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Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

10 things to know about NBA All-Star 2019

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — With All-Star festivities set to officially begin Friday (Saturday, PHL time), here are 10 things to know going into the weekend: BACK TO CHARLOTTE Charlotte hosted NBA All-Star weekend in 1991, and now gets it back a second time to join 14 other cities that can say it hosted the league’s showcase midseason event on multiple occasions. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles and the L.A. suburb of Inglewood, California, are the other previous multi-hosting All-Star cities. The Bay Area, the Detroit area and the Dallas area are also two-time hosts, though never technically twice in the same city. LEBRON’S RECORDS LeBron James now has the record for most All-Star captaincies: Two. He and Stephen Curry had the jobs last year when the captain’s format was first introduced to the All-Star weekend, and he and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the jobs this year. But James’ records revolving around this game hardly stop there. By starting on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), James will tie Kobe Bryant with 15 starts in the All-Star Game. James will also extend his record of consecutive starts, which will also rise to 15. Some of the other All-Star records James already holds include total points (343), field goals (141) and three-pointers (35). And by playing two minutes, James will increase his All-Star total in that stat to 416 — one more than Bryant for No. 2 on the all-time list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has played the most All-Star minutes, 449. FOULING OUT Bold prediction: No one will foul out on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The last player to foul out of an All-Star Game was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987. Chris Paul was the most recent to come close, when he was whistled for five fouls in the 2008 game. There have been only 14 instances of someone fouling out of an All-Star Game. Rick Barry and Bob Cousy each fouled out twice; 10 others, including Olajuwon, have done so once. MVPs AT HOME Kemba Walker, the lone Charlotte player in this year’s All-Star Game, has suggested that he’s hoping he can wow the home crowd with an MVP-worthy performance. There’s a history of that sort of thing happening. There have been 14 players who have won All-Star MVP honors in their home cities, spanning a total of 15 games. The list of hometown All-Star MVPs: Anthony Davis (New Orleans, 2017), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles, 2011), Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix, 2009 and Los Angeles, 2004), Karl Malone and John Stockton (Utah, 1993), Michael Jordan (Chicago, 1988), Tom Chambers (Seattle, 1987), Jerry West (Los Angeles, 1972), Rick Barry (the San Francisco area, 1967), Adrian Smith (Cincinnati, 1966), Bob Pettit (St. Louis, 1958 and 1962), Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia, 1960), Bob Cousy (Boston, 1957) and Ed Macauley (Boston, 1951). AGE MARK Assuming he plays, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki — one of the special additions to the rosters by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who also added Miami’s Dwyane Wade to the list — will become the second 40-something to appear in the All-Star Game. Nowitzki is 40; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the game when he was 40 and 41. Michael Jordan almost pulled off the feat; he was eight days shy of turning 40 when he last played in the All-Star Game in 2003. Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and the unofficial host of the weekend, will turn 56 on Sunday. Wade, also assuming he gets into the game, will become the 12th player to be an All-Star at 37 or older. Wade turned 37 last month. HEROES Jason Weinmann and James Shaw Jr. might not be “celebrities,” at least not in the classic sense. But the NBA rightly believes they should be celebrated. Weinmann and Shaw were invited to play in Friday’s All-Star Celebrity Game to commemorate heroic acts. Weinmann, a retired Marine, used a military transport vehicle — which he bought at a government auction years ago — during Hurricane Florence last September to help rescue flood victims in North Carolina and bring them to safety. Shaw disarmed a man who had opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville last April and has been heralded as a life-saving hero since for wrestling the AR-15 out of the alleged shooter’s hands by the barrel. G LEAGUE FIRST Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks is the first member of a new club. He’s the first G League alum to become an NBA All-Star. Middleton spent a short time during the 2012-13 season in the G League, before blossoming into one of the league’s best players and a key to Milwaukee going into the break with an NBA-best 43-14 record. There will be plenty of G League graduates participating on All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as well — Middleton, Seth Curry, Danny Green and Joe Harris are all slated to be in the 3-point contest. CASH MATTERS There is some money at stake during All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) events, and everybody gets something. Everyone in the dunk contest will receive at least $20,000, everyone in the skills challenge gets at least $15,000 and all participants in the 3-point shootout take home at least $10,000. From there, prize money varies by finish — the skills challenge winner gets $55,000, the 3-point shootout champion wins $60,000 and the dunk contest winner takes home $105,000. In all, the Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) participants will split $610,000. EASTBOUND This All-Star weekend is the first of four straight in Eastern Conference cities. Chicago gets it next year, Indianapolis in 2021 and Cleveland in 2022. The site for the 2023 game remains unknown; Salt Lake City and Sacramento are two sites often mentioned as candidates for that year, and Orlando is a likely suitor for the 2024 game. THE REFS Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) All-Star Game will be officiated by Scott Foster, Curtis Blair and David Guthrie. It’s a home game of sorts for Guthrie, who resides in Charlotte. Foster worked the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas. It’s the first All-Star Game for Blair and Guthrie. The Friday and Saturday (Saturday and Sunday, PHL time) events will be worked by a crew of newer refs — third-year official Aaron Smith and fourth-year officials Mitchell Ervin and Gediminas Petraitis......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 15th, 2019Related News

Kemba Walker Enters 3rd All-Star Game with Uncertain Future

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) --- Kemba Walker is preparing for his third NBA All-Star game --- and his first as a starter --- this weekend on his home court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he once shouted "This is my city!" after a game-winning shot. The big question is how many more he'll play in as a member of the Hornets. The eight-year NBA veteran is set to become one of several All-Star free agents in July and will surely be an attractive option for more than a few teams. On the surface, it seems like Walker re-signing a long-term deal is a no-brainer --- he has repeatedly stated his desire to continue playing for the Hornets, and the organization wants him back. But there a...Keep on reading: Kemba Walker Enters 3rd All-Star Game with Uncertain Future.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 12th, 2019Related News

Russian race walker banned for doping

MOSCOW--- Russian race walker Anisya Kirdyapkina, a two-time world championship medalist, has been banned for using performance-enhancing drugs, further dismantling one of the most successful doping programs in history. Kirdyapkina was the only athlete from Russia's nine-person Olympic walk team in 2012 never to have served a ban despite multiple investigations into organized doping involving her coach, her teammates and her gold medal-winning husband, Sergei. The Russian track federation said Thursday that Kirdyapkina was banned for three years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after her blood data showed signs of doping. She will have to cease her coaching career and is d...Keep on reading: Russian race walker banned for doping.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 8th, 2019Related News

Mavericks top Hornets 99-93 as Dallas deals Barnes to Kings

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 19 points in his third triple-double, Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the new-look Dallas Mavericks made another move by trading Harrison Barnes while beating the Charlotte Hornets 99-93 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points in his Dallas debut after the blockbuster deal that brought Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks. Porzingis isn't playing this season as he recovers from a knee injury. Barnes played into the third quarter before reports of a trade with Sacramento surfaced. He was on the bench but didn't play in the fourth quarter. Barnes scored seven of his 10 points in the third. Two people with knowledge of the deal said the Mavericks sent Barnes to the Kings for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been announced. Kemba Walker had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who got swept by Dallas after losing to the Mavericks by 38 points at home about a month ago. With NBA Commissioner Adam Silver watching from not far behind the Mavericks bench, Doncic had a spinning layup for a three-point play with Dallas leading by two. The first teenager with multiple triple-doubles, Doncic had 11 assists and 10 rebounds on a rough shooting night (5-of-20, including 2-of-10 from three-point range). After Nicolas Batum scored two of his 14 points to get Charlotte within three, Finney-Smith hit a three-pointer for a 97-91 lead in his second career double-double. TIP-INS Hornets: G Tony Parker was out with a back strain in what would have been his first appearance in Dallas since leaving San Antonio after 17 seasons with the rival Spurs. ... Jeremy Lamb scored 15 points, and Cody Zeller had 13 rebounds with nine points. Mavericks: After setting franchise record for three's in a quarter by going 10-of-17 from long range in the first quarter of the meeting in Charlotte, the Mavericks missed their first 10 before Hardaway and Doncic hit consecutive three's in the final 1:11 of the first. ... Trey Burke was scoreless in four minutes in his Dallas debut. Courtney Lee, also part of the New York trade, didn't play. UP NEXT Hornets: Second stop on a four-game trip at Atlanta on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Mavericks: Second of three straight at home against Milwaukee on Friday (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Harris jumper gives Clippers 117-115 win over Hornets

By Eli Pacheco, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 34 points, including a running jumper in the lane with 4.3 seconds remaining, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from 20 points down to beat the Charlotte Hornets 117-115 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Charlotte had a chance to tie or take the lead on its last possession, but Marvin Williams’ three-point attempt was short at the buzzer. Lou Williams scored 31 points for the Clippers, Montrezl Harrell added 16 and Patrick Beverley 15. Los Angeles was playing its third road game in four days. Kemba Walker scored 32 points and Jeremy Lamb added 22 for the Hornets. Marvin Williams finished with 13 points and Malik Monk had 12. It was the second time this season Charlotte lost a game after leading by 20. Beverly’s loose-ball foul with 21.1 seconds left put Marvin Williams on the line for Charlotte. Williams hit both to tie it at 115. The Clippers shot 75 percent (18-for-24) on three-pointers. TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles held Kemba Walker to 13 points in their first matchup this season, a 128-109 win. Walker scored 25 on 8-of-15 shooting (4-for-6 on three's) in the first half Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). ... Danilo Gallinari (back) did not play. ... The Clippers’ third-period woes continued as they were outscored 34-31. Hornets: Center Cody Zeller, who missed 16 games after surgery on his right hand, entered the game at the 6:43 mark of the first period with a small brace on his hand, but didn’t wear it in the second half. ... Charlotte entered the game 2-8 in its past 10 against Los Angeles, and 1-4 in its past five. ... Tony Parker left after nine minutes on the court with a back injury and didn’t return. UP NEXT Clippers: Visit Indiana on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Hornets: Visit Dallas on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

LOOK: Here are the 2019 NBA All-Star Game reserves

NBA press release NEW YORK – Two-time Kia NBA All-Star MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and four first-time All-Stars lead the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. The 68th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. (Feb. 18, PHL time). NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. Joining Westbrook as reserves in the Western Conference player pool are San Antonio Spurs forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge, New Orleans Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.  Jokić has been named an NBA All-Star for the first time. The Eastern Conference reserve pool includes three first-time NBA All-Star selections: Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević.  They are joined by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo. Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks will draft the NBA All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. The team rosters will be revealed on TNT in a special NBA All-Star Draft Show on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET (Feb. 8, PHL time). James and Antetokounmpo will make their picks without regard for a player’s conference affiliation or position.  Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12-man roster. The 2019 NBA All-Star Draft rules include: - The eight starters (aside from James and Antetokounmpo) will be drafted in the First Round. - The 14 reserves will be drafted in the Second Round. - As the top overall vote-getter among fans, James will have the first pick in the First Round (Starters).  Antetokounmpo will have the first pick in the Second Round (Reserves). - The captains will alternate picks in each round until all players in that round have been selected. The 10 All-Star Game starters, unveiled last week, were selected by fans, current NBA players and a media panel.  The Eastern Conference starter pool consists of Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker. The Western Conference starter pool is James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City’s Paul George and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden. The 14 All-Star Game reserves were selected by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Team LeBron will be coached by the head coach from the Western Conference team with the best record through games played on Sunday, Feb. 3 (Feb. 4, PHL time). Team Giannis will be led by the head coach from the Eastern Conference team with the best record through games played on Feb. 3 (Feb. 4, PHL time). Below is a closer look at the NBA All-Star Game reserves: 2019 NBA ALL-STAR GAME RESERVES Western Conference Player Pool The Western Conference @NBAAllStar Reserve Pool!@aldridge_12 @AntDavis23 Nikola Jokic@Dame_Lillard @KlayThompson @KarlTowns @russwest44 #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/BHu2JnxiHg — NBA (@NBA) February 1, 2019 • LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (7th All-Star selection): Aldridge is an All-Star for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. The Spurs have now had at least one player selected to 21 consecutive All-Star Games, the NBA’s longest active streak. • Anthony Davis, Pelicans (6th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the sixth year in a row, Davis scored a record 52 points in the 2017 All-Star Game. • Nikola Jokić, Nuggets (1st All-Star selection): Selected with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Serbian center is Denver’s first All-Star since the 2010-11 season (Carmelo Anthony).   • Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (4th All-Star selection): Lillard is the fourth player to earn at least four All-Star nods with Portland, joining Clyde Drexler (eight), Aldridge (four) and Sidney Wicks (four). • Klay Thompson, Warriors (5th All-Star selection): This marks the fifth consecutive All-Star selection for Thompson, who made a game-high five three-pointers and scored 15 points in the 2018 All-Star Game. • Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (2nd All-Star selection): Towns is the third player to be named an All-Star multiple times with Minnesota, along with Kevin Garnett (10) and Kevin Love (three). • Russell Westbrook, Thunder (8th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the eighth time in the last nine seasons, Westbrook is the only player to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP Award outright in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016). Eastern Conference Player Pool The Eastern Conference @NBAAllStar Reserve Pool!@RealDealBeal23 @blakegriffin23 @Klow7 @Khris22m @VicOladipo @BenSimmons25 @NikolaVucevic #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/LfwuSBvA1P — NBA (@NBA) February 1, 2019 • Bradley Beal, Wizards (2nd All-Star selection): This is the second straight All-Star selection for Beal, who scored 14 points in his All-Star Game debut last year. • Blake Griffin (6th All-Star selection): Griffin is set to appear in the All-Star Game for the first time since 2014, when he scored 38 points as a member of the LA Clippers. • Kyle Lowry, Raptors (5th All-Star selection): With his fifth consecutive All-Star nod, Lowry becomes the second player to be named to at least five All-Star teams after not being selected in any of his first eight seasons, joining Chauncey Billups. • Khris Middleton, Bucks (1st All-Star selection): The 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft joins Antetokounmpo to give Milwaukee multiple All-Stars in the same season for the first time since 2000-01 (Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson). • Victor Oladipo, Pacers (2nd All-Star selection): Oladipo has been named an All-Star in each of his two seasons with Indiana. He sustained a season-ending ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on Jan. 23 (Jan. 24, PHL time). • Ben Simmons, 76ers (1st All-Star selection): The reigning Kia NBA Rookie of the Year makes his All-Star debut in his second season – just as Philadelphia teammate Embiid did last year. • Nikola Vučević, Magic (1st All-Star selection): The eight-year NBA veteran from Montenegro is Orlando’s first All-Star selection since the 2011-12 season (Dwight Howard).  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 1st, 2019Related News

Celtics overcome Kyrie Irving’s absence to rout Hornets

  BOSTON --- Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Jayson Tatum scored 20 points, and the Boston Celtics rolled over the Charlotte Hornets 126-94 on Wednesday night despite Kyrie Irving's absence. Terry Rozier had 17 points and tied a career high with 10 assists in place of Irving, who missed his second straight game with a left hip strain. Marcus Morris scored 15 points, Al Horford had 14 and Gordon Hayward 12 for the Celtics, who won for the seventh time in eight games. Kemba Walker had 21 points to lead Charlotte, well short of the 43 he scored in a 117-112 home win over Boston on Nov. 19. Malik Monk scored 16 points, Nicolas Batum added 13 and Marvin...Keep on reading: Celtics overcome Kyrie Irving’s absence to rout Hornets.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Jan 31st, 2019Related News

Kemba Walker expects ‘crazy’ reaction as NBA All-Star starter at home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Hornets point guard Kemba Walker can't imagine what the atmosphere will be like when he's introduced as an NBA All-Star game starter next month on his home court. "I haven't given it any thought, but I'm sure it will be an unbelievable moment being that the game is in Charlotte," Walker said. "I've been here for eight years now, so it's going to be crazy." The 28-year-old Walker was named to the All-Star team for the third time Thursday, but it was his first selection as a starter. He becomes another big story line for the All-Star weekend, along with Stephen Curry returning to the city where he grew up, and former North Carolina college basketball star a...Keep on reading: Kemba Walker expects ‘crazy’ reaction as NBA All-Star starter at home.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Jan 25th, 2019Related News

Walker, Hornets return home, beat Kings 114-95

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 23 points, surpassing 11,000 for his career, and the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Sacramento Kings 114-95 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Miles Bridges and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 15 points and Willy Hernangomez added 11 points and 16 rebounds off the bench for the Hornets. Charlotte's reserves outscored Sacramento's 60-44. The Hornets entered the game looking to make up ground in the Eastern Conference after a 2-4 West Coast trip, which included a 104-97 loss at Sacramento on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). After a slow start, Charlotte scored 43 points in the second quarter to take control and never trailed again, leading by as many as 20 early in the fourth quarter. Walker, who is third in All-Star voting at guard in the Eastern Conference, has scored 87 points in his last three games. Buddy Hield led the Kings with 24 points. The Hornets trailed by 13 points early but outscored the Kings by 18 in the second quarter to take a 63-50 halftime lead. Kidd-Gilchrist brought energy and scoring with 13 points before the break. TIP-INS Kings: Harry Giles capped a frustrating night by fouling out with 1:20 left in the game. He finished with one point after missing all three shots from the field and going 1 of 4 from the foul line. Hornets: Outscored the Kings 52-38 in the paint despite being without center Cody Zeller. ... Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly and former teammate Thomas Davis took in the game from courtside seats. UP NEXT Kings: Visit the Pistons on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Hornets: Host the Suns on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2019Related News

Kemba Walker’s big finish gives Hornets win over Suns

PHOENIX --- Kemba Walker didn't have much of an impact in Charlotte's game Sunday night against the Phoenix Suns --- until the final 4 minutes. Then he was the Hornets' everything. Walker scored 18 of his 29 points in that late surge ---punctuated by a halfcourt heave at the buzzer--- and Charlotte pulled away to hand the Suns their sixth straight loss, 119-113. "This isn't anything new," Hornets coach James Borrego said. "He's done this most of his career. He's a fourth-quarter player. He shines brightest in those moments." Walker scored his team's final 14 points. "In these kind of situations my teammates look to me to make big plays and that is what I try to do," h...Keep on reading: Kemba Walker’s big finish gives Hornets win over Suns.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Jan 7th, 2019Related News

NBA: Walker, Monk lead Hornets past Magic

Kemba Walker scored 24 points in just 27 minutes, and the Charlotte Hornets beat Orlando 125-100 on Monday night, their 13th straight victory over the Magic. NBA: Walker, Monk lead Hornets past Magic Source link: NBA: Walker, Monk lead Hornets past Magic.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Jan 1st, 2019Related News

Walker, Monk lead Hornets past Magic, 125-100

By Justin Parker, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 24 points in just 27 minutes, and the Charlotte Hornets beat Orlando 125-100 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), their 13th straight victory over the Magic. Walker had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the first half and did not play in the fourth quarter. Malik Monk added 21 points as the Hornets put six players in double figures in the easy victory over the Magic and Steve Clifford, who coached Charlotte for five seasons. The Hornets improved to 18-18 with their second win in three games. Aaron Gordon scored 14 points and Nikola Vucevic had 12, but he did not play after leaving the court with a knee injury late in the third quarter. Mo Bamba had 12 rebounds in 18 minutes for the Magic, who opened a six-game trip by having a two-game winning streak snapped. Orlando led 14-4 in the opening minutes, but the Hornets answered with a 20-4 run over the next 4.5 minutes. Charlotte’s first-quarter lead reached 36-23 after a dunk by Monk. Walker found Monk open in the corner for a three-pointer as the first half clock expired, giving the Hornets a 63-53 lead. Cody Zeller added 14 for the Hornets before leaving in the third quarter with a broken right hand. Marvin Williams, Willy Hernangomez and Devonte Graham added 10 apiece. The Hornets got a boost off the bench from rookie guard Graham, who scored all his points in the third quarter, helping the Hornets extend their lead to 95-77 through three. TIP-INS Magic: D.J. Augustin (sprained right ankle) and Jonathan Simmons (sprained left ankle) did not play. Jerian Grant started in place of Augustin. . With the score tied at 18, Jonathan Isaac missed a breakaway dunk. The Hornets took their first lead on the next possession on Jeremy Lamb’s runner and never trailed again. Hornets: Guard Jeremy Lamb strained his right hamstring in the first quarter and did not return. He played nine minutes and finished with nine points and hit all four of his shots. . Zeller also had six rebounds in 24 minutes. UP NEXT Magic: Visit Bulls Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Hornets: Host Dallas Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 1st, 2019Related News

PBA 43 Review: What’s Blackwater’s ceiling?

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one. Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball. But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018. Today, we take on the Blackwater Elite.   SUPER ELITE Blackwater’s first two conferences were frustrating and forgettable. The Elite’s Philippine Cup as frustrating as Blackwater just couldn’t catch a break. Towards the end, the team had to rely on others in order to advance to the playoffs. Usually, those kind of scenarios don’t end well. It didn’t end well for Blackwater. The Elite missed the playoffs due to inferior quotient. The team didn’t even have the chance to play for a knockout, that’s how bad their quotient was. The Commisisoner’s Cup was worse. Blackwater finished with a 1-10 record and the only win came during a last-second dunk by import Herny Walker. The Elite needed a change of scenery, they needed a spark. Enter Asia League. Blackwater competed in the Super 8 tournament in Macau along with NLEX. And while the Elite were plagued witn inferior quotient once again and missed the semifinals, the team played well and forged some strong chemistry. It was evident when the Elite returned for the Governors’ Cup and Blackwater had its best conference to date. There was still some growing pains for the team, they missed a twice-to-beat edge by one game, but the Elite have made themselves into a true playoff contender. Blackwater has since made changes to its team, but for the upcoming season, it appears that the Elite have a higher ceiling to reach. That’s super.   Blackwater ELITE in the 2017-2018 PBA Season Philippine Cup: 5-6 (10th place) Commissioner’s Cup: 1-10 (12th place) Governors’ Cup: 7-4 (5th place) Overall: 13 wins and 30 losses. One playoff appearance.   POST DRAFT NOTE: Blackwater had quite a haul in the 2018 PBA Draft. Following an approved trade, the Elite got their hands on Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter for JP Erram. The loss of Erram hurts for sure but Abu joins a versatile frontline that also has Raymar Jose and Mac Belo. That’s a young core but it helps build Blackwater’s future. Desiderio is a strange case as the Elite have more proven players ahead of the rotation. Still, the former UP captain should take over the spot of Paul Zamar in the team. Blackwater technically still has the rights to no. 2 pick Bobby Ray Parks Jr. Pending any deals, the Alab Pilipinas MVP is still headed to the Elite once he jumps to the PBA for real.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 30th, 2018Related News

Kemba Walker s hot hand sparks Charlotte Hornets to win over Brooklyn Nets | Inquirer Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Kemba Walker scored 29 points and made seven 3-pointers, Tony Parker had 17 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Charlotte Hornets avenged a double-overtime loss to the Broo.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsDec 29th, 2018Related News

Kemba Walker’s hot hand sparks Charlotte Hornets to win over Brooklyn Nets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Kemba Walker scored 29 points and made seven 3-pointers, Tony Parker had 17 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Charlotte Hornets avenged a double-overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week with a 100-87 victory on Friday night. Jeremy Lamb added 19 points and Cody Zeller had 14 points and 10 rebounds as Charlotte improved to 13-7 at home. D'Angelo Russell scored 33 points on 13-of-24 shooting for the Nets, who lost for only the second time in the last 11 games. The Hornets won despite an off night from their bench. Aside from Parker, Charlotte's reserves were 3 of 21 from the field. The Hornets (17-17) bounced back from the loss i...Keep on reading: Kemba Walker’s hot hand sparks Charlotte Hornets to win over Brooklyn Nets.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Dec 29th, 2018Related News

Gabbert keeps Titans hopes alive, beating Redskins 25-16

By Teresa M. Walker, Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans finally have a victory in a game where quarterback Marcus Mariota left injured, and Blaine Gabbert did much more than just win. Gabbert kept the Titans' playoff hopes alive. The veteran threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt with 4:30 left and the Titans rallied to beat the Washington Redskins 25-16 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory. "I don't know," Gabbert said when asked if this was the biggest win of his eight-year career with four teams. "It was a fun win. We got a big game next week." The victory was Tennessee's first in the seven career games that Mariota has left with an injury. Coming off the bench for the third time this season, Gabbert threw for 101 yards after the Redskins knocked Mariota out of the game late in the first half with a stinger. Gabbert hit Taywan Taylor for 35 yards to jump-start the winning drive, Derrick Henry ran four times for 33 yards, his last an 18-yarder to the 2. Gabbert then hit Pruitt at the back of the end zone. The Titans (9-6) must beat Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts and have either Baltimore or Pittsburgh lose once to earn the AFC's second wild-card spot for a second consecutive playoff berth. "The only scenario that any of us are smart enough to worry about is us preparing to win and ultimately win, and that's all we can do right now," first-year Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. Safety Kevin Byard intercepted Josh Johnson's pass on third-and-3 with 1:17 left. Then Malcolm Butler picked off a pass as time expired and ran 56 yards for an emphatic TD. The Redskins (7-8) have lost five of six, and coach Jay Gruden said they couldn't ask for anything more from quarterback Josh Johnson, who came off his couch only weeks ago. Washington needs losses by Minnesota and Seattle to avoid being eliminated. "I'm just very proud and sick for the way it ended for him tonight because he really just played (great), displayed great courage, leadership all in three weeks," Gruden said. "I hate for him to be judged on that one pass (Byard's interception), but overall just very, very proud of the way he came in here and led this team." Mariota had thrown for 110 yards when sacked with 48 seconds left in the first half by defensive end Jonathan Allen. His right, throwing shoulder and arm were examined, then he walked to the locker room and was replaced by Gabbert. The stinger is the same injury that knocked him out of Tennessee's loss Nov. 18 at Indianapolis. He also was knocked out of the season opener with an elbow injury that cost him a start. Vrabel said Mariota was still being evaluated after the game. Byard said the Titans have full trust in Gabbert. "It's really no panic on the sideline," Byard said. Henry finished with 84 yards and a TD on 21 carries. Johnson threw for 153 yards and a TD. Dustin Hopkins kicked field goals of 50, 40 and 46 yards, and Washington finished with three sacks. The fourth quarterback to start this season for Washington this season, Johnson drove the Redskins on the NFL's second-longest drive this season, taking the ball with 26 seconds left in the first quarter and then eating up 10:58 off the clock, going 93 yards over 17 plays. Johnson capped the drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Michael Floyd for a 10-6 lead. INJURIES With Washington already thin at guard, guard Zac Kerin hurt a knee on the Redskins' second drive of the game but was able to return. Redskins defensive end Matt Ioannidis hurt a hamstring. Titans Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey aggravated a knee that kept him out of practice all week with 4:21 left. PETERSON'S MARKS Adrian Peterson ran for 119 yards for Washington. That put him over 1,000 yards for the season for the first time since 2015 and made him the 12th player in NFL history with eight or more seasons with 1,000 yards rushing. None of that mattered with the loss. "Hopefully, I'll appreciate it after Christmas, but for the time being, you know, I play this game to win and to have an opportunity to win a championship," Peterson said. "Falling short of having that opportunity is weighing heavy on my heart right now. I'm just going to let this one sink in and bounce back and finish the season off on the right note." UP NEXT Redskins: Host Philadelphia. Titans: Host Indianapolis......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 23rd, 2018Related News

Watch: MB Life’s Fast Talk with Nico Bolzico – MB Life

We stan a funny man 😍Sex or chocolates? 😂 Johnnie Walker Nico Bolzico Watch: MB Life’s Fast Talk with Nico Bolzico – MB Life Source link: Watch: MB Life’s Fast Talk with Nico Bolzico – MB Life.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Dec 21st, 2018Related News

Game of Thrones-inspired whisky is coming: White Walker by Johnnie Walker hits shelves on December 10

Game of Thrones-inspired whisky is coming: White Walker by Johnnie Walker hits shelves on December 10. Game of Thrones-inspired whisky is coming: White Walker by Johnnie Walker hits shelves on December 10 Source link: Game of Thrones-inspired whisky is coming: White Walker by Johnnie Walker hits shelves on December 10.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Dec 11th, 2018Related News

Walker, Lamb lead Hornets over Knicks

NEW YORK --- The Charlotte Hornets got off to a strong start and cruised to an easy win. Kemba Walker scored 25 points and Jeremy Lamb added 19 as Charlotte beat the New York Knicks 119-107 on Sunday night in a game it never trailed. Tony Parker scored 16 points, Marvin Williams had 13 and Cody Zeller finished with 12 as the Hornets led by as many as 28 points. "We knew they played last night. We wanted to come out really aggressive on both ends of the floor and it worked out for us," Walker said. "We wanted to jump on them. We really needed this win." Knicks rookie Kevin Knox tied a season high with 26 points and set a career high with 15 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr....Keep on reading: Walker, Lamb lead Hornets over Knicks.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Dec 10th, 2018Related News