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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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Kawhi Leonard

Gregg Popovich does not expect Kawhi Leonard to return this season

The San Antonio Spurs are not expecting star forward Kawhi Leonard back this season. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced Wednesday that he would be surprised of Leonard returns before season’s end. Pop just said he'd be surprised if Kawhi returns this season. — Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) February 21, 2018 In the end, if this…Read More

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Lindsey Vonn unable to pull off miracle in slalom, does not medal in combined

Lindsey Vonn disappointment

Lindsey Vonn did not hide the fact that she did not prepare much for the slalom, and that showed in what was likely her final run in the Olympics.

Vonn entered the slalom portion of the super combined event as the leader after acing the downhill portion — her specialty. But very early on in her slalom run, she failed to clear one of the gates. She stopped her run after the mistake knowing that she would not medal and did not finish the course.

Vonn had said prior to the event that she had about three slalom runs since December. The lack of preparation for the event led her to acknowledge she needed a miracle.

“I think it’s going to come down to who can fight the hardest. I certainly know that I’m a pretty good competitor. I’m going to give it hell and maybe I can pull out a miracle,” Vonn had said prior to the event, via USA Today.

Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin took home gold in the combined, while Mikaela Shiffrin earned silver. Shiffrin’s time of 40.52 in the slalom ranked her third and helped her make up ground after she finished sixth in the downhill.

Phillies manager has great quote about Nick Williams hitting his car with homer

Phillies logo

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Williams nailed his Gabe Kapler’s rental car with a home run during batting practice on Tuesday, and the manager loved it.

Kapler had a perfect quote about the matter when talking with reporters:

What’s funny is that on Wednesday, Williams nearly repeated the trick.

If this means Williams is in for a big season, Kapler will be game. The 24-year-old outfielder had a nice rookie campaign as he batted .288 with an .811 OPS in 83 games last year. Maybe he’ll be able to improve upon last year’s home run total of 12.

Speed skater Sven Kramer apologizes after inadvertently injuring fans at event

Sven Kramer is offering an apology for an unfortunate incident at a promotional event in PyeongChang.

The Dutch speed skater, who won gold in the men’s 5000m competition for a third straight Winter Olympics, tweeted an apology in Korean on Thursday.

“Hello fans from Korea, on behalf of the Heineken team I offer my sincere apologies to the fans who have been injured,” Kramer wrote, according to a rough translation of the tweet. “You came to encourage me, apologies for the inconvenience caused. We wish you a quick recovery.

“I’m going to do my best to show a better picture next time,” Kramer added. “I promise that. Thank you so much.”

Chang Dong-woo of Yonghap News Agency in South Korea relays that Kramer reportedly caused injuries to fans at a Heineken event by roughly throwing free gifts into the crowd.

Some on Twitter claimed that Kramer threw a bronze nameplate into the crowd, striking a woman and sending her to the emergency room. Footage also circulated of the supposed moment that he did.

The 31-year-old Kramer, who is a nine-time world champion and now an eight-time Olympic medalist, has become an icon of speed skating with his run of dominance dating back to the 2000s. But there is no excuse for that kind of reckless alleged behavior, and he seems to recognize that now.

Marcus Smart needed glass shard removed from hand after punching frame

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart had to learn the hard way that punching any sort of glass-based object may be hazardous to your health.

The Boston Celtics guard, who has not played since lacerating his right hand striking a picture frame last month, said on Wednesday that he needed a shard of glass removed from the hand, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. Smart also revealed that he likely would have needed season-ending surgery if the shard struck a tendon, which it did not.

Smart, who has since apologized for the incident, injured himself during a team road trip to Los Angeles in late January. He has now missed 11 games with the injury but is slated to return on Friday against the Detroit Pistons.

When you read this report about why Smart was incensed enough to even punch a frame in the first place, it makes the whole episode look even more embarrassing, especially for a key player on a contending team.

New Giants 3B Evan Longoria needs update his bat

Evan Longoria

One of the newest members of the San Francisco Giants may need to update some of his equipment accordingly.

Evan Longoria was traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the Giants over the offseason. Not only is he on a new team, but he also will be wearing the No. 10 since the Giants have the No. 3 retired.

Some eagle-eyed fans noticed though that in his team photos for the Giants, the knob of Longoria’s bat still has the Rays’ logo and Longoria’s old number on it:

That shouldn’t be anything a new sticker couldn’t fix.

Longoria is looking to bounce back from a down 2017. He batted .261 with just a .424 slugging percentage and a .737 OPS. The latter two marks were the second-worst of his career.

Dirk Nowitzki ‘disgusted’ by Mavericks allegations

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki had a strong reaction to the allegations made about the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

SI published an article detailing the hostile workplace the Mavericks harbored over the past two decades. The article describes the team’s former CEO as serial sexual harasser; says the team’s website reporter is a repeat woman beater; and they say the team’s human resources head was dismissive of complaints.

Nowitzki says he was “disgusted” and “shocked” when he read about all of the allegations.

Though Nowitzki may have an association with the allegations because it is about the team for whom he has played his entire career, he should be proud of one thing. The article specifically says that the players’ locker room was a refuge for employees who felt uncomfortable.

Here’s what a female former staffer told SI:

“I dealt with players all the time. I had hundreds of interactions with players and never once had an issue…they always knew how to treat people. Then I’d go to the office and it was this zoo, this complete —-show. My anxiety would go down dealing with players; it would go up when I got to my desk.”

Nowitzki has been a face of the Mavericks since 1999. Mark Cuban has been the other face of the franchise, and these allegations reflect much more upon him than they do Dirk. Cuban has already taken blame for not firing the team’s reporter Earl K. Sneed sooner. Many are wondering how such a hands-on owner could have allowed all of this to take place under his watch.

Louisville players were fascinated with Cameron Crazies’ cheat sheet

Louisville Cardinals

A few Louisville players were particularly intrigued with a cheat sheet used by the Cameron Crazies prior to the Cardinals’ game against Duke on Wednesday night.

Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium is known as a hostile environment for opposing teams. The student section — the Cameron Crazies — takes their jobs of rattling opponents seriously. They prepare cheat sheets featuring notes the students can use as the subject of their taunts towards opponents. Combine that with the recent news regarding Louisville’s men’s basketball program, and the Cameron Crazies had plenty of ammunition to use.

Prior to the game, a few Louisville players headed over to the Crazies to see the notes and were quite amused. The video contains some explicit language.

Coach K apparently told the Cameron Crazies to “take it easy” on Louisville regarding the scandal surrounding the program.

It seems like the fans didn’t even need their taunts as Duke blew out Louisville 82-56.

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