– The Lakers and Magic have agreed in principle to a deal that will send Dwight Howard to the L.A. and Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-team trade, according to ESPN.com.
To Magic: G Arron Afflalo, F Al Harrington, F Nikola Vucevic, F Moe Harkless, Denver’s protected 1st-round pick, Philadelphia’s protected 1st-round pick and Los Angeles’ protected 1st-round pick
To Nuggets: G Andre Iguodala
To Sixers: F Andrew Bynum, G Jason Richardson
To Lakers: F Dwight Howard
Howard, 26, is also not expected to sign an extension with the Lakers, and will test the market as a UFA.
– Cavaliers’ G Kyrie Irving (hand) is expected to be ready for training camp, according to head coach Byron Scott. ”His hand is moving along nicely. He hasn’t had any setbacks. They figure he’ll be good to go by training camp.” Irving averaged 18.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 treys on 46.9% shooting last year.
– The proposed idea of using a 23-and-under player pool in the Olympics is “unlikely,” according to Ian Thomsen of SI. Commissioner David Stern had introduced the idea of an age ceiling, but it likely won’t come into play for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro–the earliest target date will be the 2020 games, and according to Thomsen, that outcome depends on “whether the NBA can round up the necessary support within FIBA and the IOC over the years to come.”
– NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league will lock out its players if there is no new collective bargaining agreement by the time the old one expires on September 15. According to ESPN’s Katie Strang, one of the bigger issues that needs resolution is related to revenue sharing. In the initial proposal, the owners were seeking a decrease from 57% to 46% for the hockey-related revenue that the players receive. The two sides now have 35 days to reach an agreement.
“I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months. Namely, that time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards,” said Bettman.
“We made a presentation directly related to the owners’ proposal — a revenue-sharing system as it would be combined with the player compensation system that they had proposed. In the course of doing that, (we) indicated to them that for a couple of different reasons it didn’t look to us like it was the way to go. In particular, the biggest reason was that it seems to us, both overall and on a club-by-club basis, all of the revenue-sharing payments — both the new ones and the existing ones — would be paid for by player salary reductions,” said Donald Fehr.
– According to reports, the Red Wings are talking with the Flames about acquiring D Jay Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester has become expendable following the signing of D Dennis Wideman, and Detroit is looking for someone to help fill the void left by Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement. The Flyers are also known to be in the mix.
– Kings’ G Jonathan Quick (back) underwent a “minor surgical procedure” Thursday to repair a disc frament and an inflammatory cyst, and is expected to miss about 7 weeks. Assistant GM Ron Hextal said that Quick should be ready around the start of training camp.
– The Maple Leafs have signed F Tyler Biggs to a 3-year, entry-level contract. The 19-year-old, who Toronto selected 22nd overall in 2011, spent the 2011-12 season with Miami University (Ohio), where he posted nine goals, 17 points and 63 penalty minutes in 37 games.
– The Devils have signed F Bobby Butler to a 1-year/2-way deal. Butler played in 94 games over the past three seasons with the Senators, where he 16 goals and 37 points. He registered six goals and 10 assists in 56 games last year despite taking 86 shots.
– Monday on Raw, Shawn Michaels revealed he will be in Triple H’s corner when “The Game” faces Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Lesnar then issued a warning to HBK, telling him that he’d see him before SummerSlam. Michaels, however, is not advertised to appear on Raw—the final Raw before SummerSlam—by either WWE or host venue American Airlines Center. Michaels was asked on Twitter what he would say if Lesnar challenged him to a match following his bout with Triple H and responded, “What I tell everybody, No thanks, I’m retired.” HBK is also not worried about getting beat up by the large framed wrestler: “Added to the list of 10,437 guys who have done the same over 25 yrs:-).”
– Kevin Nash was on Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman and responded to the backlash against his recent comments about the wrestling business dying when Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero held WWE’s top titles. You can hear Busted Open from 2-4 ET on Sirius 94, XM 208, and Sportszone 860 on the internet. Here’s what Nash said about:
On his recent comments about the size of today’s top guys: “I’m talking about them as wrestlers, I’m talking about them as their wrestling persona as far as visual. I’m not talking about anything [else]. I’ve stated before, these guys are incredibly great technical wrestlers. All of them. But there’s a reason why Chrisitan Bale in Batman has armor on and is bigger than life. There’s a reason why in all these Marvel movies if [the guys] don’t have gigantic muscles and aren’t oversized, they’re CGIs. I don’t remember Stan Lee when he started Marvel Comics making a 5-foot-7 guy.”
On Shawn Michaels succeeding despite not being a ‘big guy’: “Shawn Michaels was 6-foot-1 and a half and weighed 225 pounds in his prime. That’s a big difference between 5-foot-7. That’s a difference between a 6-foot-8 power forward and a 7-foot-1 center. CM Punk doesn’t have Shawn Michaels’ physical ability. I mean, Vince Carter and [Michael] Jordan are the same size.”
On the PG Era and CM Punk: “I think the number one thing that hurts still is the fact that they’re PG. I’m a huge fan of Punk’s [but] I’m sorry, it’s hard for me to watch two grown men say they’re going to beat the crap out of each other. That’s my personal opinion. I’m also saying that it doesn’t look to me like he spends a lot of time in the weight room. I just think it would enhance his look and everything. We were all drug free and drug tested for years at the WWE, and there were a lot of guys that had great physiques. I think that comes with it.”
On the widespread reaction his comments received: “You guys aren’t backstage, you guys aren’t around when the brass makes decisions. You guys aren’t around when they all say, ‘God, I wish he was bigger,’ [or] ‘God yeah, but the guy just doesn’t have enough size.’ It’s their opinion. I’m just stating my opinion. I’m not saying I’m right. But am I not allowed my opinion? I pay taxes, I’m allowed my opinion. In my opinion, that’s how I feel. That doesn’t mean anybody else has to jump aboard and say I have to agree with him because he says so. Number one, I’ve always been an Internet darling and always will be and if I were to say something and was just somebody that didn’t have an opinion, you wouldn’t be calling me. It’s just because Kevin Nash said it. Oh my God, Kevin Nash said it. Oh my God, Jericho rebutted. For Eddie [Guerrero] and Chris [Benoit], Eddie was a friend [and] Chris was a friend. When the tragedy went down with Benoit I think I was one of the few guys that went on TV and tried to make some sense of it. These people that think I’m desecrating deceased wrestlers; I’m talking about them as [wrestlers] and not the person. Sometimes I look at it and I just go you know what, don’t even have an opinion, be a sheep like everybody else.”
On Chris Jericho’s tweet that the worst year of WWE business was when he was champion: “[I] Absolutley disagree. When I walked in the door in 1993, we did a $100,000 gate at Madison Square Garden. My last show at the Garden we did $309,000 before I jumped to WCW and I was in the main event with Shawn Michaels. I absolutely disagree. The business was better when I left than when I got there.”
On if the company’s future is in good hands with Triple H: “Absolutely. I think he’ll change the product in the way that he feels is good to change the product. I don’t think the product will stay the same. I think that he has a different vision than other people do. I’m just saying other people; I mean, Vince isn’t the only one that is in the meetings and has a voice. There’s other people. Kevin Dunn . . . There’s a lot of people that have a voice in that company.”
On John Cena: “I think he’s fantastic. I think he’s stayed true, I think he’s playing the hardest part in wrestling which is the white-meat babyface. He never looks anything but fantasitc. Even though he’s not a giant, tall man, he has a bigger than life personality.”
On a problem WWE has that many people don’t realize: “The biggest problem that the WWE probably has right now, and which people don’t think about, is they’ve got guys down there that have been on handheld cameras for 25 years. It’s not easy to shoot pro wrestling. Somebody sooner or later has to take Kerwin [Silfies’] spot, has to take Dunn’s spot in those trucks [and] has to make those incredible last-second calls that makes a near-miss look like the person gets their head taken off. Their prodcution alone is impeccable. When you look at the company and the scope of its international ability and everything that it does, it’s beyond first-rate.”
On if the WWE went in a different direction because of MMA: “No. I think what happened is MMA got hot, and just like anything else, you buy a $60 fight, it goes a minute and 12 seconds, [and] you’re not that apt to buy another $60 fight the next month. This is where I’ll always say pro wrestling will always have a great advantage. If it’s The Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania, you know it’s not going a minute and a half. You know it’s going to go 20-25 minutes. You go to a movie and you know the action on the movie is not real [and] yet you’re enthralled, you have complete escapism. I think that’s what pro wrestling gives you, it gives you that escapism. It gives you that ability to watch a main event for 30 minutes and feel like you’ve got your money’s worth.”
On the essence of his comments: “Number one, one of the classic stories of all-time is always going to be David and Goliath. Now I doubt it would be a biblical story if it was David vs. David. I think that you always need that bigger than life [wrestler], especially in a heel role. I always want the heel to be bigger than the babyface . . . That’s my preference. I hated playing the babyface. I never liked the role because it just doesn’t make sense; they end up working your leg for 20 minutes because they’re not gong to be able to pick you up and throw you around. It just doesn’t work.”
On if he has an issue with CM Punk: “Yeah, I have such an issue with him that we fell asleep next to each other in the locker room in London and I knew he had a bad back and I made sure that he got up so he wouldn’t have to be in too much pain. I hung around with him most of the time that I was on the Europeran trip. I talked to him on a daily basis. We were handed edits to our live intereviews 30 seconds before we went on live to Raw and basically had the ability to look at each other like we’re going out into a fox hole together. I have nothing but respect for Phil, I’ve said that a million times.”
On his feud with CM Punk last year: “I think I was so rusty; I basically spent five years doing taped interviews. I was so out of my element and plus, it’s very controlled. It’s not like it used to be where you just kind of went out there and were able to wing it. I never felt comfortable in my element one time. I was told by Vince not to yell. ‘Don’t yell,’ ‘Don’t do this,’ ‘Your cadence is too slow.’ I was like, ‘Dude, I’ve been doing this for 25 years I talk like this.’ So it was difficult for me, I’m not going to say it wasn’t. It never felt comfortable, and you walk in the door and you don’t know anybody. I’m not saying that it was a bad experience, I wish I could have done the favor for Phil. I wish we could have had the match and I wish I could have put him over.”
On why he was pulled from the feud: “What happened was I was on Plavix. And the WWE wellness doctor said that there was a chance that if I was to get an internal injury or something like that during the match that I could bleed out and die. So they had to pull me and get me off Plavix whatever the amount of time was and by that time, Triple H had to fight Punk.”
On the ‘What’ chants: “The ‘What’ chants go away if you can combat them, but if you can’t say anything that’s beyond PG then you can’t . . . it’s horrible. It’s just one of those things where it takes away so much from the show, it just makes you feel like you’re watching a circus sometime. It’s horrible. It sold T-shirts but you know what? It’s the only thing Steve did wrong.”
– WWE Champion CM Punk is getting some media attention for comments he made on criticizing Nike for signing UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones to an international endorsement deal, likely worth millions of dollars. Punk sarcastically tweeted:
Let’s reward more drunk drivers with endorsement deals! #responsibility
Jones was arrested for DUI on May 19 and had his license suspended for 6 months.
– Former WWE superstar Dave Bautista will make his professional MMA debut on October 6th against Radhid Evans for the CES MMA promotion from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The event will air live on DirecTV pay-per-view. It was announced Thursday via press release that his 8-week training camp will air on DirecTV as a 4-part series, beginning October 6th. About his first MMA fight, Batista said:
“Fighting MMA is a dream come true. I’m very excited to make my debut in Providence with Jimmy Burchfield, who has so much experience putting on fights. CES treats me like family and I can’t wait to make my debut with them. MMA has been my lifelong dream and I’m glad to be able to do it with them on the East Coast.”
Check out these pictures of Batista’s MMA training:
– Colin Cowherd slammed professional wrestling and CM Punk Thursday on ESPN Radio over Twitter remarks the WWE Champion made concerning Nike’s endorsement deal with mixed martial artist Jon “Bones” Jones. The outspoken radio personality labeled wrestlers as “roided freaks” and said they have no right to talk about morals due to the industry’s staggering number of premature deaths. Cowherd also alluded to Owen Hart falling to his death at a WWE event in 1999, stating, “A wrestler died in the ring and they just rolled him out and kept going.” Cowherd then ran down Punk and his penchant for tattoos. The diatribe lasted approximately ten minutes. Punk stated last night immediately following the endorsement announcement, “Let’s reward more drunk drivers with endorsement deals! #responsibility.” He was referring to Jon’s DUI conviction, stemming from a May 19 incident in which Jones drunkenly crashed his Bentley into a utility pole.
– According to F4WOnline, on Monday’s RAW, WWE aired a promo hyping the return of former Nexus leader Wade Barrett, who has been out of action since February due to injury. The promo, which showed a bearded Barrett unleashing havoc at a fight club, will air on WWE television through SummerSlam. Barrett returned to action in a dark match prior to Tuesday’s SmackDown tapings from Houston, Texas and is currently overseas with the SmackDown brand for its weekend tour of Asia. He is expected to return to action after SummerSlam. Originally, there was talk of Barrett returning at WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view and winning a title contract, to be cashed in at SummerSlam. Those plans were decided against, however sources indicate Barrett is still in line for a run with one of WWE’s top titles later this year.
– Former WWE Diva Maryse has launched her new jewelry store at HouseofMaryse.com, where she sells her original necklaces, rings and earrings. Check out this photo shoot of Maryse showing off the new wares:
– WWE RAW General Manager AJ Lee was recently interviewed by ESPN’s Tech blog. Not only is AJ a “crazy chick” but she’s also a self-proclaimed geek and gamer. Here are some highlights of what AJ said about:
Winning the WWE ’12 Video Game Tournament at WrestleMania 28 Week: “You know what’s funny is, everyone knows that I love playing video games, so they were all telling me, “I know you’re going to win this.” But I was terrified because I had never had the chance to play the game, and the gameplay in “WWE 12” was completely different than the game that came out the year before. The pinning system, kicking out, the submission system is all so different, so I thought I was so screwed. But I got to play two or three practice matches before the tournament started, then I just got really lucky. Everyone thought I had been playing for months, but I only played like two matches. I’m proud of that win. I keep the trophy in my office.”
The WWE ’13 Roster Reveal: “I am so waiting for that day. Recently, my first action figure was announced, and when you look at things you want to do, action figure is one of them, and then being in the video game would be so huge. Then I don’t have to create myself. I used to make myself for years in “Smackdown vs. Raw” and all the games before that, so hopefully I’ll be in the game this year, and if not, hopefully next year. It would just be insane to be in the game. I think I would pathetically be home alone playing the video game and putting myself in matches. I would love that. It would be a dream come true.”
Her Character’s Popularity With The WWE Universe: “I think the important thing is that I’ve never tried to be someone I’m not. People can read right through that. There’s a place for people who are unattainable where you want to have their poster on your wall because they’re larger than life, and that’s fine, but that’s not me. I’m not the coolest person in the world. I’m not the sexiest Diva or the strongest Diva. I know who I am. I’m not the most popular person and I’m kind of dorky and I’m someone you can see at your school or as your neighbor, and I think people like that. I think I’m a girl that represents someone you might know or would like to hang out with, and I think people just relate to me. I also look like I’m about 14, [laughs] so maybe I look like I do go to high school with everyone. I just think it’s cool that people have taken to me. Before I was on the show, I was a fan, and I think people can see that.”
Comparisons to Miss Elizabeth: “I think I have a long way to go. She is out of my league, but I appreciate the comparison. I think it’s the innocence people see in the two of us, and having something that’s more of an understatement. A woman who appears to be more of a gentle creature on TV. It’s amazing to me to be compared at all to her, or anyone in the past. I hope I can be someone people look at in the future and compare other people to me. It’s a big deal, and I appreciate it.”
– WWE diva Eve Torres will be competing on the new NBC reality TV show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” where celebrities go through military training to raise money for charities. The show premieres Monday night at 8pm ET and goes head-to-head with the first hour of WWE RAW. Here are some highlights of a recent interview Eve did with the USO website about her experience:
Getting ready for the show: “I can honestly say I didn’t have any idea what I was getting myself into. I thought it sounded great, the premise of the show, but I had no idea the wringer that they were going to put us through. … There were some moments that everyone had when they wondered if they could really do this.”
“I did a lot of conditioning and training before the show, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional aspect of the show. Every time we’re in real BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms) and in KIT (Knowledge Information Technology), it was amazing. The realities of what the military has to go through really sunk in. Clearly we don’t have an opposing force, but it really felt real and made me feel so much respect for them, more than I even had before.”
Working with WWE for the Troops: “With the WWE, we go overseas pretty much every year — at least for the past eight or nine years — to bring a part of America over to [the troops]. And so the idea of the USO and being able to send entertainers to support our troops, I love the idea of it because I’ve been a part of it. [The USO is] an amazing organization and one that I’m proud to represent. It makes a good feeling that when you get through your mission, you know you’ve earned money for not just the military men and women but for their families.”
– Amid pressure to reveal more of her personal financial information, United States Senate candidate Linda McMahon released her and Vince McMahon’s 2011 tax returns. The returns show the couple made $24.1M in 2011, down from $30M in 2010. The report that they released will be amended soon as the McMahons are waiting on a report from some investment incomes. In 2011, the McMahons paid approximately $3.6M in federal taxes and $1.72M in state taxes. Speaking of Linda McMahon, she may be under fire in Connecticut from Democrats and angry moms, but she can rest assured that she has the support of All World Promotions. AW tweeted:
#AWPromotio$ says vote for Linda McMahon!!! The PTP’z support Linda and so should you!! #VoteOrDie4Linda
– Former WWE Superstar Justin Credible jubilantly stated on Twitter Thursday that he was contacted by his former employer for work concerning the WWE Network.
Great start to my day. I just got some exciting news on the wrestling homefront. and I’m not talking about indy wrestling
Great start to my day. I just got some exciting news on the wrestling homefront. and I’m not talking about indy wrestling
@wweURNiverse mark carrano called for work on wwe network. Im super exicited
– Earlier this year The Miz filmed a cameo for comedy movie ‘The Campaign’ starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. During his scene, the Miz introduced Will Ferrell’s character at a campaign rally. Unfortunately, the scene was cut during post-production. Miz can still be seen in another scene standing in the background as an extra, but he no longer has a speaking part.
– After sharing a flight with TNA star Sting earlier this week on his way to Orlando, Florida for Thursday’s NXT tapings, Jim Ross noted on Twitter that he also bumped into Jeff Hardy on his way out of Orlando:
Nice seeing & visiting w/ Jeff Hardy in Orlando Airport. I’m happy he’s happy. 1 of my favs.
– Former WWE star and TNA employee Savio Vega turns 48 years old today.
– Check out Usain Bolt on the cover of SI:
– The Indians have released OF Johnny Damon. The 37-year-old batted just .222/.281/.329 with four homers, four steals and a .610 OPS over 224 plate appearances during his time with the Indians. He’s sitting on 2,769 career hits.
– Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman said Andy Pettitte’s (ankle) recent setback cost him “7-10 days.” Pettitte pushed his rehab too hard late last month while the team was in Seattle, which has led to his ankle not healing as quickly as expected. “In Seattle it swelled up. I did a little too much in Seattle. Now I am laying low. I have to take it easy.’’ The Yanks aren’t sure when Pettitte will be able to throw from a mound and won’t set a timetable for his return. His early-September return now seems unlikely.
– Reds’ 1B Joey Votto (knee) admits he’s “definitely not sure on a timetable” despite “moving in the right direction.” Manager Dusty Baker said Votto was “a little sore” after going through sliding drills. “For a guy that’s had knee problems in the past, like me, that was probably the hardest obstacle to overcome. Fear of sliding.” Votto is with the team on their road trip but doesn’t appear close to being activated. He was given a 3-4 week timetable when he had surgery and has missed a little over three weeks to this point. “I’m definitely not sure on a timetable. I’m not doing that to be coy, it’s because I genuinely don’t know which day. I’m making progress.”
– Giants’ 3B Pablo Sandoval (left hamstring strain) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with High-A San Jose. Sandoval, out since July 24, is scheduled to play five innings at third base on Friday. Manager Bruce Bochy believes he’ll only need two or three games in the minors, so he could be activated early next week.
– The Astros have acquired INF Tyler Greene from the Cardinals for a PTBNL or cash considerations. The 28-year-old should get regular time at shortstop.
– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Red Sox have signed OF Scott Podsednik to a major league contract. The Red Sox traded Podsednik, 36, and to the D’Backs on July 31. Arizona, however, released Podsednik two days later after he declined a minor league assignment with Triple-A Reno.
– The Indians have placed DH Travis Hafner (lower back stiffness) on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 6. Hafner missed his third consecutive game Wednesday, and will be placed on the DL for the second time this season.
– The Indians have fired pitching coach Scott Radinsky. Radinsky, who was in his first year as pitching coach, has the Tribe ranked 28th in the majors in ERA and has allowed the second-most walks. Triple-A pitching coach Ruben Niebla has been named the interim replacement.
– Chargers’ RB Ryan Mathews (broken clavicle) will be sidelined 4-6 weeks after suffering the injury early in Thursday’s preseason opener. The injury occurred just one carry in the first exhibition game. Mathews will undergo surgery Friday.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Jaguars and holdout RB Maurice Jones-Drew have been in “constant contact” during his holdout, and talks remain “cordial.” The sides are still communicating on an “almost daily” basis, but MJD is “no closer to returning.” Schefter’s sources say the holdout is expected to last until the end of the month, and “potentially into September.” The Jaguars have stated that they won’t cave to MJD’s demands.
– Free agent LT Marcus McNeill has retired from football. Turning 29 in November, McNeill cites recurring spinal issues as the reason for retirement.
– Browns’ coach Pat Shurmur confirmed RB Trent Richardson’s (left knee) scope and is “hopeful” the rookie will be ready for the season opener. ”Trent Richardson underwent a successful routine arthroscopic procedure today on his left knee. We anticipate that Trent will make a speedy recovery, and we are hopeful that he will be ready for our Week One game against Philadelphia.”
– Browns’ RB Montario Hardesty (ACL surgery) revealed that he developed an infection after undergoing ACL surgery back in 2010. Beat writers noted that Hardesty didn’t look right last summer, and he now concedes the infection affected his play entering the season–a full 12 months removed from surgery. He also acknowledges that his 2011 calf injury was the result of overcompensation for his bulky knee.
– Bucs’ head coach Greg Schiano said “our plan” is to start RB Doug Martin. Martin has been taking the majority of the first-team reps during camp.
– With Bully Ray & Devon’s contracts with TNA Wrestling set to expire later this month, negotiations for a new deal have been tense. Ray appeared to address his immediate future with the organization via Twitter with a survey:
Shakespear time kids. “To stay or not to stay, that is the question”. Lets hear YOUR opinion. #BULLYNATION
WOW! Helluva response. Looks 50/50. Let the “boss lady” know how ya feel. Light up her #TwittahMachine like a flamin table. #BULLYNATION
– Angelina Love, who has remained mum on the details behind her departure from TNA Wrestling last month, will “break her silence” on August 20 in an interview with MondayNightMayhem.com.
–According to the PWInsider, TNA Wrestling has begun production on a new Jeff Hardy DVD that will be released in October. It is the company’s third title on the charismatic wrestler.