i Emery says Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are rea


has won the fifth-starter spot in the rotation,’s Jon Heymanayers were delighted to have coach Sinisa Mihajlovic with them for the 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona.Mihted midfielder Paul Pogba to Spain, it has been claimed.While Zidane has openly courted the unsettled Frenchman, local pundit Frédéric Hermel insists Pogba was never a priority for the Real coach.He explained: “Tensions around the non-arrival of Poajlovic has been undergoing chemotherapy for six weeks for leukaemia, keeping in constant contact with his staff and players via streaming techno reports.

Hernandez allowed a 5.33 ERA with 14 strikeouts against six walks in 27 spring innings. Although he allowed nearly twice as many runs as Jeff Niemann, his main competition for the role, Niemann struggled with velr Gianluigi Buffon will leave Paris St-Germain when his contract expires at the end of the month.The 41 year old Italy legend, joined on a free transfer in July 2018, making 25 appearances in all competitions for the club as they won the Ligue 1 titlocity throughout camp and the Rays didnt’ feel comfortable with him opening the season in the rotation. 

Hernandez’s grip on the role is likely to be tenuous — if Niemann finds his velocity, he could find himself in the rotation quickly. If Hernandez struggles like he did in 2011 — his last full season as a starter — when he allowed a 5.25 ERA in 188.2 innings, he could find his spot in jeopardy from Niemann or a prospect like Chris Archer.

epe after Sunday’s win over Newcastle, but warned


Judging by his position in the draft averages, nobody is really counting on the ‘s for much this season.

But if you’re one of the few pegging him as a sleeper after last season’s shoulder procedure, perhaps you should stop.

Not only is he set to begin the year on the DL, but his lack of velocity has me thinking he’s not even close to making an impact. The surgery he had to repair a torn capsule in his shoulder is similar to what Johan Santana and Chien-Ming Wang had in recent years. They both needed more than a year to come back from it, and you could argue (though to a lesser extent for Srding the club’s defence.Many fans are curious as to whether he knows his best back four, given the amount of chopping and changing he does in defence.Arsenal face a battle to keep hold of Lucas Torreira.Gazzetta dello Sport says Milan have opened talks with Torreira’s representatives over a potential return.The Uruguayan has struggled to adapt to life in England and admitted this week that he misses Italy.He moved from Sampdoria to the Gunners last summer.Milan are keen to do a deal in the region of £35million.But Emery insists that his way of picking players is the correct method.”We are improving defensiveantana) they weren’to after their 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao.Now 18 months on since Ronaldo’s departure for Juventus, Courtois concedes they’re still struggling without him.He said, “Cristiano is an uncle who scores 40 or 50 goals a year, you obviously miss that, but the same after it.

My tepid interest in Hector Santiago as a replacement trumps my lack of interest in Danks.

Sterling is alongside the biggest names in the gam


After a rocky start to spring training in which he allowed 27 runs in his first 13 innings, starting pitcher was back in form in his last outing on the mound, limiting the Rockies to two hits in five innings. While most pitchers downplay spring struggles, Kershaw admitted during that rough patch that he’s not getting the results he’s wants, which may have scared offregrets.Foster has enjoyed late career success with the Hornets.And he recalled to the club’s website: “…there was a tweet by Edwin van der Sar that got a bit of attention a while back. I said that goalkeepers are the hardest workers and he replied a few early drafters. Their loss. Unless you hear of Kershaw’s velocity being down or his elbow or shoulder aching, you should assume any spring struggles are just a case of him building up to mie Norway international is available from Genk for €25m as interest intensifies this month.Voetbal Primeur says Brighton and the Blades have made a move for Berge ahited boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted with the form this season of Fred.The 26-year-old struggled for form in his first season at the club, following his £52m ­arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk.But he scored two goals in the 5-0 Euro romp over Clead of this week’s Premier League transfer deadline.However, Fiorentina are also intdseason form.

pool fullback Andy Robertson has rubbished claims


Braves pitcher had a on how they stunned Liverpool last month.A 3-0 defeat at Vicarage Road for Jurgen Klopp’s champions-in-waiting was their first in a staggering 44 matches. Victory for Watford had sent shock waves around the Premier League. ffield United boss Chris Wilder.The Daily Mail says Swansea City boss Graham Potter is the priority for Brighton after the sacking of Chris Hughton.But if Potter does turn down Brighton, the club would be keen to speak to Wilder. The Sheffield United”We noticed that they comm so-so day against the Mets on Monday, giving up two runs on six hitr trophies in six years as a Liverpool player, before returning to Anfield as manager in the 90s, retired from the game 13 years ago. He said: “There are people in football now who are trying to reinvent the wheel, coming up with new terminology, ps and a walk in four innings. He struck out two.

Rangers lose Martin Perez to fractured forearm


lefty had b about Southampton as much as any fan.The defender says Saints is now “part of me”.He told the Daily Echo: “I care enormously. “I’ve got a lot of pride playing for and representing this club. “Sometimes it’s difficult in football because players een in linafter victory over Udinese.Inter only sparked into life after Eriksen was replaced by Marcelo Brozovic.But Conte argued: “I think that for a lad who arrived five days ago, and let’s not forget we had to rush him in because we were missing several me for the fifth starter’s job, but then this happened Sunday:

Rangers announce Martin Perez suffered a broken bone in his forearm when he was hit by a Brad Miller line drive today. Won’t throw for 4 wks

— DKnobler (@DKnobler)

It’s a fractured ulna bone in his throwing forearm, and he’s not going to be in game shape until May at the earliest.

The 21-year-old Perez has a 5.45 ERA in 38 innings at the major-league level. Across parts of five minor-league seasons, he’s pitched to a 4.23 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 2.03 K/BB ratio. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus recently and tabbed him as a future No. 3 starter in the bigs.

In related matters,’s Jon Heyman wonders whether the injury to Perez will cause the Rangers to Kyle Lohse.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twion.The Brazil striker proved the matchwinner at Tottenham on Saturday.And Alisson said, “Bobby is one of the most important players in our team – and we have a lot. “I think everybody is important but Bobby not only scores when we need him, he maketter: , and .

Topps baseball cards refuses to name Pete Rose as Hit King


(Getty Images)

Pete Rose — Major League Baseball’s all-time Hit King – reports of an £85m bid from Barcelona were swiftly knocked down by the club this evening but the Blues are preparing for interest in the 22-year-old to intensify.Richarlison, who joined Everton in the summer of 2018 for an initial £35m, has become- is banned from baseball. We know this. That doesn’t mean we’re banned from acknowledging that he exists, yet that’s exactly what Topps baseball cards has decided to do ().

On the back of each baseball card for the 2013 season, Topps is running a “Career Chase.” That is, on the back of Paul Konerko’s card it says that his 422 career homers are 340 shy of Barry Bonds’ record 762. Yet on the back of Starlin Castro’s card, Chicago Side Sports notes, it says that his 529 hits are 3,727 shy of the record. It just doesn’t say who owns the record, as it does with all other records.

The website, Chicago Side Sports (), reached out to Topps and heard back the following:

Clay Luraschi, a spokesman for Topps, called the omission of Rose “a simple decision” but declined to elaborate. When pressed, he repeated that it was “plain and simple” that Rose’s name should not appear on cards.

Topps has every right to make this decision, as it’s their product and we live in a free country. I will in turn exercise my right to say it’s a laughably asinine policy. In addition to being petty, it’s a bad business decision, in my opinaff to quit for Manchester United.Chopra has been left frustrated and disappointed by the way owner Mike Ashley is managing the club.And he told the Evening Chronicle: “I would go. What is keeping him at Newcastle United? They have no ambition.”At leion, because Rose has legions of protective fans who anger easily. I envision a website being put together to boycott the cards in the near future.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interar Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.Inter accept Lautaro will leave at the end of the season after it emerged his management had struck personal terms with Barcelona last week.With his deal carrying a €111m buyout clause, Inter will be powerless if Bact with us on Twitter: , and .

ender John Stones.The Arsenal-hope-summer-transfer


“Clearly, something went wrong for (Jon) last season.” That’s how regarding the Boston starter’s disastrous 2012 campaign. But Scott says Lester remains a great candidate for a significant bounce-back season in 2013, despite the 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA (both career worsts) from a year ago. Lester is just too talentema Tyres.The Blues announced on Friday that it is extending its partnership wited legend Chris Waddle is surprised Steve Bruce wants to join the club.Bruce is expected to leave Sheffield Wednesday to takeover at the club he supported as a boy.And Waddle warned the former Manchester United defender that he was walking into one oh the Japanese tyre company, who have been their shirt sponsor since 2015, although their logo will no longer be emblazoned on the front of defeat to Everton.Theo Walcott struck an injury-time winner as 10-man Everton came back from two goals down to stun Watford in a topsy-turvy encounter at Vicarage Road.Pearson reflected: “To play very positively in the first 44 minutes, to go two the club’s kit. Instead, Yokohad to be that bad again. His peripherals remained consistent with career norms, so location within the zone appears to be a culprit. We’re betting new manager John Farrell can root out the problem and bring Lester back to being a very good Fantasy pitcher. If all of this actually happens, and you pick Lester with a mid-round selection on Draft Day, you’ll be the envy of your league.

Report: Giants unlikely to add a left fielder


The are unlikely to add a strong left fielder, to’s Ken Rosenthal. 

San Francisco has been looking for a replacement for in left, but it has become discouraged with the options. The plan is to promote Xavier Nady on Saturday. 

Nady hit just .157/.211/.275 in 109 plate appearances with the before the team released him in late July. Nady signed with the Giants the following week, and was assigned to their Triple-A team. Since joining Fresno, Nady has hit .270/.343/.528. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. Whity Batshuayi and Cenk Tosun in the January transfer window.Manager Roy Hodgson wants to address his attacking options, with Palace struggling to score goals this The 23-year-old Lo Celso has quickly become a favourite of the new manager Jose Mourinho.The boss mischievously claimed that the attacking midfielder had experienced an “incredible evolution since I arrived”.Lo Celso said: “When Mourinho arrived season.And a Sunday’s meeting with Manchester City.In the space of a week, Arsenal have come from behind to beat West Ham and draw at Standard Liege – and the Swede is pleased with what he has seen.”I’m happy you saw [the players telling each other what to do in loan move would be the best bet given their budget, which is why Batshuayi ae, follow .

Gavin Floyd out indefinitely with elbow tendinitis


(Getty Images)

starting pitennes.The exciting midfield talent, just 17, has some of Europe’s biggest clubs eager to ferry him away from Rennes as soon as possible.Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan have all had scouts posted to Rennes games this season to watch Camavcher was slotted to start Monday in coming out of the All-Star break, but he’s now been scratched and replaced by . Floyd had an MRI on his balky elbow/forearm area, which showed no structural damage. So that was relatively good news.

As far as when Floyd can pitch again, the White Sox currently have him in a holding pattern — which means he’s out “indefinitely,” but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be out for a long period of time. He may even avoid a stint on the disabled list.

“It shouldn’t be a DL, but we’ll see when he gets back and how much soreness he has,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura ().

Floyd, 29, is 7-8 with a 4.54 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 103 innings for the first-place White Sox this season. If he did hit the disabled list, he’d join fellow starters John Danks and Philip Humber.

For more baseball news, rumors andof Tammy Abraham.The striker struck again in victory over Aston Villa last night and Azpilicueta says he can win this season’s Golden Boot.Azpilicueta revealed that Abraham never mentions the Golden Boot award – but insisted: “He doesn’t talk abo analysis, follow on Twitt on the signing of Kieran Tierney from Celtic.The fullback was expected to complete a move to the Gunners from the Scottish treble winners.However, a report in The Sun suggests that a £15 million offer was rejected.Celtic want close to twice as mucter, subscribe to the and .

Hamels hears recruiting pitches, says they won’t work


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Recruiting pitches at the All-Star Game don’t always work.Remember that two years ago in Anaheim, the Angels made sure Torii Hunter lockered right next to free-agent-to-be Carl Crawford. Crawford, of course, bypassed the Angels that winter to sign with the Red Sox.But bring the best players in baseball together, and you can be sure they’ll try to influence their teammates-for-a-McTominay into a better player.Fernandes is getting rave reviews for his own performances since joining United in January.“Bruno can help Scott impove, definitely. Bruno is going to give us loads, definitely, and he is going to help the young kid,”day. The last two days, Cole Hamelsade-Chamberlain clashed Manchester United fans after full-time at Old Trafford.The midfielder was clearly told to “F*** off” while talking to one fan, while another rejected his offer of a fist bump.It’s not clear why the 26-year-old went to the home has heard it all.Hamels, whose locker in the National League clubhouse was next to Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw’s, insisted that the recruiting pitches won’t help.”All I say to them is that I’ve been to every city, and I know what every city is like,” Hamels said before Tuesday’s game.The Phillies are still trying to re-sign Hamels, and there’s also a real chance he could be traded by July 31 if he doesn’t sign first. But Hamels spent Tuesday talking abored PSG striker Edinson Cavani this month.The Telegraph says United are weighing up the possibility of signing Cavani – but are wary of repeating the mistakes made with Alexis Sanchez.Cavani is out of contract at Paris-Saint Germain this summer and lut how the Phillies still might be able to go on a run and get back in a race.Hamels was encouraged by the news that Roy Halladay will make a rehabilitation start Thursday, and could rejoin the Phillies rotation soon after that.”We might start a roll,” Hamels said. “We might even be able to sweep a team. Have we done that this year?”We have to get back to having confidence. If we do that, we can be the team that won 102 games [last year].”The Phillies have not swept a three-game series this year. They swept seven three-game series and three four-game series last year.

Injury roundup: Neftali Feliz in limbo


Besides , and , there’s Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz.  Feliz departed his Tuesday start with shoulder discomfort, and, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports, , as originally planned. As well, Feliz may not make his next scheduled appearance on Monday. These setbacks meiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says they cannot relax – despite victory over Brighton sending them 11 points clear at the top of the table.It means 13 wins and a draw from their opening 14 games of the season.But Klopp says: “None of these 13 games we woan his opening-day status is now in doubt. “We are going to be smart,” said pitching coach Mike Maddux. “We’re in this for the long haul.”The Rangers are hoping Feliz will make his regular-season debut on April 10, but they want him to be able to work at least six innings. Presently, his longest outing of the spring is three innings, so he needs at least another two starts to get stretched out. Elsewhere … Insformer Ajax captain referred back to his country’s 1-0 defeat to Ronaldo’s Portugal in the final of the UEFA Nations League as a flattering moment.”At that time, I was thinking of where to go after the summer. I had an idea, but I wanted to decide afider Jon Heyman reports that Brewers outfielder Corey Hart, who’s recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, should be ready just a few days after opening day. Tigers third baseman

Miguel Cabrera (facial next season.Pasalic helped the Oribici qualify for the Champions League while on-loan last season.Gazzetta dello Sport says Chelsea have agreed to renew the loan for another 12 months.Pasalic is under contract with the Premier League club until June fracture) wanted to be back in action on Friday, but the club held him back. He’ll be re-examined on Tuesday and could still be in the lineup on opening day. []Marlins outfielders

Giancarlo Stanton (left knee) and

Logan Morrison (right knee) both hope to be in the lineup on opening day. However, in the event that they must begin the season on the DL, they’ll return by April 8. []Giants right-hander

Ryan Vogelsong and second baseman

Freddy Sanchez are both likely to open the season on the DL. Vogelsong’s first start is now tentatively scheduled for April 15. []

Sam Fuld of the Rays is sidelined with a sore wrist. []Braves reliever Johnny Venters (elbow) had a pain-free long-toss session on Friday. He believes he’ll be ready for game action by Tuesday. [.com]Braves right-hander

Tim Hudson (back) faced hitters on Friday for the first time this spring. He’s slated to throw again on Sunday and Wednesday. []Yankees shortstop

Derek Jeter returned to action on Friday after missing the last eight games with a sore calf. Nats closer

Drew Storen underwent an MRI, but no structural damage was discovered. He’ll need to rest his elbow before beginning a throwing program. []White Sox reliever

Jesse Crain (oblique) threw a pain-free, 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday. He’s slated to throw again on Sunday and could reenter the mix for the closer’s job. []Orioles shortstop

J.J. Hardy was out of the lineup today because of a sore throwing arm. Hardy says it’s a problem he deals with every season. []In part because he’s been limited by thumb and neck injuries this spring, Phillies outfielder

Domonic Brown has been optioned to minor-league camp. []

in while in charge of Napoli.Calvert-Lewin scored


The Los Angeles Angels reassigned caz.While the 32-year-old has twice been overlooked for the captaincy since joining, his influence in the dressing room and on the pitch has grown e former South Korea international had a mixed debut campaign on Tyneside, making 18 Premier League appearances, but also finding himself out of the side for long periods due to injury problems and his involvement in the Asian Cup.“I had an injury,steadily during the campaign.And Arteta has called on his Arsenal players to learn from Luiz’s attitude itcher , a non-roster invitee, to their minor-league camp on Sunday. Rosario collected one hit in three at-bats during thrdeal to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.Fernandes will reportedly join United for a fee of €55m, with the amount potentially reaching €80m if add-ons are met.”We’ve agreed with the club now, so hopefully we can announce it very soon thaee games in Cactus League play this spring.

unable to play through a bru to Chelsea. The 32-y


guard was a game-time decision Wednesday against the Bobcats, but was unable to play through a bru to Chelsea. The 32-year-old signed a one-year contract extension in May and does not see himself anywhere but the Blues.”I have at least another year in England and the chances are it will be more than a year,” said Giroud. “I do not see myself anywised lower back. He suffered the injury in Monda the Argentine only wants to leave City for Valencia this summer.Superdeporte says offers from Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and PSG have all been fieldeds.Mount again impressed for victory at Norwich City.”It is important he feels like a big player,” said Lampard, “because we were a young side today and players like Mason and Tammy [Abraham] for sure, but also Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma, play.But Otamendi only wants to sign for former club Valencia.The Argentina international left Los Che iny’s game, and is day to day moving forward, with the Nets’ next game set for Friday against the Cavaliers. 

Ranking NBA Playoff coaching staffs by who would win a pickup game



The NBA hiring circuit offers no bonus points for playing ability.

Fifteen of the 16 staffs in these NBA Playoffs have multiple coaches who played in the league, but every staff in the NBA also has at least one guy whose final level of organized basketball was played below the Division I NCAA level. No matter your background, if you can coach, you can coach here.

As we proved when , there is no relationship between playing ability and coaching ability (even in a year when NBA alumnus Kevin Ollie won an NCAA title), but NBA benches over the next two months will be filled with guys who can flat-out play, some of whom the nostalgic among us wish were still out there. In the spirit of that nostalgia, we considered what might happen if these staffs went toe to toe on the court, sort of like the Channel 4 news team taking up arms against Wes Mantooth and the guys from Channel 9.

We have given none of these people physicals. We have no idea whether Gregg Popovich has shot a basketball in the last 40 years, nor have we delved into potential chemistry issues that might arise because Doc Rivers and Tyronn Lue both want to play the 1.

This is mainly for fun, though Eye on Basketball will accept a consultant’s fee from whoever wants to organize this event.

(All staff rosters courtesy of


Dwane Casey (HC), Bill Bayno, Nick Nurse, Jesse Mermuys, Tom Sterner, Jama Mahlalela, Alex McKechnie

The Raps have at least three guys who can presumably play a little. Casey was a backup guard on some good Kentucky teams in the late 70’s; Bayno starred at Sacred Heart and went to rookie camp with the Knicks; Nurse played Division I basketball at Northern Iowa. But something tells me this group is struggling to stop Patrick Ewing.

Kim Hughes, David Vanterpool

Terry Stotts (HC), Jay Triano, Nate Tibbetts, Dale Osbourne, Chris Stackpole

Hughes, who won an ABA title and made the league’s All-Rookie team in 1976, gives this group some size at 6-11. Vanterpool was a nice player at St. Bonaventure and had a 22-game cup of coffee with the Wizards in 2001. Of the others, Stotts was abig-time player at Oklahoma, Osbourne (South Alabama) was a D-I role player, and Triano (Simon Fraser) and Tibbetts (South Dakota) starred at lower collegiate levels. So this team would not be incompetent.

Nate McMillan, Popeye Jones

Frank Vogel (HC), Dan Burke

The Pacers only list three assistants and a head coach in the staff directory, so you’re always going to be on the power play against them and there may be a fatigue factor. But I still feel like 6-8, 250-pound Popeye Jones (3,981 career rebounds) is going to cause some problems for people, as would McMillan, a star defender and consummate glue guy in more than a decade as an NBA player. After that it may be up to Vogel (a starter at Division III Juniata), who can but might have some trouble guarding Jason Kidd or Sam Cassell.

Ime Udoka, Sean Marks

Gregg Popovich (HC), Jim Boylen, Chip Engelland, Chad Forcier

The 6-11 Marks and 6-6 Udoka, a couple of former NBA journeymen, offer size. Of the others, Popovich was a quality player at Air Force (the Falcons’ leading scorer in 1970), Boylen was a star at Maine, and Engelland played at Duke as well as some pro ball overseas. They’re not going to wow you with names but could be a tough out.

Darvin Ham, Jim Thomas

Mike Budenholzer (HC), Kenny Atkinson, Taylor Jenkins, Quin Snyder, Pete Radulovic

This could be a sneaky competitive group. Ham smashed backboards at Texas Tech before an eight-year career as an NBA journeyman. Thomas played a couple seasons at guard for the Pacers. Your starting five would be rounded out by Snyder (starting guard at Duke), Budenholzer (playedSantos midfielder Tailson Pinto Goncalves.The 20 year-old goalscoring midfielder is coming off a superb season with Santos U20 in Brazil.Sport says Tailson is off contract and can sign for Barca for a knockdown training fee. The youngster is set to s ball at Pomona and professionally in Denmark) and Atkinson, an all-league guard at Richmond.

Ed Pinckney, Adrian Griffin

Tom Thibodeau (HC), Andy Greer, Mike Wilhelm

Pinckney may be better known for his collegiate exploits at Villanova but hung around for 12 years in the NBA and was a dependable pro. Griffin played parts of nine years as a swingman in the league and was a starter on some good Mavs teams. This team might only go as far as lower-level collegiate players Thibodeau (Salem State), Greer (SUNY Brockport) and Wilhelm (Southampton College) could take them.

Randy Wittman (HC), Sam Cassell

Don Newman, Don Zierden, Ryan Saunders, Pat Sullivan

Couple of strong pieces here with Cassell, who was a star and an All-Star in a career that spanned eight different franchises, and Wittman, who was a quality player on the Dominique Wilkins-led Hawks teams of the 80’s. Your third player here is probably Sullivan, who played on three Final Four teams at UNC. Saunders, the son of former NBA coach Flip Saunders, played a couple years as a walk-on at Minnesota, while Newman starred at Idaho and played in the CBA, and Zierden at Division III Mount Senario.


Kevin McHale (HC), Greg Buckner

J.B. Bickerstaff, Chris Finch, Dean Cooper

McHale is a Hall of Famer, seven-time NBA all-star and three-time champion who oozes excellence even at the age of 56 and with a bad foot. He’ll have a complementary piece in Buckner, a serviceable 10-year-pro who can presumably still get up and down the floor at age 37. Bickerstaff was a dependable Division I player at Oregon State and Minnesota, and Finch was a Division III All-American at Franklin & Marshall. This squad can beat you.

Jason Kidd (HC), Roy Rogers

Lawrence Frank, John Welch, Joe Prunty, Eric Hughes, Charles Klask, Jim Sann

The future Hall of Famer Kidd was still on the court, not the sideline, at this time last year, and would have a decent running mate in Rogers, a former starter with the Grizzlies. Welch played ball as a reserve at Nevada and UNLV, and Hughes played at D-II Cal State Hayward, but this is not going to be your strongest lineup from one to five.

Bob McAdoo, Juwan Howard

Erik Spoelstra (HC), Ron Rothstein, David Fizdale, Dan Craig

Scouting report: Bob McAdoo is 62 years old but something tells me the former Hall of Famer and NBA MVP could still dominate a i attacker Jose Callejon has dismissed Liverpool complaints over the penalty he won in last night’s Champions League triumph.Reds boss Jurgen Klopp accused the Spaniard of diving.But Callejon responded: “If the referee whistled the penalty, it is a pbasketball game. Howard is a former All-Star who like Kidd, was still playing in the NBA at this time last year and would be another huge piece. Spoelstra (Portland), Rothstein (Rhode Island) and Fizdale (San Diego) were all solid D-I players and Craig (Plymouth State) was a starter at the Division III level. A lot of point guards here though … one of these guys will need to make the opponent respect their jump shot.


Elston Turner, Bob Thornton, Shawn Respert

David Joerger (HC), Duane Ticknor

This would be a pretty balanced group. Turner played eight years in the NBA, including two as Michael Jordan’s teammate with the Bulls, and could star at the 3. The 6-10 Thornton was a power forward who hung around the NBA a while as a backup and started some games for the Knicks as well. Respert was an unconscious collegiate shooter at Michigan State who was too small (6-1) to be a standout 2 in the NBA but he could crush in this environment. Your 1 would probably be Joerger, who played at D-II Moorhead State in Minnesota. Ticknor played at now-defunct South Dakota-Springfield and would probably not be useless.

Rick Carlisle (HC), Darrell Armstrong, Tony Brown

Kaleb Canales, Monte Mathis

The linch pin of this group is the point guard Armstrong, who played for five teams over a 14-year NBA career and also produced . Brown (360 games as a 6-6 swingman for nine from 1984-92) and Carlisle (three years as a backup two-guard on the Bird/McHale/Parrish/Ainge/DJ Celtics) would also be able to hang. Your fourth option on this team is Mathis, who played sparingly at Kansas and Toledo in the 80’s.

 Scott Brooks (HC), Mark Bryant, Robert Pack

 Rex Kalamian, Brian Keefe, Mike Terpstra

 Start with a good backcourt of NBA long-timers Brooks and Pack and add in the 6-9 power forward Bryant, who played for 10 teams over his 15 years in the league, and you have the makings of a squad. Keefe played on a couple of good UNLV teams as a 6-4 guard and could also contribute, as could Kalamian (East Los Angeles JC) and Terpstra (D-II Northwest Nazarene), both good players at lower collegiate levels.

Patrick Ewing, Mark Price, Bob Weiss

Steve Clifford (HC), Bob Beyer, Stephen Silas

The Hall of Famer Ewing and former All-Star Price are 51 and 50 years old, but I still don’t know who’s defending Ewing in the post or Price on the perimeter. Weiss was a good NBA player, mostly with the Bulls, and even at 71 is going to give you some quality minutes. Silas was a serviceable player at Brown, while Clifford (Maine-Farmington) and Beyer (Alfred) both logged minutes at the Division III level.

Mark Jackson (HC), Pete Myers, Lindsey Hunter

Jerry DeGregorio, Keke Lyles, Joe Boylan

If you believe mythical pickup tournaments are won by guards, you have to like the Warriors’ chances here. Jackson was an all-star point guard and consummate winner. Hunter played 17 years in the league and was an important backcourt piece of some quality Pistons teams. Myers played parts of nine years in the league, memorably taking over two-guard duties from Michael Jordan while MJ was playing baseball. Depth and size could be a problem beyond that trio, however — Boylan (a guard at Division III Emerson College) is the only other staff member with collegiate experience.

Doc Rivers (HC), Armond Hill, Tyronn Lue, Howard Eisley

Alvin Gentry, Kevin Eastman, Brendan O’Connor, J.P. Clark, Dave Severns

It helps that the Clippers list nine coaches on their roster (that’s a 1.4 to 1 player-to-coach ratio), but it’s impossible to ignore the sheer volume of legit ex-players here. Rivers was a great pro, best known for his contributions to the Dominique Wilkins Hawks of the ’80’s. Hill played parts of eight NBA seasons and backed Riveng.Sterling has grown close to 19-year-old Poveda . The pair have both come up north from west London academies to the north-west pursue their football dreams.Poveda told the Manchester Evening News: “Raheem’s like my big bro, I appreciate him a up at point guard in 1983-84. The undersized Lue stuck around for 11 NBA seasons with seven teams and Eisley played 12 years, most notably with some strong Jazz squads. Eastman (Richmond) and Gentry (Appalachian State) both played D-I basketball, while Clark (Flagler) and Severns (Chico State) played at lower levels. Not a lot of size here, but depth and talent would undoubtedly win this group a title.

Dick Bavetta surpasses Cal Ripken’s ‘Iron Man’ streak


NBA referee Dick Bavetta has gone past the Iron Man. The longtime official has appeared in more consecutive games than even Cal Ripken Jr. From the AP: 

NBA referee Dick Bavetta worked his 2,633rd consecutive game assignment Wednesday, an ironman streak even longer than the one compiled by baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.

Bavetta worked the game between the Knicks and Nets at Madison Square Garden, where he began his career in 1975, extending a streak during which he has never missed an assignment. He chalked up his streak to good health, a dedication he said all officials shared, and winger Leandro Trossard was thrilled with victory over Everton.A penalty from Neal Maupaewcastle United are confident their transfer plans remain on track.The Evening Chronicle says Toon chiefs are confident that Steve Bruce will still be able to get summer transfer business done with no hitches at the end of the season.The Magpies havey and an injury time own goal from Lucas Digne gave the Seagulls a dramatic win on the south coast, turning around a 2-1 deficit to seal a 3-2 victory.Trossard sa fear of inconvenien confirmed that Michael Carrick will remain part of Old Trafford coaching staff next season.Solskjaer has said he will rebuild his squad this summer but his backroom team is set to stay the same as Mark Dempsey and Kieran McKenna will also remain.Mikcing someone else if he had to take a day off.

“I tell you I don’t think about it, in a sense that I guess it’s a work ethic that I got from my mom and dad, and it’s always been my way of thinking, that you get a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” Bavetta said before the game.

“And I can’t think of any reason unless it’s an act of God with weather problems and things like that, but I’ve been blessed by the good Lord above with good health, so that has enabled me to stay healthy over the years, and I think it’s symbolic of our profession.”

via .

It seems banal on the surface, but when you think about it, it’s pretty incredible. An NBA official may not be sprinting full court, bursting through contact and dunking over seven-footers but they do have to move up and down the court constantly. That takes a lot out of you, and that’s before the stress of tense games, standing up to hyped-up athletes to calm them down, and making snap decisions with huge ramifications. 

Tip of the cap to Bavetta for being so committed to the work he loves.