For Alexis Garcia, rounding the bases had never been more rewarding. After a couple of disappointments in her budding collegiate career, everything finally felt right for the redshirt freshman this past weekend, culminating with a home run against Illinois.Admittedly “a little disappointed” over having to sit out as a redshirt last year, Garcia was dealt another disappointing blow when she was removed from the starting lineup March 15, after hitting only .119 up to that point. Garcia had started every game at first base this season prior to that game.Instead of complaining about her reduced role, Garcia sought out UW head coach Chandelle Schulte to discuss her offensive problems.”To her credit, she actually came to me and said, ‘I understand I’m not getting it done’ and ‘What do I need to do to get back out there?'” Schulte explained. “We’ve worked together to get her back on the right track.”And back on the right track she is. Garcia rejoined the starting lineup for the second game of the doubleheader against Northwestern and broke out of the slump in a big way. She finished the weekend with a .545 BA (6-11) — which raised her batting average nearly 100 points to .212 on the season — to go with two home runs and five RBIs.Her performance was one of few bright spots during an otherwise-disappointing weekend that saw the Badgers drop three of four games.So what exactly was keeping the first baseman so quiet in the batters box? The coaching staff and Garcia discovered that her offensive problems did not stem as much from mechanical flaws in her swing, but rather her mental approach at the plate.”I had so many things going on in my head,” Garcia recalled. “I was thinking about everything you could possibly think of. Now, I can’t even remember what I was trying to think of in the box this last weekend. It was more of a ‘no thoughts, just hit’ approach.”Schulte also cited Garcia’s redshirt year as a possible cause for her early-season offensive funk. “She was out last year, and now it’s just taken a while for her to settle back into a routine. Plus, to go from not playing at all to being called on to contribute everyday is very tough,” Schulte said.Garcia credits her recent improvement not only to her changed mental approach, but also to her time as a redshirt last year. “Just because I wasn’t able to be out there didn’t mean I couldn’t still learn things and have a good attitude, so when I do get an opportunity to play, I can take advantage of that.”That attitude has molded Garcia into someone who UW sophomore Lynn Anderson refers to as an “awesome teammate.” Anderson also said Garcia has improved greatly since last year, and her perseverance through her redshirt season really showed the commitment that builds trust between teammates.Despite her absence from the lineup card for six games, Garcia still managed to get into games, serving as a defensive replacement in each contest.”Defensively, she is a great first baseman,” Schulte said. “She’s got a great glove, which is something you either have or you don’t. She is a very natural defensive first baseman.”For Garcia, when she was finally able to help the team offensively over the weekend, she realized all her hard work to get back into the lineup had finally paid off.”Everything with my swing was finally right,” Garcia said of finally being able to round the bases.Before heading off to practice, Schulte added what might be one of the highest compliments a coach can give a player.”She’s very open-minded, and when you talk to her about something, she’ll get it done. She is on the same page as [the coaching staff], and I think that has really been reflected in her play the last week or so.”
“I was just overexcited. She’s also from the Bay Area, so having someone who’s from the Bay on stage and someone who is an alum and is of color is so amazing and so exciting,” Cruz said. “I did not think I was going to meet her, so I think meeting her made it a thousand times better.” After the crown chanted Saweetie’s name, DJ Carisma from L.A. radio station Power 106 came on stage for a DJ set that lasted more than half an hour. “She did her top songs, which everyone loved, everyone screamed for,” said Marlize Duncan, a freshman majoring in journalism. “I don’t mind the dirty shoes that I got from everyone moshing.” Rapper and 2016 alumna Saweetie headlined this year’s Conquest, which also featured drag queen Angel Dust and rapper Channel Tres. During her performance, Saweetie brought out her partner and rapper Quavo. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) Like last year, USC’s Esports Union faced off against UCLA’s esports team in a League of Legends tournament. While last year’s matchup ended in a tie, this year’s saw a 3-2 victory for USC. With a Ferris wheel, an esports tournament against UCLA, student group showcases and sponsored booths with giveaways, Conquest strived to bring students more of an experience than just a concert. “Do you mind if I do a couple songs?” Quavo asked over chants of his own name. After USC Concerts Committee announced Wednesday that rapper Rico Nasty couldn’t headline this year’s Conquest due to personal reasons, it announced 2016 Annenberg alumna Saweetie would perform instead. “Yo, my name is Channel Tres, I hail from Compton, California, what’s cracking?” he asked the audience. After an agonizing half-hour wait for Conquest’s headliner, the crowd roared to life when rapper and USC alumna Saweetie sauntered on stage, later accompanied by her partner and fellow rapper Quavo. “Concerts Committee is only as strong as the members that make it up, and I think today was a fantastic example of the insane amount of talented individuals we have been lucky to acquire within our club in the last two years,” Begler said. For the second consecutive year, Trojan Pride Committee replaced the annual tradition of burning a Bruin bear with an opportunity for students to throw pie tins full of whipped cream at a large print of a Bruin. While last year’s bonfire was canceled out of concerns of unhealthy air quality, this year it was out of respect for those affected by the recent Getty wildfire. Tres’s 45-minute set remained engaging throughout by incorporating crowd participation, a visual for his song “Topdown” and a stream-of-consciousness-style freestyle during which he faced away from the audience. “You know, I was in debt,” she said. “That motherfucking loan shit was no joke.” “USC, we love y’all, you know I love y’all,” Quavo said. “I gotta give the stage back to my beautiful lady, the icy girl.” After performing her breakout hit “ICY GRL” and throwing T-shirts with the phrase “Respect the icy punani” on them into the crowd, Saweetie brought out her partner, rapper Quavo of rap trio Migos, for their collab “Tip Toes.” “I’m tryna get y’all hype as fuck before I bring my girl Saweetie out here,” Carisma said to the crowd. Following the recent rise in student deaths, Conquest invited various organizations that provide mental health resources to the event, including the Department of Mental Health and Rise Above the Disorder. “We’re just out here trying to make sure that people know that it’s OK to reach out for help and to normalize talking about mental health,” said Rise Above the Disorder case manager Crystal Navarro. “I thought the set was really dope. It was really unexpected,” said Jaryn Valdry, a sophomore majoring in communication. “I didn’t listen to Channel Tres before I came, but I really like his vibe, and the bounce in his music just made it really fun.” Saweetie came back onstage to talk about her experience at USC and play her smash single, “My Type.” Leading up to the main acts, this year’s event broke barriers by showcasing a performance by Angel Dust, a USC drag queen who recently performed at the Queer and Ally Student Assembly’s 10th annual drag show “House of Troy.” Toward the end of her set, Saweetie invited three students, including Ariadna Cruz, a junior majoring in NGOs and social change, on stage to dance from the crowd. After the show, the trio took photos with Saweetie and received a silver, Icy-branded necklace. Although her set was scheduled to begin at 10 p.m., Saweetie didn’t take the stage until 10:25 p.m. She came out to the title track from her 2018 EP, “High Maintenance.” Everything she wore was royal purple: her fur coat, bell-bottom pants, platform heels, sequin and velvet bra, eye shadow and wide hoop earrings. Tres did not let technical difficulties hold him back from delivering a solid show. His vocals were quiet for a significant portion of his set, but his groovy, uptempo songs were infectious enough to get the crowd dancing. He was accompanied by two dancers, and together the trio executed choreography to every track. “Get your motherfucking good grades. Fuck that bitch Sallie Mae,” she said, referring to the federal loan company. Though doors for the event opened at 5 p.m., the opening act Channel Tres, didn’t go on until 8:50 p.m. When he did go on, he sported his signature rolled beanie in light blue with a cardigan that he promptly shed as he launched into his set. While some were disappointed by the length of her set, they felt it did not detract from their experience. Despite a last-minute change of lineup, the hybrid concert, pep rally and carnival held annually the week of USC’s football game against rival UCLA, brought students to McCarthy Quad Thursday night. The Spirit of Troy, along with other student performances, hyped up the crowd for Conquest’s headliners. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) Rapper Quavo, Saweetie’s partner, surprised the audience with his appearance, performing a duet and solo songs. ( Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) “It was really, really touch-and-go for the last 48 hours, and there was a lot of stress and anxiety,” Concerts Committee codirector Chris Begler said. “But I am nothing but elated with the way [codirector] Leila [Kashfi] and I handled ourselves and most importantly with the way our team handled ourselves.” Saweetie left the stage while Quavo — whose performance alongside Migos at Springfest 2017 was canceled because of overcrowding — played “Pure Water” and “Bad and Boujee.” Following the dance competition, Saweetie’s set came to a quick close. “We were caught off guard with the fires last year, but as a result, this year I came in, and I’m like, ‘We need to have an alternate plan from the start,’” said Trojan Pride member Yuliya Pisman. “We were planning backups from the very beginning, so it was less stressful when we learned that it was canceled.” Despite the unforeseen circumstances surrounding the event’s planning, Conquest drew an impressive 6,500 students, an increase of approximately 1,500 from last year’s event. According to Kashfi, the event “literally could not have gone better.” “So y’all know I used to go here, right?” Saweetie asked after her first song. “I got my fucking degree, and I got to the motherfucking bag.”
Alexandra Ting | Daily TrojanHave ball, will travel · Senior libero Taylor Whittingham and the women’s volleyball team begin a road trip on Wednesday against Arizona.After splitting their most recent home games before heading out on the road, the women’s volleyball team looks to rest up and put the games behind them. With a long road trip this week, the Trojans hope to continue improving their level of play, despite their difficult schedule ahead. “I think we are only in school eight days in November,” head coach Mick Haley said. “That is two days a week basically.”While it is easy sometimes to forget that these athletes are students, they certainly do not forget. Even with road trips, the student-athletes have to try and keep up with school work and find a way to maintain their academics in order to avoid the looming threat of academic probation that would keep them from playing. “We know that we are going to be on the road for a long period time,” senior captain Taylor Whittingham said. “That might be a struggle with homework, missing classes or stuff like that.” For the next two games against Arizona and ASU, the Women of Troy will have to be able to continue keeping their errors low, but will have to improve in their attack and their defense at the net in order to score points off of more than just kills and aces.“The one thing going forward for the rest of this month that I would really focus on would be serving,” Haley said. “The second thing would be to continue to improve our team blocking. Those two things will help us as much as anything. “However, the team has little time to practice before these games due to their traveling schedule. Traveling takes its toll on both players and coaches alike, but it will have to be overcome for the Trojans to continue to win games. “On Tuesday we travel, Wednesday we play and Thursday we travel to Tempe and will try to get a practice in there,” Haley said. “Then we play early Friday at 6 p.m., but we can’t get out that night, which is terrible because we have to get up early to get them back by 9 the next morning on Saturday.”The key thing for this road trip will be rest. Without proper rest, the Trojans will be in a position for potential injuries and mental lapses during the games. Also, it is important that they get the rest they need this week, because they have another road trip the following week.“I am trying to get them as much rest before we go to Stanford and Cal, which is the next hard trip,” Haley said. “I am really worried about those two back-to-back trips, because it has a tendency to really take its toll on their physical and mental prep.”The women’s volleyball team will take on Arizona at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and ASU at 6 p.m. on Friday.
judoka Saeid Mollaei The International Judo Federation (IJF) has announced a protective suspension of the Iran Judo Federation, following pressure applied to judoka Saeid Mollaei at the World Championships to avoid facing an Israeli athlete.The decision suspends the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities organised or authorised by IJF.The temporary suspension is in place until a final decision by the IJF Disciplinary Commission. It marks the first time Iran has faced sanctions from a sporting governing body over its stance relating to competition against Israeli athletes.The IJF Executive Committee began disciplinary proceedings following the incident involving former world champion Mollaei.He potentially could have faced Israeli judoka Sagi Muki in the men’s under-81-kilogram event at the World Championships in Tokyo last month.But before his third-round fight against the Olympic champion, Russian Khasan Khalmurzaev, Mollaei alleged he was called by the Iranian First Deputy Minister of Sport, Davar Zani.Zani reportedly ordered him to withdraw from the competition to avoid a potential contest between Iran and Israel.Mollaei also claimed Zani made threats against him and his familyThe Iranian athlete has since revealed he will seek asylum in Germany, with the IJF offering support.The incident at the World Championships was viewed by the IJF as a “gross contradiction” of a letter sent to the governing body on May 8, signed by the Iranian Olympic Committee President Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri and Iran Judo Federation President Arash Miresmaeili.According to the IJF, the document categorically confirmed the “Iran NOC shall fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle and the I.R. Iran Federation shall fully comply with the Olympic Charter and the IJF Statutes”The IJF claimed the incident at the World Championships constituted a “serious breach and gross violation of the Statutes of the IJF, its legitimate interests, its principles and objectives as well as of, in particular, but not limited to, the IJF Code of Ethics and the Olympic Charter.”The IJF explained the breaches to their statutes include the respect of the principle of the universality and political neutrality of the IJF, as well as the rejection of all forms of discrimination.It was viewed the incident breached IJF Sport and Organisation rules relating to match fixing and competition manipulation.The IJF Disciplinary Commission claim they have a “strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offence against the legitimate interests, principles or objectives of the IJF”.They noted similar incidents were reported in the past.“During the 2004 Olympic Games the actual President of the Iran Judo Federation, Mr. Arash Miresmaeili, has been instructed by the Iranian authorities to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete,” the IJF said.“The same situation happened also during the 2019 Paris Grand Slam regarding Mr Saeid Mollaei.”The Iran Judo Federation can appeal the protective suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.Earlier this month, Iran NOC President Amiri claimed Mollaei would be greeted “like a champion” if he returned to the country, despite the judoka revealing he had been threatened.Amiri also claimed he sent four letters of complaint to the International Olympic Committee over the conduct of the IJF and its President Marius Vizer.At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Iranian judoka, Arash Miresmaeili was disqualified for weighing in at nearly four pounds above the limit for his weight class of his under-66 kilograms match against an Israeli opponent Ehud Vaks in the first round.It was claimed Miresmaeili had gone on an eating binge to protest the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of the state of Israel.Iran does not recognise the state of Israel, and Miresmaeili’s actions won praise from high-ranking Iranian officials.Mohammad Khatami, the country’s President at the time, was quoted as saying Miresmaili’s actions would be “recorded in the history of Iranian glories”.He was later awarded $125,000 by the Government – the same amount given to Olympic gold medallists.6 AttachmentsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Related Articles IBIA: Australia has made no progress on safeguarding sports integrity July 28, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Tabcorp double burdened by covid and group impairment charges August 19, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Share Australia ASX-listed gambling technology group Aristocrat Leisure has confirmed the appointment of Jeff Karp as Managing Director & President of Big Fish Games, heading up its recently acquired social gaming subsidiary.Seeking to diversify its corporate entity beyond casino technologies, in December 2017 Aristocrat completed its $1 billion acquisition of Seattle-based Big Fish, from former owner Churchill Downs.Regarded as one of the leading executives within the games sector, Karp has formerly held EVP roles at EA, Zynga and GSN Games, developing and delivering a number of top-grossing game titles, product lines and new franchises.Most recently Karp served as Chief Executive of Sports Illustrated (Comcast/NBC) PLAY division, developing youth-sports platforms and engagement verticals.Updating the market Jeff Goldstein Chief Digital Officer at Aristocrat, stated that Karp had the best profile and experience to lead Big Fish’s future enterprise:“I am delighted to welcome Jeff Karp to Big Fish. His expertise in growing games into global entertainment franchises is unsurpassed. His proven track record and deep experience in the games industry make him the ideal person to drive Big Fish’s growth strategy, and ensure the business delivers its full potential.”Karp will lead Big Fish as Aristocrat governance seeks to establish its new subsidiary as the market leader in social and casual games, developing new engaging titles and furthering franchises with entertainment companies and media owners.“I am honored to be working with such a creative and talented group, who are focused on enhancing life through exceptional play,” Karp commented on leading Big Fish Games“Big Fish is a content-rich company and its employees are passionate about making great games that bring joy and fun to millions of players around the world. I look forward to working with everyone at Big Fish to deliver our growth plans for the benefit of our players, our people and all our stakeholders.”
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Celtics host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. WALTHAM, Mass. — Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to return to the court on Friday night, unless he has any setbacks over the next day.Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens said Thursday that the four-time All-Star has passed all of his tests. Rondo hasn’t played since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 25, 2013.Rondo was at practice with the Celtics on Thursday morning, but he did not speak with reporters.Stevens says he’s looking forward to seeing what Rondo can do in a game.
That’s because the Lakers (3-13) three-game losing streak came against the Timberwolves (4-10), whose record only exceeds the Lakers in the Western Confernece. The Timberwolves also had injuries to Ricky Rubio (left ankle), Nikola Pekovic (right wrist), Kevin Martin (right wrist) and Ronny Turiaf (right hip). But the Lakers have proven there’s no such thing as a guaranteed victory. Kobe Bryant missed a 25-foot 3-point attempt at the top of the key before time expired, an attempt he said “felt good and just went a little short.” But that hardly explains the Lakers loss considering Bryant finished with an efficient 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, five assists and five steals in 35 minutes. It traces back to the Lakers’ defense, which allowed everyone from UCLA standout Zach LaVine (28 points), Mo Williams (25 points) and Thaddeus Young (22 points) from having a highlight reel. The lone exception entailed top prospect Andrew Wiggins, who scored only three points on a 1-of-6 clip.“We were just lazy defensively,” said Bryant, who occasionally argued with officials instead of getting back on defense. “We cut corners.”That hardly sat well with Scott, who reported telling his team at morning shootaround, before the game and at halftime not to overlook the Timberwolves because of their record. “Sooner or later, you get tired of the crap getting beaten out of you,” Scott said. ““There’s nobody in this league we should be looking at & say this is an easy win.” The Lakers stepped on the court and mirrored how most Thanksgiving dinners played out a day beforehand. They executed on offense with the same kind of speed and efficiency needed to grab the last turkey leg. Yet, the Lakers also trudged back on defense with little energy and interest, as if they had eaten too much food. All of those ingredients caused the Lakers’ 120-119 loss on Friday to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center, prompting coach Byron Scott to speak in an agigated tone afterwards in which he appeared close to speak in vulgarities.“We weren’t ready to play,” Scott said. “A bunch of mental mistakes, bunch of physical mistakes. We looked at them like they were inferior to us.” The Lakers offered both entertaining and head-scratching moments throughout the game. Bryant threw a no-look pass to Nick Young, whose reverse dunk gave the Lakers a 115-107 lead with 5:03 lead and capped a 13-6 run. The two teammates then chest-bumped at midcourt.Yet, the Lakers could not maintain that cushion. Minnesota scored eight unanswered points. After posting 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, Jeremy Lin sat out of the final 3:45. Young overshadowed his 16-point effort on 6-of-12 shooting with a contested shot, a 25-foot 3-pointer that hit off the backboard as the Lakers led 117-115 with 1:54 left. Bryant’s eight-foot turnaround jumper tied the game at 119-119 with 5.6 seconds remaining. But then Thaddeus Young drew a foul on Nick Young on the next possession. Fortunately for the Lakers, Thaddeus Young only made one of two foul shots to give Minnesota a 120-119 lead with 2.9 seconds left. But then Bryant’s potential game-winner hit off the rim. “In the Last three minutes; we should’ve stayed with what we were doing,” YOung said. “Somehow we started playing too fast. It didn’t feel right.”Hence, why Scott spent his post-game press conference questioning his team’s effort outside of Bryant. “All the things we’re messing up we can correct,” Scott said. “It just takes a little bit of effort and a lot more focus. But tonight it was about the owrst we played as far as being focused and ready to play.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
He even compared his pending free agency to going through the pre-draft experience back in 2011, when he watched Kyrie Irving go first overall and sat through 58 more picks before Sacramento selected him with the 60th and final pick.Six years later, the two bookends of the draft were traded for one another.Now a Laker, Thomas knows who he is playing for.“All you need is one team to love you,” Thomas said. “It’s like the draft all over again. You just need one team.”Wade, who played alongside Thomas briefly this season in Cleveland, said Thomas made a gutsy choice to play through his hip injury during the 2017 playoffs, rather than saying, “I’m done, let me get ready for the next season so I can get a max deal.”“He kept trying to fight and fight and fight for the city that he was playing for,” Wade said. “So it’s a tough situation man, but one thing I know about him you don’t become a household name at 5-foot whatever he is without having grit, without having toughness, without knowing that you can overcome anything.”KNIFE THROUGH THE HARTJosh Hart will undergo surgery on Friday, two days after suffering a broken bone in his left hand during a Lakers practice in Miami.Just over six weeks remain in the season, casting Hart’s availability into question. The Lakers are not providing a timeline for a possible return, but Walton said the rookie swingman will be re-evaluated “every two, three weeks from now.”“Obviously there’s zero rush to bring him back,” Walton said. “But if he’s healthy and ready to play and we’ve got a couple of weeks left, then yeah, we’ll get him back on the court.”The 30th pick in June’s draft, Hart had started 10 consecutive games, and is averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds. He has six double-doubles this season.“He’s much more advanced than I would have thought,” Walton said. “It was tough to judge what I thought he’d be like out of college because of his type of game, and originally his opportunities weren’t going to be the same as some of the other rookies just because of where he was on the depth chart.”Hart “did an unbelievable job of being professional and earning the coaching staff’s trust every time that he got opportunities,” Walton said. MIAMI — The delirious peak of Isaiah Thomas’ one-man show came two minutes into the fourth quarter, when he drained his sixth 3-pointer of the night and third of the period.This one off the glass.The newest Laker scored 29 points in 29 minutes in the Lakers’ 131-113 win over the Heat on Thursday night, his best performance since being acquired from Cleveland on Feb. 8. Earlier in the day, the former All-Star said if he is given “the same opportunity that I was given in Boston, I would do the same thing.”It was hard to argue after Thursday’s performance, with Thomas trading big shots with Heat star Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter. The Lakers avoided a potential stalemate when Thomas arrived with Walton choosing not to start the two-time All-Star. Instead, Thomas has found success off the bench – a role he no doubt views as temporary. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I could do it,” Thomas said after the win. “I’ve done it before. I’m a scorer, I’m a guy that makes plays. So when given that opportunity, I’ve showed I can do it, but there’s no other way around it. I’m not here to prove to anybody I can do it, the world knows what I bring to the table.”Thomas will hit free agency in July, and everyone around the league will be looking to his performance in L.A. to help set his market value. When that time comes, his performance at American Airlines Arena will likely be discussed.“A lot of it was him just being him and showing the world how good he is again,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.While there were those who doubt Thomas can return to the form of a max-contract superstar, Thomas has never seemed to let that affect him.“If I play, I’m going to produce,” Thomas said. “That’s just who I am, that’s who I always been. Injury is not going stop me from doing that. Coach is going to put this team in the best position to win.”
Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed And he expressed appreciation for his family’s support in hard times: “When your mental health is a problem, the solution is right there. You gotta turn to the people who love you. I mean really love you. Not the fake love. I’m talking about FAMILY. Sometimes I’d be lying in bed, feeling like trash. And my daughter Dior runs in, seven o’clock in the morning like, “Daaaaaaddd, get upppppp! Aaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” Jumping on me, hugging me. And it’s like … damn. I ain’t have that as a kid, you know? That feeling fixes you up for a minute.“You drink a gallon of water a day and you hug your kids? All of a sudden, it ain’t so bad.”Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Dion Waiters signed with the Lakers on March 6, hoping to revive his stalled career – only to have the NBA season to stall out March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the 28-year-old guard took a step forward Monday evening, opening up about past struggles with an entry on “The Players’ Tribune.”His was the first installment in a series called “24,” in which athletes “honor the legacy of Kobe Bryant by sharing 24 truths that have shaped their life.”Waiters, a Philadelphia native, arrived in L.A. after having played just three games this season for the Miami Heat, who suspended him three times for team rules violations before trading him to the Memphis Grizzlies, who cut him.Coach Frank Vogel said in March that the former No. 4 overall draft pick and career 13.2 points-per-game scorer seemed like “a guy ready to move past” issues he’s had this season. “We’re aware of his journey,” Vogel said then. “And we believe he’s somebody who can help us.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error And he saluted James, who he said mentored him when he was a young player figuring things out as a fellow member of the Cleveland Cavaliers: “Bron used to show me different wines, different kinds of food. I was Philly Philly. I was raw. But Bron took me under his wing – and now all these years later, here we are again. Less hair, more wisdom. Life is crazy, right? Damn.”KUZMA PROMOTES FOOD ACCESSLakers forward Kyle Kuzma is helping promote free grab-and-go meals for families around California, lending his voice to a campaign by the Dairy Council of California. The organization is striving to support food access for families during the pandemic.“I’m working with Got Milk? to get the word out that free school meals are still available at drive-thru sites,” Kuzma said in a social media ad that links to a site map identifying locations of a school nutrition program offering free meal services to children 2-18 years old. “Just drive up in your car grab your meals and go.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWaiters wrote about those trials in “The Players’ Tribune” piece, describing his experiences with depression and addressing “the plane incident in Miami” in November, when he ingested a cannabis-infused edible on a team flight, resulting in a much-publicized medical incident (but not a seizure, Waiters wrote) and, subsequently, a 10-game suspension.“It’s on me. I own that. It was idiotic on my behalf – point-blank, period,” he wrote. “What’s crazy is, my whole life I been a leader. I’m not a follower. Pat (Riley) knows me. He knows I don’t do drugs. But sometimes when you’re going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you’d never do in your right mind.”Waiters wrote that his 6-year-old son – “six going on damn near 30” – held him to account for that incident: “He’s on Google all day, typing my name. So when I got suspended, he was interrogating me like, ‘Dad, they said you were doing drugs. They said you had a seizure. They said you can’t play no more. What’s going on?’“I had to break it down for him in a way he could understand, like in his little cartoon movies. I said, ‘You know how there’s always a beginning, a middle and an end? In the beginning, it’s all good, right? Spider-Man is doing his thing. He’s discovering his superpowers. He’s chillin’. But in the middle, what happens? The hero always messes up. He gets knocked in the dirt. There’s always a sad part, right? Well, that’s where your dad’s been at. He made a mistake. He lost his superpowers for a minute. But it’s gonna be alright. We’re gonna make it through.’”Waiters also was down on Instagram, writing that it was “a trap. You score 40, you’re a hero. Everybody love you. You score 10, and the hate you get is just … it’s pathetic, bro. Grown… men making fake accounts. Taking the time to really do that.”
Major League Baseball dipped its toes into the esports world last month with a four-player mini-tournament of “MLB The Show 20.” That, it turns out, was just a hint of what was to come with the actual baseball world on hold, stuck in a coronavirus-mandated shutdown. On Friday, as foreshadowed in Sporting News articles a couple of times, the main event was revealed: a full esports season of “MLB The Show,” played by 30 major league players, each representing his own team. We’ll break down the details in a moment, but basically, each player will play 29 “regular-season” games, and the top eight teams will advance to the playoffs, culminating in a best-of-five “World Series.”MORE ESPORTS: ‘NBA 2K’ Players Tournament results, scheduleIf it’s anything like the four-player tournament, then it should be a lot of fun. Amir Garrett, the Reds’ stellar left-handed reliever, was the champ of the mini-event, knocking off Twins pitcher Trevor May in his first game and then beating 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell in the championship. Snell beat Hunter Pence in his first game. Streaming information is below, but an MLB source told Sporting News other viewing options could be on the horizon. We will, of course, give you that info as soon as it becomes available. ‘MLB The Show 20’ Players LeagueRegular season: Round-robin. Every team will play every other team one time, for a total of 29 games — three innings per game — per team in the regular season. The regular season opens April 10 and is scheduled to end April 28.First regular-season game: 9 p.m. ET, Friday, April 10; Blake Snell (Rays) vs. Amir Garrett (Reds). This is a rematch of the title game of the four-player mini tournament in March. Drama!Playoffs: The top eight teams will make the playoffs, which will start shortly after the regular season ends and largely mirror the MLB playoffs. The first two rounds are best of three, the “World Series” will be a best-of-five. ‘MLB The Show 20’ Players League contestantsThe league is made up of 30 MLB players, each representing his MLB team Diamondbacks: Jon DuplantierBraves: Luke JacksonOrioles: Dwight Smith Jr.Red Sox: Eduardo RodriguezCubs: Ian HappWhite Sox: Lucas GiolitoReds: Amir GarrettIndians: Carlos SantanaRockies: David DahlTigers: Niko GoodrumAstros: Lance McCullers Jr.Royals: Brett PhillipsAngels: Ty ButtreyDodgers: Gavin LuxMarlins: Ryne StanekBrewers: Josh HaderTwins: Trevor MayMets: Jeff McNeilYankees: Tommy KahnleAthletics: Jesus LuzardoPhillies: Rhys HoskinsPirates: Cole TuckerPadres: Fernando Tatis Jr.Giants: Hunter PenceMariners: Carl Edwards Jr.Cardinals: Matt CarpenterRays: Blake SnellRangers: Joey GalloBlue Jays: Bo BichetteNationals: Juan Soto Host: Robert Flores of MLB Network will “provide commentary, recaps, analysis and conduct player interviews throughout the course of the season, including before, during and after games, via MLB, MLB Network and PlayStation’s social media platforms,” according to an MLB press release. ‘MLB The Show 20’ Players League streaming optionsMLB social: Twitter, Facebook, YouTubeLas Mayores social: TwitterMLB Games and VR: Twitch”MLB The Show:” Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch (https://theshownation.com/livestream)MLB.com: All 30 club websitesMLB Network social: Twitter, FacebookCharitable donations to Boys & Girls Clubs of America/CanadaFrom the MLB release: “Major League Baseball, the MLBPA and SIE will donate $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys & Girls Club affiliate in their team’s community. The stakes for the competition are enhanced with the championship player earning an additional $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club in his community.”