Category Archives: Sports

Maximum Security Robbed Of Kentucky Derby Win

(Louisville, KY) – Donald Trump exaggerates the truth a lot but one thing he got straight over the weekend was that the best horse didn’t win Kentucky Derby.

Fans were stunned when Maximum Security won by a 1 3/4 length over Country House and the victory was overturned shortly thereafter.

Before Co-Owner Gary West could get his fist pump up high enough there were calls for a disqualification after claims that Maximum Security crossed into the Country House’s lane.  It’s the most ridiculous call to think a horse would do something that could have injured himself as well on purpose, but that was the call.  The stewards called interference and Country House became the winner.

Maximum’s jockey said that he was probably spooked by screaming fans as he is just a baby.  As of right now, Maximum won’t run in the Preakness and his owners say they will appeal the decision.

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Halima Aden Makes History As First Woman To Wear A Burkini And A Hijab In Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

(Minneapolis, MN) – Minnesota is celebrating one of its own today after 21-year old Halima Aden, originally born in Kenyan, broke barriers by becoming the first woman to wear a burkini in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue.
Known for it’s teeny weenie bikini wearing models, and on some occasions, naked models, Sports Illustrated sent a clear signal to the world with their latest edition.
Not sure if Aden is the first Muslim model to be featured in the Swimsuit edition but she is definitely the first to be featured wearing a burkini and a hijab.

This isn’t the first time Aden broke through a glass ceiling.  In 2016 she became the first fully covered Muslim woman to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant.
She traveled back to Kenya for the shoot. She was born in a refugee camp there and it’s where she spent the first seven years of her  life.
Aden will be featured in the May 8th issue.

Just Hours Away From The NFL Draft And The Top Pick Belongs To The Arizona Cardinals

(Nashville, TN) – Dreams will come true tonight for more than 220 college football players and free agents as 32 teams in the National Football League look to get a roster boost during one of sports’ biggest nights.
The Arizona Cardinals have the top pick and most think they’ll pounce on Heisman Trophy Winner and Oklahoma Sooners’ QB Kyler Murray. If the Cardinals go that route, Murray would be the 22nd Heisman Trophy Winner selected first overall.
But some say don’t write that down in ink.  There are rumors that the Cardinals have reached out to Bamma DT Quinnen Williams to let him know that he could be the top draft pick.  The Cardinals chose a QB last year with Josh Rosen and his future with Arizona could be up in the air as nobody knows what the plan is.  Other draft rumors claim that the Dolphins would like to get their hands on Rosen, so we could see some trading early on.
Other teams to watch for: The Raiders hold three of the first 32 selections with the Giants, Seahawks and Packers also owning multiple first -rounders.
For the first time, the NFL Draft will air on ABC with Good Morning America Host Robin Roberts.

What Was He Thinking? Rob Gronkowski Dents Lombardi Trophy

(Boston, MA) – Retired New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski drew ire when a photo surfaced of him mishandling the Lombardi Trophy.

It was the opening day for the Boston Red Sox when Gronk used the trophy, presented to the Patriots for winning Super Bowl 53, as a baseball bat.
Who knows what the reasoning behind his decision was, but needless to say…it left a nice dent in it.  According to reports, The Patriots are in no rush to fix it.

Fall Of A Dynasty: Greed Could Mean The End For Big Baller Brand

(Los Angeles, CA) –  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is the root of all evil. And it looks like money could end up being the downfall of the Big Baller Brand.
Love him or hate him, LaVar Ball  with his valiant and often boisterous personality has positioned his three sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo to be a 1,2,3 punch dynasty in the NBA. He’s groomed his boys to be disciplined in life and the game of basketball and as they transform to current and future NBA stars, the marketing almost works itself.
Who wouldn’t be interested in three brothers, at one point, lined up to dominate High School, College and NBA basketball all at the same time. Fans are banking on decades of the Ball brothers showing out, especially the youngest one. It made perfect financial sense to turn the Ball Brand into a real business.
That’s what family friend Alan Foster said when he saw the attention and publicity surrounding LaVar’s sons and LaVar as he stirred up controversy and interest (often negative) pretty much everywhere he went.  Some say that controversy is what’s keeping middle son LiAngelo out of the league right now while others, from the beginning, understood the father of three’s vision and the mechanics of his abrasive ways.
I’ll admit.  For the longest, I just wanted pops to be quiet. I was one that was skeptical until I took the time to watch the family’s reality show on Facebook Watch, “Ball in The Family”.
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What I saw was a well orchestrated and organized household designed to turn LaVar Ball and Tina Ball’s sons, and any of their friends who were willing to put in the work, into bonafide basketball beasts and respectable young men. LaVar ball doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and detests tattoos (until his son Gelo got not one, but a few and Lonzo soon followed). And then there’s the dynamic between him and his wife and his commitment to her after she suffered a stroke.  It’s safe to say that Tina Ball brings out LaVar’s soft side. Yes, he has one.
With help from both LaVar and Tina’s parents along with his brothers, there’s a strong family support system and everyone plays his or her role in the family business.  Alan Foster, whose son befriended Lonzo in middle school, pitched an idea to LaVar that would turn the creation of professional endorsement deals and signature shoes for an NBA rookie on its head.  Forget NIKE, forget Adidas, Rebook and any other athletic brand. Let’s do our own.  The Big Baller Brand. Subsequently, overpriced shoes, hats, t-shirts and hoodies with triple BBBs emblazoned on them became the gear to have.
They even have a girl’s line.
Ball in The Family started airing on Facebook Watch and the dynasty had officially begun.
At the start of his rookie season, Lonzo Ball hit the court for the Los Angeles Lakers in his own signature shoe created by the Big Baller Brand. Major pop-up shops across the world soon followed and the JBA league which was a direct marketing tool for the Triple BBBs took off as well. Minus Lonzo suffering from continuous ankle problems (which the Lakers reportedly think are caused by his triple BBBs shoes) business was booming.
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Alan Foster was leading the way. He served as LaVar’s business partner, advisor and was purported to be the one who organized LaMelo’s move to SPIRE Institute in Ohio and kept close contact with LiAngelo’s agent to keep LaVar abreast on what moves were possible in advance for his middle son. LaVar trusted him blindly to not only manage the family business but some of Lonzo’s personal business as well. Afterall, Foster is a Co-Owner of BBB so it seemed like a win/win.
Alan held a near 17% stake in the company while Lonzo was the majority holder with over 51% percent leaving just over 30% presumably for LaVar, Melo and Gelo to split. I’m pretty sure Lonzo initially funded the Big Baller Brand.  He had just signed a 3-year 22 million dollar deal with the Lakers when BBB started.
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There was only one instance that appeared to be a red flag but with new startups some bumps in the road are expected.  On one episode of Ball In The Family a number of JBA players hadn’t been paid. Deposits were quickly made, but it made you question how money was being transferred for both payments and purchases.  It’s no secret that the other triple BBB – The Better Business Bureau isn’t too fond of the Big Baller Brand.  There has been a number of complaints from consumers. But again, with startups you expect a few wrinkles.
But what you don’t expect is to have the Co-Owner and friend of the family embezzle $1.5 million dollars in the first year and a half of the company’s existence and Lonzo Ball’s professional career.  However, when the Co-Owner is a convicted fraudster……it’s more than plausible. In fact financial misdeeds are not new to Foster.
According to federal records, in 2002, he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering as part of a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million. Foster was also ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to victims.
Lonzo told ESPN that he believes, “Alan Foster used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
Lonzo also scrubbed all visuals of the Big Baller Brand and logo including the triple BBBs tattoo that he had on his forearm.  It’s been replaced by a pair of dice showing allegiance to his two younger brothers with the numbers 1,2,3.
All three of the Ball brothers have stopped following the Big Baller Brand on social media as well. And ..I’m sure that won’t be the end of it.

Trout, Angels Finalize Record $426.5 Million, 12-Year Deal

(Anaheim, CA-AP) – Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels announced their $426.5 million, 12-year contract on Wednesday night, a record deal that ties baseball’s top player to the Orange County club for what likely will be the rest of his career.Trout gets a $20 million signing bonus payable this May 31 and salaries of $16 million this year, $36 million in 2020 and $35.45 million in each of the final 10 years.He cannot be traded without his consent and gets a hotel suite on road trips.

He also receives four Diamond Club tickets plus a luxury suite for 20 games this year, and for the remainder of the contract by each Jan. 2 he can pick either the Diamond Clubs tickets or the suite dates for that season.His deal tops the previous high set when Bryce Harper and Philadelphia struck a $330 million, 13-year agreement earlier in spring training.The Angels will celebrate with a public appearance by Trout outside Angel Stadium on Sunday when the team returns from spring training for the first of three exhibitions against the Dodgers. Fans are invited to welcome home the two-time AL MVP, who already ranks among the most accomplished players of his generation.”This is where I wanted to be all along,” Trout said in a statement. ”I have enjoyed my time as an Angel and look forward to representing the organization, my teammates and our fans for years to come.”
Trout also thanked Angels owner Arte Moreno, who avoided two seasons of uncertainty over his superstar center fielder’s future by shattering the record for the biggest financial commitment to a player in North American team sports history.”This is an exciting day for Angels fans and every player who has ever worn an Angels uniform,” Moreno said. ”Mike Trout, an athlete whose accomplishments have placed him among the greatest baseball players in the history of the game, has agreed to wear an Angels uniform for his entire career.”Trout’s $35.5 million average annual value surpasses pitcher Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million in a six-year deal with Arizona that started in 2016.
Trout will set a baseball record for career earnings at about $508 million, surpassing the roughly $448 million Alex Rodriguez took in with Seattle, Texas and the New York Yankees from 1994-2017 Trout had been due $33.25 million in each of the next two seasons under his previous deal, a $144.5 million, six-year agreement. That was superseded by the new agreement, which keeps him under contract to the Angels through the 2030 season, when he will turn 39.Trout had never shown any public interest in leaving the Angels,who drafted him late in the first round in 2009 and fostered his development. But his lifelong ties to the Philadelphia area and the Angels’ on-field struggles provided ample fodder for fans wondering whether Trout would leave after his contract expired.
The Angels have made the playoffs just once in Trout’s seven full big league seasons, which coincide with Albert Pujols’ seven-year tenure with the Halos. They were swept by Kansas City in that Division Series in 2014.Los Angeles also is coming off three consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1992-94, but the Angels’ progress under general manager Billy Eppler was enough to persuade Trout to take the deal.
The Angels now have two impressive cornerstones in place with Trout and AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani, who will return as their designated hitter at some point this season. Ohtani won’t pitch until 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but the 24-year-old two-way star is tied to the Angels for at least five more seasons.”I’m really happy and excited to play with such a great player fora long time,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. ”If anyonedeserved such a big contract, it’s Mike.”

Rory McIlroy Wins Players Championship Thriller By One Shot Over Jim Furyk

(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) – TPC Sawgrass was the place to be this weekend as the PGA Tour settled in for the Players Championship.

With Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Jhonattan Vegas, Eddie Pepperell and all of your other favorite golfers favorite golfers on hand, the stage was set for a thriller and….that…it was.
The tournament got off to a good start for most minus darkness taking over and forcing a first round suspension with Anirban Lahiri still on the course.  Also, J.J. Spaun withdrew after the first round but no one knows exactly why. At the same time, Wyndham Clark was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard (he signed for a 4, but made a 5 on hole No. 4). Watching his comeback, Tiger Woods, whose only opening-round in the 60s at The Players led to a win in 2013, bogeyed the 18th hole to shoot a 70.
As for Rory McIlroy, he got off to a tough start but by the time Sunday rolled around he was in full swing/drive.
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Rory shot 70-70 and finished Sunday’s round with five birdies in his last 10 holes to shoot 16-under 272 on the week.  His most notable birdie was from an awkward spot in a fairway bunker on the par-4 15th.  It was all on the line at the 18th, even though he was one shot ahead of Jim Furyk.  You can never underestimate the tee shot at the 18th, even when you’re ahead.  It can be stressful, as McIlroy said early in the week.
But with victory in sight, McIlroy chose his target and said to himself, ‘It’s one good swing. You’ve made plenty of good swings today. You just need one more.”  And…that was all she wrote.  McIlroy says, “As soon as I made contact I knew it was straight up the middle of the fairway.”
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Rory finished par -2 on 70 and -16 just one stroke ahead of Jim Furyk.  It’s his first win of the year and in the past year. With this trophy, he becomes the third player in PGA Tour history to reach 15 wins and four majors. The only other golfers to achieve those accolades are of course Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. This victory is sweet no doubt and that $12.5 million dollar purse doesn’t hurt either!
Photos By Jacob Gralton for Sports Wire Magazine

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Accused Of Soliciting Prostitute

(Jupiter, FL-AP) – Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, faces charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a shopping-center massage parlor in Florida, police said Friday. The 77-year-old Kraft denied any wrongdoing. The charge comes amid a crackdown on sex trafficking from Palm Beach to Orlando in which police planted cameras in massage parlors.
Kraft was not immediately arrested. Jupiter police said a warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. They said details about the charges against the owner of the Super Bowl champion team will not be released until next week.
Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as a result of the six-month investigation, and more are expected. Ten spas have been closed, and several people have been taken into custody on sex trafficking charges. Jupiter police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a shopping-center massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. ”We are as equally stunned as everyone else,” Kerr said.
Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would probably have to perform 100 hours of community service and attend a course on the harmful effects of prostitution and sex trafficking, he said.
The arrest could also get Kraft in trouble with the NFL, which in a statement said only that it is ”aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employee scan be punished for ”conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.”Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline,” the policy says.The Patriots won the Super Bowl this month over the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth NFL championship in the past 18 seasons,making them the most successful team in pro sports during that span.
Before the Super Bowl, several retired NFL players appeared in a public service announcement decrying sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Atlanta, the host city.Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area.Though he is a Democrat, he is friendly with President Donald Trump and a frequent guest at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011.
He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.”Well it’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence, totally,” Trump said at the White House on Friday.In a statement, Kraft’s representatives said they ”categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”The spa Kraft allegedly visited is in a busy, upper-middle-class shopping center with neighbors that include a dentist, a real estate office, surf and bike shops and a Publix supermarket. After hearing about the arrest, Brian Rubino, a Patriot fan who lives nearby, went by the spa wearing a team jersey. He said Kraft made a mistake, but he could see how it might happen.”A 77-year-old man, lost his wife, who knows? I see how you can end up in a place like this,” Rubino said.
Vero Beach police Chief David Currey, whose agency has been involved in the sex-trafficking investigation, told reporters earlier this week that the prostitutes are victims who have been trapped into the trade.”These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can’t leave and they are performing sex acts,” Currey said, according to TC Palm. ”Some of them may tell us they’re OK, but they’re not.”The owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was arrested Tuesday on 29 prostitution and related charges.
Her attorney, Gennaro Cariglio Jr., had no comment.Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company,bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million to keep the team from moving to St. Louis. He hired Bill Belichick as coach in 2000, and the team later drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching its nearly two decades of success.In 2007, the Patriots got in trouble for filming other teams’signals. The NFL fined the team $250,000 and Belichick $500,000. In 2014, Brady was accused of deflating game footballs to gain a better grip. He served a four-game suspension, and the Patriots were fined$1 million.Kraft was not implicated in either scandal.

 

Charlotte Ready To Kick Off All-Star Weekend

(Charlotte, NC) – It’s that time again.  For fans, it’s the opportunity to get a close but fun look at the NBA’s brightest stars but for players it’s a much needed break capping the first half of the regular season. Either way you slice it, All-Star weekend begins today.
The weekend kicks off with the Rising Star’s game where the U.S. will play the World tonight.  Tomorrow fans can enjoy the Slam Dunk and Three Point Contests along with the Skills Challenge.  The grand finale will go down on Sunday.  LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been tapped to lead the West and the East respectively.
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All-Star will have special meaning for one superstar though.  Steph Curry is returning to his old stomping grounds.  He grew up in Charlotte.  His dad played for the Hornets and he also played for Davidson College.
Steph says, “I’m going to do whatever I can to highlight, like showcase the city,” Curry said. “And celebrate it for what it meant to me and my journey. Our family and my dad, in terms of where he is in all the record books of Charlotte – Kemba Walker just passed him I think for all-time scoring – but he has other records that talks about his longevity there.”

Below is a schedule of events for NBA All-Star 2019 in Charlotte, NC.

Friday, Feb. 15

All times Eastern (ET)

9:30 a.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Practice & Media Day
11:00 a.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Practice | NBA TV
5 p.m. | Hall of Fame Announcement | NBA TV
7 p.m. | NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles | ESPN
9 p.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars | TNT

Saturday, Feb. 16

All times Eastern (ET)

9:30 a.m. | NBA All-Star Practice & Media Day presented by AT&T | NBA TV

  •   9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. All-Star Saturday Night Participant Media Availability
  •   10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Team Giannis Media Availability
  •   10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Team LeBron Media Availability
  •   12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. Team Giannis Practice
  •   1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Team LeBron Practice

7 p.m. | Commissioner Adam Silver media availability | NBA TV
8 p.m. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night | TNT

Sunday, Feb. 17

All times Eastern (ET)

3 p.m. | NBA Legends Brunch | NBA TV coverage begins at 3 ET
8 p.m. 68th NBA All-Star Game | TNT coverage begins at 7 ET (also available on TBS)

Hawks Shut Down Lakers Defense, Beat L.A. 117 – 113

(Atlanta, GA) – It looks like a few days off was all the Hawks needed to get their chemistry back together and their energy back up.  Coach Lloyd Pierce said he might have to give them a few more days off if that’s what it takes to get them to play the way they did against the Lakers.
Granted LeBron James and his purple and gold squad are still trying to marry a mix of players that will put them in good standing for a playoff run but as of right now it doesn’t look like anyone is interested in advancing post regular season.
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A Lonzo Ball-less Lakers couldn’t find their way out of trouble against the Hawks, even with Lebron dishing up his usual triple double with 28 pts 16 ast and 11 rbs. The defense collapsed early allowing the Hawks to go 10-17 from the arc in the 1st quarter alone and L.A. gave up 100 pts in just 3 qtrs.
For the Hawks, they had 6 players in double digits including veteran Vince Carter who was also responsible for a couple of those 3s in the 1st quarter. Led by Trae Young, who had 22 pts and 14 asts, the Hawks were able to break-down the Lakers’ defense early and unlike past outings was able to hold onto a 5pt lead going into the 4th quarter which saw both teams struggle.
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For the Lakers, the loss was their fourth out five forcing them under .500 at 28-29. The Hawks are 19-38.  They’ll host the Knicks tomorrow night while the Lakers are off until after the All-Star break.