Peterson Wins Appeal

 

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U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled in favor of Adrian Peterson on Thursday, overturning the Vikings running back’s indefinite suspension from the NFL. Peterson is now eligible to return to the field. The running back was handed an indefinite suspension in November, but successfully argued that the league had promised to reinstate him after his child abuse case had been resolved.

“Petition to vacate the arbitration award was granted. Case was remanded for further proceedings … as the CBA may permit,” Doty said in the ruling.

The league said that it would review the judge’s decision as it related to Peterson’s reinstatement.

Peterson was initially suspended after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault charges. Under the terms of the suspension, Peterson would not be permitted to file for reinstatement until April 15, effectively sidelining him for the entirety on this season

Bruins Smash Huskies

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With time running out on securing a top-four seed in the Pac-12 tournament, the UCLA Bruins are playing with a sense of urgency.

They want to finish among the top four to avoid playing four games in four days at the Pac-12 tournament next month. The Bruins took a step toward their goal with an 88-66 rout of Washington on Wednesday night that moved them into sole possession of fifth place.

”As long as we win our last two home games I don’t know how we don’t get a bye,” coach Steve Alford said. ”We’ve got to put everything into these next two games.”

Norman Powell scored 24 points, Tony Parker added 20 and UCLA led all the way in ending its two-game skid. The Bruins (17-12, 9-7 Pac-12) were coming off getting swept in the Arizona desert last weekend. They’re desperate to end the regular season with three straight victories at home to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, which lacks any wins over top-notch opponents.

”We control our own destiny,” Powell said. ”If we start putting the pressure on us and start thinking about it too much, things will fall apart. We’re not going to be too worried about what could happen. We’re going to take care of our business.”

Andrew Andrews scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Huskies (15-12, 4-11), who have lost eight of their last nine and are just ahead of last-place Southern California in the league standings. Andrews was coming off a career-high 35-point effort in a win over Washington State.

”UCLA really had a size advantage against us,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. ”When they score 50 points in the paint, they did what they needed to do and it makes it hard to recover from that. Parker really caught it deep in the paint and he set the tone.”

Nigel Williams-Goss added 17 points for the Huskies.

UCLA improved to 15-1 at home and has won five in a row over the Huskies, who were making their first trip to Pauley Pavilion since 2012-13.

Rondo Cusses Coach Out?

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Rajon Rondo and Rick Carlisle got into a shouting match during the third quarter of Tuesday’s Mavericks-Raptors game after the Mavs point guard ignored the coach’s instructions for a timeout.

Carlisle could be seen and heard yelling to Rondo to call a timeout as he was bringing the ball up the court. Rondo ignored the coach, who walked out onto the court to force the timeout call.

Carlisle was yelling at Rondo, who appeared to cuss back in response.

You can watch both videos here.

Rondo, who was traded to the Mavs in December, did not re-enter the game after that, though the team hung on to win 99-92 without him. His behavior should not at all come as a surprise; he was known for being a difficult player to deal with throughout his career in Boston, which is part of why the Celtics traded him

City of Chicago Hurting

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Mother Nature will decide over the next few days whether this February will go down as one of the coldest in Chicago history.

To the city’s sports fans, it officially became one of the cruelest Tuesday night.

The surreal news release came from the Bulls at 9:38 p.m., words that had to be read twice to be believed: “Derrick Rose reported today with right knee pain. An exam and subsequent MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear of the right knee. Surgery will be scheduled, after which a timeline for his return will be determined.”

All over the town, jaws dropped and stomachs turned as shock slowly settled in. Huh?

This couldn’t be. No. Way. Not D-Rose. Not again. No athlete deserves three surgeries in three years, let alone a former MVP playing in his hometown. No matter how many bizarre things Rose said on the record, at least he was on the floor. No matter how crazy Rose drove you with his recent nonchalance or how many bricks he laid from 3-point range, as long as he was driving to the basket in good health, the Bulls had a chance to think NBA title.

Now what are we to think about the Bulls’ chances? (Not much.) What are we to make of Rose’s future after a second surgery on the same right knee repaired in 2013? (Iffier than ever.) Wasn’t Patrick Kane’s injury enough angst for one night in the city? (Absolutely.)

Two hours before the Bulls dropped the bombshell about Rose, Kane left the Blackhawks game against the Panthers at the United Center after getting cross-checked by the Panthers’ Alex Petrovic – or, Public Enemy No. 1 on your hockey programs. Kane fell awkwardly into the boards and appeared to injure his left wrist or left shoulder, described only as an “upper-body injury” by the team. He did not return in the Hawks’ 3-2 shootout victory and speculation surrounds the timetable of Kane’s recovery. As Chelsea Dagger played and fans cheered a victory the team desperately needed, the celebration was muted by the fear of the unknown concerning Kane.

“Looks like he might miss some time,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Teammate Kris Versteeg sounded like he knew more Tuesday night when he spoke to CSN.

“We’re ticked off when the best player in the league gets hurt,” Versteeg said. “It’s going to be an uphill battle without him.”

And Mayor Rahm Emanuel thought he had a bad day.

The Bulls without Rose will stay competitive, win games they shouldn’t and surprise folks with their effort and intensity. They more likely will morph into the try-hard team they were the last two seasons without Rose, the team coach Tom Thibodeau has proven he can win with but hardly a team that figures to compete for the Eastern Conference title.

It’s on Like Donkey Kong!!! 5-2-15

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The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight has been anticipated so long that Mayweather’s father/trainer already has a patented poem rehearsed.

“Floyd’s the best/I must confess/To all the rest/There is no contest,” Floyd Mayweather Sr. said.

“Floyd is smarter than him, Floyd is quicker than him, has more knowledge, and I’m going to tell you this right here: Floyd can’t lose to him.”

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach has spent years watching Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 knockouts), the undisputed top pound-for-pound boxer in the world who on Friday announced he’s signed to fight eight-division world champion Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) on May 2 at MGM Grand.

A few weeks ago, Roach said his careful review of fight film has convinced him Mayweather Jr., turning 38 this week, has slipped.

Roach said his confidence in a Pacquiao victory is “100%. Everyone says [Mayweather’s] changed his style to become more fan friendly. He doesn’t give a [care] about the fans. He just can’t move no more.”

And here we go … .

The matchup sports fans have clamored for since late 2009 will arrive long overdue, yet Mayweather and Pacquiao still rank 1-2 in most mythical pound-for-pound rankings

It’s Mayweather’s foot and hand speed, defense and wisdom matched against Pacquiao’s rapid punching power, creative angles and fitness.

Among those caught up in the fervent, broad-based speculation, former heavyweight champion George Foreman said he foresees Pacquiao winning a decision.

“Pacquiao has the edge … Mayweather makes up [rounds] later, [but] Pacquiao stays ahead,” Foreman said in a text message.

Roach insists Pacquiao, 36, will catch and hit Mayweather.

“Manny has better legs, he’ll be in better shape than Floyd and he’ll be more motivated,” Roach said.

Some of that motivation can be found in the fact that Pacquiao conceded to allow Mayweather Jr. a 60/40 split of the purse, hinging a plan to win and collect greater in a rematch.

While Mayweather’s own conditioning plan is legendary, both in the gym and in his dark-of-night runs through the streets of Las Vegas, Roach counters, “I don’t think running at 2 in the morning is healthy for a fighter. We go by the book. The book wins fights.”

Mayweather Sr. said he doesn’t want his son to overtrain, and boasted because of the unbeaten fighter’s year-round discipline, “all Floyd needs is two good, full weeks” in training. “Two good weeks and he’ll put him to sleep.”

Mayweather Sr. points out Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out any opponent since 2009, wondering how the Filipino can crack Mayweather Jr.’s strong chin.

For good measure, Mayweather Sr. dismissed the credibility of Roach’s multiple past trainer of the year awards.

“He might be the one that everyone gives awards to, but he won’t be getting the award this damn year,” Mayweather Sr. said.

Roach said mental warfare can’t be denied. While Pacquiao might be far more soft-spoken out of the ring, inside “he’ll penetrate Floyd mentally with his power.”

Mayweather has taken some big recent shots over the last few years, from Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Marcos Maidana.

None of those challengers have been able to effectively sustain an attack against the elusive champion.

That’s why MGM Resorts sports book lists Mayweather as more than a 2-1 favorite (minus 240) to win, and why it’s a 3-1 favorite that the bout will last at least 11 full rounds.

Floyd has fought younger guys with more power and different technical levels,” said Jay Rood, the MGM’s race and sports book director, who said he expects gambling records to be broken along with pay-per-view and live-gate marks.

“Certainly, I think Manny can disrupt him, but Floyd is faster and has the ability to control the ring. Very few people can cut the ring off and get him to spots where he’s uncomfortable. His athleticism allows him to escape.”

The “X factor,” Rood says, is how the tensions and years-long animosity that previously prevented the fight will shape the battle.

“This has been brewing so long, maybe Floyd lets his guard down to take a calculated risk to become more aggressive than usual,” Rood said. “If that’s the case, we’ve got a great fight.”