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|Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony plans to opt in and take the $28 million he is due next season.The New York Times first reported the 34-year-old Anthony’s decision to bypass the chance to become a free agent. A person with knowledge of details confirmed Anthony’s choice to The Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
The Thunder traded for Anthony and Paul George to join Russell Westbrook before last season Blidi Wreh-Wilson Jersey , moves that gave them high hopes of challenging Golden State in the West. It didn’t work out as planned.
The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career – he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points – but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. He averaged 16.2 points per game, but struggled at times in his new role. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs and he wasn’t happy. In Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than backup Jerami Grant.
DALLAS (AP) – Rasmus Dahlin went first overall to the Buffalo Sabres, Commissioner Gary Bettman was booed relentlessly by the crowd all night and trade chatter didn’t amount to a whole lot of movement.
With the exception of one trade by the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, the first round of the NHL draft went off without many surprises. Only two players and a handful of picks were traded Friday night, leaving general managers hoping for more on Day Two.
”That was kind of a boring first day or first round,” Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said. ”It’s not typical for this day.”
The Sabres picking Dahlin at No. 1 and the Carolina Hurricanes taking Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov at No. 2 got the draft itself off to a predictable start. Montreal taking Finnish center Jesperi Kotkaniemi third and Arizona going a bit off the board with center Barrett Hayton fifth allowed high-scoring Czech winger Filip Zadina to fall to Detroit with the sixth pick.
Not a whole lot of big decisions happened Friday night at American Airlines Center. The Sabres taking Dahlin was automatic since they won the draft lottery in April, and the 18-year-old wore a Buffalo Bills hat Friday prior to the selection. Svechnikov got to try on the Hurricanes’ draft hat before he was the No. 2 pick just as general manager Don Waddell acknowledged recently.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Slugger Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the National League All-Star team.
On Friday afternoon the Nationals tweeted: ”tfw Bryce announces he’ll do the (at)MLB HR Derby if he makes the NL All-Star team…” accompanied by a GIF of Harper celebrating in the dugout.
The All-Star Game will be held July 17 at Nationals Park.
The 25-year-old Harper is second in the voting among National League outfielders behind Nick Markakis of the Braves. The top three in the voting will be starters.
Despite being in a slump that has dropped his average to .213 Tyler Lockett Jersey , Harper entered play Friday leading the National League in home runs (19) and walks (55), and stood 10th in RBIs (45).
Harper last participated in the derby in 2013 at Citi Field in New York.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan State University’s embattled interim president survived an attempted ouster from the school’s governing board Friday as trustees met to approve using a bond to finance a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.
At the meeting’s outset, trustee Brian Mosallam tried to change the agenda and allow a vote to fire John Engler, who had disparaged accusers and their lawyers in emails. The audience rejoiced, but the board voted 6-2 against taking up the issue, with Mossallam and Dianne Byrum the only trustees voting in favor.
Engler has faced a whirlwind of backlash since the emails surfaced last week. At one point he wrote that Rachael Denhollander, one of Nassar’s most outspoken accusers, probably received a ”kickback” from her attorney. Within days Logan Paulsen Jersey , the controversy crested in some 150 Nassar accusers demanding his departure before he apologized in a written statement on Thursday.
LeBron James defied belief with another brilliant playoff performance and was in utter disbelief at the officials and a play by teammate J.R. Smith down the stretch that sent the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 124-114 overtime loss to Golden State in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.James posted the first 50-point game in the finals since Michael Jordan did it 25 years ago and had the Cavaliers in position to stun the heavily favored Warriors in the opener before a disputed replay overturn and Smith’s blunder turned the tide in Golden State’s favor.
”Tonight we played as well as we’ve played all postseason, and we gave ourselves a chance possession after possession after possession,” James said. ”There were just some plays that were kind of taken away from us. Simple as that.”
James finished with 51 points in the highest scoring finals game in a losing effort and had the Cavaliers in position to win when his pass down low to George Hill drew a foul on Klay Thompson with 4.6 seconds left and Cleveland trailing 107-106. Hill hit the first shot to tie the game but missed the second.
Smith secured the rebound but dribbled to half court, a play usually made with the lead. James was calling for the ball that entire time and could only hold his arms out in shock before walking back to the huddle for overtime.
While coach Tyronn Lue said Smith thought the Cavs were up by a point, Smith insisted he knew the score.
”I knew it was tied,” he said. ”I thought we were going to take a timeout because I got the rebound. I’m pretty sure everybody didn’t think I was going to shoot it over KD right there. … I tried to bring it out and get enough space to maybe get a shot off. I looked over at LeBron and he looked like he was trying to get a timeout. So I stopped, and the game was over.”
James said he didn’t know what Smith was thinking and walked out of the postgame news conference after growing tired of repeated questioning about whether Smith knew the score.
”I don’t know what J.R. was thinking,” James said, refusing to speculate on Smith’s thought process. ”I don’t know the question you’re trying to ask.”
The Cavaliers were not able to recover from Smith’s blunder.
The Warriors scored on their first possession of overtime when Durant drew a foul from Hill that upset James once again and never looked back Matt Ryan Jersey , outscoring Cleveland 17-7 in the extra session.
The game ended with James jawing with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and then teammate Tristan Thompson getting ejected for a flagrant foul after he got upset when Shaun Livingston attempted a shot when the game was already in hand instead of taking a shot-clock violation.
There were several calls down the stretch that angered James, with the biggest coming after James drove past Stephen Curry for a three-point play that put Cleveland up 104-102 with 50 seconds left.
James appeared to draw a charge on Durant. But officials went to the replay to see if James was in the restricted area which would make it a block. While James was clearly outside the restricted area, officials also had the chance to review whether James was in legal guarding position and changed the call to a block.
”I thought I read that play just as well as I read any play in my career, defensively,” James said. ”I saw the drive, I was outside the charge line, I stepped in, took the contact. It’s a huge play. It’s a huge play.”
James answered with an impressive drive, changing hands in midair before scoring to give the Cavs the lead. But it wasn’t enough when Curry answered with a three-point play followed by Smith’s miscue.
The opener of the fourth straight finals between these teams followed a familiar script with the deeper Warriors overcoming a sensational individually effort by James the way they did in winning the past two titles.
James had his highest-scoring playoff game ever Dion Dawkins Jersey , tied Jerry West for the most 40-point games in a single postseason with eight and almost single-handedly led the Cavs to the win.
He made 19 of 32 shots, added eight rebounds and eight assists and played nearly 48 minutes for a third straight game.
But the lasting image of this game will be of James calling for the ball behind the 3-point line as Smith dribbled out the clock in a play reminiscent of one made by Dallas’ Derek Harper in a playoff loss to the Lakers 34 years ago.
”It was epic,” Lue said ”He did enough to carry this team to a victory. We just came up short. But this is LeBron James, that’s who he is. That’s why he’s the best player in the world. He’s been doing it for us all season.
”To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it’s just not right.”
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