Review Category : National Sports

Jermaine O’Neal Ends Comeback Attempt

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Sport(DALLAS) — Despite initial plans to return for a 19th NBA season, veteran forward Jermaine O’Neal will not play this season.

O’Neal was coveted by the Dallas Mavericks among other teams, and despite training to prepare for the grind of the NBA season, O’Neal decided it wasn’t the right time to return.

“I don’t feel like I’m at that position now with just seven weeks of training, and I’m not comfortable making that commitment at this point,” O’Neal wrote in an Instagram post. “The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I’m a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life.”

ESPN reports that the Mavericks are still interested in signing O’Neal if he changes his mind. The Mavericks will also be signing former New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire once or if he clears waivers, ESPN adds.

A former All-Star during his time with the Indiana Pacers from 2000-2008, O’Neal transformed himself into a reliable bench player capable of playing good defense. During his career, O’Neal has averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

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Report: Stoudemire Joining Mavericks

NBA via New York Knicks(DALLAS, Tx.) — The Dallas Mavericks are on the brink of signing Amar’e Stoudemire after his recent contract buyout from the New York Knicks.

Stoudemire cleared waivers Monday night and has committed to joining the Mavericks, according to RealGM.com.

After acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics earlier this season, Dallas has been intent on adding size to its front court. The Mavericks were also interested in signing Jermaine O’Neal, who has been rehabbing a knee injury, but the 6’11” O’Neal announced on his Instagram page that he suffered a setback and would not return this season.

Stoudemire, 32 is currently averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds in 26 games this season.

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ESPN: Bucks Talking Buyout with Center Larry Sanders

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The fallout between the Milwaukee Bucks and Larry Sanders could result in the two sides parting ways. ESPN is reporting that the Bucks and Sanders have began discussion regarding a buyout that would make Sanders a free agent.

A talented player, Sanders hasn’t played since Dec. 23, when he was suspended by the team for 10 games for violating the league’s anti-drug program. He’s since been listed out for “personal reasons.”

“Soon you all will know the truth,” Sanders tweeted last week.

In the summer of 2013, Sanders signed a four-year extension with the Bucks worth $44 million. Since signing that deal, he’s only appeared in 50 games as a result of suspensions and injuries.

When he plays, Sanders is still a valuable basketball player. Still just 26 years old, Sanders is averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 26 games while averaging 21.7 points per game.

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Jhalil Okafor Considering Staying at Duke for Another Year

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — While many have Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor penciled in as the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Okafor says jumping to the NBA after this season is no sure thing.

By all accounts, Okafor has been one of the most dominant players in college basketball this season. In his first collegiate season, Okafor is averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Okafor has been so impressive, he’s considered by many as the top collegiate prospect.

“I know I’ll be in position to live my dream in the NBA or live my dream and stay here at Duke with people who truly love me,” Okafor said via Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I totally feel comfortable with staying here in college, and my family wouldn’t care one bit as long as I’m happy. They know how much I love being here.

“I love everything about Duke. I wish I could just stop time and be able to enjoy this as much as I can.”

Around this time last season, former Duke freshman sensation Jabari Parker said he was also considering staying for his sophomore season, but wound up declaring and was the second pick in the draft.

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Predators Acquire Defenseman Cody Franson from the Maple Leafs

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The top team in the NHL has added even more reinforcements as they’ve acquired defenseman Cody Franson and center Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In exchange, the Predators will send the Maple Leafs forward Olli Jokinen, prospect Brendan Leipsic, and a 2015 first-round pick.

“In preparation for the 2015 playoff run, our goal was to add a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a proven forward who could move up and down lineup based on the situation,” Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the trade deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and gel with their teammates.”

Both Franson and Santorelli began their careers with the Predators, and are also both set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

In 55 games this season, Franson has 32 points, while Santorelli has 29 points in 57 games.

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Jason Giambi Announces He’s Retiring

Doug Pensinger(NEW YORK) — Former American League MVP Jason Giambi told the New York Daily News Monday he is retiring.

The 44-year-old Giambi has spent his last six seasons playing with the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians serving as a pinch-hitter/designated hitter while dealing with various injuries.

Giambi was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1992 Amateur Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He made the big league club in 1995 and then played seven seasons in Oakland. During that time he hit .300 with 187 home runs, 715 RBIs and a .406 on-base percentage. He also won his only MVP Award while with the Athletics in 2000.

In 2002 he signed with the Yankees where he played seven seasons and smacked 209 home runs.

Giambi finished his 20 major league seasons as a .277 hitter with 440 home runs, 1,441 RBIs and a .399 on-base percentage.

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ESPN: Yankees Offer Rodriguez Yankee Stadium to Make Apology

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees want third baseman Alex Rodriguez to apologize in front of the media before pitchers and catchers report to spring training Friday, and according to ESPN, the team has offered Rodriguez the use of Yankee Stadium to do it.

ESPN reports, the 39-year-old Rodriguez and the Yankees met last Tuesday when Rodriguez agreed to publicly apologize for his season-long suspension for performance-enhancing drug use.

After Rodriguez and the Yankees met last Tuesday, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and team executives told Rodriguez they wanted him to talk with the media before spring training to try and avoid having a distraction in Tampa.

There isn’t an exact date or location set for the news conference.

Rodriguez is a three-time MVP who over 20 major league seasons has hit .299 with 654 home runs and a .384 on-base percentage.

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Brandt Snedeker Wins Again At Pebble Beach

Harry How/Getty Images(PEBBLE BEACH Calif.) — Brandt Snedeker picked up his seventh victory of his TOUR career at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday and clinched a Masters berth.

Snedeker finished five under in the final round for a total of 22 under for the weekend to hold off Nick Watney, who finished three shots back.

“I knew where my game was coming into here,” Snedeker said. “I don’t think anybody else believed me or understood how good I thought I was playing.”

Snedeker made 23 birdies and just one bogey this week and did the best he could on the course.

“Greens were very hard to read,” Snedeker said. “I did a great job of staying patient. It was not by any means a picture perfect ground. I made a lot of mistakes.”

“I did a good job at putting the ball where you’re supposed to,” he continued.

Snedeker won last year at Pebble Beach as well and the victory moved him to No. 31 in the world, which should put him in all the World Golf Championship events.

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Brandt Snedeker Wins Again At Pebble Beach

Harry How/Getty Images(PEBBLE BEACH Calif.) — Brandt Snedeker picked up his seventh victory of his TOUR career at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday and clinched a Masters berth.

Snedeker finished five under in the final round for a total of 22 under for the weekend to hold off Nick Watney, who finished three shots back.

“I knew where my game was coming into here,” Snedeker said. “I don’t think anybody else believed me or understood how good I thought I was playing.”

Snedeker made 23 birdies and just one bogey this week and did the best he could on the course.

“Greens were very hard to read,” Snedeker said. “I did a great job of staying patient. It was not by any means a picture perfect ground. I made a lot of mistakes.”

“I did a good job at putting the ball where you’re supposed to,” he continued.

Snedeker won last year at Pebble Beach as well and the victory moved him to No. 31 in the world, which should put him in all the World Golf Championship events.

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Kevin Durant Defends Scott Brooks, Not a Fan of the Media

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(NEW YORK) — Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant is tired of people asking about his head coach Scott Brooks job security.

Durant told reporters in New York on Saturday that they don’t know what they’re talking about in regards to that situation and even told them what questions they should ask instead.

“You guys really don’t know s—,” Durant told reporters when asked about Scott.

Brooks is in his seventh year coaching in Oklahoma City and has a 321-195 record, but the Thunder only have one NBA Finals appearance to show for it.

“To be honest, man, I’m only here talking to y’all because I have to,” Durant continued. “So I really don’t care. Y’all not my friends. You’re going to write what you want to write. You’re going to love us one day and hate us the next. That’s a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y’all.”

Durant was voted the MVP last year and beat out LeBron James, but said on Friday that the media has too much power when it comes to voting.

“Yeah, I think media and guys get too much power to vote on stuff that quite frankly I don’t think you really know a lot about [or] as much as we know about it,” Durant said. “So, yeah, we play against these guys every single night. We battle against these guys. We know what they say on the court. We know how they handle their teammates. We know how they approach the game and our vote should count. Our opinions should count. Like I said, I don’t think you guys know as much as we do, and I don’t see why you have more power than we do.”

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