Report: Davis confirms Celtics are on list of desired destinations

The Anthony Davis saga continues.

During media availability at NBA All-Star weekend, Davis confirmed that the list of destinations he would prefer to be traded to — consisting of the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers — was accurate, but when pressed about the Boston Celtics not being among those teams, Davis clarified that they definitively were.

Anthony Davis was asked about the perception the Celtics were not a preferred destination. He then repeated several times: “They were never not on my list.”

— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 16, 2019

It’s the latest wrinkle in what has been, in a word, a messy situation between Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. After news broke that their franchise player wanted out of the Big Easy, the Pelicans fielded trade offers leading up to the trade deadline — including a reported offer from the Lakers that consisted of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick — but elected to wait until the offseason to move ahead with any transaction.

Their decision to wait opened the door for the Celtics to make a formal offer, as they were unable to at the deadline due to what is known as the ‘Rose Rule’ — a stipulation in the CBA that allows teams to sign one player coming off their rookie-scale contracts to a deal worth 30 per cent of the salary cap as opposed to 25 per cent.

Given that the Celtics already have Kyrie Irving signed to such a deal, acquiring Davis would have been impossible — unless they moved Irving — until July 1.

Davis’ father previously suggested that he did not want his son to play for the Celtics, but Davis, …read more



Blue Jays’ Alford understands difficulty of Kyler Murray’s decision

DUNEDIN, Fla. – The recent drama over the decision by Oakland Athletics first-round pick Kyler Murray to declare for the NFL draft felt familiar to Anthony Alford, who faced a similar choice between sports back in 2014.

Though the stakes weren’t quite as high for the Toronto Blue Jays outfield prospect when he decided to leave Ole Miss and focus on baseball – he wasn’t a Heisman Trophy winner expected to be a first-round pick like the Oklahoma quarterback – the inner conflict and turmoil he experienced were quite the same.

“I knew what he was feeling, I knew the situation he was in,” said Alford. “It’s an interesting situation, it’s fun to be in that situation, and it definitely brought back some memories. At the same time, I know the challenges he’s facing, too.”

Alford would likely have been a first-round pick in the 2012 baseball draft if not for his plans to play quarterback at Southern Mississippi, but the Blue Jays selected him in the third round anyway, paid him $750,000 and let him play both sports as he decided on a career path.

He was 57-of-127 passing for 664 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions in nine games, five of them starts, during his freshman year, and after sitting out a season transferring to Ole Miss, appeared in three games as a backup safety and punt returner in 2014 before leaving for pro ball.

Surrendering the allure of a direct path to the NFL wasn’t easy, but by then Alford realized the best opportunity he had was in baseball, and understood that was the best way to provide for his family.

“That’s one of the reasons I was pushing for football early on, coming out …read more



How UCLA gymnastics turns floor exercise into an art

LOS ANGELES — The past hour and a half built up to this. The audience sat through three preceding acts but the crowd rises to its collective feet for the grand finale. Rock music pulses through Pauley Pavilion to a crescendo as UCLA takes the floor.

Valorie Kondos Field smirks confidently.

Show time.

The UCLA gymnastics head coach has emceed the best show in Westwood for years. The undefeated Bruins are consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders on floor exercise. This year is no different, as they are second on floor with a lineup that could run up to nine gymnasts deep entering a home meet against Arizona on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

With Kondos Field retiring at the end of the season, this floor lineup is the former professional ballet dancer’s grandest of grand finales. It’s “UCLA gymnastics 2.0,” she said, the perfect marriage of artistry and athletics in a six-act show.

Get in character

The “Twilight Zone” theme song plays and Gracie Kramer comes to life. She lifts her hands, then her head. The San Clemente native pushes her right leg straight and rolls backward over her left shoulder to a stand as the music changes.

Glass shatters. She’s escaped.

Kramer led off UCLA’s floor rotation for the past four meets with her frenetic routine in which she plays a character loosely resembling DC Comics’ Harley Quinn breaking out of prison. The routine is creepy and twisted set to a thumping techno soundtrack with sounds of shattering glass and tinkling bells. It appears to be a far cry from the bubbly, blonde-haired junior sitting in Yates Gym after a recent practice.

“Being a whole other character, it’s almost empowering to be able to make that switch,” Kramer said.

Characters drive UCLA’s performances on floor. The cast includes Felicia Hano as a 1920s mermaid, Kyla Ross as the 10.0 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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