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MLB: Players want more games, no more salary cuts

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press. A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced. One of the people said many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday. It was unclear when the union will respond to MLB's plan, the people said. Stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose the most under MLB's plan, about 77% of the $36 million each they were set to be paid this season. In all, there are 133 players whose contracts call for salaries of $10 million or more, not including shares of signing bonuses. A big leaguer earning $1 million or less would keep at least 43% of his salary under the six-tier scale. That includes a share of $200 million earmarked for players that is contingent on the postseason being completed. About 460 of approximately 900 players on rosters and injured lists when spring training was stopped in mid-March due to the new coronavirus make $1 million or less. Trout and Cole would be cut to about $8 million each. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado would drop from $35 million to $7.84 million. “Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys,” Milwaukee pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted. The players’ association called the proposal “extremely disappointing.” The union has argued players already accepted a cut to prorated shares of their salaries in a March 26 agreement and should not have to bargain again. MLB would like to start the season around the Fourth of July in empty ballparks and proposed an 82-game regular-season schedule. It claims teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue. “This season is not looking promising,” New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted. “Keeping the mind and body ready regardless.” Union head Tony Clark has not commented publicly on MLB’s proposal and has said very little publicly since late March. Agent Scott Boras has repeatedly criticized MLB for proposing more salary reductions and has questioned the accuracy of management’s financial claims. “Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs,” Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted Wednesday. “If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.” Boras did not respond to a request for comment on Bauer’s remarks. “Working together to manage the public health issue has brought great solidarity among the players,” Boras said earlier in the day. “They are a strong united front and resolute in their support of the MLBPA.” A season with more games would lead to players earning a higher percentage of their original salaries. MLB says that without fans each additional game would result in a $640,000 loss. Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio told the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Tuesday “the be-careful-what-you-wish-for part is hours every day.” “It’s got to come together very quickly or we won’t be able to, we will just run out of time," he said. “To pay players at a full contract rate, pretty much 90% of that would go to pay them and wouldn’t cover any other costs.” Details of the plan have been disclosed to the AP by several people familiar with the proposal. They spoke on condition of anonymity because details had not been announced. MLB’s proposal says that within 48 hours of the ratification of an agreement for player compensation terms and health and safety protocols, the commissioner’s office would announce a proposed timeline for the resumption of the season. The resumption would include a training period of at least 21 days, and each team would be allowed a maximum of three exhibition games, all in the final seven days of the training period. Opening day would be in early July, and the final scheduled regular-season game would be no later than Sept. 27 — the same as in the original 2020 schedule. Issues such as roster size, trade deadlines, series length and treatment of the luxury tax would be delegated to a subcommittee. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Milwaukee contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 28th, 2020

MLB: Players want more games, no more salary cuts

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press. A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced. One of the people said many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday. It was unclear when the union will respond to MLB's plan, the people said. Stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose the most under MLB's plan, about 77% of the $36 million each they were set to be paid this season. In all, there are 133 players whose contracts call for salaries of $10 million or more, not including shares of signing bonuses. A big leaguer earning $1 million or less would keep at least 43% of his salary under the six-tier scale. That includes a share of $200 million earmarked for players that is contingent on the postseason being completed. About 460 of approximately 900 players on rosters and injured lists when spring training was stopped in mid-March due to the new coronavirus make $1 million or less. Trout and Cole would be cut to about $8 million each. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado would drop from $35 million to $7.84 million. “Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys,” Milwaukee pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted. The players’ association called the proposal “extremely disappointing.” The union has argued players already accepted a cut to prorated shares of their salaries in a March 26 agreement and should not have to bargain again. MLB would like to start the season around the Fourth of July in empty ballparks and proposed an 82-game regular-season schedule. It claims teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue. “This season is not looking promising,” New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted. “Keeping the mind and body ready regardless.” Union head Tony Clark has not commented publicly on MLB’s proposal and has said very little publicly since late March. Agent Scott Boras has repeatedly criticized MLB for proposing more salary reductions and has questioned the accuracy of management’s financial claims. “Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs,” Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted Wednesday. “If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.” Boras did not respond to a request for comment on Bauer’s remarks. “Working together to manage the public health issue has brought great solidarity among the players,” Boras said earlier in the day. “They are a strong united front and resolute in their support of the MLBPA.” A season with more games would lead to players earning a higher percentage of their original salaries. MLB says that without fans each additional game would result in a $640,000 loss. Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio told the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Tuesday “the be-careful-what-you-wish-for part is hours every day.” “It’s got to come together very quickly or we won’t be able to, we will just run out of time," he said. “To pay players at a full contract rate, pretty much 90% of that would go to pay them and wouldn’t cover any other costs.” Details of the plan have been disclosed to the AP by several people familiar with the proposal. They spoke on condition of anonymity because details had not been announced. MLB’s proposal says that within 48 hours of the ratification of an agreement for player compensation terms and health and safety protocols, the commissioner’s office would announce a proposed timeline for the resumption of the season. The resumption would include a training period of at least 21 days, and each team would be allowed a maximum of three exhibition games, all in the final seven days of the training period. Opening day would be in early July, and the final scheduled regular-season game would be no later than Sept. 27 — the same as in the original 2020 schedule. Issues such as roster size, trade deadlines, series length and treatment of the luxury tax would be delegated to a subcommittee. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Milwaukee contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2020

The Nationals to open condensed Season 2 in September

After months of delay, Esports league The Nationals is looking forward to get its second season going by September. Adapting to the current health crisis, organizers of the league are making necessary adjustments including holding its competitions online. The Nationals, which was originally slated to kick off its season last March, will move the games online to allow the league to run amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while completely eliminating physical human contact. League commissioner Ren Vitug believes that competition and sports can bring joy and hope to the people – and Esports is one of the best equipped to do that while still maintaining the distancing protocols. "We think that there is an opportunity to inspire," Vitug said. "Not just in giving joy to the people, but also by using the platform that the teams and we have to spread awareness.” “Of course, the league also generates jobs for a lot of players, their support staff, and in many other interfaces," he added. While online play seems synonymous with Esports, The Nationals is unique in that all of its tournament games last year were played in a studio setting. It opened up opportunities in production like live audiences, captured player reactions, and on-the-spot interviews – something that long Esports events and leagues rarely have. The Nationals has lined up three games it featured last season, Tekken 7, Dota 2 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Pending approvals, the games will be played for a conference each in that order. Because of the current health situation, the league plans to have a condensed calendar where it will only have the three conferences compared to the six it had last year. The Nationals have been working closely with the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to ensure that if and when the league resumes, it will not be at the expense of the health and safety of its stakeholders. The recently signed Joint Administrative Order of GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Health (DOH) is the primary benchmark on which the guidelines are being tailored from. The Nationals is the country's first franchise-based Esports league. Aside from the regular salary of active players, the league has also given away more than P5 million in cash prize to top performers in its first season. Players from the league also helped the Philippines secure medals in the esports competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2020

No paychecks for 11 big leaguers: advance larger than salary

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Dayton will notice one glaring absence this season after he reports to the Atlanta Braves: his twice-a-month salary. He is among 11 major leaguers whose prorated pay for the abbreviated 60-game season amounts to less than the $286,500 advance already received by the 32-year-old left-hander. “It’s going to be weird not getting a paycheck,” he said Friday, “but we already got paid.” Dayton gave up the 6,776th and final home run of of last season's record total, to the New York Mets' Dominic Smith. To resume preparation for the new season he will drive Monday from his home in Winter Haven, Florida, to Atlanta with wife Cori, 2 1/2-year-old son Decker and nearly 6-month-old Nolan for Braves' workouts at Truist Park. After opening day was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed March 26 to a deal that called for teams to advance $170 million in salaries over the first 60 days of the season. Others who won’t get paychecks because of lower prorated salaries are Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson and New York Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder ($277,778 each), Pittsburgh infielder Erik Gonzalez and Minnesota pitcher Matt Wisler ($268,519 apiece), Philadelphia catcher Andrew Knapp ($262,943), Chicago Cubs pitcher Jharel Cotton ($237,037), pitchers Collin McHugh of Boston, Ross Stripling of the Dodgers and Jesse Hahn of Kansas City ($222,222 each) and Milwaukee pitcher Freddy Peralta ($575,200). “My first reaction was, wow, if we don’t have any games this year, I’m going to get paid the same amount that Freddie Freeman’s getting paid, so that’s pretty cool,” Dayton said in a reference to his teammate, a four-time All-Star first baseman with a $22 million salary that was cut to about $8.15 million. “I knew that there was going to be a point that if we resume games, I wouldn't get paid. And I was OK with that because we still received significant amounts of money and we’re fine.” Each of the roughly 480 players with so-called “straight” contracts that call for a single salary received $286,500. The 769 players with “split” contracts that have a lower salary in the minor leagues — generally a younger group not yet eligible for arbitration — got either $16,500, $30,000 or $60,000, depending on their minor league pay level. Dayton, who has spent parts of three seasons in the majors, has a $655,000, one-year contract. His prorated salary for the short season will be $242,593, assuming the contagion does not cause more games to be canceled. The group won’t have to return any cash because the March deal states “in the event there is a 2020 championship season, any amounts advanced to individual players that cannot be recouped by clubs via payroll deduction during the 2020 season for any reason shall be reimbursed to clubs from the International Tax Fund at the conclusion of the 2020 season.” That tax fund is money collected from teams that exceeded their specified bonus pools to sign high-priced Latin American amateurs. “We’re blessed because we’re getting more money than the prorated amount,” Dayton said. Most of the group has relatively low salaries for arbitration-eligible players because of injuries that sidelined them and reduced their statistics. Nelson returned last June from shoulder surgery and was limited to three starts and seven relief appearances. McHugh missed September and the postseason with a sore right elbow and signed a deal with a $600,000 salary and $3.65 million in performance and roster bonuses. Cotton, Dayton, Hahn and Stripling all were interrupted by elbow surgery early in their careers, and Gonzalez missed more than half of last season after breaking his collarbone. Peralta has a low salary in 2020 as part of a $15.5 million, five-year contract he agreed to in March. Dayton was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 14 relief appearances last year and is 1-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 68 big league games that included time with the Dodgers in 2016-17. He wonders how he will fare in arbitration next winter. “It's going to be a weird year and a short season, but I guess they’re going to have to treat it on paper like a real season, a championship season," he said. "And as far as contracts go in the future, they’re going to have to take the stats this year, which is kind of scary for a relief pitcher, to be honest because you have one bad game, it takes a whole year to get that back. The slow starters can't be slow starters anymore." Stripling, a financial adviser for B. Riley Wealth Management when he’s not playing baseball, negotiated a $2.1 million deal in January but was able to have $1.5 million designated as a signing bonus, which is protected and not reduced. Only the $600,000 specified as salary in the contract gets prorated. “It will be strange to receive no money or paychecks throughout the year,” he said. “I’m thankful for my background in finance, because I’m comfortable with my ability to budget. I do worry about the 10 other guys in my situation. Technically will be receiving zero income until next April. That’s a long time to budget ahead.” One option for players could be licensing money they are owed that had been retained for them by the union. “Our PA is offering a stipend of sorts for guys in similar situations,” Stripling said. “But I don’t know how much money or how often they can receive it. It also comes from our `war chest,′ which is money saved for salaries in case of a work stoppage in 2022. Most guys will try to avoid pulling money from that unless they are in dire situations.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2020

No pay cuts for Chelsea first-team players

By the Associate Press English Premier League team Chelsea says it will not impose a pay cut on its first-team squad and instead will ask players to continue their support for charities during the coronavirus pandemic. Chelsea also said it will not be furloughing any full-time staff, and casual workers and match day employees are being compensated by the club through to June 30. The Blues have been in negotiations with their players about a salary reduction, reportedly around 10%, in an effort to save money during the current crisis. That is lower than the Premier League’s suggestion of 30% for all clubs but Chelsea has now decided to take a different approach. Highlighting the PlayersTogether initiative launched by Premier League players earlier this month which aims to raise and distribute funds for National Health Service charities, Chelsea told its stars to focus their efforts on other causes. “Representatives of the Chelsea board have recently held extensive talks with the men’s first team to discuss how they can contribute financially to the club during the coronavirus crisis," a statement on the club website said. “At this time, the men’s first team will not be contributing towards the club financially and instead the board have directed the team to focus their efforts on further supporting other charitable causes.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

NBA, players agree on plan for partial salary withholding

LOS ANGELES — The NBA and its players’ union agreed on a plan for reducing player compensation should games be permanently canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic as commissioner Adam Silver said Friday it remained unclear when the league might be able to plan for a resumption of competition. Silver, speaking to reporters on a conference […] The post NBA, players agree on plan for partial salary withholding appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2020

Balotelli’s Brescia accepts player pay cuts

MILAN: Serie A’s Brescia, who want the Italian season stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic, announced on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) their players have agreed to salary cuts. In a statement addressed to season-ticket holders, president Massimo Cellino praised “the great sensitivity and responsibility shown by our players who, almost all, have accepted very quickly […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 9th, 2020

Spanish league and players still far apart on salary cuts

Spanish league and players still far apart on salary cuts.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2020

NBA uncertain about salary after April 1

New York, United States--The NBA plans to pay full salaries to players as scheduled on April 1 but could begin cutting salaries to recover money from canceled games by April 15, ESPN reported Saturday (Sunday Philippine time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2020

NBA uncertain about salary payments after April 1

  NEW YORK, USA – The NBA plans to pay full salaries to players as scheduled on April 1 but could begin cutting salaries to recover money from canceled games by April 15, ESPN reported Saturday, March 21. Citing a league memo shared with NBA clubs on Friday, the sport network's website ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2020

Stern was a big-city guy and a friend to the small markets

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern had been NBA commissioner for barely a year when the Knicks won the 1985 draft lottery, sending Patrick Ewing on the way to New York. Skeptics cried conspiracy, that the league rigged the result to bail out the faltering franchise in its largest market. Stern would shrug it off, knowing he wouldn’t do anything illegal to help the Knicks, or any of the big boys. He did far more for the little guys. Cities like Sacramento and New Orleans needed Stern more, and his efforts helped them retain teams that might otherwise have been playing elsewhere. In New Orleans’ case, that even included running the organization at the same time as running a league. “I used to think that he just showed up on draft day and shook hands, but then I got to work with him when I was in New Orleans when the NBA took over the Pelicans. I was amazed how much he did,” said Phoenix coach Monty Williams, who was coaching the team when the league stepped in to run it until new ownership could be found. Tributes flowed for hours Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) after Stern died at 77, from grateful players and teams who benefited from his 30 years of leadership. Most focused on his vision that led to the NBA’s massive worldwide growth, but some had more personal stories to tell about closer to home. Like the Kings, who at times appeared ticketed for Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas or some other city before Stern rejected the team’s plans to bolt and gave Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson the chance to put together plans for local ownership and a new arena that kept the team in California’s capital city. A street is named in Stern’s honor there. “David will always be remembered as Superman in Sacramento,” owner Vivek Ranadivé said, adding that Stern’s “fierce support of the team and this community is the reason why the Kings stayed in Sacramento. David’s enthusiasm for our city and belief in our fans will never be forgotten.” The Kings played a tribute video Thursday (Friday, PHL time) acknowledging Stern’s role in their revival before their home game against the Memphis Grizzlies, another team in a minor market that’s struggled at times to fill its building after the team relocated there from Vancouver. “David will always be remembered as Superman in Sacramento." In Memoriam - David J. Stern ???? pic.twitter.com/g8cdh2sr14 — Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) January 1, 2020 Business may have boomed better in other places, but one move for the franchise was hard enough. Stern had no interest in another. “Commissioner Stern’s support of Memphis as an NBA market and the resulting arrival of the Grizzlies franchise in 2001 forever changed the trajectory of our city,” the Grizzlies said. “His continued support in standing alongside the Grizzlies organization in its creation of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game in Memphis reflected his commitment to using the power of sport to transform lives.” The NBA loves its big stars and benefits from them being in the biggest markets, from Magic Johnson to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and now LeBron James being in Los Angeles, or Michael Jordan playing in Chicago. But Stern and the league admired the parity of the NFL, where small-market squads such as Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis have thrived. A better chance of achieving that was a driving force that led to the 2011 lockout, with the league hoping a more favorable salary structure and improved sharing of revenues would give any well-managed team a chance to compete, no matter its location. Teams such as Oklahoma City, Portland and Utah have since been relatively consistent winners, and Milwaukee currently sports the NBA’s best record. Occasionally, it took a larger effort from the league, especially in New Orleans. The NBA has never proven over the long term it will flourish in the city after moving from Charlotte, with Chris Paul and Anthony Davis both eventually seeking to be traded. But even though the Hornets were well-supported in Oklahoma City after playing home games there following Hurricane Katrina, Stern felt it was important to return the team to New Orleans when it was ready to host games again, then sent the 2008 All-Star Game soon after. Later, he had the league take ownership of the franchise from George Shinn until it could find an owner who would keep the team in the city. That situation became uncomfortable when Stern had to make the heavily criticized decision to kill a trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers, but the Pelicans are still there nearly two decades after arriving. “Mr. Stern was a catalyst in professional basketball returning to New Orleans in 2002,” the team said. “His commitment to the New Orleans community and the Gulf South region was further shown when he guided the franchise through an ownership transition to Tom Benson in 2012.” Stern couldn’t win all the fights, failing to convince local leadership to approve arena funding that could have kept the SuperSonics in Seattle, a city whose fans were strong supporters. They moved to Oklahoma City, where the Thunder have been a small-market success. Just the kind Stern liked. ___ AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

White Sox boost rotation, agree to $5M deal with Gonzalez

By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox boosted their starting rotation, finalizing a $5 million, one-year contract with two-time All-Star Gio González that includes a 2021 club option. The deal announced Friday calls for a $4.5 million salary in 2020 and gives the White Sox a $7 million option for 2021 with a $500,000 buyout. The 34-year-old left-hander finally will get a chance to pitch for the team that took him with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft. Chicago dealt González to Philadelphia following the 2005 season as part of the trade that sent Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for Jim Thome, then reacquired González a year later along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy García. The White Sox traded González to Oakland for Nick Swisher in January 2008. González debuted with the Athletics in 2008 and is 130-99 with a 3.68 ERA over 12 years with Oakland (2008-11), Washington (2012-18) and Milwaukee (2018-19). He was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012, when he won a career-high 21 games and had a 2.89 ERA. González was 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 17 starts and 19 appearances last season. “We view Gio as an important addition to our pitching staff,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He brings an impressive resume to our club as a veteran left-hander who has enjoyed success and should have a positive impact on our younger pitchers in terms of competing, battling and helping us win games at the major league level.” Chicago went 72-89 in its seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since its 2005 World Series title. But with young players establishing themselves in the majors and promising prospects in the minors, the White Sox expect to contend for a postseason spot. Right-hander Lucas Giolito went from the highest ERA among qualifiers in 2018 to his first All-Star season, going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 29 starts. The White Sox could have a solid rotation if Michael Kopech bounces back from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease progresses. Both are 23. Chicago added All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal — González's teammate in Milwaukee last season — in November when he agreed to a $73 million, four-year contract. The White Sox also re-signed slugger Jose Abreu to a $50 million, three-year deal last month and acquired young slugger Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers at the winter meetings last week.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 21st, 2019

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Ron Rivera era has come to an abrupt end in Carolina. The Panthers fired their all-time winningest head coach with the team on a four-game losing streak and headed to its third non-playoff season in four years. “I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement Tuesday. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community.” Secondary coach Perry Fewell was been named interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will transition to special assistant to the head coach, and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will serve as offensive coordinator. Tepper said he will begin a search for a new coach immediately. Rivera was hired in 2011 and was 76-63-1 in the regular season and a 3-4 postseason mark. In nine seasons Rivera guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC championship and three NFC South titles. But the Panthers have fallen on hard times lately following injuries to quarterback Cam Newton the past two seasons. The Panthers are 5-7 this season and are all but eliminated from playoff contention after a 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday at home. When asked if he was worried about his future with the team on Sunday after his team surrendered a 14-0 lead to the Redskins, Rivera replied, “I’m not worried about my future. I’m worried about this football team. We have a game coming up on Sunday” at Atlanta. They started this season 5-3. Last year the team was 6-2 but lost seven straight games and finished 7-9. Since losing to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 four seasons ago, the Panthers are 29-31 and have not won a playoff game. Rivera, 57, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment from The Associated Press. Rivera’s firing might not be the only change coming. Tepper, who bought the team in 2018, said long-term mediocrity is not an option for the Panthers. “We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success,” Tepper said. “Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes. We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff.” Tepper said the team will hire an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations. “We all must recognize that this is the first step in a process, but we are committed to building and maintaining a championship culture for our team and our fans,” Tepper said. Rivera was extremely well liked in the Panthers locker room, and he easily related to players having played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears, winning a Super Bowl with Jim McMahon, Walter Payton and others in 1985. Rivera is a two-time NFL Coach of the Year and likely won’t have a problem landing a job next season. As for what the move means for Newton remains to be seen given that Tepper has shown he’s not afraid to make big changes. The legacies of Rivera and Newton have always been intertwined as both came to the Panthers in 2011. Newton is coming off shoulder and foot injuries and the team could save $19 million under the salary cap if they release or trade him after the season. Kyle Allen has filled in for Newton this season at quarterback and is 5-5 as a starter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2019

Bayern cuts gap behind Bundesliga leader Gladbach to 1 point

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — For once, Robert Lewandowski didn’t score. But it didn’t matter as Bayern Munich stayed perfect under interim coach Hansi Flick and cut the gap behind Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach to just one point on Saturday. Bayern routed Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 away, while Gladbach lost at promoted Union Berlin 2-0. Lewandowski had scored in every Bundesliga game so far, but the Polish forward couldn’t stretch his league record to 12 games against Fortuna — still the only side remaining in the 18-team division against which he hasn’t scored. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Lewandowski sent one shot narrowly wide of the post and his powerful header was saved well by goalkeeper Zack Steffen. He even tried a scissor kick, without success. Goals from Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, and Philippe Coutinho gave Bayern its second straight 4-0 win in the Bundesliga after routing Borussia Dortmund before the international break. It stretched Bayern’s winning run to three games under Flick, Germany coach Joachim Löw's former assistant. Flick is filling in for the fired Niko Kovac and has yet to see his side concede. Bayern became the first visiting team since April to leave Düsseldorf with a clean sheet. UNION ENJOYING BUNDESLIGA LIFE Union players celebrated with fans long after the side’s fifth win from 12 games, its third straight in the league. Anthony Ujah’s 15th-minute header and another in injury time from Sebastian Andersson were enough for Union to end Gladbach’s three-game winning run across all competitions, and stretch the promoted team’s own run to five straight victories, including a friendly win over Holstein Kiel. Gladbach made a fine start with Denis Zakaria and Patrick Herrmann going close before Herrmann hit the post in the 12th. But Marcus Ingvartsen produced a fine cross for Ujah to score with Union’s first real chance. Buoyed by the goal, Union pushed on and almost made it 2-0 when Ingvartsen struck the post. Union fans rose to salute goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz for denying Alassane Plea in a one-on-one before the break. It was the visitors’ best chance before Andersson sealed Union’s win. LEIPZIG CLOSES IN Emil Forsberg scored twice as Leipzig stayed second, ahead of Bayern on goal difference, with a 4-1 rout of visiting Cologne. Cologne was hoping for a change of fortune under new coach Markus Gisdol, who replaced the fired Achim Beierlorzer during the international break, but Timo Werner got Leipzig underway in the 22nd and the home side powered on for its seventh win. Leipzig, which was formed only in 2009, looks a good prospect to take advantage of rivals’ travails and mark its 10th anniversary with its first major title. Also, Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, where the home side wore jerseys with a message against racism. Schalke won at Werder Bremen 2-1, and Freiburg grabbed a draw at Bayer Leverkusen 1-1. ___ James Ellingworth contributed from Düsseldorf......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

Jamal Crawford on still being a free agent: It s baffling to me

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com In the final game of last season, he scored 51 points -- a rather remarkable distinction just by itself. Today, it carries a degree of historical significance that is rather uncomfortable and maybe unfair for Jamal Crawford. Only one player in NBA history scored more points in Game No. 82 and did not play the following season. In that instance, Kobe Bryant was OK with that as he retired after dropping 60 on the Utah Jazz to close out the 2015-16 season. Meanwhile, Crawford is most definitely not retired, at least not willingly, as he waits to see if that last ballistic game was in fact the last he’ll ever play in the NBA. Officially, he’s currently living in Seattle, where he was raised and always maintained a home throughout his career. But metaphorically he’s residing in a basketball Twilight Zone that annually collects veterans in their, well, twilight. They’re not done playing -- at least in their minds -- and feel fresh enough to extend their careers by another year or two. Yet their fate is being controlled by a season that already began and 30 teams who don’t have an opening for a proven veteran. Unless, of course, there’s an injury or a sudden change in philosophy or, in the case of the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), a twinge of desperation. A 4-8 start prompted the Blazers to reach a deal with one of Crawford’s fellow residents, Carmelo Anthony. He spent the summer and most of the fall waiting by the phone and wondering if his time had passed. Congrats Melo!!!!!!!!!! — ???? Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 15, 2019 Yeaaa @imanshumpert , congrats bro! — ???? Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 13, 2019 Crawford tweeted out support for ‘Melo and for Iman Shumpert (who signed with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday). In a sense for these veterans, this is like the NBA Draft green room all over again -- you’re happy the room is emptying … but you don’t want to be the last one sitting at the table. “I know I can play,” Crawford told NBA.com, “and I would think my reputation is still solid. It’s baffling to me.” If you go strictly on how he finished with the Phoenix Suns last season, it’s bizarre that not only is Crawford not in the league, but that he’s not prominently in some team’s rotation. Crawford played (as a reserve) in four of the Suns’ five April games last season, scoring 19, 28, 27 and 51 points while shooting at an extremely healthy clip. If this was a showcase for 2019-20, albeit at a small sample size, Crawford proved he had something left even after 19 seasons. But the July free agency period came and went without a text message. The season tipped off in October without Crawford on a roster for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Almost a full month later, the three-time Kia Sixth Man Award winner is still watching from home. It’s the first time since he began playing organized basketball as a kid that he isn’t wearing a uniform in November. This isn’t restricted to Crawford as every year players with NBA experience must watch the basketball world spin without them. Anthony and Shumpert were just lifted off the pile and yet the list of players waiting by the phone, once again, is lengthy enough. “A lot of teams take a wait and see approach, not only for me, but vets in general,” Crawford said. The group includes, among others: Kenneth Faried, Devin Harris, J.R. Smith, Corey Brewer, Jodie Meeks, Joakim Noah, Jonathon Simmons and Dante Cunningham. Most already had their big contracts, so making money is no issue for them. That’s a good thing, too, because team salary-cap space is, for the most part, swallowed up at this point. Of course, the obvious concerns held by teams with most of these players are age and declining skills. The NBA is an unforgiving league that doesn’t give tenure. If the decision to keep a young player or a veteran is a toss-up, some teams -- especially those needing bodies in their player development program -- will lean toward the young. Crawford was caught in between last season as the Suns were yet again rebuilding while also needing solid-character veterans in the locker room. Tyson Chandler, Trevor Ariza and Crawford served those mentor roles until a sudden philosophical shift hit barely a month into the season. Ariza was traded to Washington, Chandler was bought out and the Suns went full-blast young with Crawford averaging 18.9 mpg (his lowest since 17.2 mpg in 2000-01). “I guess everything changed,” he said. The Suns used Crawford at point guard, not his natural two-guard position. As a result, he didn’t average double-digit scoring for the first time since his sophomore season. The silver lining is that he remained fresh and preserved his body for a possible 20th season. And of course, he had the energy for that 51-point game. In that April 9 game against Dallas, he shot 18-for-31 and 7-for-13 on 3-pointers in a 120-109 loss. The game carried no other significance except for it being the last one played by the great Dirk Nowitzki. Crawford’s output was almost forgotten in that sense. But because he’s not on an NBA roster right now, that 51-point performance could become the ultimate trivia answer. “I’m kind of an outlier because you don’t see anyone my age having games like that,” Crawford said. “And I did it off the bench. A year earlier, in my 18th year, I was still averaging double figures. I can bring a multitude of things. I’ll be ready for whatever team decides how I can fit into what they’re trying to do.” At 39, NBA teams will express concerns about his defense, which is usually the first area that suffers when players age. But players at this stage are used in spot situations anyway, and mainly by contending teams looking for depth and experience. The problem for Crawford and others like him is the numbers game; only a few of these spots open every season. “Physically, I feel better than I did last season,” he said. “I’m able to get my body together. My skill set is sharp. I feel that I’m good. My mindset is be patient and hopefully something good comes about it. I’ll be ready for the opportunity.” Until then, Crawford and others must live a surreal experience for them, though not all of it is bad or uncomfortable. There are kids to take to school; Crawford has three and is also afforded the rare chance to watch their youth games, too. “I’ve missed a lot of that,” he said. “And it’s cool because they enjoy that, too. I’m making up for that this time. I’m the Uber driver.” Beyond that, he stays connected to the NBA but only from a distance. “It’s weird watching games and being apart from it but seeing teams that could use you in certain situations,” he said. “You see where you could help different clubs in different ways.” For Crawford, it’s the love of the game, not a need for anything beyond that, which drives him. He’s the ultimate gym rat who not only hosts a pro-am league in Seattle every summer, but he plays in it, too. There are also legendary stories of Crawford randomly showing up at local parks and gyms for pickup games, something you don’t normally see from players, especially those with nearly two decades of NBA tread. The most famous Crawford cameo: Years ago, then with the Bulls and fresh off the team bus, he appeared at his favorite Seattle park and played pickup ball for three hours the day before a game with the Sonics. The next night, he scored 31 points. “I love the game and stay in the gym anyway,” he said. “Whenever I retire, I’ll still be playing the game, whether that’s at an LA Fitness or somewhere else. At this point, the regular players around here are kind of used to seeing me, although sometimes I’ll go to a different gym and people are surprised,” he said. “Like, the other night, I went to new one and played from 10 o’clock to midnight. They did double takes.” Were they surprised Crawford was actually at their gym, or that he’s not somewhere in the NBA instead? The man who scored 51 in his last NBA game laughed at that. “Probably a little of both,” he said. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

Heat suspend Dion Waiters for 10 games

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — Dion Waiters has been handed a 10-game suspension by the Miami Heat, with the team citing multiple examples of conduct detrimental to the team as the reason for his second banishment of the season. The suspension was announced Sunday (Monday, PHL time). It comes three days after Waiters, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, was treated for a medical emergency that started on the Heat charter flight Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Waiters, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor the player has confirmed details publicly, ingested at least one cannabis-infused edible and had a reaction serious enough that medical attention was required when the plane landed in Los Angeles. “We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the Heat said in a statement. Waiters was also suspended for Miami’s season opener after a series of incidents in the preseason and conflicts with coach Erik Spoelstra. His reaction on social media to the first suspension was also not well-received by Miami officials, and Waiters has not appeared in any of the nine Heat games so far this season. The 10-game suspension, which will likely cost Waiters at least $834,483 in salary, began with Miami’s loss at the Lakers on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). The earliest he could return to Miami’s lineup would be Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time), when the Heat visit Brooklyn. But that would seem most unlikely, and Waiters’ future with the franchise is in serious doubt. It’s unclear what, if any, contact he will have with the team during the suspension. Waiters is in his fourth Heat season, the on-court portion of that best remembered by his game-winning 3-pointer to beat Golden State 105-102 on Jan. 23, 2017 — part of Miami’s 30-11 finish that season after an 11-30 start. He was rewarded that summer with a four-year contract worth $47.3 million, plus about $5 million more in possible incentives for playing a certain number of games. Waiters has yet to even get close to that bonus money, and he would have needed to play in 70 of Miami’s 73 remaining games to claim the extra $1.1 million at stake this season. That is obviously not going to happen. Waiters has never made more than 46 appearances in a year since coming to Miami. He’s been in only 120 games with the Heat, missing many because of ankle injuries and surgery on his ankle and foot. Waiters is a career 13.2-point scorer and has averaged 14 points per game while with the Heat. Miami is off to a 6-3 start without Waiters this season, and play their next five games against teams with records currently below the .500 mark. “We are proud of how our players have started the season,” the Heat said in Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) statement. “We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2019

Cole, Rendon among 131 free agents on market

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon became a free agent Thursday, a day after homering to spark Washington's seventh-inning comeback in Game 7 of the World Series. Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole also went free after warming up in the bullpen but never getting into the season finale. And Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP, could be joining them in the next few days. He has the right to opt out of his contract, which has $100 million over four years remaining. Baseball's business season starts shortly after the final out. "I think it's hard to kind of fast-forward," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "Seasons end really fast. I don't care if you get all the way to the seventh game of the World Series. It's all of a sudden — boom! — it's over." Cole, Rendon and Strasburg all are represented by Scott Boras, known for slow, methodical negotiations. Last winter, he reached outfielder Bryce Harper's $330 million, 13-year contract with Philadelphia on Feb. 28. Cole, a 29-year-old right-hander who went 20-5 this year, is expected to get a record contract for a pitcher, topping David Price's $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston before the 2016 season and Justin Verlander's $31.33 million average salary under a three-year deal with the Astros that started in 2019. Cole tweeted a letter Thursday praising Houston fans. "Before I became an Astro I didn't know much about Houston, but after just two years you have made it feel like home," he wrote. "This is a relationship between a team and ... fans like no other that I know." Strasburg, a 31-year-old right-hander, just finished the third season of a $175 million deal and at 18-6 also is coming off his best season. Rendon led the major leagues with 126 RBIs while hitting .319 with 34 homers. A total of 131 players became free agents Thursday, and 53 more potentially are eligible pending decisions on team, player and mutual options during the next few days. Among the pitchers available are major league ERA leader Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Rick Porcello, Cole Hamels, Jake Odorizzi and Dallas Keuchel, who went free after the 2018 season and waited until June to reach a one-year deal with Atlanta. Others eligible include shortstop Didi Gregorius, third baseman Josh Donaldson and outfielders Yasiel Puig, Marcell Ozuna and José Abreu — the AL RBIs leader. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and Boston slugger J.D. Martinez also have the right to opt out, and catcher Yasmani Grandal has a mutual option with Milwaukee. Teams must decide by Monday whether to make $17.8 million qualifying offers to their former players who became free agents, Players are eligible for the offer if they were on the roster for the season and never received a qualifying offer before. The price dropped for the first time, by $100,000, following a second straight slow offseason for roster moves. Edwin Encarnación's $25 million option was declined by the Yankees, triggering a $5 million buyout. Cleveland exercised Corey Kluber's $17.5 million team option and declined options on second baseman Jason Kipnis ($16.5 million) and reliever Dan Otero ($1.5 million). Kipnis gets a $2.5 million buyout and Otero $100,000 buyout. Left-hander Oliver Pérez's option became guaranteed at $3 million because he pitched in 60 or more games and passed a club physical. Arizona turned down a $6 million option on infielder Wilmer Flores, who gets a $500,000 buyout. Seattle declined Wade LeBlanc's $5.5 million option and the left-hander will receive a $450,000 buyout. San Diego declined a $2.5 million option on RHP Adam Warren, who gets a $500,000 buyout, and a $2 million option on LHP Aaron Loup, who gets a $200,000 buyout. Both will become free agents. Versatile Oakland reliever Yusmeiro Petit had his $5.5 million contract option for the 2020 season exercised by the Athletics, who declined their half of a $5.75 million mutual option on left-handed pitcher Jake Diekman, who gets a $500,000 buyout......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2019

17 NBA things that have been ghosted from memory

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com On a night traditionally known more for tricks and treats than picks and rolls, it seems appropriate to do a little ghost hunting, NBA-style. We’re not talking the Ghost Ballers of BIG3 fame or even the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, a stop on the circuit that some teams claim is actually haunted. We’re thinking of things that used to be, gone-but-not-forgotten aspects of the league that lurk in the memory, even if they’re never coming back. Here in no particular order are some Halloween hoops hobgoblins that fall somewhere on the scary scale between the chain-rattling Jacob Marley and Casper: 1. Long-gone arenas. Oracle Arena, so recently vacated by the Golden State Warriors, is the latest addition to the NBA’s long list of abandoned homes. Many are gone themselves, though you still can catch a glimpse now and then on Hardwood Classics. There are too many to list, due to NBA teams moving on up to bigger, better digs over time. But a sampling would include the Cow Palace, Cobo Arena, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, The Forum, L.A. Sports Arena, Milwaukee’s MECCA, the Salt Palace, McNichols Arena, HemisFair Arena, Market Square, the Summit, the Spectrum, the Omni, the Pyramid, ARCO Arena/Sleep Train Arena and on and on. 2. Belted shorts. Relegated to the throwback bin, along with the more recent sleeved jerseys. 3. The six-foot lane. Heck, the 12-foot lane. The former was widened in 1951 in response to Minneapolis big man George Mikan’s dominance. Then it was widened again in 1964 to its current 16 feet in hopes of tamping down Wilt Chamberlain’s impact. 4. Commercial air travel. Some things on a used-to-be list inspire nostalgia in those who experienced them and curiosity in those who didn’t. But it’s highly unlikely any former or current players and coaches would swap today’s luxury charter flights for the way the NBA used to travel. Wake-up calls at 5 a.m. for the first flight out. Waiting out delays at the gate with the beat writers and civilians. Seven-footers folding themselves into economy class seating. 5. Obstacle-course schedules. The NBA in recent years has tried to be responsive to players’ performance needs and physical limitations, working to minimize the number of back-to-back games and four-in-five-night stretches. Didn’t used to be that way. Consider the Baltimore Bullets, who in January 1966 were put through these paces: Games in St. Louis, Detroit, back to St. Louis, day off, to Philadelphia, to Boston, home vs. Lakers. A week later, they bounced back and forth between L.A. (Lakers) and San Francisco for four games in four nights, then traveled to New York to face the Knicks for their fifth game in five nights. Baltimore’s record in those 11 games: 2-9. 6. Doubleheaders. Some teams in the NBA’s first few decades would book a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition as the night’s opening attraction. But the biggies were when the Knicks would host at Madison Square Garden a neutral-site game for two other NBA clubs. A lingering memory for some who attended: The thick haze that hung over the arena’s upper reaches, courtesy of the smokers puffing away all evening. 7. Tape-delay. It seems inconceivable in 2019 that an NBA playoff game, never mind a Finals contest, might be shown on anything but live TV. Nope. The league didn’t have much leverage in the late 1970s, before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird arrived to help goose interest and ratings. Networks forced fans to stay up late to watch games that were off before the telecasts tipped off. The practice continued into the ‘80s, with four of six Finals games in 1981 held till 11:30 p.m. ET. Michael Jordan was already creating new fans when the last tape-delayed game, Game 3 of the West finals between the Lakers and Rockets, aired on Friday, May 16, 1986. 8. “Illegal!” That used to be a frequent bellow from the league’s benches, with coaches trying to alert the refs when opposing defenses breached (or didn’t) the complicated illegal defense rules. The NBA purged most of that around the turn of the century by legislating in zone play. 9. Shattered backboards. For a while, it seemed as if backboards were exploding every few weeks in the Association. Darryl (“Chocolate Thunder”) Dawkins was the most avid crack-titioner, getting two in 1979. The earliest recorded instance came in 1946, when a Celtics forward named Chuck Connors (later more famous as TV’s “Rifleman”) shattered one during warmups. Baltimore’s Gus Johnson is said to have shattered three. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t get the glass but twice got entire support structures, pulling the backboards down to the court in his rookie season. In March 1993, against Chicago, New Jersey’s Chris Morris dunked and shattered a board without glass falling to the floor. 10. Three to make two. That old free-throw bonus was abolished by 1981-82. It made the game drag, and Jerry Colangelo, then GM of the Suns and the chairman of the NBA’s competition committee, rightly said: “Pro players shouldn’t need that extra foul shot.” 11. Phantom franchises. Oooh, pretty scary, kids, when you think of all the teams that are no more. They are rattling around in the mind long after they were supposedly dead and buried. We’re not talking just about the antiquities such as the Indianapolis Olympians, the Washington Capitols or the Toronto Huskies. The spirits of the Seattle SuperSonics, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Clippers and Vancouver Grizzlies still walk the NBA earth. Then there are most of the ABA franchises -- Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, Kentucky Colonels, Spirits of St. Louis -- that died more than 40 years ago before or in the merger. 12. Hand checking. A lot of capable defenders had their effectiveness vaporized overnight when the laying on of hands vs. a ball handler was outlawed in 2004. The NBA, in case you hadn’t noticed, likes scoring. 13. Injury shenanigans. As silly or frustrating as labels like “DNP-Old” or “load management” seem today, the reporting of injuries real or feigned used to be much less authentic. Before the inactive list, there was “injured reserve,” to which NBA teams would designate up to two players. Anyone put on that list was sidelined for a minimum of five games, and with smaller roster sizes in effect, it was a handy place to stash guys. So there was a whole lot of tendinitis and plantar fasciitis going on. This practice was snuffed in 2005-06. 14. “Play on!” Like the force-out ruling, this is a remnant of the days when the referees had and used more discretion in working their games. If a player lost the ball out of bounds but his elbow was knocked by a foe, the force-out meant the ball handler’s team retained possession. “Play on!” was a frequent order barked by refs when certain contact or violations were deemed minimally intrusive. Heavier scrutiny of the game officials’ performance and, later, video reviews now try to adjudicate everything down to the tip of a fingernail. 15. The 2-3-2 Finals format. This was adopted in 1985 as a reaction to those Lakers-Celtics or Lakers-Sixers championship series, which had the NBA universe crossing the country four or five times in a span of two weeks. Suggestions that the league was being energy-conscious, in terms of jet fuel, were part of it, too. The practice fiddled some with the notion of home-court advantage, although MLB continues to use it for its World Series. With charter flights deployed by all teams, league execs and even some of the media, the NBA changed back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format in 2014 to align with its postseasons’ earlier rounds. 16. Player-coaches. Forty men in NBA history have done it. The first was Ed Sadowski of the Toronto Huskies in the Basketball Association of America precursor to the NBA. Only two men won championships as player-coaches: Baltimore’s Buddy Jeannette in 1948 and Boston’s Bill Russell in 1968 and 1969. The youngest player coach ever was Dave DeBusschere, who took over the Pistons in 1964 at age 24 (not long after ending his second career as an MLB pitcher). The Hawks’ Richie Guerin logged the most games (372) in the role, yet was named Coach of the Year in the one season in the middle when he stopped playing. Legend Lenny Wilkens was a player-coach for two teams, spending three seasons at it in Seattle and one in Portland. And the last player-coach in NBA history was Dave Cowens, who accepted the gig after coach Satch Sanders got fired in 1978-79. None of the players wanted to learn a new system, Cowens said, so “I kind of took one for the team.” The practice died with the arrival of the salary cap in 1984, with NBA brass wary that paying a coaching bonus might enable a team to circumvent the cap. 17. Victory cigars. For obvious reasons. Probably victory vaping, too. 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......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2019

Women are having a greater impact on NBA than ever before

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press Practice is over and Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson is still working. She stands under the basket rebounding and giving feedback to rookie guard Carsen Edwards as he shoots from different spots on the court. After swishing his final three attempts he jogs over to her. “Thanks, coach,” Edwards says before exchanging a high-five with Lawson. Welcome to the new-look NBA, in which women’s footprints are directly impacting every aspect of the game — from broadcasting booths, to officiating, coaching on the sidelines, front-office executives to ownership. Lawson is one of a record 11 women serving as assistant coaches in the NBA this season. While former WNBA star Swin Cash and Sue Bird are working in NBA front offices. “It’s not a fad,” said Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. “It’s opportunities going to very accomplished women who have given their life to the game.” While it may not be a fad, it is a recent trend. Lieberman remembers a time when the presence of women was hard to spot, or at best found only behind the scenes. The 61-year-old — who has broken barriers as a player, as a coach in the WNBA, head coach in NBA G League and in the NBA as assistant — learned quickly that building relationships was the skeleton key to erasing gender hurdles and opening opportunities in the league. That, along with an occasional assist from forward thinking men like former coach Don Nelson, who in 2009 hired her as the head coach of the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks’ G League affiliate. Several have continued Nelson’s vision, including San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich, who made Becky Hammon the NBA’s first full-time assistant in 2014; current Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle (he hired Jenny Boucek as assistant in 2017) and the Sacramento Kings organization, which has been responsible for hiring three women as assistants (Lieberman, Boucek and Lindsay Harding). Even the BIG3, spearheaded by founder and entertainer Ice Cube, is helping normalize the idea of women leading men, Lieberman said. “I remember Donnie did an interview and he said, ‘Maybe the best man for the job isn’t a man at all.’ He had a list of criteria he wanted to hit for his head coach. And I hit those,” Lieberman said. The women who have broken into the NBA ranks are garnering respect from players for their experience and basketball knowledge. Celtics guard Gordon Hayward said Lawson has already made her presence felt. “She’s been good as far as just the experience she has as a basketball player,” Hayward said. “Reading the game and kind of little things she sees coaching on the sideline. Having somebody that well-versed in basketball, that experience is good.” Earlier this month, Wizards assistant Kristi Toliver was on the court helping the Mystics win their first WNBA championship. On the sideline, Washington NBA All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal were wearing the Wizard assistant’s WNBA jersey and dancing from the stands . NBA players are treating the feedback from Toliver and the other women in the league with the same reverence they give their male counterparts. “The biggest thing I learned is to share your voice and what you’ve learned,” Toliver said. “Doing that has helped me communicate with my guys.” Toliver is in a unique salary situation since she coaches for the Washington Wizards and plays for the Washington Mystics — both owned by same franchise. She was only paid about $10,000 with the Wizards last year because of WNBA salary cap rules. WNBA teams can only pay all their players a combined $50,000 in offseason to supplement pay and Washington only had $10,000 left to pay Toliver. There are no such hiccups in New Orleans, where Pelicans guard Frank Jackson said he always expected to benefit from Cash and Teresa Weatherspoon, who was hired as a New Orleans assistant this season. “They were ballers,” Jackson said. “They were good at their craft and I’ve taken a lot from both of them. ... I’ve always had open eyes and open ears to anyone who plays this game.” The 21-year-old Jackson knows of the women’s exploits because he has witnessed it firsthand. And he is not alone. The WNBA has been around since most players were teenagers, and is older than others; the league was launched in 1996. “As the years go on, they’re going to get more and more recognition,” said Jackson, in his third year out of Duke. “Girls can hoop, too. ... I just think as times change, you’ll see more and more.” Cash believes the NBA is realizing having more women is important to growing the league’s overall brand, business and bottom line. “The reality is and the statistics prove it, is that having women included in your business helps you get more inclusion, helps you get the diversity you need,” she said. “Diversity of thought, not just Black, White, Asian, Latino, whatever.” Stephanie Ready, a former assistant in the then D-League, said a big factor in the opportunities women are getting are coming because the younger generation of NBA executives, such as 76ers general manager Elton Brand. She said the new crop of hiring managers are doing a better job of recognizing what women bring to the table and as the older generation retires, it will get even better. “Some people will age out,” said Ready, one of the first women to be a men’s assistant on the collegiate level with Coppin State and a former broadcaster with the Charlotte Hornets who now currently covers the NBA for TNT and Yahoo. “By that I mean the old regime of men who thought that only men could do these jobs.” Richard Lapchick, who tracks racial and gender hiring numbers for the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, has long lauded the NBA as being the leader in gender hiring practices. He credits the leadership of Commissioner Adam Silver, who said the league needed to increase the number women coaches and referees in the NBA. Along with the record number of female assistants, five women referees will be working NBA games this upcoming season. Lapchick also believes the NBA will soon have its female head coach. Whether that is Hammon in San Antonio remains to be seen. But whoever it is, Lapchick said the move would go a long way in putting even more women in position to make basketball decisions. “I’d be surprised if it doesn’t happen before the next season,” he said, “or during the next season.” ___ AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writers Doug Feinberg in New York and Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2019

Prince, Nets torch Sesi/Franca in exhibition

By The Associated Press Taurean Prince made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points in his first game for the Nets, who opened their preseason by pulling away from their Brazilian opponents Sesi/Franca, 137-89. Prince, acquired last spring in a trade with Atlanta that helped clear enough salary cap space to afford two top players, shot 8-for-10 from the field while starting at forward. David Nwaba, another newcomer, added 18 points. The Nets showed off their new floor and locker room at Barclays Center but will have to wait to debut the real reasons for their excitement this season. Kyrie Irving sat out after sustaining a facial fracture shortly before the beginning of training camp. Kevin Durant is expected to miss the season while he recovers from surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. There's still plenty of firepower for the Nets, who play their next two exhibition games in China against the Los Angeles Lakers. Dzanan Musa also scored 18 points and Caris LeVert had 13 points and nine assists. Rafael Hettsheimeir made his first eight three-pointers and finished with 26 points for Franca. David Jackson added 18. Coach Helio Ruben-Garcia played in the game the first time a Brazilian team faced an NBA club, in the 1999 McDonald's Open in Milan, Italy against the San Antonio Spurs......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Cavaliers to lean heavily on young roster

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Cleveland Cavaliers 2018-19 Record: 19-63, did not qualify for the playoffs Key additions: Darius Garland (Draft), Kevin Porter Jr. (Draft), Dylan Windler (Draft), John Beilein (coach) Key departures: JR Smith, Cameron Payne, David Nwaba The lowdown: The first season in the post-LeBron James era, Part II, was almost a carbon copy of the first one: He leaves and the team crumbles. This was pretty much expected from a team that was built around LeBron and then suddenly grew old overnight once he left. It didn’t help matters when Kevin Love, given a rich contract the previous summer, played only 22 games because of injury. That ensured the Cavs would be locked into a rebuilding season and rookie point guard Collin Sexton would receive ample playing time as a result, which was not necessarily a bad thing at all. After shaky initially, Sexton finished strong and averaged 20 points the last 2 1/2 months to make the All-Rookie Second Team. Also, swingman Cedi Osman benefited from increased playing time and had moments in his second season. In a mild disappointment, Larry Nance Jr. failed to take a generous step in his development and there’s fear he will be nothing more than a scrappy, hard-working role player who’ll make the occasional highlight dunk. Otherwise, the Cavs’ season served no major purpose. The remaining pieces from the LeBron era either crumbled in various ways or simply disappeared: JR Smith was suspended, essentially for insubordination; Love was hurt; Tristan Thompson plateaued; George Hill and Kyle Korver were traded. The Cavs sunk toward the bottom of the East, fell off radar for the first time in six years, and once again found themselves back in the lottery looking for help. Summer summary: In a summer of surprises around the NBA, one of the more under-rated events happened when the Cavs’ coaching search ended with a 66-year-old grandfatherly type who never spent a day on an NBA bench. John Beilein might well be a revelation, one way or another. He spent much of his college career at Michigan, where he was highly respected for his strategy, composure and character -- three elements he’ll need in Cleveland. Beilein had flirted with the NBA in years past; when nothing materialized, some NBA people thought his time had passed, especially once he reached retirement age. But the Cavs went with an out-of-the-box choice anyway, plucking Beilein even as the college-to-NBA transition comes with inconsistent results and yellow flags. Brad Stevens is the exception, and besides, he was in his mid-30s when he left Butler and took the Celtics job. The one current college coach whose name surfaces the most in NBA conversation is Jay Wright of Villanova, who has served on Team USA and appears NBA-ready (temperament, two-time champ, even wardrobe). Word is Wright will be on the Sixers’ short list if and when that job opens. Because of Beilein's age and the state of the Cavs, he seems a bridge-gap coach; if so, that’s a smart choice. He’s experienced at managing young players, and the Cavs will build their next era through the Draft. Top free agents don’t make Cleveland a destination choice, even when presented with the chance to play alongside LeBron. Given how quiet the Cavs were this summer, the odds are great that they’ll return to the draft lottery in 2020 and give Beilein additional players in their early 20s to nurture. He’ll have five this season, with Sexton and Osman returning, plus Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. coming on via first-round picks. The prize is Garland, the No. 5 pick who was limited by a meniscus injury to five games in his one and only season at Vanderbilt. This seems eerily similar to years earlier when the Cavs took another guard with a limited (11-game) college career: Kyrie Irving. Garland was a three-time Mr. Basketball in Tennessee and was considered the best recruit ever at Vandy, and that’s about all NBA scouts had to work with this spring. Not only was his college career brief, but he also left the combine early. Apparently, that was enough for the Cavs, smitten by Garland’s instincts. The only question is how he fits with Sexton; both can play off the ball, although each is more comfortable as the lead playmaker. Porter represents a wild card of sorts. Talent-wise, he can be considered a steal with the 30th pick ... after being red-flagged by teams following a suspension at USC for poor conduct that cost him much of that single season. Porter was a workout beast prior to the draft, a swingman who brings great size (6-foot-6) and can create off the dribble. The Cavs had nothing to lose by choosing him at that point. Windler benefited from four years in college, steering underdog Belmont to the NCAA tourney and developing into a prospect by his senior year. The Cavs and Beilein can figure out how it all fits later. Right now, Cleveland is all about stockpiling as many assets as possible and giving that young core plenty of time to make their mistakes now, rather than later. And speaking of assets, they didn’t trade Love this summer. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be on the roster when next season ends, either. If the right price comes along — and that’ll be tricky because of his age, injury history and salary — Love can and will exit. LeBron James will eventually get a statue outside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (formerly Quicken Loans Arena), but he isn’t walking through that door again. The Cavs must take another road to respectability, and it could be a long one. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2019