Tuesday’s Sports in Brief
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia 76ers team president Bryan Colangelo is denying a report connecting the executive to Twitter accounts that criticized Sixers players Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, among other NBA figures.
The Ringer asked the team about five Twitter accounts it suspected Colangelo was operating. He said in a statement he used one of the accounts to monitor the NBA industry and other current events, but he was ”not familiar with any of the other accounts” brought to his attention and he didn’t know who was ”behind them or what their motives may be in using them.”
Embiid told ESPN on Tuesday night that Colangelo called him and denied the story. Yahoo Sports reported Colangelo was standing by his statement to The Ringer. A message was left by The Associated Press seeking comment from the Sixers.
Earlier in the day, a person familiar with the situation confirmed the 76ers and coach Brett Brown agreed to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2021-22 season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been officially announced.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Just about everything the Ball family does gets attention, and LiAngelo Ball’s pre-draft workout with the Lakers was no exception.
About two dozen members of the media watched Ball’s final drills while Magic Johnson and Lakers coach Luke Walton looked on. Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo’s older brother, was there for the workout as well.
”I feel like it went good,” the younger Ball said. ”It’s always fun being in here doing things I want to get better at. It was a good workout.”
LaVar Ball has been outspoken about his desire for all three of his sons – Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, the youngest – to play for the Lakers. The Lakers have the 25th pick in the first round next month, though LiAngelo Ball’s draft prospects are uncertain. He wasn’t even scheduled to be a starter at UCLA before leaving the program after being indefinitely suspended for an international incident last year in China. He also had a stint with the professional Lithuanian team Vytautas.
LiAngelo Ball confirmed that he has an upcoming workout with the Golden State Warriors. He also said he’ll play in the NBA summer league, but he is not sure which team he’ll play for yet.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Vegas Golden Knights still think Tom Wilson’s third-period hit on Jonathan Marchessault was very late and probably dirty.
They also believe it sparked their comeback victory in the Stanley Cup Final opener.
Wilson and the Washington Capitals still insist he did nothing wrong when he leveled the Golden Knights’ top playoff scorer. The NHL agreed with Wilson on Tuesday, declining to discipline the hard-charging forward.
But after the collision and the resulting scrums, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant saw a renewed vigor in his Knights. They quickly got Tomas Nosek’s go-ahead goal and surged one game closer to an improbable championship.
Game 2 is Wednesday night on the Strip. Both teams intend to channel their nervous energy more constructively after an entertainingly ramshackle opener.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign into law bills inspired by the Larry Nassar scandal, including one approved Tuesday that would give childhood sexual abuse victims more time to sue.
The current cutoff to file a lawsuit in Michigan is generally a minor victim’s 19th birthday, which critics say is out of step with the laws in other states and does not account for how many victims are afraid to report abuse or have suppressed it.
On a 34-2 vote, the Republican-led state Senate gave final approval to a measure that would allow people who were sexually abused as children to sue until their 28th birthdays or three years from when they realized they had been abused. Nassar victims would get a 90-day window to sue retroactively, leading some state senators from both parties to reluctantly vote for the legislation after the state House scaled backed the retroactively provision to not include other victims abused as children since 1997.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon believes Anthony Rizzo’s slide that upended Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz at home plate on Monday is still perfectly legal. So does Maddon’s superstar first baseman.
Major League Baseball? Not so much.
MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre informed both clubs on Tuesday that Rizzo should have been called for interference for swiping Diaz’s right leg while Diaz attempted to make a throw to first base to complete a potential double play in the eighth inning of Chicago’s 7-0 victory on Memorial Day.
Diaz’s throw ended up sailing into right field, allowing two runs to score. The Pirates challenged the call on the field but replay officials opted not to overturn it.
Nearly 24 hours later, MLB believes Rizzo violated Rule 6.01 (i), which states ”if a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference.”
Maddon called it the ”perfect play” on Monday and didn’t back down even after what he called a respectful back-and-forth with Torre.