Category Archives: Sports

WNBA Says It Will Have Final Say Over Isiah Thomas’ Ownership Stake In New York Liberty

The former Knicks executive, who was found guilty of sexual harassment of a fellow executive, was named president and part owner of the New York Liberty on Tuesday.

The Knicks announced Tuesday that Isiah Thomas was named president of the WNBA’s New York Liberty and that he will have an ownership stake in the team.

The Knicks announced Tuesday that Isiah Thomas was named president of the WNBA's New York Liberty and that he will have an ownership stake in the team.

L-R: Knicks owner James Dolan, Isiah Thomas, GM Steve Mills

Gregory Bull / AP

The same statement included comment from Knicks owner James Dolan, and a short list of accolades Thomas racked up during his NBA career and after.

Missing from the abbreviated biography, though, is that Thomas was successfully sued for sexual harassment in 2007 by Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive. Thomas was a front office executive and coach for the Knicks at the time.

Browne Sanders was fired for complaining about Thomas' harassment, and the jury found Madison Square Garden and James Dolan liable for millions of dollars for retaliation and for allowing a hostile work environment.

In testimony, Browne Sanders said Thomas ” routinely addressed her as “bitch” and “ho” in outbursts over marketing commitments. He later did an abrupt about-face, declaring his love and suggesting an “off-site liaison.” He later resigned from his positions.

Thomas's position with the Liberty was met with immediate backlash and confusion by some media and fans.

The Madison Square Garden organization announced that Isiah Thomas has been named president of the New York Liberty and that he will take an ownership interest in the team, pending WNBA approval. New owners are approved by our WNBA Board of Governors, and this process has not yet begun.

Though the WNBA did not take an immediate stance on Thomas' hiring, the statement appears to send a message that the hiring will be scrutinized.

Thomas' role as president of the Liberty, however, is not subject to board approval. How the WNBA will proceed if his ownership is vetoed but he remains president is yet to be determined.

“We did not believe the allegations then, and we don't believe them now. We feel strongly that the jury improperly and unfairly held Isiah Thomas responsible for sordid allegations that were completely unrelated to him, and for which MSG bore responsibility. In fact, when given the opportunity, the jury did not find Isiah liable for punitive damages, confirming he did not act maliciously or in bad faith. We believe Isiah belongs in basketball, and are grateful that he has committed his considerable talent to help the Liberty succeed.”


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Look At All The Nixed Knicks Players Now In The NBA Playoffs

Knicks fans: “smh.”

Some of those people are now doing some great things in the NBA playoffs…for other teams. That's great news if you're a fan of the Wizards, Cavs, Grizzlies, Rockets, Clippers, or Warriors. If you're a Knicks fan, it's painful.

J.R. Smith played three full seasons for the Knicks before they sent him to Cleveland this January.

J.R. Smith played three full seasons for the Knicks before they sent him to Cleveland this January.

Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Nenê was drafted by the Knicks — then promptly traded to the Nuggets. He never played a game for them. Now he’s a starter for the Wizards.

Nenê was drafted by the Knicks — then promptly traded to the Nuggets. He never played a game for them. Now he's a starter for the Wizards.

Stephen Dunn / Getty Images


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Seahawks’ Investigation Into Player Accused Of Domestic Violence Is Questioned

A Seattle Times report said the Seahawks did not speak with two women who said they witnessed a 2014 alleged domestic violence incident by their top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Over the weekend, the Seattle Seahawks used their first pick in the NFL Draft to select defensive end Frank Clark out of Michigan.

Over the weekend, the Seattle Seahawks used their first pick in the NFL Draft to select defensive end Frank Clark out of Michigan.

Doug Mcschooler / AP

Clark was originally charged with two misdemeanors for domestic violence and assault, though prosecutors told BuzzFeed News that he recently took a deal to plead guilty to persistent disorderly conduct, a lesser charge. He was sentenced to a $250 fine and the two days he already served in prison.

According to a police report from the arrest in November, Clark and Hurt began arguing and she threw a television remote control at him then biting him when he tried to hold her down on the bed. Clark allegedly responded by punching her in the face.

Photos of Clark included in the police report show a laceration on his nose that appears consistent with Hurt's report that she bit him. Photos of Hurt show her blood-streaked face and the early signs of bruising on her neck.

The NFL has been scrambling to address and properly punish players who have been accused – and convicted – of violence against women, and that includes taking steps to interview people who were victims of or witnessed such incidents. And Seahawks coach Pete Carroll even starred in the league's publicly released presentation on violence against women that all players, personnel, and incoming rookies were required to watch.

But the report by the Seattle Times said the Seahawks failed to speak to two witnesses, Lis Babson and Kristie Colie. They who spoke with the newspaper about the night at the hotel:

[T]hey heard loud banging, yelling and screaming coming from Clark's room. Babson says she immediately sensed something was terribly wrong, ran outside and pounded on the door until Clark opened it.

Babson says she immediately sensed something was terribly wrong, ran outside and pounded on the door until Clark opened it.

In an interview with The Seattle Times on Monday, Babson said an enraged Clark tried to quickly slam the door in her face, but she caught it before it could close.

Colie, who had followed Babson into the hallway, said the woman on the floor inside the room “was definitely beat up” and initially didn't move.

“She looked unconscious,'' Colie said. “She looked like she was knocked out, and then she started to move slowly.''

Hurt's brother, who was in the room at the time of the alleged assault, told police Clark “grabbed her by the throat, picked her up off the ground and slammed her to the ground while also landing on top of her.''

Our organization has an in-depth understanding of Frank Clark's situation and background. We have done a ton of research on this young man. There hasn't been one player in this draft that we have spent more time researching and scrutinizing more than Frank. That's why we have provided Frank with this opportunity and are looking forward to him succeeding in our culture here in Seattle.

However, the Seahawks told the Seattle Times they did not “speak directly to any witnesses from that night.''

The Times also reported that the Perkins Township Police Department didn't contact the two witnesses after they gave their initial statements.

The details revealed by the Times' report echo another curiously conducted vetting process of another NFL rookie: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers allegedly interviewed 75 people to determine quarterback Jameis Winston's character before drafting him first overall, but did not interview Erica Kinsman, who accused him of raping her in 2012.

When pressed by Sports Illustrated's Peter King about this detail, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said:

“We are not talking about this now… but we read the depositions. We knew what she was going to say. This was a thorough investigation.”

In a column published the day before the Seattle Times released their report, espnW's Jane McManus pointed at the inconsistencies between the NFL's new initiatives to investigate and punish players accused of violence against women and how individual teams are handling individual players:

The teams seem to be at odds with the league on this. The NFL wants to be seen as a leader on this issue, but teams still want to win and women are still seen through the gaze of suspicion.

The NFL has hired people like investigator Lisa Friel and Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson to serve as voices from outside the bubble and break down the insulated thinking that brought the league so much criticism after a two-game suspension for [Ray] Rice. But individual teams don't have many women involved in the scouting and vetting process.


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Manny Pacquiao Did Not Disclose His Shoulder Injury Before Fight Against Floyd Mayweather

The boxer may face a fine or suspension for failing to reveal a significant shoulder injury on a pre-fight medical form.

JOHN GURZINSKI / Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao fought and lost against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 with a shoulder injury, according to a statement released by his camp.

The boxer could face disciplinary action from Nevada sporting officials for not disclosing his injury a day before the richest fight in boxing history.

Pacquiao was suffering from a right shoulder injury he got during training, the statement from his promoters said. However, he checked “no” in response to a question about a shoulder injury on the pre-fight medical questionnaire, the Associated Press reported.

The form requires fighters to list their medical history, injuries, and medications they're on to prevent boxers from fighting with pre-existing injuries, True Ink Boxing reported. A copy of Pacquiao's form, which he filled himself, is available on True Ink.

The state attorney general's office will be looking into this, the Nevada Athletic Commission's chairman told the AP.

Pacquiao could face a fine or suspension for filling out the form inaccurately.

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Facebook: MannyPacquiao

Pacquiao's camp said he was considered fit to train and fight by doctors after rest, treatments, and close monitoring. His advisers notified the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) about his shoulder injury and the agency permitted the use of Toradol — a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory — for fight night, five days before the match, the statement said.

However, Nevada regulators did not allow Pacquiao to take a shot of Toradol a couple of hours before the fight as the commission said it was not made aware of his injury and it would be unfair to Mayweather, the AP reported.

“This was disappointing to Team Pacquiao since they had disclosed the injury and treatment to USADA, USADA approved the treatments, and Manny had listed the medication on his pre-fight medical form,” Pacquiao's statement said.

The head of the USADA, Travis Tygart, said Pacquiao's condition was not an anti-doping issue. “The real question is why his camp checked 'no' on the disclosure,” Tygart told the AP. “Either they made a terrible mistake to not follow the rules or they were trying not to give information to the other side.”

Pacquiao's camp said that his shoulder did not improve 100% but he continued to train and fought the match, because “this is boxing, injuries happen, and Manny is a warrior.”

“However, as Manny has said multiple times, he makes no excuses. Manny gave it his best,” the statement concluded without giving details on why he filled out the form incorrectly.

Pacquiao is set to undergo surgery this week for a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff, ESPN.com reported. He will be out of action between nine months and a year if the surgery goes well.


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Steph Curry Named NBA’s Most Valuable Player

The Golden State Warriors point guard has had an outright explosive season.

The NBA has announced Steph Curry has been named league MVP.

The NBA has announced Steph Curry has been named league MVP.

Gerald Herbert / AP

James Harden was the runner up, but Curry blew his competition out of the water:

James Harden was the runner up, but Curry blew his competition out of the water:

NBA

His teammate, Klay Thompson, trailed behind with 239.

Steph's 286 threes give him sole possession of the record for most threes in a season.

Curry also led the league in the following categories:

– 3-point attempts: 646
– Steals: 163
– Free-throw percentage: .914
– Value over replacement player: 7.9

He averaged 23.8 points per game through the regular season, and has averaged 31.5 points per game through five playoff games this postseason.

Steph's 44% 3-point percentage trails just two players in league history: Hubert Davis, and his current coach, Steve Kerr (.45.4%).

Here are a few more reasons Steph is undoubtedly the MVP, by the numbers:

Here are a few more reasons Steph is undoubtedly the MVP, by the numbers:

Twitter: @ESPNStatsInfo


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Mayweather Defeats Pacquiao In "Fight Of The Century"

The two welterweight boxers squared off during a long-anticipated bout in Las Vegas Saturday night.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, trades blows with Manny Pacquiao Saturday in Las Vegas.

Isaac Brekken / AP

The fight was the most anticipated boxing match in recent years. It began with what the New York Times referred to as a “feel-out” with “no significant punches landed.” The fight picked up in the fourth and fifth rounds, according to the Times.

Ultimately, Mayweather won by a unanimous decision from the three judges.

Moments after the fight ended, Pacquiao said “I thought I won the fight.”

“He didn't do nothing,” Pacquiao added of Mayweather.

The Associated Press characterized Mayweather's strategy as defensive, while Pacquiao tended to “rush forward.”

John Locher / AP

Mayweather held onto belts from the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council belts, and won the top spot in the World Boxing Organization.


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Math-Loving NFL Player Spent Last Night’s Draft Calculating Player Physics On Twitter

John Urschel’s NFL career gives him a larger platform to explore his other passion: math.

John Urschel is the quintessential mathlete.

John Urschel is the quintessential mathlete.

Twitter: @MathMeetsFball

The 23-year-old guard for the Baltimore Ravens has a master's in mathematics from Penn State, which he earned while keeping a 4.0 average.

During last night's first round of the 2015 Draft, Urschel took over General Electric's Twitter account to live-tweet advanced calculations about players' speed, agility, and strength.

The formula Urschel used is complex to those of us not versed in advanced mathematics, but the impact is simple: Titans wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has a job catching passes that would cause most of us to duck and hide.


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