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Former Toronto Raptors guard Jodie Meeks is “drawing interest” from the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Dave McMenamin

@mcten
Free agent guard Jodie Meeks, fresh off a championship with the Raptors, has drawn interest from the Clippers and Hornets, league sources tell ESPN. A career 37.3 percent 3-point shooter, he shot 44.4 percent from 3 in spot duty with Toronto.

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6:45 AM – Aug 13, 2019
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The veteran sharpshooter, fresh off winning a championship with the Raptors, is a career 37.3 per cent shooter from beyond the arc.

He was even better last season in his short time with Toronto, shooting 44.4 per cent from three in eight regular season games.

Meeks was drafted in the second round (No. 41 overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009 and carved out a nice career as a three-point marksman.

In 10 NBA seasons, he has spent time with the Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards prior to his time with the Raps.

The 31-year-old is a native of Nashville, Tenn., and played college ball at the University of Kentucky.

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NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Caris LeVert to a contract extension after his remarkable recovery from injury last season.

The 2016 first-round pick was averaging a team-best 18.4 points in his first 13 games before sustaining a dislocated right foot, a gruesome-looking injury that had players in prayer as he was taken off the court on a stretcher.

But it was quickly determined that he wouldn’t need surgery and would be able to return during the season, which he did after missing about three months. He helped the Nets make the playoffs, where he averaged 21 points in a first-round loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Terms of the deal announced Monday were not disclosed.

The Nets respect the way LeVert has overcome injuries dating to college at Michigan, and view him as an important piece of a team that signed superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in July.

General manager Sean Marks says “Caris personifies what it means to be a Brooklyn Net, and we firmly believe his best basketball is in front of him.”

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According to multiple reports, veteran forward Scottie Upshall will join the Dallas Stars for training camp on a professional tryout contract.

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Upshall spent last season with the St. Louis Blues, posting seven goals and 19 points in 63 games. He did not dress during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup.

The 35-year-old has failed to top 10 goals in a season since 2013-14, when he was with the Florida Panthers. That was also the last time he exceeded 20 points in a season.

In 759 career games, Upshall has 138 goals and 285 points.

He entered the league as the sixth overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft, selected by the Nashville Predators.

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NFL

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Aug 26, 2019

Colts try to turn corner following Luck’s decision
Reality hit hard as soon as the Indianapolis Colts walked into their locker room Monday morning. Andrew Luck’s stall was empty, the name plate gone, the era over.
The Canadian Press

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INDIANAPOLIS — Reality hit hard as soon as the Indianapolis Colts walked into their locker room Monday morning.

Andrew Luck’s stall was empty, the name plate gone, the era over.

Coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard started the day with a team meeting to discuss how the Colts would proceed without their newly retired starting quarterback.

Luck’s replacement, Jacoby Brissett, took the podium inside a packed media room, Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton wore a Stanford baseball cap to honour his 2012 draft classmate and then it was time to get back to work.

“In one respect this story is unique and shocking,” coach Frank Reich said. “But it’s happened enough where a team loses a great player, and it galvanizes a team and propels them to a championship.”

The former pastor has a vast array of resources to make the point, some from his own experiences.

In 1989, when Jim Kelly got hurt most thought the Buffalo Bills would slow things down for his backup, Reich.

Instead, coach Marv Levy didn’t change a thing and Reich responded by leading the Bills to three consecutive wins. Three years later, with Kelly out again, Reich won two playoff games, including the greatest comeback in post-season history as the Bills eventually won their third straight AFC title.

In 2017, Reich was Philadelphia’s offensive co-ordinator when MVP candidate Carson Wentz tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee — an injury many expected to derail the Eagles’ title hopes. Instead, Nick Foles stepped in and led Philadelphia to its first title since 1960.

Then there was the seemingly made-for-TV script from two decades ago when a grocery store bagger-turned-quarterback Kurt Warner took over for the injured Trent Green and led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title. Warner was the league’s MVP, too.

But Reich and the Colts know this season is not about the past. They must focus on adding their own, unique chapter to the underdog story to fill the hole in the middle of the locker room.

“I need to be Jacoby Brissett, just be myself,” he said when asked about permanently replacing his close friend. “It’s always been prepare like you’re the starter.”

Outside the locker room, many doubt Brissett can emerge as the next Foles, Warner or even Reich. Brissett went 4-11 in 2017, becoming the starter less than two weeks after Indy acquired him in a trade from New England, behind an offensive line that allowed the most sacks in the NFL that season.

Around the Colts’ complex, though, there are plenty of Brissett believers.

Reich noted Brissett has taken more than 1,200 snaps with the starting unit since April when off-season workouts started as Luck tried to recover from a lower left leg injury.

Plus, he’s working with a coach who has been down this road previously. Reich spent his first decade in the NFL playing behind a Hall of Famer, needing to be ready at every moment. It’s a conversation the two have had multiple times since Reich was hired 18 1/2 months ago.

“From Day 1, I came in and watched all of Jacoby’s film and I said this guy is a top-20 quarterback, this guy is a starting quarterback in the NFL,” Reich said. “This guy is all in, he’s not just checking off boxes. He’s a great leader and I’m excited for him.”

So are teammates, who have embraced Brissett’s hard-working approach on the field and his fun-loving style off it.

As for Luck, teammates universally backed his decision to walk away two weeks before the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Some, like Brissett and left tackle Anthony Castonzo, acknowledged Luck let them in on the secret before Saturday’s game. Most, like All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, said they found out as word trickled out on the sideline.

Luck made his formal announcement to the team in the postgame locker room, just moments before going public with the decision.

Castonzo understood.

“Everybody deals with the pain, it’s when you’re out there and you’re doing something and you feel yourself not being able to change direction or miss a throw in his case,” he said. “It’s when the pain starts to affect your ability on the field is when it really gets to you.”

Most were disappointed with the chorus of boos Luck heard from fans as he left the Lucas Oil Stadium turf for the final time.

“It sucked,” Brissett said, acknowledging Luck was at peace with the choice. “I mean you don’t want to hear that, especially for a guy like that who’s done what he’s done and what he’s been through.”

But it didn’t take the Colts long to move on from Saturday — or the announcement that shocked the football world.

“It’s the same old, same old,” Leonard said. “He’s a great player, we respect everything Andrew does. But now we’re focused on Jacoby Brissett and winning games.”

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — With Mike Trout watching from the bench, Ariel Jurado and the Texas Rangers’ relievers largely overwhelmed the lesser Angels.

And when they didn’t, Delino DeShields was there to help out.

Jurado pitched six innings of two-hit ball to earn his second victory since June, and DeShields reached over the centre field fence to make a spectacular homer-stealing catch in the Rangers’ 3-0 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

DeShields kept the game scoreless in the third when he reached up and over to take a homer away from Brian Goodwin . The outfielder’s timing and reach were both impeccable, and they allowed him to rob a friend.

“He hit it and I just timed it up,” DeShields said. “It’s something I take pride in, my defence. We’ve got a (pitcher) out there that struggled his last outing. You just want to give your best effort for your teammates. Off the bat, I didn’t really think it was going to keep going. I’m glad I took a peek at the wall to see where it was.”

DeShields wasn’t completely certain he caught it until he looked in his glove, remembering an incident earlier this season in which he dislodged the ball out of his own mitt while making the play. He playfully bit down on the baseball before throwing it back to the infield, and he pointed at Goodwin.

“I guess he knew I made a good catch,” DeShields said. “I guess he wasn’t that hurt about it. I kind of felt bad, but it’s part of the game. Who knows, he might get me one day.”

Nick Solak had an RBI single in the sixth and Isiah Kiner-Falefa added a two-run double in the eighth as the Rangers won the season series 10-9 over their fellow AL West also-rans. Texas took four of six from the Angels in two series over the past 10 days.

“I feel like every game we’ve played with them has been like tonight, where one hit or one pitch decides the game,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said.

TROUT OUT

Trout got the day off after hitting his major league leading 43rd homer Tuesday night, and it probably thrilled the Rangers. Trout has hit 11 homers against Texas this season, tied for the most by an opponent in franchise history, while his 1.365 OPS is the third-highest by any Texas opponent in a season.

Trout has been dealing with minor pain in the bottom of his right foot for several weeks, he said. Angels manager Brad Ausmus decided to give him two consecutive days of rest since they don’t play Thursday.

“Just been sore, but I’ll be good to go on Friday,” Trout said.

Without Trout, the Angels were shut out for the seventh time this season during their sixth loss in seven games.

STRONG START

After opener Emmanuel Clase barely escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, Jurado (7-10) retired 16 of his first 18 batters, giving up only two hits to Kole Calhoun. The performance was an impressive turnaround for Jurado, who had lost four consecutive starts and seven of his last nine, including three straight defeats over which he yielded 22 runs in 13 2/3 innings.

“Tonight I didn’t leave any pitches in the middle,” Jurado said. “When I was missing something, it was off to the side.”

José Leclerc pitched the ninth for his ninth save, his first since Aug. 11.

ANOTHER STRONG START

Angels rookie Patrick Sandoval pitched five innings of one-hit ball in his fourth career start, racking up nine strikeouts in the best effort of his young career. The native of nearby Mission Viejo, California, struggled only with his control in his second start in his home ballpark, issuing three walks.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus didn’t second-guess his decision to pull Sandoval after just 84 pitches.

“We thought he had done his job,” Ausmus said. “We were supposed to get some runs by the bottom of the fifth and get his first win, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

The Rangers promptly broke through against LA’s bullpen. Elvis Andrus drew a walk from former Rangers farmhand Miguel Del Pozo (1-1) and eventually scored on Solak’s single off Keynan Middleton, who was back on a major league mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2018.

Kiner-Falefa quickly added two more runs with his first hit since his latest recall from the minors.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Lance Lynn (14-9, 3.85 ERA) takes the mound in Arlington on Thursday for the opener of a four-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners and Félix Hernández (1-4, 6.09 ERA).

Angels: After a day off at home, rookie José Suárez (2-5, 6.67 ERA) makes his 13th career start Friday to open a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox and Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 6.64 ERA).

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The New England Patriots have acquired offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor from the Baltimore Ravens for an undisclosed draft pick.

Eluemunor was competing to be Baltimore’s starting left guard, but evidently didn’t make enough of an impression to keep around.

So the Patriots grabbed the former fifth-round pick to provide depth in the middle of the line.

The 6-foot-4, 335-pound Eluemunor played in eight games as a rookie in 2017 and in nine games last year, making one start.

The trade, made Wednesday, is pending Eluemunor passing a physical.

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CLEVELAND — Kareem Hunt will have to spend his NFL suspension isolated from his team.

The suspended Browns running back, who must serve an eight-game ban for physical altercations, will not be permitted inside the team’s facility starting Saturday at 4 p.m., league spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press.

The team had asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to allow Hunt to be around his teammates, arguing he could use the extra support. But to this point, Hunt will not be able to interact with his teammates or staff inside the team’s building in Berea, Ohio, until his punishment ends in November.

It’s not impossible the league could adjust its policy and amend its stance on Hunt, who was signed as a free agent by Cleveland in March, three months after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. But to this point, he’s going to be on his own.

Hunt was suspended for two violent off-field incidents, one in which he shoved and kicked a woman during a dispute in a hotel hallway. He’s eligible to return to the team in November.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was disappointed to learn Hunt won’t be present.

“It hurts him not to be around there because if you can be around your teammates, that can help you keep a positive attitude, and that definitely helps,” Mayfield said. “So that’s tough to hear.”

The 24-year-old Hunt has been practicing and playing in preseason games, and the 2017 league rushing champion is expected to be on the field Thursday night when the Browns host the Detroit Lions in their exhibition finale.

Hunt has been attending counselling sessions and said earlier this month that if he couldn’t be with his teammates he would “chill out, get good workouts and lay low.”

Although Hunt will have to stay away from the Browns, wide receiver Antonio Callaway will be allowed in the facility while serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Callaway was suspended earlier this month during training camp. He won’t be eligible to return until the Oct. 7 game at San Francisco. Callaway owned up to his mistake, which followed a run of off-field issues while he was in college.

On Tuesday, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said he hoped Callaway would be allowed to be with his teammates.

“If we were in fact able to do it, one of the good reasons will be because Antonio is recovering from an ankle injury,” Kitchens said. “To make sure that he gets the proper medical care and treatment, that would benefit the person as much as anything.”

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MILAN — New coach, more disappointment for AC Milan.

Rodrigo Becao scored his first professional goal to help Udinese beat Milan 1-0 as new Rossoneri coach Marco Giampaolo’s first match in charge ended in defeat on Sunday.

Giampaolo replaced Gennaro Gattuso in June and the former Sampdoria coach is already ready to give up his favoured 4-3-1-2 formation after a disappointing performance in which Milan didn’t even have a shot on target.

“Certainly you’ll see them in a different formation. I have to make them play in their natural roles,” Giampaolo said. “I saw things that weren’t done well because of the characteristics of my players.

“Today’s match gave me a lot to analyze and the three up front have to develop into a different attack.”

Becao, who was signed by Udinese in the off-season, headed a corner into the bottom right of the net in the 72nd minute.

The 23-year-old defender was signed from Brazilian side Bahia but had spent last season on loan at CSKA Moscow.

Milan thought it had a penalty after Alessio Romagnoli’s header appeared to hit Samir on the arm but, after viewing it several times on the pitchside monitor, the referee deemed it involuntary.

MORE NEW COACHES

Roma and Genoa also have new coaches in Paulo Fonseca and Aurelio Andreazzoli, respectively, and the two teams played out an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Roma will be the more disappointed of the two after leading three times thanks to goals from Cengiz Under and Edin Dzeko, and an Aleksandar Kolarov free kick that hit the underside of the bar and dropped down just over the line.

However, Genoa fought back each time through Andrea Pinamonti, Domenico Criscito (penalty) and Christian Kouamé.

OTHER MATCHES

Luis Muriel scored twice as Atalanta fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Spal.

Atalanta surpassed all expectations to finish third in Serie A last season to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in its history.

Serie B champion Brescia won 1-0 at Cagliari, with Alfredo Donnarumma — last season’s top scorer in the second division — scoring the only goal from the penalty spot.

Another newly promoted side, Hellas Verona, drew 1-1 at home to Bologna despite playing most of the match with 10 men after Pawel Dawidowicz was sent off in the 13th for a dangerous tackle on Riccardo Orsolini.

Elsewhere, Lazio won 3-0 at Sampdoria and Torino beat Sassuolo 2-1. Lazio and Italy forward Ciro Immobile scored twice to take his tally to 101 Serie A goals.

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Fresh off his MVP Award in the Big 3 league, former All-Star Joe Johnson could be making a comeback to the NBA.

According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, Johnson is in Philadelphia and is working out for the 76ers on Thursday.

Ex-NBA guard Joe Johnson is in Philadelphia and is working out for the Sixers tomorrow, a source told @espn @TheUndefeated. The MVP of @thebig3 also is expected to work out for the Clippers, Bucks & Nuggets. Joe Johnson & the Triplets are playing in the Big 3 title game Sunday.

— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) August 28, 2019
Add the Pelicans to that list of interest in Joe Johnson, a source said. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry and VP David Griffin watched Joe Johnson play in the @thebig3 in New Orleans last week. https://t.co/ubMxbwqKfu

— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) August 28, 2019
Spears adds the 38-year-old is also expected to work out for the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry and team vice-president David Griffin watched Johnson play last week in the Big 3 league, according to Spears, where his team is scheduled to play in the title game on Sunday.

Johnson last appeared in the NBA in the 2017-18 season, where he split 55 games between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets. In just under 22 minutes of floor time, Johnson averaged 6.8 points per game on 40.6 per cent shooting.

Nicknamed ‘Iso Joe,’ Johnson began his NBA career in 2001 after being selected No. 10 overall earlier that summer. He is best known for his time with the Atlanta Hawks where he made six All-Star teams and averaged 20.9 points a night from 2006 to 2012. Johnson also spent time with the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat.

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA say they’re investigating a claim that centre DeMarcus Cousins threatened violence against a former girlfriend.

TMZ released an audio recording Tuesday in which it says Cousins threatens to shoot Christy West, the mother of their 7-year-old child.

The Lakers issued a statement saying they “take this claim seriously.” The team and the NBA both say they’re gathering information and looking into the allegations.

Cousins got married to another woman last weekend in Atlanta.

Cousins signed with the Lakers last month as a free agent, but the veteran centre then tore a knee ligament during a workout earlier this month. He could miss the entire season with his new team after knee surgery.