Review Category : National Sports

Phoenix Suns Name Earl Watson as Head Coach

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — The Phoenix Suns have named their new head coach.

Interim coach Earl Watson has officially been made full-time, and according to ESPN, he’s agreed to a three-year deal with the team.

Watson, who replaced Jeff Hornacek after was fired in February, is now the NBA’s youngest coach at 36 years old.

“Earl did a very good job with our team last season after taking over as interim head coach during a challenging time for the organization,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough in a statement. “Earl’s natural leadership qualities and his ability to connect with and motivate our players have stood out throughout his time here in Phoenix. We are excited to see what he can do with a healthy roster after having a full offseason to prepare.”

Under Watson this season, the Suns went 9-24 in 33 games, finishing with a 23-59 record– the second-worst in franchise history.

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UFC Star Conor McGregor Tweets ‘I Have Decided to Retire Young’

Steve Marcus/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Is Conor McGregor retiring?

The 27-year-old Ultimate Fighting Championship star sent a shocking tweet Tuesday apparently announcing his decision to retire.

“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later,” said the tweet.

McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, later tweeted, “Well was fun while it lasted.”

The news comes a week after fellow fighter Joao Carvalho died from injuries suffered during a fight in Dublin, Ireland this month.

In a Facebook post after Carvalho’s death, McGregor– who was at the fight– wrote, “To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking.”

I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016

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Johnny Manziel’s Agent Ends Ties with Quarterback

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has been officially dropped by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, a source tells ESPN.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday: “And now Drew Rosenhaus officially has terminated Johnny Manziel, making him second agent in two months to fire the talented and troubled QB.”

Rosenhaus had announced his decision to end his relationship with Manziel last week, telling Schefter he did so “in the hopes of helping him get the treatment I believe he needs.”

The news comes as prosecutors in Dallas are expected to present a case against Manziel to a grand jury later this week regarding accusations that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend in January.

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Michael Strahan Joins “Good Morning America” Full-Time, Leaving “Live”

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — New York Giants great Michael Strahan will be leaving his co-hosting role on Live with Kelly and Michael to join ABC News’ Good Morning America full-time, according to ABC News President James Goldston.

The Hall of Famer had been doing guest spots on GMA for the past couple years, but the move will pave the way for a permanent position. The shift will happen in September.

“Over the past two years on GMA, Michael’s proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans and all kinds of newsmakers to a host of modern American cultural icons,” Goldston said in a statement Tuesday.

Strahan, 44, joined Live in 2012 after making numerous guest spots, where he was a fan favorite, alongside co-host Kelly Ripa, who has been with the morning show since the early 2000s.

LIVE will kick off the search for a new co-host when the new season begins in the fall,” Goldston added.

Strahan, who will also continue as co-host on NFL on Fox, said he looks “forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience.”

“My time with LIVE with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans,” he added.

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Exclusive: Why Adam LaRoche Has ‘Zero Regrets’ Walking Away from Chicago White Sox

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Adam LaRoche said he decided to resign from the Chicago White Sox about 20 minutes after “a short, heated conversation” in which he was told he could no longer bring his 14-year-old son to the team clubhouse, telling ABC News in an exclusive interview that he didn’t hold any grudges and wouldn’t rule out returning to baseball.

The first baseman had played 12 seasons for seven different teams and his son, Drake, has been with him practically all the time. Drake even had a locker right next to his dad’s in the White Sox’s clubhouse.

LaRoche, 36, acknowledged that exceptions had probably been made to allow Drake’s presence and that he knew it could come to an end at any time. Nevertheless, he said he was “mad at the time” when Ken Williams, the team’s vice president, made the decision.

“I don’t hold a grudge. I don’t hate anybody over there. You know, it just made my decision easy,” LaRoche, alongside his son, told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes, adding, “Honestly, it’s not the end of the world to me. And I thank my parents for that. The way I was raised. Because baseball — and I’ve said it before, I don’t want to be defined by this game. I know there’s a lot more to life.”

Williams had previously addressed Drake’s presence with LaRoche, the player said, adding that he assumed Williams was referring to his son’s presence during the regular season, so he kept bringing Drake with him for spring training. In his next conversation with Williams, LaRoche said the team’s vice president told him, “’Enough’s enough.’”

LaRoche acknowledged that he had been playing poorly, and said he understood if Williams had wanted his full focus to be on the game. “He may have thought [Drake’s presence] was a distraction. It’s absolutely reasonable. That’s why I say I really can’t, you know, looking back now, I can’t blame him,” he said.

At the time, though, LaRoche took exception to Williams’ directive, saying, “All I could hear was … ‘I don’t want your son around.'”

Drake, 14, said he felt it was “normal” to be at the ballpark with his father every day. While his father trained, Drake would clean the other players’ cleats and run other errands, including washing cars and retrieving items from players’ lockers.

“I vacuumed sometimes,” Drake said, adding that he misses his father’s former teammates, whom he viewed as his own friends. “They’re awesome.”

LaRoche’s exit from the team meant he gave up the $13 million left on his contract for this season. LaRoche has already earned an estimated $70 million in his career, according to ESPN.

In an interview with Fox Sports after LaRoche’s resignation, Williams said he asked the player to “dial it back” when it came to bringing Drake to White Sox practices and the team’s clubhouse.

“All I’m asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back,” Williams said he told LaRoche. “I don’t think he should be here 100 percent of the time – and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse.”

LaRoche said his teammates have been supportive of his decision, adding that some of them were closer to Drake than they were to him.

Being available for Drake during his formative years was essential, LaRoche said.

“Our kids are going to follow in our footsteps, good or bad. And you know, we got a small window here, a very small window here, to turn them into the men that they’re going to be. And I don’t want to miss six months of that window, even for $13 million.”

LaRoche said he didn’t tell Drake that he was at the center of his retirement decision. He simply told him there had been “’a change in policy. They’re cracking down on kids coming — not just you.’”

LaRoche and his family — Drake, daughter Montana and wife Jennifer – are now on a road trip across the country.

“This has been nice — just the four of us, cooped up in an R.V. We’re going to find how much we love each other, or hate each other; one way or the other. So we’re having a blast,” he said.

After they’re done, they’ll return to their ranch in Kansas and see what happens next.

“One of the things I probably thought the longest on was making sure that, if I did this, that he would never feel like this was on his shoulders,” LaRoche said of Drake. “I think he knows, deep down, that baseball was never, like, my life or my world or everything to me.”

In addition to devoting time to his community and his businesses, LaRoche also plans to continue his work fighting child trafficking in Asia. He spent 10 days undercover in the red light districts of southeast Asia, working with a non-profit organization to help victims of sex trafficking.

“I think having my own kid, having two kids of my own, especially a 12-year-old daughter, it’s impossible not to picture, you know, ‘What if this was my daughter?,'” LaRoche said.

When asked if baseball wasn’t as important to him after the trip, LaRoche replied, “It wasn’t at all.”

LaRoche, a devout Christian, stands by his decision to resign, saying he believes his action was directed by “our creator.”

Asked about a possible return to baseball, LaRoche replied: “I’m going to leave that up to the Lord. And if, for some reason, he wants me to go play again, then I won’t be able to turn that down.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 4/18/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Minnesota 7, Milwaukee 4 (5 1/2 innings, called for rain)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto 4, Boston 3
L.A. Angels 7, Chi White Sox 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N-Y Mets 5, Philadelphia 2
Colorado 5, Cincinnati 1
Miami 6, Washington 1
Chi Cubs 5, St. Louis 0
Arizona 9, San Francisco 7

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Toronto 98, Indiana 87
Dallas 85, Oklahoma City 84
Golden State 115, Houston 106

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Washington 6, Philadelphia 1
Minnesota 5, Dallas 3
Los Angeles 2, San Jose 1

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry Out for Game 2 Against Rockets

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Stephen Curry was out with a right ankle injury for Game 2 of the playoff series against the Rockets Monday night.

The Golden State Warriors guard first injured his ankle during Saturday’s 105-78 victory against Houston when he landed awkwardly in the first half.

Curry, who has a history of ankle problems, tried to return later in that game only to be taken out by coach Steve Kerr.

After Saturday’s game, he said he would be able to play Monday: “Right now, don’t see a scenario where I’ll be out.”

Curry leads the NBA with 30.1 points per game.

The Warriors previously defeated Houston 114-110 in December when they were without Curry and with Klay Thompson, who scored 38 points in that game.

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Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan Introduces Donald Trump at NY Rally

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump at a rally on Monday night.

“What I admire about him is, you know what, he’ll say what’s on his mind,” he said at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. “And so many times, you’ll see people, a lot of people, want to say the same things, but there’s a big difference. They don’t have the courage to say it.”

Earlier in the day, Ryan said his speech was not an endorsement.

“I’m gonna introduce him, that’s a true statement,” he said at a press conference according to ESPN. “But I’m not gonna say who my endorsement is and all that stuff.”

The Bills said in a statement that they do not endorse political candidates.

“It is a personal decision by Rex to introduce Donald Trump at this evening’s rally. The Bills organization does not endorse political candidates, and so he is not representing the organization at tonight’s event,” the statement said according to ESPN.

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Boston Marathon Survivor Ran 2016 Race as ‘Giant Thank You’

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Three years ago, when terrorist bombs rained down on the Boston Marathon, Adrianne Haslet-Davis and her husband were injured while on the sidelines.

Haslet-Davis had to have her lower left leg amputated. She had been a professional ballroom dancer at the time of the 2013 blast.

Monday, she returned to the 26.2 mile race — this time as a competitor.

“I wanted to say a giant thank you to anyone who’s ever reached out, given a hug or a letter or kind words to myself and all the other survivors,” she told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston.

Haslet-Davis, who is running to raise funds for the Limbs for Life Foundation, has received tons of support. Even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sent words of encouragement her way.

“Two years ago I was lucky enough to meet Adrianne Haslet, a survivor of the 2013 Marathon bombings,” he wrote Monday on Facebook. “She’s on the course now, running the race for the first time — with a prosthetic leg. Adrianne thank you for being my inspiration!! #?BostonStrong?.”

Haslet-Davis is slated to cross the finish line Monday evening and expects it will be an emotional experience.

“I just hope I have enough hydration to cry and run at the same time,” she said.

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