(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) -- Late NBA star Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend. The presentation will be made by all-time great Michael Jordan, who also spoke at the Bryant's memorial service. Bryant's widow, Vanessa, will reportedly speak as well.
Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in California last January, that also claimed the lives of his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven others.
Bryant played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships, and was named Most Valuable Player in 2008.
Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are among the others being enshrined this weekend, as part of the class of 2020. This weekend's ceremony is a make-up, after the original one was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The class of 2021 will be inducted later this year.
(NEW YORK) -- The NHL has told the Canadian government they need an answer on whether they will be exempt from coronavirus-related travel restrictions by June 1st, ESPN reports.
"The conversations are ongoing. We've told them we really do need to know by the end of the first round, and that's around June 1. That's pretty much the date that we've talked to them about, saying we have to know one way or another," Steve Mayer, NHL chief content officer, told ESPN on Friday.
The Stanley Cup playoffs begin this weekend, but current restrictions mean American teams would be prohibited from playing in Canada, without first undergoing quarantines that would drastically alter the postseason schedule.
That won't end up being an issue until the third round of the playoffs though, as the first two rounds will be played within the four newly created divisions, including the North Division, which includes all Canadian teams. All of the American teams play in the other three divisions, meaning the first possible meeting between an American and a Canadian team will not happen until that third round.
The NHL has felt confident that they will get an exemption from the Canadian government, due to it's stringent COVID protocols and an increasingly high number of players and staff members getting vaccinated, according to ESPN.
If an exemption is not given, the NHL is considering the possibility of housing the Canadian team that reaches the third round at the arena of a US-based team that did not make the playoffs. Mayer told ESPN the league has had talks with a couple Americans teams about just that.
But an NHL source told ESPN this week that the league expects "a positive resolution" to the border issue before the third round.
(LOS ANGELES) -- After 15 years in the WNBA, Seimone Augustus is retiring. But her time on the court isn’t over just yet.
The four-time WNBA champion is joining the Los Angeles Sparks’ coaching staff, the team announced on Thursday.
“It’s an honor to continue to serve the game that has given me so much,” Augustus said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the Sparks staff and look forward to developing in this new role.”
The 37-year-old former forward joined the WNBA in 2006 when she was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx as the No. 1 overall pick. During her time in the league, Augustus won four championships (2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017), made eight All-Star appearances (2006, 2007, 2001, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018) and won three Olympic gold medals with USA Basketball (2008, 2012 and 2016).
She joined the Sparks last year as a free agent.
“Seimone Augustus is one of the greatest basketball players to ever step foot on a court,” Sparks head coach and general manager Derek Fisher said in a statement. “Her impact as a pioneer in our sport can be seen through all the players and people she’s impacted in this game. It’s been an amazing honor to work with her over the past year and we’re excited to add all of her wisdom to our coaching staff.”
(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Toronto 8, Atlanta 4
Detroit 4, Kansas City 3
Chi White Sox 4, Minnesota 2
Boston 8, Oakland 1
Tampa Bay 9, NY Yankees 1
Houston 4, Texas 3
Cleveland 4, Seattle 2
Washington 5, Philadelphia 1
St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 0
San Francisco 3, Pittsburgh 1
Colorado 13, Cincinnati 8
Miami 5, Arizona 1
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
LA Clippers 113, Charlotte 90
Milwaukee 142, Indiana 133
Atlanta 116, Orlando 93
New York 102, San Antonio 98
Miami 106, Philadelphia 94
Chicago 114, Toronto 102
Denver 114, Minnesota 103
Memphis 116, Sacramento 110
Phoenix 118, Portland 117
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
St. Louis 7, Minnesota 3
Calgary 4, Vancouver 1
Colorado 5, Los Angeles 1
(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees have announced infielder Gleyber Torres has tested positive for COVID-19.
The team says he was fully vaccinated and had previously tested positive for the virus during the last offseason. Torres has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list.
He becomes the eighth Yankee player, coach, or traveling staff member to test positive this week. All eight are fully vaccinated.
Pitching coach Matt Blake, third base coach Phil Nevins, first base coach Reggie Willits, and four traveling staff members tested positive and are currently under quarantine in Tampa, Florida.
Before the announcement, sources told ESPN the Yankees were going to keep Torres out of the lineup for the second straight day. On Wednesday, Manager Aaron Boone said they were holding him out "out of an abundance of caution."
The Yankees have called up Miguel Andújar from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
(NEW YORK) -- The NBA has announced the creation of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.
The award is named after the six-time NBA Champion and Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer.
It will honor the NBA player who pursues social justice and upholds the league's decades-long values of equality, respect, and inclusion.
"I’m honored and grateful to be associated with this award that will recognize the dedicated and selfless people fighting to promote social justice for all marginalized people,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “To me, it’s another giant step in the right direction for the country and all people who value equality.”
The winner selects an organization to give $100,000 to go on his behalf. The four other finalists will get $25,000 to give to an organization they chose.
“In addition to being one of our greatest players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has devoted much of his life to advocating for equality and social justice,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “With this new award, we are proud to recognize and celebrate NBA players who are using their influence to make an impact on their communities and our broader society.”
Each team will select one player from their roster to be nominated. The finalists and winner will be chosen from a panel of former players, league executives, and social justice leaders.
The winner and other finalists will be announced during the playoffs.
(NEW YORK) -- DiDi Richards is what hoop dreams are made of and before the basketball star tips off her WNBA career on Friday, she credited a trait she learned from her father that helped her get back on the court after a severe injury last fall.
"He definitely instilled mental toughness throughout my life and when that injury happened it was kind of second nature. I just knew that I had an undeniable mindset that I was going to work hard and I was going to figure out how to get back on the court, but first off how to walk," Richards told ABC News' Good Morning America.
The former Baylor Lady Bears star guard was in the midst of her senior season when a play during practice last October went horribly wrong. As Richards went airborne attempting to intercept a pass, she collided with teammate Moon Ursin at full speed and hit the floor, sustaining a spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality that causes temporary impairment and later experienced temporary paralysis from the hips down, ESPN first reported.
Within 38 days after recovery and rehab, Richards made it back onto the court notching four points, seven assists and two steals in a 67-62 victory over South Florida.
Richards called the recovery process "an emotional roller coaster."
"One day I could feel my toes and then the next day I couldn't feel them," she said. "So it was just being able to kind of cope with [knowing] every day was subject to change -- and being able to keep a positive mindset through it all."
Tomorrow the 22-year-old from Cypress, Texas, will lace up for the first time with the New York Liberty and join an elite list of professional women in the league's 25th season.
"I think I can speak for all young kids, you have dreams and inspirations and mine was to be drafted," Richards said. "Now being a part of one of the 144 girls that are even playing in the WNBA, one of the best leagues in the world, is pretty special and it's hard to put into words."
While Richards said she's "very competitive," she initially cared more about "being super girly and cute" than hitting three-pointers on the court.
"Sweating does not involve cute," she said with a laugh. "So [basketball] really wasn't something I wanted to do -- but I'm happy my parents pushed me."
Now, heading into her rookie season, Richards said she is most looking forward to playing against the women she's looked up to for decades in the sport.
"I think it's exciting to be able to learn from Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and now being able to see Candace Parker on the court -- or to watch Breanna Stewart and maybe one day play against her and the Seattle Storm -- It's kind of exciting," she said.
Richards and the New York Liberty will take on the Indiana Fever at 7:00 P.M. ET on NBA TV.
(GREEN BAY, Wis.) -- Amid uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team, the Green Bay Packers have reportedly added another quarterback to their roster.
A source tells ESPN the team is signing quarterback Blake Bortles to a one-year deal.
Bortles, 29, was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014 and last played in a regular season game with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. Last season, he spent time as a backup quarterback with the Rams and Denver Broncos.
His addition to Green Bay’s roster ups the team’s number of quarterbacks to three. Previously, the Packers only had Rodgers and Jordan Love.
ESPN also reports that two quarterbacks, journeymen Chad Kelly and Kurt Benkert, will be joining the team this weekend for its rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.
All these developments come as it remains to be seen whether Rodgers will remain in Green Bay. The 37-year-old starting quarterback has told some within the Packers’ organization that he no longer wants to be a part of the team, according to ESPN.
(NEW YORK) -- Seven members of the New York Yankees’ coaching and support staff have tested positive for COVID-19, manager Aaron Boone announced Wednesday before the team took on the Tampa Bay Rays.
Among those who tested positive are pitching coach Matt Blake, third-base coach Phil Nevin and first-base coach Reggie Willits, along with four non-coach support staff members. All seven individuals have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Out of an "abundance of caution,” shortstop Gleyber Torres was also held out of Wednesday night’s lineup against the Rays as the Yankees were “waiting on some test results to still come back,” Boone told reporters.
"I know everyone is going to read into that, but hopefully it's nothing,'' he said. "It's more just getting all the information in.”
Tyler Wade stepped in to fill Torres’ position, and the team went on to beat the Rays, 1-0.
(NEW YORK) -- Patrick Baldwin Jr. has committed to play at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and play for his father Patrick Baldwin SR.
The younger Baldwin is ranked 5th according to ESPN in the 2021 class and was considering Duke, Georgetown and Virginia.
"I will be playing for my dad at Milwaukee," the younger Baldwin told ESPN. "I had some great options, which made me not rush through the process. The thought of playing for my dad was too good to pass up."
The 6-foot-10 forward is already slotted in at number 8 on ESPN's 2022 NBA mock draft. He could become the first Horizon League lottery pick since Butler's Gordon Hayward in 2010.
The elder Baldwin took over at Milwaukee in 2017 and has a 27-40 record. The last time the Panthers made the NCAA Tournament was 2014 when they lost to Villanova in the first round.
Baldwin Jr's commitment leaves second ranked Jaden Hardy and seventh Michael Foster as the only two top 10 players who have not committed in this class.
(NEW YORK) -- The NFL is gearing up for its biggest season ever.
The league is adding an extra regular season game in 2021 -- expanding from 16 to 17 -- with the goal of filling stadiums with fans this fall.
Ahead of the NFL releasing its complete 2021 schedule Wednesday night, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg appeared on ABC News’ Good Morning America to announce the match-up for the first Monday Night Football game of the season:
(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday's sports events:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
San Francisco 4, Texas 2
Cleveland 3, Chi Cubs 2
NY Mets 3, Baltimore 2
Toronto 5, Atlanta 3
LA Dodgers 6, Seattle 4
NY Yankees 3, Tampa Bay 1
Oakland 3, Boston 2
Houston 5, LA Angels 1
Detroit 8, Kansas City 7
Chi White Sox 9, Minnesota 3
Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 2
Philadelphia 6, Washington 2
St. Louis 6, Milwaukee 1
San Diego 8, Colorado 1
Arizona 11, Miami 3
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Minnesota 119, Detroit 100
Denver 117, Charlotte 112
LA Clippers 115, Toronto 96
Miami 129, Boston 121
Memphis 133, Dallas 104
Indiana 103, Philadelphia 94
Brooklyn 115, Chicago 107
Milwaukee 114, Orlando 102
Sacramento 122, Oklahoma City 106
Golden State 122, Phoenix 116
LA Lakers 101, New York 99 (OT)
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Washington 2, Boston 1
Winnipeg 5, Vancouver 0
(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The Oakland Athletics will start exploring the possibility of relocation, ESPN reports, with the blessing of Major League Baseball.
The move could put pressure on local government officials to greenlight a new stadium project that has been in limbo for years.
The team has played in Oakland since 1968, and has prioritized a plan that would include a new waterfront stadium in downtown Oakland. But weeks after they asked the city council to vote on a $12 billion mixed-use development before its summer recess, the team is now considering other possibilities.
"The future of the A's depends on a new ballpark," team owner John Fisher said in a statement. "Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront baseball project. We will also follow MLB's direction to explore other markets."
Oakland has already lost a pair of pro sports teams in recent years, after the Golden State Warriors moved to a new arena in San Francisco, and the Raiders left for Las Vegas.
The Athletics' current lease at RingCentral Coliseum runs through 2024. Major League Baseball said in a statement that rebuilding at the current stadium site "is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball."
While the league has been reticent to expand beyond its current group of 30 teams, multiple cities have expressed interest in a franchise. Among the cities considered possible expansion or relocation sites are Las Vegas, Portland, Vancouver, Nashville, Charlotte, and Montreal.
(HONOLULU) -- Record-setting former college football star Colt Brennan has died at the age of 37, his father told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Brennan, who starred at quarterback for the University of Hawaii, never appeared in an NFL game after a hip injury suffered during his rookie year. His father told the newspaper that Brennan was in his fifth month at a California rehabilitation facility when he was found unconscious. He later died at a hospital on Monday.
"He was doing so well," his father said. "The spark was back in his eyes, and he was healthy and doing great."
Brennan's three-season run as a starter at Hawaii helped the program gain notoriety. He passed for more than 4,000 yards in a season three times, including a stunning 5,549 yards in 2006. That same season, he set the single-season record for touchdown passes with 58.
That record was later surpassed by Joe Burrow with LSU in 2019.
Brennan was a top-ten finisher in Heisman Trophy voting twice, and remains near the top of the all-time touchdown pass list. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
In 2010, Brennan was involved in a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and hindered his attempts to continue his football career.
He also had a series of legal issues in recent years, including multiple arrests for driving under the influence.