If the season should resume, VanVleet says he isn’t convinced health concerns can be adequately addressed as long as the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat. He described himself as a skeptic in a conference call Wednesday and questioned whether a return to action could be carried out safely. VanVleet also said he doesn’t relish the idea of playing in front of empty arenas.In other virus-related developments:— Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego says he thinks some players could need “multiple weeks” to get back into true basketball shape if the NBA decides to return to action this season. The league hasn’t played games in nearly six weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Borrego says unlike when there was a lockout — and players gathered routinely for five-on-five pickup games in gyms — he knows some players who don’t have access to a court to work on basketball-specific drills.— Louisville has furloughed 45 athletic department staffers for at least 60 days and eliminated 40 other support positions in the latest budget moves resulting from shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Athletic director Vince Tyra also announced 4% pay cuts for staffers earning more than $100,000 in the next year, with those earning below that figure taking 2% salary cuts. The newest salary cuts do not include head coaches, senior staff or the AD, whose salaries were reduced 10% earlier this month.— A staff member of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has tested positive for COVID-19. Tokyo organizers issued a statement Wednesday saying the male employee in his 30s worked at the headquarters building in Tokyo and was in quarantine at home. They said the area where he worked would be disinfected, and people who worked nearby have been told to stay home. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last month until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-RED SOX-SIGN STEALINGRed Sox stripped of pick, Cora banned in sign stealing scamsNEW YORK (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have escaped the heavy punishment doled out to the Houston Astros in their separate sign-stealing scandals. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has stripped the Red Sox of their second-round pick in this year’s draft while also punishing former Boston skipper Alex Cora for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing maneuvers of 2017 and ‘18.Manfred concluded Red Sox replay system operator J.T. Watkins broke rules by using in-game video to revise sign sequences provided to players. According to Manfred, Watkins was a “key participant” in the 2017 Apple incident, when the Red Sox used a smartwatch to relay decoded signs from the replay room to the dugout.Watkins was suspended without pay through this year’s postseason and prohibited from serving as the replay room operator through 2021.Meanwhile, Cora has been suspended through the 2020 postseason for his previous conduct as bench coach with the Astros. Cora became manager of the Red Sox in 2018 and left the team last winter.Manfred found Boston’s conduct far less egregious than that of the Astros, whom he determined used video to steal catchers’ signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again during the 2018 season. Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended through the 2020 postseason on Jan. 13 and Houston was fined $5 million, the maximum under the Major League Constitution. The Astros were penalized their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks. The Red Sox also announced that Ron Roenicke (REH’-neh-kee) is their new manager after giving him the job on an interim basis in March. He replaced Cora.NFL-NEWSTrade reunites Gronkowski with Brady in Tampa BayUNDATED (AP) — Rob Gronkowski has become an official member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.The tight end will be catching passes from Tom Brady again after the New England Patriots agreed to send him to the Bucs, along with a seventh-round pick in this weekend’s draft. The Pats receive a fourth-round selection. Christian is one of hundreds of University of Michigan graduates who allege that Anderson molested them under the guise that the abuse was a normal part of the physicals they had to get in order to participate in sports.GOLF-WOODS/MICKELSONWoods-Mickelson rematch to include Brady, ManningUNDATED (AP) — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are primed for a made-for-TV rematch, and they’ll be paired with a pair of NFL rival quarterbacks.Turner Sports says quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will join them for a two-on-two match to be aired on TNT sometime in May. Turner didn’t provide specifics concerning the exact date or location, only to say that tournament organizers would work with government and health officials to meet safety and health standards. Maxwell Berning won a fourth major at the Women’s Western Open. She had 11 career victories on the LPGA Tour while raising two daughters. She joins Tiger Woods, Marion Hollins and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem in the 2021 induction class.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The 20-time Grand Slam champion issued the notion in a series of tweets, saying it probably should have happened a long time ago and maybe now is really the time.Those giving support to the idea include rival Rafael Nadal and 12-time major singles champion Billie Jean King, who founded the WTA and has long said men and women should share one tour. Women’s tennis stars Simona Halep (HA’-lehp) and Garbiñe Muguruza (moo-gah-ROO’-thah) have also voiced their approval.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSHornets coach says players aren’t in game shapeUNDATED (AP) — Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is bracing for the suspended NBA season not to resume, saying everyone is preparing for the worst-case scenario. Turner said all donations and fundraising from the match would benefit relief efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic.GOLF HALL OF FAME-MAXWELL BERNINGMaxwell Berning, winner of 3 US Opens, gets in Hall of FameUNDATED (AP) — Susie Maxwell Berning is the fourth and final person to be inducted next year in the World Golf Hall of Fame.She won the U.S. Women’s Open three times in a six-year span. Only five other women have won at least three U.S. Women’s Open and all of them are in the Hall of Fame. Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw has abruptly retired after a Hall of Fame coaching career that includes 936 victories and two national championships in 33 seasons. The 64-year-old McGraw became the 13th woman inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame three years ago, one year before her second NCAA title.McGraw is one of five Division I men’s or women’s basketball coaches with at least 930 wins, nine Final Fours and multiple titles. She logged 842 over 24 seasons with the Irish.TENNIS-FEDERER-TOUR MERGERFederer wants ATP-WTA mergerUNDATED (AP) — Roger Federer is calling for the merger of the governing bodies for the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours, sparking a conversation among players and fans. Update on the latest sports Associated Press — The New Orleans Saints have canceled their offseason program because of the coronavirus shutdown and informed players they will not be required to report to club headquarters until training camp, whenever that may be. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said coach Sean Payton informed players of the decision today, adding that the club will remain in regular communication with players between now and the opening of training camp.— Percy Harvin is planning an NFL comeback, nearly four years after his last game. The former Florida star and first-round draft pick by Minnesota in 2009 expects to get invited to a training camp this season and show his 32-year-old body still has what it takes to be an elite playmaker. Harvin’s decision to resume his career comes after he underwent hip surgery last August. Doctors found a blockage he says may have been there since high school.WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NOTRE DAME-MCGRAWNotre Dame’s McGraw retiresUNDATED (AP) — One of the most successful coaches in women’s basketball history has stepped down. — The Berlin Marathon says the race cannot be held as planned in September because of new restrictions in the city related to the pandemic. City authorities have extended a ban on major events with more than 5,000 people until October 24. More than 62,000 people took part in the marathon last year.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOREx-Michigan tight end Chuck Christian says he was abusedANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The first former University of Michigan football player to publicly say that a team doctor abused him believes he would have sought medical help sooner for what has become stage 4 prostate cancer if he hadn’t been victimized in college.Chuck Christian said during a videoconferencing interview Wednesday that the late Dr. Robert Anderson gave him unnecessary rectal exams before he played for the Wolverines during the 1977-80 seasons. The 60-year-old Christian said he would have been quicker to seek cancer treatment if he wasn’t emotionally scarred by Anderson’s annual physicals. April 22, 2020 Gronkowski earned four All-Pro selections in nine seasons while serving as one of Brady’s top targets at New England. Brady signed a two-year, $50 package with New England past month.The 31-year-old Gronkowski has one year and $10 million left on his contract. He comes out of retirement following a one-year absence.In other NFL news:— Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams has signed his non-exclusive franchise tag. Williams will earn a salary in the 2020 season based on the average of the top five salaries from his position. The two sides can negotiate a long-term contract during the season. The Giants acquired Williams on Oct. 29 from the Jets for two draft choices.— The head of the NFL Players Association says the new collective bargaining agreement does not have a similar clause to one that allows the NBA to start cutting players’ pay in mid-May. Executive Director DeMaurice (deh-MOHR’-ihs) Smith said Wednesday on a call with reporters that the CBA with the NFL does not have a provision that would prevent someone from fulfilling a contract because of unforeseeable circumstances. The NBA is using that clause to begin taking a 25% chunk out of players’ checks starting May 15 for a league that shut down March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL began its new business year March 18.
The Football Association (FA) is to investigate a social media post by Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli which appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.Balotelli, 24, deleted the post from his Instagram page of Nintendo computer game character Super Mario.The Italian later tweeted to deny the text of the post was offensive.The FA confirmed it was looking into the post, while Liverpool said they will speak to Balotelli.A club spokesman told BBC Sport: “We are aware of the posting which has since been promptly deleted by the player.”We will be speaking to the player about the issue.” Responding to criticism on Twitter, Balotelli tweeted: “My Mom is Jewish so all of you shut up please.”He also described reposting the image as “my unlucky moment”.However, former FA executive and current chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council Simon Johnson said Balotelli should face action.”We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Johnson told the Daily Telegraph. “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.” Under the FA’s social media guidelines, the minimum ban for race-related breaches of rules is five games.In September, Merseyside Police investigated racist remarks made to Balotelli on Twitter after he posted a message during Manchester United’s 5-3 defeat against Leicester City.
For that, Ball took the blame.“We’re just ball watching, to be honest,” Ball said, not noticing his own pun. “I’m supposed to be back on the point guard, sometimes I go crash (the glass) when I’m supposed to be getting back, and (we’re) just not talking.”After a pair of gritty performances in which they were the ones climbing back from double-digit deficits, the Lakers on Friday learned how it feels to be on the other side.There was a point guard with a triple-double, but it was Ball’s counterpart, not the rookie, who is still searching for his first.Lowry scored 11 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It was Lowry’s 3-pointer with 1:09 left that pushed the Raptors’ lead to nine and allowed the Raptors to hold the Lakers at bay.Ball finished with five points, six assists and seven rebounds. The Lakers took their biggest lead at 47-30 on a layup by Brandon Ingram with 3:56 left in the second period. The rest of the game felt like a mad scramble up a muddy slope. The Lakers never found their footing and ended up sliding into their third loss in five games.The subplot of the night was the continued dominance of the Lakers’ bench.Randle, whose misgivings about coming off the bench already seem like a distant memory, led the Lakers with 18 points, while Kuzma recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Clarkson added 11 points. Lakers rookies serenade Lonzo Ball on 20th birthday PreviousToronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Corey Brewer defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors forward CJ Miles, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, shoots as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, of Cameroon, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, left, passes the ball as Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart, left, shoots as Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, of England, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., left, grabs a rebound away from Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, of Cameroon, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, right, shoots as Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, of Congo, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl, of Austria, dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, right, grabs a rebound away from Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Corey Brewer defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, of Cameroon, dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart, left, shoots as Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, center, of Congo, defends and forward Julius Randle watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell, left, blocks the shot of Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Famed comic book creator Stan Lee, right, talks with singer will.i.am of the Back Eyed Peas during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Raptors, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Corey Brewer defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 15Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Corey Brewer defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Raptors won 101-92. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Toronto’s All-Star backcourt had chipped away at what once was a 17-point Lakers lead. The Lakers, however, weren’t ready to give it up.A bench unit led by Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Clarkson had the Lakers tied with the Raptors with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter on Friday when Luke Walton decided it was time to go back to his first unit, including star rookie Lonzo Ball.“Some nights,” Walton said, “it’s the bench’s job to just get that lead or keep you around and you put the starters in and they’re supposed to finish it for you.”Related Articles The Raptors rattled off eight straight points, and when point guard Kyle Lowry heaved a full-court pass to a streaking Pascal Siakam for a breakaway dunk, Walton called timeout in disgust. He replaced his starters with the bench unit that had found earlier success. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“We gave up a lot of fast-break points,” said Ball, who turned 20 on Friday, “people not getting back and it was a unit thing so that’s why he pulled everybody.”It was a mirror image of the third quarter, when the Lakers’ starters were also ineffectual in transition.The Lakers actually outscored the Raptors 22-12 in fast-break points, but it was the timing of their defensive breakdowns that had the coach most frustrated.“We talked about how important that third quarter was when the momentum of the game was changing and them being a playoff team,” Walton said. “We can’t afford to give those up.”He said that “as a teaching lesson” he pulled his starters ahead of schedule with five minutes left in the third. His message might have been clear, but it didn’t resonate enough to help the Lakers in the final period. That group had the Lakers ahead 79-77 when Luke Walton went back to Ball with 8:34 left in the fourth. Once the rest of the starters joined him, things stalled.There were missed 3-point attempts and a couple of charges. The Raptors rattled off eight straight points, taking a commanding 91-83 lead with 3:42 left before Walton went back to his bench.Brook Lopez was the only Lakers starter to score in double figures, though eight of his 13 points came in the first quarter. Brandon Ingram finished with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.For as much attention as Ball draws, for all of the praise directed to Ball and Lopez and the hope affixed to Ingram, it has been the bench that has kept the Lakers competitive in the early games of the season. On Friday, the Lakers reserves outscored the Toronto bench 56-27.“We have a good second unit,” Ball said. “So they come in to pick us up when we’re down, but that can’t happen.” Heisler: Can someone from Lakers tell LaVar Ball to shut up? Lakers’ Luke Walton singles out Larry Nance Jr. as ‘great example’ of putting team first Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error