That can go tragically wrong. One of the great all-time examples of the ills of comparison shopping goes back 15 years to Georgian big man Nikoloz Tskitishvili, the No. 6 pick of the Nuggets in the 2002 draft. Back then, Nuggets honcho Kiki Vandeweghe was enthralled with the proposition that Tskitishvili would be the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki, a skinny European teenager who, with time, would blossom into a transformative star.
He was playing in the Italian League at the time, coached by Mike D’Antoni, who had been a Nuggets front-office employee and had yet to make his mark as an NBA coach. D’Antoni told the Associated Press, He’s two or three years away. Hopefully, Denver will have some patience because he could be something special.
Tanner Ainge had been hinting on LinkedIn about a potential run, and by Monday morning, he had filed paperwork to make his bid official, the Salt Lake Tribune reported . Also, the bios on his social media accounts were changed to say candidate for U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition to his career in finance, Ainge has directed the African Equity Fund non-profit. He also volunteered in campaign finance for a year of Mitt Romney’s run for president in 2008, although that is the extent of his political background.
Deeper on Ainge’s resume, he speaks five languages, studied Chinese at Cornell University and earned his law degree at Northwestern University.
LeBron James had one of his worst games ever Sunday night when the Cavs lost Game 3 to the Celtics. Speaking Monday after practice, J.R. Smith made some interesting comments regarding his teammate, saying James needs to believe in himself a little more.
He’s close to becoming first in steals and free-throw attempts, and while those records aren’t as sexy as points scored, they too could become unbreakable standards. All that said, what James is doing is unprecedented and may never be repeated.
It’s unlikely Green had thoughts of stealing Durant away from Russell Westbrook and OKC the moment he wrapped his arms around Durant after the Warriors’ narrowly escaped a 3-1 series deficit in last year’s Western Conference finals. But what we do know is by the time they joined forces as teammates on Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, they both shared something in common — they knew what it was like to lose to a fully-staffed, James-led team in the Finals.
In 2012, Durant, then flanked by a young Westbrook and burgeoning James Harden, fell in five games to James as he led Miami to the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second time. Green had been to the mountaintop. He tasted a Finals victory in 2015 when James put up historic numbers (35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 8.8 apg) in a losing effort. Green hurt his team the next year with a suspension as the Cavs mounted a historic comeback behind LeBron’s signature Finals performance.
When Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the offseason, everybody knew they would end up in the Finals. Now we’re here, and to no one’s surprise, Golden State reached the Finals for a third straight year and are considered heavy favorites to win it all.
Boston, an underdog in the Eastern Conference finals despite being the No. 1 seed, followed up an embarrassing 44-point trouncing in Game 2 with an inspiring 111-108 win against the defending champion Cavaliers on Sunday without its two-time All-Star floor general, Isaiah Thomas. Afterward, Stevens could’ve passed out game balls indiscriminately. Avery Bradley hit the game-winner, rolling in a 3-pointer from the wing on a beautifully executed play that left the Cavs with no time to counter. Marcus Smart had an out-of-body experience, knocking down seven 3-pointers, something he’d only done once in his career and never at a 70 percent clip. Kelly Olynyk, a hero in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, awoke from hibernation having scored a combined two points in Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland to drop 15 points off the bench.
But none of them impacted the game in quite the same way as Jerebko, a 6-10, 231-pound Swede with six years’ experience under his belt.
Jerebko, a healthy scratch in four straight games before logging 16 minutes in Game 2, was one of six Celtics to finish in double figures in scoring. He added 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field, including five in the fourth quarter, two of which came on a game-tying 22-footer from the corner with 30 Cheap Jerseys America seconds remaining to help set the stage for Bradley’s big Cheap Jerseys And Hats From China shot. Jerebko also pulled down five rebounds to go along with a block and an assist.
Andre Iguodala has been strong off the bench. He is already a plus-9 in 11 minutes and is playing tenacious defense all over the floor.
Something to keep an eye on: Golden State had eight offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone. Cleveland won’t survive if that continues.
Durant and Stephen Curry lead the Warriors with 10 points each. James has already posted 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Hey, it’s a close playoff game!
We’re right where we want to be, Kerr said. Disappointed that we didn’t play better the other night, but aware that we are playing a great team. And they were desperate, and they outplayed us. So we’re where we need to be. We would love to take care of business. We’re planning on playing a lot better (Monday), and we’ll see what happens.
There are, too, the fans. The faithful in Oakland have a bad rap around the league, and part of that goes back to that 1974 World Series. Fans in the stands bombarded Dodgers left fielder Bill Buckner with shrapnel, beginning innocently enough with streamers but graduating to an apple that hit Buckner in the back of the head and a whiskey bottle that landed near his feet.
Said Buckner: Terrible people. Most of them weren’t here all year — and now, all of a sudden, they are big A’s fans.
Such an accusation cannot be leveled against this year’s Warriors and their backers. They’ve been there all year — and beyond. Give me our fans any day, Warriors forward Draymond Green said. Love those people. It would be amazing to win it at home for them.
It’s only been 43 years.
The Mets and how they handle injuries has been a big topic of debate this season, but don’t expect manager Terry Collins to shed light on any player updates or timelines moving forward.
According to the New York Daily News, the usually candid Collins is furious with the Mets after the front office told him that he can no longer discuss routine injury news. At Collins’ press conference Wednesday, he was asked about Jay Bruce (back) and Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring), who are close to returning to the lineup for the 19-25 team.
I’m not at liberty to discuss the injury situation, Collins said.
But that’s it; nothing lower, aside from a handful of pinch-hitting or double-switch appearances off the bench.
Not that McCutchen has any room to complain at this point. He’s hitting .203 with a .634 OPS and has been in a dreadful slump lately, with a .163 average and .531 OPS in May.
The 30-year-old has been benched for the Pirates’ last two games, though he did come on in the 10th inning of the last-place Pirates’ wild 12-5 win over the Braves on Wednesday.
If McCutchen can somehow regain his form over the coming weeks, he would become a potentially intriguing addition for a contender at the trade deadline. The veteran outfielder is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and though it’s difficult to imagine the Pirates getting much in return, it seems a change of scenery would be in order after months of trade rumors and a position change.
Binghamton reliever Cory Burns lost his footing while attempting to deliver a 1-2 pitch. As he came off the mound, Burns just spiked the ball into the ground about 10 feet in front of the hill. As the ball was rolling and Ponies catcher Colton Plaia went to retrieve the ball up the first base line, Fuentes decided to take a slow practice swing. Because it was still a live ball and he was in the box, he was called out.
Binghamton, the Double-A affiliate of the Mets, went on to a 5-4 victory and, after Saturday’s 1-0 win, will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday.
Things aren’t going the way they were supposed to go for the Cubs.
After winning their first World Series in 108 years last fall, the Cubs returned the core of their team and were among the favorites to win the World Series this year. Talk of a dynasty even permeated the Windy City.
But after getting swept by the Dodgers this weekend, the Cubs are just 25-24 and a game and a half back of the Brewers in the National League Central. To put Chicago’s 25 wins into perspective, the Cubs got to 25 wins last year in just 31 games.
Please, let them freak out, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, via ESPN.com, when asked Sunday about panicking Cubs fans. If you want to freak out, freak out.
For Sanchez, it’s injuries not injury. The right-hander, who led the AL in ERA in 2016, is on the DL for the third time already this season, all for issues with the middle finger on his pitching hand. The first time, he missed 15 days with a blister on the finger; the second time, he missed 13 days with a split fingernail on the finger; and now he’s on the DL with a laceration on that troublesome middle finger. He’s been productive when the finger cooperates — he has a 3.33 ERA in five starts — but the Jays have missed him.
Like the Mets and Mariners, the Blue Jays have been hit with a ton of injury issues. I’ll mention the other significant guys here — shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (hamstring) missed 35 days before returning, while starting pitchers J.A. Happ (elbow, 43 days and counting) and Francisco Liriano (shoulder, 20 days and counting) are still on the DL. Roberto Osuna, Russell Martin, Steve Pearce and J.P. Howell have all spent time on the DL this season, too. It hasn’t been fun for Jays fans.
Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson was forced to exit Tuesday night’s game with the Cardinals after a pair of collisions with his fellow outfielders.
In the top of the seventh, Pederson and left fielder Cody Bellinger ran into each other on the warning track of Dodger Stadium after failing to call each other off on a fly ball from Matt Carpenter.
Pederson’s second collision of the night also appeared to be the result of miscommunication as he and Yasiel Puig tracked down a line drive off the bat of Yadier Molina in the top of the 10th inning. Neither of the outfielders slowed their sprint to the ball and collided on the warning track.
Puig’s elbow appeared to hit Pederson’s head and the impact carried the center fielder head-first into the outfield wall padding, resulting in a laceration to Pederson’s forehead.
Curt Schilling wasn’t there, but he’s sure acting like it.
The former Red Sox pitcher has more to say about why he thinks Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is lying about racist taunts at Fenway Park.
Jones said he was called the N-word several times by Red Sox fans.
The Red Sox believe Jones.
The team apologized to him for his treatment and issued a lifetime ban to a heckler for using a racial slur toward another fan during a game.
One of our big goals was to pitch against each other one time (in the major leagues). So I’ll kind of treat (Wednesday) as that, McCullers said.
It’s part of a season, the Chronicle notes, in which McCullers (3-1), pays tribute to his late friend in multiple ways as a way of celebrating his life:
’ McCullers’ custom-made orange Wilson glove is the same model Fernandez used early in his career and has his name stitched in blue on it.
’ His spikes, special ordered from a Miami-based company that Fernandez also used, have his initials ’ JDF ’ and No. 16 on them.
’ Before his first-inning warm-up pitches for every start, McCullers uses his finger to draw a 16 in the dirt on the back of the mound. He sees Fernandez’s number every time he walks up the hill after receiving the ball back from third baseman Alex Bregman.
I do give a lot of credit to a lot of people in my life who helped me get here, McCullers told the Chronicle, but I think he was one that pushed me a lot and gave me a lot of advice along the way through training and just what it was going to take to get here.
While holding the first pick in the MLB Draft is a somewhat dubious honor, to quote Crash Davis from Bull Durham, it does provide a team ’ the Twins this year ’ the opportunity to help turn around their organization’s fortunes.
So far this spring, three names have been linked with the Twins’ top-pick: Hunter Greene, Kyle Wright, and Brendan McKay. The first two would be solid choices; the third would not. More on that in a bit.
He made seven All-Star teams with the Tigers before being traded to the Phillies following the 1963 season. He crafted a perfect game Father’s Day in 1964, the first perfect game for a National League pitcher in 84 years.
Or there’s the option for Harper to shine more brightly and end his career more spectacularly. Kevin Mitchell comes to mind, the bombastic star who won an MVP at 27 but played just 264 games in the majors after his 30th birthday. For peak value Hall of Fame candidates, Mitchell ranks among the best offensive ones in baseball history, though seemingly few people are making his case.
Similar things can be said about Fred Lynn, who had a .308 batting average through his age-28 season, but averaged 114 games thereafter. Every year where I (got) to 140 games, I had really good years, Lynn recently told Sporting News. I just needed to play more games. That’s all. I’ve never in my life done poorly if I played a lot, just never have.
Harper’s logged just 140 games in a season just twice so far, though he was an MVP one of those years.
Pillar issued an apology for his actions after the game, although he didn’t say specifically what he said.
Despite the club suspension, Pillar could be facing more punishment from Major League Baseball, which saw enough to open an investigation, according to Sportsnet. The report says MLB’s look into the issue isn’t just for the fight, but specifically whether Pillar used a slur in his exchange with Motte.
Pillar’s suspension will force him to miss Thursday’s series finale with the Braves in Atlanta, a game which many expect fallout to occur from Wednesday in which Braves star Freddie Freeman broke his wrist on a HBP and Jose Bautista flipped his bat after a homer even though Atlanta was up five runs.
The Red Sox and David Price will huddle Thursday to determine the next step for the rehabbing left-hander, the day after a mixed-bag outing at Triple-A.
For the second straight start in his comeback from a forearm injury sustained in spring training, Price struggled with his control, although he did show a 92- to 96-mph fastball.
Price said he felt good after his outing. I would say [he] burnt through his pitch count, PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via the Boston Globe). I thought the stuff was actually pretty good. It was just command and location, which is to be expected when he’s coming off an injury.
His line against Louisville: six runs (three earned) on seven hits, four strikeouts, a walk and a wild pitch through only 3 2/3 innings on 89 pitches.