#SportBits . . .Weekend WrapUp

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Happy Monday #SportBits readers! There is a lot of sports news to discuss so let’s get right to it.

There are now six New England Patriot players refusing to go to the White House for the Super Bowl celebration and perfunctory meeting with POTUS with pressure mounting on more to join.

Martellus Bennet started it all by saying before the Super Bowl that he wouldn’t go if the Patriots won. He reiterated those sentiments shortly after they defeated the Falcons.

The next day safety Devin McCourt joined Bennett saying he would not attend because he “doesn’t feel accepted in the White House.”

Soon Dont’a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long said they would not attend either. Long, the only white player in the group went on to say there is a “pathetic sea of NFL white silence this year.”

Fans are ramping up pressure through social media urging team members to boycott and expressing support for those who won’t attend.

FYI: Tom Brady skipped the post-Super Bowl visit in 2015 while Barack Obama was president citing a “prior family commitment.” He was seen less than 24hrs later at an Apple store shopping for watches. Brady did attend all three times during George W Bush years.

More sports and politics to report with Steph Curry openly questioning Kevin Plank and his association with President Trump.

575ae5a51500002b00739e30Kevin Plank is the CEO of Under Amour and Steph Curry is their superstar client. Curry’s signing by Under Armor put them on the map in the sports apparel industry and was a huge coup over main rival Nike. Curry is probably the most popular endorser of Under Armor apparel. Even those grandpa-looking shoes were a bestseller.

But when Plank praised Trump as an “asset to the country,” Curry took to twitter .

Curry responded with “I agree with that description,” Curry said, “If you remove the ‘et’” from asset.”

Curry then followed up his tweet with daylong discussions with Under Armour reps and Kevin Plank himself who explained that his views were meant from a business perspective and not political. Plank tried to distance himself from Trump’s controversial policies and comments that have enraged women, Muslims, Mexicans, African-Americans and the poor and impoverished across the nation. Curry felt comfortable with the explanation.

To me, it was an positive example of how open and honest communication can solve problems and misunderstanding during this volatile time.

The same can not be said for the situation in New York where team President Phil Jackson has taken to the media to shame and humiliate his star player, Carmelo Anthony. Whether it’s in an online article stating that Anthony holds the ball too long, or his comparison via twitter of Anthony to a failed ex-NBA player – Jackson’s choice of communication and follow through is not the way to solve problems or misunderstandings – and doesn’t feel very zen-like to me.

More news from Knickland: Former Knick legend Charles Oakley got into a scuffle before the Clipper game last week and was escorted out of Madison Square Garden and arrested. Oakley was allegedly sparring with Knick Owner James Dolan over being left out of recent Knick activities. Dolan’s actions have backfired as fans have taken to social media in support of Oakley and have been chanting his name at home games.

PEOPLE ARE FEELING EMPOWERED TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS THESE DAYS AND I LIKE IT!

On to the NBA..where the OKC Thunder fans were speaking their minds Saturday night.

The big game that had everyone talking was the Golden State Warriors v. Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. It was the long-awaited return of Kevin Durant to OKC – a place he had spent all previous eight seasons before joining their biggest rivals, the Warriors.

Duran hired extra security for what was an emotionally charged and explosive scene at Chesapeake Energy Arena. He was booed as he entered the arena, as he was introduced and every time he touched the ball. His mom said later she was hurt by the treatment she and her son received on Saturday night.

“The most vicious things you could say, they said about my son tonight. It’s hurtful. We poured our heart into this place. Not just him. Our family. This is basketball. This is not whether or not you’re going to make it into heaven.” ~ Wanda Durant

But the game didn’t really live up to the hype as the Warriors defeated the Thunder 130-114. Durant scored 34 points and Russell Westbrook had 47 for the Thunder.

OK, TIME TO TUNE INTO COLLEGE HOOPS PEOPLE.

March Madness is right around the corner. The tournament begins March 14th and concludes the final four weekend, April 1 and April 3rd. Sixty-eight teams are chosen: 32 Division I conference champions and 36 at-large bids.

So, pick your team now and start following because in a couple weeks that’s all we’ll be talking about. #prepper

In women’s basketball, the No.1 UCONN women’s team looks to extend their winning streak to 100 v. No.6 South Carolina tonight in Storrs, CT. The Huskies last loss came early in the 2014-15 season against then No. 6 Stanford. THAT IS ONE HELLUVA STAT! I’m not a UCONN fan but I’m rooting for them to hit 100.

Lastly:

Jordan Spieth won at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am over the weekend. This was his 9th PGA tour title. Tiger Woods has pulled out of the Genesis Open in Los Angeles this week citing back spasms.

9bb6611d3ae470f21ae0b62f232ed5c4.jpgAt UFC208 in Brooklyn on Saturday, Germaine de Randamie defeated MMA fighter Holly Holm for the inaugural featherweight title. There was some controversy surrounding the fight when after the second round horn sounded, de Randamie continued to throw punches, landing what many considered the best strike of the night that seemed to wobble Holm as she walked back to her corner. Despite complaints, the ref did not warn de Randamie or take a point. de Randamie has agreed to a rematch because of the controversy.

That’s it for now. Check back on mcsportbits.com for more sports stories, scores and highlights and make sure to follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for breaking news!!

#SportBits … a little bit of info is all you need.

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA:

GET READY FOR GAME 6 OF THE NBA FINALS!! The Cavs are trailing 3-2, so if they lose tonight in Cleveland, it’s ova! Draymond Green will be back in the lineup for the Warriors, but big man Andrew Bogut, is out. An MRI revealed that Bogut has multiple bone bruises in his knee and will be out six to eight weeks. The injury will not require surgery. His shot blocking ability will be definitely be missed.

To quote #POTUS, there has been a lot of “yapping” between these teams…with wives getting into the mix…and emotions are high. It’s going to be an exciting game. And what makes it even better…YES BETTER…is ESPN’s announcement yesterday that longtime TNT announcer, Craig Sager, known for his outrageous suit ensembles, will be the sideline announcer. Sager, currently battling an aggressive form of Leukemia, has never worked the Finals. Classy move by ESPN. Can’t wait to see what he wears tonight! #NBAFashion

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photocred: The Lead Sports

 

MLB:

Old man Ichiro Suzuki broke Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 after a double during the Miami Marlins’ game against the San Diego Padres yesterday, but Rose said he wasn’t counting Ichiro’s hits in Japan. The Miami Marlins outfielder has a career total of 4,257 hits – 2,979 in MLB and 1,278 in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. God love Pete Rose…. he’s always got something to say…but does he maybe have a point??

 “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro — he’s had a Hall of Fame career — but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high school hits.” ~ Pete Rose

 Here are yesterday’s MLB scores, news and highlights.

TENNIS:

Five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova can’t play tennis for 2 years because she took a drug called meldonium, which was banned starting in 2016. She has officially appealed the decision seeking to wipe out or reduce the ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation. Fellow tennis player and Head racquet client, Andy Murray, thinks the ban is progress in the battle against doping, and that Sharapova should have know about the ban.

“I don’t really see that as being a valid excuse. If you’re taking any medication, it’s your responsibility as the athlete to check and make sure what you’re taking is legal…if you’re taking medication, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t know whether it’s on the banned list or not.” ~ Andy Murray

SOCCER:

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Copa America continues!  The #USMNT take on Ecuador tonight in the quarterfinals. And here are yesterday’s results.

European Championships results are here.

GOLF:

The 116th U.S. Open begins today from Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. 156 of the greatest golfers in the world will compete for the United States’ biggest prize in golf. Settle in folks…we’ve got 4 days of great competition ahead, from a course that many say is probably one of the hardest courses played. I’m #TeamRickie all the way…who do you want?

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Today’s theme ….balls.

NBA:

The Golden State Warriors blew their chance to clinch the NBA title at home last night. The war of words between LeBron James and Klay Thompson that began Sunday, continued on the court, and King James came out on top. The Cavs needed the win, and behind a 41pt performance from James and Kyrie Irving, they did just that, 112-97. The series returns to Cleveland for Game 6 on Thursday…and with Draymond Green back in the lineup after his groin-grabbing suspension – it’ll be dramatic – and fun.

Golf:

Big balls for Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy …b0th confirming they WILL take part in the summer Olympics despite #Zika concerns .

MLB:

More groin news: Cleveland Indians third baseman Juan Uribe was carted off the field in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels after Mike Trout’s ground ball nailed him in the nuts. He is listed day to day with a testicular contusion. Wasn’t he wearing a cup, you ask?  Don’t they all wear cups? Well, apparently Cleveland trainers didn’t have one in his size. #biggerballs

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*Insert some witty #DonJuan hashtag here.

Yesterday’s MLB scores…here.

Hey…let’s hear it for the old guys:

Ok, 32yrs may not be old. But to pursue an NFL career at that age is…well… ballsy. 32-year old former NBA player Nate Robinson had a tryout Monday with the Seattle Seahawks, a league source confirmed. The 5-foot-9 Robinson had been playing basketball in Israel, but he has expressed interest in pursuing an NFL career.

“The biggest challenge is probably all the haters, everybody counting me out, somebody not really giving me the opportunity. That’s what I think the biggest challenge will be, getting somebody to give me that chance.”

Good luck Nate – I’m rooting for you!

Meanwhile, Ichiro Suzuki is 42 years old, and after a disappointing 2015 season with his longtime Mariners team, many thought he was done. But he hung in there and signed with the Marlins for 2016, and is having a helluva season so far. Suzuki has a .350 batting average and is just 23 career hits short of 3000.

ICYMI: 

Baylor interim president David Garland acknowledged Monday that a movement to bring back Art Briles as football coach in 2017 has gained momentum among a few key donors. #BEYONDballsy.  There are no words…except that my incoming high school senior WILL NOT be looking at Baylor this fall. #BaylorScandal #notrust #nofaith

Let’s end with a shout out to all the ladies of the WNBA …

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

 

 

 

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#SportBits … Memorial Day

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Happy Memorial Day #SportBits readers! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Today I am very thankful for all the women and men in the military who bravely serve this country. Their commitment affords my kids and me the freedoms we experience every day – and often take for granted. Thank you.

You know what else I’m thankful for? Sports! Following my teams and chatting about it on Twitter, at work, or with my family is fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a great museum, or hitting up that killer Memorial Day Sale at Nordstrom’s, but knowing that I get to watch Game 7 tonight between #OKC and #GSW really makes my day. What about you? What’s making YOUR Memorial Day?

There were so many games, tournaments, and races to keep up with this weekend…I gave it my best-shot people….here we go.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final is set. The Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the San Jose Sharks for the coveted trophy. The Sharks are in the finals for the first time in franchise history, while Sidney Crosby and the Penguins return for a 5th time. Game 1 is TONIGHT in Pittsburgh (8pm ET. on NBC) . There are many interesting storylines in this one…but I’m just excited to watch the fast and frantic pace that is expected in this series, along with the playoff beards that just keep-a-growin’.

NBA: Thank goodness for the Sharks because the Golden State Warriors have put the #NoCal fans in a tizzy. Over the weekend, the Warriors went to #OKC facing elimination in Game 6, and came out with an improbable win. Only 9 times in NBA history has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit. We’ll see if the Warriors can do it TONIGHT in Oakland for Game 7. Watch this game folks (9pm ET. TNT) – or if you have $29,000 – you can get a floor seat. If it’s anything like the last one, it might just be worth it!

Waiting in the wings from the East Conference is #KingJames and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having beaten the Toronto Raptors in 6 games, the Cavs are hoping to bring the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Cleveland, where no professional sports team has won a championship in nearly 52 years. #Ouch. James is back to the NBA Finals for a record 6th straight time. THAT’S impressive…but it won’t mean squat if he doesn’t win the title. Finals begin Thursday.

MLB: It was a great weekend for me because I was able to watch 2 Dodgers games on TV. Don’t get me started on the Dodger/TimeWarnerCable BS that we are STILL experiencing out here in Los Angeles. Just … don’t.

The Dodgers traveled to New York to take on the World Series runner-up NY Mets, and this rivalry is officially ON. It began with the Mets accusing the Dodgers of cheating with lasers. The Mets contacted Major League Baseball about the possibility of the Dodgers using lasers to gain an unfair advantage in their defensive positioning. Next there was the Dodger debut of 19-year old lefty phenom pitcher Julio Urias. The Mets didn’t appreciate all the hype surrounding the kid, and made his first outing a rough one. Over the course of 2.2 innings, Urias allowed three earned runs and five hits while walking four batters and striking out three. He’s been sent back to his room Triple-A, Oklahoma City team and can not come out to play (in the majors) for a bit…

Oh, it doesn’t end there…things got really chippy on Saturday night. Mets Thor-esque pitcher Noah Syndergaard was given the quick boot for throwing a pitch behind Dodger Chase Utley. The 99-mph fastball appeared to be in retaliation for Utley’s leg-breaking slide to former Mets infielder Ruben Tejada in the NLDS last season. Twitter went nuts and Mets fans were M A D as many felt Thor should have been given a warning first.

In other baseball news, USA softball star Jennie Finch became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team on Sunday. Finch was a guest manager for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. Her aggressive base running strategies helped lead the Bluefish to a 3-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Finch is now 1-0. #girlmode

Check here for MLB scores and highlights.

Soccer: The 100th anniversary of the oldest international soccer tournament kicks off this Friday at Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA when the U.S. meets Columbia in the first round of the Copa America Centenario. The 16-team competition will be played in 10 U.S. cities over the next month. It’s a great test for the USNMT going into the summer Olympics…and who doesn’t want to win the 100th anniversary title? Here is a complete TV guide for upcoming matches. If you’re a soccer fan, you’re in for a treat.

In NCAA news: so many tournaments… lacrosse, baseball, softball, ultimate Frisbee .. too many to cover. Sorry folks. Check here for final scores and updates on what’s happening in college sports sports.

Tennis: It’s been a nightmare year in tennis so far, and the hits just keep on coming. A match-fixing scandal began the year at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova is out of tournament play due to a drug suspension. Roger Federer skipped the French because of an undisclosed injury. Clay King Rafa Nadal withdrew on Friday because of a wrist injury. And on Sunday, home favorite 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired after pulling his groin. Add all this to the ongoing bickering over equal pay, and the announcement by several high profile players that they are skipping the Olympics. #noreliefinsight

Speaking of the Rio Olympics, more than 100 prominent physicians, bioethicists and scientists from around the world posted a letter Friday urging World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan to exert pressure on Olympic authorities to move the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro or delay the Games because of public health concerns over the Zika virus, according to the Washington Post. In the open letter posted Friday on Twitter and Facebook, the authors said evidence shows that “Brazil’s Zika strain has more serious medical consequences than researchers previously knew, that Rio de Janeiro is one of the hardest-hit areas of the epidemic, and that Rio’s mosquito-killing efforts are not meeting expectations.” #ongoing

Golf: Texas native Jordan Spieth won his first PGA tournament in his home state on Sunday. A sure cure for his Master’s meltdown blues, Spieth birdied the last three holes in front of family and friends to win the Dean and Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Spieth is the reigning U.S. Open champion and will try to defend that title at Oakmont in three weeks. #cantwait

The Russian doping scandal continues. According to the Associated Press, 8 more Russian athletes tested positive in the retests of doping samples from the 2012 Olympics. The IOC is using newer methods to test samples. Russia has already been banned from competing in track and field, including at the Rio Olympics, by the international track and field federation. The IOC said Friday that 23 athletes from five sports and six countries tested positive in retests of 265 samples from 2012.

A very sad story from the NFL: New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment early Saturday morning. Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. According to police, the resident of the apartment, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to Dejean-Jones but did not get an answer. Dejean-Jones kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun through the door, striking and killing Dejean-Jones. It’s not clear at this time whether any substance played a part in this horrific tragedy.

Let’s end with the great underdog story from the Indianapolis 500! In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in the Formula-One sport, 24 year old California native Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” on Sunday. The 66-1 long shot used super speeds and a savvy fuel strategy to take the checkered flag, giving the Andretti family the biggest win of their storied careers. Columbian runner-up (for the 2nd time in 4 yrs) Carlos Munoz was not happy it all came down to fuel consumption – but a win is a win…#dealwithit. Rossi, on the other hand, had the best quote of the day: “The emotional roller-coaster of this race is ridiculous,” he said. “There were moments I was really stoked, really heartbroken, really stoked. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ll need to see a psychiatrist after this.” #pagingDr.Phil

That’s is for #SportBits this week. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day. Fire up the BBQs and watch some of great games tonight. Don’t know about you…but I’m stoked! Check in with #SportBitsDaily for TV schedules and quick updates…and don’t forget twitter, Facebook and instagram. #socialmediaOVERLOAD

 

 

 

 

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