September 20, 2012
The Brooklyn Nets will be featured in a behind-the-scenes series on both NBA TV and NBA.com.
The league's network announced recently that it will spotlight the team on “The Association” in its inaugural season in the New York borough.
This is the fourth straight season that the “The Association” has followed a team. Previously, it spotlighted the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11), and Denver Nuggets (2011-12).
The Nets series will tip off on Oct. 16.
September 20, 2012
Washington Redskins receiver Joshua Morgan felt the full downside of the social media age this week, receiving death threats and other venomous messages on Twitter because of his fourth-quarter blunder in the loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Morgan talked recently about the nastiness he's heard from fans since his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing the ball at Cortland Finnegan. The penalty cost the Redskins valuable field position during the team’s final drive in Sunday's 31-28 defeat.
“I heard everything, especially when they get you on Twitter and are sending you death threats and wishing you bad things and your firstborn,” Morgan said. “You see it all, you hear it all. You never let it get to you, especially with me being from D.C. They treated me kind of like they did (San Francisco 49ers return man) Kyle Williams last year when he dropped a punt against the Giants.”
Morgan said the threats are keeping him focused. He said he wasn’t tempted to discontinue his Twitter account.
“The only thing I take seriously is football and my family, and nothing really scares me,” he said.
Morgan said he’s been fined over the penalty but doesn’t yet know the amount. He also said he wouldn’t be throwing such a tantrum again. After all, raising the ire of fans is one thing, but getting a cold stare from the coaching staff is something else.
“Especially with coach Mike Shanahan,” he said, “none of us are dumb enough to make the same mistake twice.”
The Redskins play Cincinnati on Sunday.
September 13, 2012
By Kenneth Miller
[Editor’s note: Ken Miller is an award winning veteran journalist who spent 30 years writing for the L.A. Sentinel and has been a popular guest on local sports talk radio for several years. This is the first edition of his weekly sports column.]
I must admit that I was first to hate on the hiring of UCLA coach Jim Mora, but I should have known better.
The Bruins took a page from their nemesis USC and gave their job to a former NFL has been who could not get a job anywhere else.
Can you say Pete Carroll boys and girls?
After striking gold Carroll left the scarlet and gold high and dry amid recruiting scandals that set the program back for three years.
But, he did so after leading the Trojans back to national prominence, cashing in with the hapless Seahawks.
Mora might be next to follow such a pattern.
He made a bold move and started the first African American quarterback in UCLA history and boy has it paid off.
Brett Hundley a bulky 6’3 red shirt freshman from Arizona has already completed 42 of 61 passes for 507 yards and 6 touchdowns. Heck that’s better than Heisman hopeful Geno Smith of West Virginia who has completed 32 of 36 for 323 yards.
Mora also has a Heisman candidate on his team in senior running back Johnathan Franklin, the leading rushing in the nation with 431 yards. Franklin out of Dorsey is averaging 10.5 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns.
And, oh by the way it’s no fluke that UCLA is 2-0 on the season and already saying bring on the Trojans.
Franklin played for my homey Paul Knox at Dorsey who does not receive nearly the credit and respect that he deserves coaching the Dorsey Dons. Two of the best high school coaches in the nation are both in the same league in Knox and my former junior high and high school mate Robert Garrett of Crenshaw.
Franklin played line backer and running back at Dorsey during a senior year in which he was All City and the Coliseum League Player of the Year.
I know it’s early, but the more Mora the better for the Bruins…
Another Heisman candidate in the Pac 12 is former Crenshaw star De Anthony Thomas who has 166 yards on 10 carries for the Oregon Ducks.
Enough of football… Did you see that beat down by Andre Ward last Saturday on HBO? For a minute I thought I was getting a fight that should have been on Pay Per View until that boy Chad Dawson came out looking like he was hungry for a meal. Then Ward just bullied and mauled him like a pit bull until the fight was stopped in the 10th round.
I don’t really know where Dawson goes from here. It was a horrible decision to go down in weight to begin with. Did he not follow Roy Jones Jr. and see what happened to him after he went up in weight and then tried to come down. Dawson will never be the same…
In the meanwhile, Ward—the onward Christian Solider — is getting better and better. Much props to Dan Goosen and Sir Raps A Lot Prince…
Finally, I think you know my transformation from Raider fan to Raider hater. I saw my boy Huey Jackson on the sideline coaching with the Bengals and that kid Raider coach bumbling with the Raiders on Monday night. The Bengals and Raiders probably would have been a more competitive game than the way ESPN had it scheduled. Two blowouts… No wonder their ratings are in the toilet.
September 20, 2012
President Barack Obama has welcomed the reigning WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House.
It’s been nearly a year since the Lynx won the championship, but the team’s visit was delayed by the Summer Olympics and Obama’s busy schedule.
Obama told team members they are great ambassadors for the game and strong role models for his own daughters. The president says the Lynx have returned glory to the Twin Cities.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve thanked Obama for his support of the WNBA and told him the selflessness of her players along with leadership are behind their success.
The Lynx won the championship after sweeping the Atlanta Dream in three games last October. The team is in first place in the league’s western conference this season.
September 13, 2012
By RACHEL COHEN Associated Press
Serena Williams belted out “I Will Survive” while celebrating her U.S. Open title with some karaoke.
“I thought it was a great story for me to sing that last night,” she said Monday. “I really felt the words. I really, really felt those words.”
Survival is rallying when two points away from losing the final to top-ranked Victoria Azarenka earlier that evening. Survival, even more fittingly, is coming all the way back from the health problems that kept her from competing for 10 months in 2010-11.
Survival is getting through a U.S. Open with no tirades at officials as in her last two trips to Flushing Meadows. The site of her first major championship 13 years ago started to induce more dread than nostalgia.
“My best memory, then after that it just went downhill,” Williams said. “From line calls that were completely outrageous to more line calls that were outrageous. Calls of hindrance that were even more outrageous. It’s been a love and then hate, hate, hate, hate relationship.
“It was good to get back yesterday. I don’t feel completely comfortable still; you never know what's going to happen. But I do feel much better about the place.”
A few weeks before her 31st birthday, Williams earned her 15th Grand Slam title — and she sounds hungrier than ever to rack up more. Karaoke aside, she wasn’t talking about relaxing after a draining summer of winning Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal.
“For whatever reason I still feel motivated, like I should go out tomorrow and go running or something,” Williams said.
A typical training day consists of 2 hours on the court, 2 hours in the gym, 3 hours of dancing and an hour of stretching.
“So many people on tour are like, ‘Oh, you just show up and you win matches.’ I just smile and I let them believe that,” Williams told reporters. “The fact of the matter is I probably work harder than anyone else on the WTA Tour or else I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you guys.”
All that means “I don’t have a life, especially lately.” And that’s OK.
After Maria Sharapova revealed during the Open that her engagement to basketball player Sasha Vujacic was off, Williams let slip that she, too, recently went through a breakup.
The relationship ended last winter, she said Monday, insisting, “I don’t remember his name.”
“If I’m in a relationship, I’m fine; I do well. But I feel like when I’m out, I’m angry and I do even better,” Williams said with a laugh. “I don’t know what’s better for me. It’s a win-win situation.”
Everything seems like a win-win lately. Williams beat Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 even though “I felt down the whole match,” considering the first set ended so quickly and her opponent controlled much of the second and third.
Big sister Venus yelled from her box to move her feet and get her energy back.
“I think either I got too confident or too relaxed,” Serena said. “I stopped moving my feet. My energy was low. It was strange for a final for me to play so lackadaisical. It wasn’t me. Then I started making errors.”
Williams celebrated until 3 a.m. Monday, then set her alarm for 5:15. She took a cat nap in the green room at “CBS This Morning” while movie director James Cameron was talking.
Williams is now three Grand Slam titles from tying Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert at No. 4 on the all-time list. Told that Navratilova joked on Twitter “you are catching me and Chris, and I don’t like it,” Williams giddily said she’d retweet it.
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who has been working with Williams since her first-round loss at the French Open, has told her she should stop ignoring records.
“Since I plan on playing for a long time, definitely plausible,” Williams said of catching those greats. “I have to make sure I stay healthy and stay positive and stay calm.
“And if I never won another Grand Slam, I’ve had a fabulous career, a historic career.”