The Los Angeles Lakers will honor future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal by retiring his No. 34 jersey. The ceremony will take place during LA’s April 2nd game against the Dallas Mavericks. O’Neal is one of three Lakers to be honored this season. (more)
Paul Pierce had a clear shot at the hoop in the final seconds of overtime, just missing the potential go-ahead bucket before Pau Gasol blocked the ensuing Ray Allen attempt for the LA Lakers to win over the Boston Celtics 88-87 Thursday night at TD Garden. (more)
Recognized by many as the most dominant force in NBA History, Shaquille O’Neal just recently announced his retirement through social media tool Tout (a real-time video messaging service): “We did it. Nineteen years baby. (more)
Kobe Bryant netted 37 points while collecting 14 rebounds to lead the Western Conference to a 148-143 victory in Sunday’s All-Star contest, claiming MVP rights for the fourth time in front of his home crowd at the Staples Center. “I feel like we have a sense of responsibility and we are voted in for what we do during the season, which is play hard,” said Bryant. “And we come here, that’s what the fans want to see. They want to see us go at it and see us compete and that’s what I try to do and that’s what I try to tell my teammates to do.”
The West kept in control through the majority of the game until LeBron James surged the East back in the fourth block. James finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to join Michael Jordan as the only players with a triple-double in the All-Star game. Amar’e Stoudemire also produced 29 points for the East from 11-of-20 shooting. Kevin Durant followed up Bryant’s 37 points with 34 of his own for the West, adding the clinching free throws after the East pulled within three in the final seconds.
Carmelo Anthony added eight points in what could be his final game representing the Western Conference. The New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets are currently trying strike a deal with the Denver Nuggets, hoping to land the 4X All-Star before the February 24th trade deadline. Anthony was able to enjoy the weekend despite the recent media attention, saying “at times, it can be tough, but it’s fun at the same time.”
Los Angeles came one step closer to getting the NFL back into the nation’s second largest city for the first time since 1995, when AEG, the company in charge of the proposal, and Farmers Insurance Agency announced a naming rights deal in a joint statement. The deal is reportedly a 30-year agreement worth $700 million, and the proposed stadium will be named Farmers Field. Reports also say the deal will be worth $1 billion if Los Angeles is able to get two NFL teams to play in the building. The deal, of course, is contingent upon the city being able to lure at least one NFL team to move into the proposed stadium.
Among the most likely are the Minnesota Vikings, the San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings are in the most need of a new stadium after the roof collapsed on the Metrodome in December forcing the Vikings to move two home games. A new state-of-the-art stadium in the second biggest market will be a tempting proposition for the Vikings if the option is there. However, San Diego and Jacksonville are also strong candidates to make the move. The Chargers have been in need of a new stadium for years and the Jaguars have routinely had trouble selling out their massive stadium, even after closing off parts of the upper level.
A move to Los Angeles will make sense for any of the three franchises. The city had hoped to have a team in Los Angeles for the 2010 season, but with that in the rear view and the looming labor issues, they may have to wait until at least 2012 to bring the NFL back. Regardless of what team moves there and when it happens, it seems pretty clear that the NFL will return to Los Angeles sometime in the near future.
Kobe Bryant collected 33 points and six rebounds to lift his Los Angeles Lakers past the Minnesota Timberwolves 99-94 yesterday at the Staples Center. The 1-7 Timberwolves pulled within two late in the contest but could never create a lead over the two-time defending champions. Bryant and company can be grouped with the 1987 and 1997 Lakers as the only teams in franchise history to start the season at 8-0.
Pau Gasol came through with 18 points and 10 rebounds for LA. Lamar Odom and Ron Artest produced 15 and 13, respectively. “We won but we didn’t play well, and that bothers me a little bit,” said Artest. “If we have a loss and play well, that’s a different story. I guess it still feels better to get a win, even if it’s something like this. We’re still a good team, even on a night like this.”
Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with an impressive 23 points, 24 rebounds and five assists. Minnesota will hope to build from their efforts when they matchup with the Sacramento Kings tonight. “I think this was the best game we’ve played so far, despite the L at the end of the night,” said Love. “We got up to play the world champs and we went down with a fight. We played a lot better than we have played in the last four or five games.” The Lakers will next be challenged on the road against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann doubled in the seventh inning to bring in three runs for the National League to claim victory in the 2010 All-Star Game last night in Anaheim, CA. The six year veteran gave the NL their first win in 13 years, rightfully earning MVP rights through just one swing of the bat in yesterday’s defensive battle. The American League found the board once in the fifth when Yankees Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly to score Rays Evan Longoria.
National League players and coaches are looking forward to fighting against eachother for the chance at home advantage in this year’s World Series. “It’s a big deal. I think home teams play better at home,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “It feels good, it feels real good. I talked to our guys before the game and told them how important home-field advantage was.”
The 2010 events were highlighted with tributes to longtime Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and announcer Bob Sheppard. One of the more special moments came in the first inning when a recording of Sheppard introduced shortstop Derek Jeter as he stepped up to the plate. The Yankees currently lead the AL East standings at 56-32 with Tampa Bay trailing by two games. The Boston Red Sox find themselves five games back with a number of players hoping to return from injury within the next couple of weeks.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz blasted 11 homers in the final round to beat out Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the 2010 Home Run Derby yesterday at Angel Stadium. Most people considered Ortiz finished after another slow start back in April. His latest showcase led analysts to rank the four-time Derby veteran among the elite hitters in baseball. “I’ve been dealing with so many things the past few years,” said Ortiz. “Coming back here, I want to thank the players for giving me the opportunity to be here. This is a job that we have, but it’s called a game. That’s what I try to do during the season – have fun with my teammates and make sure everything goes the right way.”
When asked about his future with the Red Sox last night, Ortiz emphasized his desire to stay with the team he’s won two world titles with by clearly stating “I’m going to tell you, I ain’t going nowhere.” He is currently signed under a $12.5 million dollar contract for next season with hopes to negotiate an extension. Boston players representing the AL alongside Ortiz in tonight’s All-Star events are Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez. Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will be representing the American League in the 2010 Home Run Derby with Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Jays’ Vernon Wells Monday, July 12th in Anaheim, CA. National League participants will include Brewers’ Corey Hart and Cardinals’ Matt Holiday. Ortiz has already taken part in three Derbys from 2004-2006. The 6x All-Star is excited to take part in this year’s activities, saying “I really appreciate it – what the players think about a guy like myself. Like I say, I’m a guy that tries to respect everyone and plays the game the way it’s supposed to be.”
The five other Red Sox set to showcase their talents alongside Ortiz are Adrian Beltre, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Victor Martinez and Dustin Pedroia. Despite an early season slump to go with recent injury problems, the Sox have been able to earn a regular season record of 49-35, just 3 1/2 games behind the AL East leading New York Yankees. Boston will next matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight before traveling to face the Toronto Blue Jays. MLB All-Star event tickets are now available!