Amir Khan: “A win here would top everything”

Amir Khan says he will live out a dream in the “last chapter” of his career when he challenges Terence Crawford at New York’s Madison Square Garden, this Saturday (9 p.m. ET).

Amir Khan, one of boxing’s biggest names and an immensely talented fighter, is known for his speed and power as well as a crowd-pleasing style. Khan, who has never lost at welterweight, is an ideal opponent for Crawford, the Welterweight world titleholder and ESPN’s 2017 Fighter of the Year.

Crawford (34-0, 25 KO) is the big favorite against the talented Khan (33-4, 20 KO), who will be looking to shock the world against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today, a three-division titleholder in his prime.

To Khan, who never did get potential fights that were talked about with Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, the bigger the risk, the greater reward.

“I wanted this fight because I wanted to fight the best,” Khan said. “Terence Crawford presented the greatest challenge to me at this point in my career…fighting Terence gives me the opportunity to show I am a pound-for-pound fighter.”

“I am confident I can win this fight because he has never fought anyone like me. I have power, speed and movement, and he has certainly never fought a welterweight like me. I’m not just another number on Crawford’s record.”

As for Crawford, who will be making his second title defense, he said he has one thing on his mind as he continues to make his case that it is he who should be viewed as boxing’s pound-for-pound No. 1.

“I’m just here to seek and destroy,” Crawford said.

Derrick White, Former Division II Guard, Dominates Nuggets in Game 3

San Antonio came out with a 118-108 win in Game 3 against Denver with Derrick White leading the Spurs. White had a career-high 36 points on 15-for-21 shooting, five assists, five rebounds, three steals and one block.

“Derrick White came out like he hadn’t eaten in two days, he came out hungry, he came out pissed off and he sent a very loud and clear message. That was a hell of a performance from a young player.”

Nuggets coach Mike Malone praising Derrick White’s Game 3 performance.

During the post game interview, White credits G League experience for his career performance in Game 3 win.

“I think the G League last year was huge. Everybody said I didn’t have playoff experience, but I did this in the G League. It was big for my development, as far as what works and doesn’t work.”

An injury to Dejounte Murray prompted Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to give the 6-4 player a shot at the point guard position. White, 24, is in his second NBA season, playing just 17 games as a rookie in 2017-18 with 24 games in the G League.

Could Anthony Davis Actually Stay with the Pelicans?

WATCH: Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst and Tracy McGrady of The Jump react to comments made by newly hired New Orleans Pelicans EVP of basketball operations David Griffin, saying there’s a chance Anthony Davis could stay with the team.

Even though Anthony Davis appeared to be out the door as the 2018-19 season came to a close, the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t giving up on bringing their All-Star center back.  

Newly hired New Orleans Pelicans EVP of basketball operations David Griffin, is already hard at work. After speaking with Davis’ agent he strongly believes Anthony Davis could stay with the Pelicans.

Griffin spoke with reporters on Wednesday, April 17th and said the following.

“We have a long successful history with Klutch Sports. Rich Paul and I have spoke about Anthony. We are both excited about what we could potentially build here.”

Patrick Beverley Perfectly Trolls Kevin Durant, both Ejected in the 4th Quarter

The Golden State Warriors cruised to a 121-104 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night at Oracle Arena, taking the early lead in their first round of the playoff series.

However, it was a feud between Warriors star Kevin Durant and Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley that stole the show.

Watch Patrick Beverley perfectly troll Kevin Durant in Game 1 of the Playoffs.

Tiger Woods Wins the 2019 Masters: Reaction to one of the Greatest Comebacks in Sport

The most thrilling comeback in American sports history. Tiger Woods, at the age of 43, has won the 2019 Masters at Augusta for the first time since 2005.

The Augusta National Golf Club is where Tiger Woods, 22 years ago, first burst into the sports world, like no one we had seen before: golf’s first black superstar, a player who everyone figured would rewrite his sport’s record book. He won by a dozen strokes that day in 1997, as a 21-year-old, and that was just the beginning. By the time he was 32, Woods had won 14 major championships, even taking four in a row. He gave a fans a reason to stay in on Sundays, and watch men walk on grass and swing at a little white ball.

Fast forward to the making of an epic win, Woods and one of his playing partners in the final group, Francesco Molinari, would go shot for shot down the stretch. But on the 15th hole Molinari, last year’s British Open champion, hit a shot in the water, essentially knocking him out of the tournament. Woods stuck his tee shot on 16, giving him another birdie and more breathing room. Brooks Koepka — winner of three majors since 2017, and playing in the group ahead of Woods — could have cut Woods’ lead to a single stroke on 18, but he missed a make-able birdie putt. All Woods needed was a bogey 5 on 18 to clinch it.

Tiger had been inching towards his moment. He contended in the last two majors, which enabled him to refresh his memory of how to win one: stay calm, keep on and let the other guys make mistakes.

When he tapped in the winning putt, for his 15th career major, Woods screamed and flipped his club. He hugged his son Charlie and daughter Sam, who was about to turn one. Woods grew hoarse from all his cheering, and rightfully so, he refused to hide his emotions.

“I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago,” Woods explained. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit, couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything. This is just unreal, to be honest with you. This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.”

Twenty-three time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams joined in to congratulate Woods on his victory.

I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other. Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow Congrats a million times! I am so inspired thank you buddy.— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) April 14, 2019

Former LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant also sent his praise.

The victory is a major comeback for Woods who faced a series of setbacks in his personal and professional life. This inspiring win has shown the unique powers of redemption that sport offers to anybody willing to work hard enough for it.

If you thought NBA trade season was wild, just wait until this summer

The NBA trade deadline just shook up the league and set up an intriguing playoff race, especially in the East. Nikola Mirotic is now with the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Gasol has been traded to the Toronto Raptors, and Tobias Harris is headed to the Philadelphia 76ers.

This was not a boring trade deadline by any means, but it feels like most basketball fans remain consumed by a deal that didn’t happen. That would be the New Orleans Pelicans’ decision to rebuff the Los Angeles Lakers and hang onto Anthony Davis until the offseason.

And with that, the stage is set for another explosive summer across the NBA. For as much fun as the playoffs are going to be this year, the real excitement is going to come during the offseason when so many superstars will be set to change teams.

Count the superstars hitting free agency

Kevin Durant will be an unrestricted free agent, and there are major indications he could be leaving the Golden State Warriors. Could he really sign with the Knicks?

Kawhi Leonard is also hitting the market, with the Los Angeles Clippers and incumbent Toronto Raptors preparing to fight over one of the game’s premier two-way forwards. L.A. has made its interest in Leonard super obvious.

Kyrie Irving has already publicly reneged on his preseason promise to re-sign in Boston. Would he really leave the Celtics for the Knicks? What if his rekindled friendship LeBron James leads to a max offer from the Lakers?

Can the 76ers keep both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris? Can someone sign Kemba Walker away from the Hornets? How much interest does DeMarcus Cousins get after a rehab stint with the Warriors? Can the Bucks afford to re-sign both Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe?

With so many teams poised to have major cap space this summer, free agency is going to be bananas. You might as well keep Woj on text alert until August.

Plus … Anthony Davis is going to get traded

Anthony Davis is the biggest superstar to hit the NBA trade market in decades. By holding onto him until the summer, the Pelicans just started a bidding war that will create major ramifications throughout the rest of the league.

The Celtics are the biggest winner of the Pelicans’ decision to hang onto Davis for now. Will GM Danny Ainge offer Jayson Tatum in a potential trade offer? Will Boston really go all-in for Davis without assurance he’ll sign a long-term deal? And how does the Celtics’ pursuit of Davis impact Irving’s free agency?

We know the Lakers are desperate to land Davis. Los Angeles has already offered every non-LeBron player on the roster, with multiple first round draft picks and salary cap relief to the Pelicans. Is there any chance New Orleans will accept the Lakers’ offer this summer, or will the Pelicans go out of their way to trade Davis anywhere but LA?

You can also expect there to be a mystery team that gets involved. No one expected Leonard to land with the Raptors a year ago at this time. Even if he won’t commit to a long-term deal right away, one year with a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber is enormously valuable.

What do the Lakers do if they don’t get AD?

LeBron James will be heading into his 16th season next year. The Lakers have already blown their first year with LeBron — even if they make the playoffs, it will be as a low seed. If the Pelicans send Davis elsewhere, how will LA respond this summer?

The Lakers could theoretically save their cap space for 2020 free agency, when Davis is expected to hit the open market, but that’s another wasted year with LeBron. Expect Magic Johnson and company to make a big swing if they can’t get Davis. That could mean a max offer to one of this year’s marquee free agents. It could also mean targeting another star on the trade market with the same package the Pelicans rejected.

One thing is for sure: the Lakers are going to do something bold if they can’t get Davis. We just don’t know what yet.

The Zion effect

The NBA draft lottery is being held on Tuesday, May, 14. That’s the day we’ll find out where Zion Williamson will start his professional career.

Williamson has put a massive gap between himself and his peers during his freshman season at Duke. He’s a lock to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. This is a generational talent with an unparalleled combination of strength, agility, and explosiveness, while showing remarkable offensive efficiency, impressive feel for the game, and game-changing ability defensive. Simply put, Williamson is a stud in the making.

If the Knicks land the No. 1 pick, is Durant more likely to sign in New York? Is it possible a team would consider trading the rights to Williamson in a package for Anthony Davis? Landing the No. 1 pick would immediately change the calculus of any team’s rebuild overnight.

The NBA is run by superstars and Williamson will be one. This feels like it could be the most meaningful lottery since 2003.

The hypotheticals will break your brain

Prepare yourself for a superstar tango throughout the NBA this summer. There are so many different possibilities.

The rumors connecting Kevin Durant to the Knicks can’t be ignored. If he lands in New York, does Durant try to recruit Kyrie Irving away from Boston? Would his presence allow the Knicks to cash in their best young talent — led by Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox — along with their top draft pick in an attempt to land Davis on the trade market?

Meanwhile, Boston is trying to convince Irving to re-sign while trading for Davis and convincing him to agree to an extension, as well.

The Clippers might be the biggest sleeper in all of this. Could they land Leonard and Irving? What about Leonard and Jimmy Butler? The Clips also have an impressive collection of assets after the Tobias Harris trade they can package to be a player on the trade market. Don’t count out the Nets, either, who have max cap space and continue to improve.

All the while, the Lakers have to do something. Is there any chance they can convince Klay Thompson to leave the Bay to join LeBron?

Most importantly, how will the Warriors respond if they lose Durant?

The trade deadline was good, but this summer is going to be even better. Superstar movement has never been more en vogue than it is right now. The NBA is better for it.

By Ricky O’Donnell  Feb 8, 2019, 10:55am ESTRead the original article.

Hockey Over Hate

WATCH: A young black boy’s love for hockey proves to be greater than the racism that exists in the rink.

Divyne Apollon is a 13-year-old black boy with a passion for hockey — a sport he loves, but one that has exposed him to the ugliness of racism. During his latest encounter with intolerance, Divyne and his team came together to battle against hatred, while getting a surprise from Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.


The Death of the CWHL Presents a New Opportunity for Women’s Professional Hockey

The sudden announcement by the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) that it was ceasing operations has generated controversy and confusion. But as an academic who researches sport organizations, I have a different take — the CWHL closure opens the door for new and innovative women’s professional hockey opportunities.

On the surface, this ordeal reads as a tale of two leagues – one non-profit, the CWHL, and one for-profit, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

When the CWHL announced it was shutting down, the league’s board of directors stated“the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable.” Many fans and media took this to mean the non-profit model won’t work and the only option is the NWHL’s for-profit approach.

But this is a shortsighted view.

Closure is a catalyst for change

The closure of the CWHL is a catalyst for other key stakeholders to enter the scene — which has happened many times in the past for men’s professional hockey, where leagues have come and gone.

As my early doctoral research shows, many different stakeholders — including players, hockey federations, government and industry officials — have influenced the development of hockey over time.

The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, created in 1914, initially resisted popular pressure to allow pay-to-play leagues to emerge. But as players opted for independent leagues that paid them, the CAHA loosened its regulations and accommodated a degree of professionalism while at the same time overseeing the development of hockey in the country.

This shift opened the market to hockey boosters and entrepreneurs, some of whom owned rinks and needed to have an attractive product in order to entice customers.

Money-making activity was fast and furious. Leagues came (the National Hockey League started in 1917) and went (the professional National Hockey Association lasted from 1909-18).

Rivalry between leagues

In his account of the emergence of the NHL, academic John Wong says separate camps jockeyed for position and profit as commercial hockey gained public interest. This is no different than the interplay — or as some note, the business rivalry — between the CWHL and NWHL that has unfolded since 2015, when the U.S.-based NWHL formed.

Women’s hockey also attracted economic interests during the early part of the 20th century. In his review of American women’s hockey in the First World War era, Andrew Holmannotes that sports entrepreneurs sought new ways to sell the game, and as a result, women’s hockey was positioned as a commercial venture. The key point Holman makes about this historic time, though, is the rise and fall of the women’s game, including its professional form. It is important to note the CWHL story has happened before.

In his examination of hockey capital and the sports industry, historian Andrew Ross notes the complex men’s professional hockey landscape has included single-ownership leagues. He points out the NHL was once an unincorporated, non-profit organization.

Not a new model

The key lesson, then, is to recognize the CWHL model was not new and that this approach, as well as others, has existed and failed in the past. More importantly, these models, and the individuals that spearheaded them, pave the way for new and viable professional women’s hockey approaches to emerge.

Which brings us to the next phase of the story.

In my work on the global development of women’s hockey, I note there is no one “best” model, and that each country must develop at its own pace through a method that best suits its unique hockey system. The same is true for a professional women’s hockey league.

Image result for cwhl

However, the CWHL’s shutdown created a vacuum. Just over 48 hours after the CWHL released news of its decision to close, the NWHL’s board announced an investment plan to establish two teams in Canada, and that it received a financial sponsor commitment from the NHL. And so, in a similar fashion to how the NHL and World Hockey Association, a rival men’s professional hockey league that existed from 1972-79, merged, one league shuts down while the others acquires some of its franchises and moves on as the lone commercial player in the female game.

Looking back to 2015 when the NWHL was formed, it’s interesting to reflect upon the CWHL’s response. The CWHL commissioner at the time, Brenda Andress, commented that the NWHL model was wrong and “that for us, it’s about sound operational and financial foundations first because we want to ensure the viability of the long term.”

During its 12 years of operation, the CWHL took this approach and in so doing, shaped the professional women’s hockey landscape. It’s now time for the next stage.