Patrick Willis and Bryant Young, the greatest 49ers defensive players of the past two decades, were among the 25 modern-era players selected Tuesday as semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 class.Former 49ers running back Ricky Watters joined Willis and Young as a first-time semifinalist. Former Rams star receiver Isaac Bruce, who spent the last two years of his career with San Francisco, is also a semifinalist.The 49ers’ nominees join big-time names such as Troy Polamalu, …
The main accused for the tension in Meerut on Sunday evening, Badar Ali, was arrested on Thursday from the busy Shopprix Mall of the city.The arrest came a day after new SSP Ajay Sahni took over and announced an award of ₹5,000 for anybody providing information on Ali.The Yuva Sewa Samiti president had given the call for the Sunday congregation at the Faiz-e-Aam College to protest against the lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand. According to locals, around 20,000 people assembled at the college. Violence erupted when they were going back, leading to a lathi charge. The BJP leaders described it as an administrative failure, leading to the transfer of SSP Nitin Tiwari.“Ali is a known troublemaker and has been charged under Sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 187, 188, 332 of the IPC and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act,” said SP (Rural) Avinash Pandey. “He was also behind the Mawana protest and his role is suspected in the burning of a mosque in Machhra block of Meerut in March this year,” he added.Sheher Qazi Zainus Sajidin Siddiqui, whose role is also being investigated, said Ali’s image in society was of a social worker who stands up for the cause of the community. “He gave the call for a peaceful protest where I was expected to lead the prayer for the departed soul. If we can’t even pray for the dead, we will become dead as a society.”Prof. Siddiqui said as the police had not granted permission for the procession, Ali and he appealed against it. “However, people had to go home and the violence erupted more than 4 km away from the college. Now the police are saying Section 144 was in place and even the assembly was unlawful.”
Several months ago, Hot Takedown crowdsourced ideas from listeners about how to change the draft to stop teams from tanking. After we sent him the winning idea, Silver wrote that there is a “growing consensus that we should reform the draft lottery.” But on this week’s Hot Takedown he said that after team owners voted down a proposal for change last year, the league has decided to “park the issue” for the foreseeable future.Silver argued that the marketplace is providing the biggest pressure on teams like Philadelphia, which he said are realizing that “losing comes at an enormous cost.” Silver sees a “resetting of sorts” with the team. And he denied that he intervened and asked the Sixers to install Jerry Colangelo as special advisor.Watch a video excerpt and stream the full audio of the interview above. We’ve also provided a lightly edited transcription of the highlights below. This interview was conducted Friday, Dec. 18.Silver not a fan of Sixers strategyNeil Paine: Are you personally, as the commissioner, OK with the way that the 76ers have run their franchise the past three seasons?Adam Silver: I don’t want to answer that directly. As I said, there’s a marketplace of ideas and approaches that go into managing a franchise.Am I fan of that strategy? Put it this way: No. But does that mean that it’s not acceptable under the league rules? It doesn’t. Hot Takedown More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. The Sixers are a mess, and Adam Silver is not happy. The NBA commissioner joined our sports podcast, Hot Takedown, for a conversation about the structure of the draft, the perverse incentives that it creates and how his office can try to “cajole” teams like the Philadelphia 76ers into being more competitive. But he admitted that ultimately, he may not be able to reset the competitive balance of the league by tweaking the draft rules. The Sixers are “resetting”Adam Silver: There’s a resetting of sorts going on with the 76ers right now. And I think that ultimately may speak louder in the marketplace of teams than any tinkering we do to the draft lottery.Is it time to step in and stop tanking?Chadwick Matlin: I’m interested about when you do step in as a commissioner. You’re basically the CEO of a big multibillion-dollar corporation. At what point is it your responsibility to intervene if one of your franchises is not performing in a way that represents the league?Adam Silver: Well, I would say that there’s lots of different ways of so-called “stepping in.” There’s also cajoling and ongoing conversations that I have with owners, with team presidents, with general managers, where I’m expressing my opinion. Truth to rumors that he intervened with Sixers?Chadwick Matlin: Anonymous reports suggested that [you stepped in and pushed for the hiring of Jerry Colangelo] due to owners who wanted the situation in Philadelphia changed. Are those reports correct?Adam Silver: Those reports are not correct. Josh Harris, who’s the principal owner of the 76ers, decided on his own that he needed to change course. He and I had many conversations along the way about the utility of the strategy that he was following. And he came to the conclusion once this season began, and he saw how his team was performing on the floor, that he needed to change his strategy.Other owners were not pressuring him at all. In fact, it’s a weird dynamic in the league that while all the owners would like to see teams well operated, other owners just want to win (laughter). And so nobody was calling me and saying go call the 76ers and tell them how to beat us.
The Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams participated in the Buckeye Tune-up Friday at OSU’s French Field House, their final meet prior to the Big Ten Indoor Championship meet.OSU athletes won seven of the 17 individual events contested for each gender. The men’s and women’s teams each had a two-event winner. Redshirt senior distance runner Adam Green took first place in the men’s mile run with a time of 4:11.25, and followed that with a winning time of 8:28.33 in the 3,000-meter run. On the women’s side, senior sprinter Christina Manning finished first in the 60-meter dash in 7.28 seconds, then won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.11 seconds.In addition to the event winners, two OSU athletes met automatic qualifying standards for the NCAA Division I Championship in the weight throw. Redshirt senior Matt DeChant met the mark with a throw of 70 feet, 9 1/4 inches, while fellow senior Max Mays also qualified with a throw of 70 feet, 7 inches. Ashland University’s senior Ryan Loughney won the men’s weight throw with a throw of 71 feet, 4 inches.While the Buckeye Tune-up served as a venue for some of the OSU athletes to perform, others rested this week in preparation for the Big Ten Indoor Championships.“Some people needed rest and some people need work,” said Karen Dennis, coach of the women’s team. “(Some athletes were) really getting geared up emotionally for Big Tens next weekend.”Although he won two events, Green said the meet “was more of a training day.”Heading into the conference championship meet, there is certainly pressure on the women’s track and field team, as they are the defending champions of the Big Ten Indoor Championship. Two women’s athletes also have individual conference titles to defend — Manning was last year’s Big Ten champion in the 60-meter hurdles, while senior sprinter Madison McNary took first place in the 60-meter dash.“As defending champions, we want to go defend our title, but we are also realistic in knowing that we have to expect people to want to bump us off,” Dennis said. “Sprinters and hurdlers all have to make it back to the finals.”The men’s track and field team finished fifth at last year’s Big Ten Indoor Championships, but their sights are set on greater accomplishments in 2012.Redshirt junior Heath Nickles, who cleared a height of 16 feet, 11 1/2 inches and won the Buckeye Tune-up pole vault, said the team is in it to win it.“We won’t accept anything else,” he said.Nickles said his individual goals for this weekend are to win the heptathlon and pole vault, stressing the importance of scoring 10 points for the team in each event.Coach Robert Gary said Nebraska is the team to beat in the Big Ten. He said he believes in his team’s chances to win, because the team “doesn’t bring anybody to the Big Ten meet just to get the experience of getting their butts kicked.”Senior sprinter Thomas Murdaugh and redshirt junior distance runner Cory Leslie did not compete in Friday’s meet, but will be crucial to the team’s success this weekend. Murdaugh will be attempting to defend his conference title from last year in the 400-meter dash. Leslie finished fourth in the mile run at last year’s meet, but he has been running faster times this season, including a mile time of 3:56.85 at the Penn State National Invitational which not only set a school record, but also met the mark to automatically qualify for the NCAA Division I Championship meet.The quest to bring the Big Ten Indoor Championships title back to OSU begins Feb. 24, in Lincoln, Neb. The meet concludes Saturday.
Thad Matta stands on the sidelines during a game against Minnesota. OSU won, 64-46.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorAn early season menace is set to rear its head again for the Ohio State Buckeyes.Just less than a month ago, Penn State — led by redshirt-junior guard D.J. Newbill and his 25 points — came to Columbus and ripped OSU’s heart out, defeating the Buckeyes, 71-70, in overtime.In the 10 seasons that coach Thad Matta has been at the helm of the men’s basketball program, it was the first time the Buckeyes lost to the Nittany Lions, and it came six days after they beat Illinois to snap a four-game skid.“Top 25 teams at home don’t lose these games,” senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. said after the loss Jan. 29. “And we lost.”Since the rock-bottom feeling of losing their fifth game out of seven during January, the Buckeyes have been on a tear this month, notching six wins and only losing once.“I think we’re a different team. We learned from that loss, we know that we didn’t come out with the intensity and the toughness we needed to win,” junior forward Sam Thompson said Wednesday. “We allowed them to push us around a little bit on our home floor. We allowed them to go into a rhythm on both ends of the floor and really dictate the way that game was played.”Following the loss to the Nittany Lions, Thompson was inserted into the starting lineup, a move that has proved to be beneficial, as he has averaged 8.1 points per game to up his season average to 7.5.It appears as if the Buckeyes are playing with an added motivation lately as well, as they continue to make a push for one of the top four seeds in the Big Ten Tournament and the first-round bye that comes with it. A strong finish to the season will aid OSU’s case for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament as well.“The rest of the season is definitely desperation for us, especially wanting to get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. With the way the Big Ten’s going, a lot of teams have been losing — that’s a great thing for us so we can move up,” junior forward LaQuinton Ross said Wednesday. “I think the rest of the season, everybody in the locker room knows what’s at stake.”That starts Thursday in State College, Pa., as No. 22 OSU looks to stay hot as it is set to take on Penn State (13-14, 4-10, tied for last in the Big Ten) at 7 p.m.“It’s amazing when you go back and look at where we were at (against Penn State) and kind of the level that we’ve been playing at. We put ourselves in a really good position, but just could not make the plays,” Matta said Tuesday. “I think we’re showing signs of getting a lot better.”Newbill carried the Nittany Lions down the stretch in round one against the Buckeyes (22-6, 9-6, fourth in the Big Ten), scoring their last six points in regulation and then four in overtime. Matta said in order to prevent that from happening this time around, it has to be a team effort.“He can get you in so many different ways. So I think from the standpoint, it does take everyone on the floor doing their part,” Matta said. “If one guy rotates, then we gotta help the helper. It’s definitely a team effort to guard a guy like that.”Thompson said although he made some big plays last month in Columbus, Newbill’s late game heroics were also a product of mental errors by OSU.“Not taking anything away from him, he hit some big shots, but the shot at the end of regulation, that’s a messed up switch on our part on a guard-to-guard dribble hand off,” Thompson said. “We usually switch those, we didn’t switch that and Newbill got a wide-open look.”Matta said those mental errors have since been corrected.“I think that there’s more accountability, in terms of the respect they have to have to do the job,” Matta said. “In that game … there was a lot of things that happened that maybe we could have controlled better that we didn’t do, so yeah, you look back at those and say, ‘This can’t happen again.’”OSU used a giant second half Saturday to take down Minnesota, 64-46, and Thompson helped the team to get trending in the right direction.“I like where we are as a team right now. I think that we’re peaking at the right time. Offensively we have a certain swagger about us, defensively we’re really turning it up, so we’re playing some of the best defensive basketball that we’ve played,” Thompson said. “Individually, you have guys getting into rhythms, really contributing for this team. So I like where we are right now. Like we’ve always said, we have a veteran basketball team, so everyone has been here before and we’re looking to make a run.”
Former 76ers guard Allen Iverson holds the game ball before Philadelphia played the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Credit: Courtesy of MCT“We talkin’ about practice…not a game… not the game I go out there and die for. But practice.”This was Allen Iverson’s most memorable moment to the masses. In this classic rant, he successfully said the word “practice” 22 times in a press conference. In a nutshell, this moment with the media summed up his entire career.The incident was exciting, riveting and defiant, which was exactly who Allen Iverson was. Basketball fans who watched Iverson play know he stood for so much more than a simple rant in an interview. The innovative Iverson will go down in history as one of the most beloved and popular players of the early 2000s era of the NBA for three reasons: his superior toughness, quickness and exciting brand of basketball.Iverson, who last played in the NBA in 2010, has been back in the news recently after a Showtime documentary titled Iverson was released on May 16. The film captures the life of one of the most influential and beloved athletes our generation has ever seen. In the documentary, filmmaker Zatella Beatty tells the story of one of the more intricate individuals we’ve seen in any sport. The story of Allen Iverson touches on his triumph from the depths of poverty-stricken Hampton, Va., into a NBA legend.Iverson, standing at only 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, was the ultimate warrior on the court and feared no one. Not even the likes of 7-foot giants such as Shaquille O’Neal who occupied the painted area could stop the lightning-quick Iverson from slashing for a layup.His uncanny ability to take brutal punishment from players twice his size and always rise to his feet afterward marks the true definition of a warrior. Iverson was relentless and always gave it his all; no one ever questioned Iverson’s effort or determination on the court. Iverson might have always been the smallest in terms of stature on the court, but what he lacked in height he certainly made up with the size of his heart and determinationIverson wore his emotions on his sleeve and was the beating heart and soul of the 76ers organization for a decade. Behind his remarkable MVP season when he averaged 31 points, 5.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and three steals, the future Hall of Famer carried a lackluster supporting cast in 2001 to the NBA Finals (which stands today as one of the greatest one-man feats ever) against the heavily favored and nearly unstoppable Kobe Bryant- and Shaq-led Lakers.During the Lakers’ run in the 2001 playoffs, they went undefeated, sweeping every opponent they faced until Game 1 of the Finals. Behind Iverson’s amazing 48-point (the next-highest scoring output was Eric Snow’s 13 points), six-assist, five-rebound and five-steal performance, the Sixers defeated the unstoppable Lakers in overtime. The Sixers would go on to lose in five games; however, it was no fault of Iverson’s, who averaged a ridiculous 35 points throughout the series.The Answer’s most formidable of moves on the court were unequivocally his quickness and his killer crossover. Even the greatness of Michael Jordan was no match for a rookie Iverson who found himself in a one-on-one matchup that left His Airness baffled and befuddled.In a one-on-one matchup, Iverson was impossible to guard. His quickness left defenders on their heels and off balance. If the defender would back off too far, he would rise up for the pull-up jumper, whereas if the defender tried to play him close, he’d blow right by him with his electric speed for an acrobatic layup.Iverson loved to play in big moments and relished the opportunity of taking the opposing team’s best player one-on-one and making him look foolish. Because of this style of play, Iverson was often referred to as selfish and narcissistic, but the quality of teammates (or the lack thereof) forced Iverson into attack mode every night, knowing he was his team’s only option to win.Every single time Allen Iverson took a step onto a basketball court, you held your breath. He brought pure excitement and thrill with his brand of basketball that left even the most casual of fans impressed with his all-out efforts. During this time period, “street ball” was extremely popular but viewed as taboo in the professional ranks of the NBA. Iverson changed this mentality with his flair and exuberance that was both rewarding and entertaining.The Answer was a true superstar who seemed to have a special aura about him. The way he carried himself on the court was so infectious and impressionable, with his persona of tattoos, hairstyle and accessories on the floor. As a child growing up, I specifically remember getting my hair braided solely because of Allen Iverson.When one watches a basketball game today, it is impossible to not find at least one player on the court without a shooting sleeve on. Allen Iverson started this phenomenon initially because of a medical issue with his elbow that future players took and turned into a fashion statement. It’s even evident in other sports such as football and baseball today, where players wear a single sleeve on their right arm just like A.I. did. Ultimately, Iverson was cool, fierce and edgy, and that’s why he was so loved.Iverson was an 11-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, two-time All-Star Game MVP and the 2001 Most Valuable Player. Most of all, he was an icon to a generation.The Showtime documentary details a man’s life story that so many could either relate to or really marvel at. His struggle from poverty and trouble-filled youth to becoming one of the greatest players ever is truly a feat captured well in the documentary.
Lionel Messi has won the Golden Shoe award for a record fifth time with his 34 goals being enough to beat Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the rankingsThe Barcelona forward has won the award for the past two seasons and has now become the first player in history to have won the Golden Shoe five times throughout his career.Messi first won the award in the 2009/10 season with 34 goals and won it the following season with an incredible 50 goals with another 47 coming after that campaign.In fact, in the past eight of the last nine seasons, the Argentine has finished in either second or first place in the rankings.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Golden Shoe final rankings (top five)Lionel Messi 34 x 2.0 x 68.01Mohamed Salah 32 x 2.0 x 64.0Harry Kane 30 x 2.0 x 60.0Mauro Icardi 29 x 2.0 x 58.0Robert Lewandowski 29 x 2.0 x 58.0(obtained by eurotopteams)Aside from 34 goals this term, Messi has also contributed 17 assists for Barcelona with 12 of those coming in La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo admits Juventus knew they were in for a difficult ride against Empoli where they had to come from behind to win 2-1.The Old Ladies went behind before half-time to a Francesco Caputo strike, but Ronaldo converted a spot-kick and fired in a stunner from 20 meters to complete the turnaround.“It was a very complicated game. We knew it would be difficult, especially after a Champions League tie and we were a bit tired,” Ronaldo told Football Italia.Lukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“We stayed in the game, increased our possession, created more chances after the break and in the end deserved the victory.“I don’t remember the goal very well, I’ll have to watch it again! It all happened very quickly, but I felt confident and I went for the goal.“This is a very important week, we put in a fantastic performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford and we performed well here too in difficult circumstances.”