Draymond Green is the key to the Warriors’ success — LEAGUE ALERTS

Once again, Draymond Green seems to be the center of attention and the talk of the league as some NBA executives have gone as far as to recommend Bob Myers, Golden State’s GM, to trade the former Defensive Player of the Year in order to get another lottery pick. Before going any further, I must […]

Draymond Green is the key to the Warriors’ success — LEAGUE ALERTS

Watch: Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown — Touchdown Wire

There was no surprise in the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown, which took the place of the actual Run for the Roses, postponed until (…)

Watch: Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown — Touchdown Wire

There was no surprise in the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown, which took the place of the actual Run for the Roses, postponed until September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual race, shown on NBC-TV, saw all 13 Triple Crown winners in the starting gate at Churchill Downs.

The winner … none other than the great Secretariat. The winner of the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont moved to the front in the shadows of the wire. Second, was another incomparable horse, Citation. Third, was 1977 champion Seattle Slew, who set the pace for much of the mile-and-a-quarter.

Check out the race:



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Watch it again! The 13 Triple Crown winners face off in a virtual race under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.

Donate to COVID-19 relief at https://t.co/6W7xpgby5a. | #KyDerbyAtHome pic.twitter.com/QCDkrrPB5p

— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 2, 2020

What was real was NBC using a clever camera to show American Pharoah watch his Kentucky Derby win from his stall.

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American Pharoah watching himself win the Kentucky Derby is everything🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/bRfsmpNQc0

— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 2, 2020

And since it never gets old, a look at Secretariat’s immortal Belmont victory in 1973.

Sculptor Harry Weber Describes Challenges Of Making Bobby Orr Statue — NESN.com

When entering TD Garden for any event, it’s hard to miss the life-sized statue of Bobby Orr soaring in the air following his Stanley Cup-clinching goal in front of the arena. Harry Weber, a sculptor based out of St. Louis, completed the project more than a decade ago and spoke with NESN’s Michaela Vernava about…

Sculptor Harry Weber Describes Challenges Of Making Bobby Orr Statue — NESN.com

When entering TD Garden for any event, it’s hard to miss the life-sized statue of Bobby Orr soaring in the air following his Stanley Cup-clinching goal in front of the arena. Harry Weber, a sculptor based out of St. Louis, completed the project more than a decade ago and spoke with NESN’s Michaela Vernava about the challenges of constructing the magnificent work of art. Listen to the full interview in the video above. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Orr’s historic goal, the Boston Bruins Foundation is raffling off a miniature replica of the Orr statue. Click here for a chance to win. The raffle ends on Friday, May 8. Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images READ NEXT STORY Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/ Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/sculptor-harry-weber-describes-challenges-of-making-bobby-orr-statue/

Rumor: Teams watching Victor Oladipo situation with Pacers for possible trade — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

The Pacers have a lot of money locked up in their core of Brogdon, Turner, Sabonis, and Oladipo. Is it worth it?

Rumor: Teams watching Victor Oladipo situation with Pacers for possible trade — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Zion Williamson might see minutes restriction if/when play resumes — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

“It will be something that we talk about when we do resume and as far as how it looks for Zion from a minute standpoint.”

Zion Williamson might see minutes restriction if/when play resumes — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

It’s one of the biggest challenges in restarting the NBA, having enough time for a slow ramp-up to get players back in shape and avoid injuries.

For teams not headed to the playoffs, an additional question becomes, “how much should we play our stars? Are we risking injury, and for what?”

For the New Orleans Pelicans, that ties directly to Zion Williamson. Their rookie sensation missed the first 45 games of the season; if the Pelicans play again it’s possible Zion will be brought along slowly and have a minutes restriction, coach Alvin Gentry said in a conference call with the media Thursday.

“Obviously, his health will be the number one priority, but the restriction was really off after his first five/six games,” Gentry said. “So, he was playing the minutes that he would normally play, considering with any situation really. But, it will be something that we talk about when we do resume and as far as how it looks for Zion from a minute standpoint, and we’ll do that really with some of the other players.

“This is unprecedented, really. You play in a basketball game, you play 60 games and then all of a sudden the season ends, and then now it’s going to start back up. So, this is going to be something that is different for every single player that has ever played in the NBA or is playing in the NBA now.”

How the Pelicans handle this will be determined in part — probably in large part — by exactly how the NBA returns. If the league cancels the rest of the regular season and goes straight to the playoffs, this is all moot.

If the league plans to play regular season games — NBA officials want to, but the timeline and logistics become much more difficult, essentially doubling the number of teams and players involved — the question becomes how many? When play was suspended, the Pelicans were 3.5 games back of the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the West. If New Orleans gets to play out their final 18 games, maybe they can catch Memphis, and in that case they want Zion on the court to help them win. However, if the league reduces the number of regular season games, maybe to 10 (or fewer), it becomes much harder to close that gap, and it becomes a different equation for the Pelicans and Zion.

Gentry is right about one thing: This is unprecedented. Nobody knows what comes next or exactly how it will look. Teams and the league can prepare for scenarios, but that’s the best they can do.

NFL schedule expected to be released on time next week — Times-Standard

The NFL will release the 2020 game schedule next week, and despite talk ofalternative scheduling or a late start because of the coronavirus, it isexpected to be a business-as-usual slate. ESPN reported Saturday that the 17-week season will open Sept. 10 and closewith the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Fla., citing league spokesman…

NFL schedule expected to be released on time next week — Times-Standard

By REUTERS |PUBLISHED: May 2, 2020 at 9:04 a.m. | UPDATED: May 2, 2020 at 9:05 a.m.

The NFL will release the 2020 game schedule next week, and despite talk ofalternative scheduling or a late start because of the coronavirus, it isexpected to be a business-as-usual slate.

ESPN reported Saturday that the 17-week season will open Sept. 10 and closewith the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Fla., citing league spokesman BrianMcCarthy.

“We plan to start on time,” McCarthy said.

The league has discussed contingency plans, however.

Sports Business Daily reported Monday that the NFL was forming contingencyplans in case its schedule of games needs to be altered, including delayingseason openers by more than a month and moving the Super Bowl to the end ofFebruary.

It’s unclear whether the coronavirus outbreak will ease enough to allow fansin the stands. ESPN said the NFL won’t hunker players in specific locations toplay the season, as the NHL, MLB and NBA have discussed.

ESPN also reported that the schedule isn’t expected to include early seasonSaturday games. It had been speculated the NFL might schedule games onSaturday since the college football season remains up in the air.

In the meantime, NFL facilities remain closed, and teams have begun holdingvirtual workouts.

–Field Level Media

Not quite Wimbledon, but professional action resumes — Stabroek News

(Reuters) – It was a case of back to basics but live tennis returned yesterday with the opening matches at the Tennis Point Exhibition Series event staged near Koblenz in Germany. The article Not quite Wimbledon, but professional action resumes appeared first on Stabroek News.

Not quite Wimbledon, but professional action resumes — Stabroek News

(Reuters) – It was a case of back to basics but live tennis returned yesterday with the opening matches at the Tennis Point Exhibition Series event staged near Koblenz in Germany.

Eight players, including one-time Wimbledon conqueror of Rafa Nadal, Germany’s Dustin Brown, were in action at the Base Tennis centre, for the start of the four-day event.

World number 354 Benjamin Hassan does not enjoy the same profile as the unmistakeable dreadlocked Brown, but he can now lay claim to winning the first professional tennis match played since the sport was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Using a shortened scoring format on the indoor court, he beat Jean-Marc Werner 4-2 4-2 in a match that was streamed live by the Tennis Channel’s new Over-the-Top (OTT) platform — Tennis Channel International or via Tennis Channel’s website http://www.tennischanneleverywhere.com

It was not quite Wimbledon.

No spectators, line judges or ball boys are allowed and handshakes after match point are forbidden. Players are not allowed to have coaches on site, or even take a shower.

The winner’s cheque is less than 1,000 euros ($1,097) and catering is basic too, consisting of pre-wrapped sandwiches and energy bars.

Despite the strict controls, day one went smoothly, once the local police department had checked out the social-distancing measures being employed before giving it the green light.

“Everything was done to ensure the players’ safety and while it was a little different for them, especially the ones ranked higher, the players appreciated it,” Christian Klapthor, a spokesman for Playsight, one of the partners companies of the Series, told Reuters.

“The distancing measures were very controlled. After every match the benches where the players sit were wiped down with disinfectant and players arrived and left the court alone.”

He said the German tennis federation’s guidance on handling tennis balls said there was minimal risk in infection.

“Only if one player spat on a ball and the other put it in his mouth, which is pretty unlikely.”

Later, former world number 64 Brown beat Constantin Schmitz 4-2 4-2 to get his round-robin matches under way and returned to court later to beat Werner 4-3(5) 4-3(4).

The scoring system is the same as used at the ATP’s Next Gen Finals in Milan with best of three short sets to four, tiebreaks at 3-3 and ‘no advantage’ scoring.

With ‘in-play’ betting on the matches available through online bookmakers, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which like the ATP Tour, has not sanctioned the event, stressed that players are still governed by anti-corruption rules.

“The TIU has, upon request, provided integrity-related information to some organisers,” the organisation said.

“This does not constitute advice and can in no way be seen as an endorsement or approval of any event that does not come under its jurisdiction.

“It is vital that as these new events begin to appear they regard integrity as a non-negotiable central priority to reduce any risk of match-fixing and betting-related corruption.” ($1 = 0.9112 euros)

ESPN’S The Last Dance stuns the sports industry — Paw Prints Weekly

All hail Air Jordan, the King of Flight.

ESPN’S The Last Dance stuns the sports industry — Paw Prints Weekly
By JACOB RAMOS
STAFF WRITER

  All hail Air Jordan, the King of Flight. 

  After years of anticipation, Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) has finally released their long awaited documentary, The Last Dance. The film is centered around the iconic Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 National Basketball Association (NBA) championship run and provides an all exclusive look into the highs and lows of the season. Most notably, the video diary illustrates the season’s contribution to the legacies of not only Michael Jordan, but his teammates, executives and of course his coach, Phil Jackson.

  While it was Jordan, also known as MJ, who catapulted the Bulls to worldwide fame, Jackson is considered to have tipped the Bulls over the edge. What is not disputed is the fact that the documentary was essentially created for Phil.

  The entire debacle began when prior to the 1997-98 season, Jackson was alerted by Bulls general manager Jerry Krause that MJ would not be returning for the 1998-99 season. Soon after, Jordan unexpectedly expressed to the media that if Jackson would not be his coach he would simply retire. Of course, this was not a shocking reality since Jordan had won five championships with Jackson as his coach before the announcement was made. Upon realization, an unprecedented decision was made by Jackson and other team executives to grant the media access to their season, and it was a complete ride. 

 As of April 30, only four episodes have been aired and are some of the greatest segments I have ever watched.  The Last Dance accounts for a total of six hour-long chapters that illustrate the authenticity behind the scenes of one of the NBA’s biggest stars.  

  As a 2004 baby, I grew up in the Kobe Bryant/Lebron James era of basketball. As I familiarized myself with the sport I love today, I also learned of the legendary Michael Jeffrey Jordan. 

  Everything from the clutch shots, the win-at-all-cost mentality and the basketball icon that was MJ in the nineties has been embedded in my memories for years. And, by itself, the documentary is truly spectacular. It has offered audiences an entire new level of appreciation for the Bulls, the game, MJ’s legacy and personally, an overall reinvention of how the world and I view basketball. 

All at once, the documentary explores MJ’s upbringing, college career—which is legendary in itself—his time on the Bulls and even his relationship with teammates. Undoubtedly, all who watch will be held in sheer amazement at how well the film was put together and how influential one’s legacy can be. 

  For instance, the documentary takes time to bring audience’s back to the player’s roots. Born into poverty, Jordan grew up playing against rough competition and eventually was able to earn a scholarship to North Carolina. From there, Jordan was a game winner in his freshman year National Championship Game and went on to average nearly 20 points each year before entering the NBA Draft. 

  These incredible, never before seen highlights are only some of the groundbreaking content that the documentary covers. While this is not the first time a sports documentary has been made, not once has a film of this type ever created such a vast impact on the sports industry. Since its release, the basketball world has been thrown for a complete loop on social media, with an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the doc as fans around the world behold the universe behind the Bulls. 

  Before the documentary, I would always put Los Angeles Lakers megastar, Lebron James, above MJ in my debates for who the greatest of all time is.  My cousins and I have spent hours on end debating who truly is the greatest to ever grace the basketball court. Michael Jordan is a sort of foreign object for me, as I never got to see him play as he retired in 2003. This documentary is so special to me because I can feel him as if he still played today, which is not something I expected even before I began watching the first episode. 

  To ESPN, the NBA and Michael Jordan, thank you for giving 2000’s babies this deep look into the Chicago Bulls; it truly is an extraordinary experience.PAW PRINTS WEEKLY

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NESN Diary: Gianna Bryant Would Have Set WNBA On Fire (And Other Random Thoughts) — NESN.com

Each day during the sports pause stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, NESN.com will publish a diary full of random thoughts, opinions, takeaways, and other cool tidbits we’ve stumbled across in the absence of actual games. Because why not? We’re all in this together. There’s no way around it. This year has pretty much been the…

NESN Diary: Gianna Bryant Would Have Set WNBA On Fire (And Other Random Thoughts) — NESN.com

There’s no way around it. This year has pretty much been the worst for sports fans around the country. And all that started with the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Well today would have been Gianna’s 14th birthday. I wasn’t a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Actually, you could call me the opposite, being from Mass. and taking the Boston Celtics’ side of the storied rivalry. But still, the Bryant family, especially Kobe’s wife Vanessa, have been on my mind a lot through this quarantine. The pandemic is difficult enough to deal with alone, never mind while mourning the loss of your husband and daughter. Vanessa posted a beautiful tribute to Gianna today, and it broke my heart. I obviously have no personal connection to the family beyond that of a basketball fan. And a women’s basketball fan. And for those who find themselves in the middle of that Venn diagram, the loss of Kobe and GiGi means so much more. It really felt like those two were destined to change the WNBA forever. GiGi was being groomed by her father to become one of the most influential basketball players of our generation, I know it. With a man like Kobe, taking the interest he did in the women’s game, it seemed like great things were coming. You were starting to see the effects of him using his platform to show people that the WNBA is cool. And Gianna’s skill and dedication would have polarized the league. Gianna won’t go on to play for UConn, or get drafted to play for the Los Angeles Sparks and build on her own legacy. Because even as a 14-year-old, that legacy already was established. That girl could hoop. Rest in peace, Mambacita, and happy birthday. Here are some of today’s biggest storylines in sports. — Keeping with women’s sports, they took quite a blow Friday. A federal judge ruled against the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s lawsuit for equal pay after a five-year fight against the U.S. Soccer Federation. A spokesperson for the four-time World Cup champions said that while they’re shocked and disappointed with the decision, their fight isn’t over. I also am shocked and disappointed with the decision, but my girls will see you in appeals court. — The Boston Bruins signed Jaroslav Halak to a one-year contract extension Friday, locking up some security at the goaltender position. He was set to be an unrestricted free agent, but instead will make $2.25 million in his third season in Boston. Here’s what the B’s salary cap situation looks like now. — The NBA’s Board of Governors held a conference call and got quite a bit done. The league reportedly is indefinitely postponing both its draft lottery and combine. There’s no word on the NBA Draft yet, but it’s anticipated that that will be put off until August or September as well. And this season’s events aren’t the only ones affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On that call, the league reportedly discussed starting the 2020-21 season in December. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I think if it goes that route, the NBA might actually enjoy the benefits of a later start to the season. I wrote about this idea back in March, but the league would have less time competing with the NFL and the NBA Playoffs would absolutely dominate ratings in the summer when there’s nothing going on but the dog days of the baseball season. I’m into it. Let’s experiment and see what sticks. — As news circulated the last few days about the NHL using “host cities” to finish out the season in centralized locations, the league got a lot of pushback from players. The league reportedly is now looking into ways to play the season by allowing teams to stay in their home markets. — After the NFL Draft, quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s chances to start for New England improved thanks to the oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook. That won’t stop speculation of either Andy Dalton or Cam Newton getting brought in by Bill Belichick. — The Patriots selection of Division II safety Kyle Dugger was a fascinating one. Even his own college coach was surprised. But he’s expected to be an excellent punt returner and if that doesn’t sell you on him, watch this video of Dugger demolishing a running back. — And now for some happy news. Our friend Jerry Remy, NESN’s Red Sox broadcaster, is feeling good after resuming his cancer treatment. Thanks to Massachusetts General Hospital for taking great care of him. — And I’ll leave you with this. It’s not necessarily news from the day, but I really enjoyed this piece from NESN’s Mike Cole about how this May will be the most important month in the history of American sports. Tweet of the Day: There is a very steep price I’d pay to hangout with the crew of the ESPN show “The Jump” with Rachel Nichols. There’s probably never a dull moment with that cast of characters. Example: Tracy McGrady trying to deal with getting a bat out of his house.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/nesn-diary-gianna-bryant-would-have-set-nba-on-fire-and-other-random-thoughts/

“They are unbelievable,” says Flames GM of Giordano family’s good deeds during COVID-19 — Calgary Sun

The word started circulating of Mark and Lauren Giordano’s latest acts of kindness. Read More

“They are unbelievable,” says Flames GM of Giordano family’s good deeds during COVID-19 — Calgary Sun

Already known in this city for their exemplary charity contributions, the Calgary Flames captain and his wife have been reaching out to various families and meeting some of their needs during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

The word started circulating of Mark and Lauren Giordano’s latest acts of kindness.

Already known in this city for their exemplary charity contributions, the Calgary Flames captain and his wife have been reaching out to various families and meeting some of their needs during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

A Calgary woman posted on Facebook of her interaction with someone who worked for Giordano, indicating that he’d like to buy her groceries at Walmart; something he and his wife had been doing to help out the community.

In her post, the woman said her grocery bill came to $430.

“I am in still (sic) shock what just happened,” she wrote on Facebook.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving confirmed the Giordanos gesture, which exemplifies the captain’s leadership and his better half’s selfless nature.

“They are unbelievable,” Treliving said. “The last thing he’s going to do is publicize that. Paying for groceries is just one of the things he’s done in the last six weeks to help this community. He’s not going to blow his own horn — I’ll blow it for him. They’ve been active in finding out — and Lauren’s been unbelievable — the needs people have. Someone was looking for a computer so they went out and got them one and delivered it. They’ve done unbelievable work. And he’s never going to tell you about it.

“But he just gets it.”

UCLA forward Jalen Hill withdraws his name from NBA Draft — Daily News

Jalen Hill is returning to Westwood. The UCLA forward has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft, a school spokesperson said, to return to the Bruins for his redshirt junior season. Hill’s name was on a list of players who declared early for the draft released by the NBA this week. Hill started in 25…

UCLA forward Jalen Hill withdraws his name from NBA Draft — Daily News