Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The Lakers are coming off a disappointing season themselves, winning just 37 games and failing to make the playoffs. For James, it was the first time since 2005 he missed the postseason, fueling criticism of the Lakers’ roster construction last summer and adding sting to the bevy of injuries the team suffered.The connection between James, 34, and Davis has been hotly discussed since September when Davis hired Rich Paul, James’ agent and close friend. James added juice to the subplot when he told ESPN in November it would be “amazing” and “incredible” if he could play with Davis. James raised eyebrows and fanned flames when he selected Davis to his All-Star squad on Feb. 7, the day of the trade deadline when talks had fizzled.The cost of Davis and trying to win next season was trading in the future: Between Ingram, Ball and the No. 4 pick this year, the Lakers surrendered three former or future lottery picks. Ingram and Ball were once considered the nucleus of the Lakers’ future, and team’s previous attempts to pry them away in trade talks (most notably Kawhi Leonard) had fallen flat. Both ended this season with injuries but showed improvement – particularly Ingram, who played his best stretch of basketball after the All-Star break before being sidelined by a blood clot that required surgery. In two seasons with the Lakers, Josh Hart had also cultivated esteem as a rotation player in the lineup, despite struggling with a knee injury for much of this past year.The one member of the team’s so-called “young core” the Lakers retained was Kyle Kuzma, who became a starter in his second season (18.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and vastly outplayed his end-of-the-first-round draft slot when he entered the league in 2017. Kuzma also has the most salary-cap friendly contract of the four players, due to make just under $2 million next season.The Lakers’ most visible competition for Davis was the Boston Celtics. ESPN reported that the Lakers’ longtime East Coast rivals essentially withdrew themselves from the running once it was clear they didn’t want to include forward Jayson Tatum in a deal.The cutthroat Western Conference could be in for a dramatic shakeup this offseason: Golden State, the class of the West for five seasons running, suffered significant injuries to stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson during its six-game loss to Toronto in the Finals. With lengthy recovery timelines and Durant’s pending free agency, the Warriors’ dynasty might be as vulnerable as ever, and a star-laden Lakers team could be well-poised to leap into contention with a strong offseason haul once free agency starts June 30.For the Lakers, the deal could not come at a better time: The franchise has been roiled in drama since the season ended April 9, headlined by Johnson’s dramatic resignation. A tortured coaching search, in which the team eventually selected Frank Vogel, and Johnson’s public accusations of Pelinka’s “backstabbing” have hurt the perception of the Lakers’ stability, which Pelinka and Vogel have vigorously defended.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe trade has been discussed since January, when Davis publicly announced his desire to be traded from the only pro franchise he’s ever known. While talks fell flat at the February trade deadline, they reheated in the past few weeks as new power brokers took over for the respective teams.It’s one of the biggest trades the Lakers have ever made and one that is certain to define the controversial tenure of General Manager Rob Pelinka, who took over basketball operations in April after team president Magic Johnson resigned. It fulfills the organization’s vision of pairing two All-NBA superstars on the same roster – a vision it has touted since Pelinka entered the team’s front office in 2017.It’s also a bold start to new Pelicans executive David Griffin’s tenure: The unabashed flirtations between Davis and the Lakers touched a nerve for many New Orleans fans, which isn’t likely to quickly heal despite the package the team received back. The Pelicans now hold the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the upcoming draft, though ESPN reported Griffin was already seeking a trade for the Lakers’ pick.Since being drafted first overall in 2012, Davis has largely lived up to the expectations that have rested upon his 6-foot-10 frame. He’s become one of the league’s surest double-double men and a scorer from all levels (25.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and his defensive prowess has helped make him a six-time All-Star and the third-place candidate for league MVP last season.There’s one area in which he’s been short: winning. Davis has made the postseason just twice in seven seasons in New Orleans, and he won his first playoff series, a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2018. After seemingly endless drama, wary negotiations and a season that ended in turmoil, the Lakers have pulled off the mega-deal that’s been talked about for months.Though later than they might have liked, the A.D. Era has begun in Los Angeles.The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to ship off star forward Anthony Davis, a six-time All-Star, to the Lakers for a hefty price: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. A source close to the team confirmed the deal, first reported by ESPN, to the Southern California News Group. The trade cannot be officially completed until July, when teams can begin operating under next season’s salary cap.While the risk is considerable – the Lakers are betting Davis will choose to stay in Los Angeles when his contract expires in 2020 – the reward might just be worth it. In what NBA observers have dubbed as perhaps the most significant trade for a star in his prime since the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 45 years ago, getting Davis for the next year alongside LeBron James forms the foundation of what the Lakers hope is a team that can return to championship-level contention after six consecutive seasons out of the playoffs. The Lakers still have ample room this summer to chase free agents to fill out their roster, but the sequence of the trade will affect how much space under the salary cap they’ll have. Davis has a $4 million trade kicker that he can choose to waive. The timing of the deal is also essential: If the Lakers can convince the Pelicans to wait until July 30 to complete the trade, the No. 4 pick will count as salary in the deal, and the Lakers could clear as much as $32.4 million under their salary cap – just enough to sign a third max free agent.The New York Times reported the Lakers were expected to target All-Star guard Kemba Walker in free agency should they clear a max slot. The Lakers themselves have also emphasized that they will be looking for shooting during free agency.
Welcome back to “The Tournament,” a 32-team college football bracket reliving the incredible 2005 season through one of the best sports video games produced in the mid-2000s.After a first round filled with huge upsets , the heavyweights largely came to play in the Sweet 16. The top three seeds — Texas, USC and Ohio State — won by a combined margin of 82 points. Only one team outside the top 11 seeds remains alive. (SN illustration) ‘NCAA Football 06′ tournament bracket https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b9/d1/ncaa-06-bracket-071420-ftr_1h7ov026lmn9f1dzl7en8sorak.jpg?t=1304704459&w=500&quality=80No. 1 Texas 28, No. 16 West Virginia 20If this had been the 2006 or 2007 version of Pat White and Steve Slaton, perhaps West Virginia would have been able to pull off this upset. But with each star in their freshman form in 2005 — still great in real life but not as respected in the video game — it was too tough of a task.Until midway through the third quarter, it appeared as if the Mountaineers could cause problems. White and Slaton ran the option effectively while mixing in the occasional quick hit wide receiver screen, and their defense kept Vince Young in check.It couldn’t last, though: A deep throw to Limas Sweed gave the Longhorns an 11-point fourth-quarter advantage they would hold comfortably the rest of the way. West Virginia’s offense struggled to run the ball in the second half and outside of a late desperation touchdown heave with the game out of reach did very little to threaten.No. 8 Oklahoma 52, No. 24 Texas A&M 42Adrian Peterson is an unstoppable force. After obliterating Cal in the opening round and outplaying counterpart Marshawn Lynch in the process, he slayed a Texas A&M defense with future NFL linemen Johnny Jolly and Michael Bennett. His 221 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Aggies put him in position to claim MVP of the competition; he’s up to 369 yards and seven scores in just two games.It’s worth noting that Peter Thompson — who we’re giving the keys to the quarterback position over Rhett Bomar — has also been much better than expected and could be an X-factor in Oklahoma’s upcoming tilt with Texas.We’re going to miss playing as Texas A&M. Reggie McNeal is an amazing dual-threat talent in the game and his surrounding pieces (namely Courtney Lewis and Jason Carter) made for a fun experience.No. 4 Penn State 31, No. 13 Oregon 20Trash. Clownish. Rigged.That’s how we feel about the third-quarter pass interference call that bailed out Penn State in the red zone and allowed them to take the lead. In no world was Jordan Norwood impeded here.Oregon fell apart thereafter, unable to move the ball in the snow against a defense featuring Paul Posluszny and Tambi Hali.No. 28 Iowa 27, No. 21 Virginia Tech 21Iowa continued to make the Big Ten proud by reaching the Elite 8 behind its legendary linebacker duo of Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge.In the biggest case of a team being much stronger in video game form than in real life, the Hawkeyes actually put together a much more complete performance than they did in the first round at Georgia. Rather than relying exclusively on their defense, they moved the ball well under the guidance of quarterback Drew Tate.That didn’t mean Marcus Vick and Virginia Tech were without moments of brilliance.Virginia Tech almoooost pulled off a wild comeback with Vick in inferno mode. Then Chad Greenway happened.No. 2 USC 26, No. 18 Michigan 10We learned from giving up 79 points to USC in round one and made this one competitive until late.The biggest rule we implemented was to under no circumstance kick the ball anywhere near Reggie Bush, who brought back three kicks for touchdowns against Clemson. That definitely helped and worked to negate the impact of Bush, one of the most explosive college football players ever.Chad Henne and Steve Breaston linked up nicely throughout the contest for Michigan, while Lamarr Woodley was an absolute monster defensively. Mike Hart averaged just 3.5 yards per carry but did deliver his team’s lone touchdown.USC ultimately took charge in the fourth quarter. Matt Leinart found tight end Dominique Byrd in the end zone to send the Trojans on their way to the Elite 8, but it was nonetheless a respectable effort from a Wolverines squad that went 7-5 in real life.No. 7 LSU 24, No. 10 Florida 21This was the juiciest matchup of the round on paper, and it lived up to the hype.Chris Leak and the Gators moved the ball without issue for much of the game. This pretty pass to Chad Jackson on a post pattern provided an early lead and momentum in Death Valley.LSU responded well despite JaMarcus Russell playing like he was on the Raiders for the second straight game. Running back Alley Broussard delivered a trick pass for a score before punching in another touchdown on the ground.Safety LaRon Landry made the play of the game with a pick-six — his second game-changing interception in as many contests.No. 3 Ohio State 48, No. 14 UCLA 0The Buckeyes are crazy good and haven’t even needed to be at their best so far in this competition. They sacked Drew Olson nine times and intercepted him five times. They burned UCLA with a steady dose of Antonio Pittman on the ground and Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes through the air. They’re definitely the biggest obstacle to Texas or USC winning the whole thing.Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis deserved better.No. 11 Miami 10, No. 27 Georgia Tech 7Even though Calvin Johnson mostly disappeared, Georgia Tech had every opportunity to beat their ACC foe. But outside of one strong drive, quarterback Reggie Ball was at his most erratic, costing his team a trip to the Elite 8.With under two minutes remaining, Ball threw three straight incompletions. A punt and hope the Yellow Jackets’ defense could come through then proved the wrong decision, as Miami quarterback Kyle Wright hit tight end Buck Ortega for a game-clinching first down.Stats leaderboard for ‘The Tournament’Passing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedComp/AttPass YardsPass TDINTChris LeakFlorida227 of 5055951Vince Young*Texas217 of 3447051Kyle Wright*Miami230 of 5445230Reggie McNealTexas A&M228 of 4543231Kellen ClemensOregon227 of 4741813Paul Thompson*Oklahoma224 of 5341031Brian BrohmLouisville116 of 4438403Drew Tate*Iowa219 of 4137823Matt Leinart*USC219 of 3636252Michael Robinson*Penn State222 of 4235952*Team still alive in competition Still, there continued to be surprises, including the struggles of LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell and the strength of Iowa’s defense.This story will take you through the Sweet 16 results. We’re also logging game stats throughout “The Tournament” and sharing them at the end of each story.(Basic competition rules: Games are being played in “NCAA Football: 06” by manually controlling the underdog team on sliders that provide generally realistic results (though obviously not perfect). Home field is given to the higher seed. We’re recording game play and posting highlights on YouTube and in our articles summarizing each round.)Here are all results from the Sweet 16, followed by player stats and Elite 8 matchups: Rushing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedRush YardsRush TDScrim YardsAdrian Peterson*Oklahoma23697369Alley Broussard*LSU23503390Antonio Pittman*Ohio State22394239Maurice Jones-DrewUCLA22040217Courtney LewisTexas A&M21894209Reggie Bush*USC21861220Tony Hunt*Penn State21832224Robert MerrillTCU11801210Mike HartMichigan21763177Terrence WhiteheadOregon21733213*Team still alive in competitionReceiving (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedReceiving YardsReceiving TDJason CarterTexas A&M22953Jordan Shipley*Texas22461Chad JacksonFlorida22202Joel FilaniTexas Tech12061Andre CaldwellFlorida22043Steve BreastonMichigan21990Calvin JohnsonGeorgia Tech21792Dwayne Jarrett*USC21782Michael DePriestTCU11721Joshua TinchLouisville11640*Team still alive in competitionElite 8 matchupsHere are the matchups for the next round:No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 OklahomaNo. 2 USC vs. No. 7 LSUNo. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 11 MiamiNo. 4 Penn State vs. No. 28 Iowa
Hire car drivers operating from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling on Thursday picketed the region’s Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) after it rescheduled the operating hours of the water taxies across the Berbice River.Hire car drivers picketing the T&HD office in NAThe notice was placed on Wednesday, indicating that from September 1, the speedboat service will operate from 06:00h until 09:00h and then again from 14:30h until 18:00h. Previously, the service operated between 6:00h and 18:00h.However, the hire car drivers are complaining that this change in the operating hours of water taxis will affect them since persons would usually cross the river during the day with the boats and use the cars to move around New Amsterdam.Kirk Lagoudou, one of the drivers, argued firstly that the notice given is too short. “This morning [Thursday] we and notified that there is a change in the time that the water taxies will be operating. They put up the notice Wednesday. They did not come and inform us in advance,” he told Guyana Times on Thursday during the picketing exercise.According to Lagoudou, pensioners will be adversely affected with the new hours of operation since they are given free crossing by the water taxis. However, he noted that with the time change, pensioners as well as other persons wanting to cross the river, will now be forced to use the minibuses which charge a fee of $300 per trip compared the $120 water taxi fare.It was pointed out that operating from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling is considered a lucrative route for hire car operators who charge $140 per trip around the town as against $100 which is the fare in other parts of the town.“The Government should rethink its decision, taking into account the poorer class of persons who need to use the service to get from one side of the river to the other,” Lagoudou said.He warned too that the move could make the town of New Amsterdam become a ghost town.After the ferry service was scrapped, and the Berbice River Bridge became the only means of crossing the river – economic activity slowed down in the town as businesses in the vicinity of the stelling came to a standstill.On the other hand, minibus operators plying the New Amsterdam/Rosignol route raked in large sums of money as they charged $300 for the 12-minute journey and made three trips per day.With the introduction of the water taxies, they protested, calling on Government to also subsidise their operations saying that the $2200 to cross the Berbice River was too high. Many were forced to leave the route and fares had been reduced to $260 in an effort to attract more persons. But this amount was recently raised back to $300 – the same price it was when the Berbice Bridge was charging $2200. Now the bridge fair is $1900.Asked for a comment today on the new scheduled for the water taxies, the minibus operators – who had been very vocal in the past complaining of the difficulty in their operations as a result of the water taxi service – remained silent.