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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Stories by Larry Brown:

Hall of Famer Kevin McHale spotted at Trump rally in Minnesota

Kevin McHale

Donald Trump has a Hall of Famer on his side.

Trump held a rally in Duluth, Minn. on Wednesday, and there was one attendee who stood out from the rest — literally. Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin McHale was spotted in attendance, and he was in quite close range to the president.

McHale’s wife is a vocal supporter of Trump but deleted her Twitter account after the photo of her husband at the rally began to circulate.

McHale’s support of Trump comes at a time when the president is under fire for leading a highly controversial border patrol policy that many deem unethical. That was among the subjects the president addressed at his rally.

McHale, who is from Minnesota and went to college at the University of Minnesota, was a seven-time All-Star for the Boston Celtics. He has worked in the NBA as a front office executive. He also served as the head coach of the Timberwolves and most recently, the Rockets.

McHale was involved in a beef with his former player James Harden last year.

Report: 76ers interested in Zhaire Smith with No. 10 pick

Zhaire Smith

Zhaire Smith’s draft stock is rising, to the point that he’s now being talked about as a potential top-10 pick.

ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported on Wednesday night that the Philadelphia 76ers are “very interested” in Smith with their No. 10 overall pick.

They’re not the only ones who like him. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor says the Los Angeles Lakers also like Smith.

Smith was a freshman at Texas Tech last season. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6 percent. He was ranked highly on our list of the best sleepers in the draft.

Lakers reportedly worked out Allonzo Trier a second time

Allonzo Trier

The Los Angeles Lakers acquiring another second-round pick in Thursday’s draft has many wondering what they’re up to. The thinking is that they like a lot of players in this year’s draft and would rather have an extra pick from this year’s pool of players than next year’s, especially with a big free agency period looming. One player they could have their eye on is Arizona’s Allonzo Trier.

ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk reported on Wednesday that the Lakers brought in Trier this week for a second predraft workout.

Youngmisuk also speculated that Michigan’s Mo Wagner is another player they could like.

Trier spent three seasons at Arizona and was a top scorer. He averaged 16.8 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting. He also made nearly 38 percent of his threes. Trier missed time as a sophomore and junior due to banned substances being found in his system.

The Lakers hold the Nos. 25, 39 and 47 picks in the draft.

Twitter reacts to Astros hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs

Jose Altuve homer

The Houston Astros have one of the best lineups in baseball, and they showed it off during Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros went back-to-back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday, doing so for the first time in 10 years. Their Nos. 1-3 hitters in the order all went deep in a row: George Springer, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. All three came off Rays pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who remained in the game despite giving up the three homers. Amazingly, Eovaldi got three straight outs to end the sixth after the barrage of homers. It was Altuve’s second homer of the game as he also hit one off Eovaldi in the fourth.

Here’s video of the homers:

And some stats behind them:

Fans and reporters lit up on Twitter after the homers, as you could imagine. Here’s a look at the reactions:

(more…)

Report: Hawks interested in trading down for Trae Young

Trae Young

The Atlanta Hawks hold the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but they reportedly have interest in moving down.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, the Hawks are eyeing Trae Young if they do move down in the draft.

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III are the players most commonly mentioned in connection with the top three picks. One report from ESPN said that the Hawks were targeting Doncic at No. 3.

Perhaps the Hawks are trying to drum up trade interest with this story. There are teams sitting behind them who are said to have interest in Doncic, so maybe they want them to bring their best offers to the table.

Young is expected to be among the lottery picks, but there has not been talk of the former Oklahoma star going anywhere in the top five.

Lakers reportedly acquire 2nd-round pick from Sixers

Lakers logo

The Los Angeles Lakers have picked up another pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, according to a report.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the Lakers acquired the No. 39 pick in the draft from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Lakers also have the Nos. 25 and 47 picks in the draft, so this gives them another second rounder.

The purple and gold have been at the center of headlines this offseason. Reports have said that Kawhi Leonard wants to be traded to the Lakers and that LeBron James is likely to sign with them.

Longtime Tennessee Vols announcer John Ward dies

Tennessee Vols logo

Longtime former Tennessee Volunteers announcer John Ward died on Wednesday, the school announced.

Ward was the “Voice of the Vols” from 1965-1999, announcing the team’s basketball and football games. He served as the announcer for the 1998 football team that won the national championship.

He was well known for his “Give him six … touchdown, Tennessee!” touchdown call.

Prior to getting into broadcasting for the Vols, Ward worked in advertising and radio.

You can listen to some of his best calls here:

Cassius Marsh still sparring with Patriots fans

New England Patriots

Cassius Marsh continues to make it clear just how much he dislikes everything about the New England Patriots.

Marsh, a 25-year-old defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers, had a brief stint with the Patriots last year that culminated in him being waived in November. He ripped the team last month by saying there was “nothing fun” about playing for them.

On Wednesday, Marsh tweeted about how much he hates Patriots fans and sarcastically took a shot at Boston.

Marsh, who is from California, clearly is no fan of the Pats. Of course, there’s always more to the story. In this case it’s that Marsh was cut after a halftime tirade over playing time.

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