Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks is an All-Star again.
The NBA announced that Anthony has been picked to replace Cleveland forward Kevin Love on the Eastern Conference roster Sunday for the All-Star Game in New Orleans.
It’s the 10th All-Star selection for Anthony, and his eighth consecutive.
Love is expected to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee Tuesday. Injury replacements are chosen by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
JERUSALEM (AP) – In an embarrassment to the Israeli government, only five of 11 NFL players have arrived on a sponsored trip aimed at improving the country’s image.
The ministry for strategic affairs and public diplomacy issued an press release after the Super Bowl boasting that the visit would bring ”influencers” who would serve as ”goodwill ambassadors” when they returned home.
The announcement led Seattle Seahawks defense lineman Michael Bennett to pull out. He accused the government of trying to use him for PR purposes and cited sympathy for the Palestinians. Several others players followed suit.
Rambam hospital spokesman David Ratner said that only five players arrived for a planned visit to the hospital. The ministry declined to comment.
DETROIT (AP) – The Lions have begun a $100 million renovation to spruce up Ford Field, a project that’s scheduled to be completed before next season starts.
Team president Rod Wood says the improvements will make the facility ready to host another Super Bowl. Pittsburgh beat Seattle to win a Super Bowl at Ford Field in February 2006.
Wood says the 15-year-old stadium was due for a significant upgrade.
The highlight of the changes may be 152-foot wide videoboards above each end zone that will rank among the ten largest in the NFL after the original ones were among the league’s smallest last season. The Lions are also renovating 210,000 square feet of space throughout the facility, including its suites and club seats.
UNDATED – Vince Young still isn’t quite ready to call it a career.
The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback has hired agent Leigh Steinberg, who welcomed his new client on Twitter and said Young ”has dream of playing more football, being role model.”
Young, who turns 34 in May, hasn’t been on an NFL roster since the 2014 offseason, when he was with Cleveland for two weeks before being released. He hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game since 2011, when he was with Philadelphia.
After a record-filled college career at the University of Texas, which he led to the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl, Young was drafted No. 3 overall by Tennessee later that year. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl, and was selected again following the 2009 season but never fully lived up to lofty expectations.
President Donald Trump won’t be filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN this March, unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz says the network expressed its ”interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined.”
Obama, a basketball fan, would join the network on-camera and make his March Madness picks for both the men’s and women’s brackets. Last year, he nailed a number of upsets – most notably Hawaii knocking off fourth-seeded California in the opening round – but he had Villanova, the eventual national champion, losing in the Elite Eight.
Trump did make a prediction on the Super Bowl, picking New England to win by eight points. He wasn’t far off, as the Patriots rallied to beat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime.
White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells The Washington Post in an email, ”We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future.”
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Colorado State University looked into basketball coach Larry Eustachy in 2013-14 for creating an atmosphere of ”fear and intimidation” among his players.
In documents obtained by the Coloradoan and posted online, Eustachy acknowledged he ”crossed the line” and later said he would ”go way over the line at times” when asked about the atmosphere within the program by former athletic director Jack Graham. The documents also said the coach called players derogatory names, threw chairs, soda cans and erasers, along with punching a whiteboard.
Graham wrote to Eustachy in March 2014, saying the ”behaviors we discussed shall not occur again or the University will terminate its contract with you for just cause.”
Colorado State hired Eustachy in 2012. The school wouldn’t comment to The Associated Press.
WACO, Texas (AP) – A grand jury has declined an indictment against a Baylor University athletics official charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly grabbing a reporter by the throat following a football game.
The McLennan County grand jury declined the indictment against associate athletic director Heath Nielsen. The 17-year Baylor spokesman was accused of grabbing James McBride, a reporter for the Keller-based Texas Blaze newspaper, as McBride tried to take a picture with a Baylor player on Nov. 5.
According to an arrest affidavit, McBride said Nielsen told him he was violating his media privileges. The affidavit says McBride had visible scratches and complained of pain around his throat. McBride also told police it hurt to swallow.
Nielsen, who denied the charges, is no longer listed on the Baylor athletics website.