<![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 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:47:10 -0500 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:47:10 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Devon Still: 'No Evidence' of Cancer in Daughter, 5]]> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:06:57 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/487634272.jpg

A lot of pro football was played on Thanksgiving, but last week's biggest win was earned a day earlier by the 5-year-old daughter of former NFL player Devon Still, according to "TODAY."

Doctors found "no evidence of disease" in Leah Still almost a year and a half after she was diagnosed with cancer, the 26-year-old former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle announced Wednesday on Instagram.

"Thanks for all the support and prayers!" reads the caption accompanying an image of the words "Thank you," in cursive. "Just got the phone call that her scans showed NED (no evidence of disease)!"

Since June 2014, when doctors diagnosed Leah with Stage-4 neuroblastoma and gave her a 50/50 chance to survive, it's been a roller-coaster of emotions for everyone involved.

Photo Credit: File -- FilmMagic
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<![CDATA[Giants Fans Should Be Thankful Following Loss to Washington]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:56:37 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/172*120/499191408.jpg

As a thunderstruck world adjusts to a post-Thanksgiving society in which a 5-6 Washington team is leading the NFC East, we turn our attention to the defendants who put them there: The New York Giants.

It’d be easy to look at Sunday’s game and focus on all the things that Big Blue did wrong, but that’d be the attitude of an ingrate. Just four days removed from our national day of Thanksgiving, I’d rather look at the current state of the New York team from the National Football Conference and point out those things for which to be thankful.

Be thankful the Giants played a strong fourth quarter for once.

Be thankful you saw that touchdown catch by Odell Beckham Jr. and that the most exciting player in the NFL plays for your team.

Be thankful the Giants don’t have a Manning under center who should already be retired.

Be thankful all five of the Giants offensive lineman are not out for the year (yet).

Be thankful that wasn’t Preston Parker dropping all those passes yesterday, and that Rueben Randle redeemed himself slightly with that fourth-down touchdown reception.

Be thankful the team had any chance at all yesterday, which is ridiculous when you consider they lost the turnover battle 3-0.

Be thankful for tight end Will Tye, who stepped up in place of the injured Larry Donnell and nabbed six catches for 74 yards.

Be thankful you’re not a Washington fan.

Be thankful you’re not Cowboys fan.

Be thankful you’re not an Eagles fan.

Be extra thankful you’re not a Jets fan.

Be thankful for Cyber Monday.

Be thankful for the new Netflix show “Master of None” with Aziz Anzari, which is hilarious and a great program to binge watch.

Be thankful the NFL playoff system isn’t decided by polls or a selection committee.

Be thankful you stayed up to watch the Broncos hand the Patriots their first loss of the season, because you hopefully went to bed moderately happy.

Be thankful the Giants under Tom Coughlin have been in this position before and know how to respond when the team is under duress.

Be thankful for the return of Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants defense, which kept the Giants from getting blown out yesterday.

Be thankful for special teams studs Josh Brown and Brad Wing.

Be thankful the team plays in the woeful NFC East, where an 8-win team might very well win the division.

Be finally, be thankful for next week’s intra-MetLife game, as the Giants face the Jets.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Dear Basketball': Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 04:26:19 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-Madison-Square-Garden.jpg

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has decided to retire after this season.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday. The decision was not totally unexpected, given that Bryant has said many times in recent weeks that he was considering making his 20th NBA season his last.

There's no more wondering now.

After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant's career is officially winding down.

"This season is all I have left to give," Bryant said in what he called a letter entitled "Dear Basketball."

Bryant said in an interview on Sirius XM Radio just last week that "if something changes," he would come back and play next season. Only a few days later, that's apparently no longer an option.

"My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it's time to say goodbye," Bryant wrote in the post. "And that's OK. I'm ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have."

Bryant ranks third on the NBA's career scoring list, and only 13 players in league history played on more championship teams. Bryant helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

This season has been a struggle for the five-time champion, whose young and rebuilding Lakers are mired at the bottom of the Western Conference standings while he's shooting a career-worst 32 percent. Injuries have dogged him in recent years as well, limiting him to 41 of a possible 164 games in the previous two seasons. And even this season, back issues have kept him from playing as much as he would like.

"It's tough to see one of the absolute greatest competitors go through this," Miami guard Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press on Sunday, prior to Bryant making his announcement. "You can put a team around a guy to help a guy, especially late in his career. They're just not in position right now to do that. He's won five championships, so no one feels bad for him from that standpoint. But from a standpoint of seeing one of this era's greatest players go out in a rebuilding process, it's tough."

The Lakers have 66 games remaining after Sunday and it will likely turn into a adoration tour of sorts for Bryant, who has already gotten long ovations from normally hostile fans on road trips this season, particularly in places like New York and Miami where crowds sensed that they might be seeing him as an opponent for the final time.

The Lakers' next road game is, perhaps not coincidentally given the timing of Bryant's announcement, on Tuesday in Philadelphia -- his hometown.

"Philly is where I grew up," Bryant told AP in an interview in Miami earlier this month. "It's always a different emotion there than anywhere else."

Bryant came into the NBA straight out of high school, won the dunk contest at All-Star weekend as a rookie, played in the All-Star game for the first time the following year and a star was fast born. The 81 points he scored against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, are second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in NBA history, and he's the only player to spend 20 consecutive seasons with the same team.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Tom Brady Dresses Up for Turkey Day Surprise]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:47:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Tom+Brady+102915.jpg

Looks like the New England Patriots' star quarterback couldn't resist having a little bit of fun on Thanksgiving.

Tom Brady posted a funny video of him hiding in a pile of leaves in a turkey costume, and then popping out to surprise his young children.

We can't decide what's more precious: his children's reactions or the fact that Brady goes "gobble gobble." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Much Has Changed Since Giants-Redskins First Game]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:22:03 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Giants+092415+GettyImages-489881684.jpg

The Giants travel to Washington this week in a bid to sweep the season series from their bitter divisional rival. A lot has changed both in the NFL and for these two teams since Week 3, when the Giants whipped Washington 32-21 at MetLife Stadium. Johnny Manziel was second string, then first string, then second string, then first string and now third string. And that’s basically just in the last week.

The quarterback position for the Giants and Washington has been comparatively static, with Eli Manning and Kirk Cousins both ensconced under center. But not everything has remained the same with these two teams since their earlier matchup on Sept. 24. Let’s take a look at Then and Now.

Then: The Giants beat Washington in a Thursday night game.
Now: Thursday games are still the worst.

Then: New York had lost its previous game because of some questionable fourth-quarter clock management.
Now: *Sigh*

Then: Washington fans were freshly digesting the news that the wife of their general manager, Scot McCloughan, had basically accused an ESPN reporter of servicing her husband in exchange for team news.
Now: We wonder how Thanksgiving went at the McCloughans’ house.

Then: We hadn't seen the full extent of the damage to the hand of Jason Pierre-Paul.
Now: Gah, look away!

Then: The Giants were 0-2 and in last place in the NFC East.
Now: The Giants are 5-5 and in first place.

Then: Washington had the league's best rushing attack.
Now: They’re 25th -- just ahead of the Giants -- averaging 95.3 ypg.

Then: Washington was 1-1 and feeling pretty good about themselves after beating the Rams 24-10 on the road.
Now: Washington is 4-6 and just got blown out 44-16 at home against the Panthers.

Then: Robert Griffin III was a potential distraction for Washington.
Now: RGIII seems resigned to being the third-string quarterback.

Then: It was a must-win game for the Giants.
Now: It’d still be a good idea to win this one.

Then: No players on Washington were claiming that referees were calling more penalties on them than other teams because of Washington’s racist team name.
Now: Defensive end Jason Hatcher said after last week’s blowout loss to Panthers that referees have it in for Washington because of their name.

Then: We were hoping Daniel Snyder would dress up as a pilgrim for Thanksgiving and invite some Native Americans over for dinner and announce the team was taking this opportunity to change the team name to the Thundering Turkeys.
Now: Snyder still has no vision.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Pitcher Hosts Syrian Refugees]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:09:51 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/172*120/DSC_15321.jpg

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his activist girlfriend Eireann Dolan, both natives of Illinois, hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for a Thanksgiving meal in Chicago on Wednesday night with Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a special guest.

The idea of whether to accept Syrian refugees has become controversial as of late, as some critics fear that terrorists could slip in as desperate families seek safe shelter from their war-torn homeland.

But the couple shunned those worries, and instead decided to act how they think all Americans should.

“Chicago is so lucky to have 17 Syrian refugee families now officially calling it home,” Dolan wrote on Instagram. “We thought we'd officially welcome them with one of our greatest American traditions, Thanksgiving.”

Her photo shows women in hijabs and a young boy wearing a Cubs baseball cap seated around a festive table, dotted with Pepsi, flowers and cranberry sauce.

A’s spokesman Ken Pries told NBC Bay Area on Friday the power couple hosted the dinner on Wednesday and have no personal connection with the refugees. The city of Chicago and the mayor helped put them in contact with the group, he said.

“It was obviously a very nice gesture," he said.

The couple has made nice gestures before.

The A’s kicked off LGBT Pride Night in June, which sparked some homophobic reaction, such as season ticket holders indicating they wanted to sell their tickets.

Dolan, who said she has two “super gay” moms, and Doolittle offered to buy any unwanted tickets up to $3,000, and donate the tickets to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

Photo Credit: Walter Mitchell, City of Chicago
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<![CDATA[Great-Grandma, 102, Plays Baseball]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:33:57 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/102-year-old-grandma-baseball.gif

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

A San Diego cul-de-sac has been transformed into a concrete baseball diamond, home to the Zimmer family’s annual Thanksgiving game for about 22 years.

The instruction comes from the team’s oldest and feistiest player, 102-year-old Ann Sellaro.

But she’s not satisfied with acting as batting coach. Putting aside her walker, the great-grandmother steps up to the imaginary plate with a blue, plastic bat in hand.

One, two, three swings at bright yellow wiffle balls and Sellaro strikes out. But for her family, the misses don’t detract from her baseball chops and a love of the game that helped inspire two of her great-grandsons to become Major League Baseball players.

"I taught them everything they know," Sellaro says.

Kyle and Bradley Zimmer, La Jolla High School graduates, were both first-round draft picks out of the University of San Francisco. Kyle now pitches for the Kansas City Royals, and Bradley plays center field for the Cleveland Indians.

But long before they were playing in the big leagues, their training began in a quiet La Jolla cul-de-sac. Sellaro was there dealing out advice “since the first time we picked up a bat, I think,” said Bradley.

“I think that was about two days after we started walking,” quipped Kyle. "It’s been a long time."

Back then, the Zimmers and their friends would keep the wiffle balls within easy reach. However, as they grew, the balls soon started flying across streets, over fences and into neighbor’s yards.

“We've had to extend the home run line,” said Eric Zimmer, the players’ dad. “It used to be the curb, and then it was the sidewalk, then it was the neighbor’s roof.”

The annual Thanksgiving game has become less competitive with fewer rules, but their favorite part remains the same.

“Anytime you can say you have a grandma who's 102 years old and showing you how to hit a wiffle ball in the backyard, it's pretty special,” said Bradley. “So having her down here has been awesome. It's something that we really cherish and look forward to every year."

Sellaro used to travel long distances to watch her great-grandsons play, but as traveling becomes harder, she shows her support by watching their games on TV or online.

In person, though, the batting coach instincts kick back in.

“Keep your eye on the ball,” she says, pointing at Kyle. “And that goes for you, too.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Brett Favre’s Number Retired]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:37:00 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-56396130+%281%29.jpg

The Chicago Bears will head into a hostile Lambeau Field Thursday night to face the Green Bay Packers, and even though they won’t have to face Brett Favre, the legendary quarterback’s presence will still be a big part of the evening.

That’s because the Packers are retiring Favre’s jersey at halftime of the Thanksgiving showdown.

The honor has been a long time coming for Favre, who spent the vast majority of his Hall of Fame-caliber career wearing the green and gold, and it’s especially appropriate that he is receiving the distinction during a game against a Bears team that he routinely tortured in his NFL career.

In 36 career starts against the Bears, Favre racked up a 23-13 record and some incredible passing numbers. He threw for 8606 yards in those 36 games, tossing 60 touchdowns and rushing for three more against Chicago during his career. Those 60 touchdowns are the most he threw against any team, and even though he did throw 42 interceptions against the Bears (also the most he’s thrown against any team), he still represented the Bears’ ultimate nemesis during his time in Green Bay.

The list of Favre’s best games against the Bears is a long one, but there are a few that certainly stand out.

Few will forget the masterful performance he had at Soldier Field in a November 1995 game, where he threw five touchdowns and racked up 336 passing yards despite playing the game with a severely sprained ankle.

A 2002 tilt against the Bears in Champaign was another Favre classic as he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in an emphatic 34-21 victory.

Unfortunately for Chicago, Favre’s replacement in Green Bay hasn’t been an easier opponent, as Aaron Rodgers holds a 12-3 record and throws for an average of 242.5 yards per game against the Bears in his career. Oh, and he’s thrown 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions too.

<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:18:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_263253371568.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez]]>
<![CDATA[Durant's New Sneaker Is Taboo to Some in Prince George's]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:09:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/KD8+PG+County.jpg

With his latest Nike sneaker, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant attempted to pay homage to the Maryland county where his journey to NBA all-star and MVP began, but some find it offensive.

The $180 sneaker, which goes on sale Wednesday, is called the KD8 ‘P.G. County,’ and that abbreviation of “Prince George’s” upsets some in the county. For years, using “PG” has been considered taboo.

“We would certainly prefer that it was ‘Prince George’s County,’” said Barry Hudson, the county executive’s spokesman.

The county reached out to Nike when it learned of the name.

“Actually sent a letter to Nike kind of giving them some idea of the nature of the term ‘Prince George’s County’ versus ‘PG County’ just to let them know that it is, to many in the county, a pejorative,” Hudson said.

Melvin McCray, who once coached Durant at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, said the name of the shoe makes perfect sense. Durant has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the facility where a room is named in his honor.

“Whether it’s ‘PG County,’ whether it’s ‘Prince George’s County,’ I just think we all should just enjoy the moment and just embrace it,” McCray said.

Photo Credit: Nike]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Beat Lakers, Set Record]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:44:18 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/178*120/Lakers-lose-to-Warriors-record-nba.jpg

The Golden State Warriors made history against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The Warriors went to 16-0 with the 111- 77 win is an old-fashioned game of blowout basketball, which marked the best ever start to an NBA season. Previously, the 1993-94 Houston Rockets held the record at 15-0.

Surprisingly, the Warriors came out shooting cold against the visiting Lakers. Not so surprisingly, the Warriors still managed to take a massive lead on a Lakers team that has the habit of falling flat on its face. For the 12th time in 14 games, the Lakers lost. This time, though, the purple and gold trailed by 19 points before the first quarter was up.

Kobe Bryant had had an awful night. He shot up air balls, he shot up bricks and he even shot up one thud-worthy attempt that stuck in between the backboard and the rim. The 37-year-old shot 1-14 from the field and looked worse than he has all season, and Bryant has not looked good this season.

No Laker scored over 10 points, so Bryant can hardly take all the credit in the loss. Jordan Clarkson went 2-11, Nick Young shot 3-10 and Roy Hibbert went 0-4. This was a game where the Lakers' best punch would possibly give them a chance against the world champs, but the Lakers seemingly slipped and fell as the opening bell rang out.

"They're a better team than we are," Lakers coach Byron Scott said on TWC SportsNet after the game. "It's pretty much that simple."

The Warriors only needed one quarter to decide the outcome, so the game never looked in doubt. However, the Lakers did show positive signs in the second period. Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell and almost-rookie Julius Randle combined to help cut the 22-point lead down to only 16 points by halftime. Russell hit shots, while Randle bruised his way to buckets. Both players shot 50 percent from the field for the night.

Along with the other starters, Russell and Randle did not play in the fourth quarter because the Warriors led by 34 points after three quarters. Stephen Curry had already received his sendoff ovation at that stage, and the game called for emptying the bench for guys like Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. to get extra minutes.

Curry finished with 24 points and nine assists on 10-21 shooting. By his standards, he had a bad night in that the league's Most Valuable Player only hit four of his 12 attempts from beyond the three-point line. However, Curry sat the whole fourth quarter because the game was simply not competitive. The Warriors' largest lead on the night was 41 points.

Draymond Green also had a positive night in more ways than one. Green had a +/- of 36, which tied Curry for the best net-positive players on the team. Green finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal in 30 active minutes on the court.

"It's just another loss for us, another win for them," Scott said. "That's how I kind of look at it and just go back to the drawing board."

Next, the Warriors look to extend their record to 17 games in Phoenix on Friday night. The Lakers look to snap a four-game losing streak in Portland on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[After Flying High Early, Jets Are a Wreck]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:35:06 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/196*120/112215jets.jpg

When Bilal Powell is your biggest threat in the passing game and Ryan Fitzpatrick your most dangerous runner, chances are you’re not a very good team.

Ditto for when a guy named Cecil Shorts III puts on a triple-threat performance not seen since the days of Red Grange against you. And, of course, double-ditto for when the best player in your team’s history gets burned like a ruined Thanksgiving dinner before being knocked out of the game by a knee to the head. Finally, can’t ditto this one enough: if your head coach is talking about turning to Geno Smith to get things going … well, you get the point.

The Jets aren’t a very good team, as they proved yet again in Sunday's 24-17 loss at Houston. In fact, at 5-5, they’re the very definition of average -- although they’d have a tough time convincing anyone that they’re even approaching ordinary based on their play over the past few weeks.

In short, Gang Green can’t pass very well. They can’t run any better, especially when they’re playing almost exclusively out of the shotgun because of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injured left thumb. They’re suspect on defense, having not held an opponent under 20 since Week 4. While we’re at it, they’re not much on special teams. And they’re unlucky. After racking up +8 in turnover differential in the season’s first two games, they’ve since posted a -6.

On the positive side, after three TDs on three passes in his pro career, the Jets prevented J.J. Watt from ringing up a fourth score after the just-returned Calvin Pryor broke up a throw in the end zone in the first quarter. Other positives, anyone? Don’t all speak at once!

It was basically the only time all day that the visitors thwarted Watt, who was somehow even better than usual on Sunday. The All-Pro DE had 5 five tackles for loss, two sacks and five hits in all on Fitzpatrick. I’m old enough to have watched Lawrence Taylor play his entire career here, and I feel confident saying this: Watt, not LT, is the best defensive player I’ve ever seen.

Ten games in, the Jets are now looking at a steep climb back into postseason contention. Their last two opponents, Buffalo and Houston, have passed them in the Wild Card race, and the roster is starting to resemble a supersized IR list. Sheldon Richardson sat out the Texans game with an ailing hamstring. Nick Mangold, back in Sunday despite a neck injury, had to leave the game after a laceration required stitches on his right (snapping) hand. In next week’s game against Miami, the Pro Bowl center is expected to roll the ball to his effectively one-handed quarterback.

Darrelle Revis, who looked infirm trying to cover Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins even when healthy, suffered a concussion -- and Fitzpatrick had his bell nearly broken in his fourth-quarter TD scramble. He followed that up with two INTs to seal the loss in the game’s closing minutes.

After flying so high to kick off the season, the Jets are, quite simply, a wreck. 

<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 11]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:17:01 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_386456190580.jpg Get an up-close look at all the best NFL plays and players from Week 11.

Photo Credit: AP]]>