– The Chicago Tribune reports that F LeBron James, G Dwyane Wade, G Joe Johnson and F Chris Bosh are all planning to meet up this summer to discuss what their plans are as far as who will sign where this offseason. Wade told the Tribune,
“(Free agency) has been three years coming. We’ve discussed it prematurely, at different times. (But) you don’t know what guys are thinking and where they’re going. I think we’ll all sit down, and before one of us makes a decision, all of us will have spoken to each other and (listened to the) thinking. A lot of decisions (will be based on) what other players are willing to do and what other guys want to do. So it’s not just a ‘me’ situation here. We all have to look and see what each other is thinking.”
– Hawks’ owner Michael Gearon was fined $25K Thursday for making comments that violated the NBA’s anti-tampering rules. Gearon was fined for comments that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 19, when he said he’d be willing to subject the team to the luxury tax if it could sign Cavaliers’ F LeBron James to a maximum contract. Gearon also discussed Heat’ F Jermaine O’Neal and Cavs’ F Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the interview.
– Nets’ president and GM Rod Thorn is ready to start interviewing candidates for the vacant Nets coaching job. Thorn plans to talk to about six people with NBA experience about taking over a team that posted a franchise-low 12 wins and set a league record with 18 straight losses to open the season. Thorn would not say whether he will interview anyone over the Memorial Day weekend, but there have been multiple reports that former Mavericks coach Avery Johnson will get the first interview. The Nets have more than $23M to spend on the free agent market.
– The Cavs and Clippers are looking into Bucks’ assistant coach Kelvin Sampson.
– Updating a previous item, two separate KHL teams – one believed to be SKA St. Petersburg – have offered F Ilya Kovalchuk a three-year/$30M deal. He’s still believed to be looking for a massive 10-to-12-year deal. Kovalchuk has made it clear that he would like to stay in the NHL and is waiting until the free-agent window on July 1 to see what he is offered before considering any KHL offers. Stay tuned.
– SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL is believed to have offered Kings’ F Alexander Frolov a deal. GM Dean Lombardi is concerned that his team won’t be able to afford Frolov next year. “Would we like to keep him? Yes. But if the price is prohibitive, and maybe would prevent us from filling other holes and making sure we keep (Drew) Doughty and (Jack) Johnson and all these kids coming through, then you have to walk away.”
– Updating a previous item, Flyers’ G Brian Boucher (knee) has practiced with the team and hopes to dress Saturday night in Game 1 of the Cup Finals. He’s gone 6-4 with a 2.33 GAA in the postseason this year.
– F Mike Modano is still undecided as to whether or not he will return to play his 21st season in the NHL next season. Modano is also part of an investor’s group looking to purchase the Dallas Stars. If he is successful, he has been told by the NHL that he cannot be an owner and a player as well. Stay tuned.
“Physically, I feel fine. I think it’s the mental part now. It’s just the motivation, the work that you have to put into it, the preparation and things that go on in the summer time, so once you make that decision, then you know you have to stick through it. You don’t want to just half-ass it or whatever, so you want to go in there and be an impact guy and not be a liability when you come back and be committed to it throughout the whole season.”
– Ducks’ GM Bob Murray will give F Teemu Selanne and D Scott Niedermayer more time to decide if they will or will not return to the Ducks next season. The duo are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, but it probably is a matter of whether they will retire or return to the Ducks and not whether or not they will leave for another NHL team. “There’s still a month to the draft. It’s like I said before. We’ll give them time to get rested. We still have time here.”
– The NHL will announce on Friday that they will hold outdoor games in Pittsburgh and Calgary next season. It is being reported that the Capitals will take on the Penguins at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day in the Winter Classic and the NHL will add an outdoor game in February when the Flames host the Canadiens at McMahon Stadium.
– The Leafs have signed D Korbinian Holzer to a two-year, entry level contract. The Buds have been very impressed with the native of Germany. He is a 6’3″ defenseman with skills that will enable him to compete in the NHL. Look for Holzer to play all season with the AHL Marlies to get himself acclimated to the North American ice and lifestyle.
– Yahoo! reports that the MLB is working on a suspension for umpire Joe West. He called the Yankees vs. Red Sox “pathetic and embarrassing” because of their long game times, and recently ejected White Sox’ manager Ozzie Guillen and LHP Mark Buerhle on separate balk calls. MLB apparently gave West a disciplinary phone call yesterday and is supposedly trying to figure out with the World Umpires Association, which West presides over, on just what punishment he can be given. Stay tuned.
– Mets’ OF Carlos Beltran (knee) is expected out until after the All-Star break. He hasn’t even started full baseball activities and it’ll apparently take him six-to-eight weeks to be ready once he does start them
– The Chicago Tribune reports that the relationship between White Sox’ GM Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen is souring. One scout says, “Kenny and Ozzie do not have anywhere near the relationship they once had and it appears that they only deal with each other when absolutely necessary. If the team continues to struggle throughout the rest of the season, it could become a bigger problem that will have to be dealt with.”
– The Brewers have placed OF Jody Gerut (bruised left heel) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 23.
– The Marlins have placed LHP Renyel Pinto (left hip strain) on the 15-day DL.
– The Cardinals have placed RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 23. Lohse is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday in Los Angeles and will miss at least the next two months. Lohse met with L.A.-based Dr. Steven S. Shin on Wednesday and was diagnosed with a rare condition called “extreme compartment syndrome.” Because there’s not a great history of such injuries in the game of baseball, his recovery timetable is anyone’s guess.
– The Reds have placed SS Paul Janish on the bereavement leave list.
– The Giants have placed SS Edgar Renteria (strained right hamstring) on the 15-day DL.
– The Athletics have placed OF Coco Crisp (strained right intercostal muscle) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 23.
– The Pirates have placed 1B Steve Pearce (sprained right ankle) on the 15-day DL.
– The Mets have transferred OF Carlos Beltran (knee) to the 60-day DL.
– The Orioles have transferred LHP Michael Gonzalez (shoulder) to the 60-day DL and have placed RHP Koji Uehara (elbow strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 20.
– The D’Backs have placed 2B Tony Abreu (left wrist sprain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 24.
– The Dodgers have placed LHP George Sherrill (stiff middle back) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 24.
– The Reds have placed RHP Homer Bailey (shoulder) on the 15-day DL.
– The Angels have placed 3B Brandon Wood (hip flexor strain) on the 15-day DL.
– Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Bobby Lashley is injured and has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight against Ron Sparks at the company’s June 16 show from Los Angeles. The promotion announced on Wednesday that suffered a knee injury in training. After an impressive win over Wes Sims in his Strikeforce debut earlier this year, the former pro wrestler brought his professional MMA career to 5-0. No word yet on how long Lashley will be out.
– Randy Orton has told friends he doesn’t expect his shoulder injury to keep him out of action for long. While he initially feared the worst when he suffered the injury at Over the Limit, it appears he will be healed in time for next month’s Fatal 4-Way PPV, which he is advertised for. Though Orton appeared to suffer the injury during his match with Edge on Sunday, he entered the match hurt. He worked a tag match with John Cena against Batista and Sheamus the previous night and was nursing the arm late in the bout. It doesn’t appear a bump caused the injury as after making a tag to Cena, he immediately grabbed his arm and held it in pain for the remainder of match.
– Ted DiBiase suffered a concussion very early in his match with R-Truth this past Sunday night at Over The Limit when Truth slapped him across the face and knocked him loopy. An audible was called due to the injury, as DiBiase was tabbed to blame Virgil for his loss, subsequently knocking him out with the Dream Street. It remains unclear at this time whether Santino Marella hitting Virgil with the Vulcan Neck Pinch in a comedy segment the following night on Raw constituted his character being written off, or if it will happen within the next few weeks. Regarding DiBiase, he won’t be allowed to wrestle until medically cleared. He is expected to be kept out the ring for a few weeks so he can heal.
– Former WWE superstar Rikishi was recently interviewed by Jason Clevett of Slam Sports about the unfortunate passing of his brother Eddie “Umaga” Fatu last year as well his sons the Uso twins, who made their debut on Monday’s RAW attacking the Hart Dynasty. Here are some highlights of what Rikishi said about:
Umaga’s Death: “It’s a great loss, not just for our personal lives, but also for professional wrestling as well, as the fans … You never expect to get a call like that. I’m having goosebumps right here sitting talking to you about it. My dealing with my brother’s loss was through the fans and the family. You would not believe how much heart, calls and emails, condolences from fans throughout the whole world. I was very proud of that.”
“Also to have so many people out of the business of wrestling, the Umaga character has touched everybody, good or bad,” Rikishi said. “It’s something that’s out of our hands. You never want it to happen to you personally. I’m very grateful that I had the last part of his life to spend with him in Australia. We had a heart to heart talk. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. With that note, everything was fantastic. So my heart is full, my heart is full. But I can only say this, I’m very sorry for the loss of professional wrestling, such a good wrestler.”
His Sons, The Uso Twins: “You guys look out for them! They’re in a developmental deal now. What I told my boys was, ‘You guys have a lot of shoes to fill, but do what you feel comfortable with. Win the fans, win the match.’ They’re seeing why daddy walks through the door limping, don’t want to throw the football, don’t want to play basketball. But they’re going to find out first-hand.”
“I remember back in my day, doing indy shots here and there on the road, my kids seen me, how I was raised up in the business because they lived it with me. So anytime I’d see the Rotundas, Briscos, or any other third or second generation come into the business, to me, it’s a natural thing to do. I told both my sons, ‘I want to see you play NFL football, but you always have wrestling to fall back on.’ Obviously, they wanted to try the family business and try their hand at professional wrestling. Honestly, the world get ready, because you are about ready to see twice — when I say twice, twice the entertainment, twice the electricity, you’re about ready to see twice of The Rock!”
– CM Punk’s win points to management appreciating his effort in getting the crowd back into his Over the Limit match with Rey Mysterio after the bout was awkwardly halted so a trainer could treat his head wound. When the audience began to turn against the match, Punk called an audible by attacking Mysterio in an effort to get things back on track.
– Drew McIntyre has reportedly fallen out favor with management as he’s gained a reputation of being high maintenance not to mention that he’s failed to get over to the degree of his push. Initial plans called for McIntyre’s undefeated streak to result in a World Heavyweight Title reign. Instead, Jack Swagger ended up in the spot and McIntyre was left to feud with Matt Hardy.
– The top 2 matches for WWE’s Fatal 4 Way PPV on June 20:
Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Title: John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Fatal 4 Way for the World Heavyweight Title: Jack Swagger vs. The Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. CM Punk
– Shane McMahon, who is no longer a WWE employee, still owns 675,249 shares of WWE stock, worth $10,810,736. He also has another 631,761 shares, worth $10,114,493, earmarked for him in a 2004 trust set up by his father Vince. Speaking of Vince, he’s not doing too bad himself. His 4.5 million shares of stock are currently worth a staggering $720,450,000.
– Add WWE Champion John Cena to the list of superstars injured at Sunday’s WWE Over The Limit pay-per-view. Cena posted on Twitter.com this morning:
Morning CeNation. Spent last 3 hrs at dentist. Got a tooth knocked out at OTL. Mouth numb.
He later added that a fan suggested he do a “Cena after the dentist” video – a reference to the “David after the dentist” viral video. Cena replied, “Brilliant. Is this real life?”
– It was reported on SurvivorSucks.com that Survivor host Jeff Probst will host a future edition of Raw. Their report has yet to be confirmed.
– Melina has confirmed via Twitter that she is dating John Morrison.
– Chargers’ TE Antonio Gates has been diagnosed with a “minor form” of plantar fasciitis. A injury common among basketball players, plantar fasciitis is essentially a sore foot. All Gates can do is rest it and treat it, which he will now do for two-to-three weeks. It does have the potential to linger, but considering we are more than four months away from Week 1, it’s not a major concern. Gates has probably been playing with it for a few years.
– The NFL has advised Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger that he is cleared to return to team activities next week. Commissioner Roger Goodell said that no decision has been made yet on modifying Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension. He will review Big Ben’s progress prior to the first regular season game, and then decide whether to reduce the suspension to four games. So far, Roethlisberger appears to be on the right track.
– Saints’ TE Jeremy Shockey was diagnosed with a seizure, according to teammate Darren Sharper. Sharper visited Shockey in the hospital after the tight end collapsed in the weight room earlier Thursday. Shockey is going to stay at least one night in the hospital to undergo tests, but he doesn’t seem too concerned. “I am ok, thanks to everyone who has shown their concern don’t worry about me I will be fine.. WHO DAT,” tweeted Shockey.
– Vince Russo is looking to become Executive Producer of TNA iMPACT, if he leaves the creative team. This is similar to the job that Kevin Dunn holds on WWE’s RAW brand.
– D’Angelo Dinero recently suffered a labral tear in his shoulder. Though he appeared at last week’s television tapings to take part in a segment promoting the Top 10 Contender’s Rankings, he told friends he’s a month or two away from being healthy enough to return to the ring.
– Ric Flair was recently interviewed by the UK’s DigitalSpy.com to hype TNA’s Maximum iMPACT! 3 UK tour in January. Here are some highlights of what the Nature Boy said about:
Working for TNA: “I love it, it’s fantastic. The fact they are working so hard to enhance their brand and become competitive with other sports entertainment companies is huge. They have the money behind them and they have a tremendous boss in Dixie Carter. She is awesome to work for and – unlike most promoters – she is sympathetic in a very unsympathetic business!”
The Internet: “I can’t even turn a computer on and if I could I wouldn’t pay any attention to it anyway! It’s not that I don’t respect the fans, but it’s just what can a wrestling fan tell me about wrestling? One of the problems with the young guys is they are more concerned with what the fans think about them than what they are achieving as individuals and what their boss thinks of them. But that’s normal with young guys and I get it but it’s nothing that will ever affect my role or thought process about myself. I know when I am in the ring when I am good and on, and when I leave the building if I was good and on. And 99 percent of the time I was on or I wouldn’t be here today!”
Retiring Again: “I don’t even think like that. I have already had one retirement. I’ll never retire again. I’ll just walk away. Or fall off the top rope and turn to ash or dust! I’ll just crumble and they will sweep me into a waste basket and I’ll be gone!”
Does He Miss WWE?: “I have friends I miss but I have made new friends here. I don’t dwell on the past ever. I’ll always have those guys for friends and we’ll always respect each other, but it’s like anything else, when you go home you go home. I don’t watch myself on TV. I go home and relax and enjoy my wife, my kids, and I have some grandchildren I love playing with. I’m in a good place and I do what I love doing.”