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[ {"id":"597ba143-a753-5d47-9b25-5539e53f650f","type":"collection","starttime":"1656338400","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-27T09:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656595114","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Q&A: Why is Brittney Griner detained in Russia and when might she be released?","url":"http://leetemplates.com/news/national/collection_597ba143-a753-5d47-9b25-5539e53f650f.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/news/national/collection_597ba143-a753-5d47-9b25-5539e53f650f.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/tncms/asset/editorial/e4f9ff4e-f61b-11ec-ba67-9fa6fb490d17/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":9,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Myah Taylor, Los Angeles Times","prologue":"WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17. Her arrest, incarceration and the fight to bring her home has triggered extensive questions The Times asked an array of experts to help answer.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","wnba","basketball","brittney griner"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"vertical_gallery","images":[{"id":"d3c6d9de-800c-57ff-a08d-3c5e1c77907d","description":"Griner, who led the Phoenix Mercury to a WNBA championship in 2014, earned seven All-Star appearances and led the league in scoring twice (2017, 2019), is a 6-foot-9 Baylor alum. She is a two-time WNBA defensive player of the year and two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is often referred to as \"BG\" by friends and teammates. Her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, wrote in an essay for The Times that Griner has a megawatt smile, gives the warmest hugs you'll ever receive, keeps shoes in the trunk of her to car to give to people experiencing houselessness around Phoenix and does volunteer work with kids who are bullied as she was as a child. Like many of her peers, she chose to spend her WNBA offseason competing in Russia. She played for UMMC Ekaterinburg, an elite club whose salaries far exceed the combined value of her WNBA and endorsement revneue.","byline":"Rick Scuteri","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3c/d3c6d9de-800c-57ff-a08d-3c5e1c77907d/62b9b4f8da385.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3c/d3c6d9de-800c-57ff-a08d-3c5e1c77907d/62b9b4f8da385.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3c/d3c6d9de-800c-57ff-a08d-3c5e1c77907d/62b9b4f8da385.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3c/d3c6d9de-800c-57ff-a08d-3c5e1c77907d/62b9b4f8da385.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}},{"id":"39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928","description":"On Feb.17, just before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Griner was en route to join her club in Ekaterinburg after a FIBA team break when Russian officials took Griner into custody at a Moscow airport and charged her with drug smuggling. Authorities say they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil, an illegal substance in Russia, in Griner's luggage. Some national security analysts question whether Griner was actually carrying the vape cartridges, suggesting the charge has yet to be proved. Under Russian law, Griner could face up to 10 years in prison. On June 14, Griner's detention was extended a third time to July 2, and it's unclear when she will face trial.","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1181,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/9f/39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928/62b9b4f950a2f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1600","height":"1181","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/9f/39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928/62b9b4f9504f9.image.jpg?resize=1600%2C1181"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/9f/39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928/62b9b4f9504f9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/9f/39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928/62b9b4f9504f9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C221"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"756","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/9f/39fa924a-a198-57cf-8a83-39b99f5db928/62b9b4f9504f9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C756"}}},{"id":"fb86bc92-e13c-5d90-90a7-eaec6a472b05","description":"The U.S. State Department classified Griner as \"wrongfully detained\" on April 29. \"Though she was arrested by a state government abroad, the U.S. government considers that arrest illegitimate,\" said Danielle Gilbert, an assistant professor of military and strategic studies at the United States Air Force Academy whose expertise centers around hostage taking and hostage recovery. \"An international detention can be illegitimate for a number of reasons, including the fact that a foreign government might be holding her hostage, which is to say using her for leverage.\"","byline":"Rick Scuteri","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b8/fb86bc92-e13c-5d90-90a7-eaec6a472b05/62b9b4fa0cfb4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b8/fb86bc92-e13c-5d90-90a7-eaec6a472b05/62b9b4fa0cfb4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b8/fb86bc92-e13c-5d90-90a7-eaec6a472b05/62b9b4fa0cfb4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b8/fb86bc92-e13c-5d90-90a7-eaec6a472b05/62b9b4fa0cfb4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"a882e5e4-216a-5711-8259-975a54a1e2ff","description":"U.S. officials first saw Griner on March 23, more than a month after she was arrested, and \"found her to be in good condition,\" according Price. Griner is able to receive limited letters from family members, friends and teammates that are screened by Russian officials, but she notably has not spoken to her wife, Cherelle, since her detention began. A call was arranged during their anniversary last week, but the U.S. government confirmed to the Associated Press there was a miscommunication about the timing and no one at the U.S. embassy in Moscow was available to connect the call. The call is being rescheduled, but it still falls short of the level of contact her supporters are seeking.","byline":"Alexander Zemlianichenko","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/88/a882e5e4-216a-5711-8259-975a54a1e2ff/62b9b4fa51219.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/88/a882e5e4-216a-5711-8259-975a54a1e2ff/62b9b4fa51219.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/88/a882e5e4-216a-5711-8259-975a54a1e2ff/62b9b4fa51219.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/88/a882e5e4-216a-5711-8259-975a54a1e2ff/62b9b4fa51219.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}},{"id":"806be42e-deda-5da7-9ca6-6dc414ccb679","description":"As of June, Griner has been detained for four months. Her detention could stretch for a significant period of time. \"State hostage takings last far longer than kidnappings by non-state actors [a criminal, terrorist or rebel group] and it's usually in the territory of months if not years,\" Gilbert said.","byline":"Alexander Zemlianichenko","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/06/806be42e-deda-5da7-9ca6-6dc414ccb679/62b9b4fa85a60.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/06/806be42e-deda-5da7-9ca6-6dc414ccb679/62b9b4fa85a60.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/06/806be42e-deda-5da7-9ca6-6dc414ccb679/62b9b4fa85a60.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/06/806be42e-deda-5da7-9ca6-6dc414ccb679/62b9b4fa85a60.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}},{"id":"9f5e9aa0-62a6-5d68-8cf1-25dd1cfdf284","description":"Nneka Ogwumike, a Sparks forward and president of the WNBA Player's Association also represented by Colas, told The Times Griner's supporters are calling on the U.S. government to bring Griner home. \"We implore upon the White House, the Biden administration, Vice President Kamala Harris to do something,\" Ogwumike said. \" To show action that shows that she is high priority because that's not what's happening. That's not what we're seeing. Words can only go so far. We have to feel the action, and every day without BG is every day of a reality we don't want to be a part of. But we're going to continue to raise awareness and bring attention to the White House and what needs to be done.\"","byline":"Darryl Webb","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"756","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f5/9f5e9aa0-62a6-5d68-8cf1-25dd1cfdf284/62b9b4fac58db.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C756"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f5/9f5e9aa0-62a6-5d68-8cf1-25dd1cfdf284/62b9b4fac58db.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f5/9f5e9aa0-62a6-5d68-8cf1-25dd1cfdf284/62b9b4fac58db.image.jpg?resize=300%2C221"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"756","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f5/9f5e9aa0-62a6-5d68-8cf1-25dd1cfdf284/62b9b4fac58db.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C756"}}},{"id":"f8c19a08-60ab-5870-a055-83f4eafac816","description":"Whelan, the other American wrongfully detained in Russia on espionage charges, became a prisoner before officials arrested Reed in 2019. Reed's release before Whelan's indicates that hostage negotiations aren't linear and depend on each individual case. Reed had health issues, which may have had a significant influence on Richardson's negotiations. Whether Griner or Whelan will return first is uncertain.","byline":"Darryl Webb","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"695","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/8c/f8c19a08-60ab-5870-a055-83f4eafac816/62b9b4fb2de06.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C695"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/8c/f8c19a08-60ab-5870-a055-83f4eafac816/62b9b4fb2de06.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/8c/f8c19a08-60ab-5870-a055-83f4eafac816/62b9b4fb2de06.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"695","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/8c/f8c19a08-60ab-5870-a055-83f4eafac816/62b9b4fb2de06.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C695"}}},{"id":"8ff0db0c-c0f7-57af-b4ad-9bb3385a87bf","description":"Griner is a Black, gender non-conforming, lesbian woman. Supporters have suggested her marginalized identities explain why she received muted media coverage upon her arrest and why the government has not moved to free her. Coverage of Griner's detainment was initially hushed to prioritize her well-being and to make her less alluring to Russian officials hoping to utilize her celebrity as leverage.","byline":"Ralph Freso","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ff/8ff0db0c-c0f7-57af-b4ad-9bb3385a87bf/62b9b4fb61e35.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ff/8ff0db0c-c0f7-57af-b4ad-9bb3385a87bf/62b9b4fb61e35.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ff/8ff0db0c-c0f7-57af-b4ad-9bb3385a87bf/62b9b4fb61e35.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ff/8ff0db0c-c0f7-57af-b4ad-9bb3385a87bf/62b9b4fb61e35.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}},{"id":"c359ab56-c686-5e29-a434-25288d954852","description":"Once the U.S. government officially classified Griner as wrongfully detained, Colas and her team focused on a public and private strategy for rallying support for bringing the star home. 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For many sports fans, success is determined by their city\u2019s postseason participation and the number of championships they win. But before the title run, they have to make the playoffs first. Researchers reviewed all 76 NBA seasons to tally the total number of playoff seasons for each location and then ranked them accordingly.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lattice","entertainment","ldcjd"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"vertical_gallery","images":[{"id":"be049927-87e3-5314-af56-5952ac0a1047","description":"Photo Credit: Oleksii Sidorov / Shutterstock With the 2021-22 NBA season drawing to a close this month, the league\u2019s teams and fans are taking stock of the year and looking ahead to next season. Only one franchise can hoist the Larry O\u2019Brien trophy each June, but teams can have successful or unsuccessful years in other ways. This season, upstart teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors exceeded expectations on their way to playoff berths, while star-studded squads like the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers delivered disappointing campaigns.","byline":"Shutterstock","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1000","height":"667","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be049927-87e3-5314-af56-5952ac0a1047/62aca89d80cef.image.jpg?resize=1000%2C667"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be049927-87e3-5314-af56-5952ac0a1047/62aca89d80cef.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be049927-87e3-5314-af56-5952ac0a1047/62aca89d80cef.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be049927-87e3-5314-af56-5952ac0a1047/62aca89d80cef.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"af4fc9cf-c5fb-51f6-b7b8-e786e2da3d72","description":"For cities longing for playoff basketball, the NBA created a new way for teams to qualify with the introduction of the play-in tournament in the 2019-20 season. 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To find the cities with the most NBA playoff seasons, researchers at HotDog.com ranked U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas according to total NBA playoff seasons. In the analysis, a playoff season was defined as a season in which a metro area was represented by at least one NBA team in the playoffs. Regular season tiebreakers and play-in tournament games were not counted as playoff games. Only locations with at least one playoff season were considered, and all NBA seasons since the NBA was founded in 1946 were included. In the event of a tie, the location with the higher percentage of playoff seasons was ranked higher. Further ties were broken according to the most recent playoff season. 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FORT WORTH, Texas \u2014 A prominent American remains detained in Russia because Brittney Griner is not as prominent as her supporters want to believe.

Because Brittney Griner plays in the WNBA, not the NBA.

Because Brittney Griner is a woman.

Since we\u2019re being honest, it doesn\u2019t help that Brittney Griner is gay, too.

Since Brittney Griner was a star at Baylor, she always stood out.

She is now stuck in the bizarre circumstance because she doesn\u2019t stand out enough.

\u201cThis shows how women are fighting for equality and we still have to fight even when it\u2019s an American stuck in a Russian jail,\u201d said Arike Ogunbowale of the WNBA\u2019s Dallas Wings in a recent interview. \u201cIf this is LeBron James or Steph Curry, they\u2019d be home.\u201d

All true.

Griner has been one of the top players in women\u2019s basketball since she started at Baylor in 2009. She won an NCAA national title. She can dunk. She led Team USA to an Olympic gold medal.

That\u2019s not enough currency, nor clout.

Today, she\u2019s locked in a jail in Russia since her arrest in February after customs officials claimed she had vape cartridges with hashish oil.

According to the Associated Press, a court date for Griner is set for Friday, but she was ordered to remain in custody. Her detention there was extended six months.

She could face 10 years in prison. According to the AP: \u201cFewer than 1 percent of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.\u201d

Like a lot of top American women\u2019s basketball players, Griner was playing in Russia because it can be so lucrative.

Now, she\u2019s a political pawn with not enough status to be a political priority.

Because we have forgotten about Brittney Griner.

Since we\u2019re being honest, we forgot there is a war in Ukraine, too.

On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine and the Western world condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin\u2019s grandiose expansion plans.

Traditional media outlets and social media flooded the world with the surreal horrific images of war. Nearly five months later, the war continues but the headlines and the cries to do something fade daily.

Ogunbowale was in Russia playing professionally at the time of the invasion, and getting out was not exactly easy.

\u201cShe\u2019s a pawn in this game and (Russian officials) know she\u2019s an important part of the WNBA,\u201d Ogunbowale said.

Which is the problem.

Not the pawn part. The WNBA part.

Gabriel Castro is an attorney who works in Santa Clara, Calif. He specializes in immigration law, and he has worked with NBA, WNBA and NHL teams to handle visa issues.

\u201cIf this had happened in 200 other countries she would have been home by now,\u201d Castro said in a phone interview. \u201cShe would have been released prior to trial. It\u2019s 100 percent not common for someone of her prominence to be detained this long for such a small, small infraction.\u201d

Castro said under normal circumstances this sort of ordeal would be handled with \u201ca few phone calls,\u201d via a lawyer on the ground in Russia; there would also need to be some type of connections to the State Department.

It would be a complicated matter that would require some time, but it would be doable.

Griner remains stuck in a Russian jail because the United States imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of its invasion.

Castro figures Griner is detained \u201cnot in a Four Seasons, but it\u2019s not a place that would violate human rights. Still, it\u2019s not good,\u201d he said.

One potential scenario to expedite this is an exchange \u2014 Griner returns to the U.S. in a trade for Russian nationals imprisoned in the U.S.

Castro said Griner\u2019s status does carry weight in Russia.

\u201cShe\u2019s a celebrity held against her will and there is a political aspect to this,\u201d he said. \u201cShe does have value here, but we are not going to end sanctions over a detainee by any means.\u201d

She does have value here.

The question is, to what degree? The four-and-a-half-month answer is, \u201cNot enough.\u201d

Which is the part that rankles her friends, teammates and colleagues in the WNBA.

Because they feel Brittney Griner should be enough for the United States to make her a priority to bring her home.

Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally said, \u201cLet\u2019s be honest.

\u201cIf this was Shaq, he\u2019d be home.\u201d

Q&A: Why is Brittney Griner detained in Russia and when might she be released?
"}, {"id":"dde3f428-e5b4-5ac8-bfcd-9bd3fce278e5","type":"article","starttime":"1656638100","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-30T20:15:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"podcasts":"podcasts"},{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"}],"flags":{"ap":"true","alert":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Former NBA guard Craig Hodges discusses time with Bulls, marijuana use | Here Weed Go! podcast","url":"http://leetemplates.com/podcasts/article_dde3f428-e5b4-5ac8-bfcd-9bd3fce278e5.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/podcasts/article_dde3f428-e5b4-5ac8-bfcd-9bd3fce278e5.html","canonical":"https://omny.fm/shows/here-weed-go/its-nba-legend-craig-hodges","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":1,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"\ud83c\udfa7 An NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls discusses his career,\u00a0cannabis\u00a0advocacy and social justice work on the Here Weed Go! podcast.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","podcast","here-weed-goes","lifestyles"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"long_form","images":[{"id":"21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c","description":"","byline":"Here Weed Go!","hireswidth":1440,"hiresheight":1440,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/1e/21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c/62bb7db52d427.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1440","height":"1440","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/1e/21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c/62bb7db52cfa2.image.jpg?resize=1440%2C1440"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"100","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/1e/21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c/62bb7db52cfa2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C100"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"300","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/1e/21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c/62bb7db52cfa2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C300"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1024","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/1e/21e81e67-b3d9-52eb-8f3d-5e740b69578c/62bb7db52cfa2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1024"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"dde3f428-e5b4-5ac8-bfcd-9bd3fce278e5","body":"
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Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio
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In the latest episode of the Here Weed Go! podcast, host Eddie Celaya of the Arizona Daily Star\u00a0is joined by four-time NBA champion and cannabis advocate Craig Hodges.

Hodges, the subject of an upcoming documentary about his life, advocacy and social justice work, was one of the NBAs first true 3-point shooters, winning the league's 3-point contest three years in a row, a feat matched only by Larry Bird.

He still boats the single best round ever recorded in the contest, hitting 25 of a possible 30 shots.

For the first part of our discussion, Celaya talks with Hodges about his time growing up near Chicago, his history with cannabis and his college and professional basketball career.

Eventually, they touch on Hodges' time at Long Beach State under legendary coach Tex Winters, the approach to cannabis in the late 1970s and early '80s by the NCAA and NBA, and his now infamous trip with the Chicago Bulls to the White House after their second championship in 1991.

Please note the podcast contains some explicit language.\u00a0

The Here Weed Go! podcast aims to educate the unfamiliar about the culture of cannabis and the expansion of medical and recreational use law across the country.

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ICYMI: The latest podcast episodes from Lee Enterprises
"}, {"id":"93b0ccae-25a6-5e73-8076-ad14d222540f","type":"article","starttime":"1656607500","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-30T11:45:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Kevin Sherrington: Mark Cuban, Mavericks had every opportunity to avoid this fiasco with Jalen Brunson","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/basketball/article_93b0ccae-25a6-5e73-8076-ad14d222540f.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/basketball/article_93b0ccae-25a6-5e73-8076-ad14d222540f.html","canonical":"https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/mavericks/2022/06/29/where-does-jalen-brunsons-impending-departure-to-knicks-leave-mavericks/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"Kevin Sherrington, The Dallas Morning News","prologue":"For years, Mark Cuban hasn\u2019t been able to sign someone else\u2019s big free agent. Now he can\u2019t keep his own.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","nba","basketball","pro-basketball"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a","description":"The Dallas Mavericks' Jalen Brunson (13) and Frank Ntilikina (21) hug following their Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Chase Center on May 26, 2022, in San Francisco. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)","byline":"Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/TNS","hireswidth":1717,"hiresheight":1208,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/87/e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a/62bd9eaf0cb9a.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1716","height":"1207","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/87/e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a/62bd9eaf0c5bc.image.jpg?resize=1716%2C1207"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/87/e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a/62bd9eaf0c5bc.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"211","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/87/e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a/62bd9eaf0c5bc.image.jpg?resize=300%2C211"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"720","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/87/e8750b63-3eff-5b49-b741-d18b7673c68a/62bd9eaf0c5bc.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C720"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"93b0ccae-25a6-5e73-8076-ad14d222540f","body":"

DALLAS \u2014 From all appearances, Jalen Brunson, the Mavs\u2019 professed \u201ctop priority,\u201d will walk out the door as soon as the lawyers are done, which seems about right.

For years, Mark Cuban hasn\u2019t been able to sign someone else\u2019s big free agent.

Now he can\u2019t keep his own.

The irony, if you\u2019re even-keeled enough to call it that, is he had every opportunity \u2014 from the structure of Brunson\u2019s rookie contract to a proposed deal as recently as six months ago \u2014 to avoid this fiasco. But the Mavs apparently rejected Brunson\u2019s offer to sign a four-year, $55.5 million contract in January. They did so out of the belief that, if they did a deal then, they couldn\u2019t have included Brunson in a deal for a better player at the trade deadline.

Because they were hoping for someone better then, they\u2019ll have to settle for someone worse now.

Pretty rich, isn\u2019t it?

Especially if you\u2019re Jalen Brunson, who apparently will join Julius Randle as $100 million players with the Knicks. You can certainly question the Knicks\u2019 thinking here. Or pretty much any time. You don\u2019t retire the title of the Most Disappointing Franchise in Sports because of a clever front office. Does evacuating the roster and dropping a bank on Brunson really make the Knicks better? Certainly questionable.

A lot of you out there who consider Brunson\u2019s performance in the playoffs a fluke, who think he\u2019s not really a legitimate second option and maybe not even a third, probably figure good riddance. Gifting him a nine-figure deal is preposterous, especially given that, because of the luxury tax, he\u2019d cost Cuban nine figures for one season.

Frankly, I don\u2019t believe what Brunson did was a fluke, and I don\u2019t think he\u2019s worth that price tag, either.

But he\u2019s certainly worth $13.9 million a year, which is what he\u2019d be making if the Mavs hadn\u2019t decided to keep their powder dry instead.

Maybe you recall that strategy has been the reason for most of Cuban\u2019s swings-and-misses. Most notable: Overruling Donnie Nelson\u2019s case for Giannis Antetokounmpo because Cuban was hoarding assets for Dwight Howard.

Replacing Brunson won\u2019t be as easy as you think. Enter the Dragon? Goran Dragic is probably bunking with Luka Doncic even as you read this. But he\u2019s 36 and coming off a three-city tour in which he made only a quarter of his 3-pointers. Spencer Dinwiddie probably moves into the starting lineup. Yet, even if he had his moments, he wasn\u2019t as consistent as Brunson in the Mavs\u2019 run. The Mavs reportedly will spend most of what little they have available to them under the cap on another wing and hope the addition of Christian Wood in the frontcourt offsets the loss of Brunson in the back.

Of course, it\u2019ll also help that Tim Hardaway Jr. is returning. The Mavs should have more firepower, which is good, seeing as how the Warriors, Suns and Jazz aren\u2019t dead, the Grizzlies are coming fast and the Clippers should be back to normal, particularly after adding John Wall.

Moral: Getting back to the Western Conference finals will be harder the next time around.

Which is why the Mavs needed Brunson. It\u2019s not just that he\u2019s the primary reason the Mavs even made it out of the first round this year. Or that he had a breakout season at 25.

Brunson proved Jason Kidd\u2019s supposition that, more often than not, they need a second ball-handler on the floor. And not just any ball-handler, but a legitimate threat, and one who didn\u2019t mind playing second fiddle to a player as ball-dominant as Luka.

Never underestimate the power of ego when it comes to pro athletes, who need a heaping dose of self-esteem to handle the pressure. But a court can only accommodate so many big heads at once.

Once Brunson got a pretty good idea that he wasn\u2019t just a rotational player this season, his outlook changed. His father, Rick, who will be one of his coaches in New York, told ESPN as much back in April.

\u201cIt\u2019s a great fit [in Dallas],\u201d Rick said then, \u201cbut, at the end of the day, my son is no different than the next man. ... Everyone wants what Luka has. I don\u2019t care who you are.

\u201cEveryone wants that feeling of, \u2018Hey, I can do this, too.\u2019 \u201d

Jalen will eventually realize it\u2019s a lot harder when you have to carry a team for 82 games, and Luka isn\u2019t coming to the rescue. The contract only makes it harder. You can bet the tabloids won\u2019t overlook the latter, either.

Brunson could have made a nice life for himself here in Dallas, playing on a better team, in a far better backcourt. Even with inflation what it is, $14 million per annum goes a long way in the check-out line.

As The Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend noted recently, writing about another point guard who got away, chances are good Brunson doesn\u2019t become a two-time MVP. Steve Nash not only was more talented, he went to Phoenix to play for a coach who was a point guard\u2019s dream. Brunson isn\u2019t walking into any such thing.

But you can\u2019t blame him for wanting to run his own show, either. He doesn\u2019t owe the Mavs anything. He gave them a shot and they passed. If you\u2019ll pardon a final irony, as a second-round choice and one of the Mavs\u2019 scant few picks who so much as stuck, he once made them look smart. That they look less so now isn\u2019t on him.

2022 NBA draft pick-by-pick analysis
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ATLANTA \u2014 The Hawks added a new chip to their backcourt on Wednesday evening, reportedly acquired guard Dejounte Murray from the Spurs.

Per ESPN, the Hawks dealt forward Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks to the Spurs in exchange for All-Star guard Murray. The picks are the Hawks\u2019 2023 first-round pick via the Hornets as well as their own 2025 and 2027 first-round picks, which both are unprotected. The sides also agreed to swap picks in 2026.

The Spurs drafted Murray 29th overall in the 2016 NBA draft, and he is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists. He also made 46.2% of his shots from the floor and 32.7% of his 3-pointers.

Now, the Hawks will add a strong defender to the fold as they look to redefine their identity on defense. Murray has been touted as a solid defender who makes life tougher for smaller guards. He has a good read on the game and can smother passing lanes, which allowed him to average 2.0 steals per game this past season.

Murray has had steady growth over the past three seasons after missing the 2018-19 season with an ACL tear. Murray has two years remaining on his contract and is set to earn $16.5 million next season and $17.7M in 2023-24.

The Hawks needed a roster shake-up after a disappointing end to last season that saw their early exit following the first round of the playoffs. They also needed to make a move with Gallinari\u2019s contract set to make $21.4 million next season. His deal was set to become guaranteed by the end of day Wednesday.

If the Hawks had outright waived Gallinari, they would have gone under the luxury tax, but instead they aimed to get a return on the Italian sharpshooter.

Now the Hawks will continue to iron out how they\u2019ll pair Murray and All-Star guard Trae Young. Both players often have played as the primary ballhandler throughout their careers, so the Hawks will need to decide how best to utilize their strengths.

Young, of course, is the stronger shooter of the two. He made 38.2% of his 3-pointers last season, while Murray made almost one-third of his shots from that range. Both Young and Murray have the ability to put the ball on the floor and get shots from inside, with the two making roughly 50% or more of their baskets from the floor.

As for their roster, the Hawks still have at least nine players under contract, plus their rookies. The Hawks likely will go over the salary cap and will have the ability to re-sign some of their free agents.

The free-agency moratorium is set to lift Thursday evening.

No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our 2022 NBA mock draft
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Let the talking begin. The trading, too, and eventually the signing.

Free agency officially opens Thursday in the NBA, with teams able to begin negotiating at 6 p.m. Eastern with players who are not under contract \u2014 although, in reality, free agency and the slew of offseason movement is already off and running.

James Harden declined his $47 million option for next season with Philadelphia on Wednesday and became a free agent \u2014 but told the team he intends to stay on a new deal that will allow the 76ers the flexibility they need to sign other players this summer, according to a person with direct knowledge of that situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Harden nor the 76ers confirmed those plans publicly.

And Harden's decision came almost simultaneously Wednesday with another massive move \u2014 the San Antonio Spurs are trading All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks, according to another person with direct knowledge of the terms of that deal who spoke to AP with anonymity because the trade had not been announced by either side. ESPN first reported the completion of that deal, which pairs Murray with another All-Star in Trae Young in the Hawks' backcourt.

Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook have already made their decisions; both could have been free agents this summer and found a combined 84 million reasons not to hit the open market \u2014 $47 million for Westbrook to opt-in for the last year of his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, and nearly $37 million for Irving to do the same with the Brooklyn Nets.

Jalen Brunson will be in demand early, with the expectation that he\u2019ll quickly agree to leave Dallas and become the new point guard in New York. And there will be players who might decide to look elsewhere, or accept huge $200-million-plus deals with their current teams \u2014 opportunities that are presenting themselves to Zach LaVine with Chicago and Bradley Beal with Washington.

The largest deal, in terms of actual dollars, coming in the next few days almost certainly won\u2019t have anything to do with a free agent: All signs point to two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic being offered a supermax extension in the $260 million range by the Denver Nuggets. The only question there will be how quickly he finds a pen to put to that paper.

Minnesota can give Karl-Anthony Towns a supermax of about $210 million this summer, as can Phoenix with Devin Booker.

Other players are restricted free agents, meaning their current teams will have the right to match offers from other clubs. The most notable name on that list is Deandre Ayton, the Phoenix center who was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft but watched others in his draft class get their first extensions last summer.

Some players will be free agents in name only. John Wall, for example, will get $41 million in a buyout from the Houston Rockets, and has already decided that he wants to play for the Los Angeles Clippers next season. The Clippers are expected to use a $6.4 million exception to sign Wall, and that figure matches the money that Wall gave back to make the buyout of what would have been the final year of his contract happen.

\u201cWe\u2019ll see what happens as free agency opens up and everything else,\u201d Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said. \u201cI think the sky\u2019s the limit for our team. The sky is the limit. ... And of course, you\u2019ve got to have a little bit of luck to win the Larry O\u2019Brien Trophy, which is what we\u2019d really like.\u201d

That will be everyone\u2019s goal come 6 p.m. Thursday, to find ways to get closer to the Larry O\u2019Brien, whether that\u2019s in 2023 or beyond.

Such thinking even applies to the champion Golden State Warriors, who have a slew of rotation players \u2014 Kevon Looney, Otto Porter, Gary Payton II among them \u2014 who just last week were enjoying a parade through San Francisco and are now free to go elsewhere if the opportunities and dollars are right.

\u201cWe still do need to surround the team with vets and that\u2019s the plan in free agency,\u201d Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. \u201cIt\u2019s easier to get some of the older players, we think, in free agency than young players. Young players are probably the most in-demand in free agency.\u201d

True, and that\u2019s another element of this time of year: Young players, and not grabbing them in free agency this year, but keeping them out of free agency in future years.

Ja Morant will surely be offered a max rookie extension by Memphis, one that will kick in with the 2023-24 season. The Zion Williamson situation in New Orleans will be interesting, as the Pelicans decide how much to offer to \u2014 or safely structure a deal for \u2014 a No. 1 pick who has missed the majority of his first three NBA seasons because of injury issues. Miami is planning to offer sixth man of the year Tyler Herro an extension, though the Heat will have to determine what number makes the most sense for them going forward.

And, of course, there is a LeBron James angle: The Los Angeles Lakers were a disaster last season and will aim to revamp their roster, plus can give James a two-year extension in August worth nearly $100 million. But before he signs, they have far more pressing concerns.

Officially, it all starts Thursday. A new season is already here.

No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our 2022 NBA mock draft
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NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) \u2014 LIV Golf\u2019s first U.S. event was set to begin Thursday, with a group of survivors and families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 terror attacks planning to gather at a nearby park to speak out against the Saudi Arabia-funded tour.

Brett Eagleson was 15 years old when he lost his father in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on that day in 2001.

\u201cWe want the golfers to know who they\u2019re getting in bed with, who they\u2019re doing business with,\u201d Eagleson said. \u201cAny golfer that chooses to go play for the LIV tournament should have to listen to the family members and look us in the eye, and explain to us why they\u2019re taking the Saudi money and why they\u2019re playing in this tournament. And we want the ability to educate the golfers on what we know about the Saudi role on 9/11.\u201d

Eagleson, now 36, is among those criticizing the LIV tournament and it's connection to a regime that has flouted human rights. All but four of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Saudi citizens, and the Saudi kingdom was the birthplace of Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaida and mastermind of the attack.

The LIV Golf Invitational starts Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, about 20 miles west of downtown Portland.

Eagleson is especially disheartened over Phil Mickelson, one of this childhood heroes, and his decision to join LIV Golf. The tour, run by Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia\u2019s sovereign wealth fund, has offered signing bonuses \u2014 some that reportedly topping $100 million \u2014 that some players have found irrestible.

\u201cNow to see him, kowtowing into the Saudis, and saying that he doesn\u2019t give a crap, he doesn\u2019t give a crap about the struggles and the pain and the misery. Three-thousand dead Americans. He doesn\u2019t care because he got offered a paycheck? It\u2019s just the worst form of greed,\" Eagleson said.

In addition to Mickelson, fellow majors winners Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have also joined LIV Golf. Mickelson did not speak to reporters before the Oregon tournament.

As much as the upstart tour no doubt wants to escape criticism, it can\u2019t avoid it. At the pre-tournament news conferences, golfers were asked about the Saudi connection and gave similar, pat answers to questions about the topic, repeating variations of the message that golf can be a \"force for good.\u201d

But well before LIV Golf arrived in tiny North Plains, the city's mayor and those from surrounding cities wrote the Texas-based owner of the club to protest the event, saying it didn't align with the community's values. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden called the event \u201csportswashing\u201d to distract from human rights abuses.

The Portland stop is the second of eight LIV Golf events this year. The families of the Sept. 11 victims and the survivors also spoke out against the inaugural event outside London earlier this month.

Koepka, who recently joined LIV Golf after initially denouncing it, downplayed the concerns about the Saudi funding.

\u201cThey're allowed to have their opinions. You know, we've heard it. I think everybody has. It's been brought up,\u201d said Koepka, a former world No. 1 and four-time majors champion. \u201cBut look, like we said, our only job is to go play golf, and that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to grow the game.\u201d

Part of LIV Golf's allure is the money. In addition to signing bonuses, the 48-man field will compete for a $20 million purse, with an additional $5 million prize fund for a team competition. Charl Schwartzel won the London event (and team portion) and made $4.75 million.

LIV tournaments are played over 54 holes with no cut, and even the last-place finisher gets $120,000. Organizers promise exciting events they say will attract new fans.

The PGA Tour has responded to LIV Golf's challenge by suspending every active member who competed in the first LIV event. Those who play in Oregon will also be suspended unless they resign their tour memberships.

The PGA Tour's John Deere Classic takes place in Illinois this week.

Former Masters champion Fred Couples is leading a U.S. team of athletes competing in an exhibition at Liberty National in New Jersey starting Thursday. Couples, a Hall of Famer, has been outspoken against LIV Golf and said he hopes his event would draw more spectators.

\u201cI find it so weird that the only way they could get these guys to leave the tour is to throw them money. There\u2019s no other reason. All the other stuff is B.S.,\u201d Couples said. \u201cIt\u2019s not bettering the game. They\u2019re playing eight to 10 tournaments here. How is that bettering the game?\u201d

McIlroy questions competitive desire of players in LIV Golf
"}, {"id":"71666250-3265-55b5-a1cc-66b305d00c6e","type":"article","starttime":"1656509400","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-29T08:30:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"golf":"sports/golf"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Column: Blunt talk means saying LIV Golf is all about money","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/golf/article_71666250-3265-55b5-a1cc-66b305d00c6e.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/golf/article_71666250-3265-55b5-a1cc-66b305d00c6e.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/golf/column-blunt-talk-means-saying-liv-golf-is-all-about-money/article_6d51eb02-f7a9-11ec-87c0-67c0f6e6c69c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer","prologue":"Brooks Koepka likes to boast about his honesty.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","pga","liv","gold","brooks koepka","pga tour","rory mcilroy","the u.s. open","the liv golf invitational"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"9fd87133-fb31-5e6d-be43-067325f8b27b","description":"Brooks Koepka watches his shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)","byline":"Robert F. Bukaty","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fd/9fd87133-fb31-5e6d-be43-067325f8b27b/62bc4d6fe70e6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fd/9fd87133-fb31-5e6d-be43-067325f8b27b/62bc4d6fe70e6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fd/9fd87133-fb31-5e6d-be43-067325f8b27b/62bc4d6fe70e6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fd/9fd87133-fb31-5e6d-be43-067325f8b27b/62bc4d6fe70e6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"71666250-3265-55b5-a1cc-66b305d00c6e","body":"

Brooks Koepka likes to boast about his honesty. He takes as much pride in being bold and blunt as he does in his remarkable record in the major championships.

He does not shy from criticism if he feels it is warranted. Koepka once accused Patrick Reed of cheating by \u201cbuilding sand castles\u201d in a waste area in the Bahamas. He left no doubt about his feelings for Bryson DeChambeau, a long list.

\u201cI\u2019m always going to speak my mind and tell you what I think, and I think everybody in this room knows that,\u201d he said at a PGA Championship preview day in 2020.

And now he has a chance to speak the truth about his decision to go back on his word and join the Saudi-funded rebel league known as LIV Golf.

It's about the money. It's that simple.

This is not a \u201cforce for good,\u201d the message Greg Norman has been trying to preach and too many of his puppets have been repeating. The 22 former or soon-to-be-suspended PGA Tour members in Oregon for the LIV Golf Invitational are not there for the innovative format, or to test themselves against the best, or even to win tournaments.

They are getting paid an obscene amount of money.

Of course, money never came up when Koepka spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since his decision was revealed. He simply spoke his mind, just like always, only he was of a different mind.

\u201cMy opinion changed,\u201d he said, a phrase he used no fewer than six times.

Koepka was the latest example that everyone has a price. He actually said that himself four months ago at the Honda Classic.

This was one week after Phil Mickelson went into hiding after his inflammatory remarks about the Saudis and the PGA Tour, after Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau said they were sticking with the PGA Tour, after Rory McIlroy declared the rebel league \u201cdead in the water.\u201d

\u201cI think there will still be talk,\u201d Koepka said in February. \u201cEveryone talks about money. They\u2019ve got enough of it. I don\u2019t see it backing down. They can just double up and they\u2019ll figure it out. They\u2019ll get their guys. Somebody will sell out and go to it.\u201d

And that somebody turned out to be him.

Mickelson showed his hand months ago in a couple of interviews when he accused the PGA Tour of \u201cobnoxious greed\u201d and said he and a few other top players had hired lawyers to write the new league's operating agreement. Joining LIV Golf was not a surprise.

Johnson was the biggest fish the Shark landed. The temptation had been strong all along, and then he got an offer he couldn't ignore. The Daily Telegraph reported his signing fee at $150 million. That's twice as much as Johnson's career earnings after 15 years on the tour.

In some respects, Koepka went back on his word twice.

He was the second player, behind McIlroy, to speak out against the \u201cPremier Golf League\u201d concept that had Saudi financing and promised big riches, a team format, limited fields \u2014 everything Norman has now delivered.

\u201cI have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players,\u201d he said in an interview with The Associated Press, right before golf was paused for three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. \u201cMoney isn\u2019t going to change my life,\u201d he said. \u201cThere\u2019s something to be said about freedom of playing. I get to choose. To me, it\u2019s not worth it. I\u2019m happy with how things are.\"

That was more than two years ago.

And then Koepka said in Phoenix this year: \u201cIt\u2019s been pretty clear for a long time now that I\u2019m with the PGA Tour, it\u2019s where I\u2019m staying. I\u2019m very happy. I think they do things the right way, people I want to do business with.\u201d

But that's not what led McIlroy to say Koepka was being \u201cduplicitous\u201d by saying one thing and doing another.

McIlroy was not part of the Rolex gathering at the U.S. Open, but he heard about it. The roster of stars that day included Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Koepka. They talked about being on the same page in support of the PGA Tour and speaking in one voice against the Saudi-funded league.

Koepka was said to be leading the charge. And then he wasn't.

Everyone has a price.

\u201cI was at a function with him last week and definitely wasn\u2019t what he had in mind,\u201d Scheffler said last week at the Travelers Championship. \u201cWe were focused on building the PGA Tour and getting the guys that are staying here together and kind of just having talks and figuring out what how we can help benefit the tour.\u201d

Scheffler was to quick to add he was not going to criticize Koepka or anyone else for leaving for guaranteed money. Scheffler has gone over $13 million this season, already a PGA Tour record, thanks to an amazing run.

Players who wouldn't be recognized in a restaurant outside their hometown are getting more than that for signing up with LIV Golf. It's up to them to reconcile the source of the money and if they are taking the easy way out, as McIlroy suggested.

Golf is still hard. It's the money that's easy. There's nothing wrong with saying that.

McIlroy questions competitive desire of players in LIV Golf
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NEW YORK \u2014 Jalen Brunson is getting closer to joining his friends and family on the Knicks.

The Mavericks point guard is \u201cwidely expected\u201d to sign with New York on a four-year deal exceeding $100 million, according to ESPN. A source said the Mavericks were still in play since they can give Brunson more money as the incumbent team, but the draw of playing as the lead guard is enticing for Brunson \u2014 which he can\u2019t do next to Luka Doncic in Dallas \u2014 and the Knicks are willing to offer more than market value.

Brunson has fans with the Mavericks but isn\u2019t the most natural fit with Doncic, considering their defensive limitations. Meanwhile, at least one top Knicks decision-maker views Brunson as a top-10 NBA point guard, according to a source in contact with the organization. That\u2019s hardly an instant road to title contention but would certainly plug a large hole in the lineup.

As it stands, the Knicks have $18 million in cap space and are engaged in trade discussions to create more. Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel have been shopped the most aggressively, according to sources from three opposing teams.

Signing Brunson to such a lucrative contract will certainly open the front office to heavy criticism if it flops. Until Brunson\u2019s breakthrough in the playoffs, his value was widely viewed as, at most, $20 million per year in free agency. Just before last season, the Mavericks declined to offer a four-year, $55 million extension.

But the Knicks have long coveted Brunson and are certainly familiar. His father, Rick, was recently hired as an assistant coach under Tom Thibodeau. Rick was also the first NBA client of former agent Leon Rose, who now runs the Knicks and recently attended Rick\u2019s 50th birthday party.

Leon Rose\u2019s son, Sam, became an agent and represents Jalen Brunson. In other words, if Brunson\u2019s deal goes sour, Leon Rose would be rightfully lambasted for taking care of friends with James Dolan\u2019s money instead of helping his employer. If it works out, Rose will get the credit for his intuition and connections.

First, the Knicks have to create the space and get the signature. If the Mavericks are resigned to losing Brunson, they can help the Knicks \u2014 and help themselves \u2014 by facilitating a sign-and-trade.

The Brunson pursuit was set in motion on draft night, when the Knicks punted their first-round pick for future assets and more cap space by shedding Kemba Walker. The Knicks, according to sources, could\u2019ve packaged a deal for guard Jaden Ivey during the draft by picking Jalen Duren but balked at the price and maintained focus on Brunson.

The Knicks only have one big free agent hitting the market this week \u2014 center Mitchell Robinson \u2014 who is expected to re-sign, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein. They also could extend RJ Barrett\u2019s deal before next season.

No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our 2022 NBA mock draft
"}, {"id":"8c40893d-b257-5e6b-80fd-65315fa285a2","type":"article","starttime":"1656506700","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-29T07:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656507762","priority":0,"sections":[{"tennis":"sports/tennis"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Serena Williams beaten by Harmony Tan in Wimbledon first round","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/tennis/article_8c40893d-b257-5e6b-80fd-65315fa285a2.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/tennis/article_8c40893d-b257-5e6b-80fd-65315fa285a2.html","canonical":"http://www.mctdirect.com/preview.php?id=202206281928MCT_____NEWS_SVC_36384_knibc","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"No byline is correct, PA Media/dpa","prologue":"Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was unable to summon the old magic as her return ended in a first-round defeat to little-known Frenchwoman Harmony Tan.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","tennis","wimbelton"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb","description":"Serena Williams waves to the crowd after a loss against France's Harmony Tan during their first-round Wimbledon match at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in London. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images/TNS)","byline":"Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America/TNS","hireswidth":1845,"hiresheight":1123,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ae/2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb/62bc499985a1d.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1845","height":"1123","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ae/2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb/62bc4999853c7.image.jpg?resize=1845%2C1123"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"61","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ae/2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb/62bc4999853c7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C61"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"183","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ae/2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb/62bc4999853c7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C183"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"623","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ae/2ae1d739-cfc1-5b01-9786-41255ca3b9eb/62bc4999853c7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C623"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"8c40893d-b257-5e6b-80fd-65315fa285a2","body":"

LONDON \u2014 Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was unable to summon the old magic as her return ended in a first-round defeat to little-known Frenchwoman Harmony Tan.

Stepping out to play singles for the first time since leaving Centre Court prematurely and in tears after suffering a hamstring injury in the opening round 12 months ago, Williams was rusty and error-prone.

Her will remained, and cheered on by a supportive crowd, she looked like she might stumble over the finish line after coming from a set down and then saving a match point in the 12th game of the decider.

But Williams instead suffered just her third first-round loss at a Grand Slam, going down 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7) in a deciding tie-break after 3 hours, 10 minutes.

Tan, a 24-year-old debutante ranked No. 115, is the type of player Williams used to beat before even stepping on court, but no one, including probably the 40-year-old herself, knew what to expect here.

Williams was rusty in the opening two games, her footwork leaden and her ball-striking wayward, but she gradually began to find some rhythm.

She was particularly vocal, shrieking at every winner and error, and it worked as she moved to a 4-2 lead.

But the main question mark was always going to be around Williams' fitness and she was puffing hard as Tan eventually broke back after a long service game.

The Frenchwoman could not hope to match her opponent for power but had considerable success with deft drop shots and lobs and looked to be enjoying herself as she moved to a 6-5 lead in the first set.

Williams had a chance to draw even and force a tie-break, but she looked anxious and was unable to convert as Tan moved ahead.

With darkness closing in, a brief pause for the roof to be closed worked in Williams' favor.

She cut out some of the errors and set about retrieving the deficit, breaking Tan in the second game of the set after a remarkable run of 12 deuces.

When Williams, who won the last of her seven singles titles here in 2016, moved 3-1 ahead in the deciding set, it appeared the hard part was behind her.

But two doubles matches in Eastbourne last week were scant preparation for a return to Grand Slam singles and things became complicated again.

Williams began to show her emotions once more, leaping to celebrate the good moments and waving her arms in despair at the bad.

She slid deeper into trouble after failing to serve out the match at 5-4 but put away a drive volley to save a match point at 5-6 and force a deciding first-to-10-points tie-break.

Williams moved into a 4-0 lead, but on the stage where she has triumphed on so many occasions, this time there was not to be a happy ending.

Photos: Venus and Serena Williams through the years
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The NFL insisted on an indefinite suspension while Deshaun Watson\u2019s legal team argued there\u2019s no basis for that punishment as both sides presented their cases in front of a retired judge in Delaware on Tuesday, two people in attendance told The Associated Press.

The hearing will continue on Wednesday and Watson is scheduled to be there for the duration, according to one person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the hearing isn\u2019t public. It's expected to conclude Thursday but it's not known when a ruling will be made.

Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players\u2019 Association, will determine whether Watson violated the NFL\u2019s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.

Watson agreed to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct, but the league is seeking at least a one-year suspension, one of the people told The AP. Watson\u2019s side, led by attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Rusty Hardin, wants the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback to play this season for the Cleveland Browns.

Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints stemming from the allegations.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name.

This is the first hearing for Robinson, who was the first woman Chief Judge for the District of Delaware. Previously, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had the authority to impose discipline for violations of the personal conduct policy.

Still, Goodell holds considerable power. If either the union or league appeals Robinson\u2019s decision, Goodell or his designee \u201cwill issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,\u201d per terms of Article 46 in the collective bargaining agreement.

That means Goodell could ultimately overrule Robinson\u2019s decision and suspend Watson for one year or even indefinitely due to the potential for more cases.

However, an appeal would prolong the process for both sides.

The NFL has punished several players for violating the league\u2019s personal conduct policy without criminal charges. In 2010, Ben Roethlisberger received a six-game suspension after being accused of sexual assault by two women. Goodell later reduced the suspension to four games. Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott got six games in 2017 for domestic violence.

On Monday, a woman who previously sued Watson filed a lawsuit against the Houston Texans, alleging his former team provided him with resources to enable his actions and \u201cturned a blind eye\u201d to his behavior.

It\u2019s unknown how long it will take Robinson to make a decision, but the Browns should know Watson\u2019s availability before training camp. NFL discipline typically begins the week leading into the first regular-season game, so Watson would be eligible for camp unless a potential punishment stipulates otherwise.

The Browns traded a slew of draft picks to acquire Watson and gave him a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract in March.

Cleveland, which opens training camp on July 27, is eager to find out how long it will be without Watson or if the Browns will have him at all next season.

The Browns signed veteran QB Jacoby Brissett to be Watson\u2019s backup, but the team might be inclined to find a more high-profile starter should Watson be suspended for a significant period. Josh Dobbs is also on Cleveland\u2019s roster, but he\u2019s never started an NFL game.

Any reconciliation with Baker Mayfield seems unlikely. The No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Mayfield was essentially pushed aside when the Browns persuaded Watson to come to Cleveland.

At a youth camp in Oklahoma on Tuesday, Mayfield said there would need to be \u201csome reaching out\u201d for him and the Browns to repair their relationship.

\u201cBut we\u2019re ready to move on, I think, on both sides,\u201d he said.

2022 NFL draft superlatives: Best pick, biggest reach, most disappointing class and more
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The Nets and Kyrie Irving have not gotten any closer to finding an amicable solution that keeps the superstar guard in Brooklyn.

In fact, things are trending the opposite direction: While Nets GM Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to speak this offseason, Irving\u2019s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began. Irving only appeared in 103 regular-season games in Brooklyn, a three-year run ravaged in Year 1 by a nagging shoulder injury; in Year 2 due to absences for personal reasons; and in Year 3 due to Irving\u2019s unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a city that didn\u2019t create a professional athlete exemption in its vaccine mandate until weeks before the NBA playoffs began.

The Nets, as the Daily News reported in late May, have been unwilling to give Irving a long-term contract extension with significant financial guarantees. They do not believe Irving is committed to doing what it takes to be on the floor every game for his teammates.

But they do not have the cap space to replace Irving if he leaves as a free agent, and the only teams that have the cap space to sign Irving need much more than the star guard\u2019s services if they\u2019re going to make the playoffs, let alone compete for a championship.

Which brings us to a sign-and-trade, and Irving reportedly has six teams on his radar: the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, 76ers and Mavericks. A Durant and Westbrook reunion in Brooklyn remains unlikely, according to a source. The Knicks, Mavericks and Heat are the teams that have the biggest capacity to pull off a deal for Irving, but the Knicks and Mavericks appear to be in a bidding war over free agent guard Jalen Brunson.

Just how good a package can the Nets receive in exchange for the All-Star guard whose on-court productivity has often been hampered by off-court happenings? If the Nets cannot get a star in return for Irving\u2019s services or assemble a championship-caliber team around Durant (and Ben Simmons), Durant \u2013 who recently signed a four-year extension worth $198M \u2013 can request a trade.

In other words, it remains unclear whether or not Durant will want to stay a Net if the front office essentially kicks his co-star out of town. In a recent podcast appearance, The Ringer\u2019s Logan Murdock, who built a relationship covering Durant while he was a member of the Golden State Warriors and traveled with the Nets for a two-week period last season to pen a profile on the Nets star, said Durant \u201cfeels like the front office didn\u2019t grow to understand Kyrie.\u201d

That much was apparent a week after the Celtics swept the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs. Fresh off that Game 4 defeat, Irving took the podium and said he wanted to be a Net long-term and \u201cco-manage the franchise\u201d with Durant, Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai.

Marks came out the following week and told both YES Network and local reporters that the franchise wants players who are committed to the team and can be available all year long.

Marks, however, also said he is committed to doing what it takes to bring a championship to Brooklyn, and judging by his hardline stance with Irving, the Nets must have some level of belief that they can pull it off without him.

That\u2019s a tough sell because Irving, even with his shortcomings, remains one of the most skilled players in NBA history, with he and Durant reigning in their short time as one of the most talented duos of all time. The alternative to keeping him in town might be a team lacking the requisite firepower to compete against the East\u2019s elite. And without that firepower, it\u2019s hard to imagine Durant sticking around on a team that doesn\u2019t have a chance at a title, which means the Nets could be headed back to the streets from which they came: dwelling at the bottom of the conference, headed for a perpetual rebuild, developing young players and hoping the ping pong balls bounce in their favor.

2022 NBA draft pick-by-pick analysis
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) \u2014 In a copycat league known for following the Stanley Cup champions, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog paused when asked what other teams could do to emulate their success.

With a grin, Landeskog replied: \u201cFind a Cale Makar somewhere.\u201d

Playoff MVP Cale Makar was a big part of Colorado\u2019s title run from the blue line, but more than anything else the Avalanche showed the value of speed and skill in the NHL as hockey moves dramatically to prioritize those elements in the name of scoring. The Avalanche and the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, who fell two wins short of a threepeat, also provided evidence that it\u2019s worth taking risks at the trade deadline for the right fits.

Colorado traded its top two prospects and a couple of second-round picks to acquire forward Artturi Lehkonen and defenseman Josh Manson, along with trades for Andrew Cogliano and Nico Sturm that helped the Avalanche win their first championship since 2001. Captain Gabriel Landeskog had plenty of praise for general manager Joe Sakic and assistant Chris MacFarland in the moments after winning the Cup.

\u201cJoe and C-Mac did a great job of picking up some pieces along the way that really, really made us hard to play against,\u201d Landeskog said. \u201cLook at Cogs, look at Homer (Darren Helm), look at Sturm -- look at all these guys, all these pieces that they just want to win so bad they want to do whatever it takes. It just adds up to just a hard team to play against.\u201d

Perhaps the best lesson from this postseason is what a team that\u2019s hard to play against looks like.

The fast-moving Avalanche roared through the Western Conference playoffs that for years was known for big, heavy teams that pushed each other around. They needed the bulk and grit provided by Manson, center Nazem Kadri and others to endure the Lightning.

Thanks to sixth-year coach Jared Bednar, who instilled a focus in his team after several playoff disappointments, Colorado was also mentally ready for Tampa Bay\u2019s push -- and much like the Lightning proved patience can pay off for organizations willing to stand behind their most important people even amid trying times.

This Stanley Cup Final finished that point, after the Lightning staved off elimination to send the series back to Tampa. Even after falling behind in Game 6, the Avalanche bounced back to be champions.

\u201cThey came at us, we collected ourselves and we were poised,\u201d owner Stan Kroenke said. \u201cThis team will beat you if you\u2019re not poised.\u201d

And the Lightning may do this to more teams next year. While the Avalanche are facing a cap crunch with Manson, Kadri and goaltender Darcy Kuemper up for free agency, Tampa Bay for the first time in a few years has some room to maneuver without breaking up its core.

Goal-scoring winger Ondrej Palat and defenseman Jan Rutta are free agents, along with trade deadline acquisition Nick Paul, but Lightning GM Julien BriseBois has worked magic before to get under the cap, and with it going up $1 million next season, there\u2019s some breathing room.

Don\u2019t bet against the Lightning reaching a fourth consecutive final and going for a third championship in four years. They are 10-1 favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, right behind Colorado (5-1) and Toronto (9-1).

\u201cWho says we\u2019re done, right?\u201d captain Steven Stamkos said. \u201cThis core is here and we\u2019ve battled and been through everything you can think of and for the most part we\u2019ve found a way to come out on top.\u201d

Except this year, when the Avalanche\u2019s depth and talent was simply too much to overcome. That was a product of Sakic adding three players at the deadline, which came in handy when injuries threatened to derail the organization\u2019s latest attempt to get over the hump with the core led by Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and, of course, Makar.

\u201cWe found a way,\u201d Rantanen said.

Photos: Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup
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Deshaun Watson\u2019s legal team takes on the NFL on Tuesday in front of a retired judge to determine his immediate future with the Cleveland Browns.

Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players\u2019 Association, will hold a hearing to determine whether Watson violated the NFL\u2019s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback agreed to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct, but he\u2019s still facing a significant penalty. A person familiar with the NFL\u2019s position told The Associated Press last week the league is seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson based on the number of sexual assault allegations and conversations with the 11 women who were made available for interviews. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the hearing have not been disclosed publicly.

Watson\u2019s side, led by renowned attorney Jeffrey Kessler, will try to argue there\u2019s no basis for a long suspension. Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints stemming from the allegations. Watson has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name.

The NFL has punished several players for violating the league\u2019s personal conduct policy without criminal charges. In 2010, Ben Roethlisberger received a six-game suspension after being accused of sexual assault by two women. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell later reduced the suspension to four games. Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott got six games in 2017 for domestic violence incidents.

On Monday, a woman who previously sued Watson filed a lawsuit against the Houston Texans, alleging his former team provided him with resources to enable his actions and \u201cturned a blind eye\u201d to his behavior.

This will be the first hearing for Robinson, who was the first woman Chief Judge for the District of Delaware. Previously, Goodell had the authority to impose discipline for violations of the personal conduct policy. Still, Goodell holds considerable power. If either the union or league appeals Robinson\u2019s decision, Goodell or his designee \u201cwill issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,\u201d per terms of Article 46 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

That means Goodell could ultimately overrule Robinson's decision and give Watson one year or even an indefinite suspension due to the potential for more cases.

In April, Major League Baseball suspended pitcher Trevor Bauer two full seasons following the league\u2019s investigation of domestic violence and sexual assault allegations made against him. That suspension didn\u2019t include the 99 regular-season games the Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander missed after being placed on administrative leave on July 2, 2021.

Asked whether MLB\u2019s handling of Bauer\u2019s case has been discussed, a league official told the AP it\u2019s difficult to compare the two but stressed the accusations against Watson are serious enough to warrant an \u201cunprecedented punishment.\u201d The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Robinson hasn't heard the case.

It's unknown how long it will take Robinson to make a decision, but the Browns should know Watson's availability before training camp. NFL discipline typically begins the week leading into the first regular-season game, so Watson would be eligible for camp unless a potential punishment stipulates otherwise.

The Browns traded a slew of draft picks to acquire Watson and gave him a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract in March.

2022 NFL draft superlatives: Best pick, biggest reach, most disappointing class and more
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John Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed that his contract will be bought out, a move that will free him to sign with any team of his choosing, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday night.

Wall\u2019s preference will be to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to one of the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the five-time All-Star guard had not announced his intentions publicly.

Wall will receive roughly $41 million from Houston, according to the other person who spoke with AP. Wall was scheduled to make $47.4 million this coming season, his last in what was a four-year contract.

Yahoo first reported that Wall and the Rockets came to the buyout decision. ESPN first reported that Wall intends to join the Clippers, presumably for the taxpayer mid-level exception of about $6.4 million \u2014 basically the same amount he's giving back to the Rockets to become a free agent. No agreement can be struck between Wall and any team until he clears waivers and becomes a free agent.

Wall has been working out in recent weeks, including some sessions at the University of Miami.

Wall played in 40 games with Houston in the 2020-21 season, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. He played his first nine seasons in Washington and, for his career, has averaged 19.1 points and 9.1 assists in 613 regular season games.

Wall did not appear in any games for Houston this past season. The Rockets are rebuilding around a young core, and Wall \u2014 who will turn 32 in September \u2014 wasn\u2019t going to be in their plans going forward.

He was selected for the All-Star Game in five consecutive seasons from 2014 through 2018. Since the last of those selections 4 1/2 seasons ago, he has played in exactly 82 games, including playoffs \u2014 the equivalent of one NBA season \u2014 while making $150 million in salary and seeing his career derailed by injuries.

Wall has a lengthy injury and surgical history. He underwent surgeries on both knees in 2016, had his 2018-19 season end prematurely because of surgery for bone spurs in his left heel, then a tear of his left Achilles tendon necessitated another operation in 2019 and a yearlong recovery plan.

He has not appeared in an NBA game since April 23, 2021.

The development of Wall and the Rockets striking a buyout deal comes on the same day that another high-profile point guard \u2014 Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving \u2014 announced that he is exercising his $36.9 million option for the final year of his deal with the Nets.

NBA free agency officially opens with the start of negotiating windows on Thursday. In most cases, new contracts can be signed starting July 6.

2022 NBA draft pick-by-pick analysis
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PHILADELPHIA \u2014 Mark Appel\u2019s wait is over.

Nine years after being drafted first overall, four years after taking a leave from baseball, Appel got called up by the Phillies late Friday night to replace reliever Connor Brogdon, who was placed on the COVID-19 list, interim manager Rob Thomson announced after a 1-0 loss to the Padres.

\u201dCompletely overwhelmed,\u201d Appel said, via Twitter. \u201cI have so many thoughts I want to share but can\u2019t find the words, so I\u2019ll just say this: I\u2019m thankful. Today, I get to play a game I love as a Major League Baseball player. LET\u2019S GOOOOO @PHILLIES!!!!\u201d

Losing Brogdon, even for a few days, will be a blow to a bullpen that isn\u2019t deep with trustworthy late-inning options. After a poor start and a mid-April demotion to Triple-A, Brogdon has allowed two runs in 15 2/3 innings over his last 16 appearances for a 1.15 ERA.

Appel, 30, joins the team Saturday in San Diego. The right-hander has a 1.61 ERA, 24 strikeouts and eight walks in 28 innings in 19 appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

But until he got the call from the Phillies, Appel was one of three No. 1 overall picks in baseball history (not counting recent years) not to reach the big leagues, a club that included Brien Taylor (1991) and Steven Chilcott (1966).

\u201cI would say that ate at me [before 2018] much more than it\u2019s ever eaten at me since then,\u201d Appel said last year upon rejoining the Phillies. \u201cI\u2019ve made peace with who I am, what\u2019s happened in my life, what\u2019s happened in my career.\u201d

Appel\u2019s story has been thoroughly chronicled. Injuries and the burden of expectations of being selected first overall by the Houston Astros and signing for $6.35 million in 2013 caused him to step back from baseball in January 2018. He had bone spurs in his elbow, which led to shoulder inflammation and surgery later that year, and sat out three seasons.

The Phillies acquired Appel in December 2015 in a seven-player trade for closer Ken Giles that also netted Vince Velasquez. They maintained Appel\u2019s rights during his hiatus. He quietly resumed throwing in 2019 at Driveline Baseball in Seattle and worked with Bill Hezel, a Phillies pitching consultant.

When Appel felt physically and mentally ready to return to the game, he spoke with Phillies assistant general manager Ned Rice. He returned to the field last year and posted a 6.06 ERA between Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley.

\u201cI know I wouldn\u2019t be able to be here if I hadn\u2019t been able to have a good signing bonus,\u201d Appel said last year. \u201cBecause going 3 1/2 years without much of a salary and doing all the rehab and investing money in your health, a lot of guys don\u2019t have that luxury.\u201d

Without Brogdon, Brad Hand, and Seranthony Dom\u00ednguez remain as the Phillies\u2019 top late-inning options. Deposed closer Corey Knebel and erstwhile setup man Jeurys Familia have struggled, while Andrew Bellatti has taken on a bigger role for Thomson.

It\u2019s unclear where Appel will slot into the bullpen pecking order for as long as he\u2019s there. But given his unique journey, that\u2019s likely secondary to simply making it to the majors at long last.

Photos: Mississippi wins College World Series
"}, {"id":"c333e781-60eb-5d90-a3da-62cd58d688b9","type":"article","starttime":"1656336180","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-27T08:23:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656339407","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"world":"news/world"},{"basketball":"sports/basketball"}],"flags":{"breaking":"true","ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Update: Russian court sets start date of Griner's trial for July 1","url":"http://leetemplates.com/news/national/article_c333e781-60eb-5d90-a3da-62cd58d688b9.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/news/national/article_c333e781-60eb-5d90-a3da-62cd58d688b9.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/tncms/asset/editorial/46bc058a-f61a-11ec-af27-778f0d3c2919/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":2},"byline":"By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press","prologue":"More than 4 months after being arrested at a Moscow airport, Brittney Griner appeared in court Monday. Full coverage here.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","dccjs","nation-world","sports"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a6da8a51-f444-5e2a-8f1e-6845e814d97f","description":"WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.\u00a0","byline":"AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/6d/a6da8a51-f444-5e2a-8f1e-6845e814d97f/62b9b18ae6608.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/6d/a6da8a51-f444-5e2a-8f1e-6845e814d97f/62b9b18ae6608.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/6d/a6da8a51-f444-5e2a-8f1e-6845e814d97f/62b9b18ae6608.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/6d/a6da8a51-f444-5e2a-8f1e-6845e814d97f/62b9b18ae6608.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"c333e781-60eb-5d90-a3da-62cd58d688b9","body":"
\"Russia

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.\u00a0

MOSCOW (AP) \u2014 More than four months after she was arrested at a Moscow airport for cannabis possession, a Russian court has set the start date of the criminal trial of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner for July 1.

The Phoenix Mercury star was also ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

On Monday, the court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki extended Griner's detention for another six months after she appeared for a preliminary hearing held behind closed doors. Photos obtained by the AP showed her appearing in handcuffs. Griner had previously been ordered to remain in pretrial detention until July 2.

Griner's detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. She was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already-high tensions with sweeping sanctions by the United States and Russia's denunciation of U.S. weapon supplies to Ukraine.

Photos: Brittney Griner appears in Russian court

Amid the tensions, Griner's supporters had taken a low profile in hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs \u2014 effectively the U.S. government's chief negotiator.

Q&A: Why is Brittney Griner detained in Russia and when might she be released?

That move has drawn additional attention to Griner's case, with supporters encouraging a prisoner swap like the one in April that brought home Marine veteran Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy.

Russian news media have repeatedly raised speculation that she could be swapped for Russian arms trader Viktor Bout, nicknamed \"The Merchant of Death,\" who is serving a 25-year sentence on conviction of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and providing aid to a terrorist organization.

Russia has agitated for Bout's release for years. But the discrepancy between Griner's case \u2014 she allegedly was found in possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil \u2014 and Bout's global dealings in deadly weapons could make such a swap unpalatable to the U.S.

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Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio
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Others have suggested that she could be traded in tandem with Paul Whelan, a former Marine and security director serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction that the United States has repeatedly described as a set-up.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asked Sunday on CNN whether a joint swap of Griner and Whelan for Bout was being considered, sidestepped the question.

\"As a general proposition ... I have got no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are being illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home,\" he said. But \"I can't comment in any detail on what we're doing, except to say this is an absolute priority.\"

Any swap would apparently require Griner to first be convicted and sentenced, then apply for a presidential pardon, Maria Yarmush, a lawyer specializing in international civil affairs, told Kremlin-funded TV channel RT.

Photos: WNBA star Brittney Griner through the years
"}, {"id":"c513a598-9f28-566f-aac6-28b603de5f9c","type":"article","starttime":"1656335700","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-27T08:15:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"soccer":"sports/soccer"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"U.S. women\u2019s soccer star Megan Rapinoe says overturning Roe v. Wade \u2018is not pro-life\u2019","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/soccer/article_c513a598-9f28-566f-aac6-28b603de5f9c.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/soccer/article_c513a598-9f28-566f-aac6-28b603de5f9c.html","canonical":"https://www.inquirer.com/soccer/roe-v-wade-overturned-abortion-megan-rapinoe-20220624.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"Jonathan Tannenwald, The Philadelphia Inquirer","prologue":"Megan Rapinoe would have liked to talk about soccer on Friday.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","soccer","women's soccer"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5","description":"Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign looks on during the first half against the Washington Spirit at Lumen Field on May 22, 2022, in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images/TNS)","byline":"Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1067,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b7/fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5/62b9ad8fb8a74.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1600","height":"1067","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b7/fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5/62b9ad8fb8561.image.jpg?resize=1600%2C1067"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b7/fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5/62b9ad8fb8561.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b7/fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5/62b9ad8fb8561.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/b7/fb70b227-f9c3-56c3-b4d3-0e7cbc0f34a5/62b9ad8fb8561.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"c513a598-9f28-566f-aac6-28b603de5f9c","body":"

DENVER \u2014 Megan Rapinoe would have liked to talk about soccer on Friday. But when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade a few hours before the U.S. women\u2019s soccer team went off to practice, that became impossible.

So, as Rapinoe has done so many times in her 16-year national team career, she sat in front of a microphone to share her views on something away from the field.

\u201cHow sad a day this is for me personally, for my teammates, for just all of the people out there who this is going to affect,\u201d Rapinoe said, opening a 10-minute soliloquy on a Zoom call with media from across the nation.

\u201cPro-choice means that you get to choose,\u201d she said. \u201cPro-choice allows other people to be pro-life if that is what works for them, or that is what their beliefs are, or if that is where they\u2019re at in their life. Pro-life doesn\u2019t allow anybody to make a choice.\u201d

Rapinoe is very public about her sexual orientation, and is engaged to WNBA star Sue Bird. They both speak often on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, and as usual, Rapinoe did not hold back on Friday.

\u201cObviously, you can understand from an individual perspective how difficult it is to live in a country where you have a constant, unrelenting violent tide against you, an onslaught as a woman,\u201d Rapinoe said. \u201cAnd it would be as a gay person, and as a non-binary person, as a trans person. Whoever this is going to affect because it affects a lot more than just women or cis [gendered] women. It really does affect us all.\u201d

She further said: \u201cWe know that this will disproportionately affect poor women, Black women, brown women, immigrants, women in abusive relationships, women who have been raped, women and girls who have been raped by family members. Who, you know what? Maybe just didn\u2019t make the best choice. And that\u2019s no reason to be forced to have a pregnancy.\u201d

And she asserted, as pro-choice advocates have for decades, that \u201cthe lack of abortion does not stop people from having abortions \u2014 it stops people from having safe abortions.\u201d

\u2018Wildly out of touch\u2019

Rapinoe tied the Supreme Court\u2019s decision to Thursday\u2019s ruling loosening gun restrictions, and laws passed by Congress and state houses across the country.

\u201cI think the cruelty is the point, because this is not pro-life by any means,\u201d she said. \u201cThe right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness and liberty is being assaulted in this instance, and it\u2019s just incredibly disheartening. There are an infinite amount of reasons why a woman chooses to do what she does with her body, or what they do with their body \u2014 none of which are anybody else\u2019s business.\u201d

And she called out the Supreme Court as directly as she did then-president Donald Trump during the 2019 women\u2019s World Cup.

\u201cFrankly, a majority-male court making decisions about my body or any other woman\u2019s body is completely misguided and wildly out of touch with the desires of the country, the will of the country and the will of the people, and I think [they] are acting incredibly irresponsibly, and inappropriately,\u201d she said.

\u201cPro-choice means that we all get to decide what is best for us, because that is our right as a human being in this country \u2014 and frankly, I believe in the world,\u201d she continued. \u201cAnd pro-life does not allow anything other than one very strict religious view, frankly, and belief system to be forced upon everyone else.\u201d

As she made her remarks and took questions, Rapinoe checked her personal privilege repeatedly.

\u201cI am a cisgendered, rich, white woman that lives in two of the most progressive cities in the world, with the protection of not only myself and my resources, but, you know, this resource and this protection, as are all of my teammates,\u201d she said, pointing to a U.S. team logo on her jacket. \u201cI will not be subjected to so much of the impact that this will have. But other people are not that lucky, and they will be affected immediately.\u201d

She thanked the U.S. Soccer Federation for its support, and for allowing national team players to speak freely.

\u201cThus far, we\u2019ve felt extremely supported by U.S. Soccer, by everyone here individually,\u201d Rapinoe said, specifically noting U.S. women\u2019s team general manager Kate Markgraf and longtime PR chief Aaron Heifetz. \u201cThis is not a political issue at all, this is a human rights issue. And I think the players, and U.S. Soccer, and everyone in this environment and back home in Chicago [where U.S. Soccer is headquartered], feel that same way and will support a group of women who rely on the autonomy of their body to do the thing that they love and to make this circus run.\u201d

\u2018You\u2019ve been silent to us\u2019

She called on the public to take action, in some of her bluntest language of the day.

\u201cI have zero faith that my rights will be upheld by the court,\u201d she said. \u201cI have faith in our country, and I have faith in people, and I have faith in the voters \u2014 and if you ever needed a [expletive] motivation to vote, to get involved, quite literally, people\u2019s lives depend on it. Like, actual lives, we\u2019re talking life and death. And also, you know, your life in terms of what does it mean to even be alive? If you can\u2019t be yourself, full self, like what the [expletive] is the point?\u201d

At the end, Rapinoe addressed the men in the room, figuratively in the country and literally on a Zoom that had a lot of them.

\u201cYou\u2019ve been silent to us, as a whole,\u201d she said. \u201cStand up, say something. This is your wife, this is your sister, this is your friend, this is your girlfriend, this is the mother of your children. This is all of us. And you are allowing a violent and consistent onslaught on the autonomy of women\u2019s bodies, on women\u2019s rights, on women\u2019s minds, on our hearts, on our souls.\u201d

If men had not held the most power in the United States for so long, Rapinoe said, \u201cwe would have none of these laws, we would have none of the inequality in terms of gender rights, and this onslaught on abortion rights. \u2026 We clearly cannot do this on our own with the composition of the power structure in our country. And frankly, that falls on you.\u201d

A look at some of Megan Rapinoe's top moments, in photos
"}, {"id":"8f8b8e66-49e6-56f2-b4e9-99fcfd50fa05","type":"article","starttime":"1656333900","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-27T07:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656334996","priority":0,"sections":[{"hockey":"sports/hockey"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"MacKinnon shines in clinching win, helps Avs win Stanley Cup","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/hockey/article_8f8b8e66-49e6-56f2-b4e9-99fcfd50fa05.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/hockey/article_8f8b8e66-49e6-56f2-b4e9-99fcfd50fa05.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/hockey/mackinnon-shines-in-clinching-win-helps-avs-win-stanley-cup/article_d2c176ca-f613-11ec-9187-332cb3a8ac36.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"prologue":"Andrew Cogliano shouted at Nathan MacKinnon in the midst of the Colorado Avalanche\u2019s Stanley Cup celebration.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nhl","hockey","pro-hockey","stanley cup","stanley cup playoffs","colorado avalanche","nathan mackinnon","tampa bay lightning","sidney crosby"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"17f5d97e-658f-5c41-bd99-77599b34e673","description":"Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon lifts the Stanley Cup after the team defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)","byline":"Phelan Ebenhack","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7f/17f5d97e-658f-5c41-bd99-77599b34e673/62b9a65a1db8e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7f/17f5d97e-658f-5c41-bd99-77599b34e673/62b9a65a1db8e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7f/17f5d97e-658f-5c41-bd99-77599b34e673/62b9a65a1db8e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7f/17f5d97e-658f-5c41-bd99-77599b34e673/62b9a65a1db8e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"8f8b8e66-49e6-56f2-b4e9-99fcfd50fa05","body":"

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Andrew Cogliano shouted at Nathan MacKinnon in the midst of the Colorado Avalanche\u2019s Stanley Cup celebration.

\u201c87!\u201d he bellowed.

It was a reference to the final two numbers of MacKinnon\u2019s hotel room, which Colorado\u2019s star forward thought was a great omen when he checked in ahead of Sunday night's Game 6 in Tampa. Sidney Crosby, like MacKinnon a native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, is known for being No. 87.

Now MacKinnon is a Stanley Cup champion, just like Crosby.

\u201cWe just felt like it was fate,\u201d MacKinnon said. \u201cWe just knew we were going to win when I got that room number.\u201d

Fate didn\u2019t help MacKinnon sneak a perfect shot past 2021 playoff MVP Andrei Vasilevskiy for Colorado\u2019s first goal or help him set up Artturi Lehkonen for the second. And fate didn\u2019t make him slide his body in front of shots to keep them from getting to the net or take a big hit from Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos that knocked him to the ice.

No, it was skill and sheer determination for a player seeking a championship that had eluded him for several years amid playoff disappointments. He was at his best in the Cup-clinching 2-1 victory Sunday night. After a relatively quiet performance in the series until that point, MacKinnon picked the perfect time to be a difference-maker and drove the bus for the Avalanche.

General manager Joe Sakic, who drafted MacKinnon with the first pick in 2013, said this means everything to his first-line center.

\u201cHe\u2019s one of the best players in the world, and he wanted this more than anyone, and you can tell,\u201d Sakic said. \u201cHe\u2019s open about it how much he wants to win, and I was really proud for him. He\u2019s been tremendous right from when he started as a rookie. He\u2019s gotten better and better every year. A dynamic player, and you saw it today. He checked as hard as when he had the puck.\u201d

MacKinnon at times played like a man possessed during this run, leading the Avalanche with 13 goals, tied for the playoff lead.

\u201cThe maturity of his game over the last couple of seasons and in going through what we went through in the playoffs last year has kind of driven him to a different point this year,\u201d coach Jared Bednar said. \u201cHe has a better understanding and a growing understanding of everything that\u2019s happening around him and that other guys play an important role in our team\u2019s success and it doesn\u2019t have to always just come back on him.\u201d

MacKinnon blazed and bulldozed through and dangled around plenty of opponents to win his first championship, adding a goal in the title-clinching win.

\u201cNate\u2019s like a bull in a china shop,\u201d said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team came two victories away from the NHL\u2019s first three-peat since in the early 1980s. \u201cHe plays the power game. He\u2019s kind of got that double-edged sword because he\u2019s really fast and he\u2019s really strong, so it\u2019s hard to neutralize him when you really let him go.\u201d

The Avalanche unleashed MacKinnon on Nashville, St. Louis and Edmonton before that \u2014 sweeping the Predators in the first round and the Oilers in the Western Conference final sandwiched around beating the rival Blues in six. And then came the Lightning, who were vanquished in a terrific series that saw four one-goal games (two won by Colorado in overtime) and a blowout win for each team.

At the end, Colorado had the Cup and MacKinnon this time didn\u2019t have to answer questions about what went wrong or whether he\u2019d need to change his approach to win in the playoffs.

Instead of doing that, MacKinnon ratcheted up his game. Even before he scored his first goal of the final, he danced around defenders with moves more reminiscent of video game hockey than real life.

Facing noted Tampa Bay shutdown center Anthony Cirelli in the final, MacKinnon was more than up to the challenge.

\u201cHe embraces some of those matchups,\u201d Bednar said. \u201cNate, he\u2019s not afraid or intimidated to go against anybody.\u201d

As a result, MacKinnon now trails Crosby by two Stanley Cup titles, giving the 26-year-old even more to shoot for beyond this championship.

\u201cIt\u2019s crazy,\u201d MacKinnon said. \u201cCan\u2019t wait to hug my family. It\u2019s hard to describe. I didn\u2019t really know what it would be like to actually win it, just seeing all these warriors battle, it just feels unbelievable.\"

Photos: Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup
"}, {"id":"0e46c371-4ae9-59ed-8b37-b4bd9da32598","type":"article","starttime":"1656074700","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-24T07:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656074709","priority":0,"sections":[{"football":"sports/football"},{"football":"sports/professional/football"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"As investigation continues, family of Ravens\u2019 Jaylon Ferguson calls his death \u2018one of the darkest moments in our lives\u2019","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_0e46c371-4ae9-59ed-8b37-b4bd9da32598.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_0e46c371-4ae9-59ed-8b37-b4bd9da32598.html","canonical":"https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/bs-sp-ravens-jaylon-ferguson-family-statement-20220623-nwqvbbndunfcxbg27cfgcotdyq-story.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun","prologue":"With investigators looking into the death of Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, his family on Thursday asked for privacy, calling this \u201cone of the darkest moments in our lives.\u201d","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","nfl","football","pro-football"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a","description":"Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (45) during preseason practice at the Ravens' training facility, Aug. 22, 2020. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)","byline":"Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/TNS","hireswidth":1765,"hiresheight":1174,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a1/ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a/62b5ae7bb4260.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1765","height":"1174","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a1/ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a/62b5ae7bb3d80.image.jpg?resize=1765%2C1174"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a1/ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a/62b5ae7bb3d80.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a1/ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a/62b5ae7bb3d80.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"681","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/a1/ea196c8e-d363-51a8-bbd4-ec6857bbb26a/62b5ae7bb3d80.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C681"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"0e46c371-4ae9-59ed-8b37-b4bd9da32598","body":"

With investigators looking into the death of Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, his family on Thursday asked for privacy, calling this \u201cone of the darkest moments in our lives.\u201d

In a statement shared on social media by Doni Smith, Ferguson\u2019s fiancee, the family said it was with \u201cdeep sadness that we acknowledge the unexpected passing of our beloved Jaylon Ferguson.\u201d Baltimore Police said they found the 26-year-old unresponsive at a home in the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue in Baltimore\u2019s Harwood neighborhood late Tuesday.

Ferguson never regained consciousness and was later pronounced dead on the scene. Police said there were no signs of trauma or foul play, but investigators have not ruled out the possibility of an overdose. They said the medical examiner will determine a cause of death.

In its statement, Ferguson\u2019s family said that despite \u201cthe speculation in earlier reports, at this point in time the cause of Jaylon\u2019s death has yet to be determined. This is one of the darkest moments in our lives and we are still utterly shocked. We ask that you please respect our privacy as we navigate through this difficult time.\u201d

Ferguson and Smith had three young children. In a statement released by the team Wednesday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh called Ferguson, who was entering his fourth season in Baltimore, \u201ca good-hearted, gentle person who loved his family and his team.\u201d

Breaking down players selected in 1st round of NFL draft
"}, {"id":"07a454c7-028c-5496-acda-e424ae22ad3b","type":"article","starttime":"1656028500","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-23T18:55:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1656029752","priority":0,"sections":[{"live":"live"},{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"alert":"true","ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"2022 NBA Draft: Follow the latest picks and trades live","url":"http://leetemplates.com/live/article_07a454c7-028c-5496-acda-e424ae22ad3b.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/live/article_07a454c7-028c-5496-acda-e424ae22ad3b.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/tncms/asset/editorial/18605b3e-f32a-11ec-a8ba-fb5e152187e5/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jason Dean, Madison.com","prologue":"Live updates from the 2022 NBA Draft. Follow the latest news and picks.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nba","live","nba draft","basketball","2022 nba draft","nba draft results","pro-basketball"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{"no_video_ad":"true"},"presentation":null,"revision":7,"commentID":"07a454c7-028c-5496-acda-e424ae22ad3b","body":"

Live updates from the 2022 NBA Draft. Follow the latest news and picks.

2022 NBA Draft: Position previews and more
No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our 2022 NBA mock draft
"}, {"id":"6664cc88-23c2-537b-9718-ca2b42347d07","type":"article","starttime":"1655989200","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-23T08:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1655989310","priority":0,"sections":[{"college":"sports/college"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"How NIL deals have \u2018completely changed the college experience\u2019 for women\u2019s athletics","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/college/article_6664cc88-23c2-537b-9718-ca2b42347d07.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/college/article_6664cc88-23c2-537b-9718-ca2b42347d07.html","canonical":"https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/uw-huskies/on-the-50-year-anniversary-of-title-ix-nil-deals-have-completely-changed-the-college-experience-for-womens-athletes/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times","prologue":"Kelley Lynch\u2019s freshman year feels like a lifetime ago.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","ncaa","nil","women athletes"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"35aea051-59b8-5f02-8317-09588a01c602","description":"Kelley Lynch, a softball player for East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Ga., accepts the award for High School Athlete of the Year at an awards banquet Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)","byline":"Marcio Jose Sanchez","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"704","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/5a/35aea051-59b8-5f02-8317-09588a01c602/62b4606e17b0a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C704"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/5a/35aea051-59b8-5f02-8317-09588a01c602/62b4606e17b0a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"206","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/5a/35aea051-59b8-5f02-8317-09588a01c602/62b4606e17b0a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C206"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"704","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/5a/35aea051-59b8-5f02-8317-09588a01c602/62b4606e17b0a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C704"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"6664cc88-23c2-537b-9718-ca2b42347d07","body":"

Kelley Lynch\u2019s freshman year feels like a lifetime ago.

In the fall of 2019, Lynch \u2014 who earned National High School Player of the Year honors as a senior at East Coweta High in Newnan, Ga., \u2014 arrived in Seattle as perhaps the nation\u2019s most prized prep softball prospect. Unsurprisingly, companies attempted to capitalize on her significant social media following.

But NCAA laws prohibited such partnerships.

\u201cIt\u2019s not even that anyone was offering money, but people would say, \u2018Hey, can we send you this product to post on your (Instagram) story?\u2019\u201d the soon-to-be senior pitcher and first baseman said last week. \u201cI\u2019d say, \u2018Oh, I\u2019m sorry but I can\u2019t do that.\u2019

\u201cJust looking now, I\u2019ve been fortunate to work with Outback (Steakhouse) and even Coca-Cola, and it\u2019s just so surreal. It\u2019s really cool for all college athletes, but especially females to know how profitable we are now with social media, in this day and age. Just to know people see value in us is really, really cool.\u201d

It wasn\u2019t always this way. Title IX \u2014 a federal law that ensures equal opportunities for men and women in \u201cany education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,\u201d athletics included \u2014 was passed 50 years ago Thursday. And last July, the NCAA suspended amateurism rules related to name, image and likeness nationwide \u2014 allowing college athletes to profit from sponsored social media posts or ads, personal streaming channels, training lessons and camps, speaking engagements, merchandising, autograph sales, endorsement deals and more.

For Lynch and others like her, the NIL Era has made an immediate impact.

For others, however, it arrived too late.

\u201cIt\u2019s tough,\u201d said NCAA all-time leading scorer Kelsey Plum, who carried UW to a Final Four and was selected with the first pick of the 2017 WNBA draft, in an interview with The Times last summer. \u201cThere were definitely times, especially the last couple years of my career, where we\u2019d be selling out arenas on the road, nationally televised games, people wearing my number in the stands on shirts, but they can\u2019t put my name on it.

\u201cI really just tried to take it as, it\u2019s a stage in your life. Now I\u2019ve moved on to be a professional and I can make money off of what I do. But Seattle rent is not cheap. I was paying like $900 a month for a room, and I\u2019m trying to pay for wifi. I\u2019m trying to pay for gas in my car. There were some days where I\u2019d look in my bank account and say, \u2018Dang.\u2019 I do think I would have for sure \u2014 whether that\u2019s locally or nationally \u2014 made some good money. But here we are.\u201d

A year of data supports that assessment. According to NIL platform leader Opendorse, 15.7% of total NIL compensation from July 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022, was paid to women\u2019s basketball players \u2014 ranking behind only football (49.9%) and men\u2019s basketball (17%). Even so, women\u2019s hoops has accounted for just 4.5% of total NIL deals \u2014 meaning the sport\u2019s top stars have disproportionately profited.

In March, Axios and Opendorse reported that each social media post from UConn standout Paige Bueckers was worth a whopping $62,900, followed by Louisville\u2019s Hailey Van Lith ($44,200). Of men\u2019s and women\u2019s Sweet Sixteen entrants, the next three highest earners \u2014 Gonzaga\u2019s Chet Holmgren ($10,400) and Drew Timme ($8,400) and Duke\u2019s Paolo Banchero ($9,000) \u2014 could scarcely compete.

Bueckers, of course, has become perhaps the NIL Era\u2019s biggest star \u2014 inking deals with Gatorade, Cash App, StockX and Crocs. But the average compensation per Division I athlete is a more modest $3,711, according to Opendorse.

Which, for a college athlete, still pays dividends.

Especially when you don\u2019t have time for a job.

\u201cWe have players who could be on a 20% (scholarship) or a 70% (scholarship). So everyone has their own story,\u201d Lynch said. \u201cIf you\u2019re not getting help from your family or anything financial like that, it can be really hard. Even if people just need to put food on the table for themselves, if they can\u2019t do that because of their busy schedules, it really has completely changed the college experience.

\u201cFor me, I know with NIL I can go shopping now. I don\u2019t have to worry about stuff like that. It has been a real game-changer for me, and I\u2019ve seen that for a lot of other athletes as well on different levels.\u201d

Added Plum: \u201cIn the summer, I hustled. I was working camps and refereeing. I tried to do what I could to scrap together that type of cash. But absolutely not (to the idea of working a job). You\u2019re a full-time student and a full-time athlete, traveling on the road all the time. There\u2019s absolutely no way that I personally could have held down a job. I know people do it. I don\u2019t know how people do it. There\u2019s no way.\u201d

In a presentation to the University of Washington Board of Regents last month, athletic director Jen Cohen reported that at least one athlete from every UW sport \u2014 men\u2019s and women\u2019s \u2014 has benefited from NIL in some capacity. Lynch and UW softball All-American Baylee Klingler recently announced deals with Outback Steakhouse, while local sports merchandise company Simply Seattle partnered with eight Husky softball players to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Title IX.

Vintage Brand \u2014 a company that creates personal merchandising brands for college athletes \u2014 partnered with UW freshman hoops guard Jayda Noble this spring as well.

\u201cWe looked at the landscape and thought (women\u2019s basketball) was really the sweet spot for NIL,\u201d said former UW baseball player and Vintage Brand co-founder Chad Hartvigson. \u201cWe think those athletes are underserved, for one, but are very marketable. The athletes there understand social media a lot more than their counterparts on the football side. They\u2019re more active on it. They know how to portray themselves. They do a really good job of taking great videos and putting up really great content that people aspire to watch.

\u201cWe thought, \u2018Man, these athletes have strong followings.\u2019 A lot of this is about social reach. It\u2019s not about who\u2019s the best player on the team. It\u2019s about who can really market themselves and build their brand and show their dynamic personality.\u201d

In that vein, posting content on social media has accounted for 67.6% of all NIL activities and 34.2% of all compensation \u2014 the most in both categories, according to Opendorse. Lynch, for one, credits a UW NIL course for educating her on the tax ramifications of NIL deals and how best to build a presentable brand.

\u201cFrom a marketing standpoint, I need to really step back and write down my core values and who I am as a person,\u201d she said. \u201cHow can I display that through my social media? Because I think it\u2019s really easy to be surface level on Instagram, and people don\u2019t really know you. They just see the pictures you\u2019re posting. I want people to know more about me, as opposed to just looking at the pictures that I post and liking them.

\u201cYou look at (former UW national champion pitcher and ESPN analyst) Danielle Lawrie. She has mothers who follow her. It\u2019s not just softball. That\u2019s what I think is really cool about it. The world sees us mainly as softball players, but through NIL we\u2019re getting to not only express our other interests, but we\u2019re able to give back and help grow our sport. You look at all the camps softball players have been able to put on since NIL has passed, and it\u2019s just amazing that we\u2019re able to give back to the game and do our part.\u201d

Of course, when it comes to NIL, football remains the biggest possible fish. And because of that, men\u2019s Division I athletes have earned 73.5% of total NIL compensation since July 1, 2021, with women claiming 26.5%.

On the 50-year anniversary of Title IX, more work is required. Women\u2019s athletics, on all levels, can continue to grow.

But now, at least, Lynch can post a product on Instagram.

\u201cWorking with (UW NIL collective) Montlake Futures has been so awesome, just them doing the work to find local brands and people who really want to support us and who really care about college athletes in Seattle,\u201d Lynch said. \u201cI\u2019ve just felt so much love from our city and the small businesses since NIL started. I feel really blessed to be at UW, because we have so many of these resources and so many people who want to help us get as much as we can out of NIL while we\u2019re here.\u201d

Added Plum, now a standout guard for the Las Vegas Aces: \u201cFor these student-athletes to be able to capitalize on (NIL) is huge. We don\u2019t have multi-million dollar (professional contracts) like the guys have, but this is a way to build your brand, build your business, and take steps to really elevate yourself throughout your college career. What a luxury. So absolutely, I think it helps female athletes a ton.\u201d

Think NIL blew up college sports? California is going for the knockout with new bill
"}, {"id":"54fed076-5d90-5354-ba7f-9002651d859b","type":"article","starttime":"1655988300","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-23T07:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1655989312","priority":0,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Source: Jerami Grant to be traded to Portland by Detroit","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/basketball/article_54fed076-5d90-5354-ba7f-9002651d859b.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/basketball/article_54fed076-5d90-5354-ba7f-9002651d859b.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/basketball/source-jerami-grant-to-be-traded-to-portland-by-detroit/article_7db94fa2-f2f0-11ec-a322-53b6156194fa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer","prologue":"Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Olympic gold medalist Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nba","basketball","pro-basketball","portland trail blazers","detroit pistons","jerami grant"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"63a8a960-7228-5232-8db7-93ff48d33a0b","description":"FILE - Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant brings the ball up against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Feb. 3, 2022. A person with knowledge of the move said the Pistons agreed Wednesday, June 22, to trade Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)","byline":"Paul Sancya","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"693","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/3a/63a8a960-7228-5232-8db7-93ff48d33a0b/62b4606ea4123.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C693"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/3a/63a8a960-7228-5232-8db7-93ff48d33a0b/62b4606ea4123.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"203","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/3a/63a8a960-7228-5232-8db7-93ff48d33a0b/62b4606ea4123.image.jpg?resize=300%2C203"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"693","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/3a/63a8a960-7228-5232-8db7-93ff48d33a0b/62b4606ea4123.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C693"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"54fed076-5d90-5354-ba7f-9002651d859b","body":"

A person with knowledge of the situation said the Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Olympic gold medalist Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers, with the biggest part of the return being a first-round pick in 2025.

Detroit gets the No. 36 pick in the draft Thursday and what would have been Milwaukee\u2019s first-round pick in 2025, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the agreement publicly.

ESPN first reported the trade agreement, along with the detail that the 2025 first-round pick is top-four protected.

Grant\u2019s salary \u2014 nearly $21 million for next season \u2014 is virtually the exact amount as the trade exception that Portland created in February when it traded C.J. McCollum to New Orleans.

It also gives Portland a big boost after a disappointing season, one where perennial All-Star Damian Lillard missed much of the year while injured. He and Grant were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold at the Tokyo Games last summer.

The most significant payoff for Detroit by making the move is cap space. The Pistons now have somewhere around $44 million in space available this summer, with free agency set to start in about a week.

Grant \u2014 who played his college basketball at Syracuse \u2014 averaged 19.2 points in 47 games with the Pistons this past season and has seen his numbers greatly improve over the last two years. In his first six seasons, he averaged 9.3 points while playing for Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Denver.

But in his two seasons with the Pistons, Grant averaged 20.9 points.

And the trade serves as a homecoming of sorts. Grant was born in 1994 when his father, Harvey Grant, was in the first of his three seasons as a member of the Trail Blazers.

No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our 2022 NBA mock draft
"}, {"id":"f348b015-577a-5ff3-abb0-67ddbb63c485","type":"article","starttime":"1655987400","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-23T07:30:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"football":"sports/football"},{"football":"sports/professional/football"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Tony Siragusa, who helped Ravens win Super Bowl, dies at 55","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_f348b015-577a-5ff3-abb0-67ddbb63c485.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_f348b015-577a-5ff3-abb0-67ddbb63c485.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/football/tony-siragusa-who-helped-ravens-win-super-bowl-dies-at-55/article_5af0cea6-f2ef-11ec-ab1a-539e2a307885.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer","prologue":"Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died Wednesday. He was 55.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nfl","football","pro-football","tony siragusa","baltimore ravens","defensive tackle","ray lewis","jim ornstein"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"aec56079-fd2a-500b-af73-d9a518fdbcd9","description":"FILE - Tony Siragusa, defensive tackle for the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens, holds the Vince Lombardi trophy as he rides with his wife, Kathy, in a parade in his hometown of Kenilworth, N.J. on March 4, 2001. Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, has died at age 55. Siragusa's broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky, File)","byline":"Jeff Zelevansky","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"726","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ec/aec56079-fd2a-500b-af73-d9a518fdbcd9/62b4606f3a1ba.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C726"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ec/aec56079-fd2a-500b-af73-d9a518fdbcd9/62b4606f3a1ba.image.jpg?resize=100%2C71"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"213","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ec/aec56079-fd2a-500b-af73-d9a518fdbcd9/62b4606f3a1ba.image.jpg?resize=300%2C213"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"726","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ec/aec56079-fd2a-500b-af73-d9a518fdbcd9/62b4606f3a1ba.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C726"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"f348b015-577a-5ff3-abb0-67ddbb63c485","body":"

Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died Wednesday. He was 55.

Siragusa\u2019s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death. The cause of death was not immediately available.

\u201cThis is a really sad day,\u201d he said. \u201cTony was way more than my client, he was family. My heart goes out to Tony\u2019s loved ones.\u201d

Siragusa, known as \u201cGoose,\u201d played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore\u2019s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a stout defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.

Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving attitude, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.

\u201cThere was no one like Goose \u2014 a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a giving, generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know,\u201d said Brian Billick, the coach of that 2000 team. \u201cWe would not have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such stunning, sad news.\u201d

Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle tandem. He finished his career with 22 sacks.

\u201cI love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew that life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever,\u201d Lewis said. \u201cHe was a one-of-a-kind person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that.\u201d

The news of Siragusa's death came on what was already a tragic day for the Ravens. The death of Jaylon Ferguson, a linebacker for Baltimore, at age 26 was announced earlier in the day.

\u201cThis is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,\u201d owner Steve Bisciotti said. \u201cWe appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.\u201d

Siragusa was a star football player and wrestler at David Brearley High School in New Jersey. He then played collegiately at Pittsburgh, where he had a reputation for wisecracks well before his NFL career.

\u201cIf I wanted to learn a school song, I would\u2019ve gone to Notre Dame or Penn State,\" he once said. \"I want to kill people on the football field. That\u2019s why I came to Pitt.\u201d

Siragusa went undrafted before signing with Indianapolis, but he turned out to be a championship-winning force in the NFL. Then he took his personality to the airwaves, working for Fox's NFL coverage.

\u201cHis incomparable passion for football established him as one of the most charismatic personalities ever to set foot on the gridiron or in front of a camera,\u201d Fox Sports said in a statement. \u201cGoose was a natural in his ability to relate the sport and its players to fans everywhere.\u201d

Siragusa also had a role on HBO's \u201cThe Sopranos\u201d and hosted shows on the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.

\u201cTony truly was bigger than life, on and off the field,\u201d said Pat Narduzzi, Pitt's current football coach. \u201cHe played the game passionately and relentlessly. Despite not being drafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him so many places but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best recorded pep talks to our guys before our biggest games.\"

Photos: Super Bowl LVI — Rams vs. Bengals
"}, {"id":"986c79ce-7be6-54ed-be27-88c1575a49fc","type":"article","starttime":"1655913600","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-22T11:00:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/college/basketball"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"How \u2018pressure\u2019 during Coach K\u2019s last season helped prepare Duke players for NBA draft","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/college/basketball/article_986c79ce-7be6-54ed-be27-88c1575a49fc.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/college/basketball/article_986c79ce-7be6-54ed-be27-88c1575a49fc.html","canonical":"https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/duke/article262704997.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Kyle Williams, The News & Observer","prologue":"Generations of Blue Devils share the common experience of suiting up for Mike Krzyzewski.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","tns","ldcjd","ncaa","basketball","college basketball","duke"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#mct"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768","description":"Duke's Paolo Banchero (5) and Mark Williams (15) celebrate amid an 88-79 win against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals at Barclays Center on March 10, 2022, in New York. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images/TNS)","byline":"Sarah Stier/Getty Images North America/TNS","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/9b/99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768/62b312780846d.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1176","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/9b/99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768/62b3127807d32.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1176"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/9b/99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768/62b3127807d32.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/9b/99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768/62b3127807d32.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/9b/99b2f737-68a6-59b6-9d94-395c275cd768/62b3127807d32.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"986c79ce-7be6-54ed-be27-88c1575a49fc","body":"

Generations of Blue Devils share the common experience of suiting up for Mike Krzyzewski. But the 2021-22 Duke basketball team is the only one that understands the constant duress that comes with being Coach K\u2019s last team.

\u201cI think last year was a great learning experience, with having all the lights on you, knowing how to deal with it and playing through it,\u201d former Duke forward A.J. Griffin told media members on Monday, days ahead of this week\u2019s NBA draft.

Griffin believes playing under that microscope last season will benefit him as he moves forward.

\u201cCoach [Krzyzewski] did a great job with us, just keeping us focused on the season and each game, instead of all that outside noise that comes with his last year,\u201d Griffin said. \u201cMoving forward into this next chapter, it\u2019s good to know that you can handle that pressure and continue to do what you know how to do.\u201d

\u2018Pressure.\u2019 That\u2019s the keyword Griffin and his former Duke teammate Mark Williams brought up when discussing the challenges of last season with the Blue Devils.

\u201cI think this year taught me a lot, especially being coach\u2019s last year,\u201d Williams said. \u201cWe dealt with a lot of pressure from the outside, and you learn how to adapt to that, how to deal with it, as far as the media.

\u201cEvery game it\u2019s a different level of intensity; every team was trying to beat Coach K, every team was trying to be a part of history.\u201d

During Thursday night\u2019s NBA draft, Duke can tie the record for the most players selected in the first round from one school \u2014 Kentucky had five players selected in the opening round of the 2010 NBA Draft. Griffin and Williams have gone through the draft process with their former Duke teammates Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels and Wendell Moore.

\u201cGoing through this process with my teammates is a rare and fun experience,\u201d Griffin said. \u201cYou don\u2019t usually get four other guys that are getting drafted the same night. It\u2019s not only exciting for me, but exciting for my teammates and where they go. And to go through this process together, that bonds us even more.\u201d

Despite the pressure and commotion that followed Krzyzeweski\u2019s retirement announcement ahead of the 2021-22 season, Griffin and Williams both said they enjoyed their collegiate experience.

\u201cI mean, it\u2019s fun in college. You travel all across the country, play a bunch of different teams,\u201d Williams, a 7-foot center, said. \u201cIt\u2019s quite the experience, I\u2019d say.\u201d

Griffin, who\u2019s among the draft\u2019s youngest players at 18 years old, explained why he decided to play at Duke instead of taking another path, such as playing on the NBA\u2019s G League Ignite developmental team.

\u201cThat college experience, it\u2019s unique, and you\u2019re never gonna get that going a different route,\u201d Griffin said. \u201cI gained a lot of maturity and growth as a person that year, so I was grateful that I was able to go there.\u201d

The biggest NCAA basketball tournament upsets
"}, {"id":"e6a04a49-a570-57c5-9af2-727b3303cb7b","type":"article","starttime":"1655902800","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-22T08:00:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"golf":"sports/golf"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"British Open allows golfers from Saudi-backed series to play","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/golf/article_e6a04a49-a570-57c5-9af2-727b3303cb7b.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/golf/article_e6a04a49-a570-57c5-9af2-727b3303cb7b.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/golf/british-open-allows-golfers-from-saudi-backed-series-to-play/article_90e7e354-f228-11ec-9b0f-5f0be30bf8ec.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"Associated Press","prologue":"Players who have joined the new Saudi Arabia-funded league will still be allowed to compete at the British Open.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","pga","liv","saudi league","golf","professional golf tours","the british open","men's major golf championships","the open championship","pga tour","saudi arabia","dustin johnson","phil mickelson"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"6b05d5b5-fb86-54c2-a280-d834acbc5595","description":"FILE - Phil Mickelson of the United States , second left, waits to play his tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club in St Albans, England, Saturday, June 11, 2022. Players who have joined the new Saudi Arabia-funded league will still be allowed to compete at the British Open next month, organizers said on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, FIle)","byline":"Alastair Grant","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b0/6b05d5b5-fb86-54c2-a280-d834acbc5595/62b31287a5e13.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b0/6b05d5b5-fb86-54c2-a280-d834acbc5595/62b31287a5e13.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b0/6b05d5b5-fb86-54c2-a280-d834acbc5595/62b31287a5e13.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b0/6b05d5b5-fb86-54c2-a280-d834acbc5595/62b31287a5e13.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"e6a04a49-a570-57c5-9af2-727b3303cb7b","body":"

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) \u2014 Players who have joined the new Saudi Arabia-funded league will still be allowed to compete at the British Open next month, organizers said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Open had allowed players who were banned by the PGA Tour for signing up to the LIV Golf series to play at last week's tournament.

\u201cPlayers who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for the 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St. Andrews,\u201d R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement.

The world\u2019s oldest major championship begins July 14.

\u201cThe Open is golf's original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal,\" Slumbers said.

Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson headlined LIV Golf's inaugural tournament held this month outside London and won by former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who collected $4.75 million. The league is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Mickelson, a six-time major champion who has become the face of the LIV league, missed the cut at The Country Club last week. He won the British Open in 2013.

10 reasons why the Masters is still the best golf tournament in the world
"}, {"id":"17e9db90-f528-5bad-baba-6dca802126d7","type":"article","starttime":"1655902800","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-22T08:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1655903813","priority":0,"sections":[{"football":"sports/football"},{"football":"sports/professional/football"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Rob Gronkowski retires, won't join Tom Brady for 3rd season","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_17e9db90-f528-5bad-baba-6dca802126d7.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/football/article_17e9db90-f528-5bad-baba-6dca802126d7.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/football/rob-gronkowski-retires-wont-join-tom-brady-for-3rd-season/article_5dc54bd2-f229-11ec-adcc-8b14924ee5a5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"ROB MAADDI AP Pro Football Writer","prologue":"Rob Gronkowski won\u2019t be joining Tom Brady for a third season with the Buccaneers.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nfl","football","pro-football","rob gronkowski","gronk","retirement","tom brady","drew rosenhaus","buccaneers"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e32d3821-dbe0-5b6f-9fac-2d83eec59f14","description":"FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) waves to fans after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 30-17. Four-time All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement again, Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik, File)","byline":"Danny Karnik","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/32/e32d3821-dbe0-5b6f-9fac-2d83eec59f14/62b312880c7d7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/32/e32d3821-dbe0-5b6f-9fac-2d83eec59f14/62b312880c7d7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/32/e32d3821-dbe0-5b6f-9fac-2d83eec59f14/62b312880c7d7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/32/e32d3821-dbe0-5b6f-9fac-2d83eec59f14/62b312880c7d7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"17e9db90-f528-5bad-baba-6dca802126d7","body":"

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Rob Gronkowski won\u2019t be joining Tom Brady for a third season with the Buccaneers.

The four-time All-Pro tight end announced his retirement for the second time in three years on Tuesday. In an Instagram post, Gronkowski thanked his teammates and coaches over the years and said he\u2019s going back to \u201cchilling out.\u201d

Gronkowski won four Super Bowls with Brady, including three in New England.

\u201cI want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team,\u201d Gronkowski wrote on Instagram. \u201cI will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field. The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well.\u201d

The 33-year-old retired in 2019 after nine seasons with the Patriots, but returned in 2020 when Brady went to the Buccaneers. The close friends teamed up to help Tampa beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl in February 2021. Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes in that game.

\u201cLove you as a man, teammate and friend,\u201d Brady wrote on Gronkowski\u2019s post. \u201cOne of a kind in every way.\u201d

The Buccaneers and Brady were hoping Gronkowski would play another season. But Tampa prepared for his departure in the draft by selecting tight ends Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth round. Veteran tight end Cameron Brate also remains with the Buccaneers.

\u201cRob is a true professional who left it all on the field for us the past two seasons and helped establish a championship culture in our building,\u201d Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. \u201cIt is always difficult to see a great player walk away from the game when he is still enjoying that kind of success, but the overwhelming emotions I feel today are gratitude and respect for one of the greatest tight ends who ever played the game.\u201d

The fun-loving Gronkowski will be tough to replace. He was not only one of the league\u2019s best pass-catching tight ends but also among the best blockers at his position. Gronk was known for his toughness, playing physical and through injuries.

His jovial personality made him one of the league\u2019s most popular players and a natural for a broadcasting job.

Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN it wouldn't surprise him if Brady called and talked him out of retirement at some point during the season. Brady himself ended a 40-day retirement in March to play his 23rd season.

But for now, Gronk has spiked his last football in an NFL game.

He ends his career \u2014 again \u2014 with 621 catches for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns in the regular season. He had 98 receptions for 1,389 yards and 15 TDs in the postseason.

Breaking down players selected in 1st round of NFL draft
"}, {"id":"5833dc1d-64f1-5789-93d7-c22151b77554","type":"article","starttime":"1655901900","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-22T07:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1655902859","priority":0,"sections":[{"hockey":"sports/hockey"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Matthews wins Hart Trophy as NHL's most valuable player","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/hockey/article_5833dc1d-64f1-5789-93d7-c22151b77554.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/hockey/article_5833dc1d-64f1-5789-93d7-c22151b77554.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/hockey/matthews-wins-hart-trophy-as-nhls-most-valuable-player/article_72309b28-f227-11ec-ae80-e7ee3b2186e1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"FRED GOODALL AP Sports Writer","prologue":"Toronto\u2019s Auston Matthews won the Hart Trophy as the NHL\u2019s most valuable player on Tuesday night.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","nhl","hockey","pro-hockey","most valuable player","hart memorial trophy","erik karlsson","victor hedman","igor shesterkin","stanley cup","toronto"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"86de03fa-6cb4-5a14-bc65-0834d2557415","description":"\u201cWhat\u2019s the case? He\u2019s the best scorer,\u201d Toronto Maple Leafs teammate David Kampf said. \u201cHe has the most goals. That is the reason.\u201d Matthews\u2019 60 goals are the most a player has had in a season since Steven Stamkos scored 60 in 2011-12. Matthews is one of only three players to score that many since the salary cap era began in 2004-05.","byline":"Frank Gunn","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/6d/86de03fa-6cb4-5a14-bc65-0834d2557415/62b30ee4af283.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/6d/86de03fa-6cb4-5a14-bc65-0834d2557415/62b30ee4af283.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/6d/86de03fa-6cb4-5a14-bc65-0834d2557415/62b30ee4af283.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/6d/86de03fa-6cb4-5a14-bc65-0834d2557415/62b30ee4af283.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"5833dc1d-64f1-5789-93d7-c22151b77554","body":"

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Toronto\u2019s Auston Matthews won the Hart Trophy as the NHL\u2019s most valuable player on Tuesday night, becoming only the third Maple Leaf to win the award and the first since Ted Kennedy in 1954-55.

The 24-year-old forward received 119 first-place votes in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and finished well ahead of Edmonton\u2019s Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers for the honor presented during the NHL Awards Show.

\u201cI can't lie, it feels really good. ... It's pretty special,\u201d Matthews said, though he conceded there were some bittersweet feelings about accepting the award in Tampa, where the two-time defending champion Lightning and Colorado Avalanche will meet in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.

\u201cThere is some angst, wishing you were still playing,\u201d Matthews said.

Shesterkin claimed the Vezina Trophy as the league\u2019s top goaltender. Colorado\u2019s Cale Maker took the Norris Trophy, presented to the league\u2019s best defenseman, and Detroit\u2019s Moritz Seider claimed the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.

Matthews became the first player to score 60 goals since Tampa Bay\u2019s Steven Stamkos did it 10 years ago, helping the Maple Leafs (54-21-7, 115 points) set franchise records for wins and points. Toronto lost to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.

The Maple Leafs star, who posted career bests with 46 assists and 106 points, also took home the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player in the regular season, an honor determined by voting by members of the NHL Players Association.

Shesterkin became the third Rangers goalie in the past 40 years to win the Vezina, joining Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12) and John Vanbiesbrouck (1985-86). He went 36-13-4 with an NHL-best 2.07 goal-against-average and .935 save percentage before leading a playoff run that ended against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference final.

Seider is the first Red Wings player to win the Calder Trophy since goalie Roger Crozier during the 1964-65 season. He led all first-year defensemen with 50 points and finished ahead of Toronto\u2019s Michael Bunting and Anaheim\u2019s Trevor Zegras in balloting for the award.

Maker is the fifth defenseman to win Norris within his first three regular seasons, joining Adam Fox, Erik Karlsson, Denis Potvin and Bobby Orr (twice). He led all defensemen with 28 goals while helping the Avalanche finish with a Western Conference-best 119 points (56-19-7).

The 2019-20 Calder Trophy winner beat out Tampa Bay\u2019s Victor Hedman and Nashville\u2019s Roman Josi.

\u201cThey are such incredible players,\u201d Maker said of the other Norris finalists. \u201cThey pushed me hard all season.\u201d

Calgary\u2019s Jacob Markstrom and Nashville\u2019s Juuse Saros were finalists for the Vezina.

Most expensive stadium experiences for sports fans
"}, {"id":"bfd13a50-4ec6-5c73-9cd3-a4230eaf34a3","type":"article","starttime":"1655901000","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-22T07:30:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"professional":"sports/baseball/professional"},{"professional":"sports/professional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"MLB standardizes how baseballs are prepped to be put in play","url":"http://leetemplates.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_bfd13a50-4ec6-5c73-9cd3-a4230eaf34a3.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_bfd13a50-4ec6-5c73-9cd3-a4230eaf34a3.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/sports/baseball/professional/mlb-standardizes-how-baseballs-are-prepped-to-be-put-in-play/article_bfbe22da-f226-11ec-88ea-67483b9edf6b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer","prologue":"Major League Baseball is standardizing procedures for rubbing baseballs and their removal from humidors.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","ldcjd","mlb","baseball","pro-baseball","humidor","pitcher","baseball pitching","baseball equipment","rob manfred"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c6d82eaa-9080-5a52-b0c0-0524d6312670","description":"FILE - Baseballs are held in a basket on the field before a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 18, 2021. Major League Baseball is standardizing procedures for rubbing baseballs and their removal from humidors in an effort to establish more consistency amid complaints about slickness that followed the crackdown on sticky substances. MLB has been working on standards over the course of the season in response to feedback from players and sent a memorandum outlining the changes on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, to general managers, assistant GMs and clubhouse managers. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)","byline":"Bryan Woolston","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6d/c6d82eaa-9080-5a52-b0c0-0524d6312670/62b30ef5c5e20.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6d/c6d82eaa-9080-5a52-b0c0-0524d6312670/62b30ef5c5e20.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6d/c6d82eaa-9080-5a52-b0c0-0524d6312670/62b30ef5c5e20.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/leetemplates.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6d/c6d82eaa-9080-5a52-b0c0-0524d6312670/62b30ef5c5e20.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"bfd13a50-4ec6-5c73-9cd3-a4230eaf34a3","body":"

NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 Major League Baseball is standardizing procedures for rubbing baseballs and their removal from humidors in an effort to establish more consistency amid complaints about slickness that followed the crackdown on sticky substances.

MLB has been working on standards over the course of the season in response to feedback from players and sent a memorandum outlining the changes on Tuesday to general managers, assistant GMs and clubhouse managers. Titled \u201cUpdates to Baseball Storage & Handling,\u201d a copy of the memo was obtained by The Associated Press.

Scrutiny of baseball preparation \u2014 a minimum 13 dozen are readied for each game \u2014 has increased in recent years. Use of a humidor, began by Colorado in 2002, expanded to Arizona in 2019, three additional teams in 2020, then a total of 10 last year and all 30 this season.

MLB is mandating a ball be stored in a humidor for at least 14 days before game use, and ball storage must be recorded by the home team's gameday compliance monitor and then certified in a signed form by the clubhouse manager.

\u201cAll baseballs projected to be used in a specific game must be mudded within three hours of all other baseballs being used in that game, and must be mudded on the same day that they are going to be used,\u201d the memo states. \u201cBaseballs should not be out of the humidor for more than two hours at any point prior to first pitch, and if it will take club staff longer than two hours, the baseballs should be pulled out of the humidor in smaller batches.\u201d

The memo followed review of video of each team\u2019s rubbing procedures.

MLB is instructing that \u201ceach club staff member involved in the process should apply mud in a uniform manner ensuring the same mud-to-water ratio is applied to each ball. Rubbing mud should be applied to each baseball for at least 30 seconds, ensuring that mud is rubbed thoroughly and consistently into the entire leather surface of the ball.\u201d

After rubbing, balls are to be put back in Rawlings boxes, with dividers between each, and returned to the humidor until the home team's gameday compliance monitors gets them for game use. In an effort to reduce time in ball bags, balls are to be taken from the humidor 15-30 minutes before the scheduled start, and then no more than 96 balls at a time.

When needed, up to 96 more balls may be taken from the humidor, and they should not be mixed in bags with balls from the earlier bunch. A bag must be cleaned with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth before it is used \u201cto make sure there is no excess residue, dust or moisture.\u201d

Following a crackdown on use of sticky substances as grip aides last June 21, New York Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt complained about the baseballs in April and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen last weekend after a pitch he threw hit Seattle\u2019s Justin Upton in the head.

Bassitt was angry after Mets batters were hit by pitches 19 times in their first 20 games. Mets batters were hit 50 times entering Tuesday, on pace to finish with 117 \u2014 which would break the record of 105 set by Cincinnati last season.

Yet overall, hit batters are averaging 0.40 per team per game, down from 0.43 last year and 0.46 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, which was the most since a record high 0.47 in 1899.

MLB has tested tacky ball prototypes at last year's Arizona Fall League briefly this season at the Double-A Texas and Southern Leagues.

Commissioner Rob Manfred was pleased with the impact of the crackdown on sticky substances. Speaking at last year's All-Star Game, he called it \u201ca step along the road to a return to a more entertaining form of baseball.\u201d

\u201cThe process has already shown very promising effects in terms of the play of the game on the field,\" he said. \"Batting average, slugging percentage, all those offensive categories have improved. Strikeouts are down, base on balls are down. We have not seen any material increase in players being hit by pitches. Those are all huge positives for us.\u201d

The 10 most dominant teams in MLB postseason history
"}, {"id":"eb7a70da-038b-56fb-9780-87df25ff679a","type":"article","starttime":"1655845500","starttime_iso8601":"2022-06-21T16:05:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"football":"sports/football"}],"flags":{"spotlight":"true","ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Deshaun Watson settles 20 civil suits, faces NFL suspension","url":"http://leetemplates.com/news/national/article_eb7a70da-038b-56fb-9780-87df25ff679a.html","permalink":"https://leetemplates.com/news/national/article_eb7a70da-038b-56fb-9780-87df25ff679a.html","canonical":"https://news.lee.net/tncms/asset/editorial/d47375a6-f1a2-11ec-89b7-1f09f7640edf/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By JUAN A. LOZANO and ROB MAADDI Associated Press","prologue":"An official told AP \u201csettling doesn\u2019t give someone a pass\u201d and indicated a lengthy suspension remains in order.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","dcc","dcclm"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"eb7a70da-038b-56fb-9780-87df25ff679a","body":"

HOUSTON (AP) \u2014 Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's decision to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct may not dissuade the NFL from giving him a lengthy suspension, a person familiar with the league's investigation told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Watson has been accused by massage therapists of harassing, assaulting or touching them during appointments when he played for the Houston Texans.

Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents all 24 women, said Tuesday in a statement that once the paperwork is finished on the 20 settlements, \"those particular cases will be dismissed.\" He added that the terms of the settlements are \"confidential\" and that his legal team \"won't comment further on the settlements or those cases.\"

Watson still faces discipline from the league, which conducted its own investigation into the 26-year-old's behavior and is expected to make a decision before the Browns open training camp on July 27.

Following Buzbee's announcement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the agreements have \"no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.\"

Another league official told the AP \"settling doesn't give someone a pass\" and indicated a lengthy suspension remains in order. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn't concluded.

NFL investigators interviewed Watson in Houston over several days last month. They've spoken with 11 of Watson's accusers, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who said Buzbee declined to make more women available for interviews.

The league will present their findings to disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a former federal judge who will decide Watson's punishment. This is the first case for Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association.

The Browns, who signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract in March, had no immediate comment on the settlements.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name. Rusty Hardin, Watson's lead attorney, did not immediately return an email or a text seeking comment.

In March, two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal complaints stemming from the allegations. After that, the Browns and several other teams pursued Watson, with Cleveland convincing him to waive his no-trade clause and join a team with a solid roster.

The first 22 lawsuits against Watson were filed in March and April 2021. The last two lawsuits were filed after HBO's \"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel\" aired an interview last month with two of the women who detailed their encounters with Watson.

The settlements also come after The New York Times reported earlier this month that Watson had booked massage appointments with at least 66 different women over 17 months while he played for the Texans. The report said that a Texans representative had provided Watson with a nondisclosure agreement that he gave to some of the women to sign.

Last week, Watson reiterated his innocence and sidestepped any questions about whether he would settle with any of the women.

\"I never assaulted anyone,\" Watson said June 14 in his first public comments since being introduced by the Browns in March. \"I never harassed anyone or I never disrespected anyone. I never forced anyone to do anything.\"

Buzbee said he plans on taking the four unsettled lawsuits to trial, including the first one that was filed by Ashley Solis, who has previously made her name public. In an interview with HBO's \"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,\" Solis said she felt threatened by Watson after their massage session when he told her that she had a career to protect and \"I know you don't want anyone messing with it just like I don't want anyone messing with mine.\"

Buzbee said that without Solis, \"the conduct experienced by these women would likely have continued unfettered.\"

\"The truth is, without her courage and willingness to come forward, the NFL wouldn't currently be contemplating discipline; there would be no examination of how teams might knowingly or unknowingly enable certain behavior,\" Buzbee said.

Cleveland, which has spent nearly two decades searching for a franchise quarterback, pursued and signed Watson despite his complex legal situation.

Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam knew the Browns would face heavy criticism for the move, but they were comfortable with the decision after conducting their own investigation and meeting privately with Watson.

Now, the team is eager to know how long they might be without Watson. The Browns signed veteran backup Jacoby Brissett, who will move into the starting job if Watson is suspended.

___

Maaddi reported from Tampa, Florida. AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Conn. (AP) \u2014 Brooks Koepka, one of the first players to denounce a rival league for only 48 players, is the latest PGA Tour player to sign on with Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, The Associated Press has learned.

A person briefed on Koepka's decision told the AP he still would be able to compete on the PGA Tour until he hits a shot on the LIV Golf circuit. The person spoke on condition of anonymity without authorization to speak on behalf of the tour.

The Daily Telegraph in the UK first reported Koepka's decision.

It was another step \u2014 and a big name with his four major championships \u2014 that added to the roster of the LIV Golf series that invariably will lead to no space for some of the lesser-known players in the inaugural event outside London two weeks ago.

Koepka remained in the field for the Travelers Championship, though he was not at a player meeting Tuesday morning at the TPC River Highlands. The next LIV Golf event starts June 30 outside Portland, Oregon.

Koepka was the second player, behind Rory McIlroy, to speak out against a rival league in March 2020 when he told the AP, \u201cI have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.\u201d

\u201cMoney isn't going to change my life,\u201d Koepka said at the time.

The proposed rival league was different from LIV Golf, presented as the \u201cPremier Golf League\u201d though still relying on Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Greg Norman and LIV Golf took the idea of 48-man fields, no cuts with a team component.

LIV Golf has not announced Koepka's signing amid speculation that a few others were soon to join. One was Abraham Ancer of Mexico, the No. 20 in the world who won a World Golf Championship last year in a playoff, along with the Australian Open in 2018.

Ancer said his decision was not taken lightly and that joining LIV would allow him to give back to the game by helping it grow in Mexico. \u201cI never could have imagined being in this position today,\u201d he said on Twitter.

The development came as the PGA Tour held a player meeting at the Travelers Championship, during which Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke of the tour's position and plans to reshape the season and its tournaments.

According to two players in the meeting, the PGA Tour plans to return to a calendar season that would start in January and the FedEx Cup playoffs would be eligible for only for the top 70 players. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was for players.

Currently, the top 125 make the postseason, with the top 70 advancing to the second playoff event and the top 30 to the Tour Championship. The new plan is for the top 70 at the start, then top 50 and top 30.

The fall would be used for players beyond 70th to secure cards for the following year, although research showed most inside the top 100 would be safe. The tour was still looking at three fall events for limited fields, part of eight tournaments during the year that would offer $20 million in prize money.

LIV Golf was expected to announce as many as four new players this week. There was endless speculation during the U.S. Open involving more than a dozen names, some of whom have expressed no interest in going.

That led two-time major champion Collin Morikawa to post on Twitter, \u201cTo state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I've said it since February at Riviera that I'm here to stay on the PGA Tour and nothing has changed.\u201d

Koepka's younger brother, Chase, who is No. 1,607 in the world ranking, played in the inaugural LIV event outside London.

Brooks Koepka chastised the media at The Country Club last week for questions about the Saudi-funded league

\u201cI\u2019m here at the U.S. Open. I\u2019m ready to play U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open,\" he said. \"I don\u2019t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it.\u201d

Koepka won back-to-back in the U.S. Open (2017-18) and PGA Championship (2018-19), though his game has been in decline since then because of a series of injuries.

His last victory was the Phoenix Open in February 2021 and he has fallen to No. 19 in the world. In the majors this year, he missed the cut at the Masters and has finished out of the top 50 in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

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