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Memphis rookie star Morant apologizes for anti-police post

New York—Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant, the second pick in last year’s NBA Draft, apologized Monday for reposting an anti-police message on social media......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJul 1st, 2020Related News

Grizzlies Morant apologizes for anti-police Instagram post

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant tweeted and deleted an Instagram post suggesting he’d replace his name with an expletive on his number 12 jersey in a protest against police. The post has since been deleted and Morant apologized Sunday night, saying the message didn't “accurately convey” what he wanted to share and that he knows “there are good cops ‘12’ out there.” “My post was intended to focus on bad cops who get away with the murder of unarmed Black men and women and those who continue to harass peaceful BLACK LIVES MATTER protestors," Morant said. Morant also asked for “justice” in the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers who were performing a no-knock warrant. Morant's post came as the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and Nike were reportedly working on a deal to allow players to replace their names with social justice statements when the NBA season resumes on July 30......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 30th, 2020Related News

Giannis Antetokounmpo, D Angelo Russell join anti-racism protests

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Minnesota Timberwolves' D'Angelo Russell are two of the latest NBA stars to join demonstrations against racism in the United States......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJun 7th, 2020Related News

Muzzle Mr. Met? Mascots wonder why they re banned from MLB

By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillie Phanatic had stories of his favorite adventures -- from the Galapagos Islands to the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia -- read to him most weeks from his very best buds. The Philly furball was tucked in with a bedtime story from Bryce Harper. Andrew McCutchen and manager Joe Girardi stopped by as guest readers to entertain fans and unite the Phillies community. But should the Phillies play ball this year, well, the book will close on the Phanatic. MLB wants to ban the birds -- sorry, Pirate Parrot -- and Bernie Brewer, Blooper, Bernie the Marlin, heck, all costumed creatures great and small from the ballpark this season. Firebird, Paws, the Oriole Bird, all face extinction -- at least this season, should baseball resume. Not even a muzzle on Mr. Met or a mask on Mariner Moose would help the cause. Gasp! Baseball’s furriest and funniest fans are forbidden from entering a ballpark. And that’s not cool. “Every mascot should be essential because of its ability to connect and distract with fun,” mascot guru Dave Raymond said. Raymond should know as well as any performer, as the first person to take on the 6-foot-6, 300-pound, 90-inch waist frame of the Phanatic. He’s since become a mascot consultant to the stars and helped create, brand and train the next generation of hundreds of stadium characters. Mascots are as much a ballpark staple as hot dogs and the long ball, and each fuzzy fist bump or chance concourse encounter hooks the youngest fans on the game. As baseball prepares for a summer slate without fans, Raymond wonders: What’s a game without a mascot? “You don’t have to convince me of that,” Raymond said. “It’s the powers that be that don’t understand that simple truth.” There’s already a blueprint MLB could follow that explains why mascots fit in barren ballparks. Take a look across the globe. Mascots remained a staple of baseball games in Taiwan and the KBO League in South Korea. American fans who stayed up late (or is it, woke up early?) to watch KBO games on ESPN were mesmerized by mascots gone wild in empty stadiums. The LG Twins mascots -- twin robot boys named Lucky and Star -- wore masks. So did cheerleaders and a drum section that provided the soundtrack for an otherwise dreary atmosphere. The Chinese Professional Baseball League barred spectators over concerns of spreading the new coronavirus in a crowded space, but the league decided it was safe to let in cheerleaders and costumed mascots. “This is the most important time to leverage fun, when people are sick and dying and dealing with the brutality of life,” Raymond said. “That is the time that you find a way to distract people and entertain them.” Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Rob Tornoe drew the Phanatic (wearing a mask) sitting atop the dugout with his phone and on hold with the unemployment office. “This is life or death now for a lot of characters, a lot of performers,” former Timberwolves mascot Jon Cudo said. It’s not that dire for most MLB performers who often have other duties within the organization or remained active in the community with food drives, firetruck parades or other feel-good efforts during the pandemic. Raymond had former and current mascots, including Cudo, join this week on his webinar, “What The Heck Should My Mascot Do Now?” The best suggestion to stay connected with fans -- with the ATV temporarily parked -- is engaging through social content. Mascot Mania has gone wild on Instagram and TikTok. Mr. Met cleans windows. D. Baxter the Bobcat taught crosswalk safety. Wally the Green Monster records virtual messages for charity. Then again, mascots have problems just like us: Who gives the Phanatic a trim during quarantine? “The Phanatic doesn’t need to get his hair cut,” Raymond said. “It’s actually a positive when it gets unkempt and long.” The Phanatic already underwent one makeover this year — his new look features flightless feathers rather than fur-colored arms, stars outlining the eyes, a larger posterior and a powder blue tail, blue socks with red shoes, plus a set of scales under the arms — because of a lawsuit filed against the team by the creators of the original Phanatic. The creators threatened to terminate the Phillies’ rights to the Phanatic as of June 15 and “make the Phanatic a free agent” unless the team renegotiated its 1984 agreement to acquire the mascot’s rights. Mascots were lumped in with other baseball traditions that would be weeded out under a 2020 proposal. The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps and bat boys and girls. “I don’t know of anybody who bought season tickets to watch the bat boy,” Raymond said. “But you can say that in spades for the mascots. We’d be losing one of the draws that brings in people beyond the statistic nerds.” Plus, any fan who attended a Phillies game in the late 1990s at Veterans Stadium knows the Phanatic can play in an empty ballpark. Mascots just want to honk, honk, honk for the home team and they do care if they ever get back. “I’m just imploring them to value the character brands,” Raymond said. “There is a safe way for you to have fun, and frankly, fun is the most important thing you can invest in right now.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 31st, 2020Related News

Minnesota Timberwolves Towns, Okogie join in rally in support of George Floyd

Held at the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda, Towns and Okogie showed their support for Floyd, who died in police custody after pleading that he could not breathe......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsMay 30th, 2020Related News

Even at home, the work continues for Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton

When the NBA was postponed in mid-March due to a player testing positive for COVID-19, there was immediately an air of uncertainty as to whether the world’s biggest basketball league would resume action later on in the year. Now, over a month later, that uncertainty remains there, even more so now. The playoffs should have started by now, which makes the NBA’s return even more of a question mark, especially in terms of how the league would decide to go about getting the season back on track. For now, there are definitely more questions than answers, but for most of the players and the coaches and the people involved in the league, work continues, even at home. That’s very much the case for Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton, who says he continues to find ways to continue to get things done, even under quarantine. When the season came to an abrupt halt, the Kings were 11th in the Western Conference, but were tied with the tenth and the ninth seeds at 3.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, meaning that they were very much in the running for the last spot in the post-season. With a jump straight into the playoffs being discussed as an option for the league’s return, it would mean that they would once again miss the post-season without having the chance to make one final run in the regular season. Right now however, Walton says that the focus is on the safety of everyone from this dreaded disease. “Normally, I would say that yes, it would feel like [a missed opportunity for a playoff chase]. But again, this is one of those rare circumstances in life where the safety of everyone involved is really what we’re thinking about,” Walton said in an interview with the NBA. “And if that means that were the case then hey, we continue to look forward. We continue to learn from what we did have this year and we take that information and we go full steam ahead into next season.” The Kings were set to take on the tenth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans in an important battle for playoff positioning the day that the league ultimately decided to postpone the games. If the league decides to jump right into the post-season, Walton says that they’d be fully behind the decision if it means finally having the season back. “This is one of those few times where truly the most important thing is that we get past this [pandemic] together. And by together, I mean everybody. Together, we get past this. If that’s what it takes for the NBA to come to a decision, we will be behind it. Normally I would say basketball is more important than most things I’ve gone through in life, but with this the only thing that really matters is that we get through it.” Walton adds that prior to the postponement, there was an excitement within the team because of how they were playing and the position that they were in. “We were excited. Like I said, we were playing high level basketball. As far as a team embracing what it needs to do. What I mean by that is individuals understanding their roles, individuals understand-ing what we need out of them and those individuals making sacrifices for the betterment of the team. I think that’s why we were winning games at a pretty solid rate towards the end.” “As a coach, that is what you’re looking for. As you said, Alex [Len], [Kent Bazemore] coming over to add some tough-ness and physicality that we needed and the defensive level that was being played. A big part of it was having De’Aaron [Fox] get going like that and getting to the free-throw line consistently. In the last few games, I know it’s a small sample size, he was shooting around 90 percent and if you get there eight times a game, that is going to help. Buddy [Hield] was just really dominating his role for us coming off the bench. [Bogdan Bogdanovic] in the starting lineup was making nice basketball plays. We had a lot of good positive things going for us as a team and we were excited. We were looking forward to every matchup that we had, and our guys were giving us everything they had,” he added. On a personal level, Walton says that it doesn’t know if the league will indeed return to finish off the 2019-2020 season. “Honestly, I have no idea. I think everyone wants to play but I think everyone understands top priority is the safety of the fans, the media and everyone that’s involved in this. As much as everyone wants to get back to playing, no one is pressing it and we know what is most important.” For now however, Walton says that he and the players are doing the most that they can during the extended time off. He does admit however, that these past month and a half has been tough. “It’s a challenge. In staying in communication with our guys and what we’ve all come to realize is what is most important and that is the health and safety of everybody; the fans, the players, the families and as much as we want to get out there and play basketball, coach basketball, and compete and be a symbol of strength for our community during this time, we know the most important part of this is the social distancing, staying healthy, and keeping people healthy. To answer your question, there isn’t a lot that the guys can do. We sent out exercise machines, there are workouts online, there [are] option-al Zoom yoga classes. A lot of guys at this point are at home and whether that’s a basketball hoop at home or a treadmill, they are doing what they can under the circumstances.” Walton adds that he has also done some additional coaching at home by homeschooling his children, before doing his work as a coach for the Kings. “We practice social distancing and take it very seriously. My family and I are still up here in the Sacramento area and we have young kids, so the mornings are dedicated to homeschooling and going on walks around the neighborhood.” “When we get done with that, that is when I start checking in with some [players] and some of the coaches and dedicate some time to move our work forward. In the evenings, we’ll either watch some shows or I’ll turn on some of our game film from earlier this year to look at different things and keep trying to grow and learn and understand our team a little more. Then, it’s pretty much like Groundhog Day. We wake up and do the same thing the next day. We are staying busy. We know the top priority, again, is the safety for everyone. I’m trying to use this time to continue to grow and continue to understand our guys more,” he continued. Walton adds that he hopes the players also use this time to get into other things as well and not just spend their free time playing video games. “A big part of what I believe in as a coach, is player development. Especially in today’s NBA, part of that is developing off the court as well. This is a great time for some of those things, whether it is like you said, reading books, listening to podcasts. Meditation is something we encourage our players to do and get into. That’s something that we’re constantly trying to get our players to accept and do. One, because we feel like as coaches, it’s the right thing to do to help people grow. And two, we feel as if you’re helping people grow off the court as people, the quicker they’re going to mature on the court as players. Yeah, this is a time that all those things are available to do. We can’t and we won’t force anyone to do them, but it’s highly encouraged that our players are taking the time to continue to chal-lenge themselves and grow in different areas.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 24th, 2020Related News

Mother of Timberwolves Towns dies after virus battle

Jacqueline Towns, mother of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, died Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) of complications of the coronavirus, the NBA team announced......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsApr 14th, 2020Related News

Ina ni Karl-Anthony Towns pumanaw sa COVID-19

Pumanaw na ang ina ni NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns dahil sa komplikasyon dulot ng COVID-19. Ayon sa statement na inilabas ng Minnesota Timberwolves, namatay si Jacqueline Towns nitong Lunes matapos ang mahigit na isang buwang pakikipaglaban sa coronavirus. “Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more […] The post Ina ni Karl-Anthony Towns pumanaw sa COVID-19 appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsApr 14th, 2020Related News

NBA: Beasley scores 24 as Timberwolves beat Bulls 115-108

NBA: Beasley scores 24 as Timberwolves beat Bulls 115-108.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 5th, 2020Related News

Beasley, Russell lead Timberwolves past Pelicans, 139-134

Beasley, Russell lead Timberwolves past Pelicans, 139-134.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 4th, 2020Related News

Rockets edge Celtics; Grizzlies shock Lakers

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Russell Westbrook delivered a game-high 41 points as the Houston Rockets defeated Boston, 111-110, in overtime to cap a season sweep of the Celtics on Saturday. James Harden, who made just seven of 31 baskets and had five turnovers, gained a small measure of redemption from his poor shooting night by […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsMar 1st, 2020Related News

Harden s 37 points leads Rockets over Knicks 123-112

By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — For James Harden, it wasn't a choice. He had to be at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service in Los Angeles on Monday even though his Houston Rockets had a game that night. “It was everything just to pay my respects," Harden said. “To show my condolences to the family. Obviously it's a tough time for them, for the entire world, so it was a must that I be there and show my respects." Harden, Russell Westbrook and P.J. Tucker arrived at the arena about 70 minutes before tip-off after attending the memorial service. Harden scored 37 points, and the Rockets beat the New York Knicks 123-112 for their fourth straight victory. “It's unbelievable what he can do tired or distracted and not in his routine but he just keeps plugging away," coach Mike D'Antoni said. “That's why we value him. He doesn't miss games or minutes and he just plays." Harden had 31 by halftime, helping Houston to a 72-57 lead at the break. He cooled down eventually, but his first-half work put the Rockets in control against the struggling Knicks, who lost their fourth in a row. He looked worn out after the game as he prepared to spend his first night at home since before the NBA All-Star Game. “Long very, very emotional day," he said. Harden was asked what he'd remember most about Bryant, who was killed along with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash last month. “Just his competitive spirit," Harden said. “He always talked about your ... path that you're on and how there's always going to be tough times. There's going to be times when you don't want to work hard or you just don't feel like it, but those are the times you have to push through." Harden, who had a career-high 61 points against the Knicks in January 2019, didn't score in the fourth quarter before sitting down for good with about three minutes left and the game well in hand. He also finished with nine assists and six rebounds. Westbrook was expected to play against the Knicks, but was scratched with a sore thumb. The Rockets were up still up by 15 to start the fourth quarter and pushed the lead to 111-91 with about 9½ minutes left after an 8-2 run, highlighted by five points from Austin Rivers. The Knicks got 21 points from RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle added 17 points with 12 rebounds. “You have a team that can attack you in so many different ways," Knicks coach Mike Miller said. “You have to make them earn everything and I think they got too many easy ones early." BIG-TIME BENCH The Rockets got 47 points from their reserves, led by Ben McLemore's 17. Starter Danuel House raved about the value of such contributions from the backups. “It makes your team very dangerous," he said. “If your starting five is capable of putting up points and your bench is capable (too), the team can stay consistent." TIP-INS Knicks: G Elfrid Payton missed his second straight game with a sore right ankle. ... Dennis Smith Jr. had 15 points. ... New York made 11 of 29 3-pointers. Rockets: G Eric Gordon started in place of Westbrook and had 16 points in his second game back after missing three games with a bruised left leg. But he left early in the fourth quarter with a sore knee. UP NEXT Knicks: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday night. Rockets: Host the Grizzlies on Wednesday night......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 25th, 2020Related News

Clippers snap 3-game skid with 124-97 rout of Grizzlies

Clippers snap 3-game skid with 124-97 rout of Grizzlies.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 25th, 2020Related News

Gordon Hayward, Celtics hold off Timberwolves 127-117

Gordon Hayward, Celtics hold off Timberwolves 127-117.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 22nd, 2020Related News

Surprise! Raptors, Heat, Grizzlies and Thunder in good place

Surprise! Raptors, Heat, Grizzlies and Thunder in good place.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2020Related News

Celtics to retire Kevin Garnett s jersey

Garnett spent six years with the Celtics from 2007 to 2013 after playing 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsFeb 14th, 2020Related News

Defending champions Raptors stretch winning streak to 15

LOS ANGELES, USA – Pascal Siakam scored 34 points as the Toronto Raptors shrugged off their injury problems to extend their winning streak to 15 games on Monday, February 10, with a 137-126 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Siakam's dominant display included 6` three-pointers as the reigning NBA champions overpowered a ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 11th, 2020Related News

McLaughlin, Beasley, new-look Wolves rout Clippers 142-115

By JOE ZIEMER Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan McLaughlin scored a career-high 24 points, Malik Beasley added 23 in his Minnesota debut and the new-look Timberwolves snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 142-115 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. Karl-Anthony Towns just missed a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Timberwolves, who won for the first time since Jan. 9. McLaughlin added a career-high 11 assists as Minnesota scored its highest point total of the season thanks to a franchise-record 26 3-pointers. Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Paul George had 21 for the Clippers, who had a three-game win streak snapped. The Timberwolves turned over more than half their roster before Thursday's trade deadline. Three separate trades Wednesday and Thursday sent out seven players and brought in eight. The most high-profile addition, point guard D'Angelo Russell, did not play. Russell, who was acquired in a trade with Golden State on Thursday, sat out with a right quad contusion. Minnesota still had plenty of shooting. Ten Timberwolves players hit 3s, setting a franchise record. Beasley, who arrived in a four-team trade Wednesday, made a career-high seven 3s. The Timberwolves shot 15 for 25 from 3-point range in the first half and took an 81-59 lead into halftime. The 81 points were a franchise record for points in a half and the most allowed by the Clippers in a half this season. Beasley was 6 for 9 on 3s and scored 20 points in the first half. Minnesota led by as many as 26 points in the second half. Los Angeles didn't get closer than 17. TIP-INS Clippers: Forward Marcus Morris, acquired in a trade with New York on Thursday, did not play. Guard Patrick Beverly missed the game with a right groin injury. ... The game was the start of a four-game road trip for Los Angeles. Timberwolves: Forward Jake Layman missed his 37th consecutive game with a left toe sprain. Forward Evan Turner, acquired in a four-team trade Wednesday, is not with the team. ... Russell addressed the crowd prior to tipoff. The nine 3-pointers Minnesota made in the first quarter were a franchise record for one quarter. UP NEXT Clippers: At Cleveland on Sunday. Los Angeles has won the last three meetings. Timberwolves: At Toronto on Monday. The Raptors have won the last four meetings......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 9th, 2020Related News

NBA, fans pay tribute to trailblazing Bryant

Los Angeles—NBA players paid tribute to Kobe Bryant at Monday’s games, with the Minnesota Timberwolves recalling an iconic moment  in the late superstar’s legendary 20-year career......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJan 28th, 2020Related News

NBA: Hield rallies Kings to 133-129 OT win over Timberwolves

By JOE ZIEMER Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Buddy Hield scored a career-high 42 points to help the Sacramento Kings rally from a 27-point deficit for a 133-129 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. De'Aaron Fox scored 22 for the Kings, putting back the rebound of his intentionally missed free throw as part of a 33-11 run over the final 5:42 of regulation. Andrew Wiggins had 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Timberwolves, who lost their 10th consecutive game. With the Kings down three with 4.7 seconds left in regulation, Fox made his first free throw. He intentionally fired the second off the front of the rim, grabbed his own rebound and laid it in to tie the game with 3.6 seconds left. Hield scored 18 points in the final 4:36 of regulation on a night that featured tributes to his childhood hero, Kobe Bryant. Fox scored 17 points in the second half and overtime. Nemanja Bjelica finished with 20 points. The Timberwolves built their lead thanks to a franchise-record 23 3-pointers. Wiggins was 7 for 11 beyond the arc. Robert Covington had 24 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 23 for Minnesota. It was the first time three Timberwolves have scored 20 or more points in a game since Dec. 13. To open the game, both teams honored Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash. Minnesota took an 8-second backcourt violation and Sacramento took a 24-second shot-clock violation on the ensuing possession. While taking the 8-second violation, Wiggins placed the ball on the free throw line where Bryant scored to pass Michael Jordan for third place on the career scoring list on Dec. 14, 2014, at Target Center. Minnesota hit 10 of its first 15 3-point attempts and shot 14 for 23 from 3 in the first half. That set a franchise record for 3s in a half and helped the Timberwolves to a 68-50 halftime lead. The Timberwolves honored Bryant prior to tipoff with words from Towns, a video tribute and a moment of silence. Towns wore No. 24 and Covington wore No. 8 while being introduced as part of the starting lineup to honor Bryant. They donned their regular Nos. 32 and 33 before the opening tip. TIP-INS Kings: Forward Marvin Bagley III missed his third consecutive game with left foot soreness. ... Forward Richaun Holmes was out for the seventh straight game with right shoulder soreness. ... Kings coach Luke Walton was a teammate of Bryant's for nine seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Timberwolves: Guard Allen Crabbe did not play after suffering a left knee subluxation Saturday against Oklahoma City. ... Forward Jake Layman missed his 33rd consecutive game with a left toe sprain. Minnesota's eight first-quarter 3-pointers tied a franchise record for 3s in a quarter. UP NEXT Kings: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday, their first home game since Jan. 15. Timberwolves: At Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday to begin a two-game road trip......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 28th, 2020Related News