<![CDATA[NBC New York - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:29:48 -0400 Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:29:48 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Packers Player Arrested in Miami]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:01:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/andrew+quarless+green+bay+packers+mug+070415.jpg

Miami Beach Police arrested an NFL player after they say he shot his gun into the air early Saturday morning.

Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, 26, was charged with discharging a firearm in public around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

A parking attendant on the 500 block of Lenox Avenue told police he spotted a black Porsche Panamera with two men and two women inside. According to the arrest report, the two men got out of the Porsche and approached a white vehicle with several women inside.

The attendant said the discussion soon became hostile. That's when he told police he spotted Quarless walking up to the white car with a semi-automatic handgun. The witness then told police Quarless pointed the gun in the air and fired off two rounds before taking off in the Porsche.

Another witness told police Quarless "discharged his firearm in an apparent attempt to emphasize his dominance and manhood," according to the police report.

The white vehicle left the scene and was not seen or heard from again, the report stated.

Police put out a "be on the lookout", or BOLO, alert for the Porsche. Officers spotted the vehicle parked on the 400 block of Washington Avenue with its lights on.

According to the report, Quarless was discovered nearby, "attempting to conceal himself and the black firearm in a nearby plant."

It is unclear whether Quarless has an attorney.

A spokesman for the Green Bay Packers issued a statement, saying, "We are aware of the matter involving Andrew Quarless and are in the process of gathering more information. We will withhold further comment."

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Contador Eyes 3rd Tour de France Title]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:40:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Alberto-Contador-2-July-2015.jpg

Tour de France contender Alberto Contador's serious-looking face cracked into a beaming smile during a lighthearted moment at his pre-race news conference on Thursday, when he was joined by an unexpected guest.

It happened when two Dutch television journalists presented the Spanish rider with a canary in a cage, popping it down on the table right next to him.

Contador used to breed canaries when he was younger, something he says he no longer has time to do since becoming a professional rider, and he sat gazing curiously at the tiny yellow bird as it hopped around.

Yellow will be all Contador has on his mind from this Saturday onward as he tries to win back the famed jersey he won twice before, in 2007 and 2009.

The showcase race starts with an individual time trial around the Dutch city of Utrecht and ends July 26 in Paris.

Contador's 2010 Tour title was stripped from him after a failed doping test for the fat-burning, muscle-building drug clenbuterol, and his 2011 Giro d'Italia title subsequently also scrapped. Following a suspension, Contador looked well set for a podium finish at the 2013 Tour, only to slump late on in the race and finish fourth.

His frustration turned to agony when, on the 2014 Tour, he dropped out on stage 10 after a bone-breaking downhill crash during a mountain stage. Remarkably, he continued to ride for 20 minutes with a fractured left tibia — and with blood gushing from his right knee — before agony overwhelmed him.

Contador, dejected, ruled himself out of the Spanish Vuelta only to recover quicker than expected, change his mind and win the race for the third time.

Now, he has another objective: the Giro-Tour double.

"If I win just another Tour it's not going to change my career, but if I achieve the double this is something people are going to remember," Contador said Thursday. "I take a lot of motivation from this."

After winning his second Giro title in May, he now has the chance to become the first rider since Italian Marco Pantani in 1998 to complete that double the same year.

He has thought about nothing else since the Giro ended.

"I sacrificed everything. Every day, every minute I have been working toward this," he said, looking serious again with his canary friend now removed from the table. "There was no celebration. I put absolute focus on the bike. It's a new challenge for me."

A hugely ambitious one, given the strength of the opposition.

Barring his way are defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and 2013 winner Chris Froome, who also has a burning desire to win after crashing out on the cobblestones in last year's Tour. Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana, runner-up to Froome in 2013, is also a threat.

"I have been training and resting. But I think I'm well recovered physically and also mentally, which is probably more important," Contador said. "There are four favorites everybody talks about but I think there are more riders ... (Romain) Bardet, (Alejandro) Valverde, (Thibault) Pinot."

While Nibali's Astana team and Froome's Team Sky have changed their Giro lineups, Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team has retained five riders from that race.

"They're experienced and strong," Contador said. "I trust them."

Contador will be nervous, however.

This year's opening nine-day swing from the Low Countries across northern France again features the dreaded cobblestones. Rain and slippery stones are a nightmare for most riders, while some like Nibali glide over them with dismissive ease.

"The first objective is to try and avoid crashes. It's a very complicated start to the Tour," Contador said. "The first nine days there are at least six very intense stages, maybe more. It's going to be a Tour with no rest."

By his own admission, Contador felt in better condition heading into last year's Tour.

"If I had to choose between last year and this year's feeling I'd take last year's," he said. "I come here with a clear objective. I know it's very difficult."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Knicks' Free-Agent Plans Take a Major Hit ]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:26:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/knicks+detroit.jpg

It’s a very different time in the NBA and it you don’t believe that just consider that the Knicks lost their prime free-agent target to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Yes, the Bucks, whose championship drought extends back even further than the Knicks’ last title in 1973.

But here is what Greg Monroe saw when he picked the Bucks and all those snowy Wisconsin winters over the Knicks and the bright lights of the Garden:

A winning team on the rise in the Eastern Conference.

A talented, young roster.

A proven head coach.

The Knicks couldn’t match the Bucks in any of those categories. While Phil Jackson’s “failed experiment’’ this past season was winning a franchise-record low 17 games, the Bucks were exceeding expectations by winning 41 games and making the playoffs.

While the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony, they have little else around him to get any free-agent candidate excited. On the contrary, the Bucks have several young promising players, including Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams, all of whom helped them finish sixth in the East last season. They also have Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick last June, who had a good rookie season cut short in December when he suffered a major knee injury.

The Bucks haven’t won a thing since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was manning the middle, back in their lone championship year of 1971. But make no mistake, the Bucks are a team going places, with a coach, Jason Kidd, who stopped being a sideline novelty a long time ago.

In his first two seasons on the sidelines, Kidd has coached the Nets and Bucks to the post-season in each and has an 85-79 record. He's also 7-11 playoff mark with one playoff series win under his belt.

Just as he was great floor leader as a Hall of Fame playmaker during his NBA career, he’s also shown tremendous leadership qualities working the sidelines.

You know what Jackson had to sell Monroe? Derek Fisher, who struggled mightily in his first season and starts his second campaign 48 games under .500. Jackson also tried to sell his beloved triangle offense, which many players know to be antiquated and not at all what’s winning these days in the up-tempo, three-point driven NBA.

The Knicks used to be able to blow small-market teams out of the water when it came to money. But not anymore. In this day and age where the money is equal, Monroe opted for going to a franchise with a brighter future, accepting a three-year, $50 million “max deal’’ from the Bucks, according to league sources.

The Knicks didn’t lose out on Kevin Durant here, so let’s not make it to be the end of the world. It’s not a fatal hit because Monroe certainly hasn’t shown himself to be a difference-maker in his first five NBA seasons. If he was, then the Detroit Pistons would have had some winning seasons during his time in Auburn Hills, and team president and coach Stan Van Gundy, who knows something about winning basketball, certainly would have done everything in his power to keep him.

With Monroe, an offensive-minded player who doesn't do much when the other team has the ball, the Pistons never won more than 32 games and never once made the playoffs.

But it’s a loss and a big one, as far as Jackson is concerned. The Zen Master saw the 6-11 Monroe as a major piece for his triangle offense, with his ability to score and pass.

As far as big men go, Monroe also was Jackson’s most realistic “get’’ for free agency 2015. They’re a long, long shot to bring home LeMarcus Aldridge, who turned down the Lakers and is expected to go to the Spurs. The Lakers might be the NBA’s marquee franchise, but they're finding themselves in the same boat as the Knicks, in so many ways. Coming off a 21-win season, the Lakers are also trying to sell winning on spec, and are having an impossible time doing it.

The Knicks also are not given much of a chance of getting DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers’ center who likely will return to L.A. The Clips give him his best chance of winning and, as Jordan’s “home’’ team, can out-bid New York and all other teams with a full “max’’ contract.

So what do the Knicks do now? They can make a run at two other free agent bigs, Robin Lopez, a defensive specialist and Brook Lopez’s twin brother; or Enes Kanter, who split time last season with Utah and Oklahoma City. They can also try to make a deal for a big entering the last season of his deal, including Indiana’s Roy Hibbert and maybe even former Knick David Lee, who wants out of Golden State.

Then, they can use one of those expiring contracts to help carve out cap space for next summer.
The options aren’t great, not even close. But this is what happens when you come off a 17-win season and you’re trying to convince free agents that New York is the place to be. As a basketball town, it doesn’t even stack up to Milwaukee.

Longtime New York columnist Mitch Lawrence continues to write about pro basketball, as he’s done for the last 22 years. His columns for NBCNewYork.com on the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, along with other major sports, will appear twice weekly. Follow him on Twitter

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Knicks' Free-Agent Plans Center on Monroe, Afflalo]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/phil+jackson+tuesday.jpg

At midnight, Phil Jackson will be on the clock' trying to use his marquee name to attract some big-name free agents to come play for the Knicks.

So why are the Knicks probably going to be stuck with B-list free agents?

It's not like anyone will be breaking into an all-out sprint to come to the Garden when Jackson tries to convince them that they can come to a winning situation. He'll try to win them over with the idea that the Knicks are only a few pieces away, but the reality is quite different. Right now, free agents see:

1. A team that features the team’s noted volume shooter and ball-stopper, Carmelo Anthony, coming off knee surgery.

2. A coach, Derek Fisher, who made plenty of rookie mistakes during the team's 17-win debacle last season.

3. The challenge of playing in the triangle offense, which hasn't fared very well in the NBA unless the featured players were named Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

Throw in the fact that the team's first-round draft pick, Kristaps Porzingis, isn't expected to help for a couple of seasons, and the prospect of playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden doesn’t sound very appealing.

Fear not, Knicks fans. At least Jackson has the financial wherewithal to compete for talent. Even with Anthony due to make almost $23 million next season, the Knicks are about $27 million under the salary cap.

The Knicks also have a history of overpaying, and there’s no reason to believe that Garden boss James Dolan will stop now, not after his team set a franchise low for wins and has not reached the playoffs for two straight years.

Over the next few days, don't expect the Knicks to reach an agreement with anyone who's going to move the needle and vault them right into the playoff chase. Since they're a long way from competing for a title, they're more likely to come out on July 9, the first day teams can sign players, with forward Greg Monroe or respected veteran power forward David West. Monroe is done in Detroit and could get a max deal that starts at $15 million.

As far as wing players go, they're considered the favorites to land Aaron Afflalo, a career 11 ppg scorer. While his best role would be as a reserve, the Knicks view the 6-5 Afflalo, who has been with Detroit, Orlando, Denver and Portland in a nine-year career, as a starter. He could get a deal starting at $12 million per to come to New York.

For help inside, where the Knicks have no one of size who can protect the paint, they are going to meet with 6-11 DeAndre Jordan, the defensive specialist for the Clippers. But the Houston native is expected to re-sign for max money in L.A., or head to Dallas to replace former Knick Tyson Chandler.

As far as A-list free agents go, the Knicks are hoping to get an audience in Los Angeles with LeMarcus Aldridge. But most NBA observers see him leaving Portland for the Lakers, or going back to his native Texas to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

The premier big man in the 2015 free-agent pool, center Marc Gasol, has no plans to meet with Jackson. Even if he does, he’s almost certain to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s got the best of both worlds in Memphis: The Grizzlies are a top team in the West and he can make more money by staying in Memphis than if he were to leave for the Knicks or any other team.

“If the Knicks got either Aldridge or Gasol, then you’d say, “Wow!’’ one Eastern Conference GM told me the other day. “They’d be moving the needle, because Gasol and Aldridge are really, really good, especially Gasol. Nobody is saying “Wow!’’ if they’re getting Greg Monroe.’’

Monroe is a good low-post scorer and, at 25, still has a lot of basketball in him. But the team he’s leaving, the Pistons, are in the same position as the Knicks. Yet they gave up on him after he just averaged 15.9 ppg and 10.2 rpg this past season.

As the Pistons see it, and they’re not alone in this view, Monroe just doesn’t do enough of the other core things that teams want from their big men -- he's not dominant the glass and he doesn't close down the lane or defend on the interior. If he did, Detroit would be trying to keep him.

Monroe will also meet with the Lakers, Bucks and Blazers. West, 35, one of the Pacers mainstays during the past few seasons, would give the Knicks a much-needed leader and a crafty scorer.

Anthony’s best seasons have come when he’s had similar strong personalities in the locker room. A few seasons back, he finished third in MVP voting when Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace held sway in the locker room.

Now the Knicks desperately need leaders and talented players.

Any way you look at it, when the clock strikes midnight, Phil Jackson has a lot of work to do.

Longtime New York columnist Mitch Lawrence continues to write about pro basketball, as he’s done for the last 22 years. His columns for NBCNewYork.com on the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, along with other major sports, will appear twice weekly. Follow him on Twitter @Mitch _ Lawrence

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Stanton Out With Fracture in Hand]]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 02:59:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478685206.jpg

The Miami Marlins will be without the services of Giancarlo Stanton for the foreseeable future due to a fracture in his left hand.

Stanton suffered the injury during Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The slugger grimaced following a strikeout in the ninth inning, and trainers checked his hand in the dugout afterwards.

Stanton is expected to miss four to six weeks with surgery pending. Miami has brought up Cole Gillespie to take Stanton's place on the roster. Ichiro Suzuki figures to be the main beneficiary in terms of playing time.

Stanton currently paces Major League Baseball in home runs and figured to be a lock for participation in the Home Run Derby. The outfielder was also one of the leading vote-getters for starting gig in the All-Star Game itself. But both of those events would now seem to be out of reach for the injured star.

The Marlins gave Stanton a 13-year $325 million contract in the off-season, which represented a major commitment and risk by the team. Stanton is one of the best players in the game, but has struggled to play a full season in his MLB career.

Miami now may turn into sellers and move pieces such as Dan Haren and Mat Latos. Both pitchers are set to be free agents, and the team is 15 games under .500. A playoff appearance is unlikely without Stanton's bat to help an already quiet offense.

The Marlins will take on the Dodgers again on Saturday as they look to end a five-game losing streak.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Future NBA Stars' Fashion Sense Shines at Draft]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:47:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NBA+suit+3.jpg

One of the NBA's biggest nights provides the stars of the show a chance to display their best (and sometimes wildest) suits.

Each year, it seems, draft picks step up their fashion game, and the 2015 NBA Draft, held Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was no exception. 

Take Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, from the University of Arizona Wildcats. While he was selected 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, the attention might have been focused on his red and black checkered pants.  The color scheme was a perfect fit for the Blazers, but the match was short-lived. He was traded soon after to the Brooklyn Nets.

Devin Booker wore a bright blue suit as his name was called by the Phoenix Suns, who took him with the 13th overall pick. His orange tie matched the Suns hat he donned on stage for the photo opportunities.

Perhaps one of the most animated players, Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell, pointed above as he wore a red and white suit with a checkered shirt (although Buckeye fans would call the suit "scarlet"). He was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, so he didn't quite match his new team's color scheme. 

Breaking away from bright colors and going toward patterns, Karl-Anthony Towns wore a gray, black, and white chevron-patterned suit jacket. The former University of Kentucky Wildcat, who was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, broke from tradition by showing up without a tie.

Now that the draft is out of the way, the players can focus on basketball.  The 2015-16 season will start on October 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The 2015 NBA Draft First Round Picks]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:37:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-478518558.jpg The first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York, has concluded. Click through to see who will be making their professional debut in the 2016-2017 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>