Review Category : National Sports

Charlotte Hornets G Kemba Walker Has Knee Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery on Wednesday in New York to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the team announced. He is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks.

The 24-year-old Walker is averaging a team-high 18.8 points, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season. He has scored 20 or more points in 14 of his last 21 games he has played.

Charlotte originally selected Walker out of Connecticut with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. In four seasons with the Hornets, he has averaged 16.5 points, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

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Marshawn Lynch Media Session Day Two: ‘You Know Why I’m Here’

Jay Drowns/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch followed up his 4 minute and 51 second interview in which he said, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” 29 times on Tuesday with, “You know why I’m here.”

Lynch would have been fined $500,000 if he did not speak at media day on Tuesday, ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder reports, but another fine could be on its way.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports that Lynch could be fined $100,000 for wearing his ‘Beast Mode’ logo hat, which isn’t an official sponsor of the NFL.

When asked about fans wanting to hear from him, Lynch said, “They know why I’m here.”

Lynch is also required to speak to the media on Thursday.

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Blatt: LeBron Is ‘The Greatest Player in Our Game’

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DETROIT) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have turned their season around after winning seven in a row. Head coach David Blatt was astonished that LeBron James isn’t always in the MVP talk.

“He’s the greatest player in our game, and he’s had, since he’s been healthy — and really all year, but particularly since he’s been healthy — his performance has been as high level as ever,” Blatt said before their game against the Pistons on Tuesday. “And you don’t have to look very far at our record to see what impact he has on this team when he’s playing and not playing.”

James is averaging 30.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.0 steals in eight games since returning from taking two weeks off to rest.

“Certainly it does say something about what his value is when he is absent, what happens to the team,” Blatt continued. “But again, it’s of course what his impact on his own team but it’s also the performance that that player is having relative to the rest of the league. Obviously if we look at our own example [in James], then you’re looking at an MVP player in every respect. Which is not new news to anyone.”

“I don’t really get involved in what people say about the way I approach the game,” James told reporters Tuesday at Cavs shootaround. “I know I can play the game at a high level. I know who I am and what I’m about. So, me making an excuse about my injuries throughout the time while we were struggling would just add on to what we were going through. So, it made no sense for me to talk about it until I crossed that path.”

James has won four MVP trophies in 12 seasons.

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Blatt: LeBron Is ‘The Greatest Player in Our Game’

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DETROIT) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have turned their season around after winning seven in a row. Head coach David Blatt was astonished that LeBron James isn’t always in the MVP talk.

“He’s the greatest player in our game, and he’s had, since he’s been healthy — and really all year, but particularly since he’s been healthy — his performance has been as high level as ever,” Blatt said before their game against the Pistons on Tuesday. “And you don’t have to look very far at our record to see what impact he has on this team when he’s playing and not playing.”

James is averaging 30.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.0 steals in eight games since returning from taking two weeks off to rest.

“Certainly it does say something about what his value is when he is absent, what happens to the team,” Blatt continued. “But again, it’s of course what his impact on his own team but it’s also the performance that that player is having relative to the rest of the league. Obviously if we look at our own example [in James], then you’re looking at an MVP player in every respect. Which is not new news to anyone.”

“I don’t really get involved in what people say about the way I approach the game,” James told reporters Tuesday at Cavs shootaround. “I know I can play the game at a high level. I know who I am and what I’m about. So, me making an excuse about my injuries throughout the time while we were struggling would just add on to what we were going through. So, it made no sense for me to talk about it until I crossed that path.”

James has won four MVP trophies in 12 seasons.

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NBA Dunk Contest Lineup Announced

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The NBA announced the players who will participate in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk contest on Tuesday.

Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, and Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine will have their chance to shine.

The dunk contest will take place on Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Barclays Center, the home of the Nets in Brooklyn, New York.

Plumlee is looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s official, Thrilled to be a #Dunker in the #SpriteSlam Dunk contest @NBAAllStar weekend!” Plumee tweeted following the announcement.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall won the dunk contest last year.

The All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, Feb. 15.

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Two Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Rape

iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tn.) — Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were found guilty on all charges related to a rape case from 2013.

The two former football players at Vanderbilt University were convicted by a Nashville jury after a little more than three hours of deliberation.

The two were accused of raping a female student in a dormitory.

Batey, 21, was found guilty on five charges of aggravated rape and two charges of aggravated sexual battery. While Vandenburg, 21, was found guilty on the same charges plus evidence tampering as well as unlawful photography.

Two other players are currently awaiting trial on similar charges.

The victim released a statement after the verdict:

“You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you,” the statement read. “I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame.”

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Report: Colts to Sign WR Duron Carter

Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, In.) — The Indianapolis Colts are in the final stages of signing wide receiver Duron Carter, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 6’5″ Carter is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, who played 16 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins.

The younger Carter was initially signed in 2013 as an undrafted free agent by Minnesota, the team his father played for the majority of his career. He was unable to make the team in part because of character concerns.

Last season Carter, 23, played in the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes, catching 75 passes for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns.

Carter would join an impressive Colts wide receiving group that includes T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and stalwart veteran Reggie Wayne.

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Red Sox, Rangers Complete Pitching Swap

Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) — The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers have swapped pitchers struggling to find their role.

Rangers vice president of communications John Blake announced via Twitter Tuesday that Boston has sent right-hander Anthony Ranaudo to Texas in exchange for left-hander Robbie Ross, Jr.

Ranaudo, 25, displayed fantastic play in Triple A, compiling a 14-4 record in 2014 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 138 innings pitched. He made his Major League debut last season, but struggled to find the same groove as his ERA ballooned to 4.81 in 39.1 innings of work.

Ross, 25, struggled last season after a transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Posting a 6.20 ERA in 78.1 innings, Ross failed to find a role in the Rangers injury-riddled rotation. He will likely resume his role as a left-handed reliever with Boston, a role he excelled in during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In his career, he has a 53.8 percent ground ball rate.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/27/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Men’s Top 25 College Basketball: (14) VCU 72 (17-3) – George Washington 48 (16-5)

(17) West Virginia 65 (17-3) – Kansas State 59 (12-9)

Xavier 66 (14-7) – (21) Georgetown 53 (14-6)

NBA: Toronto Raptors 104 (30-15) – Indiana Pacers 88 (16-31)

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (21-22-3, 45pts) – Washington Capitals 3 (24-14-9, 57pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 5 (27-12-8, 62pts) – Winnipeg Jets 3 (26-15-8, 60pts)

New York Islanders 4 (32-14-1, 65pts) – New York Rangers 1 (27-14-4, 58pts)

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Blues G Martin Brodeur Set to Retire on Thursday

christian ammann/iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur is set to announce his retirement from the National Hockey League on Thursday.

The 42-year-old Brodeur, who spent the previous 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, signed with St. Louis on Dec. 2, 2014. In seven games with the Blues, he went 3-3 with a .287 goals against average.

During Brodeur’s illustrious career, he won the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s best goaltender, four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008), and has finished in the top five in voting for the league’s MVP seven times.

Brodeur has complied a record of 691-397-176, along with a 2.24 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts. Last season with the Devils, he finished with a 19-14-6 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

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