Sports

Former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham explains why he thinks the Oakland Raiders would make a good fit in Las Vegas. Decades ago, the late Raiders owner Al Davis ruminated about wanting to relocate his team to Las Vegas. And it turned out that was the one creek where he couldn’t swim upstream. Too seedy. Too much gambling. Too much mafia. Too far from the NFL’s ideals. It was too far to go for even the ultimate renegade owner, the one who once sued the NFL to kick open the door to Los Angeles, only to return to Oakland 13 years later. That’s why when I asked around over the past week about Davis’ son Mark trying to move the team there now, what caught my attention most was the lack of concern over the stigma of Sin City among team owners, presidents, and those at 345 Park. In most cases, in fact, I had to …

12:58 AM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment BOSTON — After the Boston Celtics finished a very businesslike dispatching of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday — a 109-100 victory in which the Celtics were their own biggest challenge while committing 14 first-half turnovers — Isaiah Thomas took his turn in front of the cameras and offered a very confident take on the state of the Celtics union. “Things are clicking for us,” Thomas said. “We’re playing at a level that’s kind of high right now.” Thomas, who earlier this month admitted to being obsessed with checking the Celtics’ place in the Eastern Conference standings, didn’t mention anything about Boston’s clinching a playoff berth Tuesday or how the Celtics moved within a game of the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers after they lost in Denver. Thomas simply repeated numerous times during his five-minute chat with reporters that the Celtics were “locked in” and building toward …

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dillon Brooks finished his conversation, laid his cell phone on his bag, exchanged pleasantries with a visitor to his Sprint Center locker stall and soon declared he was having the best basketball season of his life. “Sometimes you have to go through a little to get to where you’re at now,” Oregon’s leading scorer said. “Those things shaped me.” The offseason foot surgery, the drag of rehab, the three missed games to start the year, the frustratingly mercurial progress back to his former self, the blip of a foot sprain that caused him to sit out another game in January…these are those things. Brooks is the Pac-12 Player of the Year. His team has made back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in program history. He is not a candidate for alms. He is also not a candidate for national player of the year honors, mostly due to circumstances out …

Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment A day after LeBron James told him to “keep my kids’ name out of your mouth,” LaVar Ball doubled down on his opinion that the children of star athletes don’t themselves become star athletes. “I gave an opinion on what I felt about no superstars’ kids really being superstars and the fact that they have to live up to their parents or to their fathers or whatever. I have yet to see one, and I’ve been around for 50 years,” Ball said in an interview with SiriusXM’s “Full Ride” on Wednesday. “Have you seen one where the superstar’s son is just as good or better than him? I said a superstar. I ain’t saying just a regular player. I’m talking about a guy who we picture as an icon — a Dr. J, an Allen Iverson, a LeBron James. If somebody asks me a question, I’m gonna …

EN ROUTE TO SAN JOSE — It’s funny: Even though there haven’t been any soccer games on TV from Monday to Wednesday—and how often can you say that these days?—it seems like there are a million things still going on in American soccer this week. A bunch of top European soccer figures were in New York City for the announcement of this summer’s International Champions Cup and the Leaders in Sport event. And then there are all the World Cup qualifiers that will be on the tube starting Thursday, including the U.S.’s pressure-packed game against Honduras in San Jose on Friday (FS1, pregame at 9:30 p.m. ET, kickoff at 10:50 pm ET). Plus, the Chicago Fire signed Bastian Schweinsteiger. Which brings us to the new Mailbag. Let’s dive in! When will Bruce Arena call up Dom Dwyer? @MariaMentado Is there really, really, really no better option than Wondo? Really??!! @CarmenBPhillips With so much young U.S. talent, …

The raging discussion this week over superstars sitting out nationally-televised games has served to illustrate a major double standard between the NBA’s haves and have-nots. When Stephen Curry and LeBron James each sat out a Saturday showcase game on ABC, commissioner Adam Silver reportedly responded with a sternly-worded memo encouraging owners to consider the business implications of those no-shows. Meanwhile, also-rans like the Lakers and Suns have proceeded with ultra-tanking measures, shutting down veterans like Luol Deng and Eric Bledsoe with a month or more remaining in the season and there’s no outrage or official response to be found. If one of the league’s A-listers needs a blow in a meaningless March game prior to a taxing run through June, it becomes cause for a rethinking of the league’s schedule and a full-throated character assessment from some corners. But a cellar dweller putting its experienced players on an extended sabbatical so that it can punt …

Three thoughts on Team USA’s 2-1 win over Japan in the World Baseball Classic semifinals on Tuesday night. A First for the Americans When the WBC was introduced in 2006 it’s goal was as much if not more to continue baseball’s global growth as it was to boost the game in the United States. To that end, the fact that Team USA flamed out short of the championship game in each of the first three tournaments mattered little in the face of the way the event was celebrated in countries around the world. But the truth is the WBC has had a hard time catching on in this country—hurt both because many of the top American players choose not to participate and because it competes every four years with March Madness—and if the event is ever going to capture the hearts, minds and money of the American sports fan, something would have to change. The …

The MMQB begins a series of inside-inside football stories and video pieces for the 2017 season with a view into the life of ESPN NFL information czar Adam Schefter on his busiest day of the year: the kickoff day to NFL free-agency.   As the NFL heads to its annual league meetings next week (in Phoenix, beginning Sunday), there are a few things happening. Pace of game will be discussed and amended, I believe. Sportsmanship will be on the agenda—particularly as it pertains to silly mega-fines for things like shooting a faux free-throw over the goal post as a touchdown celebration. But the biggie, to be sure, is the fate of the Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas. Looks like they won’t be the Oakland Raiders much longer. Albert Breer of The MMQB has been reporting the story for the past couple days, and he will have significant details in his column Thursday. I asked …

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Pharmacies and beauty stores across Puerto Rico are running out of hair dye as a growing number of men go blond in support of the island’s baseball players who bleached their hair as a bonding ritual ahead of the World Baseball Classic. What began as a joke among team members playing in California has spread across the island in a trend that spiked Tuesday just hours after Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands in 11 innings to reach the championship game undefeated in the tournament, which is held every four years. Puerto Rico will play Wednesday in the final against the winner of Tuesday night’s game between the United States and Japan. “Ever since they began winning, this has not stopped,” said Myrna Rios, a manager at a Sally Beauty Supply store in the capital of San Juan. “We have run out of the product in most of our stores.” …

Measure the move by any of several germane metrics, and the Chicago Fire’s signing of veteran German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger appears surprising or even confusing. Consider his age. While many MLS teams are turning toward younger Designated Players who are in (or entering) their prime—men who represent an obvious long-term investment—Schweinsteiger will be 33 this summer. The average age of the league’s other 13 new DPs is 25.3, and the oldest just turned 30. Consider his form. Schweinsteiger was instrumental in Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014, but that appeared to be his zenith. The Bayern Munich legend transferred to Manchester United in 2015, suffered a knee injury toward the end of his first season and then was cast aside by José Mourinho. Schweinsteiger has appeared in just four United matches in 2016-17. Consider the reported salary—$4.5 million for just one season (there’s a mutual option for 2018). He’s the most expensive player in Fire …

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