediately after the Starrcast...
May 16
May 16

Drew Brees tweet hinting at possible comeback likely 'made in jest,' New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen says

New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen says a cryptic tweet by Drew Brees, who hinted at a possible return to football, was likely "made in jest." Brees created a social media stir Sunday night when, as part of a tweet to address "speculation" about his future, he said he "may play football again." Brees, 43, retired from football in March 2021 and spent last season as an NFL analyst for NBC. The 13-time Pro Bowl quarterback tweeted Sunday in apparent response to the New York Post, which reported that Brees will not return to NBC for the 2022 season. Allen, speaking Monday at the Saints' Hall of Fame golf tournament from Kenner, Louisiana, said there have been no discussions about a Brees comeback in New Orleans. "I think it was a comment made in jest, and we certainly haven't had any conversations in that regard," Allen said. Brees also tweeted his excitement over the Saints' recent signings of former LSU stars Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry. Brees...
May 16
May 16

Islam Makhachev calls for Charles Oliveira, wants to submit him in 'his area'

UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev wants to face Charles Oliveira for the vacant title in October, and believes he will beat the Brazilian at his own game of submission grappling. Makhachev (22-1) is expected to fight Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he is very popular with the region's Muslim population. The question of whom he will fight is a big one in determining the UFC's schedule in the second half of 2022. UFC president Dana White has stated he wants Makhachev to fight Beneil Dariush, but Makhachev is also an obvious candidate to face Oliveira (33-8). "We don't have a champion," Makhachev told ESPN. "Charles is a contender. That's why it's going to be for the title. I deserve it. I have a 10-fight win streak." Oliveira, of Brazil, is widely viewed as the defending champion -- even though, officially, he is not. The 32-year-old missed weight by one half-pound ahead of a scheduled defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 on May 7...
May 16
May 16

Chris Paul says he's not retiring after Phoenix Suns' season ends in stunning blowout

PHOENIX -- For the second straight year, Suns point guard Chris Paul's season came to an end with his team failing to protect a 2-0 series lead en route to a disappointing NBA playoffs exit. And for the second straight year, Paul felt compelled to announce he has no plans to walk away from the game in the immediate aftermath of that devastation.   "You play long enough and you don't win, every time you lose, they're going to say it was your best chance," said Paul after the Suns' 123-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday. "But I think for me, us, it's we'll be right back next year. I'll tell you that much. "I'm not retiring tomorrow, thank God. Hopefully, I'm healthy coming back. But I'm [going to] keep playing." The way the series went mirrored Paul's play for the Suns. He averaged 23.5 points and just two turnovers in the first two games -- including a masterful 14-point fourth quarter in Game 2 -- and...
May 16
May 15

Artemi Panarin's OT power-play goal sends New York Rangers into second round

NEW YORK CITY -- New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant had a feeling heading into overtime of Game 7: If his team was going to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, star winger Artemi Panarin would be the player to do it. "He's the guy, when it gets to overtime, [where] I said to myself that he was going to score. If we get the winning goal, it's going to be him. Sure enough, he makes a great play," Gallant said. Panarin fulfilled his coach's precognitive notion, scoring a power-play goal at 4:46 of overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. They will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round, the first time New York has advanced past the first round since 2017.   It was the third straight come-from-behind victory for the Rangers, who tied the game on a Mika Zibanejad goal with 5:45 left in regulation. Goalie Igor Shesterkin...
May 15
May 15

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks author dominant Game 7 effort en route to eliminating Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX -- As Luka Doncic lit up the scoreboard in Sunday's Game 7, burying the top-seeded Phoenix Suns by halftime, the Dallas Mavericks' superstar broke out in laughter after some of his buckets. The Mavericks will be a surprise participant in the Western Conference finals, claiming the right to face the Golden State Warriors by rolling to a 123-90 road rout of the Suns. And Doncic has never had more fun in his NBA career than he did while destroying a Phoenix team that followed up winning the West a year ago by posting by far the best record in the league this season. "You can't get this smile off my face right now," Doncic said after he had 35 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in only 30 minutes, sitting out the entire fourth quarter because the win was already secured. "I'm just really happy. "Honestly, I think we deserve this. We've been playing hard the whole series. Maybe a couple of games here we weren't ourselves, but we...
May 15
May 15

Milwaukee Bucks 'definitely could've used' Khris Middleton in Round 2 loss to Boston Celtics

BOSTON -- To successfully defend their NBA championship, the Milwaukee Bucks knew they needed a combination of strong player performances, health and, perhaps, a little bit of luck. But the absence of forward Khris Middleton loomed large throughout their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Celtics and was ultimately too difficult to overcome as Milwaukee's season ended with a 109-81 loss in Game 7 on Sunday. The Bucks failed to reach 100 points in three of the seven games (all losses) and were badly outshot from behind the 3-point line. Boston made 53 more 3-pointers than Milwaukee in the series, which according to research by ESPN Stats & Information, is by far the largest gap in a single series in NBA postseason history. "We could've used [Middleton], definitely could've used him," Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said. "He makes big shots and big plays on both ends, but especially offensively." Without Middleton, who sprained the MCL...
May 15
May 15

Grant Williams leads Boston Celtics past Milwaukee Bucks in convincing Game 7 victory in NBA playoffs

BOSTON --  Grant Williams had never taken more than eight 3-pointers in a game before this series. He'd never made more than six. He'd never led the Boston Celtics in scoring. All of those things changed Sunday in the NBA playoffs. "Grant won us a playoff game tonight," Jayson Tatum said. "A Game 7." Williams had a career-high 27 points, while Tatum had 23 of his own as the Celtics dominated the second half in a 109-81 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on Sunday. Boston needed to win Games 6 and 7 after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5 that allowed the Bucks to take a 3-2 lead. But after pulling away late against Milwaukee in Game 6, the Celtics used the 3-point shot to put distance between themselves and the Bucks in Game 7. The Celtics hit a new playoff franchise record with 22 3-pointers, and Williams tied the NBA record for most 3s in a Game 7 with seven, tying him with Stephen Curry (twice) and Marcus...
May 15
May 15

Grant Williams leads Boston Celtics past Milwaukee Bucks in convincing Game 7 victory in NBA playoffs

BOSTON --  Grant Williams had never taken more than eight 3-pointers in a game before this series. He'd never made more than six. He'd never led the Boston Celtics in scoring. All of those things changed Sunday in the NBA playoffs. "Grant won us a playoff game tonight," Jayson Tatum said. "A Game 7." Williams had a career-high 27 points, while Tatum had 23 of his own as the Celtics dominated the second half in a 109-81 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on Sunday. Boston needed to win Games 6 and 7 after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5 that allowed the Bucks to take a 3-2 lead. But after pulling away late against Milwaukee in Game 6, the Celtics used the 3-point shot to put distance between themselves and the Bucks in Game 7. The Celtics hit a new playoff franchise record with 22 3-pointers, and Williams tied the NBA record for most 3s in a Game 7 with seven, tying him with Stephen Curry (twice) and Marcus...
May 15
May 15

Defending champion Oklahoma Sooners earn top seed in NCAA Division I Softball Championship

Defending champion Oklahoma has earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship, which begins on Friday. The 64-team field, which was selected by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee, was announced on Sunday. The SEC, led by a pair of top-10 seeds in No. 4 Arkansas and No. 6 Alabama, had the most teams selected to compete in the tournament with 12. Grand Canyon University, North Texas, Murray State and UNC Wilmington will make their first ever appearances in the tournament. Oklahoma is looking to bounce back after only its second loss of the season on Saturday, falling to rival Oklahoma State in the final round of the Big 12 championship. The Sooners, who lead the country in both batting average (.367) and earned run average (0.81) this season, will play Prairie View at home in Norman. Fresh off its first conference title in program history, Oklahoma State was given the No. 7 seed and will play Fordham in Stillwater. Regionals, which are hosted by the top...
May 15
May 15

Grant Williams leads Boston Celtics past Milwaukee Bucks in convincing Game 7 victory

BOSTON --  Grant Williams had never taken more than eight 3-pointers in a game before this series. He'd never made more than six. He'd never led the Boston Celtics in scoring. All of those things changed Sunday. "Grant won us a playoff game tonight," Jayson Tatum said. "A Game 7." Williams had a career-high 27 points, while Tatum had 23 of his own as the Celtics dominated the second half in a 109-81 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on Sunday. Boston needed to win Games 6 and 7 after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5 that allowed the Bucks to take a 3-2 lead. But after pulling away late against Milwaukee in Game 6, the Celtics used the 3-point shot to put distance between themselves and the Bucks in Game 7. The Celtics hit a new playoff franchise record with 22 3-pointers, and Williams tied the NBA record for most 3s in a Game 7 with seven, tying him with Stephen Curry (twice) and Marcus Morris. Williams'...
May 15
May 15

Buffalo Bills' Micah Hyde to donate portion of proceeds from charity softball game to support shooting victims

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A day after 10 people were killed and three others injured in a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, Bills safety Micah Hyde committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from his charity softball game to the families of the victims. Hyde said that the long-planned softball game was almost canceled due to the weekend's events, but that he felt it was important to bring the community together after such a tragedy and do something positive. The attack took place Saturday afternoon when a white 18-year-old man opened fire at a Tops Friendly Markets located in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. Authorities have described the act as "racially motivated violent extremism." "I still can't believe it," Hyde said. "But when there's hate in the world, you kind of erase it with love, and coming out here today and showing the community love and love to the youth, love to the community, love to the foundation. I guess that's the way to...
May 15
May 15

Source: Miami Dolphins reach deal with Melvin Ingram to bolster pass rush

MIAMI -- The Dolphins and defensive end Melvin Ingram have agreed to a contract, a league source confirmed to ESPN, adding quality depth to a pass rush that ranked as one of the NFL's most aggressive last season. The three-time Pro Bowler visited the Dolphins before the draft in April. He joins Miami pass-rushers Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel on a rotation that blitzed on 38% of opponents' dropbacks in 2021 -- the second-highest rate in the league. The Dolphins' sack rate of 7.3% was ranked seventh in the league last season. While the majority of the Dolphins' major additions this offseason have come on the offensive side of the ball, Ingram represents their biggest defensive addition to date. Miami re-signed most of its defensive free agents, including Ogbah and linebackers Elandon Roberts, Brennan Scarlett and Duke Riley. It spent fourth- and seventh-round picks on linebackers Channing Tindall...
May 15
May 15

Source: Miami Dolphins add to pass rush, reach deal with Melvin Ingram

MIAMI -- The Dolphins and defensive end Melvin Ingram have agreed to a contract, a league source confirmed to ESPN, adding quality depth to a pass rush that ranked as one of the NFL's most aggressive last season. The three-time Pro Bowler Ingram visited the Dolphins before the draft in April, and joins Miami pass-rushers Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel on a rotation that blitzed on 38% of opponents' dropbacks in 2021 -- the second-highest rate in the league. The Dolphins' sack rate of 7.3% was the seventh-highest in the league last season. While a majority of their major additions this offseason have come on the offensive side of the ball, Ingram represents the Dolphins' biggest defensive addition to date. Miami re-signed a majority of its defensive free agents, including Ogbah and linebackers Elandon Roberts, Brennan Scarlett and Duke Riley. It spent fourth and seventh-round picks on linebackers...
May 15
May 15

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II viewed as 'a long shot' to return during conference finals

SAN FRANCISCO -- It seems unlikely, but Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II might be able to return during the latter portion of the Western Conference finals, coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. "We're not ruling him out for the whole conference finals, but we're not saying he's going to play, either," Kerr said. "It would be a long shot for him to play, but I think it's a possibility." Payton fractured his left elbow in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies when Dillon Brooks hit Payton in the head while he was airborne during a fast-break dunk attempt. Payton was initially estimated to miss approximately one month. Brooks was ejected from the game after the foul was deemed a flagrant foul 2, and was later suspended from Game 3 for the play. Kerr said Brooks "broke the code" with the foul, which was not well-received by the Grizzlies, who said Brooks is not a dirty player. Payton says he and Brooks have...
May 15
May 15

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II viewed as 'a longshot' to return during conference finals

SAN FRANCISCO -- It seems unlikely, but Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II might be able to return during the latter portion of the Western Conference Finals, coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. "We're not ruling him out for the whole conference finals, but we're not saying he's going to play, either," Kerr said. "It would be a longshot for him to play, but I think it's a possibility." Payton fractured his left elbow in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies when Dillon Brooks clobbered Payton in the head as he was airborne during a fastbreak dunk attempt. Payton was initially estimated to miss approximately one month. Brooks was ejected from the game after the foul was deemed a Flagrant 2, and was later suspended from Game 3 for the play. Kerr said Brooks, "broke the code," with the foul, which was not well-received by the Grizzlies, saying Brooks is not a dirty player. Payton says he and Brooks have spoken...
May 15
May 15

Cincinnati Reds don't allow hit but fall 1-0 to Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- In what's quickly become a lost season for the Cincinnati Reds, this really was the ultimate misery. Prized rookie Hunter Greene and reliever Art Warren combined to allow zero hits in a complete game, but it didn't count as a no-hitter -- or even a win. Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates eked out a run in the bottom of the eighth inning on three walks and a groundout for a 1-0 victory Sunday. The Pirates become the sixth team in big league history since 1901 to win despite not getting any hits. It last happened in 2008, when Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo of the Angels lost while holding the Dodgers hitless. Greene took the loss, becoming the first pitcher to throw seven hitless innings and take the loss since Matt Young of the Red Sox against Cleveland in 1992, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. "It would have been great to have a different result, but it is what it is,'' Greene said. By Major League Baseball...
May 15
May 15

Steve Kerr clears health and safety protocols, rejoins Golden State Warriors before conference finals

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has cleared health and safety protocols. He rejoined the Warriors on Sunday as they begin to prepare for the Western Conference finals. Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 just two hours before Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, thrusting associate head coach Mike Brown into the head-coaching seat for the final three games of the series. Kerr called Brown on his way to Chase Center ahead of Game 4 on May 9, telling Brown that he wasn't feeling well and that he might have to step in. Just 30 minutes later, he registered a positive test. Kerr said he had been experiencing minor symptoms before taking a test. A few cases internally prompted Kerr to take a test. "I felt that if I passed this on to the team, I'll never forgive myself," Kerr said. "Not easy to sit at home and watch, but the symptoms weren't bad at all and it was just kind of my turn. It seems like the last couple years practically everyone on our...
May 15
May 15

Daniil Medvedev calls Russian invasion of Ukraine 'very upsetting,' still hopes for chance to play at Wimbledon

GENEVA -- — Watching the recent news from Ukraine is “very upsetting," No. 2-ranked tennis player Daniil Medvedev said Sunday of the war that led Wimbledon organizers to ban him and other Russians from their tournament. The U.S. Open champion spoke at the Geneva Open where he returns to action after a five-week absence from the ATP Tour for surgery on a hernia injury. “I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev said when asked if he could monitor the conflict in Ukraine more closely while not playing. Medvedev previously said in February after Russia invaded Ukraine that he was “all for peace.” Though most Olympic sports banned Russian teams and athletes from international competitions, tennis allowed players to continue as individuals and not representatives of their country. Wimbledon organizers went further, announcing three weeks ago with support from the...
May 15
May 15

Boston Celtics' Robert Williams III available to play in Game 7 against Milwaukee Bucks 'if needed'

BOSTON -- Robert Williams III will be available for the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he may not play his normal minutes -- if he plays at all. Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Williams, who has missed the past three games with left knee soreness, will be used "if needed." "He's available to play," Udoka said at his pregame news conference. "Hasn't done a whole lot of basketball activity in the last week. It's been more so managing the pain. As I mentioned, structurally he's OK. He'll be able to go. So he's available to go. But he won't start. We'll go with our normal rotation the last three games with him being out. We'll use him if needed." With Williams out, the Celtics have used Grant Williams in the starting lineup and Daniel Theis as the only big man off the bench. Without Robert Williams, the Celtics have won two of three, including Game 6 in Milwaukee...
May 15
May 15

Stephen Curry completes Davidson degree 13 years after leaving school

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry has graduated from Davidson College, the school announced Sunday morning. Curry, who helped lead the Warriors to a 110-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 of their second-round series on Friday to advance to the Western Conference finals, received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in sociology. Curry had been one semester short of graduating and reenrolled at the school for the spring semester, Davidson said. He did not attend Sunday's commencement, Davidson said, but his name was listed as one of the graduates. Curry attended the North Carolina school from 2006 to 2009 and is arguably the best player in Davidson history, as the school's all-time leader in points, 3-pointers, free throws, field goals and steals. Curry's graduation will likely result in his number being retired at Davidson. The college only retires the numbers of players who graduate. 
May 15
May 15

Sources: Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns undergoes stem cell treatment, platelet-rich plasma injections

Minnesota Timberwolves star center Karl-Anthony Towns underwent stem cell treatment and platelet-rich plasma injections in both knees, his left ankle, left wrist and right finger on Friday, sources told ESPN. Towns played through his injuries during the Timberwolves' run to the Western Conference playoffs and decided to get these treatments in the offseason with the hopes of avoiding surgery and making a full recovery by training camp. Towns, according to sources, was dealing with pain in both knees, especially his right knee, which he wore a sleeve on during the playoffs. He also had a cyst in his left ankle, a subluxated left wrist with ligament damage and an aggravated joint on the middle finger of his right (shooting) hand. Towns' girlfriend, Jordyn Woods, posted a photo of him recovering from the procedures on her Instagram story Saturday.
May 15

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