– Heat’ G Dwyane Wade (knee surgery) returned to the court for the first time since his July 9 surgery. He’s now less than a week ahead of his current timetable, and will have lots of time to prepare for training camp on September 29.
– Clippers’ F Blake Griffin (knee) said he feels like he’s fully healthy. He’s doing drills and “all my normal movements,” adding, “I feel like I’m at 100%.” Griffin re-iterated that he used his rehab time to work on his shot and free throws.
– The Wolves sent a scout to watch UFA F Andray Blatche work out and “is said to be open to taking the minimum,” according to ESPN 1500′s Darren Wolfson. Blatche had reportedly drawn interest from the Heat and Spurs. He averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds on 44.5% shooting in 2010-11, but had a poor season last year, averaing 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds on 38% shooting. Minnesota is currently in the market for a forward.
– Lakers’ F Metta World Peace has lost weight, is in shape and “working a lot on his shot,” according to Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan. MWP averaged just 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 39.4% shooting last season, but improve to 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 treys on 43% shooting after the All-Star break.
– The Virginia Beach city council meeting on Tuesday confirmed that there are no plans for an arena and there is “no real chance” the Kings will move there. While the Kings may move, Virginia Beach is not realistic destination.
– According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, here are the details of the new proposal submitted by the NHL to the NHLPA:
The basis of NHL’s latest proposal is to reduce the league’s financial demands, believed to be approximately $460M in the league’s first proposal, overall, including a $120M reduction in its Year One demands.
The latest proposal is for a 6-year term on the new CBA.
The first three years would come in at fixed, pre-negotiated players’ share dollar thresholds: 11%, 8.5% and 5.5% less than the 2011-12 totals in the first three years respectively.
The players would also get a share in “upside hockey-related revenue growth” of over 10% in each of the first three years.
For the final three years of the deal the league and players split revenues 50-50.
The players’ share percentages under the league’s new definition of hockey-related revenues would be gradually reduced over the course of the 6-year deal.
The 2012-13 season would see the players receive a 51.6% cut. In 2013-14 that total would drop to 50.5%, before further dipping to 49.6% in 2014-15.
For the following three seasons (2015-16 through 2017-18) the players would see an even 50 per cent.
The salary cap would see an immediate reduction followed by a gradual rise over the course of the deal.
The cap for 2012-13 – projected to be $70.2M under the existing CBA – would be cut to a fixed $58M under the latest proposal.
That number would rise to a fixed $60M in 2013-14 and then to a fixed $62M the following year.
Projected cap numbers for the final three years of the deal include: $64.2M in 2015-16, $67.6M in 2016-17 and $71.1M in 2017-18.
The league’s proposal did not include an across-the-board reduction (or “rollback”) to existing contract values. Necessary adjustments would be financed entirely from a combination of modified contracting practices, increases in league-wide revenue and from the players’ Escrow contributions.
– According to the Winnipeg Sun, UFA G Fred Brathwaite would like to get one last shot at playing in the NHL. He’s trying to score a tryout after spending the past four years with the Mannheim Eagles in the Deutsch Elite League. He’s has spoken with three teams about a tryout, but the potential lockout could force him to play in Europe again. “Guys like Craig Anderson and Ben Bishop are going to want to play in Europe if the season doesn’t start over here. If that happens, they’re going to be taking away jobs from guys like myself.” Brathwaite hasn’t played in the NHL since 2003-04 with the Blue Jackets.
– Seahawks’ RB Marshawn Lynch (back spasms) has not practiced in more than a week. Lynch was getting treatment on his back during Monday’s practice. He will also not play in Thursday’s season finale.
– The Jaguars are not interested in free agent RB Ryan Grant, according to the Associated Press. Grant tweeted a picture of a Jaguar on Tuesday night.
– Eagles’ QB Michael Vick (ribs) will be wearing a new Kevlar flak jacket Week 1. The maker of the flak jacket, Unequal Technologies, guarantees that Vick won’t sustain any more rib injuries. This version is lighter and covers more of the torso than previous versions Vick has tried. “It’s going to be custom fitted and fitted to protect all across my sternum, across my ribs. I think it’ll be a better fit.” Vick broke two ribs in Week 10 last season.
– According to WFNZ Charlotte’s Chris McClain, Panthers’ WR Steve Smith’s (foot) infection is not a ”staph” infection. Smith was still on crutches Tuesday, but has been walking without them at times. Coach Ron Rivera said that Smith is doing “much better” and is “happy and feeling great.” He should be fine for Week 1.
– Lions’ RB Kevin Smith (right ankle) didn’t require a walking boot after rolling his right ankle Sunday night. Coach Jim Schwartz called it a short-term injury and a medical evaluation revealed a minor tweak. “I’ve got all my movement. Obviously it’s fresh and I still have some swelling, but it’s good.” He should be ready for Week 1.
– Check out Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones in this awesome Papa John’s commercial:
– WWE Champion CM Punk bled on Monday’s RAW during his steel cage match with Jerry Lawler. Even though WWE prohibits “blading,” F4WOnline is reporting that Punk did use a razor blade to cut his head open during the match. The spot occurred when Punk was outside the ring and Punk appeared to hand the blade off to referee Charles Robinson. We have not heard anything about Punk getting any backstage heat for the blade job, a sign of Punk’s status behind the scenes.
– At Tuesday night’s WWE SmackDown tapings, it was confirmed that Kaitlyn, #1 contender to the Divas championship, will get her title shot against Layla at Night of Champions next month. With that match set, here’s the updated card for the PPV:
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
WWE Divas Championship Match: Layla (c) vs. Kaitlyn
– Randy Orton took to Twitter Tuesday evening to dispute online reports stating that his starring role in the WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment film The Marine: Homefront was nixed after companies were informed of his dishonorable discharge from the Marines. The claim was attributed to an article published on Variety.com promoting his feature role in 12 Rounds: Reloaded for WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
“A Bad Conduct Discharge and a Dishonorable Discharge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are two different things. Come on you ‘reporters’! Check your facts, and more importantly your sources! I was given a BCD, not a Dishonorable!! #semperfidelis.”
– According to F4WOnline, the last-minute cancellation of Saturday night’s UFC pay-per-view was a hot topic of conversation backstage at Monday’s RAW. There was even some discussion of WWE taking a shot on RAW and talking about how WWE ‘never cancels PPV events.’
– On Tuesday night, ESPN broadcasters (and former WWE stars) Jonathan Coachman and Todd Grisham hosted SportsCenter together for the first time ever. “Welcome to Sportscenter alongside The Coach I’m…..” Coach cut him off, saying, “Does it really matter who you are?” Their first story together was about Steelers’ holdout WR Mike Wallace showing up camp. The two joked about Wallace’s money. Coach: “His millions..” Grisham: “And millions….” Coach: “And Millions.” Later, they joked about who would read one story, then when they did a live cut in to tennis they sarcastically joked about how exciting it was. At the end of the show Coach told a story about two tennis players who are dating eating snowcones, Todd said “Interesting story.” Coach: “Well, that’s what I get paid for.” Grisham tweeted this picture of the two of them together:
– According to F4WOnline, WWE remains very supportive of Ryback’s character, with hopes that he could eventually be a main event star. We noted earlier that audiences are really getting into his “Feed Me More” chant, without WWE having to pipe in sound effects. After seeing the damage done to other new wrestlers who are pushed very hard at first and then reigned in, WWE is looking to build up Ryback very slowly and is just now having him wrestle mid-card talent.
– According to F4WOnline, after appearing on Monday’s RAW as “Harold” during Daniel Bryan and Kane’s anger management session, it’s believed that indy wrestler Scorpio Sky turned down TNA’s recent contract offer. Sky recently competed in TNA as Mason Andrews and was offered a deal, however he decided to attend WWE’s 3-day tryout camp in California last week before signing anything with TNA. WWE will air more anger management skits next week on RAW (likely done in the same format as this week, with one airing per hour). The skits were all filmed before SummerSlam.
– WWE Diva Cameron (aka Ariane Andrew) was arrested in Tampa, Florida on 8/24 and charged with Driving Under the Influence. She was admitted to the Hillsborough County Jail at 5:38 a.m. before being released on $500 bond at 1:34 p.m. Her arrest report reveals that she refused a blood alcohol test at the scene of the arrest, which took place at the corner of Jim Walter Boulevard and West Shore Boulevard North at 2:24 AM. It’s worth noting that listed her occupation as a “sales associate” for Wells Fargo (not a WWE performer), perhaps hoping that she could stay under the radar without news of the arrest going public.
– Monday’s WWE Raw drew a 3.1 rating and averaged 4.48 million viewers for the 3-hour show, which is even with last week’s post-SummerSlam episode. Here’s the hourly breakdown:
Hour 1: 2.9 rating (4.16 million viewers)
Hour 2: 3.3 rating (4.79 million viewers)
Hour 3: 3.2 rating (4.49 million viewers)
– Chael Sonnen was on Max and Marcellus. The highlights:
On why he thinks Dana White called him: “I think Dana just knew that he called the right guy. It’s just a matter of that. It was a situation where we could help each other. (Host: Dana called you, you didn’t volunteer?) No I didn’t know about it. Dan Henderson is a personal friend, very close and he did not say a word to me. I learned about this when everyone else did. Dana called up and said ‘hey do you want to fight next Saturday?’ My very first word to him was ‘who?’ I couldn’t think. ‘What do you need me for? You have this full card, you have Jones and Henderson and it just never crossed my mind.’ I didn’t know. Then he said ‘Jon Jones’ and I said ‘I’m your guy.”
Who he thinks he will fight next: “I’ve got an agreement to fight a gentleman named Forrest Griffin on December 29th but I don’t know. Jon Jones has a date on September 22nd and right now he’s fighting Vitor Belfort. Vitor never shows up, Vitor has pulled out of way more fights than he has ever shown up for so if I had to guess you’ll be seeing me fight Jon Jones on September 22nd”
What he makes of Jones not fighting him: “I don’t know. I hear what their side said and it was just mindboggling for me because it has never happened. He was within his rights to do it. Let’s not forget Jones had an agreement and he was ready to honor his side of the agreement but the agreement changed. The new deal he was presented with he didn’t agree to. That was still a surprise though. That’s just simply never happened, especially when you’re the champion. This whole short notice routine, that doesn’t apply to a guy that is coming off a ten week training camp. The short notice routine is for the guy that was sitting at home or had no idea there was a fight coming up. The change in opponent doesn’t count, it’s the change in the fight. If you don’t know there’s a fight then they notice. It didn’t make sense. Nothing added up that he pulled out. I don’t know. He doesn’t need to be scared of anybody.”
What he would say to Jones: “If I was to tell Jon Jones something, I would tell him I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Good news Jon the first punch that I throw at you might not land. The bad news is there are going to be five more coming right after it.”
– Jon Jones’ trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, believes Chael Sonnen was secretly training to fight Jones.
“How long has Chael been attacking Jon in the media? Hmm. He’s a man known for moneymaking schemes and cheating by bending the rules. And he’s done this in various arenas. I think Chael played almost everyone like a fiddle. But I believe like a coward he tried to train and strike Jon when Jon wasn’t looking. But hey, Jon is a warrior, and he, actually we, saw it coming. All I can say to Chael is nice try.”
“Jon vs Sonnen. With no surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor. That’s a fight I want to see. Jon will win the war, and I think the UFC should capitalize on it,” Winkeljohn said.”There’s nothing more that we want than that.”
– Check out this nasty gash on Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney:
– Check out Tony Stewart throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car:
– Check out Danica Patrick giving the finger wag ala Dikembe Mutombo:
– Check out the Williams sisters on the cover of the NY Times Magazine: