Duke freshman Cassius Stanley declares for NBA draft — Daily News

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke freshman Cassius Stanley is entering the NBA draft. Stanley announced his decision Tuesday after averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils, highlighted by his high-flying athleticism. He had a season-high 24 points in a January loss to Louisville, while he finished strong with 19 points and six rebounds…

Duke freshman Cassius Stanley declares for NBA draft — Daily News

MAPLE LEAFS SIGN ALEXANDER BARABANOV

MAPLE LEAFS SIGN ALEXANDER BARABANOV

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Alexander Barabanov to a one-year entry level contract for the 2020-21 season.

Barabanov, 25, spent the 2019-20 season with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). In 43 games during the 2020-21 season, Barabanov recorded 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) while adding three points (one goal, two assists) in four playoff games. The Saint Petersburg, Russia native appeared in 262 career KHL games, all with SKA, registering 137 points (62 goals, 75 assists). In 68 career playoff games, Barabanov recorded 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) while winning the KHL Garagin Cup in both 2015 and 2017.

Internationally, Barabanov skated for Russia at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, winning the gold medal in a 4-3 win over Germany. Barabanov has represented Russia three times at the World Championships, recording 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 28 games.

NBA “looking at every possibility” to get back playing — High Velocity Sport

NBA “looking at every possibility” to get back playing NBA “looking at every possibility” to get back playing Posted by Charean Williams on April 6, 2020, 10:16 PM EDT Getty Images The NBA isn’t ready to return, and NBA Commissioner Adam […]

NBA “looking at every possibility” to get back playing — High Velocity Sport

The NBA isn’t ready to return, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expects it be at least May before the league can decide anything.

But Silver revealed during a conversation with Ernie Johnson of Turner Sports on the NBA’s Twitter account on Monday night that the league is exploring every possibility.

We miss it badly,” Silver said. “To all the families watching this, I know the NBA is a big part of their lives. We just want to assure everybody that while we’re putting the health and safety of everyone first, we’re looking at every possibility to get our players back on the floor and to play NBA basketball again.”

The NBA became the first major American pro league to shut down after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The league’s regular season was supposed to end April 15 with the playoffs starting three days later.

Silver said the league will have to decide whether the regular season will resume in some form or head straight to the postseason. The NBA also is exploring whether to play in NBA arenas, practice facilities or to have all teams to go to one location to finish the season.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban broached the idea of a “bubble city” last week, with the entire league going to Las Vegas to finish the season.

Cities have expressed interested in hosting the entire league in one site, Silver said.

It is an idea PFT has said the NFL should investigate as an “what-if” option in case COVID-19 affects its games this fall.

TFC president Bill Manning bullish that MLS will charge ahead this year — Toronto Sun

Toronto FC president Bill Manning is not parading around the city these days dressed like a one-man band, with a guitar in his arms, cymbals between his knees and a harmonica strapped below his mouth singing all is well. Read More

TFC president Bill Manning bullish that MLS will charge ahead this year — Toronto Sun

By Steve Buffery

Toronto FC president Bill Manning is not parading around the city these days dressed like a one-man band, with a guitar in his arms, cymbals between his knees and a harmonica strapped below his mouth singing all is well.

Manning is both realistic and pragmatic, and is quick to point out that he has no inside information as to when the 2020 MLS season will resume (or even if it will this year) or when team training will begin (last week, MLS extended the team training moratorium through April 24 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

However, the two-time MLS executive of the year remains bullish that there will be a 2020 season and that MLS — a league that struggled big-time in its first few years of operation — will come out of the coronavirus crisis in good shape.

“I am (optimistic),” Manning told the Toronto Sun on Monday. “And I hope that we can play and play a full season. How that will look like and what shape it’s going to come in, I don’t know. (But) certainly in soccer you can play multiple games a week. With football that’s more difficult, though we do have bye weeks in the CFL that you can do away with it.

“So I am trying to stay optimistic,” he said. “But I’m also realistic that we don’t know the answer.”

Big celebrations were planned for MLS this season — its 25th season of operation. MLS is a league that many predicted years ago would not survive. But not only has it survived, it has thrived.

In recent years, franchise values have gone through the roof. Last year Forbes listed TFC as being worth $395 million.

Expansion fees have risen over the years, the newest MLS teams, Cincinnati and Nashville, paid $150 million to join in 2019 and 2020. (In 2012, Montreal Impact owners paid $40 million to join MLS).

Still, MLS is a gate-driven league and with the game, like pro sports around the world, on hiatus with no resumption date clearly in sight (May 10 at the very earliest), worries build as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

But Manning has faith in MLS leadership, particularly commissioner Don Garber, who has navigated the league through some very tough times, and the league’s ever-growing and loyal fan base.

“I think the league is a far cry from what it was in 1996,” Manning said. “Much like the other leagues, our intention is to get through this. I think the one thing about sports is, it brings communities together (and) I think MLS has really found it’s niche in the sports market place. It’s no longer a second-tier league. It’s there with some of the more established leagues because it’s found its place, its place in communities, and we’ve seen that with TFC.

“We’ll certainly get back, just like the NBA and the NHL, and hopefully be able to deliver a lot of fond memories for our fans because, after this, we’re all going to need a lot of good things to happen and to take place,” the Massapequa, N.Y., native continued.

As for his own club, Manning said it’s important that a routine has been set up as players adjust to self-isolation. In that regard, the club has set up video training and conferencing. Bikes, weights and other training apparatus have been sent to everyone. The players even get two meals delivered to their respective homes and condos every day, prepared at the BMO Training Ground by head chef Elaine Flamenco and her team.

“It’s just something again to try to keep a normal routine for our players because we always do a pre-workout meal and a post-workout meal,” Manning said. “(The chefs) come in and get sanitized after every cleaning and then they do it again. I think it’s really important our players get what they need and have that little bit of a sense of normalcy.”

Overall, Manning said the players are doing well and are staying on top of their fitness as best as they can. They’ve all remained in the Toronto area with the exception of two players — who were granted permission to return home — one to the U.S. and another to a different part of Canada (Manning did not want to reveal their names). Other than centre back Chris Mavinga, who lost an uncle in France to COVID-19, Manning said that the players and their families have remained healthy during the crisis.

“The guys for the most part feel positive, enthusiastic, they’re been in good spirits,” he said. “Obviously they want to get back to playing but for the most part it’s been a spirit of camaraderie that sometimes during things like this just brings people together.”

Like many people, Manning is champing at the bit hoping games will resume sooner rather than later.

“Sports are a luxury,” he said “But with that said, sports is also massively important to a lot of people and is a huge part of their daily routines. I can’t tell you how many texts and Emails I’ve gotten from different people just saying I miss my TFC and my sports.

“As much as the world doesn’t revolve around sports, certainly by any measure, it is a big part of people’s lives. I think that in some ways when the teams are back training again and games are being played, that’s when I think the community will be, from a psychological stand-point, in a much, much better place. Because you’re back to this normal world where you can go out and enjoy the teams.

“When that happens, that will be really good for the public.”

Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal Make Generous Donation For COVID-19 Relief — NESN.com

Even though the NBA has indefinitely suspended the 2019-20 season, Jayson Tatum has found a way to keep busy — and it’s much bigger than basketball. The Celtics forward has partnered with Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, the Jayson Tatum Foundation, Feeding America and Lineage Logistics to pledge a combined $500,000 to the Boston and…

Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal Make Generous Donation For COVID-19 Relief — NESN.com