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Saturday, February 24, 2018


Mikaela Shiffrin: Olympics were a ‘massive success’

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin had some ups-and-downs to her 2018 Winter Olympics, but looking back on things, she views the Games as a “massive success.”

Shiffrin began the Olympics with a gold medal in the giant slalom on Thursday. The following day she competed in the slalom — her best event — and came in fourth, which was a disappointment.

After that, Shiffrin decided to sit out Saturday’s super-G and the downhill on the following Wednesday so she could focus on the combined on Thursday. She won silver in that event.

Initially expected to compete in five events and do well in several of them, Shiffrin had to cut out two events and medaled in two. She’s proud of what she accomplished even if it’s not quite what she was hoping for before the Olympics began.

“Sitting here with you, I can look back and say this was a massive success. I’m pretty over the moon about it,” Shiffrin told NBC’s Mike Tirico in an interview that aired on Friday night in the US.

Shiffrin also said the weather conditions, which pushed several events back on the schedule and ultimately led her to drop out of two events, was the toughest thing for her to deal with.

“That was the most difficult part of this Games for me. The schedule changes, and then having back-to-back races in my two best events, especially with my strongest event being held second. That was maybe the most difficult thing for me. I don’t think I could have done any better (in the slalom).”

Shiffrin finally realized that much of what happened was out of her control, and she’s learned to accept that and be proud of what she was able to accomplish given the circumstances. She now has two golds and a silver in her Olympic career. The two Olympic gold medals tie her for the most ever by an American alpine skier.

Considering what her initial reaction was to her slalom performance last week, she’s come a long way in changing her feelings about things.

Donovan Mitchell defies NCAA with message on shoes

Donovan Mitchell

Louisville’s 2013 national title may no longer exist in the record books, but Donovan Mitchell is still doing his best to keep the memory alive.

Before his Utah Jazz played Portland on Friday, Mitchell, who is a former Cardinal, showed love to his alma mater with custom cleats that listed the name of each player on that year’s roster along with the message “2013 Champs.” Here’s what they looked like, via Blazers beat writer Casey Holdahl:

The NCAA came down hard on Louisville earlier this week, forcing them to vacate 123 victories from 2012 to 2015 (including that national title) due to the infamous sex scandal that rocked their university.

As for Mitchell, who spent two seasons in Louisville from 2015 to 2017, this display definitely seems like part-solidarity and part-defiance, similiar to what we recently saw from another prominent Cardinals alum.

Jimmy Butler to undergo MRI after X-rays on knee were negative

Jimmy Butler locker room

Jimmy Butler will undergo an MRI on his right knee, but the positive news so far is that X-rays were negative.

Butler exited Friday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves-Houston Rockets game after injuring his right knee on a non-contact play late in the third quarter.

The Vertical’s Shams Charania reports that the X-rays Butler underwent were negative. Butler is set to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

This was Butler’s first game in over a week as he opted not to play during the All-Star Game.

Sean Miller reportedly caught on phone discussing payment for DeAndre Ayton

Sean Miller

Sean Miller is one of the coaches who could be facing trouble with the NCAA due to evidence uncovered by the FBI in their corruption case.

According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the FBI caught Miller on wiretap discussing a payment with Christian Dawkins for recruit DeAndre Ayton. Miller was discussing paying $100,000 to ensure Ayton would end up playing for his Arizona Wildcats.

Ayton, a freshman 7-footer from the Bahamas, did end up at Arizona and is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game this season.

Arizona was already one of the programs at the forefront of the FBI case after assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson was one of the four college coaches arrested as part of sweeping arrests in September. Richardson, who has since been fired, is accused of accepting $20,000 in bribes to help steer players towards Dawkins’ agency, as well as to financial advisor Munish Sood.

Miller, a three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, said in a statement in September that he promotes a culture of compliance with NCAA rules.

“As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past eight years and will continue to do so as we move forward.”

Paying someone to deliver a recruit would certainly violate NCAA rules.

The report about Miller comes the same day Yahoo reported on details about the scope of information the FBI has that would impact college basketball. Several high-profile coaches, players and programs are implicated.

Jimmy Butler helped to locker room after hurting right leg

Jimmy Butler locker room

Jimmy Butler had to be helped to the locker room after suffering what appeared to be a right knee injury during the third quarter of Friday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves-Houston Rockets game.

Butler was looking to make a move in the paint but was being defended. As he stepped onto his right leg, he went down in pain and passed the ball.

The Timberwolves All-Star had to be helped to the locker room and was unable to put weight on his right leg.

ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth reported that Butler hopped on one leg into the X-ray room.

Butler had 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting in 25 minutes before leaving the game. He made some headlines prior to the game by challenging anyone who questioned him not playing in the All-Star game.

Report: NBA unlikely to punish Mavericks anytime soon

Mark Cuban

The NBA is unlikely to punish the Dallas Mavericks anytime soon, according to a report.

Sports Illustrated published a report during the week that alleged the Mavericks were harboring a hostile workplace the past two decades. The allegations included the Mavericks allowing a serial sexual harasser to serve as the team’s CEO for 18 years and letting a woman beater serve as the reporter for the team’s website. Additionally, the human resources head was said to have discouraged complaints.

Many have wondered how a hands-on owner like Mark Cuban could have had this occur under his watch without him knowing the details of the matters, as he has since claimed. They’re also wondering what kind of punishment the league will hand down to the team for running such a workplace.

SI legal expert Michael McCann wrote an article on Friday in which he discussed what sort of punishment the team could face. He says that due to the independent investigation the Mavericks have commissioned, it is unlikely that there will be discipline handed down anytime soon. The league will want to see the findings of the investigation first before making any determinations.

McCann also reports that traditional penalties from the league — such as fines and taking away draft picks — might not be optimal considering those penalties are usually imposed when teams violate competition rules.

Finally, for those wondering whether this would cost Cuban the franchise in the same way that racist comments led Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers, the league views things differently in this case. Based on his immediate response of accepting blame and vowing to clean it up, the league feels Cuban is committed to creating a safer work environment.

Of course, all of this could change depending on the findings of the investigation. For now, it does not sound like Cuban will be stripped of his team.

Mr. T gives pep talk to US curling team ahead of gold-medal match


Before their gold-medal match against Sweden on Saturday, the United States men’s curling team got hyped up by Mr. B.A. Baracus himself.

In the hours before the competition, the team posted a video on Twitter of famed actor and media personality Mr. T calling them on the phone to wish good luck and offer them a pep talk.

Curler Tyler George seemed especially thrilled in a tweet of his own as well.

Of course, most of the guys on the team were probably just kids when the now-65-year-old Mr. T was at the height of his fame in the 1980s. But it’s still a cool gesture nevertheless from the veteran actor and pop culture giant, who may now have a new favorite sport beyond just wrestling.

Danny Green misses Spurs game due to bad spaghetti

Danny Green

NBA players better start being careful before chowing down on spaghetti before games.

The San Antonio Spurs announced on Friday night that Danny Green would miss the team’s game against the Denver Nuggets because of an illness. Green told reporters he got some case of food poisoning after eating a bad spaghetti dinner on Thursday night.

Green was able to warm up with the Spurs before the game, but the San Antonio Express-News’ Jabari Young reported that Green headed back to the team hotel to rest.

As bizarre as this situation sounds, it should not be unfamiliar for NBA fans. Another player struggled in a game and ended up vomiting for the same reason.

White Sox likely to keep Carlos Rodon out until June

Carlos Rodon

The Chicago White Sox will be taking things slowly with pitcher Carlos Rodon.

Rodon is returning from shoulder surgery he underwent in September. The team initially said he was likely to be out 6-8 months, and it sounds like he will be out towards the later end of that timetable.

MLB.com’s Richard Justice says the White Sox are targeting an early June return for Rodon. White Sox GM Rick Hahn explained why the team is thinking longterm with the southpaw.

“We’re going to err on the side of caution,” Hahn said. “This is about putting Carlos in the best position to succeed for the next several years, not about getting an extra two or three starts in April or May of 2018.”

Rodon was the team’s No. 3 overall pick in 2014. The team is not necessarily expecting to contend this season, but they are eyeing future years and want to have Rodon at full strength when that time comes.

Rodon is 20-21 with a 3.96 ERA in his career.

Jimmy Butler challenges Lou Williams to 1-on-1 for $100K

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler heard the complaints about him taking up a roster spot in the All-Star Game despite not wanting to play in the actual game, and he has issued a response.

Butler is challenging Lou Williams and anyone else who has an issue with him opting not to play in the game to play him 1-on-1 for $100,000.

ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth reported about Butler’s challenge prior to Friday night’s game between the Houston Rockets and Butler’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

The $100,000 figure comes from the bonus amount each player on the winning All-Star team received as a cash prize incentive to make the game more competitive.

Williams, who has averaged over 23 points per game this season for the Clippers, appeared to call out Butler for declining to play minutes in the All-Star Game. Butler justified his decision by saying he wanted to rest rather than play.

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