Friday’s Sports In Brief
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Magic Johnson pointed a long index finger at the wall of the Los Angeles Lakers’ training complex, where the 16-time NBA champions’ nine retired numbers hang over the practice court.
”I’m going to put a little pressure on you right now,” Johnson said to Lonzo Ball. ”You look to your right, there’s some jerseys hanging on that wall. We expect a Ball jersey hanging up there one day, all right? Good.”
Somebody not wearing Big Baller Brand sneakers might be a bit intimidated by Magic’s bold pronouncements. After all, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations immediately dubbed his 19-year-old point guard ”the new face of the Lakers, the guy who I think will lead us back to where we want to get to.”
But after a short lifetime spent preparing for this moment, Ball already knows exactly what’s expected from a superstar on his favorite team.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Blake Griffin has decided to test free agency, telling the Los Angeles Clippers that he is opting out of the final year of his contract.
A person with direct knowledge of Griffin’s plans confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the five-time All-Star nor the Clippers have publicly announced the move.
The move was expected, and gives Griffin the chance to either pursue a deal elsewhere – or, of course, re-sign with the Clippers for more years.
NEW YORK (AP) – Chris Paul was re-elected president of the National Basketball Players Association.
Paul’s new four-year term begins immediately. He will be assisted by the union’s newly elected vice president, Garrett Temple of the Sacramento Kings.
The other members of the NBA’s Executive Committee are First Vice President LeBron James, Secretary-Treasurer James Jones, and Vice Presidents Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Pau Gasol and Anthony Tolliver.
BOSTON (AP) – David Ortiz stepped up to the microphone, wiped the tears from his eyes and waited for the sold-out Fenway crowd to shout ”Papi!” a few more times.
The Red Sox stood at the top step of their dugout. The Los Angeles Angels tipped their caps. Friends and family and dignitaries from two countries lined the infield. Three World Series trophies glistened in the twilight sun.
Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Pedro Martinez, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice – whose numbers preceded Ortiz’s to the Fenway facade – were the only ones who could know how he felt.
Ortiz retired last season as one of the most productive offensive players in franchise history, and the single-most important player to wear a Red Sox uniform in a century. With three World Series titles – including the 2004 championship that ended an 86-year drought – Ortiz dragged the ballclub out of its dynasty of disappointment and gave a fresh generation of Bostonians reason to fall in love with the Red Sox anew.
MIAMI (AP) – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.
Bush has joined forces with businessman Tagg Romney in a group trying to buy the Marlins, two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the parties involved in the sales talks aren’t commenting publicly.
One of the people said South Florida businessman Jorge Mas has contacted the Marlins to say he’s leading a group interested in buying the franchise, meaning at least three groups are pursuing a deal.
Bush and Jeter, the 14-time New York Yankees All-Star shortstop, led rival groups earlier this year. They then joined forces, but Bush dropped out in May.
Now they’re rivals again, and Jeter is still exploring financing options.
CHICAGO (AP) – Cody Glass played in a youth hockey tournament in Las Vegas when he was 10. His Junior Steelers team finished a disappointing second.
He is looking forward to many more games in Sin City.
Glass was selected by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights with their first-ever pick, going No. 6 overall as part of a parade of forwards at the top of the NHL draft. The 18-year-old Canadian center had 32 goals and 62 assists in 69 games last season for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
The first NHL draft in Chicago began with another 18-year-old forward, with Swiss center Nico Hischier going No. 1 overall to the New Jersey Devils. The Philadelphia Flyers then grabbed Nolan Patrick at No. 2.
Ten of the top 13 picks were listed as centers. Defensemen Miro Heiskanen (No. 3 overall to Dallas) and Cale Makar (No. 4 to Colorado) and right wing Owen Tippett (No. 10 to Florida) were the lone exceptions.
CHICAGO (AP) – The St. Louis Blues acquired center Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers in completing two trades during the first round of the NHL draft.
In exchange for the three-time 20-goal-scorer, the Flyers got the Blues’ first-round pick this year, a conditional first-round pick in next year’s draft and third-year forward Jori Lehtera.
The Blues weren’t done dealing. They traded back into the first round by acquiring the No. 31 pick from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. St. Louis also acquired rookie forward Oskar Sundqvist.
The Penguins added toughness by acquiring seven-year veteran forward Ryan Reaves and the Blues’ second-round pick, 51st overall.
CHICAGO (AP) – General manager Stan Bowman promised changes were coming after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Boy, he wasn’t kidding.
Chicago re-acquired Brandon Saad and parted with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin in a pair of surprising trades, giving the Blackhawks a younger look and more cost certainty for their roster.
Bowman traded forwards Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago’s sixth-round selection in this weekend’s NHL draft to Columbus for Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick next year. The deal was announced less than an hour after Hjalmarsson was traded to Arizona for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Coyotes acquired center Derek Stepan and goalie Antti Raanta from the New York Rangers for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick in the draft.
The Coyotes have made massive changes since Andrew Barroway became sole owner earlier this month, trading away No. 1 goalie Mike Smith, parting ways with coach Dave Tippett and opting not to offer captain Shane Doan a contract. Arizona also acquired defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson from Chicago earlier Friday.
Stepan and Raanta should address two big needs.
The Rangers took Swedish forward Lias Andersson with the No. 7 pick.