NBA 2019 All-Star Weekend: 2/15/19

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2019 All-Star Celebrity Game – ESPN and the NBA today announced the rosters and coaches for the 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles, which will air exclusively on ESPN and the ESPN App, Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. ET from Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. The home team will feature celebrities with Carolina roots, including ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams and 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson, facing off against reigning MVP and rapper Quavo, among others. Dawn Staley, three-time Olympic Champion and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will serve as the home team’s coach, while the 2018 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird will coach the away team.

  • Home 82 – Away 80

Highlights:  Famous Los scored 22 points to win MVP honors, and the Home team held on to beat the Away team 82-80 in the All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night. Jay Williams scored 18 points for Home. Quavo scored 27 for Away and Hall of Famer Ray Allen scored 24 — though the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made went 0 for 8 from beyond the arc.

 

  Image result for nba rising stars game 2019 logo 2019 Rising Star Challenge  – The 25th Rising Stars will pit 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world in the league’s annual showcase of premier young talent during NBA All-Star. MTN DEW ICE will serve as the title partner, expanding on its continued commitment to supporting up-and-coming stars throughout the sport. MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars will air live in the U.S. on TNT and ESPN Radio.  

Team U.S.:
Jarrett Allen, Marvin Bagley III, Lonzo Ball (injured), John Collins, De’Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Knox, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum

Team World
OG Anunoby, Deandre Ayton, Bogdan Bogdanović, Luka Dončić, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Rodions Kurucs, Lauri Markkanen, Josh Okogie, Cedi Osman, Ben Simmons

  • Team U.S. 161 – Team World 144

Highlights:  Kyle Kuzma was determined to make sure Team USA snapped its two-game losing streak in the Rising Stars Challenge. Why? To have some extra spending money. “Facts,” Kuzma said with a smile, when asked if what he said on the court postgame, that the $25,000 bonus going to each member of the winning team was part of his motivation, was true. “I think it was the second timeout, and I broke the huddle by saying, ‘Bonus-1-2-3.’ So there you go.” Kuzma certainly did his part, scoring 14 of his game-high 35 points in the first quarter to stake Team USA to a 40-30 lead it never relinquished in a 161-144 victory Friday night in the game featuring first- and second-year players. While Team World managed to nearly get all the way back in front on multiple occasions, pulling within two points in the second quarter and within one in the third, it never managed to pull ahead. After Team USA closed the third quarter with a quick run to stretch the lead to six, it opened the fourth quarter with an 11-4 surge to push the lead back out to double figures and cruised to the win from there. The only question left at that point was who would win the game’s MVP award, with Kuzma (10 points) and teammate Trae Young (12 points, 3 assists) going shot for shot in the fourth quarter to try to wrest it away from each other. In the end, the fans voted for Kuzma over Young and Jayson Tatum (30 points), leading to cheers of “Kuz!” from the fans inside Spectrum Center after the buzzer sounded when his name was announced to the crowd.

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NHL Scores: 2/15/19

Image result for nhlFriday Games:

  • New York Rangers 6 – Buffalo Sabres 2
  • Edmonton Oilers 1 – Carolina Hurricanes 3
  • New Jersey Devils 5 – Minnesota Wild 4
  • Boston Bruins 3 – Anaheim Ducks 0

NFL News

Image result for charles clayCharles Clay Released By Bills – The Buffalo Bills have released tight end Charles Clay, the team announced Friday. Clay, 30, was scheduled to count $9 million against the Bills’ salary cap in the final season of a five-year, $38 million contract. He finished last season with a career-low 184 receiving yards while averaging a career-low 8.8 yards per catch. Despite playing in 13 games and making 12 starts, his 21 catches were his fewest since 2012. Former Bills general manager Doug Whaley made signing the transition-tagged Clay away from the division-rival Miami Dolphins one of his signature moves of the 2015 offseason. The Bills guaranteed $24.5 million of Clay’s deal, but his production in Buffalo never matched what remain his two best seasons — for Miami in 2013 and 2014. Clay’s most recent touchdown came in Week 3 of the 2017 season. He surpassed 30 receiving yards in only two games during the 2018 season and was made a healthy scratch for a Week 16 contest at New England. In eight NFL seasons, Clay has caught 339 passes for 3,631 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for a score in 2013.

 

Image result for antonio brownSteelers Prez, Brown Meet Next Week – Art Rooney II wanted Antonio Brown‘s side, and he’ll now get it. The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ team president is scheduled to meet with Brown in person, a source confirmed. That meeting is expected to take place next week, a source told ESPN. NFL Network first reported on the meeting. Brown, who is tentatively scheduled to attend NBA All-Star festivities this weekend, has requested a trade and used social media to thank Steelers fans for nine seasons and declare himself “open for business.” Brown frustrated the organization when he failed to show up for a practice session in Week 17. Rooney told reporters last month that the team will consider its options concerning Brown’s future and expressed disappointment that he hadn’t corresponded with Brown since the season ended.

NFL News

Image result for colin kaepernick and eric reidNFL Reaches Settlement With Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid – In a stunning decision, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid have reached a financial settlement with the NFL in their joint collusion complaint against the league and will take no further action in the case. While sources declined to offer specifics for the decision, Yahoo Sports was told on prior occasions that Kaepernick and Reid would only settle the complaint if a lucrative financial agreement was reached between the players and the NFL. The league and Kaepernick’s attorneys released a statement Friday saying the matter had been resolved confidentially. As part of that confidentiality, it is believed both sides signed a non-disclosure agreement agreeing not to speak publicly about details of the case or settlement. The NFLPA also released a statement Friday, supporting the settlement between the league and players.

 

Image result for aff football offers to kaepernick and tebowColin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow Declined AAF Offer – Executives of the Alliance of American Football reportedly reached out to two high-profile quarterbacks to gauge their interest in playing in the league. League co-founder Bill Polian told Lindsay Jones of The Athletic that CEO Charlie Ebersol contacted Colin Kaepernick to see if he was interested. “I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said of Kaepernick. Barry Wilner of the Associated Press reported Kaepernick wanted at least $20 million to suit up for the new league. Polian also said he talked with Tim Tebow, although the former Denver Broncos signal-caller declined his offer to play in the league.

MLB News

Image result for luis severinoSeverino Extension Maxes At $52.25M – Starter Luis Severino and the New York Yankees agreed on a four-year, $40 million contract extension that buys out his arbitration years and includes a fifth-year club option that would cover one season of free agency, league sources told ESPN. The 24-year-old Severino, who has emerged as the Yankees’ ace over the last two seasons, avoided going to an arbitration hearing Friday. It was the fourth long-term deal signed by young players in the past three days. The deal, which could max out at $52.25 million over five years, includes an interesting twist. The money is front-loaded more than usual as protection against a potential work stoppage, according to sources. Severino will make $4 million with a $2 million signing bonus in 2019, $10 million in 2020, $10.25 million in 2021 and $11 million in 2022, the season after which the current collective bargaining agreement expires. A $15 million club option for 2023 includes a $2.75 million buyout. If the Yankees exercise the option, Severino will hit the open market after the 2023 season at 29 years old.

NBA News

Image result for dell dempsPelicans Part With GM, Turn To Ferry In Interim – The New Orleans Pelicans have parted ways with general manager Dell Demps, the team announced on Friday, clearing the way for a new top basketball executive to oversee the Anthony Davis trade talks. Demps had been Pelicans GM for nine years, which included three trips to the playoffs but advancing only once past the first round. Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry, a consultant for the Pelicans, has been named the team’s interim GM. New Orleans assistant GM David Booth was also considered for the interim role, league sources said. For now, Alvin Gentry and his staff are safe, sources said. The organization has been pleased with how he’s navigated the team under difficult circumstances this year, and he’s expected to finish out the season, sources said. Gentry’s future is likely dependent on the next GM’s purview. Gentry signed a contract extension in the offseason.

NBA News

Image result for anthony davisUPDATE:  MRI On AD’s Shoulder Show Contusion – An MRI on Pelicans star Anthony Davis‘ left shoulder Thursday night revealed a muscle contusion but “nothing too bad,” a source told ESPN. Davis was injured in the final second of the first half during Thursday’s 131-122 win over the Thunder, when he crashed into Oklahoma City’s Nerlens Noel, committing a foul while trying to block Noel’s shot. Davis did not return to the bench after halftime and left Smoothie King Center with agent Rich Paul during the game to get an MRI. A source told ESPN that Davis will head to Charlotte, North Carolina, site of Sunday’s All-Star Game, and get treatment on the shoulder over the next few days. Davis will see how he feels before deciding whether he can play Sunday.

 

Image result for russell westbrookWestbrook Extends Record, Sees Ways To Improve – Despite recording his 11th consecutive triple-double Thursday to extend the longest such streak in NBA history, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said he still has “so much room for an improvement” after a 131-122 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. On Monday night, Westbrook’s triple-double against Portland extended his streak to 10 games, breaking Wilt Chamberlain‘s mark of nine straight set in 1968. Westbrook finished with 44 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in 39 minutes Thursday. In the process, he surpassed Gary Payton for the most points in Thunder/SuperSonics franchise history with 18,208. But Westbrook isn’t resting on his laurels. “I have so much room for improvement, just for me personally, because I know how good I can be and how much I can bring to the game and to help this team be successful,” he said. “So I’m very, very optimistic.”